Re: Roads,cities, and monsters

John Sloan (
Thu, 09 Dec 93 10:11:27 GMT wrote :

>Harold C. Payson <> makes some good points.
>Proposed mechanic:
> 1. Provinces are rated as either Wilderness or Civilization.
> 2. A province guarded for three months becomes Civilized.
> A province pillaged for two months becomes Wilderness.
> 4. Wilderness provinces without any NPC nasties will have 1-2
> generated each turn.
> Nasties may attack travelers according to the type of Nasty
> and the strength of the traveling party (as each kind of NPC
> now has its own agenda:)
> Savages Ignore people, but attack any buildings
> Ruffians Attack weak characters
> various monsters Attack anything
> ...
> 5. Civilized provinces neighboring unguarded Wilderness provinces
> will be periodically raided by pillaging NPC's.
> 6. Wilderness locations do not support a tax base, i.e. inns
> and castles receive no income.
> Markets should probably shut down in the wilderness, too.
> Perhaps a city downgrades to a town in the wilderness,
> and automatically becomes a city again once civilization is
> restored.
>Rich Skrenta <>

My first worry about this is that new players, who don't have the resources
to build and maintain a set of guards, will be trapped near the places they
start, where all the resources have already been tied up.

Specifically I think that civilized provinces decaying to become wilderness
in two turns of pillaging is a bit quick. It doesn't take long to produce
one/two wilderness regions near the start locations that way which will trap
the new and unwary.

Having markets shut down in the wilderness also seems counterproductive. It
reduces the incentive for pure traders if the have to guard the cities at the
far end before they can sell anything.

I much prefer the Carrot ideas. If you can make settled civilised territory
so much more worthwhile to be in, then people may choose to stay there.
Roads will help. So will increasing city size (in terms of ammount of trade
and ammount of tax). More Inns will help fight off those diseases which
every noble picks up from time to time (a small chance of diseases happening
to any noble at any time would not be unrealistic. Say (12-(health/10))% per

Also, if I may indulge in dragging up an old idea of mine. If you were to
have regions which were loyal to a specific castle, then once an area such as
lessor atnos starts being totally loyal to one castle or another, you will
get wars between the kingdoms, for which the castle owners might well want to
start hiring mercenaries, and other craftsmen, to be able to produce the
armies fast enough. If you want, have civilised regions those taxed by a
castle, and untaxed regions wilderness. Reducing the tax base in wilderness
regions will make people pillage civilised areas, which will mean that
civilisation will not spread very fast so I'm not sure thats a good idea in
practise. Rather keep the tax base the same, but... lower the chance of
disease, or increase the chance of being healed in 'tidy clean' civilised

If you must have a stick, have it in the form of 'Barbarian hordes' or
somesuch which are a large army force which would move round slowly,
pillaging, and attacking buildings and people. It would be big enough that a
sizeable force would be needed to defeat it - probably organised by several
factions. It would move slowly enough that traders could avoid it. If it
captured people, it would probably release them after taking all their goods.
Think of it as a very large bunch of savages if you like. Just more
organised, and not subject to the same forms of control.

Finally, i think if you force people to go round in groups, you will find
that all that happens is that factions go round in groups, rather than that
factions cooperate to go round in groups. Which just makes the effective
world size bigger still. Exploration should be sufficiently safe that people
will do it readily.

Those are my immediate thoughts and opinions.


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