Re: Roads,cities, and monsters

John Sloan (
Thu, 09 Dec 93 16:04:04 GMT wrote :

>> As I noted earlier, I expect some people will want to find their own corner
>> of the world and quietly try things there without having to interact with
>> people more than necessary until they get to a certain size.
>Players want this, or think they do. Unfortunately, it can lead to very
>boring game play.

Its exactly what I want to do at the moment, as I'm still trying to find out
what all the skills are, and what they do. You're inventing them faster than
I'm discovering them at the moment - I only have the 9 characters y'know, and
one of them keeps getting captured by certain GM-run factions...

>> I envisage people wandering a long way as a single stack, then slowly
>> expanding little pockets of civilisation from where they end up.
>This sounds good. It's realistic, anyway. :-)

Yes. But with less dangerous wilderness this would just happen faster. Its
nice to be able to explore with a lone noble on a horse without having to worry
about him dying from random encounters. Entering lairs and ruins should be
dangerous, yes. Possibly even wandering into mountains should be dodgy. Plains
and Forest should probably be relatively safe though.

>The goal, however, is not to fill each wilderness province with 10 lethal
>Nasties. Perhaps the conversion bias should be reversed, since the
>wilderness starts with an overwhelmning advantage of size. In other words,
>make it easier to change a province from wilderness->civilized, and
>harder to take it the other way.

I would certainly favour that bias. Making wilderness civilized shouldn't be
tricky. Having it go the other way should be something that, say, barbarians
do. Pillaging on its own shouldn't do it unless it takes 6 months or so, say.

Then you have an incentive to stay in civilised areas - the tax base is higher
for when you pillage, or build a castle.

>Or perhaps have some less expensive way of keeping a province civilized,
>such as the presence of buildings.

Yes. A certain distance from large buildings should civilise when they
complete. Say within 2 moves for castles, and the province Inns, Towers and
Temples are in?

>> Better carrots probably involve having large overfactions which could
>> comprise several different factions, with specific objectives.
>> Control of Lesser Atnos. Bring religion X to the whole of a region.
>> That sort of thing. Give people positive reasons to work together
>> rather than negative ones.
>That's what I was going for with my Organizations proposal, but it got
>a cool reception. A lot of the problem here is that you can already
>do all of that stuff. You don't need a game mechanic.

You do for religions. Invent a few gods, and let people discover them for
themselves, and propogate them. As long as the advantages of propogating
religion are such that it is worth doing, then thats an easy overfaction

>> The two points about the hordes are: They are big enough that cooperation
>> will probably be needed to deal with them. They are slow enough moving
>> that people have time to find out about them, run away from immediate
>> danger, organise resistance, and not have to chase them all over the place.
>> 1000 barbarian soldiers would worry most people enough even if they were
>> six months away. Placement? Probably on the edge of large continuous
>> civilised regions. Not much point having them no-where near any PCs.
>I like the barbarians idea. But are you using my formal "civlization"
>tag, or a more subjective definition?
>Placement is not an easy issue. Do I put one on every continent, or do
>they build a boat and sail? What if it's wiped out? What if they destroy
>all the cities before anyone can kill them?

Its an idea stolen from Civilisation (both the board game and the PC game have
them). Use whatever definition of civilisation you think fits. I would
inclined to have them appear in a wilderness somewhere near a city, and work
their way towards it. The larger the area of 'civilisation' using your formal
definition, the better. Not much point putting huge hordes in to sack a city
no-one is likely to visit. But they shouldn't appear from nowhere either.

Have them come from unexplored provinces nearby, or failing that in a fleet of
war galleys which then sail towards the nearest land which will take them
towards the city.

>Rich Skrenta <>


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