Allow GIVE/BUY/etc. across zero time routes?

Rich Skrenta (
Sat, 20 Aug 1994 10:11:54 -0400 (EDT)

Scott Turner suggested allowing some operations to work across
zero time routes:

I've been bitten twice by trying to GIVE something to someone in an
inner location in a province. Of course you can't do that; you need
to enter the inner location before doing the GIVE.

But that's a little confusing, because in the turn report you can see
the people in the inner location, and the natural assumption is that
if you can see them, you can exchange things with them.

And there seems to be little reason to require people to enter the
inner location to do a GIVE. Since the enter and exit are 0 day
commands, it really doesn't add anything more than some extra
bookkeeping for the player.

My suggestion is to allow GIVE and GET from inner locations to the
province (and vice versa) providing the acting unit could do the
necessary moves into and out of the inner location (province). The
only consequence I can see of this is that you could avoid triggering
WAIT loc conditions (i.e., if someone is waiting for a unit to leave
an inner location, it will miss the "virtual" exit in the GET
command.) But to my mind that's not a big deal. Is there anything
I've missed? (Jay Gischer)

Presumably Scott is only proposing this for those inner location that
take time 0 moves.

This makes a big difference in some aspects of the game. The biggest
issue is that it cuts down on "treachery potential." Consider, for
example, if I want to squash someone in a tower, but they don't know
that. I propose to give them a gift. With the current system, they
must either come out of the tower to get the gift, in which case I
whack them, or the let me in, and I secretly stack with a bunch of my
friends, and whack them when I get inside. Scott's proposal will make
this go away entirely.

There are other aspects which are a little more equivocal. You must
leave your ship to sell fish to the market. Not having to do this
would certainly be nice, since leaving the ship would seem to me to
make you vulnerable (if only a little bit) to someone stealing your
ship while you are in the market. Of course, if you have two nobles,
it isn't a problem.

I like the play model that makes you choose between absolute safety
and interacting with the world. If you choose to shut yourself up in
a tower, it seems that it should be at the expense of interacting with
other characters, markets, etc.

I also like games where trusting people gives you an advantage. To be
more precise, I like systems where if I trust you and you turn out to
be trustworthy, I gain an advantage. This rewards players who are
good at figuring out who to trust, and making the commitment.
It also makes for some good treachery from time to time.

Tim Whalen <>
>(1) Exchange items across inner locations.

I'm against this. So you have to tack on a couple more orders. So
what? You're forgetting that there are a lot of implicit activities
associated with the movement. One is that admit permissions are checked.
Another is that you may lose your spot as top dog in a location. You
should not be allowed to run an errand up to the castle while holding
your spot at the city market. This definitely isn't broken so please
don't fix it!

Comments from the GM:

I actually had Scott's idea on my To-do list for consideration.
The appeal is that it would eliminate many "nuisance" errors in
player turns. Complex orders are hard to get right, and this
problem has bitten newbie and expert alike.

On the other hand, I don't want to ruin a major element of game
play. But I am willing to trade a small amount of play possibilities
to get rid of a big source of nuisance errors. Is forcing units
to walk around between sublocations critical to game play? Would
allowing a noble hiding in a tower to STUDY, BUY/SELL, and receive
gifts cause a problem?

Rich Skrenta <>

Main Index  |  Olympia  |  Arena  |  PBM FAQ  |  Links