This kind of game was my wish for a long time, but I only recently realized that PBEM would be a good way to do it.
My plan is to place 6-12 players on the same map when they are familiar only with their own region, as the fantasy world is static, most beings happily toiling in their own hexes, and cities having control of a few hexes around them. There could be just a mountain on one hex, a rich vineyard on the hill next to it, a village on the next hill, and a horse ranch on the plain next to it - all very defined, but no single building on the whole hex, as it is often in HOMM. Players can "see" three hexes around them when they start. Each player is at least 10 hexes away from the starting position of the closest player.
All the players have the same valuable information, they all seek the same thing and the one will win. For example, they know that the half-god baby is born somewhere in their land and they need to find it.
Players create their characters by assigning 10 points to 5 stats.
Speed - How many movement points you have. In this static world, no one likes to move far, so a wish to travel fast is a kind of talent. If you have 3 MP you can move three points on the level ground in one turn.
Action points - On your turn, you will be given a choice of at least 5 actions. Let's say your hero is a fighter in a mentioned hill village. I would describe the village (a mage would notice different things than a fighter, so given info depends on your profession and other stats) and the following options:
1 - recruit highlanders 2 - listen to legends 3 - sack chieftains tomb 4 - help poor 5 - train personal combat stat 6 - get info on the surrounding
A hero with 3 action points could do 3 things, but couldn't ' do option 3 together with option 1. Of course, you could stay two turns to both train and recruit if you have only one AP, but with only 1 AP it is usually better to move and do the best action on the next hex than to stay in place.
In one turn, the hero with up to 4AP moves where he wants and then does all his actions on one of the hexes he paßes through. With 5-8AP he can split actions on two hexes and with 9+ on three. In one game turn first all the heroes with AP 1-4 play, then 5-8AP players have a bonus turn, as they still have AP. They split their MP in any manner between their normal and their bonus turn. The same applies to 9+ AP players, but that will probably be the last phase of the game (high lvl charachters).
Personal combat - from time to time, especially at the beginning, your hero will have combat encounters. This is when you do or die, so this stat is very important. It can be boosted with items and training at certain locations.
Magic Power - Your chosen profession determines the type of your special powers. For example, the mage usually fights, the cleric supports, the alchemist boost and makes items, the healer heals and the astrologer predicts the future. These are the full spell users, who rely heavily on their spells. If they are fighting spell users, like mages, sorcerors, or necromancers, they can fight without a high PC stat, but a good PC stat always helps.
Semi spell users are monks, rangers, paladins, etc. They do not need to have high spell power and any point that they have will be useful for them. Any spell user will get special possible actions during their turn, and when I decide on the reactions of the environment on their actions I will take their powers into consideration.
Command - used to command troops. It can start low and be developed during the game, but as soon as you have 2 or 3 units, you will find a command stat of 1 to be an hindrance.
Charm - Your charm, used for all influence actions, recruiting, politicking, etc. Could be even set to 0, but then you will have to achieve everything through force and fear.
There are no levels, but heroes will slowly increase their stats by doing well, winning over enemies, and choosing training actions,.getting items, etc.
Example non-spell characher Knight
MP 2 AP 2 PC 3 SP 0 CM 2 CH 1
Example semi-spell characher: Warrior-Mage
MP 1 AP 2 PC 3 SP 2 CM 1 CH 1
Example full-spell characher: Witch
MP 1 AP 2 PC 1 SP 3 CM 1 CH 2
So, you make the character and distribute the points however you like. Only SP and CH can be 0. Semi-spell user has to have SP at 1 or 2 at start and full spell user can have 2 or 3. Some non-sociable spell users like necromancers or beast masters can have SP of 4, but must have CH of 0 at the start.
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