09 February 2014

Thinkin Bout Rulin

It's hard to pick a time period to simulate rulership. On one hand, the Peloponnesian Wars are fascinating and also very, very foreign. Alien, really. And it's beautiful, and enormous, and was predicated on exactly the same kind of feudalism and strife that marked the Middle Ages as a whole...

But on the other hand, the idea of playing a game where you're running around with knights and nobles is pretty interesting too, even if it's the non-modern setting that gets the most traction in general. Everybody thinks they know all about the dark ages and chainmail and swordfights and cavalry charges and everything (despite literally all of that being wrong but who cares) which means that the theme is worn a little thin even when the really interesting parts of the setting have been travelled only lightly.

Either way, though, the mechanics will be practically unchanged. I might just have two campaign settings- one in an early Antiquity styled setting, and one in a later setting...

Given that I'm going to be taking a large-ish hex map and populating it with a crowd of Kings, Counts, Dukes, Petty Kings, and Tribes, though, it might be more than enough work just to do the one. I've given fairly serious thought to just having the player characters (whoever they are) being the arms of a psuedo-Roman Empire, given the task to grow the Empire by managing this new outpost with minimal requirements from the Empire at large, always busy with its own tasks. I'll have to think about it, probably about the same time when I figure out if marrying into bloodlines is going to be a big thing. It would be nice to attempt to forge alliances by intermarriage, but then again, it's also kind of a pain in the ass to figure out whether there are qualified heirs to marry into...

Of course, one could always have a Relations attribute that'd list if there were any sons or daughters and kind of have them in a quantum state of both existing and not existing until it is completely relevant, in a sort of "it doesn't concern anybody so we're not simulating it for the sake of sanity" kind of way.

Imagine: You decide that you want an alliance with the ambitious Duke of Karlford, so you send an envoy inquiring to that effect. The Campaign Master could roll and use the result to see if the Duke is willing to send you a daughter to marry, and just assume that he's got a daughter for the player characters if he decides to send one? The only other solution I can think of is to have a metric shit-ton of rolls for each individual major character in the game, and given that there have to be at least a dozen of them plus random events for the realm at large and also major events in the world that don't directly concern the players, it might get to be seriously unmanageable very, very quickly. I don't reasonably expect anybody to roll twenty dice, even if the game's really more of a play by email game.

On the plus side, I've gotten the formatting done for the book, so all that's left is figuring out the nitty gritty. Who knows how long that's going to take!

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