CKS-NES - 'Out of Darkness'

Discussion in 'Never Ending Stories' started by Masada, Jan 15, 2009.

  1. Masada

    Masada Koi-san!

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2005
    Messages:
    12,534
    Location:
    Osaka
    INTRODUCTION

    This is an experiment, a proof of concept, a thrust in a new direction. This is an attempt to avoid the path well trod. This is a fresh start, in a region, of a new world. The update length will vary according to player feedback, perceived activity and whatever other factors the author decides are relevant.

    OBJECTIVE

    This is not to be a neat NES. It is not to be discrete and apportioned. It is not to be a vast menagerie of statistics. It shall try to avoid IC war-hawks and econ-centre hunters. As far as this NES is concerned instrumentality is dead.

    The project seeks to recognize that in the broader scope of human history and endeavour the individual state and monarch seldom matter. Instead of focusing on the transitory power of the state, or the short span of the monarch, we should instead focus on the institutions that they leave behind. Few states will continue for five hundred years unchallenged but the institutions which they posses will carry on through successors. You as the player will not focus on a nation state or upon a king. You will be called on to look at the culture and upon the institutions which underpin it. These institutions will be your building blocks for success or failure.

    The project will also seek embrace random chance, rather than washing it out. There can be no Mégas Aléxandros in many NESs, no great world conquering hero. To do so would be ‘gamey’. With a longer view, a focus on institutions and culture it is hoped that the players would welcome a new Alexander for he would bring the very institutions to their command that made him successful in the first place. Adoption, adaption and change are to be welcomed and embraced.

    The project will also seek to recognize that the velocity of history was slower in the pre-modern world; cause and effect worked in far more predictable ways. This moderator will use this insight to his advantage. Key events can be more accurately gauged and simulated. Players should also be consulted for these key events to reduce the arbitrary nature of updates. A minimum of player input during the course of updating will in the author’s opinion pay dividends in player investment, attachment and satisfaction.

    This will be a ‘boring time’ even if the author newly educated contends that no period of history is of itself boring. This ‘boring time’ will attempt to layer carefully the structure of the state and any other institutions of import into a coherent picture over a period of history. It will also attempt to give some degree of randomness to better simulate history which with player consultation will allow for an improved narrative.

    KEY POINTS

    Few number stats, many textual stats, high level of detail in the update for use [initially];
    A focus on institutional development through the update and through textual stats; and
    A focus on so called ‘key events’ where players will be able to direct input into key events. The ultimate aim of this point is to reduce arbitrary mod decisions for important events. ‘Key events’ will also have a viral effect and may trigger more events.

    PROCESS

    This will have two key elements with which the players may drive change and shape their societies and those of others. These instruments are for precision cutting, for transferring, for grafting and finally for creating. They are not to be used to rend at the flesh of some infinitely small and infinitely suffering NESing creation. Treat them as they are meant to be treated.

    THE INSTRUMENTS

    INSTITUTIONS

    Henningham describes an institution as,

    an established law, custom, usage, practice, organization or other element in the political life or other element in the political social life of a people

    Dovers builds on this defining institutions as,

    an underlying, durable patterns of rules and behaviour

    North defines institutions as,

    ...humanly devised constraints that shape human interaction

    They are made up of formal constraints (e.g., rules, laws, constitutions), informal constraints (e.g., norms of behaviour, conventions, self imposed codes of conduct), and their enforcement characteristics.


    He also posited that institutions are designed to,

    Reduce uncertainty by providing structure to everyday life. They are a guide to human interaction.

    I prefer Norths definition.

    Institutional development can be divided into three phases, three separate layers of cultural self.

    LEVEL 1

    This is the deepest level of cultural self representing those institutions that are firmly embedded in the mundane, including customs, traditions and religious rites. These are the institutions which exist and for which we have little regard or cause to think about. They are slow acting the player will only get to influence this level rarely.

    Number of influences: 1-3 a turn
    Time lag: 200 to 300 years
    Scope: Whole of culture
    Possible influences: A citizen-militia force might be formed by the culture in light of a significantly escalated period of bandit raids or the religions of the culture might through osmosis acquire certain desirable characteristics better adapted to the cultures lifestyle, a prohibition on eating fish or fighting might end.

    LEVEL 2

    The formal rules of the game in a given society, they represent the superstructure of the state, the nature of the polity itself, the nature of ownership of property and its transfer, the judicial system, the religious establishment and the bureaucratic structure. These are the institutions of the state, and tend to be transferred from polity to polity with only the occasional digression or change. They are slow to medium acting the player will only get to influence this level occasionally.

    Number of influences: 2-6 a turn
    Time lag: 100 to 200 years
    Scope: State specific, can go ‘viral’ and jump between states
    Possible influences: The traditional landed elite might be reduced in power by the rise of a trade based economy in the polity itself or a traditional bureaucratic religious elite might lose power as land is seized by the Crown.

    LEVEL 3

    The playing of the game in a given society; they represent the interactions with the edifice of state, allocation of resources, employment, economic structures and other interactions under the overarching structure of the state. They are quick acting the player will get to influence this level the most.

    Number of influences: 5-9 a turn
    Time lag: 0 to 100 years
    Scope: State specific, can go ‘viral’ and jump between states
    Possible influences: Taxation might be reformed to tilt the burden towards foreign merchants or it might be used to cripple religious interests whose interests no longer align with the government.

    GENERAL RULES

    The institutional factors will not always be clear cut as to which category they fall into. I don’t think this is a major issue they are guidelines, however blatant gaming of the system will be sternly punished. Those who are creative and can come up with the most plausible antecedents for change and the most plausible results will see better results.

    REASONABLENESS TEST

    Changes will have a simple test applied to them for my own sanity:

    • a clear objective;
    • some precedent or an antecedent for changes;
    • a 'hook' that is a means of gathering support, popular or otherwise for the reform;
    • some description of the functionality of the institution; and
    • some likely consequences in terms of social and economic changes.

    An example:

    Mining Silver:

    The objective of this institutional development is to mine silver [objective]. The update detailed a significant find and it also notes that I have a reliable source of slaves and already use them for unrelated mining [precedent]. I also think I can begin to raid for slaves on my own considering that I have a strong fleet and the update details that nations X & Y are doing it with similar equipment I think that nation P, this one can do it as well [antecedent for a new institutional framework]. I believe that the mines should be state owned, since the nobility hate nation P’s monarchies guts I’ll place Royal officials in charge [functionality]. This will probably antagonise the existing elite of the region, but they’re poor illiterate peasants so I can bribe them to some extent and fob them off. The landed elite in the wealthy areas are going to have trouble objecting when the local elite supports the Monarchs right to extract the minerals, considering they themselves are to poor to mine it being in deep seams and are in effect getting money for nothing ['the hook']. In this case, the enrichment of this region (and the corresponding change in interregional economic and later political balance), the growth of importance of slave labour, the strengthening of bureaucrats vis-a-vis the traditional aristocracy, the magnification of royal power, the intensified development of monetary economy and all things associated with it and so on [consequences].

    That would be a good example covering the whole of the reasonableness test. It would also be a level 3 influence, even though it touches on the bureaucratic. It does not however change the rules of the game it only changes the scope of their implementation.

    I shall also maintain secretly another test. It will deal with the implementation time for each institutional variation.

    KEY EVENTS

    Key events are pivotal events which occur during the course of the update, deriving from player orders. These events might take the shape of a religious debate between two different theological schools, a decisive military battle or another event of some magnitude. The player involved will be consulted and will be required to tender a short PM to sort out the issues raised. The possibility exists that one key event might trigger a new one as well, a ‘cascade effect’. These will be relatively rare, for mod convenience.

    FOR THE PLAYER

    Player Stats

    Player: The players name
    Culture: The players culture
    Influence: The states, religions et al the player can influence can be subject to geographic limitations.
    Institutions Points (level 1, level 2, level 3): The institutional influence points at different levels.
    Unique Institutions:
    Level 1: [unique cultural institutions at level 1]

    State Stats (as at end of last update)

    Name: Name of the state
    Culture: The culture of the state
    General Institutions: Institutions which are similar enough to others that you can refer to existing ones for reference.
    State Specific Institutions:
    Level 2: [unique state institutions at level 2]
    Level 3: [unique state institutions at level 3]

    COURT OF MODERATOR APPEALS:

    The Court of Moderator Appeals will be a group of impartial non playing NESers empowered by the mod to act in the following capacities:

    • The right to hear cases of Moderator related improprieties;
    • The right to release findings without recourse to the mod;
    • The right to cast decisions binding on the mod, if the players in the majority agree;
    • To receive appeals free of the Moderator knowledge from players; and
    • To maintain the impartiality of the mod.

    Presiding the Rt Hon Justice Dachs
    Currently working on empaneling other Justices.

    GENERAL NOTES

    This project is deliberately vague. It was created with the intent of encouraging players to think. 'The Rules' could more accurately be called a statement of intent with a guidelines thrown in. This is meant to be free flowing.

    This is just the dynamic 'boring time' stage of the project, normal play will begin when the players desire it.

    This project is also focused on a region of a non earth map.
     
  2. Masada

    Masada Koi-san!

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2005
    Messages:
    12,534
    Location:
    Osaka
    THE MAP

    Spoiler :


    THE ECONOMIC MAP


    Spoiler :


    THE ZONE MAP (WITH UNDERLAYS)


    Spoiler :


    LANGUAGE MAP

    Spoiler :


    Language Group A (First Language Group) - Purple
    Language Group B (Middle Language Group) - Blue
    Language Group C (Final Language Group) - Green
     
  3. Masada

    Masada Koi-san!

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2005
    Messages:
    12,534
    Location:
    Osaka

    Introduction:

    Spoiler :
    Sisisnc is a region of environmental and societal complexity. It encompasses a collage of sparsely forested highlands, damp lowland jungle, ubiquitous coastal valleys and endless bodies of water. It runs for approximately 5000kms from the most north western island through the equator and onto the south eastern most island. Throughout this region are represented societies of many different socio-economic levels – from hunters and gatherers through to tribal farmers and finally to stratified chiefdoms with knowledge of iron and bronze working and increasingly complex farming techniques. Cutting across these socio-economic levels are cultural differences. These differences reflect geographic isolation, a vast array of bodies of water, bisecting mountain ranges and the flow of human movements, colonisations and invasions.

    Sisisnc’s strengths are in three key areas, its skilled farmers, metallurgists and sailors. Its denizens are innovative farmers. This is evidenced by their progression away from dry shifting millet cultivation in the highlands in the core towards wet sedentary rice farming in the rich alluvial plains and its domestication of pigs and chickens. Its metallurgists have already mastered bronze working in all but the most distant areas and have in the core begun to produce small amounts of ferrous iron. Its people, typically measured in boatloads along the coasts, are master sailors, capable of traversing the many water bodies in double outrigger canoes and setting sail for new shores at the slightest pretext.

    Cultivation is divided into three distinct types. The oldest method is the farming of millet in the uplands. Famers using this method typically clear a patch of forest then burn it every year. Planting consists of digging holes with pointed sticks followed by the introduction of the seeds. The burn adds nutrients to the soil allowing a limited number of crops to be harvested as the nutrients added wash away. The method has relatively constant yields with little scope for surpluses and population is correspondingly low. These populations are also not confined to any particular geographic feature and tend to move in limited local migration a cycle which tends to militate against the formation of states or other sedentary enterprises. The second oldest method is the cultivation of rice in the highlands. Farmers using this method also engage in the same ‘slash and burn’ and seed introduction practices as millet cultivators. The area under seed however is carefully selected with farmers looking for sloping hills for natural drainage. Yields are somewhat higher than millet, with two crops per season common, with increased scope for surpluses. The limitation placed on the selection of sites introduces a degree of scarcity into the selection of land. It is possible to say that in general that the constraints on production were not due to arable land but to a paucity of labour. The transition from highland rice farming to lowland rice farming can perhaps be attributed to population pressure with competing groups vying for a limited fixed supply of suitable land. Lowland rice farmers rely on the periodic river floods to irrigate their fields and to deposit nutrients in the soil.

    Agriculture in the region is not a monoculture system, sugar cane, taro, yams, sago palm, bananas and coconuts are also cultivated. The distribution of the crops is also subject to the same lowland and upland division as cultivation of seed crop. Banana and sago palm plantations are ubiquitous in the low lands, providing a useful compliant to the diets of the population in the advent of rice failures. Taro and yams provide a valuable source of food to upland farmer’s endemic as they are to the forests of the highlands. Sugar cane is maintained sporadically in only the largest groups or settlements, grown separately in small gardens it requires significant investment in terms of labour for even a slight return. Famers also maintain herds of swine and chickens, which they either drive from site to site or keep in pens of bramble or stone. Land animals themselves are not the only animals under the mastery of Sisisnc’s people. Some enterprising souls have taken to trapping fish in small channels or tributaries, feeding them and then draining or allowing the water to evaporate in the dry season. Salting is developing as a means of storing this perishable seasonal bounty, although only in areas with abundant salt.

    Sailing in an inhabited archipelago should by the nature of its construction have a long history. Sisisnc is no exception; the coastal dwellers have long referred to themselves not in terms of terrestrial markers but in terms of their position to the sea. One does not say, ‘I live over those hills, and through the deep jungle’ one instead says ‘I live up the coast, past the deep water, and up the river’. Socially they also refer to themselves in maritime terms; they are a ‘boatload’ in number for instance. Social divisions are justified on the basis of which canoe their ancestors travelled on to reach their current abodes. Over time these successive narratives are being strung together, to rationalise the relationships between different islands and groups.

    Sailing explains how agriculture and metallurgy spread. The sailors of the archipelago have no written language to record charts or rutters, they only had an oral tradition. What they pass down is the means of navigating not with maps or any other aids but by the swell and wave patterns, cloud formations, winds, birds and sea life. In this way it is possible to sail into the open ocean with no knowledge of what lies ahead and to know just when to turn the double rigger canoe to hit land, tipped off by a flight of birds, or a few strands of weed. For generations upon generations the population of islands would in a bold leap launch themselves across the ocean seeking new lands. Sometimes they would fall off the end of the world, more often than not they would come across islands as yet uncharted.

    Metallurgical skill was also widespread, if somewhat geographically concentrated. Bronze, brass, copper, iron and tin are known and used in most islands even if the inhabitants themselves don’t necessarily how to produce them. Metals are yet to be applied to anything other than the generation of ritual and luxury items for which they are prized. Metal working is still a cottage industry. Small temporary forges are constructed in the highlands when occasionally a group strays over rich ores. It is the earliest significant trade item.

    There exist three linguistic traditions in Sisisnc. The first example is largely confined to the smaller islands and is seldom heard in east, maritime words are often held in common. For example:

    Island: Mulu, Moso, Nosee, pulso, pula and pol.
    Fish: Iki, Iwk, Ike, Ike, auk and eua.
    Coconut: Kelpa, Kalpa, Kalapa, bupa and nu.
    Banana: Pitang, Isang, Itanun, Gedhun, Pilang and Ikung.

    This tongue accounts for most of the linguistic diversity of the region. It is primarily a coastal dialect which is mostly spoken in the western stretches of Sisisnc, as far as the big islands. Relative geographic separation has given this language group the most diversity. It is possible to conclude that of all the groups this is by far the newest to Sisisnc their exact origin and entry point into the region are unknown.

    The other prominent linguistic tradition is mostly confined to the coastal areas and lower highlands of the big islands. Linguistically is has drifted apart, however it is by far the least diverse group of languages and has currently the most speakers.

    Crops: Lengmang, Engang and Lencang.
    Deer: Teyo, Eyo and Eo.
    Dog: Khu, Hum and Hu.
    Tree: Tsu, Tsaw and Tsa.

    The final linguistic tradition has the smallest number of speakers, but the second largest number of languages. Highly fragmented and fundamentally different to the other two linguistic groups, which have a similar logic behind them this group is confined to the highlands of the big islands and the most northerly middle group. They are also the oldest group in the region the hills in some regions have been shaped by successive generations planting millet.

    Mountain: Mik, Kim and Kime.
    Hill: Mori, Oris and Mor.

    The linguistic groups also approximate well to the differing levels of social and economic development. The first group corresponds with a fair degree of accuracy to those who have developed lowland rice farming and are by far the most numerous group. Geographically they are limited to the eastern group of islands which form a ring. They have the weakest maritime tradition and are largely now confined to short island hops. The second group corresponds predominately do not cultivate any grain and largely rely on taro. In the islands closest to the central ring they practice advanced millet farming although this is highly dependent on climate. They have the strongest maritime tradition and are capable of making trips away from the coast. The third group live predominately in the most impassable islands of the ring and a single chain of islands for which they are still the dominate group. They practice by far the widest variety of farming, ranging from dry millet farming to wet rice farming in the alluvial plains. They also have the most varied maritime tradition ranging from groups which have never seen the sea in the deepest highlands to people who really only know the sea darting from island to island.
     
  4. Masada

    Masada Koi-san!

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2005
    Messages:
    12,534
    Location:
    Osaka
    POPULATION LIST (Highest to Lowest):

    1. G
    2. F
    3. D
    4. B
    5. E
    6. A
    7. C

    APPROXIMATE DENSITY OF POPULATION:

    The first measure will look at persons per square kilometre (ppsk) in the most fertile parts of the economic zones. The second measure will measure the ppsk at the outer limits of the economic zones. The final measure will measure the average ppsk of the non economic zones.

    Zone A:

    Spoiler :
    Economic Zone – Fertile: 15-25 ppsk
    Reasons: Low crop yields per unit of labour, taro and yams suited for terrace farming limiting growing area, largely virgin forests groups are still spreading out to make use of the terrain.
    Economic Zone – Marginal: 10-20
    Reasons: Same as above, marginal land is mostly confined to the bottom of the river valleys and to the outer hills which are not as fertile.
    Non Economic Zones Average: 5-10
    Reasons: Same as above, with taro and yams still growing well but not at sufficient levels to sustain a completely sedentary existence, most of the marginal regions are very sparsely populated owing to the very low overall population of the zone.


    Zone B:
    Spoiler :

    Economic Zone – Fertile: 30-50 ppsk
    Reasons: Dry climate, limited optimal growing areas, medium crop yields per unit of labour intensive watering requirements, limited growing areas mostly confined to the hills directly fronting the rivers.
    Economic Zone – Marginal: 25-30 Same as above, marginal land is mostly confined to the outer areas of the river valleys which have less access to water and which are less fertile.
    Non Economic Zones Average: 10-15 ppsk
    Reasons: Same as above, millet growth is possible by highly dependant on rains which are frequently in abeyance, farming gravitates to water because of this.


    Zone C:
    Spoiler :

    Economic Zone – Fertile: N/A
    Reasons: N/A
    Economic Zone – Marginal: N/A
    Reasons: N/A
    Non Economic Zones Average: 0-10 ppsk (upper limit on the coast)
    Reasons: Little in the way of agriculture, population sustained by the sea, little in the way of inland population as yet.


    Zone D:
    Spoiler :

    Economic Zone – Fertile: 35-50
    Reasons: Good conditions, limited optimal growing areas, high crop yields per unit of labour, growing areas confined to the flat areas near constant bodies of water, large plantations and very rich fishing near and in the lakes respectively.
    Economic Zone – Marginal: 15-20
    Reasons: Resorting mostly to millet in the absence of a close proximity to constant water supplies, medium crop yields per unit of labour, growing areas mostly confined to the surrounding hills.
    Non Economic Zones Average: 5-15
    Reasons: Still largely reliant on the sea for food in most of the non economic zones, population is divided between farmers/fisherman with the latter maintaining a lower overall population.


    Zone E:

    Spoiler :
    Economic Zone – Fertile: 35-45 ppsk
    Reasons: Dry climate, large optimal growing areas, low crop yields per unit of labour, very intensive and demanding watering requirements. Little diversification.
    Economics Zone – Marginal: 30-35ppsk
    Reasons: Dry climate, large optimal growing areas, low crop yields per unit of labour, very intensive and demanding watering requirements. Highly diversified.
    Non Economic Zones Average: 5-10ppsk
    Reasons: Dry to very wet climate, prevalence of forests.


    Zone F:

    Spoiler :
    Economic Zone – Fertile: 50-65
    Reasons: Good conditions, large optimal growing areas, high to very high yields per unit of labour, growing areas confined to near bodies of water, plantations take up more marginal areas.
    Economic Zone – Marginal: 20-25
    Reasons: Resorting mostly to millet, artificial bodies of water for fish and plantations in the absence of access to bodies of water, medium-high yields per unit of labour, growing areas largely still on flat land.
    Non Economic Zones Average: 10-15
    Reasons: Still largely reliant on the sea and forests for food in most of the non economic zones, although an increasing trend towards farming in the less marginal areas.


    Zone G:

    Spoiler :
    Economic Zone – Fertile: 50-75ppsk
    Reasons: Very good soil, good climate, large optimal growing areas, high crop yields per unit of labour.
    Economic Zone – Marginal:35-50ppsk
    Reasons: Same as above, mostly confined to areas some distance from rivers, lakes or good soils.
    Non Economic Zones Average: 5-30
    Reasons: Same as above, some areas are borderline economic zones mostly near the plains, some areas are densely forested and not suited to agriculture.



    ZONES - ECONOMIC, SOCIAL, CLIMATE & GEOGRAPHY AND ECONOMIC ZONES:

    Zone A:
    Spoiler :

    Economic Structure:

    No knowledge of rice farming.
    Millet is ill-suited to the rich alluvial floodplains, due to endemic ‘root rot’ bought on by persistent moisture.
    Taro and Yams are the major crop of choice, cultivated in artificial crude terraces cut into hills.
    No knowledge of rice farming.
    First traps are used to fatten up fish, they are created by artificially blocking numerous small tributaries.
    Large stands of bananas, sago palms and coconuts are maintained.

    Social Structure:

    Population density is low and is organized by direct familial ties.
    Settlements are typically no larger than a dozen individuals.
    Population is largely concentrated near rivers, due to substantial semi-tropical forests.
    A degree of social stratification is evident, with ‘High Chiefs’ able to call together a small number of extended familial units for limited warfare.
    Has only recently been settled in living memory, large portions of the interior are not inhabited.

    Climate and Geography:

    Semi tropical, with high mountains, very hilly, numerous valleys, numerous minor tributaries feeding into deep river valleys, extensive very deep semi-tropical forests which cover the majority of the landmasses, unusual wildlife, rich soil in the river valleys and hills.

    Economic Zones:

    Zones all broadly similar to the summary.


    Zone B:

    Spoiler :
    Economic Structure:

    Knowledge of rice farming.
    Millet is the principle crop, which is well suited to the relatively dry conditions on almost the entirety of the chain.
    Due to dry conditions and poor soil in a large part of the chain, population density tends to be high.
    Taro and yams are major crops, which are also well suited to the drier conditions.
    Small stands of bananas and coconuts are maintained, with great care.
    Taro and Yams are the major crop of choice, cultivated in artificial crude terraces cut into hills.
    No knowledge of rice farming.

    Social Structure:

    Groups are not organized solely on direct familial links but on purported ancestral links allowing for larger aggregations of population.
    Indecisive warfare between rival ancestral units is common and endemic.
    A high degree of social stratification and organization allows for significant mobilizations of the male population in times of strife.
    Social stratification is evidenced by the ability of ‘High Chiefs’ to pull together ancestral units in times of strife, increasingly they are beginning to exercise tangible power in the day to day management of these units.

    Climate and Geography:

    Dry, semi-tropical, hilly, many dormant volcanoes, poor forests, rivers slow with flow dropping during the driest part of the year, rich soil due to the resulting mud used to enrich the fields.

    Economic Zones:

    Zones all broadly similar to the summary.

    Exception is existent for the sole lake zone, rice farming is practiced in the numerous very shallow areas of the lake proper. Successive generations have increased the size of this extremely fertile zone.


    Zone C:
    Spoiler :

    Economic Structure:

    Knowledge of rice farming.
    Low dependence on settled agriculture due to sandy soil and a dry climate.
    Stands of bananas, coconuts and sago are still maintained, often in stands placed strategically along the coast.
    Fishing by far the largest source of sustenance.

    Social Structure

    Population density largely concentrated on the coast and is low.
    Familial units are ‘boatloads’ owing to the extensive maritime focus and the dependence on the sea.
    Chiefs are appointed or inherit the position in charge of ‘boatloads’ depending on the dominant custom in the region.
    Chiefs often work together with other chiefs, little scope for warfare.
    Population spends much of its time on the sea, children are taught to swim before being to walk.

    Climate and Geography:

    Dry, tropical, largely flat, two active volcanoes, few and poor forests, rivers slow with flow dropping during the driest part of the year, poor sandy soil with high salt content not conducive to farming.

    Economic Zones:

    None.


    Zone D:

    Spoiler :
    Economic Structure:

    Knowledge of rice farming.
    Rice is becoming the principle crop, which is well suited to the wet conditions on almost the entirety of the chain.
    Millet steadily being phased out in favour of more efficient Rice.
    Stands of bananas, coconuts and sago are still maintained often in vast plantations.
    Fishing is a significant source of food.

    Social Structure

    Population density largely concentrated in the highlands, with a small but growing minority moving towards the coast.
    Population is still largely transient, although the trend is towards sedentary coastal living.
    There is a sharp divide between the smallest islands which are orientated to the sea and the larger islands which are agriculturally orientated.
    Social stratification is almost non existent, although ‘big men’ are increasingly ending up in control of the small groups.

    Climate and Geography:

    Wet, tropical, island centres dominated by mountains and hills, a small flat zone on the coast is common to most islands, very dense forests, occasional areas of little plant life, rich volcanic soil.

    Economic Zones:

    The economic zones are populated by sedentary wet and dry rice and millet farmers. The Lake shore and surrounding area are very fertile.


    Zone E:

    Spoiler :
    Economic Structure:

    Knowledge of rice farming.
    Millet is the principle crop although a semi-dry variety of rice is cultivated as a significant secondary crop.
    Fishing is a significant source of food.
    Plantations of Bananas and Sago Palms are common.

    Social Structure

    Population density is largely concentrated in the far south along the coast, although the rest of the island is in general quite heavily populated.
    Population is largely sedentary with a move towards the formation of small towns of up to a few hundred individuals at strategic points along the southern coast and a growth of villages in the highlands.
    Population is still largely transient, although the trend is towards sedentary coastal living increasingly.
    ‘Big men’ are firmly in control of most settlements.

    Climate and Geography:

    Wet tropical north, dry sub tropical south, island centre dominated by deep valleys and larger rainforests and sub tropical forests mountains and hills, the coast plain is fairly flat, reasonably fertile soil with extremely fertile soil in the south.

    Economic Zones:

    The economic zone is populated by sedentary farmers, congregating in small villages and towns, farming with both millet and a semi-dry variety of rice with regular rainfall.


    Zone F:

    Spoiler :
    Economic Structure:

    Knowledge of rice farming.
    Rice and millet are tied as the principal crops, non-river areas cultivate millet while river areas cultivate rice, an increasing prevalence of rice cultivation.
    Fishing is a significant source of food, with fish kept in artificial ponds in dry regions.
    Plantations of Bananas and Sago Palms are common.

    Social Structure:

    Population is dense but fairly evenly spread, with river side areas heavily populated and the rich non river side volcanic plains as heavily populated.
    Population is largely sedentary with a move towards the formation of small towns of up to a few hundred individuals, although significant areas are semi-nomadic moving every couple of years to search for new farming areas.
    ‘Big men’ are firmly in control of most settlements.

    Climate and Geography:

    Tropical, wet, main island dominated by deep rainforests, large mountain range running half of the main island of the group, large volcanic plains and marshes. Tropical, wet, small islands largely forested, interspaced with islands covered by sparse tropical coverage.

    Economic Zones:

    Inland zones dominated by semi-nomadic millet farmers with an increasing emphasis on sedentary living. River Zones dominated by sedentary population rice farming population with towns measured in the hundreds evidenced. Lake Zone dominated by large very fertile lake with a mix of millet and rice sowed by sedentary farming workforce in very large towns with a handful reaching into the thousands.


    Zone G:
    Spoiler :

    Economic Structure:
    Knowledge of rice farming.
    Rice is the principal crop, with millet holding on in the inland as a viable substitute, although an increasing prevalence of rice cultivation is catching on.
    Fishing is a significant source of food, with fish kept in artificial ponds in dry regions.
    Plantations of Bananas and Sago Palms are common.

    Social Structure

    Population is dense but fairly evenly spread, with river side areas heavily populated and the rich non river side volcanic plains heavily populated.
    Population is largely sedentary with a move towards the formation of small towns of up to a few hundred individuals, although significant areas are semi-nomadic moving every couple of years to search for new farming areas.
    ‘Big men’ are firmly in control of most settlements.

    Climate and Geography:

    Tropical wet north, dry semi tropical south. Islands dominated by deep rainforests, high mountains, highlands, marshes and large plains.

    Economic Zones:

    Non river zone is dominated by millet, heavily populated by a sedentary urbanised population. River zones are dominated by rice farmers, heavily populated by a sedentary urbanized population.
     
  5. Disenfrancised

    Disenfrancised Beep Beep

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    *Raises his most cynical of eyebrows*

    Well I'm game, though I hope this doesn't end like AFSNES where I have to do the whole of South Asia by my lonesome. Also, what length are the updates going to be, or will it be variable?
     
  6. Masada

    Masada Koi-san!

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    Is that the right or the left one, nuance is everything here ;)

    It will be on a regional scale and more than likely on a non earth map. I'm working on mechanisms to... assist players on their own. The update lengths will be variable, although initially I'm leaning towards 500 for the first update, the second update will likely be less.
     
  7. Arian

    Arian No more ghostbusting!!

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    I like to give it a try.
     
  8. Immaculate

    Immaculate unerring

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    I was reading some of the links you posted in your 'economics thread' and was just thinking how institutional changes are hard to implement in many NESes. The thread links gave me some ideas for another NES i am playing in but they don't quite fit. I think they would fit well here. I know you said no reservations, but consider this a statement of interest.

    Immac.
     
  9. Masada

    Masada Koi-san!

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    The time period is the key, over a sufficiently long time period I can just look at institutional change, historians tend to do it when your dealing with periods of scanty documentation. I consider it more of a trend based analysis than anything else.
     
  10. Flavius Aetius

    Flavius Aetius Ruler Of Liguria

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    I will try to partecipate to this NES, but , probably because English is not my main language, I find a little hard to understand the rules completly. I will have some questions for you later.
     
  11. das

    das Regeneration In Process

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    This seems very interesting, promising and way too vague for me to say all that much about it. :p Anyway, I take it that this is partly inspired by SymNES II?

    It might be useful to give the definition of "institution" that you are going by in this case, since it can vary considerably. Also, I would like to know about what we will have for a starting point.

    That is not what I would call consequences, at least not all of it; that is cooperation/resistance of local elites, surely an important thing to take into account, but under a different name (perhaps in addition to precedent one needs to point out the "hook" for getting support from different factions/social groups). "Consequences" would be more about the changes in social and economic structure; in this case, the enrichment of this region (and the corresponding change in interregional economic and later political balance), the growth of importance of slave labour, the strengthening of bureaucrats vis-a-vis the traditional aristocracy, the magnification of royal power, the intensified development of monetary economy and all things associated with it and so on.

    As for implementation time, I think that is where a random factor of some sorts would be useful, among many other things, ofcourse.



    Derived solely from player orders? ;)
     
  12. Lord_Iggy

    Lord_Iggy Tsesk'ihe

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    I like the name. ;)
     
  13. Disenfrancised

    Disenfrancised Beep Beep

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    "Soz boss, we ain't got no darkness roight now, mabbie you come back inna evening?"
     
  14. Terrance888

    Terrance888 Discord Reigns

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    Very Interesting! I am interested to join.
     
  15. The Loser

    The Loser King

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    Interesting!
    But i'm not sure if i understood the rules well.
    I will re-read them tomorrow, and will probably give it a try.
     
  16. Icekommander

    Icekommander Colonel

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    This promises to be intresting to say the least. Controlling a culture will be different.
     
  17. Israelite9191

    Israelite9191 You should be reading

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    Very interesting concept. Could you expand more on what, precisely, players will be doing?
     
  18. Masada

    Masada Koi-san!

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    Symphony was the largest direct and indirect influence on the project. Daftpanzer and Birdjaguar were also major indirect influences.

    Courtesy of the Oxford English Dictionary I will settle for the sufficiently broad 'an established law, practice or custom'. I believe that 'the market' in this case the players will make far more educated decisions than I can regarding the appropriateness of institutional reform. The time span of the update will give players a target to aim for with regards to spending. If someone wants to cough up a better definition then please do :)

    I'm designing the map at this very moment. Taking into account the geography I believe there will be quite a broad selection of technological levels to choose from. Some of the more advanced cultures will be using iron and bronze and will be gravitating to forming proper cities while others will still be at stone age levels operating in small tribes. Players in more advanced cultures will be given more points to start with in the initial setup, other than technological differences I will allow players to form their own cultures.

    Agreed, added to the rule-set.

    Those are not hard and fast numbers they are merely guides for players. Circumstances could arise where the implementation time could be considerably longer or shorter. A degree of randomness will be present, courtesy of my implementation rubric :p

    And a fair dose of my discretion.

    Players will be working on two levels which will intertwine quite closely.

    The first level is a 'cultural' level you can influence this directly with level 1 influences. This will represent the general adoption of some sort of cultural trait.

    The second level is the 'nation' level where you can influence individual nations through either 'rules changes' or the second level. The second level covers for instance thing like, does the nation have a code system or a common law system, are its judges priests or merchants, is the army politically powerful or not. The other change is the third level the 'playing the game' level. These are decisions which do not alter the institutions of the state itself but expand or contract under its rules, ie. founding a colony does not change the institutions of the state if it already has colonies and mechanisms to deal with them. In the first instance where it might just adopt someone else's institution it would likely be a third level choice. In the second instance it would need to create new rules for the state so it would be a second level choice.

    There will be considerable overlap, that is not a bad thing.

    General Disclaimer:

    This is deliberately vague. I created it with the intent of encouraging players to think. 'The rules' could more accurately be called a statement of intent with a few guidelines thrown in. This is meant to be fairly free flowing.

    This is also just the BT stage of my NES, normal play will begin when the players desire it.
     
  19. Immaculate

    Immaculate unerring

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    So, should we start submitting an outline of what we would like our starting 'civilization/culture' to look like? what sort of institutions may already be in place (ex. religion, agricultural practices)?

    Can we request certain starting positions? I've been doing some reading on agriculture and livestock in classical times and i have some ideas i would like to try but they are a little geography dependent.

    immac.
     
  20. das

    das Regeneration In Process

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    I meant more in the terms of what kind of initial input you expect and such.

    Also, as far as realism is concerned it would probably be good to define the common base from which the players must evolve (nothing too binding, just those generalities of Stone Age social structure that were pretty much universal; it's just that this is all too often neglected. I guess it's something of pet peeve).

    I rather hoped you would come up with something more appropriate sounding than "the hook", though. :p

    What I meant was that since this is set "in a region, of a new world", there would probably also be some major events based on migrations from other regions and suchlike.
     

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