Discussion in 'Imperium OffTopicum' started by Joecoolyo, Jun 20, 2010.
Nice upside down Central America you got there.
Some of the coasts are other parts of Central America.
Yeah I saw. It's a nice composition.
Think I've got a vastly simplified ruleset down... wanted a simpler game where there's some structure to the politics of everything, but the states ultimately enhance the power of your characters.
The question is, would anyone be interested?
Spoiler Map :
Pick a color, 100 provinces (they need not be contiguous, but please do not “rope” territory), and one of the six gods to follow.
Some national bio would be desirable in any level of detail to help flesh out your place in the game.
Describe your three demigods, and allocate 70 points between all their stats, with each stat having a minimum value of 1.
Every turn, there are three currencies you can allocate.
The first is Action Points (AP), which is determined by how many provinces you have, and how much Faith you have (more information on Faith later). 1 AP can be used to upgrade your demigods’ stats by 1, can instantly convert any province, or instantly annex any neutral province. AP can be transferred to other states of your faith, but not to heathens.
The second is Economic Power (EP), which is similar to EP in most games. 5 EP can be used to increase EP by 1 or MP by 1 for the next turn. Any number of EP can be invested into religious conversion or expansion (more on that later).
The third is Military Power (MP), which is the least versatile. It is quite simply an approximation of your capacity to wage war. On a regular turn, all of your MP is dedicated to protecting your homeland, evenly spread, but you are free to distribute it however you please in your orders, whether prioritizing some areas, or ordering offensives on others; you can strike anywhere in the world, but tangoing with a state that has an MP value 10x higher than yours is unlikely to end well. As your military engages in battles, your MP naturally deteriorates and will require regular reinvestment.
1 AP can be used to instantly annex any territory, with 25% chance of religious conversion.
EP can be used to buy neutral territories, with a 20% chance of success for every 1 EP spent. EP is distributed as evenly as possible across expansion areas, though you can specify priorities in your orders.
When a province is purchased with EP, there is a one-time 25% chance per EP for the province to be of your faith. Because faith is not mapped in the game, the probability will be spread as evenly as possible across provinces.
Strategy tip: statistically, the most cost-effective option is to spend 3 EP per province on expansion. This yields a 60% chance of annexation, and a 75% chance of religious conversion.
MP can also be used to conquer neutral territories, but every province attacked will be assigned a random MP value between 1 and 5, and your own MP is spread across these battles. So if you throw 25 MP against 10 provinces on Turn 1, you could very well be rolling against 50 MP, likely losing most of the battles, suffering losses, and on top of that, provinces seized by war have a 50% chance of being heathen and only a 10% chance of being your faith. They have a 40% chance of being a rival faith!
Strategy tip: your military should be used sparingly for expansion. There is a lot of uncertainty that could cost you your military and threaten your long-term strategic position. On the other hand, if you are a gambler, you could very easily charge ahead of the pack with a turn one stroke of luck. The choice is yours.
Demigods can also be used for expansionism, if you desire to be boring with them.
When talks fail, there’s always the good ole fashioned club to the head.
Warfare is straightforward. For any battle or series of battles, each side’s MP contribution is stacked against each other. The defender’s will be adjusted by 10% as a standard bonus. Any other bonuses are applied, and a roll will be made based on the sum of the two sides. So if 2 powers each contribute 10 MP, the defender will be treated as having 11 EP, and the roll will be out of 21 EP. Depending on the winner’s margin of victory (how much higher or lower it was than they needed to win), each side has casualties assessed, and territory will change hands if applicable.
Besides one’s Faith alignment, bonuses can come from making use of demigods.
Occupied territory of your faith is annexed right away (unless fighting another player of your faith), while occupied territory not of your faith will only be annexed once a peace treaty is signed.
There are six rivalrous gods in this game, each an ascended trickster from cultures of the old era: Anansi, Coyote, Huehuecoyotl, Huxian, Reynard, and Set. The gods’ existence and powers are well-established; the conflict between faiths is now more concrete than it was in prior periods of history. Each god bestows quirks on their followers, amplified by how strong that god’s following is, and how much good work you’ve done for that god. Each god has a starting bonus, which will grow stronger or weaker as the game progresses; they can also gain bonuses.
The unit of “currency” that quantifies the approximate power of each god is Faith. You get 1 Faith point each turn for every 10 provinces of your empire that follow your state religion. For every 10 Faith points you have, there is a 10% chance of converting an adjacent neutral province both to your territory AND your religion. Accumulated Faith has a huge externality: it increases your AP, thus playing a key role in upgrading your demigods. Another notable externality is as your Faith score increases, it affects your status within your religious community; the gods favor those states that do a lot for them.
Anansi, the Spider, revered as the bringer of stories and for helping the oppressed exact Justice. His followers. Anansi’s followers are just warriors, receiving +20% to their defense when defending themselves or another against unjust attacks. Be warned that not every conflict will qualify as “unjust.” Anansi players value peaceful play.
Coyote, one of the most famous tricksters of all time, credited with everything from fire to death, and above all a force of Chaos. Coyote’s followers randomly acquire one of the other five deities’ powers on a turn, with a 1/6 chance of receiving a penalty instead. All bad rolls are rerolled once, for better or worse. Coyote players value flexibility and/or a challenge.
Huehuecoyotl, the old coyote, and an owner of great wisdom hidden behind a careless façade, caring less about worship and more about maximizing the world’s Pleasure. Huehuecoyotl’s followers receive Faith from heathen provinces at a 25% rate. Huehuecoyotl players have better things to worry about than mass conversion efforts (like rapid expansion with no regard for uniformity).
Huxian, the nine-tailed fox, known for freely forming intimate relationships based on mutual self-interest, and a patron of every heart filled with Ambition. Huxian’s followers see 25% faster economic growth than other players. Huxian players are interested in amassing money fast and early.
Reynard, the amoral fox of Western European lore, notorious for his limitless Liberty. While an egoist who enjoys being fawned on by mortals, he is a firm believer in every individual doing what they can within their power. To that end, all demigods serving the name of Reynard have +2 to their rolls, +3 if it’s something underhanded. A Reynard state can give an extra action to any one of its demigods on a turn. Reynard players value the demigod game, and probably don’t care much for morality.
Set, the vengeful god of the desert, is a close friend to those who love War. Unlike the bleeding heart Anansi and his concern for “justice,” Set followers see a 20% increase to their offensive rolls regardless of their cause. Set players are probably warmongers so watch the heck out.
All gods grant boons to 1/5 of their followers each turn, though the player with the most Faith always receives a boon. The rest are allocated randomly, with chance based on one’s contribution to the total Faith value. Boons will increase in size as the god’s power grows, and are generally a stats boost consistent with the god’s personality (e.g. Set will increase your power to wage war); gods are aware of small nuances, however, and will not give massive boons to the leading power if they’re ahead by say, only one or two Faith points. This prevents runaway growth. Gods will also offer boons periodically for completing certain missions, such as reclaiming a Holy City from heathen control, or perhaps attacking a god they dislike.
Every religion has one holy city, placed randomly at the start, approximately in the middle of where all the various adherents are. Holy cities generate tourism money proportionate to the size of their religion’s total Faith. Most players are likely to play a small minigame deciding which state will acquire the Holy City because of the very real tangible benefits it offers.
It is possible to switch state religions, but be aware this is unlikely to go without issue.
In the event two factions who worship the same god go to war, the god will randomly decide whether to support one faction or to nullify the benefits they have against each other; an exception is Anansi, who will always support the attacked power (an exception to if the attack was provoked by some sort of state malice; Anansi is omniscient enough to know who is at fault).
-Huehuecoyotl will support the faction with the most Economic Power.
-Coyote will choose at random who to support.
-Huxian will choose at random, with the odds being based on each party’s Faith amount.
-Set will support whoever has the larger Military Power.
-Reynard will support whoever has more Faith.
Summary: in short, more Faith is better, and each god’s powers are suited to different playstyles. You are greatly encouraged to work with players of the same faith to maximize your advantages, but enormous benefits would accrue to you if you were to unify every believer of your religion under a single banner. How much you cooperate or compete with your religious brethren is up to you.
Demigods are the dynamic of the game. Every state has 3; being blessed with superhuman longevity and durability by your gods, they do not die permanently and will eventually return to life if killed. Eventually.
Demigods can take just about any shape you desire, and need not be human. They carry out one action per turn and have 7 stats, all of which must be a minimum of 1. Stats can be upgraded through success in actions or by EP purchases.
-Health Points: Self-explanatory. If they run out, they die. They will come back at some point, but it’s a pain to lose 1/3 of your aces. HP can be recovered at a rate of 25% of their max per turn, or healed with 1 EP.
-Strength: How strong they are! Useful for a brawler to mow down enemies.
-Dexterity: Motor skills and reaction time! Useful for espionage, assassination (or avoiding it), or just using ballistic weaponry.
-Constitution: How much punishment a character can take. Useful if they’ll be doing a lot of field work.
-Intelligence: Measures overall knowledge. Especially useful for magic or mad science.
-Wisdom: Your character’s overall savvy and prudence. Remember the trickster tendency to get out of trouble because of this. Very useful for unexpected circumstances.
-Charisma: While questionably useful if you just want to smash people to pulp, it is very useful if you’re eager to persuade/manipulate others. Maybe you’ll convince that assassin to go home. Maybe you’ll provide a logical proof of why your god is the only one worth following.
On actions: you can do just about anything you desire. Just be aware it’s a die roll from 1 to 20 and God help you if it backfires. The GM reserves the right to overrule really out there actions like “end the game.”
1-3. Failure, with backfire.
4-6. Failure with large penalty.
7-9. Failure with small penalty.
10-11. No effect.
12-14. Standard success.
15-17. Success with circumstantial bonus.
18-19. Success with bonus.
20. Massive success with large bonus.
An action automatically fails if there’s a serious intervening variable; you can’t assassinate a character if you don’t know where that character is, for example.
When a demigod’s HP hits 0, they die, and are removed from play until your patron god decides to revive them. Raising the dead takes work, however, so your god will count it as a boon.
Libertad o Muerte
Liberty or with glory we die! - National Anthem of Uruguay
It is the 22nd of November 1838, and Central America bursts at the seams with a new spirit of liberty and independence.
With the secession of Val Verde and the threat of yet another civil war looming, the Assembly of the United Provinces of Central America has voted to permit its constituent provinces to secede.
And nowhere is this more celebrated than in the sleepy province of San Marcos. In the small country of 190,000 people, of which 25,000 live in the capital (San Marcos), a carnival atmosphere has gripped the nation at the thought of freedom, self determination, and an end to the cycle of coup and counter coup that has gripped the United Provinces. As a loose coalition of liberals, conservatives, clergy, secularists, criollos, mestizos, and Mayans meet in the San Marcos Cathedral (on the banks of Lake San Marcos), they put the pen on the Declaration of Independence of San Marcos and its formal secession from the United Provinces.
But though today is for celebration, the ink on the Declaration is not yet dry. For San Marcos must be governed, and each and every signatory has designs on it's leadership. Tomorrow, the first constitutional convention in San Marcosian history will begin. The game is afoot, and the stakes - nothing less than the future of the nation. But for now, as across all of Central America, the cry rings out - "Libertad o Muerte!"
Stats and Gameplay
Players play as the politicians and factions within the Republic of San Marcos. Each player plays as a single character. It is assumed that players have a (constantly fluctuating in size) coterie of loyal, paid-off, cowed or ideologically compatible politicians and officials, but they are not actively "in play" in the stats and are represented by player Political Power. A character's stats look like the following:
Spoiler Stats :
Name: Augustin san Iturbide (Alice)
Political Power: 2
Spoiler Traits :
Statesman of San Marcos: +1
Legacy of the Plotter: +1 (Double Political Power when Couping)
Founding Father: +1
Hero of San Marcos: +2
Liberal Tide: -1
Commissioned Officer: In Command (1st Army)
Spoiler explanation :
Name: Name of your character, followed by the player name in brackets.
Age: Your character's age. Characters have a chance of death, which increases as they age. No character may start under the age of 35.
Political Power: The sum of all the bonuses provided by your character's traits. Your PP is your total charisma, party control, financial assets and control over the military. Your PP is used to vote, and used in coups. Breaking down Augustin san Iturbide's traits:
Statesman of San Marcos: Every character has this trait to get a base 1 PP.
Legacy of the Dynasty: Some Traits are Legacy Traits which persist across characters. Alice has the Legacy of the Plotter trait, which gives her a bonus when she coups even when her original character died.
Founding Father: A trait gained through gameplay.
Hero of San Marcos: A trait gained through gameplay.
Liberal Tide: A liberal tide is sweeping through San Marcos, and Augustin san Iturbide is on the wrong side. He takes a penalty to his PP for the time the Liberal Tide lasts.
Commissioned Officer: Alice has elected to be a commissioned officer when creating a current character, and as such can be commissioned to command an army on the request of the Government. Currently being in command of an army, Augustin san Iturbide's PP is halved when voting.
Voting and Government
Players use PP to vote in in-game elections and votes. The exact method and system varies depending on the current constitution and system of government, as decided by the players. For example;
Spoiler Example 1 :
The current constitution, as decided by players, allows for a directly elected first-past-the-post presidential system with a unicameral congress of 100 Senators, elected in a first past the post system from 100 electorates across San Marcos. The Senate is empowered to make laws, which are approved by the President. There is no reference in the constitution to a cabinet.
I, as GM, intepret this as follows:
There is a general election for a President for all players. All players may run and can cast their vote for any candidate they choose. The president appoints a player as Secretary of the Treasury (who has exclusive powers to set the budget), a Secretary of War (who has the exclusive right to appoint players to Command armies), and a Secretary of Foreign Affairs (who gets a 3PP bonus).
Bills are proposed and voted on by the players in their capacity as members of the Senate. A Bill (which in game is a law, government program, or instruction to the Public Service) which receives more than 50% of the total voting PP passes to the President, who must approve it before it is put into action. However, judicious use of the veto will cause anger among the public, which will impact the PP of the President and their Secretaries.
Spoiler Example 2 :
The current constitution, as decided by players, allows for a constitutional monarchy who appoints a Prime Minister to form a government in the lower house of the bicameral Congress elected by first past the post. By tradition, the monarch will appoint the leader of the largest party to form a government.
I, the GM, interpret this as follows:
Players sign up for a party once per cycle, and vote (publicly) for a party leader. After this, they cast their vote for a party (not necessarily theirs, if they're unhappy with the way the leadership vote went!) to represent the public election.
The NPC monarch will then choose a party leader (normally the leader of the party with the most PP allocated to it in the vote... normally) to attempt to form a government. The nominated party leader must negotiate with other party leaders to get them to sign up to the government, which they will become the Prime Minister of once the government has signed on 50% of total voting PP. The Prime Minister appoints a Minister of War, a Treasurer, and a Minister of Foreign Affairs from among the members of the parties that make up the Government.
Laws are then proposed by members of the Government, and must receive more aye votes than nay votes (decided by count of players, and not PP) to pass into effect. The NPC monarch gets veto over all laws, and may or may not exercise it depending on their personality. Every time the Monarch vetos a reasonable law (as decided by the GM) the originator receives a +1PP boost for the rest of the cycle.
In general, you vote using your PP, which fluctuates in gameplay. The GM will interpret the Constitution or laws of government on the books into a system of voting. In general, there will always be:
- A head of the executive (PM, President, Grand High Lord of Parliament etc.), who appoints a cabinet
- A cabinet, consisting of a Finance Executive who has exclusive rights to the budget decision, a Military Executive who has exclusive rights to appoint generals, and Foreign Affairs Executive who gets a PP boost.
- Voting on a government, using PP.
- Voting on laws, using PP or something else.
Separate names with a comma.