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Old 03-21-2006, 01:30 AM   #31
thona
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Default Re: Birthright to Gurps

Would anyone be willing to participate in a discussion about a new rule system for something like that?

Not saying we toss everything out of the window. More that we put everything onto the table, look at Gurps, and then start putting things together in a fresh scenario.

I would target something for a TL 0-5 environment (maybe -4), taking tech levels into account. Possible itegration into Magic and Powers - if that makes sense and is doable. I would go for some possible MINOR computer support (especially for turns, I do not think it would be SO complicated). Note that the TL limit is mostly because I think above that TL you start getting into a lot of things that require a different approach. a "modern times" system would span a lot larger distances and not be feudal.

What I would love is to start with a political/military thing, but focus a lot on the Birthright concept of domains (i.e. have magic, cleric and trade run as separate "overlays"), if we can come up with any feasible system for that (which, seriously, I would love).
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Old 03-21-2006, 01:51 AM   #32
Jürgen Hubert
 
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Default Re: Birthright to Gurps

Quote:
Originally Posted by thona
Would anyone be willing to participate in a discussion about a new rule system for something like that?
I would.

And I am for keeping things relatively abstract - I do not wish to have to deal with calculating the soil fertility ratio or something like that during the game itself. That doesn't mean that we can't do some of these calculation before we lay down the final rules, however.

Let's start with the number of people any given "province" can support (with "province" being an arbitrarily-sized domain that should be the basic measure of land - just like in Birthright).

Basically, each province would have a basic "fertility" value that represents its capability for sustaining agriculture. Mountains and deserts have a low value, flood plains have a high value.

This is multiplied by a so-called "TL multiplier", representing advances in agriculture. A TL0 society will get much less use from land than a TL4 society.

So, does anyone have any suggestions for these values?
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Old 03-21-2006, 02:13 AM   #33
thona
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Default Re: Birthright to Gurps

I agree on the abstractness, but I would prefer something not AS abstract as ressource points. The main problem is stuff like trade - if we want to make any sensible trade, then we need to get multiple different good on the way, with different uses.

I would go with:

* Stone, Lumber (or: Material)
* Food
* Ore (Iron, bronce).

What could be done is then adding the TYPE of good (what food etc.) into a field, optionally, and track them separate (meat, grain), but with the same value as "food". Just as "background info". Using a computer program you could come up with doizens of subtypes, which have no difference other than providing flavour and possible something for later trade... like "bringing an additional food-subtype not available to a center via a trade route gives bonus income".

For ease of use, we COULD allow converting specific ressources into generic onces (with a loss). But the question really is how abstract we want to keep things.

Anyhow....

My statement on complexity is: I want complexity IF - and ONLY if - it adds to the game. OR can be omitted. OTOH a computer program would jsut be SO handy :-)

For provinces: I would go with hex fields, like FoB, but I would create provinces OUT OF THEM. Like FoB's realms. The main issue I have with "arbitrary size provinces" is that it really goes into comparing apples and oranges at times.

I would go along the Civilization series, or Empire, with "population points", and I would put them into a system similar to FoB - you build population centers, that you have to maintain, but THEN you have to put population in. The population is nice as it can put population pressure on you.... if you an not upgrade. Time for some war, famine or whatever to get rid of the exess. That also runs nice for things like Nomad civilzations, as they can not handle the exess population iwthout settling or conquering.

TL modifier - that IS tricky. What about using the TL+1 for a start.
TL 0 = 1
TL 1 = 2
TL 2 = 3
TL 3 = 4
TL 4 = 5
TL 5 = 6

Or we go with a natural sequence:
TL 0 = 1
TL 1 = 2
TL 2 = 3
TL 4 = 5
TL 5 = 8

I am not sure I like the later - the gab towars the end looks TOO big. A real fibonachie sequence gets even bigger, ending at aove 11 (plus having significant digits).

My bet would be the first, plus limiting settlement size and culture (like FOB's nomadic) to TL 0.

For production, we can use the Fob numbers for ressource production. I would love to assume TL 3 as the "normal" state, still thinking about "The Dark Eye" :-) TL 4 gets modern, slowly.

What about this:

* We use a hex like system, but create provinces out of the hexes. The hexes define what a province produces, how many people it can hide etc., much like in Empire. This allows a more "Civ like" approach, nice for SMALLER realms. It also ties the province back into the map better.
* For the hexes, we use the types defined in FoB. These sort of DO make sense for me.

I really love the concept of FoB for the maximum size of a realm - this can be used to define the maximum size of a province. It MAKES sense - after all, the reaon you do have provincesd, or vassals, is that you CAN NOT manage the whole thing directly.

The question is whether we get more complex than FoB, or less. IMHO we should get more complex.... and use computer aids to handle the difference.
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Old 03-21-2006, 11:57 AM   #34
Jürgen Hubert
 
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Default Re: Birthright to Gurps

Here is a mini-review of "Mandate of Heaven" (which I should get in the next few days). Sounds very interesting so far...
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Old 03-21-2006, 01:17 PM   #35
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Default Re: Birthright to Gurps

That sounds a little like "realms as characters" to me, and a combat system. Maybe too abstract for me - have to get a proper review. I assume you will post one soon :-)
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Old 03-21-2006, 01:24 PM   #36
Jürgen Hubert
 
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Default Re: Birthright to Gurps

Quote:
Originally Posted by thona
That sounds a little like "realms as characters" to me, and a combat system. Maybe too abstract for me - have to get a proper review. I assume you will post one soon :-)
Well, it seems like I will get it tomorrow - maybe Thursday.

But I have an Exalted game coming up tomorrow, so I won't have time to post...
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Old 03-23-2006, 11:15 AM   #37
Jürgen Hubert
 
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Default Re: Birthright to Gurps

I have it now...

I will see if I can post my impressions before I travel to a conference on Sunday.
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Old 03-23-2006, 12:26 PM   #38
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Default Re: Birthright to Gurps

We all look forward to this.
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Old 03-23-2006, 10:08 PM   #39
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Default Re: Birthright to Gurps

i don't have a whole lot substantive to add to this discussion, exept to note a couple of other realm-scale systems out there. in the D&D Cyclopedia (the D&D that was separate from AD&D back in the 80s/90s), there was a system for running a domain. in several Dragon magazine issues, modifications were made to the system to make it more realistic (the original system was designed to force players to adventure to supplement the domain income). it had an excellent level of abstraction, in my opinion, for fantasy/historical gaming.

also produced in the early 90s was a game called Realms of the Unknown, which was dedicated to running a realm. it included fairly specific and un-abstract systems, keeping track, for instance, of every bit of a number of resources, and what each resource converted to in terms of manufactured goods. surprisingly, though, it was well-enough designed to allow the running of fairly large realms (several thousand population) in a reasonably simple fashion. it had some problems in dealing with abstracted economies (like money), though.

however, my main reason for posting this is to indicate my own support for such a system in GURPS, and to express my own surprise that such a project has never been considered to date. when i brought it up in the Pyramid boards once in passing, i was told that no one would buy such a thing....

edited to add: i almost forgot the Traveller universe products. for Traveller: the New Era, there was a colonization supplement, The World Tamer's Handbook, which included an interesting system for running a colony. stretching the system slightly, one could even adapt the model to large nations.

for Traveller 4th Edition, there was Pocket Empires, which provided an amazing, highly abstracted system to allow players to act as the ruling powers of a pocket empire, with detailed (though abstract) rules for military engagements, economic considerations, and politics and diplomacy.

Last edited by lugaid; 03-23-2006 at 10:11 PM.
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Old 03-24-2006, 04:23 AM   #40
Jürgen Hubert
 
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Default Re: Birthright to Gurps

Quote:
Originally Posted by thona
We all look forward to this.
From first browsing, it does look interesting, though it is very clearly based on the Exalted rules. Still, I'd say with some effort much of it could be converted to GURPS.

First of all, each dominion has a Magnitude ranging from 0 (village/city block) to 9 (Collossal Empire). Magitude determines how many points you get to spend on the various aspects of your dominion.

Each dominion has three basic attributes:

Military: The overall quality and quantity of your armed forces. This represents a mixture of both military size and efficiency - it is up to you to specify its precise structure.

Culture: The influence of your society in the wider world - how much other countries admire your history, art, and so on.

Government: The general efficiency of your government - how fast and well it can get things done.

Each Dominion has also Abilities (Skills): Awareness, Bureaucracy, Craft, Integrity, Investigation, Occupt, Performance, Presence, Stealth, War. These represent things that your society can do, and how good your society is at them individually.

Each Dominion has a set of four Virtues (derived from Exalted) that describe what your society cares about: Compassion, Conviction, Temperance, and Valor.

Finally, each Dominion has Willpower, which derives from the two highest Virtues and represents the ability of your society to cope with hardship and Limit, which accumulates when you perform certain actions (or your rivals perform certain actions on you) - and if it goes too high, your dominion goes through unrest and strife.

Your Attributes, Willpower and Limit can all vary temporarily as a result of certain actions. There are a large number of actions you can perform on each turn (which represents a time span that varies depending on how fast you want the game to proceed). Some of them cost Willpower and/or raise your limit. Domain actions are usually resolved by an Attibute + Ability roll, and they are often resisted by an Attribute + Virtue roll (sometimes that of your rivals, sometimes your own). You can spend Willpower to get an additional success. Successful domain actions allow you to temporarily increase on of your own stats, or decrease those of your enemies...

Oh, and since this is Exalted, it allows stunts - in other words, if you describe your actions well, you odds of success increase. If you only say: "I attack Domain X!", you get no bonus. On the other hand, if you say: "My elite Panther guards slip across the border and wreck his communications network", then you might get two bonus dice on your roll...

I haven't read it in too much deatail, but it does look like a very smooth system. For GURPS, it would make sense to give each domain a number of character points equal to its Magnitude, and to treat Attributes as GURPS attributes, Abilities as GURPS skills, Virtues as levelled advantages, and Willpower and Limit as specialized pools. And then I don't see why this system shouldn't work under GURPS.

Of course, it could be expanded to cover situations beyond the Exalted universe. Let's consider techology, for example.

In my view, it would be best to split generic GURPS TL into several fields of technology (communications, medicine, etc.), and treat each as an advantage that can be purchased seperately. And in a resisted action, you can get a bonus if your TL is higher of that of your opponent, and lower if it isn't...
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