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So, Would Anyone Be Interested In A Forum National Roleplay Game?

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Since this is a fantasy setting, we also need to discuss whether or not to include divine magic, though if we do we don't necessarily have to hammer out a pantheon beyond god of healing, justice, etc.  Then there's the level of tech this fantasy setting would have.  Fantasy Warhammer levels, with gunpowder and a hint of steampunk?  Standard fantasy setting fare, with ranged weapons limited to bows and crossbows, and artillery catapults, ballista and the ever functional trebuchet?  Just some stuff we might want to discuss as well.

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This idea just caused me to make a login on this site. I've never done an online RP, but this is too interesting to pass up.

I'm definitely interested.

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Well so far we seem to have two things to discuss, so I'll open the 'forum' so to speak on the first issue. Magic! Weigh in if you have a feeling or thought on the issue of how magic should be approached in this world, otherwise you get no say in the matter. And post reasoning!


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Since I already posted about my feelings on magic and just to answer to Crensler... Divine magic and Tech level...

See, I still feel that allowing a nation to decide their 'tech level' by themselves is a good thing. While in real life tech is that much important, in a fantasy setting the 'tech level' would be able to branch on multiple paths, and they should all be valid ones. Magic, (steam) technology, the evolution of a race, the cunning of an army's general, a mix of them, and so on. And the best of all is that it would still work, because the gameplay component underneath all this does not have to treat 'cannons', 'an elite squad' and 'one bad-ass hero' any different as far as gameplay is involved, but the way we would write about the results of the dice rolls is effectively different and gives the actual different flavors for each nations. This is where the fun is at, in my opinion.

Divine magic would also count as flavor text in my opinion. If your nation had gods as a big theme and you wanted to spread it, you should be allowed to, but it would be on the player to make it happen and explain how their gods work to the player he wants to spread it to. Of course, depending on how it spreads, 'localization' of a pantheon could also become a thing. We have options, people!

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I posted earlier or at least I think I did.....
I'm interested in the game.
I dont know what to say about tech and magic I leav it up to you, but I'd prefer if there is no universal pantheon.

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like javen has said the "game" part of the system doesn't have to change but in terms of the running of the lore (haha) i think that magic should be common enough to not promote shock when used but rare enough to make people nervous

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I will say that I'm more inclined towards a mid level, magic is common enough to be found anywhere if people are inclined to learn it or use it in any other way, but also rare enough that several mage brigades are really a thing of horror for the opposing army but not cheap or common in any way... unless by a magocracy or a very rich nation that can pay for such services.

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I agree with what everyone else has said about middle of the road for magic.  Common but not so common we have magitek airships and whatnot.

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i agree a platoon of mages knocking at your door should inspire fear and awe in not just your opponent but nearby nations as well. not only of the power of said platoon but on how much money they would spend to gather in upkeep said platoon should be sizable a healing mage or 2 per normal platoon? pretty normal. a entire Company of Mages? that's just horrific.
this is just a flavor thing but i have been thinking about how magic and the soul could be intertwined this is common in some settings but i think that it could be an interesting lore tidbit.
i know we haven't finished the magic discussion but i think that when we get to technology that a early classical tech level would be interesting like iron-worked items is a hot new tech and bronze is pretty much the standard. but i am getting ahead of myself

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For the benefit of those who were not on today's stream, I'm just putting a quick note up that I will be participating as a sort of "free agent" unit, a pawn for any nation that has a particular interest in an asset that is not directly affiliated with their nation. While I have yet to hash out anything in-depth, the base concept is a (very) mortal being with their own personality, quirks and motivations, which may or may not clash with the established leadership, who can be utilized in a number of ways, depending on what it is the nation requires at a given point in time.

* a non-threatening, bannerless liaison to a foreign power to covertly discuss new trade agreements, demilitarization, or perhaps discuss potential alliances

* a more relatable face with which to address the common folk and rally their support for a particular policy change, or perhaps infiltrate said common folk to route out conspiring agents from within your city's walls

* an expendable adventurer tasked with uncovering valuable artifacts predating your current nation, bringing you prestige and renown for your dedication to preserving history.. without risking your own valuable citizens or military

As has been recommended by Arche, the unit is to officially be considered a neutral party, and just as a mercenary will be primarily swayed by coin, but creative or scrupulous nations might find other means to attract their services, and perhaps maintain them, with enough incentive.

As mentioned above, they are -very- mortal, and poor application (or unfortunate circumstance) will invariably place them in grave danger. No good story is without risk, and real consequences after all.

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As per Arch's wishes, I'm going to post what I meant about the 'floating islands' world in a bit more detail, so people can understand and vote if they want that or not.

The world of the setting would, for whatever reason that no nation knows about, be inhabitable under normal circumstances, as any of the races end up dying or cease functioning with only a couple hours of contact with the surface. Floating islands are the only safe place to live in for quite some time now, enough time that nobody remembers what is life in a permanent settling on the ground, and each nation is basically in one of the floating islands.

But none of those floating islands are self-sufficient, and need resources to be kept up in the skies. Luckily for everyone, the same thing that makes the islands stay afloat also seems to dissipate whatever is directly under the island, allowing mining for resources, sending search parties into ruins and the like. And as the islands can move, they are not locked into a single place or have access to a single resource all the time, which avoids early-game monopoly on an important resource, because you'd also need other resources to exist.

I'd say that as the nations start to explore the world and come up with ways to keep whatever is going down on the ground at bay or even dissipating it permanently albeit at great resource costs, colonization would become possible. I'd expect that to happen along mid game.

My idea of the floating islands would be along these lines. If it hasn't become apparent yet, the early game of the floating islands also means one nation cannot expect to just close their border and attempt to do their own thing without alliances or trading of some kind, at least early game. Mid game would be the colonization stage, where nations would start to lay their claims on land and resources. And then there's the late game, I could even see some nations re-purposing their floating islands for specific ends, like trading or center of government, maybe even combat.

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I think I'd prefer a more conventional Old World/New World setup, but I do like the idea of a early-midgame colonisation rush. If people want to join in after the start of the game, maybe we can have opposing nations supporting independence for colonies late-game.

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Definitely in favor of the floating islands idea. Sounds like a lot of fun.

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We spent some time on the stream today discussing some particulars. If anyone has a point to make, a question to add, or a disagreement, please feel free to post it.


The world will not be fully colonized regardless, allowing for exploration, colonization, claims, expansion, etc.

The world will include magic. This magic will be low-middle, in other words present in the world to the point where it's recognized, but having a single mage in a city would be a big deal (and that mage would be noteworthy, either positively or negatively).

Magic will be, in pure stats / gameplay, considered equal to technology. For the purposes of stats there is no difference between the two. At all. This is partially to equate the two and partially to save the Ref (that's me) some sanity. Now, we all agreed that the use, partial use, or absence of magic is very important for roleplaying. This allows each nation to decide their particular social, economical, military, cultural, governmental policies on magic and technology which could significantly effect how they interact one with another diplomatically.

The tech level of the nation is up to the player making it, within reason. All nations have to pass the Ref (me) for approval anyways so that's one of the things I'll be giving an approval pass.

Speaking of which, the player may choose to decide if they want to have racial / national bonuses in gameplay or stats. Basically you can say something like "I want to be good at mining" or... well, anything really. As per the above, anything you want bonus wise has to pass approval by the Ref.

Consequently, everyone thusfar has been okay with 'asymmetrical gameplay'. Or put in other words; imagine if we were playing around WWI era. Whoever picks Italy is going to be in a far worse position than whoever picks France. In other words, everyone does not necessarily start equally (though you guys can if you want to).

Finally I will be working on a terrain map as soon as the floating islands issue is settled on. Post here on that issue since it's basically the last thing left to decide that I can think of. Otherwise feel free to make your nation and submit it for approval! =)


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I think we could do floating islands and woo, airships are no a thing that is needed to move beyond your island of choice.

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I'm okay with the islands thing.
I'd like some help with my nation. What stats and features should I think about? I was thinking of a racial bonus for research

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What Javan suggested is intriguing. Though how be the islands are need to be hashed out should we all agree. Also, this setting would require more than the minimum amount of magic.

I would also be for undead to be part of the setting. It would be required for the idea I had for my nation.

Also, what lives down in the world below? Would it be hostile or could it be reasoned and bargained with? Can they be used?

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Before committing to something that sounds cool but is ill defined I have a lot of questions, mostly about game mechanics:

1. How abstract will things ultimately be in general?

2. What are the actions that someone can undertake on their turn? In fact an example of play would be beneficial.

3. How does character creation even work? What are our stats, our skills, our feats? Are there national level spells like in Birthright? If so, how does that work in our setting?

4. What kinds of resources will there be? What do they do?

5. What does trade look like and how does it work?

6. When do we collect taxes?

7. How are taxes figured out?

8. What can we spend them on?

9. How do we improve and customize our nation in general?

10. How do you envision territory exchanging hands?

11. How does war work?

12. If I instigated civil war in another player's country, how would that work?

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In the theme of what Kolson wants to know, because I have no idea how this is going to function, I feel like having floating islands will grant the player enough mobility that it will be as if they are playing a character, and not a nation. Part of the appeal of national play to me is competing for resources and power, and being able to move to where the resources are doesn't promote national conflict or cooperation.

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Braigwen: I don't think I understand the need of the setting to have more magic than low-mid, would you mind explaining?

Kolson: I'm pretty sure Arch is thinking about keeping it as abstract as possible (something I agree with), making this less of a game and more of a roleplay with a skeleton set of rules plus upgrading mechanisms so we can have basic conflict resolution and ways to quantify how well a nation is doing. The big star here would be roleplaying it, so I'd see most of the answer as being 'think it up, talk with the referee and then roleplay the result'. At the very least, I'm not into a 'must win' mentality going into this anyways.

Aerois: As pointed out on the post, you can't really stay above a single resource for too long, as you'd not be gathering other kinds of resources, and moving from place to place would mean you are not gathering anything (I'd expect moving a floating island to be time-consuming as well). You only have one floating island per nation. That also means a national conflict would be a much bigger deal if it happens. The whole idea is keeping the big conflicts for mid and late game, when you start to become earthbound.

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Kolson Wezrae wrote:Before committing to something that sounds cool but is ill defined I have a lot of questions, mostly about game mechanics:

1. How abstract will things ultimately be in general?
I actually don't understand this question.  What do you mean?  I'm going to take a stab at comprehension and guess that you mean 'how open', and the idea is for it to be as open as possible.  If we wanted to play Civ V or Europa Universalis IV... we could do that, they have multiplayer.


2. What are the actions that someone can undertake on their turn? In fact an example of play would be beneficial.
Since one is playing a Nation and not a leader of a Nation, generally there's a decent amount of stuff one can do per Turn.  One cannot, to use a negative example, decide to research all the things, build tons of troops, and conquer the world in a single Turn.  But one could start mobilization, while shifting production towards Supplies, while dumping Currency on their researchers to get them better weapons... as well as negotiating freely.  For gameplay purposes the amount of actions you can take per Turn is deliberately morphic, relying on the 'use common sense' determinator, with the Ref having final say.  However, negotiations with other Nations will almost always be 'free actions', aka regardless of other actions on your Turn you can (and are encouraged to) interact with the other Nations as much as you desire.  A sample turn, if you will.
Bobonia has decided they want to really push for becoming an economic power in the western seaboard.  This takes a lot of Currency to invest into the trade, so Bobonia is going to start hiring tax collectors, guards, and investing some Production into treasuries, outposts, and the like.  He also decides, with this turn, to send off people to the other cities along the western seaboard to scout out for trade, though this won't be finished this Turn.  He meanwhile negotiates with the neighboring Nation, Billonia, to ensure secure borders between the two so there's no need for Bobonia to care about mobilizing.  Finally, to really cap off his actions, he decides to start the process of nationalizing the economy rather than leaving it a free market.


3. How does character creation even work? What are our stats, our skills, our feats? Are there national level spells like in Birthright? If so, how does that work in our setting?
As with most games of this variety, the focus is 90% the roleplaying and 10% stats.  I've actually done games like this where there ARE no specific "I'm good at this" type stats, and merely "These are the resources I start with" stats.  But to answer specifically; there are no set stats, merely things your nation is good at due to race, research, technology/magic, or misc.  Naturally you have 'stats' for your militaries, as well as some internal stats like the economy and production.  There are no national spells; there could be, but the Ref does not feel like dealing with that.

4. What kinds of resources will there be? What do they do?
I've been a bit torn on this one, but I think we will go with a bit simplified for resources rather than expanded.  So for example, Minerals, Oil, Mana Crystals, People, Food, Currency, that sort of thing.  As for what they do, they can be turned into production of the logical resultant... either for increased infrastructure, armament for troops, supplies for existing troops or colonists, trade with other nations, trade to parts of your own nation, diverting into research, et cetera.

5. What does trade look like and how does it work?
Bob: Hey, Bill, I'd like those 12 Minerals you have.  What do you want for 'em?
Bill: I'll take... 15 Food.
*haggle haggle*


6. When do we collect taxes?
7. How are taxes figured out?
Lumping these two together.  I'm still torn on one of two methods of dealing with taxes.  One is slightly more complicated, one far simpler.  The former is basically; one can tax commercial and residential separately, setting a general 'amount' of taxes (low, med, high) which will generate an amount of Currency based on your population and a few other non-stat factors the Ref will take into account.  The simpler method is to truncate this down to simply 'how much and how often' you want to tax your people.  Which answers the second question in either case; you can collect taxes on your people however often you want to, that's up to you.  Obviously there's consequence for any given strategy, which as ever will be on the Ref to inform you of.  To use a direct example; The Nation of Bobonia has a population of 3 and wants to tax every single Turn, because Bob is crazy.  He also is the rough equivalent of, to use something easy to reference, Amn from Faerun.  So the Ref looks at that and says okay, because of how your culture works and your general lack of ability to enforce this, you're only going to generate a single Currency per Turn, and doing so is going to make the people more and more pissed off over time.  However Bobonia then turns around and says he's investing into tax collection and enforcers specifically for this.  So his Currency gain actually goes up... and so does his unrest.

8. What can we spend them on?
Anything you can spend money on, internally or externally.  You could spend them on art grants if you felt like it... again, the stats aren't the focus of a game like this.

9. How do we improve and customize our nation in general?
I strongly encourage players to really go into as much detail as they want to regarding things like culture and the like.  But to give an example; let's say I want to make a nation that has a large population from diverse races and backgrounds, a melting pot situation, so the political winds change fairly frequently.  Since we're roleplaying as the entire nation, this could lead to governmental changes semi frequently, leading to somewhat inconsistent foreign policies... just like in real life, really.  But as for details gameplay wise, it's something of a blank sheet... want to be good at trade?  Art?  Research?  The only limiter is what I like to call the 'keep it reasonable' factor, and since I'm approving all Nations at creation I'm not too worried about someone making a Mary Sue Nation of ultra vampire lich lords.

10. How do you envision territory exchanging hands?
Bobonia, who's now flush with cash, has an Event happen where some of his populace no longer support him and want to defect to the neighboring Billonia.  Billonia decides to spend Supplies, Currency, Food, and some troops on supporting those rebels, resulting in one of Bobonia's provinces changing hands before Bobonia even has a chance to react.  That province is now Billonia's territory, but recently claimed and of course Billonia can only rule it at the behest of the previous citizens who may or may not be inclined to his policies.  And of course Bobonia might retaliate... which leads us to...

11. How does war work?
Bobonia declares war on Billonia for his troubles.  Now, one thing I always emphasize in games like this is that war is costly.  Costly in every single resource, as well as the diplomatic angle.  So Bobonia is going to go into some pretty bad deficit in terms of all of his resources to drum up troops and keep them supplied, as well as keeping internal unrest at a minimum (given how popular Billonian citizens are with Bobonian ones).  Nevertheless let's say Bobonia, already flush with thugs and mercenaries to collect his taxes, has the ability to field a force now and marches on his lost territory.  A battle happens (I'm still torn on if battles format, there's lots of options which boil down to how much in the way of tactical choice the players have, from full turn-based combat down to 'I send troops to this territory') and Bobonia ends up reclaiming the territory, now filled with very angry citizens.  Billonia, of course, is preparing HIS troops for a counter attack.

12. If I instigated civil war in another player's country, how would that work?
I actually kind of answered this already, but basically how well this works is up to the Ref.  Definitely feasible, though.


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I've always been a lurker on these forums (not THE Lurker, obviously... Wink ) But this is something I think I'd be very interested in!

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I'm gonna start working on my nation, hope to come up with something good ^^

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Essoje wrote:Braigwen: I don't think I understand the need of the setting to have more magic than low-mid, would you mind explaining?

My nation would require Necromancy to function. I am almost hesitant to go into detail in case the entire idea is shot down. But, the upper echelon of the ruling class, in an attempt to maintain stability would turn to necromancy to keep themselves functioning just enough to keep ruling over the nation forever. Also because the Necromancers who care for the upper echelon of the ruling class use their influence to ensure that they are always needed and to push their own agendas.

But if that's in the realm of high magic... then I will try to tweak my idea to compensate. No biggie.

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Based on Arch's previous post, I'm pretty sure you could just make the nation need mana crystals instead of food for maintaining and raising the population.

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