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Re: (TFT) Rough and Ready Campaigns 3

> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "John J Hyland"

> The guys currently own most of 1000 acres and have tenant
> farmers setting up on them to generate the stream of rents needed
> to cover their tax obligations. They also own a small tower, a
> wharehouse, smithy and dock, and a riverboat - which are currently
> being administered by their factoring agent. All of this is part
> of the hex marked "manorhaven" on the map. I did not have tables
> of data for all of those things up front, but when they became part
> of the game, I made (hopefully reasonable) fiat decisions about
> them, and recorded those decisions, so now, for this part of this
> world, I know what the economic output of 1000 acres is.

Okay, I am making tables for some of this stuff.
No one has to use my data, but wouldn't it have been nice to have them
instead of guesstimating?
Nothing is wrong with having to make a fiat decision, I simplly try my
best to avoid them AMAP.
Please don't take this as an attack, but I'm going to ask you a few
questions about Manorhaven.

Okay, you know the economic output of Manorhaven.
This is lightyears ahead of most campaigns already.
So now let's get a bit more specific.
If this region is generating cash, where, when, and how is new cash
getting there?
What is the regions Population.
1000 acres isn't much if you take into account crop rotation, Roman ag
was used well into the middle ages so half the fields fallow each year?
If these guys are drawing thier manpower from Manorhaven then they'd
better not get a bunch of cats killed in battle or there won't be enough
people left to work the fields.
If it's an excess of manpower they've got then the obvious question is
how are these people eating?
Oh, and their factoring agent isn't looking after the Riverboat when it's
away from the Docks.
That'd be the Captains Job, unless he's the Captain too, in which case
who's minding the house while he's gone?
Where's the smithy getting iron from?
Or is he a whitesmith?
If so then where is the tin coming from?
The boat?
I assume from the discription that the region is peaceful, but how far is
the nearest enemey?
I see a wharehouse.
Is it defensable?
If seiged, how long can Manorhaven hold out with supplies?
Where do the tenat farmers go if attacked?

> There may also be a scale thing, since other than contributing to
> the establishment and growth of manorhaven, the PCs are unlikely to
> affect the map too much.

An obvious map affect is road building.
Also, as Manorhaven grows it may spill over into other hexes.

> Also, they each play 1 character, so
> there is no generational change in my games.

Fair enough, but what happens when a character dies?
Do they start over as 32pts, or do they get an experianced character who
is on par with the rest of the group?
Where do these characters come from?

> Also, the map owned by the PCs is paper, it is not dynamic. It
> does not change unless they write on it.

Well sure.
I'd never show the Players my Campaign Map.
If the Players want a Map, they have to make it, or buy it.
I wish someone would hand me a map of all the resources in this area.

> Let me explain. They have been adventuring in the mountain
> wilderness for the last few months, totally disconnected from any
> civilization, so if their fledgling estates were overrun by kobalds
> and burned to the ground, they would not be aware of it yet, so
> their map would still show the town of manorhaven, rather than the
> burnt out crater where manorhaven used to be, until they learn of
> it and change their map, or rebuild, making their map accurate once
> again, totally their call on which direction to go.

I knew somebody that exactally this thing happend to.
These guys lived in the same neghborhood and did a lot of single player
Well one summer, some other cats show up at the GMs house early in the
morning demanding an adventure.
The GM blearaly rubed the sleep from his eyes and, seeing as he had
nothing prepaired, he reached for his solo players newly constructed
Needless to say, the party trashed the players keep, and when he returned
from an adventure of his own to find his keep destroyed he was so
incensed that he invested all his money in sheep (listed in AD&D
equipment) and became a nomad, which ended up working out quite well for
him when he pointed out to the GM that flocks of sheep make baby sheep.
Perhaps the GMs guess at birth rates was too generious?

> Oh, and I agree, a series of arena fights is not an RPG, it is a
> series of arena fights. An RPG where everyone starts as a recently
> captured slave working as a gladiator in an arena in a far off land
> is very different from a series of arena fights (and is how my
> character started in at least one game - interesting but dangerous
> way to start).

Ergo my babble about boxes.
If I'm gonna run an arena as an actual RPG then it's only fair to allow
the Players to try anything they can think of to escape, etc.

> OK, now I am babbling. Anyway, all that background (arena implies
> coliseum, implies city, implies world with farmers) is just that,
> implied, in my games, rather than all documented up front. In
> large part because who has the time to document every little thing
> about the world, or for that matter, who knows that much about the
> real world, certainly not me, and in a less wired gameworld like my
> TFT game, no one at all.

Okay two things here.

First, I realise that detail for details sake only adds headaches to the
game, not enjoyment.
Because of this, the primary concern for me when messing with a new
mechanic is, "is it fun?".
I think that these "details" are easier to define from the start rather
than deal with them as they arise.

Second, a very large part of my approach is trying to tie real-world data
and reference material to the mechanics in such a way that reference
information can be more smoothly translated into game terms.
This makes my job easier when it comes to some of the odder stuff Players
will try.

A wizard in a combat situation is about to be engaged by multiple
He has a gallon skin of water and wants to cut it open the turn before
he's engaged, at which time he intends to cast Shock Shield.


How do you do THAT, cause if you fiat a decission like, "that's a good
idea" I'll let him do 1d Dam to his hex and all surounding hexes" then
you have, in effect, introduced a new spell.

My reward for clever players, is to figure the spill at 8 pints, with 1
pint covering 1 hex, and to allow 1d-5 Dam to conduct to each hex in the
megahex via the inverse square law.
And of course that's only for smooth stone, or similar type floors.

> On the other hand, if you define everything, and run a
> multigenerational world-spanning game, having Civ run the world and
> its armies in the background may be a great idea for your campaign.
> I run much smaller scale games - though I read your ideas with
> interest nonetheless.

I'm not trying to tell folks how to run their games.
If it aint broke, don't fix it.
If your guys go to War however, I'm not sure how "small" the scale is.
< grins >

Thank you for your thoughts.
You always bring up very intresting points.


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