Jhaelan
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Fri 31 Mar 2017
at 14:07
Re: Domain Level Games
It's not, it's a home-brew set of rules - but a quick look at their site suggests it is similar in scope to VBAM

Bookkeeping is becoming more complex, but just manageable with only RPoL forums set up in a structured way at two years in. Definitely needs some thinking about from the start, some willingness to shift the granularity to where it's needed and I'm in the process of shifting to some tools to help. I'm unconcerned with the tooling effort as it's easy enough (for me) and will permit me to push on certain complications that I want to explore in terms of the story.

Each turn is 2-4 weeks of discussion (mainly player-led) and then several hours to write-up and bookkeep (for me) - but that's partially my choice in terms of narrative depth, plot complexity and which levers for gameplay I've allowed the players. For example, the mechanics are set up to encourage a degree of risk-aversion so that means there more results that require only a terse response and I can focus on the bigger consequences, but it also means the players may spread their bets. Likewise the mechanics encourage them to build up capabilities to perform more complex things, so there's more things to track. You could choose other levers or apply them differently.

All that said, I should probably emphasise that this is a narrative strategy campaign
icosahedron152
 member, 747 posts
Fri 31 Mar 2017
at 16:37
Re: Domain Level Games
That sounds very interesting, Jhaelan. I have a game in mind for the distant future that involves not a federal union, but barons within a mediaeval feudal monarchy, which might have a broadly similar feel.

Consequently, I’m interested to learn as much as I can about your experiences. :)

What do you mean by ‘narrative strategy’?
Jhaelan
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Fri 31 Mar 2017
at 19:46
Re: Domain Level Games
@GreenTongue, please rein us in if this moves off-topic from your original enquiry

From my own experience in playing this kind of campaign on here, a straight domain or strategy campaign is very much a 4x that pits player against player. It's in folks interest to amass a mechanical advantage, especially if they can break away from the pack.

For a federated union campaign, there is deliberately less player-vs-player conflict. But you still need something for them to rail against to make for meaningful choices. What I've found helpful is couching the consequences of the player decisions in plot hooks, and this one pillar of what I mean by narrative strategy. For example, the union tries to build X or recruit Y (or whatever) and that requires a roll (no, or little, auto success). If they succeed well, reward them with flavour about the building or unit. If they're partially successful, they will need to expand further effort and tie an excuse for the failure to the explanation - something they can guard against by another choice. If they fail badly enough, break something.

For the second pillar, name things and introduce people and groups and other human elements to evoke an emotive response - the same as you would in a character-led rpg. Get the players invested in the nation

For the third pillar, provide several plot arcs to set the tempo of the campaign, but be prepared to put on the gas or the brakes as necessary as you gauge their interest. Something(s) to struggle against, overcome, feel a sense of achievement

Let me know if a concrete example would help for any of these
GreenTongue
 member, 788 posts
 Game Archaeologist
Fri 31 Mar 2017
at 19:51
Re: Domain Level Games
In reply to Jhaelan (msg # 11):

No problem. Sounds interesting.
I ran An Echo Resounding based game that was working acceptably but was hard to hold everyone's attention.

If you have kept one going for 2 years, I can learn all you can explain.

What is your time scale in game?
Jhaelan
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Fri 31 Mar 2017
at 19:55
Re: Domain Level Games
Flexible, but typically 1-5 years since that felt right for the science fiction feel I was aiming for. Right now the players at at war with another nation, so it's 1 year per turn (and I experimented with shorter 'engagements' between turns, which failed).
icosahedron152
 member, 748 posts
Fri 31 Mar 2017
at 21:19
Re: Domain Level Games
I think I was the last man standing in Green Tongue's game, and I'm all ears, too. :)

We were working together to try to make it workable, but even I got ground down with the calculations and record keeping for each turn. We need a way to minimize that stuff, but still make the game realistic.

Narrative strategy sounds like what I'm aiming for.
GreenTongue
 member, 789 posts
 Game Archaeologist
Fri 31 Mar 2017
at 21:52
Re: Domain Level Games
Scaling and the amount of abstraction I think are key.
For example: Tiny Epic Kingdoms: Heroes' Call is very abstracted but yet seems to work fine.
Jhaelan
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Sat 1 Apr 2017
at 05:31
Re: Domain Level Games
Yes, but abstracting the mechanics and enrich the storytelling is what worked for me.

It's probably also worth limiting the player's agency, in that mine have a restricted number of actions they can perform (something I saw work in a Bloodright campaign too). It frustrates them, but it also helps with meaningful choices and prevents them being bogged down in a mechanical morass. As GM, I take on the mechanical burden

On the flip side, I use a tough success scale for their actions and that means they have to consider what things they want to use for bonuses and I think that's a bit more mechanically burdensome then I would prefer. Still working out some tweaks on it

Record-keeping will become a bit of a burden, but this is where tech can help (me, at least). It only took a short time to whip together the support there that I'm now using and structure helps more at the start. Plus one of my players volunteered to proof read against their own sheets, which has been exceptionally helpful (Big thanks to them!)
icosahedron152
 member, 749 posts
Sat 1 Apr 2017
at 18:37
Re: Domain Level Games
Looked up Tiny Epic Kingdoms today. Interesting game. It's amazing what you can do with a few simple, well thought out rules.

Look at Diplomacy, no dice in sight, a few simple movement and combat rules, yet it's one of the most absorbing games I've tried. Just need to fix the player hissy-fits when something goes wrong.

I've looked at increasing the story-telling (I did my own character narrative in the last game) I wanted to add a personal intrigue angle, but I decided to limit options by only allowing certain action choices the same as the map game. As you say, Jhaelan, it can get messy if there are few limits to what a player can do.
GreenTongue
 member, 790 posts
 Game Archaeologist
Sat 1 Apr 2017
at 19:32
Re: Domain Level Games
icosahedron152:
It's amazing what you can do with a few simple, well thought out rules.

Look at Diplomacy, no dice in sight, a few simple movement and combat rules,

A core of rules can be fleshed out by narrative to window dress as much as wanted.

Take <b>Barbarian Kings</b> for example.
http://www.anthonypryor.com/?p=2965
The players can be the Kings, Heroes or Wizards with whatever political interactions that are wanted.
The core rules allow a lot of flexibility, in my opinion.
Jhaelan
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Mon 3 Apr 2017
at 09:29
Re: Domain Level Games
Expanding the narrative can simply be flavour rather than extra choices - though I tend to reward narrative with a (hidden) situational bonus or consequence if I feel it's warranted. It encourages the rich world-building that I'm particularly after in this type of campaign

Likewise having a looser set of rules (and some randomness) makes it feel quite different then I imagine it would be where the role of the GM is more arbiter than storyteller
GreenTongue
 member, 791 posts
 Game Archaeologist
Wed 5 Apr 2017
at 10:48
Re: Domain Level Games
From my games I have found that the critical factor is a need for some type of engaging conflict.
You can't just assume players will engage with each other because they are playing.
Jhaelan
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Wed 5 Apr 2017
at 10:55
Re: Domain Level Games
Absolutely, I have several types of conflict arcs that I can turn up or down depending on what engagement I see: military, economic, existential threat ;)
Warplock Engineer
 member, 2 posts
Sun 9 Apr 2017
at 02:30
Re: Domain Level Games
Hey guys, I'm new here and have experience with exactly the kinds of RPs you're talking about, I LOVE them. My question is how do I find the few RPs you've mentioned here? I don't know where to look or how to search them.

P.S. I figured out how to search things, I was being dumb and didn't realize it was right in front of my face, but when I searched for Tiny Epic Kingdoms nothing came up, So I'm a little confused.

This message was last edited by the user at 02:36, Sun 09 Apr.

icosahedron152
 member, 754 posts
Sun 9 Apr 2017
at 05:41
Re: Domain Level Games
TEK is not a game on Rpol, it is a board game whose rules may be useful to us for inspiration. Green Tongue was suggesting that we Google it for more info.

It can be difficult to find exactly what you're looking for on Rpol, even if it exists (which in our fringe genre is not guaranteed). It's all a matter of tweaking the genres on the search feature. Our games are most likely to be found under Strategy, with perhaps some Historical or Fantasy, or Scifi, according to your preference.

Welcome to the site. :)
Jhaelan
 member, 179 posts
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Sun 9 Apr 2017
at 09:19
Re: Domain Level Games
You could also ask in Wanted - GMs as some forums are restricted on whether folks can point you at specific games running (by our awesome moderators, who keep the place lovely and full of helpful stuff rather than spam)
Warplock Engineer
 member, 3 posts
Sun 9 Apr 2017
at 16:28
Re: Domain Level Games
Ah okay, thanks guys, I appreciate it.
GreenTongue
 member, 792 posts
 Game Archaeologist
Sat 15 Apr 2017
at 02:10
Re: Domain Level Games
I'm reading the Servant of the Crown Mysteries and wondering if that would be a good model for play.
Each player having a position and an angle on an Event that needs to be dealt with.
Each with their own motivation and restriction to their authority.

This message was last edited by the user at 12:09, Sun 16 Apr.

GreenTongue
 member, 793 posts
 Game Archaeologist
Sat 15 Apr 2017
at 13:22
Re: Domain Level Games
What about something like King of Dragon Pass but with individual players for as many of the "Clan Ring" leading the clan as can be gotten to play.
Where the players can make two macro-level decisions per season.
Jhaelan, is that along the lines of the game you were talking about?

As for a "Peerage" oriented game instead of "Clan Ring" there are also ...
Bailiff (who reports to the Seneschal)
Master of the Hunt (who reports to the Seneschal)
Castellan (who reports to the Constable)
Captain of the Guard (who reports to the Constable)
Gaoler (who reports to the Constable)
Sheriff (who reports to the Chancellor)

I guess it comes down to what the players would be doing more than anything.

Maybe a "puzzle solving" type of game where each position provides specific types of "clues" and getting the correct clues collected to "solve" the current "puzzle" would be the goal.

Using "Mythic GM Emulator" I have found that a resolution can be reached even starting with nothing but an initial direction. So, the GM wouldn't need to know all the clues ahead, in fact, that makes it easier, since the clues can't be missed that way.
Jhaelan
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Sat 15 Apr 2017
at 20:30
Re: Domain Level Games
It's not, though I'm a fan of King of Dragon Pass. In my rules, the existing players form a council of peers and must come to consensus (or majority) for the decisions affecting the nation. They've taken to this to an extent I've been surprised with, creating a set of policies, big infrastructure programmes, military reorganisations and soon on.

Each player has freedom to create their own niche and to cooperate to a greater or lesser extent with the council, which has led to some interesting dynamics that I suspect a more bounded role (like seneschals, castellans and so on would encourage)
GreenTongue
 member, 794 posts
 Game Archaeologist
Tue 25 Apr 2017
at 22:30
Re: Domain Level Games
REBELLION!!

Since one of the things that ends up killing games is the eventual overload of bookkeeping, what about starting right before that point?

Establish a kingdom and have the players rebel against the current order.

Typically, as a rebellion goes on, conditions and resources degrade, which reduces the bookkeeping.
Jhaelan
 member, 185 posts
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Wed 26 Apr 2017
at 08:26
Re: Domain Level Games
Interesting twist and I might steal it for the next one :)
GreenTongue
 member, 795 posts
 Game Archaeologist
Fri 28 Apr 2017
at 15:57
Re: Domain Level Games
While reading issue #3 of Axioms, the ACKS magazine, I wondered if a game based on a Senate would be doable?

Is this close to what you are doing Jhaelan?
Jhaelan
 member, 187 posts
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Fri 28 Apr 2017
at 18:47
Re: Domain Level Games
From what I can see from the blurb on RPG Now it's in the ballpark, but I wasn't aware of the magazine. Will check it out
Quasar_42
 member, 29 posts
Sat 29 Apr 2017
at 03:00
Re: Domain Level Games
I've never played in a game like this, but it's definitely something I'd like to try.

Here's a thought, based on something I saw a game on a Civilization forum- RP was going on on the forum, while the GM played the game according to their decisions and gave them information based on that. It led to some pretty interesting stuff, and it helps take care of the problem of the GM having to run everything. Unfortunately I can't find that example, but it is something I might like to try.

I can think of a number of good candidates for this- Civ, Total War, Europa Universalis, or Crusader Kings. The last one would even take care of character creation.

Potential problems I see-
1. They require someone actually having acces to a game like that and time to play it as well.
2. Some understanding of game mechanics will probably be necessary, depending on the game you choose. Games don't necessarily behave like real life.
3. It limits your settings a lot. Creating a world from scratch is not going to be possible in this system- you'll be limited to either historical settings or any mods someone may have managed to cook up. The idea of playing a British Parliamentarian sounds fun to me, but it may not to everyone.

This message was last edited by a moderator, as it was against the forum rules, at 03:40, Sat 29 Apr.