Surgere
 member, 33 posts
 Rise
Mon 1 Apr 2019
at 18:14
Settlement/Empire game IC and Advice
I have an itch to run an empire game, and I have not really seen many (if any) 4x style games here on rpol at all. My question is are there folks who would be interested in participating in such a game?

I would like for the game to have a lot of political focus, not just expand and take over. I want players to form alliances, trade agreements, and interact with each other heavily. Of course conquering and war would also be part of the game, but I'm not looking to just play "Risk".

So, anyone interested? If so, which setting interests people the most?

1. Classic Fantasy (Heavy on Politics)
2. Sci-Fi Futuristic colonizing of space (Heavy on Tech Development)
3. Apocalyptic (Heavy on Settlement Building)
4. 1800s Age Of Sail (Heavy on Expansion)

And then any advice on running an empire game?

I don't have a rule set picked out yet, I glanced at FATE but it lacks the more in depth faction management I'm going for. I want a system that runs smoothly and easily but has a lot of faction customization and depth, so that players can feel like they are really leading an empire and making important choices without all the work of actually running an empire.

How should I handle maps as well, with changing borders? I have some money I can spend on a mapping program but my computer is not the best and I would prefer to pick a good program before wasting money.
Hendell
 member, 170 posts
Mon 1 Apr 2019
at 18:33
Settlement/Empire game IC and Advice
While I am inclined to agree that FATE is probably not a good system to use unless absolutely required, you probably don't want a whole lot of internal faction management either.

I would suggest using a system you are already comfortable with that fits for the setting you end up with (any but fantasy would be my preference simply because it is to common).  Then just add a fairly light weight resource management system based on slightly ambiguous territory units to work for both map and empire interaction.

Then add some sort of trade incentive such that something like 30% of the resources produced by each empire are 'trade goods' that can be used only at half value for activities other than trade, but once traded to other empires become full value resources.  Perhaps throw in a conquest resource by which you can force trade goods out of another empire.
thattripletguy
 member, 64 posts
Mon 1 Apr 2019
at 19:16
Settlement/Empire game IC and Advice
I'd be interested
icosahedron152
 member, 942 posts
Tue 2 Apr 2019
at 03:22
Settlement/Empire game IC and Advice
A lot of empire games fail when the players walk from too much work. The only advice I can give is to minimize the bean counting. And then minimize it some more.

You may be surprised just how much mapping you can do with good old MS Paint. Find (or make) an A4 hex grid, fill the hexes with green, brown, or whatever colouring you need, find (or make) symbols for hills, mountains, forest, villages, etc, copy and paste them in where required. Copy and paste different colour lines for your borders, too.

If your players stick around for more than a few weeks, you can upgrade your mapping software later (if you feel the need). Otherwise, you can save some hard-earned cash from being wasted on an abortive project.
Studynot
 member, 138 posts
Tue 2 Apr 2019
at 03:58
Settlement/Empire game IC and Advice
I'm always interested in something like this, but it depends on rule set, I don't have a lot of time to learn new rules these days.

I'm in a variant Kingmaker (PF) game that started really small with individual adventurers and a charter and has expanded over the last 3 years to controlling small towns that are growing to large towns quickly now and it's up to something like 30 players.

You just have to set the right expectations, get a good core of players, and I think starting small and building towards empire rather than staring at the empire level where you have to do hours and hours of legwork as a player just to get the game off the ground might be good places to start.

If you get the right crew you could start a little bigger, and maybe with some infrastructure already in place.

Let me know what rules you go with.
Spire
 member, 7 posts
Tue 2 Apr 2019
at 04:47
Settlement/Empire game IC and Advice
In theory I'm a huge fan of this kind of setup.

In practice I'm not enthused by anything that puts players in competition with one another because people tend to put 'winning' over roleplay in these kinds of setups. I'd think something cooperative (indeed in the vein of Kingmaker) with players taking on various key aspects of the same faction works better and still leaves room for competition.

I once played in a game about people building a new colony at the edge of known space and while everyone was trying to keep everyone else alive there was a lot of infighting among the various groups over which efforts to prioritize (and a massive power struggle in the security forces). That was a fun dynamic, in a schizophrenic kind of way.

Beyond that, I'm personally not a fan of post apocalyptic or age of sail settings. The former gets iffy with tech stuff and the latter was just, well, colonialism.

Lastly, regarding maps. I own a copy of Wonderdraft and it's ridiculously good. If you wanna take a look at r/wonderdraft on Reddit (or r/worldbuilding for stuff that includes other programs) you can see what can be done with it, though there's obviously a learning curve.
thattripletguy
 member, 65 posts
Tue 2 Apr 2019
at 18:10
Settlement/Empire game IC and Advice
A possible system for this could be Reign, if you have used the One Roll Engine before.
GreyGriffin
 member, 282 posts
 Portal Expat
 Game System Polyglot
Tue 2 Apr 2019
at 20:12
Settlement/Empire game IC and Advice
I'm definitely interested in a settlement/empire game.  I don't think it has to be fully cooperative though.  Some tension between players over resources and direction can prevent the game from being dominated by ideal strategies.

It doesn't have to be totally competitive, but some different and competing motivations between administrators(?) is good fodder for gameplay.
Brosuke
 member, 325 posts
 New Petitions Against Tax
Tue 2 Apr 2019
at 23:19
Settlement/Empire game IC and Advice
I've played in a few 4X games on RPOL and tried running one myself, but they usually don't last long due to GM burnout, my own included. When you have a bunch of people each running their own empire, the complexity of the game pretty much goes up exponentially over time.

I'd recommend doing something more cooperative, because that way you have a lot more room for players to do unusual things with each other or the environment without causing conflict with other players trying to stick to the rules. You might also want to have the players all managing aspects of the same empire or something like that, so that the amount of things you have to keep track of doesn't explode quite so fast.

Anyways, I'd definitely give this a look.
Surgere
 member, 34 posts
 Rise
Thu 4 Apr 2019
at 00:38
Settlement/Empire game IC and Advice
Thanks everyone for your feedback!

Iíll work on getting a game together over the next day (maybe a couple of days) and post it here.

If anyone has any setting preference let me know.
Studynot
 member, 139 posts
Thu 4 Apr 2019
at 03:53
Settlement/Empire game IC and Advice
In reply to Surgere (msg # 10):

I'm always fond of traditional D&D settings and rules, but not sure if that'll work with what you want to get up to.
Syrris
 member, 446 posts
Thu 4 Apr 2019
at 15:47
Settlement/Empire game IC and Advice
  If you're developing a game like this then it's best to keep play focused on big picture stuff that can be handled descriptively. Getting deep into the number-crunching weeds may seem logical (especially with TBS computer games establishing it as a standard), but it doesn't really add much to the overall PBPost experience, and it definitely puts a huge burden on the GM.
Tarrakhash
 member, 127 posts
 Danish is my pastry
 and I will use it!
Thu 4 Apr 2019
at 17:18
Re: Settlement/Empire game IC and Advice
Syrris:
  If you're developing a game like this then it's best to keep play focused on big picture stuff that can be handled descriptively. Getting deep into the number-crunching weeds may seem logical (especially with TBS computer games establishing it as a standard), but it doesn't really add much to the overall PBPost experience, and it definitely puts a huge burden on the GM.


This. I'm always up for fantasy or sci fi, but find a system that has some cool skills to work people/administrations etc. And just fly with the big stuff to work your story. Dont get caught in the gritty details of empire building unless you really want to.
AscendedMaster
 member, 200 posts
Thu 4 Apr 2019
at 23:33
Re: Settlement/Empire game IC and Advice
I love management games, so I'd be in.

The only RPG I know of explicitly made for empire management with lots of roleplaying is Birthright, which was never officially updated from AD&D to 3.5. It's extremely character-centric and has some empire management and customization. Like D&D in general, it's quite fiddly, there's an extreme power imbalance between character types and even nations to choose from, and there's very little difference between the factions in the empire management phase.

So you win some, you lose some in that regard. But whatever game system, I'd like to play! =)
Hendell
 member, 171 posts
Fri 5 Apr 2019
at 16:16
Re: Settlement/Empire game IC and Advice
The Birthright setting has a lot of value to it, particularly with how easy it is to translate 2nd ed to 5th by skipping over the chaos between entirely.

I think there were enough people here interested in a more sci fi style setting that we might want to evolve it in that direction too, effectively using a higher tech level version of the game (there is even some good support for sci fi D&D 5e out there) in which the many races and political entities have moved forward into post modern setting that may or may not have used magic to replace or merge with technology.
Surgere
 member, 35 posts
 Rise
Sat 6 Apr 2019
at 00:17
Re: Settlement/Empire game IC and Advice
I should have a game put together by Sunday everyone, and we can continue some rules discussion and ideas and setting specifics. DND May work splendidly Iíll check into it for sure!
wolfecubb
 member, 90 posts
 Absolute power corrupts
 absolutely
Sat 6 Apr 2019
at 20:15
Re: Settlement/Empire game IC and Advice
I really enjoy this type of game and would be all up for it.

I've tried to run a few over the years on RPOL and in real life, and no matter how much I threw into them only the real-life, face to face lasted longer than a few months. Most of the time it was down to sheer mass of work involved keeping thibgs ticking over.

So as has been said above - keep number crunching to a minimum to avoid GM burn out due to processing, number crunching and reporting to players. Keep things descriptive don't count every bean or spear or bullet. Keep things general and manageable for your own sanity.

Above all else you need to have fun as well!! You're not a computer, you're not just there yo number crunch and churn out tge results.

This message was last edited by the user at 16:27, Sun 07 Apr.

Surgere
 member, 36 posts
 Rise
Mon 8 Apr 2019
at 02:31
Re: Settlement/Empire game IC and Advice
link to another game

Game is up!