I crank out new ideas for games the way some people play tennis – to deal with stress and frustration. Here is one that I put together not long ago, that would form the kernel of a web-based game. The tracking of populations and resources and such are way to complicated to do without a computer.
Somebody could build this into a lucrative website, but they’d have to program it, add artwork, add chat/communications between players, and then offer something to buy with real money that would help in the game like secret spells, skills, creatures, and items.
Environmentally speaking, video games are ironically green in the sense that you don’t have to drive anywhere, and they take a lot fewer resources to produce.
So here you go, for your speculative gaming amusement, I offer you…..
Enchanted Empires 11/22/2013
Each player takes the part of a new graduate of the magical college. Each is assigned a derelict empire, somewhere in space and time. But, time flows disjointedly between empires – players may execute 1 day’s actions per hour time period that has passed since their last turn. You may of course communicate with your fellow graduates freely by magical means.
You visit your empire. The dark forest surrounds it, and holds the secret paths to all the other empires through which armies can be sent to raid or trade with other empires. Expect a day’s travel each way, and a day to conduct “business” on the other side.
Most of the land is thickly occupied by subsistence farms. They produce only what they need to survive. You will have to remedy this before they generate any surplus in either food or manpower.
The town palisade is crumbling in places, and provides no protection for the ruined foundations of the buildings which once housed the town’s workshops and stores. They must be rebuilt (100 wood), to prevent attacks by “Earth” creatures.
The castle wall is crumbling in places, and provides no protection for the courtyard, which formerly held the barracks and storehouses of the empire. If you repair them (100 brick), these places will be protected from attacks by “Fire” creatures.
The gates and portcullis of the inner curtain wall is also needs repair (100 iron). In the castle are two inhabitable rooms – the tower (your quarters) and the library (where you can spend time learning specific skills). Other rooms will have to be fixed up to use them – labs, shrines, etc.. If in good repair, these places would be proof against attack by “Water” creatures, and would only be vulnerable by attack from the “Air”.
“Earth” armies are the lowest technology, human and beast.
“Fire” armies either embody Sorcerers, Salamanders, and fire elementals, or the technology of artillery. Same thing.
“Water” armies either embody Alchemists, serpents, and water elements, or seen in another way, the technology of biological siege and plague.
“Air” armies either embody Demons and winged beasts, or the technologies of spies, ninjas, camouflage, gliders and mountaineers.
Each player keeps a log, open to examination by the other players, of what is done each day, and assignments made. Physical depictions are optional. Be especially creative in giving names to the special leaders and monsters you create. You may favor technological or magical descriptions of the armies you are creating – the RULES for how they work are the same.
Note that if the first player runs 20 days before the others take a turn, then the next player launches a raid on their day 10, it happens on the first player’s day 20. The same player might raid again on their day 15 – and the second raid also hits on defender’s day 20. If you lag behind taking turns, you will have more resources to use each time, but you run the risk of getting raided early in your development period, and not making use of your improvements.
Game 1 day 1 begins at 5pm 11/22/2013. Begin!
TEACHING AND APPRENTICES.
Typically, you’ll spend a day learning a skill in the library, then a day teaching a peasant the new skill. They will then practice their art every day until reassigned, providing they are fed. With your permission, each will spend a (non-productive) day training ONE apprentice to double their output thenceforth.
Note that unassigned servants may perform “unskilled” labor.
Note that instructions to a servant to start or stop consuming resources, and assignment of unskilled laborers to supervised tasks, does NOT cost you time.
SKILLS TO LEARN (One per day in the library).
- Fertilizing fields personally.
You may spend a day fertilizing one farm magically, which frees up one human and one beast to do your bidding. You may either keep them working the farm, in which case 2 surplus food are generated per day, or make use of the services of ONE of them, in which case the other generates 1 surplus food which is consumed by the other. Effectively this means one fertilized field frees up 1 human or beast and feeds them. Run out of food, and the servants desert.
Train a person to fertilize farms (2 per day with an apprentice), using “mineral” resources, 1 per field.
Train a person to save “dead” humans at cost of 1 “plant” resource each – 1% of the losses per doc or apprentice, fractions rounded up, but you may pick officers.
Train a person to rig up traps like burning oil at the castle curtain wall. Each 1 oil resource kills 1 light (or 1/3 heavy) soldier that assaults it. 1 trap max per day (2 with apprentice).
- Dairy farming.
You may teach a farmer to tend up to 5 beasts. Food output is then 2 surplus per beast (instead of 1 – technically 3 minus the 1 they eat), with the farmer (and apprentice) only producing 1each, which they consume themselves. (Example: 5 fertile fields gone dairy produce 4 unassigned servants plus 16 food (6 surplus). Or, 10 fertile fields produce 8 unassigned servants plus 32 food (12 surplus).
- Resource Gathering (Specify type).
May teach a servant to collect resources of the specified type in the forest, 1 unit per day. Types are Wood, Clay, Ore, Oil, Plants (shrooms etc.), and Minerals (gems, precious metals, or other exotic stuff).
May supervise up to 10 unskilled laborers per day. It costs 100 wood and 100 days labor to fix the town palisade, then 10 Wood and 10 days labor for each building put into the town. (Craftsmen are only protected if they have a building to stay in. A single building holds either a tradesman/officer plus their apprentice, or up to 10 generic followers, soldiers or unassigned servants, or 100 units of resource storage per building).
May turn 1 unit of wood into bows and arrows, to equip archers.
May turn 1 unit of wood plus 1 unit of clay into 1 brick.
May supervise up to 10 unskilled laborers per day. It costs 100 bricks and 100 days labor to fix the castle curtain wall, then 10 bricks and 10 days labor for each building put into the courtyard. (Servants and soldiers are only protected if they have a building to stay in, or 100 units of resource storage per building).
May turn 1 unit of wood plus 1 unit bricks plus 1 unit of ore into bar stock.
May turn 1 unit of bar stock plus 1 unit of wood into hardware.
May turn 1 unit of bar stock plus 1 unit of wood into armor.
May turn 1 unit of bar stock plus 1 unit wood into swords.
May supervise up to 10 unskilled laborers per day. It costs 100 hardware and 100 days labor to fix the castle gates, then 10 hardware and 10 days labor for each room made habitable in the castle. (Craftsmen are only protected if they have a building to stay in, or 100 units of resource storage per building).
16. Drill Sargent.
You may teach one servant to teach 1 other per day (or take on an apprentice, then 2 per day) to bear arms and march in formation. Soldiers with no special arms are considered MILITIA. Soldiers with bow & arrows are considered ARCHERS. Soldiers with swords are considered KNIGHTS. Any of the three times can be equipped with armor, and as such are designated “HEAVY –”. By definition, militia disperse on guard like police, while the others group in military formations. Only the militia is positioned to stop hit and run raids by warning the populace, but then they are less effective in a pitched battle.
A captain may take up to 10 men with him on a raid, each with an optional accompanying beast. With an apprentice (Lieutenant), the entire party can be 22. The captain must be equipped the same as his men.
A major may lead 10 captains and their men. (100++)
A colonel may lead 10 Majors. (1000++)
A brigadier may lead 10 colonels. (10,000++)
A marshal may lead any number of brigadiers.
A merchant functions just like a captain except he may take unskilled labor to lead the beasts, and resources are traded by agreement instead of looted. Merchants are launched like soldiers (taking a day of planning after the day of training), but will repeat automatically every 4 days once instructed to do so, without supervision.
A space MUST be available in the castle. Consumes 1 food plus 1 oil per day. Can master 10 “Fire” elementals, cannons, or whatever (each of which requires the same sustenance). Treat as (“Fire”) ARCHERS on defense.
A space MUST be available in the castle. Consumes 1 food plus 1 oil plus 1 plant per day. Can master 10 “Water” elementals, chemical mortars, or whatever (20 with apprentice) (each of which requires the same sustenance). Treat as (“Water”) KNIGHTS on defense.
A space MUST be available. Consumes 1 food plus 1 oil plus 1 plant plus 1 mineral per day. Can master 10 “Air” elementals or whatever (20 with apprentice) (each of which requires the same sustenance). Treat as (“Air”) HEAVY ARCHERS on defense.
Builds a “fire beast of burden” from 10 oil plus 10 iron, which functions and consumes accordingly.
27. Gene splicer/Brewer.
Creates a “water beast of burden” per day from 10 oil plus 10 plants, which functions and consumes accordingly.
28. Beast Master/Ops Master.
Trains 1 wild “air beast” per day from 10 minerals plus 10 plants – function and consume as “air beasts”.
EARTH COMBAT RULES
A force spends one day traveling to another empire. At most, there are 3 beasts per human. Each beast can carry food for 2 men plus itself. They spend one day fighting, then a third day returning. Each surviving human may lead 3 beasts home, original or captured. Each beast may return with 3 units of looted resources.
The raid follows the following sequence.
- Plan a raid. You must take one day to instruct the senior officer or (merchant) what to do and take them to the magic portal. Note, you must accompany any mixed group of more than one magical types – there are no marshals for them! – so it costs you 3 days of time to do a magical raid, not 1.
- Initial contact. Each raiding soldier accounts for one target each, minus 1 per militia (not archer or knight) on guard. Choose randomly (dice or cards) between existing resource gatherers, farmers working fields, any craftsmen, laborers, or servants without buildings in town, or beasts working fields or not stabled. Soldiers not behind protective walls are targets too, and can’t fight back if surprised. Beasts are captured, all others are killed. Note, if a craftsman is killed, his apprentice simply takes his place.
- Military response. The armies meet in front of the town. The defenders may choose to withdraw into the town, or the attackers may retreat from the fielded army, otherwise there is a battle. Each round of battle, you inflict 10% of your armed strength (only 1% of militia) on enemy target of choice (including officers, but this won’t matter until after the raid is done), simultaneous fire. Heavy types divide losses by 3.
- Looting the farms. The attacker becomes eligible to carry off any surplus resources of his choosing not protected in the town.
- Assault of the palisade. An army of purely “Earth” type (ie. Humans and beasts with no technology or magic) is stopped by the palisade as long as the defending army is strong enough. The first 10 rounds, only the defenders get to attack, with archers on walls counting 100% instead of 10%. Ergo, 10 defending archers will kill 100 assaulting knights, or 33 assaulting heavy knights – and since they know it, they will loot the fields and withdraw. “Fire, Water, or Air” type armies may immediately engage town defenders, attacking every round.
- Looting the town.
If the attacker defeats the defenses, one building or 3 resources per soldier may be destroyed. The resources in the town become eligible for looting.
- Assault of the curtain wall.
All armies but “Water or Air” suffer the 10-round disadvantage.
- Assault of the castle inner gates.
All armies but “Air” suffer the 10-round disadvantage.
Note 1: “Fire-only” armies may “skip over” the town palisade and get 10 free rounds to either attack the defending “Earth” army, or destroy buildings (1 per 10 solders per round), or steal loot (1 unit per solder per round). Similarly, pure “Water” armies may bypass “Earth and Fire” to wreak havoc in the courtyard, while pure “Air” armies may go directly for the castle. After the 10 free rounds, they may either flee or fight the lesser technology army. All-magical armies may proceed without beasts of burden (“eat” in advance), but then may not be able to carry back loot – assassination only!
Note 2. Officers and handlers for magical armies may “hang back” as non-combatants, thus not be targets, but not be able to attack either. Loss of officers does not matter as long as there is an officer further up the command chain. If no officer or handler is present (including yourself) on a raid, the soldiers or monsters in question are routed and return home. A wise strategist will only risk top leaders and handlers when there is no opposition (e.g. free rounds) or a lot at stake. Lower level officers are “expendable” once the raid is mounted, but must be replace to mount another raid.
Note 3. No point in raiding a player with nothing built and no saved resources (i.e. hasn’t started yet). You can’t go negative.