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Design diary

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Ok, to give you an idea about what we are looking forward to, I'm going to share some of my design decisions with you. Feel free to comment and offer suggestions - I might even listen ::). Seriously - if you're eventually going to play in this game, it is in your own best interest to help make the game a good one.

Note: This is a design document, so things might well change...that's the whole point...!!!

DM Team - I'm not doing this game alone. No way. So I'm relying on having AT LEAST one other person to help me. And that person is Jon (ex- OIT, ya all know him). He knows both the setting and the rules, and he's a clever and dedicated fellow. AND he won't let his old affiliation with the OIT get in the way of good DMing (that doesn't mean won't be giving you a hard time though!).

* I may consider trying to get one other person to join the team. It needs to be an old RoE player that would rather DM than play...AND can work with both me and Jon. It's tempting...but three's a crowd...and it might not work out. So I haven't decided yet.
* Even will not DM, but he considers joining as a player. He will probably not be allowed to play Diemed - he's my brother, he knows the rules too well, and Diemed is the single most powerful PC domain...
New game - This is a NEW game, and NOT simply a continuation of RoE. RoE will provide the FOUNDATION (history etc.) for the new campaign...imagine what has gone before as background material. Roughly the same tings will have happened, but there will be a lot less detail and therefore more room for interpretation.The difference might seem subtle but it is VERY important.

* It has not been decided yet if old players returning should be allowed to resume playing their old domains. There are pros and cons. The main pro is that some players really INVESTED in the game and identifies strongly with the regent/domain. The main con is that this is a NEW game, and that distinction will suffer if older players try to pick up where they left.
* Anyway, old players WILL be given preference when applying for domains.
Location - The game will take place in much the same area as RoE did. This allows me to re-use a lot of material. Moreover Anuire is a very "playable" area that most players can easily identify with. Mieres and the lands beyond the Straits of Aerele are most likely cut from the game, but Rohrmarch might be in.

* We're going to focus on realms first, and then domains that interact well with realms. Not only that, but once a "domain type" start getting players, we need several players to make it interesting (one wizard is boring, five can be fun). Which means that guilds and wizards are rather low on my "needs to be filled" list. But exceptions do exist of course...
* Another important issue for me is compacting is better to cover a smaller area with more players than allow them to spread around. Just as similar domain types interact more, so do those that are physically close.
Date - Well move the game forward to Turn 61 (we'll even call it Turn 61 to avoid any confusion with turns from the old game). RoE II will start in the Spring of 1535 HC...a full 15 years after the start of RoE! This obviously means moving 2 years (8 turns) into the "future", skipping everything in between.

Difficulty - Easy is not fun, so RoE II will be as challenging as RoE ever was. So if you think you can conquer the world in a year, find another game. Actually, if you're one of those players who can't stand bad things happening to your domain/character, this is not the game for you.

* I'm not a cruel DM, nor out to "get" players. It's just that I strongly believe the NPCs can and should, be just as good as any PC - and that applies to domains as well. Not all my NPCs will be omniscient super-regents...but most will be pretty smart (unless their personalities and agendas indicate otherwise) AND they are player by someone who KNOWS the rules...and I use those rules (but I don't cheat or meta - not a lot anyway).
* So PLEASE, if you're one of those boardgamers who are out to gather power and provinces, stay away. You and me will both have a better time if you do.
Focus/Plotline - There will be plotlines (one major and several smaller ones, just as with RoE) of course. But the game is about the players and their actions, and not about what the NPCs does. So I hope to make this game as "player-driven" as possible.

Mentors - We'll likely see some new players as well (I certainly hope so!). And RoE isn't an easy game to learn...both the setting and the rules with detail ;) So if some of the old hand want to take a newbie under his wing, that would be great.

Grace period - Not many remember this, but when we started RoE there was a 4 turn "grace period". Players (and NPCs) were banned from starting any major wars or generally doing something monumental. This allowed everyone a smooth start...even players who took a turn or two to get going.

Old Domain Orders - Will not be made available. Period. There will be an update of the campaign timeline and background info for all domains, but that's it.

Regent Guide - I'm going to "finish" the Regent Guide before we start play. I probably never will be properly finished like a published is essentially a one-man piece work...the ramblings and house rules of one semi-mad gamer.

Scion's Handbook - Probably won't do any real work here, except update the character creation document.

Domain Descriptions - Will be updated - focus on agendas and background material leading up to the present day. Things that will actually be USED in the game.

* Players that take the time to edit and/or add to their domain descriptions will be given some small in-game bonuses (in proportion to the effort invested).
* There won't be any major changes when it comes to regents, not counting the ones that got changed after turn 50 that is ;D. For example, William Moergen is still Duke of Osoerde and Gerladine el-Mesir is the mistress of Ilien and the PCE.
* Characters STATS will have changed though. Most regents drop in level and ability. We're cutting down on "hero" and increasing "king"...
Provinces & Holdings - Will be updated with new province levels and holdings as I SEE FIT to create an interesting game. Once again it is a NEW game, so I'm not above making some changes that certainly wouldn't have happened had we played through turn 60. That said most things should be recognizable. Also, I'm removing some smaller regents. While they look great on paper and add some flavor, they never really played any part in the game. So we'll just assume that those smaller domains now are abstracted as part of the various holdings.

* Province Growth - Will be abstracted in RoE II. I.e. no numbers will show beneath province level. This means that province levels will go up/down as DMs see fit (not very often that is). That doesn't mean that Rule Province, events or raising the levy won't affect growth...just that you can't see the numbers.

This will help players understand why various provinces have the levels they have, and what that means in terms of settlement and civilization.


0: These are wilderness provinces. There might be some people living there, but they are few and far between. A small thorp is the largest settlement to be found. There is likely no local government. Level 0 provinces are exceedingly rare in Anuire - there is one in the Erebannien - except as a result of war or plague (in which case province level is back up to lvl 1 within a few years).

1-3: These are thinly settled rural provinces, without any major towns, but with numerous smaller settlements. The provinces are hardly tamed - there is true wilderness to be found between settlements - with people gathering in those areas most conductive to agriculture. There is likely to be some form of local government, but there need not be a real count; many low-level provinces are either part of larger fiefdoms or are run by non-noble servants.

4-6: These are more settled rural provinces, with little true wilderness left. That doesn't mean the provinces are completely tamed or civilized, there is plenty of space that is semi-uncivilized (smaller woods, hilly areas, marshy ground, etc.). There will be at least one major town in the province, which also serves as an administrative center. There will almost always be a count running the province on behalf of the realm's sovereign.

7-9: These are settled and civilized provinces without any wild lands left. Only the heartlands of established realms and capitals of less developed realms come into this category. There will be a major city in the provinces, as well as several towns of various sizes. Such a province might be ruled by a count, or it may well be the principal fief of a sovereign ruler (King, duke, baron, etc.).

10+: Same as level 7-9, only with more people living in urban areas, usually with the majority making their home in a metropolis-sized city.

How common are various province levels in Anuire?

0: Very rare. Almost unheard of, except for shorter periods of time following a major disaster.
1: Rare. Erebannien provinces, provinces at the very fringes of civilization or a province recovering from complete decimation.
2: Uncommon. Some less hospitable areas, like mountains and swamps. Areas at the edge of civilization.
3. Common. Found even in civilized parts of Anuire, but only at the borders and such.
4. Common. Found all over civilized Anuire, makes up the core of most major realms.
5. Common. Same as lvl four, only more people and more commerce. Also found as capital provinces of baronies and minor realms.
6. Uncommon. Found either in old agricultural areas (Maesil valley) or as capitals of smaller sovereign realms.
7. Rare. Found either (infrequently) in the best and oldest agricultural areas (Maesil valley) or as capitals of larger sovereign realms.
8. Very rare. Found as capitals of larger sovereign realms.
9. Unique. Ilien
10. Unique. Ariya.
11. Unique. City of Anuire.

Province levels in RoE are generally speaking about 1 lvl higher than in vanilla BR. Or at least that holds true for civilized parts of Anuire. Capital provinces are also given extra value in RoE, and may have an additional increase in level (Aerele, Caercas and Ilien for example).

In addition, there has been some growth (we are now 11 years after the official BR stat-date) for several provinces (Alamier for example, which has gone from 3 to 5) and some regions have gone down in level due to war or other hardship (in particular northern Alamie and Turnoen, as well as parts of Mhoried).

Here is an example of RoE province levels, using the iconic realm of Roesone (for the purposes of this example we're looking at the original provinces only). provinces are listed by population (descending)

Caercas (lvl 6) - The capital of Roesone. It is primarily a rural province, but has one small city (the capital of Proudglaive) and several smaller towns scattered about.

Fairfield (lvl 5) - A pleasant agricultural region, not much different from Edlin or Duerlin, except for its location on the Ghoeran border. The province sees additional trade and also has a sizeable military presence. Both are factors that ave contributed to the province's wealth.

Bellam (lvl 5) - Bellam is also a rural province, but the country is more rugged than in the rest of Roesone. A substantial part of the province's production comes from mining, smelting and the manufacture of goods based on metal.

Edlin and Duelin (lvl 4) - Two rural province fairly typical of Anuire. No large towns, but several smaller ones and a host of villages.

Ghoried (lvl 4) - Less developed than the other lvl 4 provinces (recently advanced from lvl 3), Ghoried is a wooded area that also suffers from the presence of the Spiderfell. it is, however, also the headquarters of the Spider River Traders, which has contributed soemwhat to province growth.

Abbatuor (lvl 3) - Another rural region, much like the rest of Roesone. Habitation is concentrated along the Spider River and just north of the Erebannien, but the rest of the province is heavy forest. The town of Abbadiel sits on the banks of the Spider River where it meets the Straits of Aerle; it is slowly becomming a real port with foregin trade and might also become a naval base should the Baron decide to build a propper fleet.


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