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Offline Volk

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BoP: Estia (Arrived)
« on: December 04, 2016, 02:53:45 am »

Welcome to Balance of Power: Estia

GM List

Volk
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Introduction

BoP: Estia is an original, custom-world, balance of power game. The game world has been player generated and created with input from members of the community, fantasy world creators, and other respected Game Masters. The game is set in the in-game year of 800 C.E., or Common Era (period after most of humanity in this world began writing down history). The known world is called Estia, with 2 sister continents (or 1 depending on who you ask): Sarkia (Sar-kee-ah) to the East and Dysiskia (Dee-cease-kee-ah) to the West This fantasy world has developed quite differently compared to our real world's history: no major Rome/Macedon-like empire has sprung up yet, no Viking-like people have existed yet, the components of primitive black powder have not been discovered yet, no major religion has spread across the world yet, no other landmasses besides the one currently inhabited have been discovered yet, among other missing pieces of history. Besides some minor historical footnotes, the world is ripe and ready for ambitious nations to take their place in the annals of history. Players will start out as small, fledgling governments and, through conquest or diplomacy, grow their power and expand their sovereign borders. The coming events will become the history of Estia, and each nation will have its story.

The game is set in a time where the military technology is what we would consider Medieval Times (combination of Early-High Middle Ages). Most other advancements (Agricultural, Civil, Cultural, etc) are in the same age except for a few differences: Feudalism as we historically know it is not the default form of government and is not obligatory for any nation. Government is slightly more centralized, like in the Ancient Era (Rome for example) or historically later times (1500's-1600's for example), allowing for actual armies (although quite small due to population) instead of levies and vassals obligatory of a feudal society. Any religion can possibly spread to historic levels (Christianity and Islam), even polytheistic religions (although it is quite hard for any religion to reach those levels). For simplicity's and centralization sake, the player also has total or great control of their civilization's trade and economy, with bonuses or detriments depending on the nation and the government the player chooses (Merchant Republic for example). The population of the known world is smaller than historic Early Middle Ages Europe, roughly 10 Million. There has not, however, been any major disease epidemics in the known world (yet), unlike our history. Wheat is not originally indigenous to Estia, and is grown with great difficulty, save for a few remote regions. Other crops, like potatoes and rice, are originally indigenous to Estia, and have been mastered in terms of cultivation. The concept of culture exists in Estia (nationalism in its most extreme primitive form).

Players will create their own customized and original civilized societies and play as the rulers or heads of state for their respective countries. The game will start out with small, somewhat isolated player countries spread out throughout the map with the overwhelming majority being unoccupied and uncontrolled (but not uninhabited).

Ruling Houses

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Civilization Creation


Map Guidelines for Civilization Creation
Public Civilization Application (Post to Thread)

Code
[b]Name:[/b]
[b]Flag/Banner:[/b]
[b]Government Type and Features:[/b]
[b]Royal House (If Applicable):[/b]
[b]Starting Ruler and Family (Ruler + Minimum 2, Maximum 4)(If Applicable):[/b]
[b]Aspects of Culture, Religion, Way of Life, and other Attributes:[/b]
[b]Location:[/b]




Explanation

The Public Civilization Application should only contain the necessary amount of detail for other players to know and understand the basic aspects of your civilization. Public Civilizations Applications can be edited and reposted multiple times. Extreme detail should be saved for the Private Application that must be sent to the Game Master by PM or other private means.

Name: The name of your custom country. The name should be somewhat original; as long as it is not a direct copy of another country, and not obscene or unbelievable, it will be accepted.
Flag/Banner: The flag or banner of either your country, the ruling dynasty, the ruler, or other important body that will represent your country.
Government Type and Features: The form of government that runs your country along with any important aspects. Examples of government types range from Monarchies, to Oligarchies, Dictatorships/Despotism, Democracies, and Republics to name a few. Important Aspects can be anything that helps to describe your government, for example for Monarchies perhaps it is an Elective Monarchy, where the Monarch is voted in from the royal family, or perhaps it is a Direct Representative Democracy with a specific voting population (for example Landed Soldiers).
Royal House (If Applicable): The dynasty or ruling family of your country.
Starting Ruler and Family (Ruler + Minimum 2, Maximum 4)(If Applicable): The name, age, and some details of the ruler that starts out ruling your country, along with the names, ages, and details of at least 2 immediate family members (Brothers, Sisters, Mothers, Fathers, Half-Brothers, Half-Sisters, Adoptive Family, etc)
Aspects of Culture, Religion, Way of Life, and other Attributes: Simple details and Attributes describing the many aspects of your society. Some basic information on your society's culture, religion, and other details should be included. Some examples are: Warlike, Nomadic, Trade-Centered, Liberty-Centered, Polytheistic, Monotheistic, Peaceful, Agrarian, Pastoral, Slavery, Xenophobic, Primitive, Tribal, etc.
Location: The starting province(s) of your civilization. Most players should start out with 1 province, recommended to be placed on or near a trade center (or somewhere where the formation of a settlement with trade influence is possible). Starting out with more than 1 province is allowed, however the absolute maximum number of starting provinces is 4, and they must be immediately bordering each other. Starting provinces may be chosen that are not bordering each other, however if so they must be within a reasonable distance of each other and the reasons for their distance must be expressed in the application. The selected provinces must be pointed out (colored/highlighted) on the map.


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Private Civilization Application (Send to Game Master)

Code
[b]Name:[/b]
[b]Flag/Banner:[/b]
[b]Nation Adjectives:[/b]
[b]Government Type and Features:[/b]
[b]Royal House (If Applicable):[/b]
[b]Starting Ruler and Family (Ruler + Minimum 2, Maximum 4)(If Applicable):[/b]
[b]Aspects of Culture, Religion, Way of Life, and other Attributes:[/b]
[b]Location:[/b]
[b]Player Notes, Comments, & Requests to the GM:[/b]
[b]Suspected Playstyle:[/b]
[b]Player Goals/Objectives for this Civilization:[/b]
[b]Player Nation Modifiers or Traits:[/b]




Explanation

The Private Civilization Application should be sent directly to the Game Master and not posted publicly to any threads. This app should be much more detailed than

Name: The name of your custom country. The name should be somewhat original; as long as it is not a direct copy of another country, and not obscene or unbelievable, it will be accepted.
Flag/Banner: The flag or banner of either your country, the ruling dynasty, the ruler, or other important body that will represent your country.
Nation Adjectives: The adjectives that will be used to describe people from your country, people of your culture, etc. (For example, the adjective for a person from Russia OR a person with the culture of Russia is "Russian"; the adjective for a person from Rome is "Roman".)
Government Type and Features: The form of government that runs your country along with any important aspects. Examples of government types range from Monarchies, to Oligarchies, Dictatorships/Despotism, Democracies, and Republics to name a few. Important Aspects can be anything that helps to describe your government, for example for Monarchies perhaps it is an Elective Monarchy, where the Monarch is voted in from the royal family, or perhaps it is a Direct Representative Democracy with a specific voting population (for example Landed Soldiers).
Royal House (If Applicable): The dynasty or ruling family of your country.
Starting Ruler and Family (Ruler + Minimum 2, Maximum 4)(If Applicable): The name, age, and some details of the ruler that starts out ruling your country, along with the names, ages, and details of at least 2 immediate family members (Brothers, Sisters, Mothers, Fathers, Half-Brothers, Half-Sisters, Adoptive Family, etc)
Aspects of Culture, Religion, Way of Life, and other Attributes: Details and Attributes describing the many aspects of your society. The information should be detailed, with some explanation as to why the aspect is important or helps to shape your nation into a unique one. Information on the faiths of the religions, class systems, castes, values of the society, stigmas, past history, etc should be included and sent to the Game Master.
Location: The starting province(s) of your civilization. Most players should start out with 1 province, recommended to be placed on or near a trade center (or somewhere where the formation of a settlement with trade influence is possible). Starting out with more than 1 province is allowed, however the absolute maximum number of starting provinces is 4, and they must be immediately bordering each other. Starting provinces may be chosen that are not bordering each other, however if so they must be within a reasonable distance of each other and the reasons for their distance must be expressed in the application. The selected provinces must be pointed out (colored/highlighted) on the map.
Player Notes, Comments, & Requests to the GM: Any notes, comments, or requests to the GM. Whether it be to better explain, emphasize, focus on, or hold off on certain aspects of your custom nation, anything is welcome here.
Suspected Playstyle: Not required, but the custom nation should match somewhat with the playstyle the player is thinking about choosing. Details as to how warlike you might be, whether you'll be focused on specific strategies like diplomacy, warfare, espionage, etc. Anything that you think could help better explain your country to the GM can be put here.
Player Goals/Objectives for this Civilization: What you intend on doing with your country. Optional and answers are solely player based. Can be anything, from "I plan on making a trade empire!" to "I plan on discovering new lands!" to "I plan on being the most dastardly raiders that ever sailed the seas!" to "Conquer these specific lands!".
Player Nation Modifiers or Traits: Any bonuses/detriments that you either are requesting immediately or are specifying that you will be working towards and playing around those specific traits. For example, a player who thinks they will try to become the best naval power might specify that they are basing their civilization, playstyle, and goals around that fact. Requested bonuses or modifiers will not be automatically granted; this is solely for the GM to take note.



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Maps

*Intellectual Property of Volk: Usage for games not run by Volk not allowed without expressed permission. Maps created Oct. 22, 2016.

Blank Map of Estia
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Climate Map of Estia
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Map of Estia relative to Map of Europe, Africa, and Asia for scale
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Trade Feature Map of Estia
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Terrain Map of Estia
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Winters Map of Estia
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Trade Goods Map of Estia
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Trade Zone Map of Estia
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Rules


Trade and Economy

Trade is an integral and highly strategic part of BoP: Estia. The scarcity of key resources, such as Iron and Grain, means that being able to trade in or control the trade of scarce resources will put you in a better position compared to everybody else. Players are able to order embargoes of other realms, sign trade agreements with other nations that may range from lower prices to tariffs, no tariffs, exclusivity, and other possible outcomes. Allowing trade to bustle through or in your realm will cause your nation to grow richer, and allow you to be able to project more power than other nations.

Every province produces basic goods that are necessary for a civilized society: iron, food, lumber, water, etc. However, these are extremely insignificant amounts, only just enough so any established province doesn't immediately die from lack of basic resources. However, every province has a specific product that is especially abundant or has the conditions for excellent production of said product. Some provinces may produce large amounts of quality cotton, or iron may be plentiful and the means of producing it readily available, while some fertile provinces might be high producers of grain. These goods are strategically important for both a nation's economy and a nation's military. Being able to produce, control, and trade in these products will result in the player seeing the balance of power tip in their favor.

Every default trade zone (except for the smaller, more obscure ones) has at least 1 province with a particular trade feature. These trade features make the province they are in a center of trade or at the very least a province with a great deal of influence on trade in the region. As a default, the trade goods that every province makes/has in a trade zone all coalesce at provinces with trade features. Over time and through player action, certain provinces and their cities may become the central hub of their particular default trade zone. The trade zones themselves could also change, if certain countries expand or project their power and influence onto the surrounding territories or civilizations.

Trade in Balance of Power: Estia flows both ways: Trade from trade zone 1 flows into trade zone 2, and trade from zone 2 flows into zone 3, along with any other routes that might lead to/from other trade zones. Trade can travel by sea and by land except for deep seas and nontraversable regions. Trade by land can be affected by war, hostile armies and peoples (like nomadic raiders), the infrastructure or lack thereof of a region, and natural disasters (ranging from floods and volcanic eruptions to droughts and earthquakes). Trade by sea can also be affected by war, pirates & sea raiders, storms, as well as damage to port cities & blockades.

Economy is the overall wealth and prosperity of a nation. Strength of trade, effective taxes collected, accessibility of a variety of goods, & the wealth of a nation's people, along with other factors all are taken into account when calculating the economy of a country. Having a strong and stable economy allows players to pay for things like armies, navies, trade missions, infrastructure maintenance & expansion, building projects, mercenaries, as well as growing the size of one's borders along with its military. A strong economy could also be used to finance diplomatic actions, like subsidizing another country's war.

The unit of currency in this region is the Gold Coin (at the start, there is no universally accepted currency, so the default international currency is the Gold Coin). One Gold Coin in Estia is worth roughly $100. If a certain country becomes a trade power or has a lot of influence in trade, they may see their currency become accepted in other countries besides their own, perhaps even becoming one of the first widely accepted universal currencies.

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Warfare
Warfare is when a nation tries to make another nation do its bidding by military means. Wars can be declared for theoretically any reason: Do you want some territory but the country controlling it doesn't want to hand it over? Fight a war over it! Are you trying to achieve trade dominance over an important area, but another country is competing against you? Fight a war over it! Has your close ally been invaded by a mutual foe? Fight a war over it! As long as the reason for declaring war is a tangible one, the war will be considered valid. Wars can also be declared for no reason at all; however take care, for you may run the risk of spreading unhappiness or even unrest amongst your people.

Before deciding to launch your war, there are a few things to consider: One thing to remember is that moving your troops and making them do actions takes time. Fortifying for a siege, or preparing to besiege a city takes time as well; do not expect things to occur immediately. Another thing to keep in mind is that the player is limited to making broad strategies and movements of their armies and navies. Excessive detail in how the men should be lined up, what exact tactics they should use, the exact moment moment to launch a certain volley of arrows, etc, will not be taken into account when calculating an engagement. However, this is not to say that details like that are unwelcome: some detail is asked when making your plans, for it helps build the narrative and, in some instances, could make a minor difference in how the results of a battle are handled. Military plans and actions should be sent to the GM and not posted publicly on the game thread.

Wars are primarily fought by two military institutions: a country's army & a country's navy. By default, every country starts with a minimum 1,000 soldiers. Depending on a player country's location & expansion, the size of a country's land based military may increase, as well as a country's navy if it is expanded. Both the army & the navy require people to maintain & grow in size, so taking care of & expanding one's fighting population should be a top priority.

Mercenaries can also be bought, sold, and established to supplement one's military. Mercenaries are professional soldiers that are payed to fight for a certain amount of time. They can be used to provide a temporary boost in times of war if one is running low on able bodied troops.

The modern concept of total war which encompasses every aspect of a country when at war and results in the mobilization of all of a country's resources does not yet truly exist. Instead, wars are usually shorter & more sporadic, with very few battles or engagements deciding the outcomes of conflicts. The conservation of manpower and resources for future use must be taken into account when deciding whether to continue or end a war. Battles, however, should not be the main focus of warfare: the risks of losing scarce men & resources along with the inconclusiveness of battles outweigh the benefits. Instead, sieges are what one must do in order to truly win a war.

A siege is when a hostile force attempts to take a city or fortification from the defending inhabitants. Cities, forts, castles, citadels, and other fortified places can be besieged by hostile armies. A siege can end in multiple ways: The attacking army surrounds & waits out the defenders until they run out of supplies & surrender; the attacking force storms the fortification, taking it by force & putting the defenders to the sword; terms are negotiated by both sides, giving up the fort peacefully or letting the attacking army leave; the attacking army attempts to storm the besieged settlement but is driven back; or the defending force or a reinforcing army comes to the besieged' aid, driving the attackers back.

Battles, however, should not be ignored entirely. A battle is when 2 opposing sides meet at a given location and engage in pitched combat until one side is routed or defeated. Battles, though risky, have some benefits. Battles are one way of quickly defeating an enemy force, though multiple battles may be required to thoroughly break a hostile army or navy. All battles have modifiers besides a dice roll that help to calculate the results of the engagement. The maximum a modifier can be is 3, and the minimum a modifier can be is -3. Battles, at the start of the game, can be fought on every terrain type except impassable regions. Some regions may give positive or negative effects to the defenders/attackers in battles.. The modifiers are as shown:

Jungle: +1 to Defenders
Coastal Desert: No Effect
Desert: No Effect
Savannah: No Effect
Mountains: -2 to Attackers
Drylands: No Effect
Grasslands: No Effect
Woods: +1 to Defenders
Forests: -1 to Attackers
Marsh: -1 to Attackers
Coastline: No Effect
Wastelands: No Combat Allowed


Other factors may impact the result of a battle between 2 (or more) parties. Some nations may acquire certain bonuses or detriments that will be taken into account when calculating a battle. For example, a nation that is focused on cavalry and horse archers may find themselves getting a +1 Bonus when fighting in Desert and Savannah, but an additional -1 Detriment when fighting in Forests. These modifiers are called Nation Modifiers, and can be specific to each player nation. Players can acquire these throughout the game, from the nation creation process and can also be acquired by player actions and events that unfold in the game.

Another factor that is taken into account when formulating battles is Leadership. A leader is simply a person (A king, an emperor, a general, etc) that commands a military force. Every military force, no matter how small or how large, must have a named leader leading it. At the start of the game, every nation begins with all leaders have a bonus/detriment of 0. As the game progresses, players might find that their leaders, due to player actions and events, have gained negative or positive modifiers. Using this leader, players may have an advantage in combat, though some effects might have certain parameters that must be fulfilled to be used (such as +1 only when fighting a certain enemy).

The final factor taken into account is Military Technology. Military Technology is simply the overall technological level of one's military. Players cannot directly research anything, for the spread and advancement of technology is controlled by the Game Master. However, players are in control of the factors that lead to advancing in technology. The strength of one's economy, prosperity, influence of trade, experience in warfare, certain cultural aspects, and relations with certain nations all help to bring technological advancements to your realm. If you manage to do well and attain all of these, you may find yourself with a distinct advantage over your foes. Advancements in Military Technologies will grant a static bonus in the Military Technology modifier when calculating Total Rolls (and the values will increase as you advance in military technology) as well as raising the value of the Dice that are rolled for your side in battles (From Two D-6's to Two D-7's, etc).

All of these factors coming together help to calculate the outcomes of battles. However, despite the many factors that players can alter, the most important aspect of warfare simply comes down to luck. Battles are simulated by Dice Rolls, using Two D-6 Dice in the beginning of the game (6 Sided Dice). Following dice rolls for both sides, the aforementioned factors are added to the roll to find out the result of the battle. The Total Roll, or the Sum of the Dice roll plus all other factors, is the amount of damage in % a side deals in the battle. For example, if Side A has a total roll of 6, then Side A damages 6% of the enemy force.

The equation that calculates the results of battles and the damages of both sides is shown here:

Rolls (Two D-6's as the default) +/- Leader +/- Nation +/- Technology = Total Roll

The Battle Equation is used for every type of engagement besides protracted sieges (it is used, however, if a besieging force decides to storm a fortification. Then it is treated like a normal battle). There are other types of engagements that players might try to accomplish, one such being an ambush. An ambush is when one force waits for the enemy to enter a certain area, then a surprise attack is launched. An ambush can only be launched by the Defender of a would-be battle. In order to launch an ambush, the player must first put themselves in a position that, if they were to be attacked, they would be the defender in the battle (to elaborate, if you plan on ambushing an enemy but you accidentally march your men into them instead of the enemy marching into you, the battle will be normal with you as the attacker). Next, the player, in their plans sent to the Game Master, must express that they would like to try to ambush the enemy. An ambush succeeds if, in a normal D-6 (6 sided Die) roll, the result is a 3 or higher. If the ambush is successful, the battle commences with the ambushing force as the Defender, but with a +1 Bonus, not including any other bonuses from Terrain, Leadership, or Nation.

Another engagement that utilizes the Battle Equation is a Contested Naval Landing. A normal Naval Landing is simply when ships, either war ships or ships transporting troops, land on shore and drop off ground troops. A normal Naval Landing does take a small amount of time to prepare. However, a Contested Naval Landing is when war ships or ships transporting troops land on a shore and there is an enemy force waiting to repel them. Whether it be an army waiting on a beach, a hostile fleet trying to repel the landing, or a fortified coastal city, if there is a hostile force waiting to meet you it is considered Contested, and a Battle will take place.

Not all engagements will use the Battle Equation however. Privateers and Raiders attacking shipping lanes, unless confronted by another fleet, will hamper trade with impunity and steal wealth to be delivered to the privateering nation. Attacks on land trade, such as caravans, also yield the same result and, just like privateers, will attack trade routes unless confronted by another army.

Other military actions not expressed in the Rules can be undertaken by players if they so wish. The action in question must be sent to the Game Master for approval, and following the approval or disapproval of the order in question, further action may be undertaken if the player wishes it so.

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Diplomacy

Diplomacy is simply all of the interactions between countries. Aspects of Diplomacy range from the mundane, like Royal Marriages and Trade Agreements, to the exciting, like Alliances and Peace Treaties. Diplomatic actions should be posted publicly to the game thread (unless it is secret diplomacy or secret treaties; overuse is discouraged, but secret treaties are allowed). There are a few rules before entering the world of Diplomacy that all players must heed: First, do not enter into agreements or treaties that you know you will voluntarily break immediately or in the immediate future. Secondly, players are not bound to accept or fulfill the terms of a treaty by the game; instead, the relationship between countries, the shifting balance of power, and mutual honor are what bind nations to treaties. However, this is not to say that the breaking of treaties is something that can be taken lightly: breaking treaties may result in other countries (players) viewing you with distrust, making future diplomacy difficult. Furthermore, breaking treaties that are bound by certain terms (like Royal Marriage) may result in unhappiness, or maybe even unrest. Lastly, please remain in character when communicating between nations. Though replying to other countries is allowed, players should try to limit their posts to diplomatic statements and actions. If players are going to reply to other countries' statements, please remain in character when doing so.

Regarding Peace Treaties, almost anything can be demanded in peace treaties. Do you want to turn your worst enemy into your most unenthusiastic ally by forcing the king's sister to marry you? Go right ahead! Trying to expand your army and you're thinking of forcing somebody to give you weapons for free? Go right ahead! Did you go to war for a certain province, but are now wanting more than what you originally declared war for? Go right ahead! Almost anything, from war reparations, to vassals and satrapies, to forced Royal Marriages, to economic terms, to even slaves and war booty, can be demanded in a peace treaty. In order for a peace treaty to take effect, however, both sides of a conflict must express their agreement to the terms of the treaty (this can be done by both sides sending the Game Master the terms and their expressed agreement). A peace treaty doesn't have to include all the participants in a war: if you feel that your ally's war is unwinnable, or you get a certain offer you can't refuse, there is nothing Rules-wise that is stopping you from ending your participation in a war. However, your allies and other countries may not take too kindly to your exit from the war effort.

When writing a treaty between yourself and another party, do be careful not to make the treaty too generic or vague: vague and generic treaties can be easily manipulated or taken advantage of. Detail in treaties is welcome and encouraged, as well as the inclusion of "Opt-Out" clauses. An "Opt-Out" clause is simply a specific expressed circumstance where the application of the treaty would be legally considered void. For example, Alliances can be concluded to be Defensive Alliances, where the parties will come to each other's aid only when one or the other is attacked by an outside party, or an Offensive Alliance, where the opposite is true; the parties will come to each other's aid only when one or the other is attacking an outside party. Other agreements and treaties could be made with Opt-Out clauses, though it is up to the players themselves to decide how they want to go about engaging in diplomacy.

Due to the time period in which the game takes place, some players may have Royal Houses or Dynasties that are in control of their country. Because of this, one diplomatic feature open to players that qualify for this circumstance is a Royal Marriage. A Royal Marriage is simply a marriage between the rulers of two countries or the immediate families of the rulers of two countries. The resulting link causes the two countries to become close in relations for as long as both rulers are alive (even if they are not the ones getting married). A civilization that places special value on marriage or a civilization with marriage being an important aspect of their culture might find that Royal Marriages are especially important in improving relations between countries. The resulting couple of the Royal Marriage may also have children: every turn, a dice roll occurs for all couples (International Royal Marriages and Rulers) to determine if a children (or children) are born from the marriage. Furthermore, depending on the character (or player intrigue), children may be born outside of marriage... with potentially disastrous diplomatic consequences.

Besides peace treaties, alliances, and Royal Marriages, other treaties and agreements can be created between nations. Whether it be trade agreements to engage in fair trade, or treaties of military access to move troops without worrying your neighbor, anything can be negotiated and made into a treaty. Other diplomatic actions not expressed in the Rules can be undertaken by players if they so wish. The action in question must be sent to the Game Master for approval, and following the approval or disapproval of the order in question, further action may be undertaken if the player wishes it so.

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Espionage and Intrigue

The balance of power can be shifted through means other than Diplomacy and Warfare as well. Espionage and Intrigue are vital components of a Balance of Power game, and should not be ignored. While the results are not as immediate or drastic as Diplomacy or Warfare, the effects of well timed and well executed Espionage acts can be game changing. A few things should be known before one considers partaking in Intrigue and Espionage: First, every player is limited to one espionage or intrigue action against a player per turn. What this means is that, for example, a player can do an assassination attempt against every other player in the game, however they only get that one assassination attempt against each player that turn. Trying to do more than 1 action against a single player, for example assassinating their ruler and, for another example, sabotaging their siege, is not allowed. Furthermore, Espionage and Intrigue actions must be sent to the Game Master, not posted publicly on the game thread.

Espionage covers a wide range of actions, however they all share some similarities: All espionage actions are calculated by the roll of a 6 sided Die, with 3 and above being a success except for assassinations which are 5 and above for success. Some players, depending on their play style and events that happen, may receive a +1 Bonus to Espionage actions, though this will be quite rare and hard to attain.

One act of Espionage, and arguably the most simplest, is Spying. To spy on another nation, a player must specify exactly what target they wish to try to infiltrate (whether it be a city, an army, a government, etc). If the infiltration succeeds, the spy will remain in the target location and begin relaying bits of information the following turns; the quality of the information is calculated by a D-6 roll each time. If the infiltration fails, another roll is triggered: if the roll is a 3 or above, the spy escapes but makes his presence known; if the roll is below a 3, the spy is captured and the capturing nation is then free to take whatever action it feels is necessary (like interrogating the spy).

In conjunction with spying, there is also Counter-Espionage. Counter-Espionage works similar to spying, however instead you are "spying" on yourself. When a player specifies a specific target they control (like an army) they wish to insert a spy into, the spy is automatically safely inserted. A Die is rolled to see if the Agent detects another spy in the organization it is monitoring; if the roll is a 3 or above, the spy detects the whether or not there is a foreign presence in the body they are attached to; if the roll is below a 3, the spy detects nothing.

Another act of Espionage is Disinformation. Disinformation works like normal spying, however the spy automatically makes it into whatever country they are delivering the false information to. A D-6 is rolled to determine how compelling the information is when it is delivered to the other player; a 3 and above makes the information sound somewhat believable, with the higher the number equating to more compelling disinformation; anything below a 3 results in the information being considered false, with a 1 resulting in the information being revealed to be totally false.

Perhaps the most infamous act of Espionage is Assassination. An assassination is simply when an agent attempts to kill someone of importance (A General, a Ruler, a relative of a Ruler married to another Ruler, another Spy, etc). To attempt an assassination, a player must first specify a specific target to be killed (a General, for example). Next, for narrative purposes, the player must explain how the target should be killed (poison, "accident", a stabbing in his tent, etc). Upon specifying a target and their method of being killed, a Die (D-6) is rolled; a 5 or higher is considered a successful assassination, and the target is killed; anything below a 5 results in the target not being killed. After rolling for whether the target is assassinated, another Die roll is triggered to determine: if the target was killed, does the assassination raise any alarm and does the assassin escape unnoticed; or, if the target was not assassinated, if the assassin remains undetected. If the target was killed, a Die roll of 5 or higher results in the assassin escaping without being detected; a Die roll below a 5 results in the assassin being captured. If the target is not assassinated, a Die roll of 5 or higher results in the assassin escaping without being detected; a Die roll below a 5 results in the assassin being captured. From that point on, the capturing nation is then free to take whatever action it feels is necessary (like interrogating the assassin).

The last famous form of Espionage, and one of the simplest to understand, is Sabotage. Sabotage is when an agent damages or destroys a body belonging to another country (an army, a building, etc). Sabotage targets can range from the most mundane like docks and libraries, to the more exciting like military defenses and provisions. To attempt to sabotage something, first a player must specify the target they wish to sabotage. Upon selecting the target and sending the order to the Game Master, a Die roll (D-6) is done to determine if the sabotage attempt is successful; a 3 and above means that the sabotage is successful, while anything below a 3 means that the sabotage attempt was unsuccessful. No matter the outcome of the first Die roll, however, another Die is rolled to determine if the saboteur escapes undetected; a 3 and above means that the saboteur escapes undetected, while anything below a 3 means that the saboteur is captured. Upon being captured, the capturing nation is then free to take whatever action it feels is necessary (like interrogating the saboteur).

Intrigue is the formulation and enactment of conspiracies, usually within government or a royal court. Intrigue is similar to espionage There are only a few acts of Intrigue, though they are quite powerful. Intrigue is also similar in that every act is determine by a D-6 roll, with 3 and above meaning success and anything below a 3 meaning failure, along with discovery of the plot.

One act of Intrigue is the arrangement of marriages without the other player's consent. To attempt to arrange a match between two people, a player must first specify which two people they want to attempt to arrange to marry. Once both targets are specified and the order is sent to the Game Master, a Die (D-6) is rolled to determine the success of the endeavor; a 3 and above means that the plot succeeds and the couple are arranged to be married, while anything below a 3 means that the plot failed. No matter the result of the first Die roll, a second Die (D-6) is rolled to determine if the conspirators remain undetected; a 3 and above means that the conspirators remain undetected, while anything below a 3 means that the conspirators are detected, revealing the player that launched the conspiracy. From that point on, the affected nation is then free to do whatever it wishes with the information it has gained.

Another act of Intrigue is the removal of key leaders from their current positions. To attempt to remove a leader from their post, a player must first specify what leader they wish to attempt to remove. Upon selecting the target and sending the order to the Game Master, a Die (D-6) is rolled to determine the conspiracy's success; a 3 and above results in the target being removed from their post and being unable to return to their post until the next turn, while anything below a 3 results in the conspiracy failing to remove the target from their post. No matter the result of the first Die roll, a second Die (D-6) is rolled to determine if the conspirators remain undetected; a 3 and above results in the conspirators remaining undetected, while anything below a 3 means that the conspirators are detected, revealing the player that launched the conspiracy. From that point on, the affected nation is then free to do whatever it wishes with the information it has gained.

All of these actions and their results are revealed only to the affected players by a message from the Game Master. The Dice rolls will not be shared with either party when sending the results of Espionage and Intrigue attempts. Thus, while Espionage and Intrigue can be quite powerful if used correctly, caution and skepticism should remain when considering the results.

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Dynasties and Royal Houses

Although not all countries might have a ruling Dynasty, most countries' governments will have some sort of ruling family or house that presides over the country and makes all of the decisions. A Dynasty is simply a series of rulers from the same family that rule a nation or play an overall key part in the government. Every player that starts out wit a Royal Family must start out with the Ruler and 2 other Immediate Family Members (Mom, Dad, Brothers, Sisters, etc).

The most important members of a Royal Family are the Ruler (or Rulers) and their immediate family. Royal Marriages between countries can only take place between either the Ruler (or Rulers) and their immediate family. No other extended family can be used in Royal Marriages. For example, the Queen of X country could marry the King of Y country, or the Queen's sister of X country could marry the King's brother of Y country; however, marriages between cousins, half cousins, aunts, uncles, etc, will not be allowed for international Royal Marriages and will not be tracked.

Every turn, every important couple (King and the Queen-Consort of a country, King of X and Queen of Y, marriage between family of 2 different monarchs, etc) gets a D-6 rolled for them to determine if an event happened that turn. If the Die rolls values 2 through 5, then nothing happens; if the Die rolls a 6, a positive event happens, which could be a Child being born form the marriage, relations are improved, or another positive outcome that might be considered (The GM may contact the player to ask what kind of positive event should occur if the GM is troubled in selecting a positive event). If the Die rolls a value of 1, then a Negative Event occurs for that couple; perhaps a child is miscarried, relations are damaged, or one of them dies due to specific circumstances in the game (for example, if the King and Queen couple roll a 1, and say the King is old, sick, and currently on campaign, perhaps the King dies).

Although only the Ruler(s) and their immediate family may be used for Royal Marriages, the other members of the Royal Family may still play a part in the game. Giving relatives generalship of a force could have positive effects such as less chance of that army rebelling should unfortunate events arise, or the general becomes particularly skilled in battle, giving you a named leader with a bonus who comes from the royal family.

Ultimately, it is up to the player to control and manage their family tree and only their family tree.

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Government and Unrest

Every player nation in Estia has some form of Government. Government is simply the body that controls and directs a society in a given area. Whether it be roads being built, taxes being collected, wars being waged, laws being enforced, or religious ceremonies being held, government influences many aspects of a society and is how the player controls their country. The player plays as the Ruler or Head of State for their nation, and has great (almost total) control over his or her government. Although every nation has some form of government, not every custom nation will have the same government. Some nations might have monarchies, where rule of the country is passed down through some form of succession, or representative governments like Democracies and Republics. Some might be mixtures or combinations of different ideas and concepts, like Horde where rule is determined by a vote between the chiefs for example. Not all governments will act or play the same, however almost all governments influence the same aspects of society.

Monarchies, except for specific circumstances, usually allow for Royal Marriages and relations between Royal Houses or Dynasties. Monarchies come in many shapes and sizes, however the basic ideas is the same: Rule is transferred between a small group of people through a form of succession. It could be Elective, where perhaps the Royal Family votes on who should rule, or primogeniture for example, where the first child becomes the next ruler. Monarchies come in many forms, from tribal chiefs to horde leaders to military dictators.

Democracies and Republics are different from Monarchies, though can have some similar qualities. Typically, rule of the country is determined by voting in some way shape or form; whether it be all male soldiers voting for their ruler or senators voting on a group of people to become rulers, the basic rule of voting determines the ruler(s) remains constant. Representative governments can be similar to monarchies though; perhaps there is a Royal Family or multiple Royal Families that compete for control of the government, in which case Royal Marriages could be allowed even through it is, say, a Republic. These are usually exceptions to the rule, however, not the norm.

There are other forms of government that, although maybe not as famous or used by players, could be considered when creating a nation. A theocracy, for example, which is a government revolving around religion, could be used in creating a custom nation. Furthermore, aspects and concepts associated with some form of government could be combined with other ideas to form a hybrid or unique government. There are some exceptions though: the Modern concepts of Socialism, Communism, and other "-ism's" do not exist yet. However, that does not mean that a few concepts or ideas could not also be taken to form a custom player government.

While playing as your custom nation, there may come times when dire situations occur or disasters happen. As a result, the general populace might become unhappy, and the growth of this unhappiness might lead to rebellion. This is called unrest. Unrest can happen as a result of many different negative events that might occur when playing: For example, perhaps a long-dormant volcano suddenly erupts, killing many in the general area; as a result, the populace might believe that, for example, their god or gods have forsaken them or that their government has been forsaken. Another example is during war, perhaps you fought a battle you should've avoided which resulted in you losing terribly, with a great human cost. A quick and sudden loss of a great number of lives could make your populace unhappy, and further defeats and military disasters could turn that unhappiness into anger, which leads to rebellion and unrest.

However, there are ways to avoid unrest. For example, being a rich and prosperous nation has a positive effect on your populace's sentiment; people simply can't be extremely unhappy when they are safe, fed, and healthy with money to spend and places to go. Randomly-generated positive events could also help to appease your populace. For example, a particularly bountiful harvest could be considered a sign of divine favor, raising your populace's happiness and sentiment towards their government and their ruler(s).

Should events not go in a player's favor, however, and all attempts to appease the populace have failed, then the ultimate result is the transformation of the populace's unhappiness into anger and violent insurrection. Rebellions are acts of open resistance to the government, usually violent, and can take many shapes and forms. Ultimately, the goal of a rebellion is to either change or even completely erase the existing government in an attempt to make things better for the rebels. Many groups can take to open rebellion, whether it be peasants and farmers who have been taxed too much or armies and soldiers who have lost confidence in their ruler. Defeated foes could also enter open rebellion in an attempt to reverse the result of a previous war, or even fight for independence. Rebellions can vary in size, from simple riots in the capital city to massive civil wars that split nations into pieces. Because of the extremely varied nature of unrest and rebellion, forms of unrest may be unique to certain player nations: a nation that has slavery could see a revolt of slaves, which would be impossible for another player nation that does not have slavery. As a result, there are many different ways to deal with unrest and rebellion: one simple way is by use of force; armies and soldiers can be used to quell unrest and fight rebels should the need arise. Players may also seek a more diplomatic approach and try to come into an agreement with the rebels or agree to changes that are desired. Espionage and Intrigue could also be used to quell unrest, though it is risky.

Ultimately, players and their governments have a great deal of influence in many aspects of their society. Player nations should have varying and somewhat unique governments, which may function similarly or differently than their neighbors. All nations are under the threat of unhappiness and unrest and are susceptible to its many sources, but also have a wide array of paths to choose from when dealing with unrest.

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Disasters, Epidemics, and other Random World Events

While time passes and the game progresses, random events may occur that can be Negative, Positive, or Neutral in nature. At the GM's discretion, two D-6's (6 Sided Dice) will be rolled to determine if anything significant outside of player influence occurs in the game world. A Random Event can only occur if the GM rolls a Double with the dice (So, for example, a 1-1 or a 2-2). If the GM rolls a Double, then the value that is being Doubled will be used to determine whether the random event is positive, negative, neutral, and perhaps the severity of it. For example, say the GM rolls two 6's (6-6). Perhaps next turn the world experiences a particularly warm period, so crops are particularly bountiful for that turn. Another example is the inverse, where the GM might roll two 1's (1-1). Perhaps the world goes into a period of cool weather, wrecking havoc on the harvests for that turn. Or perhaps a natural disaster happens, such as a volcano erupting, resulting in damage to a certain area as well as ripple effects like Ash damaging distant crop yields.

There is a wide range of possibilities and events that can result from these dice rolls. The rolls will not happen every turn, for they are up to the GM's discretion. Disease outbreaks, earthquakes, warm years, new discoveries, and even foreign visitors could all be rolled for as Random World Events. However, Random Events may be ignored at the GM's discretion if he or she considers it to be an unfit time for such an event, possibly one sided for certain players, or otherwise unnecessary. Ultimately, it is up to the GM to decide whether the event in question would positively impact the players and the game experience.
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Etiquette and General Rules

While rules regarding the game mechanics are vast and detailed, players would do well to remember that, above all else, this is just a game that is being played for fun and enjoyment. There is no such thing as "Winning" in a Balance of Power game, for the overall objective of the game is to have fun and interact with other players in order to create a memorable experience.

Regarding player etiquette, one thing to remember is that the actions of the players in game does not reflect the character and personality of the player outside of the game. Furthermore, the game thread should not be the place to discuss inter-player relations and outside affairs. The game thread is where the players become their nations and should be treated as such when interacting on the game thread.

The game thread is where players role play their rulers and nations and play the game. The discussion or Out-Of-Character Thread should be where players, not pretending to be their nations, discuss and converse about the events unfolding in the game. The Game Thread is public and should only contain public actions or materials the players would consider to be public; private treaties, agreements, orders, messages etc should instead be sent directly to the GM via Private Message, Email, or other private means.

Player competition is healthy, and attempting to gain advantages in a Balance of Power game is common. However, players should not take to extreme efforts to put themselves into the best position possible by abusing the game mechanics, other players, and by other dastardly means. Powergaming in particular is unsportsmanlike, unwelcome, and not appreciated. If there ever comes a time when a ruling or rule comes into question, the affected player should bring the issue up in the Out-Of-Character thread for future review and discussion; however, rules will not be changed mid-session and requests to rewrite the rules will be denied. If a player continually and persistently causes disruption as a result of attempting to abuse or change the rules to better their own position, they may be removed from the session or the session may be terminated altogether, in which case the course of action following the termination of the session is to review the rules without the quarreling player's input and turn to other GM's and/or the main player base for input.

Anger or frustration towards other players is healthy and understandable. However, personal attacks stemming from in-game actions or repeated hostilities based on a player's actual character and not the actions of their nation are strictly prohibited. Hostile players may be removed from the session at the GM's discretion, or if the overwhelming majority of the player base requests a particularly toxic player to be removed.

Players are expected to try to have fun. That is all. Players can set their own personal objectives and goals for what they want to accomplish in the game, however the overarching goal is to create an enjoyable experience and drive the narrative forward. If you are looking for a game of intense technical skill and clear winners and losers that focuses on winning above all else, then you are looking in the wrong place. If you are looking for a game where you can interact with other players, fulfill personal objectives and goals, influence and instigate events and watch them unfold before your very eyes and engage in jolly cooperation or player competition, and are willing to roll with the narrative to see where it leads, then you have come to the right place.
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« Last Edit: December 30, 2016, 09:10:48 pm by Volk »

Offline Volk

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« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2016, 02:53:54 am »
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