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Kingdom Death: Monster» Forums » General

Subject: On the use of baby mills... rss

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David Tolin
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Beaumont
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I'm wondering if it's common for KDM players to rely upon "baby mills" to keep settlement population at a high level. In KDM, making babies is risky business, and we've fallen into the habit of delegating the task to a single couple. For the first few lantern years, the task fell to Adam and Eve (appropriately), but after the coming of the Butcher, Adam and Eve were forced to take up arms and head into battle (because many of our warriors were too badly injured to be much help in the field).

So now, the most physically disadvantaged survivors, Buffy and Andrew, have assumed the mantle of Supreme Babymakers, and the population has steadily increased. On the one hand, this is very good, because Buffy has gifted us with three saviors in just two lantern years (again, appropriate). But, I'm starting to have some misgivings after noticing (via the handy KDM-Manager lineage tracker) that Buffy is both Angel's mom and his lover (we gave Andrew a short break because he was getting mouthy), and Spike is both Angel's son and his half-brother.

As wonderful as the lore in KDM is, I'm starting to think we're taking some teeth out of it by making procreation such a "gamey" element. Maybe we should be roleplaying this element as much as the rest and have survivors pair up, or not pair up, in ways (and frequencies) that make thematic sense?

I'd hate to lose one of our powerhouses to a bad roll on the intimacy table, but it feels cheap to just set up a risk-free baby mill and avoid all the potential terrors of childbirth. What does everyone else do?
 
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that Matt
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I'm a quitter. I come from a long line of quitters. It's amazing I'm here at all.
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Maybe we need an Incestuous Consequences expansion.
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Jacob Schoberg
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Elkhorn
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it's like an accident that we keep on knitting
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and knitting and knitting and knitting and knitting and knitting and knitting and knitting and knitting and knitting and knitting and knitting and knitting and knitting and knitting and knitting and knitting and knitting and knitting and knitting
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Ha, funny, one of my earlier campaigns started with Adam and Eve as the babymakers.

I oftentimes do the same as you, sending the same people in to make babies. If you've played any of the expansion campaigns, notably People of the Sun, this can be even more prevalent. Minor spoilers:
Spoiler (click to reveal)
People who are 'purified' or Sun Eaters get a bonus on the intimacy table


It is sort of gamey. Might be interesting to try and limit reproduction and see how it goes. Some possible suggestions:
1) Each female survivor can only birth once per LY.
2) New survivors can't take part in intimacy or hunts
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Fluid Karma
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We are actually using n4gol's remastered survivor sheets (available in the BGG files section) and keep track of the parents and children of a survivor. We try to make thematic pairings, most of the time this even works out. In bad times though, it may be that relatives must pair up... But never close relatives like mother and son. Just once we had to pair a brother and sister, but what works out in Game of Thrones must be allowed in KDM too, we thought

Edit: And we actually play that a female can only have one birth per LY!
 
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ArtSchool
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I find it 100% anti-thematic that the gimps of the settlement be used to maintain the species just to avoid the risks of the intimacy event. On a struggle for survival, the strongest, not the weakest, are the ones who should give birth to the offspring, yet the game punishes this logic very harshly. The chances of a mother's+child death are way too punishing (imagine choosing survival of the fittest lmfao). IMHO Intimacy is a game featrure that should be reviewed as a whole (principles, probabilities,saviors, stats of newborns).

For instance, a very easy to implement house rule concerning life principles would be changing the current settings to a simple adjustment of + or -1 on the intimacy roll when you choose. That swings chances a 10% up or down, not the absurd amount that we currently have. 2x rolls and choose the highest/lowest result have such a probability impact on the most important of the game variables (population is the game's hit points!!!) that I believe the game is almost broken as far as intimacy/population is concerned.



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David Tolin
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emodiu5 wrote:


It is sort of gamey. Might be interesting to try and limit reproduction and see how it goes. Some possible suggestions:
1) Each female survivor can only birth once per LY.


This is exactly what I was considering implementing. I don't know. I'm going to talk to the group and see what they want to do. I definitely think we should take whatever advantages the game gives us, but I also think we might enjoy it more if we saw these survivors as an actual society. Whichever way the settlement ends up going, it would be nice to look back on the lineage chart and see a history rather than a joke.
 
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Martin Welnicki
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Shu1984 wrote:
I find it 100% anti-thematic that the gimps of the settlement be used to maintain the species just to avoid the risks of the intimacy event. On a struggle for survival, the strongest, not the weakest, are the ones who should give birth to the offspring, yet the game punishes this logic very harshly. The chances of a mother's+child death are way too punishing (imagine choosing survival of the fittest lmfao). IMHO Intimacy is a game featrure that should be reviewed as a whole (principles, probabilities,saviors, stats of newborns).

For instance, a very easy to implement house rule concerning life principles would be changing the current settings to a simple adjustment of + or -1 on the intimacy roll when you choose. That swings chances a 10% up or down, not the absurd amount that we currently have. 2x rolls and choose the highest/lowest result have such a probability impact on the most important of the game variables (population is the game's hit points!!!) that I believe the game is almost broken as far as intimacy/population is concerned.


Maybe houserule that you add the average Strength of the pair to the Intimacy roll This would also boost SotF.
 
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Michael Melen
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It sounds like the game is just itching for a Sabine Women expansion.

One idea might be to introduce a random 'undesirable trait' with the probability being low if the parents are not related, and higher as the family 'closeness' gets higher.
 
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Corey Wilke
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Ferndale
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mjmelen wrote:
It sounds like the game is just itching for a Sabine Women expansion.

One idea might be to introduce a random 'undesirable trait' with the probability being low if the parents are not related, and higher as the family 'closeness' gets higher.


It would be interesting to have an intimacy principal. Does your society breed, mate for love, or mate for status? Restrictions on who can couple with who along with modifiers to the roll. This could interact interesting with the birth principal.

Breed any able bodied (limited number of disorders/injuries) no bonus.

love allows for closer relations coupling brother sister (not parents and kids) +2 but 11 the kid dies and both parents wander off as if the one was rolled 12 a savoir is born but the parents knowing their child will burn out soon retire when their child does and gain mutilated genitals (possibly switch this with ten to allow lantern ten to be cooler and not a bit of a drag). The power of love is strong...

Status cousins or further apart plus 1 an eleven is a festival birth lose an endeavor if able and if an endeavor is lost gain 2 basic or one monster resource as a gift from the newborn to the settlement (the parents had it hidden away...)
 
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Steve Trewartha
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These all sound like great ideas thematically, but I think there is enough to keep track of already without adding details of who is allowed to breed with who.
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Deon Beswick
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Fluff wise, I believe lantern years are of indeterminable length, so could actually be a number of (earth) years.

Also, some of the higher innovations for family and clan mean you want to breed people together with high weapon proficiency, for example.

But I agree in that our own groups have often bred from..."culls" or possibly "medical retirees" as a general avoidance of risk.

Re interbreeding, in a group of these tiny sizes it is inevitable.

I tend to keep track of parent/sibling relationships and my own current game of Lionstone Heights has two distinct bloodlines from non-combat, non-crippled mothers, so we can breed from the two different moieties (NB: social/ritual groups used in real-world small populations for reproductive purpose so one only breeds with members of the other).

But admittedly KDM takes me back a little to my anthropological and prehistorical studies...
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Henry Akeley
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Nothing in the rules says that a survivor missing both his/her legs with a destroyed back still can't reproduce...........though I imagine the intimacy is none too intimate.

I think People of the Sun tries to fix this by forcing some survivors into partnerships during [campaign specific story event]. Man I miss that campaign. Kind of want to start another People of the Sun campaign.
 
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