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Subject: Creating a skirmish campaign setting. rss

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Kai Bettzieche
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Hi folks

For my skirmish system I'd like to create a small campaign setting:
The skirmishes take place in a city. Scattered across the map there are circles (9, currently), highlighting the districts of the city:
Traders' Quarter, Marketplace, Sunrise Gate, Parade Grounds, Castle Portgaard, Trading Port, Military Docks, High Ground, Merchants' Gate

Now, my question to you is: where to proceed from here?

My main concern: How can a campaign be handled?
My experience is, one player als takes on the role of a moderator, keeping an eye of each player's score (here: which player controls which district).
Do you happen to have different experiences or know of different methods of keeping track? Preferably a way, where each player can keep track of all players' progressions?
(My guess is: send email back and forth .. but I let you surprise me )

Also: What can I do with those districts?
I'd like to avoid a scenario, where an already strong player (as in a player, that already has claimed a couple of districts) is rewarded by becoming even stronger.

So, my ideas were:
- Each district brings a certain modifier for a match at that district, such as bonus on life, bonus on regular damage, bonus on skill damage (or on skills in general) ..
- Each participating player defines one district as his home district. When fighting on his home district, a player's fighter gets a bonus on pretty much everything (attack, defense, life and whatelse) - he is supposed to be hard to kill there.

Different idea (inspired/blatantly copied from Guild Wars):
Instead of each player playing his own "guild", the city's populace is divided into two factions: The loyalists and the rebels.
Each faction starts with 4 of the districts, the 9th district is the first one being fought over.
The more districts one faction has claimed, the bigger the advantage for the weaker faction.

The sooner idea causes a more straightforward approach, where an end could be in sight pretty soon.
The later idea, however, allows for a longer campaign, where the two factions are constantly pushing back and forth on the map.



So, what do you think about those ideas?
Did you create campaigns for your games?
If so, what where they about?



Kind regards,
Kai
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Mike Esko
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another idea,

IF there is movement, you can have a deck of cards that have different objectives.
You draw an objective and it has something that you have to do, in one district, and you get a reward for completing it.. kind of like a mission.
If there is a conflict while attempting to complete the mission, any fighter within their own district gets a bonus.

Then you are only getting organic bonuses if someone invades your turf.
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Kai Bettzieche
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Hi Mike,

thanks for the reply.
I don't get exactly, what you mean by "organic bonuses";
I like the idea of random objectives, though ..

Currently, "objectives" are rather "scenarios" like "capture the flag", "king of th hill" and the likes ..

Different (or even additional) objectives might be a cool idea, though ..

Now, I just need to figure out, what kind of objectives I could use ..



Meanwhile, a preview of the map:



Artwork by http://www.fantasticmaps.com/free-stuff/



Kind regards,
Kai
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Jason Mancini
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I really like your map Kai. Did you do that yourself?
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Kai Bettzieche
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Alas, no I didn't.
All I did was adding the red dots and the scrolls.

Added the posting above accordingly ..



Kind regards,
Kai
 
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Craig C
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Sounds cool. Here's a slightly different idea:

Two factions vie for control of the city, the loyalists and rebels. Each district provides a certain bonus, or a special unit, to the controlling faction, and each turn the players choose which district they're going to attack.

When opposing players choose the same district, they fight a skirmish. If a player chooses a district unopposed, they get the district without a fight. Perhaps nobody gets the bonus for that district if they're skirmishing there, but they do get bonuses during that skirmish for other districts they control.

If you "score" the game in terms of district ownership, then it's clear what each player's score is, and the bonuses conferred by the various districts become the balancing mechanism.

If you don't want to force players into two teams, then each player could control a gang/guild/mob and could declare their loyalty at certain points in the game. And when one faction has control of a certain number of districts, that faction wins, and each player who's declared for that faction wins a shared victory.

Or perhaps the player on the winning faction who controls the most districts wins the game outright. That could create tension where rebel players are trying to position themselves for solo victory, while not screwing their companions over badly enough to allow the loyalists to win, or something like that.
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Sturv Tafvherd
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A different spin, borrowed from the mmorpg "Dark Age of Camelot"

Two factions, each controls 3 strongpoints (your dots).
-- One stronghold holds the Might relic for their faction.
-- One stronghold holds the Power relic for their faction.
-- The third stronghold (Home) is a key to the supply chain (losing it means your troops take longer to get to where they want to go)

The 3 other strongpoints (near middle of the map) are neutral. But when you capture one (or more) of them, you get:
-- your supply chain is extended (ie... you can respawn from that strongpoint instead of your Home.)
-- when you capture an enemy Relic, you can store it in that strongpoint.

(note: you can't store enemy Relics in your initial 3 strongholds)

Capturing AND storing an enemy relic gives you a bonus.
Losing your relic costs a penalty.

Victory condition has nothing to do with the relics ... you just need to hold onto your 3 initial strongholds and capture at least 3 other strongholds.
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Kai Bettzieche
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Hmmmm ...

I like that "hidden loyalty" at the beginning ...

Also: When two players meet, each of them could claim a certain position;
However, can you be sure of what you just heard, or did your opponent deliberately lie to you for whatever reason?

(Did I just hear someone whisper "politics" here .. ??)

Hmmmmm ...

The dots on the map are rather meant to be "places you can take control of" rather than "point-to-point-movement" dots, so the "capture the relics" idea is cool, but would need to be twisted in order to fit: you don't exactly have to go to a certain point (much less: within a certain time frame); you just say "now I'm there - let's fight"..
However, I like the idea of "stealing relics and storing them someplace else" ...

Hmmmmmmmmm



Thank you and kind regards,
Kai
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Kai Bettzieche
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Ok, on to the "scenarios", you can play at the locations:

1.) Deathmatch: The classic - the team eliminating each of the opposing fighters wins.
2.) Capture The Flag: Get into the enemy team's base, grab the flag and bring it into your base while your own flag is still in your base!
3.) King of the hill: Hold a certain position a certain number of turns (consecutive or over all)
4.) Bombing run: Bring the bomb from the center of the map into the enemy's base before it detonates in your hands.


Any more ideas?



Kind regards,
Kai
 
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Craig C
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They should be thematic depending on the area of the city you are fighting over.

Also, if you're doing factions or hidden roles, the rebels or loyalists could have a particular goal for a battlefield, and the players could choose which one of them they want to fulfill.

Some NPCs could be moving goods or making a delivery, and players could intercept the valuables and take them to their base, earning a weapon or magic item.
 
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Kai Bettzieche
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Thematic ...

Hmmm ...

Actually, that makes sense ...

I even already thought of Dota-like maps, where you have to destroy opposing forts ...
Such a setup whithing a city makes theme wise very little sense, of course ..

So, let's see, what we've got:

Trader's Quarter
Market Place
High Ground
Military Docks
Trading Port
Merchant's Gate
Sunrise Gate
Parade Grounds
Castle Portgaard

What scenarios could we get there?

(Note: while stuff like "rescue the civilians" makes perfect sense, this is about skirmishes between two teams and players have to provide everything by themselves.. Counters for said civilians, too.. So this is probably a nogo)

High Ground - that name screams for a "King of the hill" Scenario: Conquer control points, each control point gives 1VP at the end of the turn, first team to get 20VP wins the match.
Parade Grounds - a quick match: Last man standing wins.
Trader's Quarter - Here we could create a "tug-of-war" treasure hunt: get the chest from the center of the map into your base.
Market Place - counters are distributed evenly and face down across the map. The teams would have to carry those tokens into their base. On the face down side, there is a VP value. The team with more VP at the end wins.

So much for the first couple of ideas ...
(Particular goals, depending on faction ... hmmm ... wouldn't that prevent the idea of "hidden factions"?)

Any more?



Kind regards,
Kai
 
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Kai Bettzieche
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Stepping back from a project to go for another take on on a different day usually is a good idea.

Here is a cover:



Here are some ideas:



During the campaign, you don't play in teams anymore: Instead each player plays with his own Guild of Heroes.
Each player starts out with 4 Heroes, forming the core of his Guild.
For each district on the map, each player creates another Hero, which will become available to that very player, as soon as he occupies the according district.

At the beginning of the campaign, distribute the disctricts evenly among the players. (I need to make them 12 districts apparently, so they can be distributed between 2, 3 and 4 players!)

Each turn begins with each player declaring war on another player and thus attacking one of that player's districts.
Usually you will get 2 player matches this way; if more than one player attacks a district, you will have more players during a match.
The winner keeps the district (and thus may unlock a new Hero available to his Guild).

While each match will be fought out with 4 Heroes only, your Guild consists of more than 4 Heroes and thus your selection of Guild members to field varies over time!

Also you may negotiate in a way like "I'll give you district X for district Y. Oh, you don't want to trade? Well, then I'll have to attack, it seems."
Or "hey, how about you try to kick out player A out of district X? Then I'll try to kick player B out of district Y next turn?"
Or whatever you can make up.
Negotiating becomes the metagame of the campaign!

The winner is the player who has eliminated all other Guilds.
(Alternately, a player who occupies a certain number of districts).

Bigger Map:




Kind regards,
Kai
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George P.E., PMP, DM
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Kai,

As a long-time fantasy RPG player, I love the direction of your design so far.

Are the guilds all equal and fighter-like? Or will one guild be better at open warfare (fighter guild), one better at commercial enterprises (merchant guild), one better at subterfuge (spy/thief guild), etc.? Or does each individual Hero have strengths and weaknesses like particular guilds or 'cross-trained' to improve a guild (as a thief guild picking up a warrior Hero)?
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Kai Bettzieche
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Hi George,

thanks for your interest!

If you like fantasy RPGs and skirmish games, you might want to look into my game I'm creating this campaign for:
Whack & Slaughter

Each player may compose his Heroes according to the same rules.
There are no predefined Guilds, forcing you to focus on melee or magic or whatelse. So, if you want to, you could even play the military arm of the Merchants' Guild and it is entirely up to you to define, how it looks like.
But, yes, all Guilds are combat oriented, so everything non combat related (bribes, trades, treaties or whatelse) is "metagame" and, though encouraged, not covered by the rules.

So, with the initial creation of different Heroes and thus the creation of your initial Guild you get a good array of Heroes you may pick your selection of Heroes for a fight from. And by unlocking more Heroes during the game, you could even improve your Guild further, e.g. by adding an iron clad tank to your otherwise agile and fragile but hard hitting assassins.



Kind regards,
Kai
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D Conklin
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schattentanz wrote:
Ok, on to the "scenarios", you can play at the locations:

1.) Deathmatch: The classic - the team eliminating each of the opposing fighters wins.
2.) Capture The Flag: Get into the enemy team's base, grab the flag and bring it into your base while your own flag is still in your base!
3.) King of the hill: Hold a certain position a certain number of turns (consecutive or over all)
4.) Bombing run: Bring the bomb from the center of the map into the enemy's base before it detonates in your hands.


Any more ideas?
http://www.gnomestew.com/gming-advice/gnome-stews-giant-list...
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mike heim
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A couple of ideas for mechanics:

1) Avalon Hill's Diplomacy with Paper-Rock-Scissors type of units. Maybe Rogues, Guards, and Mages that can be recruited from a communal pool at the beginning of each turn. Whoever is lowest in score gets to recruit first.

2) Escape: Curse of the Temple or Steampark mechanic where the players are racing to match their dice to needed numbers in the districts. It becomes more difficult for the player with more districts because he has to match more of his numbers...

3) You could turn it into a Pick-up-and-deliver game where factions are trying to deliver illicit goods to other districts to earn their support. The city could be ruled by an evil king that doesn't allow X or Y goods so you're trying to deliver them a gain reputation while also dropping hints to the City Guard about where you think your opponent will send his goods that turn.

There are a lot of great ideas that could be had.
I love the art! When I see a map out there I'd like to use, I usually email the artists and they gladly give permission as long as I link to their webpage for more exposure!
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George P.E., PMP, DM
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schattentanz wrote:
If you like fantasy RPGs and skirmish games, you might want to look into my game I'm creating this campaign for:
Whack & Slaughter
Your game looks very interesting to me. I know it's web published, but does anyone sell pre-assembled games?

I know it's a video game reference, but the vibe I'm getting is similar to running around Rome in Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood recruiting and dealing with guilds. That's a really good thing, in my opinion, because I like that theme and setting. I do NOT think you're copying AC in any way as I think yours is original, I just have the same sense of excitement.

I'm guessing you can add intrigue as a later expansion


Edit: Link blew up, so I removed it.
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Kai Bettzieche
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Still tinkering on this ...

It just occured to me, that Sturv's suggestion above actually works very good as a skirmish scenario (rather than on the city-map)!

Also, I like Mike's idea of implementing some pick up and deliver stuff into the meta game - I have yet to figure out, how

Intrigue ... hmmm ... that might be something for the metagame as well, when players start negotiating about districts ...

Hmmmmmmmmmmm ....



As always:
Thank you for reading and kind regards,
Kai
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