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Twilight Imperium (Third Edition)» Forums » Variants

Subject: Political Roleplaying in Twilight Imperium rss

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Kallan Greybe
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TI3 has pretty quickly managed to become one of my favourite event games. The thing that stands out for me though is how naturally the mechanics encourage players to step into their roles as would-be intergalactic dictators with pretty much every game I've played descending into gloriously bombastic politicking.

My question is how do we take this particular little bit of awesome and dial it up?

I've done a bit of thinking and here are a couple of tweaks that jump out:

No end-game conditions - treating TI as more of a roleplaying experience means the goal is having a good story to tell. Sure, leave victory points in there as goals, every good story needs hooks, but there shouldn't be any arbitrary limits placed on the story. This naturally leads to...

Pre-turn diplomacy phase - One of the more frustrating features of the games I've played has involved the tendency for players to only trade or deal with the players next to them. A diplomacy phase, especially one which steps away from the table, will definitely drag the game out, but would give more opportunities to potentially discuss alliances.

More votes - potentially contentious, and obviously will extend the game quite a lot, but some of the best moments in every game I've played have involved the tense discussion over a particularly juicy politics card. Having a mandatory vote at some point each turn would encourage that to happen more often, with the obvious caveat that you'd want to be careful about balancing the impact of the cards: one or two really contentious discussions is great; arguing *every* turn, not so much. That leads to...

GM/moderator - my intuition is that this would work best in terms of pre-game setup, seeding politics and action cards to fit a scenario or theme, or even outright writing the events in a traditional roleplaying sense. Now obviously there are some ways to do a limited version of this, in a sense this is what you get from the variants which have hands of politics cards, but increasing the amount of politics will probably make putting one person in charge pretty important.

And that's my first thoughts on this, but I'm pretty keen to hear from the old guard if they've thoughts or suggestions. I'm starting to get a group together for a new game soon and who knows, maybe I'll get to playtest some of the suggestions.
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