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Subject: Thinking the abstractions, to make the game more thematic rss

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Greg Lorrimer
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Harrow on the Hill
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Inspired by previous posts, and knowing my players are liable to have issues with the theme, I've thought of some abstraction ideas. Perhaps you can think of better ones. The list of possibilities I plumbed had the following:

Political
Economic
Market (cornering)
Bribery
Paperwork
Protection
Futures
Specialist (more saleable product at the end of journey?)

The narrative below is the result.

Any thoughts? Improvements? Mistakes? I haven't yet played this game.



You are servants of the 5 richest merchants in Venice. And you are buying goods for your masters, over the sea in the city of Ephesus at the end of the Silk Road, to be loaded on to your master's boat bound back for Venice.

The Ephesian markets are chaotic and filled with intrigue, so you take your buying opportunities as they become available.

Your master will reward three things:

1)getting good deals on goods in Ephesus
2)Gaining political influence in Ephesus and the Silk Road
3)helping your master to corner the markets back home in Venice.

All the boats are going back to Venice, so the Merchants will know how well their servants performed against the other servants. The totaled values on the goods cards indicate how well you did.

Back in Venice the warehouses are filled after the boats arrive, and can influence the Venetian market. The more of a good a warehouse has compared to the warehouses of the other merchants, the better your master can control the prices. And he will reward you accordingly.

Meanwhile, sometimes you have the chance to gain political favour for your master with an important Ephesian. You make a deal to lend space on the boat for the Ephesian's secret purposes; the black 7 card. The reward is high, but you lose out on goods for the warehouse.

Sometimes a high value load of value-added (processed) goods, a double goods card with a zero, comes to market. They make better use of space on the boat. Competition is high, so they don't make a good deal which is why you won't be rewarded. But they will put more value in the warehouse back in Venice.

You can also get more goods on the boat by bribing the Captain of the boat into storing extra goods instead of the crew's Ouzo rations, with a green goods card. This causes expenses for your master due to riots on the journey, so you are not rewarded for the goods. But you'll get more goods in the warehouse.

 
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Greg Lorrimer
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Harrow on the Hill
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Quote:

Sometimes a high value load of value-added (processed) goods, a double goods card with a zero, comes to market. They make better use of space on the boat. Competition is high, so they don't make a good deal which is why you won't be rewarded. But they will put more value in the warehouse back in Venice.


Hmmm, this doesn't really work, does it. The value is what it is, irrespective of the competition; it's never going to be bad unless you over-pay which is not a part of the game.

Perhaps instead, "a limited supply of value-added/processed goods that would be cheaper produced from the raw materials back in Venice, but take up less space. So there's no market reward for buying them, but they do increase the value of the contents of the warehouse".

Maybe too involved? Perhaps I need a simpler way to express that.

 
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