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Subject: How many Haralds? rss

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I'm working on this Viking-themed board game, and thought I should let each player choose one out of 6 historical Vikings.

That inevitably raises the question: how many Haralds to include? Would it be fun to let them all be Haralds? Or would it simply be interpreted as an unsuitable outburst of megalomania on my behalf?

Should I go for for example:

Harald Bluetooth
Harald Greycloak
Harold Godwinson
Harald Hardraada
Harald Fairhair
Harold Harefoot

Or would it be better to choose for example:

Harald Fairhair
Rollo of Normandy
Leif Erikson
Canute the Great
Rurik
Ingvar the far-travelled
?

Best wishes,
Harald
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Almarr Ormarsson
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I say just one.
 
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which one?
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Harald Torvatn
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Mondainai wrote:
I'm working on this Viking-themed board game, and thought I should let each player choose one out of 6 historical Vikings.

That inevitably raises the question: how many Haralds to include? Would it be fun to let them all be Haralds? Or would it simply be interpreted as an unsuitable outburst of megalomania on my behalf?

Should I go for for example:

Harald Bluetooth
Harald Greycloak
Harold Godwinson
Harald Hardraada
Harald Fairhair
Harold Harefoot

Or would it be better to choose for example:

Harald Fairhair
Rollo of Normandy
Leif Erikson
Canute the Great
Rurik
Ingvar the far-travelled
?

Best wishes,
Harald


There can never be to many Haralds.
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Harald Torvatn
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Mondainai wrote:
which one?

If there is to be only one, Harald Fairhair is the obvious one.
 
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But Bluetooth would be so nice to draw for the illustrator ... In fact, having two Haralds is also an option, it's actually quite appropriate. And with Knut being my middle name, I would still be represented by half of them devil

ps.and why are there Pirate and Ninja emoticons, but no Viking? Outrageous!
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Wulf Corbett
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Mondainai wrote:
But Bluetooth would be so nice to draw for the illustrator ... In fact, having two Haralds is also an option, it's actually quite appropriate. And with Knut being my middle name, I would still be represented by half of them devil

Bluetooth should be included even if only for the look of confusion when you explain that's where the mobile phone facility was named from

There's nothing wrong with a couple of Haralds though.
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Sam Phinizy
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How about throwing in good old Ivar the Boneless?
 
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Harald Korneliussen
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I think Erik the red should replace Leif Eriksson the list with Rurik and Rollo and the lot. What's a viking game without at least one murderous maniac? and the Greenland settlement was more successful than the American one anyway arrrh

(Edit: Wrong Erik!)
 
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Wulf Corbett
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gunboat wrote:
How about throwing in good old Ivar the Boneless?

Good idea, but how to represent him? Is there any consensus on exactly why he was 'boneless'?
 
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According to the all-knowing Wikipedia, the most popular theory for Ivar the Boneless bonelessness is a crippling disease that makes the bones so brittle that one, in extreme cases, can't walk.

Other theories include having no legs ("ben"=bone,leg), being impotent, and a reference to being a (powerful) snake.

In any case, he is reported as being carried in battle, so he can simply be drawn as being carried by others. And why not throw in a snake. But I rather not illustrate the impotence

Erik the Red is quite a character. Killed a neighbor who wouldn't return a shovel he had borrowed. Nice name too. And Greenland was indeed 100 times more successful than Vineland. But Leif Erikson just have to be in any list that allows Vikings other than Haralds, Vikings vs American Indians is simply to fascinating to ignore.

But the question remains: is having 6 Haralds in the game a good joke or a bad joke?

And what about this guy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-fvLs5KXWYI ?
 
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One or all, for the sake of clarity/variety or comedy. Either works, but two doesn't work as well on either count...unless they are brothers.
 
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Wulf Corbett
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Mondainai wrote:
But the question remains: is having 6 Haralds in the game a good joke or a bad joke?

At least if you include them all you have a ready made title - Haraldsaga.
Quote:

Only if his name is Harald...
 
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Tom anonymous
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Mondainai wrote:
But the question remains: is having 6 Haralds in the game a good joke or a bad joke?


I think it's a good joke (especially if your name is clear on the outside of the box so I'd get the joke if I got the game). I'd certainly smile when I saw the different character names. But I have a wierd sense of humour, and am easily pleased.
I don't think there'd be any problem distinguishing them, as players would just refer to them by their second name.
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Gerald Robinson
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Hardraada
 
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I summarize this as:

Good Joke - Bad Joke 1-0

Any more votes?
 
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Wulf Corbett
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I vote good.
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Orson Scott Card (one of my favorite sci-fi authors) has this to say:

First rule: No two characters in the same story can have their key name (i.e., the one most commonly referred to) start with the same letter or the same sound).

He has a point, especially if you want an English-speaking audience for your game. One of the things that is annoying about Lord of the Rings is that many characters have similar sounding names, and when the last time you heard about the character was 200 pages ago, you're like, "Wait, wasn't he the guy who died...?"

In a game, it's doubly important to distinguish the characters, especially if they have unique abilities important to gameplay.

You can read the rest of Orson's short essay here:
http://www.hatrack.com/writingclass/lessons/2003-03-05-1.sht...
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Good Joke - Bad Joke 2-0

Good point with character names. I didn't start enjoying Tolkien until I learned to not keep track of all the names in there.

In this game, however, the names would be more like a "Mr." in front of Bluetooth, Fairfair, Greycloak, Hardraada, Harefoot and Godwinson, and they would have colors as well (in fact, the names and images of the Vikings are only flavor, the game itself is entirely symmetric)
 
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Wulf Corbett
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Mondainai wrote:
In this game, however, the names would be more like a "Mr." in front of Bluetooth, Fairfair, Greycloak, Hardraada, Harefoot and Godwinson, and they would have colors as well (in fact, the names and images of the Vikings are only flavor, the game itself is entirely symmetric)

That's a shame - I was hoping for something with a bit of historical detail, if not accuracy... For years I was a member of a Viking re-enactment society - this lot http://www.glasgowvikings.co.uk/ - so I have a bit of an interest

Some background detail to the names would be nice to include in a game, anyway.
 
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Mik Svellov
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I like the idea - as long as you ensure that their second names are prominently featured and easy to distinqish.

So I suggest that you call Harald Hardrada for Harald Sigurdsson.
 
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Good Joke - Bad Joke 3-0

But "Hardrada" is so much more well-known than "Sigurdson". And it also means something (hard ruler). I like it that these names means something, gives more flavor to it (and makes it more fun to draw). So I am considering kicking out Godwinson and replace him with "Harald Whetstone", although the latter is less "Vikingish".

As for the historical part, the game is a model of trading/plundering and city growth/decline and is inspired by Sid Meier's Pirates!, Economics, and Douglas North's theory of the birth of government (you start out as a raider, but eventually you'll find it more profitable to "adopt" a country, and then you have to protect this/these from the other players). I started working on it after getting annoyed by the random, arbitrary and unrealistic trade parameters in games like Ostindiska Kompaniet. It's got a very fun mechanic for how the wind blows (which affects how fast and safe you can travel), so the theme needed to be a seafarer/plunderer/colonization theme so I was choosing between Vikings, Pirates and some Phoenician theme. The choice fell on Vikings as that inspired the illustrator the most (don't mess with the illustrator's divine inspiration) and it goes well with my nationality and name so to speak, hence the idea of 6 Haralds.

(There is an advanced version of the game in which you customize your ships to give them different abilities, and I think that one should get the Pirate theme, makes it all chronological somehow.)

Here's a game that goes some way towards "modeling" the Viking Age: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/282. I dislike all the dice-rolling, but I like the psychological aspect that you can attack other players, but you don't have to, which makes for much more tension (like in Adv Civ, and as different from wargames).

I'm personally terrified at the idea of making historical games. There is this trade-off between factual accuracy and balance/playability, and I am worried about ending up with tons of tables and paragraphs and still have history buffs spank my ass.

So there will be a little historical presentation of each Viking in the rules, along with a disclaimer that states that the game itself has nothing to do with anything
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Mik Svellov
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I find that the greatest problem with Vikingatid wasn't the dicerolling, but the ultrasmall areas that made it tough to stack tokens and see the stats in them.
 
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David Hunter
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2 Haralds good, 6 Haralds better...
 
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Wulf Corbett
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Mondainai wrote:
But "Hardrada" is so much more well-known than "Sigurdson". And it also means something (hard ruler). I like it that these names means something, gives more flavor to it (and makes it more fun to draw). So I am considering kicking out Godwinson and replace him with "Harald Whetstone", although the latter is less "Vikingish".

I'd stick with Godwinson, I've heard of him (although I may have an advantage there!), but I never heard of Harald Whetstone.

Wulf
 
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