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How do you stat out and develop nations and other non-battlegroup groups?

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  • How do you stat out and develop nations and other non-battlegroup groups?

    So, I'm working on some story ideas where several nations in the region, wind up needing to band together. Also, there would be other groups such as merchants, a mining & blacksmithing guild, and a nominally neutral group of diplomats.

    Over the course of the story, they'd rise in prominence (and confidence and prowess) or fall, or merge - or at least cooperate or perish.

    I recall that in Ex2, we had a bunch of stats that we could apply to such groups.

    There's a little bit about what I'm after in the Leadership section of Ex3 Core, but I haven't found anything too much like stats.

    So, how do you like to describe that? Dots of merits? Group Intimacies, along with group Guile and Resolve and the like?


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  • #2
    I like to use Creation Ruling Mandate (CRM) from Masters of Jade. I never found the time to do a proper Ex3 conversion, but if you're okay with "good enough" CRM is good enough.

    I do tend to make player invest pretty heavily in merits of they want to rule a kingdom. Influence, Resources, Allies, Backing, Command, Followets, etc are all good choices.

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    • #3
      I'll look that up, thanks!




      Check out Momentum Exalted!

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      • #4
        You'll need to use Creation Ruling Mandate from Masters of Jade for 2e, yes. It's essentially 3e-compatible. 3e itself deliberately does not have system-level support for that, on the assumption that even as rulers, you never have that degree of control over institutions you rule over, and a game about rulership ought to be about something like the West Wing or political Game of Thrones where you're playing people within a kingdom exerting personal influence to try to steer it, in competition with other individuals trying to steer it differently, while a system that lets you stat up a kingdom leads to a play style that feels too much like you're playing the kingdom itself.

        (The developers who made that decision are no longer working on the game and I'm not interested in defending it. But that is the thinking behind the omission.)

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        • #5
          I agree with both perspectives, I suppose.

          On the one hand, I don't really want to build a bunch-a-crunch around nations and groups.

          My goal here is to be able to say "Your spies report that the nation by the coast has average stability (**) , lots of food (***) , and you've just improved their friendliness from (*) to (***) so maybe you can talk to them now. The nation in the mountains is really stable (****) , lacking food (*) , but is still neutral toward you (**). You won't get the best bargain, but if you can get them talking, you might prevent a resource squabble." Ideas to that effect anyway.



          Check out Momentum Exalted!

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Simon Darkstep View Post
            I agree with both perspectives, I suppose.

            On the one hand, I don't really want to build a bunch-a-crunch around nations and groups.

            My goal here is to be able to say "Your spies report that the nation by the coast has average stability (**) , lots of food (***) , and you've just improved their friendliness from (*) to (***) so maybe you can talk to them now. The nation in the mountains is really stable (****) , lacking food (*) , but is still neutral toward you (**). You won't get the best bargain, but if you can get them talking, you might prevent a resource squabble." Ideas to that effect anyway.
            Well you could say something like “Your spy, Harmonious Jade, has returned. She says that Jiara, the nation by the coast, has well stocked graineries and they just finished a big harvest festival, so the populace is fairly happy. Perfect Soul, the queen of Jiara, received your letter and gift of fine silk and has agreed to open trade talks. Her envoy should be arriving in a few days, so you better get the guest accommodations ready.”

            And all of the wheeling and dealing between monarchs and major domos can be handled by the existing social systems.

            Possibly a Limit like mechanic for determining if a population is going to revolt might be useful, but if you’re pushing your population that hard then it should probably be pretty obvious.

            I will admit that some guidelines on ancient economics and politics and things could be useful, just to have a better idea what a given merit should contain and stuff. And a worked example of a fractious court with politics and bureaucracy and everything would be lovely.

            But you don’t necessarily need something like CRM to manage a kingdom. Instead you can give them a few named NPC commanders and name the various other people they’re intriguing against, and then just use the social systems on them.


            ....

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            • #7
              That would work pretty well too. I think I'm leaning toward a descriptive account of how they're affecting the groups around them. But, perhaps if they recruit an excellent bureaucrat they'd start getting some actual (if dot-abstracted) numbers.


              Check out Momentum Exalted!

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              • #8
                As a GM i like crunch but i never let the player/characters see that and use discripive language instead so i'd be using Darksteps example, while using BrilliantRains language. Admitedly i like crunch for easy bookeeping. Also it allows me to fudge things without it being obivous.

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                • #9
                  It's worth noting that 3e removed a major obstacle to mass social systems that was present in the last two editions, there's no longer a rule encouraging Storytellers to reward the threshold successes on a roll (2e called this a Legendary Success, 1e named Degrees of success from Superior +1 to Phenomenal +5)

                  In my experience, this lead to a lot of complex social problems being resolved by one roll because of the sheer number of successes not allowing for an outcome other than unconditional and unwavering approval. That was misguided, because the concept of rewarding threshold successes is an attempt to emulate how things go down in combat but you don’t normally expect to overkill one Wyld Huntsman so badly that the attack carries over into the rest of her Hearth or annihilate her so utterly that her mother and father back on the Blessed Isle forget they ever had a daughter. If anything the effort of turning her into a smoking crater is probably going to work against you in the short-term because of the effort it took.

                  Absolved of the obligation to present the PCs gains as constant landslide victory because they rolled really well, a Storyteller can put more effort into the consequnces of what they've done.
                  Last edited by Lioness; 10-15-2018, 02:52 PM.


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                  • #10
                    I made a system called creation overlords. It's based on the 3e social system and lighter than masters of jade. Links in my homebrew signature.


                    Read my shit at my homebrew topic, 2.5e and 3e material!
                    Play Alchemical's in 3e now, you're welcome.

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