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  1. #1

    New to the setting...

    Being both a big dnd fan, and a big turn based strategy game fan this setting just seems perfect for me. In fact I have no idea why I hadn't gotten into it years ago. Anyways, i'm here now, and have a few questions from a DM's perspective.

    First, some background info on the setting and players.

    I am currently leaning towards the most documented areas (South West) of cerilia being the focus of the campaign. For sure I have 2 players, possibly 1 or 2 more, and they definitly want seperate regions. One player is the strategic type, and one is the "conquer the world" type. Would like to play it as a half and half campaign where we do some in character playing, and some turn based play. Now to my questions...

    First and foremost, I am getting strapped for adventure ideas since the players most definitly want to play under different flags. Is there any particular regions that tend to be strong allies that they could play under? I don't want to follow the storylines perfectly mind you, just don't want to veer way off the path and end up where if we wanted to invite more people to play they would be turned off by it being unrealistic.

    Second. When i found this setting I had pictures of the total war games in my mind and started drooling... After sticking around these forums a few weeks it seems like the game goes alot slower than I imagined it. So I am wondering just how slow it goes. With 2 players how long should turns take? Some of the PBEM's that were refered in other posts were dead after just 2 or 3 turns! Is that a product of playing by email, or of the system just requiring alot of work between turns?

    Ok, I think thats it for now, as I start getting into the nuts and bolts i'm sure I will have more questions.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Doyle's Avatar
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    I presume you mean the SW of Anuire when you mention 'the most documented area' - this being the case, it is a good place to start.
    Realm alliance-wise, any two of Aerenwe, Ilien, Medoere and Roesone would be good choices and any of these with shared borders could have good reason to join together for the odd adventure.
    A slightly better option (i.e. easier for the GM to get the players out on adventures) might be to have one of the players a landed regent (the "conquer the world" player), while the other (the strategist) becomes the regent of either the guilder of priest sort for the strongest guild / religion in the landed regents realm. This way the players characters have more need of each other and are less likely to clash when a province / holding is taken from an NPC. This also leaves the option open for other players as luitenants to either of the first two, or as other non-landed regents.

  3. #3
    Adventure ideas?I assume you could use local landmarks......ruins and such. Other than that theres the standard "create huge story arc with multiple random events" style, where you make a lot of adventures taht eventaully tie into one large adventure.

    Now as to PBEMs......its not difficult.Well thats not accurate.It can be time consuming, which is why i think its imperative for the community to develop a form of automated turn processing or we will just keep getting 1d4-1 PBEMs. The DMs just find out, usually around a month into hte game, that they dont have time. And thats the end of it.

    I dont get why processing turns is that difficult personally, ive heard that tabletop versions have 4 or so sheets processed within half an hour, with computer tools it shouldnt be that difficult.........

    I dont think you will run into problems running it online.Its only 2 people afterall and you can easily meet on a messenger and roleplay there. You can easily have 1 turn every day if you are REALLY active........but ask your players and find out how much time they have.Otherwise i would say 1 turn per week would be ideal.

  4. #4
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    The problem with a pbem isn't the turn processing it doesn't take that long its everything else that causes the problem.

    The at least 100+ emails a day, people who do things and then you cant get hold of them for days or weeks , people who start and then leave games and the list goes on and on.

    Then there is of course the old problem with people thinking that they are playing risk or some other game.

    The 6 assasination attempts, 3 wars and numberous other betrayls in the first turn alone.

    And of course the attitude of some of the players which includes insults and accusations of cheeting about other players and the dm and you will have some idea why games end in 1d4-1 turns.
    MORNINGSTAR

  5. #5
    Birthright Developer irdeggman's Avatar
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    From my impression, I think Graham is correct.


    I also think that the DM gets flooded with "questions" from players. In a tabletop game it is easy to address things commonly when rules qustions arise. The DM explains his conceptualization how things should be working and everyone is on the same page at the same time (right - well anyway it is quicker).

    The other thing is that most PBEM games involve people from various time zones. This slows down interactions severely. Interactions is what flavors the role-playing aspects and without those then it becomes pure mechanics, which in general, becomes boring.

    Well these are just my perceptions. The only PBEM I attempted to play in, I definitely contributed to the DM's confusion and heartache by asking constant questions and questioning his interpretations of rules. But I am also fairly sure that if was just me he would have simply chastised me and then gone on - so I am under the impression that this condition/problem becomes almost exponential the more people that are added to the game.

    It doesn't help when players drop out without notification so the DM is left hanging and waiting for turn submissions.

    Another thing is to imagine the problems a DM faces when 5 (or more) different players want their PCs to go on different adventures during the same turn. The DM has a lot thinking and "winging" to come up with how the adventure resutls pan out, based on the precaustions and preprations each PC makes. No simple mechanic would ever be available for that one, IMO.

    Nope - running a PBEM game is a task of emense proportions and I don't envy (but do respect) anyone who can make it happen.
    Duane Eggert

  6. #6
    Senior Member Doyle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by irdeggman
    It doesn't help when players drop out without notification so the DM is left hanging and waiting for turn submissions.
    One method I have seen to counter this is that of agreed penalties. For example - at the end of the allotted turn time, any PC realm that has not submitted a return is considered to be using the 'hold action' and if there has been no contact with the GM at all a penalty of one GB / RP per holding / province. On a second occurence, there is no GB / RP income generated, only expenses. On the third (if there has still been no contact from the player), the realm reverts to NPC status (with an increase in GB and RP in case this was done intentionally to rort the system.

    Adventures: write the adventures so that it requires at least the players that are available for minimum success chance - but don't decrease the difficulty if not all the players are going on that mission. They will soon learn to band together to solve each others problems. Of course, NPC's could be hired to fill in the 'empty seats', but that should prove too expensive to do too often.

  7. #7
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    I can give some examples from the game I tried to run as to the problems I encountered.

    In a 1 hour period on an unusualy busy monday I received over 100 emails which you usualy get in more like a day. Now no matter who you are that takes time to work through especialy when you are talking to people about adventures and everything else.

    Most questions didn't need to be asked (In the game) as the answer was in the forum or the brcs so many answers were please read and familiarise yourself with the rules. Or were uterly frivelous and of little point like is there a hill near here and what does this look like.

    People generaly fail to accuratly make a character requiring time to correct.

    People accused me and each other of cheating. Now this came down to people not knowing what is going on and nor should they that is what espionage is for. Now it did so happen that I cought one person cheating and had grave suspicions of another which is very very disruptive to a game. Not to mention that bad blood caused by any accusation of cheating.

    Add complaits that they think things should have had a different result.

    The bloodlust of characters. (There would not have been a single nation not at war with at least one other group if not 3 or 4).

    Offensive emails by people who didn't like the way things were going and who didn't ask and wait for a reply if I was busy.

    People disappearing for no reason or failing to put in turns/answer emails.


    Arg the list just goes on and on I am still steamed up about some of the things that went on.
    MORNINGSTAR

  8. #8
    wow, that would certainly make me throw in the towel too!

    How many people were you trying to play with graham???

  9. #9
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    Lots at the max around 30 I think but if you take out cheaters and the people who joined and you never heard from again 15-20 is more like the right number
    MORNINGSTAR

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