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 Post Posted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 12:28 pm 
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While hilarious, the spike pit seems more harm than good due to the neutrality of portal park.

The portal itself is more of a mechanic than anything else, I think, mainly due to how Slately is able to move it to another capital site when he sits on the throne. An aspect the Titans left that rulers alone can access...unless there's more to it than that, and the magic knigdom did something huge in a time before anyone can remember. The neutrality might imply that there was once NOT neutrality, so the portals could have been their making and the results were so destructive that neutrality was agreed on.

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     Post Posted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 2:18 pm 
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    Isn't the location of the portal tied to the side's capital?
    So as long as you have a capital, you have one?

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     Post Posted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 2:23 pm 
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    Yeah, but it's also understood that only casters can go through a portal (Parson being the exception for whatever reason) so there's really no point in giving a side a portal until they have a caster that can go through one.

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     Post Posted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 3:11 pm 
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    Kaed wrote:
    Yeah you guys, I guess portals can be sort of automatic, but you still need to have a caster
    Why? It's a bit of a quibble given the circumstances of our game in particular, I know, but to reference the comic we have the example of the new Faq- which built its capital from ruins and never popped a caster, but was able to hire on a caster that we know was sent into the Magic Kingdom after Unaroyal's defeat. Unless you think Vanna came out in someone else's capital and was flown in to Faq, which I'd say is possible but unlikely, it seems fairly clear that capitals have portals, no random requirements or caveats involved.

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     Post Posted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 4:23 pm 
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    Hm, fair point. Can't think of a rebuttal there.

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     Post Posted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 6:37 pm 
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    Exate makes a good point. But I'm still firm on the idea that you need to want to build a portal. Without a caster or communications overlord to contact the Kingdom, it becomes rather pointless.

    Maybe you could use it as a formal form of execution instead of just mentally disbanding...

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     Post Posted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 7:57 pm 
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    Kaed wrote:
    Exate makes a good point. But I'm still firm on the idea that you need to want to build a portal. Without a caster or communications overlord to contact the Kingdom, it becomes rather pointless.

    Maybe you could use it as a formal form of execution instead of just mentally disbanding...


    Executions are a great reason to have a portal, or really any powerful device like that! Seriously!
    With a portal, we Rulers would have a great way to dispose of incompetents!

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     Post Posted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 8:06 pm 
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    ...don't tempt me -_-

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     Post Posted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 9:53 pm 
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    Well, Nalga is very interested in the portal already...

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     Post Posted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 1:31 am 
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    I gather portals are not as much built as appear automatically in the capital.
    It is still open to interpretation, however, but makes some sense.

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     Post Posted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 4:46 am 
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    So, how is everyone doing turn wise?
    Anybody experience any serious business combat yet?

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     Post Posted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 2:33 pm 
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    All right, got around to having some time to put into this, and here is a prototype/proof-of-concept version of a random hex unit popper spreadsheet.

    Basically, the first page of the sheet holds a list of every hex. The terrain type is next to the hex number, and past that there are randomly generated values which determine whether any given effect which could happen in that hex on a given turn does so. It's just five units which could pop and two weather effects which could occur at the moment, but we could add more unit types, random popping of wildlife or rations, maybe use something like this to determine what hexes naturally have tunnel complexes, or whatever we want.

    The second page turns the randomly generated numbers into something useful; it's got terrain types listed out (again, we can add more). So if you see that a number pops up as a non-zero in a Desert hex in the Unit C column, you look under the Desert section, check for Unit C, and find that this indicates some Vultews have popped in that hex this turn. The probability of any given effect happening is in the "Effects" column- the odds are 1/Effects value, so the odds of Vultews popping is 1/20, a Wok is 1/200, and so forth. The Minimum and Maximum values are used for units to determine how many of them pop at once, but for weather effects (or whatever else we put in here) they can be used to indicate just about anything else that we can use a randomly generated min-max range for.

    Comments/questions? Should I put more work into this? It will take a fairly comprehensive list of wild units to put to proper use, as well as an inclination to actually keep track of literally thousands of events every turn on the part of the GM. Putting every hex in the game into something like this would take a fair bit of work, too. Still, once it's all done it could be a useful tool that would add quite a bit to the game in terms of having a living and somewhat-more-authentically-Erfworld world.

    Side note, in order to make the randomly generated numbers re-generate you just have to change anything- typing a character into an empty cell or deleting such a character will do it. I'm not sure how to get the spreadsheet to randomly generate numbers without doing that yet, so for now everyone has editing permissions. Please don't mess with things too much.

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     Post Posted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 3:02 pm 
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    Applying this to the scale of the world we have would make an absolutely huge grid, though could probably be made a little easier by way of many many tabs. Categorise the map into quadrants. That way, when Kaed is looking for the results of a specific relevant area, he can go to the tab in question, roll the dice, and get all the numbers he needs without being overloaded by tons of other numbers.

    Playing with it briefly, is it me, or do encounters or anything else popping happen really rarely with this? That might be the way to go, but it just seems really rare is all so maybe a bit more might be the way to go. I dunno. This is brilliant Exate.

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     Post Posted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 3:56 pm 
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    Lord of Monies wrote:
    Applying this to the scale of the world we have would make an absolutely huge grid, though could probably be made a little easier by way of many many tabs. Categorise the map into quadrants. That way, when Kaed is looking for the results of a specific relevant area, he can go to the tab in question, roll the dice, and get all the numbers he needs without being overloaded by tons of other numbers.

    Playing with it briefly, is it me, or do encounters or anything else popping happen really rarely with this? That might be the way to go, but it just seems really rare is all so maybe a bit more might be the way to go. I dunno. This is brilliant Exate.

    Actually it looks quite often. Something with 20 move would hit multiple events a turn. From a single unit. Deserts seem packed with crap. Oh and sandstorms alone will get multiple hits a turn. A good lookamancer could really exploit this. (Especially the spice.) I think that averages 12.5 rations a hex. Although I'm not clear on how rations work.

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     Post Posted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 4:52 pm 
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    Lord of Monies wrote:
    Applying this to the scale of the world we have would make an absolutely huge grid, though could probably be made a little easier by way of many many tabs. Categorise the map into quadrants. That way, when Kaed is looking for the results of a specific relevant area, he can go to the tab in question, roll the dice, and get all the numbers he needs without being overloaded by tons of other numbers.
    Yeah, we run into the usual standard issues here- 100x100 map means 10,000 hexes to work with even though the map doesn't seem that big when you're moving around in it, and that's a hell of a lot to handle on a turn-by-turn basis. The Erfworld concept of the battlespace may apply here to ease the workload a bit; maybe break the map into relatively small "battlespace" sectors, and only those sectors where units exist during a round actually have their pop probabilities run? Or simply lower the probabilities across the board- a hex where nothing happens is a hex with no work for the GM, after all.

    Lord of Monies wrote:
    Playing with it briefly, is it me, or do encounters or anything else popping happen really rarely with this? That might be the way to go, but it just seems really rare is all so maybe a bit more might be the way to go. I dunno. This is brilliant Exate.
    Lamech wrote:
    Actually it looks quite often. Something with 20 move would hit multiple events a turn. From a single unit. Deserts seem packed with crap. Oh and sandstorms alone will get multiple hits a turn. A good lookamancer could really exploit this.
    In any given hex, events should occur only rarely- if they happen too often we need to tweak the probabilities downward. As you note, however, there are an absolutely huge number of hexes involved here- and when you consider that there are what, 90 hexes within a 5-hex radius of any given point on the map, then even low probabilities of events become near-certainties of something interesting happening relatively close by every single turn. It's why I said the wilds of Erfworld were highly populated upon reading the 1/200 probability for dwagon pop rates; it doesn't take a particularly high individual probability to make huge numbers of units pop when you've got a whole world to work with. Good scouting or Lookamancy could ensure that you never lack for interesting things.

    I'd like to add a lot of unit types in each terrain and promote diversity- not just deserts; that's just where I started (what with my desert faction, it came easily to mind). Since we're looking at a gamelike situation, there's no reason that any given terrain type should be less populated than others- everything can have roughly equal probabilities to keep all of them balanced. Unfortunately for purposes of diversity, since we're having units pop with probabilities independent of one another each unit type/weather event added does increase the overall probability that something happens during a given turn in a hex, so we might want to keep terrain types to mere handfuls of unit types. It's quite possible to make hex types which are identical on the map pop different unit types, though- Plains Type I, Plains Type II, etc. could be shown as the same terrain type on the map but be different on the spreadsheet and thus pop different things; maybe they're in different areas of the map or maybe they're all mixed together, at the GM's option.

    Lamech wrote:
    (Especially the spice.) I think that averages 12.5 rations a hex. Although I'm not clear on how rations work.
    The spice was something I pulled in from Dune as a nod to my faction's flavor, with little or no regard to balance- that's Kaed's problem. Rations are basically upkeep reducers- you can find 200 shmuckers in rations, and then your units use them and you pay 200 less upkeep on the next turn. Very handy. In the comic rations can only reduce a unit's upkeep down to a certain percentage rather than eliminating it entirely, but we've been ignoring that in the game thus far. It would be a lot of extra bookkeeping for minimal reason, in my opinion.

    As far as the "random event with partially beneficial effects" goes in general, I'd like to see things like that in all terrain types. Sometimes you find natural allies, or there's a gem node, or you find a magic item or valuables- there's more than just danger waiting for us out there.

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     Post Posted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 1:02 pm 
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    Exate wrote:
    In the comic rations can only reduce a unit's upkeep down to a certain percentage rather than eliminating it entirely, but we've been ignoring that in the game thus far. It would be a lot of extra bookkeeping for minimal reason, in my opinion.


    Cite please.

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     Post Posted: Wed Nov 28, 2012 12:45 pm 
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    Kaed wrote:
    Exate wrote:
    In the comic rations can only reduce a unit's upkeep down to a certain percentage rather than eliminating it entirely, but we've been ignoring that in the game thus far. It would be a lot of extra bookkeeping for minimal reason, in my opinion.
    Cite please.
    Must I? Muddling through the archives for things is annoying as hell.

    Here. This isn't a perfect citation, but it is suggestive- the use of the phrase "minimum upkeep" seems to imply that upkeep can only be reduced so much, to some minimum value, by provisions.

    Side note, if any of you guys have a physical or digital copy of Book 1, you might consider checking through the terminology section at the back for information. I remember thinking that there was some stuff in there applicable to this game's rules that we might want to incorporate, but I can't recall the details at the moment and don't have my copy on hand.

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     Post Posted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 11:45 am 
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    soooooo how is everyone else coming along...?

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     Post Posted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 11:49 am 
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    Been waiting on Kaed for a while now, but for good reason. Hopefully things go well.

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     Post Posted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 12:26 pm 
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    In erftime, things are going quickly. The latest turn has been action-packed for the Sandmen and its results may define their actions for many turns to come.

    In realtime, things are crawling along. I haven't gotten a PM from Kaed since last Tuesday, though we were averaging one a day for a while.

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