I have decided to run a game, inspired by LTDave's Erfworld Matrix Game. Here are the rules as he presented them:
An Erfworld Matrix Campaign
By Lt. D. Grounds, (BBusFiEconDis, BTh)
With editorial assistance from Mr Ronaldo Calliari, late of Her Majesty’s Secret Service.
There are a lot of games on the forum with at a tactical level, and some that try to replicate Empires in detail. This game aims to be Strategic and broad.
For more information on this style of game, use the Google and enter “Matrix Games Chris Engels”. Or visit this site: http://www.onr.com/user/bturner/far_col
... atrix.html which contains the basic rules I would like to use for this Campaign. All credit to Chris Engels for anything stolen from him (and or her – Chris is a pretty non-gender specific name where I’m from – but probably him).
Each player controls an Erfworld Nation. The object of the Game is to capture the Capital of one of the opposing Nations. If at the end of a Round you have captured an opposing Capital and still control your own, you are the Winner (and Greatest Tool of the Titans).
Any number of players can join. I would like at least five.
How do we play:
In round 0, give your nation and ruler their names, and then give FIVE characteristics of the nation. Characteristics represent the strengths of your nation, and must consist of an Adjective and a Noun. For example: “Strong Military” is a characteristic. “Military” is not.
Characteristics are used as REASONS in your arguments.
In round 1, and each round after, each player may propose an ARGUMENT. An argument consists of an ACTION and a RESULT. Each Argument may have up to three REASONS. Arguments may relate to any nation in the game, not just your own. But each player may only make one argument per round.
King Jetstone creates a powerful army in his Capital.
Reasons: 1. Jetstone has a STRONG MILITARY
2. Jetstone has a LARGE TREASURY
3. The King is an ABLE ADMINISTRATOR
At the end of the round, the GM will judge each argument, and rate them VERY STRONG, STRONG, NORMAL, WEAK, or STUPID, and then roll a d6 to determine outcomes.
VERY STRONG arguments will succeed on a roll of 1-5.
STRONG arguments will succeed on a roll of 1-4.
NORMAL arguments will succeed on a roll of 1-3.
WEAK arguments will succeed on a roll of 1-2.
VERY WEAK arguments will success on a roll of 1.
STUPID arguments will never succeed (An argument would have to be very stupid to be judged as such. For example: The King turns into a flying anchovy and devours the entire world, ending the game, and making me emperor of the pizza planet).
Ratings are based on Reasons and Results. If the result is pretty minor, the rating will be stronger than a disastrous Result. For Example: “My army wins the battle” is going to have a better rating than “My army destroys every living thing that opposes them.”
No discussion will be entered into as to ratings or dice results. The GM’s decision is final.
Players may attempt to use their argument to change the outcome of another player’s argument. For example:
"Yes, and…" arguments add an extra result to a previous argument and give +1 to the die roll.
"Yes, but…" arguments change the effect of an action.
"No, Actually..." arguments contradict both the action and the result, but give -1 to the die roll.
So, the Jetstone player make the argument above about creating a powerful army. Another player may use their argument to say “Yes, and the Army has a large amount of Heavy Units.” This “Yes, and…” is in effect helping the Jetstone player, whose rating and results are improved.
Another player might say, “Yes, but the army is not powerful. In fact, it is quite average.” If successful, this modification would change the outcome of the Jetstone argument. They would end up with an Average Army, instead of a Powerful Army.
Another player might try a “No, Actually the King decides to commission a work of art, and the Jetstone Treasury is wasted.” This argument is less likely to succeed, but if it did it would damage the Jetstone nation.
Another player might decide to support a previous “No, actually…” by adding a “Yes, and…” to it, increasing its chance of success.
A ”Yes, and...” argument can only relate to the nations invovled in the original argument, and the original action.
So player A says "A attacks B and wins".
Another player can only make a Yes, and... that relates to A & B (not C or D). So:
"Yes, A attacks B and wins, AND A's army has great morale" FINE.
"Yes, A attacks B and wins, AND C gets a brand new bicycle" NOT FINE.
All arguments and counter arguments should have three Reasons to support them. If the arguments are characteristics of the relevant nation, this will help improve the rating of the argument. Reasons may also be based on successful arguments of previous rounds. If the Jetstone Nation was successful in creating a Powerful Army in a previous round, they could use this as a reason to defeat their enemies in battle.
Our Army crosses the border and defeats the army of Gobwin Knob in the field.
1. Powerful Army
2. Strong Military
3. Lots of Heavy Units
Rounds and Time:
Players will have 48 hours from the start of the round to make their argument. They will then be rated by the GM, dice rolled, and outcomes listed on the forum. A new round will then begin. Arguments can be made about any nation in the game, and do not have to relate to earlier arguments at all.
Let’s say Jetstone makes an argument that “the Jetstone Army fights the Gobwin Knob army and routs them from the field.”
And the Gobwin Knob player argues “The Gobwin Knob Army fights the Jetstone Army and defeats them, wiping them out.” Only one result can be true.
In this case, the GM will rate both arguments and then roll dice until one fails.
For example, the Jetstone argument could be judged as Strong, while the Gobwin Knob argument is Normal. Dice are rolled until one fails.
One of the arguments will succeed (unless it is Stupid)
So How do I win?
You win by making an argument that leaves you in control of another nation’s capital. If your argument is “My army attacks and defeats the garrison of the Escotian capital, and we capture it.” And this succeeds, you win the game. Probably every other player will want this to fail, so you’ll have a lot of counter arguments. It’ll be hard to do. You’ll need to build up a series of good reasons to win an argument like that. So you might spend a turn marching close to the Escotian Capital. The next turn you might besiege the city. The next turn you might breach the walls. And then you could argue for capture and victory. But other players will be trying to stop you!
If someone proposes an argument that might win them the game (ie, the result of the argument involves occupying another player's capital), then the time allowance for argument posting will be increased by 24 hours, and players who have proposed an earlier argument may change it if they wish to do so.
And is there a map?
No. The world exists as the players describe it in their arguments.
And, what, no numbers?
And no, no numbers. Very strange for one of my games. Instead, it is about adjectives. If a Powerful army goes up against a Strong army, it will be up to the GM to decide which has the advantage. You might try to argue for superlatives, like “Invincible Army”, but they’ll be rated tougher as a result.
Can an argument change a past event?
No. If in Round 1 it is found that your army defeated the enemy, no one can argue in round 2 that the enemy actually defeated your army in round 1. They could argue for a new army, or a complication, but what has been declared to have happened has happened.
Can an argument be used again and again?
Yes. If an argument was very strong last round and failed, try it again this round. You might get lucky.
What if a player does not post an argument?
Then they don’t get an action that round. Players will have 48 hours from the GM’s post to give an argument. If you hold back, waiting to counter something else, you might miss out.
The aim of this game is to be entertaining and fun. You might not win, but hopefully you’ll enjoy the experience.
I am also making some modifications myself. Anything in this new set of rules supersedes any contradicting rules from the existing set.
Arguments that are repeated over more than one round are weakened by 1 point for every consecutive round. This is to stop someone from making a “Jetstone sneak-attacks the capital and kills the king” argument until they roll a 1. This is in contradiction to the existing rules.
Primary and Secondary Arguments can be made each turn. The Secondary Argument gets an automatic -1 to strength. One of the two arguments must be in reference to your own side, but they cannot both be. For example, you could not make the arguments of “Jetstone raises a Grand Army” and “Jetstone discovers a cache of Powerful Magic Items,” and you could not make the arguments (if you are Jetstone) of “Gobwin Knob’s Chief Warlord falls over and impales himself on a spear” and “Faq’s Air Force no longer has casters.”
The descriptors of your side cannot be too broad or powerful. For example, “Powerful Casters” or “Strong Military” would not be acceptable. “Powerful Croakamancer,” “Magic Kingdom Contacts,” “Impeccable Strategy,” or “Overpowering Air Force” would all be examples of acceptable descriptors.
I would also like to have about 5 players. Give the name of your side, some fluff or flavor if desired, and your five descriptors. I will be a player in this game, but I super-promise to not let that affect my decisions about the strength of my arguments. I am going to keep a list of all the sides here, for reference.