Catstacker

High Lords Rules

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The game begins with all of the players choosing where on Earth they will send their first maelstrom bridge, bidding higher than their competitors if there is a conflict over where they'd like to begin. Since possibility energy is drained from the human population of Earth, High Lords should choose somewhere near major Earth cities. However, they should be cautious about picking the places with the highest population density, since these are the most likely to be able to reject the invading reality, create Hardpoints and Stormers, and have the armed forces of the Earth fight to reclaim them. Starting the invasion near populated areas and sending invaders to soften up the cities before enfolding them inside the Stelae boundaries might be a more prudent strategy.

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Each High Lord begins with the same number of resources: 1 maelstrom bridge, 7 stelae, 2 armies and 1 lieutenant.

 

A maelstrom bridge (MB) is the connecting point between the invading cosm and the geography of Earth. Once placed they cannot be moved. They must be surrounded by at least 3 stelae or else Earth's reality will destroy the bridge. The maelstrom will provide enough reality to energize the stelae around it, and make the stelae zone's reality Pure. A High Lord's armies when newly placed, must begin at a maelstrom bridge. The High Lord's armies, lieutenants, and gospog can move from one maelstrom bridge to another. Maelstrom bridges are visible to the other High Lords.

 

Stelae (St) create the boundaries of the invading realm on Earth. Three stelae create a triangle zone that contain the invading reality, and keep Earth's reality out. The zone cannot be created if the stelae are placed more than 500 kilometers apart. Stelae can be joined to a maximum of 6 other stelae, creating a continuous network (called the realm) across the planet. There must be a maelstrom bridge within the network to fill the realm with the invading reality. Most stelae zones have a Dominant reality, which means that they drain P-energy slow yet steadily, but when the earther population is too low, that zone might be Pure instead, which drains energy faster but for not as long. If the Earther population is over ten million, the reality might be mixed for a while, during which no P-energy is drained until more of the population is swayed over to the invading reality.

 

If a stelae is destroyed by Storm Knights, Earth's realm returns to the zones that stelae bonded, unless there is another available stelae to take its place. Stelae are hidden and disguised to protect them, but may be found if searched for purposefully.

 

Armies (Ar) begin placed at a maelstrom bridge. They must always have a definite position, which can be seen by the other High Lords. They can be moved around anywhere within the invading reality in a week, or can move outside the realm to activate new stelae, or collect bodies to sow a gospog field, or hunt for Soulstained stormers. Even if an army doesn't have a specific mission in any given week, it will still protect territory and stelae, and may sight hidden units. An army is at an advantage when in its native reality, and at a disadvantage when outside it. If they move outside the realm, they must stop just outside the border, while Earth's forces retaliate. If they are victorious, and there is a new stelae planted, the realm will extend to the new boundaries. This way an army can only activate one stelae zone per week. An army can be destroyed by an opposing army outside its reality, but will be able to retreat if inside its realm.

 

Special Operations Forces (SO) are units that aren't as large as armies, but are hidden from the other High Lords. They can be moved anywhere on the map in a week. They are at a disadvantage when outside their realilty. Even if they aren't given a mission in any given week, they will still defend their territory and stelae. They can be destroyed outside their reality.

 

Lieutenants (Lu) are the elite agents of a High Lord. They are at an advantage when in their native reality and have no disadvantage when outside it. The location of lieutenants are hidden from other High Lords. Lieutenants can move anywhere on the map in a week. Lieutenants will notify their High Lord if they spot any other lieutenants or Storm Knights nearby, and will battle them if they try to destroy stelae or gospog fields. Lieutenants can be attached to armies to give them a +1 advantage.

 

Lieutenants and Special Operations Forces can be sent on missions, which they will continue to pursue if it takes longer than a week, until they are moved or given another mission by their High Lord. Some examples of missions are:

  • Hunting Soulstained Stormers
  • Searching for Stelae or Eternity Shards
  • Destroying Gospog Fields
  • Preparing an area for invasion, making it flip to the invading reality faster
  • Weakening an army, putting it at a disadvantage for the next week

 

 

Gospog are special units that are grown in fields that have been sown with the bodies of Earth's dead. After the gospog field is created, it will produce units of increasing effectiveness.

Gospog of the first planting (G1) grow after 1 week, and count as an army with no disadvantage outside their reality, but cannot activate stelae zones.

Gospog of the second planting (G2) grow after 4 weeks, and count as an army that is at an advantage both inside and outside their reality, but also cannot activate stelae zones.

Gospog of the third planting (G3) grow after 9 weeks, act as special operations forces, and can be attached to other armies to give them a +1 advantage.

Gospog of the fourth planting (G4) grow after 16 weeks, act as special operations forces, and can be attached to other armies to give them a +2 advantage.

Gospog of the fifth planting (G5) grow after 25 weeks, act as lieutenants, and when attached to armies give them a +3 advantage.

After a field produces a crop of gospog, it must be re-sown with bodies to produce the next planting. After the fifth planting, the field no longer produces gospog. Because 10,000 bodies must be planted for each sowing, gospog fields become well-known and are prime targets for Storm Knights.

 

Please note when moving units and when giving them missions, that it takes them all week to get into position. Don't fall for the commanders' fallacy of thinking that because you've ordered them to do something, they've already suceeded. Opposing forces need time to react to their movements. So you may order a unit to do something one week, and find out if they were successful the next week and then give them their next orders, but during that week your opponents also have a chance to engage that unit before it moves to its next position/mission. You will appreciate this rule after a stormer has destroyed one of your stelae, and can't get away before you send your forces to catch him.

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Are we limited by previous metaplot or may be make choices more appropriate for THIS Near Now?

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Might there be a way to use Google Maps to plan out and map our bridges, stelae, etc.

 

Also, a lieutenant is worth only +1 advantage, but a 5th planting is worth +3? Can you assign a lieutenant AND higher planting Gospog to an army and does it stack?

 

Also, how will you be managing World Laws, axioms, etc?

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I've got to apologize to everyone that I'm so slow in getting the rules out. I had planned this game earlier in the year when it was raining and I had a lot of free time. Now the weather is perfect and I've got a lot of projects going. I promise to give you all the rules ASAP, and I'll answer all your excellent questions.

 

Are we limited by previous metaplot or may be make choices more appropriate for THIS Near Now?

I want the players to have complete creative freedom. The ideal result of this game is a totally different, better, course of the reality wars. The history of this game's Earth is exactly the same as ours up until June 15 2009, when the invasion begins.

 

Might there be a way to use Google Maps to plan out and map our bridges, stelae, etc?

It's coming... Each High Lord will have their own Google Map that only he and I can view, and then there will be a grand map of the world for everyone to see, that has storm fronts on it to show roughly where the realm boundaries are.

 

Also, a lieutenant is worth only +1 advantage, but a 5th planting is worth +3? Can you assign a lieutenant AND higher planting Gospog to an army and does it stack?

Yes! You could stack multiple gospog and lieutenants for a truly frightening horde. Lieutenants are less powerful because they are supposed to balance the Storm Knights, who are also rated as +1. Fifth planting gospog are rare, only arrive after 25 weeks at the earliest, and are assumed to fight to the death. In comparison, the lieutenants of High Lords are assumed to spend possibilities to save their miserable hides and run away, so players won't lose lieutenants unless they dispatch them for their failure, in classic melodramatic fashion.

 

To compare advantages, hopefully this will explain things better:

Army, in home reality: 2, outside:0, limited mobility, visible

Special Ops, in home reality: 0, outside:-1, unlimited mobility, hidden

Gospog 1st planting, in home reality:2, outside:1, limited mobility, visible

Gospog 2nd planting, in home reality:2, outside:2, limited mobility, visible

Gospog 3rd planting, in home reality:+1, outside:+1, unlimited mobility, hidden

Gospog 4th planting, in home reality:+2, outside:+2, unlimited mobility, hidden

Gospog 5th planting, in home reality:+3, outside:+3, unlimited mobility, hidden

Lieutenants & Storm Knights, in home reality:+1, outside:0, unlimited mobility, hidden

 

Also, how will you be managing World Laws, axioms, etc?

That can get very complicated. Since this is the first time I've run this game, the only way that I can keep it balanced for all players is to give them all the same starting resources and abilities. I'd like to include special effects, especially reality-bending effects like Storm Strengths, Reality Bombs, the Occult, etc. but I'd rather not guess how these variables might favor one reality over another. So, hopefully the High Lords can include the effects of World Laws and Axioms in the way they flavour their descriptions of the progressing invasion, and I won't have to increase the number of rules.

 

The way that the invading realm's axioms are important are how they compare to Earth's axioms. When an invading reality washes over Earth, the native population's mortality rate is increased when the Tech and/or Social axioms are lower, and is decreased when the Spirit axiom is higher. The migration rate out of the realm is decreased when the Magic and/or Spirit axiom is higher. I'll have to make some educated guesses about the populations within the realms (but I'll track them consistently,) but in the long game the rate of transformations, migrations, and deaths should have a great impact on the amount of possiblity energy the High Lords collect.

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The High Lords are invading Earth to drain its copious possibility energy. P-energy is usually contained within the living bodies of the Earth's population, and it is spent and regained by them during their lives. However, when they are in an invading realm surrounded by stelae, their possilibility energy is slowly drained away from them and is not regained. When a person is out of possibility energy, they are transformed to the invading reality.

 

The High Lords will each get the same amount of P-energy after week 1: 13 points. Every week after that, they will get a variable amount of P-energy based on the untransformed population within their realms. P-energy can be spent to gain addtional resources or to produce special effects:

 

Land another Maelstrom Bridge: 9 points

Plant a stelae: 3 points

Create a new army: 5 points

Create a new unit of special operatives: 2 points

Create a gospog field: 12 points and an army planting 10,000 corpses

Soulstain a stelae zone, revealing any Lieutenants or Storm Knights within: 1 point

 

P-energy can be saved instead, to be spent later, or to use in the quest to become the Torg.

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The High Lords are invading Earth to drain its copious possibility energy. P-energy is usually contained within the living bodies of the Earth's population, and it is spent and regained by them during their lives. However, when they are in an invading realm surrounded by stelae, their possilibility energy is slowly drained away from them and is not regained. When a person is out of possibility energy, they are transformed to the invading reality.

 

The High Lords will each get the same amount of P-energy after week 1: 13 points. Every week after that, they will get a variable amount of P-energy based on the untransformed population within their realms. P-energy can be spent to gain addtional resources or to produce special effects:

 

Land another Maelstrom Bridge: 9 points

Plant a stelae: 3 points

Create a new army: 5 points

Create a gospog field: 12 points and an army planting 10,000 corpses

Soulstain a stelae zone, revealing any Lieutenants or Storm Knights within: 1 point

 

P-energy can be saved instead, to be spent later, or to use in the quest to become the Torg.

 

Of the seven starting stelae, are they all assumed to be planted, or do you have to keep them in reserve and plant them later?

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The High Lord who becomes the Torg wins the game. To become Torg, a High Lord must accomplish three things:

 

1) The High Lord must collect a lot of possibility energy. Exactly how much is unknown at the beginning of the game.

 

2) The High Lord must sort the possibility energy, arranging it to eliminate any chance of failure. The process of sorting the P-energy will reveal when the High Lord has enough to become the Torg. However, the method of sorting P-energy is uncertain, though it is known to require Storm Knights.

 

3) The High Lord must unleash enough physical energy to bond himself to his Darkness Device. This takes a massive amount of energy, greater than the detonation of the world's nuclear arsenals. We leave it up to the High Lords' twisted minds to think of ways to do this, and the Nameless One looks forward to the wanton destruction.

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Of the seven starting stelae, are they all assumed to be planted, or do you have to keep them in reserve and plant them later?

Since the High Lords will collect more P-energy with more stelae zones, and then can use that P-energy to plant more stelae, I can't think of any reason why they wouldn't want to plant all their stelae immediately.

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Since the High Lords will collect more P-energy with more stelae zones, and then can use that P-energy to plant more stelae, I can't think of any reason why they wouldn't want to plant all their stelae immediately.

 

Well, it wasn't so much a question of whether I would want to, but whether it was expected that we COULD.

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My questions:

 

1. Is there going to be rules for swaying "outside" populations to prep an area for new stalae, or will we have to flip zones with armies?

 

2. Will there be a way to increase a lieutenant’s power?

 

3. Can we break up the stalae costs to allow for backups? Maybe 1 or 2 points to make them, and then 1 point each to plant them, and activate them. That way we can have back ups or reserves for expansion without spending the whole cost ahead of time.

 

4. Is there a way/cost to create new lieutenants?

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Well, it wasn't so much a question of whether I would want to, but whether it was expected that we COULD.

The players can do just about anything that they want, they're absoute rulers of their realities after all. The rules are here to balance the High Lords' designs against one another, and to keep one maniac from running away with the story by invading all of Asia in the first week.

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You anticipated a lot of the things I was going to discuss about strategy today:

1. Is there going to be rules for swaying "outside" populations to prep an area for new stalae, or will we have to flip zones with armies?

I expect the High Lords are doing everything in their power to make the new area receptive to the invading reality. Hopefully that comes out in the description of the invasion. Armies are the most likely way to flip zones, but landing a maelstrom bridge will also create enough believers in the initial axiom wash to activate the stelae. And since there seems to be some early doubt as to the usefulness of lieutenants, I've added trying to sway the local population to the invading reality as one of the missions you can send them on.

 

2. Will there be a way to increase a lieutenant’s power?

Yes, but High Lords are jealous of their power, and so don't want to make their lieutenants powerful enough to challenge them. Experienced lieutenants will be one of the bonuses offered, rather than being available to buy.

 

3. Can we break up the stalae costs to allow for backups? Maybe 1 or 2 points to make them, and then 1 point each to plant them, and activate them. That way we can have back ups or reserves for expansion without spending the whole cost ahead of time.

I figured it would take 1 point to create the stelae, 1 point to dimthread the planting party in, and 1 point for the ritual to plant the stelae. I was worried that breaking up the costs would needlessly complicate the books, but if players want to break down the costs, so be it. Don't be worried if you have leftover points every week, you could always spend them next week, or save them. After all, it's the surplus points that will eventually make someone the Torg.

 

4. Is there a way/cost to create new lieutenants?

I deliberately left lieutenants out of the things that could be bought with P-energy. Additional lieutenants can be gained as a bonus only. I'll describe the bonus system soon.

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Looking good. A relatively simple framework sounds sensible, rather than attempting to come up with rules for every lunatic plan we can come up with. :)

 

  • Do realms have to be completely continuous, or can High lords drop a new maelstrom bridge elsewhere on the globe? (At a cost of 9+3+3+3=18 points for the bridge and bounding stelae, I guess)
  • Will there be a random element in battles? (i.e. a chance for an army with a -1 disadvantage to beat one with a +1 advantage)
  • Is it easier for Storm Knights to pull up the stelae further away from a maelstrom bridge (as with normal rules)?
  • Following on, can we place/move the darkness device to bolster stelae? This would be something else to keep track of, so I don't know if you want to go into this much detail.

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This is starting to sound like a weird variation on Settlers of Catan. Can't wait to start.

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Looking good. A relatively simple framework sounds sensible, rather than attempting to come up with rules for every lunatic plan we can come up with. :)

Thank you.

 

Do realms have to be completely continuous, or can High lords drop a new maelstrom bridge elsewhere on the globe? (At a cost of 9+3+3+3=18 points for the bridge and bounding stelae, I guess)

Sure, you can start another realm somewhere else later, though a single triangle would be pretty easy to collapse, so better come with defenders. You can't make wacky hybrid cosms with other invaders like the Berlin zone, because only your stelae can make your own borders. It is conceivable that stelae zones might overlap later in the game, but only one reality can exist in one place, so only one invader can be draining possibilities.

 

Will there be a random element in battles? (i.e. a chance for an army with a -1 disadvantage to beat one with a +1 advantage)

Yes! I'll be rolling the dice and flipping the cards, so there isn't a lot for the players to do during combat, just finding out afterward if they were successful or not. Don't worry, the forces of Earth should be pushovers (at first;))

 

Is it easier for Storm Knights to pull up the stelae further away from a maelstrom bridge (as with normal rules)?

I'm glad you pointed out that rule to me, as I had no idea it existed, but yes, that sounds like a good rule since it makes maelstrom bridges more useful.

 

Following on, can we place/move the darkness device to bolster stelae? This would be something else to keep track of, so I don't know if you want to go into this much detail.

You're right, I don't. If players want to do this, I'm game, but I've never liked the need to use P-energy to move the Darkness Device rule, especially when the DD is a portable item like a helmet, a laptop, or a scepter. I prefer the High Lords (and their Devices) to have the role of supreme commanders, dictating the aim and disposition of their campaigns, but removed from the day-to-day operations. If the High Lord was on the field of battle, with his DD handy, nothing could stop him, and then where's the game?

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So far I've posted rules for the strategic elements of this game, because soon the players are going to pick their starting points and plant their first stelae, and they want to have a fruitful early game to ensure lots of points coming to them. But this game isn't just a footrace to the finish, with the first player to get a set number of points winning.

 

Instead, compare this game to a treasure hunt: at first, the players would start off running because it's like a race (and they can assume the treasure isn't buried beneath the starting point.) They might sacrifice some initial speed to have more endurance later on, or to warm up for a burst of speed, or to analyse their opponents' weaknesses. Then they have to start gathering information about where the treasure might be, or finding other people who can help them look. And then they refine their data into a probable location for the treasure, so that they can jump in quickly and grab that treasure before one of their opponents (who might have just followed them instead of doing their own research,) takes it from them.

 

This is why the objectives for winning the game are so vague; the players have to hurry and look for the prize, but only after they've started can they collect the pieces of the puzzle. If the game was only about populations, stelae, and troop movement, it just wouldn't be cinematic, it wouldn't be Torg, and it wouldn't be interesting to everyone involved.

 

To keep the game interesting week after week, updates are required from the High Lords describing how their invasions are progressing. The Nameless One is a god without an imagination, so he needs the High Lords to invent new ways to bring destruction to the cosmos. Every Monday he'll send the High Lords messages telling them how many P-energy points they've leeched from their realms, how many total points they have, any information they've gained from lieutenants, and whether they've received a bonus. Then the High Lords have until the end of the next Sunday to reply privately about stelae placement and lieutenant missions, and post army activities, bridge landings, and any other reality-suitable information they'd like to share with everyone.

 

The High Lords must be explicit about what they are spending their P-energy on and how much it costs, where stelae and bridges are planted, where the armies and lieutenants are going, and what kind of mission they are on (if any) in their private messages. If there is any confusion about what they intend to do, The Nameless One will do his best to guess their intentions, but it won't do any good to argue with him afterward. The war goes on.

 

On the other hand, in their public posting, the High Lords are encouraged to be descriptive, flavourful, and faithful to their particular reality. That doesn't mean that they have to write whole essays about how their invasion is going, but some small, inventive contribution is desirable. Give the lieutenant a name, list the troops' equipment, or narrarate a battle, for example. To encourage creativity and to reward extra effort, a system of bonuses will be used.

 

Be warned that while creative description is rewarded, posting deliberate misinformation about publicly-observable facts like army or bridge locations will be corrected publicly by The Nameless One. If you want to keep something a secret, it's better to not mention it.

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Every week, the High Lord that posts the best description about what's going on in their realm will get a bonus. "The Best" will probably vary from week to week, depending on how enthusiastic each player is and how they interpret their invasion's progress. The weekly post doesn't have to be long, as I'd rather read one good sentence than a page of hackwork. The High Lords should be inventive and entertaining, and make the information follow from the post from the week before, so that their whole invasion could be read as a whole narrative on its thread.

 

Just in case one player has better writing skills than the others, one other player who posted that week will be randomly picked to also get a bonus for contributing. The two bonuses will be identical, and will be given in the Monday private messages.

 

The bonuses will be different from week to week. They might be: extra P-energy, improved reception to their reality, unique items, additional or more powerful lieutenants, divine intervention, information about Storm Knights, or clues about the location of Eternity Shards, or about how to construct the possibility-sorting device.

 

The bonuses will hopefully balance the strategic elements of the game, so that a master strategist will do as well as a skilled narrator, and the winner will be someone who combines the two.

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Players who don't post one week are not eligible for a bonus that week. Other than that, they won't suffer any penalty. We all have other priorities more important than writing about fantasy invasions, and if life gets in the way, the invasion will still progress without needing the weekly update. The High Lord will still collect P-energy and their realm is still on the map. If they fail to post or tell the GM what they want to do for several weeks, eventually the Storm Knights will pull up the absent High Lord's stelae and destroy his realm.

 

I hope that if everyone contributes a little regularly, it should keep the game fun and interesting, and the Torg will emerge quickly.

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Gospog are special units that are grown in fields that have been sown with the bodies of Earth's dead. After the gospog field is created, it will produce units of increasing effectiveness.

Gospog of the first planting (G1) grow after 1 week, and count as an army with no disadvantage outside their reality.

Gospog of the second planting (G2) grow after 4 weeks, and count as an army that is at an advantage both inside and outside their reality.

Gospog of the third planting (G3) grow after 9 weeks, and can be attached to other armies to give them a +1 advantage.

Gospog of the fourth planting (G4) grow after 16 weeks, and can be attached to other armies to give them a +2 advantage.

Gospog of the fifth planting (G5) grow after 25 weeks, act as lieutenants, and when attached to armies give them a +3 advantage.

After a field produces a crop of gospog, it must be re-sown with bodies to produce the next planting. After the fifth planting, the field no longer produces gospog. Because 10,000 bodies must be planted for each sowing, gospog fields become well-known and are prime targets for Storm Knights.

 

How will the timings work for gospog planting and harvesting? I think you mentioned that each week will be a month of game time, so is it something like: (each week is a real world week, corresponding to 4 game weeks)

 

Week 0: Plant a gospog field by paying 12pp, and assigning an army to collect corpses. 1st gen gospog begin growing.

Week 1: 1st gen gospog crawl out of the dirt and are ready for use. Assign an army to collect more corpses. 2nd gen gospog begin growing.

Week 2: 2nd gen gospog dig themselves up. Assign an army to collect more corpses. 3rd gen gospog begin growing.

Week 3: Gospogs growing. Mulch and water as needed.

Week 4: 3rd gen gospog leap into action. Assign an army to collect more corpses. 4th gen gospog begin growing.

Week 5-7: Gospogs growing. Try playing music for happy and healthy development.

Week 8: 4th gen gospog burst from the earth and eat nearby humans. Assign an army to collect more corpses. 5th gen gospog begins growing.

Week 9-13: Gospog growing. Application of StormKnighticide is prudent to protect your crop.

Week 14: 5th gen gospog is ready to gnash faces.

 

My timings may be a week or so out in some cases, as they weeks and months don't match precisely.

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Actually, a week of real time is now a week of game time, just for clarity's sake. I had wanted to make a week translate into a month of game time to fit the schedule of the original invasion (which took 5 years, but I wanted this game to go faster than that.) But troop movement stalled that idea, since anyone could get just about anywhere in a month, and lieutenants would be locked up in their missions for a lot longer than anyone would want them to, and the result would be that everyone would need a lot more resources to keep track of every week, starting at the first week. And then a High Lord who missed a week would be truly handicapped. Hopefully this will keep the game flowing smoothly with an increasing expansion in the invasion plans.

 

Also, the gospog would have been way too powerful and cheap if they started coming up only 1 week after the start of the game. Since I'm using the Torg rules as much as possible, I'm keeping them on the official schedule rather than try to invent a more game-balancing schedule, and we'll see how useful the gospog prove to be.

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As someone who needs a soft touch MUCH more than a hard one, I'd really love a "Create new Lieutenant" option. I have many tasks for minions! For armies ... not so much.

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Additional question, after "Need more lieutenants!" would be the zones themselves.

 

Will you be using the "Pure Zones produce more energy but dominant zones produce longer" construct? IE, in the 'traditional' setup, each pure zone produced three posiblity units (Or PU's) per month, while a Dominant Zone produced only 2 PU. The Pure Zone only worked for a year, however, while the Dominant Zone worked for five. End result was 36 PU earned vs 120 PU over time.

 

Mixed Zones, of course, produce none, eventually flipping to one side or the other in about six months, unless a High lord pushes some energy out to flip 'em.

 

Will we be able to pick which zones are Dominant and which are Pure? Can we modify this (For example, should the Gaunt Man want to establish a Pure Zone in, say, Perth, but only gets a Dominant one, can I use some of my possibility energy to change it)? And, if we can, how much energy will it take to make a Mixed Zone Dominant, a Dominant Zone Pure, or a Pure Zone Dominant?

 

Lastly, the default bridge is big and oogly, but handy. How much will it cost to modify the bridge, so that it could be a radiant arc of light, such as Magna Verita's inspiring style, a hidden underground rather than obviously skyward style (The CYberpapal bridge in traditional Cyberfrance is this), or a "Clean beam" that's hard to spot (Traditional Nippon Tech)?

 

No, wait, LASTLY lastly, is there an "Advance Operatives" group that we could create? Say, 5000 instead of an army's 25,000, that can go forth and prepar an area before an invasion? Magna Verita priests teaching The Word in South America, for example, or Nippon Tech investment bankers looking for a good deal on New Zealand... that sort of thing. "Soft conquer" takes longer than the hard way, but, it's more stylistic for some of us.

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"Need more lieutenants!"

I understand that the Gaunt Man's strategy would need more nightmares and fewer shambling hordes, but I want to keep lieutenants special. You can grow 5th generation gospog, which should start coming out of the ground in time for Christmas. Or you can find stormers, catch them, and seduce them to your cause.

 

Will you be using the "Pure Zones produce more energy but dominant zones produce longer" construct? IE, in the 'traditional' setup, each pure zone produced three posiblity units (Or PU's) per month, while a Dominant Zone produced only 2 PU. The Pure Zone only worked for a year, however, while the Dominant Zone worked for five. End result was 36 PU earned vs 120 PU over time.

 

Mixed Zones, of course, produce none, eventually flipping to one side or the other in about six months, unless a High lord pushes some energy out to flip 'em.

 

Will we be able to pick which zones are Dominant and which are Pure? Can we modify this (For example, should the Gaunt Man want to establish a Pure Zone in, say, Perth, but only gets a Dominant one, can I use some of my possibility energy to change it)? And, if we can, how much energy will it take to make a Mixed Zone Dominant, a Dominant Zone Pure, or a Pure Zone Dominant?

 

I am going to use the transformation tables in the Torg rulebook, but the pure and dominant zones aren't going to vary much, because I don't have any rules on how to do this, and I'm going to have a lot of bookkeeping to do with the populations in each zone already. Pure zones will be around every maelstrom bridge, and zones that have an earthling population of less than 25,000 (though invading Siberia probably won't be worth the cost.) Mixed zones will happen when an army first invades an area with an extremely high population, 10,000,000 or higher. But so long as the invading army can hold its own against the counterattacking earthlings, the zone will quickly flip to dominant. And all other zones will be dominant one way or another, and will probably stay that way.

 

The default bridge is big and oogly, but handy. How much will it cost to modify the bridge, so that it could be a radiant arc of light, such as Magna Verita's inspiring style, a hidden underground rather than obviously skyward style (The CYberpapal bridge in traditional Cyberfrance is this), or a "Clean beam" that's hard to spot (Traditional Nippon Tech)?

Sorry, I don't have any mechanism for that either, except that you have the freedom to describe your maelstrom bridges any way you want. If this game was run by a computer program that loved to solve algorithms, functions that let you adjust the ratio of P-energy in and out to make various effects would be great. But I'm just a guy who can't figure out Google maps, and so I have to leave a lot to your creative imagination. The other High Lords can see your maelstrom bridges, but not your stelae, and the earthlings are going to be too confused by everything else to wonder how an army of 25,000 can emerge from that building like a horde of scary clowns.

 

No, wait, LASTLY lastly, is there an "Advance Operatives" group that we could create? Say, 5000 instead of an army's 25,000, that can go forth and prepar an area before an invasion? Magna Verita priests teaching The Word in South America, for example, or Nippon Tech investment bankers looking for a good deal on New Zealand... that sort of thing. "Soft conquer" takes longer than the hard way, but, it's more stylistic for some of us.

Since I'm keeping lieutenants hard to get, I'll create a unit of "Special Ops" that can perform some of the missions of lieutenants (though not as well.) These Special Ops can guard stelae, try to catch Soulstained stormers, or soften up an area for invasion. Because they are small groups and not possibility-rated, their primary mode is stealth, otherwise they'd be arrested or destroyed before they can do their job. And to keep them precious, they'll cost 2 points each.

 

I'd better edit the resources entry to make all this more clear... soon.

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