First, an update on my goals. I've run into a roadblock regarding the computer...my Windows partition went down, and I can't figure out how to install Scribus onto my Linux partition. I'll try some stuff, and if we're in luck, I do have an idea of what I can give to all of you. I realize that making a full, 200-page (or so, I don't exactly know) core rulebook in a month is hardly a very achievable goal for something I'm doing on my spare time. However, it's entirely possible to write up a "Quickstart" for the system.
Basically, that'll include empires to play in one specific setting, along with simplified rules for playing the game. From there, we can make sure that the game works, and then expand the rules into the full version, which I'm still releasing for free. So, then....time to talk a bit more about Paper Empires!
Like My Father Before Me...
It doesn't exactly make sense for you to have a single character who spans centuries of play. In Civilization, that's an abstraction at most. I also think that it's a bit rough to track different characters over that time period, when that's only part of the game. Such paperwork is better-suited to Blood Royale and similar games. Besides, so far the empire, not its ruler, has been the primary character. In keeping with that, the main unit of "characterization" is a dynasty.
The dynasty is the "character" of an empire. Whereas the provinces (and associated mechanics) are the fuel of the empire, and its power, the dynasty is the lifeblood of that same empire. It directs your relationships to other empires, gives a distinctive trait to your empire, and also influences the spread of your Culture.
A dynasty is described by traits: simple descriptions of its aspects that give it bonuses or penalties. The traits of a dynasty are limited into two categories. You have one signature trait and multiple cultural traits. The cultural traits each give you some sort of small bonus, such as additional population or more dice per province. They also determine how easily your culture spreads to new provinces. Every cultural trait has an opposing cultural trait. If that trait is present in a province, attempts to spread culture to that province are penalized. Obviously, you can't have two opposing traits in the same province. A matching trait, on the other hand, gives a bonus to culture-spreading.
The signature trait, on the other hand, gives every empire their distinct flavor. It's a cultural trait, but it has a special ability attached to it as well. Once per game, you may expend that ability: your empire spends its resources to achieve a wondrous goal. You gain a temporary but powerful benefit. This is the moment where your empire shines; it's what your empire is known for, after all.
Traits, of course, are the backbone of the roleplaying in this game, and they figure heavily into the Diplomacy portion.
- Good evening, afternoon, or whatever time it happens to be there, ladies and gents! I happen to be Andy, who happens to be a freelance web designer, musician, writer, and whatnot.Roman Catholic, student of tabletop gaming, and someday soon I'll have my own designs in the field!
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