Saturday, March 31, 2012
Paper Empires: Provinces
The second main part of my revitalized Paper Empires project is the provinces, those little bits of territory that make up your empire. Dynasties are defined by characteristics, and by the knowledge possessed by the Dynasty. Provinces, in contrast, are primarily defined by the resources and goods they produce. They can be invaded, infiltrated, built up, and settled. Your Dynasty may be your empire's heart and soul, but your Provinces are its hands and feet.
Making Stuff and Doing Stuff
The heart of what makes your empire tick will be Assets, things like armies and cultural trends that add more dice to your pool. Assets have to be made, though, and that's where your Industry traits come in. See, the core component of Provinces are Industries. Many Provinces have one Industry, although some can have more than one.
An Industry is a set of related traits, some of them resources, some of them improvements. When you're making a dice pool, you get to add one of those traits, although you can sometimes add in another. An Industry also has "capabilities", special abilities granted for rolls. Many capabilities let you use more than one die from the Industry, but some have other effects, such as letting you pick more than one Power die in some rolls. Capabilities are often created through the construction of improvements, such as an arsenal or a trading post.
Provinces also have a single Distinction, which can be used in a positive or negative way, either adding a d8 to your roll, or adding a d4 to your roll and a d6 to your Dynasty Pool. This is a simple way to characterize the Province. Provinces also have an Unrest Pool: this represents dissenters in the land, and if it gets too high, the Province may stage a rebellion.
Finally, all Provinces (except unsettled lands) have at least one Culture trait. This represents the influence of various Dynasties' cultures on them. You want to have your own Culture be a high die, and you'll want to keep an eye on the Culture of opposing Dynasties as it creeps into your Province. Too much, and they can attempt to entice the Province into leaving your control.
So, with all that set out, I'll leave you with a sample Province, and the promise that next week I'll be handling the final little bit of the main physics of this game: Assets.
A Sample Province
Distinction: Harsh Terrain
Whales d8, Luxuries d6
Capability: Ivory Carvings. Spend a die from the Dynasty Pool to create a Wealth Asset of equal value.
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