[Webwinding] Rules Discussion

edited July 2009 in PBP Discussion
This rules guide is being refined in the Webwinding Rules Thread - please post rules comments/questions/suggestions there!

This game is played in a forum, and with a dynamic relationship map (web). It is a game where heroes (or villains, but lets just say heroes) exert their influence on competing groups to attain the heroes' own ends.

The forum is used to describe player actions that manipulate the factions depicted in the web. The web is used to track the relative prosperity of various groups, factions, tribes, monsters, and individuals; and the tone of their relationships to each other and to the heroes. Prosperity of a node is the number in that node's circle. A relationship's tone is denoted by the number on the line between the two nodes. Players also have relationships to any nodes they visit in the web; these are recorded in the forum as they arise. Play proceeds in rounds - in a round, each player gets to take a turn as described below, and then the moderator makes some random adjustments to active nodes and relationships (active means there is a player on or adjacent to the node).

Determining your Influence for the turn:
Start with a post that rolls (level)*d100. Post it so you can see your results. These are your influence dice. Compare their value to the node you're currently positioned on. If the value of a die is less than your relationship score to your current node, the die is worth 2 positive points which can be spent on improving your relationship to the node, its prosperity, or the value of one of its relationships. If the value of an influence die is greater than or equal to your relationship to the current node, it is worth 3 negative points toward decreasing your relationship with the node, its prosperity, or the tone of one of its relationships.

Spending Influence Dice:
You must spend all influence dice during your turn. Most turns, you will have a mix of positive and negative points to spend. Spend them on the following things:
1) The relationship to your current node (note decreasing your relationship to your current node gives you more destructive power towards it and its relationships, and increasing your relationship to the node improves your ability to positively influence it)
2) The prosperity of your current node
3) A relationship of your current node to another node or to another player. If you spend influence dice in this way, you have the option of moving (see Moving Between Nodes) and may spend the remainder of your influence dice based on your new node.

You may not mix positive and negative pools. As you will have to explain the way your dice get spent with your story for the turn, it is recommended you try to keep it as simple as possible by not spreading dice out too many different directions. In any case, you may not positively influence more than 2 scores, neither may you negatively influence more than 2 scores (and you may not positively and negatively affect the same score, naturally).

Special Prosperity Cases:
If, during the course of your turn, one of the following situations occurs, it has the stated effect on what you may claim in your story:
1) If at the end of your turn node has a prosperity of more than zero, and you have at least twice its prosperity as a relationship score to it, AND you have a higher relationship to it than any other node or hero, you may take over the node 'peacefully' - that is, you are chosen to lead it by its people. Congratulations! Make sure to tell us just how that happened.
2) If a node reaches zero prosperity, the hero whose turn it is may decide what happens to the node; specifically whether it is destroyed totally in some way and removed from the web, or whether it becomes a slave or vassal to one of the nodes with which it has a relationship (for example, if on my turn I traveled from the Pterafolk with whom I have a good relationship to the Lizardfolk and bring the Lizardfolk to 0; I might decide the Pterafolk have enslaved them). If and when this actually happens, we'll deal with how nodes get combined.

Moving between nodes:
You may move a maximum of one time per turn. To do so, spend one or more influence dice based on your current node to affect one of that node's relationships. Once you have done so, you have the option of using your move action this turn to move to that node. If you do not currently have a relationship to the node you're moving to, determine that by choosing either to take the (just-modified) relationship you traveled on, or choose a fresh start as a d100 roll (if the story so far indicates you are known to the node you're traveling to and this d100 contradicts that, you'll just have to be in disguise or charmed by a shaman or something. Be creative). If after your move and relationship establishment you still have influence dice left to spend, you may spend them only based on the new node (affecting your relationship to it, its prosperity, or one of its relationships (without the option of moving a second time). To simplify storytelling, it is recommended that you move at the beginning of the turn if you intend to spend influence dice on the new node. Otherwise, you may find yourself having to justify too much happening in too many different places.

Storytelling:
When you've spent all your influence dice, give a short narrative description of what your hero did that more-or-less matches what you did with your dice. That is, if you spent dice to increase or decrease a relationship, tell what you did to help or damage it and what effect that had. No matter what you do, you must justify what changes you make with a short story of your hero's actions and their outcome.

Prosperity Scale Guide:
0-10 - Brink of extinction, defeat, exile, destruction, or assimilation.
10-20 severe danger, natural disaster, fire, plague, warfare, or other serious badness
20-30 notable decline, war casualties, disease victims, poverty, injustice, and bad cooking
30-40
40-50 seen better days, but things might turn out OK yet
50-60
60-70
70-80
80-90 Notable influx of power, wealth, etc
90-100 Riding high. Unprecedented prosperity, wealth, the faction's hopes and dreams (or perhaps nefarious plans) have come to fruition

Relationship tone guide (one way to think of this one is "what percentage of contacts between these two groups occur without violence or enmity?")
0-10 brutal warfare of the worst kind
10-20 open warfare, but usually between recognized combatants
20-30 covert warfare, riots against control, or other flashpoint situation
30-40 dislike, fearmongering, protests in a vassal state, or otherwise declining relationship
40-50 mistrust, trepidation, rumours, avoidance, etc
50-60 Peace, minor trade, mutual respect
60-70 noteable trade, occasional joint ventures or allies, common views or enemies
70-80 good relations, often found together or helping each other, shared goals
80-90 close relations, occasional intermingling of populations if possible
90-100 strong allies or complete melding of populations into a single faction
«13

Comments

  • Here's a test run at an example turn. Let's say I'm Moro in Port Nyranzaru, where my relationship is a 73 to start. I'm level 10, so I roll 10d100:

    #DiceRoller( 10d100 )
  • I rolled 71, 53, 45, 26, 22, 58, 36, 00, 41, 62. So if I stay in Port Nyranzaru, the 71, 53, 45, 26, 22, 58, 36, 41, and 62 are each worth 2 positive influence, for a total of +18. I also have a 00 (100) that's higher than my current node relationship, so that's worth -3. Here's a few ways I can play that turn:

    1) Stay in Port N, and spend my points on my relationship to the city and training up the Batari. I give myself a new relationship of 80 (7 points) and spend the rest of the positive pool on the Batari relationship (57 at the start, +11 now becomes 68). I decide to spend my negative pool to intensify the conflict with the Chultans (started at 21; now becomes 18). I write a story about training more of Moro's Myrmidons and leave it at that.

    2) I decide to travel to the Batari camps to better conduct the guerilla war, so I decide to spend my 71, 62, 53, and 45 to build up the Batari-Port relationship (57 + 8 = 65) and travel along that relationship to put my new position at the Batari villages. Since I don't have an established relationship score to the Batari, I can either take the score I traveled along (now 65) or roll d100. To go with previously established story, I take the 65 and then spend my remaining +10 (all of which comes from dice below my new score) to augment that up to 75. I then spend the -3 Influence on the Batari-Chultan relationship. I can't travel that node right now, but perhaps on my next turn I'll take the fight from the Batari village training grounds to the Chultans (by moving to the Chultan node and wreaking havoc on their Prosperity)
  • edited July 2009
    It seems like there should also be a way of connecting two nodes that aren't presently connected. Like, maybe you can form a relationship from your current node to a new node no further than 1 jump from your adjacent nodes? And you just roll a fresh d100 for the relationship (modifiable by your turn's influence dice) and write it up as your turn?
  • I got lost. How do I roll the dice?
  • #dice ( 10d100 )
  • #DiceRoller( 10d100 )
  • edited July 2009
    93, 05, 45, 56, 44, 86, 84, 83, 45, 74

    got it
  • yeah, sorry - should have made it clear that the spaces matter in that syntax.
  • Where is the x=+2, y=-3 info coming from?
  • edited July 2009
    Posted By: Dave YounceIt seems like there should also be a way of connecting two nodes that aren't presently connected. Like, maybe you can form a relationship from your current node to a new node no further than 1 jump from your adjacent nodes? And you just roll a fresh d100 for the relationship (modifiable by your turn's influence dice) and write it up as your turn?
    Seems reasonable as your move. There's a pretty limited number of times this could come up, so I don't think it unbalances anything.
  • I'm thinking maybe when we started we should have had relationship scores to all connecting hubs. Or maybe half of them, to keep from too much going on.

    So for instance, I would have the rolled a starting score for the node I'm on, then 3 more times that I could assign as a relationship to any adjoining 3 hubs. That way, when considering the initial moves there would be some precedent rather than relying on a d100 roll when I get there.

    For instance as I understand it now, even having started out wanting Calen to be a Tabaxi sympthizer, if I move him there from Port N my choices are the have a new relationship with the Tabaxi of 21, or to roll and hope for better than that. Let's say my roll ends up 38. I would still end up exerting quite a bit of my relationship points to the story where I wanted it in the first place (and would have made a different decision had I known it would be 38), where starting out it seems like players should have SOME relationship to at least some of the surrounding nodes. In the example story, for instance, let's say Moro has an initial relationship of 73 to Port N. He then rolls a 54, a 22, and an 80. He might assign 80 to the goblins, 54 to Amn, and 22 to Chultan Jungles.

    I guess the issue is, if the player's initial attitude to the starting node is negative, and a surrounding node also has a negative relationship, while storywise it might make sense for the two to have a positive relationship to each other (maybe the player is from there?), there's not currently a way to do that. Right?
  • edited July 2009
    Okay lastly for tonight (I promise), it seems like taking over nodes is really easy. For instance, even though Calen dislikes Port N, if I move to Fort B (relationship 70, prosperity 13), I could use the relationship 70 as my new relationship to the node and take it over. Which makes no sense because it has a strong relationship to a node that I have an antigonistic relationship to.

    Also, what happens if you take over a node? Multiple nodes? Do you get more dice? Can you spend them to affect relationships anywhere in your empire, or only from the node your on at the time? Maybe your level is 10+the number of nodes you control?
  • Posted By: RichI guess the issue is, if the player's initial attitude to the starting node is negative, and a surrounding node also has a negative relationship, while storywise it might make sense for the two to have a positive relationship to each other (maybe the player is from there?), there's not currently a way to do that. Right?
    True. I thought about ways to do that kind of "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" relationship, but most of what I could come up with sounded arithmetically annoying. That's why I ended up saying "screw it; you can take your chances with a d100 if you don't like the score you're traveling on." If you see an easy way around that, lemme know. Your other option is not to travel directly to the Chultans; if you want a guaranteed good relationship there you'd find a way to go to Fort Beluarian first and from there to the Chultans on the subsequent turn, guaranteeing at least a 70.
    Posted By: Richstarting out it seems like players should have SOME relationship to at least some of the surrounding nodes. In the example story, for instance, let's say Moro has an initial relationship of 73 to Port N. He then rolls a 54, a 22, and an 80. He might assign 80 to the goblins, 54 to Amn, and 22 to Chultan Jungles.
    That's workable for the starting position; I wouldn't want to do that every time you visit a new node though. Let's go ahead and say all players can roll 3d100 on starting rels to nodes adjacent to Port N and assign them after the rolls. Will that address your issue?
    Posted By: RichOkay lastly for tonight (I promise), it seems like taking over nodes is really easy. For instance, even though Calen dislikes Port N, if I move to Fort B (relationship 70, prosperity 13), I could use the relationship 70 as my new relationship to the node and take it over. Which makes no sense because it has a strong relationship to a node that I have an antigonistic relationship to.
    Well, you wouldn't actually take Fort B over until you beat Baldurs Gate's score of 88; you have to be more than double the prosperity and more than any other relationship. If I were writing a story where I took over a node by coming from a place that had a strong relationship to the node but a weak relationship to me, I'd frame that as me killing the head of the trade delegation and posing as him in order to make the new node think I was a legitimate ambassador from there or whatever. All they know is you came from that place; to start out they don't have any good intelligence on your relationship with the node you're coming from. Fort B. is easy to take over because its on the brink of death. I think most other nodes would take several turns to whittle down their other relationships and build yours up, etc.
    Posted By: RichAlso, what happens if you take over a node? Multiple nodes? Do you get more dice? Can you spend them to affect relationships anywhere in your empire, or only from the node your on at the time? Maybe your level is 10+the number of nodes you control?
    If you take over a node I was going to have you control its maintenance phase (which I have rules for in my head but haven't commited to yet). But the idea to start was that you'd be able to have more direct control over that node and its relationships, but that it wouldn't necessarily affect your dice elsewhere. If I make level depend on nodes controlled, it definitely turns into a big game of Civilization, and I'm not sure that's what I want. I'm not committed to providing a mechanical advantage for controlling multiple nodes; only a story advantage for now.
  • Posted By: RichWhere is the x=+2, y=-3 info coming from?
    Entropy! It's easier to destroy than to build up.
  • Posted By: Dave Younce
    Posted By: RichWhere is the x=+2, y=-3 info coming from?
    Entropy! It's easier to destroy than to build up.
    No, I meant literally I don't understand why some numbers give you a +2 and others a -3. I couldn't find the part in the rules to interpret my rolls with.
  • Posted By: DaveTrue. I thought about ways to do that kind of "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" relationship, but most of what I could come up with sounded arithmetically annoying. That's why I ended up saying "screw it; you can take your chances with a d100 if you don't like the score you're traveling on." If you see an easy way around that, lemme know.
    NP. I think using the starting with multiple relationships rule will largely make this obsolete. Later in the game I guess it could just get storied as "they don't trust you since you just came from the enemy"
    Posted By: DaveThat's workable for the starting position; I wouldn't want to do that every time you visit a new node though. Let's go ahead and say all players can roll 3d100 on starting rels to nodes adjacent to Port N and assign them after the rolls. Will that address your issue?
    That sounds good.
    Posted By: DaveWell, you wouldn't actually take Fort B over until you beat Baldurs Gate's score of 88; you have to be more than double the prosperity and more than any other relationship.
    Ah, that's the part I missed. I thought I was just beating other players' relationships. Makes more sense now.
  • Posted By: RichNo, I meant literally I don't understand why some numbers give you a +2 and others a -3. I couldn't find the part in the rules to interpret my rolls with.
    oh! you compare your rolls to your relationship score with the node you're currently on. dice greater than or equal to your current relationship score give you the -3s, dice below your current rel score give you +2s. Note that if you move before the end of your turn, the remaining dice you haven't spent yet get compared to your new node relationship score. Does that make sense?
  • Posted By: Daveoh! you compare your rolls to your relationship score with the node you're currently on. dice greater than or equal to your current relationship score give you the -3s, dice below your current rel score give you +2s. Note that if you move before the end of your turn, the remaining dice you haven't spent yet get compared to your new node relationship score. Does that make sense?
    Ah, got it.
  • In email, Rich posed the question:
    RichAre we doing this thing round-robin, or like the old school turn-based doors where you get a turn every day and if you don’t show up that’s too bad?
    Let's say not every day, but I don't want people to get stuck just because someone's ignoring their turn. Let's say turns reset on Sunday morning 0700 EST, but if by Wednesday 0700 everyone has taken a turn since the previous Sunday, then everyone gets another turn before that coming Sunday reset. Does that work for everyone? Clinton/Wam, please assent/dissent to this.
  • edited July 2009
    okay, so do we do this in order (like initiative) or first-come, first-move?
  • first-come, first move after reset i think. I want to reduce dependencies.
  • Proposed maintenance phase rules:

    Maintenance Phase

    After all players have had their turns, each active node gets a maintenance phase. Active nodes are nodes that have been visited by a player at some point during the round. All other nodes are essentially dormant, but their prosperity can still be affected by an active node. If a node is controlled by a player, that player gets to make the choices associated with the maintenance phase of that node; otherwise that responsibility falls to the moderator. Maintenance phase is a bit like a player turn. In it, the node rolls a number of d100 equal to the number of its current relationships; eg a node with 4 relationships rolls 4d100. These are spent in the following ways:
    a) compare them to a relationship of the node, and choose to raise/lower that relationship as with player influence dice
    b) compare them to a relationship of the node, and choose to raise/lower the prosperity of the OTHER node - thus, a node at war with another node has more power to lower that node's prosperity.
    c) in desperation, give up a die to raise the current node's prosperity by 1.
  • edited July 2009
    Posted By: Dave Youncec) in desperation, give up a die to raise the current node's prosperity by 1.
    I'm not happy with that one, actually. It means someone at 98 prosperity and someone at 3 prosperity have the same ability to move up. I think this should be like other mechanics, but reversed, so a die rolled higher than your current prosperity can be used to raise you by 2 (and a die rolled lower you'd naturally want to improve one of your relationships with). That sounds better to me.

    Also, note that controlling a node can be a powerful thing, because it allows you to affect the prosperity of nodes that you're not currently on. The most powerful nodes to control are those with the most relationships (they're also potentially the hardest to control since you need to beat all those relationships to be the leader). Thus, it is in your interest if you control a node to increase the number of its relationships (BTW, let's cap total number of relationships any node can have to other nodes at 12, just in case). Even if you control a node, though, if another player (or another node on maintenance phase) brings your controlled node's prosperity to zero, they get to say what happens to that node and you can be deposed. It's also potentially risky to introduce new relationships to your controlled nodes if your hold on them is tenuous, because if the 1d100 roll for the tone of that new relationship exceeds your current relationship, you lose control of the node (although it doesn't necessarily switch to the new-node just because they have the highest relationship score. Nodes can only take over other nodes in-game through violence; taking prosperity down to zero and then building it back up again as a vassal state). Or at least, that's how I'm thinking at the moment.
  • edited August 2009
    Case Study: Calen's Round 2 Turn. Here was the map at the end of round 1:
    Round 1
    How Rich spent his last turn: (So 94, 92, 75, 55, 47, 44, 44, 20, 15, and 2. Is +6 and -21):
    -18 to Fort Beluarian's prosperity, bringing it to 0
    +6 to the relationship from Fort Beluarian to Baldur's Gate, making it 94
    (Calen's new relationship to Baldur's Gate becomes 94)
    -3 to the relationship between Beldur's Gate and Amn, bringing it to 36.
    Calen had a relationship of 72 to Fort Beluarian, having arrived there from Port Nyranzaru.

    Here's a different thing he could have done:
    *lower the relationship to Port N by 3 to 69
    *lower the relationship to the Chultans by 3 to 69
    *lower the relationship to Baldur's gate by 15 to 73
    *increase his own relationship to Fort Beluarian by 6 to 78
    Thereby he would have taken over the node (because he would have a relationship of more than double its prosperity and greater than any other relationship) and its prosperity would have remained 18. Obviously that didn't represent Rich's goals for the round, but I thought it was an interesting possibility when I noticed it. That map would've looked like:
    Photobucket
  • Are there rules yet for forming a relationship between currently-disconnected nodes? I thought of a few ways, but the one I liked best was:

    If a player wants to move to a new node that is not connected, he spends his move action to create a connection and use it. The new connection can be assumed to have a relationship of 50 (neutral) or the player can roll. The nodes must be within 2 current connections of each other. Thus Port Nyranzaru could connect to the Aldani, but not to the Lizardfolk (at least not without connecting to the Aldani first). Using this mechanic, it's theoretically possible to connect very distant nodes, but it would take a lot of time and travel, which is as it should be.

    Other ideas?
  • Posted By: Dave YounceIt seems like there should also be a way of connecting two nodes that aren't presently connected. Like, maybe you can form a relationship from your current node to a new node no further than 1 jump from your adjacent nodes? And you just roll a fresh d100 for the relationship (modifiable by your turn's influence dice) and write it up as your turn?
    Here's what I already had from above on that, Rich. 50 is boring! Introducing two nodes for the first time is entirely unpredictable! (except inasmuch as the player can influence it using their influence dice for the turn) But my rules for distance are the same as yours. Note also that nodes have a maximum number of relationships of 12. Plus anyone can still call BS on your story if it isn't good enough to explain what you're trying to do with the dice.
  • Do we also need a way to sever links? Can you ever stop having some relation to something you relate to? Like, maybe, when you reduce a node to zero prosperity you can optionally kill off one relationship if you're keeping the node around? How would that work storywise?

    I guess my concern is if you take a well connected node like the Chultans or the Yuan-ti or something and knock them down to zero but make them somebody's slaves, they still have 10 dice on the maintenance phase and can do tons of stuff. Is that a problem?
  • Oh! also, something that came up with Clinton in chat. Node<-->Node relationships are capped at 100, node prosperity is capped at 100, but player<-->node relationships can go higher than 100, which is how you rule a successful group.
  • edited August 2009
    Posted By: Dave YounceOh! also, something that came up with Clinton in chat. Node<-->Node relationships are capped at 100, node prosperity is capped at 100, but player<-->node relationships can go higher than 100, which is how you rule a successful group.
    I guess I just assumed they could be over 100. Why cap them at all?
    Posted By: Dave YounceDo we also need a way to sever links? Can you ever stop having some relation to something you relate to? Like, maybe, when you reduce a node to zero prosperity you can optionally kill off one relationship if you're keeping the node around? How would that work storywise?

    I guess my concern is if you take a well connected node like the Chultans or the Yuan-ti or something and knock them down to zero but make them somebody's slaves, they still have 10 dice on the maintenance phase and can do tons of stuff. Is that a problem?
    Sounds fine. I think well-connected nodes also have a heavy ability to rebuff a takeover in the first place (people DO like the status quo), so this should take care of itself.
  • Maybe if you can push a relationship between a node you control and another node to or over 100, you should be able to take over that node, too? You've effectively merged the peoples of the two.
Sign In or Register to comment.