Nation Systems Concept

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Nation Systems Concept

Post by Admin on Fri Dec 23, 2011 7:31 pm

In preparation for the Military System, several other nation systems must be in place. In order to avoid making things too complicated for players who don't particularly care the system but still must utilize them, these systems must be streamlined and simplified. However, in order to provide the depth necessary for other players who do care and are interested in the systems, these systems must be sophisticated enough to be entertaining.

This dichotomy will not likely be resolved easily, nor may it be possible to sufficiently give everyone enough of what they want. Therefore, I propose that each system have two versions, a simplified and streamlined system and a more complicated and detailed system. The former version will allow players who must depend upon that system (such as the Economic System) but aren't necessarily interested to understand enough information as is necessary to function and no more. The latter version will use the former as a foundation and further flesh out the system, providing depth for those who seek it.

As an example for the Economic System, the general system will have a handful of categories of goods which affect the country and its cities. Foodstuffs will determine whether or not the population is fed or starving and how much surplus farming communities are producing.
The general system will apply general detriments and benefits: If a city lacks the necessary foodstuffs, people will begin starving and the death rate will rise. Morale and public approval will also take a hit until the situation is fixed. In general, merchants will also be paid a higher price for foodstuffs due to the increased demand, and the city's coffers must be able to compensate.
The more detailed system will apply more specific detriments and benefits. For example, a village may produce a lot of grain-based foodstuffs but not much in terms of other vitamins and nutrients. If a merchant or a politically-sponsored transport provides other fruits and vegetables, then the populace will be more disease-resistant and morale will increase slightly. If a merchant instead supplies disease-ridden food, then many negative effects will occur.

In order to strike a nice balance and allow for the general system to stand on its own without always referencing the detailed system, the general system will account for the baseline, which will then be tweaked by the more detailed system. The detailed system must not provide too many or too frequent detriments, or else no one could get by without knowing the detailed system. Detriments should also be able to be generalized, such as "A report from the township states that a recent supply of food from an independent merchant is to blame for the spreading disease. The merchant has been identified and a bounty placed. The guards in the region have been mobilized to catch the perpetrator."
However, benefits may be numerous and frequent, but individually minor. When a player looks at a town to see how it is doing, under the general system they will see that it is sufficiently fed, producing a small surplus of foodstuffs, producing a decent number of manufactured goods and growing steadily with enough of a supply of construction materials. They will also see the number of able-bodied men the town can contribute towards the military, the taxes being paid and that public opinion of the king and country are generally high. They may also see, then, that public opinion is being modified by a supply of varied foodstuffs, that the town is currently undergoing a population boom due to the surplus of food and its growth is being aided by a supply of varied construction materials, which also slightly increases public opinion. These are details that the player can look at and just go "Ah, that's nice." and then ignore.
These benefits must be individually minor in order for players who do not care to use the detailed system to not be penalized, but important enough that players who do use the system can feel that they have an impact on the world.

Another facet of this concept is that different players will naturally look at the different versions. Due to everything they must manage, kings or other national administrators must focus on more general information. They aren't likely going to look at the movement of specific goods, such as wood and stone, within their country. They will instead be looking at the movement of construction materials. To reflect this, towns and cities will not consume wood and stone individually, but instead consume construction materials to reflect the general information. However, merchants or other such characters that transport goods will be far more likely to use the detailed system and specialize in transporting the goods that a specific town or city may want. To the merchant, they will be paid according to what they specifically transport, but what they specifically transport does not affect the greater picture.



TL;DR: Two different versions of a system to accommodate people who are affected by the system but don't care and people who want more depth with the system. The general version serves as a baseline, and the detailed version modifies it. The detailed version will be subtle enough that players using the general version can ignore the modifications, but important enough specifically to the players who use it.
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Re: Nation Systems Concept

Post by GrayWatch on Wed Dec 28, 2011 1:41 pm

Question which will hereafter set the tone of.....pretty much everything

Money- is it specifically tracked, or disambiguated?
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Re: Nation Systems Concept

Post by Admin on Thu Dec 29, 2011 4:06 pm

... Any possible implications of that are giving me a headache.

I don't know yet. Money being specifically tracked is probably out of the question, there'd be just too much of it passing in too many locations. If it's tracked at all, it will be on levels, in which what businesses are lucrative (or not), what towns are lucrative (or not), and how the country is faring economically. That is, qualitative stuff.

It will probably be disambiguated (if by that you mean there are individual currencies). Exchange rates will be handled according to how the two countries or group of countries or trade companies that sponsor the different currencies compare in terms of economic standing.
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Re: Nation Systems Concept

Post by GrayWatch on Fri Jan 06, 2012 11:19 am

Disambiguated then. The problem herein is the assignment of value to goods, services, and of course, monies (on a related note, should it be assumed that all nations use the same coinage, and if so what nation mints it? How is it legitimacy verfied?)

For example in our modern society, most coinage in the world does NOT have value based upon physical material, but is rather stated to be the equivalent of labor ("What worth the coin, compared to the dexterity and strength of the hand that holds it?").

To put it another way, the value of any given thing changes drastically based upon the situation. A pound of gold and a potato. In the city, the gold is worth far more. On a small desert island the potato is worth much more.

So if we're not tracking specific goods and money, then I would move we create a disambiguation of the sum total of a cities' food, tradestuffs, assorted laborers, etc. etc. and use that as a measure of the cities success per hundred head or so, with some modifiers or notes thrown in to explain how and what.

In short, a general indicator of a village/town/city's prosperity is going to be a ratio between it's <total (incoming) value> and it's <stable population>. Then we toss in notes about how the city has a surplus of X (shipments of X have a low value in the city, merchants get little for it) and a scarcity of Y (shipments of Y have high value, merchants get lot), attatch some numbers in tonnage or other appropriate units to say how MUCH of a surplus/deficit etc. etc.

MN will hate it because it looks like there are numbers in it, but I've long since stopped caring.

Working on it.
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Re: Nation Systems Concept

Post by GrayWatch on Fri Jan 06, 2012 5:39 pm

More Thoughts:
For the most basic system I can imagine which fufills all mentioned requirements-
Nations/Cities will need to track :
Population & Total Value (likely through some generalized "ranking" system)
Surplus & Deficits* (shown by mass or labor units)

-->Unsolved problem: Different Items have different values. Gold is not potatoes. While surplus/deficit handles adjusting value for situation, how to
(generally) assign base values to goods? This is more or a problem for the more advanced system however.

Tags - Information about the city. In the simple version this will mostly just inform players as to unusual qualities about the city, and how likely they are to find certain goods on sale. Examples: [Trade-Capital][Active Harbor][Crime-Ridden][At War][Endangered**], etc. etc.

Players need to track:
Liquid Value - Essentially their disposable worth. How much they can buy etc. etc. In the simple system this essentially acts as combination goods, money etc. You can exchange items or services for Liquid Value. It is assumed in the simple system that players will not be doing serious merchant-ing, so specific mercantile goods are not tracked. Rather they can simply purchase generalized "Trade Goods" at one city, and sell them later, hopefully for a profit.

NOTE: In the simple system a player cannot REASONABLY change the economy or net worth of a city. i.e. a player only ever needs to worry about how his decisions affect him or her..


*Note: Surplus also encompasses goods which are scarce but with little demand. I.e. no one in the village in the grips of starvation will pay much for jewelry because that is money better spent on food.
**Endangered tag is similar to At War (which merely indicates the city is contributing to a war effort, either directly or indirectly), but indicates a CLEAR and IMMEDIATE threat. Basically the city is under siege, suffers constant raiding, or similar. Villages with powerful bandit presence often have this.

=====================================================
Thoughts on Value:
To represent both the staggering wealth of a city, and the less impressive wealth of a starving refugee on the same scale, I think a logarithmic scale is best.
(i.e. a "10" represents 1 BILLION times the value of a "1" or to put it another way, each level adds an order of magnitude.)
I'd like to run from 0 to 10 (0 being someone with no possessions of their own, is uneducated and fit only for unskilled manual labor, and at that, does poorly, 10 representing a large trading city.)
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Re: Nation Systems Concept

Post by Admin on Sun Jan 15, 2012 1:00 pm

All of this sounds good, BI. And yes, the advanced system will have to worry about how much specific goods are, and that'll likely have to be an equation.

Something like

[Rarity to Known World]*[Rarity Local]*[Demand/Supply]

The rarity and demand variables will have to be qualitative tiers associated with a number. Supply may not have to be, but probably will end up being rare anyway.

With all systems that have potential numbering, they act as a baseline or skeleton. Their usage in RoKK is not verbatim the rules of the system, since any number of things can manipulate it. In this instance, a very rare silver dagger with gold ornamental design that bears the crest of a forgotten family that no longer exists should be worth a LOT, if for no other reason than the precious metals. However, if the shopkeeper can't find a buyer for a long time, and the food surplus of his region's agriculture took a dive and he's not been eating well and is worried about his health, he may drastically lower the price from the baseline, but none of that needs to be put into the equation for baseline cost.

About the tags, I agree with your take on surplus, and I also the endangered tag. I actually thought that the *'s for endangered were the tier for how endangered it was (tier 2 or tier +2 or w/e). This made sense to me, because a city that is threatened or endangered simply due to its proximity to an enemy most likely will have its economy disturbed. Having a more imminent threat will further disturb it.
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Re: Nation Systems Concept

Post by MidgetNinja on Mon Mar 19, 2012 5:55 pm

We really need to start heading towards a prototype phase to start testing some of these things out. All of this sounds good to me, and I think it sounds good to Crom too or he'd have probably said so.

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