Home Forums General Game Design Narrative wargaming

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  • #167234
    Phil Dutré
    Participant

    My latest experiment in narrative wargaming, inspired by some mechanics taken from story-driven games, can be read here:

    https://snv-ttm.blogspot.com/2022/01/card-driven-narrative-wargaming-2.html

     

    Tiny Tin Men Blog: http://snv-ttm.blogspot.com/
    Wargaming Mechanics Blog: http://wargaming-mechanics.blogspot.com/

    #167237
    Jim Webster
    Participant

    In Hellfire Campaigns I used what I called ‘Dice Moderated Storytelling.’
    It’s really designed to help the solo player and basically when a situation crops up that needs a decision (and you as umpire don’t want to make it) roll a d6. You’ll a range of options

    1,2  Things get better
    3,4  Things stay about the same (but with 3 being a more positive result than a 4)
    5,6  Things get distinctly more messy and unpleasant.

    It’s more for a campaign than a battle. A campaign example from the booklet came about because I had those ruling an area arguing over policy and I wanted to know what the argument was about and who came out on top with regard to priorities

    1,2.  Those merchant princes who also hold a lot of land are getting angry about the clans raiding. That part of the oligarchy which is more trade based doesn’t really see it as a problem.
    3,4  There is an argument over policy between those traders who sell their goods to Citadale and those who sell to Paliapolis. The goods sold to Citadale are mainly foodstuffs and similar in return for raw materials from the mines which go into Anim Coast manufacturing plants. The goods shipped to Paliapolis are high quality speciality foods and craft items which sell well in Paliapolis and also go off world at high prices via that spaceport. There is a feeling that effort should be put into building bridges with Apat, but this could cost money.
    5,6  There is a shortage of labour for the growing manufacturing plants, those involved in manufacturing complain that a declining agriculture is tying up too much of the workforce. Those merchant princes with landed interests complain that their workers are being poached by higher wages, and that it is high quality speciality foodstuffs and similar that bring the money into the area, not second quality manufacturing goods.

     

    I suspect that for a battle your system might be best but you could fit in the dice moderation for situations the cards didn’t foresee.
    Whilst the dice system was meant for a solo game, it would be easy enough to have both players feed into what the dice meant

    https://jimssfnovelsandwargamerules.wordpress.com/

    #167240
    Phil Dutré
    Participant

    Jim,

    I have used a similar mechanic as you described for matrix-games – a player says what will happen next and gives some arguments, then the umpire (with some help from the players) defines some outcomes with associated probabilities.

     

    Tiny Tin Men Blog: http://snv-ttm.blogspot.com/
    Wargaming Mechanics Blog: http://wargaming-mechanics.blogspot.com/

    #167241
    kyoteblue
    Participant

    This harkens back to Chris Engles Matrix games of 35 years ago, but I do like what you’re doing with it.

    #167243
    Phil Dutré
    Participant

    This harkens back to Chris Engles Matrix games of 35 years ago, but I do like what you’re doing with it.

    Absolutely. I’m a big fan of the Engle-matrix games.

    Tiny Tin Men Blog: http://snv-ttm.blogspot.com/
    Wargaming Mechanics Blog: http://wargaming-mechanics.blogspot.com/

    #167244
    Jim Webster
    Participant

    There’s a lot of fascinating ideas in circulation 🙂

    https://jimssfnovelsandwargamerules.wordpress.com/

    #167253
    Guy Farrish
    Participant

    Very similar to Paddy Griffith’s earlier Muggergame concept (more free form than the initial Matrix game) which relied on cooperative story telling/decision making aided and abetted and sometimes tripped up by the playing umpire (or Plumpire – sometimes Paddy’s whimsical names which rightly undercut seriousness on occasion, unfortunately did little to sell quite radical ideas).

    #167257
    Phil Dutré
    Participant

    The references to matrix-games or muggergames or umpire-driven kriegsspiel games or discussion games are correct. I have experimented quite a lot with these in the past, and they have influenced my current views on this style of gaming.

    However, they usually rely on a capable umpire, and on players setting their own victory conditions (or not). They are sometimes more experiences rather than games.

    Hence, some things I find important:

    – can the game be run umpire-less?
    – does each player have proper victory conditions that can “measure” victory?
    – can we break the “position identification” of a player as being aligned with one side only?
    – how can these be combined with narrative/story elements?

    The game outlined in the link in the original post is influenced by games such as The Quiet Year or Microscope.

    Tiny Tin Men Blog: http://snv-ttm.blogspot.com/
    Wargaming Mechanics Blog: http://wargaming-mechanics.blogspot.com/

    #167466
    DestoFante
    Participant

    Thanks for sharing. I have been fascinated by the ideas about matrix games/narrative games for a while, especially at campaign/operational level — the context within which I can then play my tabletop games.

    Has anyone explored further adaptations of Mythic GM Emulator to wargaming? It was created as a way to play RPG without a game master, and it held potential for wargaming too. It was a hot topic some years ago, but it seems to have cooled (or maybe I just got distracted!)

    #167524
    Phil Dutré
    Participant

    I have experimented with the Mythic GM Emulator a bit, but in essence, it’s not much different from the framework provided by matrix games. You state something, attribute a probability, and roll for the outcome. The specifics differ a bit of course. I sort of like the “chaos level” in GM Emulator, shifting associated probabilities with qualitative descriptions.

    See also an article I wrote some years ago for Battlegames magazine: https://snv-ttm.blogspot.com/p/narrative-wargaming.html

    Tiny Tin Men Blog: http://snv-ttm.blogspot.com/
    Wargaming Mechanics Blog: http://wargaming-mechanics.blogspot.com/

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