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Single-/muli- player Carcassonne-like RPG.

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I played a few games of Carcassonne this p... current late-winter/early-spring, and while I enjoyed it, I started wandering what it would be like to, you know, explore those little picturesque worlds you ended up creating. So, here's the basic idea. Game's for one to any number of players and could potentially be played in some sort of massively multiplayer sense if you were able to/bored enough to figure out a way to synchronize gameboards, but my suggestion is 1-4 players. The setting is a large and mysterious city with a layout that's not permanent. In a gameplay sense, it's like this. Each player starts on a tile--let's call it a train station. Like they just arrived here from this station, and can move north, south, east, or west. If you move into an area that doesn't have anything in it, you lay a tile down there. The tiles are kept in a deck, which is shuffled before each play, so what you get is basically random. An additional computer program could be brought in to do some dicerolls to decide which tile to be put down, if desired. The game continues like this until you run out of cards, at which point you go back to the train station to 'go to a different city' in other words, reshuffle the deck of area tiles and change the layout, or you can go print more tiles off or just draw some or whatever. another option is to define a limited area with city wall tiles, and have to live with whatever it gets filled in with. I don't know much else about it yet, really. I want some sort of survival mechanic and some sort of economy mechanic, I believe. And the players' characters will be class based. General idea is that there are seven classes and each class produces something, so in a multiplayer standpoint you could have some competition between the player over resources and manufactured goods, but there'd be a need to make it fun or viable for single player games. I also like the idea of players being able to control structures within the city somehow, although I don't know how this would work out.

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I've got a couple of ideas to bounce off you, just let me know if any of them take your fancy, though they probably change the game quite a bit.

I think this could be interesting as an online thing, where people can create small worlds, if maybe you could incorporate some manner of upgrading/expanding of existing features, you could potentially make it a persistent world, in which established players are closer to the 'center' of the map, or the original tile to be laid, and newer players are closer to edges of established areas, or new starting tiles are spawned on occasion, for new players to build around.

In addition, if you have a degradation system, whereby things become increasingly expensive to maintain, you would eventually end up with the strongest players becoming weaker again, and their areas lying fallow for a while, only to be repopulated either by new players (potentially with rewards for discovering the ruins), or by the same players. Additionally, you should even somehow encourage players to progressively change their play style, as they transition from pioneers to members of established societies, with playstyle transitioning from exploration intensive, to either a diplomatic or economic one based primarily on expanding and maintaining power within a known area.

You could potentially even create land of differing qualities, such that only a small percentage of land would be suitable to build on, and the quality of land surrounding established areas slowly increasing so building there, or placing structural tiles becomes increasingly viable, to represent urban growth in various small areas seperated geographically, rather than having one huge urban sprawl being the whole map. Or perhaps you are more interested in converting it to more of an urban establishment and exploration game? If so, I'd probably go with a victorian theme (I'm fairly biased toward victorian[esque] themes though) which could prove quite interesting, both diplomatically, and thematically, especially for urban exploration

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This is more exploration oriented, potentially, although I'm starting to think that after all of the tiles get laid down then maybe there'd be a second phase based around controlling whatever buildings you put there. I actually had the idea that eventually you could rise in ranks or somehow end up being able to control the city in a larger sense.

As far as making the leading player lose, the board is randomized whenever any player gets to the train station tile I mentioned. In a multiplayer game, preventing a player from reaching this tile would be important.

It's not victorian themed, really. Think Eraserhead.

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that actually sounds really interesting, and I hope you're thinking about the aesthetics of eraserhead, and the industrial society, rather than the incredibly absurd things a quick reading of the synopsis gleamed o_O...

How would you go about making it difficult for someone to reach the trainstation though?

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The first thing I thought of was a 'Lost' style theme. Instead of a train, you start with a 'plane crash' tile and go from there. The goal is to take control of the island; kind of could be like Lord of the Flies too. Depending on your occupation previous to the island, you get certain abilities (the classes you mentioned).

Just a thought as far as theme and direction. Sounds like a great idea.

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"How would you go about making it difficult for someone to reach the trainstation though?"

That idea is actually sort of problematic, so the trainstation thing might only be for playing solo. Honestly, re-randomizing the map makes plenty of sense in solo, but none at all in multiplayer.

Also, at that, let's say there's competitive multiplayer -- taking over the city -- and cooperative multiplayer -- exploring the city while trying to survive. The coop thing would have the same underlying mechanics as solo-play.

Anyway, right. More on these underlying mechanics.

Both coop/solo and competitive start out fairly similarly, in that you have indvidual characters with simple stats that explore this weird little city.

In solo/coop, the main point is survival -- you need to find locations where you can get food as you need to eat every couple of turns, sleep in a secure place every few turns (for both, however many turns represents a single day, basically), and get weapons and armor (which will degrade) so that you can fight random encounters. There'd also be some sort of questing mechanic in place, though I don't know to what extent or how this would be implemented.

In solo, one player can also control as many characters as they want, so the party dynamic is still present if you want to play that way.

In competitive, there's still a need for survival, but in addition to this, you can secure these resource spots somehow. I haven't decided yet, really. It would involve getting followers or something to do your bidding, so you can go out and get other necessary things. The goal is sort of to monopolize the city, but it's more that you're trying to starve the other players out of existence. I think some degree of espionage or sabotage would be in order. Like, if you get powerful enough, you can set it up so that Player 3 has a bad name, and nobody will sell them food. I'm really focusing more on the former, although this has interesting potentials.

Anyway, is there some sort of... Hrm... Generic tabletop game client for netplay? Sort of like a whiteboard for laying out and moving pieces, with built in dice rollers and some limitted spreadsheet functionality? There used to be some Java program -- netRPG or something -- but it's dead as far as I know.

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I've started thinking about how combat will work. It's not going to be the focus, so I want it fairly abstracted, simple, and very, very easy to manage, but I also want it to be engaging enough to be interesting.

I will say that I don't want any player v. player combat. There's no good way to balance it, and also, I want to enforce the idea that if you want to mess with the other plays, you have to do it indirectly.

Monster/enemy encounters are random, and are similar to how I'm planning on doing random events in general. Both work like this:

Basically, each tile has a place ID number. So, let's say we have a tile that's an abandoned apartment, and it's ID is 17.

Second, each tile has a difficulty ID, which is going to be something like the total number of tiles it is from the train station divided by two, so if our apartment is 13 tiles away from the train station, 13/2 = 6.5, round up for 7. (And yeah, this only works for things directly up, down, right, left, or diagonal to the train station. I'll come up with rules for the other tiles later).

Finally, you have a two digit event ID, which you get from rolling two d10s (or d6s, maybe), then subtracting 1 from the rolls. First roll is the tens place, second roll is the 1s place. So, if you use a d10, and you role a 7 and a 10, your final number would be 69.

Put these together and you get 17,7,69, and look it up in a book (Or, more likely, a huge glob of HTML that you can click through, and if this ever ends up getting programmed, the lookup thing will be automatic and just reference a textfile or script or whatever).

Generally, there aren't going to be 99 events, even though that's the highest number you can roll. The last event number is going to be more of something that falls into a range. So, if you roll between a 60 and a 70, you encounter a monster, and roll again to figure out WHICH monster you encountered.

As for the actual battles, this is my current idea: Each enemy has three attacks: A stronger one, a medium one, and a weak one. These could actually be different things, but basically, the idea is you have one that hurts a lot in some manner, one that's not so bad, and one in between.

To determine which gets done, you roll a dice. A 1 causes the strongest attack to go off, a 2 or a 3 causes the middle one, and a 4, 5, or 6 causes the weakest.

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