Of Kings and Men
The year is 1054, in the Human Calendar. A year from now, the King will die – so say the Stonespeakers and the Omens that have not been wrong in centuries. His rule has been long and the Dwarves have prospered, but the time of great changes draws near.
With no direct and obvious heirs, the successor will be chosen from amongst the Great Clans of the Dwarven Hold of Garazbar. Yet, they stand at a standstill, none great enough to be selected immediately – but none weak enough to be cast aside.
So the wheel turns and the game begins again. Who will rise to take the throne of King, mayhap even High King, and who will fall from favour? Only the coming year shall tell.
Players take control of a Lord of one of the six of the Dwarven Noble Clans within the Hold of Garazbar. Each clan is unique and has it’s own traits and specializations.
Ultimately, the goal of the game is to be nominated as a successor to the current King within the next year.
If a player manages to eliminate all other clans, he becomes the successor. Alternatively, if there is no player left standing at the end, a Clan is nominated based on five statistics – Honour, the most important statistic and the hardest to earn; Respect, the total summation of how highly the nobility regards the clan; Popular Support, the total summation of how highly the commoners regard the clan; Gold, the total wealth of the clan; and Military Power, the total strength of a clan’s military. The player with the highest statistics wins the game.
Direct warfare between Dwarves is forbidden – one Clan cannot simply stamp out another without reprisal from the King.
The game is turn-based and one turn is approximately 1 week. Thus, the game lasts for one Dwarven year – or 70 turns. At the start of every month, you must select an advisor who will provide you with his opinions for the coming month. This advice can range from mundane to vital – thus, you should choose your advisor with care, usually to reinforce your chosen strategy for the month.
At the start of every turn, players are informed of Hold-, Nation- or Continent-wide events in a single (main) group. Unless otherwise stated, these events do not consume actions to respond to. Occasionally, a Council of Nobles may be called and issues put forth to a vote.
Players are then informed of Clan-specific events that they can respond to. Unless otherwise stated, responding to these situations also does not consume an action. Depending on the action, it may become known to other players at the start of the turn after the action is resolved, or kept secret.
Once this is complete, Players may respond to all events and then initiate their own events. Initiating an event consumes an action, of which there are five types – economic, military, subterfuge, political and any. Each action is unique and free-form, allowing the players to come up with their own responses and ideas, rather than picking from a list of suggestions. Actions have differing costs and are listed during the game whenever a player asks for the particular cost. An any action may be used as any other action type. Players may ask basic questions of the DM, however, more difficult questions may not be answered and require an advisor.
Here are examples of the many actions, however, keep in mind that you may come up with your own:
Economic – Construct Mine, Construct Forge, Hire Workers, Rush Production, Trade.
Military – Attack Location, Escort, Send out Expedition, Hire Warriors, Train.
Subterfuge – Spy On, Assassinate, Gather Rumours, Counter-Espionage, Forge Documents.
Political – Charge other Clan with Crime, Bring a matter before the Council of Nobles, Forge Alliance between Clans, Diplomatic mission to Non-Dwarves.
Once all actions are used up, or are forfeited, the results of the previous round are told to each player, and the main group, if applicable. Then, the round begins again. Once a successor is chosen, the game ends.
Mines and forges are integral to increasing your Gold, which is used for a great many things. A mine requires 200 workers to run at full efficiency and costs 0.5 gold weekly to maintain, but also produces gold weekly at 1 gold per 100 workers. Forges, on the other hand, only require 50 workers, but cost no weekly upkeep and produce 1 gold. You may never have more forges than (your mine count) + 2.
Here you can see the various clans and the many different ratings that show their current achievements, their status and their many and varied abilities.