Trading Games , re-enactors and public - Ideas needed

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Trading Games , re-enactors and public - Ideas needed

Post  Admin on Wed Jun 03, 2009 8:30 am

Jumping off from some other threads I am keen to collate and discuss ideas for other aspects of the game which could be added to add more to do and generate game coin. This might be trading games, smuggling, anything really. Clear ideas and suggestions with an outline of the actual mechanics and physreps etc involved would be very useful. Please try and be realistic though since obtaining 200 LRP safe wooden crates might be a bit of a pain for example.

Please be as creative and imaginitive as you can.

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Re: Trading Games , re-enactors and public - Ideas needed

Post  Dre on Wed Jun 03, 2009 9:52 am

Basic trading game (which I've mentioned before but will repeat here for reference/clarity):

Components: a number of small yet distinctive items to physrep goods. For instance, small bags/pouches for 'spices' or 'tea', metal plates for 'iron' or 'silver', small cuts of fake fur for 'furs'. These can easily have their goods' name tagged to them to make it clear what each represents. Physreps shouldn't be more than about 4 inches big for cost, storage and transport reasons.

Basic principle: each sash colour is given a secret list of goods that their home port / patron will pay coin for. For example, the pink sashes might have a list like:

Silver: 10 coin / unit
Spices: 6 coin / unit
Tea: 3 coin / unit
Furs: 3 coin / unit
Iron ore: 1 coin / unit

Thus silver is extremely valuable to them, whereas tea and furs are far less so, and iron is nearly worthless.
They will start play with a certain amount of iron ore which they have on board as well as possibly a few units of tea and furs.
Additionally, various traders will be given stores of various goods which can be stolen like coin. If they run out then they may need to resupply, possibly by buying off players (who are free to set whatever rate they want!), possibly through deliveries (a way of reintroducing goods confiscated by the Militia).

Aim of the game: to barter, steal or otherwise acquire trade goods which are valuable to you while trying to prevent other groups from amassing goods valuable to them. The units are added to the coin count at the end of the game and multiplied accordingly.
Obviously a key tactic is to hide what you're really after as much as possible. So using intermediaries is a good idea.

Possible extras:

- The Militia and Mayor could decide that certain goods are contraband or taxable and thus prohibit trade in the town centre unless a fee is paid. It's probably best not to include drugs like opium, but you could easily say that fur comes from poaching and is frowned upon, as might be rum etc.

- The public could be given a few units of certain goods to carry with them and trade for more coin. However there may need to be a different incentive for them (some sort of 'pirate tokens' redeemable in some way for a souvenir?) as they don't really have a 'need' for coin or an interest in amassing it in the same way players do. Same goes for asking the public to take trade goods between stalls - though perhaps you could say 'I'll let you skip paying the coin for this drink if you do me a favour; could you take these furs over to that trader over there?' - which also lets you point them at different stalls...

- It could be tied in with the linears, with special 'rare' goods appearing as loot in the tunnels ('albino bear fur', 'McJameson's XXX whiskey', 'lobster seasoning'). Also, things like Holy Relics might have a coin value.

- The patrons might send letters to the pirates with limited-time deals: get 10 units of tea to me before 10pm tonight and I'll give you a bonus. Or else they might change their prices, or make special requests of rare goods which they know are being delivered to Widley, somewhere...

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Re: Trading Games , re-enactors and public - Ideas needed

Post  Admin on Wed Jun 03, 2009 4:14 pm

Thanks for spelling it out so clearly Dre. I can see the trade game being an important feature if agreed.

Pouches of spices and tea are a great idea - easy physreps to sort and it shouldn't be much work to make a batch of fake fur "pelts". The metal ingots are perhaps a little trickier but are doable.

In terms of contraband we could have some of real value to pirates e.g. "black powder", "mortrooms & Mortalis" and illicit "weapons permits".

If we have re-enactors setting up a living history township then it is the perfect source for trade goods. Carrying steel weapons etc then they can't be combatants therefore cannot be a legitimate robbery target. Nor can the LHE (living history encampment) be a combat zone for obvious safety reasons Something the re-enactors can get involved in game wise is excellent. Perhaps re-enactor "merchants" could receive "shipments" of assorted goods which they could trade with each other and with the pirates.

We may be able to give a single item of a single commodity to public visitors for trade or robbery. I am not sure if this would work though.

In order to maximise the amount of trade goods in the economy should pirates be able to "deliver" them to the town hall. (Perhaps it should be named the Merchant Adventurers Hall) and receive pay in line with their trade schedule. The goods could be collected by the revenue men with militia escort and redistributed to the commodities merchants in the LHE. This provides more opportunities for theft.

Comments please.

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Treasure Hunt

Post  Honest John Stag on Tue Jun 09, 2009 5:28 am

You know I was rather hoping that there would be a treasure map on the last one (did I miss it?).

Not so much a trading game but a treasure hunt game could be fun.

5 or 6 clues that lead to a treasure map maybe even the treasure itself!

The only thing to remember is that if the clues can be taken away, eaten or destroyed then players being player,they will be. So a bit of creative thinking is needed there.
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Re: Trading Games , re-enactors and public - Ideas needed

Post  Admin on Tue Jun 09, 2009 6:09 am

The Trade Game is taking shape and will be published shortly. It will involve a range of commodities, contracts to fill, wheeling and dealing and just downright thievery. It should add a whole second layer of economics to the game whilst ultimately simply generating more coin for your count.

The treasure Map idea and clues is being written into the game.

Both aspects will also be contributed to by the linears - the linears will include loot, ways to make trade goods more valuable and clues to the treasure hunt.

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Re: Trading Games , re-enactors and public - Ideas needed

Post  Benjamin Parts on Tue Jun 09, 2009 2:45 pm

Wanted to write/post this before, but had to take some time visiting a sick relative.
The way I see it, players won`t be carrying the commodities on their person. Rather, they`ll be offered the opportunity to to spend one of their pouches on ‘stocks’. I envision a kind of stock market, where a number of agents of differing repute, representing colonial planters, and mining or trading companies, will offer shiploads of goods for sale, and some accompanying captains of fine merchant vessels will offer to sail these goods to Fort Widley. For simplicity, the stocks, when bought, will vary little in price, if at all. Should they reach Fort Widley, however, dyes and spices will be worth much more than wines, textiles, and arms & ammo, which in turn will be worth more than mere wool, grain, dried fish and pig iron. (Or maybe there worth will value on other factors, but these will have to be clear to the public.) Ships will also differ. Some will be faster and more manoeuvrable, some will be better armed, and some will just be cheaper. All ships may be set upon by pirates, and those from foreign ports may draw unwanted attention from privateers (but who`s to say all privateers at BB&B are British?) And of course, there will be taxes, mostly depending on port of origin, and whether there`s a war going on. There`s a reason for this tax, see below.
For the public, it should function somewhat like a cross between a sweepstakes and dog races. They pick their stakes (the goods), they pick their champion (the captain), and after that they just wait and see if their ship of gold sails in. There may be prizes in the form of souvenirs. For anything more you would probably need a permit?
For the participants, of course, it will be all about ‘winning’ those prize ships.
Now, for crews to enter this game, their captains need to go to the sponsors, to have a ship outfitted. The deal is simple: The sponsors provide a well equipped ship, and the captain provides a crew and a letter of marque (optional, depending on the sponsor) and a target. The sponsors then take a cut of any winnings, the better the ship provided, the greater the cut. And the bigger the ship, the bigger the crew.
A crew should consist of a minimum of a captain, a quartermaster, a navigator, and any number of deckhands. For pirates/privateers, one or more gunners will also be necessary, if the ship is to be outfitted with canon(s). (Basically one gunner for each cannon. We`re not talking about ships of the line, here.) For smugglers these will not be necessary, but they`re optional.
The merchant captains too, will be recruiting crew. These can be any participant (allied with the pirates or not), and possibly members of the public.
(The whole crew-thing is to make sure enough people can participate, and to enhance team-spirit. I`m not saying the crew of a ship should all wear the same colour, but I`m expecting they will (at least those of the player`s ships, the merchant captains will likely have a more motley crew, odd folk trying to make an honest coin (or not).)

What crews will also need are information brokers, who tell them what goods are carried on what ship, sailing from which harbour. Preferably these will be players who are savvy enough to evesdrop on the dealings in the stock market. In fact, players will want to get in on the whole operation in as early a stage as possible. Captains who already obtained a ship can offer their services to transport goods - and then make off with the cargo, or not. The sponsors might outfit a ship for simple transportation purposes, but will likely ask a bigger cut if the winnings are set to be smaller. Smugglers especially may offer to transport cargoes ‘outside taxes’, which, depending on circumstance, may be lucrative. Smugglers` vessels, having no or only few canons, will be both lighter/more manoeuvrable, and cheaper, so there is a profit to be made there.

The sponsors are the notables of the town, either personally, or through representatives. Respectable people, like the judge and the colonel, might sponsor a privateer*. The traders will likely be willing to sponsor a merchanter or a smuggler, and some traders, and darker sorts, might even sponsor an outright pirate.

The game, to be held during visiting hours, of course, will then know three main phases:
A) Ships will be moved. I was originally thinking of the outside arena, but cheers to plans for a LHE ‘street’. So maybe some kind of board near or in front of the Court. Ships will either sail before the wind (there may be some randomness here, but ‘trade winds’ should be prevalent) or sailing along the coast (towed by a row-boat if necessary), maintain course (for a maximum of, say, three turns, after wich they will revert to sailing before the wind/along the coast, or make a manoeuvre, most likely changing course.
Each crew will receive a deck of manoeuvres, the variety of which is determined by the quality of the vessel and the number of which is dimished by the number of canons ànd the number of cargoes the ship holds. (Meaning the number can vary during play: each cargo won will diminish the deck with an additional manoeuvre. Manoeuvres are picked randomly from stock. (Manoeuvres typically change course at an angle to the wind, though some may give extra speed. - Extra speed not possible when sailing against the wind.)
Each captain also gets a ‘special manoeuvre’ based (in part) on group identity. (Like ‘favorable trade wind’: double speed when sailing before the wind, ‘pass shallows’: pursuing ship cannot follow, ‘wreck enemy ship’: no surviving witnesses will make it to Fort Widley, ‘life boat’: X members of your crew survive the wrecking of your ship, ‘beach landing’: avoid harbour authorities/taxes/tariffs, etc.)
B) When ships come within firing range (in adjacent places) attack can be declared by either ship. The whole crew of both ships are then placed in the arena for a bout of dodge-the-canon-ball. Not sure yet how many canon balls should be used, but simple rules are:
- Only gunners can shoot
- Only deckhands can move in front of officers of their own crew
- Classic dodge-ball rules like no crew can hang on to the ball(s) for more than a few seconds, and balls cannot be caught until they have bounced at least once.
- Players hit leave the arena and draw a bead, the effects of which will carry over into the main game.
C) As long as the captain survives the gunfight with his faculties intact, enemy ships can then be boarded, and both crew will fight a melee. Simple rules are:
Gunners cannot carry melee weapons.
Deckhands can carry only melee wepapons.
Captain can carry any (combination of) weapons (one in each hand).
Other officers can carry melee or firing weapons (one in each hand) but not both.
Guns will not cause wounds in this subgame, but one is supposed to act out dodging or receiving a hit. Players wounded with melee weapons will draw a bead, the effects of which will take over into the main game. (So they may want to bring a surgeon/barber along for the trip as well.)
The quartermaster will have to take possession of plunder (represented by barrels or chests), whether he retreives it himself, or receives it from his ship-mates.

Role-specifics:
- The captain calls the attack. If he gets killed (or is wounded severely enough to be taken out of the (sub)game) no attack can be declared against other ships, and no ‘special manoeuvres’ can be played. Ships can still return fire if gunners and canons are present, and remaining crew can still defend when boarded.
- The navigator steers the ship. If he gets killed (or is wounded etc.) no manoeuvres can be played except the captain`s ‘special manoeuvre’, provided the captain is still alive.
- The quartermaster takes possession of plunder. If he gets killed the captain can take possession of plunder, but not having the quartermaster`s knack for stowing cargo, each unit of cargo will count as two for determining substraction of manoeuvres.
- The gunners fire the canons. One can be brought into the battle for eacht canon the ship holds, although a pirate or privateer crew needs only one to be eligible for sponsoring, and there is no maximum to the number of gunners a crew can have, except for the maximum total crew number for the ship. (Again, the bigger the ship, the bigger the take for the sponsors.) No gunner, no gunfire, although the crew can still attempt to board another ship. If the other ship does have at least one canon with a gunner remaining, there will be a (very onesided) gunfight before it can be boarded.
- The deckhands can shield their officers during the gunfight and will be the main fighters when boarding. They are all expandable, although a crew will need at least one to be eligible for sponsoring.

Specials:
- Honest merchanters can take shelter in any port (although returning to the port of origin will forfeit the cargo (for purposes of the subgame), so this will have to be Port Widley in order to ‘win’), or can seek cover adjacent to coastal batteries or island fortresses (one or two of which may be on the map). If attacked here, the militia will join in the gunfight. (The land based canons have a longer reach so it doesn`t matter if the attacker is also adjacent to the fortress, as long as the sheltering ship is.) If the sheltering ship is boarded after the gunfight the militia - not the bests of sailors themselves - will then be able to row up to the pair of entangled ship and join in the melee as well. To this end, militia will have to be posted on these bases (and as such be away from town). These bases have a maximum capacity, just as a ship does, but a pirate cannot be certain of how many militia will be present in them, unless he has very good intelligence. Each militiamen represents a gun as well as a boardingparty-member, and as such can shoot and fight in the melee.
- There may be a patrolling navy sloop with a contingent of marines hunting for pirates. (Or some enterprising merchanter may decide to get his cargo back.)
- Heck, there may be giant lobsters. (Meaning, they can be introduced during the melee phase. Maybe one of the merchant captains is a cultist whose ‘special manoeuvre’ is to have a pursuing ship boarded by a sea monster?)
- Long-standing crews can receive additional ‘(special) manoeuvres’ of their own choice. Mind that this is not an individual progression, but another promotion for team-spirit.
- Ships can team up.
- Crews can be infiltrated. If you can get a gunner aboard that merchanter, he will most ferociously defend against other pirates, but let you approach unhindered.

After cargo makes it to Fort Widley, either onboard a merchanter or a privateer or pirate, it will be taxed (also for a smuggler if he simply arrives with the goods in port). Goods brought into port by merchanters will be sold, after which a winner will be declared for the public. Pirates may be persecuted if any witnesses make it into harbour.

*Most people here will be familiair with the use of privateers in war, but they also served a legal function. If someone was owed a debt by a someone from another country, and he couldn’t get his money from either that debtor or move the authorities of the debtor`s country to lay a claim on the debtor`s possessions (serious lack of international treaties in those days), he could petition his own country`s authorities for a letter of marque, outfit or hire a privateer, and then claim the debt (plus ‘expenses’) from one (or more) of the debtor`s countrymen. The letter of marque then not only served to prove his actions were legal, but also told his victims where to take their own claims. As such, the judge, the colonel and possibly the mayor (?) would be the people to ask (to lobby on his behalf) for a letter of marque.
As such, smuggler or merchanter losing an ‘honest shipment’ to a foreign corsair might petition for a letter of marque and then enter the next day as a privateer hunting ships from the same port of origin.


Last edited by Benjamin Parts on Tue Jun 09, 2009 2:50 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : moved some parenthesis)

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Re: Trading Games , re-enactors and public - Ideas needed

Post  Admin on Wed Jun 10, 2009 9:53 am

Well that is an excellent set of ideas.

It is a little bit too removed from how the game functions normally to be included as they are but with some good boat mock ups, an air cannon firing foam balls and some other ideas this can certainly be incorporated in a modified form. I don't think we have the time or money available to do this idea justice for September but we will use it as the basis of something for next year. Thank you for the contribution.

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Re: Trading Games , re-enactors and public - Ideas needed

Post  Benjamin Parts on Thu Jun 11, 2009 1:42 pm

Well, I sillied it down a bit to make it do-able without expensive and space consuming props. If you can get the props, that would of course be great.

You could combine the naval moves with an animator with a loud voice and 'a good glass' on the Stern as a look-out to sea, shouting down what he observes on the horizon.

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Procurement Contracts, Trade Game, Shipwreck, Treasure Hunts and Mayor Elections for 25-27 Sept Enactment Game

Post  Cap'n Mancer on Sun Jun 14, 2009 3:54 am

Each group - pirate, smuggler/wrecker, robber/bandit, and outlaw/trapper – will have their own commodity
such as – jewels, liquor/perfumes, food stuff/spices, furs/pelts – up for discussion who has what – which they will be able to transport free of gate toll tax into the town citadel area.

Each group will receive drops of their own goods (linear adventures that may, or may not, be open to subversion) at this point it is illegal contraband. Initial drops Friday night – up for discussion.

By selling it to specified traders in the Squalors (living history encampment – they pay little) it can be legalised as they have they have been granted rights to import. It can then be re-purchased (cheaper to buy) and taken into the citadel (paying gate toll).

Selling smuggled or legalised goods to specified traders in the Citadel will reap higher rewards - the price compensating for the risk taken or gate toll tax paid. Squalor Merchants, with import rights (no toll gate tax) can also sell to Citadel Traders at a profit (and those providing protection can take a cut). Commodities purchased from citadel traders will therefore be at a higher price as no legalization or gate toll tax will have then to be paid.

Each group will receive a contract from the Merchant Venturers' Hall, of equal value, made up of differing amounts of the various commodities but not of their own commodity.
This will promote the buying, selling, robbing and smuggling of goods both outside and inside the town citadel. Forged papers will also be available.
It must be remembered that the commodities in themselves will have no value at coin count (except to traders) so pirate/outlaw groups have to fulfil their contracts to reap a monetary reward. The Casino (and its protectors) will be offering a variety of market driven exchange rates at its tables.

Shipwrecks, evolving treasure hunts (clues from entertainers, Crimson Moon etc) and other competitive elements of the game will release more commodities and coin into the game over the weekend.

Groups fulfilling their contracts ahead of time will receive bonus payments.
Those delivering to the Merchants Venturers Hall after time will receive penalty deduction.

The all powerful Mayor will be able to influence import licences and gate toll taxes in the favour of his group. An election will take place on the Saturday and if he or his second in command is done away with Military Law will be imposed. This will obviously depend on what alliances can be made and how rival groups feel their interests can best be served.

All the above is still being formalized, nothing is as yet written into the rules – all is up for comment and discussion.

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