So, like a zillion years ago I talked about researching Civilization and like games for more insight into how some games handled technology development and city management. I’ve been playing games like Master of Magic, Mount & Blade, and Master of Orion as time permits.

Over the weekend I began a new campaign in Ogre Battle for SNES.

My view of factions has evolved considerably since undertaking this new step in the project. Mount & Blade, in particular, covers the stages where a player character may go from roving adventurer to ruler of their own fief. Depending on which expansions you have installed, you might become king.

Understandably, city management is of interest to me as well. Tax revenue provides the funds by which factions grow more reliably than treasure.

Between the settler units in MoM and the fixed locations of villages, towns, and keeps in M&B, I’m trying to strike a balance between player agency and, “geography as destiny.” I think PCs should be able to survey land.

Likewise, the magic system has undergone some changes to accommodate larger-scale magical effects. It needs to be possible to alter the landscape with magic, even if it requires absurdly high-level wizards to do so.

If a 1995 PC game can do it, why can’t a tabletop RPG?

Anyway, over the coming weeks, I’ll be taking another look at what I’ve developed for factions to see what I have to do to expand them to a fully-playable subsystem in the game. I already have some work on “faction scores” (Industry, Populace, Location, Science, Politics, and History). I ought to be able to work with that.

I also have some ideas for implementing races on a more . . . industrial scale. None of that ability score bonus nonsense.