Not an April Fools’ thing.

(First round of recruitment is open, and ends April 7th. Leave a comment with your choice of divine patron to indicate your interest in joining the game.)

(A more thorough rules document will be forthcoming.)

I’ve been thinking off and on about how I could create something more — interactive — on my blog. Several ideas collided in my head this morning.

First I thought of a cooperative dungeon crawl with “adopted” PCs so players could drop in and out at will. That seemed fine until I realized it’d be easy to muck up, and how I might have to restrict turns — but how would I keep it interesting — how would I make it fun AND fair. Whatever.

Then I recalled a game run by Charles (Dyvers Campaign), Underdark Wars.

What about several competing adventuring parties run by different players or groups of players? That would give everyone plenty of time to plan moves.

I’m still working through some of the rules, but here’s what I have so far (lifting concepts AND mechanics from a number of different games):

Each player begins with one PC — and can take any or all of the following actions (in order) on each of their turns:

1. Recruit followers
2. Gather information
3. Purchase/sell gear
4. Perform rituals
5. Embark/adventure
6. Travel/take rest

PCs would be recruited from a pool, generated ahead of time (by me), though at the moment I think differences between characters will be largely cosmetic. Since the game will revolve around entire parties controlled by a player — that level of detail may ultimately prove to be unnecessary.

Like, hit points will matter because a single PC would represent multiple “hits” that are depleted while they adventure — compare armies and invasions in Risk. A PC may represent a few “armies” (especially with the addition of henchmen).

Hexagonal Graph Paper

map info: blue squares represent water tiles which are “impassable” except by boat. Icons give hints about the terrain to be found in the hex, but I’m not giving out any info until it’s explored.

Each player chooses one of five divine patrons (the choice is largely cosmetic, and used primarily to determine turn order i.e. alphabetical) — Hades, Hera, Hestia, Posiedon, and Demeter.

The Greek gods are fickle, so players with the same patron may cooperate, or not.

Each player begins in one of the two named settlements.

When you recruit followers, you can control a number of PCs based on your single highest-level PC (divide your character level by 3) plus one. You must have at least two PCs under your banner in order to embark on an adventure.

Levels 1-5: 1+1 PCs
Levels 6-8: 2+1 PCs
Levels 9-11: 3+1 PCs
Levels 12-14: 4+1 PCs

The only way to gain experience is by adventuring, so you must risk your PCs in order to control more. If all of your PCs are lost, your divine patron will allow you to recruit new PCs but any accumulated wealth is lost.

If the last PC leading a group of henchmen (who act as “extra lives”) is lost for whatever reason, then all henchmen are lost — heroes are born, not made.

When you embark on an adventure, choose how many PCs will go (min. 2). You must embark from a settlement into an adjacent hex (unless you’re wandering — one of the possibilities of the “travel” action).

When you gather information, you receive a map or a rumor (sometimes both, sometimes neither) about an adventure location or dungeon — usually in a hex adjacent to your current location (again, not always).

Because word travels fast, as soon as an adventuring party enters a dungeon, it will become visible on the map to everyone. Further, each party will be able to see others on the map — and thus pursue/challenge them. (PvP!)

If we have enough players to warrant the intrigue, I’ll also allow the hiring of specialists like diplomats/assassins to seed the “encounters” of rival groups.

I will control one or more “barbarian” adventuring groups as needs be.

Purchasing gear will offer a player some nominal advantages.

Performing rituals will offer some unique advantages. (The most obvious or straightforward ritual would be raising a fallen hero from the dead.)

Travel occurs at the following rate: 1 hex per turn overland, OR between any two locations the player has visited within a region. There is one region pictured above (the bordered area), which every player will be able to see. Enterprising or adventurous players are welcome to venture off the map at their peril.