Thursday, November 29, 2018

SKM Development: Magical Research

Magical research is hinky, because magic itself is hinky.

The ACKs system included different rules for being a mage ruling a kingdom. Involving towers, and literally building dungeons and stocking them with monsters to send adventures into to get components.

Magic research, in our SKM system though, works a bit differently than the normal SKM Research. It works differently insofar as well..

There is no base 5% chance for discovery. Your people aren’t doing research into these fields.
It requires a sage, who is our Magical Research Sage, he has the same upkeep as a normal sage, but he is always some variety of spellcaster.

Wizard rulers may ask why they can’t do the research themselves, and the answer is that they can’t because they’re busy ruling. That’s an old excuse, but I think a fair one.

The way magic research works is that funding for magic research is not funneled into RTs, they have no RTs, it is instead funneled into one of three categories.

Wonders: This represents kingdom wide magical effects, that may be temporary or not. Stronghold walls become protected by ghosts. Higher crop yields. All of the cows milk production being increased. Etc.
Artifacts: This represents magical things. Generally this stuff is limited, quasi-consumable and/or limited in scope.
Creatures: This represents the creation of strange magical beasts, constructs, or undead. Or alternatively, represents the capture of similar beasties.    

There is a side area though. Disasters. Magical research is intrinsically unpredictable and dangerous. And therefore, there is a base 5% chance that a disaster occurs during the magical research. The creatures created are monstrous vampires. The wonder is a perpetual rain of blood. The artifact is a cursed weapon that makes whoever bears it mad, and so forth.

Magical funding has a 25% chance of producing something when funded. Its benefit, or severity, is determined by how much cash you throw at the sage. Unlike normal research, excess cash expended on this is wasted as there are no RTs to fill.

There is an idle hands rule though. A magical research sage who is not funded, will still produce something (choosing a category at random), but his chance of causing a disaster increases to 50%. He’s taking increased risks to try to get his funding back and to impress his leader. The severity of a potential disaster is based on the funding he received two months prior, and assuming the kingdom has gone cold turkey, by the third month he will still continue hunting for discoveries or disasters, but they will be minor.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

SKM Development: Sages

A Sage can be hired to assist research on a given topic, at the expenditure of 50gp, 2 subsistence and 5 Resource, monthly. Sages represent people who are incredibly learned, and incredibly skilled in given fields.  The expenditures represent their upkeep in better resources, food, and housing, to keep them able to focus on your crazy research.

A sage on the pay roll for a topic himself represents research funding for the topic he’s skilled with, even if no additional funding is provided to that topic. A sage is also considered to represent 10% of the RV funding himself for purposes of that discovery break down chart from the previous post.

That’s to say, if you were funding 90% of the RV of a RT in a category, and have a sage for that category, your chance of discovery is based on if you actually had 100% of the RV.  

Sages also let you see what RT is currently being researched. The Sage can also be used to discard RTs, but can only do this once until the next discovery on that topic is made. Fully funded discarded RTs remain fully funded and may still be discovered. Incompletely funded discarded RTs lose all but 10% of their RV.

You can at maximum, have one sage for each topic.

Sages, like Knights, have personalities, and each will generate rolls on a ‘Sagacious Event’ table each month. I’m going to try to unpack that more in a post on “Interesting SKM NPCs.”

This seems simple, but we have to explain Magic Research.

That one is hinky.

SKM Development: Research

This has been a long time coming. A really, long time coming. Yeesh.

Alright, straight to it.

Research is broken into Four Primary Categories.

Military – Offense: Which is primarily designed around weapons, siege devices, and offensive units.  If it increases your AR, it probable comes from here.
Militay – Defense: Which is primarily designed around defenses, stronghold upgrades, and defensive units. If it increases your DR, it comes from here.
Social – This represents a catch all category for infrastructure improvements and social improvements. Research to improve land, decrease spoilage, etc, comes from here.
Magic – This is the dodgiest category.

We’ll unpack them in a second.

The actual process of research, is somewhat more dodgy.

Every Research Topic (RT) has a Research Value or RV. This RV must be reached (in terms of funding) before the opportunity of the Research Topic being unlocked is even possible.

There are tiers to Research. Now, I had originally considered providing a full list of research topics, but I’ve decided instead to keep that stuff ‘behind the screen.’ While its ‘behind the screen’ though, I am still going to roll randomly on the chart I’ve made to determine what research is being handled by the various pools in each country. 

Everyone has one RT in each category at a time. They don't know what this is (normally), and these topics are for the most part entirely random.  When the RT becomes fully funded, a new RT comes in though, even if the previous RT has not been 'discovered.'

To unlock a Research Topic (RT) you have to fund research. Every country is assumed to have a 5% base chance of unlocking research that has fully met its RV, but when you are funding research that chance increases.  Research funding represents a routine, constant, investment in research. Having inconsistent funding, or having low funding will harm the likelihood of a necessary break through. Funding also is the only really consistent way to fill the RV of Research Topics.

Funding is provided on the basis of gold piece, or Resource expenditure based on the RV of the RT you’re hoping to unlock. Resources are considered to be equivalent to 10 gold for these purposes, similar to how it’s highly valued for stronghold building.  The funding must be provided monthly, I can’t restate that enough. Funding provided to research isn’t ‘lost’ however, even if it fails to unlock a fully funded RT, it begins to go towards paying off the RVs of other RTs.

Funding must be provided by category. So in a month if you want to keep research funded for all four topics, you have to expend resource or gold on each in a research budget.

If you are providing less than 25% of the RV, or did not spend the previous month funding research, you have a 5% chance of unlocking a fully funded RT.

If you are providing 26-50% of the RV, you have a 10% chance of unlocking a fully funded RT.

If you are providing 50-75% of the RV, you have a 25% chance of unlocking a fully funded RT.

If you are providing 75% to 90% of the RV you have a 33% chance of unlocking a fully funded RT.

If you are providing 100% of the RV, you have a 50% chance of unlocking a fully funded RT.

Past this point, it increases by 1% for every additional 100% you exceed the RV, to a maximum of 59% where 1000% of the RV is being funded monthly.

A percentage die is rolled for every fully funded RV in a topic being researched.

Research therefore represents a ‘pissing money down the drain’ feeling until it pays off. You never really see much in the way of major returns until you suddenly do.

However, a way to avoid that trouble comes from our next point.


Musical Inspiration Challenge Part 2: Our Contestants

Well, let’s begin this poorly thought out challenge idea for an adventure. I realize I should’ve thought of a way to determine level. Whoo...