Brainstorm Me: City-Level Chess

  • As part of the theme for Shadow War, I want to have a nebulous sort of city-level chess game going on between the three groups of PCs and the Nephandi, over time throughout the length of the game (2 years minimum, maybe more). Where will the Neph try to make a move this month? Have the Trads arrayed their defenses from the north, leaving the south open? Will the Technos and Hermetics actually present a unified front, or are they too busy poking at each other to hold the enemy back? Etc.

    But I don't want to be the sole "Nephandi-Player" in this regard. As head-ST, I know what all the sides are doing, so it's hard for me to make chess-related decisions from a place of IC not-knowing.

    So I'm wondering if anyone has any thoughts on how to implement this, using the players on the game as resource?

    Things to keep in mind:

    • There are no actual Nephandi-PCs. Setting is: Techno, Trad and Hermetic loosely allied against the Nephandi.
    • I'd like it to be somewhat 'fair' in that some jackass doesn't OOCly send the Nephandi against his IC enemies.
    • All other details of this level of 'game' are open for decision at this point.


  • Pitcrew


    You could have different people decide different aspects of the Nephandi's actions adn then retrofit the immediate goals to that. For example:

    • Player A decides what they do.
    • Player B decides where they do it.
    • Player C decides when they do it.
    • Player D decides how they do it.
    • You decide why they do it.

    This is admittedly very hodgepodge and barebones, but it's the general gist.

  • You could go with a number of possible actions and targets and assign a probability to each. Then roll your 100 side a couple times for mostly rational, but somewhat random, actions.

  • Have players make suggestions about the reasons to target various things, and why, eg its a good resource to claim, it would hurt a group, the defenses are weak, etc.

    Randomize all that and pick one.

  • Alternately, each period of time randomize the order that each group of players decides what gets done.

  • Pitcrew

    Why are the Hermetics a separate faction from the rest of the Traditions?

  • Pitcrew

    Not sure on the exact reasoning of it for this game but if you told me to pick a trad that would would go rouge on it's own,my guess would be the Hermetics. Both for the IC Reason that when they had the power the alienated everyone else, see Ars Magica which while WW had the license for it in OWoD was considered cannon history, and the general Rule or ruin they have towards the Council of Nine in a lot of places in the cannon. And for the OOC reason that with the various jockeying of houses you have enough internal divisions they can easily bee seen as a third set of groups on their own rather then a solo spin off. While none of the Traditions are really all that monolithic Hermetics do have the most active internal factions that are likely to still stay together as a single group. Most trads if they left the council would disintegrate into a dozen similar but separate craft s in fairly short order.
    As to why to split one off I would think three cornered politics would tend to keep things more likely to stay in the uneasy alliance stage of things that ES wants easier then just Technos and Trads.

  • Pitcrew

    My suggestion would be find someone who doesn't play on your game but is good at chess style of things (and understands context, etc, etc) -- maybe even someone who doesn't mush anymore but wants a little bit of it. Get that person to do it, or maybe you could trade some lack of evil to one of your tabletop players of something for some time spent. If you at any point ever lose that person, the time between when you find one person and the next, the Nephandi are busy doing something 'big' and taking no real actions for a turn or two, or you briefly make those decisions yourself.

  • @The-Tree-of-Woe: They didn't like how chummy (they felt) the other Trads were getting with The Slightly Lesser Enemy in order to hold back The Bigger Enemy. But they're not strong enough to go it entirely on their own against both, so they pulled out to make their own terms. On an OOC level, I wanted three groups, and Hermetics have enough internal stuff going on to be that separate group (like @ThatGuyThere suggested).


  • Pitcrew

    @EmmahSue Meh. Without them the other Traditions will happily live in the Land of No Consequences.

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