Mighty Empires and narrative campaigns


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Post Mon Mar 20, 2017 9:16 pm

Mighty Empires and narrative campaigns

The original Mighty Empires rules provide a fairly solid and detailed set of rules for wargaming campaigning. My problem is the lack of narrative rules in it. I am planning to use the campaign as the basis of a narrative campaign with the simple task being writing a scenario for when armies reach. I was wondering if anyone has ideas for adding internal politics to Empires. From this I hope to linking the scenarios for battles and geography of the map to the Empires politics as well as being able to play reflecting the personality of the Empires characters. So a level 15 hero is not just the same as the next banners level 15 hero but will be known and shown to react differently.
narrativegame.blogspot.co.uk/
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Post Mon Mar 20, 2017 10:33 pm

Re: Mighty Empires and narrative campaigns

Back in the day, I ran a 3rd edition WFB campaign with rules I knocked together using Mighty Empires, Blood Royale and Warrior Knights. It revolved around warring dynasties fighting over territory, but there were six players, so there was a 'politics' phase where alliances were forged, and obviously betrayed, using both standard politics and alliances via marriages. It worked quite well.
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Post Tue Mar 21, 2017 2:28 am

Re: Mighty Empires and narrative campaigns

We played mighty empires a fair bit back in my youth, but we never bothered with the politics or narrative...too busy with trying to outwit our opponents :)

I thought about trying it again a few years ago, trying to meld ROC into it i.e. warbands & narrative, but it never made it past the idea stage.

I reckon making a random chart for politics and narrative for the original game would be quite easy. I mean, it wouldn't be quick, but should be fairly straight forward.

It's a great game. I hope to pay it again someday. Good luck with your endeavour :)

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Post Tue Mar 21, 2017 7:40 pm

Re: Mighty Empires and narrative campaigns

Sounds interesting. I played Mighty Empires quite a bit back in the day, but we didn't often fight the top battles. When we did, I do recall some interesting characters developing as they won or lost and were captured/injured etc. I think that even without trying your characters and generals almost create their own personalities as the game progresses and you find yourself treating exactly same level characters differently because they might have been on the losing side more often than another!
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Post Wed Mar 22, 2017 4:02 am

Re: Mighty Empires and narrative campaigns

Tuskerton wrote:Sounds interesting. I played Mighty Empires quite a bit back in the day, but we didn't often fight the top battles. When we did, I do recall some interesting characters developing as they won or lost and were captured/injured etc. I think that even without trying your characters and generals almost create their own personalities as the game progresses and you find yourself treating exactly same level characters differently because they might have been on the losing side more often than another!


Very true, your imagination takes over.....they cease to remain "just banners" :)
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Post Sat Mar 25, 2017 9:35 pm

Re: Mighty Empires and narrative campaigns

This thread is provocative and interesting. I like provocative and interesting threads, and am in the waiting to begin a Mighty Empires campaign in the Spring. I look forward to productive concepts.
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Post Sat Mar 25, 2017 11:24 pm

Re: Mighty Empires and narrative campaigns

Depending on map and force distribution it can become imbalanced if one side has less hostile neighbours than others or could hide behind terrain features.
I once played in a hex-based campaign (not warhammer) where this was compensated by pretending the map showed a (really small) round world. You could leave one side and enter on the other.
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Post Sun Mar 26, 2017 1:36 am

Re: Mighty Empires and narrative campaigns

The Mighty Empires rules are buried at the core of my ongoing, but very slow, 6 player campaign (see viewtopic.php?f=15&t=2889). They have been heavily modified over the years, both incorporating rules from other campaign systems, as well as me using my historical and military studies to tweak and alter, but the most important aspect to narrative campaigning is a GM.

The simplest way is simply adding a GM to straight Mighty Empires, letting the players see the map as in boardgame style play, with the GM adding story and scenario ideas to add colour. The middle ground is to have a GM with a secret map which the players never see, with the players plotting their own (and what they can of their enemies') progress on their own map, based on end of season reports the GM produces, then producing orders to give to the GM at the end of season phase.

Then there is the full on approach, which is definitely where I am at: A secret GM map covered in counters and markers (etc), as well as gameworld maps, with the players not even having full descriptions of more distant places, but instead having a version of the GM's map only fully detailed in their home and neighbouring regions, and maybe areas their PC or realm has strong connections with; full incorporation of roleplaying, in the sense that the players are actually one character (a ruler of some kind) and the rest of the world is NPCs, although each player commands the NPCS in their realm and army (though even that can be shaky in the full on format); full and vivid reports, sometimes ongoing during the turn, especially if a PC ruler is actually with a force or hands-on in some other way; strong NPCs; fully painted armies; illustrated stories with photos galore; long phone discussions, or (even better) pub discussions; constant adding to the rules, in response to whatever the players want to try to do, with the GM inventing, costing, recording the rules, then applying them (with lots of secret die rolls). The GM even plays the part of every player's advisers and military staff, in terms of telling him what they think if he asks, or what they suggest could be done. That way the player needn't feel stuck, but has several ideas to choose from (be they good, bad, indifferent - the player has to work that out). Interestingly, more than half the time players come up with an idea I haven't suggested, which is usually a better idea. That's when I kick myself and remind myself that I would not personally be machiavellian enough to survive as a ruler in the game world!

This very last element allows the GM not to feel like they are interfering, or steering the story, as not only does the GM no know what the players are going to try do to or order, but even the NPCs' actions are not wholly under their control. For all important decisions for NPCs, in response to situations brought about by both other NPCs or PCs, or in response to opportunities that arise, I write a little list of approximately 3-6 possible actions, then roll. I often include an option of 'Or something else' and if that comes up I have to create a new list. The first list is usually quite sensible, if varied, responses. If an NPC ends up rolling on the 'Or something else' table things can get a bit whacky. I would then try to remember and make that NPCs' next list a bit more unusual than normal. I do all of this without bending the rules or fudging, not due to religious conviction or a sense of 'honour' and fairness, but because the end result is that I too am watching a story unfold without actually knowing what is going to happen next.

I used to do all this without putting an illustrated account like a meandering, part-graphic, novel, onto the web. Now that extra element has become the massively time consuming bit that slows the whole exercise down to a snail's pace at times. Currently I have all the players' orders in, but have yet to collate them and print them on a big sheet and start to move markers around whilst e-mails fly back and forth. The reason I haven't moved that side of things on is that I want to do another photo story piece and haven't yet finished painting the 18 new figures I am going to use. Then I'll have to draft the story, create the scenes, take the photos, upload, photo edit, write the story and publish! Then I can go back to being a proper GM again!

Full on needs very patient players. It's exponentially slower than cricket in pace.

I could write here for days about this sort of campaigning, but I must to bed. If you wanna ask specifics please do. I could even paste aspects of the rules here.
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Post Sat Apr 01, 2017 1:57 pm

Re: Mighty Empires and narrative campaigns

. . .
I wish I gamed with Padre.


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Post Sun Apr 02, 2017 10:07 am

Re: Mighty Empires and narrative campaigns

Yeah, that depth of story would extract the most out of mighty empires. It's just so hard to find like minded people who are all willing to take it to this level.

I'd love to play it this way!

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