Long story short, got the flu from my nephews and wasn't able to post or read anything the last few days. But I will be back very soon....
Noircana could very well be my White Whale. I had time to think about it and it really is a lot to digest. But...
This being a crazy pet project, I still think it can be done (love Porky's enthusiasm and ideas, too, so there is that). And just when I was out on the balcony smoking a cigarette, thinking about Moby Dick and how this could be the perfect excuse, I had an idea how to frame the boardgame aspect. Life stays interesting that way.
So I'm giving this some air now to let it breathe and will be back with an example as soon as I have whipped it up (hoping for suggestions on the way...).
Noircana Boardgame Aspect (pitch)
Giving a region ability scores works. Class is a bit more difficult, mainly because harvesting and nurturing them will alter the stats of a region.
Anyway, I was thinking about this the wrong way. Or at least I was intimidated by the sheer amount of the necessary results to make this work. It should simulate some kind of evolution, after all.
Now for the frame (need to flesh this out more):
- One round covers 100 years development in a region.
- 10+1d10 rounds constitute a turn and that's the time between cataclysms (a tabula rasa with left overs, basically).
- INT (for Mana) and WIS (for Chi) give a region Action Points to handle the opposition. They regenerate every round.
- At the beginning of every round, a region may invest in several things to "gear up" for the opposition (Class could be one of those things, but also nurturing aspects, etc.). Initiative might be a good idea here, too.
- One of the things that have to be bought, is a "die against the universe". It's the bet a region has to make. A low die (d4) would be cheap (and would leave more room to handle existing threats or create sentient beings in harmony with the region), but dangerous (could cause new opposition or catastrophes).
- Before every round, every region gets 1d4-1 opposition dice (the cataclysms before should leave some opposition before the game starts, too, I guess).
- Every opposition will have a d6 score (rolled just like for the regions, reroll 6s and doubles, triples produce 2 rerolls), targeting one of the regions ability scores (random, 1d6 decides). Apply bonuses (this will result in penalties for low oppositions and I think it could be the harvesting-rate), define by the nature of the ability score attacked (WIS could be climate or earthquakes, CON biomass, etc.).
- More than one ability score as opposition could mean several "weak" entities or just one strong (DM decides/sees what fits).
- This being about ressource management, the decisions how many points are used for the "die against the universe" and how the rest is distributed (in connection with initiative and, maybe, level) will make the game. Describing how the effects manifest will describe the world (Mana will have a magic related effect, Chi will have natural consequences).
- Now the fighting begins, with the ability scores being the targets. This is another tricky part. My core idea so far is to make a die drop chart to use with all the "bought" dice, using the interrelations between the dice to interpret the results (with higher results being more favourable, and the decisions made before minimizing the risk).
- Cooperation between regions and Adaptation (I'm thinking, giving a region the Thief Class could allow some "stealing", for example) will be part of this (same could go for the opposition, cataclysm could be unifying factors for that, like spawning leaders and/or immortals).
- Final thoughts: Opposition might be turned (a MU living in harmony with the region, for example) or destroyed, but it might also establish itself (a city could be an example for that). The summ of the abillity scores could be the size of a region (maybe creating 2 miles hexes per point), harvested regions could be (dependig on the nature of the harvesting, that is: the decreased ability score) settlements, badlands, monsters, dead woods, dungeons, etc., so the region evolves automatically and will have "traces" of the past. Catastrophes will harm land AND opposition, so so forcing them will be a gambit, but could help a region (wars, earthquakes, etc.).
Now, this is the back of the White Whale in the distance. I'll be off, trying to get a better look and - hopefully - slay the beast some day in the future*.
*This means some more digesting and playtesting, I guess.