View Full Version : [Thousand Spears] Scaled-Up Classical Myth Game

2011-03-06, 10:51 AM
Thousand Spears (https://docs.google.com/document/d/1heOUrzhm9JizBOH9vw21uTJWt33WxOcW7z3E0juHiKg/edit?hl=en&authkey=CNDhqs0G#) is my most recent game project.

The Elevator Pitch
Thousand Spears is...
Hercules and the 300 Spartans voyaging around an ancient world varying from Hyborian savagery to classical wonder. Talented Inheritors carry out great deeds only through the sacrifice of their ordinary followers.

What's this going to do that other games don't?
- "Scaling Up" the traditional RPG structure of a party of player characters and maybe some hirelings. In Thousand Spears each player has their own character but each character will have followers. They could have a dozen each or ten-thousand each and the game still works. There are still times for individual efforts but for the most part you'll want to have a bunch of followers under your command.
- "Highlight-based" combat, where individual swings of the sword and exact positions aren't tracked but units and individuals can still carry out actions to sway the battle.
- The setting is a twist on classical mythology. Spear, shield and javelin rule the battlefield but in a world without horses large hounds are used to pull chariots and more dangerous creatures are trained as war beasts or feared as monsters. Sprawling empires exist alongside ancient tribes and defiant city states. Although inspired by our own classical age the world is original and there are no direct analogs for Greece, Egypt, Persia etc.

What Stage is it at?
The game is in serious need of some editing and layout work, but I can get to that time-consuming process soon. Some testing has already taken place but I want to step up my efforts. I'm pretty sure the core of the game works and each of the side-systems seem fundamentally sound too. Now it's more about fine tuning and (urgh) balancing.

So what can I do?
The simplest way you can help is to take a look over the game and tell me what you think. If you want to be extra helpful you can hop into #rpgnet on irc.magicstar.net and help me with a playtest some time. If you want to be ultra helpful you can run a playtest yourself. Try it, I dare you!

Okay, so where do I get it?
It's HERE (https://docs.google.com/document/d/1heOUrzhm9JizBOH9vw21uTJWt33WxOcW7z3E0juHiKg/edit?hl=en&authkey=CNDhqs0G#) in Google Doc format. I'm still making tweaks and additions so don't be shocked if you see some real time updating.

Thanks in advance for any help and don't hesitate to hit me up in the irc channel if there's something that needs clarifying.

2011-03-06, 07:53 PM
It looks pretty damn cool. I'm not sure what I think about the fact that dead units don't remove their dice from the attack pool... On one hand it is much easier to adjudicate, on the other, why not?

There are some rules that are either not clear or simply missing. For example, none of the Talents give explanations about what they do, other than being used in trials.

It doesn't seem to be possible to beat a defense of higher than 8. Is it possible to add two or more Attack dice together, in order to break a much higher Defense?

In one of the examples, you have some archers defending a cliffside bastion. The fort has a defense of 20, and then a Thalonda comes up and attacks, beating that defense twice. However, it looks like the highest a Thalonda's attack could be is 12 (using Pluck on an Attack die of 6) or 8 (using Unbreakable).

2011-03-07, 02:39 AM
The reason dead units don't remove their dice from the attack pool is that a lot of the action is assumed to be happening at roughly the same time. I've tried it the other way and it adds a little bit of extra bookkeeping and, to me, didn't feel like it added much.

There's nothing stopping you raising a dice higher than 8. For instance if you have an ability that lets you raise an attack die by 2 you could raise a 6 to an 8 and then next turn maybe use it three times to raise that 8 to a 14. Remember when you raise a die you aren't using it at that time, you're preparing it for use later.

The other common way to beat a defence of 8 or more is to have a Scaled Unit lead an attack (see "Leading Attacks" section).

I'll have to check the Thalanoda battle example, as that might be a remnant of an older version of the rules and not make sense anymore.

Thanks for the feedback, much appreciated :)