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Emperor PBEM Game

Posted: Fri Dec 12, 2014 7:01 am
Hi all!

Just checking to see if there was any interest in playing a PBEM game set in the Fading Suns universe.

The game would use the setting but not the system of the PC game.

Essentially, players would take on the role of either one of the existing Houses or construct a House of their own, or possibly play a Church Sect or Guild Faction.

Symbiots, Barbarians, Vau, etc, would remain NPC (non-player characters) and be used as a GM tool to keep the game moving.

Aspects that would be "stolen" from the PC game would be the better parts that involve the political things (regent voting, tithing, guild charter, etc) however the combat system would have to be overhauled completely to make it functional as an email-based game.

Tech and resources would certainly remain, though some degree of streamlining would have to take place (especially inasmuch as "combat" tech is involved).

At this point I have a point-based combat system that will work; however it has no "units" per se (just points are used and the players can define those however they want); but if custom units and "genre" units are popular then I am certain I can work out a system that involves them.

Turns would be 1/week in all probability, and I would need to create a forum where players could register & rules/turn results could be posted.

Each turn players would put in their player packet whatever actions they wished to attempt (research, planetary invasions, resource transfers to other players/npcs etc) and on a specific date all the turn packets would be resolved simultaneously and the results posted (which would alter the contents of the next player packet).

A game like this, run by a human GM, would be instantly more flexible than the PC game and would allow for many more opportunities and actions. However. it would be slower to get results.

This post is just to test the waters to see if such a game has any appeal.


Posted: Sat May 16, 2015 6:49 pm
by Eightball Maniac
This sounds like it would be a lot of fun. A GM running things would certainly open the door to a far more vibrant experience.

It's been months since you made this post, I realize, but perhaps you're still checking in from time to time.

Posted: Sat Oct 03, 2015 2:51 pm
by Demantiae
I registered here just to respond to this. I've just rediscovered this game in the last few days together with the various patches to make it play better. That led me here. But my very first introduction to the Fading suns universe was with the exact PBEM designed game suggested in the OP. Many many years ago I discovered the FS universe through such a game. It definitely does work but its a lot of work to manage.

I've been thinking myself how to pull off a similar game myself. Diplomacy works fine across the internet and mechanics such as regency voting and office ownership are easy to manage. The real question is how to you handle combat? You can't use the unit base combat mechanic of EFS as you can't recreate the turn-based movement or the round-based combat easily through email. Combat needs to be abstracted and needs to become strategic level, leaving players to determine the grand strategy of their war efforts but leaving the actual decisions and tactics of combat to the abstracted system (represented to the player via characters such as generals and admirals).

Such a game also needs a working economic model that can be impacted by warfare and leads to meaningful interactions with the League. In the lore House al Malik abandoned their aspirations for the throne and threw in with Alexius because their financial analysts determined that the House would be bankrupted if they continued to fight. They played the long game, backed a stronger rival and came out of the wars stronger for it. Such moves need to be represented by the mechanics lest the game became a fancy version of Risk.

It is indeed very possible to run this as a PBEM, it's just a matter of hitting on the right combat/economic models that work in the PBEM enirvonment