Pre-industrial Fantasy STGOD OOC/Rules Thread:

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Re: Pre-industrial Fantasy STGOD OOC/Rules Thread:

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2015-12-10 08:57pm

Good suggestion. I'll do so tonight.

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Re: Pre-industrial Fantasy STGOD OOC/Rules Thread:

Post by Simon_Jester » 2015-12-10 09:15pm

The biggest problem we have, really, is that the center of the North American continent is big, flat, lacks much in the way of interesting terrain features, and is prohibitively difficult to cross with pre-industrial technology (pioneers in Conestoga wagons can do it, but it's neither easy nor safe).

The most logical thing to put in the Great Plains (once known as the Great American Desert, because south of the Missouri River most of it is desert in its natural state) would be some kind of nomadic society. There's a reason most of the successful Plains Indian tribes were nomads, just like the dominant societies of Central Asia tended to be. It'd actually make a very sensible place to put Maddoc's hyenorks if he isn't committed to making them an Arctic race.

What there isn't a lot of ecological room for, unless we play fairly drastic games with the land between the Mississippi and the Rockies*, is two or three tiers of Cool Nation-States like the ones we're putting on the coasts.

*I'm not opposed to doing it, but it tends to deter people because it increases the investment barrier to entry in terms of creativity.
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Re: Pre-industrial Fantasy STGOD OOC/Rules Thread:

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2015-12-10 09:23pm

I wonder if we could have some sort of pre-established trade route across that territory, complete with periodic forts/taverns/supply depots, that multiple factions are committed to maintaining.

Alternative, establishing such a route could be a plot in the game.

No idea if such a thing is realistic, but we are dealing with a world of magic here.

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Re: Pre-industrial Fantasy STGOD OOC/Rules Thread:

Post by Simon_Jester » 2015-12-10 09:28pm

Greater Ohio (another of my working titles for my polity)'s problem on that end is that, while fairly well placed to begin creating the Pony Express or a chain of forts across the plains... and it's quite realistic...

There's just not much incentive to do so for my actual country, and there are definitely threats and problems in the way. Illinois is to us as the Cossack-infested steppes of southern Russia were to the Russians back in the day, for instance.

Historically, the only major examples of nations extending themselves overland that far involved countries that were rapidly expanding into an effective vacuum where they had pretty much uncontested political control so far as any equivalently armed states were concerned. That is to say, the historical US expanding westward from, oh, 1785 to 1900, and the Russian Empire expanding eastward from the Volga to the Pacific a century or so earlier.

If we can't find a way to bridge the gap by filling it with PCs, maybe we should start thinking in terms of high magic as a means of doing so. A few large, permanent portals a la the Hell's Gate setting by David Weber and Linda Evans would do the trick.
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Re: Pre-industrial Fantasy STGOD OOC/Rules Thread:

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2015-12-10 09:32pm

That's another possibility.

We'll see if we can get some more people to fill that space, and wait until things are a bit more settled in terms of rules, factions, etc. Then, if its still a problem, we can always use the portal option unless we get at least a couple parties who are interested in the trade route option.

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Re: Pre-industrial Fantasy STGOD OOC/Rules Thread:

Post by Simon_Jester » 2015-12-10 10:04pm

[Decides to troll the Orions]

Orion scholar: "If it weren't for us, you rubes in teleport-over country would still think the Sun orbits the Earth!"

[Ohioan blinks] "No we wouldn't."

"What?"

"Of course we wouldn't. Who could be that silly? It clearly says in the Book of the Heavens, Prophecies 6:28..."

Orion scholar "AUUUUGH!"

:D

Sorry, that was a joke. Although it is worth noting that Greater Ohio is the definite beneficiary of a religion that does work, and leaving the chaplains at home, cutting back on the hymn-singing, and neglecting the rites of honor to their ancestors would have disastrous effects on the nation's military readiness.
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Re: Pre-industrial Fantasy STGOD OOC/Rules Thread:

Post by TimothyC » 2015-12-11 12:00am

Hey guys, Simon asked me for some help setting up Ohio (as I, well, live in Ohio), and in the process I came up with what could fill the middle of the continent gap you have there.

The Confederation of the Sioux would be a Feudal confederation of small statelets, most of which are herders and farms, slowly settling down as they transition from nomadic to fixed life. Some small cities, most no larger than villages in Ohio, in many ways a larger version of Rohan, with a Helms Deep analog somewhere in the Black hills as a redoubt. A capital about where Sioux City is in our world, and borders as follows: On the east, the official border is the Illinois river south to the Mississippi river, following that south to the Ozark Plateau, extending around the norther edge of the rough part of the plateau to the Arkansas river, with claimed land as far south as the Red river. From there, west to the foothills of the Rocky Mountains (Colorado Springs and Denver would be included, but would be the furthest west. Running north, parts of the Big Sky Country are included, as is almost all of Wyoming. The Canadian Great Plains are a part of the confederation, while the connection between groups in the eastern part of that area is tenuous at best. From there the border runs south to Duluth, and skirts the Wisconsin Dells.

Image

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Re: Pre-industrial Fantasy STGOD OOC/Rules Thread:

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2015-12-11 01:16am

Interesting idea. But who would play them? You? Or if you're not available, would they be an NPC?

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Re: Pre-industrial Fantasy STGOD OOC/Rules Thread:

Post by Eternal_Freedom » 2015-12-11 06:56am

Simon_Jester wrote:[Decides to troll the Orions]

Orion scholar: "If it weren't for us, you rubes in teleport-over country would still think the Sun orbits the Earth!"

[Ohioan blinks] "No we wouldn't."

"What?"

"Of course we wouldn't. Who could be that silly? It clearly says in the Book of the Heavens, Prophecies 6:28..."

Orion scholar "AUUUUGH!"

:D

Sorry, that was a joke. Although it is worth noting that Greater Ohio is the definite beneficiary of a religion that does work, and leaving the chaplains at home, cutting back on the hymn-singing, and neglecting the rites of honor to their ancestors would have disastrous effects on the nation's military readiness.
I will admit to sniggering at that.

Oh, your chaplains are vitally important? And the hymn-singing? Hmmm....well I guess I know where to focus my attacks then :D
Baltar: "I don't want to miss a moment of the last Battlestar's destruction!"
Centurion: "Sir, I really think you should look at the other Battlestar."
Baltar: "What are you babbling about other...it's impossible!"
Centurion: "No. It is a Battlestar."

Corrax Entry 7:17: So you walk eternally through the shadow realms, standing against evil where all others falter. May your thirst for retribution never quench, may the blood on your sword never dry, and may we never need you again.

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Re: Pre-industrial Fantasy STGOD OOC/Rules Thread:

Post by Simon_Jester » 2015-12-11 07:41am

The hymn-singing would have to be stopped by killing all the soldiers, and that always works. :D

The clergywomen are, in fact, a legitimate vulnerability of the system. However...

Put this way, after firing vollies into the pike blocks in front of an Ohioan tercio, it is likely that Orion officers would exasperatedly conclude that the pikemen in particular are "too dumb to know they're supposed to be dead," due to their possessing a defense that very few can physically perceive, and which Orion culture in particular is almost ideally suited to not believe in.

I intend to explore the precise character of the supernatural protections provided to the Ohioan nation by their faith and cultural traditions in one of my earlier strings of story posts, but suffice to say that they enjoy a disproportionate, statistically significant degree of good fortune in avoiding random death from things like volley fire and shell fragments.

The priestesses benefit from this to such a degree that trying to kill them is going to be extremely exasperating without first neutralizing enough of the tercio that their collective spiritual defense cracks. Which, again, always works.

The way I imagine the Ohioan army is that they can definitely be beaten in a straight fight- they're tough, but they're not good at 'nimble.' The only forces they have which are particularly nimble are mercenary cossack-types from the Illinois prairie, who are in turn more susceptible to magic and are less disciplined than any other fighting force the Empire possesses. They also sacrifice in ranged firepower to get magical resistance, because the musketeers in their tercios simply are not as protected as the pikemen in that respect. And their formations, designed to provide good generalized close-quarters protection, are cumbersome.

However, as noted, while they can be beaten in a straight fight, the more one tries to cheat in fighting them, the more likely one's efforts are to backfire. Because they are not particularly protected against 'losing' in a supernatural sense, so much as they are protected against, ah, 'deviltry.' The kind of deviltry that makes you go :twisted:

;)
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Re: Pre-industrial Fantasy STGOD OOC/Rules Thread:

Post by Eternal_Freedom » 2015-12-11 12:00pm

So how do they feel about my combat-telepaths making my troops look like, well, some terrifying monster that shakes them to the core?
Baltar: "I don't want to miss a moment of the last Battlestar's destruction!"
Centurion: "Sir, I really think you should look at the other Battlestar."
Baltar: "What are you babbling about other...it's impossible!"
Centurion: "No. It is a Battlestar."

Corrax Entry 7:17: So you walk eternally through the shadow realms, standing against evil where all others falter. May your thirst for retribution never quench, may the blood on your sword never dry, and may we never need you again.

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Re: Pre-industrial Fantasy STGOD OOC/Rules Thread:

Post by Simon_Jester » 2015-12-11 12:14pm

How will they feel?

Scared, what do you expect? They may have the protection of their faith and the spirits of their ancestors, but they're still human beings.

On the other hand, I would expect that the monster will induce considerably less supernatural terror among an Ohioan tercio than it would if you were using it on an equivalent tercio of, say, 1680-era Spaniards. And while that particular tercio you're going to work on may not have personally experienced it, some of the Ohioan tercios have done "fight swarms of conjured fiends from Hell," and duly stabbed and shot their way through fire-breathing monstrosities that were very much real and not a figment of their imagination. It's part of their job description.

It's not that the illusion won't work, or that they won't be afraid, or that you gain literally zero tactical advantage from it. But don't count on it to make them do anything other than stand their ground and take heavy casualties before breaking. It is not a good idea to bet on an Ohioan tercio (or for that matter an Ohioan musketeer square, which is a somewhat softer magical target) doing anything other than that.

[Honestly, I wouldn't be surprised if the Spanish tercio stood and fought too]

It'll be easier to understand after I've done the story posts I'm now drafting. They may take a while; the length is starting to add up.
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Re: Pre-industrial Fantasy STGOD OOC/Rules Thread:

Post by Eternal_Freedom » 2015-12-11 12:20pm

Fair enough. I imagined my army being like the British in OTL 1800, relatively small but well-trained and disciplined. The easy communication gives us a huge advantage which we exploit to the full.
Baltar: "I don't want to miss a moment of the last Battlestar's destruction!"
Centurion: "Sir, I really think you should look at the other Battlestar."
Baltar: "What are you babbling about other...it's impossible!"
Centurion: "No. It is a Battlestar."

Corrax Entry 7:17: So you walk eternally through the shadow realms, standing against evil where all others falter. May your thirst for retribution never quench, may the blood on your sword never dry, and may we never need you again.

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Re: Pre-industrial Fantasy STGOD OOC/Rules Thread:

Post by Simon_Jester » 2015-12-11 03:44pm

Now see that is an advantage acquired honestly. It would be extremely difficult for the Ohioans to interfere with your telepaths in any meaningful fashion unless said telepaths did something impressively stupid. And any attempt by the Ohioans to match it would involve either very low bandwidth (i.e. fractions of a baud), or relying on ancestral spirits they don't actually know how to talk to directly.

On the discipline front, I'd say it's probably a wash; the Spanish tercios were as legendary in their prime as the Redcoats were in theirs, and it's the tercios I'm using as a basic model. The Ohioan army's willingness to just hold the line is almost bottomless, and there are probably a number of stories about armies overrunning detachments of Ohioans finding that, like the Sacred Band of Thebes, all of them received their death wounds from the front.

What the Ohioans are bad at, like any army relying heavily on pike phalanxes, is maneuver, mobility, and operations in broken country. They have all-musket light infantry formations for the purpose, but those are conversely a bit more vulnerable to supernatural effects than the tercios, as earlier discussed.
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Re: Pre-industrial Fantasy STGOD OOC/Rules Thread:

Post by Imperial528 » 2015-12-11 04:07pm

Simon_Jester wrote:To recap, the position of my borders can be observed by looking at any political map of the United States. This one's a good choice because it comes with the Ohio Valley overlaid.

http://outreach.lrh.usace.army.mil/Basi ... Cities.png

Start in or very near the northeastern corner of Ohio, on the shore of Lake Erie. Follow a line in a generally south-by-southeasterly direction until you reach the site of OTL Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (here a heavily garrisoned and fortified town called 'Duquesne,' with forts and cannon batteries that control the place where the Monongahela and Alleghany Rivers flow together to form the Ohio).

The border then curves back along the Ohio River and cuts away from the river in a southeasterly direction, headed off for a point in eastern Tennessee where it meets the fan of rivers at the head of the Tennessee River.

So...

Duquesne represents the easternmost point of the Empire's control of the Ohio River valley, and the easternmost point on Imperial soil is probably a border checkpoint a few miles up the Alleghany from the confluence.

So in other words, the question "how much of Pennsylvania does the Empire own" is "almost none of it, a strip between zero and thirty miles wide shaved off the extreme western edge of the state."
If I'm reading the map correctly, then I should be almost bordering you as it is, being at the end of the Alleghany. Something like this?

I expanded my borders a bit to capture those tributaries just south of the Alleghany Plateau.

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Re: Pre-industrial Fantasy STGOD OOC/Rules Thread:

Post by Esquire » 2015-12-11 05:01pm

I haven't had time to read the whole thread, and I probably won't be able to do a full write up for a week or two (I'm on a foreign vacation just now), but I'm very interested, ideally as a vaguely Ottoman state centered on the OTL Missouri and Mississippi rivers. Unless someone's already got that area of course.
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Re: Pre-industrial Fantasy STGOD OOC/Rules Thread:

Post by madd0ct0r » 2015-12-11 05:08pm

Scroll up to see the map Esquire :)
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Re: Pre-industrial Fantasy STGOD OOC/Rules Thread:

Post by Simon_Jester » 2015-12-11 05:25pm

TimothyC specifically intended that the "Sioux Confederacy" could be shifted or rolled back to make room for PC states; I was online with him when he came up with the idea. So I suspect he'll agree with me in suggesting that we give Esquire as much room as he needs to put together his Ottomanoids.

[rubs hands eagerly]

Oooh, peer competitor neighbors!
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Re: Pre-industrial Fantasy STGOD OOC/Rules Thread:

Post by Eternal_Freedom » 2015-12-11 05:35pm

Simon_Jester wrote:Now see that is an advantage acquired honestly. It would be extremely difficult for the Ohioans to interfere with your telepaths in any meaningful fashion unless said telepaths did something impressively stupid. And any attempt by the Ohioans to match it would involve either very low bandwidth (i.e. fractions of a baud), or relying on ancestral spirits they don't actually know how to talk to directly.
Thing is, the communication/coordination thing was something that I remembered from 40K and thought "oh cool, I can have a superior analog to radio in 1800." It initially started as a way to communicate between cities, I was thinking of having chains of semaphore relays and then I remembered we can have magic. While I am far from a military expert (though I do have a Russian army overcoat and ushanka hat) I know that reliable beyond line-os-sight communication will be a huge advantage, and it fits with my "no offensive magic" rule.
On the discipline front, I'd say it's probably a wash; the Spanish tercios were as legendary in their prime as the Redcoats were in theirs, and it's the tercios I'm using as a basic model. The Ohioan army's willingness to just hold the line is almost bottomless, and there are probably a number of stories about armies overrunning detachments of Ohioans finding that, like the Sacred Band of Thebes, all of them received their death wounds from the front.
Reassuring to know I wont have a total loss, though my war-mage "really strong will to fight" power will have similar effects IMO. Perhaps that's something we could weave into our backstory, two units who fought each other to the death rather than retreat :)
What the Ohioans are bad at, like any army relying heavily on pike phalanxes, is maneuver, mobility, and operations in broken country. They have all-musket light infantry formations for the purpose, but those are conversely a bit more vulnerable to supernatural effects than the tercios, as earlier discussed.
Interesting. My army doesn't use pikes anymore, we switched over to all-muskets some time ago. We do have very strong cavalry forces armed with carbines to exploit our maneuver advantage, perhaps with another lower-level mage ability that increases the horse's endurance.
[rubs hands eagerly]

Oooh, peer competitor neighbors!
I would object, asking what I am, then I remembered we aren't quite neighbours :D
Baltar: "I don't want to miss a moment of the last Battlestar's destruction!"
Centurion: "Sir, I really think you should look at the other Battlestar."
Baltar: "What are you babbling about other...it's impossible!"
Centurion: "No. It is a Battlestar."

Corrax Entry 7:17: So you walk eternally through the shadow realms, standing against evil where all others falter. May your thirst for retribution never quench, may the blood on your sword never dry, and may we never need you again.

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Re: Pre-industrial Fantasy STGOD OOC/Rules Thread:

Post by Simon_Jester » 2015-12-11 05:53pm

Eternal_Freedom wrote:
Simon_Jester wrote:Now see that is an advantage acquired honestly. It would be extremely difficult for the Ohioans to interfere with your telepaths in any meaningful fashion unless said telepaths did something impressively stupid. And any attempt by the Ohioans to match it would involve either very low bandwidth (i.e. fractions of a baud), or relying on ancestral spirits they don't actually know how to talk to directly.
Thing is, the communication/coordination thing was something that I remembered from 40K and thought "oh cool, I can have a superior analog to radio in 1800." It initially started as a way to communicate between cities, I was thinking of having chains of semaphore relays and then I remembered we can have magic. While I am far from a military expert (though I do have a Russian army overcoat and ushanka hat) I know that reliable beyond line-os-sight communication will be a huge advantage, and it fits with my "no offensive magic" rule.
Honestly, I find it profoundly amusing that one of the most probable heavyweight opponents for my "all the defensive magic" army is the "no offensive magic" army. :D

And on our side of the continental divide, the Ohioans are starting to establish semaphores along the major transportation arteries of their empire, in an attempt to supplement a fairly fast courier service. They'd have a heliograph corps but heliographs weren't invented until 1821, amazingly enough.
What the Ohioans are bad at, like any army relying heavily on pike phalanxes, is maneuver, mobility, and operations in broken country. They have all-musket light infantry formations for the purpose, but those are conversely a bit more vulnerable to supernatural effects than the tercios, as earlier discussed.
Interesting. My army doesn't use pikes anymore, we switched over to all-muskets some time ago. We do have very strong cavalry forces armed with carbines to exploit our maneuver advantage, perhaps with another lower-level mage ability that increases the horse's endurance.
[Starts making list of interesting terrain chokepoints in the Northwest. :D]
[rubs hands eagerly]

Oooh, peer competitor neighbors!
I would object, asking what I am, then I remembered we aren't quite neighbours :D[/quote]Plus, more neighbors is good!
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Re: Pre-industrial Fantasy STGOD OOC/Rules Thread:

Post by Crazedwraith » 2015-12-11 06:12pm

Knowing nothing about North America. Are there any good mountain ranges left? I'm thinking of a polity that's a symbiosis of Goblin miners and underground citys and human barbarian hill clans. Like Erebor/Dale if they were one nation. Took up all of a mountain range and the Dwarfs were goblins.
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Re: Pre-industrial Fantasy STGOD OOC/Rules Thread:

Post by Simon_Jester » 2015-12-11 06:16pm

North America has two major sets of mountain ranges. One forms the spine of the continent and stretches clear down from Alaska through Mexico (running south, in effect, to become the Andes). The other is the Appalachians, a massively folded corduroy of relatively low ridges that pretty much defined the western limit of expansion of the original British colonies.

While Canada and the northern part of the US are pretty well spoken for, there is room in:

1) The southern Appalachians (hot, semi-tropical climate, snow almost never falls in winter, mountains are relatively low and immensely old and eroded) or

2) The Rocky Mountains, as well as a number of other chains in the American Southwest (where the land is largely a desert).

If we can get someone to consult... maybe TimothyC can look in on this.
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Re: Pre-industrial Fantasy STGOD OOC/Rules Thread:

Post by Simon_Jester » 2015-12-11 06:30pm

GHETTO EDIT:

EDIT: Esquire, by the way, when you're thinking about your own territory- note that I drew the western border of the Greater Ohioan Empire (working title) on a line running roughly from OTL Chicago to Cairo, Illinois, then back up the Ohio. As one might guess from the name, the Ohio River is the spine of the Empire. But one of the effects of this borderline is that most of Illinois is unclaimed territory.

I'd figured on it being a prairie populated by the equivalent of Cossacks- fiercely independent, nomadic, warlike people who consist in large part of defectors and renegades from the neighboring empires. This is the main reason I never asked that the Empire be allowed to push its border west to the Mississippi through Illinois; I thought the Cossacks would be more interesting.

With respect to territorial claims in Illinois... Would staying west of the Mississippi or at least the Illinois River be acceptable to you? I'd like to be neighbors and do cool stuff, but I'd also like to keep that zone of zany Cossacks in Illinois, though I can plan around its absence if I need to.
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Re: Pre-industrial Fantasy STGOD OOC/Rules Thread:

Post by Eternal_Freedom » 2015-12-11 06:53pm

Chokepoints, heh.

I wonder how early I can start investigating poison gas as a weapon :D

Also, a matter of nomenclature. Are you pronouncing Ohioan as oh-hi-O-an or oh-hi-an?
Baltar: "I don't want to miss a moment of the last Battlestar's destruction!"
Centurion: "Sir, I really think you should look at the other Battlestar."
Baltar: "What are you babbling about other...it's impossible!"
Centurion: "No. It is a Battlestar."

Corrax Entry 7:17: So you walk eternally through the shadow realms, standing against evil where all others falter. May your thirst for retribution never quench, may the blood on your sword never dry, and may we never need you again.

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Re: Pre-industrial Fantasy STGOD OOC/Rules Thread:

Post by Simon_Jester » 2015-12-11 07:05pm

[shakes head]

Always trying to cheat... ;)

Honestly I have no idea how to pronounce Ohioan, I'll ask TimothyC because he is, as noted, one of them.
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