Deep Fog: Cartographer's Map

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bilbert
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Deep Fog: Cartographer's Map

#1 Post by bilbert » Thu Oct 14, 2021 2:19 am

Hi! I'm looking to GM a game. I plan on using Discord, however.

Variant: Deep Fog; The Cartographer’s Variant

Overview

Think of it as a combination between a text-based RPG like Zorg or D&D and the Fog-of-War variant of Diplomacy. If you like these or you just like drawing maps, this one’s for you.

The game will be hosted on Discord https://discord.gg/ds8C75Z6 (use the Discord app or the browser interface on Discord.com). If the link expires before you get on, message me and I'll send you an updated one. This server will stay a welcoming environment for all. The server admin has the right to remove content or members who create a toxic environment or who insist on posting inappropriate content or language.

This game will provide no map, but follows standard Diplomacy rules, except those mentioned in the Rules section. Instead of a map, information about a player’s starting nation is given in text form, and the nation must explore around to find empty supply centers, find and establish diplomatic ties to other nations, and conquer the unworthy.

Each player is expected to draw the world as they discover it. This information will be precious, and I see it as a negotiation chip between states (reality will be decided by the players).

Setting

It is the dawn of civilization. Brave new leaders have cobbled together groups of nomadic tribes to forge nations. After ensuring basic domestic infrastructure and stability, the leaders look beyond the land they have thrived and form bands to set out and bring civilization to the savages in the surrounding territories. Their quests will bring them into contact with other civilizations awakening around his planet. How many are there and what are their intentions? They will soon find out.

The year is 0 C.E.

Rules

Standard rules apply except where specified below.

The game will use the Build Anywhere (any owned supply center can build a unit).

Communication

Game-based communication will not be allowed between players until they have established diplomatic ties using the Send Emissary order (see below). Once diplomatic ties have been established, anything can be communicated, including precious map info.

It will be strictly honour code, since knowledge of the other players makes this rule unenforceable. Public communication between players is acceptable as long as the discussion does not refer to the specifics of the game. Private communication should take place in the specified channels in Discord made by the GM.

Vision

As said before, there will be no map. Information will be given similar to Fog-of-War variant rule, where information will be given regarding type (land/sea/city) and occupancy of all territories in vision (immediately adjacent) of all owned SCs and units. The nationality of units within vision will only be given for those that have established diplomatic ties with each other; all other units will simply be called “unknown army” or “unknown fleet.”

Exploration and Writing Orders

Vision information will not give names of territories, but rather just direction and territory type.

Territories are unnamed until entered for the first time. When they are entered, the entering nation will give a permanent name to the territory. The GM will assign the 3-letter abbreviation in future correspondence. All other nations that enter the territory will receive this name and code for the territory. The GM will change offensive, vulgar, or profane names.

At times, for clarity, the GM may give temporary place-holder names (e.g., Sea A, Coast B, or Land C). This may happen for order clarity or when a unit appears on a territory. These temporary names do not mean the territory does not have a name, but rather the nation receiving the GM’s communication does not know it.

A player’s order can use the direction and territory type given by the GM, the place-holder name given by the GM, or the actual name of the territory. If any of the above are input erroneously, the order typically fails. The GM reserves the right to overlook errors when the meaning was clear and apparent. The real name can be used, even if the name was learned through diplomatic correspondence rather than personal exploration.

Examples of acceptable and clear orders:
A-Babylon-5 moves to land territory to its north (directions+land type)
F-Solaris to Land B (place-holder)
A-TTS--> CBL (codes)
Army in Titanis moves to Care-bear Land (full names)

Order: Send Emissary

During Fall/Spring, besides the usual Support/Move/Hold orders, units may order a unit to “Send Emissary”.

A unit may choose to send an emissary on a diplomatic mission to a neighbouring territory. The unit:
• does not move.
• has a zero-value hold, meaning it will be displaced by an equal power attack/move to its location. This means one unsupported move can displace the unit sending an emissary. If the defending and attacking are both supported, the defending unit must have a greater number of supporting units to not be displaced.

The order only succeeds if the sending unit is not displaced AND one of the following occurs:
(a) the target territory is empty at the end of the turn and was uncontested (i.e., no bounces occurred there)
(b) the target territory is occupied by a unit whose orders are either Hold or Send Emissary

All other circumstances cause failure, with the emissary failing to return to the unit. The results of successful orders depend on (a) or (b).

In case (a), where the territory is empty and uncontested, the emissary returns the following information:
• name of the territory
• vision information from target territory

In case (b), the following occurs:
• the name of the target territory is provided (no additional vision given)
• diplomatic ties are established
• contact information between players shared (i.e., email addresses or Discord/forum IDs)

Starting Conditions

Each nation will begin with one SC as its capital. The number of SCs that a power begins with depends on map and GM’s discretion.

Losing Capitals

If a nation’s capital is captured (not just occupied) by a foreign power, the competency and sovereignty of the ruler are questioned by his/her empire, and the nation is thrown into anarchy. Only through military force will the nation be able to retain control of the empire.

Consequences:
• The conquering nation will only gain one build, not two.
• The conquered nation will lose two builds for the capital, but all other SCs still count.
• At the start of Spring, each of the conquered nation’s SCs will rebel: They will revert to neutral territories, whether occupied or empty. They can be conquered again at the end of the next Fall by any player, including the original owner.
• If the conquered nation is able to regain any territories, it must choose one of them to be its new capital. This new capital will now count for two builds. When new capitals are lost, the above consequences occur again.

Win Conditions

Solo Win: One power has the majority of the SCs. The exact total of the odd-amount of SCs will not be given to preserve the deep fog.

Count Them Up: There are no draws. Instead, players can vote at any time to end the game by voting for/against "Counting Them Up". The GM will count up the SCs and the player with the most SCs at that point wins the game.

After the game is over, all participants will share their maps for fun and closure.

Replacements

In the unfortunate situation where a player drops out, a lined-up replacement player will take over. Additional time to search for a player will be given if necessary. If one cannot be found, the GM and players will negotiate a way forward.

Each player is required to forward updated visual maps to the GM once a year, during build phases. They don’t have to be pretty, just clear. This is in case a player has to take over.

The GM will need to make sure old order results are preserved and the surrendered/abandoned player’s latest map is forwarded to the new player. The player must be educated that errors are possible in the map, from the original player’s mistakes or faulty intelligence from other players. In extreme cases where no recent map is available (shouldn’t happen), a simplified node map of the player’s actual explored territories will be passed on by the GM.

Information Given by GM

GMs should stay consistent in references. If needed, the nomenclature used by a player can be combined with GM’s previous references for abundant clarity. Having a “Second Eyes” or co-GM is a must in this game. Three things should be included in messages:
• Results of orders
• Gained vision as a result of an order, which includes new territories or revealed armies/fleets
• Summary of own troop locations
• Summary of foreign troops in view

Sample Message to Player:

Spring of 1 C.E. Records:

A-TYR failed to move to “Land Territory A” (you called “land to its north”).
Cause: bounced by unknown army.
Gained vision: unknown army occupies “Land A”.

F-LIV successfully moves to “Land Territory B”. Locals inform you that the territory is called Natashka (NSH).
Gained vision:
-Additional unoccupied land continue to the north, “Land C”.
-An inland territory (“Land K”) is to your southeast.
-To your southwest, a costal city is seen (“City D”), occupied by a Neverland army.

F-MRK successfully moves to Sea B (you called “sea to southeast”). You are the first explorer here; please name the sea for your nation’s glory!
Gained vision: coastal land to your southeast (“Land C”, same territory as above); coastal land to your east (Land R).

Troop Summary:
A-TYR
F-NSH
F-Sea B (awaiting name)

Foreign Troops in Vision:
Unknown’s A-”Land A”
Neverland’s A-”City D”
Neverland’s F-GOF
Care Bear’s A-STR

GM Errors

In this format, the pressure and work on the GM is substantial. It is likely there will be at least an instance of miscommunication between the GM and a player.

When this happens, the GM will make whatever adjustments to map/unit positions, gameplay history, etc. to ensure continued playability, fair play and keep the game progressing. These will likely be difficult decisions and compromises are likely.

Observers’ Channel

On the server, there will be a channel called “Observers’ Channel”. This channel will be visible only to participants who only want to watch the game map progress. The GM will post updates of the map here. This serves a dual purpose of storing game progress for quick reference and allowing oversight of adjudication.

Observers are barred from discussing anything about the game outside of this channel. They must have read the rules and agree to keep the channel’s content and discussions secret from game participants.
2

Jamiet99uk
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Re: Deep Fog: Cartographer's Map

#2 Post by Jamiet99uk » Thu Oct 14, 2021 2:46 pm

Sounds interesting!

Question:

I note that capital cities produce two builds. Does this mean that two units may simultaneously occupy a territory containing a capital city?
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Kakarroto
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Re: Deep Fog: Cartographer's Map

#3 Post by Kakarroto » Fri Oct 15, 2021 12:17 pm

I concur, it sounds very interesting, I might try it out ... later though. Currently I'm busy in RL and the rest of my free time is used up by now mini mafia starting and the newly discovered 'gamelandia' (who knows, knows) (slice, slice) (alloys, consumer goods).

But since asking doesn't cost a thing: when is the planned start for this?
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lpl1977
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Re: Deep Fog: Cartographer's Map

#4 Post by lpl1977 » Fri Oct 15, 2021 5:24 pm

This looks like a lot of fun. I would very much like to participate!
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Bonatogether
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Re: Deep Fog: Cartographer's Map

#5 Post by Bonatogether » Sun Oct 31, 2021 6:51 pm

I'd love to play as well

ChrisVis
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Re: Deep Fog: Cartographer's Map

#6 Post by ChrisVis » Mon Nov 01, 2021 2:58 am

This is fascinating. Count me in, please, as a player if possible, otherwise as an observer.
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KalelChase
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Re: Deep Fog: Cartographer's Map

#7 Post by KalelChase » Tue Nov 02, 2021 12:13 am

I am also interested pending the turn cycles not being too tight.
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bilbert
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Re: Deep Fog: Cartographer's Map

#8 Post by bilbert » Wed Nov 24, 2021 6:12 am

@all

I am in need of a sub for the ongoing game of Deep Fog. If interested, please directly join the server and DM me (bilbert). The position is very much in it and there is a lot of game to play.
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bilbert
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Re: Deep Fog: Cartographer's Map

#9 Post by bilbert » Wed Nov 24, 2021 7:00 am

Forgot to send Discord channel link: https://discord.gg/mePyqVh2
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Hithlum
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Re: Deep Fog: Cartographer's Map

#10 Post by Hithlum » Wed Nov 24, 2021 10:21 am

bilbert wrote:
Wed Nov 24, 2021 6:12 am
@all

I am in need of a sub for the ongoing game of Deep Fog. If interested, please directly join the server and DM me (bilbert). The position is very much in it and there is a lot of game to play.
I've read the rules and would like to play the vacant position.
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