The top of your turn packet has your contact information, the turn number, notes from the GM to you and a list of your special abilities. Below that is a list of places you control, each with a description. Beneath all the informational data is the word Orders and three asterisks. You write your orders beneath those.
Assemble Your People. On the first turn, your people will be listed after the description of your campsite. On subsequent turns, any of your people who defended a campsite, fortress, or city, or that survived exploring, hunting or an attack the turn before, can now be re-assigned with new orders. If you move somebody from defending a place, be sure to delete their original listing so they aren't duplicated.
Defending. Write in the people you want to use after the description of that place. For example, after your campsite's description you might put "27 hunters." You can only defend campsites, fortresses and cities.
Exploring. Write the order "explore" down under where it says Attack & Explore Orders, followed by the place and then who you're sending. For example, "Explore the Forest of No Return with 300 swordsmen." You can only explore places directly adjacent to places you control. You can only explore desert places if you have domesticated camels. Mountain and glacier terrain are impassible and cannot be explored.
Attacking. This is similar to exploring, except it involves places controlled by someone (or some thing) else. Campsites, cities, and fortresses have a zone of control (ZOC) that extends either to the edge of that civilization's controlled land territory or half-way to another of that same civilization's cities or fortresses. All non-sea places in that ZOC are considered a single location for attack and control purposes. Defenders of campsites, cities, and fortresses protect everything within their ZOC. A player adjacent to any place in the ZOC of the same campsite, city, or fortress attacks all places in that same ZOC in the same attack—if he captures the target camp, city, or fortress, he takes control of all the places in its ZOC.
To list an attack order, write Attack followed by the name of the target place exerting the ZOC you are attacking. This is pretty easy to figure out just by looking at the map for the enemy city, fortress, or camp symbol nearest your border. Follow that up with a list of the people you're sending to attack. You can only attack desert places if you have domesticated camels. Mountain and Galcier terrain are impassible and cannot be attacked.
Hunting. If you encounter aurochs, boars, hippos, or the elusive wooly unicorn, you can hunt them. Every one you bag—one for every three toughness (T) worth of warriors used—gains you a wealth. However much wealth you gain in this way must be spent that turn. (Use it or lose it.) Write your orders up with "Hunt," whatever it is you're hunting (boars or whatever) followed by the name of the place—which must be one you control—followed by the people sent. Follow that up with a build or recruit order for the wealth you just gained.
Sea zones. Each sea zone is considered a separate place. You take control of sea zones by exploring or attacking with people and ships. Controlling a sea zone allows you to explore or attack places that border it. If those places are sea zones you'll need ships to do so. If those places lie on land, you won't. Protect your sea zones by patrolling, which works like an attack order except the target is a sea zone you already control and you need at least one ship and its crew. The number of people exploring, attacking, or patrolling a sea zone can't exceed the crew capacity of their ships.
Other orders. Each turn add one new resource of the appropriate type for every city you control. You can then issue orders to sell those resources to the market, as well as any resources you stockpiled in previous turns, or to give them to other civilizations. Be sure to delete any previously stockpiled resources from the places they were stored when you sell or give them away. You can stockpile new resources by listing them after the description of your campsite, fortress, or city where they're stored.
Diplomacy. Attempts at diplomacy with other players or non-player civilizations (NPCs) should be done directly, either by contacting the player or, in the case of NPCs, the GM. If you contact the GM please mention which position you play.
Selling resources. Write "Sell," what you sold to the market and how much wealth you got for it. Resources are always sold in sets. A set can be one or more resources but no more than one of the same type. (Three timber would be three separate sets of one timber resource each.) The market price for a set of resources is the square of the number of different resources in the set multiplied by one hundred. For example, a set with one resin, one iron, and one timber would get you 900 wealth. Three squared = 9 x 100 = 900. You cannot buy resources except from another player or NPC. Wealth gained from selling resources cannot be accumulated and must be used the same turn or is wasted.
Giving Something. Write "give" if you want to give anything to another player or NPC, followed by what it is you're giving and who you're giving it to. You can only give things to civilizations with which you share a common border. Be sure to list the player position, not the player. For example, "Give 27 hides to the Mountain People." You can give resources, people, places, things, etc.—anything but wealth. Be sure to remove from your turn packet any resources you sell or give away. People and things you give away can't be used the same turn for other purposes by the giver or the recipient. All giving is unconditional. If you made a deal, the GM isn't going to check its fine print to see if the other player actually fulfilled his end of the bargain.
Building or Recruiting, Write the word "build" or "recruit." Then write what you built or recruited, where you built it, and how much it cost you. For example, "build a slave galley at Burgundy, $100." At the beginning of the game you can recruit archers, hunters, scouts, and skirmishers for one wealth each. Most other things have some sort of pre-requsitie to build them, often a special ability. Anything you build or recruit cannot be used the same turn except to give it away.
Whenever you’re happy with your orders. At or before the deadline, send an e-mail message to the GM. For subject put “<the name of your tribe> packet.” Attach your filled out turn packet and send it to the GM.
If your orders change before the deadline, revise the packet, attach it to a new message to the GM using subject “Revised <your tribe’s name here> packet” and send.
That’s all there is to it, but if you have questions about anything, feel free to ask the GM. Keep in mind these rules:
Rule zero: These rules are just a framework for fun. They are not and never will be complete. Just because the rules don't specifically say you can do something doesn't necessarily mean you can't.
Rule #1: While you can save and store resources, you cannot stockpile, accumulate, or save wealth from turn to turn. Use it or lose it.
Rule #2: You can only give things to civilizations with which you share a common border.
Archers & Bowmen. These T1 warriors with First Strike cost one wealth each to recruit.
Campsites. Camps have a ZOC and can store resources. They are generally abandoned when a civilization builds or captures a city or fortress.
Chieftains. Every tribe starts out under a T3 chieftain but can switch to a kingdom, republic, theocracy or other form of government. If your chieftain dies, your civilization undergoes disorder as a new leader emerges. Warriors may die fighting for top place. Cities might revolt. To avoid succession messiness, become a kingdom.
Cities. Building a city costs wealth or people in any combination in a place you control with a source of resources. The amount depends on how many cities you already have. The cost of a new city in wealth or people = (# cities you currently have x 600) + 300. You can name the new city whatever you like. Each turn after being built each city produces one resource of whatever type is native to it. People defending cities inflict triple casualties on attackers. Captured cities can be pillaged, destroying them but gaining three slaves resources.
Fortresses. These could be castles, towers, or any sort of defensive position. Fortresses cost 300 wealth and have a ZOC and defensive bonus like a city.
Heroes. Winning a battle gains one experience point (XP) which can be used to promote one person involved, making them into a hero and adding one to their toughness. A hero's level is equal to his toughness, so if a T1 hunter gained an XP he'd become a 2nd level hero, while a T3 pikeman gaining one XP would become a 4th level hero. Heroes can (and should) be named and used for leaders.
Hunters. These one toughness warriors cost one wealth each to recruit.
Inquisitors. These guys ask the hard questions, exposing those with hidden agendas. They cost eight wealth to recruit, have T8 and First Strike but only fight assassins, spies, scouts, and cultists.
Kingdoms. Upgrading a chieftain into a T3 king requires a crown costing 400 wealth. If a king marries a princess not of his own family she becomes queen. Queens may produce a prince or princess each turn and sometimes twins. If the king dies, a prince is crowned king in his place, unless no prince is available, in which case the civilization experiences disorder, revolt and possibly civil war until a new king emerges from the chaos. Princes and princesses have toughness zero unless you increase it with XP.
Resources. For game purposes resources include: Black Lotus, Bronze, Coal, Dye, Gems, Gold, Grain, Hides, Iron, Ivory, Ocher, Oil, Papyrus, Pearls, Resin, Salt, Silk, Silver, Slaves, Spices, Sugar, Tea, Timber, Wine, and Wool.
Scouts & Spies. They cost one wealth each to recruit and have toughness zero. They can retreat from combat and suffer no losses, but allow you to see the opposition, if you have more scouts than the enemy. For this purpose, mounted scouts count as two, rangers as three, etc.
Ships. Exploring or attacking sea zones requires ships. You can build whatever type of ships you like at a cost of one wealth per crewman with a minimum of ten crew for an ocean-going ship. You don't need a city to build ships, just wealth.
Skirmishers & Militia. Armed with javelins or improvised weapons, they cost one wealth to recruit and have toughness of one.
"People" typically represent individual warriors. Monsters and creatures are also considered "people" for combat purposes. People have a toughness representing how well they fight and how difficult they are to kill. This is shown as "T" followed by a number.
People with First Strike inflict their losses first. These are usually bowmen or something like that and inflict 25% of their toughness as losses on the enemy.
After the exchange of arrows, both sides inflict 1/3 their toughness as losses on the enemy. (The enemy's losses are tripled if attacking a fortress or city.) All losses are taken in toughness. The GM chooses the slain, typically selecting weaker people first.
People with Flying are immune to losses except those inflicted by opponents with Flying or First Strike.
If a person suffers losses less than their toughness, their chance of being killed is the proportion of toughness lost. For example, a toughness-100 dragon taking a one toughness loss has a 1% chance of being killed, otherwise it's "just a flesh wound." The person is either killed or not. Any wounds "heal" by the next turn and have no further effect.
The side that survives and loses fewer people wins and the loser retreats. If both sides suffer the same number of losses, victory goes to the most numerous army left standing. Capture of a place having a ZOC also captures all places within that ZOC as well as any resources stored there. Players are only wiped out of the game when they have no more people.
Camel Domestication. This allows the player to attack/explore desert places.
Cultivation of yew trees. Yew wood is what longbows are made of. Cultivation allows recruitment of T3 longbow men for three wealth each.
Dog Domestication. This allows player to recruit T1 war dogs for one wealth each. War dogs are not people and cannot exceed the number of people in an army or crew.
Horse domestication. This allows the player to recruit T0 cavalry scouts or T2 horse archers for two wealth each. Cavalry scouts count as two scouts.
Mammoth domestication. Any player who controls a city with ivory as its resource can choose to collect an ivory each turn or recruit five T10 war mammoths.
Medicine. Developing medicine costs wealth equal to the cost of building another city but allows recruitment of healers at a cost of three wealth. Healers don't fight but reduce deaths by one each in the place they are located.
Metalworking. Developing metalworking costs wealth equal to the cost of building another city and allows recruitment of T2 light infantry (swordsmen, spearmen, hoplites, etc.) for two wealth each, and T3 light cavalry and T3 chariots for three wealth each if you have domesticated horses.
Moa Domestication. Allows recruitment of T0 chocobo scouts or T2 chocobo archers for two wealth each. Chocobo scouts equal two scouts. With metalworking, for three wealth each you can recruit T3 chocobo lancers.
Sabercat Domestication. Allows recruitment of T2 sabercats at a cost of two wealth each. Sabercats are not people and cannot exceed the number of people in an army or crew.
Sheep domestication. This allows the player to order 300 people to "herd sheep" in any place they control except sea zones, cities, and desert, gaining one wool resource per place. Also allows the player to recruit T1 slingers with First Strike for one wealth each.
Spider Domestication. The giant spiders of the tropics produce a fine silk. Any player who controls a place with a city producing a silk resource can choose each turn to take either a silk resource or recruit fifty T2 spider archers with First Strike. With metalworking could instead recruit 33 T3 spider riders.
Terror-dachtyl Domestication. Allows recruitment of Flying, T2 terror-dachtyl riders for four wealth each.
Triceratops Domestication. Allows the player to recruit T10 dinosaur riders at a cost of twenty wealth each.
Ways represent philosophies and religions that give a civilization their particular world view. They also bestow special abilities. Ways often have limitations and you can usually only embrace one at a time. Switching is difficult, akin to a societal revolution in thinking. Civilizations that defeat another by capturing their last city may merge with them, combining both ways.
The Way of the Spirit. Followers of this way devote themselves to the study of the gods, for if the universe is truly under divine control, then those having favor with them gain an important advantage. The world is a grim and terrible place full of hostile forces: storms, famine, pestilence, wild beasts and wicked men. A fearful individual alone stands little chance against such forces. Rather than face such dangers alone, it is far better to have assistance from on high to ease one’s way.
So they study the gods to seek ways to someday learn enough not only to answer the eternal questions, but also to gain influence over the divine rulers of the natural world in order to bend their power to serve their own purposes. The man who is a friend of the gods is truly fortunate, but a man to whom the gods owe a debt, now that man has power you can bank on. This truth lies at the heart of every religious sacrifice and ritual. They’re all designed with two things in mind: to appease the gods and avert calamity or else to place them in your debt, a favor you can call upon in a time of need.
Followers of the Way of the Spirit earn Karma through sacrifices to their god or gods, and by supporting the priesthood—every wealth spent this way gains one Karma, which can be used later in place of casualties and damage. The GM tracks the Karma and deducts it as necessary. You may choose to be ruled by a High Priest instead of a king (but he still needs a funny hat costing 400 wealth.)
The Way of the Will. A practitioner of magick looks upon religious effort with cynical distain. A typical student of the magical arts might reply that an attempt to put the gods in your debt is chancy at best. “As if the sacrificial blood of a few smelly goats could buy power, influence and control over awesome beings with the mystical powers of the universe at their command. The petty sacrifices most people believe to influence the gods would hardly suffice to bribe their local human governor, and the ridiculous rituals the priests lead them through must serve only to put smiles on the faces of the gods at the sight of the poor, pathetic fools deceived into abasing themselves so. Nay, the gods do have power, power that comes through knowledge denied to ordinary mortals. The surest way to achieve power and influence over the forces of nature is not to attempt to influence those who hold that power, but to learn their secrets and wrest that power from their hands in the same way mythic Prometheus wrestled the secret of fire from them. I would not worship the gods; I would be one.”
Followers of the Will seek hidden knowledge but rarely share it, preferring instead to concentrate it into their own hands. Eventually the one with the greatest Will rises to the top, supplanting the chieftain or king as all-powerful leader. This Sorcerer Supreme (or Witch King or Magus or Great Wizard, or whatever title they prefer) uses his newfound wealth on components to cast great magics that can smite neighboring civilizations, destroying fortresses, laying waste to cities, and killing people. To order a spell cast, specify the means used, for example an earthquake, a rain of stones (meteors,) a sending of spirits, infestation of plague rats, etc. the target, which must be a civilization sharing a border with you, its intended effect, and how much was spent to achieve it. It costs as much to do the damage as it would take to replace the thing destroyed. Magicians can recruit subordinate T1 magic users at a cost of one wealth each.
The Way of Rui. Ruist thought focuses on the cultivation of virtue in a morally organised world. It values order, thrift, compliance with authority, and the work ethic. They stress the Five Constants: benevolence, justice, knowledge, integrity, and proper action. Followers of the Way of Rui value discipline, enabling formations of ranked T3 infantry such as pike squares or legionnaries at a cost of three wealth each if they have metalworking; and T4 armored cavalry or lancers for four wealth each if they have metalworking and domesticated horses.
The Way of Chaos. This way has no "proper" rituals or social order and emphasizes naturalness, spontineity, and being in harmony with the universe. "Action without intention" is their solgan. They worship Apophis—the serpent god of chaos—with "random acts of violence." Chaos cultists are frequently persecuted by followers of other Ways, especially followers of Rui who don't appreciate their random "improper" actions and general disrespect for others' property and persons. Persecution has led to cultists becoming very secretive and living double lives.
Followers of the Way of Chaos can recruit assassins and cultists. Cultists cost two wealth to recruit, have T0 and secretly live in a foreign-controlled city bordering chaos territory. Once the number of cultists there equal the cost of building a new city they can seize control. Assassins cost 144 wealth, have T12 First Strike, and can choose their victim.
The Way of Nature. This way seeks harmony with Nature and as such rejects urban life and therefore cannot build cities.
Followers of this way may assign 300 men to harvest black lotus, dye, papyrus, pearls, resin or timber from places with such resources that lack cities, but only one such resource per place per turn. They can recruit T3 Rangers for three wealth. Rangers have First Strike and count as three scouts. With horse domestcation they can recruit T4 mounted rangers for four wealth that count as four scouts.
The Way of the Warrior. Followers of this Way worship Crom the Uncaring, a god that values strength and self-reliance. They never pray for help, for Crom would never give it anyway—he helps those who help themselves.
For three wealth each, followers of this way may recruit T3 Berzerkers, warriors with a weapon in each hand and a crazed look in their eyes. With horse domestication they can recruit T4 raiders for four wealth each.
The Way of the Machine. Followers of this Way seek answers to life's questions but value logic above faith and require proofs before they will accept answers, proofs they can touch or see. They limit their search to things logically explainable in the mundane world; the answers must be perceptible to our five senses or they are unacceptable. Philosophers consider any answer that involves supernatural forces or a deity to be somehow “cheating” and not worth their time. "The universe follows rules—rules I can use to my advantage in the Game of Life." These mechnically-minded followers value "what works" and distain "vacuous theories." A Ruian sees the daily tides as evidence of the orderliness of the world. A Chaos cultist sees them as evidence "the universe moves differently at different times." But a Machinist ponders how to harness those tides to work for him.
Machinsts can construct mills (wind, water, and tread) to increase productivity. Adding them to a city costs as much as building a new city but allows that city to produce two resources per turn. Machinists can recruit T1 artillery crewmen for one wealth, and T2 First Strike crossbowmen for two wealth. Catapults cost ten wealth and require ten crew, whose toughness does not count in combat—so indicate in your orders who is crewing your catapults. Catapults add 20 First Strike toughness each to the army or ship they support.