Wednesday, February 17, 2010

GURPS Mass Combat Made Easier and What is the Entity of a State?

GURPS mass combat is a bit hard to take all in. at once There is a limitation of examples because of the word count limit. So what I did is: I made a fairly easy step by step method for me to prepare a Military Campaign Game.

Thanks to Google Docs, I can easily host the it here without having to wory about the incompatibilities of Open Office and Blogger (which is the reason why my format is weird).

This is another of my "If I'm going to make it easier for me, then I should be able to make it easier for everyone" hobbies, within my GMing hobby. Having a method in preparing a game, makes life easier and allows me to completely forget about it when other priorities come up and come back to it after.

What is a the Entity of a State?
In the proccess of developing the method discussed above I hit on a formula by which I can calculate the economic size of a given entity. The formula can be found in the link above. It is remarkably robust and usable with S. John Ross's Medieval Demographics made easy.

An "Entity" is an accounting term that best describes nations, peoples, and states (basically assets) that are not entirely inclusive within the resources of its ruler but still controlled by him or her.

This is another interesting perspective I learned in accounting that is useful in looking at the world and being able to describe it. Accounting after all is a language of business (and in this case: economics). Entities are in that vague division between Possession but not part of one's possession. In GURPS, it is best to represent the a ruler's influence over such through the Patron advantage (B72, Ultra Powerful Organization 20cp).

Kingdoms and Empires are held together by its Rulers. One can say, it is the ruler's duty to the "State" to adjudicate, preside, and devote time to the handling of its affairs. The state can be a bureaucratic machine, like those of empires, or it can be a host of powerful peers, like in a feudal kingdom, republic, or democracy. In return, the ruler has access to its resources: its armies, artisans, and merchant fleets. Occasions where the "frequency of appearance" roll kicks in means there is trouble and the Ruler is needed to fix it.

Rulers have their own wealth, separate from the entities of the state. Typically they are at least powerful patrons by themselves (B72 Patron: Powerful Individual, 10cp). The GURPS "multi-millionaire" which holds Status 5, is already a powerful Baron. Don't let the titles get you confused Counts, Earls, Marquis, Duke and the other titles are merely grades between levels of wealth. GURPS wealth starts taking huge leaps after Status 4, by differences of 1000% (10x). Within the 100x to 10,000x there are many gradients of power which become more tangible because of the Mass Combat System. I prefer generalizing these increments using the Range Combat pattern of 50% increments: 1, 1.5, 2, 3, 5, 7, 10, 15 etc...

The Mass Combat system basically allows a differences of 50% resources equate to 50% more hired goons. When the rule of thumb to overpower an enemy decisively is to have 3:1 their number, smaller increments gain more notice.

A ruler worth 500cp might have: (i'm not using disadvantage points)
  • Patron (Ultra Powerful Organization; free to take anything he wants +100%) 40cp
  • Allied Peers or Vassals (6-10 men of very high point value: 10cp x 6) 60cp
  • Lesser Vassals (6-10 men of extraordinary point value: 5cp x 8) 40cp
  • Elite Retainers (51-100 men elite point value: 3 x 12) 36cp
  • Wealth: Multi Millionaire 2 (x10,000 times average starting assets) and Status 6 (+4 status 20cp) 120cp
  • 296cp (204 left for the character and other advantages)
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