Over the mail resource management

Barony is played entirely over postal mail with real paper. A letter sent from a ruler of a small town (the player) to their clerk who’s helpfully implementing their orders (the game master).

My struggle now is that it’s quite tricky to have a standardised way of extracting information from players.

I’ve begun with two sections: the first is a “simple” method, where the player can give an overview of what they want to happen, and the second is a more detailed version where they can specify real numbers of people to work on a task. The idea here is that someone who doesn’t care to play with numbers as much can just fill out the first be and be happy their turn is over.

There’s a third section, where players can just write anything. Since the game master is a real person, they can interpret and work the instructions into the game in the same way a dungeon master would react to a player who invents a profession for themselves.

At the moment it is genuinely a series of forms (or tables to fill in numbers).

The experience I’d really like to replicate is an RTS like Age of Empires. You click a workman, and click again on the job you want them to do. Of course, that doesn’t work in my medium.

On the action sheet you can direct people however you like though: splitting the militia inside the walls, near, or far. Directing people to be collecting certain resources. My problem is I’m not sure if this will be fun, or just form filling – the boring bit to get you to the more interesting story that’s being built around the world.

I suppose the only way to find out is to try it out!