Fifth Kingdom



  • What we are not.

    We are not a historical recreation; following history to a fault. We are not looking at any historical time points to feel, relive, or recreate parts of history that sound interesting to us.

    We are not a typical fantasy game; magic is rare, and the other races are just that, other races. We are not a cut and paste fantasy with a mix of whatever game system we randomly decided to use full of options and sub options and complexities in just trying to be the unique version of a prototypical fantasy game.

    We are not a strategy simulator; overly detail-oriented combat and options heavy large-scale battles. We are not after accuracy of detail in how sword and armor interacts to the point everyone else is bored and leaves to find fast-paced action elsewhere nor does understanding real world strategy in troop movement, placement and interaction play a part of what we have set out to create.

    What is our focus: Character development and stories of those characters as they shape their environment. There is room for knightly adventure, courtly intrigue, and politics even, but the heart of our play is a focus around the characters in a fantasy-light, alternative historical setting. The central focus of play will remain the primary characters of our players, assigned to the court of a High King. It will follow their influence on the decisions and outcomes of that realm, of its trials and tribulations, the telling of its successes and failures to come, while retaining its focus on the growth and development of the interesting characters therein.

    Interested: http://fivek.wikidot.com/



  • A few answers to questions that will come up ...

    We use FS3. Not looking for discussion of pros and cons. We have chosen this specifically to be action oriented and not a combat simulator or a rules heavy, accurate portrayal of historical combat. Sorry if you don't like it, but it is what we choose.

    There is L&L style play to some level involved. It is not our primary focus, but the things everyone hates about L&L (tea party politics, events, friendly gatherings) comes into play anywhere and everywhere. Most WoD games that continue to run have the very elements most people dislike about L&L in them. We aren’t opposed to these at all either. We do, however have an emphasis on action. It is by no means limited to jousting at the tourney. There will be opportunity for adventure, both on a PrP level and even the occasional staff-run encounter/plot.

    The words history and fantasy are involved in describing our game. We are not recreating history, don’t drag in a debate about which century favored which polearm. We are not a typical fantasy, with options of races, or magic spells. Our focus is on Arthurian legend, as detailed in the writings of Gothic to high Gothic French authors mostly.

    They put high Gothic knights into early history. They kept alive the tradition of the tales involving many adventures, but they made it interesting; they added personal character development and drama, or at least brought it to a new level. The stories involve the old slaying of giants and dragons and duels with mystery knights, but the parts we remember is the character development from these tales. This is our focus.

    We are asking for an investment in developing a character. We’re not a grab some stats and roll some dice sort of place. A little history on your character, nothing much, but following approval and once you start playing, you are required to do a little more homework including helping develop your houses.

    We use traits and reputation. These are not bought with XP or requested, this is a subjective voting system whereby you must portray those traits and reputations you want such that other players find it feasible. They will submit +requests if they think you are playing certain traits or reputations. These subjective measures are not meant for circles of friends to bolster each other, friends will net diminishing returns on the value of their votes. It is our merit system, XP doesn’t come that fast, but bonuses can be acquired through high traits and reputations, and the best way to get them is by RP’ing with more people.



  • I have to admit that my first thought after looking through the website was along the lines of:

    'Ohh god, not vaguely medieval Irish, this is going to be insufferable'. It is going to attract the worst typed accents, weird hagiographic interpretations of inherent Irishness, etc.

    Edit: Also FS3, with linear character generation but exponential advancement. What are your plans if any to offset making a super specialist in character generation putting you months to years ahead when it comes to skills compared to somebody who is a generalist? Most FS games thus massively favour whomever can just precisely sneak under your invisible permitted limit of min maxing.


  • Admin

    @Packrat said in Fifth Kingdom:

    I have to admit that my first thought after looking through the website was along the lines of:

    'Ohh god, not vaguely medieval Irish, this is going to be insufferable'. It is going to attract the worst typed accents, weird hagiographic interpretations of inherent Irishness, etc.

    It's unfair though to judge a game by the potential behavior of players it doesn't even have yet based on a stereotype, especially as they're specifically not adhering to historic settings.

    We've all seen horrors with the nWoD (or even oWoD). Let's see how the game itself goes, since issues like these are cultural, and culture is largely depended on what staff promotes, tolerates or frowns upon especially shaped in the MU*'s early days.



  • Ohh, I agree, just a visceral gut reaction as somebody called Patrick, who has a father called Patrick, and a family who are still considered Scottish because they moved to Ireland in 1610



  • @Packrat said in Fifth Kingdom:

    I have to admit that my first thought after looking through the website was along the lines of:

    'Ohh god, not vaguely medieval Irish, this is going to be insufferable'. It is going to attract the worst typed accents, weird hagiographic interpretations of inherent Irishness, etc.

    Our focus is Arthurian in nature, Irish Fifth secondary. Battles of kings potential abundant. But not historical, true to history loses interest and leads to squabbles of what actually happened in 6th century. There would be disagreement on the irish chariot and whether or not it's just sport spectacle or only for races at this point. Or the ' conversion' by St Patrick. I do not want to see attempts at dialect or bad stereo types.

    Edit: Also FS3, with linear character generation but exponential advancement. What are your plans if any to offset making a super specialist in character generation putting you months to years ahead when it comes to skills compared to somebody who is a generalist? Most FS games thus massively favour whomever can just precisely sneak under your invisible permitted limit of min maxing.

    FS3 is open in cg, no limit, maxing an action skill or two will limit in other areas. Merit is based in reputation and traits, subjective to rp and getting votes from other players. This will net modifiers. XP growth is 1 a week, no more. Growth will be seen more in traits and reputation. This can even raise the max dice pool above the 16 standard max (4 attribute and 12 skill). FS3 has a pool limit of 21 regardless. But trait and reputation are meant as the equalizer.


  • Coder

    @TimmyZ, @Packrat isn't referring to pool limit, but to the fact that someone who spends 8 chargen points on Melee: 6 / Hunting: 1 / Politics: 1 will have a perceived OOC disadvantage versus someone who spends 8 points on Melee: 8 and plans to just buy up Hunting and Politics later very cheaply with XP. I don't want to derail your thread with an argument over why it is the way it is, but nevertheless, some people don't like the way the system works.

    The design of FS3 expects you to combat this with a soft app review (e.g. "no, sorry, there's no way your nobleman doesn't know how to ride or deal with politics - spend some points in those") and by setting minimal starting skills. For example, on BSGU everyone has to start with a set of skills to represent basic military training, plus some background skills. As long as you meet those minimums, you can min/max yourself to your heart's content.


  • Politics

    @TimmyZ said in Fifth Kingdom:

    FS3 is open in cg, no limit, maxing an action skill or two will limit in other areas. Merit is based in reputation and traits, subjective to rp and getting votes from other players. This will net modifiers. XP growth is 1 a week, no more. Growth will be seen more in traits and reputation. This can even raise the max dice pool above the 16 standard max (4 attribute and 12 skill). FS3 has a pool limit of 21 regardless. But trait and reputation are meant as the equalizer.

    I think you ought to adopt some of the limitations placed on the FS3 as used on BSG: Unification. Maybe my reading is off, but the number of points you're giving people seems really, really high to me.


  • Coder

    @Ganymede BSGU uses FS3 Third Edition. The rules are publicly available but the code is not (yet), so... you're kind of stuck with 2nd unless you're willing to customize the code.


  • Politics

    @faraday said in Fifth Kingdom:

    BSGU uses FS3 Third Edition. The rules are publicly available but the code is not (yet), so... you're kind of stuck with 2nd unless you're willing to customize the code.

    Ah. I presumed that FS3 3E was readily available. Or could be. In which case, get it. Because, why not?



  • @faraday said in Fifth Kingdom:

    The design of FS3 expects you to combat this with a soft app review (e.g. "no, sorry, there's no way your nobleman doesn't know how to ride or deal with politics - spend some points in those") and by setting minimal starting skills. For example, on BSGU everyone has to start with a set of skills to represent basic military training, plus some background skills. As long as you meet those minimums, you can min/max yourself to your heart's content.

    This, yes. Our focus is a kings court and players taking positions of importance. Most chars should have some thought given to being in said court. They have the position, their skills should reflect this.

    End of the day if a player hardwires for combat, and the adventure of the week is dealing with the plague. Your just out of luck with no skill to help.

    Secondary we're looking at it as PvE. Group effort, when it comes to needing a tank, the non combatant types will appreciate the min/max overload.

    Action skills will all be relevant to play on a regular basis. Limiting to 3 to 4 at a high level would sell the character short on versatility more than anything else. If they want to sit in the tavern to wait for the next combat to shine, that's the choice they made.



  • Again, the problem with that it gives a very real mechanical advantage to the person who works out where the unwritten limitations are then slips just past them. For that matter it also strongly favours people who write concepts where them starting as super specialists makes sense, teenage prodigies rather than middle aged and well rounded individuals for example.

    With 1xp a week, lets compare two people who are not that extreme. The first person takes (Skill) at 8 and (Skill2) at 8, the second person takes (Skill) at 8, (Skill2) at 4 then (Skill3) at 2 and (Skill4) at 2.

    It would take the second person 5+6+7+8 or twenty four weeks to raise (Skill2) to 8.

    It would take the first person 1+2 plus 1+2 or six weeks to raise (Skill3) and (Skill4) to two each and catch up on the 'well rounded' skills of the second person.

    Now if you want to encourage people to play teenage prodigies or similar this works great, but either way it is likely a good idea to issue very public and clear guidelines. You can only have one eight, one seven, two sixes, etc.

    EDITED: I messed up the numbers the first time.


  • Coder

    @Packrat said in Fifth Kingdom:

    It would take the second person 6+7 or fifteen weeks to raise (Skill2) to 8.

    Minor point - in the default configuration it takes 24 weeks (almost half a year) to go from 4 to 8. You can change that configuration. I usually raise the costs above 4 significantly.

    But otherwise, yes, your analysis is spot on and reflects the intended mechanics of FS3. Becoming an expert in something during the course of the game is extremely difficult. Raising a few secondary skills to student or hobbyist levels of proficiency is extremely easy.



  • This is a math issue arising from a desire for quick and easy chargen. It goes way back, farther than Vampire 1st Edition. Space Opera had it, and if you could raise skills at all in original Traveller, Traveller would have it.

    It is very distorting and I highly recommend against it.
    It will save you time of policing anything.

    BTW the reverse exists in linear priced games that try to maintain some power level. EG Hero System and Mutants and Masterminds, due to the linear pricing, make it possible to jump above the described power level in a few sessions.

    You always have to keep an eye on what you want your end products to look like.



  • @Packrat

    I'd be happy to ponder FS3 in mildly constructive.

    I'm fine with the abstraction (starting is set point limit, not defined by age), my interest is getting players into doing what they want. It can be min maxed, most systems can (even I partake, choose my WoD focus and snag a few high dots, round out with lower because it's cheaper in the long run). It's not gritty realistic, it's action oriented.

    If both players app in and stay around for 6+ weeks, I'll be happy even if one went well rounded and the other min maxed.



  • @TimmyZ Make ze thread!



  • If you are going to stick with it you should probably put some advice in charactwr generation ,though to avoid people falling into traps. You probably do not want the person who ensures they have archery and ride at 3 because it makes sense for their concept to then realize they are objectively inferior stat wise to the person who went all in on swording, or court maneuvering for that matter.


  • Coder

    No magic... :(



  • @Seamus said in Fifth Kingdom:

    No magic... :(

    I know, know, a lot of folks enjoy magic.

    I just happen to be the inverse. If magic is openly available in a system, it sort of looses that special quality, less an enhancement to a theme and becomes just an everyday thing.

    I'm the one, when everyone points to Lord of the Rings as an example of 'low-magic' I blink. My mind races with everyone had a magic sword by the end, half of them found in random holes they fell into by accident, and the elves walks and magic just seeps from them. I get it, the mundane folks, 99% of the world, doesn't do anything with magic.

    We also really want to focus on characters and development, the struggle of character; the same things the high gothic knights struggled with. Turmoil and conflict of wants, needs, and their sense of right or justice even. Magic as a potential solution seems to be sidestepping this focus along some (not most or all) boundaries.


  • Pitcrew

    Totally off topic but this is one thing that bugs me, People should not say Lord of the Rings is Low magic it is not it is very high magic but the magic is rare in the world. I would consider the Sovereign Stone RPG setting (original edition not d20) to be more low magic while magic is very common in that world, literally any character can learn it, it tend to me on the low powered end of things. LoTR magic might not be common but when it shows up it shows up big.
    I generally think we should describe magic in settings on a dual axis one being rarity the other being power when it shows up. For example Common Low would be Sovereign Stone like I mentioned, Uncommon High would be LoTR, Forgotten Realms would be a good example of Common High. Can't think of an Uncommon Low at the moment, maybe the Six of Swords books.



  • @ThatGuyThere I like that.

    Fifth Kingdom is magic rare, middle scale on tipping scales when it shows up. Its just not a player option. It is /not/ a story device or a railroading tool for staff to control anything. It may be beneficial, it may be something to defeat, or just an enhancement to rp.


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