Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Gaming To a New Level: By Email

Ever wanted to create your own perfect society? Or be the heroic leader of a nation that looks to you for leadership? Or perhaps your fantasies are a bit darker - you see Revenge of the Sith as a movie where the real hero of Star Wars achieves his destiny. Now’s your chance to conquer and rule an empire!

In the play-by-e-mail game Fantasy Nations: Utopia the emphasis is on the fantasy. Make up your own origin myth. Your people could be any race (it’s your fantasy) based on any tribe or nation from history or fiction, or make up something new. You begin with a single Stone Age tribe, just arrived, coming ashore from their dugout canoes like the brave Polynesians to a new land beyond the known horizon. Or perhaps they are hardy pioneers wandering down from their ancestral caves in the mountains to invent agriculture in the lush valley below.

That world begins with nothing but terrain features, no existing cities, ruins, artifacts, legends or history - the players create all of those. Your people settle in any location you choose. Players can choose their worldview, employing technology, magic, religious fervor or any combination to grow their nation and fend off their enemies.

In the fullness of time your people will grow and multiply and make discoveries that increase their productivity and allow new types of equipment. As your production grows (either from natural increase or due to your brilliant foresight) your Knowledge increases, advancing your tech level (TL) into the Bronze Age, and beyond. This allows new equipment and new abilities, opening doors to new inventions.

Manna points represent magic. Players can develop particular locations, standing stones, wizard’s towers, sacred circles and the like to generate manna. An investment of around fourteen and a quarter production worth of sacrifices, spell components and rituals will generate one manna point per turn from that location. However, investments into Manna generation do not improve your knowledge or raise your tech level as magic and science are incompatible. Capture of those places of power by an enemy gives them control of the manna generated there. [In this way it is treated like production, which comes from the various settlements and cities, forcing magic users to have to defend physical locations just like other players.] For more information consult the Book of Shadows.

But the gods can be fickle. Karma points are gained by offerings to the gods whether in the construction of shrines and temples or as sacrifices. (Make up whatever pantheon you desire.) Karma is accumulated and used to offset adverse affects of natural disasters or enemy action. The gods can also be petitioned to intervene, turning the tide of battle or smiting your enemies at a distance.


  1. I can access this from work... Hmmm...Oh the distraction of it.....

    Let me read the handbook..... I shall return.

    *10 minutes later*

    Oh... brother, I can't focus on all of that.
    Too bad.....I thought I had something to occupy my time... other than work.


    Too indept for me to concentrate on.
    (Guess it's why I've never been good at games of any nature).

  2. I'm not quite at that level. My cap is at Playing D&D over Skype.
    I feel like I'm in the guild! :-p