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Old August 5th, 2010, 10:35 AM
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Burnsaber Burnsaber is offline
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This is a guide on how to create and admin a dom 3 mp game using a special “Game Master” player to provide a scenario for other players. I prmised to write one once the Legendary Ordeals II game was finished. The original concept of a GM'd was originally envisioned by Agema and Vladikus in these shrapnel boards, my sincerest thanks to them for coming up with it. I'll start with the basics.

Game Master

Game Master is tabletop RPG term, referring to the player in control of the universe where the story takes place in these games. This concept can be taken into dom 3, with the use of a special mod. This mod gives the Game Master free wishes and other in-game tools to provide him nearly infinite resources and tools with which he can spice up the game. The presence of a Game Master also opens up a lot of possibilities on the game. The Game Master can enforce and monitor great deal of different types of rules that would not plausible in normal games.

How does the GM work?

The mod attached to this post makes the GM's nation overwrite MA Ashdod (since it's always banned anyway and this way it is compatible with llamaserver single-age games). If that is not cool with you, the mod is easy to edit to make it take up another nation slot.

The GM nation has national wish spell that is free and a national summon that summons 5 “implementers”, which are mages with 9 power in all paths. You also have a national summon for 5 insanely stealthy spies to fill the map and see all of the battles in the map.

So thus the GM player can get nearly infinite gold and gems by wish-spamming without screwing up the graphs and have spies in each province (the spies are mindless and won't be picked up by Mind Hunts). The spies are also immune to many other threats (like “Wrath of God”, MA C'tis dominion and Armageddons). The GM also has national cheap gateways to cheaply and easily transport stuff over the map.

Thus, if the map is slightly edited to give the GM player a home province with no neighbours, the GM player can be practically invisible for regular players and still affect the game when needed.

The GM


The GM can be practically anyone, but some skills or at least the will to learn on map and game modding is likely needed. You need to be able to edit the map to remove connections so that you can have a home province that is not connected to the main map. It is also possible to the edit the .map image by adding a single white pixel at the very top-left corner of the map to add a new province without screwing up the connections on the original map.

Modding knowledge is not 100% necessary, but it will help if you can do some simple tasks, like give yourself national 0-research copies of certain spells if you need them more early. Yes, you have nearly infinite research, but if you start researching level 9 spells on turn 4, it's going to screw up the research graph. But if you need help with the mod, you can ask me here.

Why have a GM?

At the moment, I have 3 different ideas on how to use GM to spice up the game.

1) Have the GM on the map and interact to the players through certain mechanics. My “Legendary Ordeals” series works on this premise. You can see the threads for these games in the “Interesting Links” section.

2) Have GM as a “villain”, as a ridiculously strong opponent all other players need to gang up on or as a additional victory condition. So that a player can win by defeating the GM in-game. While this is plausible, it is going to be hard. You will need a really good player for the GM because the resources of the GM are practically unlimited. He can wish for 100 Seraphs in a single turn or cast 10 Armageddons on turn 2, so you need someone who can find a good balance on holding out enough to be a challenge against several players but not too little to win too easily. Also, if winning the GM is a victory condition, you need to plan out what kind of army is badass enough that just defeating that is enough to win the whole game. This is Dom3 remember. Every kind of army can be defeated in this game.

3) Just have a invisible GM that just acts as a watcher or a in-game admin. You could have a newbie game where a experienced GM fills the land with spies and gives advice to the players as the game goes on and he sees battles take place. As a in-game admin, the GM can fill in or work out solutions to in-game problems. If a player goes AI way too early, the GM can quickly capture his cap and put a moderate, scripted defensive force in the place of the AI-tards.

Tips for the GM.

The first thing you need to realize when GM'ing any game is that you are NOT the star of the game. The other players are the stars of the game, you are serving them to make the game more enjoyable. Players will easily see through any power-tripping and just leave, which will destroy the game. You should downplay your presence whenever possible. After all, this game is about the pretenders smashing each other in their respective faces. The more the GM messes that premise up, the more wrong your presence is.

Also, if the players interact with the GM in any way, I would highly recommend for you to physically write down the rules and guidelines you intent to use in those interactions. You should strive to be fair to each player, regardless of their in-game or out-of-game status. If you don't have written down rules or guidelines, I can promise that you will treat people unfairly, even if it is not your intention. You will obviously be emotionally invested in the game and will pick some of the nations as favourites when watching through their battles. Hollywood and other popular culture has brainwashed us to favour and cheer for the underdog for example. It is easy to think; “This MA Ulm player is fighting EA Mictlan twice his size, the rules say that I should do this thing to Ulm, but I'll give him some slack due to Mictlan” That is not fair for the Mictlan player. Winners should.. well.. win. You know how annoying that blue turtle shell is in Mario Kart? Don't be one.

Another you should be aware is that the game seems to be bugged in regards to wishing items. The game seems to think of all items as artifacts when you wish for them. So if you wish for "Starshine Skullcap", it will make one copy of "Starshine Skullcap" disappear from each nation in the game (including you). So, it is advisable to forge items whenever possible. This can be difficult when thinking of that you need to hold back your research so that you don't screw the research graph. My advise would be to just hold back on const 4/6 items on the early game and research them once the players have some research themselves.

Yeat another thing you should notice is that you should withdraw from talking about the game in IrC or another medium. You see the whole map and have access to massive amouts of information. If you accidentally drop out a line like "Nation X looks really powerful", players are likely going to act upon that line and gangbang on Nation X, which makes you a blue turtle shell. Shame on you. That is a bit extreme example but if you start a casual discussion with a player it is easy to accidentally drop info about the game. If you feel the urge to comment on the game, I suggest doing it in-character in the game thread.

Be sure to share your ideas or comments regarding GM'd games. Also, if you make a custom version of the GM mod, please share it in this thread.

Tools you can open by Modding

The easiest thing you can do with modding is to change sprites and alter descriptions. This can be a great aid with roleplaying. Perhaps one player would like to have a story told with his pretender. For example, you can easily create a copy of a pretender that is restircted to one player and give him a custom description. That way, a player can have a "King of Death" witha detailed backstory instead of a general PoD. Of course, it would be mechanically identical to base PoD, but a RP'er can get a kick out of that.

You can restrict items and unlock a more widespread distribution of the fabled cons 12items. Since you have infinite gems and octo level 9 casters, you can make a item reguire like D9S9 to forge. Even if a player has a pretender god like that, there is no way forging that item for 200+ gems would a wise choice. I like to use this trick to make const 12 items researchlevel 0 items that reguire two level 9 paths to forge. These formely const 12 items make good rewards for the players and give access to nice new toys. Another bonus to making them researchlevel 0 is that you can have several of each. For reference the const level 12 items are (you can search the wiki for info about them):

Code:
Crown of Katafagus
Crown of Ptah
Greenstone Armor
Hammer of the Cyclops
Precious
Robe of the Sorceress
Shortsword
Sun Armor
Sun Helmet
Sun Shield
Sun Sword
The Admiral's Sword
Vial of Frozen Tears

Stuff you can do by Map Modding

Attached to this post is a map I made for Legendary Ordeals II. It is desinged to work for 14 players (12 land and 2 underwater) + GM. The GM needs to use Ashdod nation with the GM mod, but that can be modded if you do not like that.

It's a bit complicated, but logical, so you should work the nuances out just by clicking around with neighbours showing. The only thing that I need to explain is the provinces that start under GM's control. The defenders in those provinces are just a "start" force. I made them with the assumption that the GM will periodacilly bolster the defenses of these provinces and script the defenders. It is also adviced to have the extra provinces at the edges be especailly tough and give VP's.

I'm going to show some code that I used in the .map and which can be useful for you if you want to edit a .map file to support a GM. This code makes the GM start in the province 269 and with 7 extra Lizard Shamans to help for wishing for Implementor and Divine Eyes at the start of the game. You can also use the #additem command to make these Lizard Shamans come with items you deem useful for you in the start of the game.

Code:
#specstart 45 269
#landname 269 "Throne of the World"
#owner 45
#population 50000

#setland 269

#commander 170 -- Shaman
#randomequip 2

#commander 170 -- Shaman
#randomequip 2

#commander 170 -- Shaman
#randomequip 2

#commander 170 -- Shaman
#randomequip 2

#commander 170 -- Shaman
#randomequip 2

#commander 170 -- Shaman
#randomequip 2

#commander 170 -- Shaman
#randomequip 2
Also, remember that you cannot have custom defenders just by changing the poptype. You need to set the defenders to match the poptype manually. Something like this;

Code:
#land 139
--------------------------------
#poptype 46 -- Amber Clan Tritons

#commander 575 -- Amber Clan Mage
#units 25 574 -- Amber Clan Triton
#units 15 573 -- Amber Clan Guard

#commander 575 -- Amber Clan Priest

#commander 575 -- Amber Clan Mage
Links of Interest:

Legendary Ordeals I -- A finished game with me as a GM

Legendary Ordeals II -- Ongoing game with me as a GM
Attached Files
File Type: zip gamemaster.zip (6.2 KB, 65 views)
File Type: zip Land_of_Ordeals.zip (8.08 MB, 58 views)

Last edited by Burnsaber; August 15th, 2010 at 12:59 AM..
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  #2  
Old August 5th, 2010, 02:40 PM

LDiCesare LDiCesare is offline
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Default Re: Mastering a Game

One thing which I'd find interesting if GM'ing a game would be to allow the players some ways to f.e. enhance their own troops. I'm pretty sure you can change some things in a mod after the game has started, like turning a weak unit into an average one or altering recruitment costs or the like.
The problem with this is that costs must be in the mod used by the players. Stats would be nice too, but are probably not as necessary. Still, it could cause problems if the game was hosted on llamaserver for instance, as it may not be easy to alter the files remotely. I also believe dom may have to be restarted in order to reload the mod, but I'm not certain.
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Old August 6th, 2010, 05:58 AM
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Default Re: Mastering a Game

This is a great guide, thanks!
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Old August 7th, 2010, 12:27 PM
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Default Re: Mastering a Game

During these few days, I have updated the guide with some more paragraphs, mostly in the tips section.


Quote:
Originally Posted by LDiCesare View Post
One thing which I'd find interesting if GM'ing a game would be to allow the players some ways to f.e. enhance their own troops. I'm pretty sure you can change some things in a mod after the game has started, like turning a weak unit into an average one or altering recruitment costs or the like.
The problem with this is that costs must be in the mod used by the players. Stats would be nice too, but are probably not as necessary. Still, it could cause problems if the game was hosted on llamaserver for instance, as it may not be easy to alter the files remotely. I also believe dom may have to be restarted in order to reload the mod, but I'm not certain.
Yeah, you can change the .dm file mid-game and alter the stats of units mid-game. However, I have no clue if it can work in a MP. If you ever test on this, let me know.

On other news, I'll do a bit bug-fixing for the map used for LO_II and post it here. I designed it with the goal of being used in a GM'd game, so it should be a good tool for any aspiring GM's.
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Old August 8th, 2010, 04:32 AM
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Default Re: Mastering a Game

Quote:
Another you should be aware is that the game seems to be bugged in regards to wishing items. The game seems to think of all items as artifacts when you wish for them. So if you wish for "Starshine Skullcap", it will make one copy of "Starshine Skullcap" disappear from each nation in the game. So, it is advisable to forge items whenever possible. This can be difficult when thinking of that you need to hold back your research so that you don't screw the research graph. My advise would be to just hold back on const 4/6 items on the early game and research them once the players have some research themselves.
How about wishing up a stock of the items you think will be needed in the early game before anyone else had a chance to forge them?
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Old August 8th, 2010, 07:48 AM
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Default Re: Mastering a Game

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fantomen View Post

How about wishing up a stock of the items you think will be needed in the early game before anyone else had a chance to forge them?
The problem is that it also takes away one copy from you. If you do several wished for the same item, you just get one. There is a way around this if you really need high const items early. Since it is likely that you are using a custom map, you can edit the .map file to make you start with extra commanders that are holding the items you need. I'll write more about map and mod editing once I have the map up here (so that I can show a code example for it).

I know that these sporadic updates can be annoying, but it is easier for me to do this piece by piece.
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Old August 13th, 2010, 12:53 PM
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Default Re: Mastering a Game

Updated with the map.
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