How do we do CoA-Sims?!



  • Folks, I've been glad to see the return of CoA-Sims lately, this is a reference to a play style where players do deeply immersive things; like trying to build up towns, run caravans, make trade deals, repair or purchase old buildings for some purely roleplaying reason. This stuff is cool, makes the server feel alive, but it isn't often adventurous stuff. Its literally making wooden beams, collecting stone and making mortar, keeping track of trade ledgers of dried prunes being purchased and sold. This means most DMs (probably all of them) and even most players aren't actually going to go too deep into this.

    At the same time, players will want to see a pay-off for what they're doing; that building is built, that caravan turns a profit, that trade deal yields some income.

    So how do we make sure players do fun stuff? We've got our guidelines on intrigue and adventure of course still. https://nodebb.cityofarabel.com/topic/305/what-dms-want-adventure-and-intrigue That doesn't seem to always cover things:

    Like--I want to run a caravan, I collect 50 oak bows, 50 ironlongswords--now what? I need a DM to run an escort of my caravan, we do that and turn some small profit. Then we want to do it again the next week, and then the next....

    I want to see a town built, so I buy 5,000,000 pounds of dried prunes from an NPC, I hope to sell off those prunes--but of course I'm not going to spend three months selling dried prunes in game to PCs. So how exactly could the DM team make that interesting, or handle that kind of situation?

    One thing I'd remind you, if your plans involve something that is going to make us remove a scripted quest; that's just not likely to happen because honestly the work that went into building the quest, and the entertainment value to players who can do the quest, isn't likely to be outweighed by whatever you're doing to get the quest actually removed!

    One HUGE thing I'd stress, if you're doing things like this, be clear and upfront with the DM team about what your goal is. We can negotiate an approach between you and us to give some clear idea of what to expect.

    I can imagine a situation where someone mails Kesterby the sausage guy, buys a million sausages. DMs give the player a million sausages. We figure, that is what you want. BUT you wanted to cause a sausage shortage in Cormyr to drive up the cost of pork because you just purchased 1 billion hogs from Hoggie McHogger, and hope that the 1 trillion gold you spent on this play will yield you 1 quadrillion extra gold. But well, the DMs just thought you wanted a million sausages. If we talk it out, negotiate a plan, we can say "here are some adventures/intrigues or things we want you to do in game, that will be fun for players that will help you make your actual goal happen as well".

    Just want to generate some thinking and thought on this, I expect more of this to be desired by some players as we move toward a more open v6 as well.



  • I feel like I should add, personally, I don't think this stuff should ever PAY OFF more than you get by questing. We are a roleplaying server focusing on adventurers and not accountants and stockbrokers after all! BUT--I do like that this is the kind of stuff that can really change the module, or help you tell really cool stories, that's how it can pay off and should be paying off.

    You won't earn 15051100151385327 gold coins building a statue of Jimmy the Shiv in Old Town, but maybe you discover that Jimmy the Shiv's old gang is now the preeminent gang in Old Town, they get more respect, people associate with them are a little more feared around town, etc. Maybe that attracts a wholesale dealer in bottle fairies who sells them to your gang cheap, so you can sell them to other players for a good profit.


  • Admin [DM]

    • Involve others, hire blacksmiths to forge items and given them a small profit for their work and invite them along for storytelling events
    • Collect items whilst on patrols, exploring or searching for treasure. RP whilst doing it and enjoy the journey forward
    • Hire PC guards to protect you whilst going from A to B, if they do well send them a personal invite for next time for their service
    • Consider how you can make things DMless, for example: collect items IG, trash them and take screenies as you do whilst recording it on the forums. Go fishing with a few friends to collect enough meat, contact a druid/ranger PC to collect wood for you and ask them to send you the screenies for recording.
    • Money do not solve anything, having fun and engaging people in an entertaining story will do a lot more than 25 000 gold!

    Just a few random examples of things you can do



  • I've had my fair share of CoA-sims lately- because I run a player faction that's re-establishing its own roots to regain it's former status in the region. There is no other way of going about it. I mean, sure, I could go and carve a bloody path through a bunch of NPC gangs, if that's something my character would do. Since there are no PC gang members, it'd not be that fun though. Thankfully, I'm personally not beholden to any one type of play-style- what matters most to me is how to involve and MOTIVATE others to involve everyone else to do something besides sitting in the Spire or repeating the same quests over- and over again. Right now, it seems to me there's a good number of players who honestly prefer the CoA-sims approach to things.

    I agree, removing a quest should not be part of a goal for any player. However, If players want to for some reason rebuild that part of the server to make it their own or something, I don't see anything wrong with the DMs simply changing the location of the quest elsewhere- if DMs feel like it.. I also don't see anything wrong with people using quests to further their own objectives, as long as they are doing it to involve everyone else. That being said- do you oppose it if the Slumming it quest is relocated somewhere else, so we can build our estate to the ruined tower by the docks?

    I love caravans, and I feel they are part of CoA for me. Honestly, as a city of caravans, commerce should be where the players make their cash- while quests are meant to find neat lewt that'll help you perform better in battle. Caravans should not be DM run only. I think we need a mechanic in the system where you collect a certain number of goods, and deliver them to a destination and get paid off for doing that. Kind of like the couple of errant quests we have in the city- just make it server-sized and something that forces people to do stuff together.

    And doing a caravan, hunting or mining -can- be adventurous, you just have to place yourself in that mindset, and not go to the same mine or same forest every time. Bring friends along, explore the server while you are doing it, and you'll have fun, trust me.

    My question is this- what motivates people to take part in adventures and exploration missions? Is it the company you are going with, or something else?


  • Admin [DM]

    The way Bhaliir is currently approaching their issues is a good example how to make Sims work tbh, and I believe the others DMs will agree with me. Many of my examples are based of what the Bhaliir faction has done IG so far! Cause usually Sims bores me to death but this hasnt 🙂



  • 1). No, I have no problem with moving a quest to another spot. That's easy! But, can you see how it would be confusing if YOU want to have that quest moved, do all this stuff to move it, and a DM team has no CLUE why you're doing it? So they just don't move the quest. Whereas, if you carefully explain the goals and motivation "I want to establish this PC faction's status with this group of NPCs, and I plan to do this quest and these in-game events to make that happen", that can lead to a conversation with DMs that will end with "Yes, we both agree that if you do X, Y, and Z; then A, B, and/or C will happen for your group in terms of tangible and intangible perks".

    2). I'd love a cool scripted caravan idea, where players craft goods. Load those goods on oxen, take the oxen somewhere dangerous. If they and the oxen survive the trip, they get to sell those goods for a modest profit! We just need someone who can script the system.

    Also, if you're motivation is just to roleplay and have fun (which I think is the essence of the CoA-Sims play style, and why I love seeing people doing it) that's great! But if your motivation is to achieve an ingame thing, its why I am curious HOW players want to see DMs handle it so we can keep the expectations clear and the outcomes fair.



    1. Obviously that'd be a big problem. DMs need to be informed, no matter what! I've personally done my best to keep you guys informed by spending hours of time on the forums and using the new plot-ticket system. If At any point the DMs do feel they are still missing out on information, they should feel welcome to approach the issue with the player!

    2. I think I can make a quest like that(even though I've only done one scripted quest in my life), I'll have to give it a shot on the toolset and see what happens. We already have NPC oxen around that allows you to access its inventory, don't we?

    What I'd like to see when it comes to CoA sims and achieving things, is for DMs to allow things to happen, if to do it fun stuff happened with the rest of the playerbase. Sure, tell the players they need to do X and Y for A/B/C to happen- but the main thing, as with everything- they should be with involving everyone else- and having fun. If you spend your time mining while you are on your own and nobody else is IG- that's fine, you are pushing things forward. But if you are not putting any effort to have FUN with everyone else on the server and simply focus on gathering ore or doing x-amount of wands for y-reward, while completely ignoring the FUN part of the game with everyone else- then you are missing the point, and that should not be rewarded.



  • I would like to suggest that rather than let players invent things on the fly, allow PC groups and DM groups to have some sort of control over various resources. For example, Militia might be able to control Salt Permits. A PC group be buys the salt permit for 25000 gp and gets 500gp a day split as they desire.

    Purple Dragons have hunting and logging permits. The owner of the moonsea ride gets caravan rights. Kralique can have factory production rights, merchant rights etc. Various gangs have control of drugs, prostitution, smuggling, extortion, etc.

    These rights can be sold and bartered, transferred, stolen or lost by PC groups and certain DM groups.

    DMs will then control the reward, rather than access to the reward.



  • A dynamic scripted system would be awesome.
    People load and unload resources (crafted or found) at certain designated merchants (Poison Water Inn, Wyvernwater Isles, Thunderholme, Suzail, even the different houses etc.)
    demanding specific goods or paying more for certain goods.
    Now these things are what I really like. Where sims, adventure and intrigue are coupled together.
    The goods should be transported in a way that allows other PCs to obstruct it and maybe even sell the stolen goods. PCs should also be allowed to own or be allied with these merchant spots and it should be something people would fight over as it gives certain bonuses (gold, favours, cheaper trade with npcs at the merchant spot, being able to build at the spot etc.)
    A way to own one of these places could be directly through DMs, trading with specific merchant spot a number of times, finding a certain item, Slaying certain npcs/pcs and hand over some tokens from such without need of DM.



  • @thune said in How do we do CoA-Sims?!:

    I would like to suggest that rather than let players invent things on the fly, allow PC groups and DM groups to have some sort of control over various resources. For example, Militia might be able to control Salt Permits. A PC group be buys the salt permit for 25000 gp and gets 500gp a day split as they desire.

    Purple Dragons have hunting and logging permits. The owner of the moonsea ride gets caravan rights. Kralique can have factory production rights, merchant rights etc. Various gangs have control of drugs, prostitution, smuggling, extortion, etc.

    These rights can be sold and bartered, transferred, stolen or lost by PC groups and certain DM groups.

    DMs will then control the reward, rather than access to the reward.

    If its focused on raising huge amounts of gold up front; it pretty well will exclude people who focus more on roleplay than questing. That's the fault I see with this suggestion.

    Or rather--consider this--your 'sand boat' idea is a CoA-Sims kind of thing. What would be your hope/expectation for how that works out?



  • Quietly bumping this for more input; I think there's a lot of people with some good ideas out there that I can steal. That would be good for the community to learn from.



  • You no doubt see loads of frequent questers with outrageous sums of gold.

    Seriously, see someone like the crew who cleansed tilverton today? Drop 20k gold on them. When you quest that much less, you need to put twice the effort into getting people to do shit because it -is- difficult when you're constantly broke. Nobles and kings are rich people, hell, show it and either drop huge sums of gold on them to enable them to do awesome shit like this or a special bag of badass adventurer potions. (i'll tell you what you'll want in such a bag). It'll help people to keep do awesome stuff.



  • @citizenbane said in How do we do CoA-Sims?!:

    You no doubt see loads of frequent questers with outrageous sums of gold.

    Seriously, see someone like the crew who cleansed tilverton today? Drop 20k gold on them. When you quest that much less, you need to put twice the effort into getting people to do shit because it -is- difficult when you're constantly broke. Nobles and kings are rich people, hell, show it and either drop huge sums of gold on them to enable them to do awesome shit like this or a special bag of badass adventurer potions. (i'll tell you what you'll want in such a bag). It'll help people to keep do awesome stuff.

    +1



  • More frequent potion bags would be a god-send! After an event has cleared out a tab or two, it isn't gold that brings me back to life, but those catch-all bags of goodies!


  • Admin [DM]

    Oh, I got feedback a while ago that potions, healing kits weren't that great as reward 😛 Most confusing



  • @puffy How much did you actually give? IE: what's the gold value? 250 gold in potions is not even as good as 250 gold; and what potions Cure Serious Wounds is not as good a reward as Hastes and Heals even if you gave the same GP value in both. How much does the player who gets them quest vs do more sims style things? One size, of course, does not fit all!



  • Potions are great, but they are the WORST if it's the wrong kind/not enough. The right amount, right kind and plenty of it is a godsend!


  • Admin [DM]

    @mr-moloch said in How do we do CoA-Sims?!:

    @puffy How much did you actually give? IE: what's the gold value? 250 gold in potions is not even as good as 250 gold; and what potions Cure Serious Wounds is not as good a reward as Hastes and Heals even if you gave the same GP value in both. How much does the player who gets them quest vs do more sims style things? One size, of course, does not fit all!

    Mostly I used strife's automatic potion giver, it's a wand with a certain preset potion set. With 5 different options, perhaps we could edit it a bit to improve which potions are being given.


  • Admin [DM]

    I mean, i could write up a much more complex method of reimbursement.

    Use event item tracker, reimburse at 50%, 75% 100% or 125% of what was used...


  • Admin [DM]

    @spiffymeister said in How do we do CoA-Sims?!:

    I mean, i could write up a much more complex method of reimbursement.

    Use event item tracker, reimburse at 50%, 75% 100% or 125% of what was used...

    Would make sense to merge the two really