The latest Kingdom and Command letter has arrived! Arthur has upped his game with nice paper, drawings, in-game stamps, and a longer letter than last time, showing that a roleplay correspondence game can be as tactile as rolling dice and moving miniatures.
For more information on that (and the origin of my idea to use this point in Kingdom and Command), you can check out this great video by archaeologist Lindybeige:
The roleplay lesson
In the Kingdom and Command rulebook we encourage players to pick two positive and two negative traits for their characters. A great way to show traits is to put your characters in situations where they're forced to make choices that hinge on their values and characteristics.
As you can see in the transcript at the bottom of this post, the summoned martial spirit prefers to act through an item of power and that Persilious "in his naivety" did not bring one. Consequently, the spirit sealed The Caves of Carras, but Persilious already has a plan to clear the rubble.
Persilious is inexperienced but intelligent, and with the above, Arthur created for his character a problem, a character-based solution, and even sets up content for his next letter.
The story telling lesson
In Kingdom and Command two players create the world and narrate its events as they pass, but how to do it effectively? Take the following line from Persilious' letter, where he responds to Rivas' complaint that Rivas' commander, Lucius Sextus Galvanus, will not allow mages (that means Rivas) in the command tent:
"On the topic of Lucius, yes, I recall him. I actually met him before last year’s festival, on the training ground for father’s fiftieth celebration. A real elitist man."
With these brief lines, Arthur uses the "Yes, and..." technique from improv acting, whereby he agrees with what Rivas wrote in the previous letter, "Galvanus, whom I believe you met at last year's Spring Festival of Light", and expands on it.
Both Arthur and I are writers, gamers, world creators and history lovers, and with the Kingdom and Command game we want to provide a game for similar people.
In this game you can give your stories a tactile nature, experience the joys and lost art of letter letter writing, and enjoy a roleplay game that doesn't require you to meet up somewhere weekly.
Pssst, it even merges with D&D, and is great for Covid-lockdowns.
For when you're posting from the United Kingdom to the battlefields of Formonia
Transcript of Persilious' letter
Dearest brother, high mage of the council and may I remind you, prince to the throne,
I start my letter by offering thee my copper hobnails from my winter walking shoes. Since I shall be wearing my heavy boots for the for the foreseeable, I do not see my needing them. Above is an image of the nails in question, with instructions to “dull” the spine to your liking. When I first wore hobnails I found the “nail” element a little too prominent, and being that you’re likely still wearing your mage sandals I thought an additional dulling might encourage wear, comfort and overall usage.
On the topic of Lucius, yes, I recall him. I actually met him before last year’s festival, on the training ground for father’s fiftieth celebration. A real elitist man. I feel it prudent to inform you that he has an insane fear of snakes, and that to my knowledge one of the magicians in your company always carries three with him. I imagine, with your own affinity for animals that if you were to carry one with you a day or two he would quickly grow an irreversible respect and fear of you, as so he should, being that you are his superior in blood.
Furthermore, I will include a letter to him, though I shan’t mention why, that he ought to accept the council of all in his company, even the lowly cage maker. No man’s word is below the standing of another, only titles are they.
Does White Horses boast the beautiful diamond it once did? Or has the enemy painted its skies with grey and dark magics?
Now onto my failures.
I had the magicians in the expedition lay out the rune as informed. None had heard much of the spirit but they proceeded with caution due, as advised. At the entrance to the caves on the break of day they drew the rune in the sand and summoned the spirit. He arrived in "style" on might say, bursting into the air with a heaven’s fanfare. The air burned and with it the trees. Sadly also one of our magicians caved to the elemental magic. His body stood, just a pair of boots in the clearing.
The noise brought forth the ogres, before we had much time to convene upon a plan the spirit fought them with might unheard. A crack of thunder broke and he rode his chariot among them, slicing necks and pouring their life upon the ground. As he left, he warned us that we had failed. Though we knew not how he told us that the magicians fate sufficed his summoning but that he wanted recompense for the violence.
The old tome failed to mention that though he is a martial god, he is not one of violence per se, preferring to act through an item or items of power. In our naivety we did not supply such an item, and as he left, he sealed the caves, our only pass through the mountains. He informed us that within the caves lay a sword of great mystery and if we can retrieve it he would forgive our trespass upon his slumber. Though we know not how to clear the caves of rubble left in his wake we have a rough plan and I will report on this soon.
Thank you for your assistance. The magician who died was called Freeden (son of Farnon), do you know him? He spoke of you once, though it seemed in fear and regarding something about the time you "threw a book" at him? Knowing your nature I presume he was "pulling your leg".
Kindly and with care,
In this blog you can find regular updates regarding the development and playing of Wicked Wargames systems.