Diplomacy of Dukes & Popes (finishing development)

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Diplomacy of Dukes & Popes (finishing development)

Postby Aeschines » 24 May 2019, 21:46

Hello everyone!

I wanted to make this post to try to get some feedback on a proposed "new" variant. It is a take on the games of Diplomacy for Dukes and Popes played on a few wayward Discord servers that I wanted to bring to Playdiplomacy. The principle change between this and traditional diplomacy is the introduction of the player-controlled vassal system. In DDP, each independent nation is made up of groups of players and can be divided, united, and annihilated based on player choices. Thus, for example, the King of France may only rule Paris but may have vassal players who own land far across the map. So long as each vassal player continues to pledge homage to the King of France, the Kingdom of France will be a powerful nation.

All players start as "counts" with the control of 2 SCs. During a new post-fall, pre-winter phase called "Coronation Phase" players may pledge their fealty to other players. A count who is owed fealty by another count automatically becomes a Duke. A Duke is then eligible to become a King, a King an Emperor, etc. etc.

The game ending is also affected by this vassal system. Based on their titles, each player is awarded points. The game can end at any point with every surviving independent nation getting a veto (i.e. a count under a duke would not have veto power). At game end if the player with the most points has more points than the 2nd or 3rd place players combined, then the top player wins a solo victory. If that is not the case, then the seven* players with the highest point totals share in a draw.

Point totals are always public. Each player, at the end of the game, gets 0.5 points per personally owned SC, 1 point per rank (i.e. Duke = 2, King = 3), and the Pope of each religion gets 0.5 points per player who follows that religion.

Besides the vassal system and the point/game end system, the last difference between DDP and vanilla diplomacy is the religious system. Each province on the map is a religion (Catholic/Orthodox/Muslim/Pagan). During each coronation phase, the three non-pagan religions elect a religious head (called "Pope" for ease of writing). The religious head takes ownership of their religion's capital and gains the power to crown kings and emperors (for a Duke to accept the fealty of another Duke and become a King, they must also be crowned by their Pope that same coronation phase). Each player, during the Coronation phase may change their personal religion and vote for their religious head. The weight of each player's vote is determined by the number of SCs, of that religion, that they own.

Dukes & Popes Diplomacy Master.png
Dukes & Popes Diplomacy Master.png (66.15 KiB) Viewed 357 times


Obviously, this is not a full scale rule set, but I'm eager to get some thoughts on this design. It's been played twice on Discord (with slightly different rules) and generated some enthusiasm among that crowd. This will be a very large game (almost twenty people) but nearly that many people have signed up to play it in the various Discord servers. I wanted to get some PlayDip eyes (and interest?) before beginning to rev the engine.

*Not set in stone.
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Re: Diplomacy of Dukes & Popes (finishing development)

Postby Don Juan of Austria » 25 May 2019, 11:22

Cool! What would a game year look like? Is the Coronation phase at the beginning of each year? :)
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Re: Diplomacy of Dukes & Popes (finishing development)

Postby Aeschines » 25 May 2019, 14:15

Don Juan of Austria wrote:Cool! What would a game year look like? Is the Coronation phase at the beginning of each year? :)


Game years go:
Spring - Fall - Coronation - Winter!

In the previous games, there was a fair amount of nation forming early and this game will limit that a little bit. So players can build their own duchies starting in the second coronation phase. Each independent nation will get its own color, so the map always ends up looking very different!
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Re: Diplomacy of Dukes & Popes (finishing development)

Postby Pope Pius IX » 25 May 2019, 17:14

I have no idea how it would pan out in actual playing but it does look absolutely brilliant.

I also heartily endorse the Papal theme!
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Re: Diplomacy of Dukes & Popes (finishing development)

Postby Matthias_013 » 27 May 2019, 02:03

Thanks for posting this and thanks for your work on this. I don't have much experience with diplomacy variants, but the concept for this variant sounds really cool. I will look forward to seeing how it works.
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