Strategic Primer: The Science Mechanic

On Wednesdays I write about my strategy game, Strategic Primer. The current campaign still needs more players; will you join?

I’ve written before about the technical challenges imposed by the scope Strategic Primer offers to the players in the area of scientific and technical advancement. Those challenges are exacerbated in the campaign version by the free hand offered by the rule that any advance a player adequately describes in terms his scientists would understand, he gets, even as it removes the need to have the relationships between advances perfectly defined, relying instead on my intuition. But because that rule has usually been the primary means of scientific advancement in the game, I have neglected to consider how the more prosaic method, assigning workers to research, should work. The following should rectify that omission.

The rules I’m creating are similar to those governing character advancement. For every unit of research completed—initially, for simple advances, an hour, but increasing as subjects become more complicated—there is a cumulative 1% chance that the researcher has completed a part of the advance being researched. (How many such “parts” an advance has, and how many are in common with any other advances, is at the Judge’s—my—discretion.) As with character advancement, when a part is completed the chance resets. Once all parts are completed, the player gains the advance and will be so notified in his results for that turn. Unlike character advancement, the player will not be notified of progress until it produces results.

As with the rest of the game, if someone has a better idea I’m willing to revise the rules and mechanics. Comments?

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