Friday, March 21, 2014

IvoryRPG - Recruitment

In any logistical game, there comes a time when the players can't do everything for themselves. At some point, they must pay or recruit help, and to be honest, I'm  not sure which is more complex.

Even simple expeditions need help. Do you need information on the local territory? Hire a guide. Do you need help with the animals? Hire a groom. Do you need pack animals? Wagons? Guards? A cook? An agent? Hire them. With more complex expeditions, you may need to hire even more specialized help. Who manages the wagon train? Who secures your passes through foreign territories? Who pays the routine bribes?

If only it were that simple, because at that point, you've turned yourself into a business with all the problems that a business gets itself into. How much do you pay? When, or how often do you pay? Did you hire quality people? Who supervises the employees? Did they lie on their resume? What about a contract? Do you have a contract? What recourse do you have over bad behavior?

Fortunately I can avoid writing very deeply on these topics because there are a world full of books out there about how to manage a small or large business. These books become source books for any Ivory game. The contracts and dealings become a simple or complex as you feel like pursuing.

Some recruitment may not come from a hireling, but from including new players. You may not have a book keeper in your group, but you know someone who loves numbers and will play that game for you. In that sense, you recruit talent by actually finding a real person to assign the job to. The failings here, of course, is that if they don't do their assigned job, then you have to deal with that. Put simply, getting a player who loses interest in your game becomes part of the game. Their disaster becomes your disaster, which only makes Ivory work better in my opinion.

Of course, once the players have settled on their team, everything should go like clockwork, right? Of course, if the goal of the expedition changes, then the team needs to change as well. Exploring the ruins up the streets is different from the ruins in the Dilapidated Forest or deep in the Gobi desert. Every change in goal can and should produce a change in personnel.

As if this wasn't already getting complicated, you want to do this on time and on budget, and in such as way as to achieve your goal. All the other requirements of this expedition still remain in effect.

Here is a place where some rules are need. We need some variability and unpredictability in the NPCs who you hire and interact with.

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