Colonies and their Uses
By Cherub bobT
When designing your adventure it is always nice to add a bit of challenge. One of those challenges is of coarse the lack of a resource or two that you may require, in order to achieve the final goals of you adventure. A good way to provide this needed resource is through colonies. However, colonies can be a very tricky aspect to your adventure, if not set up properly.
Many adventure creators like to design their missions based on a certain flow and story line. This is great provided that the end user has the same mindset as the designer. Remember that not everyone will play your adventure the way you intended. As soon as you introduce multiple colonies into an adventure you are also introducing multiple options to the player, and if these options will only work in a specified order, your adventure may die before its time.
So lets take a look at the creation and addition of colonies to your adventure. As with the parent map, one of the most important aspects of the colony is the map layout. In most cases, colonies are smaller and more unique than parent cities. Therefore a smaller tougher map is needed to make the colony a good challenge. Try to set up the colony in such a way that it can never be as powerful or glorious as your parent. (Kind of defeats the purpose of calling it a colony). Gifts are always a nice addition to a colony map. If your parent city set aside wood for the colony, make sure the colony cannot produce wood. And then add a reason for the wood in your goals (trimeme, sanctuary, or maybe to trade away, or satisfy a rival). And if your parent did set aside wood, make sure you gift it to the colony. What I like to do is set up a gift as a recurring event, just small amounts. The player, in most cases will not keep tabs of the size you set aside, but will notice if the set aside resources never get gifted later in your game. A good set aside is fleece, if produced in the parent. Fleece is needed to evolve your housing, and with small teaser gifts, you can control the player’s city evolution to the size you wish them to grow too. Remember that if the player has access to olive oil and not fleece, but you gift small amounts of it, they could evolve their housing to townhouse. But by keeping the fleece gifts low, the houses could dissolve if fleece runs out before year-end. This is a good tactic for setting a townhouse goal in the colony. By forcing the player to stockpile fleece until they have enough to achieve their end of year goal.
Setting up colonies gets much trickier if you have more than one colony. Although I have seen and played many adventures that have a preset direction, which a player should choose, you must always remember that not all players like to follow the rules. So try to set up your colonies in such away that the game is still playable, no matter which way a player chooses to go. You do not have to make it easy, if they choose the wrong way, but do make it playable.
Another thing to remember is that any sanctuaries that you have listed with your Gods are available, regardless of whether or not they have been built in your parent city.