Amtgard Rules of Play.

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A Point to Roleplaying
[02/21/2007] [Styx]

Iíve seen a lot of posts lately on the death of roleplay. Iíve seen it blamed on anything from stickjocks to the rulebook. In rulebook discussions Iíve seen arguments against removing things like touch of death, not to make because it wouldnít improve game play, but because it would hurt what roleplaying we have left in the game.

So Iím coming to you posing a question. Why should we roleplay? Whatís the point? I mean if I go to someoneís house and pick up a game of D&D I play a character that I made weeks, maybe even months or years, ago. Iíve grown to love my character. He may have started out feeble but he has grown as I have played him. In addition Iíve had a reason to keep playing because I gain levels and experience. Some might argue that we have that in Amtgard but do we really? I am 6th in every class I can or want to play. I can literally no longer further grow in my classes. We have no monetary system so I canít gain wealth. We have no special abilities or prizes that make me want to go out and play in battle games. In short there is no point to roleplaying, and please note that I do not consider battle games roleplaying.

So what is the solution?

Well, Iíll give my idea on this.

First, I think we need a national storyline that all can be involved in. At the least there should be some sort of storylines for kingdoms. I say national over kingdoms because, honestly, kingdoms will let themselves fall into a sense of stasis in which nothing will get done, whereas a Circle of Monarchs will always have a few people who will work while the others sit at home doing nothing or deal with other matters.

Is Amtgardia coming to an end? Is it demons? Strange earthquakes? Vampires?

We have these huge interkingdom events. Why arenít we using them for something like this? Hell, give out relics to kingdoms that they can use within their kingdom and at interkingdom events. Have story arches land on Spring War, Clan and Knoblander. We have these wars at every event and they are really all for naught.

If the Circle of Monarchss is too busy with rulebooks and running their kingdoms, then create an official position for national roleplay. Make it a six month to year position and let them go crazy. They plan with the others from all the kingdoms and run the roleplay in their kingdom. This will also allow the king to deal with all the financials and such.

Second, I think we could use some goals. I said relics earlier, but why not more? Why not land? We have parks and, if all the other kingdoms are like the Celestial Kingdom, we constantly raid other groups - but why? Sure, it can be fun to hang out but why not encourage it by giving away land. Iíll give you and example.

Here is a map I made of the Celestial Kingdom:

As you can see, each park has a middle hex and all of the surrounding hexes. All righty, our base map is set. Now, letís allow people to gain hexes.


  1. Once a week you may take an empty hex that is adjacent to your park.
  2. To take a hex owned by someone else it must be adjacent to one of your hexes. You may take as many hexes owned by someone else as there are adjacent hexes to those you currently own, meaning that if you raid a park and they have two hexes touching your hexes then you may take two hexes.
  3. You can ONLY take a free hex or use your week to battle for other hexes. You cannot take a free hex and then raid a park and take theirs.
  4. If you attack someone for a hex and lose the battle you lose a hex. You may battle it out once more to try and take it back. At this point you will have broken even for that hex.
  5. If agreed before hand, you may use events to take land. There is no limit to the number of parks you can take land from, so if you plan it out you could theoretically take land from every park if you had land touching theirs.
  6. If you have agreed to a time or fight and the other group doesnít show you may take ONE hex. Even if you were going to battle for more.
  7. You can forfeit your chance to fight back and regain a lost hex.
  8. To begin attacking a parkís hexes you must take ALL hexes surrounding the town. You must then take ALL hexes surrounding the middle hex before you can take that at a max of two hexes a week. You may then attack the middle hex.
  9. Attacking town hexes has three rounds.
    1. First round: Works as per normal.
    2. Second round: Loser can try and break even.
    3. If the defending town has lost both of the first battles the may try again to break even. If they win they do not gain a space of the attacking town.
  10. Any class battle games can be used but it must be agreed on by both sides. If no decision can be made then mutual annihilation full class with half levels are used.

So letís give some examples.

It is a new week in Avalonís Gate and the park leader decides toÖ.

  1. Take a free space.
  2. Attack ToriMar for two of their spaces. In the first battle they win and take the space. Torimar fights back and loses. The space is Avalonís Gateís. In the battle for the second space Avalonís Gate loses. They choose to fight back and win. No space is won by either team.
  3. Head to an event and try and take land from Mystic Springs and ToriMar.

Sounds fun, but why take hexes? Money. Each week a town hex will give you two gold and a non town hex will give you one gold. This can add up over time. You can pay for people to join you in your attacks. Assassins and such will finally have a purpose. You can buy relics to give your town members for attacks. Extra spells. Or whatever. The kingdom will provide these things.

This will give goal-driven players a reason to roleplay and play in battle games.

In addition, you could throw in NPCs to try and take over towns or spaces for kingdom storylines. Have uprisings, earthquakes or demons destroy and space and to get it back you have to take it at Relic Quest or an Event. There are options galore.

These are just suggestions but the point is that the game is moving towards being a sport because people want to have goals they can reach. This may sound a little like a mix between something from Darkon (a hex map) and VLarp (nation storylines), but who is to say that we cannot use some of what they have for our game?

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