Research & Development

The largest leaps forward made by civilization have been due to teams of dedicated and highly skilled individuals, giving their all to make their project revolutionary. Whether you wish to create a weapon that will dominate any battlefield, compose a breathtaking symphony, or dig a colossal coal mine, you can do so through R&D.

Every skill has R&D potential; all you need is some skill in the relevant area (to determine the size of the effect), some resources (to use to achieve the effect) and plenty of time (to get it done). Although it's possible to do things on your own, these projects are more suited to a team effort, with many people putting in their time to create something awe-inspiring.

In game terms, big tasks that should demand more than 2AP will be R&D tasks

How it Works

  1. A player will decide to start a project, describing what it is they want to create and giving us a rough idea of what they want from the project, and assigning AP for the first turn of the build.
  2. In turnsheet resolution the GMs will tell you how the project will be portrayed, and the effect the project will have. It may already be complete!
  3. The GMs will tell you how many Build Points you require to complete the project.
  4. The Gms may tell you specific resources which are required for completion. These are items your average clan wouldn't have access to.

Build Points

Build points represent how complicated a project is, and how close it is to completion. You will be told the number of BP required to complete a project in your turnsheet resolution, and You can generate BP for a project in a number of ways.

How Many BP?

How do we work out how many BP a project going to take, I hear you ask? We judge this on two main factors.

How big an effect does it have?

Something that influences a person takes less BP than something that influences a clan (one magic sword vs an armory of them). Typically to replicate a personal effect on a whole clan is going to take 3 times as many build points.

How big a technological leap it is?

Is it a minor, significant, or major advance? Creating a better sword is a lot easier than creating a cannon. If we judge a leap to be too big we may say a prerequisite design is required. For example, you can't have firearms until you have gunpowder.

Multiple Disciplines

Some projects will require insights from different skill groups. A storm power station needs both technical studies, and civil studies. Fortifications for your town will need both a Civil Engineer and a Strategist. If you don't have the skill yourself, you'll need to find someone willing to assist you. It is possible to complete the project with just one of the skills helping, but it will take longer and may not do everything that was originally intended.

When you begin your project. we'll tell you how many BP of each type you will need.

Starting New Projects

You won't know how many BP a project will require until you give it a go. After starting a project, we'll let you know how many more BP, and what resources you'll need. You'll always get 1BP for starting the project.

You can ask for a rough estimate, but we reserve the right to change our minds. Build points will be anything from 1BP to 10BP. 1BP being a simple adaptation of a current project, and 10BP being a brand new invention that will reshape the world.

Resources could be a one time thing, or a regular supply, depending on the device.

Getting Build Points

Each turn, you may spend AP for Build Points. You have several Options on how to get BP.

  • Each option can only be done once per discipline, per turn.
  • Multiple people can contribute AP to a project, providing they have the skills to assist.

Build points are designed to reward preparation. Planning your R&D will in advance is a lot more effective than trying to rush out a solution in one turn. Inventors are playing the Long Game.

Build points are designed to reward teamwork. Getting a variety of people to help you with your project is more efficient than plugging away at it by yourself. Inventors of a similar persuasion, however, rarely work well together.

If you do need a quick solution, there are options to either brute force things with similar inventors, or risky options that make sacrifices to get the project done.

Example: Once per Turn

A Civil Engineer is building a fortress. He needs 6BP to complete the construction. For 6 turns he spends 2AP to 'Continue the Project', gaining 1BP a turn. Eventually, the job is done.

Example: Multiple People

Three Natural Scientists need a cure for a plague as soon as possible. One has a design for the cure that requires 4BP. They each devote 6AP to the project. This is costly in time, but gets the job done.

Example: Once per discipline

A Tech Studies and a Strategist are working together on an armored troop transport. The project requires 3BP in Tech, and 2BP in Strategy. Each person can spend 2AP to 'Continue the Project' and gain 1BP. That's 4AP for 2BP.

The Options

2AP - Continue Project

You do a standard amount of work on the project.

You get 1BP towards completing the task.

2AP - Outside the Box

You apply an unusual skill to the project (as in, one not needed for the project).

For a technical project this could be natural studies for incorporating an organic element, or fighting to provide a live field test! The provider must have the skill at the same level as the project.

You get 1BP towards completing the task. You can only do this once per skill for each project.

4AP - Put Your Back Into It

You work feverishly on the project, driving yourself to distraction if necessary. You lose sleep, stop washing, and bore all your friends talking about the project.

You gain an additional 1BP this turn.

6AP - All Hands on Deck

When a project simply must be finished, you throw all the available manpower at the task, giving up sleep altogether and probably going batty. This option is sensible if you've already put your back into it, and have a skilled ally helping.

You gain an additional 1BP this turn. This is the only option that can be used more than once.

1AP - Jury Rigging

By a dutiful application of duct tape, you get the project finished that bit faster.

You gain an additional 1BP this turn, but its only a temporary fix, and your project may fail explosively soon after completion.

1AP - Exhaust Supplies

You throw everything you have at the project, burning through five times the fuel to get that little bit extra 'oomph', or working your labor to death. You can suggest what you used up, but the GMs have the final say.

You gain an additional 1BP this turn, but have irreparably destroyed or depleted something in the process.

1AP - What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

When you care more about finishing the project than what the result will actually be!

You gain an additional 2BP this turn. Things will go horribly, horribly wrong though.

What you Can Achieve

This depends on how skilled you are at the project's essential skill. This could be Civil Studies for a new castle, or Anthropology for a new doctrine.

Things take time to make. Regardless of how much effort you put in, foundations need time to settle. Experiments need time to play out, and workers need time to sleep. Your skill level affects only how complicated a project can be, not how long it will take to produce.

  • Minor - As a beginner in the subject you can create things that typically have a minor effect. You can create, repair or modify significant things if you have a design to work from. You can assist on significant projects.
  • Significant - As someone with experience in the subject you can create things that typically have a significant effect. You can create, repair or modify major things if you have a design to work from. You can create things significant enough to provide a boon for your clan. You can assist on major projects.
  • Major - As a master, you can create things that typically have a major effect. You're also creative enough that you can cut corners with resources on lesser projects.

Example - Project Requirements

Denis wants to build a lightning gun. He's a major player in the technology game, but there is nothing like this in the world.”

This weapon would provide a player with a significant edge. Its just too radical an invention to develop from scratch. Dennis is told that his device is a 3BP project, however he'll need a storm power source before he'll be done. Effectively, he has designs for a cannon, with a slot in it where the power source goes.

Example - Build Points

Having finished one lightning gun, Dennis decides he wants to make them for his whole clan.

This project has just gone from a Player Boon to a Clan Boon. Its messing with something a lot bigger now; this will make his clan unstoppable in battle as most enemies are still trying to prod them with pointy bits of metal. It will require a lot more BP.

This is explained as the difficulties in mass producing the design and making it safe for use even by cousin Jeb. Dennis will also need a steady supply of power sources, and a facility to produce the weapon, (it would take him years to make that many copies by hand). He is told he needs 6BP to design automated system, and 3BP to design the Factory.

Multiple Workers

Having more than one inventor is vital for speeding up projects. If possible players should co ordinate their actions, and list which Build Point options they are using. If you are not explicit the GMs will try to work out what you want. We make no promises however.

1) We add up all the AP put into a project

2) We assign the options Start/Continue a project, Put your back into it, and as many All Hands on Deck as the AP allows.

3) We will not use the risky options unless 1 of the players has listed it. In which case we will maximise the BP.

Is it secret? Is it safe?

There are three levels of awareness about an invention. Published, in Use and Secret.

Published designs are being used across the world, are traded by merchants, and are readily available to any clan. A published design can be reproduced by anyone with the skill rank that was used to design the item, and takes 1/3 BP that were originally required. Published designs, if they are successful, will slowly be adopted across the whole of the broken world. As a design becomes more commonplace, you may lose the benefit of having the item as it stops being an advantage over your competition. Publish carefully. Protect your designs.

In Use means your clan is using the design for a Benefit. A common type of “in use” design are weapons, either used in battle or training. The distribution of “In Use Designs” is limited to one or two clans, or an organisation. The BP required to replicate a design depends on access to the design. If the researcher has access to a working copy of the design, either by theft or gift then it still only requires 1/3 of the BP to reproduce. If the researcher is working off observations, i.e. seeing a gun used in battle or reverse engineering a broken copy, then it takes 2/3 of the BP to replicate. In Use designs are likely to appear in the news.

A secret design means that the world is not aware of the design. Without significant effort to disguise a design, you cannot gain a benefit from a design. The BP required to replicate a secret design again depends on the level of access. Secret designs will not appear in the news.

The Default release of a Design is “In Use”. You must turnsheet if you want a Design to be kept secret or published.


Some projects require more than one skill. In those cases we will tell you the build point break down. For example, Mechanical wings could need 3 BP from technological studies for the mechanisms, and 2 BP from natural studies to get the wings the right shape. Alternativly you could do it with 7BP from tech studies, but this would take longer. When there is overlap the BP from the secondary skill can come from a skill at 1 rank lower than what the project was designed with.


Specialisations in Technological Studies, Natural Studies and Civil Studies add breadth to what you can research with that skill. Civil studies with a specialization in projectile weapons may allow you to created a giant cannon, when you would need some overlap into technical studies.

Risky/Cautious Actions

There is not much need to specify whether a study action is risky, this comes down to the type of options used, a build where the project which is jury rigged, or 'what could go wrong' is much more risky than the safe projects.

If you are working with others, stating risky or cautious can help us arbitrate which Build Options you actually want.

game2/research.txt · Last modified: 2008/10/14 17:36 by gm_james