Keith Nellist

Part 1: Introduction

This is the second completed game in a series of planned conversions of the "flow of history" game based on Lew Pulsipher’s design "Britannia". The first, Peloria was inspired in large part by the Fortunate Succession. The development of this game was fun for me. First, getting an understanding of the scale of events, deciding on a suitable timescale, working out which Nations should be represented, and how to split them between four players. Working out how to do this for Peloria was a great help in doing the same thing for Kralorela. Some early versions were immensely complicated with every named Emperor and Hero from every source included. I had to cut this back and eventually got rid of individuals altogether. The concept of Emperor remains, similar to the King of England concept from Britannia.

I had enjoyed Peloria so much that I wondered what other areas of Gloranthan history I could try. A board game set in Dragon Pass has obviously been done before, but this was a different treatment and I tried again using The Composite History of Dragon Pass as the basis of the game. I am still working on this one, I made the rounds 40 years long and started with the Inhuman Occupation. I am happy with this up to turn 7. Inner Prax and the Holy Country are also in the pipeline. One change from Peloria was a reduction in record keeping needed for the Population increase phase by replacing the record keeping with a dice roll. This makes the whole thing more random, but in playtesting with my boys, dice are much easier than keeping track on population points on a track.

Fronela came together very quickly, using the Middle Sea Empire Unfinished work as its primary source, starting at the Dawn and with 100 year rounds. It is interesting how little we know about several centuries of Fronelan history. I had to introduce several concepts to make the Malkioni, Hsunchen and Barbarians different from each other. I was also pleased to be able to include Grotarons and Gonn Orta in the game. This is still in play test and I’m up to around turn 8. Fronela allowed me to explore the possibilities of split factions of what is essentially the same group of people. The Malkioni and Storm Barbarians are split into 4 groups representing factions within those groups. I had tried Church, State and People, for example, but found it more fun to have each group having Wizards, and Soldiers etc. Storm Barbarians, obviously, should be fighting each other. I wanted the Beast Peoples to be constantly reappearing in the game but only in small numbers, so made them spring to life from the wilderness in empty areas throughout the game. This represents their low population density and the fact they never actually disappear, although they may be hidden away in the wilderness.

Finally, I got to Kralorela. The main problem here was the large periods where not much appears to happen. Yanoor’s reign seems relatively event free until his death, for example. Kralorela seemed cursed with uninteresting times. I then drew back the focus and realised that there are 5 million generations of Kralorelans and a lot of the interesting stuff happened before Yanoor. The concept of Round changed from a fixed length of time to the reign of an Emperor, with a couple of unlucky Emperors split into more than one round. I could then get into deciding which factions to represent, and how to split the map of the region into areas. I realised that the terrain was going to have to change over time – with mountains, seas, wastelands, islands and the like all being created by the actions of Emperors, dragons and demons.

For the map, I started where I wanted to finish and worked backwards. We start the game with a fairly empty map of mostly plain areas and, gradually, bits get sunk, mountains get raised and areas get cursed and become wastelands. Because of the changing terrain I suggest using a new map each time, and drawing on mountains, hills, seas and islands as these features appear.

Part 1: Introduction
Part 2: Rules Variations
Part 3: Turns
Part 4: Nations
Part 5: Players' Guide
Download Kralorela map (63Kb, 8x12 inches)
Download a PDF of all the Kralorela game mods and map files (2.82 Mb Zip file)