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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 70 - most online ever: 565 (October 17, 2020, 02:08:06 PM)
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Author Topic: For Ben: The Shang Dynasty Game  (Read 10113 times)
Jonathan Walton

Posts: 1309

« Reply #15 on: April 11, 2004, 11:15:09 PM »

Thanks for the primer on oracle bones, Chris.  That was going to be my next area of intense reading.

Still, I personally feel like the Yi Jing is not really the feel I want.  1) Legend has it that the Zhou founder invented the hexagrams, so mythologically it's no good, 2) a long, involved divination process wouldn't necessaily benefit the game, since it's more about the characters reacting to the results, and 3) the Yi Jing, while the oldest of the classics, still feels like a document of the later period to me.  It might show up in the "rockers against the Qin Emperor" game, if I ever do it, but I don't think I want it to show up here, unless we can reverse engineer some proto-Yi Jing system, based on the trigrams (which, mythologically speaking, did exist during the Shang).

Maybe we could combine a trigram with a direction and get a virtually complete disaster reading.  So:

N/S/E/W/Center/Edict  + Heaven/Earth/Fire/Water/Mountain/Lake/Wood/Thunder

With the first telling you the disaster and the latter telling you the source of the disaster.  Sounds like d6+68 to me, at least in the fast version of this mechanic.  There could be a longer version for people who want to determine individual lines, or whatever.

Hmm... what's going to be difficult is handling human error.  The ancestors should be certain about the disaster that's going to occur, but the characters should run the risk of misinterpreting the signs.  Maybe there could be a system like Yahtzee, where, after the group has determined what the disaster is to be, the diviners roll dice and can keep ones that match certain aspects of the disaster and re-roll the rest.  But then, they can only do this a certain number of times, so there's a fair chance that they won't get it perfectly accurately before stopping.


The ancestors have determined that the disaster is a 6-3-4-2 (whatever that means).

The diviners roll 4 dice and get 1-3-5-2.  They now have _-3-_-2, and re-roll the rest.

Second shot, the diviners get 4-2.  So they end up with 2-3-4-2, which is mostly the same as what the ancestors decided, but also fairly different.  Of course, HOW different depends on what the numbers mean.

Would something like this work?

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