Stats! Going once, going twice...SOOOOOOOLD

The Basics

To determine your stats there will be two Auctions. First, the Powers Auction, followed by the Attribute Auction. Some Crown Mechanics implement additional auctions.
In each Auction, all Traits for that type (Power or Attribute) are auctioned simultaneously. Since they are simultaneous, the Auctions will be conducted in rounds. You will submit a bid for each round, either electronically or with a physical card. All bids will be collected, processed, displayed, and a new round of bidding begins.
Auctions will close individually for each trait (each individual Power or Attribute). Bidding will close for a trait after there are 3 consecutive rounds where no rank is outbid by a different player for that Power or Attribute; first rank outbidding himself does not keep a trait open unless he outbids himself by the maximum amount of 5. The GMs will warn players of the pending closing auction at the relevant time.
Remember to keep track of your build points. The GMs will attempt to help you as much as they can, but they are still running an auction. When in doubt, assume you don't have the points. We wouldn't want to have to redo the auction. You may not sell down after the Auction (in any Traits that allow selling down) if you bid in that Auction.

Legal Bids

  • New higher bid
    • 1st rank can overbid their previous bid by up to 5 points. Everyone else can overbid the current 1st rank bid by up to 10 points.
    • You are not required to overbid the highest bidder, but if you submit a new higher bid, your bid must be higher than your last bid and you may not bid up exactly to a bid that currently exists.
      Blind ties-- where two people legally bid up to the same number of points-- are allowed.
  • Same bid as previous round
  • Minimum bid for an auction if you have not yet bid in that Auction (legal even if another bid already exists at that value)
  • No bid at all if you have not yet bid in an Auction. You cannot choose to change your bid to zero points if you have bid in that Auction; there is no dropping out.

Power Auction

In the Power Auction, the players bid over Pattern, Trump, Shapeshifting, Logrus, and Sorcery simultaneously. The effects of the different ranks of powers are listed in the Power descriptions, but the benefits you receive from the Auction are shown on the table below. This is used frequently in contests-- if you have two people Hellriding to the same location, the person who gets there first is the person with the higher Pattern rank. The rank also determines which specific abilities you have access to from each Power.
The individual abilities of the four great Powers have been broken up into three categories: Basic, Intermediate, and Advanced. As you advance in rank you choose more abilities in increasing categories. How many abilities you get from each category is not fixed. It can vary based on the number of bidders and the number of points spent. During the auction you will be able to see how many power picks you get with your current bid, not future ones. (Sadly, we are not soothsayers)
Some Advanced and Intermediate abilities require lower abilities to master, and these are noted in the specific power entries.

Minimum bid on a Power is 10 points, which guarantees at least the Automatic and one of the Basic abilities from that Power. Each Power except Sorcery also has two virtual rungs at the beginning of the auction: one at 80% of the cost of the basic power from the book, and one at 80% of the advanced power. These behave as if a player had bid that number, except players can choose to bid their exact amount. These rungs disappear when superseded or met by a player bid, but if the price of first rank is below either or both of the rungs, everyone gets commensurately fewer power selections. Additionally, in a Power Auction, if a tie occurs for a particular rank, the players in the tie receive the lowest rank from the tie and the intermediate ranks are not available for buying up after the auction. For example, if three players are tied with the second highest bid, they would all be fourth rank, and second and third rank would be inaccessible for buying up.

The virtual rungs are located at:
  • Pattern: 40/60
  • Logrus: 36/56
  • Trump: 32/48
  • Shape: 28/52
  • Sorcery: None

The maximum opening bid is the same as the higher virtual rung. In the case of Sorcery, the maximum opening bid is 30.

In the case of a non-workable distribution on any power, we reserve the right to tweak the number of power selections afterwards. You will know about this if it happens.

Power Ability Ladder

To figure out how many abilities a position in an auction would get, go down to the row with the correct number of bidders and read over to the rank you want. In each of the categories below, B stands for Basic, I for Intermediate, and A for Advanced.

If an auction has more than 12 bidders, all ranks below 12th also receive 1B.


1st rank
2nd rank
3rd rank
4th rank
5th rank
6th rank
7th rank
8th rank
9th rank
10th rank
11th rank
12th rank
3 bidders
4B, 4I, 4A
4B, 4I
4B
4 bidders
4B, 4I, 4A
4B, 4I
4B
2B
5 bidders
4B, 4I, 4A
4B, 4I
4B, 2I
4B
2B
6 bidders
4B, 4I, 4A
4B, 4I, 2A
4B, 4I
4B, 2I
4B
2B
7 bidders
4B, 4I, 4A
4B, 4I, 2A
4B, 4I
4B, 2I
4B
2B
1B
8 bidders
4B, 4I, 4A
4B, 4I, 2A
4B, 4I
4B, 2I
4B, 1I
4B
2B
1B
9 bidders
4B, 4I, 4A
4B, 4I, 2A
4B, 4I, 1A
4B, 4I
4B, 2I
4B, 1I
4B
2B
1B
10 bidders
4B, 4I, 4A
4B, 4I, 2A
4B, 4I, 1A
4B, 4I
4B, 2I
4B, 1I
4B
3B
2B
1B
11 bidders
4B, 4I, 4A
4B, 4I, 2A
4B, 4I, 1A
4B, 4I
4B, 3I
4B, 2I
4B, 1I
4B
3B
2B
1B
12 bidders
4B, 4I, 4A
4B, 4I, 3A
4B, 4I, 2A
4B, 4I, 1A
4B, 4I
4B, 3I
4B, 2I
4B, 1I
4B
3B
2B
1B

Attribute Auction

In the Attribute Auction, the players bid on Endurance, Strength, Psyche, and Warfare simultaneously. The effects of the different Ranks are listed in the individual Attribute pages.

Minimum bid for attributes is 1, maximum opening bid is 30.

Bid Plans

It is recommended that before the auction, you have a bid plan. Know how much you want to spend, and whether you want to buy things that are not ranked. Toys and Magic are both useful and cool, but neither is bid on. They have static costs.

Buying Up

After the auctions are over, players can "buy up" Attributes and Powers. Players can only buy up to existing player rungs (not the virtual Power rungs); doing so puts them a half-rank lower, which makes them almost as good as the other player, but not quite. You never get the same bang for the buck buying up as you would if you'd spent the same number of points in the auction. The amount you can buy up in Powers is limited by your Psyche bonus number, but that does not limit the amount you can buy up Attributes.

Attributes

Attributes can be bought up to any rung, including 1st. Buying up an Attribute gets you all the numeric advantages of the rung you buy up to-- healing class, Endurance tokens, additional Power Words and health boxes, etc. However, your rank is still lower and you will lose direct contests with that player.

Powers

If you participated in a Power auction and are ranked in Psyche, that Power can be bought up after the auction. How far it can be bought up is determined by Psyche rank, and ranges from one to five rungs. Doing so provides one less ability from the highest category than the player to whom you buy up, if the GMs choose so.
If you did not participate in an auction, you may pay 10 points to become "Ranked" in a Power. This gives you access to the Automatic ability of that Power, but no more advanced abilities. You may buy up to "Ranked" regardless of Psyche rating.

Selling Down

Alternately, players who need more build points may "sell down" Attributes to Chaos or Human rank. Only players who did not participate in the auction for an Attribute may sell it down.
Players may sell down as many Attributes as far as they wish. Each Attribute sold down to Chaos rank grants the player 10 additional character build points; each Attribute sold down to Human grants 25. Powers may not be sold down.

Going Negative

When you go negative on the auction, you have 10 "extra" points to spend. Each one of them gives you Bad Stuff, which is not ideal. But sometimes you just have to have 1st Psyche!

Sidebar

But seriously, How much should I spend? I'm a noob!

Well, that is a difficult question. You will get 10 extra points for Toys, assuming you do all your Homework, and if that is enough for you a 75/65 split is pretty good between powers and attributes. That will still let you buy some Magic and maybe a few extra Toys or some Good Stuff. Those 10 unspent points you can also dip in for bidding wars. As you play more Throne wars, you will develop your own bidding strategy, don't worry. Also, don't be afraid to take Bad Stuff if you really want something. What's the worst that can happen?

Not being Present

If you cannot be there for the auction, just be sure to submit a Bid Plan to the GMs through email. They will then bid for you, following it to the letter or until you run out of points. If you write down, "I want 1st Rank Warfare" and don't give a limit, be prepared to spend 90 points on Warfare and sell down your Psyche to Human with 10 Bad Stuff.

Unranked Powers

Classically, Powers aren't ranked-- there's no reason why you can't use the original book's scheme of flat fees for basic and advanced Powers. Some of the abilities we've invented aren't strictly covered in the books, so you can either remove them from the game to go with the original book rules or factor them into the two categories.
Note that auctioned powers are frequently less expensive than the prices listed in the book; use the flat prices as a control for how many Powers you think an individual player should have.

Anonymous Auctions

It's always an option to run auctions anonymously with pseudonyms. If you do, you can reveal which pseudonyms are attached to which players after the auctions are complete-- or leave it completely anonymous right up until game starts for a truly unpredictable Throne War.

Serial Auctions

For smaller Throne Wars (or ones without ranked Powers), old fashioned one-at-a-time auctions are an option. Doing serial auctions reduces the confusion and anxiety of players a lot since they only have to keep track of one thing at a time, and allows for more entertaining verbal interaction between the auctioneer and players. However, simultaneous auctions are pretty much a necessity for large Throne Wars with ranked Powers-- the process simply takes too long otherwise.

Auction Order

In general we've run the Powers auctions before the Attribute auctions-- Powers are usually more central and specific to character concepts. But there's no reason why you couldn't run Attributes first and Powers second-- it would certainly encourage higher bidding on the Attributes.
If you're using serial auctions, auction order is particularly important. Are players saving points to use in another auction, or have they already spent too much? It makes a significant psychological and tactical difference in terms of how much players end up spending.
Whichever order you end up using, make sure you tell your players about it in advance so they can plan!

Optional Mechanic: Trading Up

To make Advanced abilities more readily available and increase build diversity, you can add the following optional mechanic: two abilities of a level can be sacrificed to gain one ability of the next level up. So, someone with 3B could trade up to 1B, 1I-- sacrificing flexibility for more powerful abilities. Multiple trades are allowed, but the final configuration must never have more abilities in a higher level than any lower one.
This mechanic has no effect on people at they very high or very low end of the ladder, but gives people in the middle a meaningful choice about their abilities.