Too Many Questions about Domains

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Too Many Questions about Domains

Postby Mad Icon » Thu Oct 09, 2008 12:11 pm

So,

I have an avalanche of questions about domains. This part of the game makes very little sense to me. I can see the individual mechanics but I am unsure of how they really make sense in the broader scheme of the world/Ven mindset as well as how they work as Domains grow.

1. Once you have multiple provinces what is the method for running them, since you would technically have Barons running each province in your name.

2. What are the feudal requirements? Must a Baron pay tribute to their Count?

3. How do you represent the three knights every Baron has under them? These guys are listed as a requirement to be a Baron but then aren't mentioned ever again.

4. Since your number of personal Season actions never really changes how do you "do more" as you build up your domain?

5. Under spouses it says they can "spend Season Actions for you." Does this mean they spend YOUR PERSONAL season actions or do they have their own... Are they NPCs or just ranked vassals at the start?

6. Without maps of provinces/regions how can PCs know who they are fighting when they want to conquer a region? Are they restricted to fighting other PCs in most games? How do they know who is on their borders? Why would the Count overseeing all the Barons allow them to fight amongst themselves since that ultimately means they aren't producing for any Season they are contesting a province.

7. And if you are a Baron and you are constantly suffering Trouble or being overrun in Conquest actions, why wouldn't your Count simply have you off'ed/remove you from power since you aren't contributing in any meaningful way to the County?

See, lots of questions. This is all very, very odd. I realize the point is to be abstract, but this doesn't make any sense. Any suggestions or advice are welcome.

Thanks.
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Re: Too Many Questions about Domains

Postby Snag » Thu Oct 09, 2008 12:32 pm

Mad Icon wrote:1. Once you have multiple provinces what is the method for running them, since you would technically have Barons running each province in your name.


Each Province may have its own Seneschal, to attend to those matters in your stead, until you build yourself up to the point of being a Count and having Barons of your own.

Mad Icon wrote:2. What are the feudal requirements? Must a Baron pay tribute to their Count?


The requirements are whatever the next noble in the chain deems them to be. You can have a fair and just noble who lets you do with your own lands as you choose, or they can be constantly requesting items for whatever reason.

Mad Icon wrote:3. How do you represent the three knights every Baron has under them? These guys are listed as a requirement to be a Baron but then aren't mentioned ever again.


Was wondering about this myself.

Mad Icon wrote:4. Since your number of personal Season actions never really changes how do you "do more" as you build up your domain?

5. Under spouses it says they can "spend Season Actions for you." Does this mean they spend YOUR PERSONAL season actions or do they have their own... Are they NPCs or just ranked vassals at the start?


This is a two-fer: As your Vassals increase in rank and attain NPC status, the number of actions they can take on your behalf in a season increase. There's a chart somewhere, but I misremember where. NPCs with specific jobs can only take actions in that field, whereas your Spouse or offspring can act as you would.

And the Spouse season acctions are in addition to actions you can take yourself.

Mad Icon wrote:6. Without maps of provinces/regions how can PCs know who they are fighting when they want to conquer a region? Are they restricted to fighting other PCs in most games? How do they know who is on their borders? Why would the Count overseeing all the Barons allow them to fight amongst themselves since that ultimately means they aren't producing for any Season they are contesting a province.


The mapping and geography is as lax or detailed as the Narrators want it to be in their game. And the Count would allow the fighting, because it means the Barons aren't eyeing his lands for a takeover.

Mad Icon wrote:7. And if you are a Baron and you are constantly suffering Trouble or being overrun in Conquest actions, why wouldn't your Count simply have you off'ed/remove you from power since you aren't contributing in any meaningful way to the County?


That depends entirely on the Baron's relationship with their leige. Did they cultivate good relations? Were they constantly challenging the Count? Did they offend the Count in any way? Have they given the Count cause to seek Revenge?

Mad Icon wrote:See, lots of questions. This is all very, very odd. I realize the point is to be abstract, but this doesn't make any sense. Any suggestions or advice are welcome.

Thanks.


No worries, it takes some playing before it starts to take shape. Hope that helped.
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Re: Too Many Questions about Domains

Postby JohnWick » Thu Oct 09, 2008 12:36 pm

This should be in the FAQ forum. (This is also why there's a "one question per post" rule.)

Mad Icon wrote:1. Once you have multiple provinces what is the method for running them, since you would technically have Barons running each province in your name.

2. What are the feudal requirements? Must a Baron pay tribute to their Count?

3. How do you represent the three knights every Baron has under them? These guys are listed as a requirement to be a Baron but then aren't mentioned ever again.

4. Since your number of personal Season actions never really changes how do you "do more" as you build up your domain?

5. Under spouses it says they can "spend Season Actions for you." Does this mean they spend YOUR PERSONAL season actions or do they have their own... Are they NPCs or just ranked vassals at the start?

6. Without maps of provinces/regions how can PCs know who they are fighting when they want to conquer a region? Are they restricted to fighting other PCs in most games? How do they know who is on their borders? Why would the Count overseeing all the Barons allow them to fight amongst themselves since that ultimately means they aren't producing for any Season they are contesting a province.

7. And if you are a Baron and you are constantly suffering Trouble or being overrun in Conquest actions, why wouldn't your Count simply have you off'ed/remove you from power since you aren't contributing in any meaningful way to the County?

Thanks.


1. If your Barons are NPCs, you can make choices for them or the Narrator can do it.

2. There are no requirements. If you sign a contract that says you pay your liege tribute, then you pay your liege tribute. It all comes down to the contract.

3. NPCs or other player characters. Earn them during play.

4. Get Vassals. They can perform Actions for you, so you can focus your own Actions. Each Vassal that provides Actions (Roadmen, Seneschal, Spy Network) etc., represents a bonus Action.

5. A Spouse has a Season action of her own she can spend until she becomes an NPC. Then, she has a number of Season Actions equal to her Cunning/2 + 1 just like everyone else.

6.
a) "I send spies/personal guard to John's Forest Province (Weeping Woods)."
b) No. I've had players attack and subdue NPC lands.
c) There are no borders unless you spend wagers or style points to say so.
d) Because fighting each other means they aren't plotting against him.

7. He probably would. Make lots of allies to counteract that.
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Re: Too Many Questions about Domains

Postby CodexArcanum » Thu Oct 09, 2008 2:01 pm

I can only answer as best as I would rule while GMing. That may be just well enough.

Mad Icon wrote:1. Once you have multiple provinces what is the method for running them, since you would technically have Barons running each province in your name.


By the game mechanics, you still run each, region by region. The complexity here is that all regions in a province are "grouped." Grouped regions have certain unifying rules, such as "You must spend Trade resource to exchange goods between provinces (even your own)" and you have to store excess resources (in the castle or storehouse) and each province must have it's own castle.

So if you own two provinces, you have two homes. Each castle can store resources, most likely those produced in the same province since shipping them amongst your own lands is expensive.

So far as Barons go, this is dependent on a few things. Keep in mind the ven law of possession: you own what you hold. A count *usually* needs 3 provinces and 3 barons under him. If you are a baron and hold 3 provinces, who is to stop you? If you claim the title of count before the senate, who will deny your claim? Perhaps several will, but you can always duel or buy them into agreement.

If you actually want NPC Barons to manage your lands (and if I'm GM, you'd have to still give orders cause I ain't doing all that for you), then make contracts to get some. Go raise up some Barons and give them land. You trust them right? Trust them to spend their Season Actions in your lands, in your name, in your best interest? Trust them not to betray you?

Mad Icon wrote:2. What are the feudal requirements? Must a Baron pay tribute to their Count?


All in the contracts. What did you tell your barons they must do? What did your count say you must do? As a Baron, you may own or "watch over the count's" lands, but you control them for all intents. If some noble makes a demand of you, it's down to your own judgment if you follow it. If you had a contract, breaking the law has it's penalties. If you didn't, breaking that trust or alliance can be bad still. Or not.

There's no game mechanics for it. These little conflicts are all story generation tools, to be ignored if you want (Giving tribute adds nothing to the game so we just assume it goes on in the background.) or to take stage as part of the tale (I want all my resources, so I give no tribute and let them come try to take it if they dare!).

Mad Icon wrote:3. How do you represent the three knights every Baron has under them? These guys are listed as a requirement to be a Baron but then aren't mentioned ever again.


It says so, but I think that's just a "traditionally" thing. If you want knights, I believe that falls under the Roadmen vassal. You might also assume that since other vassals represent ven serving you, that might also count as knights.

What I'm unclear on is whether your servants are blooded or not, or if all blooded ven are assumed to be NPCs. Are all 10 roadmen blooded ven who serve you, or just regular peasants with sharp sticks?

Mad Icon wrote:4. Since your number of personal Season actions never really changes how do you "do more" as you build up your domain?


Well, everyone gets one. Most people get at least one more (cunning not a weakness) and you could get up to 3 extra. But yeah, those don't change much. You get more seasonals through a few means:
1) Get married, see below.
2) Get vassals. They get one freebie season action per rank for doing their job. You can get vassals for almost any action you can do, so start hiring. I think it usually costs an SA to get or train a vassal, so consider it an investment.
3) Use stories. Every player is supposed to get around 3 stories per season, and I read it that you can use a story to accomplish a season action (maybe more than one), but at the expense of risk (you might fail to complete the steps to get the action) and time (you actually have to play out the story. Not that this a penalty so much, you did come to roleplay, yes?)
4) Get someone else to do it. Getting trained is a good example. Make good friends with a master swordfighter and have him use HIS season action to train you. Then you get better at fighting, essentially, for free. Well I mean, you have to do nice things for him, but that's beside the point.

Mad Icon wrote:5. Under spouses it says they can "spend Season Actions for you." Does this mean they spend YOUR PERSONAL season actions or do they have their own... Are they NPCs or just ranked vassals at the start?


Spouse's get their own set of seasonal actions. You're wife or husband, assuming a blooded ven, gets the same 1 to 4 season actions that you do. So that's double your base actions just for maintaining a loyal spouse. I assume they are NPCs, recorded as vassals for convenience of the mechanics.

Mad Icon wrote:6. Without maps of provinces/regions how can PCs know who they are fighting when they want to conquer a region? Are they restricted to fighting other PCs in most games? How do they know who is on their borders? Why would the Count overseeing all the Barons allow them to fight amongst themselves since that ultimately means they aren't producing for any Season they are contesting a province.


Maps are as consequential as "What color bricks is his house built of?" That is to say, it might matter, or not, depending on whether players put any rolls or points into making it matter. It also depends on the story a bit. If you play frontier nobles (which is the book's assumption I believe) then at least one side of your land borders wild ork filled lands or ocean. If a player says, "I send a raiding force into (Other Player's) forest" then you must assume the forest and player one's lands are bordering somewhere. Or that a safe route of some kind exists.

They can fight other PCs or NPCs. Guess it depends on what you all want. The count may or may not care: the Narrator and the story and the wagers and the style points decide it. As others say, at the very least it keeps them from schemeing against him. He may even encourage in-fighting to keep his barons strong and alert.

Mad Icon wrote:7. And if you are a Baron and you are constantly suffering Trouble or being overrun in Conquest actions, why wouldn't your Count simply have you off'ed/remove you from power since you aren't contributing in any meaningful way to the County?


Because you're a player character and that's a boring story. Unless you decide it isn't! Besides, everyone's lands are troubled, everyone has problems, and no one wants to talk about them. Your lands are also your Baron's lands. So if he has you removed, he first has to admit to his Marquis that he can't control the lands under HIS rule. And so forth. It's the same reason no one talks about magic: don't throw stones in glass houses.
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