Marriage, Yvestra, & Ytola

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Marriage, Yvestra, & Ytola

Postby Nevermet » Sat Nov 01, 2008 5:07 pm

I was trying to think of PC concepts who were Ytola, the inferior spouse. To quote the book:

The yvestra (dominant) takes care of the land. The land is the yvestra’s responsibility. Management, improvement, all that stuff. The yvestra makes all the decisions, has all the authority, has all the responsibility, has all the accountability.
The ytola (submissive) has no authority, no responsibility, no accountability. Also, the bureaucracy favors the ytola over the yvestra if that messy Romance thing shows up and someone makes a stink about it. After all, the yvestra is supposed to be the responsible one, right? If hanky panky is going on under his nose, that’s his problem.
Weakness.
Also, if the yvestra dies, his parents find the ytola a new mate: someone they find aceptable. As far as the Law is concerned, the ties
to the old ytola’s family are cut—unless some manner of exception was made in the marriage contract.
Your character’s lands are a combination of all the holdings he owns and his spouse brought to the marriage. (P. 90)


It seems like it would be more boring to play an Ytola. If you play an Ytola, you don't control a domain. The best you can do is have some season actions to help out the Boss of the marriage.

So, I'm thinking that playing Ytolas would be appropriate for a household game, where PCs play various vassals (Master of the Road, Apothecary, etc.). Is this a fair assessment, or have I missed something?
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Re: Marriage, Yvestra, & Ytola

Postby Nihilistic Mind » Sat Nov 01, 2008 5:46 pm

I think the Ytola ends up being the spouse NPC you've always dreamed of. :)

Actually I think your suggestion is really cool, which is to have the Yvestra be an NPC and the Ytola and other important would-be NPCs/Contacts/Vassals be the Player Characters. I like it a lot.
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Re: Marriage, Yvestra, & Ytola

Postby Nevermet » Sun Nov 02, 2008 7:32 am

Nihilistic Mind wrote:I think the Ytola ends up being the spouse NPC you've always dreamed of. :)

Actually I think your suggestion is really cool, which is to have the Yvestra be an NPC and the Ytola and other important would-be NPCs/Contacts/Vassals be the Player Characters. I like it a lot.


Thanks for the compliment.
I was mainly wondering out loud that the 'normal' HotB would involve main Yvestra; Ytola would be as awkward of a fit as a character who was just an apothecary or something. Meaning, possible but not quite a perfect fit with what is expected.
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Re: Marriage, Yvestra, & Ytola

Postby Nihilistic Mind » Sun Nov 02, 2008 9:03 am

Well, it wholly depends on what you as a player may have in mind when it comes to your character.

I could see some players preferring to play an Ytola and tell the Narrator they would prefer not to focus the game on domain management.

The system is available, and my guess is that many will prefer to handle everything themselves, thus playing Yvestra.
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Re: Marriage, Yvestra, & Ytola

Postby Skaldsaga » Tue Nov 04, 2008 1:06 pm

Nihilistic Mind wrote:I could see some players preferring to play an Ytola and tell the Narrator they would prefer not to focus the game on domain management.

The system is available, and my guess is that many will prefer to handle everything themselves, thus playing Yvestra.


I really like the land management part of the game, but I think it would be really fun to play the ytola or vassal to another player, where my actions where my actions. Yes, they can tell me what they want me to do and then I get to decide if or how I do it. "Oh there's trouble in our forest. But I have a party to prepare for. I'll see if Baroness So-and-So will take care of that for me. She like's me and she owes me a favor."
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Re: Marriage, Yvestra, & Ytola

Postby Corone » Wed Nov 05, 2008 2:25 pm

I've been thinking the same thing so here are my thoughts about creating inferior partners as PCs. Its a great PC option for someone not quite sure about joining in the backstabbing aspect of the game.

Ytola are created in just the same way as the dominant partner is. After all, there is no reason for them to be any less educated or experienced. However, they are limited in terms of Domain, Resources and Vassels. There is no balencing bonus for this as they get to step outside the politics. If you don't play the game, you can't win a prize after all.

However, you still get some domain and vassel points.
You get 3 domain points for the province you share with your spouse. However these points may NOT be used to buy a castle but may be used to buy anything else. You do not get a castle and village region for free either.
The domains you create are applied to the eight spaces available to your spouse on the province sheet. So if your other half wants unexplored domains, that's their problem.
However, you may spend your points on unexplored regions and they add spaces to your region's potential area. Adding unexplored regions costs 1 of your points.
So, if you buy a mountain range for 1 point and spend 2 points on unexplored regions the province has 10 spaces, your mountain range, a castle, a village and whatever your spouse spent their other 5 points on.

This might seem a good way to build a power block, but actually is significantly less powerful than an alliance between 2 other player characters, both of whom have full provinces.

As this is HotB, this doesn't mean you can trust your spouse implicitly. The regions that the Ytola adds to the province are actually loyal to the Ytola. While they are governed by the superior partner in every way, the populace has a stronger loyalty to the Ytola. This may be that they like the Ytola more or maybe the land has been in the Ytola's family for longer. This means that unexplored regions, which have no real loyalty to anyone, have no loyalty to the Ytola. The superior cannot insist the Ytola spends all their points on unexplored regions either, well, not without coming to some sort of deal or arrangement first. In fact, as a new unexplored region gives up the Ytola's power and adds to the superiors, any points spend on unexplored regions should be negotiated for. common negotiations might be offering control of other regions, giving the Ytola some of your vassel points, or even telling the Ytola what some of your compels and weaknesses are...

Once the Ytola has spend the points the domain belongs to the superior partner. Its resources go to the superior and the Ytola has little or no say in it.
This might seem a bit of a waste, but that depends on what sort of game the Ytola is playing.

Each season the Ytola can conquer provinces just like the superior, although they need to share resources if they are both marching out. Regions conquered by the Ytola are the property of the superior, but they are loyal to the Ytola in the same way their original regions are.
Each season, either partner can attempt to switch the loyalty of a region that is loyal to their spouse, to themselves. The Ytola need not declare any regions they 'control' so their spouse only knows the original picks in character generation are loyal without some form of spy action.

In this way each partner can fight to control the loyalty of the regions the superior controls. If the Ytola takes control of enough they can initiate a coup to become the superior.

So while a player character marriage can lead to a powerful alliance, they can easily waste their spys checking up on each other and battling over the loyalty of their province.

(These ideas need some more system, but you get the gist of the idea I hope.
When I've got the hang of seasons I'll post more! :-) )

Oh yes, and a Ytola does get vassels, but not as many.
The Ytola gets only 3 Vassel points, but may only use them to buy Artisan, Court Scholar, Maid/Valet, Personal Guard, Spy Network and Staff.
A devious GM may also assume that any 'Staff' the superior owns are actually loyal to the Ytola as they spend their time organising the house.

How does that sound?
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Re: Marriage, Yvestra, & Ytola

Postby Nihilistic Mind » Wed Nov 05, 2008 9:13 pm

Corone wrote: *snippet* A bunch of awesome things *snippet*

How does that sound?


I like it a lot! Have a style point. :)
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Re: Marriage, Yvestra, & Ytola

Postby Loki » Thu Nov 06, 2008 5:55 pm

I like what's been said so far, but I'm already running a Household game and it's working out very very nicely.

Basically, there is one Baron and he is an NPC. I let the players create him from scratch, his superiors, his family and the lot. Then, they assigned each other roles and played the vassals. One is playing the spouse (Ytola), another the Seneschal, the third the master of the road and fourth the spymaster. The Baron was the only one who got any vassal or province points, but the others all got their bonus points which they could spend on more vassals and the like. Each PC could then get their own personal guard if they were so inclined (the spouse has a lady's bodyguard) but they are not as powerful as normal personal guards, in that they can *only* take damage for them and do not contribute to mass murders or get extra actions.

The Baron is then rotated on a yearly basis amongst the players so each gets their turn at handing out orders. It's worked out nicely so far, although some players will get easier years than others.
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