[Pelinore.org] The Domains for Dark Dungeons

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[Pelinore.org] The Domains for Dark Dungeons

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The Domains for Dark Dungeons - Part One
Published on Tuesday, 14 August 2012 16:54 | Written by PelinoreRevived! | Print | Email | Hits: 3684
For the sake of transparency, we thought we would write about how we are trying to write the gazetteer for the Domains using the Dark(er) Dungeons rules for settling down (chapter 13). We can see already that we might be required to amend the hexmap slightly if we are to write the Gazetteer 'by the book'. To enjoy this article fully, we recommend that you download Dark Dungeons or Darker Dungeons from Gratis Games. It's free!

Using the County of Cerwyn as an example:

Under 'Titles of Nobility' we read that a Count rules a minimum of three dominions (a dominion consisting of a minimum of one fief and a maximum of seven provided that each additional fief has a garrison). As the ruler (Duke Flavus Barnabus) was only Count of Cerwyn before he assumed the title of Duke then we must presume that at least three of the fiefs in the County of Cerwyn are actually dominions (the rules state that one of these must have been obtained by military conquest, but as the County is a hereditary title we can presume that this occurred way back in the County's history). When we read the Imagine Magazine Special Edition, we see that the Duke's predecessor (his sister, Flavia) ruled in name only and that, in fact, the County was ruled by a regency called the Council of Guardians - comprised of four members (who they were is not important at the moment, but will be explained in another article). This is borne out by the Gazetteer table printed in Imagine Issue 25, which places the suzerainship of the settlements in the County either directly under the Count(ess) or one of the members of the Council of Guardians.

Considering the above, then, we decided that each fief in the County of Cerwyn is a separate dominion (one for the Count and one for each member of the Council ruling on his behalf) thus satisfying the requirement for a Count to rule over a minimum of three dominions. This would require us to redraw the borders of each to a solid red line - but we're going to ignore that for now.

Then we picked the fief containing the town of Hyrpum as an example, and calculate its contribution to the County's income as follows:

We determined that the fief is classified as civilised, being that it is mostly farmland (3 hexes out of approx 9) and cultivated farmland (2 hexes out of nine).

Cross referencing issue 25 of Imagine, this fief contains three towns with a population exceeding 1,000 people (and these are reflected in the hexmap): being Hyrpum, Borth and Dahn with populations of 3000, 2000 and 1500 respectively. There are also two smaller settlements close to Dahn (Mamelok and Pollard) with populations of 125 and 250 respectively (Mamelok is actually outside the County's borders, but we're including it now as it might have been one of the first territories to have been grabbed by Flavus when he became Count, the tyrant). Assuming that there are approximately 5 people per family, then this makes the population of the fief equal to 1375 families (when it was under the rule of Countess Flavia). This is low and easily inside the maximum population limit for a civilised fief. We went ahead and assumed that this level of population has been maintained in the 25 years since Flavus became Count (for now at least, we might change our mind when we're finished with the rest of the fiefs because we might want to reflect the attrition caused by 25 years of his mis-rule).

Rather than roll randomly, we decided that the fief has three resources: two animal (livestock in the pastures and fish from the town of Borth) and one vegetable (arable land around Hyrpum). We decided to split these resources into the following percentages: 50% of the County to animal (fishing from Borth with 30% of the County population plus 20% from the other settlements) and 50% to vegetable.

Using the above, the income for the fief from resources is normally as follows:

1375 families x 50% x 2gp per family (animal) = 1375gp

1375 families x 50% x 1gp per family (vegetable) = 688gp

Total = 2063gp

But, we're going to adjust those figures because the Duke has pressed 20% of the population into service in the militia for use in his coming siege of the City League. So, we dropped that figure by 20% to 1650gp per month. (see Troops in Dark(er) Dungeons chapter 13).

The income from service in the fief (mostly ship building in the town of Borth, but also coming from other activities in the fief) is equal to 10gp for each family. Dark(er) Dungeons isn't explicit on this, but we have assumed that this is also affected by the pressing of population into the militia. This makes the income from service 11,000gp. Note that this income doesn't come in the form of cold, hard coins, but instead can be used to offset against other expenses. This makes for some interesting storyline opportunities as the Duke is bringing mercenary and humanoid troops into the County through the port town of Borth, all of whom place an economic burden on the fief (more on this in another article).

Then there is the poll tax, worth 1gp per family. Duke Flavus is a hard man and demands that his militia also pay poll tax, so this is unaffected by the population being pressed into service. Furthermore, he has increased the level of poll tax by 5sp per month. This will affect the fief's confidence rating, but garners an extra 688gp per month for a total poll tax income of 2,063gp.

There is no income from salt taxes, as Duke Flavus is ruling this dominion personally without any vassal lords. Thus, the total income from the fief to the coffers of Duke Flavus is 3,713gp per month in the coin of the realm and 11,000gp in services.

In the next article, we're going to calculate the expenditure and the confidence level for the fief. This will provide us with all the rule mechanic information to enable us to write the Gazetteer entry. In the meantime, please feel free to discuss this article at The Piazza.
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-Havard

Aliases: Håvard Frosta, Havard Blackmoor, Blackmoorian, Dragon Turtle etc
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