Manor level - Dominion Level - Province level combined idea

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Gecko
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Manor level - Dominion Level - Province level combined idea

Post by Gecko »

I've long wanted to run a Pbp or Pbem game combining rules from 3 different levels - from Manor's to feudal holdings up to country (birthright style) lands. I've long been trying to figure out just how to do it. I've had these various notes typed up and sitting on my desktop for sometime now, finally figured I'd post it and see if it sparks anyone else's ideals. Hopefully these notes are coherent:

The 3 overlapping systems means monetary incomes from each are reduced to one third, and elements of a lower level partially determine elements of the level(s) above.

At the Manor level the focus is on small holdings, probably harn style manors, possibly with the addition of somesort of messuage or tenement rules. While the harnic system allows for clerical estates, monestaries & Abbies, and fighting order chapterhouses, there will also be a seperate emphasis on advowson's, deaneries, & dioceses for cleric types, with incomes based on tithes, endowments, prebends, etc. Details to be determined. Smaller (less appealing - mostly due to the dificulties and small incomes) factors will be Thieves guild rules (in urban locations only) from the 2e CTHB are in use for Thief-type characters (note- the incomes are very small) and, for buisness minded individuals, the running a buisness rules from 3e are in use at this level - tied to the guilds at the Dominion level (While there are harn rules for guilds, they are too complex, though some elements and concepts from it will be factored in at higher levels).

At the Dominion level, the focus is, as the name would suggest, based on BECMI/RC dominion rules, as modified in the Gaz line (notably the Gaz3 economic factors) and as modified by the articles by Bruce Heard. Might instead use the similar version from Dark Dungeons. Population growth will be yearly, not monthly, and will be balanced with the growth at the manor level in an as yet to be determined fashion. It can be expected that the area covered by a single dominion would incorporate several manors at the manorial level, so, rulership of the dominion is thus reserved for the overlord, direct or indirect, of the majority of the area as determined by acreage, population, and economic productivity when such a single individual is not clearly obvious. For clerical types, the =http://www.thepiazza.org.uk/bb/viewtop ... the piazza will be in use. As written the emphasis is clearely on the dieties rather than the organized religion so I may as yet incorporate something else (perhaps something based on temples or collective faith magic), but I'm leaning towards not (I'll likely just end up modifying the Congregation rules to put the focus back on the heads of the congregations). The additions to the Dominion rules laid out in Bruce's article concerning theocracies, independent clergy, and fighting orders I may decide to utilise them at the manor level. Again, Smaller factors For buisness minded individuals and thief-types will be present but de-emphasised at this level- primarily through the guild and affiliation rules from 3e's DMG II & PHB II rules will be in use. The forthcoming Lehaa FGaz has been hinted to contain buisness rules, so I'm looking forward to seeing those rules for possible usage. For thief-type characters, I might instead use a modified version of the rules from the Landfall FGaz.

At the Province level, Birthright style rules will be effect, with some modifications. Divine bloodlines, bloodscores, etc., will be very rare (mostly a few NPCs) or initially non-existant, and will in the later case will be refluffed as "experienced rulership" or similar theme, with characters using the higher of their "blood" score or double their level. Let me include this explanatory reminder- while population numbers and density are the primary factor influencing and determined by province level, it is only the majority factor and function. Also relevant are infrastructure, prosperity, and acknowledgement of and loyalty to central government or unifying concept, high culture and art, and some would argue (mostly falsely) civilization itself. Also remember that the more developed the province (the higher the province level) the lower the source potential. The province ruler represents the soverign overlord of an area, or at least a 'first-amongst-equals' role, or any individual similarily recognized as paramount or most powerful/influential, legitimate or not, de-facto or de-jure. If none (or no undisputed single one) exists, the province will be "unruled" at game start. Law holdings represent a) legislative (ie court) franchises and banal & feudal rights and incomes, b) executive powers (notably law enforcement & efficient tax collection), legitimate or otherwise (ie Bandits), & c) popular loyalty (support of the majority of the masses or of key sectors of the population). As such law holdings will partially be determined by holders of dominion's and manors, and partially by standard BR rules. Manor holdings represent area's of land and the primary economic activities of said lands - mostly agricultural, and will be predominately determined by manor holdings of an area. A 2nd guild holding category will be used with both guild and trade holding types. Guild holdings will represent micro-economic activity focusing on secondary and some tertiary economic activities (mostly urban) such as artisanal, craft, and buisness guilds (often collectively grouped into the "manganai" type entity of an area as in harnic rules), and also some industrial activities, as well as some cottage industries and small market fairs. Trade holdings will represent macro-economic activity focusing on import/export, long distance trade and mercantylers guilds, large trade fairs, some tertiary economic activites, the rare quaternary and quinary economic activites, and most cottage industries. There is much overlap between these last three types (especially between manor & guild, and between guild & trade, though an overlap between manor & trade is also possible) and many examples can be thought of that could fit into one or more of the three. Controlling significant portions of 2 could indicate near monopolies or oligarchies, entities that could become very powerful very quickly. I am contemplating dividing Temple holdings in two as well, between Temple holdings (representing religious infrastructre, hierarchy, ordained clergy members, and income's - based partially on the Manor level) and Faith holdings (representing the personal belief's of an area's masses - based partially on the Dominion level congregational rules - but also doctrinal issues/factions or popular beliefs), and I am also conteplating some situation to distinquish between monastic and regular clergy, but haven't thought of one. Thief-type activities at this level (large thieves guilds, espionage organizations, etc.) can be represented as low level guild or trade holdings.

For military units, I do not want to use the Birthright War Cards system, so I will likely have the revised Dominion rules style BR (as in Battle Rating, not as in BirthRight) system at either the province level or overlapping two or even all three levels. The mercenary company rules from the Oceansend FGaz are another possibility I am considering, and/or I may leave military at the manor level in the realm of feudal forces and small groups of mercenary forces (rather than organized "units"). I would like to retain the nice, simple fortification rules of the Birthright system, but so far the only ideals I have for merging them with the BR system are as uninspired flat modifiers to mass battles combined with some sort of garrison forces (the later perhaps tying into castle-guard feudal obligations at the manor level).

Any spellcasters, for effects at the Birthright scale of effect (holdings and realm magic), must choose one of the 4 types of realm magic they will cast - and this determines what their holding(s) is/(are) based on. Most Clerics and Priests will be based on Divine or outer planar magic oriented, and thus cast Divine Realm spells via Temple holdings (or perhaps Faith). Druids, Rangers, and the like will be based on Nature magic, and can cast primordial realm spells in a similar manner as per the rules of Druids from Birthright (combining uncontrolled Source or Temple holdings, in addition to any they personally control). The "classical arcanists" and psionicits have more choices because they could philosophically base their casting on "people magic" - tapping the divine spark of the masses, soul magic, life force magic, etc. (*=see note), and thus have source holdings where the maximum is based on the province level rather than the source level, or they could be Nature (or some versions of High Arcane) who have source holdings based on traditional birthright source holdings where the maximum is linked to the source level of a province. These two source "flavors" will not, however, be seperate split holdings like with the guild-trade or law-manor holdings, but they will be competing for the same "slots" where the maximum overall number of levels of both kind is based on the higher of either the province or source potential, but each individual kind is limited by the respective level. Thus they will be competing both for holding slots and over whether or not to develop a province.

*= not necessarily in a bad, "draining" sense, just something about the amassing of that many people has enough "mass" to fuel their magic. Though a defiler type in this sense would also be cool.

I have yet to decide what, if any, unique role's the classical arcanists should have at the manor and/or dominion level. Adding any such would be more bookkeeping and of questionable gain, as happened when I added such for Thief and Buisness types at those levels (as is likely evident from above by the de-emphasised roles, low income, and "tacked-on" nature of the rules for those types at those levels - I may yet go back and remove those rules), but I want to give them something to do at more than just the Province level. While some might be running schools and chantries, (or magic item factories) a) there is no competiton rules involved & b) that is not appropriate for all, since most either focus on increasing their personal power or serve as advisor's or specialists to the other types.

As for druid and ranger types at the lower two levels, I think they can be safely ignored, for much the same reasons I'm hesitant to give "classical-arcanists" a role at those levels combined with the fact that they are far less common. Just say some background words about them focusing on maintaining their wild lands and focusing on their own circles, though druids (and Shamans) might have a role in some nomadic or tribal groups similar to the role of cleric types at the manor level.

Any game using birthright style rules, or any game focusing on feudal roles, must consider Inheritence. Inheritence can be modeled in this system, but first the "typical" or "classical" system for the inspiration of your world must be determined. For this discussion I will assume a typical generic european primogenture sytem (with out getting into issues of Salic or non-salic, or agnatic or male preference), but you could easily adapt the following to other systems, like a gavelkind or rota tradition, or one I would love to see a Zhou chinese style sytem where titles "deflate" over generations. Manors at the manor level come in 4 varieties. Alloidal, Feudal, Honor, and "corporate". Alloidal ones are owned outright by the holder and, within cultural limits, may be disposed of via will, ie for dowries or for granting to younger children, or outright selling. Feudal manors are granted from above, and for them it must be decided if there is a version of quia emptores in your land and thus whether subinfeudination is in effect or if any attempt at subinfeudination results in effectively a de-facto new feudal grant. For manors held feudally as part of an Honor (ie, in the list of manors directly attached to a title), they may not be disposed of by will. Lastly a "corporate" one is more complex as it is held not by an individual but by an organization (most commonly a church, but a guild or school is also possible) or collectively (ie held in shares or moeities). Advowsons follow the same rules as Manors, depending on the type as above. New replacement holders of Parish's are determined by the holders of Advowsons (with a limited amount of veto by the bishop), thus the player of a parish priest may have to create a new character elsewhere unless the player whose character is the holder of the Advowson agrees to let the same player continue. The replacement holder of a deanery or archdeanery is chosen by the bishop and may be promoted from below (becoming an archpriest if they continue to hold their parish) or a deacon appointed from above. The replacment of a deceased or transfered diocese (Bishop) was a very complicated issue in the history of Europe - and could be played up in your world as well. Are they appointed by the soverign? By a higher ecclesiastical power? or From within by the chapter clergy/Cannon's or by the collective votes of the deans and/or parish priests? The inheritance of an unguilded (or loosely guilded) buisness would likely be by tradition, but the transfer of a guilded franchise could be either by will or tradition but either would likely require a fee paid to the guild and for the person it was being transfered to be at least a journeyman status.

Edit: Removed the magic stuff since that is a different topic.

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Tom Bulls Eye
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Re: Manor level - Dominion Level - Province level combined i

Post by Tom Bulls Eye »

Brilliant ideas. I would love to try them out some day.

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Gecko
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Re: Manor level - Dominion Level - Province level combined i

Post by Gecko »

If there are enough people interested, I might be talked into running a game (Pbp or PBEM).
Last edited by Gecko on Sun Jun 02, 2013 11:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Marco Fossati
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Re: Manor level - Dominion Level - Province level combined i

Post by Marco Fossati »

Gecko wrote:If there are enough people interested, I might be talked into running a game (Pbp or PBEM).
I'd be interested.

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Gecko
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Re: Manor level - Dominion Level - Province level combined i

Post by Gecko »

Marco Fossati wrote:
Gecko wrote:If there are enough people interested, I might be talked into running a game (Pbp or PBEM).
I'd be interested.
IF I run this game, and that's still only an "IF", I need to first finish working out the world it will be in. Check out the thread in the homebrew forum and you can help shape it (and maybe even get dibs on a character - no promises on that though!)

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Gecko
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Re: Manor level - Dominion Level - Province level combined i

Post by Gecko »

I've been thinking about how to get and use military in this system. Each of the 3 systems/scales have different rules built in for getting and maintaining troops and/or levies/militia's and their numbers:

Military in the three differing original rules

The Harn (Manor level) rules include rules on supporting individual household men-at-arms ("retainers") and military yeomen, in addition to 3 "levels" of levy musters: Feudal- mostly your enfeifed knights and their retainers plus the yeomen and your retainers for 40 days*, a "light**" levy- basically the Feudal plus town militia's and soldiers from freemen households serving as mostly foot (mostly lightly armored) but with a few missile troops for 40 days, or a "full**" defensive only levy including the other two and adding several unarmored foot (the rabble).
*= since almost everything else run's on either a monthly, seasonal, or yearly basis, I'm probably going to fudge that to say either 2 months or make it 4 weeks (since "War Moves" are based on a roughly weekly scale), I'm not sure yet which.
**= At the moment I can't recall the specific terms

The Dominion system (Regional level) has the War Machine rules, which I want to use. The expanded version from Bruce Heard's article calls the raising of troops "levying" but it's mostly mustering - but the rules are rather complex being tied to the overhead percentage reduced by how many troops were "levied" the previous month (months?). There's also the War Machine revisited rules from one of the magazines which is nice because it includes rules on things like integrated scouts and combined arms effects and drawbacks, (though the officer rules from that conflict a bit with Bruce's expanded system). The time scale for during conflict is I believe supposed to be day's (though it's a bit vague, and "days" seems a bit unrealistic at some scales, ie look at the fall-back/advance rules following battles) so I'll probably make it weeks (half-weekly seems the most realistic, but why introduce another time scale)

The Birthright/Province system has War Cards, but I think I can gap that into the War Machine system thanks to a recent find.

so how to balance the three, and conceptually what does recruiting at the various levels represent?

What hiring at the different levels represent

Hiring at the manor level gets you individual soldiers who are extremely loyal to you (rather than to the state), but it's expensive so don't expect to get a bunch of them that way.

At the other end of the scale, hiring at the Province level by utilizing the elements of the state is a way to relatively quickly get a lot of troops - this probably also represents selling commissions (though given the recomended size ranges of war card units - this would seem to only be Captain's commissions, I haven't figured out how to represent selling coloneticies - but that's something that would come into effect only at later stages when a realm is well developed.) Such troops however are generic, bland. Yes they are outfitted and trained as Infantry or Cavalry or Knights or Archers or whatnot, but you could construct more efficient units by recuiting at the dominion level. Again the advantages are that you get lots of soldiers quickly, and they start out somewhat cohesive (an espirit-d'corp - effectively they are treated as "trained" as long as they are kept in these generic units). I also not sure which is cheaper in the long run. And they can recover from being put in garrison/reserve quicker than troops raised at the dominion level (their BR is static - ie a basic war card unit of Archers is always going to have a BR of 48 while troops raised at the dominion level can be higher or lower {probably higher} but degrade if put in garrison/reserve {because the training factor goes down each month - see the warMachine rules}).

Highering in the middle, at the regional/dominion level is a compromise between the two, but also allows you much more customizable creation of units (you want a force equipped with silvered swords and cold iron daggers = higher and outfit them at the regional level, oh yo could try doing so at the provincial level by first highering a unit of Infantry and then trying to "convert" them, but it would be slower, far more expensive, and quite likely to fail), but such units start out completely green/untrained and require active on-duty status (ideally with the commander doing) to become trained-up over time (see the War Machine rules Training factor, it can take 20 months to get them to their maximum potential) so it is also the slowest method. You can hire at this level as individuals or small groups, and you can combine them over time to built into larger units.

Highering at the province level has requirements, you must hold appropriate holdings (mostly law) of sufficient level and/or minimum province level, OR get permission from someone who has such to let you use them, the details vary depending on the type of unit. Your using the machinery of your "domain" or "State" to get these troops. While your doing so to an extent at the other levels, the smaller scale of hiring units at the other levels is not as big an issue (though if I go with the more complex rules tying it the overhead percentage, then I suppose such will come about). There might also be limits to the troop mix when hiring at the province level (ie you can't just hire "elite" units, since they have to be a higher "tier" than something to be considered "elite" - if though they are still generic) and only so much can be hired in a province (ie you and others with holdings can end up competing for the slice of the available manpower (ie another character might win initiative and higher enough irregulars or archers or whatnot meaning that you can't hire those cavalry you wanted this month, sorry you just basically lost a month's turn.)

Mercs

Mercenaries can also be hired at either the province level (representing a generic mass of mercenaries of the appropriate type - Infantry, Cavalry, Archers, etc.) or hired as individuals or small groups at the regional/dominion level (They will start at a random training level depending on their backstory). At the Manor level, "true" mercenaries can't be hired, but I supose you could have "thugs" or bandit-types

Scouts

Scouts can be integrated into other units (or not if you wish - since they do slightly lower the rating of the unit) if raised at the Dominion level, but if raised at the province level they must form unique (and thus notably fragile) units. The horse units of the manor level feudal levy can be utilized as scouts, but they are not as effective as trained & specialized scouts.

Levies, Militia, Conscripts, etc.

For levies, you have to specify which level(s) and type(s) you are calling up. Here the terminology is likely to change from what I'm about to call it, but basically if you call up a levy or conscripts at the province level you get a whole heck of a lot of irregulars and/or militia, though the number and quality decrease with each subsequent concurrent call-up (the number of times it can be called on subsequent months, and the amount gained each time, depends on the province level - see the Birthright rules). The first time this is like calling out the regional territorial army, national guard, or militia. The until are free for the first month and they stays in the field until defeated, disbanded, or till you refuse (or more likely are unable) to continue paying them (In which case they are quite likely to revolt and pillage all the way home). Of course you'll also have some short-to-medium term economic problems as long as they are in the field (becoming long term if they are decimated). And if the province level is zero, or your not the province ruler, then you can't do this. If you need a small but effective force for a bit of extra umph, then call up some or all of the Feudal level at the Manor level - this force, while small, has a good mix of forces, especially knights and cavalry. It also has virtually no economic impact (it's completely free if you use it for no more than 2 months), though if it's soundly defeated there could end up being a lot of people needing ransoming. If you just need some forces to shore-up a weak front or area, then call up some or all of the "light" levy at the manorial level, As long as their service is 2 months or less and they don't suffer any significant casulties it's free and their's no economic impact. Keeping them for more than 2 months can start to get quite expensive however, and cause some resentment. Their also not the best quality. And if your being overun by horde's then call the "full" levy at the manorial level (as well as at the province level), since you don't have much to loose, though they are little better than potential cannon fodder. You can't use such a "full" levy offensively (defensive only), and it takes an awful lot of gold to bribe them into serving for more than 2 months. I'm not sure how to handle levies at the regional level, or if it should even be possible to do so.

thoughts? Does what I wrote even make sense (I should of been asleep hours ago, so I fear it might not be coherent)

rabindranath72
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Re: Manor level - Dominion Level - Province level combined i

Post by rabindranath72 »

Have you looked at "An echo, resounding" by Kevin Crawford (Sine Nomine Publishing)? It's a brilliant rules expansion for any D&D-like game which addresses all of those points in a very abstract and streamlined way. Strongly recommended; I plan to use the system as a replacement for the Birthright rules.

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Re: Manor level - Dominion Level - Province level combined i

Post by Gecko »

rabindranath72 wrote:Have you looked at "An echo, resounding" by Kevin Crawford (Sine Nomine Publishing)? It's a brilliant rules expansion for any D&D-like game which addresses all of those points in a very abstract and streamlined way. Strongly recommended; I plan to use the system as a replacement for the Birthright rules.
sorry rabindranath, I had looked into it at the time you posted your message, but then got busy and never replied.

From what I remember, most of what I could find about AER was all comparing and contrasting it to ACKS and how basically the approach's were different- top-down (AER) vs. bottom-up (ACKS), and that AER added yet other resource point types as well as something about the addition of a plot point system and that it includes Mass warfare rules.

I already got 2 good forms of mass warfare rules, I don't need yet another resource or plot point things to track, and I'm trying not to go to either extreme when it comes to top-down or bottom-up design- rather trying to aim for a mix with the 3 different levels, though I do lean more towards bottom-up in my overall preferences.

Thanks for the suggestion though!

cheers, G

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