Chapter five: Ruling a domain
Domains represent organized social or political structures and their chain of command. Domains take many forms. One domain might be a powerful kingdom and the nobles that are responsible for the defense of its land and people. An ancient and revered church, the clerics in its hierarchy, its cathedrals, and the lay brothers who work the fields of church-owned land also constitute a domain. Even a small association of craftsmen who band together to increase their profits could constitute a domain.
Describing the day-to-day activities of a domain is impractical unless relevant to a specific role-playing goal. Instead, domain-level activities are described abstractly through the use of short-term goals referred to as domain actions. Domain actions are resolved month-to-month (the domain round) or by season (the domain turn).
Components of a domain
Regardless of the size, power, or purpose of the power base that a domain represents, all domains share certain features. A domain's regent is the head of a specific ruling body that has the primary responsibility for the domain. The regent may hold absolute power or be a powerless figurehead, but they are the person that holds final authority in all domain decisions in the minds of those with whom the domain interacts. Provinces represent areas of land in which tax-paying common-folk look to the regent for military protection and succor in times of hardship. The relative size of the province is represented as the province level. Any domain that includes a province is referred to as a realm. Holdings represent an organized power base, and the places, people, and things that constitute it. The relative size of a holding's power is represented as the holding's level. There are four holding types: guild, law, source, and temple. Additional domain assets include armies, trade routes, the skill of a realm's courtiers and spy network, the strength of a realm's castles, highways and other important domain-level features.
A province is a distinct area whose borders are defined by prominent geographical features, cultural and political traditions, and economic infrastructure. A province is a political division of land, like a county or shire. A rural province generally measures about 30 to 40 miles in diameter, but an urban province that represents a major metropolitan area may be no larger than the area enclosed by the city's boundaries.
The defining domain-level measure of a province is not its size, but rather its level - its overall measure of population, technology, and industrial prosperity. A province's level is an abstraction that represents the relative contributions of loyal subjects of the province. Frontier families, nomadic tribes, bandits, and other independent-minded individuals that live in the province do not directly contribute to the province's level.
A province's level does not represent the entire population of a province; it represents the buying power and prosperity of the provinces loyal citizens and taxpayers. Table 5-1: Province level provides a rough metric for determining the number of taxpaying human commoners in a rural province. Populations of citizens that consist largely of elves, dwarves, or human experts produce population levels greater then the numbers of citizens would seem to dictate due to an increased prosperity per capita.
Table also indicates the size of the largest settlements likely to be found in a rural province of the indicated level. This settlement rating can be used to determine the relative availability of goods and services in the area using the guidelines presented in the Dungeon Master's Guide. The population of this settlement is included in the province's rating. Capital cities of large realms are often one category higher than indicated by the province level alone.
A ruling regent has putative control over an entire province. A province ruler can tax the province and make laws and regulations within the province, but without the power of the local Law holdings the regent has nothing to directly enforce her edicts. In most cases the province ruler is also the most powerful law regent in the province. Law is supposed to be a tool by which the province regent can enforce her will.
Maximum province level
|Terrain Type||Maximum Level|
|Glacier or inhospitable terrain/climate||0|
|Sandy desert, Tundra||1|
|Forest, Jungle, Swamp||6|
|Coastal (borders sea)||+2|
|Major River (not coastal)||+1|
All provinces have a terrain type that represents the major terrain type of the province. The terrain type of the province limits its level. While many types of terrain may be present in a province, only its major terrain type determines its habitability. The terrain type of a province (along with its level) also provides a limit for the province's maximum source potential as discussed in Chapter Seven: Realm magic.
Major metropolitan areas may be represented as stand-alone provinces, instead
of being represented as cities with a larger rural area. Urban provinces are
considered to be part of the surrounding provinces for purposes of geographical
effects, such as earthquakes, but their own entity for purposes of population-based
effects, such as the spread of plague or the use of realm-spells.
Urban provinces are dependent on trade and adjacent rural provinces for food and supplies. Urban provinces lose a level (due to starvation and migration) during any domain turn in which they do not have at least one active trade route.
Any domain that includes one or more provinces is a realm. The regent of a province is a recognized head of state, capable of holding court, making laws, executing justice, and dealing with foreign interests. Rulers are regents that hold one or more provinces and thus are often considered to be of higher status than unlanded regents. Regardless of the power of the realm, significant political power and rank is generally associated with the stewardship of a geographic area.
Domain holdings represent centers of regional political, economic, religious, or magical power and the institutions and personnel that allow the holding's regent to wield this power. The defining domain-level measures of a holding are its type and level.
There are four areas of influence in each province represented by holdings. Economic power is represented by Guild holdings. Political power in a province is represented by Law holdings. Spiritual power is represented by Temple holdings. Finally, arcane power is represented by Source holdings.
Guild holdings represent control of a province's economic activity. Guild holdings can represent artisan guilds, merchants, underworld organizations, or any other establishment that seeks profit and power through the acquisition and sale of goods, services, and information. In the vast majority of cases, guilds are considered to be legal enterprises, but in many cases they also contain some less-than-legal elements. Guild holdings consist primarily of various guilds, especially of the primary economic activity of an area - artisan's guilds being the most common, as well as merchant companies. Guilds are integrated into most levels of a province society, and, as such, have excellent access to information. Guilds are also always in control of whatever trade comes through a province.
Law holdings represent direct control over military and secular political power or what passes for "the law" in a province. Law holdings represent bureaucrats, constables, taxmen, highway bandits, rebel organizations, a system of feudal lords, or any other establishments whose primary purpose is to enforce laws/whims, collect taxes/tribute, and execute justice or injustice in their regent's name. Control of a province's law holding impacts whether edicts and laws are followed, how vigorously laws and taxes are applied, the level of crime, and the general contentment of a province's citizens.
Temple holdings represent influence over the religious activities of a province's populous. Temple holdings represent an organized faith of worship and the itinerant clergy, shrines, churches, or cathedrals that preach to the masses. Temple regents can cast divine realm spells, but more importantly they are the trusted spiritual advisors to the people. Temples have an enormous impact on how the successes and failures of other regents are perceived by the common man.
Source holdings represent mastery and control of the continuously renewed mystic essence of the living land - its mebhaighl. A source regent does not wield temporal influence through the holding as do other regents, instead they tap their holdings to cast powerful arcane realm spells. Because of their mystical nature, it is far more difficult for most regents to undermine the power-base of a source regent than visa-versa. Therefore, although they have little direct political or economic power, source regents are respected, or even feared, by most other nearby regents. Source holdings and realm spells are described in Chapter Seven: Realm magic.
The principal measure of the extent of a holding's influence is its level. A holdings level indicates the fractional proportion of a province's relevant power-base (the province's level or source potential) over which the holding holds influence. For example, a guild (3) controls three-fifths of the potential economic activity in a province (5/1).
The maximum level for a holding is the province level (or source potential, for source holdings). This indicates that the entire relevant power base in the province is under the control of the holding's regent. Likewise, the sum of all holdings of the same type in the province cannot exceed the province's level (or source potential, for source holdings).
The minimum level for a holding is 0. A 0-level holding holds almost no power; instead a holding (0) represents a significant network of contacts that can form the basis for observation of the province and for the eventual establishment of a base of power.
: maximum number of regents
|Province Level||Maximum number of regents per holding type|
There is no effective limit to the number of 0-level holdings in a province. Dozens of regents can have active networks of contacts. However, opportunities for true influence (holding levels of 1+) in a province are limited. In a level 1 province, only one regent may wield influence over each type of holding. For every 3 province levels (or source potential levels), an additional regent may wield influence over each type of holding. Consider, for example, a province (5/1). There can be at most 8 individuals with any substantial power in the province: the province regent, two guild regents, two temple regents, two law regents, and one source regent.
If a province's ratings change in such a way as to make the current holding levels in the province illegal, then the holding levels must be immediately adjusted. The affected regent should be determined randomly in proportion to the number of holdings held.
Domain assets include any domain-level resources that are not represented by province and holding levels. Thus, potential domain assets vary depending on the nature of the domain.
Military units represent the armed forces at the regent's command. Generally, the regent can raise armies, draft a levy, or create a militia as he sees fit as long as he has sufficient law holdings and the permission of the province's regent. A regent cannot normally raise regular armies in provinces unless the province ruler permits him to, but he can hire mercenaries or use their treasury to support the military actions of an allied domain. Army units each represent a single company or muster. A basic unit is about 200 1st-level warriors. Naval units each represent a ship and her crew. In Anuire, a kingdom with a standing army of more than 3,000 men (15 units) or 15 warships would be considered a significant military power. During military campaigns, powerful kingdoms can often increase the size of their armies by as much as double, but most realms have difficulty maintaining such a force for more than one or two seasons. The domain-level costs and advantages to mustering military units are presented in Chapter Six: Armies and warfare.
Constructions with a specific purpose can be immensely useful to a domain; examples of such include highways, castles, palaces, shipyards, seaports, monuments or most other wood or stone structures with domain-level impact. Highways are vital to trade and military responsiveness. Highways are well-maintained (and usually paved) roads with frequent inns, stables, supply depots, and other facilities that expedite the movement of massive forces such as military personal and trade caravans. Bridges allow rapid movement of trade goods and military supplies over natural hazards that would otherwise delay their transport. Fortifications make a province or holding more difficult to attack. Systems of castles protect an entire province. Fortifying a holding simply makes one holding resistant to physical destruction. Fortified holdings might be defensible monasteries or cathedrals, secluded wizard towers, or hidden bandit strongholds. Like holdings, fortifications are rated by level to represent their defensibility. Constructions are manufactured using the Build domain action.
Bridge: Bridges are required to allow commercial and military travel over major waterways. Bridges can be made of wood (usually) or of stone. Wooden bridges have the advantage (and disadvantage) of being easy to destroy in times of war. Large rivers may require stone bridges. Bridges cannot be built over any river that is wide enough to provide sea access to naval vessels. Refer to Chapter Six: Armies and warfare, for more details on the uses (and cost) of bridges.
Ferry: Ferries allow travelers and troops to cross major rivers. Ferries
can make several trips a day, but it still might require an entire week to ferry
the supplies of an army across a major river.
Fortifications (Province): Province fortifications include a province-wide system of fortifications dominated by a massive seat of military power (usually a castle or walled city).
Fortification (Holding): Holding fortifications are small systems of fortifications that are constructed to protect the holdings of one regent. This might include fortified cathedrals, armed warehouses, walled forts or small castles, or any other reasonably limited defensive structure.
Highway: This construction includes both a network of paved or packed
dirt highways and a system of inns, caravansaries, and other structures that
support overland trade and travel. Most provinces of level 3+ have simple roads,
but a system of well-maintained highways is an optional expense. Highways are
necessary for overland trade routes and increase the speed of travel within
the province (as described in the Player's handbook). Refer to Chapter Six:
Armies and warfare, for more details on the uses (and cost) of highways.
Palace: A palace is a lavish residence for a regent and his court. For
each level a palace has, add 1 to the regent's effective court level, as long
as he spends at least as many GB maintaining his court; i.e. in order to gain
the full benefit of a level 4 palace, the regent has to spend at least 4 GB
on his court.
Seaport: Docks, wharfs, warehouses, and other structures necessary to
support sea trade. A province must have a seaport in order to conduct trade
Ship: Naval ships can be constructed, but only at a shipyard of appropriate
scale. See Chapter Six: Armies and warfare, for ship prices.
Shipyard: Facilities and specialized personnel necessary to construct
naval vessels. All shipyards have a level that represent their relative capabilities.
A shipyard's level cannot exceed the province level. A shipyard can only build
vessels with a total build cost of less than twice the shipyard level. Ships
are built, like other constructions, using the Build domain action.
Wondrous Structure: This is applied to a single building of any type.
Possession of a structure of this type is very prestigious, and grants a bonus
of 1 RP/level to the possessing domain's seasonal collection. Examples of this
type of structure include the greatest cathedrals, magnificent statues, colossal
lighthouses, pyramids, or other works of wonder.
|Asset Type||Build Cost||Maintenance/Season|
|Bridge (wood)||3 GB||1/4 GB|
|Bridge (stone)||6 GB||1/2 GB|
|Ferry||1 GB||1/12 GB|
|Fortification (Holding)||4 GB/Level||1/3 GB/Level|
|Fortification (Province)||8 GB/Level||2/3 GB/Level|
|Highway (by terrain type)|
|Plains, Steppe, Scrub||2 GB||1/6 GB|
|Desert, Forest, Hills||4 GB||1/2 GB|
|Swamp, Tundra||6 GB||1/3 GB|
|Glacier, Mountains||8 GB||2/3 GB|
|Palace||6 GB/Level||1/2 GB/Level|
|Seaport||6 GB||1/2 GB|
|Shipyard||4 GB/Level||1/3 GB/Level|
|Wonderous Structure||25 GB/Level||2 GB/Level|
Courts are centers of power; a setting where the regent can engage in the business of the realm. Like holdings, courts are rated by level. A court's level represents the number and quality of a regent's servants, courtiers, diplomats, agents, and spies. A court governs not just how well a regent lives, but also how well he maintains the central apparatus of government. A court is a domain asset with a level that measures its relative quality and its cost.
Regents must maintain a minimal court appropriate to the level of their holdings in order to effectively administrate them. A regent is expected to have a court whose value is equal to that of their largest non-source holding. A court smaller than expected is hard pressed to effectively administrate the realm. A court larger than expected is more able to aggressively pursue the regent's interests. Source holdings do not require Administrate and are ignored for the purpose of determining expected court level.
The environs of a court limit its maximum level. A court cannot normally exceed the level of the province in which the regent has his seat of power. A regent may, however, construct a palace near their seat of power. A palace allows a regent to exceed their normal court maximum by +1 per level of the palace. For example, a regent whose seat of power is a holding (4) and a palace (2) in a province (5) is expected to have a court (4) but can have up to a court (7).
Valuable courts take time to build up. Skilled courtiers cannot be hired overnight. Through the use of the Decree domain action a regent may increase their court level by +1 per season. Only one such decree can be made per domain turn. Likewise, a regent can decrease the size of their court by any amount. The new court level is permanent until changed through a future decree.
As the size of a regent's court grows, so does the prestige and reputation of their courtiers and lieutenants. Well-funded courts allow the domain to perform more actions than the regent would be able to perform alone. In addition, a well-known court provides benefits to the regent and the members of his court. Those who recognize a character as a courtier are likely to react to the courtier in a manner consistent with their attitude to the regent's domain. Refer to Domain attitudes, below, for details on the use of the court-based reputation modifier.
|0||Minimal court. The regent, and perhaps allies or a few hirelings paid from the regent's personal finances, administrate the domain when and where they can. The regent must personally oversee all domain actions.|
|1||Quaint court. The regent has a primary base of operations equivalent to a common inn and no more than a few servants. The regent has a local reputation within the province, but his courtiers are not well known. Common-folk expect to deal with regent directly and may be put off by having to deal with courtiers claiming to speak in the retainers' name. The court is capable of undertaking standard domain action without necessarily requiring the regent's personal involvement.|
|2-3||Average court. The regent's court is fully functional with a scattering of trusted retainers and a few specialized servants such as musicians, tutors, a huntsman, etc. The court is capable of hosting occasional affairs of state and small festivals. The regent's retainers and agents are well known and the common-folk of the regent's holdings begin to interact with the regent's courtiers rather than the regent himself for most day-to-day matters. An average court allows one Court Action per domain round.|
|4-5||Good court. The regent's court becomes an established network and begins its own bureaucracy. The court has good facilities, plentiful servants and retainers, and regular feasts or festivals. People consider the regent's court to be agents of an authority (legitimate or otherwise). The common-folk of the regent's holdings interact with the regent's courtiers for all but the most pressing of issues and the courtiers are well stationed to carry out the regent's orders unassisted. A good court allows two Court Actions per domain round. Members of the regent's court gain a +1 base reputation modifier.|
|6-7||Excellent court. The regent's court is large and capable. Courtiers exist for every major function in the realm, and many have entire staffs of lesser courtiers that report to them directly. The court is capable of hosting balls and major galas regularly. An excellent court allows three Court Actions per domain round. Members of the regent's court gain a +2 base reputation modifier.|
|8-9||Opulent court. The regent's court is a major center of power. Guests are waited on hand and foot. The regent's court handles all but the most critical matters and common-folk are rarely allowed the opportunity (or have the need) to speak with the regent directly. An excellent court allows four Court Actions per domain round. Members of the regent's court gain a +3 base reputation modifier.|
|10+||World-class court. The regent's court is a thing of wonder spoken of in far off lands. Every day brings new art, literature, sport, a festive event of some kind. The regent is expected to do almost nothing and is almost entirely inaccessible except to other powerful regents. A world-class court allows five Court Actions per domain round. Members of the regent's court gain a +4 base reputation modifier.|
Ley lines are conduits created by source regents to carry magical power from one province to another. Realm spells require enormous magical power, and a network of ley lines can allow a regent to bring magical power from a pristine area to low-magic area in order to cast powerful realm spells. Ley lines are detailed in Chapter Seven: Realm magic.
The court of a powerful regent may have many trusted courtiers, but most courtiers have strictly defined responsibilities and checks and balances to keep them from overstepping their prerogatives. A domain's regent may, however, name one or more of his courtiers as his lieutenant(s). A domain's lieutenants are authorized to speak with the voice of the regent, even to the extent of waging war against a foreign nation, spending significant portions of the realms treasury, dispensing justice, making binding agreements, and other activities that are generally considered the prerogative of the regent alone. Thus a lieutenant can perform most domain actions with the same advantages that a regent receives when personally attending to domain actions and events. Refer to Chapter Eight: Outside the lines for more details on Lieutenants.
Trade routes generate income for a guild domain through trading various commodities between different geographical areas. In order to accommodate trade, a route must exist for overland or overseas trade. Trade routes can only be forged between two provinces if the provinces provide different trade commodities. In game terms, the provinces must either be of different terrain types (plains and hills, mountain and swamp, etc.) or of different races or cultures (Anuirean and Rjurik, Vos and Khinasi, etc.) Furthermore, a province has a limited amount of goods available for export and a limited demand for imports.
A trade route must originate in a province in which a regent has a guild holding; it must terminate in a province in which the regent has a second guild holding or in which a guild holding exists with whom a trade agreement (along with a share of the profit) has been arranged, generally through a diplomacy action. The number of trade routes in which a single guild holding can be involved is limited by the holding's level. A level 0 holding cannot be involved in a trade route. A guild holding level 1-3 can support one trade route. A guild holding level 4-6 can hold two trade routes. A guild holding level 7+ can hold 3 trade routes.
Once created, the regent's of the guild holdings on either end holds the trade route equally. Either regent can destroy the trade route at will. Trade routes generate seasonal GB income for each guild equal to 1/2 of each guild's level. It is not unusual for other regents involved (the province ruler that maintains the roads, etc.) to receive a regular tribute (often 0.5 GB per trade route) from the guild regent's at either end of the trade route - but such matters are negotiable.
For example, an overland trade route is forged between a guild (4) and a guild (2). The owner of the guild (4) earns an additional 2 GB per domain turn. The owner of the guild (2) earns an additional 1 GB per domain turn. Trade routes do not generate regency points.
There are two basic types of trade routes: overland trade routes and sea trade routes. Both type of trade routes are considered equivalent for the purposes of determining the maximum number of trade routes per holding. For example, consider a sea trade route forged between a guild (6) in Illien (forest) and a guild (3) in Aerele (plains). The guild (3) is involved in one trade route (its maximum) and cannot be involved in any new trade routes. The guild (6) has one free trade route remaining (it has a maximum of two); this additional trade route can be either an overland trade route or a sea trade route.
Overland trade routes transport valuable commodities between two provinces by caravan, wagon, and cart. A well-maintained system of roadways must exist between the two provinces to allow overland trade. The initial province, the final province, and a path of adjacent provinces that connect them must all have highways (a construction domain asset). All major rivers between provinces must have bridges. If no highway exists between the two provinces at any time (due to a failure to maintain highways, a closing of borders due to war, etc.) then the trade route is destroyed.
Sea trade routes transport valuable commodities between two provinces by ocean-going vessel. Both provinces must be coastal provinces with a seaport (a construction domain asset). Furthermore, a number of naval vessels must be dedicated to servicing the trade route each domain turn. Naval vessels are discussed in Chapter Six: Armies and Warfare. If the cargo capacity of the vessels dedicated to shipping trade does not meet or exceed the trade route level, then the income generated by the trade route is reduced appropriately. Sea trade routes have the option of connecting to "parts unknown" instead of connecting to a specific coastal province. In this case, the sea trade route's level is one-half of the initial province's level. Only one trade route per province may connect to parts unknown.
The careful maintenance of a domain's finances is critical to a regent's success. Ruling a realm costs enormous amounts of money and reserves must be kept to see the domain through hard times. A realm's treasury is not easily portable; it consists principally of goods distributed in warehouses, farms, or other storage sites throughout the realm. As little as one-tenth of a realm's treasury exists as actual coinage or other hard assets. The security of a realm's supply of ready coin for payroll and other expenses is a matter of utmost importance. A regent would be very wise to keep a close eye on the state of his treasury - it's dangerous to start a war and then run out of money to pay the troops. The size of a realm's treasury is measured in gold bars (GB).
Each domain has an additional attribute that represents the contentment and loyalty of the general populace towards the domain. Domain attitude is measured on a province-by-province basis on the same scale as NPC attitudes: Helpful, Friendly, Indifferent, Unfriendly, or Hostile.
Helpful populaces respect and admire the regent; the actions of the regent's court are seen in the best possible light. A helpful populace is willing to give their time/effort in support of the regent, if required. Note that this does not necessarily imply that the populace likes their regent. Love, tradition, respect, or even fear may motivate a populace's helpful behavior. A regent receives a +1 bonus to all domain actions that he attempts in a province that has a Helpful attitude toward him.
Friendly populaces are well disposed towards the regent and his court. They will not necessarily risk their lives or livelihoods for the regent's sake, but they will tend to see the regent's actions in a favorable light. A friendly attitude is generally the default attitude in any realm with a long established and stable rule; there are no bonuses or penalties to domain actions.
Indifferent populaces have no strong feelings towards the regent. As many people care for the regent as dislike him; most do not care one way or the other. They expect the regent to do his duty by them, and likewise, they will do their duty to the regent. A regent receives a -1 penalty to all domain actions that involve an Indifferent populace.
Unfriendly populaces have elements that actively dislike the regent's rule. The populace, as a whole, is not willing to make any major sacrifices for the regent's sake (or for the realms sake, under the regent's questionable guidance). A ruler cannot draft militia levies in an unfriendly province; the peasants will not answer the regent's call to arms. A regent receives a -2 penalty to all domain actions in the area.
Hostile populaces despise or ridicule the regent and will actively seek to overthrow him, if the opportunity exists. The regent receives no seasonal regency or gold collection from areas that maintain a hostile attitude towards the regent. The regent cannot muster military units in hostile areas. The regent receives a -4 penalty to all domain actions in the area. Furthermore, there is a 10% chance each month that the populace will rise up against the regent in some way (as per the Unrest or Rebellion domain event, described later in this chapter).
effect of domain attitude
Attitude Adjustment to listed skills based on reputation modifier due to court level
Helpful x 2
Friendly x 1
Indifferent x 0
Unfriendly x -1
Hostile x -2
Generally speaking, the attitude of the general populace towards a domain can be considered fairly geographically uniform. The reputation of a hard-dealing merchant-prince, for example, will be consistent throughout his domain. In some instances, however, the attitude of segments of the population may differ. For example, a regent that is well-loved in his home province may be despised in provinces that he has recently conquered. The DM should feel free to create multiple domain attitudes for different geographic areas or demographic populations as the situation merits. Domain attitude by province is the recommended level of resolution for landed regents. Domain attitude by realm is the recommended level of resolution for non-landed regents (to ease book-keeping).
A regent's popularity among the people also has significant impact on character actions. When recognized, courtiers may receive a situational bonus or penalty to certain skills. These reputation-modified skills include Bluff, Diplomacy, Perform, Gather Information, and Intimidate skill checks. The bonus or penalty is based upon the domain attitude and the court level of the domain. The court's regent receives double this bonus/penalty. Table 5-5: Court levels provides a base reputation modifier based on the domain's court level. Table 5-6 adjusts the effects of this value on the basis of the domain's attitudes. For example, a courtier of an opulent court has a +3 base reputation modifier. The courtier would receive a +3 bonus to the reputation-modified skills in areas in which the attitude towards his domain is friendly. If the domains attitude were unfriendly, they would receive a -3 modifier to the listed skills, instead.
The most important feature of a domain is the head or ruling body that has the primary responsibility for the domain. The regent may hold absolute power or be a powerless figurehead; but they are always the person that appears to hold final authority in all domain decision in the minds of those with whom the domain interacts. At the domain level, the most important factors for a regent are their bloodline score, their ranks in rulership skills, and their current regency point reserve. Refer to the section on Regency collection for details.
Variant: Rule by council
A domain's regent is almost always a single individual. Leadership by a council of individuals has some advantages, but there is also significant overhead involved in arranging regular communication, reaching a consensus, political infighting, and avoiding conflicting orders in an immediate crisis. Rule by council is generally inferior to the unilateral rule of a single talented individual; on the other hand, rule by council avoids many of the dangers of having an untrustworthy or unfit regent.
The council as a whole acts as the domain's regent. The domain still receives only one standard domain action per domain round, but any member of the council may spend a character action to oversee this task as a full domain action. The overseeing member may use the council's regency or any personal regency to support this task; other members of the council cannot use their personal regency, but are free to pursue other character actions.
Councils are considered to have a bloodline equal to the council member's average bloodline score +1 for every "doubling" of the number of council members (+1 for 2 members, +2 for 4 members, +3 for 8 members, etc.) Thus a council for four scions of Bld 10, 14, 14, and 18 would give the council an effective bloodline of 16 (14 + 2 for four members).
If the character level-based RP reserve variant is in use, a Council's level is equal to the total EL of the group; thus a council of four 4th level characters is consider to be equivalent to 8th level for purposes of calculating RP reserves.
A domain ruled by council must use one court action each domain action round to provide the necessary overhead for council. Furthermore, a domain ruled by council is slower to act than a domain under the guidance of a single mind. A domain ruled by council receives a -1 penalty to its domain initiative for each council member.
The domain turn
Domains aren't static; from year to year, the fortunes of a kingdom or temple wax and wane with the tide of history. The great events and trends are reflected by domain actions. In running a Birthright campaign, one of the more important aspects is timekeeping. This is important in order to keep track of the actions of various regents and the PCs, and allow everything to happen in a logical order, relatively speaking. In order to properly facilitate this, the Birthright domain system encompasses specific time units to make things run smoothly.
A single domain turn lasts for one season of game time; four domain turns makes up one year. Domain turns are further divided into domain action rounds each of which lasts approximately one month of game time. A war move comes into play only in specific circumstances described in Chapter Six: Armies and warfare; each war move is considered equivalent to roughly one week. Thus there are three domain rounds in a domain turn and four war rounds in a domain round.
Each domain action round, the regents involved must determine the state of their nation, the resources they have available, and whether or not any unusual events have developed that require their attention. Once the domains have been updated, both PC and NPC regents will probably have a variety of actions they'll want to take with their domains. A regent directs his domain's growth by working to increase the ratings of provinces and holdings, engaging in diplomatic or mercantile ventures, waging war, raising fortresses, or otherwise dealing with the affairs of the domain. In addition to the actions that a regent may plan to take, events may force responses to the actions of other regents, monstrous incursions, or natural disasters.
Domain sequence of play
Each domain turn, the regents involved must determine the state of their domains, the resources that they have available, and whether any unusual events have occurred that require their attention. These book-keeping aspects are resolved every domain turn rather than every domain round in order to speed play. Once this simplified book-keeping is performed, then both PCs and NPCs can perform domain actions as the game calendar progresses.
Domain turn sequence
1. Domain attitudes are adjusted
2. Domain collections are gained
3. Domain expenses are paid
4. Play out domain action round 1
5. Play out domain action round 2
6. Play out domain action round 3
7. Proceed to the next domain turn and repeat
Adjusting domain attitude
In general, common-folk tend to be indifferent to their rulers. Common-folk are generally content as long as they feel safe from soldiers, brigands, monsters, and other dangers. If the common-folk are threatened, or if the taxes required to provide for their safety seem unreasonably high, they are likely to become disgruntled. A passionate and fiery orator or a noble hero may win the people's hearts, and inspire them to face great dangers in the face of a greater good. The attitude of the common-folk towards a regent can have a major impact on the success of their domain actions. At the beginning of each domain turn, the attitude of the common-man towards the regent's domain must be adjusted based on the events of the previous domain turn.
Domain attitude is adjusted each season by making a d20 check modified by the bonuses and penalties such as those listed below. Table 5-8: Adjusting domain attitude is then consulted to determine the area's new attitude.
Adjusting domain attitude
Bonus - Example
+5 - Regent successfully deals with a major event, such as an invading army
+2 - Regent has five or more ranks of Diplomacy
+2 - The regent holds all holdings of one type in the province
+1 - The regent holds more than 50% of all holdings of one type in the province
+1 - Regent successfully deals with a minor event, such as a matter of law or a rampaging monster
+1 - for each renowned/epic deed the regent has ever performed in the service of the domain
-10 - Military forces occupy the province (martial law)
-10 - 100% of the holdings of any type in the province are hostile to the active regent
-5 - 50% or more of the holdings of one type in the province are hostile to the active regent
-5 - Regent engages in a foreign war (without justification)
-5 - Regent does not successfully deal with a major event
-2 - Regent does not successfully deal with a minor event
-2 - Regent engages in a foreign war (with sound justification)
-1 - One or more other regents in the area are hostile to the active regent
-1 - per law holding held by a non-allied regent
-1 - if militia levies are mustered for any purpose except for the defense of the realm.
The power and profitability of a domain are represented by two important domain assets: the regency reserve of the domain's regent and the size of the domain's treasury. A regent's available regency is measured in regency points (RP). RP represent political or divine power which allows the regent to influence political affairs to their advantage. A domain's treasury is measured in gold bars (GB). A gold bar abstractly represents things of worth owed to the regent, be they in cash or commodity, in service or in kind. The default gold bar is roughly equivalent to 2,000 gp in coin value if quickly disposed of, but this value may differ regionally. The things of worth represented by a GB varies by the nature through which the revenue is generated - generally through taxes on commodities, but also in part direct seizure of such (the lord's share of corn, ground wheat, etc.), and extraction of certain feudal services (including military obligation or scutage). A GB of value often consists of a wide variety of things of value. The exact nature of these things is usually irrelevant, as GBs are only used to finance domain level actions and pay for domain actions. A regent who wishes to use GBs for another purpose must do so using the Finance domain action.
Domain regency collection
Domains provide a measure of political power, or regency, to their regent. For blooded characters, this political power stirs the semi-divine blood in their veins in the same way that worship provides power to deities. The amount of regency possessed by a regent is measured in regency points. Blooded scions derive significant advantages as regents due to their bloodlines; thus, it is fairly rare for an unblooded character to hold a domain in Cerilia. There are three primary sources of RP collected seasonally: provinces, holdings, and vassalage agreements.
Any character can hold (be a regent of) any province or holding. However, not all regents benefit equally from holding a domain. Unblooded characters cannot gain regency from any holding. Incompetent scions derive less respect from their subjects than their bloodline might allow. Perceived competence is an important factor in regency collection. A regent's ability to effectively manage each of the five major domain components is determined by their ranks in the key skills used in holding the domain component.
Provinces are held by diplomatic finesse and military prowess. A regent's regency collection rating for provinces is equal to the sum of their ranks in Diplomacy and Warcraft. Most classes have at least one of these skills as a class skill, and thus most characters have equal potential for being a good province regent. Barbarians, rangers, wizards, and sorcerers have neither skill as a class skill, and thus are often ineffective province regents.
Ruling a guild holding requires a wide number of skills. The character should know their craft (Craft or Profession), the worth of goods, services, and information (Appraise), be a canny trader (Diplomacy), stay well-informed of opportunities and dangers to their market (Gather information), and be capable of driving a hard bargain when necessary (Bluff, Intimidate, and Sense motive). A regent's collection rating for guild holdings is equal to one-fourth the sum of their ranks in Appraise, Bluff, Craft (any one), Diplomacy, Gather information, Intimidate, Profession (any one), and Sense motive. Most character classes can derive some benefit as a guild regent, but rogues, bards, and nobles excel at guildcraft.
The primary characteristic for success as the regent of a Law holding is the ability to select, train, and effectively lead the forces that enforce a realm's laws and collect taxes and tribute. Although it helps to have a good working knowledge of the Law, the regent of a law holding is rarely a judge or magistrate; these positions are filled by experts that report to the law regent. A regent's collection rating for law holdings is equal to the sum of their ranks in Lead and Warcraft. Fighters and paladins excel as law regents; barbarians, druids, magicians, sorcerers, and wizards make poor law regents.
Source regents must understand the workings of mebhaighl; both the natural forces that empower it and the arcane rituals necessary to tap into that natural flow. A regent's collection rating for source holdings is the sum of their ranks in Knowledge (Arcana) and Knowledge (Nature). Source holdings generate regency only for characters that are capable of casting greater arcane spells of 1st level or higher; characters incapable of learning arcane realm spells have a 0 collection rating for source holdings. Wizards make excellent source regents. Sorcerers, with their more intuitive understanding of magic, are often less apt source regents.
Temple regents must not only know the rituals and ceremonies of their religions, but must be effective leaders and orators. A regent's collection rating for temple holdings is the sum of her ranks in Knowledge (Religion) and Lead. Temple holdings generate regency only for characters that are capable of casting divine spells of 1st level or higher; characters incapable of learning divine realm spells have a 0 collection rating for source holdings. Clerics excel as temple regents.
key regent skills
Regency collection rating
|Province||ranks in Diplomacy + Warcraft|
|Guild||1/4 of the sum of ranks Appraise + Bluff + Craft (any) + Diplomacy + Gather information + Intimidate + Profession (any one) + Sense motive|
|Law||ranks in Lead +Warcraft|
ranks in Knowledge (Arcana) + Knowledge (Nature); must be able to cast greater arcane spells of level 1+
|Temple||ranks in Knowledge (Religion) + Lead;
must be able to cast divine spells of level 1+
Provinces and holdings generate potential regency equal to their level each season. The amount of regency that is actually collected by the regent is determined by the character's appropriate regency collection rating for the regency generating asset. For example, consider a first level fighter regent with 4 ranks of Lead and 4 ranks of Warcraft. The character's domain consists of three law holdings: a law holding (0), a law holding (4), and law holding (6). Using Table 5-5 we can see that the character's RP collection per season would be 6 RP [60% x (0+4+6)].
A scion can also gain regency from a vassalage agreement bound by a ceremony of investiture. During the casting of the investiture realm spell, the vassal regent pledges to supply a fixed seasonal amount of RP to their liege. The book-keeping for the RP collected by the liege lord is performed during collections.
There is a maximum to the amount of regency that a character can collect per domain turn. A scion can earn no more than twice their current bloodline ability score in domain regency collections per domain turn. There is also limit to the amount of regency that a character can store. Any RP gained above the character's maximum regency reserve is lost immediately. A character's maximum RP reserve is equal to five times their bloodline score.
|Regency collection rating||Regency collection|
Variant: Level-based RP collection/reserves
Under this variant, a character's level is added to their bloodline ability score before calculating maximum regency collection and maximum RP reserve. This variant allows non-blooded characters to compete more effectively against blooded regents and downplays (slightly) the importance of a divine bloodline in the collection of regency.
Unlike law, guild, and temple regents, source regents are not generally recognized as political powers. Source regents receive regency through their sources by tapping into the mebhaighl to increase their personal power. Although the nature of regency collection for source holdings is different, the mechanics for regency collection are identical.
Regents forge a link to their source through the casting of ritual arcane magic to forge a semi-permanent link between themselves and a manifestation of the land's mebhaighl. Only casters of greater arcane magic can forge this link. Rulers who wish to control access to magical forces within their realms often find wizards or sorcerers to be invaluable allies or vassals.
Mebhaighl is thought to be the divine essence of the land itself, and thus tapping into this power to increase one's regency total is akin to a very minor form of bloodtheft. Some Rjurik druids fear that unscrupulous mages might bleed the land of its life essence faster than it can be replenished, but no convincing proof of this position has every been forwarded. Perhaps this fear accounts for the distrust that most Rjurik have for true mages.
Domain income collection
Ruling a domain is expensive. Fortunately, a domain has a treasury whose income is generated from collected taxes, dues, tithes, and other profits from its subjects. Source holdings generate no base income per season. Trade routes generated a base income per season equal to their level. A guild or temple holding generates a base income per season equal to 2/3rds of its rating. These incomes represent the manufacture and sales of goods and services and the incomes generated by rented or farmed property, and (in the case of temple holdings), the tithes and offerings of the pious.
Base GB Collection
|Guild Holding||x 2/3 holding level|
|Law holding||x 1/3 holding level|
|Temple holding||x 2/3 holding level|
|Trade route||trade route level|
A province generates a base income per season equal to its rating. The income generated by provinces represents taxes collected from the citizens and business dealings of the realm; this includes a share of all milled grains (a millage), a portion of every merchant's income (hawking tax), taxes on trade goods (income/export taxes and bonding fees), tolls on public roads or wharfs, a death tax assessed on the estate of deceased landholders (heriot), military service from vassal nobility (more commonly, however, vassals instead pay scutage, or shield money, to instead allow their lord to hire soldiers to stand in their stead), labor owed by serfs (generally used to work the lord's fields), rent or crop shares of vassal farmers, property taxes on real estate owned by gentlefolk, and other such obligations. Typically, income taxes are due in the winter, rent fees in the spring, and crop shares in the summer and fall. A realm's system of taxation is arranged in such a way that the effective income for the province is nearly identical season to season; this allows for a constant stream of revenue to the regent while also reducing the amount that the regent's subjects pay in any given season. In return for this income, a regent's subjects expect their ruling lord to administrate justice and to protect them from external threat.
A law holding generates a base income per season equal to 1/3 its rating; law holdings are far less profitable than equivalent guild or temple holdings. A law holding represents the military might used to enforce the collection of taxes (if necessary), but the actual monies that pass through a law holding are destined for the province ruler (and might not, in fact, be collected by agents of the law at all).
Variant: Taxation modifiers
The base GB collection for a province is based upon the assumption that the regent collects taxes that are in keeping with the contemporary standard. A regent that holds a province may declare their taxation to be more severe (or more forgiving) than usual. Through the use of the Decree domain action a regent may increase (or decrease) their province taxation by +/- 1 GB/season. This new taxation modifier is permanent until changed though a future decree. Province taxation rates can only be increased (or decreased) in increments of +/- 1 GB, and only one such decree can be made per domain turn. The taxation modifier for a province cannot increase its income by more than 50%. Regents should take careful note - modifiers to a province's taxation have significant impact on domain attitude. If this variant is used, the taxation modifier should be used as a bonus or penalty to the seasonal loyalty check for the affected areas.
Example: The Countess of Medoere rules Alamier (4), Braeme (3), and Caerwil (2). Normally, her taxation modifier is +0 and she would receive 9 GB/season from her provinces (in addition to any income from her other holdings). Fearing a major war, she decides that she needs to increase her income to support additional army units and declare an increase in taxes through out the realm. All provinces now have a +1 taxation modifier; thus she will collect 12 GB/season in future collections. During the next domain turn, she can increase the taxation modifier further (to +2), decrease it (back to +0), or leave it unchanged (+1).
A law regent has the ability to take additional portions of the incomes generated by provinces, temples, or guild holdings through brigandage. Seizures represent emergency measures (such as aides for ransoms or war expenses), draconian or unfair enforcement of the law, corruption and bribery, or outright banditry on the part of the agents of the law holding. Seizures reduce the income of one or more target holdings and/or the province itself. Seizures generate a total of 1d6 GB for the law holding. The gains are taken from the coffers of the target regent(s) and are distributed proportionally to the income of the targeted assets. The law regent's gains are obviously limited to the maximum collections of the target holdings. Fortified holdings are immune to seizures.
Seizures may have disastrous effects upon the law holding regent's reputation and upon his relationships to the aggrieved targets as well as other who may (rightfully) fear similar abuses in the future. For this reason, among others, the law holdings of most realms are usually held by the province regent or by a trusted vassal of the ruler.
The strength of a realm is measured not only by the power of its rulers and armies, but also by its economic health. Many regents have ruined their lands through careless fiscal policies. Each domain turn, a regent must cover the expenses of his government. The most common seasonal expenses are military payroll, domain maintenance costs, court costs, vassalage agreements and tribute. These expenses are paid from the domain's treasury.
The only normal source of regular domain regency expense is through a vassalage agreement bound by a ceremony of investiture. The nature of the investiture realm spell causes this transfer of regency to occur automatically. If a character is unable to meet their RP expenses then their bloodline score is automatically reduced in order to free up the necessary RP. Note that this expense occurs immediately after collection, so a reduction in bloodline due to a vassalage agreement is unlikely. Being a vassal has a real cost, because this timing makes it impossible to "give away" regency points that you wouldn't be able to collect yourself. Likewise it has a real advantage to your liege lord, as long as their current RP reserve is not at maximum. A standard vassalage agreement generally requires the vassal to provide 1 RP per province or holding held; but such agreements can vary significantly.
Domain asset maintenance costs
The administrative costs of province, holdings, trade routes, and other income generating domain assets are already factored into their collected net income. The cost of non-income generating assets, however, must be paid explicitly. These constructions may generate some revenue, but their regular revenue is insufficient to cover the expenses associated with payroll and/or routine maintenance. Most domain constructions have a maintenance cost equal to one-twelfth of their build cost.
All military units have a seasonal maintenance cost. Active army units have a seasonal maintenance cost of 1/2 their muster value. Army units garrisoned in their home province have a seasonal maintenance cost of 1/4 their muster value. Active naval vessels have a maintenance cost of 1/12 their build cost. Naval vessels that spend the entire domain turn docked in a friendly port have a maintenance cost of 1/24 of their build cost. See Chapter Six: Armies and warfare, for details.
A regent must maintain the domain court and pay for retainers, regular gifts, and diplomatic affairs of state. The seasonal maintenance cost for a court is 1 GB per level. If this expense is not paid the regent loses 5 RP for every GB of expense of short fall and the court automatically decreases in value by one level as if the regent had Decreed its downsizing. Furthermore, the regent cannot increase the size of her court for a full year, as her ability to maintain her courtiers appropriately must be reestablished with time. The regent's court costs provide a reasonable wage and standard of living, but do not cover highly prized specialists (such as most PCs). Most such characters serve the court out of duty, pride, personal power, or because they want to. Some lieutenants and specialists may require additional payment. Such payments constitute an additional expense to the regent's treasury.
Domain action rounds
A domain turn lasts for three domain action rounds, each of which corresponds roughly with one month of game time. Each domain round, a regent may make one or more domain actions. The DM should feel free to make month-to-month or day-to-day adjustment if the scale of their campaign demands such accuracy. Domain turns are used principally to simplify domain-level accounting; assets are collected, maintenance costs levied, and domain attitudes adjusted only once each season. Domain rounds are where the action takes place.
Domain round sequence
1. Events and news
2. Domain actions are resolved
3. War moves and battles
Playing a domain round
Most players enjoy role-playing adventures, not public administration. Domain actions are intended to serve as a backdrop for adventures in Cerilia. Domain rules provide a measure by which the impact of a character's actions on the world at large can be easily measured and provide a motivation for a wide variety of non-traditional adventures. Domain rules are a tool for creating exciting adventures and challenges for the PCs but are not designed to become the focus of the game.
Domain action rounds should be conducted as the players and the DM see fit. It is often easiest to play the domain action at a lull in adventuring action near the beginning of each new month of the game calendar. Domain actions are intended to be abstractions and thus the process of resolving most domain actions takes place outside of adventuring time. Once the regent specifies his goals, his courtiers are capable of taking care of most details. If a player wishes for his regent character to take a personal hand in all matters then he may, but this is not required. Playing a domain round generally does not force the PC to drop what he is doing and return to his capital cities. Regents have organized and able assistance to handle day-to-day matters; often a simple message or two is all that is necessary to perform a domain action. Even during periods of extended travel or imprisonment, a regent's lieutenant is usually aware of his regent's goals and the PC should be allowed to choose an action for his domain normally.
If a domain action leads into an adventure, it is often easiest to finish everyone's action for the domain action round before beginning the adventure. Some DMs prefer to "freeze" the domain turn until the adventure reaches its conclusion; this technique requires slightly more overhead on the part of the DM and players.
The center of action
The PCs should always be the center of action. There is very little benefit in playing out the actions of every regent in Cerilia simultaneously. Domain turns should only be run for domains in which the PCs have an active interest. The DM should only run NPC regents whose domains intersect with the interests of the PCs, news of the actions elsewhere in the world can be abstracted as in a non-Birthright campaign.
The actions of some regents, on the other hand, are of great interest to the players. Some NPC regents will be allies, enemies, and rivals for the player characters at the domain level. As a general rule of thumb, the DM should select about as many NPC regents to act as there are PC regents. These regents may change from domain round to domain round; when they are not selected to act they can be assumed to be engaged in routine administration, personal business, or in dealing with other matters which prevents them from taking actions to aid or oppose the PCs. During these actions, the NPCs can often be assumed to spend the "average" RP and GB that they spend on domain rounds in which they are active to the PCs view. Alternately, if the NPC regent will be inactive for an entire domain turn, the DM can simply forgo all collections and expenses for the turn and assume that the NPC domain remains static.
Events and news
Prior to declaring their domain actions, regent characters receive reports for their court, travelers, merchants, spies and other sources regarding visible events of important in their region. An ideal BIRTHRIGHT campaign includes allies, opponents, and challenges for the player characters at the domain level as well as the adventure level. The relaying of important events and news is one of the most powerful tools that a DM has for relaying the scope of the character's activities and for involving characters in realm or nationwide events.
In addition to news of events in their area, regents need to know the results of some NPC domain actions. Any regent with a holding is aware of the identity of all other regents that have holdings (except source holdings) or other assets in provinces that they share. Furthermore, regents are aware of the exact holding level of other holdings of the same type as theirs. Province regents have full knowledge of all regents and holding levels throughout their domain, except for source regents.
Unlike other holdings, source regents gain regency though ritual magics which channel collected mebhaighl to bolster their divine bloodline. Thus, the identity of source regents in a province is often a mystery, even to each other. An Espionage domain action may be necessary to discern the identity of a source regent who wishes to remain anonymous.
Every domain (both PC and NPC) is subject to periodic events. The frequency and nature of such events can have a significant impact on the flavor of a BIRTHRIGHT campaign. Secondary plotlines can be developed, and adventure hooks planted. Events can be generated randomly using the provided table, but need not be. Often, the best adventures are those that the DM motivates through the use of cleverly staged "random" events. Players should not usually be aware of whether or not an event is a randomly generated; they should give equal consideration to every event (the same situation faced by real rulers).
Events should be used with care. Provocative events (such as an assassination attempt) can quickly change character priorities and derail your adventure plans for the evening. Insert events to spark an adventure or set the stage for a plot line, but be careful about introducing events that will distract your players from the story. Generating events well in advance of the game calendar can give the DM time to plant "hints" that may allow players to better foresee and react to the impending event.
Random monthly events
|18-20||Matter of Justice|
|21-24||Monsters or Brigands|
|28-29||Unrest or Rebellion|
Assassination: An attempt is made on the regent's life (this is most exciting if the actual attack is played as a one-scene adventure). Assassins may be agents of a foreign power, dissatisfied subjects, fanatics, lunatics, or even the regent's heir. Conspiracies almost always underlie assassination attempts, so the DM must prepare the details of the assassin and his motives before the attempt is made. A successful response to the assassination would be to determine the perpetrator and arrangements of the attempt.
Challenge: The regent receives a personal challenge from an NPC. The challenge may be a ritual invitation to a duel of honor, a provocative military action, or a stinging insult. The DM decides what the NPC seeks and why it wishes to challenge the character. This could range from disagreement over one of the regent's decisions, to a military attempt to conquer the regent's domain, or to an awnshegh looking for the regent's bloodline. A response to such a duel should create an adventure action or perhaps actions leading to war.
Corruption/Crime: The regent's followers are caught in dishonest dealings. The corruption could be as small as the acceptance of a bribe or perhaps as large as an attempt to sell off holding property for personal gain. Corruption directly affects a regent's treasury. The gold production of the affected holding is reduced by 2 GB/domain turn until the regent responds successfully.
Diplomatic Matter: An ambassador from another domain wishes to discuss an alliance, trade issue, or other matter of mutual concern. The DM decides who wishes to talk to the regent and the importance of the issue to that character. Diplomacy might involve threats and brow-beating, or it may be a delicate affair of understatement and suggestion. If a regent wishes to conduct the negotiations personally, he must spend his action do so; in either event, a court action is required to receive the diplomatic party appropriately.
Festival: The regent is required to host a celebration or ceremony - it may be a wedding between two important families, a religious ritual, or a the public observance of some important event. Preparations and attendance for such an event requires the regent's personal attention (and his action). The regent must spend 1d6 GBs for gifts and arrangements. If the regent chooses not to host the festival or refuses to spend the necessary funds then he may offend someone important. If a temple regent neglects a festival, he suffers a major loss of regency.
Feud: Two important powers within the regent's domain become embroiled in a feud. One of the regent's holdings is temporarily reduced by one level as a result of the conflict. The level is restored by a successful event response. A regent who ignores the event suffers a minor loss of regency.
Natural Event: Roll percentile dice. A roll of 01-17 indicates a boon, 18-66 a small natural nuisance, 67-98 a major natural disaster, and 99-100 indicates a natural catastrophe. A boon includes such possibilities as fair weather, a decline in natural pests, or a bumper crop (add 1d6 GB to the regent's treasury). A nuisance such as a blizzard, minor landslide, or minor flooding that restricts travel, reduces the collections of one of the regent's holdings by 1 GB, delays asset construction, or temporarily interrupts a trade route. Minor problems correct themselves automatically. Major disasters such as reduced crops, a major flood or fire, or a major earthquake require regent action. Major disasters reduce taxes and collections for all holdings in one province by 1d6 GB for one month. A regent must spend a standard action and 1d3 GBs to bring relief effort to correct this loss or face a major loss of regency. A natural catastrophe reduces the taxation and collections of all holdings in 1d3 provinces for 1d6 months. Each standard action and 1d3 GB of relief decreases the recovery time in one province by one month. Any regent in affected provinces that does not aid in the relief faces a major loss of regency. A province ruler that ignores a natural catastrophe will quickly find his domain in rebellion.
Great Captain/Heresy: The inhabitants of a domain are swayed into placing their trust in someone other than the regent. This event usually indicates the appearance of a charismatic hero with dangerous views. The rise of a great captain neutralizes one holding of a regent's domain, which becomes loyal to the captain instead of the regent. Rulers of realms lose one law holding if they have one, or an entire province if they don't! The ruler of the domain collects taxes normally, but collects no RP from the affected holding/province.
Each domain turn, the great captain claims another holding or province from the regent's domain unless solved. The regent can use a domain action to contest the captain's influence. The regent can use a character action to attempt to convert the captain into a lieutenant thereby restoring the caption's followers to the regent's fold. The regent can also treat the disloyal holdings and provinces as if they were rebelling and try to quell the unrest with military action. Arresting or assassinating the captain automatically sends the affected holding and provinces into rebellion.
Intrigue: The regent's court or bureaucracy becomes involved in an intrigue. A person who wants to discredit, displace, or blackmail another person initiates intrigues. Intrigues can be ignored, but when a valued lieutenant is suddenly exposed as a criminal or deviant, a regent might have no choice but to terminate his services.
Worse yet, intrigues may be aimed at gaining control of the government. A regent who fails to respond to such a plot suffers a loss of regency during the adjustment phase of each domain turn and must reduce the base loyalty of all his provinces by one grade.
Magical Event: Some bizarre event takes place. A conjunction with the Shadow World could create a plague of restless undead; a rival wizard could move into a regent's domain and contest the resident wizard's control of the source. This event is a catch-all for any kind of weird occurrence that doesn't fall into the other categories. A horrible blight that destroys farmland could appear or a series of portents and omens might terrify the populace or lead to an adventure action. Regardless of the event, it should require the regent to investigate it personally.
Matter of Justice: An issue of justice or legality arises with serious implications for the regent. The population may demand justice of the action of a noble, a craftsman may be infringing on the rights of another craft guild, or a priest may be walking the fine line between heresy and brilliance. Important decisions must be made that require the regent's personal attention. If the regent fails to respond he risks unrest throughout his domain. The loyalty of every province will drop by one level every domain turn until the issue is resolved.
Dealing with matters of justice is a significant part of a regent's duty and the consequences of the regent's actions are significant. If the regent uses a character action to address the situation and devise a mutually acceptable solution or compromise then the regent receives a minor gain of regency. If the regent responds by acceding to popular demand, he suffers a major loss of regency. If he makes a decision in favor of the throne, the attitude of his domain is reduced by one. This can happen even if the decision is the "right" decision. Being a just and fair ruler does not mean that one is necessarily well loved.
Monsters/Brigands: Raiders, bandits, or hungry beasts move into the regent's territory and make life u unpleasant. A single monster such as a giant or griffon is generally only a nuisance, but if the regent ignores it, he'll suffer a minor loss of regency at the end of the domain round. A truly noble regent doesn't allow a village to be eaten because he can't be troubled to defend it.
Large-scale raiding reduces the income of the affected province/holding by 1d6 GB and causes a major loss of regency. The losses take effect each domain turn until the regent successfully responds.
No event: Fortunately, most months do not bring a major new problem or event. Unfortunately, a regent's on-going problems; such as pre-existing events or conflicts with other regents, may still cause difficulty.
Trade matter: Roll 1d6: a roll of 1-5 indicates a problem, but a 6 grants an unexpected boon or surplus that nets the regent 1d3 extra Gold Bars during the taxation phase. Trade problems include labor disputes, increases in tariffs or duties, or the closure of trade routes due to war or piracy. A single trade route in the regent's territory closes down and he loses 1d6 GB from one province or holding's production. In addition, the affected guilds' regents suffer a major loss of regency at the end of every domain turn until they successfully respond to an event.
Unrest or Rebellion: This affects only realm rulers. The populace's attitude towards the regent drops in one or more geographic areas (or demographic populations). Usually this will be the areas with the current lowest loyalty rating. If the province is already Hostile, then the area falls into rebellion; peasant militias may form and occupy the province, possibly destroying holdings or attacking military units and fortifications belonging the to regent. Decrees have no effect on unrest; the regent must expend a standard action such as diplomacy, war (and then occupy the province), or espionage to address the situation. Alternately, the DM may allow an adventure to address the situation.
Many events present a risk for loss of money, regency, or loyalty/attitude until they are resolved. An event resolution check must be made for all current domain events at the end of each month. An event resolution check is a d20 check modified on the basis on the regent's response to the event.
Event resolution check
Event resolution level of success
|21+||Resounding success: The situation is dealt with thoroughly and at negligible cost. Any event-related GB loses for the domain round are halved. The regent receives a gain in regency appropriate to the scale of the problem and their role it its solution.|
|20-16||Good: The situation is handled completely and at modest cost.|
|15-11||Fair: The situation is handled in part. The event is not resolved, but the expects costs of the event are halved during subsequent months. A second event resolution check of Fair or better in the future will resolve the problem completely.|
|10-6||Poor: The situation continues unabated.|
|Less than 6||Disaster: The situation worsens; the regency or gold losses caused by the event increase by 50% until resolved.|
Regent domain action: The character expends the standard action for the domain and their own personal action to address the situation personally. At the DM's discretion, this can result in a role-playing encounter or adventure. Events such as intrigue, monsters, diplomatic matters, and assassination lend them selves particularly well to this approach. This approach has the highest chance for the regent to gain regency or loyalty. The DM must assess the regent's plan of action and assign a bonus to the event resolution check based on the regent's skills and actions. Excellent: +10, Good: +5, Average: +2, Poor: +0, Disastrous: -2.
Standard domain action: The regent decides how the matter should be handled and makes the matter her court's highest priority for the domain round. Sending the court bard to a diplomatic situation, the Royal huntmaster to handle a rumored monster, the court mage to investigate magical occurrences are excellent management strategies. This approach uses the resources of the court and may require character actions from lieutenants. The court may use its base reputation modifier as a bonus to the event resolution check.
Court domain action: The regent decides how the matter should be handled, and then relies on some else to handle it. For example, she might order a nearby garrison to increase patrols, or hire adventurers to negotiate with or kill the monsters. Solving problems by passing them off to someone else is better than ignoring them, but are unlikely to cause a gain of regency. The event resolution check has no modifier.
No action: There is always a chance that a problem will go away even if ignored. Perhaps wandering adventurers will slay a monster plaguing the province or a problem at home will force the recall of a diplomatic embassy. This is obviously not the preferred way to deal with most issues and does not gain the regent loyalty or regency. The event resolution check is made at a -5 penalty.
In addition, some skills may modify the results of an event resolution. A skill check against a DC 15 by the regent or lieutenant overseeing the matter increases the event resolutions success by one rating (Disaster to Poor, Poor to Fair, and so on). Administrate affects a Matter of Justice, Gather Information affects an Intrigue, Diplomacy affects a Diplomatic Matter, Lead affects a Great Captain/Heresy, and Knowledge (Arcana) affects a
Gains of regency due to domain actions
Unusually competent and skilled regents can restore faded bloodlines to prominence. At the end of each domain round, scions may gain regency based upon their actions. Regency gains due to a regent's actions do not count against his monthly regency collection limit, but this income does not allow the scion to exceed his normal maximum regency reserve; RP gained above this maximum are lost. Unless otherwise specified, gains in regency come in three categories: Minor, Major, and Great.
Minor gains are caused by resounding successes in dealing with minor events, success in a minor battle, or heroic actions taken in service to the domain. A minor gain results in a gain of RP equal to the regent's bloodline ability score.
Major gains are caused by heroic actions of significant important, success in a major battle, or a resounding success in dealing with a major event. A major gain results in a gain of RP equal to double the regent's bloodline ability score.
Great gains are caused only by heroic actions for which the regent will be remembered in story and song for hundreds of years. Such gains are exceedingly rare; most regents never realize a Great gain of regency. A great gain increases the regents bloodline ability score by one point.
Losses of regency due to domain actions
A scion's success in dealing with domain events or other efforts in service to the domain may cause the respect in which they are held by the populace to soar; the scion may realize a gain in regency. Adjusting RP is a way to account for the events that occur in and around domains, to reward just rule, and to penalize poor rule. A regent that leaves the governance of his domain to others will see his bloodline crumble, and will likely eventually be forced to abdicate - or worse. A regent's regency collection depends upon his ability to govern well; the failures of incompetent individuals can bring down powerful families and dynasties.
At the end of each domain round, scions may lose regency based upon their actions. If the regent does not have sufficient RP in his reserve to cover the regency lost, then his bloodline is automatically reduced to provide the necessary regency. Each point of bloodline loss produces RP equal to twice the regent's ability score (refer to Increasing/decreasing bloodline score in Chapter Two for details). This process continues, if necessary, until the entire RP loss is paid. Unless otherwise specified, losses in regency come in three categories: Minor, Major, and Great.
Minor losses are caused by failure to respond to minor events, the loss of a portion of one's domain, occupation of one of your provinces by an enemy, being defeated in a minor battle, misuse of the domain treasury, being publicly humiliated by a peer, or acting in a manner inconsistent with your alignment. A minor loss results in the loss of RP equal to 1d4 times the regent's bloodline ability score.
Major losses are the result of failure to respond to major events, serious alignment infractions, loss of a province (or a significant group of holdings), occupation of one of your provinces by your own forces (martial law), or a major defeat in battle. A major loss results in the loss of RP equal to 2d4 times the regent's bloodline ability score.
Great losses are caused by the occupation or destruction of a significant portion of your domain or a military catastrophe. Great losses are generally the result of only by negligence, gross incompetence, or significant failure. A great loss of RP results in a loss of RP equal to 4d4 times the regent's bloodline ability score.
As with combat, action at the domain level is broken up into rounds. Every domain round, each regent gets to do something. Domain actions are used to represent the actions that a domain can perform. A domain action round represents one month in the game world. Each domain round, a regent can perform either a Full domain action or a Standard domain action and a Character action. Additionally, a domain regent may be able to perform one or more Court actions before, after, or between performing his other actions. The fundamental actions of ruling and diplomacy are treated using the basic action types below:
Not a domain action: Most normal activities are not considered domain actions. Events that don't utilize significant time or other resources of the domain or its court do not fall under the domain level rules system. Most character actions are not domain actions. Note, however, that a character's non-domain actions may make it impossible for her to be personally involved in domain actions if her actions take her far from the center of power.
Character action: Regents, like other characters, have personal tasks that they may wish to accomplish. This could include attending a festival, doing research, adventuring, crafting items, or any other normal non-domain activity. Character actions involve only the character or a small group of characters, not the actions of an entire court. The main difference between a character action and a standard domain action is the scale of resources invested and involved; a character action generally involves strictly personal resources.
Court domain action: The regent initiates a Court action but members of the regent's court handle the details of the matter almost entirely. Court domain actions are similar to Free actions in combat, although they may be important, they require very little time or other resources and do not require the focus of the regent or the entire court. The level of the domain's court determines the number of Court domain actions that a domain can take per domain round. A domain with a very small court may not be eligible to take any Court actions and must therefore rely on standard domain actions to accomplish even the smallest of domain-level tasks.
Standard domain action: Each domain normally is allowed one standard domain action per domain round. A regent's standard domain action represents the primary focus or goal of the regent's court and agents for the domain round. The regent need not be physically present for his domain to take a standard action; only routine communication is required. If the regent is unable to communicate to his realm, the character's player should still be allowed to select a reasonable domain action for the domain that represents the court's attempts to maintain the realm in the regent's absence. A regent's court can be reasonably expected to perform the same actions as the regent would; a regent's courtiers make it their buisness to have a fair idea of the regent's opinions on important matters. A regent can spend regency to support his domain's standard domain actions, regardless of his personal involvement.
Full domain action: Some standard domain actions are so important that the regent chooses to (or must) personally oversee the action. A full domain action consists of both the standard domain action that is the focus of the regent's mechanism of governance and the regent's character action. A regent can spend regency to support full domain actions. A regent that personally oversees the affairs of his realm is eligible to gain bonuses to domain action checks due to skill synergies.
The scope of a domain action
Generally, domain actions affect one domain asset, province, or holding and take effect in the period of one domain turn. Some domain actions have a wider scope (although often with higher cost).
Realm action: Some domain actions can be applied to a number of targets at once; actions with the potential of increased scope will discuss this fact in their descriptions. For each court action used to support the domain action, one additional target may be selected. A realm action can be targeted at any or all provinces in a single realm (all of the targeted provinces must be owned by the same regent), or at any or all holdings in a single province (regardless of regent).
For example, a priest regent may order all of her temple holdings throughout a kingdom to Agitate against an evil ruler. If the regent wished to use an action to affect three provinces simultaneously, it would require two court actions and have triple the standard cost.
A regent attempting to affect multiple provinces with the same action must meet the costs for all provinces. The regent is limited by normal restrictions on the use of the action; for example, she cannot target a province in which she does not maintain holdings of the appropriate type. The domain action requires a domain action resolution check for each target, and RP spent to modify the roll must be spent separately for each check.
Extended domain action: Some actions require more than a single action round to complete. Extended actions may require the domain to expend a court, standard, or even a full domain action every domain action round until the action is complete. The Build domain action, for example, often requires the expenditure of time and resources over a prolonged period of time.
Behind the scenes: Domain action types
Domain actions are roughly parallel to combat actions. Court actions are roughly equivalent to Free actions; although they can be important, they don't really take up any significant time. Like Free actions, Court actions can be taken before or after other actions during the character's initiative. A Character action is roughly equivalent to a move-equivalent action. Character actions take significant time, but don't constitute an "attack" at the domain level - they receive no domain action check. Standard domain actions are equivalent to Standard actions in combat. The standard action is the "important" part of each round, and there can be only one such focus per round. Like a standard action, a standard domain action leaves some "extra" time in which a Character action (like a move-equivalent action) can be made. A Full domain action is roughly equivalent to a Full round action in combat; the only other actions that the character can perform are Court (Free) actions.
Order of play
Like actions in combat, domains actions are conducted one event at a time, in initiative order. Regents may delay and ready domain actions in the same way that combat actions are delayed and ready.
Domain initiative: Before actions are played out each domain round, each regent must make a domain initiative check (1d20 + Bloodline modifier). Character's with no Bloodline, or a Bloodline modifier of less than +0 roll a straight d20 (without modifiers). The regent with the highest score goes first. The character with the next highest initiative gets to go next, and so on through the initiative order.
Delaying: By choosing to delay, you take no action and then act normally at whatever initiative point you decide to act. Delaying is useful if you wish to see what your allies and enemies are up to before acting. When the initiative count reaches -10 minus a scion's Bloodline modifier, you must act or lose your action for the domain round. For example, a regent with a Bloodline score of 12 cannot delay her initiative below -12. If multiple regents are delaying, only the one with the highest Bloodline gets to go last.
Readying: Readying a domain action allows you to take a standard court action later, in response to a specific event. Only standard Court actions can be readied. To do so, specify the action you will take and the conditions under which you will do so. Then anytime during the round, you may take the readied action in response to those conditions, potentially interrupting the plans of another regent. Readying only affects your standard domain action, you may take your character actions and/or allow Court actions before declaring your readied action and conditions.
In order to take an action, you must pay the cost for doing so - in many cases, a minimum of 1 GB to start the action off. For certain actions, you must also possess a certain type of holding or asset. If you do not fulfill these requirements, you may not perform the action.
Domain actions, like many combat actions, are not automatically successful. Many require a domain action check. A domain action check is the roll of 1d20 plus any modifiers. The base Difficulty Class of a domain check is dependent on the specific action attempted. The following modifiers commonly apply to success rolls for domain actions:
Holding modifiers: +1 per level of allied holdings of the selected type in province, -1 per level of opposed holdings of the selected type. The regent or members of his court carry out the administration of a domain action, but for most domain actions, the details of the action are handled by the employees and personnel of a holding under the regent's control. When you take a domain action in a province, you must use one of your holdings in the province to execute the action. You gain a bonus to the action check equal to the level of this active holding.
In addition, other holdings of the same type as your active holding can support or oppose your action. Using holdings to oppose or support another regent's actions is not a domain action. Allied holdings of the same type provide a bonus equal to their level. Opposed holdings of the same type provide a penalty equal to their level. Holdings of different types cannot add or subtract their level to your check. Any applicable regent may order such support or opposition once he is aware of the action. Support from holding level is highly visible, all regents (and residents) of the area will be aware of the regent's support, opposition, or apathy regarding the action.
Skill modifier: (Full domain actions only) +1 for every 5 ranks that the regent has in the relevant skill. Each domain action is dependent on a specific skill listed in its description. If the regent sacrifices his character action to take a personal hand in the implementation of the domain action, then the domain action receives a bonus proportionate to the regent's skill.
Loyalty modifier: +1 for Helpful, -2 for Unfriendly, -4 for Hostile. The attitude of a province's population toward the active regent has a significant impact on any actions that he takes in the province.
Regency Points: +1 per RP spent to support, -1 per RP spent to oppose. Regents may spend RP to support or oppose most domain action checks. The province regent and any regent that has any holding of any level in the province in which the domain action is taking place may spend RP to support or oppose the action. There is no limit (save availability) to how many RP may be spent to support or oppose an action.
Spending RP to support or oppose an action is done in reverse domain initiative order. Each eligible regent may spend RP to support or oppose the domain action check. Each regent must be offered the opportunity to spend regency each round. Bidding continues round by round, until a round passes in which no regent bids additional RP, a which point the domain action check can be made.
Although it is obvious when a holding level opposes or supports an action, the spending of RP is not necessarily so. RP can be spent "anonymously" at the regent's desire. The player is always aware of the RP being spent against them (and can use this information during bidding), but the character may not be aware of the mastermind behind the forces opposing his action.
Variant: Different degrees of success
You may wish domain actions to have differing levels of success; in this case, consider a success roll that succeeds by a margin of 10 or more a good success, which increases the efficiency at which the action is performed by 25%, and a success by a margin of 20 or more to be of extraordinary level, increasing the efficiency of said action by 50%. If the efficiency of the action isn't possible to increase, the regent instead gains a 1 RP bonus for a good success, and a 3 RP bonus for an extraordinary success.
Domain actions with source holdings
Source holdings are substantially different that other types of holdings. Only practitioners of true magic can create or rule source holdings. Other characters cannot control sources directly; although they control them indirectly through the services of a vassal mage.
Unlike other holdings and domain assets, source holdings and ley lines have no maintenances cost. However, control of source holdings provide no income and little in the way of direct political impact. Control of other types of holdings allows the regent to utilize the holding to perform domain actions in the province in which the holding lies. Source holdings do not provide such benefits. Source holding levels cannot usually be applied to aid in a domain action. Furthermore, the regent of a source holding gains no special insight into the political powers of the province and may be largely unaware of the other regents in the province. On the other hand, it is equally difficult for non-source regents to view the level or current regent of source holdings in their provinces.
Powerful sources can provide the regent mage with considerable influence of the wildlife and natural resources of the province. Source holdings of level 4 or higher count as virtual guilds for the mage. As a source holding increases, so too does the influence of the mage over the wildlife and simple-folk of the region. A source holding of level 4 acts as a virtual guild (0), a source holding of level 5 acts as a virtual guild (1), and so on. This virtual guild is not an actual holding, it does not count against the total level of guild holding in the province nor it can not be contested, ruled, or invested as a separate entity - its fate is entirely tied to that of the source holding. Otherwise, the virtual guild provides most of the benefits of an actual guild: the regent mage collects gold (but not regency) each domain turn, the mage can use the guild level in domain actions to affect public opinion (Agitate), rally soldiers to their cause (Muster troops), collect information through agents (Espionage), or collect income from trade (Create trade route) in exactly the same way as an actual guild of the appropriate level.
Domain action descriptions
Regents don't spend all of their time ruling their domain. There are monsters to be fought, intrigues to be solved, castles to be stormed; in short, regents participate in the same activities as normal characters. A regent's domain doesn't grind to a halt while he's occupied with personal business, but it does lose the benefit of having the regent personally attend to matters. Non-regents always take character actions each domain turn. Their potential character actions are limitless. Character actions do not have any direct regency or gold bar cost, although incidental costs may exist (traveling costs for food and lodging, for instance). Some common examples are listed below:
You take part in an adventure. There are monsters to be fought, intrigues to be solved, and treasures to be won - in person. Most regents win renown as adventurers and heroes before they assume the leadership of a realm or organization. Scions must often establish themselves as powerful and capable individuals if they want to deter challenges to their authority and honor. Such adventuring does not cease once a scion claims a domain; if anything, the need for adventuring increases.
PC regents should adventure often - with an eye for quests that further not only their own personal concerns, but those of their domain and its allies. Once a regent sweats blood with an ally, fighting back-to-back against a common foe, he knows the mettle of his friends. Adventuring regents also benefit domestically; when a regent personally leads the party that eliminates a band of monsters and saves a town, word gets around. The regent may see an upswing in loyalty and possibly an short-term increase in regency, taxes, or tithes.
Ply Trade [Character]
You spend the month in endeavors designed to bring you personal profit and wealth. Few regents will engage in this action on a regular basis, but non-regent characters do so often. Regents usually have weightier matters competing for their character action each domain turn, but might use Ply Trade to increase their own personal treasuries.
Your ability to find work, negotiate wages, and make a profit is based upon your bonus in Craft (Any), Profession (Any), or Perform. Highly skilled individuals are rare and can earn an increasingly large salary. The listed incomes are appropriate in provinces of level four. Increase profit by 25% for each level of the province above four. Decrease income by 25% for each level less than four. For example, a character with a +10 skill bonus in Profession (Soldier) can make 300gp per month in a province 6; their base salary of 200gp (+10 bonus x 20gp/bonus) plus an additional 50% for the province level [+25% x (province(6)- province(4) ].
Income from Ply trade
Example Monthly income Average
|+0 - +3||Unskilled labor 2 gp 2 gp|
|+4 - +6||Apprentice 2 gp x bonus 6 gp|
|+7 - +9||Journeyman 5 gp x bonus 75 gp|
|+10 - +14||Master 20gp x bonus 250 gp|
|+15||or higher Grandmaster 40gp x bonus 600 gp|
You learn spells, perform spell research or create a magical item. Spellcasting regents may learn or research conventional spells, research realm spells, make magical items, or perform other such tasks. Details on the magical activities are presented in the Player's Handbook and Chapter Three: Magic. You earn up to four weeks (32 days) of time engaged in the declared activity or activities. This time can be spent on multiple magical activities (should time allow). If the time required for the activity is significantly less than 32 days, you can make a profit on the remainder of your activities. For each full week of time not spent in specific research, you make one-quarter of the monthly amount that you would make Plying Trade.
If optional rules for training are being used, then character actions may be required to advance in level, learn new skills, feats, or languages and other such activities. This training does not provide experience points or bonus skill ranks; it simply represents time character spend getting the their level-based abilities. Characters may not generally gain skill ranks or experience through training alone.
Variant: Some DMs may allow character to train to gain +1 hitpoint. The player should reroll their character's hit points. If their randomly rolled hit points exceed the character's current hit points then the character permanently gains +1 hit points. This variant helps allow characters with below average hit points to remain viable, although it may take several months to gain a significant number of hit points.
Routine travel is not a domain action. However, if a character spends a significant period of the domain round traveling, then she is incapable of performing other character actions (except, perhaps, adventuring). As a rule of thumb, a character that spends more than one week in travel is not eligible to perform any other character action. Characters that are traveling with a military unit or that are holding themselves ready to form a Heroes unit should also be considered to be engaged in the Travel character action.
Standard travel rates presents common rates of travel through good terrain and in good weather. These rates assume that travel takes place on clear roads or plains. Terrain modifiers for movement are available in the Player's handbook. Most communications between regents take place through routine messengers. The frequency of such communications depends, in part, by the travel time between the regent's locations. For example, two realms located 10 provinces apart (1 week travel time) cannot be reasonably expected to carry on communications by messenger that require more than four total exchanges.
Standard travel rates
|Speed||Miles per day||Days per province||Provinces
|Entourage, 15 ft.||12||3 1/3||2|
|On foot, slow 20 ft.||16||2 1/2||3|
|On foot, fast 30 ft.||24||1 1/2||4|
|Carriage 40 ft.||32||1 1/4||6|
|Warhorse 50 ft.||40||3/4||8|
|Light horse 60 ft.||48||2/3||10|
|River boat 12hrs/day||40||1||8|
|Sea vessel 24hrs/day||80||2||16|
Regents often travel in full entourage. Traveling in entourage costs 0.1 GB x the regent's court level to cover the costs of taking guards, courtiers, and servants along. The normal dangers of the road (wild animals, highwayman, and solitary monsters) aren't likely to confront an entourage of 20 to 40 individuals. On the other hand, large groups of people are both obvious and slow. Regents preferring speed or stealth over safety and comfort are likely to travel with a smaller party.
As noted previously, courtiers and functionaries of the regent's domain usually handle court actions. The number of court actions that a domain can perform depends on the size of its court. A court action can be taken using the realm's standard action for the domain turn if necessary.
Build [Court; 1d4 GB; DC 0]
You start the creation of some form of building, civil project, or other major construction. This includes the construction of domain assets such as fortifications, naval vessels, highways, and bridges. The DC for the domain action check is 0; only significant opposition from other regents can cause this action to fail.
Regents tend to build things for a purpose. Realm regents tend to build highways and bridges for the benefit of other regents in the province as well as themselves - guildmasters, for example, need highways to run trade routes even as armies benefit from roads when they move. Regents often arrange for allies to aid in Build actions by donating personnel (court actions or GB), materials (GB), or some other consideration.
The construction cost for domain assets appears in Table 5-4: Asset maintenance cost. The listed costs assume that the constructions are built in relatively settled areas with easy access to the necessary building materials. Building in remote areas or difficult terrain adds to the cost of the structure. As a rule of thumb, building anything in a province (2) or (3) costs 150% of normal; building in a province (1) or (0) costs 200% of normal. The cost is doubled again for extreme conditions, such as building on a mountainside.
Construction proceeds at the rate of 1d4 Gold Bars per Build action. In other words, it can take many court actions to finish a major project. The die roll and the frequency with which the Build action is taken determine the speed of construction. Multiple court actions can be taken during the same domain action round (if available)- each build action allows construction to proceed by 1d4 GB. Constructions costs must be paid after progress is determined for each action. If the progress roll exceeds the final asset value (or available funds) then the additional can be used to build another asset (or simply ignored).
Special: Build can also be taken as a standard action. If a standard action is spent on a build action, a regent or lieutenant may make a Profession (Engineer) check against a DC equal to the total cost of the construction; if successful, the regent may set the achieved results of any progress rolls instead of rolling randomly.
èDecree [Court; 1 GB; DC -]
You make an administrative decision with regard to your domain or a declaration to other domains. There is no domain action check for a decree action. A decree cannot directly affect another regent's domain, change the level of a holding (this would be a Contest action), or change the attitude of the populace (this would be an Agitate action). Example decrees might including the raising of a vassal to a new noble rank or position, a declaration of support for some party or another in a conflict, the grant of permissions to a noble or military order, a declaration of war, an increase in taxes (if the variable taxation variant is in use), the declaration of a new holiday or public event, or any similar action.
Decrees often take the form of laws - whether laws for the realm or for particular holdings. For example, a temple holding may declare that it is immoral to enlist in a realm regent's army. If the temple holding controls all of the religion in the province, virtually all of the people will be hesitant to disobey the church, making it very difficult - if not impossible - for the realm regent to recruit troops in the province. Decrees often lose effectiveness over time unless actions are spent to keep the decree fresh in everyone's mind. Ancient decrees might be ignored entirely until someone takes the effort to restore it to circulation.
Disband [Court; 0 GB; DC varies]
You unmake a single asset, holding, or army (any number of units in a single friendly province). A regent is always free to dismiss army units or mercenaries from his service. Arrangements must be made, however, for mustering out payment, transport home, the collection of issued equipment, and other logistical details. The domain action check DC is 0 for regular army units and 10 for mercenary units. If the check fails, some individuals become brigands and begin raiding the province in which they disbanded. (Refer to the Brigands Event).
A regent can also choose to disband any holding or asset (such as a fortification) by razing it. Unless the regent personally oversees this event, however, there is a significant chance that the local agents employed by the holding or asset will assume that the order is a mistake, the act of a traitor, or some other hoax. The DC for disbanding a holding or asset is 20, unless the regent is personally present during the destruction (in which case no domain check need be made).
As holdings and assets are valuable, disbanding is rare; the only advantage to this action is saving maintenance costs. Also, destroying a holding (even by choice) may result in a minor loss of regency as the regent's supporters in the area are left to fend for themselves. In general, regents should look at all possible solutions before disbanding armies or holdings. While the disband action is free, recruiting new troops or building up new assets is not.
Finance [Court; 0 GB]
Regent gain money and treasure from a variety of sources - taxes, tithes, trade routes, plying trade, adventuring - and they need to keep careful track of their funds. This domain action allows regents to convert coinage, jewelry, and other goods (magical items, adventuring loot) to/from Gold Bars. This conversion takes place at the ratio of 2,000 gp for 1 GB (and visa versa). In each domain turn, a regent may convert as many as 5 GB, plus 1 GB per level of guild holding he controls.
Regents should try to distinguish personal wealth from the domain's treasury. Many subjects, particularly nobles, believe that the treasury belongs to the realm, not the individual who is currently its regent. Excessive spending of the realm's finances may affect domain attitude or spark a domain event.
Realms that are in need of GB can obtain loans from anyone with sufficient money to lend (including the regent's personal funds). The terms of interest are subject to negotiation; an interest rate of 10% for one year is fair.
Muster/Train Troops [Court; varies GB]
A court action is required to muster new military units or to train existing military units. Costs and other details pertaining to military units are presented in Chapter Six: Armies and warfare.
Occupy province [Court; 1 GB]
Regents can, for a small price in realm attitude, bring in their armies and institute martial law. The occupation of a province requires the use of military units. In order to occupy a province, units loyal to the regent must spend an entire month (four war moves) occupying key institutions in the province. If a unit moves or is involved in any battle then it may not occupy the province.
An occupied province generates no regency income for the province ruler. The normal taxation income goes in part or in full to the occupying regent (1 GB per unit occupying the province). The military forces in a province act as a temporary law holding with a level equal to the number of occupying units. Existing law holdings are reduced (temporarily) by the same amount.
In addition, each unit may destroy one holding level in the province per month. For example, three units could raze a temple (6) to a temple (0) in two months of occupation. This sort of heavy-handed action has dire consequences on the province's attitude towards the regent; as such behavior often marks the beginning of realm-wide tyranny.
This action normally allows for the occupation of one province. Multiple provinces can be occupied (troops permitting) with the expenditure of multiple court actions.
Agitate [Standard/Realm; Lead; 1 GB]
A regent can use her influence to agitate a province's attitude for or against a person, domain, or idea. A regent can agitate a province's attitude in favor of herself or her allies. Similarly, a regent can agitate a province's attitude disfavorably against their enemies. Agitate can be a powerful weapon.
The Agitate action does not have a standard domain action check. Instead, a domain attitude check is made (as discussed in the section on adjusting domain attitude) but with slightly different adjustments and modifiers. (1) Regardless of the result, the domain's attitude cannot move in the opposite direction of the active regent's intended agitation (up or down). (2) The active regent may spend GB to provide a bonus or penalty to the check (1 GB per +/- 1). (3) The active regent's holding used for the action provides a bonus (or penalty) equal to the holding level. (4) If used against another regent, the target regent's largest holding provides a bonus to the check equal to its level. (5) All regents in the area may spend RP to support or oppose the check, providing a bonus or penalty of one for each RP spent. (6) The domain attitude may not increase or decrease by more than two attitude levels per Agitate action.
Realm action: Agitate normally only affects the attitude of one province. It may also be used as a realm-wide action. If a domain takes Agitate as its standard action, it may use additional court actions to support the Agitate. For each court action used, an additional province may be affected. The holding type used for the Agitate must be the same in all targeted provinces. All costs and success checks are calculated individually for each province affected.
Cast Realm Spell [Standard; GB varies]
Priest or wizard regent casts a realm spell. Realm spells are a special type of magic that are available only to a regent spellcaster. Wizard, cleric, druid and sorcerer regents may cast realm spells. Realm spells can be used only in provinces in which the regent has an appropriate holding level and with the costs and effects presented in the realm spell's description. Details on realm spells are found in Chapter Seven.
Ceremony [Standard; Administrate; 1 GB]
This action allows a regent to arrange for current, future, or on-going transfers of domain assets to another character. Ceremonies help to fix the minds of a domain's populace and ease the acceptance of a new regent or heir. This action is often combined with the casting of a Bloodline investiture realm spell.
Coronation: You become the lawfully (and spiritually) recognized regent of an unclaimed domain or a domain that you currently hold temporarily through designation. This action requires a domain action check with a DC of 10 + the size of the domain that you are attempting to invest. All regents that have holdings in any province in which the invested domain has holdings and any regents that have a seemingly legitimate claim to the domain may bid regency to support or oppose the ceremony.
Designation: A regent may designate an heir for his domain (or heirs for multiple portions of his domain). If the regent later perishes, the heir(s) automatically assume temporary control of the domain. The new regent gains half of the RP that they would normally collect until they undergo a Ceremony of Coronation. If a regent does not designate an heir, then any character with a reasonable claim to the domain can attempt to claim it; folk legends speak of the land itself choosing its next guardian in some instances. A non-designated regent that claims a domain does not gain any regency until all other claimants are defeated and a Ceremony of Coronation is performed. This action requires no action check.
Divestiture: You attempt to claim a province that is currently claimed by another regent. This action can only be performed on a single province per action unless the realm's current regent is physically present at the ceremony (willing or not). In order to perform this action, the target province or provinces must be occupied by your troops or in rebellion against their current regent. This action requires an action check with a DC of 10 + the total level of provinces that you are attempting to claim by conquest. All regents that have holdings in the province(s) may bid regency to support or oppose the ceremony. Temple regents may also use their temple holding levels in the province(s) to support or oppose the ceremony.
Lieutenancy: You declare a character as having the authority to speak on the domain's behalf. A recognized lieutenant can stand in for the regent in almost any domain-level matter and is recognized as wielding the same authority as the regent himself. A domain's heir is often a lieutenant first, but this need not be the case. A lieutenant character may spend character actions to provide bonuses to domain actions in the same way that the domain's regent can. There is no limit to the number of lieutenants that a realm can have, but a clear system for determining the responsibilities and resolution of conflicts between them must exist.
Transfer: You willingly transfer one or more provinces, holdings, or other domain assets to another regent. Both regents must be physically present at the ceremony and willing participants. Physical coercion, magical compulsion, or other leverage may be used to create such "willingness" so long as the general public is unaware of the activity. This action requires no action check.
Vassalage: You accept the sworn vassalage of another regent. This ceremony requires the active participation of a temple regent capable of casting realm spell in the province in which the ceremony is performed (this counts as a court action for the temple regent's domain). Once sworn, this ceremony provides the liege with a seasonal tribute of regency from the vassal subject. This tribute can be any amount, but does not generally exceed 1 RP per province or holding that the vassal holds in the liege's name. This ceremony is binding but either can revoke it by issuing a decree of independence.
Contest Holding [Standard/Realm; Administrate; 1 GB]
A regent can neutralize another regent's domain by contesting his influence. This action targets one holding held by an opposing regent. The DC for the domain action check is 10 plus the level of the targeted holding. On a successful check against a holding, you reduce the level of the contested holding by 1d3 levels; if the holding is reduced below level 0 then it is destroyed. This reduction is permanent, although subsequent rule actions could allow the holding to reestablish itself.
Generally, holdings can only be contested by other holdings of the same type. Law holdings are also able to contest guild and temple holdings (but not source holdings). Contesting another's holding is like declaring war. A successful contest action robs the victim of regency and gold collection and other support from the holding, bidding wars for Contest actions can get ugly and expensive very fast. In most cases, regents use the Contest action as a threat or a negotiating tool, rather than actually performing it often.
Realm action: As a standard action, Contest affects one target holding. This action can be supported by court actions to affect the scope of an entire realm. For each court action spent, an additional holding of the same type or held by the same opposing regent can be targeted. Success rolls and costs (including RP bidding) are calculated separately for each target.
Contest Trade Route [Standard; Diplomacy; 1 GB]
A regent can neutralize another regent's trade route by contesting his influence.
Any law, temple, or guild holding can be used to contest a trade route that
terminates or even just passes through its province.
This action targets one trade route held by an opposing regent. The DC for the domain action check is 10 plus the level of the guild that holds the trade route. On a successful domain action check against, you destroy the trade route. This reduction is permanent, although subsequent rule actions could recreate the trade route.
Create Holding [Standard; Administrate; 1 GB]
A regent wishing to establish a holding in a province where he has no holdings of a specific type may attempt to create a holding (0). Once created, the regent is free to Rule the holding to a higher level (if the province level permits such growth) or to contest existing holdings in order to increase the influence of his holdings.
The base DC for the domain action check is 10. As usual for standard domain actions, holdings of the same type as you are attempting to create may apply their level as a bonus or penalty to the action check. In addition, however, law holdings may apply their levels as a bonus or penalty to the action check if the target holding is a guild or temple. As usual, all regents with a presence in the province may bid RP to support or oppose the check.
Create Ley Line [Standard; 1 GB and 1 RP per province crossed (min 2)]
Source regents may use this action to create a magical link between two provinces. Many arcane realm spells require a minimum source level in the province to be affected, but a ley line acts as a mystical conduit, allowing the source regent to use their highest source holding level to which their ley line is connected. A ley line between two provinces makes the mebhaighl of the largest source available in both provinces. A line may be forged from a province where you hold a high-level source to one in which you hold a low-level source, or to a province in which you hold no sources at all. Ley lines must be forged as a straight line, and for the purposes of determining through which provinces they pass, should be measured from the center of the initial province to the center of the destination province.
This action requires a domain action check with a base DC of 10. Unlike most domain actions, however, a ley line passes through multiple provinces. Source regents in any province through which the ley line passes (including the two end-points) may apply their source holding levels as a positive or negative modifier to the check. Unlike most domain actions, only regents with source holdings may bid RP to support or oppose this action, but any source regent in any province along the ley line path may do so. The RP spent to oppose/support the domain action follow the standard bidding rules for spending RP on domain actions or dispel realm magic. If this check fails, the ley line is not forged. If the check succeeds, the ley line is forged and is considered to be a permanent domain asset of domain until its regent dispels the line or it is sundered.
Ley lines cost nothing to maintain, but increase the RP cost of any realm spell through them by one RP per province of separation. Refer to Chapter Seven: Realm magic, for additional details on ley lines, ley line networks, and sundering existing ley lines.
Create Trade Route [Standard; Diplomacy; 1 GB]
Guild regents can attempt to open trade routes, thereby increasing the potential income of their domain. Trade routes are discussed in detail in the domain assets section of this chapter. The creation of a trade route requires a domain action check against a DC 10.
Diplomacy [Standard; Diplomacy; 1 GB]
Negotiations with other domains fall under the diplomacy action. Regents are assumed to maintain routine communication with their neighbors - such communications do not require the use of the Diplomacy action. Communicating routine threats, offers, or remarks to NPC regents doesn't require the use of the Diplomacy Action, but if the result requires the creation of treaties, contracts, and other legal guarantees then the agreement is a Diplomacy action. Similarly, if a player receives a routine communication, he can make a brief response - i.e., accepting or declining a proposal - without forfeiting an action. The Diplomacy actions represent a full-court affair designed to achieve a specific diplomatic goal.
The diplomacy action is used for a wide variety of goals. Diplomacy designed to create new or break existing alliances is the most obvious use of this action. This action can be used to convince a regent to use their holding levels in support of a future action. Diplomacy can be used to arrange for permissions for certain activities (such as mustering a military unit, passing a trade route through another regent's province, arranging a political marriage, negotiate peace, arrange for a recognition of independence, or agree to a ransom for prisoners). Most importantly, Diplomacy can be used to convince an NPC regent to take specific domain actions that may be to the PCs benefit (such as Building roads or seaports, performing a Ceremony, or Declaring war).
During a Diplomacy action, negotiation may take place, and the result agreed upon can differ from the initial offer made by the active regent. The domains are generally free to make proposals and counter-proposals, even to widen the scope of the negotiations during the action. The active regent, however, is the one that decides what the final offer is, for purposes of resolving the action.
The base DC in a Diplomacy action is strongly determined by how much the target wants to reach an agreement with you. If the Diplomatic offers is a clear advantage to the target regent and has little or no cost to them, then the base DC is 5 (Easy). If the offer has some advantage to the regent that exceeds the cost, then the base DC is 10 (Routine). If the offer has a potential advantage to the regent but the costs may equal the potential gains, then the base DC is 15 (Hard). If the offer entails a large risk or cost for the target the base DC is 20 (Difficult). Attempting to reach an agreement that entails large risk for the regent may have a base DC of 25 or higher.
Unlike most standard actions, a Diplomacy action does not involve one of the regent's specific holdings. Instead, the Diplomacy action is performed directly by the court. The difference between the active and target regent's court levels acts as a positive or negative modifier to the check. Regency cannot be spent on Diplomatic actions. Instead, any regent aware of the action may spend GB to support/oppose the action. These GB represent money spent on gifts, bribes, informants, or other expenditures that are separate from any offer of Gold offered as part of the Diplomatic agreement. For example, a fair ransom for a noble prisoner is 1 GB per character level; the random for a regent might be equal to one year's income for the domain. These GB made as part of the offer do not modify the base check on a 1-for-1 basis, instead, they would modify the "ease" of the offer.
Special: You can take a diplomacy action to establish an embassy with another regent's domain. This is a routine offer for most regents (DC 10). An embassy has no initial cost, but requires a 1 GB maintenance each domain turn. A domain with an established embassy may perform Diplomacy actions as Court actions. Furthermore, due to the familiarity of the ambassadors with the regent's court, the embassy provides a +2 bonus to the domain success check for Diplomacy in that Realm.
Espionage [Standard; Gather Information; 1 GB]
This action includes any kind of spying or covert actions designed to gather information, hide information, or perform covert operations. Sending an obvious spy against an enemy regent is not a domain action; but attempting to do so in such a way that very few individuals are aware of the fact that the spy is in your employ requires significant expenditure of time and energy more difficult.
The primary use of this action is to gather information about a specific target province. The success level determines the completeness of the information revealed. Table 5-17 provides examples of potential information revealed. At the DMs option, all regency bidding in an Espionage action is done via silent auction.
This action can also be used to hide information that would normally be visible to other regents in the province (such as the existence of a holding). The base DC for hiding information is 20. Unlike standard domain actions, regency cannot be spent to increase or decrease the chance of success; the active regent can't spend regency to hide information without guaranteeing failure and the other regents in the area are unaware of the action. Only guild holdings provide a bonus to the check; other types of holdings are not as well geared for clandestine operation. The check receives a penalty equal to the number of law holdings in the province, unless the active regent holds the law holdings. If successful, the hidden information can only be revealed through as the target of an Espionage action (or perhaps through an Adventure action). Canny regents should perform Espionage actions in their own provinces on an irregular basis as a form of active counter-espionage.
Special: You can take an espionage action to establish a spy network within a hostile or friendly province. This action has a base DC 20. A spy network has no initial cost (save for the action cost), but requires 1 GB in maintenance each domain turn. A domain with an established spy network in a province may perform Espionage actions in that province as a Court action. Furthermore, due to the established contacts, the network provides a +2 bonus to the domain success check for Espionage in that province.
|5||Common rumors and information|
|10||Catalogue troop position and strength in a province|
|15||Reveal the domain statistics of a province (attitudes, regents, holding levels, etc.)|
|20||Create a minor domain event (such as a corruption)|
|20||Reveal the nature of diplomatic talks taking place between two domains|
|25+||Create a major domain event (such as a Great Captain/Heresy)|
|25+||Reveal the specifics of an existing diplomatic agreement between two domains|
|25+||Reveal battle plans for movement of troops currently stationed in the province|
|25+||Find the location of prisoners, criminal in hiding, etc.|
|30+||Trace the responsibility for an assassination, corruption, heresy, or other covert intrigue in the province|
Move Troops [Court/Standard; 0 GB]
At the regent's command, any troops loyal to the regent march to any site in his domain. Moving troops into potentially hostile territory requires significant administrative overhead. Payroll and provisioning transport schedules and routes must be updated. Clearances and notifications must be made. Orders may have to be signed, checked, and counter-signed to prevent enemies from falsifying marching orders. There is no success check for this action; nor is there any cost save those associated with making the unit active (See Chapter Six: Armies and warfare).
Regents are only aware of troops that are in provinces in which they have assets. In order to determine the strength of a hostile realm, enemy regents must perform Espionage actions. Moving troops on a regular basis can deflect espionage attempts and reduce the likelihood of warning nearby nations during preparation for war. Since Espionage takes a month to perform successfully, a wary regent can throw off the reports of the strengths of his armies just by moving his troops two or three times a year. Such movement also makes it more difficult to sneak attack the wary regent; as the opposing regent may have no idea where his enemy's troops are at any given time.
Court action: Units can move in provinces held by their regent without the use of this action. This action is required, however, to move units in any province not held by the regent assuming that permission has been granted. If the province regent does not give permission for the unit's movement, then a standard action is necessary.
Standard action: As a standard action, units can be move in potentially hostile provinces. Such aggressive actions require the primary focus of the court for not only does the administrative overhead involved in placing an army in the field become magnified, but significant resources need to be allocated to dealing with various factions for war and peace among the domain's populace.
Rule Holding [Standard/Realm; Administrate; 1 GB]
Regents spend significant time increasing the power of their domains. The Rule Holding domain actions allows you to increase the level of one of your existing holdings. This action includes the costs of construction of additional minor support buildings and personnel (shrines, warehouses and markets, guard posts and magistrates, etc) appropriate to the holding level.
The base DC for the domain action check is 10 + the current level of your holding. Unlike most standard actions, you cannot apply your holding level as a bonus to the domain action check, but regents with the same holding type may apply their holding levels normally. In addition, law holdings may support or oppose the ruling of temple or guild holdings. If this check is successful, your holding increases by one level.
Realm action: Rule Holding normally only affects one holding. It may also be used as a realm-wide action. If a domain takes Rule Holding as its standard action, it may use additional court actions to Rule Holdings of the same type in other provinces. For each court action used, an additional holding of the same type may be affected. All costs and success checks are calculated individually for each province affected.
Rule Province [Standard; Administrate; 1 GB per current level of target province]
Province level represents the relative level of organization in a province. Most provinces have large numbers of citizens that exist, to a great extent, on their own; neither enjoying the benefits of civilization nor paying its price (increased taxes, feudal duties, and other obligations). By ruling a province, a regent attempts to increase their level of control over the populace. This growth can be due to reforms in your domain to sponsor growth or expansion, by opening up new areas to agriculture, or by sponsoring trade and industry; but the net effect is an increase in your province level.
The base DC for the domain action is 10 + the current level of your province. Unlike most standard actions, no holding levels can be applied to support or oppose this action and RP cannot be spent to support or oppose the action. A court can only take this action once per domain turn. Regardless of whether this action fails or succeeds, an additional attempt to Rule Province (even a different province) in the same domain turn automatically fails.