Monday, March 2, 2009

Lords and Regents

Oddly enough Ardell and I have spoke only briefly about the setting and what the ultimate goals were. Most of this is my own initiative as far as style and the type of play. One thing that was expressed is some political regency play down the road. That is, allow the option for a PC to become a lord in his own right and establish a realm. We have done this sort of thing before to some extent. There is no shortage of land by any means so it is really a matter of followers, money and clout.

I will be roughly following the B/X model in that name level (level 9) will be the threshold for gaining followers, at least a good deal of them. Actual play on the regency level will be very rules light and I will be only supplying a modest amount of direction; such as castle costs, staff costs and the like. Everything else will just be too dependent on circumstances to write rules for. A Dwarf Thief with a little guild in Bohtan will be vastly different than an Elf Fighter lording over a large kingdom.

I expect this sort of play to be its own mini-game with its fair share of intrigue, politics, mass warfare mixed in with your standard D&D adventures as it suits the game. The wheels can get rolling around level 6 or so I would say, when the PCs are definitely becoming reputable and powerful. At level 9 is when it really takes off though. It would be possible to buy off title, land, and gain clout any time of course but a serious population would likely only start then.

I have plenty of experience with Birthright so this sort of game is pretty intuitive for me (in fact I am playing in a BR pbem now). Having one or just a few players will make it easier in fact, since one of the problems in Birthright is having many PCs all doing separate things. So, a solo direction will allow for better concentration of my efforts. The setting has a lot of opportunity for a fledgling lord who can perhaps make his name into a legend. I will eventually be adding in opportunities here for potential areas to ‘realm up’. Nasty places that once cleared are actually nice trading crossroads, npc that are suitable allies or enemies, lucrative ore-filled mines, a swampy-nest filled with tame hydras, and so forth.

I may eventually opt in for some more elaborate rules if indeed the game is leaning that direction heavily. This will not be in the first release of Valley of Blue Snails but it may seep in later if I find myself creating the rules for practical play. Something like influence points to manage and better allow for the player to direct his attentions, overland mage spells, faith and its power on the people, and perhaps some rough army vs army rules.

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