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Thread: BRCS Chapter 5

  1. #1
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    Ruling a domain.

    There are a ton of miscellaneous changes and house rules which made their
    way into this chapter. I`m going to go over it page by page, because it`s
    pretty much the most important one, and also the most likely one to be
    used in a vacuum (without bloodlines or cerilian races or awnshegh,
    someone still might want to use the domain rules, I know, I know,
    blasphemy.)

    Page 88, some intro text, definition of a province, holding, and asset.
    All ok.

    Wait, a change, "A province`s level does not represent the entire
    population of a province; it represents the buying power and prosperity of
    the provinces [sic] loyal citizens and taxpayers." That`s a house rule,
    not the original. Why the change?

    Table 5-1, population per level. The increments in the population column
    are arbitrary, and don`t provide a guide as to how to extrapolate beyond
    level 10 for people wanting to run extremely populated areas with these
    rules. It should use the "level is proportional to the square root of the
    population" guideline, ie province 1 = 1000, province 2 = 4000, province
    3 = 9000, 4 = 16,000, etc.

    Table 5-2, max province level by terrain, is there any reason the maximum
    levels of some of the types were changed, or was it just a desire for
    arbitrary changes? At this point, I think the onus should be on the d20CS
    group to explain why they made random changes like this, rather than us
    having to question each change individually.


    page 89, holdings. Some descriptions of holding types, fine. Holding
    level description, ok. Maximum number of regents, (table 5-3), wasn`t the
    old table different than this one? I want to say it went:

    1-3=1 regent,
    4-6=2 regents,
    7-9=3 regents,
    10+ 4 regents,

    but I don`t have my book handy.

    Where is it spelled out that domain level reduces source potential, and
    how? Wait, I found it, but it`s not until page 132, that`s bad when the
    domain rules are much earlier.

    Also, the form of province level X/Y is familiar to old players, but you
    don`t spell it out in the chapter. So it appears in the holding level
    example on page 89 ("a guild(3) controls three-fifths of the potential
    economic activity in a province(5/1).") without much context. That should
    be spelled out right at the beginning.

    Next up, the thrilling adventures of page 90! :)
    --
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    Daniel McSorley- mcsorley@cis.ohio-state.edu

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    Yeah, this is probably the chapter with the most bugs and holes; you might want to say that it got shafted due to some unfortunate problems involving computers and their various components. There will be a patch document out pretty soon that will address some critical issues, and some of the contradictions and bad wordings there are.

    Population and province level - this was actually the subject of a bit of a debate at one point. In demographic terms, Cerilia is pretty thinly populated. (I'm sure this debate was had before as well on the mailing list at some point) One of my drafts had even sketched out some quick rules for settlement patterns, but I didn't find it a very necessary or good addition. I might post it later. Anyway, there's four different ways of doing population count that I looked at - using the square of the level; using the levels in a cumulative fashion, and doubling (i.e. 1=2k, 5=30k, 10=110k); using the level and multiplying by 10 000, and simply using the existing numbers' averages (which is the model that is used). Each of these would have different effects on the overall population of Cerilia, as presented in the existing products. There's a couple of considerations about income versus population as well - making income increase mostly linearly, while population increases on an exponential scale gets ridiculous eventually as well (how much more productive are those hunters up in Kvigmar supposed to be per capita than the industrious people of Endier anyway?) - in the end, it was settled that we'd stick to the basic population formula. Somewhere in all of this, the idea of province level as effective buying power must've been created - it's a simple concept of "goblin and Vos provinces can have larger populations than their level would indicate for other realms," I guess.

    Personally, I was also toying with another thought in the back of my mind - what province level would ancient Rome have been, given the different methods for determining population; this to provide an opening for those that wish to use the domain rules in non-BR settings. That's anecdotal, though - the bottom line ended up being that this rules set is primarily intended for BR; the main question here is really one of backwards compatibility vs d20 compatibility - it's pretty much impossible to have both.

    The reasoning behind the terrain change, as I recall, is to provide a settlement benefit for provinces being close to water or in appropriate climates; i.e. people tend to settle near major rivers or close to the sea, for various reasons.
    Jan E. Juvstad.

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    Birthright Developer irdeggman's Avatar
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    Daniel, can you continue to post your comments in the section set up for discussion of the BRCS d20? It makes them easier to find. Thanks.
    Duane Eggert

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    Duane, remember that as Daniel posts from the message list, he has no control over where his threads end up - it's the moderator team here at birthright.net that's primarily responsible for moving threads to the proper fora here; I just moved this one - there's an administrative options dropdown at the bottom of your screen, I think, which will enable you to do that as well, and I think that goes for the rest of the d20 team as well.
    Jan E. Juvstad.

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    On Wed, 5 Feb 2003, irdeggman wrote:
    > Daniel, can you continue to post your comments in the section set up
    > for discussion of the BRCS d20? It makes them easier to find. Thanks.

    Sorry, section? I gathered there was something set up on the br.net
    board, but I don`t have a lot of control over where the listserve emails
    end up. If I reply to a thread in that section, it ends up in the correct
    place, right?

    I may have to give up and get a br.net login after all.
    --
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    Daniel McSorley- mcsorley@cis.ohio-state.edu

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    On Wed, 5 Feb 2003, Mark_Aurel wrote:
    > There`s a couple of considerations about income versus population as
    > well - making income increase mostly linearly, while population
    > increases on an exponential scale gets ridiculous eventually as well
    > (how much more productive are those hunters up in Kvigmar supposed to
    > be per capita than the industrious people of Endier anyway?)

    Well, since you`ve folded domain maintenance back into income, the linear
    income growth vs population geometric makes even more sense, as larger
    populations require even more spending by the government body. For a
    thousand people, you`re going to need some contables. For 10x that many,
    you`ll need 10x as many constables, but also several layers of
    buraeucracy to manage all your law officers, and accountants to pay them
    all, and a network of offices for them in major towns, and some way of
    communicating between offices....

    > Personally, I was also toying with another thought in the back of my
    > mind - what province level would ancient Rome have been, given the
    > different methods for determining population; this to provide an
    > opening for those that wish to use the domain rules in non-BR
    > settings.

    I think we figured it out once that a city of a million was a level 32ish
    province under the square-root system. The method in the table seems to
    be something like square-root rounded down to the nearest 10,000, so a
    province 32 would correpond to roughly 1,020,000, extrapolating that
    table. It looks like there`s not a lot of difference between the square
    table and what you ended up with, and the square table extrapolates
    easier. Maybe I`m not extrapolating the table right, since its pattern is
    kind of obscure.

    > The reasoning behind the terrain change, as I recall, is to provide a
    > settlement benefit for provinces being close to water or in
    > appropriate climates; i.e. people tend to settle near major rivers or
    > close to the sea, for various reasons.

    Seems reasonable.
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    Page 90-92. Domain assets.

    Asset maintenance: why have assets picked up maintenance costs? And why
    the odd fractions? Are players really expected to track their treasure to
    the nearest twelfth of a GB? If you must go fractional, use tenths, at
    least it allows tracking by decimal points instead of "Gee, my treasury is
    18 1/3 GB, I have to pay 2 & 5/12 maintenance, that leaves, um..."
    Maintenance for assets would be 1/10 of the build cost instead of 1/12.
    It`s quicker and easier.

    Not that I think tracking such small amounts is worthwhile, by the way.
    Several of these assets could generate their own maintenance costs simply
    by existing and charging tolls or providing services. The difference
    could be made up by having a domain maintenance cost, but you seem to have
    done away with that. But I`m getting ahead of myself. Larger assets like
    ships, palaces, fortifications, and `woundrous structures` would just have
    GB maintenance like they used to.

    Wondrous structures aren`t that great, by the way. They`re essentially
    extremely expensive ways to turn GB into RP. You spend 25 GB/level to
    build one, and then for 2 GB/level, you get 1 RP/level. This is a
    mechanic which will never be used, especially since RP are less useful to
    most domains than GB.

    P 91, Court levels, table 5-5 is screwed up, listing a 4 GB court twice.
    It should probably be 0, 1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8, 9-10, 11+, since palaces can
    increase effective court levels.

    The court example is confusing; a holding 4 and a palace 2 in a province
    five needs a minimum court 4 but can have a court 7? Better to say that
    "A regent whose seat of power is a holding 4 in a province 5 is expected
    to have a minimum court of 4; the most he can have is 5. If he has a
    palace 2, he can have a court 2 (effectively 4) up to 5 (effectively 7)."
    Or something like that.

    It seems table 5-4 should be renamed `structure maintenance cost`, since
    that`s all it lists. Courts, military units, etc. aren`t on there. If
    you just note in the construction paragraph that structures cost 1/10 or
    1/12 their build cost to maintain, you can do away with that table
    entirely, or make it just a "Structure Building Costs".

    Ley lines should be noted to have no maintenance cost (why take out the RP
    cost? I`ll bring that up when I do chapter 7). So should Lieutenants,
    come to think of it, since all the assets before listed maintenance costs.

    I like the trade route rules (take a moment, Dan liked something, actually
    I like quite a bit but I`ve been concentrating on the stuff I think needs
    discussion for revision). It removes the ambiguity of the far end of
    trade routes, and I like the way the GB income is structured, based on
    guild level rather than province level. Also, they no longer give RP.
    This clarifies the original rules in quite a good way.

    Guilds can have 1 trade route if level 1-3, 2 if 4-6, and 3 if 7+ (I`d
    expect 7-9, and 4 for 10). Whatever progression you end up using for
    holdings by province level, it might be good to have it and the trade
    route progression be the same for simplicity. So if a province 4-6 can
    have 2 guilds, a guild 4-6 could have 2 trade routes.

    Looking at the charts, it seems there will be no highways in Cerilia.
    They`re expensive to maintain, the cheapest is 1/6 GB per province it
    passes through (.2 GB if you go 1/10), it`s probably not going to be
    profitable for a regent to build highways, especially if he`s only getting
    .5 GB for each trade route through his lands. If he takes more, the trade
    routes are probably unprofitable, so there won`t be any of those. All
    trade in Anuire must happen by sea, except maybe around a bottleneck like
    Cariele, which could possibly eke out highway maintenance from trade
    routes passing through. Though maybe this analysis is wrong.
    --
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    ----- Original Message -----
    From: "Mark_Aurel" <brnetboard@TUARHIEVEL.ORG>
    Sent: Wednesday, February 05, 2003 4:35 PM

    > while population increases on an exponential scale gets ridiculous
    > eventually as well (how much more productive are those hunters
    > up in Kvigmar supposed to be per capita than the industrious people
    > of Endier anyway?)

    Its not a question of income per capita (you don`t get your hands on
    aggregate income, nor are we calculating GDP), its a question of net income.
    As population density grows, the role of government grows. People in small
    groups need less official regulation and therefore have fewer full time
    (read paid) officials. As population density increases, people need more
    mediated interaction (because more interaction takes place with strangers)
    and that requires an ever greater number of officials. The overlapping of
    cultural boundaries (a result of trade, and far more common in cities than
    in the country) intensifies this problem.

    Kenneth Gauck
    kgauck@mchsi.com

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    pp 92-93, Domain attitude.

    I like how it was synched up with NPC to PC attitudes. I like that a
    province can now have separate attitudes toward the landed lord, the local
    temples, and any guilders.

    I`m not sure why there are two tracks for bonuses and penalties. If a
    regent is in an area with a helpful attitude, he gets +1 to domain
    actions, a 2x his court reputation bonus to Bluff, Diplomacy, Perform,
    Gather Info, and Intimidate. One, if Lead is going to be kept (and I`m
    not convinced it should be), it should be on that list. Two, these should
    track together so there aren`t two separate things to remember based on
    attitude. Maybe use the +1,0,-1,-2,-4 domain action modifiers as the
    multipliers for reputation bonus too. Someone with a huge reputation (+3)
    in a hostile province (-4) would have a total -12 penality to his skills,
    which is ok, and may even be desireable. Oh, but the regent has twice
    that modifier, that`s not so good. Hrm. If you say instead that the
    regent has reputation*modifier, and members of his court have half that,
    it works out about the same. Bah. Too much math is bad design. Give the
    regent and the courtiers the same modifiers.
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    Personally, I don`t think trade routes should be based on guild level; but
    province level instead. Say in a Province 10 there are three guilds. Two
    are level 4, and one is level 2. What if there were ten guilds? That would
    give TEN trade routes.

    It would be better to base trade routes on province level; and allow them to
    be contested...as in who controlled the most teamsters or some such (so they
    could corner the market I guess). Don`t know much about true mechanics; but
    I did see this flaw (or I feel like it is a flaw anyway). So I agree with
    the fella below.

    Tony


    ----Original Message Follows----
    From: daniel mcsorley <mcsorley@CIS.OHIO-STATE.EDU>

    Guilds can have 1 trade route if level 1-3, 2 if 4-6, and 3 if 7+ (I`d
    expect 7-9, and 4 for 10). Whatever progression you end up using for
    holdings by province level, it might be good to have it and the trade
    route progression be the same for simplicity. So if a province 4-6 can
    have 2 guilds, a guild 4-6 could have 2 trade routes.

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