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08-25-2003, 05:17 AM #1
- Join Date
- Apr 2002
- BR mailing list
Some of you old-timers out there may remember this, but I`m posting it
mostly for the benefit of the newer folks, as well as the members of the
Birthright.net forums who may never have seen it before. It`s a compilation
of a combined effort from a few of the tinkers on Birthright-L a couple
years back. I think you`ll like it.
The concept behind Specialty Holdings combines ideas from the design
philosophies in 3e regarding "prestige classes" and "feats" at the domain
level. Folks have been suggesting this kind of thing for a while, normally
having it fall under the old "monument" construction rules per
Birthright.net, but Specialty Holdings tie even more directly to the holding
levels rather than just being the result of a building process.
Specialized holdings are created when a player declares a rule action to
specialize his holding. Instead of advancing to the next holding level, it
stays the same level buts gets an additional descriptor marking its new
effects. For example, a Law(5) would need a rule action to make it a Law(6)
or a Law(5,Secret Police). Only one such specialization could be used per
holding per province. Thus, the specialized holding gets you a
specialization benefit but the drawback is that its not as effective overall
as if you`d of just ruled it normally. There may also be additional
difficulty and expenses involved in specializing a holding, above the normal
cost for a rule action.
For additional information on how specialized holdings work, I`ve compiled
some of the efforts of contributors on a geocities website. Please, I
highly encourage and request people to take a look at this information and
comment regarding their own opinions, suggestions, and submissions. The
included list is far from exhaustive or complete, and is well open to
further expansion and variation.
The information can be found at
You can either view it in sections for easier reading or download the
complete text file. It`s too long to submit here in detail.
--Lord RahvinNOTE: Messages posted by Birthright-L are automatically inserted posts originating from the mailing list linked to the forum.
09-30-2003, 05:31 PM #2
I've been looking over your website, and I am duly impressed! Quite an extensive list of specialty holdings, and a very cool idea. It'll be a while before I get to look over all the options in detail, but I'll lend some critique at some point. After a cursory glance, I noticed some of them are very similar to some ideas I had been generating in my own BR campaign.
As you mentioned, I have been using the Monument idea for creating similar effects. I assume "monument" is the same as "wondrous structure" in BRCS.
I admit, though, that I like the tremendous expense and maintenance of such structures, but I've expanded them to be far more interesting than simply "RP Generators." Instead, I've had PC's design things like a Military Academy (for a fighter landed/law regent), allowing greater muster limits (add the structure's rating to the existing Law holding to determine muster limits), and more special training options per unit (+1 max. per 2 levels of the structure; so a L4 Academy could allow 4 special training options for an elite unit). I'm still waffling as to whether or not the structure also provides 1 RP per level as well (as if it were a virtual Law holding), but I'm leaning towards "No" on that issue - let that remain the basic function of a great monument (glory and prestige, but no practical benefit).
As I mentioned, the thing I like about this method is that it costs 2GB x level in seasonal maintenance (and 25GB per level to build), which makes it a very expensive (and rare) proposition.
A second Wonder that was developed: the Ilien World Exchange (very similar to the Grand Bazaar specialty holding, I think). This structure stacks with the existing guild holding for purposes of determing GB income from local and foreign trade, and the guild's effective level when determining trade-related domain actions (and defense against such) within the province (such as Contest Guilds, or support/oppose other guilds in the province). Thus, it earns a base of 2/3 GB x level plus 1/2 GB per level per trade route in the province controlled by the guild regent who owns the exchange. So a level 3 Exchange in a province with 3 trade routes would earn 6.5 GB, but costs 6 GB in seasonal maintenance (and 25GB per level to build). It obviously also helps to create and maintain a trade monopoly in the province where it is built.
Still, for the massive outlay of resources, I considered a final benefit: the Exchange level stacks with the guild level when determining the maximum number of Trade Routes that the guild holding can support. This could even extend it beyond the normal trade limit! [Note that this is based on my own ruling that a level 10 guild can support 4 trade routes]
Guild Level (Max. Trade Routes)
If you go "by the book", simply make 4 routes possible at levels 11-13, 5 at 14-16, 6 at 17-19, and 7 at 20.
Final Note: The effective level of these wondrous structures may never exceed the appropriate holding level they modify, and no wondrous structure may ever exceed level 10 in any case.
Hope this is of interest for those of you with similar ideas.
09-30-2003, 05:41 PM #3
Concerning Specialty Holdings: How difficult would it be to assign standard maintenance costs in GB for specialty holdings, rather than holding equivalents? This would make it more compatible with the BRCS (where holding maintenance is subsumed by the holding income).
Also: The Maintenance effect is unclear to me. Does a typical specialty holding (Maintenance 1) count as a holding that is one level higher for purposes of ruling and level limits? For instance, would your Illuminati example (Law2, Source2 prerequs.) require a minimal province level of 3? And then does the Law (2-Illuminati) holding count as a level 3 holding for the purpose of maximum holding levels and Rule DC's?
That's my best interpretation of the rules you presented. I'd recommend clarifying this point in the example on the page.
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