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  1. #1
    Senior Member Osprey's Avatar
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    Contest Province in original BR referred to a ruler marching in and claiming a province as his own with the backing of military force.

    Contest Holding refers to an entirely different concept, that of purposefully attacking the influence and power of opposed holdings in the same province.

    One of the major issues that has arised, both with the original game and especially with the BRCS ruleset, is that province levels tend to go up much more easily than they go down. And there are pitifully few counters to this trend.

    Currently, there are only 2 ways I can think of for regents to intentionally reduce province levels: either sacking a province during occupation, or casting the Death Plague realm spell. Otherwise, only the rare catastrophic natural disaster will do the job.

    Sacking province levels is, in my experience, quite rare due to the severe limitations on occupation. An army has to occupy a province unopposed for 4 weeks, and only then may they sack the province during the following month! Talk about having your hands tied. If your invading army's object is simply to reduce the enemy's lands, then any battle fought over these lands will be over long before the occupation conditions can be met. And at that point, most regents who have invested the big bucks to stage an invasion would probably rather invest the province at this point rather than devalue it (though sacking enemy holdings might be quite a different matter). The main exceptions are probably humanoid raiders, but I find they rarely have any luck hanging around uncontested for 2 months at a time.

    Death Plague is by far the easiest way to lower province levels, but there are very few necromancer source regents who will do this thanks to the rarity of necromantic magic amongst mages. Also, the outbreak of such a plague generally means the local temple regent will hastily cast Dispel Realm Magic or Prot. from Realm Magic to insulate neighboring provinces or counter the spell entirely.

    I have been thinking of possible solutions to this problem. One is Raiding, which I and others have brought up before, but it hasn't been solidified thanks to the ominous silence from the War department for the Ch 6 revision (Dan??? You still there?). More on raiding later, as it's a messy subject of its own.

    The other idea I was brainstorming last night was a new version of Contest Province. And in fact I'd like to name it Contest Province, keeping it inline with Contest Holding, while the old Contest Province could probably be dropped in favor of Invest Province, while Coronation could cover the more peacable version of investiture.

    Here are some initial ideas, which are totally rough and very open for discussion as they represent a significant addition to the old rules.

    Contest Province: [Standard; Lead; 1 GB per level of target province]

    Base DC: 10 + the targeted Province Level

    -The contesting regent must own a Law, Temple, or Guild holding in the province whose level is at least 1/2 the province level. This is the holding used to initiate the Contest Province action.

    -Any Law, Temple, or Guild holding in the province may use its levels to support or oppose the action.

    -No RP may be spent to support or oppose this action. Only holding levels may modify the action check.

    -This action may only be attempted once per season in a given realm, regardless of whether or not the action succeeds.

    -Success permanently lowers the province level by one.

    Optional: A critical success (natural 20 followed by a normal success) lowers the province level by two levels. A botch (1 followed by a normal failure) permanently lowers the contesting holding by 1d3 levels.

  2. #2
    heheh, the would definately promote the landed regents to keep more of the holdings in their hands or at least under their thumb. And its a good explination for why there arent that many higher level provinces on the atlas.

    Just one question, what about source holdings?
    "Who was the first that forged the deadly blade? Of rugged steel his savage soul was made." --Tibullus

    "Qui desiderat pacem praeparet bellum." --Vegetius

    "Men grow tired of sleep, love, singing and dancing sooner than war." --Homer

  3. #3
    Senior Member Osprey's Avatar
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    Raiding

    Here's the second possibility for making all those annoying humanoids and aggressive neighbors a real threat to a realm's well-being, and introducing a real balancer to rising province levels. The general rule of history is that it is always faster and easier to destroy than it is to create or build.

    If a large enough army marches into a province unopposed, they can Raid the province for easy loot.

    Here's the basic premise:

    If an invading force is present in a province for at least 1 week after entering it, and are militarily unopposed (they fight no battles with defending forces, and are stationary for 1 week after moving into the province), they may Raid the province. Raiding requires only 1 week (1 War Move).

    For every 2 raiding units, 1 Holding level may be sacked (earning 1 GB and permanently reducing the holding level by 1). Also, for every 2 Raiding units, 1 GB may be looted from the province itself, up to the level of the province. Each GB looted reduces the province's collections by the same amount in the following season. If the maximum province GB are looted (8 units raiding 4 GB from a level 4 province, for example), the province is permanently reduced by 1 level.

    Fortified provinces and holdings are immune to Raiding.

    Raiding represents invaders looting, pillaging, and killing what is easily available. As such, no more than 1 level of province or holding may be Raided in a given season. Further damage and gains are possible only with full Occupation and Pillaging.

    A feasible example: 14 companies of goblins and gnolls surge out of the Spiderfell to attack Ghoried (3/2, not fortified) in Roesone in the 2nd month of Summer. In Week 1, they battle the border guard of that province (2 companies). They are victorious, but lose 2 companies of their own in the process (12 companies remaining).
    In Week 2, the main army of Roesone arrives, with 7 companies, and a bloody battle ensues, but Roesone is defeated, losing 5 companies and retreating the with its 2 surviving units back to Caercas. The Spider's forces lose 6 companies of their own, so 6 companies remain.

    Rather than attempt to stay and occupy the province, and thus risk another battle, the Spiderfell commander decides to Raid the province's holdings in Week 3. No forces from Roesone contest them there, and the Raiding is successful. With 6 units, 1 level each of Law, Guilds, and Temples are Raided, reducing each by 1 level and netting the invaders 3 GB.

    In Week 4, the Speiderfell commander again Raids the province, as Roesone still has no more units to throw against them. This time the 6 units Raid the 3/2 province itself, netting another 3 GB in loot and permanently lowering the province to 2/3.

    As the province has yielded as much easy loot as it can, the commander will use Week 1 of Month 2 to retreat back to the Spiderfell (assuming they can win Strategic Initiative and flee before the Roesone militia arrives), with a nice 6 GB worth of goods and slaves plundered from Ghoried to offer to the Spider and probably share amongst themselves as well.

    Although it isn't the simplest of systems, it is certainly more feasible than long-term occupation and pillaging for invaders who want the easy money. Also, the speed of Raiding emphasizes the importance of keeping border castles and garrisons to prevent such a thing, whereas in the current occupation/pillaging rules, a full month of uncontested occupation means any units from anywhere in the realm usually have ample time to gather and attack in full force long before the occupation conditions are met. Also, it is easy for almost any realm to simply sacrifice 1 cheap unit per month to prevent occupation while they muster a more serious counterattacking force, whereas humanoid raiders rarely have the luxury of reinforcements, and by the current rules are usually incapable of doing any serious damage to a realm besides killing defending units. And really, what humanoid invaders will attack a realm and risk death when there's little chance of plunder? I'm sure there are exceptions, but they would be just that: exceptions.

    Occupation and pillaging still has its benefits for those who can do it, as provinces and holdings can be plundered all the way down to nothing given enough time and units to do it. But as pointed out above, it's pretty easy for almost any realm of any significance to prevent this sort of thing from happening.

    Osprey

    PS - Again, this is a new idea I just came up with, so it is totally open for discussion and brainstorming. Have fun.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Osprey's Avatar
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    Just one question, what about source holdings?
    Unlike every other holding type, source holdings have little to no direct influence on a province and its people. And that's really what province levels represent: the the people of the land under the direct influence of the landed regent.

    The exception, of course, are virtual guilds, which are treated as a 2nd guild holding in the province. So a very powerful source (5+) in the province might be able to influence or even initiate such an action, though this would be true only in a few places where these conditions are met.

  5. #5
    Only reason I brought it up is that sources would naturally be the only holding type that would benefit from lowering the province level.
    "Who was the first that forged the deadly blade? Of rugged steel his savage soul was made." --Tibullus

    "Qui desiderat pacem praeparet bellum." --Vegetius

    "Men grow tired of sleep, love, singing and dancing sooner than war." --Homer

  6. #6
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    But we have to remember what the BoM says about province source levels increasing. I believe (forgive me if I remember wrong), but a province in which ALL signs of human inhabitation are removed regains 1 source level each spring. If a province has most of the human signs removed, that occurs every 4 years, and if the homes and such are left behind (the people are driven out, killed), it happens ever 10 years.

    Or something like that. So raiding a province down a level shouldn't make the source go up any time soon.

  7. #7
    Actually Ben, on page 22 of the BoM it says that when the province is basically razed then the source level returns to its normal max every spring, which means every 1-4 seasons, not 4 years. Also, when the buildings ect are still intact in the province the source level returns at the rate of 1 every 5 years not 10 years, again at the start of spring.

    So, it we say raiding a province only kills the people and doesnt destroy the buildings then you are correct it wil take a long time. However, as often times raiders burned down the towns then the source level could potentially go up the next season (even next month&#33 provided they raid in Winter.
    "Who was the first that forged the deadly blade? Of rugged steel his savage soul was made." --Tibullus

    "Qui desiderat pacem praeparet bellum." --Vegetius

    "Men grow tired of sleep, love, singing and dancing sooner than war." --Homer

  8. #8
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    Yes, you are right. I didn't have my book in front of me and was going from memory. Bad memory, bad!

    But to clarify that further, it clearly states (for the purpose of others without their book):

    "If fire utterly destroys a town, or if the buildings of an abandoned village are torn down and the refuse carted away, mebhaighl revives more quickly than if a large city is depopulated but otherwise left intact. Land that has been cleared of evidence of civilization regenerates one level per spring season."

    Now, I tend to think that the word cleared is the important part. Raiding will cause some burning, yes. But other buildings will survive even though the people living there are killed. After all, raiders tend to want the people left behind to rebuild (in a few years or so) so they can come back and raid again later.

    Thus I don't think the province will recover at a rate of every spring.

    But otherwise, in general I like the idea of this proposed rule.

  9. #9
    In general, for humans raiding other human settlements, I agree with you. However, with goblinoids raiding human provinces or humans raiding hated enemy provinces, where they intend to just slash, burn, take slaves, and basically raze a couple towns before there is a military response, Id say its possible to actually detroy their settlements.

    Now, taking into acount that lowering a province by 1 level will generally not lower the population of the province by much and certainly not empty the province of all people (only raiding level 1 province would be the exception and there arent that many of them). And this is really your arguments strongest point, and this leads to the question does a province have to be razed to a level 0 province before the source begins to replenish every spring?

    Otherwise, as there are still people in the province and they stilll have buildings/dwellings or some thing like them after the raiding, then the source will only replenish itself at the slower rate. Unfortunately, in the BoM they were not totally clear as to what really defines destroying the buildings equates to in game terms. Though, it makes it seem like lowering a province to 0 would = destroying all buildings and reminants of civilization.

    So considering the above, raiding or even pilaging a province will only result in the source replenishing every spring once the province is lowered to level 0. So, in theory it is still possible to lower a level 1 province to 0 when raiding and thus the source woudl increase the next spring. However, in general as most provinces are above level 1, the source will only replenish every 5 years starting the next spring.
    "Who was the first that forged the deadly blade? Of rugged steel his savage soul was made." --Tibullus

    "Qui desiderat pacem praeparet bellum." --Vegetius

    "Men grow tired of sleep, love, singing and dancing sooner than war." --Homer

  10. #10
    Senior Member Osprey's Avatar
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    Which is why any regent mage is going to give very specific orders to his Monstrous Units, or Legions of Dead, or humanoid raiders:

    "Destroy every last trace of their blasted civilization! Let not this land know it has been tread upon by the hated heel of humanity! Leave nothing standing. Leave no one alive. We march!"

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