>Once a trade is established, it is almost laughably easy to disrupt it - a
>simple decree action by the lawful "ruler" of one of the provinces
>connected by the trade route can neutralise the route as long as the
>ruler's law holding is greater than the guild holding of the owner of the
>trade route. The decree action is a "free" action so it can be used as
>times as desired (as long as the GB hold out as least). Also, contesting
>either of the guild holdings that support the trade route shuts it down,
>the does the conquering of either province connected by the trade route.
>The BR rulebook also says that random domain events (banditry, rebellion,
>etc) can also shut down the trade route. With all these options at a DMs
>fingertips, I have found it relatively easy to keep a lid on the amount of
>money taken from trade routes.
>However, that said, I understand that a large number of BR campaigns where
>the PCs are regents have the regents either allied or at least very
>friendly with each other (please correct me if I'm wrong here). In this
>sort of environment, with say half a dozen allied countries busily
>trade routes back and forth and the party's spellcasting regents busy
>augmenting them with the various realm spells that affect such things, the
>GB situation could easily get way out of hand simply because the
>allied/friendly/whatever regents of each domain are not going to oppose
>their friends trade routes. Controlling trade routes in this sort of
>situation is obviously difficult.
>However, I would like to voice some opinions related to this. Please
>remember that these are only my opinions and experiences and I am not in
>any way trying to suggest they are better or correct!
>In my campaign, the PCs (all of whom are regents) all play regents in
>Anurie (they are the rulers of Roesone, Medoere, Tuornen and Endier - I
>love the domain sourcebooks!) and they anything BUT allies. Generally,
>do not actively plot against each other (I do not actually want them to go
>to war!) but they do not help each other except where their own interests
>and goals are served. I have found that situations like out of control
>trade routes simply don't crop up simply because the cost of setting many
>of them up is simply to exorbitant thanks to the opposition of whoever's
>territory they are trying to move into. As a case in point, the regent of
>Endier embarked on a trade network program (as if Endier doesn't make
>enough GB every turn anyway!) early on in the game. It fizzled before it
>really got off the ground because almost every single regent in southern
>Anuire strongly resisted the idea of the Endieran regent getting his claws
>on any more trade domination than he alre!
>ady had. He was able to get a couple up and running by making deals with
>some regents and outmanoeuvring others but his grand plan didn't even come
>close to succeeding. The other barrier in the way of my regents doing
>things such as setting up trade routes, is that each trade route requires
>domain action to accomplish (and maybe even more if the success roll
>and that about half of my regents' actions are spent reacting to the
>actions of other regents or events in general, and alot of the remaining
>time is spent on more immediate matters, like ruling holdings, mustering
>troops, etc. For most of my players, Trade Routes are a long way down on
>the list of things to do I have found that I have had no trouble in
>things that way (the possibility of invasion from a neighbouring realm is
>almost guaranteed to bring trade route building to a screaming halt!).
- -------
>>Actually I'm glad that you brought this up. I'm new to DMing and playing
>>Birthright (except in PBeM) and my campaign is now on the fifth domain
>>(5.1, 552 MR). The players are Roesone, Medoere, Ilien, El-Hadid, HMA,
>>a custom law/guild domain on Caelcorwynn island. The 2 guilders (EH and
>>Caelcorwynn) bring in well over 20 GB a turn primarily because of their
>>trade routes (Caelcorwynn just built 3, about 15 GB and EH has 3). EH is
>>wealthy that he just spent 60 GB on his birthday party and invited
>>from all over Cerilia to attend. Now, do the rest of you think this is
>>much money? Roesone is paying 15 GB maintenance and that's all he brings
>>every turn! What's to stop these two guys from raising a huge army and
>>trampling Roesone or any other landed regent?

>>This really isn't an issue because all the players are on good terms with
>>each other and are about to sign an alliance, except Medoere who the rest
>>don't like. But then what is to stop them from gradually taking
>>over? At the last gaming session they were looking at the map and trying
>>decide how they should divide up Mieres once they invade it.

>>And I knew how destructive trade routes could be so I put very stringent
>>restrictions on TRs. First I require a diplomacy action, then I allow the
>>construction of a SINGLE trade route (can't create TRs as a realm action
>>my campaign). And I have the guild level determine how much money the TR
>>brings in (to prevent Ilien from making a 0level guild in order to build
>>trade routes).
>>And on top of this I have all the restrctions in the Rulebook.
>>Tell me, what am I doing wrong?

Something that I never see anyone do or at least never mention with regards
to trade routes is the ability of the nations from which the trade route
start, travel through, and end at abilities to tax the routes. I
personally believe the current rules in the book are fine. Let me take
your very own example into view. You state that El-Hadid has just made
three new trade routes. Well if his income generated from these is 15 gold
bars, and average of 5 per route it would seem at first that he is doing
well. Now lets say one routes start in Ilien and travel to Roesone. The
regents of Ilien now have the ability to tax the route. I would recommend
Ilien taxing it two GB's and Roesone taxing it one. At this rate El-Hadid
would only make two GB's from the route and his "host" nations would make
money as well. Now if we take his other two routes lets say one goes to
Medore, the same situation results. Ilien profits, and this time as does
Medore, while El-hadid still only makes two GB's. Now for his last route
he wishes to trade with Diemed. The route leaves Ilein, goes through
Medore, and then ends within Diemed. Well Ilien continues his flat tax
policy of 2 GB's, Medore dips their hands into the pot for 1 GB, and now
Diemed considers the distance traveled of the route and only charges a
modest sum of one GB. This leaves El-Hadid with 1 GB for his efforts.

Now El-Hadid went from making 15 GB's free and clear to only bringing in 5
after taxes. This makes guilders appreciated by their hosting nations as
well as still brings in income that is higher than the norm for other

In my opinion and in real life examples in trade affairs, free trade is
simply not feasible. In the United States we 'enjoy' and hefty tax of
around 27-28%. For tariffs I do not know what we charge but I do know that
we do charge something. IN BR if domains do not tax trade routes, 'out of
the goodness of their hearts' then they are doing themselves and their
nations a disservice. Basically they are asking to be weak and taken
advantage of by the various guilder domains who will no doubt not complain
about not being taxed on their routes.

In a rather long winded reply I hope I have spread some light on the cure
for trade route excesses. Landed regents levy tariffs, import and export
taxes. That's the cure.

Any comments?


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