I believe the basis for your examples are incorrect. While I may or may not
disagree with your conclusions, quoting any American wars after the
establishment of the Declaration of Independence or Bill of Rights, makes
The U.S. the most unique country in the world. We have the right to
question our leaders. In the middle ages, this was unheard of, unless done
with a whole lot of people backing you up. You may have been a folk hero
(ala Robin Hood), but when it came to actual loyalty of a province or the
general populace, Wars did not have this effect. Opposition to rebellions
tended to be localized and personal in nature, and definately not done on a
massive scale. The only time it would come to the point of affecting the
whole populace is if a folk hero or charismatic leader started to organize,
otherwise, it merely simmered below the surface and they basically did
nothing but go on with their lives.

An example is "Prima Noctu" in Braveheart... Now, most DMs would say the
province would go into rebellion at this sort of thing, but it never
happened, because there was no organization.

- -----Original Message-----
From: Tim Nutting
To: birthright@MPGN.COM
Date: Thursday, January 14, 1999 7:35 PM
Subject: Re: [BIRTHRIGHT] - War & loyalty

|-----Original Message-----
|From: Pieter Sleijpen
|To: birthright@MPGN.COM
|Date: Thursday, January 14, 1999 4:42 AM
|Subject: [BIRTHRIGHT] - War & loyalty
|While I argued with Jules about increasing the detail of domain actions and
|holdings, I do think that war is where this game is really skimpy. The
|biggest marketing problem that the blokes pushing BR had was the idiotic
|quote "Birthright: Tactical Wargaming with Role-playing".... If the
|marketer had ever played a game and realized the warcards would compete
|a 5 year old's used snot rag against such market champions as Warhammer and
|the plethora of real tactical Wargaming they wouldn't have written that.
|Despite that, I am finding that producing a satisfying wargame that can be
|played in mere hours is a daunting task. My own efforts are meeting with
|staggering failure...
|Still, the way your people remain loyal to you should depend on a host of
|things. While the loyalty adjustments section is a bit skimpy, there are a
|few references throughout the text where the designers felt that actions
|needed penalties, but left the actual penalties to various DMs.
|For instance, taxes are about the only thing that reduces loyalty, but
|excessive taxation does not a tyrant make. Consider the almost free ride
|Decree. There are no hard or fast rules for playing it, but my PCs were
|VERY surprised to find that their decrees, when unpopular, dropped the
|loyalty of a province. I don't asign each Decree any sort of loyalty
|adjustment, but I look at their actions as a whole. If the regent gains a
|reputation as a money grubber and his decrees enforce this, then his
|popularity (thus his people's loyalty) will fall. PS > this is not the
|manipulated polling data that they might decide to present, but the actual
|pulse of the people as only a DM can know.
|Entering a war must be a careful undertaking, not hastily done.
|Consider Operation: Desert Fox. Over and done with before it hardly
|achieving no publicized aims (and therefor no aims as far as the public
|could tell) and now when the nation the US attacked turns highly
|belligerent, no response from the government. That the "war" tied in so
|neatly with the US President's Impeachment hearings unfortunately paints a
|very suspicious picture. That members of the President's party publicly
|compared removing him from Desert Fox to removing Schwartzkopf from Desert
|Storm took some pretty big brass cojones.
|An example of entering a foreign "war" that lowered the people's loyalty.
|Consider then the US involvement with W.W.II or even the liberation of
|Kuwait. In both circumstances there seemed more than enough justification
|(in W.W.II there really was) to enter hostilities and the leaders treated
|both endeavors responsibly and very soberly.
|Now, it doesn't necessarily really have to be good reasons to get into a
|war. What we call "yellow journalism" was responsible for creating a war
|that never happened sometime in the 19th century (I don't remember the
|"conflict), but these are excellent avenues for the Agitate action to work.
|Perhaps even some crafty Espionage to make events look different than they
|I guess I can't give any hard rules, just use your judgement as a DM to
|determine how the people feel about a war and how their leader handles it.
|I can't say that the folks of Illien would be too pleased to suddenly go to
|war against the Spiderfell, just 'cause the Spider is evil and he's in
|there, and even though the cause is just, the logic is faulty, and the
|count's folks won't like it.
|This brings up one other thing. Has anyone ever thought there should be a
|loyalty rating for soldiers? Should not your army units have some loyalty
|rating, somewhere. If they did it would make the Great Captain "random"
|event so much more plausible.
|Tim Nutting
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