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  1. #1
    Senior Member Osprey's Avatar
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    In the original BR setting it's often talked about how provincial rulers encourage trade, yet there's evidence that many of these landed regents recieve little or no direct benefit from this trade. IMC I simply assume that most regents derive monetary tribute from guilders running trade routes through their lands. But it occurred to me that perhaps there could be another very logical reason why landed regents would encourage trade: there is a tangible benefit in the increased prosperity brought in by trade.

    So my thinking is this: why not give trade routes some benefits in addition to profit for the guilders and any tributaries? I think trade routes could affect provinces in 2 very important ways ("anchored" means the TR starts/ends in the province):

    1. Attitude: Each working (non-contested) trade route anchored in the province adds +1 to the province's seasonal attitude checks toward the landed regent and the guild regent that controls the trade route.

    2. Growth: Trade is one of the best ways to encourage growth beyond local means. If a landed regent attempts to Rule a province, each working trade route in the province adds a +1 bonus to the Rule Province check.

    For #2, this bonus might help offset the difficulty of a DC 20 + target level Rule Province check, especially for higher level provinces that can hold more trade routes (essentially granting a +1 to +3 bonus).

    In general, I really like these ideas because they make trade a much more integrated asset in the domain level of play, rather than making it a pure money-maker for guilders. If trade has beneficial side effects to landed regents, it relieves some pressure on the guilders to pay through the nose for their trade routes because they are truly bringing prosperity to the province.

    What do you think of this, folks?

    Osprey

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    Build a man a fire and he will be warm for a night. Set a man on fire and he will be warm for the rest of his life.

  3. #3
    Administrator Arius Vistoon's Avatar
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    it's a good idea

  4. #4
    Birthright Developer irdeggman's Avatar
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    An interesting idea.

    I tend to dislike creating too detailed mechanics and this would seem to add another layer of complexity to the situation.

    I too had always handled trade routes (holders) as having to pay the province regent some sort of tribute, especially since (in 2nd ed) he could destoy the route with a mere word.

    IMO it is a much better role-playing aspect to leave the specifc details up to the regents in question and this allows some individuality of how things work. IMO the single most important domain action was diplomacy - since how the various regents worked together was the thing that had the greatest impact on the land in general (land refering to not not only land proper but the King Arthurian reference).

    Having said that some behind the scenes type advise/commentary would seem appropriate here.
    Duane Eggert

  5. #5
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    Here here Osprey! I like'em alot. Besides, any additional complexity can simplified by adding an extra column to the domain record sheet; "Attitude/Rule trade bonus" Also a great way to keep track of exactly how many trade routes are running through a regents territory.

    I can only hope that in my own Campaign I can allow my GM to allow such bonuses....

    Justinius_ExMortis

    "The political animal is not tame; it merely waits and watches, going this way and that at the command of polticians and dictators alike. That is until they lose control, then the political animal consumes them whole. It is not forgiving."

  6. #6
    Birthright Developer Raesene Andu's Avatar
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    Very nice idea, I like it a hell of a lot. It helps to portray how important trade routes are, they aren't just all about the gold.

    On the issue of complexity, in a small game with only a few regents it wouldn't have a major effect, and PBeM games usually keep a record of how many trade routes go in or out of a province, so not a problem there.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member RaspK_FOG's Avatar
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    I will agree here: it's one of those things I would like to add to my next campaign, despite the complexity.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Osprey's Avatar
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    First off: I'm glad folks like this.

    I tend to dislike creating too detailed mechanics and this would seem to add another layer of complexity to the situation.
    For adding only 2 situational modifiers into the domain rules, this is a pretty low degree of "complexity." I see it as a very excellent way of creating some actual mechanics for different aspects of the domain-level of play working together, much like skill synergies. Compared to any of the core 3.5 rules for combat, the domain rules are wonderfully simple - perhaps too simple where trade routes are concerned. To think that trade would have no other effect than earning income for the controlling guilder is, IMO, overly simplistic and naive. The absence or presence of trade routes was (and still is) central to the rise and fall of many places throughout the real world. The rise of mercantilism is sometimes cited as one of the primary reasons for Europe moving out of the middle ages and into the Renaissance (and beyond&#33. When prosperity and wealth flow in, people can afford to have more (surviving) children who can find employment as they become able. This is exactly what happened in historical Europe - with the rise of mercantilism, populations mushroomed (despite the hardships of war, disease, etc), creating a very real push for new lands to colonize and settle in: and so the stage was set for international colonies and empires.

    As I see it, adding a few low-level bonuses from trade routes to attitude and rule actions is rather...conservative. For the sake of game balance though, it must be so, otherwise the guilders would gain hugely disproportionate power compared to other types of regents...which might be realistic, but not so much fun to play a non-guilder.


    I was thinking about these bonuses in terms of the "naming bonuses" thread. These should be stacking bonuses, which limits their nomenclature to a few possibilities:

    1. Just call the bonuses Circumstance bonuses. These stack, and the presence of active trade routes could be called circumstantial factors. Circumstance bonuses, however, are situational, and trade routes are rather more stable and long-term in most cases, so this choice is more of a default if something better can't be found.

    2. This could be an example of a domain synergy, if one equates complimentary domain assets to skills. However, since we're not using the standardized +2 synergy bonus, it might be wise to steer clear of any confusion there (and bonuses from synergies in 3.5 have become somewhat slippery to handle).

    3. These could be unique domain-level bonuses, and hence get an original designation: they could be very specific to this situation, in which case we call it a Trade Bonus to ruling provinces and seasonal attitude checks.
    OR...
    A broader category is created for the domain level: Prosperity modifiers. If a broader category, than other factors should also be included under this umbrella. A good example might be bonuses from an exceptional harvest, or Prosperity penalties from a poor harvest or natural disasters. Prosperity modifiers might apply to domain collections as well, modifying either the GB and/or RP collection for a season. For example, a "Good Harvest" event might grant a +1 or +2 Prosperity bonus to a province's collections and attitude checks in the following domain turn. When things are going well, the people have exceptional confidence and faith in their regent. This may not be rational (i.e., holding the regent responsible for a good harvest), but it certainly reflects a medievalist viewpoint concerning a divinely righteous ruler. When things go badly, you can be certain the regent will be held responsible as well!

    Just some thoughts to try and tie things together with the rest of the project.

    Osprey

  9. #9
    Birthright Developer Raesene Andu's Avatar
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    The only problem with granting a +1 bonus to Rule Province PER trade route is that for large province this could mean a potential +6 bonus to that action (3 land routes, 3 sea routes).
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  10. #10
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    Originally posted by Raesene Andu@Dec 16 2004, 11:04 AM
    The only problem with granting a +1 bonus to Rule Province PER trade route is that for large province this could mean a potential +6 bonus to that action (3 land routes, 3 sea routes).
    You have a different reading of the rules than I do Ian. I always thought that for every 3 levels of of a guild 1 sea or 1 land route could be supported, not 1 sea and 1 land route.


    I like these rules, I think they should be extended even farther, along with some other guild bonuses. Right now guilders have very few extras, aside from making money. They pretty much match up with temple holdings, except that instead of casting realm spells they can make even more money through trade routes and get a bonus to espionage.

    What if instead the income from guild holdings was reduced to 1/3 GB per level, while other strengths were added. Unlike landed regents, the income can be messed with more easily since guilders tend to have so few expenses.

    The bonus to espionage I have always found paltry, since so often the most important people for a guilder to spy on are those outside of his sphere of influence. What if in addition to current espionage bonus, an additional bonus equal to the highest level guild were added to all espionage check. This owing to the higher level of expertice which can be aquired from larger and more affluent guilds.

    Increase the income from trade routes. Add on Ospreys suggestions. Any other ideas?
    Build a man a fire and he will be warm for a night. Set a man on fire and he will be warm for the rest of his life.

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