> Actually, this is exactly what I do in _every_ domain a new player
> starts in. Either there are too many castles, the army is to big, court
> too high, or conversely every thing is too small! Moreover, those
> aren't the only problems - then I throw in intrigue, feuds, state crisis
> and the occasional wandering awnsheghlien. Life is never dull for my
> players! Now, for instance, in the Vos region I'm running now, I
> deliberately made the army large/provinces small, and forbid them from
> ruling anything up for 2 years. Moreover, they weren't as big as their
> neighbours surrounding them, so they couldn't reduce their army to
> survive. In effect, the players HAVE HAD to go to war to survive. Just
> the way it should be in a Vos campaign, I reckon! :)

Yep, much the same IMC. Alright, its not set in Vosgaard, but I've
had the Count of Cariele juggling finances all over the place of
late. He started off OK, but then a short goblin incursion from
Thurazor exposed the pitiful state of his army. In order to combat
the perceived threat of goblins he's since raised a pretty sizable
army. Which he can't afford to pay. A couple of sessions back, things
got so bad that having been cleaned out of both gold and regency in
an effort to pay the troops, maintain the court etc. he was forced to
recognize Haelyn's Aegis as state religion, in return for which they
gave him the 2GBs he needed to survive.
An absolutely dreadful deal from his point of view - 2pts off his
bloodline, and extra influence to a church which has very little
influence in his country - but what could he do without the money?
Reduce the court? No, needs the diplomacy to try and maintain trading
links with other nations. Reduce the army? No, the goblins might come
back. Debt and impoverishment has led him into a very tricky
political situation, which has so far made for some great plot &
playing, none of which would have occured if he'd been able to
maintain both court, realm and army at a strength he'd have liked.

"Once I was a lamb, playing in a green field. Then
the wolves came. Now I am an eagle and I fly in a
different universe."
"And now you kill the lambs," whispered Dardalion.
"No, priest. No one pays for lambs."
- David Gemmel, Waylander