- -----Original Message-----
From: Solmyr of the Azure Star [mailto:solmyr@kolumbus.fi]

>Life goes on. So the king shuts down the local guildmaster. Unless
>was dependent on the guildmaster's "donations" for income, it will
have no
>effect on him squeezing (or even just lightly taxing) his country.
This basically goes back to the question of the guilds (or, more
specifically, trade routes) being the overwhelmingly biggest income
generator in the game. I have yet to see a landed ruler who wouldn't
establishing his own guilds (often to the chagrin of local guilders)
or try
to get the guilders under his thumb so he can get unlimited donations.
simply, IMO the income of provinces and guilds/TRs needs to be
adjusted to
make them more equal to each other. In medieval times, land, not
trade, was
the main source of income.

I would have to agree with you in part. Most of the landed regents
will try to
squeeze as much gold out of the guild(s) as possible. I feel that they
are well within
their rights to do so, and if the guilders are foolhardy enough to
create a conflict
over the matter then generally they will come off worse.

The guilders recourse is to
1) gain trade concessions from the landed regents. ie get the ruler to
support a monopoly.
2) get the ruler to build roads that can be used to create trade
3) get the ruler to hire military units to protect those trade routs.
4) (and for the sneaky) get the ruler paranoid about their neighbours
so that they increase
spending on military forces, thus becoming dependent on the funds from
the guild to pay for
the increase in military, and when this has occurred, go back to the
negotiating table to
lower the guild payments to the crown.

It all becomes a delicate balancing act, and I think that this applies
to both guilds and temples.
Both guilds and temples can generate a lot of gold. If the profits
from this are ignored by the land
holders then what is likely to occur is guild or temple warfare over
the available holdings in the
land of milk and honey. If a domain suddenly said that it was no
longer going to tax guilds or
temples within its lands, then a number of guilds and/or temples would
be scrambling to get
holdings in these lands where they can make almost pure profit.

Unfortunately, when a new game is begun (more noticeable in PBeM) it
is assumed that there
are no standing agreements on guild and temple taxes. This lets guild
and temple regents get
a leg up at the start of the game, before the landed regents have time
to put them back in
their place. And by this time, the guilds and temples feel like they
are being dealt with harshly
because they haven't had to pay for the last few seasons.

I apologise for rambling on a bit, but I think that the game is fairly
well balanced as is, and
it just requires the players and DM to play the parts properly. I
don't think that the guilds
and temples of Cerilia are ready for self regulation.

Shaun Hodgson.

(Lurker mode back on)