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Thread: The Heartland ruleset
06-27-2005, 12:30 PM #1
- Join Date
- Jan 2005
Along the span of a few years, I have composed a campaign world that was first intended for a NWN mod. It started out with a village on the edge of a consortium of countries, known simply as the Confederacy, and little by little, I began deveoping this whole region to give the mod some sense of background. Quickly enough, I realized that I was doing far more work on the campaign world than the mod itself, so I decided to abandon the old project and transform the whole thing into an online campaign - a PBP, where leader and follower characters, as well as utter independents, play out every valuable instant of their lives. This campaign world isn't some typical mish-mash of Tolkien, ancient mythologies and some Star Trek thrown in for good measure, but an original world, with original cultures, political organizations and races. While these still resemble ordinary "fantasy" races on the outside, their natural mental traits (and, as a consequence, their whole societies) differ entirely from those encountered in typical games - everything from how their memory works to their innate survival mechanisms has been thoroughly described, making this a far more intricate campaign world than most I've explored thus far. Indeed, a rough sketch of the Confederacy alone has taken nearly a hundred thousand words, a third of what I've written so far regarding the gameworld.
The problem is, although I've given it a decent sense of culture, architecture, fauna, faith and overall cosmology, there's little history to speak of. A few conflicts have been mentioned, and a number of old secrets have been lain in place for players to discover, but outside of that, there's little to be satisfied with... Which is why I want to simulate at least ten years of history through a game.
I've been working on a set of rules for the birthright version of this campaign world, and after fiddling around with Rome: Total War's TGA files, I decided it was just not worth the trouble. My ruleset is halfway finished, and promises to make the game more intricate on an economic level. Culture and resource holdings have been created, adding two entirely new dimensions to the game, while populations have been quantified - 0.01 population means 100 citizens, enough to form a military unit. Trade routes are now more vulnerable to piracy, and just about all aspects of the game have been rendered more fluid. For instance, I got rid of most fixed limits: it should be possible for a regent to raise a holding to level 30 in a level 12 province, but doing so would cost him enormous ammounts of regency (considering how the DC goes up to 58 in this scenario). Fifteen people can own 13-level guild holdings each in a level-8 province, but at a tremendous penality for all involved, since the markets would overflow with unnecessary products. Stealth holdings have been introduced, and... Well, there's a lot more to it. Basically, it's a complete overhaul of standard Birthright.
I need to work on the court bonuses (which are embodied by actual characters, who can defect and end up killed by enemy assassins) and the military portion of the game. Otherwise, I'm done. Tell me what you think about these rules, and whether you'd be interested in playesting them once I start up my PBEM.
Each province holds six main attributes: terrain type, resource, population, province level, size and wilderness level, which behaves like the source level of classical birthright, in the sense that it allows source holdings to be produced (as well as resource holdings, which will be explained below). The province's size normally equals its province level plus its wilderness level; one can increase either at the expense of the other. When provinces have been pillaged, corrupted or such, however, an additional "corruption level" may be added. Only a succesful rule province action or a specific realm spell may restore it to either a province level or a wilderness level. Even coastal provinces, which also include the shoreline and the strip of sea around it, are reduced to zero wilderness as they develop, simply because of the fishing and pollution that results. Elves (and, in my own campaign, some other factions) suffer a loss of 1 wilderness level for every 2, 3 or 4 province levels they gain, rounded down. Thus, a level 5 elven province with a size of 8 will still have 7 wilderness levels, one of which it will lose if it develops up to level 8. Note that it still can't develop beyond level 8, as province levels can never go beyond province size. A level-3 province with a size of 3 would represent a tightly-packed urban environment, which nonetheless can't exceed the size of a modern-day town.
The difference between province level and integral population, when positive, counts as a DC for a roll to which regency may be added by the owner of the province. Upon failure, one point of the province's level is transferred to its "corruption level".
Province level rules regarding terrain are scrapped - regents can build cities anywhere they want, including glaciers. It would simply be a bad investment, though, as certain terrain types can only support limited population levels. Also, sea zones exist - these usually take up three or four times as much space as their land-based counterparts. They only have two attributes: their size and harshness. Ships slow down in harsher waters, as they must contend with storms and hostile winds consistently, while trade becomes more difficult - each sea zone crossed by a trade route adds its size multiplied by a tenth of its harshness for the purpose of determining that trade route's distance. Normally, this harshness ranges from 1 to 10.
The difference between the province's current level and its population, if positive, is added to the DC of rule province rolls. All law holdings present, as well as the province's attitude, also affects the roll.
Provinces themselves may be contested: if the contesting regent owns the majority of law holdings in that province, he may attempt it at a DC of 20 plus the province's attitude towards its regent (whether positive or negative), plus the province's integral population. The roll is affected by law holdings in the same way as a contest holding roll. Contesting a province constitutes an act of war, and if successful, leaves it unable to produce taxes until the contesting regent performs a successful investiture action, or the province's previous owner performs a successful rule action. When successful by 10 or more, the contesting regent lowers the province's attitude by the difference between the roll and the DC, minus 10. Conversely, failure by 10 or more adds to the province's attitude. A significantly powerful success may lower the attitudes of all surrounding provinces owned by the loser by 1, and may even alter the attitude of his entire domain. Such results are left to the DM's discretion.
One may, on extremely rare occasions, split or unite provinces to reflect major cultural or political events. This is something that the DM should ponder and plan carefully, as although many of the rules presented here allow for a smooth transformation, which gives neither bonuses nor penalities to anyone, players may still abuse some rules maintained from the original Birthright. Note that only provinces of the same resource and terrain type may be joined, and once split, provinces retain their terrain type.
To prevent provinces from growing too quickly, the concept of population has been introduced. Population starts out equal to the province level, fluctuates according to the player's policies and influences a variety of factors. Its value has two decimals, and increases by a number equal to the hundredth portion of its integer part every month (at least for plains and hills). This is easier to add up than it sounds: a population of 3.12 would go up by 0.03 each month; next month, it would reach 3.15. For three-month turns, the number would only have to be multiplied by 3. When the population is between 0 and 1 (a very rare scenario), either increase the population by 0.01 automatically, or roll d100. If the die's percentile value is equal to or lower than the population, raise the population by 0.01. Population growth is stunted by the province's terrain type. Glaciers never allow population to increase - in fact, they can't sustain populations at all, and glacier provinces rely exclusively on food resources imported from other lands. Deserts and tundras give a growth bonus of 0.01 for every 6 levels of population, rounded up, and never rise beyond 1/5th their province size; mountains and scrubs give a bonus of 0.01 every 3 levels, up to 1/3rd province size; forests and swamps give 0.01 every 2 levels, up to 2/3rds province size. Anything above that has to be supported by food resources exclusively. Other terrain types, like plains and hills, allow populations to increase up to the province size. Note that this isn't a fixed limit. Instead, every additional unit of populaton beyond it reduces the growth rate by 0.01, eventually cancelling out all population growth. Since glaciers generate no population growth themselves, two food resources have to be shipped every month for every population unit just to prevent widespread famine. Thus, while building great civilizations in the middle of nowhere is possible, it's certainly not an investment to be taken lightly.
Rivers increase population growth by 0.01 per month, while coastal provinces gain an extra 0.02 to their growth.
Note that only the integer part of the population is usually involved in calculations - this value is referred to as the "integral population". Conversely, the remainder of the population is called the "percentile population". During pillages and genocides (see below), the percentile population drops by 10 for every military unit involved in the massacres.
A province with an integral population of 10 will contain a hundred thousand people. Thus, each 1% of population represents 100 men. It would take an integral population of 100 to reach a million people. If 1% growth rates feel unrealistic, the GM can decide that population growth only takes place once every year, or once every two years, or at even higher intervals. This makes things more realistic and warfare more devastating, at the cost of slowing down the game.
Overpopulation can occour when the integral population goes beyond the province level. In this case, homes are overcrowded, villages have fewer farmlands than it takes to keep everyone fed, or cities merely lack the infrastructure to support large populations. Each unit of integral population beyond the province's level plus the number of plains resources held by the province imparts a penality of -1 to the province's attitude. No bonus is given for populations lower than the province level, however, as they simply can't make use of the facilities provided - there aren't enough people who can operate them fully.
Population, not province level, decides the ammount of taxes coming in each month. Each province gives 1 GB for every unit of integral population, and taxation modifiers may be given as per the BRCS. These modifiers are indifferent to the population, though high taxes automatically decrease when the integral populaton drops to a low enough level.
1.1.1.Multiracial provinces, pillaging and genocide:
Some GMs may want to handle every race and culture on its own terms, allowing mass deportations and cultural takeovers to take place. While this makes things far more complicated than just calculating population, it can also provide richer, deeper gameplay options. Sub-population records may be kept for every race and major culture, so that rather than a single population number, a province would have two or three depending on the context. Genocide and pillage could therefore be targeted on certain minorities. Furthermore, racial bonuses would start to affect gameplay in more interesting ways. For simplicity, however, the DM can state that every province has a "dominant" race and ethnicity, which may be changed through a rule province action at a DC equal to the province's population. This wouldn't raise the level of the province - merely set it to another "dominant" race.
Genocide is different from pillage in that no province levels are decreased, although the population suffers just as fiercely. Only 1% of a GB is gained, while the percentile population is reduced by 10, for every military unit involved. By contrast, each pillaging unit gives 10% GB, reduces the percentile population by 10, and reduces any target holding by one level. The province level drops by 1 for every point of integral population reduced, and the corruption level rises by 1 - cities become shattered ruins, farmlands burn and mines collapse, leaving nothing but their rubble for their leaders to reclaim.
One may also perform deportations and colonizations (court actions). Such actions cost 1% GB for every unit of percentile population moved, plus a cumulative 10% GB for every 1 integral population redeployed during that month. Thus, moving 3,20 population would cost 3.20 +1 +2 +3 = 9.20 gold bars. Both the home province and the target suffer an attitude penality of 1 for every unit of integral population moved. To avoid losing popularity, the regent must pay 10% per 1 percentile population instead of 1% as compensation, and must not be occupying the home province at the time of colonization. The regent must also possess one level of law holdings in the home province for every 1 integral population moved; the sum of his law holdings and (if martial law has been declared) local military units must also be at least half the level of the province's integral population. Otherwise, the deportation simply cannot be performed. Even if the action is successful, cultural frictions and financial difficulties can prevent the target province from gaining taxes from its new arrivals - if immigrants arrive right in the middle of a trun, they only start paying their taxes the following turn.
Regents may transfer population into a neighbouring domain, and typically require strict negociations before border guards allow it (unless said border guards had been exterminated, driven off or otherwise dealt with by the colonizer's army). Many regents might dislike a sudden influx of new citizens, while others could actually pay for a cheap labor force. Colonization simply means adding to another province's population, however - no law holdings are placed, and no influence gained. While bonuses could be provided for some actions, such as contest, keeping track of all immigration records can be too tedious to make it worthwhile. GMs might rule that a regent's holdings in a province that he just recently colonized would earn +1 to their DC for contest actions against them. This only applies to authentic colonization, though - deportations (which cost less) may actually reduce such DCs, as disgruntled exiles seek to sabotage their former masters.
Regents may also attempt to attract immigrants. For this, a court action is needed, along with a roll of a d20 at a DC of 20, affected by both the attitude modifiers of all provinces involved. Wtih a positive modifier, the target province gives a bonus, while with a negative modifier, it increases the overall DC. The reverse is true for home provinces - after all, people see no reason to leave when they're already happy with their homes. Regents may select any number of home provinces, whether bordering the target province directly, residing up to four sea zones away (in the case of coastal/river provinces) or connected by trade routes. Such trade routes to the target province can facilitate this venture, allowing the DC to drop by 1 for every 2 trade route levels. Note, also, that each province beyond the first from which new immigrants will be attracted raises the DC by 1. Both gold bars and regency may be spent on this roll - 10% of either a GB or RP will boost the roll by 1.
The difference between the roll and DC equals the number of immigrants gained in terms of integral population, with a minimum of 0. Failure by 10 or more results in influence being lost from the target province - its attitude drops by 1 for every point beyond the 10th. If two or more home provinces have been selected, a brief hierarchy is established beforehand. Every province down this hierarchy sends 1 unit of percentile population in turn, until the ammount shown by the roll has been received. Immigrants will continue to arrive every month, until either a year passes, the target province's attitude drops or some event (like martial law) prevents continued immigration.
1.2.Wilderness and resources
Aside from giving bonuses to stealthed units and gauging the extent of terrain bonuses (which cannot go any higher than the province's wilderness level), the countryside has a distinctly useful feature. Resource and source holdings "use up" wilderness levels, so that when the total number of resource and source holdings goes above the province's wilderness level, the difference between these two values is added to the DC of ruling either of these holdings. When a province level drops, it usually becomes converted into a corruption level, rather than a wilderness level. The province must then be ruled to transform corrupted land into fresh wilderness. In order to reduce a province's level by 1 without causing corruption, the regent must rule it, taking its intended level as a DC.
Resources are a special feature of this ruleset, being constantly "produced" by their respective resource holdings: each unit of resources is linked to a particular holding, so that when the holding becomes reduced in level, one units of resources becomes eradicated. Contested holdings provide no resources at all, but immediately continue exporting their resources upon a successful rule action. Resources strictly affect the province in which they're located - they provide no bonuses or penalities outside it. For convenience, each province (except those newly established in wild territories, which contain no resources at all) contains only a single resource, though this resource may be changed with some effort, at a DC of 10 plus the province's wilderness level. Such an action also costs a number of GBs equal to the wilderness level. This is to account for all the planting, cattle-shipping, dowsing or other affairs that must be dealt with before a new resource can be exploited. In addition, it may take a number of months or even years equal to the province's wilderness level to create the new resources. After all, a forest can't be planted in a month. During this time, no resources may be exploited in the province, as the present resource holdings adjust to the for resources. The DM may also decide, in some cases, to request that resources be imported before the province may produce them. Livestock and grains are examples of this: if little or no cultivated grain exists around the province, the locals must somehow collect it from abroad. Furthermore, certain terrain types favour a specific resource - the DC for finding other resources increases. The following chart addresses this: the numbers show how much is added to the base DC.
Foo Sto Woo Com Pre Lux Che
Gla| 8 7 9 6 9 8 7
Tun| 6 5 5 6 9 5 5
Des| 6 1 9 5 8 5 4
Scr| 5 1 7 5 8 5 3
Jun| 1 4 0 6 9 4 3
For| 1 4 0 6 9 4 3
Mou| 7 0 3 0 3 4 2
Hil| 1 1 2 2 5 5 3
Pla| 0 3 4 4 7 6 4
Isl| 0 4 4 4 7 4 3
Magical resources, as a rule, may only be extracted by source holdings, which behave as virtual resource holdings of half their true level, rounded down (as opposed to standard Birthright, where they behave as virtual guild holdings). The resources they support may be traded normally, via guilds.
It takes more wealth to locate suitable materials in a province completely bare of resource units, and this ought to be reflected when creating items, plying one's trade or adventuring. A province devoid of metal will provide smiths with less income and require more significant expenses on their part, should they wish to create custom-made items.
1.2.1 Resource types
This section describes the utility and typical monthly incomes of various resource types. Note that two resources belonging to the same type are still considered different resources, unless a variant called "grouped resources" is used - that is, they may be traded between provinces that harbor the same resource type, but not the same resource specifically. "Sat" is short for "saturation", relative to the province's integral population, and always rounded up. When the number of a specific resource's units exceeds it, every additional unit lowers the GB income of that resource by 0.05 GBs. Therefore, if 6 units of common metals were present in a level ten province (sat = 1/3x10, rounded up, which means 4), they would each earn only 25%GB (which is 35% - 5% x(6 - 4)).
. Also, note that the income values provided below are only guidelines, and should differ based on the actual resources involved - grain would cost less than salt and honey, for example.
Food (15%GB/month, sat 1) - this may come in the form of grains and vegetables, livestock, fish, game, honey, salt and others - every province can potentially include one resource from this category. Where present, they increase population growth by 0.01 each month.
Common metals (35%GB/month, sat 1/3) - copper, iron, tin and others. When recruiting most units, the difference between the common metal resources present in a province and the total GBs spent for recruitment that month is multiplied by 150% for the purpose of calculating the GB cost of recruitment. For example, if a regent spends 7 GB recruiting heavy cavalry in a province where he only has 3 metal resources, he will need an additional (7-5)/2 = 2 GB, raising the total cost of recruitment to 9.
Also, the total upkeep cost of most units in a province is reduced by 0.1 GB for every unit of common metals present.
Stones (25%GB/month, sat 1/3) - marble, granite, basalt, obsidian, sandstone and the like. Each unit of these resources lowers the total upkeep costs of the province's buildings and stone-equipped troops by 0.1 GB.
Wood (20%GB/month, sat 1/2) - this may include both trees and any fantastic plants or other creatures that can produce wood-like substances. Essential for ships, archers and some buildings (usually, fortifications no higher than level 2), it reduces their total upkeep costs within this province by 0.1 GB.
Because of their plenitude, wood and stones are considered building materials. Provinces require them in other to finish great projects - the number of building materials present in the province is added each month, until this number equals the wonder's GB cost. A wonder costing 50 GB will thus need to wait 25 turns while its province has two units of stone and wood. These resources are considered to be "used up" during this situation: they generate no GB themselves and they don't contribute to anything other than the wonder. Building materials are also required for building fortifications above level 1 - a number of materials equal to the fortification's current level, plus one, needs to be amassed before provncial fortifications may rise by one level. Fortified holdings have no need for such expenditures.
Variant: when ruling a province or holding, the number of building materials present is substracted from the target's intended level. Should this number be positive, add a third of it, rounded down, to the DC. Thus, a city with a level 10 temple holding, but only 3 building materials, will face a +2 to the DC.
Precious metals (50%GB/month, sat 1/5) - gold, silver, platinum and others. These reduce the upkeep costs of palaces and wonders by 0.1 GB per month. Additionally, when located in a capital, they boost the landed regent's income by +0.3 GB per month, even if they have already saturated local markets.
Luxuries (50%GB/month, sat 1/5) - silk, jade, pearls, ivory and gemstones form this group. They help with upkeep costs in the same way as precious metals. They also reduce the upkeep of expensive units (those with a recruitment cost greater than 5GB/month).
Chemicals (30% GB, sat 1/2) - coal, borax, brimestone, natural gases and other utilitarian resources, such as mineral dyes. These support local industries, providing guild holdings with +0.05 GB per month.
Magical resources - everything produced by magical means. These would only manifest in provinces that overflow with magic, the sort that might only exist in Sielwode, Tuarhievel and other Cerilian lands inhabited by elves. Other regions, having been corrupted and transformed into gigantic ruins, might produce these, letting their few denizens exploit the devastated landscape in whatever way they can. They give bonuses to arcane spells cast in the province, by providing a pool of virtual RPs with which different spells may be boosted.
2.Basic holding management
Holding levels may be increased beyond the province's level. However, their DC rises by the difference between their intended level and the level of the province. In addition, once the total number of holding levels of a certain type has exceeded the integral population of the province, 1% GB and RP gets deducted, per holding level, from the earnings of all holdings of that type. Stealthed holdings are ignored when calculating total holding levels, although they do suffer the penality as any other holding.
Nearly all provinces start with independent holdings, whether stealthed or overt. These may randomly increase or decrease in strength as the DM sees fit.
Create holding, rule or espionage actions allow regents to conceal their holdings. When used to create or raise stealth holdings, the first two of the above actions receive an extra 20 to their DCs and gain a bonus to the roll equal to half province's integral population (but no higher than 20), rounded down, while law holdings oppose or support them as normal. Espionage actions have a DC of 20 plus the target holding's level, gain the same population bonus, and are affected by law holdings. Failing by 10 or more exposes the target holding to the province ruler and all regents who own holdings of the same type as the target, while failing by 20 or more exposes it to every regent, period.
The advantages of owning stealth holdings can be enormous. First, the owner's stealth holdings are immune to the influence of law holdings. Other regents can't contest stealthed holdings without first discovering them via an espionage action (DC 20 plus half the province's integral population, rounded down, with a bonus to the roll equal to the holding's size), receiving exact information of their whereabouts from those who already possess it, or occupying the province (in which case the troops may perform a mock "espionage" roll, adding the number of occupying troops as a bonus). Influencing other regents' actions (such as rule and create holding) doesn't remove stealth, and neither does performing actions strictly related to these types of holdings (like mustering troops and even making trade routes, although these routes themselves must start out stealthed). When recruiting units, with a total upkeep cost no higher than the level of the recruiter's stealthed holdings in the province, the recruiter may have them start out stealthed without paying any extra costs. Finally, stealth grants trade routes immunity to piracy, as well as most kinds of taxation - after all, no regent will demand high taxes from a seemingly weak guild. Selectively informing other regents of the stealthed holdings does not remove their stealth status, unless the regents go public using a decree, diplomacy or similar command.
Ordinary holdings and even some wonders may be stealthed through an espionage action. To increase the espionage roll, a holding's owner may willingly reduce the level of that holding, adding 3 to the roll for every holding level lost, and adding only the resulting level of the holding to the DC. Stealth holdings automatically become visible the turn after their regent merges them with another holding of the same type (such as he might gain through a diplomacy action), unless said regent makes an espionage roll immediately or during the next turn, adding the holding's final level to the DC.
Espionage can also cause holdings to be destroyed through sabotage, assassinations, forgery and the like, while contest actions typically involve more lawful methods - price wars, slander and legal battles, for example. Contest actions are made easier by the presence of law holdings (each level of law holding owned by the contesting regent and his allies/vassals in the province, minus the cumulative levels of law holdings owned by the target and its allies/vassals, as well as any persons who might specifically wish to impede the contesting regent, acts as a modifier during contest actions), while espionage rolls depend on friendly guild levels and enemy law holding levels. Contesting a holding does not offer a pretext for war, unlike espionage. It removes a number of levels per attempt equal to the highest multiple of the DC that the roll has managed to surpass. Thus, if the DC is 20, and the roll gets as high as 48, it lowers the holding level by 2.
Law holdings give 15% GB, as well as 15% RP, per level each month. Only the ruler of the province may collect this regency. Unlike standard Birthright, Heartland also treats law holdings as places of political administration, which can take the guise of forums for a democratic city or the governor's estate for provinces recently conquered.
The BRCS variant: Building musters is used. In addition to this, taxes in a province may never be higher than twice the level of law holdings owned by the regent. Any regent with law holdings may decide to collect taxes in a certain province, either for himself, the ruler of the province or any other regents who possess local law holdings.
Each level of guild holdings brings in 25% GB each month, although regents may collect 15% RP instead; they cannot receive both GB and RP in the same month for the same holding. This makes guild leaders more challenging to play, to offset the power they might gain from trading resources. In addition, each level of a regent's guild holding allows him to establish one level's worth of trade routes issuing from the province. These levels may be freely used to strengthen or reduce trade routes - for instance, a regent may have four different level 1 routes emerging from a level-4 guild, or a single level 4 route, or an entirely different combination of trade routes, chosen as he sees fit. If the level of the guild holding falls so much that it can no longer support the present volume of trade, one level is removed from a route of the DM's or player's choice.
Regents may adjust the levels of their trade routes as free actions, either when they have successfully ruled a guild holding, when the holding has been reduced in level, or simply when they wish to change their commercial priorities. Adjusting trade routes costs 5% GB for every level raised, although it doesn't cost a thing to reduce trade route levels. A trade route of level 0 may still exist, and is immediately destroyed when the guild holding becomes contested (or after a successful contest action, if the guild is already contested when the trade route's level falls to 0), but for all intents and purposes, it doesn't do anything at all. Creating a new trade route is an entirely more costly affair than reclaiming an old one. Note, however, that maintainance cost apply for all (including level 0) trade routes, and while they are abstracted from routes of level 1 or above, they require level 0 routes to pay 1% GB each month. This makes having trade connections to every province in the world extremely unfeasible.
Rather than confine themselves to rivers and provincial highways, trade routes may now pass through roadless or even completely barren provinces, so long as the guild holding in charge of the route has a high enough level. Normally, each plains province counts as a distance of 1 (1/2 with roads), each hill and forest province counts as 2 (1 with roads), each desert and tundra province counts as 3(1 with roads), while mountain and glacier provinces count as 4 (2 with roads). A more complex, yet also more coherent, system takes province sizes into account, multiplying the relevant value by the size of the province involved and dividing it by 20 (the standard province size).
The level of the guild equals the maximum distance of its trade routes. Thus, a guild of level 8 may be able to create a trade route that spans 16 ordinary plains provinces with roads, or 2 ordinary mountain provinces without roads. The home province is never included in the distance, although the target province is. The trade route's path towards the province *must* be specified, as it greatly affects piracy and the transfer of resources. As conditions change, the owner of the trade route may relocate it as a court action with a DC of 5.
One may perform acts of piracy upon a trade route, simply by placing troops (which may remain undetected, if they've already used stealth) inside a province through which the trade route passes. The owner of that route must roll against a DC equal to five the number of troops involved, with the province's attitude, fortifications and law holdings acting as a bonus or penality to the roll. The province's size is added to his roll, while its harshness (for sea zones) is deducted. Piracy transfers the one-month profits of the trade route to the pirate-regent when successful, but always raises the upkeep costs of the units involved by one rank[?]. If the guild regent's roll succeeds, every point of his success above the tenth causes one of the pirate troops to die. If, however, the roll fails by 10 or more, the pirate-regent may choose to destroy the trade route. Note that the owner may secure his trade route against piracy, by converting GBs from the trade route's income into "security", with each GB adding 3 to the roll. "Security" can mean anything from devising alternate routes to blending with the populace in an effective (yet also expensive) manner, and does not limit itself to the mere presence of soldiers.
To destroy a trade route via military means, one may first occupy a province, then automatically have the troops perform a mock "contest" action: a roll against a DC of 10 plus the level of the trade route's guild holding, with the number of troops acting as a bonus.
Trade routes may be subject to stealth: to conceal a trade route once it's active (so that it may be relocated), an espionage roll must be made at a DC of 20 plus the distance of the trade route involved. Law holdings in the home and target province may affect the roll, while each troop patrolling in or occupying a province crossed by the trade route add 1 to the DC. A stealthed guild holding may still bear visible trade routes, although each of these lowers the DC for detecting the guild by 5; also, troops patrolling/occupying a province through which the trade route passes each add 1 to the roll, while troops doing the same in the home/target province add 2.
Trade routes may be given two roles at once: commerce and transportation. For each level of a trade route, its regent earns a tenth of the sum of the home province and target province's integral populations, minus 2% of the distance between the home and target province, rounded up. Obviously, sea zones and plains provinces provide the biggest benefits for passing trade routes. The home and target provinces don't need to be of different terrain types, though they do need to provide different resources each. Otherwise, they only produce half as many GB as they normally would. A plains province with a population of 5, linking to one with a population of 3 by crossing the highways of 4 plains provinces (with a total distance of 3), will yield 0.74 GB for a level one trade route and 2.96 GB for a level four trade route. This hardly makes any profit; the real income will appear once resources are taken into account.
Using trade routes, resources may be tranferred between two provinces, gaining GBs for both the guild regent and the resource holding's owner. In order to manipulate another regent's resource holdings, a contract must first be established through diplomacy, specifying how the regents split their income. Once he "rents" a resource in this fashion, the guild holding's owner may then transfer it along his trade network, being able to move three times as many resources along a trade route as it has levels. Thus, a level 10 trade route may move 30 resource levels. The important thing to note is that if one trade route (called a "splinter") starts or ends along another trade route (called a "stem"), the stem route may pass resources along the splinter route. Unfortunately, this means both the stem and splinter move a resource level - a level-three splinter trade route which already carries 5 resources from its home province to its target may transfer another 10 resources from the stem trade route, but no more.
Each resource unit moved along a trade route grants a bonus equal to one level of that trade route, times its default GB income, in addition to adding that GB income to the route. Thus, a gold resource (50% GB) on a trade route that generates 0.70 GB/level will provide an extra 85% GB instead of 50% GB. By contrast, keeping resources for local consumption only earns the regent their normal GB value. There's a synnergy to trade and resource exploitation that often makes bitter allies out of resource and guild regents, with each trying to make a bigger profit off the other. Note that when saturation affects trade routes, it lowers both the multiplier and the flat GB value added to the route's profitability.
A province may assign a trade route for either import or export - getting resources from the target province, or transferring them from its stocks. DMs who don't mind keeping track of numerous sprawled resources may even allow intermediary provinces to receive the resources involved.
These provide the regent with either 10%GB or 25%RP each month, based on whether he intends to collect gold or regency. They otherwise behave the way they did in standard Birthright.
As an optional rule, each level of temple holdings may provide sanctuary to a single military unit every month. That unit, rather obviously, cannot engage in combat (unless the temple itself is attacked) and becomes supported by the temple's own coffers. Sanctuary usually protects troops from kings and soldiers of the same religion, while others, who wouldn't mind a bit of blasphemy, can sometimes ignore it with impunity.
Specific to this ruleset, culture holdings represent centers of local influence. While dirt-poor, culture regents often gain considerable wealth by selling their propaganda to the highest bidder. They grant the regent 10%GB, 20%RP and 1 virtual RP every month per level, spent strictly on adjusting rolls within the province. This goes for counter-espionage, aiding contest actions, agitating and just about any other influence-related task. They can't, however, bolster spells or otherwise apply their regency in ways that surpass the abilities of ordinary mortal crowds. Regents who possess culture holdings in the same province as another regent's palace may even increase diplomatic overtures this way. Note that culture holdings may never increase a roll beyond its DC minus 10, when all other factors (except true regency investment) have been taken into account. This assures that such things as increasing province levels still has to be done slowly, with some measure of risk.
Culture holdings may also provide special bonuses: a warlike race such as the goblins could, for instance, spend virtual regency instead of gold bars for recruting units with a cost of 2GB or less (after all, while influence may garner peasants for the battlefield, it can hardly equip them and provide them military training). The DM is free to invent any race-specific rules surrounding culture holdings. For convenience, a few samples have been provided below.
Khinasi: Both the more cultured citizens and their nomadic counterparts appreciate stories and news from distant city-states. As such, Khinasi may transfer VRPs between two povinces connected by trade routes, yielding 1 VRP in the target province for every 2 transferred.
Brecht: Thanks to their economic savvy, brecht culture regents may convert each VRP they gain into an extra 5% GB.
Rjurik: The hardy northerners may spend VRPs to increase the ammount of ships they can produce each turn. Each VRP counts as a level of guild holding.
Vos: Barbaric legends of valour convince the Vos that they can gain fame and respect through heroism on the battlefield. This naivete allows them to transform VRPs into army points before battles.
Anuireans: Same as the vos.
Goblins: These may recruit units with muster costs of 2GB or less by spending VRPs instead of GBs.
Dwarves: Hard-working and content with making sacrifices, the dwarves may turn VRPs into GBs for calculating unit upkeep costs. Each VRP thus spent counts as 25% GBs.
Elves: Unlike others, elves may spend the extra RP generated by their culture holdings on arcane magic.
2.5.Resource and source holdings
Resource holdings, by themselves, produce no income. Their main purpose is to produce resources - one for every holding level. These resources are considered to be held by their home province unless delivered somewhere else via a trade route. They generate GBs according to the guidelines written in section 1.2, and behave as described in section 2.2.1 when traded.
Resource holdings suffer the same penalities as other holdings when a regent attempts to raise them above the province's level; they don't, however, require building materials. They gain a token 5% RPs per month; the resource regent's true power resides in his gold income.
As for source holdings, these now earn 20% RP per month, and no GB whatsoever. Only true wizards may collect these RPs, though.
09-28-2005, 07:30 AM #2
- Join Date
- Oct 2001
- Woerden, Netherlands
Subject: Re: [BIRTHRIGHT] The Heartland ruleset [11#3106]
From: "Lord Rahvin" <lordrahvin@GMAIL.COM>
> Demonizer wrote:
> Along the span of a few years, I have composed a campaign world that was
> first intended for a NWN mod.
Demonizer, could you send me any other material you've written up for
regarding rules and/or setting for your campaign? I'm very interested in
what you've come up with. Thanks.
Lord RahvinTe audire non possum. Musa sapientum fixa est in aure.
10-01-2005, 01:00 PM #3
- Join Date
- Jan 2005
I've made some adjustments to those rules, and wrote quite a few more on combat and domain management. You can check them all out in the leadership section of my game's website. There's also plenty of information on the setting, from local flora to descriptions of the various holdings available. The only things I haven't posted there yet are the overall cosmology, some background on the Nilag Valley, and the description of Telurien, which probably wouldn't be of use to a Birthright player.
I'm afraid that, given the lack of interest people have shown in playing Heartland as a standard Birthright game, I've fast-forwarded to my original idea of hosting a standard PBP. While the Birthright-based gameplay is still there, it's been stretched out so that one month of game time equals one month of real time (and one turn in terms of mechanics). I was hoping I could gather at least 10 players or so in the first month of the game's lifespan, but it seems people weren't as excited about innovation as I thought.
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