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  1. #1
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    Ruling up sources as a realm action

    This is a perenial question in games i'm part of, can sources be rules up as a realm action. The use of a normal court should not aid in ruling up multiple sources, but that leaves wizards in a much weaker position than other regents. Could another way be developed to give them effective court actions for the purpose of ruling or contesting source holdings?

    Here is an idea.

    A first level spell with a material cost of 1 GB per Luietenant it affects. It would create a further connection between the Lt and regent allowing the Lt to go in the regents place to a source holding for the current month. Maybe limit the number of Lt's to 1 per 4 caster levels, with a minumum of 1.

    So a 20th level wizard could equal a level 10 court in terms of effective court actions. The cost could be adjusted, but since the wizard can save money by not needing to maintain a court permanently, the wizard should effectively save money should they only do this once a season, but lose money should they do this 2-3 times a season.

    Any other ideas?
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  2. #2
    Birthright Developer Raesene Andu's Avatar
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    I have seen another alternative that allows a wizard to spend RP to maintain a magical court that allows court actions to effect source holdings. Didn't like that one myself, it gave wizards a more powerful court than most realms for the expenditure of RP, not GB.

    We are reallly only talking about 1 action here though aren't we, and that is the rule source holding action.

    The problem is that source holdings are very unique in that they are linked solely to the wizard who control them, there are no priests or merchants, or lawmen working in them, it is a far more personal relationship. This means that if the wizard wants to do something with his source, he has to go out there and personally take care of it, he can't send a non-wizard lacky.

    However, if you go back to the Book of Magecraft, THE definitive source on all things realm magical, take a look at pg. 22. It says that a wizard can rule his sources as a domain or realm action, so there is nothing stopping him apart from the change of rules in the BRCS. The introduction of court actions which are performed by the court (not by the regent) is the main problem, in that the member of the court aren't wizards so they can't rule source holdings. Source holdings are personal, so only the regent can rule them up.

    Perhaps for wizard we should have a virtual court action. A wizard with a larger court can take more time out of his normal day-to-day affairs to rule up more sources than a wizard with no court. Of course, most wizards have no court anyway so it is fairly moot.
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  3. #3
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    I explained my idea badly. I meant that the Lt. had to be a wizard too. Their is already connection between Lt's and regents that goes beyond the normal boss employee relationship. It's become a mystical tie whicha allows the Lt. to spend regency on the regents behalf. I'm suggesting that through some magic, that tie could be temporarily strengthened, so that the Lt. could act as a proxy, so in some ways the wizard would be in multiple places at once. Through the connetion the Lt. would have a feel for the source as it is and be able to strengthen it, while the regent wizard would be able to sense what is happening and so able to use the strengthen source later.

    Another, would be to make it based entirely on level. Simply put, a stronger wizard can raise or contest a source more quickly. Just as a 9th level wizard can get 5 missles out of a single magic missle spell while a 1st level wizard can get only 1. So a 5th level wizard could rule up a source in half a month, while a 10th level wizard could do so in a third of a month. The sources would have to be in adjacent provinces to minimize traveling time.
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  4. #4
    Birthright Developer irdeggman's Avatar
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    Why find a way to give wizards more regarding sources?

    True they don't get benefits of a court for their domain actions affecting sources, but likewise no other regent can affect their sources. That is they can't be contested by anyone that doesn't have a source holding (so both sides are on equal footing).

    Now there are weaknesses here. For one the rule province action can be devasting for wizards and IMO it needs some definite work to make it harder to rule a province up and source holders should have some means of influencing such an action, maybe like law holdings can influence actions of other holding types (except sources).

    Another weakness is the lack of income for a wizard. All of his actions currently cost GB (which are in dire demand for a wizard since his holding don't generate income except via the virtual guild). {Looking over the BRCS-playtest I noticed that some have said this was a variant rule but in fact it is not, so sources always act as virtual guilds, unless otherwise house-ruled}. The realm spell Alchemy is not real cost effective for generating GB either.
    Duane Eggert

  5. #5
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    Why? because wizards seem to be the weakest of the regents. Now maybe this is balanced out by the relatively high level of wizards. They have so little income, need to spend so much time in order to rule up their holdings and so much time to research realm spells. That gives them very little time to actually take actions. Then those actions are even fairly limited by their lack of income. They are the only regent who is dependent upon another in order to be playable. They need a sponsor, which is probably good for order, but another limitation for the wizard.

    I just don't see why wizards are so much stronger than other regents, that they need this additional handicap. Many of my statements would not apply to the landed source regents.
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  6. #6
    Birthright Developer Raesene Andu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Jew
    I just don't see why wizards are so much stronger than other regents, that they need this additional handicap. Many of my statements would not apply to the landed source regents.
    You don't? A 10th level wizard with just a couple of high level sources and income from virtual guilds can conquer a landed realm with ease. Legion of Dead? Death Plague? Summon Monstrous Unit? Mass Destruction? Shall I go on? A rogue wizard can cause untold damage and it is almost impossible for a landed regent to destory their source holdings, as he would find it very hard to locate them to start with.

    Another weakness is the lack of income for a wizard. All of his actions currently cost GB (which are in dire demand for a wizard since his holding don't generate income except via the virtual guild). {Looking over the BRCS-playtest I noticed that some have said this was a variant rule but in fact it is not, so sources always act as virtual guilds, unless otherwise house-ruled}. The realm spell Alchemy is not real cost effective for generating GB either.
    Hmm, if is part of the standard income for sources then sources holdings should be listed on the income table along with the other holding types (x2/3 holding level -4). Instead on the domain income table it list sources as having 0 income, which leads to the natural assumption that virtual guilds is a variant rule and overides the standard income table. The text of that section confirms that source holding generate no base income.

    Personally I would make it a variant rule. If people want to use it they will, but not everyone wants to use it, especially as a lot of the time you have to try and reduce a wizard's power, not increase it, and because of the elven high level source problem.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by raesane andu
    You don't? A 10th level wizard with just a couple of high level sources and income from virtual guilds can conquer a landed realm with ease. Legion of Dead? Death Plague? Summon Monstrous Unit? Mass Destruction? Shall I go on? A rogue wizard can cause untold damage and it is almost impossible for a landed regent to destory their source holdings, as he would find it very hard to locate them to start with.
    I can't find any PC wizard with more than 2 2/3 GB income from virtual guilds (from EW holdings page). A couple of the higher level mages have weak bloodlines. Plus if the evil mage starts raising legions of dead and casting death plague, The local temple and other wizards will quickly get involved. Mass destruction is an expensive spell given how little damage it does. Any significant use of these spells would quickly tap their GB resources and regency resources. A wizard could mess with a realm, but actually conquering is a different story. I can also see how both temples and guilds could both pose equally great threats to a landed regent, should they decide.

    Most importantly both guilds and landed regents can ussually significantly increase their resources during the game. Landed regents rule provinces and quickly rule up law holdings. Guilds create trade routes. Temples initially rule up their holdings and grow with the ruled up provinces. Wizards can only grow very slowly in strength.
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  8. #8
    Birthright Developer Raesene Andu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Jew
    Most importantly both guilds and landed regents can ussually significantly increase their resources during the game. Landed regents rule provinces and quickly rule up law holdings. Guilds create trade routes. Temples initially rule up their holdings and grow with the ruled up provinces. Wizards can only grow very slowly in strength.
    True, but it is a lot easier to reduce the resources of other regents. Provinces can be lost in wars. Law, guild, and temple holdings can be destroyed through occupation of provinces and wars. Trade routes can be disrupted by espionage actions, wars, inclement regents, and so forth. Sources remain fairly steady. The increase only slowly, but usually only decrease when land regent increase the population of a province (if they want to keep hold of their lands they will probably ask the wizard first).

    It is perfectly possible for a wizard to conquer a realm, even with one a few GB of income/turn (+Alchemy realm spell). Wizards with a low bloodline probably have it the hardest, but if you have a bloodline of 30+ and enough source holdings it is easy enough. Spend a few turns ruling up your sources, learning realm spells, etc, and make sure you keep on good terms with the local land regent so he pays you a nice court wizards fee (around 3 GB would be nice). Then it is just a matter of waiting for an opportunity to start using your spells.

    Mass Destruction has been altered from the original spell and reduced somewhat in power. It used to effect 1 unit + 1/three level, now it is 1/three level, so a reduction of 1 unit. It used to destroy units utterly (1 hit on save), now it does 2 hits (1 hit on save). While this means that you can still destroy most units, the real elite units (who you'd want to target with this spell), such as Elite Infantry and Knight cannot be destroyed. It does have an increased duration though (you can now wait 4 weeks to use it instead of just 1). If you have the RP to spare (and you'd need a lot) you can still do a hell of a lot of damage with this spell if you have the RP to spare.
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  9. #9
    Not that I necessarily agree that wizards need any more help, but.... If you look at Book of Magecraft, when a source is created, magical creatures guard the source. So theoretically these magical creatures could work in a manner similar to a court in reguards to ruling source? they could at least do allot of the prep work ie drawing runes, placing magical herbs, whatever actually has to be done for the mundane acts in increasing source. Then the mage just swings by and finalizes the ritual or whatever? Just some thoughts, nothing that I will probably use myself though.

  10. #10
    Birthright Developer irdeggman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raesene Andu

    Hmm, if is part of the standard income for sources then sources holdings should be listed on the income table along with the other holding types (x2/3 holding level -4). Instead on the domain income table it list sources as having 0 income, which leads to the natural assumption that virtual guilds is a variant rule and overides the standard income table. The text of that section confirms that source holding generate no base income.

    Personally I would make it a variant rule. If people want to use it they will, but not everyone wants to use it, especially as a lot of the time you have to try and reduce a wizard's power, not increase it, and because of the elven high level source problem.
    Actually the text under the income section does not confirm that sources generate no income - it doesn't address them at all. That is not the same thing.

    The applicable text is:

    Domain actions with source holdings

    Source holdings are substantially different that other types of holdings. Only practitioners of true magic can create or rule source holdings. Other characters cannot control sources directly; although they control them indirectly through the services of a vassal mage.

    Unlike other holdings and domain assets, source holdings and ley lines have no maintenances cost. However, control of source holdings provide no income and little in the way of direct political impact. Control of other types of holdings allows the regent to utilize the holding to perform domain actions in the province in which the holding lies. Source holdings do not provide such benefits. Source holding levels cannot usually be applied to aid in a domain action. Furthermore, the regent of a source holding gains no special insight into the political powers of the province and may be largely unaware of the other regents in the province. On the other hand, it is equally difficult for non-source regents to view the level or current regent of source holdings in their provinces.

    Powerful sources can provide the regent mage with considerable influence of the wildlife and natural resources of the province. Source holdings of level 4 or higher count as virtual guilds for the mage. As a source holding increases, so too does the influence of the mage over the wildlife and simple-folk of the region. A source holding of level 4 acts as a virtual guild (0), a source holding of level 5 acts as a virtual guild (1), and so on. This virtual guild is not an actual holding, it does not count against the total level of guild holding in the province nor it can not be contested, ruled, or invested as a separate entity – its fate is entirely tied to that of the source holding. Otherwise, the virtual guild provides most of the benefits of an actual guild: the regent mage collects gold (but not regency) each domain turn, the mage can use the guild level in domain actions to affect public opinion (Agitate), rally soldiers to their cause (Muster troops), collect information through agents (Espionage), or collect income from trade (Create trade route) in exactly the same way as an actual guild of the appropriate level.



    Which is not under a variant rule section.


    I see the point about the income generation table being misleading and it should probably be modified to say "special" with the text governing income generation as a virtual guild following. But I see why Travis put it where he did and chose not to duplicate the text. By virtue of being a virtual guild the source subsequently generates income, but this is a side effect to reflect the power and influence it allows the wizard to have.


    The "problem" with elven sources is indeed a potential issue. Now since elven lands have generally low level law and guild holdings to start with and the fact that almost all of the sources are "owned" by the Regent and necessary for the running of the realm, etc., it probably isn't as bad as is being made out to be. There is the high court costs (remember the courst is supposed to reflect the level of the province after all and elves are known for the courts) , the high troop muster and maintenance costs and the fact that all sources related actions require GB.
    Last edited by irdeggman; 09-08-2005 at 11:51 AM.
    Duane Eggert

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