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  1. #1
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    How to Rebalance the amount of micromanagement?

    I am planning to start a Birthright campaign by first merging the kingmaker adventure path with King of the Giantdowns, and I am also working on a tactical RPG inspired by Birthright and XCOM.
    But I would like both to be more centered on the party actions than the management.
    As I said in this thread, I think the problem with Birthright (and one of the problem with the Gorgon alliance) is that it scales linearly with the domain size, so you start with not enough things to do (with a small domain of a single type), and end up with too much on your plate.
    In order to sidestep this issue, I plan on having a detailed system to manage the player strongholds (with NPC to assign, and buildings to erect), but a very simplistic one to manage the other provinces:
    So basically, a more detailed stronghold/demesne management, and less detailed province management.
    I planned to have something roughly similar to Eador Genesis (only a limited number of building options in each province, and a detailed stronghold building tree).
    What system would you recommend to draw inspiration from (homebrew or tabletop or from a computer game)?
    Last edited by Galdred; 06-23-2017 at 07:57 AM.

  2. #2
    Member nickgreyden's Avatar
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    Honestly, the best route for what it sounds like you are trying to acheive is the Crusader Kings 2 route.

    The "Player" can only personally control "X" amount of provinces (either a static number or a variable based on a stat/upgrade). The rest will have to be given over to NPC's to run that advance on their own timetable and wishes but under fealty to the "Player". The "Player" should be able to help upgrade or make suggestions on what to do (which may or may not be followed). They could start off as just "barons" controlling a castle or start of as a "count" controlling a province or county. From there they could move to "duke" controlling a domain and then "king" controlling all of the kingdoms of Anuria or Rjurik. And, if they pushed far enough, "emperor" of more than one kingdom.

    Have domain turns happen where upgrades are made. Then either wars or adventures happen either in their lands or abroad. These adventures could weaken neighbors, give a reason to invade, give RP/GB, outright claim land, lose lands (if lost). If you want to be really ambitious, have multiple ones happening at once. As a ruler, you can head out with a party to take care of one problem but have to send NPC's out to handle another. Or, if your NPCs are plentiful and powerful enough, maybe sit in the capital earning extra credit to upgrade while you send out multiple groups of NPCs to deal with situations but you don't get items and such from such an adventure.

    I could talk game theory and mechanics all day. But I think I'll shut up now.
    --Give me ambiguity or give me something else!--

  3. #3
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    Depending on how much you want to slim down province management, you could really just dispense with a lot of the per province holdings and detailed actions. It sounds like you really just want to track overall changes and power at that level, but focus on a personal, descriptive story.

    BR isn't really built for castle/building level choices, so I assume you're doing something entirely different there.

    For the realms and domains, you could do something that I've called before "faction-level" play. It all starts with the concept of "Domain Power," which if you'll recall from the original boxed set, is really just the sum of all holding and province levels -- usually equivalent to the max RP collected (irrespective of bloodline).

    For provinces and holding types, sum all levels; keep a tally of each type separately, and then sum them all per regent. Determine income in the fixed, linear BRCS 3.5e fashion (or something similar); if you want variable income, use a fixed base and roll dice to add or subtract, or percentile dice to ratchet up or down. This gives you GB collection, and RP is as normal.

    Now condense most actions to just a few. This isn't comprehensive and is just off the top of my head, but basically:
    Improve Domain (replaces Agitate and Create and Rule each of trade route, holding, or province, in ascending difficulty and cost)
    Assail Domain (replaces Contest, Agitate, Destabilize, affecting each asset type, lowering levels, loyalty)
    Investiture (replaces Divest, Ceremonies, includes making vassals/lieutenants/heirs, etc)

    Note that for Agitate to be replaced in this way, you kind of need to treat "Loyalty" like a holding; there are a few ways of doing this, but perhaps the easiest is to scale it 1-10 and apply as a score to regents, and if you want the detail, to other major lieutenants/vassals and/or holding types in general. You do have the make that scale meaningful, such as applying bonuses or penalties to income and rp collection and to actions at the ends of the scales, and some amount of fickleness in variation of the scale (particularly at the high end; it should be very hard to keep a populace or even a vassal at a 10 for long).

    Other actions can be ignored and brought in as necessary for the narrative, or, if you wish, tied to the Court size and/or number of Lieutenants/governing bureacracies, major vassals (other regents, or if you want to get into it, Counts, Barons, Dukes, etc). In that case, you don't administer in detail, just determine by overall rolls success at accomplishing other tasks. You could use some of the "pool" of available "Court Actions" here to stack "Build" or "Muster" and similar actions to accomplish more.

    The key to scaling is to break free of the action economy a bit by letting the actions scale with Domain Power. "Improve Domain" or "Assail Domain" should be broadly effective across the region if desired, with the degree of success capable of achieving multiple point increases or decreases in holdings, for instance.

    If that's too vague, maybe I'll get some time to post some more concrete examples.

  4. #4
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    Thank you for the suggestions!

    Quote Originally Posted by Rowan View Post
    Depending on how much you want to slim down province management, you could really just dispense with a lot of the per province holdings and detailed actions. It sounds like you really just want to track overall changes and power at that level, but focus on a personal, descriptive story.
    Indeed, I want to aim for something close to Mount and Blade or XCOM: kingdom level changes driven by individual actions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rowan View Post
    BR isn't really built for castle/building level choices, so I assume you're doing something entirely different there.
    It was just an exemple of a way to make the amount of management independent of the size of the domain, and it also manages to give a personal scale to it (like in King Arthur: the Role Playing Wargame or Pathfinder: Kingmaker). But it might turn into Sim City indeed (and the kingdom could end up just being a cash machine to improve the castle).

    Quote Originally Posted by Rowan View Post
    For the realms and domains, you could do something that I've called before "faction-level" play. It all starts with the concept of "Domain Power," which if you'll recall from the original boxed set, is really just the sum of all holding and province levels -- usually equivalent to the max RP collected (irrespective of bloodline).

    For provinces and holding types, sum all levels; keep a tally of each type separately, and then sum them all per regent. Determine income in the fixed, linear BRCS 3.5e fashion (or something similar); if you want variable income, use a fixed base and roll dice to add or subtract, or percentile dice to ratchet up or down. This gives you GB collection, and RP is as normal.

    Now condense most actions to just a few. This isn't comprehensive and is just off the top of my head, but basically:
    Improve Domain (replaces Agitate and Create and Rule each of trade route, holding, or province, in ascending difficulty and cost)
    Assail Domain (replaces Contest, Agitate, Destabilize, affecting each asset type, lowering levels, loyalty)
    Investiture (replaces Divest, Ceremonies, includes making vassals/lieutenants/heirs, etc)

    Note that for Agitate to be replaced in this way, you kind of need to treat "Loyalty" like a holding; there are a few ways of doing this, but perhaps the easiest is to scale it 1-10 and apply as a score to regents, and if you want the detail, to other major lieutenants/vassals and/or holding types in general. You do have the make that scale meaningful, such as applying bonuses or penalties to income and rp collection and to actions at the ends of the scales, and some amount of fickleness in variation of the scale (particularly at the high end; it should be very hard to keep a populace or even a vassal at a 10 for long).

    Other actions can be ignored and brought in as necessary for the narrative, or, if you wish, tied to the Court size and/or number of Lieutenants/governing bureacracies, major vassals (other regents, or if you want to get into it, Counts, Barons, Dukes, etc). In that case, you don't administer in detail, just determine by overall rolls success at accomplishing other tasks. You could use some of the "pool" of available "Court Actions" here to stack "Build" or "Muster" and similar actions to accomplish more.

    The key to scaling is to break free of the action economy a bit by letting the actions scale with Domain Power. "Improve Domain" or "Assail Domain" should be broadly effective across the region if desired, with the degree of success capable of achieving multiple point increases or decreases in holdings, for instance.

    If that's too vague, maybe I'll get some time to post some more concrete examples.
    Condensing every values to the Domain is an elegant way to go indeed. I'll also have to rebalance values so that gold income is just enough to upkeep a reasonable defense force (and not result in a snowballing growth).
    That would help make the individual adventuring choices more central (dispose of the elves that are siphoning the source, remove robber barons to increase order...) and help in not keeping track of every NPC domain without gimping them).

  5. #5
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    I have read several rule sets (well, most of the existing alternate ruleset for kingdom/domain management actually), and I really like the approach they take in an Echo Resounding:

    Each domain has "lairs" or places that need to be cleared to unlock benefits. I think it would work very well to tie domain management and adventure here (bandit's lair => + law, wizard dungeon => + source...).

    Like clearing the relevant obstacle before to unlock the full potential of a region. Of course, it works much better in a "newly settled" area, so it would be mostly appropriate for a King of the giantdowns kind of campaign.

    Regarding the buildings, I think going the Kingmaker route would not be good indeed, but having kingdom requirements to erect some buildings in the stronghold to unlock adventuring (or army units) options could work rather well (a bit like in XCOM actually).

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