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  1. #1
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    Spiderfell province level

    Spiderfell province level is 0/7. In Gorgon's alliance is 5 because gameplay reasons, but wiki should be more canon.
    I am a little puzzled. Lore says the area is filled by goblins and gnolls while 0 level means very low population.

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    Site Moderator AndrewTall's Avatar
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    The Spiderfell was always an oddity. It is too big to be a single province, that it is run collectively shouldn't impact the mechanical split.

    For the wiki I am uncertain, ideally we would refer to the canon level, but then note various options, it is fairly pointless having an empty province from a game-play perspective, unless you want to have a space for a realm to b created in (which is fine for Vosgaard, the Khinasi wilds or Aduria perhaps but not really an Anuirean thing)

    My preference would be:
    To split it into 3 provinces, a circular central fell and two 'c' shaped provinces that are either north/south or east/west. Then put in 3-4 levels of goblins in the 2 outer provinces and 4-5 in the centre.

    Put vassals in law and guild holdings, perhaps even a goblins sorcerer. Call all vassals by a title to avoid chaning names on your map every time the spider gets the munchies. Using vassals like that makes it easier to have (unstable) diplomacy and (likely illegal) trade which adds to game play.

    The source level would drop from the 'shiny 9' but that shouldn't be a big issue given lack of goblin casters and hostile reception to any wizardly interlopers.

    In practice the big defence for the Spiderfell has always been 'it isn't worth the trouble' for its neighbours, so I wouldn't worry too much about not being able to fund a huge goblin/spider army though.

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    Site Moderator Magian's Avatar
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    I was contemplating the Spiderfell these last few weeks while playing Crusader Kings II mod for Birthright. The domain as written doesn't function very well as quite often Diemed solo conquests it at some point in the game with little loss. The same goes for how it works mechanically in the Birthright game and the Gorgon's Alliance game. Like Rhuobhe it is one of those domains that begs for hidden mechanics or things not so obvious to be used to make it more formidable.

    I was thinking that the Spiderfell would work as a 4 province split mechanically for the war part of the game. There could even be sub levels where spider units could spawn from. I would use the spiders to be some form of attrition against the forces trying to occupy the space in the web-fortified woods. Or an attrition roll to current troops could work more simply to give that effect. The webbed woods I'd consider fortified to give a set time for how long it would take to make progress into it for the purposes occupation. I further considered dividing the four provinces down into fractions to make occupation progress even slower and more costly as working through the woods would be a major challenge. Fore example Spiderfell into 4 provinces and each province divided into 4 for 1 occupation action, thus requiring 4 of those for 1/4 of the woods to be fully occupied or 16 total for the entire place. This would limit the effect of joined forces speeding up the process, rather instead they just endure the attrition as a shared thing and not speeding up the time required to occupy that fraction of the woods.

    Effectively, I considered making a very difficult fortification of the Spiderfell to make all siege progress slow and small and cost a lot of men. This effect is only used defensively. Any sort of domain used within there I'd have destroyed when the entire place is occupied and all values 0 and no holdings, perhaps sparing the source, or not, but surely reducing it. I imagine it would take more than the neighboring realms joined together to take it down to make it worthwhile, otherwise I just don't feel it existing this long is justified.
    Last edited by Magian; 03-30-2019 at 12:25 PM.
    One law, One court, One allied people, One coin, and one tax, is what I shall bring to Cerilia.

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    Quote Originally Posted by vota dc View Post
    Spiderfell province level is 0/7. In Gorgon's alliance is 5 because gameplay reasons, but wiki should be more canon.
    I am a little puzzled. Lore says the area is filled by goblins and gnolls while 0 level means very low population.
    Yeah, I've never liked that, nor have I liked the Province-Level-Equals-Population idea. BR print materials seem to have abandoned that with the Brechtur provinces, at the least, if not the others as well.

    There are variant Tribal rules, which treat Source levels (as indicators of undeveloped land -- again, not a great or consistent concept) as province levels for purpose of mustering tribal units or levies, where each level of Source = 1GB of tribal unit that could be raised. Replenishes at the rate of 1GB per season. So before going out in full force, such areas could build up to a number of units such that maintenance cost -- halved in a "garrison" -- could equal that source level.

    I agree with dividing Spiderfell into 3 provinces. Use both province level (and other slots) and Source level tribal rules. Then add 3 underground provinces.

    Consider all of them Fortified to max level, or even above (by magic if need -- Tal Qazar maybe can do Stronghold realm spells if you really feel a need to make it conform to rules).

    Then Spiderfell is really dangerous, and suitably nearly impossible to destroy (6 highly fortified provinces teeming with goblins, all sorts of terrain benefits for them, etc).

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    Site Moderator AndrewTall's Avatar
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    Underdark provinces are a good idea, indeed you could have the under-dark go wider than the fell above ground to have more than 3 such provinces.

    I like the fortification rule from webs, and some sort of attrition to represent troop loss to poison, dangerous flora and fauna, etc.

    Overall my view was always 'too much trouble for too little reward' and 'kill the spider become the spider' bloodline power/ popular superstition that together deterred anyone even wanting to try - why seek out a fight if winning it meant losing your soul?

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    I always thought that level didn't refer to population so much as it did development. So, it might be very populous but with little infrastructure- goblins and other critters living within nature rather than tearing it down to build cities.

    So i guess i've never had a problem with the 0/7 split. I do like the underdark idea though- not just for here but gives me ideas for other places in Cerilia.

    -Fizz

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    Site Moderator AndrewTall's Avatar
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    I had the link between level and actual population as fuzzy, effectively 'as much of the population as follows the regent' is recorded, although that is unfair on guilders and temples and doesn't really work with the inverse source rule.

    Underdark provinces are great, I use them routinely for karamhul and goblins, you don't even need a new map if you use [province name] under-dark to refer to them, slightly odd in that the borders underground are presumed to match above but it keeps things simple. Using shadow/spirit world provinces for sidhe/see or awnsheghlien can be a good way of expanding borders too - so perhaps you could have the spider fell linked to the shadow world so that invaders not only have the surface and underdark to contend with, but could also find that they've marched into the shadow world where the spiders minions are even more fell than usual.

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    With shadow provinces linked to Spiderfell, burning the forest and killing the Spider couldn't be still enough to avoid invasion unless you keep there a big garrison? After all if Spiderfell is just zero and the main spider nests and goblin homes are elsewhere winning there would just mean winning on the battlefield but they could regroup and retake the province when you move away your army.

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    Site Moderator AndrewTall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vota dc View Post
    With shadow provinces linked to Spiderfell, burning the forest and killing the Spider couldn't be still enough to avoid invasion unless you keep there a big garrison? After all if Spiderfell is just zero and the main spider nests and goblin homes are elsewhere winning there would just mean winning on the battlefield but they could regroup and retake the province when you move away your army.
    Yup, you'd only have taken some of the realm and the rest would still attack you. So you'd need to invade the shadow-world and underdark provinces and take them as well to fully defeat the realm.

    Alternatively you might be able to collapse enough tunnels to sever the link to the under-dark (though goblins are a burrowing people so that wouldn't last long) or do something to distance the Cerilian provinces from the Shadow world to restore the veil between the worlds (not sure what would do that, a quest of some sort and lots of realm spells I suspect).

  10. #10
    Junior Member Kell's Avatar
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    I love some of these ideas...

    I had always explained away the Spiderfell remaining due to the following:

    It has a fortification equal to its source level which represents the spiders and other dangerous life forms and the general lay of the land itself. This fortification level can't be reduced, even by Realm Magic.

    While the spider doesn't have large numbers of goblins really (if he did he would attack far more often and probably conquer surrounding lands) I simply explained that his population was primarily kept in check by the spiders. There are areas the goblins have carved out for their own villages and such, but they live in a precarious balancing act. This prevented major invasions, but still allowed for raids as well as "pushes out" by groups of goblins that simply want to get out of the spiderfell. Even had groups of mercenary goblins available from the Spiderfell.

    I divided the surface into 2 different provinces, and expanded the source holdings of Caine to include both of the (0/7) provinces thus created (divided them along the river in the middle of the province).

    I also used an "underdark" realm of goblins. Small numbers, but still existed and was the reason there are always goblins bubbling up out of the ground into the Spiderfell to replace lost numbers. I divided the "Underkingdom" into three provinces (one of which is under Endier though) and none has the ability to grow higher than the level 2/0 max rating I gave them; but both have powerful fortification numbers of 5 each that also can't be destroyed by Realm Magic.

    Each Turn the Spiderfell (surface only) automatically generates a special unit of Spiders in each province that are not controlled by anyone. These units automatically attack anything in the forest; so a garrison in even an occupied province is going to constantly be fighting a unit that is "Immune to Missile fire" so that a melee must take place.

    The Spiderfell won't burn. For whatever reason, even though it is covered in spiderwebs all over, it just won't sustain a fire. I had a player of Roesone try to sit a unit of heavily protected catapults launching flaming missiles at the forest to burn it down and they were even joined by Medeore, Diemed and Ghoere all on the same day, who were all tired of raiding goblins and poisonous spiders...it just wouldn't catch fire. I had even warned the player that brave individuals cut trees from the Spiderfell to use in construction just because of the fire resistant wood. "Legend" says that for the Spiderfell to be destroyed, the Spider must first be destroyed.

    So in my game, the Spider has three 2/0 provinces under ground he calls for goblins from; but can also raise a single "Tribal" unit from the two surface provinces as well (used the Rjurik Highlands rule for this) which usually take the form of Spider Riding Cavalry. This gives him goblin infantry, goblin archers and goblin cavalry; and he can also "hire" gnoll mercenaries too...however, the Spider doesn't control the Law Holdings of the underground provinces because of his chaotic nature...and instead these are held by goblin Chiefs in each province, as well as goblin temples and goblin guilds that are all run "underground" by different goblins in a chaotic patchwork imitation of the shattered realm of Anuire above them.

    There had to be a reason the Spiderfell was still there...and with this, none of my players have ever been able to conquer the place.

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