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  1. #1

    Court Actions for the non-courtly...

    Source regents seem to get the short end of the stick as far as rules go. I have a few questions about how some of the regent mechanics apply:
    • Can a source regent use Rule Holding to improve a source even if not physically present in the province? Other holdings can increase in this way, but since a source holding represents a magical connection to the province, I'm not sure that it can occur without the regent's presence.
    • Source regents are, in general, not required to have a court (hence the topic header). This introduces a new set of questions:
      • Are they required to have a court to oversee virtual guilds? For example, if a source regent has a level 7 source (hence a level 3 virtual guild) should he also have a level 3 court?
      • If they don't have a court at all, must they use a Full Domain action to perform any domain actions they wish? In other words, they can't adventure if they (say) Rule Holding?
      • If they have a level 1 or 2 court, they can perform domain actions without their personal attention. However, they still don't have any court actions. Can you use a character action to perform a court action? Can regents that have a court of 3 or better use their character action to get an additional court action?
    • If two PC regents wish to create a trade route between their respective guilds, they are still presumably required to set this up with a Diplomacy action. Must a PC regent engaged in such an action with another PC regent still make the normal resolution check, or can a PC who is targetted by Diplomacy simply answer as he sees fit? Does it make any difference if the targetted PC regent personally attends? (This is not unrelated; source regents will generally have very low court ratings, and since the difference in court ratings is a modifier on the diplomacy check, they will rarely succeed against their PC allies with much better courts, even for agreements to their mutual benefit).

  2. #2
    Birthright Developer irdeggman's Avatar
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    Unless a source regent has a court he cannot use his court to perform court actions - this restriction also applies to source regents.

    Since a source is specifically tied to soruce regent he must personnally perform all actions tied to that source. (This is not specifically stated in the BRCS but it is implied by the personal nature of a source holding).

    This also means that a Source regent can't have a Lt perform actions in his stead that involve his source. In the future the old action of temporarily transfering source holdings (specifically for this kind of purpose) will be reinserted (it was one of those indavertently left out of the BRCS).

    So a Source regent must be present to raise the level of his source holding.

    These are pretty steep restrictions for soruce regents but the flip side is that they don't pay maintenance costs and have a lot of "protection" for their holdings.

    Now having said that - it would be a good house rule (and probably be included in the chapter when it is revised) that source regents can apply their holding level towards or against any Raise Province actions in which they have a holding. If this is not done then they are at extreme whim of any province ruler (also the present rules for raising province levels are very lax and allow for too easy a way to raise a province level).

    In order to make a diplomatic agreement both regents need to spend a diplomacy action (note that this may be a court action if their is an embassy involved). In general I allow many actions to be done in a single Diplomacy action to not overly restrict the domain action usage - the rules as written do not restrict this combination of actions but don't specifically address it either.
    Duane Eggert

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by irdeggman
    Since a source is specifically tied to soruce regent he must personnally perform all actions tied to that source. (This is not specifically stated in the BRCS but it is implied by the personal nature of a source holding).
    So he has to be personally present. If he has at least a court of level 1, must he also consume his character action to perform domain actions? (The way we've been playing it, the court of level 1 essentially simplifies whatever rituals are required such that it no longer requires the regent to use his character action, though he must still be present).

    I am still wondering whether or not someone without a court of level 3 or higher can perform court actions, and if they can, whether it consumes a character action or domain action to do so.

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    Birthright Developer irdeggman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gazza666
    So he has to be personally present. If he has at least a court of level 1, must he also consume his character action to perform domain actions? (The way we've been playing it, the court of level 1 essentially simplifies whatever rituals are required such that it no longer requires the regent to use his character action, though he must still be present).
    Yes, if it involves his source.

    I am still wondering whether or not someone without a court of level 3 or higher can perform court actions, and if they can, whether it consumes a character action or domain action to do so.
    Check Table 5-5. It says for a court level of 0 the regent must personally oversee all domain actions. For court levels 1-2 "The court is capable of undertaking standard domain action without necessarily requiring the regent’s personal involvement."


    Now the text does state that a regent is "expected" to have a court level at least equal to his highest holding level. It does not however provide any penalty for having one less and still provides a reputation bonus to court actions for a Good or better court.

    I think it is entirely reasonable to apply a -1 reputation penalty for every level the court is less than the "expected" level. This can be off set some by the bonus from a Good or better court.

    This penalty would only be applied to court actions not to actions performed by the regent himself.
    Duane Eggert

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by irdeggman
    Yes, if it involves his source.
    So if source regent performs any domain actions involving his source, he must consume his character action as well as his domain action? Regardless of whether or not he has a court?

    Check Table 5-5. It says for a court level of 0 the regent must personally oversee all domain actions. For court levels 1-2 "The court is capable of undertaking standard domain action without necessarily requiring the regent’s personal involvement."
    I'm not sure what you're saying here.

    Here is how I understood this:

    Court level 0: Any domain action requires the regent's personal attendence; ie he must use his character action to execute any domain action.

    Court level 1-2: There is enough of a rudimentary court to allow the regent to execute domain actions without burning his character action, but not enough to undertake court actions.

    Is that correct so far?

    Assuming it is, my question was: can such a regent burn his character action in order to execute a court action? (eg to build something). If not, is there any way for a regent without a level 3 court to perform court actions? If so, can any regent get an extra court action by spending his character action?

    My reasoning is that the answer should be "yes". A court action is something that a regent delegates; he should be able to perform such actions with his personal attendance, if he so wishes.

    Now the text does state that a regent is "expected" to have a court level at least equal to his highest holding level.
    The text says "non-source holding level". By the rules, a source regent is not expected to have a court at all.

    Indeed, most of my queries come down to two questions:
    • What benefits does a court provide to a source regent?
    • Can he perform the functions that would normally require a court without one?


    The way we're currently playing it, the answers to these questions are as follows:
    • The benefit of having a court is that the regent can execute domain actions without having to spend his character action (at level 1-2) and/or execute 1 or more court actions without his personal attendance (at level 3+).
    • By using a character action, any regent can perform a court action in addition to any that his court may provide.


    From the sounds of it the "official" stance is that my first answer is wrong here - you seem to be saying that a source regent cannot perform any actions such as Rule Holding, Create Holding, Contest Holding, or (potentially) Create Trade Route (from a virtual guild) without burning his character action as well.

    I'm not clear on whether my second answer is right or wrong.

  6. #6
    Birthright Developer irdeggman's Avatar
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    Let's see if I can attempt to make it clearer - I will probably end up making it more confusing but I'll try.

    A domain turn consists of 3 rounds.

    Each round a character can perform a character action (including regents).

    Each round a regent may be able to perform some "free" actions - depending on what is being attempted. Like an agitate action using the Lead skill (see sanctioned Chap 1).

    If a regent has an adequately sized court he can perform a set number of "court" actions. An Average court can take 1 free court action per round (3 a turn).

    A domain can perform 3 standard domain actions per turn (1 per round). I don't want to a say a regent can do this becasue some will take that as they can have their Lt perform an action and the regent perform one so that the domain gains more than 3 standard actions. The bottom line is that a "domain" only gets 3 standard actions a turn (1 a round).

    If a regent uses his character action to perform his domain action (using both actions at once) this is a Full domain action.

    In order to apply any bonuses from skills or feats to a domain action the regent (or his Lt) must personally perform the action (i.e, they must doa full domain action). Otherwise a regent can only apply holding/province modifiers and RP (and or GB) but no skill (or feat) modifiers to the action.

    Now with a Quaint court the regent doesn't ahve to use his character action (i.e., make it a full domain action) in order to accomplish a standard domain action.

    A domain can always use a standard action to perform an action listed as a court action and a regent can always directly oversee it by by using his character action and making it a full domain action (thus getting to apply all of his personal modifiers to the checks).

    Does that help or did I just make it muckier?
    Duane Eggert

  7. #7
    Birthright Developer irdeggman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gazza666
    The text says "non-source holding level". By the rules, a source regent is not expected to have a court at all.

    Indeed, most of my queries come down to two questions:
    • What benefits does a court provide to a source regent?
    • Can he perform the functions that would normally require a court without one?
    A court will allow a source regent to perform court actions without personally attending them (if the court is at least average). Things like muster troops and the like whcih don't involve usng the source.

    The way we're currently playing it, the answers to these questions are as follows:
    • The benefit of having a court is that the regent can execute domain actions without having to spend his character action (at level 1-2) and/or execute 1 or more court actions without his personal attendance (at level 3+).
    • By using a character action, any regent can perform a court action in addition to any that his court may provide.

    From the sounds of it the "official" stance is that my first answer is wrong here - you seem to be saying that a source regent cannot perform any actions such as Rule Holding, Create Holding, Contest Holding, or (potentially) Create Trade Route (from a virtual guild) without burning his character action as well.

    I'm not clear on whether my second answer is right or wrong.
    You can't substitute a character action for a court action. That is in order to perform an action listed as a "court" action he must either have his court do it (if it is least an average court) or consume a standard action to accomplish it. If he uses his character action to "assist" the action then he gets to apply his personal modifiers (skills, feats, class benefits, etc.) to the action.

    A source regent must perform a full domain action in order to rule, create, contest or create a trade route using his sources.

    If he has a quaint or better court he can use the court to perform those actions if they do not involve his source. That is he could create a regular guild or law holding or things of that nature.

    Source regents are indeed strapped when it comes to performing domain actions and even more so when anything involves GB since they generally don't have many. That is why it is real important for a source regent to ally himself with a landed regent or someone who has an army.
    Duane Eggert

  8. #8
    OK, I believe what you're saying is that the "sanctioned" means for a regent that has a court of less than level 3 to perform a court action is to use a domain action (rather than a character action) to do so; if he wants, he can use a character action as well (but not instead of) in order to get any bonuses related to his skill ranks.

    All of which appears to boil down to this:
    • Source regents that wish to perform domain actions related to their source holdings must always use a full domain action to do so - ie, they burn their character action in the process.
    • Therefore, the only benefit of a court that is less than level 3 to a source regent is to perform domain actions that do not have anything to do with his source (eg diplomacy or espionage).
    • As such, in general a source regent will do better with a lieutenant than a court; it is probably cheaper than the 3GB a level 3 court would cost.

    Would that be a fair assessment of what you're saying?

    Thank you for taking the time to explain this to me, by the way.

  9. #9
    Birthright Developer irdeggman's Avatar
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    Pretty much you've got it.

    Source regents are really, really strapped at the domain level. I played one in a short lived Play by post game and I'll verify that even with some "liberal" house rules that opened things up some for the wizards they still can't do much at the domain level unless someone "backs them". If they have backing and protection they can really be a force with their domain spells.
    Duane Eggert

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by irdeggman
    Pretty much you've got it.

    Source regents are really, really strapped at the domain level. I played one in a short lived Play by post game and I'll verify that even with some "liberal" house rules that opened things up some for the wizards they still can't do much at the domain level unless someone "backs them". If they have backing and protection they can really be a force with their domain spells.
    That's cool; I wasn't expecting it to be quite so harsh, but I'll figure out something.

    Am I the only one who had trouble figuring this out, or is this something that might usefully benefit from some additional text in a future revision of the PDF?

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