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  1. #1
    Birthright Developer irdeggman's Avatar
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    Wealth system for domain level income/expenses

    As brought up in a different thread let's have some discussion on possible use of the d20 Modern Wealth system for handling domain level income/expenses.

    Attached is the SRD from d20 Modern covering wealth for reference.
    Duane Eggert

  2. #2
    Birthright Developer irdeggman's Avatar
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    Oops here is the attachment.
    Attached Files Attached Files
    Duane Eggert

  3. #3
    Senior Member ploesch's Avatar
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    I think I've only played in games with wealth systems a few times. So I am not incredibly familiar with them, and we all know a humans natural response to the unfamiliar. So I will try to avoid a kneejerk response.

    I read the document, and obviously, there would need to be major adjustments for our purposes.

    It definetely abstracts things, and that is good, but it would be a complete change in mindset. GB costs for actions would need to be abstacted, and the whole system would have to support stacking away money to create a war chest. Would Maintenence and treasuries be eliminated? Or would you roll for every asset?

    I need to think about this allot more, and maybe hear others thoughts on the matter.
    When you play the game of thrones you win or you die.
    George R. R. Martin - A song of Ice and Fire

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    Without having read it (I will, but not at work- ahem), I am still willing to make this observation.

    One of the "pitfalls" of BR is approaching it like a self-contained strategy game, that, like Risk or Diplomacy, you can go head to head.

    And while this can be fun and good, I have felt for a long time that the BR policital mechanics are better suited (and were designed) as a "backdrop" to Role Playing at a regency level, not as a paper version of lead miniatures battles, where RP was a spin-off.

    That said, I think that abstracting the money would de-emphasize the military aspect, and re-emphasize the RP. It would matter less whether the realm accountants say you could afford to build a monument and a new road and another galleon, and (hopefully) move attention back to the Character goals and storylines behind doing those things.

    Whether or not that can be achieved elegantly, and without high potential for abuse (as is the case in many "wealth/economics" systems), is another matter.

    (But, admittedly, a lot of gamers really enjoy that "combat accounting" aspect of the game. Meh.)

  5. #5
    Birthright Developer irdeggman's Avatar
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    Some things that crossed my mind. . .

    Using the wealth system would reinsert a randomness to the system that was taken out in the playtest. This is not necessarily a good thing, but it is in an Official WotC d20 product (i.e., d20 Modern) so that is not a huge stretch.

    Basically every season a regent would make a wealth check to determine their wealth - similar to a domain attitude check.

    Modifiers to this roll would be based on privince rating and income generating holdings and trade routes (specifics to be worked out).

    Assets would have a purchase DC which would require a wealth check to succeed on. Adjustments can be made to subtract from wealth based on the relative "cost" of the asset. {similar to the d20 Modern ssytem}

    Adjustments to the wealth check can be made based on the total number (and wealth "value") of the assets a regent currently owns. {This would be akin to the maintenance costs but would also factor in when attempting to muster a lot of troops in a short time since this adjustment would be made after each unit was mustered thus tweaking the wealth check modifiers for purchase}.

    We could add in a system that increases and decreases the regent's wealth based on the result of his seasonal wealth check. {The d20 Modern system has an increase being possible every level but no decrease from the wealth check per level}.

    Just some quick thoughts that hit me.

    Again this entire system can involve more dice rolling and randomness which may or may not be a real concern.
    Duane Eggert

  6. #6
    Senior Member ploesch's Avatar
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    One stumbling stone. How would you "Save-Up" for expensive undertakings. Lets say you have a Province 7/0 and you want to take it from a Fortification 6 to 7. Normally, you would save up until you had the money. But you can't really do that with a wealth system.

    Another thing, with a wealth system there isn't any risk in trying to accomplish something unless it is far outside your wealth rating. So, let's say I have a large Domain and I want to rule a province from 3 to 4. Under the current system I spend the money up front,a nd may fail. With a Wealth system, it doesn't cost me anything, assuming my Domain is large enough that ruling one province isn't outside my wealth level. So I risk nothing by attempting to rule a domain every turn, or even all my domains every turn. While with the GB system there is a tangible cost, a cost that could have gone to a larger treasury, or more troops. No cost with everything to gain including additional wealth next season.
    Last edited by ploesch; 09-29-2006 at 09:36 PM.
    When you play the game of thrones you win or you die.
    George R. R. Martin - A song of Ice and Fire

  7. #7
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    On 9/29/06, ploesch <brnetboard@birthright.net> wrote:
    > One stumbling stone. How would you "Save-Up" for expensive undertakings. Lets
    > say you have a Province 7/0 and you want to take it from a Fortification 6 to 7.
    > Normally, you would save up until you had the money. But you can`t really do that
    > with a wealth system.

    Build and Fortify are long-term actions, and you spend money piecemeal
    until they are complete. You don`t actually have to save up until you
    can afford it all at once, and a wealth system would cover the
    piecemeal expenditures.

    For something that is too expensive for your current wealth score, but
    you could theoretically save up and afford it (say, ruling a province
    from 5 to 6, if you don`t actually have 6 GB on hand, you could save
    up over time to get that much money), a wealth system doesn`t allow
    that kind of fiddly resource management. You can either easily afford
    something (and your wealth score doesn`t drop at all), afford it with
    effort (and your wealth score drops after you buy it), or not afford
    it at all.

    The only way to "save up" with a wealth score is to increase your
    wealth score with income. However, most small amounts of income don`t
    increase your wealth score, just as small amounts of expense don`t
    reduce it.

    I think stuff you would normally have to "save up" to do would be
    covered by the "afford it with effort" option. You can do it, but
    your wealth score is subsequently reduced until it recovers on its own
    later, because you expended a lot of resources doing that action.

    I`ve done a wealth system with BR before, but it was VERY coarsely
    grained (from 0 to 5, with the anuirean empire at its height rating a
    6), and focused much more on the personal actions of the regent than
    domain maintenance and fiddling. Like, at wealth 0 you have a small,
    poor kingdom with basically only the personal wealth of the regent to
    work with. At wealth 3, you have a mid-sized domain like roesone or
    alamie, which can support a couple of units of soldiers consistently,
    undertake a building project, and maintain a small court. At 5 you
    have the Avanil or Muden wealth level, with a large military,
    integrated economy with the support of guilds and law, has a lavish
    court, a good-sized standing army, can build a large project quickly
    or many projects simultaneously, and so on.

    I`ve also played d20 modern, and my experience there is that players
    are always trying to come up with ways to game the system. Like, I
    have a wealth score of 10. Buying a single widget costs 1, so I can
    easily do that, indefinitely even. But buying a thousand of them
    costs 20. So I buy 2000 of them, since I can buy them indefinitely
    one at a time, and then sell them all to raise my wealth!

    Basically, a GM has to disallow that kind of fiddly wealth
    manipulation by fiat. But that kind of wealth manipulation is what
    players of Birthright EXPECT to be able to do, because they always
    could before; ie, I save up 1 GB per season for a year, and then I can
    rule my province up.

    So we have to either revise wholesale the entire domain system to go
    with the wealth system, or else leave it alone. I would say leave it
    alone by default, and offer a domain wealth system as an option
    elsewhere. A lot of the fun for many players is managing their domain
    like a resource-type boardgame.

    --
    Daniel McSorley

  8. #8
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    The prospect of rolling badly, and not being able to afford "much of anything", while a neighbor of equal "wealth", rolling well, repeatedly, suddenly and unexpectedly has thrice the assetts you do, is not one I would want to be subjected to. Nor vice versa- I find it awkward to have a huge advantage by pure luck.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Sigmund's Avatar
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    How would this affect the cost of casting realm spells? Also, how would Alchemy be handled?

  10. #10
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    On 10/1/06, Sigmund <brnetboard@birthright.net> wrote:
    > How would this affect the cost of casting realm spells?
    > Also, how would Alchemy be handled?

    I imagine they would have a DC necessary to cast them, same as any
    other expense.

    Alchemy would be handled like any other income. Did you read the d20
    modern rules for a wealth score?

    --
    Daniel McSorley

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