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Thread: Kingdoms

  1. #1
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    Kingdoms

    I am curious if anyone else has given thought as to
    why there have been no true kingdoms in Cerilia since
    the disintegration of the Anuirean Empire?

    I mean, you have lots of Principalities, Barons,
    Counts, Dukes and even so-called Kings...what I would
    call upstarts really with no real Kingdom.

    I know this is a fantasy world, but has no figure come
    forth in hundreds of years to found a true kingdom?

    Share your thoughts and give me the history I may not
    know!


    Anthony Edwards



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  2. #2
    Birthright Developer irdeggman's Avatar
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    In Anuire it has to do with the Iron Throne and the lack of an emporer.

    Pretty much there is a positioning of power with no single regent having sufficient influence to do it on his own.

    In the Khinasi lands I think it more the the lands function as City States, again no one wanting to give up their influence to support an over-ruler.

    In Brechtur, well I think the over regent is more of a figure head anyway. The tru poweer there is the guilders working behind the scenes.

    The other lands just don't have the focus on a typical "kingdoms" and feudal monarachy style governments.

    Also remember that Anuire had "conquered" most of the other human lands, (except for Rjurik and Vosgaard) so there is an inherent distrust of someone from the "outside" coming in and taking over.
    Duane Eggert

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    Since no body has come forth in hundreds of years it gives the DM and the PC's a chance for character development. If you're a DM, perhaps this could be your new NPC. If you're a PC, why not write a little backstory to give your character an edge. Write your own history a little bit, it'll give you B.R campaign a nice little twist. Either way, you'll have the upper hand. That said however, if you write a new emperor for the Iron Throne, be prepared for the enemies to the throne and the assassins to come out of every nook and cranny.

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    Senior Member ploesch's Avatar
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    Anuire is the Only place I see a new Emperor coming from. It wouldn't be likely that Anuireans would accept an outsider as the New Emperor, even if someone from another land had the ability and desire to do so.

    Looking at the political situation in Anuire, only someone who is a powerful regent would be able to ascend to the Iron Throne,a nd even then they would need to do so over the bodies of many of their subjects.

    Lets go beyond the Might to rule aspect some though. In BirthRight it isn't enough to just have the Desire to be emperor and the Might to back it up. Remember, your power to rule comes from the land itself, so if the land decided you were unfit to be the new emperor no matter how you tried, you would find your empire fall apart around you. You need to have the Right to rule also.

    I'm sure that since the last Emperor went off to challenge the Gorgon there have been many pretenders to the iron throne, and there still are. However, without the Right to rule, they have all failed. Perhaps that is the real reason for the Decline of the kingdom of Diemed, perhaps they reached too high above their station.

    Of course, you have to decide how it works on the flavor of your game. I like to have powers beyond the PC's control looking in on their destiny. They will get a sign that it is time to ascend to the Iron Throne when I think they've proven themselves worthy. Until then, they are free to rule how they like, but attempts at seizing control of the Iron Throne always end poorly unless they have been given the nod.
    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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    Site Moderator kgauck's Avatar
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    The short answer is that no one has a bloodline strong enough to collect all the regency neccesary to manage a kingdom. If such a dynasty existed, and they weren't nearly immortal and gradually turning to stone, they probabaly would have forged a kingdom by now.

    Just like historical Europe, there are three levels of nobility, Emperor or the king of high king level dalor is talking about; the overlord level of dukes and barons, and the single province level of counts (jarls, graffen, &c).

    Currently, there are plenty of dynasties that produce characters with a blood score sufficient to manage realms the size of duchies. This means that altering the political system to put the focus elsewhere (either at single province or at the high-king/Emperor level) would face constant challenges from this group of dukes and barons who have a very effecient RP collection compared to their blood score.

    To put it another way, mystical, political, and administrative forces are ideally suited to a realm the size of duchies and baronies. If its harder to sustain a realm that is much bigger or much smaller, such realms will be both rare and based on exceptional circumstances.

    Keep in mind that when discussing such realms, we not only refer to the political lands, but to any realm. The same forces prevent the formation of a Grossbrechtmonopolie as do any political empires. Again, the same forces work against a United Solar Temple of Avani.

    Looking at both these circumstances based on game mechanics and on the path of history, any great-king would be mostly nominal until technological, administrative, and economic conditions were altered, and the bloodline of the great-king grew.

    For single province realms to be viable, they need to have a realtivly high level, say 6, and for the ruler to be able to combine the province and law with another type of holding. Endier has guilds, Ilien has magic, and three province Medoere has temples.

    If I were to speculate whether, given the current conditions, rulers would tend to expand extensivly (adding new provinces) or intensivly (unifying all the holdings in existing provinces) I suspect that intensification would be easier and more productive.

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    Also, strictly from a player`s view, having only 3 realm actions per turn
    makes it hard to manage/expand/protect more than a few provinces at a time.
    Even 7 province Rhoesone became too much for one of my players (of course he
    was on a quest for world domination, ironically) and so he vassalled off the
    top 3 provinces in hopes that his ally`s 3 domain actions would be used to
    hold Ghoere at bay allowing my player to use up all of his 3 actions
    invading to the east and south.

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    Site Moderator AndrewTall's Avatar
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    Another possibility is that there have been Kingdoms of one sort or another but they haven't lasted. As regency is capped by bloodline the mechanics make it necessary for a powerful king/queen to have vassals who rule beneath him/her (in addition to the strong historical and social needs).

    The ideal subdivision of land is one based on natural borders to reduce infractions to those caused by deliberate action. I.e. Boruine will not 'mistake' half of Lindeholme for Fhoruile because there is a major river in the way to make the aggression obvious. In Anuire if you look at the west coast, south coast (barring Diemed: Medeore), Heartlands (barring Ghoere to the south and east) northern marches and eastern marches all borders are natural - mountains, deep forests and wide rivers.

    As a result if a kingdom in Anuire fell apart it would likely divide along realms similar to the current layout (barring a generation or so shakedown period when realms subdivided and reconsolidated) due to the ease of defining and defending the borders i question. Since a good route to power is to be the 'heir of the true king' (all memories of heavy taxes and torture dismissed as the lies of a corrupt and distant overlord) the names of the realms might well even remain (particularly if the new lord marries into the old family to gain legitimacy).

    It's quite possible that 'kings' have arisen and passed without being mentioned, or have been quietly air-brushed from history.

    In other realms I would say that:
    The Brecht will know the benefits of unification from the empire (low tariffs, consistent law, etc) but particularly given the abject failure of the Brecht league are probably wary of ideas of super-states seeing them as innately aggressive. The Brecht are also geographically very hard to unify due to the way they are spread out along the shores of the great bay - it's much harder to control an empire across seas than across land.

    The Rjurik have both too sparse a population to benefit properly from large kingdoms and also two dominating religions that very much prefer small little realms, the druids are many things but given to promoting large civilisations is not one of them.

    The Vos barely maintain realms as it is, and again their dominant religions would oppose unification and the necessary suppression of conflict between the tribes

    The Khinasi are more likely to have kingdoms, but are hampered by the sheer number of awnsheghlien. They also, as mentioned by irdeggman, look to the control of cities not land - a king of a hundred leagues of desert is king of nothing but dust. Again however it is possible that several realms were joined at some point but fragmented after the death of the great general / charismatic negotiator

    It is also possible that most of the countries in Cerilla don't really see themselves as a single people - the Anuireans were a single unified country for a millennia and another empire would simply 'restore the peace and prosperity lost in chaos', for other countries an empire would be something very new (the Anuirean empire which was external aside) with very different cultures being forced to consider themselves one. The nomads of Binsada are unlikely to think much of the decadent city folk elsewhere in Khinasi and vice versa.

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    Senior Member Thomas_Percy's Avatar
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    In our Birthright is year 1577 (1524 was a starting year), and there are kingdoms of Anuire and Rjurik.
    It all happened because of generations of my players actions,
    but imho starting divided Anuire setting gave more opportunities to player than ours.

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    Senior Member The Swordgaunt's Avatar
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    Talinie might be mentioned, as it is ruled by a thane, and was founded after the collapse of the empire.

    On the reason for the myriad of sovereign fiefdoms, I see this as having two reasons.

    One, like the remnants of the Holy Roman Empire, it simply lacked a person, House or system strong enough to unite the land.

    Two, as others have stated before, it makes for a more interesting game.
    -Harald

    Today, we were kidnapped by hill folk never to be seen again. It was the best day ever.

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  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by dalor
    I am curious if anyone else has given thought as to
    why there have been no true kingdoms in Cerilia since
    the disintegration of the Anuirean Empire?

    I mean, you have lots of Principalities, Barons,
    Counts, Dukes and even so-called Kings...what I would
    call upstarts really with no real Kingdom.

    I know this is a fantasy world, but has no figure come
    forth in hundreds of years to found a true kingdom?

    Share your thoughts and give me the history I may not
    know!


    Anthony Edwards
    All depends on how one runs the game. In my game, as in "real" history, if you're a suddenly leigeless Duke with no one above you and no one opposing you that you can't overcome, you declare yourself King. Thus, in my game, the Kingdom of Diemed has a rivalry with the Kingdom of Medoere (technically a Theocracy, but titularly a Kingdom), etc. The rulers of provinces are generally Dukes or Princes, of and devolving down through earls, counts, barons, knights, et al.

    Of course, I've also made an attempt to make the heraldry of the setting more realistic (how does one blazon brown, versus tan?).

    Don't get me wrong, I like the setting, I just have a problem with the "Baron of a Huge Land That We Haven't the Balls to Call Our Kingdom, 'Cause Where Would the Fun of That Be?" syndrome. Your in chargeof the land, after all. Order new letterhead and move on.

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