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  1. #1
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    Role-playing Regency

    I like my pc regents to personally oversee their domain actions. I consider this to be a great opportunity for role-playing in which the outcome can be based on their actions. I like my players to make personal contact with the noble or ranger representing the 0th lvl law-holding they are creating, for example; it provides flavour to the campaign.

    To me it is clear that regency represents power, loyalty and influence… And when other regents spend regency to thwart the players plans they will have a hard time finding support and a lot of people working against them. However, when players want to spend regency aid their quest how should that be played out?

    I am now trying to roll for success before they go on their quest: to see whether it should be easy or hard… I then add a bonus or penalty depending on how they solve the matter. Still, I find it hard to incorporate regency spendings.

    How would you handle the effects of regency spending in a campaign? Any thoughts?

  2. #2
    Site Moderator AndrewTall's Avatar
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    To me spending RP is using the received faith of the people and focusing that power on a desired course - people are more likely to agree with you, take time to consider your request, etc. So if you spend RP more helpful people will be apparent, those opposing the action will be more obvious, natural events will conspire to favour the project etc.

    So if you wanted to introduce a mechanic you could say each RP spent on a project gives 1 re-roll on a die roll regarding the success of that project, whether to find a resource, convince someone to agree with you, etc. A PC might not need the re-rolls, or might fail even with them , but them's the breaks.

    Of course if the PC regent is opposed then the other regent can force a second roll, the PC can then counter, etc, etc. So if the PC rolls a 3 to convince the local trapper to show them where the gold nuggets were found then they can re-roll the die to overturn the failed roll, but if another guilder wants to rule the holding (by founding the gold mine) then they can spend a RP to require a second roll to convince the trapper to remember the hills he was trapping in, etc, if that roll failed the PC regent could spend a point to find another contact, or estimate where the trapper must have been, etc, etc.

    Alternatively (and speeding up play) you could give a +4 bonus to the die roll for each RP spent with opposing RP's increasing the DC - both regents deciding how much to chip in on any given roll in the session.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrewTall View Post
    So if you wanted to introduce a mechanic you could say each RP spent on a project gives 1 re-roll on a die roll regarding the success of that project, whether to find a resource, convince someone to agree with you, etc. A PC might not need the re-rolls, or might fail even with them , but them's the breaks.

    Of course if the PC regent is opposed then the other regent can force a second roll, the PC can then counter, etc, etc. So if the PC rolls a 3 to convince the local trapper to show them where the gold nuggets were found then they can re-roll the die to overturn the failed roll, but if another guilder wants to rule the holding (by founding the gold mine) then they can spend a RP to require a second roll to convince the trapper to remember the hills he was trapping in, etc, if that roll failed the PC regent could spend a point to find another contact, or estimate where the trapper must have been, etc, etc.
    I like where this is going….Still thinking…

    Perhaps a RP can be spent to provide an extra roll, with a +2, -2 modifier per additional RP on the roll?

    Thus, if a regent wants something to work he/she may spend 5 RP for example to re-roll a failed roll at +8. Another regent may subsequently spend 3 RP to reduce the roll to +2 or spend 5 RP to disallow the re-roll entirely. Both regents can subsequently increase their regency spending until the point.

    A competing regent may obviously also spend RPs to force a re-roll of a successful roll; 4 RP for a re-roll at -6, which may lead to some rounds of bidding…

    Only one re-roll may be made…

    This would mean that RPs would be spent neither before nor after the adventure, but rather during the course of the adventure.

    Suggestions?

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    Senior Member ryancaveney's Avatar
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    Arjan, how far back do the archives go? I seem to recall an extensive discussion of this issue from back before there was a website, which it would be nice to be able to link to. I've searched for Mark Vandermeulen's name, since I think he was the main proponent of this approach; that only yields a few hits back to November 2001, so it must have been before then.


    Ryan

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    Site Moderator kgauck's Avatar
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    I think RP reflects two things, information and favors. Having RP means you have a well of information in your organization, people who know what's going on at the local level, what we might call precinct captains in modern politics. They know the lay of the land, who doesn't get along with who, who will pass information, what the personal motivations of the local players are, where the skeletons are burried. They know the pecularities of the law that can be used to delay action, where the sentiments of the people lay. In politics, indeed in most things, knowledge is power.

    Second, RP are favors. You perform or promise favors in exchange for actions. Invitations arranged, introductions, grants of knighthood, offices, token gifts, affirmations that you will back up your subordinates.

    People are not inclined to take risks. They want to get along with the people around them. Left to their own devices, the local guild official and the local law official will get cozy and will poorly represent the will of their superiors. As their regent, you want them to do your will, to make their neighbors mad, to make your enemies their enemies. To rock the boat not for any personal benefit, but for the benefit of a far off ruler. They need encouragement.

  6. #6
    Birthright Developer irdeggman's Avatar
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    RP represents influence at the Domain level not the personal level.

    Adventure is a Character Action (that can be done instead of a Domain Action). IMO RP should have no affect on adventuring itself.
    Duane Eggert

  7. #7
    Senior Member ShadowMoon's Avatar
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    RP could yield some Morale bonuses...

    But, IMHO it is best to limit RPs for Domain play only.
    "If the wizards and students who lived here centuries ago had practiced control - in their spellcasting and in their dealings with the politics of the empire - you would be studying in a tall tower made by the best dwarf stone masons, not in an old military barracks."
    Applied Thaumaturgy Lector of the Royal College of Sorcery to new generation of students.

  8. #8
    Senior Member ryancaveney's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by irdeggman View Post
    RP represents influence at the Domain level not the personal level. Adventure is a Character Action (that can be done instead of a Domain Action). IMO RP should have no affect on adventuring itself.
    It seems to me that what the original poster is after is a way to describe domain actions in terms of normal D&D adventuring situations. Among other things, this is exactly what Tribes of the Heartless Waste suggests should be done for all regents in Vosgaard. Now, I personally wouldn't use such a system in my campaigns, even in Vosgaard, but I don't think there's any reason to tell anyone who wants to do it that they shouldn't, or that it is incompatible with Birthright. I say anyone who's interested should go for it, and anyone who isn't should just ignore the thread.

    I have found the old thread I was looking for! I was right, it was Mark VanderMeulen, back in April of 2000. Take a look at http://oracle.wizards.com/scripts/wa...69&I=-3&m=1065 and subsequent material in that thread (especially http://oracle.wizards.com/scripts/wa...1&I=-3&m=1065). My personal take on it was that such domain-to-adventure translation systems err on the side of not making RP expenditure powerful enough to adequately explain the true scale of the effects involved. The reason for this, I think, is that the number of people who have to be affected is so large. Each RP spent on a Contest action doesn't give you +1000 to one Diplomacy roll, it gives you +1 to each of 1000 separate Diplomacy rolls, so the bookkeeping qucikly gets in the way. No one will want to roleplay *every* conversation involved in a Domain action, so some way is needed to select only the most significant few to resolve as scenes in a gaming session.


    Ryan

  9. #9
    Site Moderator kgauck's Avatar
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    My own view of RP is that it activates assets. This is an entirely unmystical explanation. If a player asks to spend a RP on something, and he has holdings or a province there, then he can activate one or more assets. A contact is one 3.5 way to describe some of them, but these assets don't just help you once every month.

    The feudal system generally works by the regent providing protection and justice to his vassals, and in exchange, they help him do stuff. They fight when he calls, they serve in his court, and so on. Getting them to do their stuff is what RP are for. I govern well, so how much can I get my vassals to do before they beg off and plead that they have fulfilled their obligations? I have a certain number of RP to spend. When I'm out people will generally tell me that they've done all they can for me. I'll always have personal and family loyalties too, but its hard to run a realm based only on your friends.

    So since RP are gained at one province or holding level per RP, I can spend them to activate roughly one holding to join me as I go about my business. If I want a varied group to provide a small amount of help, like a bunch of contacts to help me do things, that's fine. Or I can get the leader of a holding to commit to me while I am there.

    I treat a holding as an organization or affiliation, and I can use the rules provided for these for both abstract actions (can the guild get me 20 good horses by nightfall?) or game effects (they briefed me on the situation here, and I now have a +5 circumstance bonus for Gather Information checks).

    Using only RP and no GP, I can only activate stuff that has already been created. If I have a law holding, and it represents a sheriff, his dozen men, and a network of friends, informers, and loyal subjects, then I can summon the sheriff and his dozen men, and make use of his friends, informers, and my loyal subjects. If on the other hand, I activate a different law holding, comprised of Lord Judge Humbert Cwaller and his court, then I have a judge, baliff, maybe a prosecutor, and some scribes, plus their ability to issue writs and the like.

    Having a judge to issue writs for you may not sound like much if you are the Baroness of Roesone, but its a handy thing if you are el-Hadid or Hubaere Armiendin.

    If someone and I are in a bidding war, then I can match up my organizations against his and have them interact using the rules for organizations/affiliations doing things. Dynamic affiliations. For instance, Hjalmar Helder's organization is rated as Capital: 8 Violence: +2 Espionage: +5 Negotiation:+2. Its one of Varri's guild holdings in Ustkjuvil. His other guild holding represents fishermen and a few trading boats. If the king or his men needed a boat ride in a hurry, they could get one at a moment's notice. Or if they want the coastline survieled, or whatever some hundred or so men in a dozen boats would be good for.

    That is how I combine the domain level and the adventure level in Birthright.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by irdeggman View Post
    RP represents influence at the Domain level not the personal level.

    Adventure is a Character Action (that can be done instead of a Domain Action). IMO RP should have no affect on adventuring itself.
    I know that, but birthright has a tendency to become a game of bookkeeping if one is not careful... I have seen that many players consider it fun at first, but at a later point tend to lose excitement for bidding regency and rolling a die.

    The book of regency and your work has done a lot to make the world come truly alive... There is a whole world beyond the domain level; law holdings can represent nobles, or other influential community figures, thugs or rangers.... A temple holding is the part of the religious followers in the province that adhere your faith and guild is the amount of trade and commerce one controls. Ruling and contesting a holding can offer great role-play opportunities, for example, when domains go head to head.

    I can envisage the connection between the domain and personal level. My regents can sit in their throne room and give orders, but they can also go out and solve things themselves. When a character opts to personally oversee the project (a full domain action, not an adventure) I find it somewhat unsatisfying to have them spend some regency and roll a die and that’s the end of it. However, when I want to keep them in character while overseeing the event, I run into the problem that their relative influence (regency) is not counted against the success or failure of the operation.

    Quote Originally Posted by ryancaveney View Post
    [...] domain-to-adventure translation systems err on the side of not making RP expenditure powerful enough to adequately explain the true scale of the effects involved. The reason for this, I think, is that the number of people who have to be affected is so large. Each RP spent on a Contest action doesn't give you +1000 to one Diplomacy roll, it gives you +1 to each of 1000 separate Diplomacy rolls, so the bookkeeping qucikly gets in the way. No one will want to roleplay *every* conversation involved in a Domain action, so some way is needed to select only the most significant few to resolve as scenes in a gaming session.

    Ryan
    I think you are right that regency is hard to convert in a system... And naturally I would not want to play out every conversation, nor every domain action.
    Last edited by Sir Tiamat; 05-28-2007 at 08:42 AM.

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