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  1. #1

    New Domain Action Idea: Create Urban Province

    As far as I know, the only such province is the Imperial City of Anuire. On page 89 of the BRCS, there is a two-paragraph note about “Urban Provinces”. This is an interesting idea, so over the last few days I’ve been thinking about the following new Domain Action idea, that of Create Urban Province.
    In medieval times, it was not uncommon for nobles to found cities as speculative ventures; for example, there are many market towns throughout England that are still extant examples of such ventures.
    Using such an action not only helps increase the maximum potential population of a realm. Such an action may also be beneficial for a realm’s Court Wizard, because the urbanisation of a province increases the mebhaighl in the surrounding province.


    Create Urban Province [Standard; Administrate; ? GB]
    Some regents may wish to increase the size of an urban area in a province such that a new “urban province” is created; an example of of an urban province is the Imperial City of Anuire. This may be done in two ways: Planned Migration, and Province Splitting. Note that this action is only available to regents who own provinces. It may not be used in a province that already has an urban province (the only province in which this is the case is Anuire province). New urban provinces are always called “City of x” province, where x is the name of the province in which the urban province is established, or of the major town in that province; for example, using this action in Ciliene (Diemed) would result in Cilience province and City of Ciliene province, while in Caercas (Roesone), this action would result in Caercas province and the City of Proudglaive province. Regardless of which method is used to create the urban province, the maximum level of the urban province is equal to the maximum level of the old province, while the old province’s maximum level remains the same.
    When a new urban province is created, the requirement that an urban province requires at least one active trade route (BRCS, p. 89) is suspended until either two domain turns have passed, or if the urban province has is ruled before that time. This it is because it is assumed that the regent is dedicating resources to ensuring that the new urban province is successful. For example, if this action is used in Domain Turn 6, then the urban province must have at least one active trade route by Domain Turn 8 (including that turn), or its level will drop; if the urban province was successfully ruled in Turn 7, then it must have an active trade route in that turn.
    This action generally requires the regent to name the largest town/city within a province as the new urban province.
    The maximum source level of all urban provinces is 0.

    Province Splitting: With this method, the regent splits one province into two provinces, the original province, and the new urban province. When using this action, the regent may split the province as he likes, but the urban province must have a level higher than or equal to the new level of the old province.
    For example, if this action was used in Cieliene (6), the new urban province would range between level 3-6, with the new level of the old province correspondingly ranging between 3-0.
    When using this action, the regent may decide how to split existing Law, Temple, and Guild holdings amongst the two provinces; he cannot split Source holdings. For example, if Hierl Diem uses this action in Ciliene, to create City of Ciliene (3) and Ciliene (3), he may decide to split the Law holdings such that the two provinces look like this:
    Law Temple Guild Source
    Ciliene (3/2) HD (1) OIT (3) GK (3) -
    DA (2)
    City of Ciliene (3/0) HD (3) OIT (3) EH (3) -

    Planned Migration: With this method, the regent moves the people from one province to create an urban province in another province. Such action takes a lot of planning, and moves all people from the affected province such that it becomes level (0). Such an action might be used, for example, to allow a Court Wizard to develop a stronger source, or to clear a province of a particular race.
    For example, Aeric Boeruine might migrate the population of Calant (3) to Seasedge, creating the City of Seasedge (3) province. This would leave Calant province as (0/7), which would allow Arlen Innes to develop a Source up to level 7, so that he could use the Transport realm spell, for instance.
    As another example, Thurazor, Cariele, and Mhoried might strike a deal such that the three realms have a non-aggression agreement and will work together to gain The Gorge and Floodspaeth provinces for Thurazor, and Puinol for Cariele. In an additional clause, once the provinces are gained, Thurazor migrates the goblins of Doom’s Peak to create the City of Mergarrote (2), leaving Doom’s Peak a level (0) province, which he then gives to Cariele so that Doom’s Peak can now be developed as a human province.
    Unlike with province splitting, an urban province created using this method has no Law, Temple, or Guild holdings when created (or Source holding either, but that is the same as for province splitting), meaning that the old holdings no longer exist.


    Any comments, people?

    Several issues remain, such as DC and cost; I’ve got no idea, but the DC for planned migration should be easier than for province splitting. Alternatively, DCs should stay the same, but perhaps affected regents may ). Also:
    * Once an urban province is established, should the original province have a lowered maximum level (eg. by 0, -1, or -2)?
    * What should happen if a castle exists in the province. Should it be part of the urban province or the old province?
    * What happens if an urban province is in the middle of a province?
    I’m sure there are other issues people can think of, but it’s now late and the post is long enough! 
    Last edited by ericthecleric; 02-09-2008 at 02:15 PM.

  2. #2
    I think that's pretty interesting...a sort of refinement on just upping the Province's population level. I especially like that you used Thurazor in your example; the whole idea of the goblins trying to uplift themselves past 'humanoid horde' and into 'civilized species'-ness was always one of the most fascinating aspects of Birthright's setting, to me.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    Jan 2004
    I've actually done this before. To relate to your original idea, though, what I'd recommend is that

    1. An urban province can only be created from a province of level 4 or higher (I'd actually restrict it to level 7 or higher myself, to make this a rarer event), the regent must hold all law holdings in the province, at least one holding or the whole province must be fortified, and all possible trade routes must be connected to that province
    2. The urban province from the initial split cannot be greater than the original province in level (most of that province has been rural; shifting it all to the city and leaving a province 0 just doesn't sound right, and the countryside should be initially considered to have the greater population)
    3. Maximum levels are restricted only by terrain and modifiers
    4. For each season that an urban province does not have Guild or Law holdings equal to at least half of its level, loyalty drops 1 grade (lack of jobs or law can be devastating to a city)
    5. In addition to the rule that cities must have at least one trade route connected to them each season, a city cannot be ruled without having all trade route slots full (cities do not grow unless there is much opportunity and trade to provide wealth away from the agricultural countryside that is the mainstay of society during these periods.

    DC of splitting an urban province is equal to 20 + the level of each province in the split (effectively requiring the use of RP and/or extra GB), and the GB cost is equal to three times the level of the city province to be created, and carried out in Build actions by the Court.

    The restrictions I put in place make city provinces very rare, as they should be. First, it's very difficult to raise a province to level 7 (my preferred requirement), but it would make Ilien eligible for this, the best case for this anyway. The other requirements also make it difficult, as all guild holding slots must be full to support all possible trade routes, and the regent must hold all the law to support a split.

    Second, the cost is quite high, both in terms of RP (to overcome the DC) and GB (typically 9GB for a level 3 city, more if you include the cost of the Court actions needed to Build this out, as well as to fortify holdings and such).

    Third, cities are pretty fragile. Bad times or internal conflict causing loss of law or guild holdings can devastate the city, as can hostile armies--particularly by disrupting trade.

    Fourth, it is more difficult to Rule urban provinces than standard ones, because you must have all guild holdings full to support full trade routes.

    In the end, I primarily like the idea of urban provinces primarily to support Ilien, and to give Mhoried, Boeruine, Ghoere, and Diemed something to strive for. In long term games, I can see several cities springing up, but I think that would be a natural part of a resurgent Anuire pulling itself out of disorganization and expanding trade and prosperity again.

  4. #4
    Member Getters's Avatar
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    Nov 2007
    resion why this is a bad idea

    1) the Imperail city is the only urban province becose it was and will be a seat of uniaginable power base at a vast empire.

    2) you unblance the game to much form the sprit of what was built.
    when this game from my point of view cose that all we can give.
    is use to give a player a new uber province in side a province
    your give a unfair advantage to the player/plays.
    ask youer self if any one could build it why is there only one.

    3) there are more than 4 size level 7 in Bracht alone. and Bracht one of the most developed area in the game why was thay not built with
    there are two in khinis why have thay all so more developed than the empire after it fall.
    Last edited by Thelandrin; 02-09-2008 at 12:39 PM.
    ]Blood is power; there is no way of changing that truth, in any way, shape or form.

Life is and always will be about survival of the fittest - what does not kill you, makes you stronger.

    GM tags

  5. #5
    Wait, how is "A ruler trying to improve his or her kingdom." not Birthright material?

    What this is, somantics aside, seems to be a mechanic for making the growth of a province more complex than "Six goes to Seven."-which is, I think, definately in line with the whole idea of Birthright. Founding cities, bringing great works of culture and learning to your kingdom, trying to be recgonized as a signifigant part of civilization instead of just another warring successor state, all of these are legitimate goals for a Birthright character.

    Heck, that could be the east path into epic level gameplay; since you do epic, kingdom level stuff as a matter of course, just have the epic level stuff impact a whole hunk of the continent. The lower levels are all about you and your kingdom surviving-once you become a real, honest to goodness Hero King, then the game switches over into trying to make your kingdom one of the legendary domains of fantasy tradition, and dealing with the sorts of antagonists who wouldn't want that to happen.

    "It doesn't fit the feel of the setting." is a common argument around here, and one that forgets a very important aspect of the setting: The players are the rulers. They're the ones who get to try and pull the politically shattered world of Cerilia together, or keep it forced apart, or otherwise enact change on the setting. It's the hero aspect of hero kings: The PCs have the potential to be Charlemanges and Augustines, and this is half of the appeal of playing in the setting. You're not just the hero of a town, of a city, or a region, or even a nation, you have the potential to be a heroic leader for a whole civilization.

  6. #6
    Site Moderator kgauck's Avatar
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    Mar 2002
    Springfield Mo
    Making a city province is more than founding a city, its getting a city to be as important as a province is, which is why it gets its own province rating. From a simulationist point of view, this is going to be extreamly rare in the span of history, let alone a single campaign.

  7. #7
    Sean: Thanks- I’m glad you like the idea!

    Getters: I agree with you that it’d be unbalanced to allow it only to PCs. It wouldn’t be available to PCs only, but to all landed regents.
    As to what the “spirit of the game”, everyone has a different opinion, and IMO, the 3.x BRCS is very different in spirit to what the 2E spirit was. However, the 3.x BRCS does have a two-paragraph description of “Urban Provinces” (emphasis mine), and implies that more such provinces can be created, but doesn’t have rules to do so. The 2E rulebooks didn’t have such rules either, but maybe it just wasn’t thought of then.
    An urban province isn’t necessarily “uber”. Any coastal plains province can theoretically be raised to level 10 given time, as could any urban province that was originally part of a coastal plains province.
    As to why there’s only one, well there may have been more in the past, but perhaps they were destroyed by war and/or natural disasters. Rowan put it best, I think: “…I can see several cities springing up, but I think that would be a natural part of a resurgent Anuire pulling itself out of disorganization and expanding trade and prosperity again.”
    BTW, I’m not dissing you. I respect your opinion, but I’d prefer to have the Action available in any games I might run.

    Rowan: Thanks for your reply. You’ve said much to think about. Regarding your numbered and other points:
    Point 1: I’d thought about this, but left the idea open for discussion. A minimum level 4 is what I’d thought was fair, and still do. I don’t agree with level 7+ (but that’s just me(!);you’re entitled to pick whichever minimum level you want.), as it would prevent, for example, coastal mountain provinces such as those in Brosengae and Diemed, from using this action; I can imagine that there were many (relatively) large cities in Mediterranean mountainous areas in ye olden times.
    If a level 4+ province is split, then any knight unit and seaport that was created should still existence (the urban province will hold the sea port), but no new knight unit or seaport can be created in the either province until/unless both are raised to level 4.
    Point 2: I’d thought about this, too; I had wondered if the non-urban province should have a minimum value of half the new urban province’s level at the time of the split. You’re right about the “…leaving a province 0…” comment, so I’ll adopt your suggestion there.
    Point 3: That’s what I intended for the urban province level, but perhaps thought that maybe the non-urban province maximum level should be lowered a little to reflect the fact that the urban province takes up some space from the non-urban province. It seems that you think that the non-urban province’s max level should stay the same, so I’ll keep it the same, too.
    Point 4: That’s fair. I think that there should be a “window of time” when the urban province is created that such a rule shouldn’t apply though, as the hope of the citizens would counteract that effect. I think the turn of “opening” and the following Domain Turn is a reasonable window.
    Point 5: That’s fair, too. Something I meant to include in the turn description- but forgot- was that it should be possible for a trade route to be created from any province to an urban province. (The general rule is that trade routes can’t be created between provinces of similar terrain types or culture, but an urban province will always need food, therefore an urban province created out of a plains province can be supplied by a plains province.)

    Your DC seems steep, but logically, it SHOULD take a lot of effort to complete such an undertaking. The GB cost seems reasonable; while it doesn’t actually achieve much by itself, the existence of an additional province within a realm enables the realm’s overall maximum population to increase, which is partly what the action’s all about!

  8. #8
    Member Getters's Avatar
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    Nov 2007

    Ok in the anchent world citys rose our fell depend on the local resources
    leaders and climate.

    real citys take decades to build even centuries. you cant in my mine build what your calling a "urban" city in that short of time. Rember mediaeval times place were sqalour ever were. To build some thing on the imperail city size you would need great mine's of the equivalent of Michelangelo our leonardo and to be frank this kine of engineer dont come round it buckets so you could have mabe 2 our let go out on a limb 4 men /woman of this calber of craftmenship so it player bass your not going to get so many that joe king can have one and you too.
    You see in the late mediaeval times men like this could chage thousands no tens of thousands for there servise you as a regent is going to spend this kine of mony on a possable gamble there no way your going to pass perfectly it more than likely your going to fail and then worsh you money gone.

    In a game i'm running with a friend one of our player is all most scraming at the mony he has spent try to rule Ilien to size 8 and that was blood and tears and money going done a drain.
    ]Blood is power; there is no way of changing that truth, in any way, shape or form.

Life is and always will be about survival of the fittest - what does not kill you, makes you stronger.

    GM tags

  9. #9
    Site Moderator AndrewTall's Avatar
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    Oct 2006
    London, England
    In game terms what this action does is effectively double the size of a realm (maximum pop level, law holdings, guilds, temples ). That makes it potentially a gamebuster as you don't need to expand into someone else's land to increase your power - it could also encourage 'turtling'.

    My personal solution would be to make a new province for the city and get rid of the 'city' province idea at all to avoid the issue.

    My RP concern is that many of the Khinasi provinces are already described as a city plus some surrounding empty land - so are ilien and Endier. Frankly a L6-7 province MUST have a fairly big city in it with the population level as it is. Plus food must surely be an issue - if plains can support L10 population why would that suddenly double because one city is deemed to be a separate province?

    That said whatever works in your campaign of course - but if the player is after power I'd suggest the time honoured strategies of treachery, guile and war; if the player is after RP'ing a mighty city then by all means encourage them to describe the province capital in suitably ringing terms - simply because any rules change tends to have a cascade effect and being able to create 'free empty provinces' could have a significant impact.

  10. #10
    Site Moderator geeman's Avatar
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    Nov 2001
    California, USA
    I`ll just drop this one note into the fray and then back away slowly....

    The issue of urban provinces and the Imperial City is best handled by
    allowing for provinces with population levels above 10 and rolling
    the IC into the adjacent province. It eliminates all the issues
    having to do with population density, splitting population levels,
    vast numbers of trade routes, multiple splits of provinces into any
    number of urban provinces, etc. The vagaries of cities are better
    handled at the domain level by assuming they are part of the overall
    province structure rather than entities of their own.


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