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Thread: Education And Other Swear Words
03-03-2008, 05:33 PM #1
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- Aug 2006
Education And Other Swear Words
One of the down sides of the "standard" "High King" sceneario is that the Temple, Guild and Source regents tend to have less to do than the Law/Province regent. Conversly, you don't really have rules in Birthright to cover things like cultural development; can a wizard apply his art to make the domain run better? Can a guilder introduce new ideas and economic policies to improve quality of life? Can a temple regent assume the ancient role of temples as centers of not just belief, but learning?
If not this, how could it be handled? Feats for domains, for example, to represent a kingdom that's toughness is legendary, or a source network that also helps the domain resist the depravities of the Shadow World? Seperate things to be built-a 'University' building that could be made like a castle or palace? Would elf, dwarf, halfling and goblin constructions work different than human ones?
Just throwing out some thoughts and looking for opinions.
03-03-2008, 08:26 PM #2
If you want a realistic simulation these kinds of effects will result in growth rates that can be observed on a generational basis (things are better now than in my father's day). If you want fantastic results, all you have to worry about is game balance.
The kinds of improvements that stem from education and economic growth are among the slowest (although the most cumulative).
Why do you find that landed rulers have more to do than non-landed?
03-04-2008, 05:12 PM #3
The way I have dealt with this kind of development is by treating it as an extended rule-action. I have not played BR for a good while now, so I am a little rusty on the actual game-mechanics, so bear with me.
First of all, a scion must control all Law in a realm, then he must make a decree (using the normal rules) for each province. Once all the decrees are made, the scion must accumulate enough successes to reach a pre-determined DC.
I used this system when the Thane of Talinie phased out the myriad of different currencies in use and introduced the Silver Mark. Once he had succeeded (despite the contesting of guilders and other miscreants) the new coinage resulted in an increase of taxes and profits from trade.
03-04-2008, 06:12 PM #4
Currency reform is a good one. Very period. Each part of the extended test can be a fun challenge (as the Swordgaunt explained, an extended test requires enough successes to reach a pre-determined DC) in its own right. Small steps, 15 minutes of game time max.
1) Select the right balance of metals in the currency (probably the ruler providing a bonus to a specialist servant whose skill is the basis for the check). Not re-rollable. Failure is secret and means that down the road inflation or hoarding of coins is likely. Administration
2) Convince Guild A Diplomacy
3) Convince Guild B Diplomacy
4) Seek favor from Temple X Diplomacy
5) Present new coinage at court (attempt to win over the nobility and other notables) Leadership
6) Establish a new mint. Administration (could also involve a build action, but not required)
7) Establish program to convert old coinage to the new system by taking old coins out of circulation during tax collection. (Administration)
8) Address crisis of confidence in the new coinage (people fear change) Leadership (could be combined with an agitate action for higher stakes, win and go up a step, lose and decrease a step) Leadership or Agitate
9) Involve guilds in large scale coinage exchange to take in old coins and put out new ones. Administration, could require diplomacy check as well if you want two steps.
Add or subtract actions and play them out as small challenges taking a few minutes or more.
The wiki description of Brulan Broweleit, Talinie's Steward is already described as a financial and administrative guy, along with suggestions about other things he could do and has done, for anyone thinking about repeating this reform in Talinie.
03-04-2008, 10:21 PM #5
As usual, your insight and creativity surpasses mine, kgauck.
During my days as a BRGM, I had a few players suggest different cultural and technological advancements. The most sensible ones were standard units of measurement (foot, pound, barrel, etc.), religious reform, military reform (standardizing of equipment and drills), founding of a university and the creation of a bureaucratic standard. Most of these were handled in a similar manner to the currency reform.
These changes are fun to implement, but a word of advice would be in order. These changes can, if not kept in check, lead to imbalance and the min/maxing of a realm. Neighbouring regents and guilders will also be influenced, and will most likely make the necessary steps to avoid lagging behind. Had my own campaign continued, I have no doubt that within a generation or two, Anuire would have hit the Renaissance - with all its political and technological trappings.
Personally, I do not see this as a problem, as both the Brecht and the Anuirean culture are late-medieval or early Renaissance in my opinion. Still, GM, be ware!
03-04-2008, 11:59 PM #6
IMO, one of the strengths of BR is the relative simplicity of the system. I'm not saying the system is simple, but there are obvious and not so obvious complications that the system handles gracefully.
The problem, IMO, is that some things aren't clearly defined as to all the possible uses.
Going back to mandating education. We are thinking that increased education of the peope will have a long term benefit on incomes. Commonly increasing province level is considered increasing population of province and the necessary infrastructure to support it.
Strictly speaking though, the major benefit of increasing a holdng/province level is increased income.
So instead of defining the increase in province level as an increase in population, you could define it as an increase in education. In an RP aspect we rule the province up one level, call it comprehensive education, maybe use a build action to create a university, make a decree that all children are to attend school until the age of 10 or something. Some population increase would occur as we attract academics and their families to the university. Some inventor/students will come to the new university. In a season or so we see an increase in income because we taught farmers on crop rotation, and they bought some new type of plow or schucking device. We see Guild holdings increase because they have more technology at their disposal. We see temple holdings increase because kids learn about the "3 R's" and <local god> at their new school that is run by the church as an alternative to the government school which costs twice as much.
I know the rules don't strictly support this. I am just mentioning the possibilities.
My point is that in this case I think the current rules suffice, and if we try to add every possible action a regent might take we are going to end up with overly complicated and convoluted rules.
IMO, with a little creativity you can handle just about everything a Regent might want to do with the current rules.
With the money standardization from KGauck. I don't see what the practical realm level effect would be. I assume standardizing money would just make everyone's life a little more convenient and simple. So it could be accomplished by simple decree and a cost that the GM wants to place on it. I like KGauck's longer process, it gets the player more involved, but in practical terms, the crown would simply decree that knew money is to be minted, and then pay some money from the treasury to support the minting of the new money.
So, I would suggest that when a player comes up with an idea they want to implement, consider what practical effect it would have, and discuss the effect that the player is looking for it to have, and then use a currently available action (set of actions) that would achieve that effect.
If you are creative it can be an interesting and difficult prospect. KGauck gave us an excellent example of what you could do. Truthfully, the more involved you make it the happier most players would be if it was their idea.When you play the game of thrones you win or you die.
George R. R. Martin - A song of Ice and Fire
03-05-2008, 12:34 AM #7
Ploesch, there are a few things I'd like to address. First, the standardized currency. In medieval times devaluation of currencies was a major issue. A ruler would mint a new coin with a little less silver, and a little more tin in it to make up for a deficit, alternately, a merchant would shave a little off the edges. The result was a devaluation of the currency. In trade, as well as in the state coffers, this could cause several problems.
By decreeing that only the approved coinage is allowed in trade in a realm, a regent gains an increased control over the national financial situation, and thus a more stable economy. This will have similar effects on the micro-level as well. In dry game mechanical terms, the income of a regent should be increased with a percentage each turn.
Secondly, the view on education you present strikes me as a little anachronistic. A late medieval or early renaissance university (both relevant to the setting, depending on the culture) would not mean that the village kids would learn to read or write. The sons of merchants, or the third son of the gentry would be sent to study. Still, the effects on society would be noticeable. Scientific or philosophical theories would be reviewed or formulated, and topics that was earlier considered the realm of sages would be more widespread.
The more cinematic aspects, in my opinion, is a heightened awareness in the realms of history, strategy, politics, medicine and law. In a campaign I ran, the university resulted in a new judicial system (increased moral), better logistical planning (cheaper roads) and a rejuvenation of the strategical mindset (higher Warcraft ratings of the commanders), as opposed to the tactical inclination of most medieval generals. Keep in mind that while the currency reform has an overnight effect, the founding of a university will need a generation or two to bear fruits - one does not simply magic forth scholars. This is also an expensive reform, as in a pre-print age, tomes of value will often cost the shirt off your back.
03-05-2008, 12:58 AM #8
See Gresham's Law: Bad money drives out the good.
Thomas Gresham was a financier who worked for Queen Elizabeth.
A year of a child's labor is worth more than a year of a child's education. Compulsory education will make a province poorer very fast. Many families would literally starve if their 7-10 year old children were in school rather than in the fields. Compulsory education only became possible with the mechanization of farm labor in the 19th century. The completion of the compulsory education project is undertaken during the Progressive Era in America and is usually described as 1897-1934 for education purposes.
I have argued that the cost of taking a child out of the fields is prohibitivly high. Now go further and add the cost of schools. Because we pay to take productive labor out of the workplace. A society must be wealthy enough to pay to have children unproductive.
Finally, what does a child need to know? Most likely the craft and skills of their parents, which they can most effectivly learn working along side their parents.
The rise of schools, however is a renaissance phenomena. This is when the grammer school was invented, and it taught grammer. It was favored by middle class parents (guilders) who wanted a curriculum that was suitable for a merchant, rather than preperation as an academic. Starting an urban school to compete with the temple school, and provide a preperation that was merchantile would be very natural, unless you have temples of Sera in which case that's the education they are getting anyway.
03-05-2008, 06:31 PM #9
The only part of my post that had any real advice for the op was this:
I would suggest that when a player comes up with an idea they want to implement, consider what practical effect it would have, and discuss the effect that the player is looking for it to have, and then use a currently available action (set of actions) that would achieve that effect.
Sometimes though I think that you get so wrapped up in realism and historical accuracy that you forget about practical game effects.
For instance, I'm gonna pick on KGauck, what effect on province/holdings would changing the money actually have in measurable game terms?
That's what I'm getting at. I really love how you laid out the whole process of creating and getting this new coin standardization in place. I love how the PC gets to be involved in each step, it really is brilliant. What I don't see is what practical, measurable effect changing the coin would have on the realm and holdings in game terms. I get the effect it has in the real world, but in game terms I don't see it.
Are we saying that in this case based on a few dice rolls, and maybe a small expenditure of RP and GB, the entire realm gets a tax revenue increase permanently?
That strikes me as a bit imbalanced. Especially considering the risk is relatively small. Granted, this would be more difficult to pull off in some realms than others. It was probably tough in talinie, but in Endier or Elinie I don't think it would be nearly as difficult, especially if the PC's were all regents and one took each of the different aspects of the realm.When you play the game of thrones you win or you die.
George R. R. Martin - A song of Ice and Fire
03-05-2008, 08:49 PM #10
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- Aug 2006
I dig the currency reform bit. Even if it isn't perfect, it's something that a Guild regent would be uniquely suited to try and do.
Referencing your earlier question; it's largely a perception thing, I admit, but the actual Province ruler just seems more involved in running the kingdom. Very cool idea.
As far as "Education", I guess I was thinking more like a Source or Temple regent founding a university like the College of Sorcery to encourage rescearch, literarcy, and the bling that brings into a city.
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