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  1. #1
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    Renting Palaces and Trade Consortiums

    I'd like to get some opinions on some other ideas here.

    If someone needs more Court actions--particularly to be able to Build things faster in a large realm, or to build a navy--should they be able to set up and maintain a separate Court or even specialized Palace to gain additional Court actions? It could represent additional administrators and courtiers, sort of like a modern-day government Department/Division, and additional facilities to enable their functioning.

    If someone can maintain a second Court, can they lend or sell the time and resources of their court to someone else? I'm thinking this would be sharing Court resources in the case of allies within the same realm, or even allied realms. Perhaps most applicable, though, would be if it involved a neutral realm like Ilien or Endier setting up a diplomatic palace and wanting to sell/share its actions, or for any guild or temple to do the same (it seems to me quite appropriate for guilds to be able to hire out facilities for Build actions).


    If Court actions can be shared on some level, could allied domains set up an additional Court supported by them all whose actions could be shared by them all?

    For example, say Guilder Kalien, el-Hadid, and Morele Lannaman want to form a secret Trade Consortium to empower their guilds and enable them to better compete with more powerful guilds like Ghorien Hiriele's H/OT, Prince's Pride, or Mheallie Bireon's guilds. They agree to a trade alliance among themselves, not contesting each other, trading with each other, and coordinating contest actions against other competitors. In addition, to better benefit from their pooled resources and the expertise across all their guilds, they set up an additional Court level 6 and supply to that Court three Lieutenants who are among their most capable guilders. Paying the maintenance for this Court and the salaries of the Lieutenants and their staff costs a combined 9GB per season (3GB per contributor). In return, each of the three members of this consortium are able to gain an additional Court action per month and one additional Domain Action through a Lieutenant per season.

    The strategic purpose of this idea is obvious, but an additional game design goal drives it: reward collaboration and alliance, but also reduce the headache of appointing and directing many more actions theoretically available to vassals. In the games I've played, many domains and realms end up getting too large to administer on one's own, and normally, barring paranoia or megalomania, they would actually be administered by a master and several vassals. The problem is that it is difficult to manage all the extra actions per month for the vassals--both for the PCs and the DM. So this idea allows just a fraction of those additional actions to enable better administration of large realms, and does so in the context of collaboration among domains.

    The Trade Consortium idea could be mimicked by realms banding together against larger foes (Ilien, Medoere, Roesone vs. Diemed and Ghoere), in the case of major realms with their vassals (Boeruine and Avanil with their factions), or in the case of a realm internally with its close allies (Aerenwe with ETN, SRT, and HMA; Ghoere with HOT, MOC, SM). It could apply to Temples in the form of a Patriarchate or centralized Council or authority--perhaps the original Imperial Temple really was organized in a central council uniting the regional temples of WIT, OIT, NIT, and HA; this system could also be a first step to reunification, for instance with OIT, HA, and IHH. This could even benefit allied wizards, forging together an able body of magicians and wizards to aid them (perhaps Swampie II, Three Brothers Mages, and Riegen are natural allies, and certainly the elven realms would seem to be ripe for this).

    I'm not proposing having dozens of these systems active unless you want to play a game with many powerful factions, but a few that form during the game could be beneficial, particularly for PCs.

    What do you think?

  2. #2
    It is an interesting idea, although I can see it being abused by players if not closely watched.

    You are saying almost a limited court that only has powers that apply to it. In the idea of a seperate trade court, you could do build actions or create trade routes. The only problem I see is who is the one that dictates what the court actions are used for. I think you were saying that each regent gets one extra court action, but they could get one extra court action from increasing their court, unless they were maxed out.

    I have come up with other ways to handle that. If you control a ship yard for example I give them one free court action a month to build ships.

    You could also have independant organizations that could offer free court actions if the regent decides to work with them. For example ...


    Local contruction union could help build your new palace. They are the best in the region and work fast. They will cost you an extra gold bar per month of work but you get a free build action when building that palace every month.

    League of the Boot and Trail (Complete Adventure) has a station located in your capital city. They have more knowledge about surrounding lands than you could ever possibly know. If you work with the organization in giving them mundane information about your realm (conditions of roads, trade routes, Inn locations and any chages there) they could assist you in getting some of the same location from other realms. You can use an espionage action as a court action if you are only trying to find information that would be common knowledge to peasents and laborers (roads, perhaps troop locations, current rumors from a given city.)

    I do like your idea of creating a seperate court and rewarding regents that work together. I would think it would have to be limited to countries that plan on having close ties and trust each other. Competing guilders might not be a good example. Now having different churches of Haelyn trying to help unify Anuire by slightly unifying their own churches is a perfect example.

    -BB

  3. #3
    Site Moderator AndrewTall's Avatar
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    I'm not sure that an additional court to the ruler's own is something I'd like as it effectively removes the normal cap on court size, but a 'joint court' which is funded by several regents (at 1-2 gb a pop) and has the modifiers of a large court (albeit with actions shared) sounds good - smaller realms can't afford a big court and working closely with an ally should grant benefits - if occasional intrigue, horse trading etc as the various hosts agree differing balances of power. I would expect some inefficiency however as the competing factions won't work as smoothly as a court with a single head.

  4. #4
    The importance of playing up the inefficiency inherent in trying to weld nations together would be important, imo. The idea of granting each each of the domains another court action for the same cost that they get a court action in their own court seems counter to this. Perhaps, the court has fewer domain actions per turn for a typical court, but give it access to a new kind of action category, [Association]. Sort of like a Realm action, only something that spans multiple realms.

    You could potentially throw some fairly heavy effects into this. For example, Oligopoly could give an income bonus to all guilds and trade routes controlled by members of the Association, to represent the wealth that can be generated when the parties work together to fix prices, cut deals, etc.

    Oh, and this is my first post. Hello world! I thought I should stop lurking and say something, and the idea of a realm association tickles my fancy. It reminds me of elements of the New Orion Senate in one of the scrapped docus of MOO3.

  5. #5
    Welcome into the fold!

    -BB

  6. #6
    League of the Boot and Trail (Complete Adventure) has a station located in your capital city. They have more knowledge about surrounding lands than you could ever possibly know. If you work with the organization in giving them mundane information about your realm (conditions of roads, trade routes, Inn locations and any chages there) they could assist you in getting some of the same location from other realms. You can use an espionage action as a court action if you are only trying to find information that would be common knowledge to peasents and laborers (roads, perhaps troop locations, current rumors from a given city.)
    I'm pro anything that adds more flavor to build actions. Plus, you can wring adventures out of curring the favor of local unions, getting the proper dwarf craftsmen to supervise, and so on.

  7. #7
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    Murphy, you're right about inefficiency...I, too, prefer the idea of separate institutions granting Court actions for only specific purposes, but then at a lesser cost. Ministry of War (capable of any war-related action), Bard Halls (add to Realm Agitate, Espionage actions, random event resolution), Trade Councils (trade routes, Build roads, smaller ships), etc. I do like the idea of hiring out internal organizations, though. In general, I was trying to get away from the whole implication that just to be able to carry out the type of extensive shipbuilding or other activities one might want, they need to have a World Class Court that would be the envy of everyone.

    I have also toyed with the various government types, but for a simple game (PBEM-style) I'd generally try to keep things as simple as possible. That's why I was suggesting just letting each allied member use a single additional action. It can't be abused as much as the appointment of vassals, and only allows an edge as long as the alliance is strong and the institution is in place--and the Lieutenants and administrators involved remain happy and subservient, rather than becoming inspired to coup attempts, striking out on their own, or selling key information in secret. These are all serious dangers of placing such high-level trust in officials somewhat outside one's direct control--and could create some interesting game scenarios.

  8. #8
    I have absolutely no experience with the PBeM scene, and so I can't comment too much about anything aimed principally at it. I like complicated, and playing around with details and minute facets of worlds. As a fast and dirty hack, the original idea should work. With regards to its stability; players can usually count on players to behave in a rational way, which means that player alliances will tend not to be disolved by treachery at the regent level.

    Which leaves LTs turning Judas. This can be totally great and compelling if done right, but really it shouldn't be looked at as a balancing factor against the relative power of the Association level alliance. If LTs start getting uppitty at the rate which would truly counteract the benefits of the Association, I can see players crying foul over how untrustworthy their oathmen have suddenly become.

  9. #9
    Site Moderator kgauck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rowan View Post
    I, too, prefer the idea of separate institutions granting Court actions for only specific purposes, but then at a lesser cost. Ministry of War (capable of any war-related action), Bard Halls (add to Realm Agitate, Espionage actions, random event resolution), Trade Councils (trade routes, Build roads, smaller ships), etc.
    This idea that a king might have a staff of specialists who address the same kinds of problems over an extended period of time is modern. I think its not out of reach for renaissance era organizations, but its something of a goal, not frequently achieved. More commonly, work was assigned to a trusted or competent individual, no matter where he was. If the wardrobe is run by a really smart guy then its possible to conduct every kind of action through the wardrobe. These guys not only purchase and maintain the regent's clothes, they might wage wars, conduct diplomacy, or build actions for the ruler.

    So I would see actions being dependent on how many talented servants there were, not on specialized offices. The basic rules with three actions plus lieutenant actions corresponded with this approach. If you need more actions, I would say get more lieutenants.

  10. #10
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    Current rules only allow for one LT action, no matter how many LT's you have. And BRCS even removed that.

    The more standardized action system that I've been working on, with only one domain action type (no separate Standard, Realm, Full, Court, or LT actions) does involve adding actions by appointing lieutenants, councils of advisors, and vassals.

    You're right, Murphy, that mass treachery should be a rare thing. LT's disagreeing with their liege's and undermining them slightly, or just not being as effective at their duties (lower loyalty ratings) would be more common. Any advantage, though, is not much of an advantage if it's not reliable most of the time.

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