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  1. #1
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    Maintenance costs

    Hi,

    question about maintenance of fortification.

    I found the ratio really high (2/3xlevel or 1/3xlevel) compared to the cost. It means that the maintenance cost is around 30% to 66% per season of fortification value.

    I think those value should be less, more around 10% to 20% ?

    What do you think ?

    Thanks !

  2. #2
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    Also,

    I have difficulty transforming my players catles into BR ratings.

    That is I used Stronghold Builders to construct their Temple and Castles.

    Temple cost is 40,000 gp (a simple temple with 20 seats in SB)
    Motte-and-Bailey is 30,000 gp. (wooden palissade with stone manor)
    Castle on cliff is 80,000 gp. (small stone castle)

    Those are supposed to be Fortification (province) and/or Fortification (Holding) ?

    The Temple is an holding.

    but the other two are castles and the players are law regent only.

  3. #3
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    On Tue, Jul 8, 2008 at 1:05 PM, Panics <brnetboard@birthright.net> wrote:
    > question about maintenance of fortification.
    >
    > I found the ratio really high (2/3xlevel or 1/3xlevel) compared to the cost. It means that the maintenance cost is around 30% to 66% per season of fortification value.
    >
    > I think those value should be less, more around 10% to 20% ?
    >
    > What do you think ?

    Reducing the cost of maintaining a fortification will encourage them
    to proliferate, obviously. Do you want that in your game? If so,
    make it so.

    Alternatively, make a rule that a fortification can be "active" or
    "inactive". If it`s active, pay full maintenance. If it`s inactive,
    pay no (or minimal) maintenance, but it provides no benefit in event
    of war. If you want to bring it back to active, pay GB=its level for
    repairs and restaffing, and start paying maintenance on it again.
    Keep the ones on your border with Markazor active, put the rest on
    standby.

    Also, "inactive" castles may occasionally be infested by goblins,
    brigands, and assorted other adventuring opportunities, either as a
    random event, or by GM fiat.

    --
    Daniel McSorley

  4. #4
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    On Tue, Jul 8, 2008 at 1:27 PM, Panics <brnetboard@birthright.net> wrote:
    > I have difficulty transforming my players catles into BR ratings.
    >
    > That is I used Stronghold Builders to construct their Temple and Castles.
    >
    > Temple cost is 40,000 gp (a simple temple with 20 seats in SB)
    >
    > Motte-and-Bailey is 30,000 gp. (wooden palissade with stone manor)
    >
    > Castle on cliff is 80,000 gp. (small stone castle)
    >
    > Those are supposed to be Fortification (province) and/or Fortification (Holding) ?
    >
    > The Temple is an holding.
    >
    > but the other two are castles and the players are law regent only.

    How does that compare to the cost of a fortified holding or castle? I
    vaguely think a castle cost 10GB/level; 30000gp is 15 GB, so that
    would be a level 1 or 2 castle? Sounds reasonable. The 80k castle is
    40 GB, so a level 4 castle. Again, works for me.

    Really, eyeballing it may be your best bet, here, since you`re trying
    to combine two systems that weren`t designed to work together. A
    motte-and-bailey could easily be a level 2 castle, and a small stone
    castle on a fortified location sounds like about a level 4 castle to
    me, so it kinda works out.

    --
    Daniel McSorley

  5. #5
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    Well if I follow the rules set

    Fortification (Province) is 8 GB/level and Fortification (holding) is 4 GB/level.

    In the description, province fortification are more like a system of towers and a castle or series of barracks laid out in the province.

    holding are more like small castle... but how small... if you emulate that a GB equal ruffly 2,000 gp.

    So my 30k castle would be a holding of level 4 ! or a province fortification level 2.

    Maybe I should draw a new "level" system for the fortification and/or make only one Fortification cost and maintenance entry.


  6. #6
    Site Moderator AndrewTall's Avatar
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    Part of the maintenance cost is probably maintaining rights, etc - a GB is not simply gold despite its name, it is influence, labour, and much more. A PC adventurer pays in cash and gets the service they pay for, a PC regent gets much more bang for their buck by paying in RP (people's willingness to support their lord) and tax rights, tithes, etc.

    Don't forget that much of the cost is maintaining stocks of food, servants, guards, etc - a castle without food or warriors may have strong walls but will offer little resistance to invasion.


    If a ruler takes the rights over a castle them they could have to keep the local lords happy with their rule ($ kerching!) or spend to keep them crushed and obedient. I like Dan's idea of active and inactive castles (i.e. those with stores and guards and those without) but would add to goblins intenral politics like robber barons and renegade knights - leaving a big fortress to go idle is asking for the local lord to take over, get delusions of grandeur, and turn into a great captain.

    Ultimately though as Dan said, it is an issue of balance and how frequent you want your castles - and how rapid you want your wars to be. One issue I have is timespan - big stone castles do not get built in mere months, and do not fall down in months of neglect either - but that's a separate issue.

  7. #7
    Site Moderator kgauck's Avatar
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    Another, perhaps related, interpretation, is that a fortress has been built, but lands must be alienated to support it, so actually your income goes down, but instead of handling the accounting by reducing income, they just impose a "maintenance cost" because the end result, less GB, is the same.

  8. #8
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    One way to limit the power of fortresses despite reducing maintenance costs might be to, as Andrew implies, increase the construction time. But I don't particularly like the idea of wasting Court actions on them continually, either, both from a gameplay and a story standpoint.

    So here's a variant rule:
    Build/Fortify would be a Court action costing 1GB (in addition to the cost of the construction) performed once to initiate construction. It would represent arranging the personnel and setting up the administrative oversight required to support ongoing construction at a reasonable pace.
    Construction would then continue at the rate of 1GB per month automatically until complete (you could make this 2GB if you really want it speedy in your game, but see below). This incremental pace allows each level of province fortification to be built in 8 months. A significant fortification (3 or higher) thus takes at least 2 years to construct at a normal pace.
    Hastening construction requires another Build/Fortify Court action costing an additional 1GB to represent the hiring/setting up of additional staff and devoting more resources to the job, but would increase the pace appropriately (another 1GB per month).
    If for any reason construction is halted (for instance because the regent can't pay for the construction in a given month), another Court action is required to re-initiate construction.

    To offset the greater build times, as well as to make book-keeping easier, province fortifications cost 0.5GB per level per season to maintain (0.25 if you're really generous). Fortified holdings (often neglected in the game because they're not worth it) don't cost anything to maintain--the greater security and value of the asset effectively covers the slightly-increased maintenance cost of revenue-generating holdings. (Province fortifications are not revenue-generating holdings, so they don't get any benefit).

    I would tend to increase the battle rule tactical impact of fortifications to be 4+ the level of the castle, by the way, otherwise low level castles still aren't worth it. I also wouldn't levy a penalty for construction costs in provinces of level 3 or lower unless the fortification exceeds the level of the province. Border provinces often raise fortifications despite being sparsely populated, and should be able to do so freely. Further, I tend to think of minor fortifications (1 or 2) as rather minor affairs--motte and bailey, ditch and palisaded towns, signal and guard towers (mostly wooden), barricades and barracks, the occasional small stone inner keep. I see 3+ as increasingly sophisticated affairs using more stone, higher walls, siege engines, additional curtain walls, etc.

  9. #9
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    Well,

    Working with Stronghold Builders as base line for Castle building, I've managed to rule that Maintenance cost should average 5% to 10% max per season.

    As per an Army Base (24,000 gp) which can sustain 100 soldiers, and 12 gp of staff/month + building maintenance (1% per year of base price, so 240 gp / 3 = 80 gp per season).

    sums to 36 + 80 = 116 gp/season. With a GB avering 2000 gp, it gives 5.8% per season or

    1/20 x level
    or 1/10 x level in GB

    Which brings maintenance cost to a more "affordable" size. Otherwise, most of your income would go into maintenance cost. It you mean, that if you "conquer" a region with a Castle (2), you can still afford to maintain it and not abandon it. In history, their were lucky conquest ! And even if the "new" kingdom was not rich, they could keep the castle...

    1/10 x level GB seems more adequate. You could even go to 1/5 x level GB, but certainly not 2/3 or 1/3 as per the rules ! At this rate, Castle are to costly to maintain and you could only keep your troops in basic field camps...

  10. #10
    Site Moderator kgauck's Avatar
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    Looking just at the Stronghold Builders Guide one is only building a fortress without also establishing a fief. And getting a fief to yield a mere 116 gp/season is a tiny fief indeed.

    Suppose along with fortress, one founds a village as well. The village will provide food, blacksmithing, carpentry, and meat for the castle without any special effort. Plus they pay taxes. In comparison to the maintenance costs of a fief, the 116 gp is very small.

    A proper fief will require a castellan (300 gp) and will use up 40% of its income on on its own expenses. This means a fief earning as little as 1300 gp can pay its maintenance, provide the 116x4 gp for its annual military expences, and pay for a castellan to watch over the whole business. If the fief did nothing but grow staple crops an a mere hundred acres of land (under a sixth of a square mile) the grain would provide 720 gp in taxes, mosty in the form of 8-12% of the harvests, but the grain will feed the garrison and the people who keep up the fief. The fees, rents, taxes, tolls, and so on will provide another 4350 gp. We're now up to an income of 5000 gp, and we haven't considered animals or industries like beekeeping, charcoal burning, a mill, a smith, or a carpenter. So at 5000 gp, 40% covers the fief's support, leaving 3000 gp to pay the 450 gp military expences, and 300 gp salary of the castellan.

    Or we could just place this fortification on an existing fief and we'll need an additional 10 acres farmed to cover the 450 gp annual military expenses it requires.

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