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  1. #1
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    Abolishing different action types

    What do you all think about streamlining the domain action system by getting rid of the various action types so that there are no Court, Realm, Full, Lieutenant, Domain, and Character actions, but just Domain actions?

    This is one of the things I've been working on for a while, but I'd like people's initial impressions.

    Domain Actions would be linked to overall size of the regent's support staff--Court and Vassals. So a regent would start with one Domain Action per month (three per Turn/Season), but could increase this with more extensive court (courtiers, departments, ministries, etc) or vassals (presumably with their own support staff).

    Lieutenants would be assigned to various actions to lead them, possibly providing a bonus depending on their expertise (like the regent could).

    I think this could result in a simpler, more versatile, and even more realistic system.

    Criticism?

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    Senior Member Mirviriam's Avatar
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    It's scope and time thing ... you should try it on two levels:

    First - the amount of time something should take
    Second - the other is how much focus something takes - can your pc be doing other things in addition? Physically present how often of the month? Any delegation possible? (personally as long as they guy is skilled anything but spells can be delegated)

    It will take a really fine line to drop everything into one class of action. You could try dividing actions up into smaller parts possibily?

    I've seriously been considering this before I write any more plans for my game. I don't want to see the court actions go personally...I think they should be expanded as the standard action & several of them make up the domain action. Bonus's if you use more up to a certain point?

    Maybe an increasingly greater number of court actions, with one of the ones on the list being regent presence required (representing some things are better ordered done & left to experts till approval or near completion). This could also be tied in to the adventure side, because at the low level a player regent has to have his friends to make any domain/court(whatever we call it) action work.

    Still there needs to be free actions that can happen without tying down your pc.
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    Administrator Green Knight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rowan View Post
    What do you all think about streamlining the domain action system by getting rid of the various action types so that there are no Court, Realm, Full, Lieutenant, Domain, and Character actions, but just Domain actions?

    This is one of the things I've been working on for a while, but I'd like people's initial impressions.

    Domain Actions would be linked to overall size of the regent's support staff--Court and Vassals. So a regent would start with one Domain Action per month (three per Turn/Season), but could increase this with more extensive court (courtiers, departments, ministries, etc) or vassals (presumably with their own support staff).

    Lieutenants would be assigned to various actions to lead them, possibly providing a bonus depending on their expertise (like the regent could).

    I think this could result in a simpler, more versatile, and even more realistic system.

    Criticism?
    The idea is intriguing enough, but for me to comment more fully I'd like to know why:

    A) It is simpler? You're already listed several permutations, making me think it will be different, but not necessarily any simpler.

    B) More versatile? Simplicity often least to less versatility IMO. Could you give some examples?

    C) ;ore realistic? Please elaborate!
    Cheers
    Bjørn
    DM of Ruins of Empire II PbeM

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    Birthright Developer irdeggman's Avatar
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    Most of the reasons why the BRCS added the court actions was becasue of the limited number of actins that a regent got in 2nd ed and to increase the "realism" factor.

    Lt actions were mechanically designed in 2nd ed to give the regent 1 additional domain action per turn.

    The BRCS expanded on these to give more versatility - and unless I totally recall poorly, to reflect a lot of what the BR community had developed over time to increase realism and add more versatility to the 2nd ed rules.
    Duane Eggert

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    I'll expand a little, trying to avoid a long and detailed post for the time being.

    1. Simpler: 1 action type. No longer will you have to worry about which action type and how many you have alloted is appropriate. For those of us familiar with the system, this doesn't take much brain power, but I believe it is still cumbersome to learn and cumbersome for a DM to have to review and make sure everything is done properly.

    The "permutations" are really just the measure of how many actions you get, somewhat similar to the existing Court system.

    2. More versatile: No longer will you have to assign Court actions to make Realm actions possible. A regent with an extensive administration can create a law holding here, rule a couple more over there, rule a guild holding in another province, and agitate somewhere.

    Granted, to balance this all appropriately, some modification may have to be made to some actions to even them out. Many of us have wanted to encourage more Agitate, Contest, Diplomacy, and Espionage actions while making Rule more expensive. Such modifications would help prevent abuse. Of course, limited amounts of RP is also a natural limit on such actions. Also, what were previously Court actions could be upscaled--Build could accomplish more, for instance.

    Once this initial rebalancing is done, though, the end result is streamlined.

    3. More realistic: This argument does depend on your interpretation of existing actions. I'm of the school that believes that every action at the domain level in the current system is really undertaking primarily by a fairly large array of courtiers and administrators, with the regent or LT leading but not doing much of the actual work themselves.

    As governments grow in sophistication, administration expands considerably, allowing the government to do more. People get appointed to offices that have wide-ranging duties that in a smaller domain a regent might be more involved in. Whole departments or ministries form to take on specialized tasks. If a government grows like this, I don't see why it would be limited to just three rather rigid standard domain actions per season (Court actions are pretty limited in scope).

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    Birthright Developer irdeggman's Avatar
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    Hmm - why not just go back to the 2nd ed system then?

    It is much simplier in that there was only 1 type of action - domain action (realm for multiple holdings). Well there was also a character action but that took up a domain action (and was pretty much designed for non-regents).

    I don't know but off hand it still seems to be as (or more) complicated than the BRCS system in concept anyway. You need to know how many actions are allowed by the size of the court (which will pretty much screw over wizard only regents by the way).

    The BRCs helps to prevent the screwing over of wizard regents by having the court actions pretty much be limited to minor or ceremony types of things - and building. Mostly things that a source only regent would not do anyway.

    In concept this new system would allow a law guild regent to accomplish more rule holding actions in a turn that a source only regent could since all court only actions are now under the domain action umbrella (basically all actions appear to be equal). Anyway - things to keep an eye on when you go down this path. . .
    Duane Eggert

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    Thanks, that is something to consider. I think it can easily be remedied. Even under BRCS, the problem you mentioned, biased against the Source holder, existed. Many common house rules fixed this by giving the Source holder more Source Court actions, or something similar. Point is, this deficiency can be overcome. I can see it being overcome the same way as with other regents: having vassals, paying for a larger Court administration (apprentices and magicians, paid out of a Source holding income), creating a powerful Nexus or Focus of some kind as a special Source manifestation that can enhance the wizard's ability to draw more mebhaigl under his control (allowing him to Rule or Create more Source holdings, etc).

    The 2e system had the deficiency that actions were TOO limited. A large centralized government can simply handle much more than a little frontier court can. Spain in the early Renaissance period was fighting multiple wars on many fronts, while colonizing the New World. In France, the Sun King's reforms in government administration made France extremely powerful. Both were very centralized forms of government for their time, run not just by a central King delegating to various self-interested vassals with their own fiefs (localized authorities), but also by professional ministries and departments with non-localized authority.

  8. #8
    Site Moderator AndrewTall's Avatar
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    The question of whether you want to distinguish between court, domain, full or realm actions really boils down to:

    Q1. How many actions are best per turn?

    Q2. How wide should an action be?

    A1. 2e had 3 domain actions a turn, but these could be very wide as they were echoed without limit by the court. BRCs by comparison has 3-7 domain actions, and some variants have 3-13 (1 per court level) making turns more cumbersome and slower.

    A2. If 1 action affects 1 holding in 1 province then either turns become individually less important as plans inevitably unfold over several turns, or you need lots of actions each turn to keep each turn vital. The width then is reliant on the number of actions desired and simply reflects the method chosen to encourage/discourage similar actions each turn.


    Personally I'd prefer to have the court provide bonuses to actions, domain size will already impact GB/RP meaning that big domains will automatically be much more effective but a good court be reflected in, say, +1 bonus per court level to be spread over actions, no more than 1/3 of the bonus spent on any given action.

    My way you'd need to ignore repeated actions for builds and the like - just one action to start and then its going to continue barring some random event.

    The action types are then just personal and domain - a personal action by the Pc / a lieutenant maybe granting a bonus to a domain action if they have a relevant skillset and time to spare.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rowan View Post
    The 2e system had the deficiency that actions were TOO limited.
    I'm not sure if it's common, but that's probably one of the things I like the most about Birthright: having only 3 actions (4 with a lieutenant) forces big kingdoms to stablish vassalages and depend on other regents, increasing a lot the interactions between people (and backstabbing and all kinds of nice diplomacy/politic stuff).

    If you allow big kingdoms to get more actions then small kingdoms are going to be wipped out pretty fast because they can't keep with the big guys (they have less actions and they have less income).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vicente View Post
    I'm not sure if it's common, but that's probably one of the things I like the most about Birthright: having only 3 actions (4 with a lieutenant) forces big kingdoms to stablish vassalages and depend on other regents, increasing a lot the interactions between people (and backstabbing and all kinds of nice diplomacy/politic stuff).

    If you allow big kingdoms to get more actions then small kingdoms are going to be wipped out pretty fast because they can't keep with the big guys (they have less actions and they have less income).
    I have thought about this, because I, too, liked that, to an extent. I think it was taken too far, though.

    I also think that just because you have lieutenants and a court under you doesn't mean you don't have many of the same sorts of tensions that you would have with vassal states. Many of those "court" members are landed vassals themselves. A duke probably contends with both counts and vassals in his own land, not to mention other wealthy or influential landholders.

    Anyway, I agree that there should be a diminishing return for expanding government--bureaucracy gets less efficient the larger it gets. What I've drafted includes those diminishing returns; courts get successively more expensive the larger they get.

    I've also mentioned vassals as part of what determines more actions because I wanted to codify and bring out those vassalage arrangements more, and assigned attitude levels to those vassals based on their current level of satisfaction with the regent. The attitude level functions like a LT or regent skill bonus, or like a Court bonus; a simple number, fairly easy to keep track of, that reflects how cooperative a vassal is currently.

    The other thing that preserves the relative lack of agility of that larger realm is that it caps out RP income and is thus less efficient, and yet still has to manage a much larger territory. Ultimately it can end up with an RP deficiency. This would be particularly true if you limited the amount of RP that could be spent on any one action (so Avanil can't just throw 60RP at an action to overwhelm nearly any opponent, which is somewhat difficult to conceptualize in story terms anyway), or allowed smaller bloodlines to not be so limited in RP collection, but rather in accumulation.

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