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  1. #1

    Anatomy of a Holding

    Searching information from the book of regency, we discover what law holdings are in relation to their number in development.

    For example, Law(4) means the beginnings of true legal systems; before regents were only beginning to establish their power base. Law(0) represents a few contacts in the province.

    Does anyone know where similar information can be found for the other types of holdings?

    What does Guild(3) or Guild (5) represent?
    Any information at all on any of the holding types should be noted.

    Please search diligently.

  2. #2
    Book of Magecraft and Book of Priestcraft have information about sources and temples, respectively. But, IMO, keep in mind province and holding levels ratio - in province (1) temple (1) means one priest in every significant village, in province (3) this can be literally 2-3 temples, but staffed with this same number of people.
    And welcome to the club!

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    Apr 2002
    BR mailing list
    As Gheal notes, there`s good stuff in the BoP and BoM.

    The holdings tend to scale up in respect to the significance and
    manifestation as the levels increase. That is, a temple(1) is a
    shrine. A temple(3) is a medium sized monastery and two shrines. A
    temple(5) is a large cathedral, two medium monasteries and four
    shrines. All such manifestations are staffed by appropriate numbers
    and levels of NPCs. That is, a cathedral has a 7th level (or so)
    priest, two 4-6 level deacons and 4-6 acolytes who are 1st through
    3rd level. Etc.

    However, there`s nothing explicitly stated in the system that
    mandates that a holding of level X at the domain level must be
    represented by a particular set of manifestations at what we might
    want to view as the adventure level. There`s more than a little
    interpretation possible in that explanation. For instance, the
    priests of Erik don`t tend to build temples at all, so their temple
    manifestations would be entirely congregations and holy/natural
    locations that might manifest more along the lines of a circle of
    stones rather than an actual building, and the NPC or NPCs who
    "occupy" that manifestation could be hermits, local clan shaman, a
    village elder, etc.


  4. #4
    Miyako will work on something like an example guideline. Helping people to know what they have, if they control a Holding of X level could be helpful. We plan to make a non-Cerilia setting, so she will strive to keep it with 'more example, less flavor'.

  5. #5
    Holding Levels: Assets and Resources
    This note is a guideline detailing in brief what each holding level represents. It strives to avoid specifics, because the exact form a holding takes can vary considerably. Different cultures, different regents, changing times and strategies; holdings are like the mist over water as winter flows homeward.

    Level 0 Holding
    These are vast potential; trouble waiting to happen or trees with delicious fruits. They encompass contacts with agendas supported by a regent (not necessarily without some stealth or deceit involved).
    Regents generally must ensure they save face should the worst happen. If they do not, political rivals will often take the opportunity to stain their reputation whether something heinous was occurring or not.
    Contacts are not capable of ‘extensive government influence’. They confer minor favors, and probably have information about vital identities or resources.
    Contacts are essential on the first steps of the path to a tangible power base.
    Government officials being bribed for favors, small groups of spies, a terrorist cell, an ambitious farmer with a new food recipe, or a few missionaries preaching and looking for converts are some examples.

    Level 0 Structures
    If there are any structures, they will likely make use of the surrounding landscape or cityscape; temporary nature is the guideline. Possibilities include tents, caravans, street stalls, or repurposed houses. Lackeys of Regents will make use of the resources their master’s Contacts have.

    Level 0 Activities
    These holdings are probably involved in some kind of ‘petty scheme’, influencing court cases, or in the case of guilds trying to secure favorable trade contracts for their regent. They could involve scouts doing surveys to uncover hidden farms in the case of a law holding. All groups might engage in selling goods and promotions to the public. Street stalls with an exotic merchandise, posting legal or illegal fliers, writing graffiti in prominent places, giving out free tissues with advertisements, handing out scripture; the options for small activities are as varied as the imagination.

    Level 1-3 Holding
    Turbulent balances of power like lilies floating on the tranquil pond. Its presence is noticed and appreciated, but given little respect because it is still like the tides of the ocean. Sometimes it has influence, and other times it does not, guided by the whims of fate.

    Note: Does everyone feel that this is the right direction for something like this?

  6. #6
    Site Moderator AndrewTall's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    London, England
    An alternative to looking at the holding as ownership based is to consider it as influence based.

    So L0 might be a reputation as a wise person, a fair arbiter, one schooled in learned discourse etc - others come to the regent for advice, and often follow the regent's guidance, but the influence is either limited locally, or relatively weak - they listen to the regent but pay more attention to the local lord and his troupe of leg-breakers.

    So L0 province might be recognition by a single town or handful of villages, restricted feudal rights across a wider area, wide dominance but with multiple sub-vassals with strong rights leaving little purely to the discretion of the lord, etc.

    I prefer the influence approach as it encourages holdings to be seen as fluid and discourages a dictatorial view by players - if Regent A contests regent B and then rules up the now-vacant slot, they do not need to have burned regent B to the ground, slaughtered followers, etc and then built from scratch - they can simply have convinced regent B's people to follow the guidance of regent A

  7. #7
    A very strong post, it is a little scary!

    That idea is a good one, but it is nice to have a guideline about what things could be.
    The thinking appears to be something like ‘total conquer!’ when it does not have to be like that at all.
    Here comes a strong statement. Does that mean a Regent must ‘sack the enemy’ to increase their holding level, if we try out the approach of deciding ‘this level could have this many structures’?

    Of course it does not have to be like that. Shrines could be repurposed, or leveled, or become disused. There is historical precedent for defacing things, or making them different; incorporating them into existing pantheons as ‘pretty much the same’ for example.
    More influence often means more wealth, more followers, and more temporal things.
    Something often grows from a monastery to a sprawling complex of pagodas, temples, shrines and effigies. Villages can even spring up around the area, a pilgrimage town.

    If Regents gain more influence, they do not have to destroy the other holding, maybe people just stop going. What we can do is add notation:

    Note: This is merely an idea, holdings could be represented by anything because they are a fluid concept.

    And we can also add an influence category, and comparison categories.

    Looking forward to working together, even if it is just to receive some scary input!

    These ideas are valuable.

  8. #8
    Member SirRobin's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    I've also preferred to look at holdings more on a "how much influence" rather than "how many buildings" scale. It lets it remain more fluid.
    Sir Robin the Not-quite-so-brave-as-Sir-Lancelot,
    who had nearly fought the Dragon of Agnor,
    who had nearly stood up to the vicious Chicken of Bristol,
    and who had personally wet himself at the Battle of Badon Hill.

  9. #9
    Different types of holdings have different ways of development and destruction. "Spiritual" holdings (Temples and to some extent Law in BR) can be "built" without much actual architectural buildings. You can judge your subjects under great oak, and preach from atop the cliff. "Polis is not its walls nor buildings, polis is its people". (I'm sorry for my sloppy citing of Xenophontus) Contest of these holdings is more about winning hearts and souls of people.
    Most industrial holdings (Guilds in BR) must have some real estate property - stores, stables, sometimes factories and docks. When guild is contested, this property must change hands or be destroyed. Well, it can fall in disuse and disrepair also, but winner usually uses all he can pull from other side of conflict.
    Magic holdings are entirely different. Contestants do not bicker about people or property - they influensed the land itself.

    Just my 2 cp

  10. #10
    Site Moderator AndrewTall's Avatar
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    Oct 2006
    London, England
    Guilds do not need to the the primary manufacturers/etc, they can be rights - a guild with a regal monopoly on all smith work may not own a single forge - its members certainly do, but not the guild itself.

    If a holding = property then 1 GB must be sufficient to build that property, and it should be possible to build all the necessary property from ground zero to city size in a single year if you wish to keep the existing rules on ruling holdings. Similarly if a holding = pure property, then contesting a powerful guild down sharply probably means mass pillaging, burning of shops and warehouses etc - something that requires a legal response from even the most corrupt/lethargic regent.

    If a holding = a mix of property and influence, then rather than creating all that property (and potentially creating people) you are simply convincing people to follow you, gaining rights over them, etc. That allows very rapid rises and falls in holding level without defying belief and permits such rises and falls without necessary impacting other holdings.
    Last edited by AndrewTall; 07-16-2010 at 01:22 PM.

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