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  1. #1
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    We've got a competitve, serious-minded Birthright campaign going in 3E and are running into some problems with rules. I was looking for some help from an outside source, so anything anyone can offer would be great. There are four players and each controls a realm. All have strived to build trade routes to build up their coffers. Several of these trade routes are with fellow PC realms. We have read numerous sources and rule books looking to nail down the amount of income generated by a trade route and have found some discrepencies. Here are my questions...

    A. Must a regent PC control a guild holding in a province in order to get the income from the trade route? Does class play into this in any way?

    B. Are the province levels used to determine the income or the guild holding levels?

    C. How does the level of the controlled guild holding come into play? Do other guild holding controllers deserve a share?

    D. Do both ends of the trade route split the income?

    E. Could a ruling regent of a province containing a trade route tax or lay claim to a share of the trade route?

    I will search for a FAQ somewhere, I but I thought that it would be more efficient to find someone who knows.

    Thanks in advance for the help.

  2. #2
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    > Bronto wrote:

    > We have read numerous sources and rule books looking to nail down the
    > amount of income generated by a trade route and have found some
    > discrepencies.

    Trade routes are one of the things that cause everyone headaches, and thus
    there is a fair amount of disagreement over what the rulebook actually
    says on this topic. As part of this, all of us who like to tinker with
    the rules often start out by modifying the trade rules. I will try to
    make a clear distinction in my answer between what I think they rules
    actually are and what I would prefer they be instead, but I may slip up.

    > A. Must a regent PC control a guild holding in a province in order to
    > get the income from the trade route?

    You need to own a trade route to get the income from it. You need a guild
    holding to create a trade route (though there is always the "source of
    level 7+" debate). This leaves open the question of whether a regent can
    transfer ownership of a trade route without also transferring a supporting
    guild; I am inclined to say no, but I am not positive I can back this up
    with a specific rule reference.

    > Does class play into this in any way?

    As I read the rulebook, the only interaction between trade routes and
    class is that only rogues gain RP from them.

    > B. Are the province levels used to determine the income or the guild
    > holding levels?

    The rulebook says average the province levels. Averaging the holding
    levels instead is probably the most common house rule about trade routes,
    but it is clearly a house rule.

    > C. How does the level of the controlled guild holding come into play?

    Officially, only in the resistance to being suppressed by decree from the
    owner of a law holding (and probably in the target number for creating
    the trade route in the first place).

    > Do other guild holding controllers deserve a share?

    They should make their own trade routes. If all the slots are full, they
    are officially out of luck. Some people perceive this as a flaw and make
    house rules to address it.

    > D. Do both ends of the trade route split the income?

    In the rules as I read them, there is one and only one owner of a given
    trade route, just as there is one and only one owner of a given holding.
    That owner gets all the income. Interplayer deals offering a cut of the
    money to a law regent in exchange for not suppressing the route or to a
    rival guild in exchange for not contesting the route are sensible and
    therefore somewhat common, but they are not part of the rules themselves.

    > E. Could a ruling regent of a province containing a trade route tax
    > or lay claim to a share of the trade route?

    I think the rules say no. I think they ought to say yes.

    > I will search for a FAQ somewhere, I but I thought that it would be
    > more efficient to find someone who knows.

    Or at least someone who has spent a lot of time arguing about it. ;)


    Ryan Caveney

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  3. #3
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    On Thu, 2002-05-16 at 06:29, Ryan B. Caveney wrote:
    > > Bronto wrote:
    >
    > > We have read numerous sources and rule books looking to nail down the
    > > amount of income generated by a trade route and have found some
    > > discrepencies.
    >
    > Trade routes are one of the things that cause everyone headaches, and thus
    > there is a fair amount of disagreement over what the rulebook actually
    > says on this topic. As part of this, all of us who like to tinker with
    > the rules often start out by modifying the trade rules. I will try to
    > make a clear distinction in my answer between what I think they rules
    > actually are and what I would prefer they be instead, but I may slip up.
    >
    > > A. Must a regent PC control a guild holding in a province in order to
    > > get the income from the trade route?
    >
    > You need to own a trade route to get the income from it. You need a guild
    > holding to create a trade route (though there is always the "source of
    > level 7+" debate). This leaves open the question of whether a regent can
    > transfer ownership of a trade route without also transferring a supporting
    > guild; I am inclined to say no, but I am not positive I can back this up
    > with a specific rule reference.
    >
    > > Does class play into this in any way?
    >
    > As I read the rulebook, the only interaction between trade routes and
    > class is that only rogues gain RP from them.
    ah yes.
    >
    > > B. Are the province levels used to determine the income or the guild
    > > holding levels?
    >
    > The rulebook says average the province levels. Averaging the holding
    > levels instead is probably the most common house rule about trade routes,
    > but it is clearly a house rule.
    Here though you get into the debate over whether it is necessary to
    control guilds or to trade with guilds at both ends of the route. Such
    is implied by the "guild at either end" quote (see further down). The
    house rule is certainly more realistic and more competitive than the
    standard.

    >
    > > C. How does the level of the controlled guild holding come into play?
    >
    > Officially, only in the resistance to being suppressed by decree from the
    > owner of a law holding (and probably in the target number for creating
    > the trade route in the first place).
    >
    > > Do other guild holding controllers deserve a share?
    >
    > They should make their own trade routes. If all the slots are full, they
    > are officially out of luck. Some people perceive this as a flaw and make
    > house rules to address it.
    Others believe it is not a flaw but a means to ensure competition for
    valuable resources among guild owners. Still I`m inclined to agree that
    the number of trade routes should be restricted by guild size rather
    than by province size - this does however stop 0-level guilds from
    creating any trade route at all.

    Contesting a guild with a trade route neutralizes the trade route. Thus
    contesting the guild twice will free up a trade route as well.

    >
    > > D. Do both ends of the trade route split the income?
    >
    > In the rules as I read them, there is one and only one owner of a given
    > trade route, just as there is one and only one owner of a given holding.
    > That owner gets all the income. Interplayer deals offering a cut of the
    > money to a law regent in exchange for not suppressing the route or to a
    > rival guild in exchange for not contesting the route are sensible and
    > therefore somewhat common, but they are not part of the rules themselves.
    Yeah, the short answer is no. If you accept that the regent must control
    a guild at both ends - something implied by statements in the Trade
    Route action, but not explicitly stated in the requirements - the answer
    is yes -- but because it`s the same regent it has the same effect as no.
    So the long answer may as well be no too.
    >
    > > E. Could a ruling regent of a province containing a trade route tax
    > > or lay claim to a share of the trade route?
    >
    > I think the rules say no. I think they ought to say yes.

    In determining law claims the phrase "GB`s collected by the target
    holding" is used. In the description of trade routes, the trade route is
    neutralized if the regent`s guild holding in either province is
    contested, or if the ruler of the host province chooses to suppress it
    by decree. This ties the fortunes of the trade route to the guilds (note
    the plural) that define it. It`s arguable that the trade route
    contributes to the guild income and can thus be taxed by law holdings as
    part of the guild income (but not separately).

    The rules do not make mention either way explicitly. I agree with Ryan
    that they ought to say yes.
    >
    > > I will search for a FAQ somewhere, I but I thought that it would be
    > > more efficient to find someone who knows.
    >
    > Or at least someone who has spent a lot of time arguing about it. ;)
    >
    >
    > Ryan Caveney
    >
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  4. #4
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    On Thu, 2002-05-16 at 05:53, brnetboard@TUARHIEVEL.ORG wrote:
    > Bronto wrote:
    > We`ve got a competitve, serious-minded Birthright campaign going in 3E and are running into some problems with rules. I was looking for some help from an outside source, so anything anyone can offer would be great. There are four players and each controls a realm. All have strived to build trade routes to build up their coffers. Several of these trade routes are with fellow PC realms. We have read numerous sources and rule books looking to nail down the amount of income generated by a trade route and have found some discrepencies. Here are my questions...
    >
    > A. Must a regent PC control a guild holding in a province in order to get the income from the trade route? Does class play into this in any way?
    yes to the first, no to the second
    >
    > B. Are the province levels used to determine the income or the guild holding levels?
    province
    >
    > C. How does the level of the controlled guild holding come into play? Do other guild holding controllers deserve a share?
    yes, but only as to the number of trade routes
    no
    >
    > D. Do both ends of the trade route split the income?
    no, although a guild at the other end could duplicate the trade route in
    reverse and thus gain his own income
    >
    > E. Could a ruling regent of a province containing a trade route tax or lay claim to a share of the trade route?
    yes - on pain of shutting it down - this would be extortion however.
    Claims by law holders should claim against the whole income of the guild
    including any attached trade routes - but that`s opinion not canon.

    On the subject of trade routes, I find them open to abuse - such abuse
    taking the form of a proliferation of trade routes everywhere. I prefer
    to be more restrictive about what provinces can be centers of major
    trade - this creates a competitive atmosphere for those areas
    (provinces) that are potentially important trade centers.

    (a) Provinces with marked cities or ports.
    (B) Capital provinces.
    © Single province islands or isolated provinces.

    Further, the center must be connected by a method of transport to a
    neighboring realm in order to qualify for a normal (not sea) trade
    route. Such normal trade routes use wagons, riverboats, and coasters to
    carry trade from one place to another - crossing realm boundaries to do
    so.

    (i) by marked road (roads are not marked on maps of Anuire)
    (ii) by major river, from any port
    (iii) by adjoining coastline, or in the case of islands a common
    adjoining sea area, from any port or qualifying island ©

    Sea trade must originate from a coastal port, not just a port in a
    coastal province - and the province must have a size of at least 4. The
    destination may be any realm reachable by sea and in range of the least
    of the sea-going vessels of the originating culture.


    Roads in Anuire: It is likely that there is extensive road networks
    throughout Anuire. To be a marked road though is to be a major road.
    Roads need only exist where there is no more efficient means of
    transport (i.e. coastal vessels or river boats) This leads to a number
    of logical routes.
    (a) From the Imperial City to Daulton, and from Daulton to Haes via
    Bhrein, Duriene, Nabhriene. From Haes by major bridge to Lofton, and
    from Lofton north to Solelies and terminating there.
    (B) From Ghieste to Bhalaene via Rhumannen, and from there to Ansien and
    Moriel via Achiese and Chalsedon/Ghalliere.
    © From Riumache to Bevaldruor, and then north through Marloer`s Gap to
    Caerlinien through Mhelliviene ("Gates of Doom")
    (d) From Calrie to Proudglaive via Dhoenel and Edlin, then by bridge to
    Braeme.
    (e) Secret road usable only by dwarves and elves between Rivenrock and
    Seillaghriod.

    This then creates the following major trade centres for Anuire. There
    are lots of provinces with two or three trade routes as well. This
    really shows the importance of such important trade centers as Ilien and
    Endier in relation to their size.

    (01) Ilien - from Ilien by river or coast to Roesone or Medoere, and by
    sea to any two realms from the Western Coast to the Plains States of
    Khinasi. From Aenier by river or coast to Roesone or Medoere. Total of 6
    trade routes.
    (02) Imperial City - by river, road or coast to Avanil, Brosengae, and
    Diemed, by sea to three realms between the Taelshore in Rjurik to the
    Plains States of the Khinasi. Total of 6 trade routes.
    (03) Diemed - from Moere by river to the Imperial City, Endier, and
    Avanil. 3 routes.
    (04) Diemed - from Aerele by coast to Medoere, Brosengae and Avanil. By
    sea to one realm from the Western Coast to the Plains States. 4 routes.
    (05) Endier - by river to Avanil, Diemed, Tuornen, Alamie and Ghoere. 5
    trade routes.
    (06) Ghoere - Ghieste by river or road to Endier, Alamie, Mhoried,
    Elinie, and Osoerde. 5 trade routes.
    (07) Ghoere - Bhalaene - by road to Osoerde and Elinie. 2 routes.
    (08) Boeruine - from Seasedge by coast to Talinie and Taeghas, by sea to
    one realm from the Rjurik Northlands to the Southern Coast.
    (09) Boeruine from Tariene by river to Talinie - being the major port
    for Talinie and potentially the Five Peaks area.


    >
    > I will search for a FAQ somewhere, I but I thought that it would be more efficient to find someone who knows.
    >
    > Thanks in advance for the help.
    >
    >
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  5. #5
    Site Moderator geeman's Avatar
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    Other folks have chimed in on this, but I`ll throw my hat in....

    At 09:53 PM 5/15/2002 +0200, Bronto wrote:

    >A. Must a regent PC control a guild holding in a province in order to get
    >the income from the trade route?

    Anyone can collect money from a trade route if they have some sort of
    diplomatic deal with the regent who controls it. A province ruler, for
    instance, might require 10, 25, 50% of the profits from trade routes that
    originate in it. Other regents might receive tribute from a guilder with a
    trade route for whatever reason(s) imaginable. Only the regent controlling
    the guild holding (and the trade route that is attached to it) collects
    income directly from it.

    If, on the other hand, you`re asking about whether or not a regent must
    control a guild holding in order to start and earn revenue directly from a
    trade route, then yes. He must control at least one guild holding. As
    other folks have noted, it`s a bit debatable whether or not the regent must
    control a guild holding at either end of the trade route, and many people
    have house ruled this one as well as several other aspects of trade routes
    since the existing rules on them are more than a little hinky. The closest
    thing to an official ruling I can think of on this one is the old
    Birthright: The Gorgon`s Alliance computer game in which trade routes
    originated with a guild holding, but connected to a "target" province, not
    a guild holding in a second province. IIRC, in that game if you controlled
    a guild holding in the target province you could then start a second trade
    route right on back to the province with the first guild holding in it,
    getting a kind of double bang for your buck.

    >Does class play into this in any way?

    No, not directly. Only rogues collect RP from trade routes, as others have
    noted and it is possible for wizards with high level sources to start trade
    routes from them (and it`s relatively difficult for non-wizards to get hold
    of source holdings that powerful) but class doesn`t get directly involved
    in who can start up a trade route.

    >B. Are the province levels used to determine the income or the guild
    >holding levels?

    Province levels. This is one of the original rules that is often discarded
    since it means guild(0) holdings can wind up generating pretty serious
    amounts of income and RP (for rogue regents) from trade routes.

    >C. How does the level of the controlled guild holding come into play?

    Ryan covered this one. I`d only add that the levels of the guild holding
    also generate income and RP for the regent (if he`s a rogue) though not as
    much as trade routes, and that guild holding levels can be used to increase
    or decrease the success number of a few other domain actions, where trade
    routes cannot. Also, a level 1+ guild holding must be contested twice in
    order to destroy it, whereas a level 0 holding is destroyed after being
    contested just once, so a trade route attached to a guild(0) is vulnerable
    not only to "neutralization" but to destruction.

    >Do other guild holding controllers deserve a share?

    Well, "deserve" is kind of hard to interpret there.... I`m not sure what
    you mean by that. I don`t really think they deserve a share unless it`s
    under the kind of agreement mentioned under question A. Something like, "I
    won`t contest your guild holding if you cut me in on the revenue generated
    by the trade route you establish from it." You could easily rationalize a
    sort of "trickle down" concept into giving GB to other guilders in the
    effected provinces, but you could make a similar argument for the province
    ruler, law holder or even temple holdings in those provinces as well.

    >D. Do both ends of the trade route split the income?

    The guilder gets it all, subject to agreements with other regents.

    >E. Could a ruling regent of a province containing a trade route tax or
    >lay claim to a share of the trade route?

    Yes, but he couldn`t actually enforce that tax or claim, though. One way
    to tax is using the Decree action, which can generate GB for the regent
    making the decree. Decrees, however, can`t affect another regent`s domain
    in any way, though (with the neutralization effect on trade routes,
    apparently being a sort of exception.) That doesn`t mean a regent couldn`t
    issue a decree that all guilders must pay a tax on their trade routes. But
    that decree isn`t going to mean much without something else to back it
    up. A province ruler can simply decree a trade route into "neutrality" if
    he has a sufficient law holding, and there are other ways he could
    interfere with the trade route, which he could easily use as leverage in a
    sort of diplomatic agreement as described above, but a province ruler can`t
    tax or claim a share of a trade route just on the basis of his role as a
    province ruler alone.

    Gary

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  6. #6
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    Thanks for all of the detailed responses. They have been very helpful and should help fix some problems that we are experiencing with the campaign. Being already into it, I don't think that it would be a good idea to instigate new house rules about trade routes, so I am going to have to stick to the standard rules found in the rulebook. The problem is that my players are very experienced Birthright players and have learned most of the ways to make their domains powerful quickly, especially in terms of generating cash, which in turn leads to fronting big armies. I hope that the campaign has not already run its course prematurely. As they stand, the rules for trade routes generate far too much income for a regent PC.

    I have found in the Book of Regency details about a province-ruling regent demanding 25-50% of a trade routes income from the trade route owner. Of course, this isn't going to come into play for our campaigne given the player's set up.

    I think that we are going to have to sit down and have a rules meeting before playing again.

  7. #7
    Site Moderator kgauck's Avatar
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    ----- Original Message -----
    From: <brnetboard@TUARHIEVEL.ORG>
    Sent: Friday, May 17, 2002 6:49 PM


    > Bronto wrote:
    > The problem is that my players are very experienced Birthright
    > players and have learned most of the ways to make their domains
    > powerful quickly, especially in terms of generating cash, which in
    > turn leads to fronting big armies. I hope that the campaign has
    > not already run its course prematurely. As they stand, the rules
    > for trade routes generate far too much income for a regent PC.

    Just assume that the NPC realms have done the same things, used the same
    strategies, and can therefore field the same powerful armies.

    Kenneth Gauck
    kgauck@mchsi.com

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  8. #8
    Senior Member Trithemius's Avatar
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    Bronto sez:
    > > The problem is that my players are very experienced
    > > Birthright players
    > > and have learned most of the ways to make their domains powerful
    > > quickly, especially in terms of generating cash, which in
    > > turn leads
    > > to fronting big armies. I hope that the campaign has not
    > > already run
    > > its course prematurely. As they stand, the rules for trade routes
    > > generate far too much income for a regent PC.

    Kenneth sez:
    > Just assume that the NPC realms have done the same things,
    > used the same strategies, and can therefore field the same
    > powerful armies.

    As well as this, you can also give the PCs problems that simply cannot
    be fixed by large armies: wizards, strange beasties, social justice
    problems, discontent over excessive conscription, the different unit
    officers arguing/duelling...

    If the players want to put all their eggs into one large military basket
    it`s their loss.

    --
    John Machin
    (trithemius@paradise.net.nz)
    -----------------------------------
    "Nothing is more beautiful than to know the All."
    Athanasius Kircher, Ars Magna Sciendi.

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    Thanks for all of the responses. They have been pretty helpful in roping in some of my regents. We still have some problems with the rules that I would like to hear some third party opinions on.

    A) My players seem to think that you deserve GB each turn for simply HAVING a sea port in a province that you control. This is based on the simplistic way the rules are written on pg. 42 of the core rule book...

    "To calculate the income from a seaport, divide the province rating by 2, round up, and add 1."

    I enterpret this to be a simplified way of dealing with a sea-based trade route from before any naval rules were published. Making matters worse, the formula for determining the income from a sea trade route differs in different parts of the rulebook.

    B) According to some of my players, the limit of trade routes a province can hold is for either sea or trade routes. Thus, a level 5 province could have 2 sea and 2 land-based trade routes. These rules are taken from the Book of Regency, which I haven't had a chance to study. I plan to enforce the core book rules as a TOTAL number of trade routes regardless of type.

    I'm interested in hearing your take on this. I'm not sure why my players are being such lawyers this campaign, but it must be something about Birthright. Who knows.

    Thanks in advance

    Bronto

  10. #10
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    Some time ago, I asked Rich Baker the question about how sea trade routes fit into the total number of trade route "slots" available in a province, and he said they were separate, so that a port province (5/x) would get 2 land and 2 sea trade routes.

    The material on in the BR Rulebook about sea trade routes is superceded by the material in Naval Battle Rules and Cities of the Sun. Before the release of those books, actual sea trade rotues weren't possible, because there weren't any boats. All you could do was create a trade route that connected to no other province in particular, and hence the method of calculating income from such a trade route (one half the province's level, rather than one half the total of both provinces's levels).

    The section there on pg 42 looks to me to apply specifically to trade routes (it's in a paragraph devoted to regents deriving income from trade routes, after all). I would just tell the players that it only applied to sea trade prior to the release of NBR/CotS, and that those books should be referred to for details on sea trade routes in the current campaign.

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