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  1. #1

    Question Game Mechanics - The Necessity of Regency Points?

    Greetings folks.

    I've been sitting back and slowly working on drafting out some personal rules with a friend for Realm "stuff" for another gaming system I like, which doesn't use the Birthright setting.. but is based quite heavily on Birthright's setup, with a touch of Field of Blood's ideas.

    Among many other questions that have come up, is Regency Points. Considering that in what we'll be dealing with, there are no deity powered bloodlines, and no mystical connection to the land, I look at the RP mechanic and make a soft 'hmm' noise. We're in debate on whether or not to include it's basic part of the Chance of Action bonus-minus to success bit.

    On the one hand, it's definitely slowing down gameplay, and makes the amount of correspondence necessary for a PBeM game quite a bit higher, especially with a lot of players.
    On the other hand, it adds a lot more depth to the planning you have to do, as well as a lot more uncertainty to the success of actions. Will the merchant lords of your realm let you put in another law holding, or will they try to fight you tooth and nail about it, but through means of their influence in the area? (I tend to see that bonus/minus thing as a representation of subtle manipulation and diplomacy, as "Influence" points.) Or will they make a small attempt of a blocking, and then hit your next action with quite a bit more? Will you have enough to points left over to push through your agitation actions against the kingdom that's making threatening overtures at you?

    In the rules I'm working on, if we -do- keep that aspect, we'd be without bloodline scores, so it'd -only- be for increasing and decreasing rolls. There'd be no reason to spend it to raise an arbitrary bloodline number, which reduces the number of things it's necessary for right there.. and that again makes me more leery of keeping it.

    Any chance folks could put some input in on whether or not Birthright could be fun without that dice-roll influencing mechanic, and how it may have affected their game-play? Please note, I realize that without the RP system, your bloodline cannot be strengthened, but that's not the issue I'm trying to get input on.

    There's other ideas and tweaks I'm kicking around ideas on, but this is the big one to start with.

    - Shirra

  2. #2
    Site Moderator AndrewTall's Avatar
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    Regency makes for much greater interaction between realms - either requests for support or in interventions to oppose. It also expands the influence from a fairly modest amount to a possibly very significant influencing factor and allows for 'pet projects' and suchlike to get much greater support than would normally be the case.

    It also encourages realms to be broken down and vassals and sub-vassals created to optimise RP collection, although if you aren't limiting RP collection by blood/another factor that factor won't apply.

    It can also impact the viability of council-run realms depending on what ruleset you apply.

    I've considered a regency cap based on leadership, or level + cha, or class factored (like saves with nobles and experts say having 'good' cap advancement, priests and theives having moderate advancement and wizardly types having poor advancement' - there are several possible methods.

    Overall I'd say it adds more book-keeping, but RP is probably easier to track than GB (which often goes to decimals) so the additional difficulty shouldn't be too bad if the RP wars are kept to a set number of bids, or to an initial 'this is low/high/etc priority - spend from a pool of x RP' style bid method.

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    RP are not required, but if you do not use them, then your action die mods are only GB based, so wealth becomes the determining factor of power, not historically inaccurate, but also not to conducive to heroic role-playing. Even without bloodlines, RP can be used to represent "political power/influence". I think that divorcing RP from bloodlines creates less problems than trying to adapt the BR system to a non-RP system.

    Just my opinion, but I have been using BR since it came out without paying too much attention to bloodlines and all the Deismar baggage in the canon.

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    At 07:19 PM 2/12/2011, arpig wrote:

    >RP are not required, but if you do not use them, then your action
    >die mods are only GB based, so wealth becomes the determining factor
    >of power, not historically inaccurate, but also not to conducive to
    >heroic role-playing. Even without bloodlines, RP can be used to
    >represent "political power/influence". I think that divorcing RP
    >from bloodlines creates less problems than trying to adapt the BR
    >system to a non-RP system.
    >
    >Just my opinion, but I have been using BR since it came out without
    >paying too much attention to bloodlines and all the Deismar baggage
    >in the canon.

    I`ve twice used a system of domain rules for a campaign setting that
    was unrelated to BR many years ago, shortly after BR first came
    out. However, in the first case it didn`t make a lot of sense since
    the regents didn`t have a justification for their added
    abilities. Later, in another campaign, I used a replacement for
    Deismaar to justify the existence of those with a divine ability to
    rule, though they didn`t get blood abilities, just regency
    collection. Even later I came up with a system of domain rules sans
    bloodline, but it mostly got used for background and explaining how
    the PCs efforts influenced the campaign world overall.

    I`m curious: How do you use bloodlines without Deismaar? That is,
    after all, where bloodlines came from.... If you don`t use RP, do
    you need bloodlines?

    Gary

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    I agree that two units of realm currency are a little redundant. I go the other way, though, and remove GB.

    Loyalty, not cash, is the currency of the realm. Rulers generate RPs from their realm, and use them to pay for domain actions, and to reduce the DC of those actions. RPs represent political capital, favors owed, taxes due, all that stuff.

    Then, if the ruler wants cash, he does a Finanaces action to turn some of that political capital into actual capital. This is lossy- I eyeball it at about 1 RP -> 1000gp, but going the other way, 2000gp -> 1 RP.

    (In a blooded ruler game, I add an additional wrinkle, that only blooded rulers can keep all the RPs they accumulate. Unblooded rulers work in the system, but their RPs do not carry over from season to season.)

    To answer the original question, though, yes, you can totally run without RPs and just use GBs. One of the changes I found most elegant in the 3e rules written for birthright.net was that for most actions, RPs are optional, and only used to modify the difficulty of actions, so the whole system works without them.

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    Site Moderator AndrewTall's Avatar
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    I've actually been toying with going the other way and creating a third currency for mages following some old comments from irdeggman - a mebhaighl equivalent of gold bars, to represent rare components etc. That way the mage could have a court of spirits, sprites, etc, etc who are paid in weird and wonderful stuff that is found/grows/etc where the mabhaighl flows more freely, could use the income for actions and spells, and thus make them less dependent on other regents - they need some dependence to bring them into the game but at the moment it can be crippling.

    The rough idea is that GB could substitute for mebhaighl coins, i.e. the regent pays other people to collect/process/etc the stuff, but that the converse would not occur, or would have side effects (wah! my gold melted when the wind changed direction!)

    That way you could have one set of rules for all the actions, without crippling mage regents or alternatively making them insanely rich in otherwise poor areas. On the downside you have another currency to track. Having played a few mages where I sometimes struggled to afford one action a season and seen the alchemy effect of effectively making RP act as both RP and GB thus making the spell itself almost pointless as it was ubiquitous for all the mage regents, the idea seems to have some merit.

    BTW Dan, service above and beyond for the righteous slaying of many spam emails - a spambot clearly went bonkers on this poor thread!

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    I`m curious: How do you use bloodlines without Deismaar? That is,
    after all, where bloodlines came from....
    Easy, bloodlines exist in some people with no need for an explanation as to how they came about - they have always been there, they exist worldwide and always have. There is no need for a battle of the gods to explain bloodlines, in fact there is no need for any explaining at all.

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    Site Moderator AndrewTall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by arpig View Post
    There is no need for a battle of the gods to explain bloodlines, in fact there is no need for any explaining at all.
    That's one style of game-play, personally it isn't for me - I find too much 'it just is' explanation for magic makes play bog down in 'why doesn't X do Y and so on stuff' - not everyone finds questions like 'why don't zombies rot' interesting or wonder how zombie's can not rot yet tend agricultural fields productively but I find that sourcing and extrapolating the various magical effects adds to the game and spurs adventure ideas. Different strokes I guess.

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    I don't think there needs to be a NEED for bloodlines. I understand in game terms why some people would want it. But look back historically for humans. There were those with great bloodlines who were "destined to rule" because of their blood. It always seemed that if someone's ancestor founded a kingdom or overthrew a lord they then gained the RIGHT to rule.

    For example, instead of having bloodlines being there from a god or what not have it be the lands answer to someone trying to rule. If you overthrow a leader and can hold onto power the land starts to imbue you with small amounts of power each year. This can be a blessing from the gods, or a magical connection of your own to the land, or be faith energy from those you rule.

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    At 10:43 PM 2/14/2011, arpig wrote:

    >>I`m curious: How do you use bloodlines without Deismaar? That is,
    >>after all, where bloodlines came from....
    >
    >Easy, bloodlines exist in some people with no need for an
    >explanation as to how they came about - they have always been
    >there, they exist worldwide and always have. There is no need for a
    >battle of the gods to explain bloodlines, in fact there is no need
    >for any explaining at all.

    So they have derivations and blood abilities that are thematically
    related to them, or is it the bloodline strength/ability to collect RP alone?

    Gary

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