Domain » Holding » Shadow holding

House rules: Shadow holding

[top]What is a Shadow Holding?

Most holdings are generally seen in positive terms - fealty, mercantile activity, law enforcement, religious belief, etc. While the existing holdings can readily work as the opposites (criminal syndicates, bandit raiders, atheism/philosophical belief) these 'anti' holdings can instead be reflected by a particular type of 'empty' holding which reflects the fact that controlling them isn't just a matter of spreading influence, it is over-turning a pervasive 'negativity'.
Shadow holdings then fill part of the empty holdings of a realm, and must be contested down, before they can be filled with a positive holding type.

[top]Why bother?

  • Some people dislike representing corruption and banditry with law holdings. They dislike reflecting the black market, corruption, etc with guild holdings. These things may be seen as less efficient than normal holdings in which case they should reduce income of another holding rather than having 'positive income' of their own.

  • To make it harder to rule up domains in some areas - i.e. this province is prone to corruption, any empty slot left unfilled for 5 seasons turns shadow...

  • To reflect ruler behavior mechanistically - a great victory sire - the shadow ruling disperses as the fearful people knuckle down before the overlord, incompetence could be reflected by increased numbers and toughness of shadow holdings - brutality such as pillaging a province would also be a good time to use the holdings to reflect the at-best grudging acceptance of the pillager.


  • The shadow holding does not have domain level income - the criminals may have many wealthy people, but the subversive nature of the holding suggests that, like most vassals, the wealth all dissipates below domain level.

  • The shadow holding must be contested down before a rule action can 'fill the slot' - the shadow holding could be seen as simply passive (contest vs DC 10), accumulative (contest vs DC for a holding the size of the total shadow holding), or even have RP/GB to resist the contest. To simplify book-keeping in the latter, GB/RP could be assumed to always be equal to a season/year's income unless there has been a recent contest against the holding. I would be hesitant to track GB/RP across domains as that indicates a degree of centrality which should be visible at domain level.

  • Pillage should not affect shadow holdings unless actual province levels are reduced - being more dispersed, quite possibly with no real 'power center', etc makes it harder for armed troops to hit the right people. From a mechanics point of view this also avoids the obvious means to circumvent the issue.

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