User:AndrewTall/Alternate domain court rules

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[top]What is a domain court?

No man is an island, a noble least of all. Trevan Dosiere, 676 HC
In Cerilia, every noble has their retinue, people to carry their orders across their domain, people to arrange their affairs and run their investments. The same is true even in frozen Vosgaard where no Tsarevo rules without a cadre of loyal followers to enforce their rule - and deal with upstart challengers.
A court serves to connect the regent and the domain, to answer the myriad petty demands of the domain leaving only serious matters to trouble the regent, to ensure that the regent's will is felt beyond their throne room, and, of course, to amuse and otherwise keep the regent distracted.
A court is more than merely a GB cost, or an expression of its regent?s vanity. It is the functional heart of the bureaucracy in a domain ? regardless of culture, all domains have a body of intermediates through which the ruler reigns if they are comprised of people - even a wizard's source holding may have a court of spirits, fairies and other mystical beings.
This court can be simulated in several ways, BR 2e had court expenditure provide a bonus or penalty to all actions, a poor court was poor at everything, while a grand court was good at everything.
BRCS adds the concept of court actions, where the court itself has a number of actions equal to its GB expenditure. Again there is a penalty/bonus to all actions equally.
Unfortunately the BRCS approach leads to a bloat of actions ? as many as 10 court actions ? which can slow game play considerably. Further, both methods, while not without good reason, lead to meta-game issues where opulent courts are maintained for their mechanical impact, often penalizing good role-play of frugal regents.

[top]Court mechanics

I have therefore toyed with the following alternative:
A domain gets 1 court action per GB spent. The maximum court spend is equal to the highest holding level, barring some structure or other 'special' allowing a higher court spend.
All court actions suffer +4 DC to reflect the lack of the regent?s attention, reduced to +2 DC if they simply mimic a regent action in the same season (i.e. the regent rules a law holding in province X, and the court rules a law holding in a neighboring province); alternatively the court action can be used to add +2 to the regent?s own action attempts. A second assisting court action increases the bonus to +3, four assisting court actions increases the bonus to +4, eight assisting court actions increases the bonus to +4.
Hopefully this will encourage court actions only to be used for routine actions - or exchanged for the bonus to the 'main actions' reducing action bloat.
To differentiate courts, and add a ?human face? to the court, each GB spend also results in 1 court 'favorite' - something slightly above a specialist, and potentially a true lieutenant. An 'off the shelf' favorite eliminates the ?standard? +4 DC on court actions for their favored court action, or can add +4 to the regent?s attempts on their favored action - a favoured action probably being quite limited - rule guild holding, contest temple holding for example. A 'name NPC' - who would be far harder to attract, likely requiring a lieutenant action would likely provide far better bonus's - and over a wide range of actions, but even 'stock' favorites should have an effect.
There is a risk that every holding will take specialists to create/build/contest its core holding type, I'd have to see how the rule worked in practice to identify if this is a real risk.
As an example a court without a beadle can try to create law at +4 DC, a court with a beadle can try to create law at +0 DC, or use the court action to aide the regent in a create law action by +4 on the roll.

[top]Court Favorites

A court favorite is more than simply a 'face' to the court, they are one of it's leading lights - the choice of favorites in a court sends a strong signal of what the regent considers important in their domain - and their followers will react accordingly, often glorifying such posts - or loathing the inhabitants for distracting the regent...
the titles are, at best, a work in progress?
Favored actionTypical title for favoriteFavorite Effect
agitateDemagogue / masterbard+4 on agitate action.
BuildMaster masonBuild +4, builds 1 GB faster per turn.
CeremonyMaster of Ceremonies+4 on Ceremony action, +4 on random event: festival.
Contest holdingJudge (law), Inquisitor (temple), Silver tongued devil (guild), Lane rider (source)+4 on attempts to contest the relevant holding type.
Contest trade routeEnvoy+4 on attempts to contest a trade route.
Create holdingBeadle (law), Missionary (temple), Mayor (guild), Ley Seer (source)+4 on attempts to create a holding of the relevant type.
Create trade routeExplorer+4 on attempts to create a trade route, +1 GB from trade venture action.
DecreeHerald+4 on decree actions.
DiplomacyDiplomat+4 on diplomacy actions.
EspionageSpy Master+4 on espionage actions, +4 DC to hostile espionage actions.
Muster/Train troopsSergeant at Arms+4 on muster troops actions, province treated as 1 level higher if exceed DC by 10 for purposes of potential troop type musters.
ResearchLibrarian+4 on Research actions.
Rule holdingSteward (law), Unifier (temple), Mercantilist (guild), Manifestor (source)+4 on respective rule action for relevant holding.
TrainingTutor+4 on training actions / +10% xp gain.
Random eventMaster of the Hunt+6 on attempts to deal with a monsters/brigandage random event.
Random eventChampion+6 on attempts to deal with assassination/challenge events. The champion can fight in the regent?s stead.
Random eventJudge+6 on attempts to deal with Matters of Justice.
SpecialCourtesanCourt can be 1 level higher than usual.

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