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  • managing several demesne

    Hi everyone,
    I come up with a new question as I am starting a new campaign with a new group of players.
    My question is about how to manage several demesnes.
    First, my players might want to have more than one demesne at the start of the campaign, providing they have enough ressources to do so of course. They also might acquire new lands in the future.
    In my belief, each demesne must be managed separately but it might lead to a long and boring process if, every month, you need to roll dices and plan extentions several times instead of one for all your holdings.
    But if I consider several demesnes as one, the the Harvest table makes no sense as, for instance, the Blessing event only gives 1 point of ressource.

    Any thoughts on this?

  • #2
    Sounds like a good idea. You could have a house with a landed knight who have his own little House. Or two married houses who manages their houses together. The House roles could be done by the Master and the events be played out instead of just rolling dices.

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    • #3
      I am not sure. As far as I understand if a house have more than one stretch of land (maybe it have one area with wood and one with plains) than as I understand it they are delt with together - not a house-roll for each stretch of land. The house rolls are abstractions, so they stand for various factors who come together.

      If your house have a landed house sworn to it, than you also do not roll additional, since the landed house could simple give a +1D modification on the house roll. I would, however, from time to time make a extra roll for the landed house too.

      If they are two real houses, but bound through alliances, than you could say that you make not all months a roll but increase one stat of the one +1 (no bonus for wealth holdings etc) and roll for the other, and next month you change it - the first house roll the dice the second get just one +1. So you have not too much rolls to manage.

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      • #4
        Thank you Kajani. but then it means the ratio of wins or losses - 1,2,3 ressources depending of your House fortune roll - is the same no matter if you have one demesne or ten. I can deal with it as long as the house remains small but i will have to figure something else if they grow up significantly.
        Now another question : My PC's House is landed knight. They are vassal of a bigger Lord. Say they manage to become Lords themselves. Is there a way to break the vassal bound they have with that bigger Lord tobecome a direct vassal to tyhe king of the major House that rules the land?

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        • #5
          If they manage to gain enough influence, I guess they can always petition the great house of the region or the king to free themselves from their vassalage so they can become a minor house without being a banner to someone else. This might become a Complex Intrigue. Or they may simply break their oath and swear fealty directly to the great house of the region without any courtly work on their parts, but then, they may be seen as oathbreakers and their words may not mean anything anymore...

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          • #6
            Thank you Kajani. but then it means the ratio of wins or losses - 1,2,3 ressources depending of your House fortune roll - is the same no matter if you have one demesne or ten. I can deal with it as long as the house remains small but i will have to figure something else if they grow up significantly.
            That is a good point. However, having more land has also it benefits even with that in mind, and not a little one. Its enable you to have more of the new wealth holdings from out of strife, mainly more than one estate wealth holding, which can give you a fine benefit - even more if fully upgraded. You can have only one per piece of land, and they require - or forbide - certain elements (some need wood or hill or grassland, other could not be "build" if there is a greater settlement in the area. So it IS important to have more land, to get more of this.
            And of course, haveing more land mean you are able to loose some of it if the rolls of fortune or a war is going bad. You have reserves you can lost, so to speak, without losing everything.

            A good way for canging the house you are sworn to is to undermine its position. If you could proof (or make it look like) that they could not provide the support their owe you for your service, if they harm your houses honor or did something very bad towards another house, than they may be stripped from their rule and you may change to another house. If they rebel against the rightful overlord for example, than no one really could blame you if you do not follow them.
            Of course if you are caught by fakeing the reasons you risk dishonor for a long time.

            I think it may also be possible simple to bribe you liege lord to release you, if you could provide him with something he really wants. Help to arrange a VERY good marriage for his heir, found a valyrian blade to become his heirloom, defeat a bitter rival of them - all that may make them thankfull enough to fullfill your wish. Of course they could have a change in mind...
            Last edited by Kajani; 3rd September 2019, 05:33 PM.

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            • #7
              However, having more land has also it benefits even with that in mind, and not a little one. Its enable you to have more of the new wealth holdings from out of strife, mainly more than one estate wealth holding, which can give you a fine benefit - even more if fully upgraded. You can have only one per piece of land, and they require - or forbide - certain elements (some need wood or hill or grassland, other could not be "build" if there is a greater settlement in the area. So it IS important to have more land, to get more of this.
              That is also a good point. Thank you for your help.

              Thanks to Zeroed too about your opinion.

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              • #8
                In my opinion you need to roll them separately because its entirely possible that their lands up by the Blue Fork takes a hit while those south of the God's Eye blooms, at the same time. With the communication and transport technology present it feels extremely gamey to allow for dispersed areas to work as a single unit.

                And this could also help that when the lands are spread out, you probably need castellans who are on hand to deal with matters as opposed to wait days and weeks for instructions from the central hub of these holdings. And that is a mine of intrigue of things that can happen.

                The same I would personally also run with a massive united domain. It would be cut up into several smaller ones because not all parts will be equally integrated economically and socially with each other.

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                • #9
                  Well, of course that is a option. Of course you could argue when this should kick in. I had more the two to four pieces of land in mind, most player houses will have, which are not too far away from each other.
                  You could also ask, if not in the case of a diverse realm or a great one, some mali should be imposed if there are no local castellan/bailiffs whatsoever (for which you must pay as wealth holdings) and enough troops to spread them - given the fact that the methods of the time make it hard to proper communicate and react to problems, as you has mentioned.
                  And in that case it would also be the question if the boni of wealth holdings should stack altogether, ot not just count for the roll of the local area. If the distances are greater, I think the second may perhaps be appropriate at least for some holdings.

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                  • #10
                    You have to remember that the rules are written for smaller houses, with few domains and/or banner houses. At this level, centrally managing a handful of different stretches of land is easily imaginable. Larger, more powerful houses would use the approximate feudal system of Westeros, giving lands to bannermen.

                    We actually ran into that during our campaign. The house expanded due to shrews marriage politics and by besting their ancestral enemies during a feud. This allowed them to create two banner houses, one with a lord, one with a landed knight. We talked about how we would run the house simulation part, and decided that we would add them together as long as all three PC lords agreed to do so. They worked hard and shed a lot of blood, and splitting the three houses would have left them basically weaker than before during House Fortune Rolls for they tried to build viable houses.

                    It does not matter that much, though. Lord Stark has just been named Hand of the King ...

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                    • #11
                      I thought of something earlier after reading this and then as we were going to be splitting demesnes for a main house an banner houses, but to have everyone take part. It fits with this discussion as it's a way for everyone to take part. The idea was this...

                      There is one main house, and one person can rule the 1 main land unit. Say you have 4 other players and they all agree to be banner houses. So say the main house has 3 full land units, of which they rule 1 and the other two are divided in half each. If there is a hall in one, a tower in the other and a castle in the main, you could set it up like this:

                      1 main house with castle
                      1 banner with 1/2 a unit with tower
                      1 banner with 1/2 a unit with, say, just a fortified manor
                      1 banner with 1/2 a unit with, say, also just a fortified manor
                      1 banner with 1/2 a unit with a hall

                      This sets the defensive level of each, which likely can't go much higher. It also sets the amount of land, which also can't go much higher unless they start raiding and bring in more. Your banner house is there to support the main house, so whatever they acquire on their own is theirs, though you could rule otherwise.

                      So now, their influence will be quite low, the defense is set and the land is set. They can increase their own wealth and must maintain their own law.

                      What I have is that there is a roll each month. The home house rolls every 4 months and houses roll alternatively, so in Jan the main rolls and banner house 1 rolls, in February the second only rolls, in March the third only rolls, and in April the Main and 4th house rolls. This puts the narrative on each house each month and you don't have to worry about people getting bored. Everyone has to depend on each other. But they can make the auto+1 benefits mean more...

                      How that dependence works is something like this:
                      1. The home house would get +1 to HF roll each time it rolls, or +1 to a resource when it doesn't roll. This is standard. But now it's modified as follows as we can assume the +1 bonus to resource comes from a banner house.
                      2. First, any time a banner house does not roll they get +1 to a resource as normal (like above).
                      3. Any time a banner house rolls on its own and it's a negative, where some bad thing happens, they can petition the home house to not receive their +1 that month (the banner house is taking it to support their failure). The home house doesn't have to give it. It can keep it, and it's up to the GM how about the effect (either record it somewhere or the player will remember that they weren't supported).
                      4. Whenever a home house rolls and a banner rolls, it will either get all +4 to HF roll, or the banner rolling with it could request it keeps, so the house only gets +3 instead.

                      That might sound complicated, but it was just a way of having the land split up and the main house being the major landholder and the banners, players, as lesser land holders. They're still banners and can sit near enough to the main house and be treated nearly as equals (but will always be less). And you spit up the rolls. Another way, untested, is to have them only roll together and the house may or may not get the full +4, for similar reasons to above, but I thought splitting it up would help keep a good narrative going and each month a different house could be the focus of attention.

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