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Playing a Liege Lord

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  • Playing a Liege Lord

    Hi there!
    In the campaing I'm GMing, one of the players managed to become a Lord Regent in Starks' stead, gaining dominion over the North. Being currently at war with other Kingdoms, I struggle to come up with ideas of issues or drama not war-related for him to deal with.

    A PC without a care in the world is much easier to engage, so much to prove and to gain.
    A PC with the power over an entire kingdom... feels like an NPC. Also eing at war, sometimes it feels like playing with minis, where the single character doesn't really matter.

    On a side note, how do you deal with large battles? I'm not talking about small skirmishes but full on Army vs Army (numbers in the thousands). There is too much math involved in dealing with a lot of units.
    I raised the number of soldiers composing the unit itself from 100 to 2/3000, but we're still talking about 50000 soldiers... too much.
    Lately I tried to treat them more as a Skills challenge rather then proper fights, in order to smooth the process but it's quite crippling towards the player how has invested xp in War, Strategy, Tactics and Command. It doesn't help that the party is split and a long fight becomes tedius for the Players not involved.

    Thank you in advance.

  • #2
    Re: Playing a Liege Lord

    When characters reach the top tier positions in Westeros, it is usually difficult to challenge them... I once had a player who was playing Aegon V Targaryen thanks to a switcheroo (before GRRM even wrote about Young Griff!), and once he took back his trhrone thanks to an alliance with the Tyrells, Dorne and Daenerys, the main challenge became diplomacy, such as peace talks, alliances, surrender/joining the newly found kingdoms. And usually in every parley and negotiations, there would twist and turns, such as assasination attempts, double allegiance, tests and challenges to prove he is a good ruler, etc.

    As far as large battles are concerned, I've used the Mass Combat rule from GURPS 3rd Edition, which are free can be found here :

    The mass battles are resolves as simple skills contests, which in GURPS are rolled with 3d6, which you must roll below you skill level.

    I've used the following conversions belowto adapt SIFRP characters/commanders to the GURPS Mass Combat system, and it worked quite well.


    Convertion from SIFRP to GURPS Mass Battle (3rd edition):

    Strategy Skill: 3 + 3 x Warfare rank (Command: +1 per +1B) OR Warfare rank (Strategy: +1 per +1B); Talented grants +1; Expertise grants +2; Inspiring grants +2; Leader of Men grants +2.

    Leadership Skill: 3 + 3 x Warfare rank (Command: +1 per +1B) OR Will rank (Coordinate: +1 per +1B); Talented grants +1; Expertise grants +2; Inspiring grants +2; Leader of Men grants +2.

    Tactics Skill: 3 + 3 x Warfare rank (Tactics: +1 per +1B); Talented grants +1; Expertise grants +2.

    Weapon Skill: 3 + 3 x Fighting rank (Specialty: +1 per +1B) OR Marksmanship rank (Specialty: +1 per +1B); Talented grants +1; Expertise grants +2.

    Battle Skill: Average between Tactics & Weapon skills, Maximum: 16; Danger Sense grants +1; Quickness: +1 per +1B.

    Troop Strength: As purchased Power Cost.

    Troop Quality: Green Warfare Units = Green Troops; Trained Warfare Units = Average Troops; Veteran Warfare Units = Veteran Troops; Elite Warfare Units = Elite Troops. The Troop Strength modifier on the Troop Quality Table does not apply (already included in Power Cost).

    Troop Morale: Subtract the Discipline modifier of the unit divided by 3 (0/1/2) to the Base Morale skill, if positive, or add it if negative. Modifiers for the Commander’s Leadership skill apply normally.

    Survival Roll: All Damage ignores AR. Damage Table Column A = 5; Damage Table Column B = 10; Damage Table Column C = 10 + 5; Damage Table Column D = 10 + 10.

    Glory Roll: Reputation bonuses are converted into Glory Points. A permanent Reputation grants the Famous benefit, and subsequent permanent rating grants permanent Reputation Bonus Dice in Status. Reputation penalties grant a -1 circumstance on Status tests for the duration. The Reaction roll is a Status (Reputation) Diff: 9, which will drop its Disposition by 1 Step per Degree of failure. A critical failure grants either one of the following drawbacks: Ignoble, Reviled, Outcast or Craven.

    Casualties Armor Rating: None = AR 0, Light = AR 1-2, Medium = AR 3-5, Heavy = 6+. Support troops reduces Casualties by 1 Step for 1 Unit per Troop Quality Rank (Green = 1, Trained = 2, Veteran = 3, Elite = 4).
    Last edited by Zeroed; 28th February 2019, 04:51 PM.


    • #3
      Re: Playing a Liege Lord

      Whoa! This is gold, thank you!
      What type of challenges are you talking about? Trials, deal with peasants, resource management, or were you thinking something more personal?

      I'll read through GURPS and see how it works, I've never played it. In your opinion, does the system make combat smother than SIFRP?


      • #4
        Re: Playing a Liege Lord

        Well, in that particular campaign it was to prove that he was the rightful King so the great lords would swear allegiance to him... In one instance, he had the convince all the Ironmen at the Kingsmoot at Old Wyk that he was favored by the Drowned God by being drowned alive. In another, he had to convince Melisandre that Stannis was an impostor and that he was the true Prince-that-was-promised by standing vigil for one full night near the heart of the volcano at Dragonstone by enduring Extreme Heat. In other cases, he had to pass difficult moral judgement or make hard choices (which Lady do I marry to get which great house on my side, etc.)... But yeah, your suggestions are also good, it all depends on the events of the campaign...

        GURPS Mass Combat is very different from SIFRP warfare rules... The SIFRP Mass Battles are like a board game with units and maneuvers. The GURPS Mass Combat is a lot more abstract and is resolved with a simple contest of skill, with events/battlefield/tactical modifiers and rolls for heroes who are participating in the battle, granting bonuses or penalties to the main Strategy roll of the commander. It is very smooth in my opinion and can accomodate any number of units.
        Last edited by Zeroed; 1st March 2019, 02:55 PM.


        • #5
          Re: Playing a Liege Lord

          Stuff that can happen to him is staff related, as he is the boss of the household, feudal politics, trade deals that needs to be approved and scrutinized (its not like an experience trade negotiator from the Free Cities can't sell a deal that looks great on the surface but is only really favorable to the Free City) and so on.

          Being the boss should be hard work with all responsibility and everyone always expecting guidelines and leadership from the regent when something happens and when something goes wrong, he's always gets part of the blame. And he is ALWAYS in the spotlight. Everything he does or says is a matter of public affairs so he'll have to be very careful when both awake and sleeping.

          To be able to say "Do this." and its done to the best of the underlings' abilities is the reward after long and hard work, not something that comes with the job.


          • #6
            Re: Playing a Liege Lord

            Hi there!

            Thank you so much for your feedback. It gave me a bunch of great ideas. We haven't been able to play in a while, so I came up with an adaptation from GURPS mass battle system inspired by Zeroed, aimed to be even more streamlined, but keep in mind I haven't playtested yet. Next session at least 2 battles are planned.

            The general idea is to turn massive armies details into bonus or malus, so to keep into consideration all the RP flavor that PCs will add (plans, aliances, secret plots, sabotages) rather than keep track of each individual units' stats.

            It's quite clunky still, feel free to give it a look and criticize.
            (Also English is not my native language).

            War in Westeros

            Battle plays out in 3 ACTS, with opposed War/Command rolls between Generals. Each general is going to have a Combat Defense for his/her whole army and Attack Bonus. In order to start:

            1. Roll Initiative (Roll War/Strategy)
            2. Calculate CD Modifiers for each General (Battlefield, Morale, Plan)
            3. Calculate Attack Modifies for each General (Magnitude, Tactic, Special Units, Heroes)

            OPTIONAL - Roll on the Catastrophe chart, straight out of GURPS. Modifiers need to be tweaked though

            4. Each general Rolls an Attack (War/Command +/- Modifiers) against the enemy CD (+/- Modifiers)
            5. Resolve the turn

            Success: you struck a blow to enemy forces. Player’s army Morale raises and enemy loses Attack Bonuses.
            Failure: enemy hits you hard. Morale lowers and player loses Attack bonuses.

            It’s implied that each turn casualties are in order.
            For each Degree of Success, roll 1d2 to determine if the bonus lost falls into Special Units or Heroes.
            - Units: some of the bonuses won’t be available until the end of the encounter (GMs discretion) i.e. Catapults get sabotaged or Cavalry suffers due to shield wall.
            - Heroes: One or more Heroes are wounded. 1d6, GM determines casualty. Roll 1d6: 1-2-3 Injury; 4-5 Wound; 6 Wound and unconscious.

            2+ GdS decreases enemy Magnitude.

            CD Modifiers:
            • Battlefield: Terrain, Visibility and Weather from the manual. I haven't actually started a conversion. See page 182.
            • Morale: between -5 and +5. Casualties, acts of heroism, assassinations, numerical superiority will raise or lower troop morale.
            • Plan: between -5 and +5. Plan is going to be decided each turn and GM will decide how much of a bonus to give. A good plan might make the difference between life and death. A rushed or reckless plan might be your downfall. A General can decide to willingly have a malus and gain 1 GoS during the Resolve phase. Plan changes in every ACT, due to the nature of conflict.

            Attack Modifiers:
            • Magnitudine: between -10 and +10. Numerical superiority or inferiority matters. For every 500 units or 10 Ships, you gain an +1 (To be tested)
            • Tactics: +1 for Tactics bonus dice.
            • Special Units: Catapults +3, War Dogs +1, Scorpions +2, Spitfire +2, Boiling Oil +2, Wildfire +5 etc. GM decides.
            • Heroes: Important Characters on the Battlefield (i.e. Jamie Lannister, Gregor Clegaine, PCs), Bonus to be decided, I was thinking +1 for each Fighting Rank of major warriors.