House and Lands

Talk about Green Ronin's A Song of Ice and Fire RPG, based on George R.R. Martin's best-selling fantasy series. Winter is here!

House and Lands

Postby Talassa » Mon Mar 30, 2009 9:36 am

From the FAQ thread:

RJS wrote:House and Lands
Q) It is possible to invest in the same Wealth Holdings more than once? Would they need to be on different domains.
A) Yes, you may invest in the same Wealth Holdings more than once. A second investment could be placed in another domain (often a good idea especially if you lose domains to war or calamity) or can go in the same domain. In the case of the latter, the holding simply improves. Investing twice in a Marketplace in the same domain means you have a bigger, more famous marketplace. The effects are cumulative. Note, in the case of Godswood, you would roll 4d6 − 12 for two, 6d6 − 18 for three, and so on.


There's currently an interesting thread going on here at RPG.net considering the lack of benefits of owning several domains over investing all your holdings in just one super domain.

Regarding both the value of Land and its defensibility, the OP from said thread condensed the following arguments:

Wields-Rulebook-Heavily wrote:Let me just condense the argument a bit.

Pros;

-Land can be useful as a bargaining chip.
-[strike]It may be important to the plot.[/strike]
-[strike]It may be strategically important.[/strike]

Cons;

-Undeveloped land is less defensible and produces [strike]less[/strike] no income.
-It can be raided, reducing overall land value.
-It's land points that could have been spent on your most defensible and rich land.
-[strike]it may not be important to the plot.[/strike]
-[strike]It may not be strategically important.[/strike]

Some of these cancel each other out, because outside actual play we have literally no way to quantify them, and actual play could easily swing both ways so any argument based on it being superior to theory is pretty much moot. We could throw hypotheticals all over the place and see what sticks, but it wouldn't really help. That leaves one incentive for buying it (so you can potentially give it away), and several disincentives against.

That's a damn shame. Lords should be vying tooth and nail for every scrap of territory they can take and defend while still being in good graces with their liege lords. They should agonize over leaving land undefended and vulnerable to the mercies of the enemy. The "roleplaying" defense doesn't really hold here either, because a) it's entirely subjective, much like any actual play and b) the game doesn't really give any incentives for it. That leaves us back at the system.

How about this for a houserule; Reduce the house fortune bonus of a dedicated Maester to +2, a sept to +2, a mine to +4 and a port to +4. Mines and ports retain high value because of terrain costs.

Add +1 to house fortune rolls for every banner house and domain the house commands regardless of terrain, additional +1 for the grasslands feature in summer (however long that lasts) and +1 for the woods and roads features throughout the year to represent income from farming communities and various resource operations. These bonuses are contingent on being able to defend the lands and maintain the law, so if bandits and armies roam them freely, even if only for a short time, the bonus is lost for that quarter.

You could represent the law requirement with specialised law holdings (either instead for or in addition to the current system) or garrison units, but it's a start towards making lands valuable and tempting players to overextend their resources to get more. Thoughts?


I think he may have a point.

    Therefore, it might be a good move limiting second investments to other domains, and not the same - effectively eliminating the bolded text on the first quote of this post.

Some exceptions could possibly apply (the case of King’s Landing – however King’s Landing could also be possibly conceived as several domains, or even have new special kinds of holdings).


    I also agree that Land holdings should provide some value (as opposed to none) in the House economics, and that reallity wasn’t been taken into account in the Rules As Written.


    I also found, when creating my player’s House (see this thread) that Population (and not Land) should be the factor determining community investments (hamlets, towns, etc).

    31 Population for 20 Land seems a little bit contrived (a lot of Population for an Hamlet - see Population Table on Page 97!)


Maybe a rules revision should be in order.

What do you think?
Talassa
Bystander
Bystander
 
Posts: 23
Joined: Fri Mar 13, 2009 3:23 am

Postby wycca » Mon Mar 30, 2009 11:38 am

I don't have a RPG.net account, but their discussion on why have larger domains seems to miss a key point. I'll quote one person really quick -

"I guess what I want is a system that rewards the players for behaving like Medieval Lords, and not just turtling up, buying Mines and stuffing their Castle full of troops until it's fit to burst."

The true medieval system is the system of liege and fealty - ie, having banner houses sworn to you rather than simply big lands yourself. What that conversation is overlooking, is that if you have multiple domains, not only can you develop them better, and better withstand the losses of war, but you can grant them to new lords you create. If you have 5 domains, and you grant 2 of them to new lords (new banner houses), you actually come out far ahead in sheer stats than if you held and developed them yourself. The turtling concept is a bad one IMO, at least for houses that have a desire to ever be something.
wycca
Bystander
Bystander
 
Posts: 18
Joined: Thu Sep 04, 2008 3:34 am

Postby Diplomancy » Mon Mar 30, 2009 12:33 pm

Perhaps I'm missing something, but don't you buy banner houses with Power, not with Land? I thought the banner houses created their own Land just like normal PC houses, by rolling, as described on page 105.

Is there some way to create new banner houses simply by giving out Land? Do these new banner houses then roll for stats normally? If so, that's an extremely cheap and easy way to get lots of banner houses quickly...
Diplomancy
Bystander
Bystander
 
Posts: 17
Joined: Wed Mar 25, 2009 8:12 am

Postby Arcmagik » Mon Mar 30, 2009 1:23 pm

The base assumption seems to be that you would give out these lands to people within the confines of a campaign. Though those domains aren't likely to become Banner Houses for along time as they are more likely Landed Knights which obviously aren't Banner Houses.
http://www.arcmagik.com - A new review and development blog site.
Arcmagik
Bystander
Bystander
 
Posts: 29
Joined: Fri Mar 13, 2009 11:03 am

Postby AdvocateJack » Mon Mar 30, 2009 11:18 pm

wycca wrote:The true medieval system is the system of liege and fealty - ie, having banner houses sworn to you rather than simply big lands yourself. What that conversation is overlooking, is that if you have multiple domains, not only can you develop them better, and better withstand the losses of war, but you can grant them to new lords you create. If you have 5 domains, and you grant 2 of them to new lords (new banner houses), you actually come out far ahead in sheer stats than if you held and developed them yourself. The turtling concept is a bad one IMO, at least for houses that have a desire to ever be something.


I brought this up (or a variation of it) on rpg.net and it was basically dismissed as narrative fiat or something similar. I also mentioned you could gift lands as a dowry for marrying off a daughter and the like and I don't believe this was addressed either.

I like the idea of extra lands adding pluses to fortunes but I admit to being confused by the idea that having one single uber domain is the "obvious" choice.
AdvocateJack
Supporting Cast
Supporting Cast
 
Posts: 148
Joined: Sat Apr 30, 2005 12:22 am

Postby Kilted Raven » Mon Mar 30, 2009 11:59 pm

wycca wrote:I don't have a RPG.net account, but their discussion on why have larger domains seems to miss a key point. I'll quote one person really quick -

"I guess what I want is a system that rewards the players for behaving like Medieval Lords, and not just turtling up, buying Mines and stuffing their Castle full of troops until it's fit to burst."

The true medieval system is the system of liege and fealty - ie, having banner houses sworn to you rather than simply big lands yourself. What that conversation is overlooking, is that if you have multiple domains, not only can you develop them better, and better withstand the losses of war, but you can grant them to new lords you create. If you have 5 domains, and you grant 2 of them to new lords (new banner houses), you actually come out far ahead in sheer stats than if you held and developed them yourself. The turtling concept is a bad one IMO, at least for houses that have a desire to ever be something.


That would be myself on the quote there. Your idea has a lot of merit and makes sense. Unfortunately that's currently not how things work, creating a Banner House simply costs Power, and your domains (or lack therof) has nothing to do with it.

I agree that your concept gives a good reason to spread out your lands and grant them out in parcels, but currently it would be a house rule (which was the thrust of my post over on Tabletop Open). But your idea is a good one, the game needs a quick set of rules for whipping up Banner Houses in-play rather than in house generation, so I'll throw something up on the house rules thread for criticism.
Kilted Raven
Supporting Cast
Supporting Cast
 
Posts: 128
Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2008 5:18 am

Postby LordofSaxony » Tue Mar 31, 2009 12:38 am

My post from RPG.net.. I'm sleepy.. so hopefully it makes sense. This puts a mechanical spin on it.

As for mechanical, there can be an easy work around which makes sense...

1. You can base it upon your population score, so if you have a population of 35 (average, check page 104) that means you can have a Marketplace (10), Mine (10), and Guilds (15) before you max out (check page 109 for the values of things). This in itself makes sense to me. If you have a population of say.. 15, you shouldn't have much there since it would be like building a megamall in a hamlet, just wouldn't make sense. Therefore if you want to build more your forced to go onto other lands.

In short,

Population of 35 gives you space for,
Mine - 10
Marketplace - 10
Guilds - 15
Total = 35

-----OR-----

Page 103, check table 6-7 and base what you can build in there in comparison to the "cost" of the hamlet, town, city, etc.

Example,

Small City, which is 40 points..

Mine - 10
Marketplace - 10
Guilds - 15
Godswood - 5

If you get all of those your small city cannot hold anymore, therefore you must place another hamlet, town, city, etc on another domain (land) and invest more into that. This also makes sense to me, since you wouldn't see a bunch of mines, markets, guilds, septs, godswoods, and so forth being stuffed into a hamlet like a thanksgiving day turkey that's about explode in an orgy of celery, onion, and carrots. If you have a hamlet on a domain, you have 10 points to spend.. you can invest in basically only 1 thing (unless you get 2 Godswoods or something).

In short, this...

1. Forces you to spread out your items in comparison to the city size, which makes sense to me.

2. Makes you want to expand by conquest, since you cannot stuff more into a single city once its maxed out.

3. This still allows you to stack certain investments, if you want to shove 2 mines (10+10=20) and a guild (15 points) into that small town and be known more for mining, then you still could.
LordofSaxony
Dabbler
Dabbler
 
Posts: 55
Joined: Sun Nov 23, 2008 1:43 am

Postby AdvocateJack » Tue Mar 31, 2009 1:33 am

After being told that losing an outlying domain is no less devastating than losing your lone central domain (the term used was "no less screwed"), I'm going to move my thoughts on the matter here I think as I find some of the ideas intriguing and less frustrating.

I really like the population for towns and the like idea. Would you reduce bonuses for raw population in this case? More specifically, would Population be too beefy if it also provided the default bonuses? My instincts say yes, but I'm not sure.
AdvocateJack
Supporting Cast
Supporting Cast
 
Posts: 148
Joined: Sat Apr 30, 2005 12:22 am

Postby Kilted Raven » Tue Mar 31, 2009 2:14 am

AdvocateJack wrote:After being told that losing an outlying domain is no less devastating than losing your lone central domain (the term used was "no less screwed"), I'm going to move my thoughts on the matter here I think as I find some of the ideas intriguing and less frustrating.


I really think that the person saying that was misreading the entry in the rules. The entry reads :

The victor may seize the lands held by the defeated force. If so, the loser’s house immediately adds the domain and the corresponding value of the investment to the winner’s Lands resources. The losing house reduces their Lands resource by the same amount. To retain this land, the victor must hold it (keep units present) for at least 3 months.

It's pretty clear that if you lose a battle in a domain, you lose that domain to the attacking force. You don't lose all your lands just because you lose a battle out in some swampland on your borders, and realistically that would make no sense anyway. If I send out 1/4 of my forces and fight a battle on the edge of my territory then win or lose I've still got a large force sitting back at my home castle which does not magically fall over and give up to the enemy.

Obviously if you only have one domain then that's the fat lady singing your song. But so long as you have Land and Power I fail to see how your house would be considered defeated. Heck, I'd even say so long as you have Power you're still a viable force (albeit weakened and unable to resupply) for at least a while longer. Beric Dondarrion anyone?
Kilted Raven
Supporting Cast
Supporting Cast
 
Posts: 128
Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2008 5:18 am

Postby Kilted Raven » Tue Mar 31, 2009 2:43 am

On LordSaxony's post :

Nice idea. I'd probably tweak that to say you can't have more resources on Wealth Assets than you have resources in Population Assets over your entire realm, rather than just each domain. Simply because you could have mines up in the mountains even if there are no towns nearby, for example.

The more I go through the Noble House rules, the more I feel like towns should be on Pop rather than Land. I currently feel Pop is kind of washed out and doesn't do much, and it doesn't really seem to bear too much relation to your actual holdings. You can have 3 domains with cities in each one and a Pop of 15 (extreme case, but you get the idea).
Plus Pop is the only stat that gets worse as it goes up, currently you want to start drafting Peasants once you get past the sweet spot to keep it moderate, which is going to leave you with an army stuffed full of idiots for no good tactical reason.

The downside is this is a big change, and it frees up a whole chunk 'o land points. Maybe towns etc should be half and half Land/Pop? It's more fiddly but it is more realistic, and it gives you an incentive to raise Population and a use for the points beyond fielding hordes of Peasant lemming troops. Not that there's anything wrong with that, of course.

edit : Just a throwaway shout to GR if they're reading the boards. Please don't take any of our comments too negatively. You've created a really interesting system for running Noble Houses, which is why we're giving it so much attention. Not many systems go down this route, and it's something that was sorely missing from games like Pendragon. The core concept of Houses with stats and resources is very interesting.
Personally I would love to see a future supplement that replaced and/or greatly expanded the whole Noble House concept for games running at a larger, more political level.
Kilted Raven
Supporting Cast
Supporting Cast
 
Posts: 128
Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2008 5:18 am

Postby AdvocateJack » Tue Mar 31, 2009 3:01 am

Kilted Raven wrote:
I really think that the person saying that was misreading the entry in the rules. The entry reads :

The victor may seize the lands held by the defeated force. If so, the loser’s house immediately adds the domain and the corresponding value of the investment to the winner’s Lands resources. The losing house reduces their Lands resource by the same amount. To retain this land, the victor must hold it (keep units present) for at least 3 months.

It's pretty clear that if you lose a battle in a domain, you lose that domain to the attacking force. You don't lose all your lands just because you lose a battle out in some swampland on your borders, and realistically that would make no sense anyway. If I send out 1/4 of my forces and fight a battle on the edge of my territory then win or lose I've still got a large force sitting back at my home castle which does not magically fall over and give up to the enemy.

Obviously if you only have one domain then that's the fat lady singing your song. But so long as you have Land and Power I fail to see how your house would be considered defeated. Heck, I'd even say so long as you have Power you're still a viable force (albeit weakened and unable to resupply) for at least a while longer. Beric Dondarrion anyone?


That's my reading as well. And my thoughts on the matter. I did a bit of messing around with the rules tonight and discovered that while defense and developments are sure nice with a bit of planning in the House design stage you can place a pretty nice and defensible patch of land between your castles, towns, and the like and your foes. A Hilly Forest land with some archers laying in ambush for example (presumably with some infantry or something for melee defense) can really ruin even cavalry's day with some luck or planning (especially since they can't approach you all that fast compared to a flat plain or road). And even if you lose your foe still isn't able to seize your castle, town, and the like. If you lose that same fight in the territory of your castle? Well, not so much.
AdvocateJack
Supporting Cast
Supporting Cast
 
Posts: 148
Joined: Sat Apr 30, 2005 12:22 am

Postby AdvocateJack » Tue Mar 31, 2009 3:04 am

Kilted Raven wrote:edit : Just a throwaway shout to GR if they're reading the boards. Please don't take any of our comments too negatively. You've created a really interesting system for running Noble Houses, which is why we're giving it so much attention. Not many systems go down this route, and it's something that was sorely missing from games like Pendragon. The core concept of Houses with stats and resources is very interesting.
Personally I would love to see a future supplement that replaced and/or greatly expanded the whole Noble House concept for games running at a larger, more political level.

Indeed, while I am starting to warm to using Population for towns and the like (or some variant) I am generally very pleased with the House system.
AdvocateJack
Supporting Cast
Supporting Cast
 
Posts: 148
Joined: Sat Apr 30, 2005 12:22 am

Postby Kilted Raven » Tue Mar 31, 2009 3:28 am

AdvocateJack wrote:
That's my reading as well. And my thoughts on the matter. I did a bit of messing around with the rules tonight and discovered that while defense and developments are sure nice with a bit of planning in the House design stage you can place a pretty nice and defensible patch of land between your castles, towns, and the like and your foes. A Hilly Forest land with some archers laying in ambush for example (presumably with some infantry or something for melee defense) can really ruin even cavalry's day with some luck or planning (especially since they can't approach you all that fast compared to a flat plain or road). And even if you lose your foe still isn't able to seize your castle, town, and the like. If you lose that same fight in the territory of your castle? Well, not so much.


Aye. However, I've kind of taken that out of my players hands. I've used AKSMapper to create a large hex map of the area my game is set in, with all the terrain in place and each domain mapped out with borders (about 18 hexes per domain in a map that's about 50 domains in size).
My players don't get to terraform, the land was there before they were. They can choose where they start, and place man-made developments, but once they're done I'll place all the rival houses/neighbours and then we'll get to work.
No magically appearing swamps in my game, thanks :)

edit : In fact, here's a link to my work in progress
http://i240.photobucket.com/albums/ff38 ... alMap2.jpg
Kilted Raven
Supporting Cast
Supporting Cast
 
Posts: 128
Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2008 5:18 am

Postby AdvocateJack » Tue Mar 31, 2009 3:42 am

Kilted Raven wrote:Aye. However, I've kind of taken that out of my players hands. I've used AKSMapper to create a large hex map of the area my game is set in, with all the terrain in place and each domain mapped out with borders (about 18 hexes per domain in a map that's about 50 domains in size).
My players don't get to terraform, the land was there before they were. They can choose where they start, and place man-made developments, but once they're done I'll place all the rival houses/neighbours and then we'll get to work.
No magically appearing swamps in my game, thanks :)

edit : In fact, here's a link to my work in progress
http://i240.photobucket.com/albums/ff38 ... alMap2.jpg


That works too, especially since they get to pick. You can still select those features in the sense with that model and work with what they've got in terms of strategy and the like.

Which I imagine has some influence on troop selection and the like. At least I'd assume so. Thus probably not a horse heavy army in the mountains and the like.

That's actually a neat way to do it. We're likely to just be using the Stark lands since we're doing an alternate reality setting for the books but that's an idea for me to consider the next time I run.
AdvocateJack
Supporting Cast
Supporting Cast
 
Posts: 148
Joined: Sat Apr 30, 2005 12:22 am


Return to A Song of Ice and Fire RPG

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Yahoo [Bot] and 3 guests