Rulership 2!

Or the “Old School” Method

{{These rules are simply under discussion as one version to use going forward. They’re perhaps more concerned with exact gp expenditures, but closer to adventuring roles of “old school” d&d}}

At a particular milestone in an adventurer’s life, they begin to accrue large collections of gold and treasure, and establish a stronghold. The type of stronghold, and the followers that begin to join in the adventurer’s vision are summarized with the following rules.

Securing the Domain

TO establish a stronghold, an adventurer must secure an area of land, known as a Domain, the minimum size of which must be a single square mile of land. An average domain is roughly a six-square-mile (36-square miles) area of land, with a maximum size of an initial domain being roughly 500-square miles (a piece of land roughly 25-miles on a side).

Domains are either civilized, borderlands or wilderness areas. A newly secured domain is considered civilized if within 50-miles of a city or other large town, or borderlands if within 25-miles of a civilized area. All other newly secured lands are considered wilderness.

Civilized lands generally require a land grant from a local leader or other domain lord who might claim the territory in question. This is usually secured through a pledge of fealty or the performance of a great quest on their behalf. Such lands might be purchased from the crown through an expensive grant; an acre of good land in civilized territory can cost upwards of 500 sp. This implies a single minimal domain of 640 acres would cost roughly 32,000 gp. For this and other reasons, most adventurers secure unclaimed lands in a borderland or a wilderness. This generally requires entering the territory with other adventurers or mercenaries, dealing with local lairs and wandering monsters; generally the larger the domain, the more challenging to clear it.

Once the land is cleared, one should decide if they wish to establish it as their domain. If land revenues or market potential seems low, a different land domain might be secured instead. If the adventurer chooses to proceed, they either establish a new stronghold, or claim an existing stronghold. Ruined castles, dungeon complexes or other existing structures cleared of prior inhabitants, fall into this latter category. Most, however, construct their own fortress on a prominent or strategically valuable location within the domain.

The time required to establish a fortress and associated buildings, depends totally on the total price. For every 500 gp of construction, it will require a work crew of 100 a game day to construct. This can be reduced through spending more on ready supplies and tools, but such construction is usually too expensive to develop quickly.

Establishing control over a domain requires a minimal expenditure in strongholds in every “average” section of a domain (roughly 36-square-mile domain). Small domains in civilized lands can be secured by a stone tower, but large tracts of wilderness can only be settled by a formidable stronghold. A stronghold of insufficient size will limit the size of a future domain and therefore its maximum population.

Attracting Population and Followers

While a domain’s stronghold is being built, the domain around a stronghold will slowly attract settlers, likely the very workers on the fortress and their families. In addition, farmers and laborers seeking new lands will also settle near the stronghold. These families quickly become permanent members of the domain, providing taxes, resources and labor for the realm. Each family is assumed to consist of an average of five individuals, and tend to be of the predominant race of which the lands represent; humans in a human borderland region, for example. In addition, each race/class tends to attract a specialized force of followers unique to their own peculiarities.

Starting Families
Civilized : 8d6x10 families.
Borderlands : 3d6x10 families.
Wilderness : d4+1x10 families.

One-half of the followers will arrive during the halfway portion of the stronghold construction, while an additional one-quarter of them arrive when the stronghold is completed. The remainder will arrive one month after the formal declaration of the completion of the stronghold.

it is assumed that at key points in the following months of the realm’s development (represented by the improvement of the character’s classes), other bands of followers will join the realm, as the fame of the realm and its rulers spread across the land.

Growing the Domain

If fortunate, birth and immigration may increase the population of a domain. Each month, the adventurer makes 2d10 rolls per 1000 families in the domain; these rolls determine (first) the increase of the domain’s family totals, and (second) the decrease in the domain’s family population. Any die rolling a 10 should be rolled again, adding the value to the total.

Small domains of under 100 families ignore a roll of 9 or less, with a roll of 10 representing a single settler family being gained or lost and rolling again.

Making agricultural investments in an area can increase the population of a domain, with every 1000 gp spent attracting d10 new families.

Active adventuring also attracts additional families to the domain. Provided tales of the adventures reach nearby civilized domains and trade centers, and the domain is kept secure from threats, the realm grows by a steady level every month, based on its present family population.

1-100 Families : 25%
101-200 Families : +20%
201-300 Families : +15%
301-400 Families : +10%
401-500 Families : +5%
: +1%

If domain rulers are not actively adventuring, does not make agricultural investments, and does not have a very high morale, the gain and loss in population each month tends to equalize, and domain population will be flat.

Limits of Growth : A wilderness domain of average size cannot exceed 125 families (or 4 families per one mile hex), a borderlands domain cannot exceed 250 families (or 8 families per one-mile hex), and a civilized domain cannot exceed 800 families (or 25 families per one-mile hex). For a domain to grow beyond this number, it must acquire more land, establish new settlements or otherwise grow its borders.

Collecting Revenue

Each month, an adventurer collects revenue from each family in its domain. There are four sources of income; resources, taxes, services, and vassals. The first three are generated by a realm’s population, while the last is the result of conquering other domains or otherwise getting them to pay tribute.

Resource Income : Resource revenues come from whatever resources are available to the domain; wheat, barley, cheese, meat, honey and other animal products; clay, stone, coal and various metals as well. An average domain produces 50sp of resource income per family, often referred to as “in kind” though not all domains are equally valuable; some produce more than others. These goods are not readily available as coin, but can be sold in need.

Services Income : Derived from labor, these skills include carpentry, smithing, milling and other trades, as well as the simple fact of lots of hands to help in a project or other task. These services are provided by the citizenry of the domain and are analogous to a salt tax to plow a lord’s personal fields, harvest their hay, assart their woods and help build a road in the domain. Services produce 40 sp of labor per family.

Taxes Income : The most common resource, tax income is coin paid directly to the lord. Taxes include marriage dues, inheritance fees, tolls made on trade roads, market income and rents on lands owned by the citizenry. Tax revenue can be increased to pay for a realm’s needs, such as hiring mercenaries or paying for walls around the local village’s market, but these things tend to damage a peasant’s loyalty; where a lower taxation level can improve loyalty. A typical taxation level is roughly 20 sp per family.

Vassal Income : Received as a mix of the above revenues, vassal income is often paid directly with hard coin, though sometimes in services or military personnel. The exact demands of a realm’s vassal income can vary, but is roughly one-third the vassal’s total income.

Domain Expenses

Garrison : In order to maintain a standing military force, a large garrison of troops must be hired and paid for their service. This value varies greatly, depending on the type of soldier hired, but permanent troops, not mercenaries, can be paid for in a mix of both coin and in kind. Mercenaries always demand coin. Followers can be totally paid for in kind.

Stronghold : In addition to a garrison, a domain lord must pay for the upkeep of their strongholds. They cost roughly 0.5% of their initial costs in upkeep each month; for example, a 75,000 gp keep costs 375 gp per month to maintain.

Taxes : If a realm is established by a land grant from a higher level of feudal hierarchy, he will owe a feudal income to their liege. Tradition makes such a tax equal to one-third of their total income, paid in coin. Sometimes, military service, plus a small fee of coins is paid instead. Military service, however, can be replaced entirely by “scutage”, or a negotiated fee to replace the service of a feudal knight and soldiers with mercenaries.

Tithes : Most adventurers owe a tithe of 10% of a domain’s gross monthly income to a dominant religion within the realm. Payment of a tithe is not mandatory, but it does allow local religious sects to develop larger domains and provide services to the domain lord otherwise unavailable, such as a couple acolytes who serve the castle and its fortresses directly. This could result in lower level access to divine spells, and assistance of the specific order’s priests on patrols.

Festivals : At least four times each year, dates varied by culture and local tradition, a domain lord is expected to hold festivals for the domain’s families. The cost of such festivals is assumed to be 50 sp per family, though if not honored, the loyalty of local families in a domain might reduce their loyalty.

Vassals and Domains

Only a single lord can rule over a single domain at any given time. Multiple domains under the control of a single lord, is called a realm. These additional domains can be established by securing other lands and constructing additional strongholds, or conquered, or granted through treaty. However, as a lord can only directly rule over one domain, known as the personal domain, other vassal domains must be assigned to a henchman, called a vassal, to manage. The henchman is responsible for collecting the revenue and paying the expenses of the vassal domain, and it will pay one-third of its monthly income to the realm lord.

The total number of henchmen a single ruler can control is related to their Charisma modifier, and this collection of domains is known as the vassal realm. Swearing fealty to a higher liege is itself entering into a vassal relationship with someone else.

Urban Settlements

Urban settlements within a domain are founded by an initial investment of 10,000 gp and then moves between 75 to 250 families to the urban site. Once established, the settlement becomes an effective domain under the aegis of the domain lord, requiring a henchman to effectively rule, unless it is considered the capital of a domain, and then ignores this rule, to fall directly under the control of the domain lord.

Urban settlements grow much like other domains, but unlike others, requires urban investment, not agricultural investment to attract new settlers. By spending more on infrastructure, such as roads, aqueducts, sewers, markets, walls and other improvements, the development of an urban community will grow and increase in population and loyalty. For every 1000 gp spent on such infrastructure, d10 families are attracted to the settlement.

Every month, urban settlers pay a flat urban income representing tariffs, tolls rents and other fees for the community. This revenue is a flat 70 sp per family in cash, and increases as the urban center is developed and grows.

Settlements also require expenses to maintain, much like a stronghold. They maintain garrisons and have their own fortifications, festivals and other needs.

Closing Thoughts

Through careful play and blind luck, some adventurers establish or acquire strongholds and domains before reaching 9th level. When this occurs, they may be required to defend their claims from outside forces, who see the adventurers as upstarts, seeking to defeat a potentially weak adventurer before he can establish himself. Swearing fealty to higher-level lords is a good way to reduce this danger.

Rulership 2!

Thieves & Kings Robling