This post will include some discussion of the kingmaker mechanics, which I will do in italics.
If Father doesn’t think that it’s a good idea for the council to be part of this barony or duchy or whatever we are trying to build, then I suppose Father is right. Just don’t anyone come crying to me when the humans start chopping down the forests at our northern border and fouling the streams with mining tailings.
Anyway. This business of running a kingdom is somewhat delicate. I might discuss it a little.
Stability and Unrest
The first, most impotant priority at this stage seems to be to maintain the support of the commons. If you don’t have support, then you don’t have a kingdom.
With the kingmaker rules, you lose if unrest gets to 20. Unrest of 20 is the equivalent of a TPK. In a nutshell, the game – at this stage – is expanding while keeping unrest down.
Now, there’s really no way at present to keep people from suggesting that we don’t know what we are doing. really – we don’t. It’s fair to say that we really aren’t ruling at all, yet. So the only thing to do is to keep the unrest among the commons down as it occurs.
We do not yet have the buildings and other mods to beat our kingdom stability check. Actually, we don’t have enough anything to beat any check. At present, we are going to fail this check every month – it’s pretty much a given. This means 2 unrest every month no matter what.
I suppose that we could keep things sweeter by concentrating more on the commons at the court level. Most critical are keeping an eye on the commons (covertly and overtly) and religion. Having a big public hero is good, too.
If you are missing a Ruler, Councillor, High Priest or Spymaster, this will directly cause unrest each turn. The roles that aid general stability are General, Grand Diplomat, and High Priest. We are missing two of these and that’s where our penalty is coming from. We have put people into Loyalty and Economy roles, but it’s pointless at this stage of the game. At least – putting people into loyalty roles is pointless: I think “loyalty” means military and nobility, and we don’t have any, yet. We do not need a Magister, or Marshal and we can live without a Warden
The other possibility is that – how shall I put it? – one of us could take certain elements in the population in hand.
Morgana, Rainor, or Switch could do the royal assassin role (Int or Dex), and I rather think that we are going to have to go that way. Morgana will do it because she likes it, Switch because she is a bit racist, not sure about Rainor. We don’t need a Marshal at this stage, and Rainor’s Dex otherwise suits him to be assassin or spymaster.
Aside from simple discontent, the main threat to our little kingdom is simply running out of money, so I should discuss money a little.
If we run out of money, the people will simply revolt and that will be the end of it.
If you can’t pay upkeep, you lose 2 stability points. You can lose the game in three months with a combination of running out of money (2 unrest), losing the stability rolls (2 unrest), and not having a councillor (1 unrest), high preist (1 unrest), or spymaster (1 unrest). Without a ruler (-4 unrest), you can lose the game in two months.
If we keep an eye on the money, we can probably manage a few grumblers by building houses and parks and whatnot and … by more direct means.
Point is: if we fill all the roles we can survive 2 unrest a month by assassinations and buildings. We can’t survive 4 unrest a month, which is what will happen if we run out of BP.
However, money is tight, tight, tight owing to one or two decisions we have made. By which I mean: using our startup cash to build a castle.
I’ll use “100 square miles” to mean “an overland hex”, and “1000 gold” to mean “one BP”. It’s not accurate, but that’s ok.
Our treasurer could in theory extort quite a bit from the monthly taxes, but in practice we are simply not able to collect.
We cannot make the Economy checks.
So this means that we will have to depend on farms, which are a reliable source of income. They generate – say – 1000 gold per 100 square miles per month.
Each hex and city district in your kingdom requires 1 consumption. A farm reduces consumption by 2. Hence, 1 point nett for each farm square.
The difficulty is it costs about 1000 gold to extend the kingdom by that much, 1000 to put roads through, and about 4000 to build fences, farmer’s cottages and whatnot. We also are absolutely crippled by the decision to establish our capital at Fort Thundertusk – we could do the farmland conversion for half that if we were not in the hills.
Anyway. This means that it takes 6 months before a single 1000 square-mile area of farmland (built in hills) starts paying for itself.
Now, we have (in effect) maybe 50 thousand worth of resources and whatnot from the swordlords – it sounds like a lot, but believe me, it gets spent damn quick. We spent over half of that repairing the fort (although it does make a nice castle – more or less). Housing in the city – just basic housing – was 3000. Oh, we could have put up some tenements, but it causes problems if you do.
In any case. We have enough cash to convert another four hundred or so square miles of farmland, and then we’d have to wait to get ahead. And that’s not leaving any slack in reserve for emergencies.
In summary: We need to continue putting most of our resources in Stabiliy, to prevent unrest. We need a magister and warden so that we can start passing the economy checks and making BP. With some BP, we can then claim hexes, building buildings to handle the increased control DC as we expand.
Apart from that, part of the job of kingdom-building is clearing the area of monsters and bandits, and that’s coming along. We’ve explored quite a bit of the area and dealt with a dire wolf and a smallish shambler (didn’t know they came this far north). I say smallish, but it was still a difficult fight. Both fights I just stayed out of it and shot – it’s definitely the safest way to go.
We intend to ask that kobold chief if he will serve as “Marshal” – it’ll be interesting to see how that turns out. We also, well, none of are really right for the job of ruler, you know. Jop is fine with a halberd, but not so good with a desert spoon if you get my meaning. Our best plan at present is to install a figurehead – it will be fascinating to see how that goes, too.
Anyway, till next time,
Your one-fifth of a baroness sister-in-exile,