Kingmaker – commies and magic mushrooms

25 October, 2010

Michael,

We got commies! Commies, I tells ya!

Well, we did have. At our end of year celebrations, we had a number of bards around and one of them was stirring up the people – saying that we were purloining the treasury, which is ridiculous as a) we haven’t and b) it’s ours. Never mind that all the money goes to public works.

We spied on him, and with a little divination determined – as we suspected – that he was working for someone. So we arrested him: he was a spy, after all. We held him overnight (mainly so we could prepare some spells) and our guards are useless – he charmed the lot of them. He nearly escaped, but I had the foresight to place an alarm spell on the exit from the dungeon (I suppose that’s what you have to call it. It’s rather humane, as dungeons go.)

Well, he was in the taproom, which well – it’s a bad look, you know? On account of him being a prisoner? He tried to give us the slip, so we caught him and beat him up. When I say we – I mean the baron and Rainor. And by “caught him and beat him up”, I mean we gave him every opportunity to quietly go back to his cell, but nothing doing.

Next morning we winkled out of him (with a Detect Thoughts) who he was working for. And we banished him and had the sootscales escort him to the northern border. No good deed goes unpunished, of course, so I’m sure we will have cause to regret not killing him (remember: he was a spy and saboteur of a foreign power) – but it’s just not how we roll. I hope he remembers the mercy and forgives the beating, but the man stuck me as a horrible little coward, so most likely not.


We finally chased up that map that I made out of the troll hide. It led to a swamp with some extremely interesting mushrooms. Which was guarded by an extremely interesting guardian. A treant of some sort – some kind of plant crature, anyway. I dropped a couple of Scorching Rays into it, which will do for most things made out of wood. Then we began to search for the troll’s treasure. We didn’t notice that the tree thing was regrowing. It attacked us a second time, and paralysed his lordship. I was out of spells, and it was not looking good – all I could do was pop arrows into the thing, and it wans’t accomplishing much. But Morgana cursed it, and it spent the next the next several seconds doing nothing – long enough for Jope to recover. Once recovered, he made short work of it.

We burned it with some alchemical fire (it would have been good to have remembered earlier that Rainor was carrying some), and resumed searching. Eventually we decided that the mushrooms themselves were the trolls treasure (the map indicated where, not what). I hope they are worth it – we’ll se what our potioneer makes of them.


As for the unrest formented by the bard, it took a month or two to calm things down. We built some housing, and – ahem – dealt with the worst of the discontented elements. The kingdom is growing, and getting harder to manage. We are saving our pennies for the next big project: a Cathederal for Erastil. A variety of benefits will be had, although it will gut our treasury. And we were doing so well there for a while.

Stay well. My best to the family.
Your sister-in-exile,
Seldrynn.


Kingmaker

18 October, 2010

Michael,

Nothing much to tell, this month. We explored more of the borders of our kingdom, and finally pushed the road through all the way to Oleg’s in the north, joining the main trade road. Yay! We have gone from “middle of the wilderness” to “backwater”. And Oleg has made it from “trader” to “mayor”.

We dealt with that goblin incursion. His Baronship decided to run forward into battle (with magical haste) and get himself surrounded, and then criticised me for not being able to run in and help until I’d cast a few enchantments. Half a mile away, surrounded by a small army, and I’m supposed to dive in without some basic protectives. All I ask is thirty seconds, but no it’s out of the question – there’s no point my doing anything until I have some way to hide myself in broad daylight, and until I’ve magically improved my bow. What’s more, the goblins were in tall grass, so it was a bit of a hit-or-miss business shooting them. Their bard wasn’t, though – he was riding a Boar, majestic as you please sitting on top of it, so I incinerated him. At least that way there was a better than even chance of my not wasting the spell.

Anyway. The battle was not going all that well – we would have prevailed eventually – but not well. Not a convincing win. Morgana used a Glitterdust spell and it worked wonderfully, but there were just rather too many goblins to kill when you have to do it one at a time. I’d love to be able to do a fireball, but I’m not really spending all my attention on magic – I’m spending effort on stealth and fieldcraft. There must be some way to combine the two, I feel it. I’ve been experimenting. [One more level of Rogue, and Switch will qualify for Arcane Trickster. I hope it’s worth it – a low-level multiclassed character s even worse than a low-level monk.]

Then kobolds showed up and that was that. We gave them the goblin’s equipment as loot (rather a lot, in retrospect). In return, they gave us some extra food production which was just as well as rats had gotten into the stores. I think it’s good that the garrison troops (all four of them) saw the kobolds in action. Oh – that reminds me – we’ll have to put up some signs on the highway explaining that the kobolds are staff and not to be killed.

Oh! That’s right – the goblins were working for one of the other groups sent out by Restov. Seems our little barony already has enemies.

What else? We scouted the boundary of – well, not our kingdom yet, but probably as far as we are looking at expanding. We ran into a trio of Griggs, so I had a chance to practise my Sylvan. It’s drawing near time when we just have to grasp the nettle and venture further south. The land is wilder down there and more dangerous. Actually, we are all a bit frightened. But it has to be done.

Your sister-in-exile,
Seldrynn.


Kingmaker

13 October, 2010

Arrgh! I’ve left it too long to write this, so I kinda forget what happened. Also, it seems our campaign map was one hex off, so there’s a whole strip to the west we haven’t explored. Oh well.


Michael,

It’s been a bit of a whirl this past month or so. We came back from Restov exploring the easternmost extent of the grasslands. More or less. On our way was that “cursed bridge” that the Sootscales told us about, and we decided to deal with it. It turned out to be very haunted indeed, by the spirit of a human warrior who had a particular animus against The Stag Lord.

Ghosts tend to be a bit monomaniacal. Explaining that the Stag Lord was dead was no use – Rainor wears the helm we took as loot from him, and this ghost was convinced. We had to battle the poor misguided thing. It inhabited the river, and I had a chance to use one of my new spells: Levitation. It wouldn’t do, after all, for His Lordship to sink into the water in full armour. We fought it, we defeated it, we recovered the corpse and his spear, which we have sent back to the barracks at Restov. He was a brave and determined man, I think. I hope his memory is honoured by his people.

Oh, we also found some boars. And met some wolves, who told us they had been run out of home by some sort of giant man and giant dog (translation is not exact). We left them alone, which I approve of (the wolves, not the boars), and headed back to the castle. The town hall was complete, and all seems to be humming along smoothly. After a week or so (reports, paperwork, having people “gakked” for sedition – the usual). Then we decided it was really time to start dealing with Rainor’s vision quest.

Down on the western side of the tuskwater, we found an old witch who had set up a hut. There was a bit of a misunderstanding with the alarm system, but we smoothed it over. Hopefully, she’ll integrate nicely. I might ask her for some advice, actually – I want to make a forest cloak of my own, and anyone that can craft constructs ought to be able to do that. [Craft Wondrous Item is a pre-req for Craft Construct]. She gave us some advice, and some information about the lay of the land.

Next day, we headed south to The Mere.

We saw the tower (from Rainor’s vision-quest thing) on the island in the middle. But how to get to the island? We didn’t have a boat or anything. And what to do about the goblins on the south shore? A plan immediately suggested itself. We would kill the goblins, and take their boat.

We set up camp. Long story short, the northern shore was inhabited by a troll and his tolldog. You know the ones? Dogs that eat trollmeat can undergo a transformation. A tough fight. I used another new spell – Scorching Ray – and missed. A little embarrasing. be that as it may, we all pitched in and dragged the troll and his hound into the campfire.

(I used another new spell – Create Treasure Map, and now we have a lovely trollhide X-marks-the-spot map of … well, we don’t know. Could be something good, could be just something that trolls regard as “treasure”.)

We’ll deal with the tower, and see if we can’t get Rainor a step along on his personal journey of discovery.

Oh – one final thing. I am hearing rumors of a goblin army to the south. Don’t know what “army” means, exactly, but things could get lively soon.

Your sister-in-exile,
Seldrynn.


Kingmaker

4 October, 2010

Michael, I was the most hideous, frightening thing ever and I’ll have nightmares for months.

Remember that mad hermit that we dealt with a month or so ago? Well, he had a map on him with the location of some crypt or something. We decided to go clear it out.

(Oh – he also had a wonderful belt, one of those belts of the dwarf. It’s the oddest thing in the world, wearing it: you start to think in dwarvish. But it grants darkvision – you can see in absolute dark. A handy thing, and perhaps a mixed blessing.)

Anyway. We went to this location, and there was an ancient barrow there (after the style of the eastern barbarians). Entering it, we passed all these bones and things, and Morgana I think commented that they would likely come alive to defend the tomb. I wish she wouldn’t jinx us like that. Anyway, we pressed in a bit further, and there were some undead, which we fought. We ought to have brought a cleric of Erastil with us, you know.

A bit further up there was this octagonal room with carvings in four of the walls signifying the four winds (I think). They had sent me ahead to scout it out on account of I’m the only one who knows anything about traps and whatnot. Well, I walked straight into it. The four winds blew this horrible undead stuff and I was absolutely crippled (-6 to Str and Dex. Ouch). I had a go at disabling the the trap, but more stuff came out and I gave it up. A bad move, it turned out – I should have persisted.

There was room to the left, with undead in it. Which we fought. There was a room to the right, with undead in it. Which we fought. The undead would break their way through our line and attempt to stand in the middle of the room with the trap and get bathed by this undeady stuff. And when they did, their eyes would glow and they’d become much tougher.

I should have worked out then, you know, that disabling the trap would be a good idea. But I didn’t.

So after this, we ventured down the main hallway and saw some sort of 7-foot tall chief undead, and he animated. And then the traps went off again and every single light in the place (I had dancing lights up, and Morgana had a light spell active) was snuffed out.

So everyone was blind except me. Which meant that I was the only one who saw the bones at the entrance (remember those?) animate. I sent my Dancing Lights down to the entrance so that everyone could see the danger, and then ducked into one of the side rooms, because it looked defensible. Everyone followed me and it might have been a mistake, because the undead would stand in that trap thing and power up.

What happened next was just indescribable. Every few moments the trap would go off and snuff all the light, and I would cast Dancing Lights again – I could barely draw my bow or aim it because of the effect of being caught in the trap, so it was the only useful thing I could do. Every few moments the place was being thrown into absolute pitch darkness and these undead things were grappling people and pulling them down, while the seven-foot-tall undead chief thing was attacking. (Actually – I think it was a very good thing that we retreated into a side room, or they would have been grapplig us and dragging us into the trap.) At one point, a couple of undead came though the actual ceiling and fell on me and started to grab. I had dwarven sight and wasn’t blind like everyone else when the lights were snuffed, but it’s not like ordinary sight, it’s … it’s not easy to describe. You know how the humans talk about dreams and nightmares? I think it might have been something like that. It was like visions.

The fight went for – it just felt like two or three hours although it was probably only a minute or two. Morgana had her familiar take over torch duties, but I was really feeling my absence of any damage-dealing spells. At one point I remember I did shoot something with the bow and scored a lucky, lucky, lucky shot (I won’t even pretend it was skill) and downed one of them.

Eventually it was just the big chief thing. But everyone was hurt – Rainor really badly – and this chief undead was standing in that undead wind vortex trap thing. So I just said to hell with it and concentrated on disabling the trap – trusting my allies to keep me alive, because that undead thing knew what I was doing and was going to attack me. So strange to rely on annuals like that, that cold and certain knowledge that if they fell then I would die too, and so I may as well risk all to do my part. Stranger still that this is no longer a new thing for us.The gods have given us to share a fate.

It was – ewww! – sort of organic, not like an ordinary trap at all. I located something like a heart, or at least it felt central, and it was moving, but it was all the way up under some kind of ribcage (it might actually have been a ribcage – I don’t want to know) and it took me precious seconds to get a firm grip on it, but I ripped it out. It was kind of rotten, there was this horrible fluid everywhere that smelled like rotting blood, it go in my hair, in my clothes. But that was enough to disable the device. The chief was still very powerful, and it was mainly down to the fighters in the end, but I hope I made some sort of difference right at the very last.

And at the end of it all, no loot. Well – one item. The main undead was fighting with a half-ghost halberd: the staff was ghost, but the blade was real enough. We checked, and the blade in addition to being very magical also extends into the etheral plane, so it affects ghosts normally. Jope is very keen to have it as his weapon, but you don’t just attach something like that to a broom handle – it will take a little work. So much for his heirloom blade – I suppose that goes into a trophy cabinet.

It took me a week to gt over the effect of the undead trap thing. We have made a trip up here to Restov (funny how Restov feels like the Big City these days) I’m really going to hit the books. Having to depend on magic to actually survive has really been focusing. I’ve worked out that Scorching Ray spell, and I’ll transcribe some more spells into my book. Fortunately, being a bit of a border town the mages here all know exactly the sort of spells that an adventuring party uses.

Might be best not to tell Mother about this last one.

Still alive, if shaken,
Your Sister-in-exile
Seldrynn.


Kingmaker

28 September, 2010

In summary: we now will have plenty of cash coming in. We may fail stability, but with Rainor on the job we can buy unhappy peasants off by building houses.


Michael,
It has been a season since I last wrote. Several things – of course – have happened, but our situation is much less dire than it was.

When last I wrote, we were very much hoping to get Melanae (the Nixie) helping us with administration, in particular with The Art. It makes sense, you know, even though the fey can be difficult – an understatement if ever there was one!

Melanae was upset about her trees being cut down and wanted them replaced. So we decided to head to Oleg’s and see if we could order in five Qualls Feather Tokens of “tree”. But we decided to go by way of some of the unexplored are in the western forest.

Directly to the west we found some sort of hermit who simply attacked us. He was – a very tough opponent and showed me a thing or three about stabbing someone while they are looking the other way. We did defeat him, eventually, although who knows how it would have gone if Morgana hadn’t blinded him (creepiest thing in the world to watch cataracts form in someone’s eyes in a matter of seconds). Even blinded he was tough.

Following the river west and north, we found an old fort, which it turned out was inhabited by some sort of frog creatures. Negotiations went sour pretty quickly, and a fight broke out. We cleared out the fort – by which I mean we killed the people there. It’s a little too far out to assert title, but when we do I think it might prove a very handy border defense.

North and west again from there was an abandoned village. Rainor believes that it was attacked from further west, but really it’s a bit far out to investigate. Something to keep in mind.

This all took a week, so from there we headed in to Oleg’s and placed our orders (collecting the bounty for the Tzatselwryms). As we had already spent nearly two weeks away and it would take a week to get back, we headed straight home.

The next month, well, we spent at the fort. Jope was ruling, I think, and arranging for a proper smithy with a resident smith. Morgana brewed up an absolute storm and made a bucket of cash, which we all spent on items on account of she was uncharacteristically silent about what should be done with the money. She and I both got in one of those headbands to improve your memory, and frankly it’s been a godsend in helping me to keep various … names and activities straight, let’s say. I scribed some more scrolls. Eventually our Quall’s Feather Tokens arrived. Everything safe and secure, it was time to head out to Melanae. But first: a detour.

We investigated the eastern side of the lake, looking for this enormous turtle for bounty. We found its lair, right enough, and just went straight in. Another tough fight – ever tried shooting at a turtle? They have shells, you know. But we managed to put it down, eventually. We took the carcass back to the castle (quite a collection of offal we are accumulating), and his lordship orderd the shell be made into an enormous bathtub. A bit of a waste – that shell would have made several very fine compound bows – but he explained to me that it’s important for a lord to be seen as acting like a lord, and that means publicly wasting money.

Anyway.

It was time to go see Melanae. Morgana brewed a potion of Eagle’s Splendour just for the occasion, to see if we could take a little more of the uncouth off His Lordship (the crown definitely helps). It was all very formal and careful, of course. Melanae was very happy to have some trees back, and agreed to assist our little barony with the arts. With some conditions – a week off to visit her grove, a little shrine or park to be built by the water at the castle, she gets to veto anything relating to the western forest, and a caster’s tower to be built when possible.

Well, this was all very agreeable. I’m interested in seeing what a Nixie’s idea of a caster’s tower might be. We built her a shrine to the elements, starting work more or less straight away. It was unexpectedly expensive, using up about all of our reserves. But absolutely worth it – she is a marvel. She applied the arts of “Feng Shui” to our castle and grounds, did something (I don’t know what) to the farms, and in short with her doing whatever and Morgana looking after the budget our money worries are more or less over for now.

I’ve chipped in as well – I’ve stopped chasing up dissidents among the peasantry and I’m currently concentrating on tax evasion and white collar crime (smuggling, dodgy weights and measures, people hiding their taxes under the floorboards – that sort of thing). Things may get a shade out of hand, but Rainor can deal with it and we can always buy people off with housing and the public works we can now afford.

So, things are going well enough for the present. We need to resume expanding in the near future.

Your sister-in-exile
Seldrynn.


Kingmaker

19 September, 2010

Summarising the financial situation: we have broken even with 1 BP to spare. Yay! If we make the stability check, we will have – wait for it – 2bp. Ideally we’d like to make the economy check, too. But still hamstrung by lack of a magister. All other posts filled.


Michael,

Well! It has been an eventful month! We are still surveying these lands, and we were going to be asking that Kobold chieftain if he would patrol the countryside. There’s a lot of advantages, you know, for him: his people will be allowed to move freely, they’ll get nice uniforms, and what’s more their tribe won’t simply be wiped out by Freedonia. But before we could visit him another problem cropped up: people being horribly killed, simply torn apart as if by a wild animal but without being, you know – eaten.

All the indications were that a lycanthrope was in the area, so we hustled all the farmers into the castle and set out to wait where it had has been spotted, with a nice little herd of the local sheep. Well it was just as well that His Lordship arranged an alarm signal back at the castle. We rode back as quick as possible (one of the horses injured itself in the dark, but I summoned a replacement) and what do you know – the castle had been attacked. So Morgana healed people up (they are calling her “Mistress mercy” now – how little they know) and we went hunting.

Not a difficult job. We came upon a man obviously in the grip of the condition – he was half transformed, yelling at us to stay back. Which I thought at the time was very much a point in his favour. We did the usual – Morgana enlarged Joup and I went in for a bit of a stab. Actually – only Rainor and I had silver weapons: I think I may have landed the final blow, but really I can’t say.

In any case, we decided it would be best to drag him back to the castle and publicly … well good question – but publicly something. We brought him in the back way and chained him up. After questioning some peasants, we found that someone had likely been bitten, so we chained him up too. Joup is actually something of the the armoursmith, and he lined the manacles with silver, working the forge himself in public. It caused comment, but I suppose a mere baron can get away with doing such things.

Anyway. The local who’d been biten recently got a wolfsbane potion, which Morgana had brewed so as not to be too poisonous – no point curing him if the cure kills him. The main lycanthrope told us a bit of a tale. He seems to be a tribesman wandering through the area – exiled or some such. Frankly, I didn’t catch the details. But he definitely seemed terribly honourable and remorseful and whatnot. The Baron would have been quite within his rights to execute him – both for the killings and also in the name of public health. But … well, we are rather short of good men.

So. We arranged for a remove curse for him, and we have put him in charge of the local constabulary. And for good measure, we’ll lock him up for the three days of the next full moon and see what happens. It seems unwise to put him in charge of the guards, but really he’ll do a splendid job, and if he turns werewolf again then – well – I expect that the other guards will do their duty.

But that all took a week or two to organise, and some other things happened as well.


While Kundal was in the lockup, we went to see Chief Sootscale to make our proposal. Thank Desna he speaks a little common now, so I didn’t have to translate. It was all quite courteous – we didn’t simply announce that we were annexing his territory. Although we were. Quite the keen negotiator is our kobold friend. He wanted his lands farmed in exchange for he and his tribe patrolling the countryside. We agreed, even though money is tight as anything. But really, from the deal we now have regular patrols, a nice bit of farmland, and a working coalmine (that’s where the “soot-scale” name of the tribe comes from). We have almost no reserves left, but I think that we are just about at break even point.

We also rather badly needed someone to act as diplomat and do foreign relations. We had the perfect candidate – a certain Kestin Greaves, or Quaves, or something (you know I can’t read my own writing). A third, or fourth, or fifth son or something stuck at Oleg’s trying to make a living. He was very happy to accept an official role in our government, and one that meant that he could head back to Restov and hob-nob with his own people – as a foreign diplomat, no less! We gave him our silver weapons to seal the deal, but I really don’t think it was necessary: the man was positively slavering. Who knows, in a month or two we may even be able to give him a budget to accompany his new title, and that will be nice for him.


Finally, it was time to do a bit of exploring and surveying. We headed west into the forests, which was quite wonderful. I do miss home, and I hadn’t thought that I would. In any case, we found a logging camp which – well, it wasn’t abandoned, at least not more than a day or two, but there was no-one there. Following the river, we came upon a – a situation.

There was a bit of a widening in the river, and a team of loggers were faced off with a nixie. Well – I was over the moon, of course: I had been hoping to find fey and here one was. But the situation was not good. She was not happy about the logging, not even a little bit, and had enchanted at least two of the men … she had rather “enchanted” all of them, if you get my meaning – or so I judge – but two were definitely under magical compulsion.

Anyway. The Baron – Desna bless him – took the nixie’s part. But the woodcutters did make the rather excellent point that they were cutting wood for our castle and other buildings, so maybe we should have been more on their side. But the baron asked the nixie if there were other copses that she’d be happy to allow logged. Turns out that upstream was a copse that hadn’t been touched in ages, because the area was inhabited by a Tatselwyrm.

Well! I haven’t mentioned it, but there was an outstanding reward for a Tatselwyrm skin at Oleg’s, and we had been looking for one for months. So we decided – we’d clear out the monsters, and the wodcutters could log that area. And this seemed provisionally acceptable to everyone. The loggers went back to their camp, but their foreman came with us. He looked to be handy with a bow, so we had no problem with that.

Upstream, we spotted the clearing where the wrym lived. we prepped and attacked (I went with a jump spell, as the thing lived on an island midstream.). There were actually a few dragonkin living there – blue lizards of some sort, some of us got rather nastilly fried. I used a wand of burning hands for the first time. An uninteresting little evocation – but definitely effective. Looking over my spellbook, I actually don’t have a lot of offensive spells – I find them dull – but I suppose I should make room for a few.

Anyway. There was a tatselwrym, the blue lizards, and then this even bigger tatselwyrm attacked, and things got a little hairy (it seems no-one but me has the sense to duck when a dragonkin opens its mouth), but we all survived in one piece. The woodsman was very, very happy with the trees and he and his men will be converting several thousand years of magnificent growth and life into logs in no time flat. But, that’s civilization human-style for you.

The nixie was … somewhat mollified. Wee have agreed that her area of the forest will remain untouched – except for the logs coming down the river, obviously – but she wants her trees replaced. I think she’s thinking of a Quall’s Feather Token (you know the ones?). I would dearly love to see us hire her, too – we really needs someone to deal with magic and it’s impact on a functioning kingdom: Morgana and I are both far too busy with other things, and Bokken the mad alchemist is far too mad.

Anyway. Things are going – not well, but not necessarily catastrophically. I think we were going to be looking into rumours of some sort of giant turtle next.

As always,
Your sister-in-exile,
Seldrynn.


Kingmaker

12 September, 2010

This post will include some discussion of the kingmaker mechanics, which I will do in italics.

Well, Michael,

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.

Money

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.

Oh well.


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,
Seldrynn.