Ruling a Kingdom
Ruling a Kingdom
Like a player character’s stat block, a kingdom’s stat block continues to evolve and grow as the kingdom expands, gathers more resources, purchases upgrades, and suffers defeats and setbacks. As the kingdom grows, the PCs will need to deal with a host of situations, all of which can further influence the kingdom’s stat block.
A kingdom’s growth occurs during four phases, which represent a month in total. When the PCs establish a kingdom, you should pick a day of each month to resolve that kingdom’s growth and fortunes—it’s best to set this as the last day of each month, so that any accomplishments the PCs have made during that month can impact that month’s growth.
One thing to decide early on is who makes kingdom rolls. The obvious choice is for the Ruler to roll the dice, as this adds a feeling of command to that player’s role.
You can also assign each roll to a specific leader—for example, the Treasurer might make Economy checks and the Warden may wish to make all checks having to do with events under her command. Ultimately, since a kingdom is shared by all the players, it doesn’t matter who makes the kingdom’s Economy, Loyalty, and Stability checks, but assigning them can be fun nonetheless.
During a kingdom’s Upkeep phase, take the following actions. If your kingdom currently controls 0 hexes, skip this phase and proceed to the Improvement phase.
Step 1—Determine Kingdom Stability: Make a Stability check against your Command DC to determine your kingdom’s level of security for the month. If you make the check, reduce your kingdom’s Unrest by 1 (if your Unrest is already at 0, gain 1 BP as a result of surplus goods and services). If you fail this check by 5 or more, increase Unrest by 2.
Step 2—Pay Consumption: Deduct your kingdom’s Consumption from the kingdom’s Treasury BP. If you aren’t able to pay for the month’s Consumption, your kingdom’s BP drops into the negative. Every time you end an Upkeep phase with negative BP in your Treasury, your kingdom’s Unrest increases by 2.
Step 3—Fill Vacant Magic Item Slots: If there are any vacant magic item slots in any cities, randomly roll new items to fill these slots.
Step 4—Unrest: If the kingdom’s Unrest is 11 or higher, it loses one hex chosen by the kingdom’s leaders. Any improvements in that hex (farmlands and roads) are lost and must be rebuilt after the hex is reclaimed. Any settlements in that hex become towns that must be annexed if they are to be reclaimed into the kingdom. Finally, if the kingdom employs a Royal Assassin, reduce your total Unrest by 1 at the end of this phase (again, if this would “reduce” your unrest below zero, gain 1 BP instead).
House Rules about Magic Item Slots
Buying Items for PCs
Items in slots can be purchased for use by the PCs at full price. The advantage is that the kingdom gets the BP for the purchase and no economy check is necessary.
Buying Items for the Kingdom
Items in slots can be purchased by the kingdom for use by the kingdom (if the PCs want to use it, they have to pay rent, unless it’s for the administration of the kingdom, directly). Further the item must be obviously valuable to the kingdom, or the DM may (at her discretion) say that it causes unrest, or call for a Loyalty or Stability check to do the same. Items so purchased do not cost the kingdom anything, but they also do not add any BP to the Kingdom’s treasury.
Selling Items owned by the Kingdom
Items previously purchased or otherwise owned by the kingdom, can be sold for BP as per the normal rules. First, the kingdom must fill an open slot (instead of rolling a randomly generated item for the turn) and then must make an economy check as normal.
During a kingdom’s Improvement phase, take the following actions. The number of improvements you can make during a single phase is limited by your kingdom’s size; see the Improvements per Month table (below) for these limits.
Step 1—Select Leadership: Assign leaders to any vacant leadership roles. Leaders must be PCs or closely allied NPCs. You can change leaders as often as you want with no impact on your nation’s statistics (apart from changing what bonuses apply, as the ability scores of leaders differ); reallocating roles allows you to give every player a chance to play the role of ruler if you wish.
Step 2—Claim Hexes: Each hex on the maps of the Stolen Lands measures 12 miles across, and the PCs’ kingdom must be built hex by hex. To claim a hex, you must explore it and clear it of monsters or dangerous hazards; the hex must also be adjacent to a hex that is already part of the kingdom (with the exception of the first hex, which can be anywhere). At this point, you can claim the hex as part of the kingdom by spending 1 BP. Increase your kingdom’s size (and thus its Consumption) by 1 for each hex you claim. You can abandon a hex to reduce your kingdom’s Size. Doing so increases Unrest by 1 (or by 4, if the abandoned hex contained a city).
Step 3—Establish and Improve Cities: Prepare land for city districts and then purchase new buildings for your kingdom’s cities. The building’s adjustments to your nation apply immediately. You can also destroy buildings at this time in order to clear a space to build something new; if you destroy a building, don’t forget to remove its benefits from your kingdom’s statistics!
Step 4—Build Roads: Roads have an immediate initial cost but over the long term can pay for the investment handsomely. It costs 1 BP to build a road though a hex. This cost increases to 2 BP in forests and to 4 BP in swamps and mountains. If the road crosses a river, a bridge must be built—this doubles the road’s cost.
Step 5: Establish Farmlands: You can develop any grassland or hill hex that contains roads into farmlands to help sustain your kingdom’s Consumption. It costs 2 BP to designate a grassland hex as farmland and 4 BP to designate a hill hex as farmland. You cannot build a city on a farmland hex. Every farmland hex in your kingdom reduces your Consumption by 2 BP.
House Rules: There are Non-City Buildings you can build instead of establishing farmlands.
Step 6: Edicts: Pick or adjust your edict levels as you wish.
During a kingdom’s Income phase, take the following actions.
Step 1—Deposits: You can add funds to a kingdom’s treasury by donating coins, gems, jewelry, weapons, armor, magic items, and other valuables you find while adventuring. For every full 4,000 gp in value of the deposit, increase your kingdom’s BP by 1. Items that individually cost more than 4,000 gp must be sold as detailed under Step 3 below.
Step 2—Withdrawals: You can also withdraw funds from the kingdom’s treasury, but doing so runs the risk of annoying the citizens. Each time you withdraw funds, the kingdom’s Unrest increases by 1. In addition, you must make a Loyalty check (DC = Command DC + number of BP being withdrawn); a failure causes your kingdom to gain Unrest equal to the total BP withdrawn. Each BP withdrawn in this manner converts into 2,000 gp.
Step 3—Sell Valuable Items: You can attempt to sell items that cost more than 4,000 gp through your city’s markets to bolster your kingdom’s Treasury; these can be items you recover during an adventure or they can be magic items currently held by any of your cities. To sell these items, make an Economy check (DC 20 for minor items, DC 35 for moderate items, and DC 50 for major items). A failed check indicates the item doesn’t sell. Success indicates that the item sells and you can increase your kingdom’s treasury by 2 BP (for minor items), 8 BP (for moderate items), or 15 BP (for major items). You can make one Economy check per city district during each Income phase. House Clarification: This means that if your kingdom has 4 districts, it can attempt to sell up to 4 different magic items each turn, regardless of which districts the items are within.
Step 4—Generate Income: Make an Economy check against your Command DC at the end of your Income phase. If you’re successful, divide your result by 5 (dropping any fractions) and increase your Treasury’s BP by that amount.
The Event Phase is the final phase, when the GM rolls to see what, if any, special events occur. Previous event included a visiting celebrity and an arsonist.