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1
Development / Re: terminology Hinterlands
« Last post by Anaris on December 18, 2022, 03:15:29 PM »
Ah, these are not bad. I will see about adapting the Control descriptions to these or something similar (noting that Administrative Power has been removed as a stat, and replaced with Control).

Thanks!
2
Development / terminology Hinterlands
« Last post by Brennaborg on December 18, 2022, 12:26:36 PM »
There are two 'Hinterlands' usages in the new update: Region Control (Core, Hinterlands) and Administrative Power (None, Slight, Hinterlands, Heartland, Iron-clad). I would like to make the following two propositions.

Dry, but clear
None, Low, Medium, High, Absolute.

Less dry, but possible less clear
- None (the realm is not recognized in this region)
- Contested (parts of the region recognize the realm)
- Autonomous (Frisians simply killed Henry of Nordheim in 1101 and then started their totally legitimate 300 year ‘Fryske Frijheid’)
- Customary Law (‘Landrecht’ – the count is recognized, but still has to recognize local rights)
- Absolute (might makes right)
3
BM General Discussion / Re: The Colonies are Dead (Long Live the Colonies)
« Last post by daviceroy on November 23, 2022, 10:24:22 PM »
I will add a few cents to the jar as I am one of the people who have played a ruler on Colonies off and on for 5 years.  My activity has diminished over the last decade from when I started playing.  I was brought into BM by my late partner.  I've had certain disagreements over the years with the way certain things have been ran.  I don't hide this fact.

With this said, Colonies being one turn a day was an interesting idea originally to me.  I joined the Colonies to have a different experience.  I stayed because of the people.  Even when I was thinking of leaving the game, I kept my character to the side just in case I wanted to continue.  However, the world seemed to get further and further apart.  A bit of indifference happened as we shrunk down including myself.

At this point, I wouldn't bother creating a new character on Colonies.  It runs very slow and it is hard to keep any story going long.  GM's have been trying their best and I nod to them at this, but the player based stories have fallen.  So, what's my point?  Is this just a diss track?  Nope...

Things I would like to see with Colonies:
1) Switch it over to 2 resets a day
2) More Developed Religious Realms
3) Player Realms bordering each other again


I like the ideas of making it where you can have more troops or a bonus for playing on it.  Might get a bit more people into it.

4
BM General Discussion / The Colonies are Dead (Long Live the Colonies)
« Last post by Matthew Gagnon on November 23, 2022, 06:58:19 PM »
So the Colonies have existed in this game for a really, really long time now. By my knowledge at least as far back as 2005. I played them way back in my first stint playing BM in 2007-2010, and I play them today.

The pitch that was made to me about the Colonies "way back when" in my original stint, which seems to still be the pitch today, is that the Colonies are a "light" version of Battlemaster for those of us interested in a slower, more chill, less active place to play. Indeed, that is more or less still the description that leads the article on the Colonies on the BM Wiki page, with a couple other "reasons for existing" listed as well:

Quote
Are things happening so fast you don't know where you are anymore? Are you looking for a more relaxed pace of life? Is the stress of it all finally getting to you? Looking for a truly lightweight version of BattleMaster? Looking for a place to deport hated enemies? If the answer is yes to any of these things, then the Colonies is the place for you!

The reason that I'm writing this post is that after having thought about it for months (and months), and reflecting on what the Colonies says it is versus what it actually is, I've come to the conclusion that the Colonies have failed and that they serve no meaningful purpose at all. Note, however, that I'm not saying they should be shut down... rather I'm simply trying to point out that the game (and we the players) are lying to ourselves about what it is and why it is there, and we should stop doing that if we ever want to make it fun and meaningful to play.

So to evaluate if I'm right about this, let's go back to those things said in the wiki, because they are the only things I've ever heard that seek to justify why the Colonies exist. Again, the main arguments are that it is a slower, lighter-paced, relaxed BM game that could attract people who aren't keen on the "regular" experience of two-turn, battle-centric BM, and that it is a place to deport hated enemies. That's about it. That's all I've ever heard from anyone. Which is fine, I'm just saying there aren't any other reasons I've heard.

Let's deal with that second one first, because we can dispense that one fairly quick(ish).

Do you know anyone who has ever been "deported to the Colonies?"  I've been playing a LONG time, and I can't think of the last person who was deported there, treating it like a penal colony. I think the idea was to make the Colonies a sort of pre-industrial Australia, where we send rabble-rousers, criminals, rebels, etc, giving it a very raw and untamed personality, which would of course make the various realms a lot of fun to play because they'd be inherently unstable, hard to control, and there would be a lot of chaos.

Mechanically the game still, I believe, allows deportations to happen, though I don't usually play a judge so I don't necessarily have the commands in front of me right now. Still, I think you can do it. But does anyone do it? Are there even that many rebels and criminals in the game anymore? My character in Westgard just dealt with a Lurian assassin, and I never even considered deporting him -- we wanted to execute him if we got him (which we eventually did). In retrospect could we have tossed him to the Colonies? Yeah I guess we could've but it never dawned on me because no one really does that... and I think that character had a family member at the Colonies already anyway, so it wouldn't have been a realistic option.

Point is, even if it is mechanically possible, I think we should acknowledge "how the game really plays" versus how it "could" play or how it "should" play. In the end, this just isn't a characteristic of the Colonies today. I think there's a little too much of "it really should be played like this and its just the players who aren't doing what they're supposed to do" in this game, rather than brainstorming about real usage and incentives that would result in certain player behaviors.

Which brings me to the lighter version thing.

There's no doubt it is exactly as advertised with that. The single turn makes travel take a while, battles slow to build, and everything be deliberate and intentional. If that is, in fact, what you want, you are probably getting it.

But does that style of play truly attract anyone to the Colonies? I suggest to you that it does not.

There are two types of people who would be attracted to the Colonies given its different mechanics: 1 - players who do not really play the main Battlemaster game, and would choose to play the Colonies because of how different it is because the barrier to entry is lower and easier (i.e. new players brought into the game b/c of the Colonies), and  2 - players that do have other characters, but would like to also have a chill character too.

So lets deal with those two reasons, because again they are the only logical "pulls" toward the Colonies. If you can think of others, I'm all ears (though I dispute such "pulls" are working).

Regarding the light player who'd like to play BM, but doesn't have the time or want to put in the effort (i.e. attracting players you wouldn't get otherwise), it is very clear that the Colonies have failed to do that. I just conducted a review of the players currently at the Colonies, and right now there are only 48 families that play a noble there, and that includes families like The Undying who are actually BM Gamemaster accounts.

For East Continent, that number is 125 families
For Dwilight, that number is 115 families
For Beluaterra that number is 103 families
For South Island, that number is 46 families

So from a raw numbers perspective, it seems like "regular" Battlemaster attracts 100-120 or so noble families. The Colonies attract less than half that.

I went a step further and went in to look at the families that are there to see what "kind" of player they were. Virtually every single one of those players has at least 2, 3 or even 4 active players outside the Colonies, which suggests that most people who play it are really just seeking a "spare" character to play a little bit more than they do on the other continents. While I can't speak to the psychology of every player, that seems like the most logical explanation.

Indeed, there is only a single family -- one -- that plays the Colonies and only the Colonies, and that is the November Family. And for those of us who know November, he has been an on and off player since 2005, so it isn't as though this somehow attracted new blood or was some kind of recruiting tool for BattleMaster at large to try to get casual players into the family, as it were. There are four families (Mersault, Maxwell, Kingsley and X'arpa) that have a character on the Colonies and only ONE other continent, but remember that Mersault has several paused characters and has been playing for 12 years, Maxwell has been around for 11 years, and Kingsley has been around for 17 years. X'arpa seems to be the only family on the entire island I can point at that is reasonably new, and has only one character from elsewhere, thus possibly meaning that he/she is playing because of the style on the Colonies.

Which brings me to that "second reason" I was speaking about before that would "pull" people toward the Colonies: players that like the normal game but also find the concept of a "chill" character appealing.

I have no true evidence I can use here to characterize player choice, but I will say that anecdotally as somebody who has played the Colonies for a while, I get the sense that this is much less of a reason for participation in the Colonies than you would think. I've heard way too many people frustrated by slow travel times, the impact on war, the malaise on the island, and other complaints that are unique to the Colonies that come directly from the player base currently playing the Colonies. That indicates to me that people are choosing it because it is there, and not necessarily for the mechanics being different. Just my read on it, but I think it is an educated evaluation of things. I certainly know why I'm at the Colonies: it is a way of having one more character.

So I think by now it is reasonably clear that the Colonies do not attract new players (which I find undisputable) and that their pull to the already established player is very weak, and likely nothing all that special. Now let's take a look at gameplay.

Recently I went absolutely bonkers trying to stir up things on the Colonies as the primary instigator to the "religious war" thing that we tried to pull off between Sacris Incendium and the Covenent of the Undying, which dragged basically all the non-Halcyon realms into the fight against Halcyon. I spent WEEKS working on it, spending extra time in the game, writing RPs, working with other players to try to make it fun and build some kind of storyline, etc. I did enough, with the help of several other great players and the GameMasters who were into it, that the war kicked off. I may not have been happy about the "gang up" on Halcyon, but at least it was something... it was activity... it was war... it was something to do. I won't say it was a full time job, but I devoted a LOT of my time (of which I don't have a lot) to doing it, with the hope that it would end up being fun for people.

And then nothing happened.

Long story short, while the war still technically exists, almost nothing has happened in it and it has turned entirely into a dud because the travel times and remoteness of realms is absurd, and just doesn't lend itself to a fun atmosphere where a war can and will be fought. I'm not saying it is impossible or anything, but it is extremely hard, and it has a lot to do with the long wait times and mechanical issues. Add to that a player base that has atrophied from inaction for so long, and it just isn't likely to produce much in the way of action or fun.

And that's my thesis of this entire post: this is supposed to be about fun, and the Colonies are never really going to be fun as they are now.

What was my reward for committing all that time and effort to try to do something fun and interesting? Basically nothing. And that has a powerful disincentive to me ever trying to do something like that again, because why should anyone commit time and effort to things if there isn't much of a point to it and the mechanics make it really hard if not impossible to enjoy the fruits of your effort?

The GameMasters are doing their damndest to help, and I do really like the proposal that was put forth for an all-encompassing human war against the Lich King (something I've advocated for and wanted to see since he first appeared). That's great. But it shouldn't take the GMs trying to "stir things up" to make the experience there fun. The goal of the game should be to mechanically set things up so that it is as enjoyable as possible to play, so that we can recruit new players and share the fun with others.

A really big step was taken in lessening the density requirements, which I greatly appreciate, but I think the Colonies are still fundamentally broken because of the differing mechanics. Maybe I'm wrong and there's this big demand and desire for single day turns and slow as molasses play, but I have my doubts.

Which brings me to "okay, so what do you want to do about it?"

I'm not going to claim to be an expert or say that I have all the answers, but I will say this: I do like that the Colonies are different in some way from the rest of the game, and I think we should seek to preserve that aspect of them. But I think we should ditch entirely the "slow pace" aspect of it, and seek to make it different in other ways... ways that might incentivize fun and expansion. The War Island having only 46 families doesn't bother me because I see more people there who are there specifically because of the mechanical difference (i.e. it is more exciting and interesting because there is constant warfare). Let's make the Colonies have a similar draw.

What I think I might do -- though I'm entirely open to other suggestions -- is make it an "experimental island" in ways that go beyond what Beluaterra is with "testing" code changes and what not. I think things should be different here than they are anywhere else. Some of that might be simple... what if we think of the Colonies undergoing a shift, much like the Americas did after they were settled in the 1500s through the 1600s. At first they were sparse, poor, agrarian, dangerous, and difficult to tame... but eventually populations grew, industry was built, wealth was tapped, and incredible natural resources caused the American colonies to be more prosperous than the mother countries.

Maybe we say that the Colonies in our game are experiencing something similar. Maybe we radically increase population numbers, we dramatically increase personal wealth here. What if we ramped up the size of things, so that troop leaders could command much larger units here -- instead of 100 men, you could carry with you 1,000 or even 5,000 perhaps, turning you into something akin to the commander of a Legion rather than just a minor Lord commanding a small amount of troops in a medieval setting. If everything was "scaled up" proportionally (wealth, population, etc) and everyone experienced the same increases in capacity, you could have some really badass wars where 10 troop leaders could command say 50,000 men into battle... 20 could command 100,000 men or more even. Real numbers that you absolutely saw frequently in antiquity and even sometimes in medieval Europe.

You could do other things that are incentives too... like having a player on the Colonies entitles you to a 10% (or 20%) wealth cap increase for your family... so you can earn and hold more, and the Colonies will likely give you a lot of gold.

And then there are things we could do which I admit would take time and effort to implement and wouldn't be overnight... but I would like to see a complete and total reimagining of the Priest (and frankly the adventurer too) games. Specifically for priests, I would love to see religion strengthened significantly (to give us a reason to actually play it) by treating Priests like adventurers (i.e. not normal nobles you have to sacrifice, but "extra" characters that could be exclusively played), thus ramping up the number of priests we would have... I'd like to see an automatic tithing system whereby nobles would have part of their tax income automatically diverted to the church without having to pay a fee (that no one ever pays). I'd like to see nobles be forced to make a decision of a religion that they must join to be a noble in a realm, subject to added realm commands for the rulers (i.e. default religion, official religion, suggested religion, general tolerance of government to each religion commands, etc).

In other words, I'd love to see the Colonies be a world that had the religious flavor that I think was originally intended by the Priest game, allowing them to flourish and grow, and giving thousands of new potential plot lines to build on and conflict to brew from.

But whatever is done, I think it should remain different from the rest of the game, but should instead become a destination for the players due to those differences, rather than "just another place to store a character" which is what I think it is today.

After all, if we aren't supposed to really care about the continent and it is either boring, slow or lame... than why exactly do we have it? If that's how we're going to run it, we should probably just shut it down and focus on the other islands.

That's my take, at least.

Matt
5
Roleplaying / Re: The Prophet Severina
« Last post by pcw27 on November 20, 2022, 04:43:04 PM »
Roleplay from Severina Erickson Player experience level: mentor Player play preference: rp
Message sent to everyone in Sabadell (2 recipients) - 30 days, 22 minutes ago
On a hill beside a crossroads Severina spreads a blanket and kneels, meditating upon the Blood Stars. Hours pass and she does not move. Peasants pass by, indifferent at first, but eventually stopping in wonder at the perfectly still figure. Some wonder if she is in fact a very well-painted statue.

Report from Severina Erickson Player experience level: mentor Player play preference: rp
Message sent to everyone in Sanguis Astroism (30 recipients) - 30 days, 13 minutes ago
Faithful,

The Austere is bright, but the Maddening waxes. In two days time it shall be bright as well. Who among you have pressing decisions to make? Do you puzzle and strain over them? Now is not the time to decide. For now wait, not in innaction, but in preparation for aciton, not in indecision but in preparation for decision.

When the Maddening brightens, your instincts may present to you a solution. If not, do not become anxious for the Austere will still be bright. Wait further, the Maddening shall ascend and the next night will reach its zenith as the Austere wanes. Your emotions will become stronger. For many your heart will guide you to the correct path on this day. If you have not chosen your path come the 4th day of Summer that is the perfect moment, for Maddening and Auspicious will both be bright, heart and mind will lead you to the correct course.

I shall spend the next two days at least in meditation, and from there, only the stars can say.

In service to the Divine Blood Stars,

Severina Erickson
Dame of Darfix
Priestess of Sanguis Astroism
Light of Sanguis Astroism



Roleplay from Meginhard Brennaborg Player experience level: new Player play preference: rp-combat
(Personal message to Severina Erickson) - 24 days, 15 hours, 27 minutes ago
The small hall is packed. Meginhard has organized a feast for his soldiers and also his servants. The rugged border folk and bloody trophees on the wall surround an odd appearance in the middle of the room. Many of them in awe of such an important figure to their faith – others curious about their lord’s eagerness to return home.

Meginhard raises his hand and the hall becomes silent. “My lady, please speak!”

Meginhard Brennaborg
Senator of Sabadell

Roleplay from Severina Erickson Player experience level: mentor Player play preference: rp
(Personal message to Meginhard Brennaborg) - 24 days, 14 hours, 45 minutes ago
Silence falls over the halls as Severina rises gracefully. She is clad as usual in soft grey gown and a tiara consisting of a single band of silver which supports three rubies centered upon her forehead.

"Senator Meginhard, greetings. My sincere thanks for your hospitality. I am honored by the opportunity to preach of the Bloodstars before you and your loyal soldiers."

She gestured to the western wall of the banquet hall, one dominated by great windows. As fortune would have it, the Blood Stars were once again visible. After the miracle in Darfix the clouds had returned, but only intermittently. Accurate as the prophetess' calendar was, the faithful still treasured every glimpse they could see of the stars after they had been shrouded for so long. The Austere was waning, the Auspicious waxing, and the Maddening Bright and superior.

"Behold, the divine Blood Stars. First observed by the earliest colonists of Dwilight, they granted visions to the first prophet Mathurin revealing their power and influence upon us. See their crimson glow? They are called the blood-stars and their light flows within our very veins. The Maddening influences our emotions, the Auspicious our logic and rational thought, and the Austere, the Austere is a balance between them, a source of meditative serenity. When man is ignorant of the Blood Stars their emotions, logic, and serenity tend towards imbalance. Through meditation upon these divine lights we achieve balance.

The Church of Sanguis Astroism was once great. Our teachings enlightened kings and generals and birthed the mightiest empires ever seen in the history of Dwilight. Then the dark times came. Mathurin perished, and in his absence came strife and discord. With no spiritual head the church languished, more often than not it was used as a political tool rather than a fraternal order of worship. I was conceived by the light of the Blood Stars, created for a purpose. I believe that purpose is to restore the glory of our faith and bring forth a new enlightened age.

I have said much. I now welcome any questions you may have"

 

Severina Erickson
Dame of Darfix
Priestess of Sanguis Astroism

Roleplay from Meginhard Brennaborg Player experience level: new Player play preference: rp-combat
Message sent to everyone in Sabadell (2 recipients) - 24 days, 12 hours, 6 minutes ago
The hall falls silent. All eyes anxiously directed at the senator. Then the silence is broken: the door opens and a soldier nervously looks at the spectacle – the spectacle gazing back. He looks at Meginhard: “A message from the Lord Commander.” “Come forth.” replies the senator.

Meginhard reads the message, frowns and rises. “I do not know much about stars, but I know this: two days ago our king was forced to declare war on the treacherous Lurians and today …” he raises the letter above his head, “… today our Lord Commander has entrusted us to enter the battlefield by ourselves.” He pauses as he allows the words to sink in. “Tomorrow we shall leave early for Aquitain and at sunset the stars shall witness our victory!”

Then he turns to his visitor. “Lady Severina, I can see the influence of your Maddening Star, I know your hunger to fulfil your purpose. Tell us how to meditate, tell us how the Stars relate to the Virtues we have learned, tell us of this ‘enlightened age’ you speak of. And what does it mean to be conceived by the light of the Blood Stars?”

Roleplay from Severina Erickson Player experience level: mentor Player play preference: rp
Message sent to everyone in Sabadell (2 recipients) - 24 days, 10 hours, 56 minutes ago
The news of the sudden outbreak of war does not seem to trouble the Prophetess save a hint of greater intensity in her eyes.

"So the domain of the maddening is upon us. The stars have indeed guided me to this moment. For days I waited until the signs were right to make entreaties to you Senator, and now they bring us together at the dawn of war.

There are many ways to meditate and often we must discover for ourselves what is ideal for us. But the beginning is to reflect upon the Blood Stars. Let me answer your second question and through it demonstrate meditation and attunement to the divine three.

There are some who doubt what I am about to tell you, for it is a somewhat paradoxical story, but hear it in its fullness and you shall know it must be true. Over twenty years ago an Astroist priest, bitter and disillusioned with the state of the world went on pilgrimage to Darfix. There he met an order of monks dedicated to bringing about the second prophet. Their vessel was the maiden Illyria. Day after day the priest observed their rituals. Each evening as the blood stars burned bright they ventured with Illyria into the waters of Boreal's Harbour, where the great Astroist king Boreal Arrakis breathed his last. As the monks held up sheets to guard her modesty, she would bath in the light of the Blood Stars. This ritual continued for months until at last she conceived. Every monk of the order, and the priest likewise attest that never was there an opportunity that her chastity might have been broken. The only explanation was parthenogenesis. As you may have guessed, Illyria was my mother. The priest's name was Turin Erickson, who I came call uncle, into whom's house I have been adopted, and in his day he was one of the most powerful and respected elders of the church. It was Turin who brought Illyria to civilization. She gave birth to me on the paving stones of the first temple of Caiyun, and Turin related the circumstances of my birth and my destiny to lead the faith to the entire congregation,"

She paused, looking soldiers and servants in the eyes, none could long withstand her gaze.

"I sense doubt, and I do not begrudge it, it is a fantastic thing to claim, but fantastic things happen in this world, though rarely. Some will propose my father was one of the monks, but if I had been, Turin would have known and he would never have brought my mother forth from Darfix. Some will say Turin is my father. First, he was over 100 years old at the time I was conceived, and it's doubtful he could sire offspring if he'd tried. Second, few nobles ever enjoyed as much power and esteem within the church as Turin. If he were a deceitful man he could easily have simply declared himself second prophet and the church would have accepted it, but he was not deceitful and he knew in his heart that he was not prophet. So you see, my tale stranger than legends though it may be is truth."

She turned to the windows again. The entire assembly does the same as if entranced.

"Look to the stars, feel the light of the waxing Auspicious, it resonates within your blood as it courses through your brain. Your sense of reason sees the logical proofs within my tale, but the star-signs as they are, this is not enough. Look now towards the maddening, feel the blood as it courses through your heart, the seat of passion and emotion. Your anxiety and your uncertainty fades away, yet the heart races, ready to rejoice at the good news, ready to rage at your foes on the battlefield. Now at last there is the Austere waning but still mediating between the two, soon it will be dark and the time for action will be upon us. And thus you have taken your first step on the endless journey towards the divine."

Roleplay from Meginhard Brennaborg Player experience level: new Player play preference: rp-combat
Message sent to everyone in Sabadell (2 recipients) - 24 days, 2 hours, 16 minutes ago
Meginhard had a pensitive look an was silent the rest of the evening. When Severina wakes up the following morning, a servant escorts her to the now quiet halls. There she is welcomed by Liutgard, stepmother of Meginhard. Liutgard hands her a letter.

Lady Severina,

You speak of wondrous things, but I can only judge what I see. And what I did see, is majesty.

On account of their birth some become farmers and if their perform their duties well, they prosper and many due to them can have life.

On account of my birth, I became a bailiff and because I did my duties well, I became a senator and many due to me can survive.

On account of our birth, you became a prophetess and if you perform your duties well, you can bring this enlightenment you speak of and many due to you can thrive.

I have sent heralds to every corner of Sabadell to command my people to receive you as they would receive me.

Whatever light is within you, let it shine.

Yours humbly,
6
Feature Requests / Re: More options for Stewards
« Last post by Anaris on October 24, 2022, 06:27:00 PM »
Necromancy!  :o Not just thread necromancy, forum necromancy!  ;D

I wonder though if it might be worthwhile for all knights to be able to influence the tax-rate of their own estates, just so they can get practice managing a tax system. It would be a good way to encourage more p2p interaction. Lords will have to warn their knights not to over-tax their peasants and might have to expell a tyrannical knight for being greedy.

That's one thing I have in mind as a possibility for an eventual expansion/rework of the estate system. Details are still very much TBD.

Quote
I'm pretty sure historically a lord wouldn't need to personally hold court like that. It even says here that medieval stewards had to oversee judicial proceedings:

I've actually got some ideas in mind for making holding court a little less of a rote region-maintenance mindless click, and more something that feels (at least a little bit) like you're resolving disputes. I could easily see broadening that to include some disputes that a Knight could resolve, and some that require the authority of the Lord (and, indeed, have a concomitant increase in effect).

Now, it's also worth noting that as part of the Hinterlands feature package, I'm currently working on some changes that will significantly shift the knight/lord landscape: in particular, I'm looking at changing how many regions would be expected to have knights at all. In general, less-populated rural regions would not be expected to support a knight; many more knights would get shifted to cities, where they would be much more certain of getting a decent income.

How that will affect the region management needs of rural regions, I'm not yet sure; this is still all very much uncharted waters. Overall, I'd say it's likely to make expanding the role of Stewards much less effective at taking burden off of Lords, simply because there would be fewer Lords with Stewards in the first place.
7
Feature Requests / Re: More options for Stewards
« Last post by pcw27 on October 23, 2022, 05:49:40 PM »
One benefit of the ability to delegate more responsibilities to stewards is that it gives new players learning opportunities so they can know how to manage things before they get their first region.

I think there's a line to be drawn between buttons the Lord can press that require authority and those that merely maintain the administration.

Managing estates is not something that can be delegated. Period. That is part of the Lord's feudal duty to and authority over his vassal knights, and needs to remain something that only the Lord can do.

That I totally agree with. I assume you mean "managing estates" as in changing their size, kicking knights out, setting the lords share of taxes etc. I remember back when knights had to "manage their estates" by setting them to either authority or production.

I wonder though if it might be worthwhile for all knights to be able to influence the tax-rate of their own estates, just so they can get practice managing a tax system. It would be a good way to encourage more p2p interaction. Lords will have to warn their knights not to over-tax their peasants and might have to expell a tyrannical knight for being greedy.

Others of these fall in the middle between these two; personally, off the top of my head, I would say that building infrastructure and holding courts both require the Lord's authority, while setting taxes probably falls just this side of the "administration" line.

I'm ambivalent about the militia ones.

I'm pretty sure historically a lord wouldn't need to personally hold court like that. It even says here that medieval stewards had to oversee judicial proceedings:

https://www.sfsu.edu/~medieval/Volume6/steward.html#:~:text=On%20the%20estate%2C%20the%20steward,perhaps%20others%20with%20various%20duties.

You could have it be that a knight only holds court over their own peasants. In mechanical terms, you make it the same hold-court process but apply a penalty based on estate size. So if a knight would normally cause a 5% change but their estate is only 20% of the land they'd only cause a 1% change. You could also have a limit that if the estate is too small they don't gain this ability. In addition the court time should be only 3 hours or so since the knight is judging fewer peasants. The knights holding court also doesn't prevent the lord from doing so, though all can only hold court once per day. Now I know what you're thinking "that sounds like it would give a lord with knights an advantage", yup it would give them a small advantage provided they have loyal knights who will cooperate with them, and that's a good thing. IMO any mechanic that says "You can gain a small, non-game-breaking bonus if you talk to another human being and convince them to do something" is a good mechanic. This could make for a lot of fun p2p and roleplay potential. When a region is on the edge of revolt the lord calls his knights to help him restore order, holding court by day while policing the streets at night.

Creating a new building I'd agree should require the lord's authority, but repairing them shouldn't.

If we're concerned about too much delegation, the easiest solution is to limit the numbe of roles the lord can assign to a single knight. Also I've suggested this before, giving each role a different name would be cool.

So in summary

Suggestion one:

Stewards- remain the same

Magistrate- can hold court

Warden- can recruit or disband militia

Master Mason- can repair buildings and fortifications

Suggestion two:

Eliminate magistrate and instead any knight can hold court in a region but with a lesser impact than the lord.

Suggestion three:

Stewards get food and repair of infrastructure buildings

Wardens get militia and repair of fortifications and RCs

Court can be the version from either suggestion 1 or 2.


Allow stewards to embezzle from their regions like a banker can.

That would be cool, especially if we ever got around to giving the banker investigatory powers.
8
Roleplaying / Re: The Prophet Severina
« Last post by pcw27 on October 16, 2022, 07:03:00 PM »
Severina passes through the looming gateway of the Temple at Under Darfix. Her pilgrims follow close behind. The temple guards watch with stoic curioisty. Her captain, Honana, carries a large leather case clutching it to her chest as a mother would clutch her babe.

Together they ascent the steps to the topmost balcony. There Honana opens the case and one by one sets out its contents, first an easily, which the other pilgrims assemble for her, then parchment of the finest quality, quils and stiluses, precious inks of red and black, the sort reserved only for illumination, and last, and most reverently handled, a leatherbound book of notes. The captain takes her place beside the easil, holding the notebook open, facing towards Severina, ready to turn the pages at her request.

Severina stands before the easil and gently grasps a quil. She gazes once more at the pale red glow where the bloodstars hide behind the acursed clouds.

Then she closes her eyes and whispers,"The Bloodstars shine upon us always, even when we cannot see them", then opens them again and announces, "it is time," and at last dips her quil into the black ink.


======


Roleplay from Severina Erickson Player experience level: mentor Player play preference: rp
Message sent to all full members of Sanguis Astroism (28 recipients) - 14 days, 4 hours, 24 minutes ago
Severina set her stilus aside, her task done at last. For days she had scarcely done anything besides illuminate her sacred work. There was nothing to do now but wait for the inks to dry. She had produced four identical scrolls. Three of them were destined for leatehr cases marked "Mimer", "Libidizedd" and "Eidulb". One, the first she had painted, would be hung prominently in the main hall of the temple. Rendered in exquisit caligraphy and expertly illustrated, it depicted the Blood Stars in the different phases changing by the day, a calendar for the coming year, set to begin on the first of spring.

She gazed again at the sky, waiting for the night to come again.
 
=======

Roleplay from Severina Erickson Player experience level: mentor Player play preference: rp
Message sent to all full members of Sanguis Astroism (28 recipients) - 12 days, 18 hours, 19 minutes ago
Night fell, the first night of spring. Severina and her acolytes waited. At first the clouds to the west maintained their position, shrouding the light of the Bloodstars, reducing them to a sickly pale, red glow. Severina's heart pounded in her chest.

'The sign will come, it has to,' she assured herself.

Slowly almost imperceptibly, the clouds began to thin. Little by little the hazy glow seperated into two distinct lights until at last the Bloodstars shined clear as day for the first time in years. The Austere was dark, but the Auspicious and Maddening bright with the Auspicious ascending. Tears trickled down Severina's cheeks, for her calendar perfeclty matched the stars.

=====

Letter from Severina Erickson Player experience level: mentor Player play preference: rp
Message sent to all full members of Sanguis Astroism (28 recipients) - 12 days, 18 hours, 14 minutes ago
Faithful,

My time has come. I bring you on this the first night of spring a sign of my enlightenment, through months of careful meditation I have sensed the Blood Stars through the fell mists and learned their rhythms. I gift to the church a holy calendar, so that the signs may be known even when the stars are shrouded.

It is time to restore the heart of this faith.

In service to the divine Blood Stars,

Severina Erickson
Dame of Darfix
Priestess of Sanguis Astroism
Knight of the Temple of Sanguis Astroism
9
BM General Discussion / Re: hey guyz
« Last post by Glaumring the Fox on September 05, 2022, 12:27:00 AM »
Graeth you are my favourite! Stuck around and played for ages!



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10
BM General Discussion / Re: hey guyz
« Last post by Graeth on July 11, 2022, 07:48:14 PM »
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