Author Topic: Action example - Rule Holding  (Read 2481 times)

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Offline DM B

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Action example - Rule Holding
« on: March 20, 2010, 07:36:13 am »
This is an example of the new Action format (it's not very different), but existing modifiers. In this case the very key Rule Holding action. I'll use it as an example to illustrate some difficult design choices.

Advantage/hardiness have deliberately been excluded in this example.



Rule Holding (Law, Temple, Manor, Guild, and Trade) [Realm, Regent]

You spend considerable time and resources advancing the causes your domain, thereby increasing the level of one of your mundane holdings.

Type: Regent; Realm – Rule holding can be used as a realm action by spending one court action for each holding ruled beyond the first.

Cost: GBs equal to the new (increased) holding level

Domain Difficulty: DDC 10 + Province + Holding (New holding level)

Realm – When using rule holding as a realm action the DDC increases by 1 per holding ruled. The increase in DDC applies equally to all holding ruled.

Modifiers: Prosperity; Stability.

Influence: Yes – You can use influence.

Restrictions: You may take 10, but you may only take 20 when taken as a regent action.

You must specify the type of holding you are ruling. You can only rule one type of holding with each action. If you want to rule different types of holdings, you must use multiple actions.

Check: On a successful check, target holding’s level increases by one.

Special: For this to be possible, a level must be vacant; if there isn’t room you need to either successfully contest another regent’s holding, or wait until the province level goes up.



The basic premise is simple. Spend GB equal to the new holding level. Then find the difficulty by adding province level + new holding level to the base DDC 10. Simple!

Let us assume that you have a guild (1) in a province (5). There is a vacant slot and you want to rule your holding. It will cost 2 GBs and have a DDC of 10 (base) + 5 (province lvl) 2 (new holding lvl) = 17. Not too hard, but not easy either.

Now, let's look at modifiers:

- Stability: Unsurprisingly YOUR stability impacts your ability to perform the action (as it does almost all your actions). Let's assume a stable and lawful domain with a +1 Stability.
- Prosperity: When ruling a holding the prosperity modifier would apply directly; it's easier to rule in a prosperous than a rebellious province. Whether or not the province ruler likes you or not doesn't really matter in this context; if he want to keep his enemies down, he has to use other means to hinder them. Let's call it a Content province, giving a +2 bonus.

So far you have a +3 bonus...still a good bit away from Taking 10!



But wait, as a player you can easily rack up some additional modifiers:

- Description: This works only for players, not for NPCs. If you made a nice description, you can get a +2 bonus (or more, but only for lesser actions and only for exceptional descriptions).
- Supportive: Let's assume that your domain has a few decent AAs with applicable skills (for increasing your market shares that is). Then you could have one of them (or several together if you think it will help) Adventure/Ply Trade for another +2 bonus (or bigger if they got really lucky or are exceptionally skilled).

See, that's another +4 in bonuses...total +7...enough to Take 10!

If your stability or the province prosperity was less good you might need more bonuses:

- Misc: You could make a Decree that give you a short-lived +2 Misc bonus in that province.
- Synergy: You could do several thing together; do a Decree, make a festival (which could also temporarily boost prosperity, giving a better bonus there too), agitate, personally adventure in support etc., enough so that the DM will give you a +2 synergy bonus for your concentrated efforts.

Not so easy to gain as the other bonuses, but possible to achieve if your really need them. Assuming the same bonuses as above and a +1 festival boost to prosp, you could now be up to a bonus of +12! Not that this will happen with every action, but it goes to show what you can accomplish, even without spending a single point of influence.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2010, 09:16:33 am by DM Bjørn »
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Offline DM B

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Re: Action example - Rule Holding
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2010, 08:15:21 am »
Now, lets assume that there is another domain present in the province, this one with a guild (3). It doesn't want to taking up that slot, so it want to oppose you.

It has rather fewer options to oppose you than you have for gathering bonuses:

- It could try to keep prosperity down, but that would hurt its own operations.
- It could try to affect your stability by making negative events for you, thereby making everything difficult for you.
- It could conceivably make some sort of decree to make things harder for you (+2 DDC).
- It could have an AA adventure to increase your DDC, which would require some foreknowledge of your intentions of course (easier during an interactive game than a PbeM)...or have the AA have a readied action.

But by and large his greatest weapon is Influence...take the first scenario where the DDC was +7 and the DDC 17...using just ONE point will force you to roll the dice...requiring a 11+ to success, which is a huge difference from taking 10...100% versus 50%.

Meaning you need to gather more bonuses, spend influence on your own, or take 20. All of which forces you to spend a lot more resources then you would otherwise have to. So even if you succeed, your opponent will have hurt you.
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Re: Action example - Rule Holding
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2010, 08:34:23 am »
Next to the question of Advantage/Hardiness.

Advantage/Hardiness is a passive modifier. It doesn't cost you anything to use. It's always in effect, every turn and for every action to which it is applicable. In short - something very potent at best, something completely broken at worst (a super-freebie in a game where everything else requires something to be expended).

The reason it was introduced in the first place was an attempt to standardize the advantage (sic) provided by a holding ABOVE AND BEYOND the RP/GB it produces. It began with guilds and law helping out on espionage, and then grew from there.


This is how the DDC/DAC lines would read if Advantage/Hardiness applies.

Domain Difficulty: DDC 10 + Province +  Holding (New  holding level) + Hardiness [Law] – Does not apply to ruling law holdings + Hardiness [Guild] – Applies to ruling trade holdings.

Realm – When using rule holding as a realm action the DDC increases by 1 per holding ruled. The increase in DDC applies equally to all holding ruled.

Modifiers: Prosperity; Stability; Advantage [Law] – Does not apply to ruling law holdings; Advantage [Guild] – Applies to ruling trade holdings.



Is that reasonable? If we look at that guild (3) it already generates RP (which is set to become a bit more potent) and GB. Should it, on top of that, provide a +2 (or even +3 if you look over at the Influence design thread, but that's completely out of the question at this time) increase in DDC? Maybe it should...but it gets worse if the guild gets law backing as well...then the increase is +4 (or in rare cases +6).

DDC 17 becomes DDC 19...or even 21 or 23.

Basically any chance you had of taking 10 is gone, without the other domain using even a single point of Influence.

Even if you go all-out and get a sick +12 bonus you're barely going to make it...and then the enemy uses 1 Influence to screw you over again. Or force you to Take 20...for a lvl 2 holding in a lvl 5 province...I think that's excessive.

The reverse is true if YOU have law backing of course...then you'd get a +4 bonus on your DAC (law in particular is problematic here, since it will usually be controlled by the sovereign and his vassals, making them a block controlling All Law for a +4 mod), making everything you do so much easier.

Perhaps this is conceptually sound...having the support of the nobles will be really important for you.



Then there is the question of game-play dynamics. Even if the above is conceptually sound it gives great power to those already in power, making any form of expansion exceedingly difficult for lesser domains. That's not desirable or in keeping with the RoE spirit of change, the energy of youth and the decrepitude and corruption that inevitable comes.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2010, 09:16:18 am by DM Bjørn »
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Re: Action example - Rule Holding
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2010, 08:50:37 am »
My current evaluation of Advantage/hardiness:

It's conceptually sound. There should be a built-in permanent and free advantage to having the bulk of holdings in a province.

It's not so sound in terms of dynamics, yet there is one things that speaks in its favor; without this rule there is little chance of say a law ruler actually using RP/GB to support the guild that has his 'support'. Not often anyway, and not without a lot of IC communications between players.

And there is the interaction with the take 10 rule and the de-facto division between 'important' (most regent actions, especially those with higher DDC) and lesser actions (court actions and low-DDC regent actions)...telling use to concentrate effort on the important bits and leave the rest to auto-success.

So I'm thinking that Advantage/hardiness has the right of existence...but that the current bonus is too big. Maybe.

The synergy bonus from multiple holding types will definitely go; it's been superseded by the formalization of the Synergy bonus, so it really has no place anymore. And it was always the bit which made Advantage/hardiness difficult to understand.

So that leaves us with +2 Advantage/hardiness for 1/2 or more and +4 Advantage/hardiness for all (holding slots). Too much? Should it be just the +2 for 1/2 or more? Not sure...might make it too weak.

A final permutation; should it still be possible to make a Decree in support/opposition to actions? 1 court action...take 10...for a further +2 mod...abusive maybe? Perhaps allow it only to be used as a means towards gaining a synergy bonus?



Comments?
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Offline DM B

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Re: Action example - Rule Holding
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2010, 09:17:07 am »
I added the DDC mod for using it as a realm action; no changes there and no real bearing on this example.
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Offline X-Points East

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Re: Action example - Rule Holding
« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2010, 11:23:15 am »

A final permutation; should it still be possible to make a Decree in support/opposition to actions? 1 court action...take 10...for a further +2 mod...abusive maybe? Perhaps allow it only to be used as a means towards gaining a synergy bonus?

OoC:

Perhaps reduce the +2 modifier to a +1 modifier?


Offline X-Elinie/RiD (Niels)

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Re: Action example - Rule Holding
« Reply #6 on: March 20, 2010, 01:53:57 pm »
The Decree is DDC 15, it costs 1GB to even attempt.

So, ideally, you Decree something that you spend a lot of other actions on. 3-4 others, thats a net 8GB value at its best. - The cool thing is that it counts before influence, so you can take 10.

What about keeping the Decree, but change the effect to count as influence? - No more take 10 on that account, but still a nice tool. Remember, the flavor text even says that Decrees can spawn events. If someone overdoes it or does it routinely, slap an event on.
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Offline X-Haelyn's Aegis/RK (Andy)

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Re: Action example - Rule Holding
« Reply #7 on: March 20, 2010, 04:10:14 pm »
Is that reasonable? If we look at that guild (3) it already generates RP (which is set to become a bit more potent) and GB. Should it, on top of that, provide a +2 (or even +3 if you look over at the Influence design thread, but that's completely out of the question at this time) increase in DDC? Maybe it should...but it gets worse if the guild gets law backing as well...then the increase is +4 (or in rare cases +6).

DDC 17 becomes DDC 19...or even 21 or 23.

Basically any chance you had of taking 10 is gone, without the other domain using even a single point of Influence.

Even if you go all-out and get a sick +12 bonus you're barely going to make it...and then the enemy uses 1 Influence to screw you over again. Or force you to Take 20...for a lvl 2 holding in a lvl 5 province...I think that's excessive.

The hardness gives a defensive advantage, but it also encourages diplomatic give and take, so I might agree not to resist the growth of regent A in province A, in return he doesn't resist me in province B.  Or I have to persuade the law holder to support me not the other regent.

All that the +2 hardness really does is stop a take 10 automatic success in many cases - spending RP to counter +2 is not expensive so if you aren't on a take 10 then the issue is minor.

As an alternative approach, the rule means that I can 'win' 1 action a round against a fairly passive opponent (by piling in the seasons RP), but I cannot expect to win 3-4 (by taking 10 on each).

Since expanding in the face of determined opposition should be hard, the rule sounds fine as is.

As to old domains 'getting tired', this is easily dealt with by domain fragmentation (meaning they are less able to get hardness/advantage, have less RP to spend, and so are more easily consumed), by split focus (part of the domain wants to expand in the east, part in the west, the divided effort leads to failure in both).
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Offline X-Osoerde (Alan)

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Re: Action example - Rule Holding
« Reply #8 on: March 20, 2010, 07:32:15 pm »
Then there is the question of game-play dynamics. Even if the above is conceptually sound it gives great power to those already in power, making any form of expansion exceedingly difficult for lesser domains. That's not desirable or in keeping with the RoE spirit of change, the energy of youth and the decrepitude and corruption that inevitable comes.

Perhaps Advantage/Hardiness can be tied into something like Stability?  Afterall, isn't stablity a measure of the efficiency, stability, loyalty and 'corruptness' of domain? Lower stablity tends toward fracturing, higher stablities less likely.
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Offline DM B

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Re: Action example - Rule Holding
« Reply #9 on: March 20, 2010, 07:36:17 pm »
The next item is:

To what actions should what holdings apply Advantage/hardiness.

Take agitate; Temple only, or does it help in equal measure with law, manor, temple, AND guild?
Take espionage; Guild only, or the rest too?
Contest/Rule; Law only, or the rest too?

There are pros and cons to both approaches.
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Re: Action example - Rule Holding
« Reply #10 on: March 20, 2010, 07:43:53 pm »
I'm currently leaning towards giving different types of holdings the ability to apply Advantage/hardiness to specific actions only, but allow Law to be more useful than the others (and retain guilds ability to affect trade).

For example:
Agitate: Law + Temple
Espionage: Law + Guild
Contest Holding: Law (except Source obviously)
Rule Holding: Law (except Source obviously)
Rule Province: Law + Manor
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Re: Action example - Rule Holding
« Reply #11 on: March 20, 2010, 08:29:24 pm »
A possible option for Advantage:
It is only applied toward actions that your domain initiates - the same things you can spend influence from your offensive pool on.

Hardiness of a sort would still apply to contest actions (part of the DDC calculation), but across the board is only something that helps you tear things down or build them up.

Essentially, other than for contest actions, there is no hardiness. Even in Contest, the holding level only serves to defend you because it is part of the DDC calculation.

Then the smaller more dynamic realms would win in on the larger, because no matter how big you are, you only have 3+2 actions. This is, imo, the biggest current factor in balancing large realms with small. If you are sufficiently large, you need vassals to take enough actions and to properly administrate your realm.
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Re: Action example - Rule Holding
« Reply #12 on: March 20, 2010, 08:34:31 pm »
On specific advantages:
I like the very specific definitions, it reinforces the idea of a niche for each holding type. However, I would limit law somewhat more than you do - Law already provides the biggest income. It should be more useful on the action level as well, though not that useful. So...

Agitate: Manor + Temple + Guild
Espionage: Guild
Contest Holding: Law (except Source obviously) + Same Type
Rule Holding: Law (except Source obviously) + Same Type
Rule Province: Law + Manor
Rule Trade: Guild
Trade Venture: Guild
etc.

It needs to be conceptually sound, as well as somewhat balancing, so it's is hard.
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Offline X-Osoerde (Alan)

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Re: Action example - Rule Holding
« Reply #13 on: March 20, 2010, 09:47:04 pm »
On specific advantages:
I like the very specific definitions, it reinforces the idea of a niche for each holding type. However, I would limit law somewhat more than you do - Law already provides the biggest income. It should be more useful on the action level as well, though not that useful. So...

Agitate: Manor + Temple + Guild
Espionage: Guild
Contest Holding: Law (except Source obviously) + Same Type
Rule Holding: Law (except Source obviously) + Same Type
Rule Province: Law + Manor
Rule Trade: Guild
Trade Venture: Guild
etc.

It needs to be conceptually sound, as well as somewhat balancing, so it's is hard.

Conceptually this isn't very sound, I think.   

It doesn't make sense that a law holder who controls more than 1/2 a provinces law wouldn't gain some advantage against espionage or agitate.  Nor is there an overly compelling case that says that a guild has a greater advantage when initiating or preventing espioange when compared to temple, law, or manor holdings.

Ultimately the advantages that you lay out are not particular niche either - guilds get numerous benefit, while temples, and manors are (further) marginalized.
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Offline X-Osoerde (Alan)

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Re: Action example - Rule Holding
« Reply #14 on: March 20, 2010, 09:58:51 pm »
I'm currently leaning towards giving different types of holdings the ability to apply Advantage/hardiness to specific actions only, but allow Law to be more useful than the others (and retain guilds ability to affect trade).

For example:
Agitate: Law + Temple
Espionage: Law + Guild
Contest Holding: Law (except Source obviously)
Rule Holding: Law (except Source obviously)
Rule Province: Law + Manor

Perhaps, instead of limiting it ourright, you can assign holding types to actions based on Primary/Seconday/NA.

Say, if the holdings is primarily, then it can get a +4 Har/Adv and if Secondary +2 and NA +0.

For Example:
Agitate: Primary: Temple
             Secondary: Manor & Guild & Law
Espionage: Primary: Law & Guild
                 Secondary: Manor & Temple
Contest Holding: Primary: Law
                         Secondary: Holding(Same Type)
Rule Holding: Primary: Law
                     Secondary: Holding (Same Type)
Rule Province: Primary: Manor
                     Secondary: Law
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