Gate of Souls
As with combat, action at the domain level is broken up into rounds. Every domain round, each regent gets to do something. Domain actions are used to represent the actions that a domain can perform. A domain action round represents one month in the game world. Each domain round, a regent can perform either a Full domain action or a Standard domain action and a Character action. Additionally, a domain regent may be able to perform one or more Court actions before, after, or between performing his other actions. The fundamental actions of ruling and diplomacy are treated using the basic action types below:
Domain action types
Domain actions are roughly parallel to combat actions. Court actions are roughly equivalent to Reflexive actions; although they can be important, they don’t really take up any significant time. Like Free actions, Court actions can be taken before or after other actions during the character’s initiative. A Character action is roughly equivalent to a move action. Character actions take significant time, but don’t constitute an “attack” at the domain level – they receive no domain action check. Standard domain actions are equivalent to Standard actions in combat. The standard action is the “important” part of each round, and there can be only one such focus per round. Like a standard action, a standard domain action leaves some “extra” time in which a Character action (like a move equivalent action) can be made. A Full domain action is roughly equivalent to a Full round action in combat; the only other actions that the character can perform are Court (Free) actions.
Not a domain action: Most normal activities are not considered domain actions. Events that don’t utilize significant time or other resources of the domain or its court do not fall under the domain level rules system. Most character actions are not domain actions. Note, however, that a character’s non-domain actions may make it impossible for her to be personally involved in domain actions if her actions take her far from the center of power.
Character action: Regents, like other characters, have personal tasks that they may wish to accomplish. This could include attending a festival, doing research, adventuring, crafting items, or any other normal non-domain activity. Character actions involve only the character or a small group of characters, not the actions of an entire court. The main difference between a character action and a standard domain action is the scale of resources invested and involved; a character action generally involves strictly personal resources.
Court domain action: The regent initiates a Court action but members of the regent’s court handle the details of the matter almost entirely. Court domain actions are similar to Free actions in combat, although they may be important, they require very little time or other resources and do not require the focus of the regent or the entire court. The level of the domain’s court determines the number of Court domain actions that a domain can take per domain round. A domain with a very small court may not be eligible to take any Court actions and must therefore rely on standard domain actions to accomplish even the smallest of domain-level tasks. Standard domain action: Each domain normally is allowed one standard domain action per domain round. A regent’s standard domain action represents the primary focus or goal of the regent’s court and agents for the domain round. The regent need not be physically present for his domain to take a standard action; only routine communication is required. If the regent is unable to communicate to his realm, the character’s player should still be allowed to select a reasonable domain action for the domain that represents the court’s attempts to maintain the realm in the regent’s absence. A regent’s court can be reasonably expected to perform the same actions as the regent would; a regent’s courtiers make it their buisness to have a fair idea of the regent’s opinions on important matters. A regent can spend regency to support his domain’s standard domain actions, regardless of his personal involvement.
Full domain action: Some standard domain actions are so important that the regent chooses to (or must) personally oversee the action. A full domain action consists of both the standard domain action that is the focus of the regent’s mechanism of governance and the regent’s character action. A regent can spend regency to support full domain actions. A regent that personally oversees the affairs of his realm is eligible to gain bonuses to domain action checks due to skill synergies.
The scope of a domain action
Generally, domain actions affect one domain asset, province, or holding and take effect in the period of one domain turn. Some domain actions have a wider scope (although often with higher cost).
Realm action: Some domain actions can be applied to a number of targets at once; actions with the potential of increased scope will discuss this fact in their descriptions. For each court action used to support the domain action, one additional target may be selected. A realm action can be targeted at any or all provinces in a single realm (all of the targeted provinces must be owned by the same regent), or at any or all holdings in a single province (regardless of regent). For example, a priest regent may order all of her temple holdings throughout a kingdom to Agitate against an evil ruler. If the regent wished to use an action to affect three provinces simultaneously, it would require two court actions and have triple the standard cost.
A regent attempting to affect multiple provinces with the same action must meet the costs for all provinces. The regent is limited by normal restrictions on the use of the action; for example, she cannot target a province in which she does not maintain holdings of the appropriate type. The domain action requires a domain action resolution check for each target, and RP spent to modify the roll must be spent separately for each check.
Extended domain action: Some actions require more than a single action round to complete. Extended actions may require the domain to expend a court, standard, or even a full domain action every domain action round until the action is complete. The Build domain action, for example, often requires the expenditure of time and resources over a prolonged period of time.
Order of play
Like actions in combat, domains actions are conducted one event at a time, in initiative order. Regents may delay and ready domain actions in the same way that combat actions are delayed and ready.
Domain initiative: Before actions are played out each domain round, each regent must make a domain initiative check (d10 + Domain Attitude). The regent with the highest score goes first. The character with the next highest initiative gets to go next, and so on through the initiative order. If the regent had varying domain attitudes, they apply the Domain attitude of their most powerful holding, in the province that contains their court.
Delaying: By choosing to delay, you take no action and then act normally at whatever initiative point you decide to act. Delaying is useful if you wish to see what your allies and enemies are up to before acting. When the initiative count reaches 0 minus a regent’s domain attitude, you must act or lose your action for the domain round. For example, a regent with a domain attitude of 5 cannot delay her initiative below –5. If multiple regents are delaying, only the one with the highest domain attitude gets to go last.
Readying: Readying a domain action allows you to take a standard court action later, in response to a specific event. Only standard Court actions can be readied. To do so, specify the action you will take and the conditions under which you will do so. Then anytime during the round, you may take the readied action in response to those conditions, potentially interrupting the plans of another regent. Readying only affects your standard domain action, you may take your character actions and/or allow Court actions before declaring your readied action and conditions.
In order to take an action, you must pay the cost for doing so – in many cases, a minimum of 1 GB to start the action off. For certain actions, you must also possess a certain type of holding or asset. If you do not fulfill these requirements, you may not perform the action.
Domain actions, like many combat actions, are not automatically successful. Many require a domain action check. A domain action check is a d10 plus any modifiers. The base target number of a domain check is dependent on the specific action attempted. The following modifiers commonly apply to success rolls for domain actions:
Holding modifiers: +1 per two levels of allied holdings of the selected type in province, -1 per two levels of opposed holdings of the selected type. The regent or members of his court carry out the administration of a domain action, but for most domain actions, the details of the action are handled by the employees and personnel of a holding under the regent’s control. When you take a domain action in a province, you must use one of your holdings in the province to execute the action. You gain a bonus to the action check equal to half the level of this active holding. In addition, other holdings of the same type as your active holding can support or oppose your action. Using holdings to oppose or support another regent’s actions is not a domain action. Allied holdings of the same type provide a bonus equal to half their level. Opposed holdings of the same type provide a penalty equal to half their level. Holdings of different types cannot generally add or subtract their level to your check. Any applicable regent may order such support or opposition once he is aware of the action. Support from holding level is highly visible, all regents (and residents) of the area will be aware of the regent’s support, opposition, or apathy regarding the action.
Skill modifier: (Full domain actions only) +1 for every two points that the regent has in the relevant skill. Each domain action is dependent on a specific skill listed in its description. If the regent sacrifices his character action to take a personal hand in the implementation of the domain action, then the domain action receives a bonus proportionate to the regent’s skill.
Leadership Skill Pool modifier If the domain Leadership Skill pool contains the appropriate skill, add +2 to the roll. If the Leadership skill pool is More than 6 dice add +2, and if it is more than 10 dice add +3.
Loyalty modifier: +1 for Helpful, -1 for Unfriendly, -2 for Hostile. The attitude of a province’s population toward the active regent has a significant impact on any actions that he takes in the province.
Regency Points: +1 per RP spent to support, -1 per RP spent to oppose. Regents may spend RP to support or oppose most domain action checks. The province regent and any regent that has any holding of any level in the province in which the domain action is taking place may spend RP to support or oppose the action. There is no limit (save availability) to how many RP may be spent to support or oppose an action. Spending RP to support or oppose an action is done in reverse domain initiative order. Each eligible regent may spend RP to support or oppose the domain action check. Each regent must be offered the opportunity to spend regency each round. Bidding continues round by round, until a round passes in which no regent bids additional RP, a which point the domain action check can be made.
Although it is obvious when a holding level opposes or supports an action, the spending of RP is not necessarily so. RP can be spent “anonymously” at the regent’s desire. The player is always aware of the RP being spent against them (and can use this information during bidding), but the character may not be aware of the mastermind behind the forces opposing his action.
Variant: Different degrees of success
You may wish domain actions to have differing levels of success; in this case, consider a success roll that succeeds by a margin of 5 or more a good success, which increases the efficiency at which the action is performed by 25%, and a success by a margin of 10 or more to be of extraordinary level, increasing the efficiency of said action by 50%. If the efficiency of the action isn’t possible to increase, the regent instead gains a 1 RP bonus for a good success, and a 3 RP bonus for an extraordinary success.
H4. Domain action descriptions
Regents don’t spend all of their time ruling their domain. There are monsters to be fought, intrigues to be solved, castles to be stormed; in short, regents participate in the same activities as normal characters. A regent’s domain doesn’t grind to a halt while he’s occupied with personal business, but it does lose the benefit of having the regent personally attend to matters. Non-regents always take character actions each domain turn. Their potential character actions are limitless. Character actions do not have any direct regency or gold bar cost, although incidental costs may exist (traveling costs for food and lodging, for instance). Some common examples are listed below:
You take part in an adventure. There are monsters to be fought, intrigues to be solved, and treasures to be won – in person. Most regents win renown as adventurers and heroes before they assume the leadership of a realm or organization. Scions must often establish themselves as powerful and capable individuals if they want to deter challenges to their authority and honor. Such adventuring does not cease once a scion claims a domain; if anything, the need for adventuring increases. PC regents should adventure often – with an eye for quests that further not only their own personal concerns, but those of their domain and its allies. Once a regent sweats blood with an ally, fighting back-to-back against a common foe, he knows the mettle of his friends. Adventuring regents also benefit domestically; when a regent personally leads the party that eliminates a band of monsters and saves a town, word gets around. The regent may see an upswing in loyalty and possibly a short-term increase in regency, taxes, or tithes.
Ply Trade [Character]
You spend the month in endeavors designed to bring you personal profit and wealth. Few regents will engage in this action on a regular basis, but non-regent characters do so often. Regents usually have weightier matters competing for their character action each domain turn, but might use Ply Trade to increase their own personal treasuries. Your ability to find work, negotiate wages, and make a profit is based upon your bonus in Craft (Any), Profession (Any), or Perform. Highly skilled individuals are rare and can earn an increasingly large salary. The listed incomes are appropriate
in provinces of level four. Increase profit by 25% for each level of the province above four. Decrease income by 25% for each level less than four. For example, a character with a 10 bonus x 20gp/bonus) plus an additional 50% for the province level [+25% x (province(6)- province(4) ].
Table 5-15: Income from Ply trade
Skill bonus Example Monthly income Average
+0 – +3 Unskilled labor 2 gp 2 gp
+4 – +6 Apprentice 2 gp x bonus 6 gp
+7 – +9 Journeyman 5 gp x bonus 75 gp
+10 – +14 Master 20gp x bonus 250 gp
+15 or higher Grandmaster 40gp x bonus 600 gp
You learn spells, perform spell research or create a magical item. Spellcasting regents may learn or research conventional spells, research realm spells, make magical items, or perform other such tasks. Details on the magical activities are presented in the Player’s Handbook and Chapter Three: Magic. You earn up to four weeks (32 days) of time engaged in the declared activity or activities. This time can be spent on multiple magical activities (should time allow). If the time required for the activity is significantly less than 32 days, you can make a profit on the remainder of your activities. For each full week of time not spent in specific research, you make one-quarter of the monthly amount that you would make Plying Trade.
If optional rules for training are being used, then character actions may be required to advance in level, learn new skills, feats, or languages and other such activities. This training does not provide experience points or bonus skill ranks; it simply represents time character spend getting the their levelbased abilities. Characters may not generally gain skill ranks or experience through training alone.
Variant: Some DMs may allow character to train to gain +1 hitpoint. The player should reroll their character’s hit points. If their randomly rolled hit points exceed the character’s current hit points then the character permanently gains +1 hit points. This variant helps allow characters with below average hit points to remain viable, although it may take several months to gain a significant number of hit points.
Routine travel is not a domain action. However, if a character spends a significant period of the domain round traveling, then she is incapable of performing other character actions (except, perhaps, adventuring). As a rule of thumb, a character that spends more than one week in travel is not eligible to perform any other character action. Characters that are traveling with a military unit or that are holding themselves ready to form a Heroes unit should also be considered to be engaged in the Travel character action.
Table 5-16: Standard travel rates presents common rates of travel through good terrain and in good weather. These rates assume that travel takes place on clear roads or plains. Terrain modifiers for movement are available in the Player’s handbook. Most communications between regents take place through routine messengers. The frequency of such communications depends, in part, by the travel time between the regent’s locations. For example, two realms located 10 provinces apart (1 week travel time) cannot be reasonably expected to carry on communications by messenger that require more than four total exchanges.
Table 5-16: standard travel rates
Speed Speed Miles
Entourage 15 ft. 12 3 1/3 2
On foot, slow 20 ft. 16 2 1/2 3
On foot, fast 30 ft. 24 1 1/2 4
Carriage 40 ft. 32 1 1/4 6
Warhorse 50 ft. 40 3/4 8
Light horse 60 ft. 48 2/3 10
River boat 12hrs/day 40 1 8
Sea vessel 24hrs/day 80 2 16
Regents often travel in full entourage. Traveling in entourage costs 0.1 GB x the regent’s court level to cover the costs of taking guards, courtiers, and servants along. The normal dangers of the road (wild animals, highwayman, and solitary monsters) aren’t likely to confront an entourage of 20 to 40 individuals. On the other hand, large groups of people are both obvious and slow. Regents preferring speed or stealth over safety and comfort are likely to travel with a smaller party.
As noted previously, courtiers and functionaries of the regent’s domain usually handle court actions. The number of court actions that a domain can perform depends on the size of its court. A court action can be taken using the realm’s standard action for the domain turn if necessary.
Build [Court; 1d4 GB; DC 0]
You start the creation of some form of building, civil project, or other major construction. This includes the construction of domain assets such as fortifications, naval vessels, highways, and bridges. The DC for the domain action check is 0; only significant opposition from other regents can cause this action to fail.
Regents tend to build things for a purpose. Realm regents tend to build highways and bridges for the benefit of other regents in the province as well as themselves – guildmasters, for example, need highways to run trade routes even as armies benefit from roads when they move. Regents often arrange for allies to aid in Build actions by donating personnel (court actions or GB), materials (GB), or some other consideration. The construction cost for domain assets appears in Table 5-4: Asset maintenance cost. The listed costs assume that the constructions are built in relatively settled areas with easy access to the necessary building materials. Building in remote areas or difficult terrain adds to the cost of the structure. As a rule of thumb, building anything in a province (2) or (3) costs 150% of normal; building in a province (1) or (0) costs 200% of normal. The cost is doubled again for extreme conditions, such as building on a mountainside. Construction proceeds at the rate of 1d4 Gold Bars per Build action. In other words, it can take many court actions to finish major project. The die roll and the frequency with which the Build action is taken determine the speed of construction. Multiple court actions can be taken during the same domain action round (if available)– each build action allows construction to proceed by 1d4 GB. Constructions costs must be paid after progress is determined for each action. If the progress roll exceeds the final asset value (or available funds) then the additional can be used to build another asset (or simply ignored). Special: Build can also be taken as a standard action. If a standard action is spent on a build action, a regent or lieutenant may make a Profession (Engineer) check against a DC equal to the total cost of the construction; if successful, the regent may set the achieved results of any progress rolls instead of rolling randomly.
Decree [Court; 1 GB; DC -]
You make an administrative decision with regard to your domain or a declaration to other domains. There is no domain action check for a decree action. A decree cannot directly affect another regent’s domain, change the level of a holding (this would be a Contest action), or change the attitude of the populace (this would be an Agitate action). Example decrees might including the raising of a vassal to a new noble rank or position, a declaration of support for some party or another in a conflict, the grant of permissions to a noble or military order, a declaration of war, an increase in taxes (if the variable taxation variant is in use), the declaration of a new holiday or public event, or any similar action.
Decrees often take the form of laws – whether laws for the realm or for particular holdings. For example, a temple holding may declare that it is immoral to enlist in a realm regent’s army. If the temple holding controls all of the religion in the province, virtually all of the people will be hesitant to disobey the church, making it very difficult – if not impossible – for the realm regent to recruit troops in the province. Decrees often lose effectiveness over time unless actions are spent to keep the decree fresh in everyone’s mind. Ancient decrees might be ignored entirely until someone takes the effort to restore it to circulation.
Disband [Court; 0 GB; DC varies]
You unmake a single asset, holding, or army (any number of units in a single friendly province). A regent is always free to dismiss army units or mercenaries from his service. Arrangements must be made, however, for mustering out payment, transport home, the collection of is sued equipment, and other logistical details. The domain action check DC is 0 for regular army units and 10 for mercenary units. If the check fails, some individuals become brigands and begin raiding the province in which they disbanded. (Refer to the Brigands Event). A regent can also choose to disband any holding or asset (such as a fortification) by razing it. Unless the regent personally oversees this event, however, there is a significant chance that the local agents employed by the holding or asset will assume that the order is a mistake, the act of a traitor, or some other hoax. The DC for disbanding a holding or asset is 20, unless the regent is personally present during the destruction (in which case no domain check need be made). As holdings and assets are valuable, disbanding is rare; the only advantage to this action is saving maintenance costs. Also, destroying a holding (even by choice) may result in a minor loss of regency as the regent’s supporters in the area are left to fend for themselves. In general, regents should look at all possible solutions before disbanding armies or holdings. While the disband action is free, recruiting new troops or building up new assets is not.
Finance [Court; 0 GB]
Regent gain money and treasure from a variety of sources – taxes, tithes, trade routes, plying trade, adventuring – and they need to keep careful track of their funds. This domain action allows regents to convert coinage, jewelry, and other goods (magical items, adventuring loot) to/from Gold Bars. This conversion takes place at the ratio of 2,000 gp for 1 GB (and visa versa). In each domain turn, a regent may convert as many as 5 GB, plus 1 GB per level of guild holding he controls. Regents should try to distinguish personal wealth from the domain’s treasury. Many subjects, particularly nobles, believe that the treasury belongs to the realm, not the individual who is currently its regent. Excessive spending of the realm’s finances may affect domain attitude or spark a domain event. Realms that are in need of GB can obtain loans from anyone with sufficient money to lend (including the regent’s personal funds). The terms of interest are subject to negotiation; an interest rate of 10% for one year is fair.
Muster/Train Troops [Court; varies GB]
A court action is required to muster new military units or to train existing military units. Costs and other details pertaining to military units are presented in Chapter Six: Armies and warfare.
Occupy province [Court; 1 GB]
Regents can, for a small price in realm attitude, bring in their armies and institute martial law. The occupation of a province requires the use of military units. In order to occupy a province, units loyal to the regent mu st spend an entire month (four war moves) occupying key institutions in the province. If a unit moves or is involved in any battle then it may not occupy the province.
An occupied province generates no regency income for the province ruler. The normal taxation income goes in part or in full to the occupying regent (1 GB per unit occupying the province). The military forces in a province act as a temporary law holding with a level equal to the number of occupying units. Existing law holdings are reduced (temporarily) by the same amount. In addition, each unit may destroy one holding level in the province per month. For example, three units could raze a temple (6) to a temple (0) in two months of occupation. This sort of heavy-handed action has dire consequences on the province’s attitude towards the regent; as such behavior often marks the beginning of realm-wide tyranny. This action normally allows for the occupation of one province. Multiple provinces can be occupied (troops permitting) with the expenditure of multiple court actions.
Agitate [Standard/Realm; Lead; 1 GB]
A regent can use her influence to agitate a province’s attitude for or against a person, domain, or idea. A regent can agitate a province’s attitude in favor of herself or her allies. Similarly, a regent can agitate a province’s attitude disfavorably against their enemies. Agitate can be a powerful weapon.
The Agitate action does not have a standard domain action check. Instead, a domain attitude check is made (as discussed in the section on adjusting domain attitude) but with slightly different adjustments and modifiers. (1) Regardless of the result, the domain’s attitude cannot move in the opposite direction of the active regent’s intended agitation (up or down). (2) The active regent may spend GB to provide a bonus or penalty to the check (1 GB per +/- 1). (3) The active regent’s holding used for the action provides a bonus (or penalty) equal to the holding level. (4) If used against another regent, the target regent’s largest holding provides a bonus to the check equal to its level. (5) All regents in the area may spend RP to support or oppose the check, providing a bonus or penalty of one for each RP spent. (6) The domain attitude may not increase or decrease by more than two attitude levels per Agitate action. Realm action: Agitate normally only affects the attitude of one province. It may also be used as a realm-wide action. If a domain takes Agitate as its standard action, it may use additional court actions to support the Agitate. For each court action used, an additional province may be affected. The holding type used for the Agitate must be the same in all targeted provinces. All costs and success checks are calculated individually for each province affected.
Cast Realm Spell [Standard; GB varies]
Priest or wizard regent casts a realm spell. Realm spells are a special type of magic that are available only to a regent spellcaster. Wizard, cleric, druid and sorcerer regents may cast
realm spells. Realm spells can be used only in provinces in which the regent has an appropriate holding level and with the costs and effects presented in the realm spell’s description. Details on realm spells are found in Chapter Seven.
Ceremony [Standard; Administrate; 1 GB]
This action allows a regent to arrange for current, future, or on-going transfers of domain assets to another character. Ceremonies help to fix the minds of a domain’s populace and ease the acceptance of a new regent or heir. This action is often combined with the casting of a Bloodline investiture realm spell.
Coronation: You become the lawfully (and spiritually) recognized regent of an unclaimed domain or a domain that you currently hold temporarily through designation. This action requires a domain action check with a DC of 10 + the size of the domain that you are attempting to invest. All regents that have holdings in any province in which the invested domain has holdings and any regents that have a seemingly legitimate claim to the domain may bid regency to support or oppose the ceremony.
Designation: A regent may designate an heir for his domain (or heirs for multiple portions of his domain). If the regent later perishes, the heir(s) automatically assume temporary control of the domain. The new regent gains half of the RP that they would normally collect until they undergo a Ceremony of Coronation. If a regent does not designate an heir, then any character with a reasonable claim to the domain can attempt to claim it; folk legends speak of the land itself choosing its next
guardian in some instances. A nondesignated regent that claims a domain does not gain any regency
until all other claimants are defeated and a Ceremony of Coronation is performed. This action requires no action check.
Divestiture: You attempt to claim a province that is currently claimed by another regent. This action can only be performed on a single province per action unless the realm’s current regent is physically present at the ceremony (willing or not). In order to perform this action, the target province or provinces must be occupied by your troops or in rebellion against their current regent. This action requires an action check with a DC of 10 + the total level of provinces that you are attempting to claim by conquest. All regents that have holdings in the province(s) may bid regency to support or oppose the ceremony. Temple regents may also use their temple holding levels in the province(s) to support or oppose the ceremony.
Lieutenancy: You declare a character as having the authority to speak on the domain’s behalf. A recognized lieutenant can stand in for the regent in almost any domain-level matter and is recognized as wielding the same authority as the regent himself. A domain’s heir is often a lieutenant first, but this need not be the case. A lieutenant character may spend character actions to provide bonuses to domain actions in the same way that the domain’s regent can. There is no limit to the number of lieutenants that a realm can have, but a clear system for determining the responsibilities and resolution of conflicts between them must exist.
Transfer: You willingly transfer one or more provinces, holdings, or other domain assets to another regent. Both regents must be physically present at the ceremony and willing participants. Physical coercion, magical compulsion, or other leverage may be used to create such “willingness” so long as the general public is unaware of the activity. This action requires no action check.
Vassalage: You accept the sworn vassalage of another regent. This ceremony requires the active participation of a temple regent capable of casting realm spell in the province in which the ceremony is performed (this counts as a court action for the temple regent’s domain). Once sworn, this ceremony provides the liege with a seasonal tribute of regency from the vassal subject. This tribute can be any amount, but does not generally exceed 1 RP per province or holding that the vassal holds in the liege’s name. This ceremony is binding but either can revoke it by issuing a decree of independence.
Contest Holding [Standard/Realm; Administrate; 1 GB]
A regent can neutralize another regent’s domain by contesting his influence. This action targets one holding held by an opposing regent. The DC for the domain action check is 10 plus the level of the targeted holding. On a successful check against a holding, you reduce the level of the contested holding by 1d3 levels; if the holding is reduced below level 0 then it is destroyed. This reduction is permanent, although subsequent rule actions could allow the holding to reestablish itself. Generally, holdings can only be contested by other holdings of the same type. Law holdings are also able to contest the other types of holdings.
Contesting another’s holding is like declaring war. A successful contest action robs the victim of regency and gold collection and other support from the holding, bidding wars for Contest actions can get ugly and expensive very fast. In most cases, regents use the Contest action as a threat or a negotiating tool, rather than actually performing it often.
Realm action: As a standard action, Contest affects one target holding. This action can be supported by court actions to affect the scope of an entire realm. For each court action spent, an additional holding of the same type or held by the same opposing regent can be targeted. Success rolls and costs (including RP bidding) are calculated separately for each target.
Contest Trade Route [Standard; Diplomacy; 1 GB]
A regent can neutralize another regent’s trade route by contesting his influence. Any law, temple, or guild holding can be used to contest a trade route that terminates or even just passes through its province. This action targets one trade route held by an opposing regent. The DC for the domain action check is 10 plus the level of the guild that holds the trade route. On a successful domain action check against, you destroy the trade route. This reduction is permanent, although subsequent rule actions could recreate the trade route.
Create Holding [Standard; Administrate; 1 GB]
A regent wishing to establish a holding in a province where he has no holdings of a specific type may attempt to create a holding (0). Once created, the regent is free to Rule the holding to a higher level (if the province level permits such growth) or to contest existing holdings in order to increase the influence of his holdings.
The base DC for the domain action check is 10. As usual for standard domain actions, holdings of the same type as you are attempting to create may apply their level as a bonus or penalty to the action check. In addition, however, law holdings may apply their levels as a bonus or penalty to the action check if the target holding is a guild or temple. As usual, all regents with a presence in the province may bid RP to support or oppose the check.
Create Ley line
Create Trade Route [Standard; Diplomacy; 1 GB]
Guild regents can attempt to open trade routes, thereby increasing the potential income of their domain. Trade routes are discussed in detail in the domain assets section of this chapter. The creation of a trade route requires a domain action check against a DC 10.
Diplomacy [Standard; Diplomacy; 1 GB]
Negotiations with other domains fall under the diplomacy action. Regents are assumed to maintain routine communication with their neighbors – such communications do not require the use of the Diplomacy action. Communicating routine threats, offers, or remarks to NPC regents doesn’t require the use of the Diplomacy Action, but if the result requires the creation of treaties, contracts, and other legal guarantees then the agreement is a Diplomacy action. Similarly, if a player receives a routine communication, he can make a brief response – i.e., accepting or declining a proposal – without forfeiting an action. The Diplomacy actions represent a full-court affair designed to achieve a specific diplomatic goal. The diplomacy action is used for a wide variety of goals. Diplomacy designed to create new or break existing alliances is the most obvious use of this action. This action can be used to convince a regent to use their holding levels in support of a future action. Diplomacy can be used to arrange for permissions for certain activities (such as mustering a military unit, passing a trade route through another regent’s province, arranging a political marriage, negotiate peace, arrange for a recognition of independence, or agree to a ransom for prisoners).
Most importantly, Diplomacy can be used to convince an NPC regent to take specific domain actions that may be to the PCs benefit (such as Building roads or seaports, performing a Ceremony, or Declaring war). During a Diplomacy action, negotiation may take place, and the result agreed upon can differ from the initial offer made by the active regent. The domains are generally free to make proposals and counter-proposals, even to widen the scope of the negotiations during the action. The active regent, however, is the one that decides what the final offer is, for purposes of resolving the action.
The base DC in a Diplomacy action is strongly determined by how much the target wants to reach an agreement with you. If the Diplomatic offers is a clear advantage to the target regent and has little or no cost to them, then the base DC is 5 (Easy). If the offer has some advantage to the regent that exceeds the cost, then the base DC is 10 (Routine). If the offer has a potential advantage to the regent but the costs may equal the potential gains, then the base DC is 15 (Hard). If the offer entails a large risk or cost for the target the base DC is 20 (Difficult). Attempting to reach an agreement that entails large risk for the regent may have a base DC of 25 or higher. Unlike most standard actions, a Diplomacy action does not involve one of the regent’s specific holdings. Instead, the Diplomacy action is performed directly by the court. The difference between the active and target regent’s court levels acts as a positive or negative modifier to the check.
Regency cannot be spent on Diplomatic actions. Instead, any regent aware of the action may spend GB to support/oppose the action. These GB represent money spent on gifts, bribes, informants, or other expenditures that are separate from any offer of Gold offered as part of the Diplomatic agreement. For example, a fair ransom for a noble prisoner is 1 GB per character level; the random for a regent might be equal to one year’s income for the domain. These GB made as part of the offer do not modify the base check on a 1-for-1 basis, instead, they would modify the “ease” of the offer. Special: You can take a diplomacy action to establish an embassy with another regent’s domain. This is a routine offer for most regents (DC 10). An embassy has no initial cost, but requires a 1 GB maintenance each domain turn. A domain with an established embassy may perform Diplomacy actions as Court actions. Furthermore, due to the familiarity of the ambassadors with the regent’s court, the embassy provides a +2 bonus to the domain success check for Diplomacy in that Realm.
Espionage [Standard; Gather Information; 1 GB]
This action includes any kind of spying or covert actions designed to gather information, hide information, or perform covert operations. Sending an obvious spy against an enemy regent is not a domain action; but attempting to do so in such a way that very few individuals are aware of the fact that the spy is in your employ requires significant expenditure of time and energy more difficult.The primary use of this action is to gather information about a specific target province. The success level determines the completeness of the information revealed. Table 5-17 provides examples of potential information revealed. At the DMs option, all regency bidding in an Espionage action is done via silent auction.
This action can also be used to hide information that would normally be visible to other regents in the province (such as the existence of a holding). The base DC for hiding information is 20. Unlike standard domain actions, regency cannot be spent to increase or decrease the chance of success; the active regent can’t spend regency to hide information without guaranteeing failure and the other regents in the area are unaware of the action. Only guild holdings provide a bonus to the check; other types of holdings are not as well geared for clandestine operation. The check receives a penalty equal to the number of law holdings in the province, unless the active regent holds the law holdings. If successful, the hidden information can only be revealed through as the target of an Espionage action (or perhaps through an Adventure action). Canny regents should perform Espionage actions in their own provinces on an irregular basis as a form of active counterespionage.
Special: You can take an espionage action to establish a spy network within a hostile or friendly province. This action has a base DC 20. A spy network has no initial cost (save for the action cost), but requires 1 GB in maintenance each domain turn. A domain with an established spy network in a province may perform Espionage actions in that province as a Court action. Furthermore, due to the established contacts, the network provides a +2 bonus to the domain success check for Espionage in that province.
Table 5-17: Espionage DCs
Check Information gained
5 Common rumors and information
10 Catalogue troop position and st rength in a province
15 Reveal the domain statistics of a province (attitudes, regents,
holding levels, etc.)
20 Create a minor domain event (such as a corruption)
20 Reveal the nature of diplomatic talks taking place between two
25+ Create a major domain event (such as a Great Captain/Heresy)
25+ Reveal the specifics of an existing diplomatic agreement between
25+ Reveal battle plans for movement of troops currently stationed
in the province
25+ Find the location of prisoners, criminal in hiding, etc.
30+ Trace the responsibility for an assassination, corruption, heresy,
or other covert intrigue in the province
Move Troops [Court/Standard; 0 GB]
At the regent’s command, any troops loyal to the regent march to any site in his domain. Moving troops into potentially hostile territory requires significant administrative overhead. Payroll and provisioning transport schedules and routes must be updated. Clearances and notifications must be made. Orders may have to be signed, checked, and counter-signed to prevent enemies from falsifying marching orders. There is no success check for this action; nor is there any cost save those associated with making the unit active (See Chapter Six: Armies and warfare).
Regents are only aware of troops that are in provinces in which they have assets. In order to determine the strength of a hostile realm, enemy regents must perform Espionage actions. Moving troops on a regular basis can deflect espionage attempts and reduce the likelihood of warning nearby nations during preparation for war. Since Espionage takes a month to perform successfully, a wary regent can throw off the reports of the strengths of his armies just by moving his troops two or three times a year. Such movement also makes it more difficult to sneak attack the wary regent; as the opposing regent may have no idea where his enemy’s troops are at any given time.
Court action: Units can move in provinces held by their regent without the use of this action. This action is required, however, to move units in any province not held by the regent assuming that permission has been granted. If the province regent does not give permission for the unit’s movement, then a standard action is necessary. Standard action: As a standard action, units can be moved in potentially hostile provinces. Such aggressive actions require the primary focus of the court for not only does the administrative overhead involved in placing an army in the field become magnified, but significant resources need to be allocated to dealing with various factions for war and peace among the domain’s populace.
Rule Holding [Standard/Realm; Administrate; 1 GB]
Regents spend significant time increasing the power of their domains. The Rule Holding domain actions allows you to increase the level of one of your existing holdings. This action includes the costs of construction of additional minor support buildings and personnel (shrines, warehouses and markets, guard posts and magistrates, etc) appropriate to the holding level.
The base DC for the domain action check is 10 + the current level of your holding. Unlike most standard actions, you cannot apply your holding level as a bonus to the domain action check, but regents with the same holding type may apply their holding levels normally. In addition, law holdings may support or oppose the ruling of temple or guild holdings. If this check is successful, your holding increases by one level. Realm action: Rule Holding normally only affects one holding. It may also be used as a realm-wide action. If a domain takes Rule Holding as its standard action, it may use additional court actions to Rule Holdings of the same type in other provinces. For each court action used, an additional holding of the same type may be affected. All costs and success checks are calculated individually for each province affected.
Rule Province [Standard; Administrate; 1 GB per currentlevel of target province]
Province level represents the relative level of organization in a province. Most provinces have large numbers of citizens that exist, to a great extent, on their own; neither enjoying the benefits of civilization nor paying its price (increased taxes, feudal duties, and other obligations). By ruling a province, a regent attempts to increase their level of control over the populace. This growth can be due to reforms in your domain to sponsor growth or expansion, by opening up new areas to agriculture, or by sponsoring trade and industry; but the net effect is an increase in your province level.
The base DC for the domain action is 10 + the current level of your province. Unlike most standard actions, no holding levels can be applied to support or oppose this action and RP cannot be spent to support or oppose the action. A court can only take this action once per domain turn. Regardless of whether this action fails or succeeds, an additional attempt to Rule Province (even a different province) in the same domain turn automatically fails.