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Messages - De-Legro

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Realms Chat / Re: Basic Concept - for discussion
« on: November 19, 2013, 12:20:13 AM »
Another quick idea. Tie the rulers "weak" power into having some sort of control over trade. This could be either by royal decree and tariffs, the royal house "owning" all the trade ships, some sort of link to the "divine" nature of the ruler and his "ability" to grant clear seas and safe passage or some combination.

Realms Chat / Re: Basic Concept - for discussion
« on: November 19, 2013, 12:17:52 AM »

Privateer= pirate with the blessing of a king/queen.  Pirates became privateers and privateers became nobles.

I have always wondered about this. Several English Privateers of the era were knighted. But the British Honour system was in place by then also. I've never been able to find out if they were given honorary knighthoods under the Honour system or true knighthoods that would have raised them into nobility.

Realms Chat / Re: Basic Concept - for discussion
« on: November 18, 2013, 09:29:57 PM »
I'm down with an honor system but what exactly are we calling conscripts?

Improvised weapons.

Realms Chat / Re: Basic Concept - for discussion
« on: November 18, 2013, 01:41:46 PM »
I guess it would be possible to challenge others with the aim to reduce their power...however, what I would dearly like to see as part of this culture are challenges to others which result in the loser having to pay tribute, or to swear fealty, or to vote in favor of the winner in an election. Basically everyone has to guard himself 'for only the strong may hold power' - so vassals may challenge their liege, or vassals of one lord may challenge each other... heck, you could have a married couple challenge each other for dominance within their own immediate family!

This could tempered by exemption during external warfare - however, who then enforces these exemptions?

This would enable quite a bit of internal politics....I could see Marchlord A making a secret deal with count B agreeing that they would not challnge each other, only others.

Might I suggest that a penalty only be levied if the challenger loses. Personal experience is that people will abuse this in a way that feudal nobles would not. If you attach any sort of stigma on not accepting a challenge, all you do is set up a situation that allows the powerful to go around challenging in fights they know they can't lose. Either that or make the fights "even" by setting a lance limit on the forces each noble can bring into battle.

Realms Chat / Re: Basic Concept - for discussion
« on: November 18, 2013, 06:35:35 AM »
Pirate lords makes no sense.

Medieval vessels aren't the semi-professionally crewed caravels of the age of exploration, or the large galleons of later. Galleys, cogs, longships, knarrs, those are the vessels to be considered. To manage a business operation either requires share-holder rowers (in the implicit Viking model of co-plunderers and traders) or slave-rowers, especially given the difficulty of setting wages in a pre-monetary society with little conception of contractual term employment for labor rather than skills.

When we think of boats, we should be thinking about who rows them. That leads me to think it's a slave-holding society. That means its a society with functioning marketplaces, at least some degree of raiding probably, and strong class divisions. Like the Athenian colonies of ancient Greece.

I dislike the idea of nobles as exiles. They're nobles. Plus the exilic persecution mentality doesn't fit well with the other attributes we've discussed. Theres nothing maritime or mercantile about that identity.

I also dislike the idea of self-sufficiency. Self-sufficient groups don't develop extensive maritime cultures. That would make no sense at all. The only reason you sail beyond your shores is if you have an excess of something or a need of something. Having lots of small self-sufficient islands is boring for gameplay too; we need islands that are doomed if they go their own way. That creates a natural economic logic to the realm: we can feud and intrigue all we want, but we MUST band together to survive on some level. Plus, non-self-sufficiency forces trade, which forces in-game maritime activity.

I like the idea of the ruler being quasi-divine; symbolically united with the sea. Maybe the ruler is viewed as an incarnation of the ocean god?

One can be self sufficient, while still desiring either luxuries, or more resources then they can reasonably expect from their own holdings. Just because I have a iron mine doesn't mean I don't want more iron for example. Look to medieval trade, predominantly it is things like expensive fabrics, spices and the like for long range trade. You need to define exactly what self sufficient means. Part of my concept, which I left out, is that escalating hostilities threatens their self-sufficiency, as materials such as metal and probably wood are going to be needed in amounts they just can't provide. This requires them to look to the mainland for expansion, while at the same time their traditions have them hesitate, worried that main land colonies will soon become "soft". You will also notice that I tried to make the island dependent on each other for what supplies of wood and metal exist. The larger realm is self sufficient in terms of providing some level of adequate resources, each sub realm would not be. This internal trade need would promote a need for ships even if we no outside trade was engaged in, which is unlikely since no matter how much you have, generally you want MORE of something.

In terms of exiles. Exiles from WHAT should be the question. We have plenty of examples of English and Scottish lords being exiled to France and the opposite. As was stated in;quote=8154;topic=1229.0

we are establishing new holdings entirely in this game world. Would it be a stretch that the nobles that move to the islands either in part or in total are nobles who for whatever reason chose to set out and establish new holdings rather then chafe under some sort or treaty and restriction placed on them at home? Being exile WITHIN a nation might preclude a maritime or mercantile identity, though I don't see it being so rather it simple doesn't automatically lead to one. However when you have a nation of exiles? Well if they came from a a maritime/mercantile society, there is a good chance their new society would follow in that tradition, so long as circumstances warrant it. Position is likely to be the key here, as it was with Italian mercantile states and things like the silk road cities. If you are situated along trade routes, you make use of that location. Again though I stress that the abstract nature of trade in the game could well relegate mercantile identity to RP only. I might be wrong but I don't see a island nation being able to secure a surplus of trade streams that we can then on sell, unless we control islands sitting between to land masses.

Finally with regards to needing slave rowers. Ships like the Knarr and Cogs relied mostly on sails for propulsion. While they had the capacity to be rowed when needed, that was a short range possibility only. I'm not saying we don't need the concept of slaves to crew the ships, simply that viable wind powered ships existed, without going to the 15th century for ships like the Carvel or Carrack.

Realms Chat / Re: Basic Concept - for discussion
« on: November 18, 2013, 04:37:59 AM »
Yeah. Armored warriors would be the safest and easiest bet. I like the lance idea, but it may be too restrictive for some players that want force compositions different from the standard lance. If we can all agree on equivalent lance alternatives, I'd say that's a winner.

Formulate a point system based on Armour/weapon/equipment. Give every type of equipment that you want to count a number of points, then sum together how many points are in whatever is a "typical" lance. Then it is as easy as determining how many "lance equivalents you command.

So if you made plate armor worth 3 and chain worth 1, sword worth 2 lance worth 3 horse worth 3 shield worth 2 (random numbers for the sake of the example) Then a if you declared a lance to be 1 cavalry in plate with a lance, accompanied by 5 chain mail warriors armed with sword and shield you have a total of 38 points for a lance. Every 38 points of troops a player has, no matter the composition could then be worth 1 vote. Depending on the exact culture you go with you could declare some weapons or equipment not included. So that plate armored crossbow doesn't count, cause real men don't use crossbows or something.

Problem with this is that is is MUCH more work to deal with then for instance just going with the number of medium and heavy troops. I don't know if you can even see the weapon loads of other players, so if not it is also open to lots of lying.

Conduct & Design Discussion / Re: Feedback on the Manual
« on: November 18, 2013, 02:04:59 AM »
"Each of these can contain any number of smaller types, so a kingdom could have one ore more duchies, marches, counties or baronies, but not the other way around (a barony can not contain a kingdom)."

Can a barony contain other baronies? Otherwise should it be made clear that only the higher 5 ranks can contain sub realms?

"Realms that are part of another realm count towards that realm with all their nobles and lands,"

I would change this to be something like, "Realms that are part of another larger realm, count towards that realms for the purposes of noble and settlement stastics"

" as deep as you want"
I would change deep for multi-leveled.

"Other than characters, settlements can only belong to one realm."

I would rephrase this to be something like "As opposed to characters, settlements can only belong to one realm"

"You can travel by sea after embarking at a dock."

Should this make mention of needing appropriate permissions to use the dock?

"When travelling at sea, simply end your travel on land and you will automatically disembark where your route hits solid ground, switching you to normal land travel."
My reading of this is the end point does not need to be a dock? If so I think that should be explicitly mentioned

Conduct & Design Discussion / Re: Feedback on the Manual
« on: November 18, 2013, 01:44:17 AM »
also on

The section " in sum total the knights of a realm can be powerful political forces, if they do not fall into apathy." Feels clunky to me. Something like, "when united the knights of a realm can be a powerful political force" is more natural to me.


"existing realm by inheritance, conquest or selection."

The "selection" bit confuses me. Does that refer to being appointed to a rulers position?

" by taking on more vassals and sub-realms and growing in size and power until you can either declare independence from your superior realm, or even reverse the tables and exchange positions. "

Is this case of a good suggestion of how to go about it, or is it an actual game mechanic requirement?

Realms Chat / Re: Basic Concept - for discussion
« on: November 17, 2013, 11:57:42 PM »
Privateers in service of lord so and so would be more accurate. this would be a good RP element for bastard borns to earn a family name, and to be awarded land.

And how will this play out without a real concept of ships? Raiding enemy territories? The concept of a Privateer was a method to raise ships for war that did not require the crown resources and/or committing naval officers to oversea them. This would be hard to apply to a realm that is already going to be at a possible disadvantage in terms troops without a major city. In general it requires a significant amount of forces being provided by private groups. So far as I can see the Island nations while not particularly united in a single realm are meant to be reasonably united and the sub realm level. Will privateers thus be sub realm forces given letters of "marque" by the central authority to act on behalf of the realm in general?

We are also talking about a concept that came into play during the 16th century, and so was not part of most the medieval period. It actually grew out of the need for merchant groups to field their own forces to protect themselves against increasing pirate activity, when national navies were unable to provide the level of protection needed. Originally the crown gave permission to these private merchant groups to attack pirate vessels only. However when war came about it didn't take the Monarch long to realise that these were a resource they could use.

Generally I am against concept like this, because all to often they lead to people thinking more in a Caribbean pirate mindset then a medieval one. Pirates and Privateers like it or not a popularly linked to that time and place.

Realms Chat / Re: Basic Concept - for discussion
« on: November 17, 2013, 11:48:30 PM »
Okay to flesh out a bit on my previous topic

  • The over-arching concept I had was that our nobles are exiles. They have ended up with island holdings not by choice, but necessity. True to their noble sensibilities though if you ask them they swear that it was of their choosing, as they wished to challenge themselves and prove their worth.
  • Culturally I was thinking a group that is fiercely self sufficient. This feeds into the sub-realm independence, while they practically see the need for uniting, they are also trying to hold on to their own power and thus in most cases the central authority is weakened. Unless outside events force them to act otherwise, the sub realms are quite happy with games of intrigue and power plays amongst themselves.
  • Dynamic Traditionalist. I am still fleshing this out but the general concept is that we have a very traditionalist culture. However in a nod to the practical mindset, and the necessities of island living, while they appear hide bound they actually can be quite flexible. Things to remember is that for the most part they would be cautious about change, although they have been known to be quite radical and quick changing on occasion, which leads to
  • Unpredictable. Like the weather and conditions that dominate their lives the nobles of the Island are unpredictable. Their gods are representation and personifications of things like the winds, the ocean and its currents. This should be an occasional thing like, more like a unexpected typhoon. It happens enough that they have a reputation for it, but no so common that others are unwilling to deal with them.
  • Fate is also a very important aspect to the islands. Things like prophets, auguries and portents are very important. This plays into both their unpredictable nature (they will quickly change their stance if unfavorable portents appear) and the dynamic Traditions stance (again they will drop a tradition quickly if the fates appear to require it)
Realm Influences
  • Weak central ruler, somewhat similar to the popular concept of the Irish High King. While Tom has said he isn't keen on competition for this position, perhaps if the position was for life, or was held by a family until its demise, at which stage competition for the position would begin. Of particular interest may be the sacred connections the Irish High Kings whom supposedly married a goddess. Our own King could be tied in some way to the Ocean Gods, either through something like marriage, could claim to have the Ocean gods blood in some way, or the ability to demand fealty from the Ocean gods.
  • Many Oriental cultures are Island based, such as Korea and Japan. Borrowing elements from these culture would help forge a sea based realm that isn't the stereotypical viking raiders.
Troop Composition
  • Given their strong maritime needs cavalry and heavily armored infantry are a rarity. Crossbows are also relatively difficult to use on a ship deck (or so I am given to understand, the reloading on a moving deck being the issue)
  • Strong reliance on archers and medium infantry.
Sub Realm Ideas
     Please note that I made these idea's before Tom stated how many islands we are likely to have. I also make some assumptions about resource distribution that may never be true. Finally the names are just random.

Island of Sileni
  • Largest island in our chain, large enough that the ruler of this island has 2 or 3 sub-realms under him.
  • Largest Producer of wood, thus of vital importance to the entire realms ship building efforts
Obviously this realm should be a real contender to dominate the others, with its advantage in man power, land and the strategic resource of wood. So what limits it?
  • Relatively poor in metal
  • Ancestor Worship. This group has a strong ancestor cult. In particular the actions of the living have a direct impact on the holdings their ancestors control in their death plane. While it is possible to make gains for their ancestors by acting against those not on their island, the biggest gains are to be made against those that practice the same ancestor worship. Thus the nobles are content to scheme against each other rather then attempt to dominate the realm.
Island Mercia
  • Has Mountain regions
  • Main Source of Metal for the realm
  • While most the realm use metal predominately for weapons, the abundance this island has sees them emphasize heavy infantry to a degree that is rare amongst their peers
  • Very militant culture. They are also more then willing to act as mercenaries for the other island realms, providing a core of heavy infantry for a price
Trader Islands
  • I'm not a huge fan personally of a mercantile culture, since trade is so abstracted in this game and we don't actually build ships. In my opinion this places a burden on RP to carry these elements that I have rarely seen maintained for any length of time. However it is obvious that there is a strong desire for this element, this is my idea of a compromise, a sub realm dedicated to it
  • Confederation of a few of the smaller islands
  • As each island is small and unlikely to be completely self sufficient they have developed a strong culture of trade
  • They are also quite willing to take what they need by force, though this is rarely done under their own flag.
  • More then any other group they emphasize the aspects of fate and weather religion due to their heavy reliance on the sea.


Realms Chat / Re: Basic Concept - for discussion
« on: November 17, 2013, 09:36:23 PM »
Yeah, some local variety. I would like to see some mix of tough sea dogs, maybe even pirates and peaceful fishermans/traders.

noble pirates?

Realms Chat / Re: Basic Concept - for discussion
« on: November 17, 2013, 06:44:02 AM »
Good ideas. However, we definitely want sub-realms, to bring in the greek model of small, independent states.

Quick idea until I have a time for a proper write up. As a group they believe they are superior to the mainlanders, having learnt to thrive on their islands. The are overly concerned with appearances and status, competiting endlessly at all levels.

In terms of the over-arching ruler, while generally weak, the position is prestigious leading to fierce competition to hold the rank. It really only has true power when the sub-realms unite in times of crisis. These leads to the saying "A good leader marshals his power in the time of crisis, a great leader manufactures the crisis"

Conduct & Design Discussion / Re: Would You Pay to Play?
« on: November 16, 2013, 12:11:52 AM »
Too many bosses and not enough workers... I have worked in firms like this before and the end result is always delays and confusion.  Would a battle of many nobles without armies not be the same?

Now if you have 10 nobles in a battle but they are not leading armies (or very small ones), then orders begin to become confusing, egos begin to show, you have to watch your own back for betrayal.  Who is in charge of the battle?  They all want their part of the glory by nature.

However give a noble an army and they are busy leading it.  The army is power... they are a tool to be used but at the same time they are loyal to you and watch your back.

So in other words... reduce the power of multiple individual nobles when attacking unless they have armies.  10 soldiers is a good round number but a sliding scale could be used.  If someone spawns 10 nobles to attack you, he would need 100 solders to do the job without risking the nobles.  If he does it anyway...and those nobles are killed/captured/wounded in the process then the player is no longer able to use that as a way to advance and instead will be forced on the defensive.

It also becomes a reason for nobles with troops to hand them out to others.

That is a very interesting suggestion.

Conduct & Design Discussion / Re: Would You Pay to Play?
« on: November 15, 2013, 03:26:04 PM »
which I will fix soon.

Not yet sure about the noble-without-soldiers-in-battle. You see, I don't want individual nobles to be able to attack, loot and take settlements.

Is this going to be a real concern long term though? Once regions start to get their walls up and have decent militia?

Conduct & Design Discussion / Re: Would You Pay to Play?
« on: November 15, 2013, 02:51:43 PM »
As to the original question of this thread. Yes I would pay to play. The asking amount is pretty modest, the game even at this point is pretty fun. The only thing that I see slowing it down is if we don't get enough players.

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