27 February 2014

Let's Build Castles!

Been writing about Holdings today. The basic idea is that my domain game is played out mostly on a hex map, and each hex has a single holding. There are only three types (so far), mostly because there are three kinds of resources that the land gives you. We've been over Manpower, and Gold is a pretty obvious thing to welcome, too. Defense rounds out the third- there's a reason that one builds castles, and that's represented here, too.

First are Cities, which gives you lots of gold but not that much manpower- which makes sense, since cities tend to be wealthy but largely full of free guildsmen, merchant, business owners, and foreigners who have no loyalty to the crown. That's just the nature of the thing. Since they don't have an obligation to you, only the people who aren't doing much else will serve you. Cities are of average defensibility, since they tend to grow haphazardly but they can be pretty flammable.

Next up are Temples, which have decent manpower and decent gold. They're the easiest to invade, though, since they're not built for defense as much as to look impressive. Not much to say about Temples, although I'm thinking of toying with some religiosity benefits, such that if you have a lot of temples, maybe religiously-motivated warriors will stick around, or maybe the gods themselves will give you benefits. That could be fun, and appropriate for the light-fantasy setting. Maybe something as mild as just having people happier...

Then you have Castles, which have good manpower but little gold. People like to live near castles and they support a thriving ecosystem of serfs and manors, but castles are expensive to maintain. They're also the most difficult to assault. These castles needn't be official "castles," they can easily be border forts. The Castle type just represents an important free-standing structure in the hex.

Last come Villages, which are just lightly occupied hexes that are still controlled by somebody important. They aren't very good at anything, giving low manpower, gold, and defense. 

Each Holding has a level associated with it, which represents the basic productivity of the Holding, which is modified by the Holding's type. Castles get +1 Manpower, for example, so that a Level 1 castle gives 2 Manpower/season, and a level 5 Castle would give 6 Manpower. These are all totally made up numbers, by the way, I'm still nailing down exactly what the base should be and what the units of "men" should represent. I want to lean towards a simple conversion like 1 Manpower = 500 men, but I'll have to check my population density estimates again. That'll be forthcoming.

I'm thinking of including resources for each hex, as well. Something very, very simple, since it's already getting to be a bit much of the behind-the-scenes math and dice rolling. Probably something as simple as "metal deposits give +1 Gold / season" or "black soil gives +1 Manpower/season" or whatever. Maybe a list in the Appendix? Certainly nothing that'd belong on the map. On one hand, you could also completely ignore the terrain itself and reason that if you really built up a giant city in what seems to be like totally inhospitable terrain you must have something to keep your population going; this deals with the problem from the other direction, see?

Well, I'll keep hacking away at it. I'm in the stage where I'm collecting all my ideas and putting them into an actual .odt file and then trying to make them work together. There should really only be a couple of interlocking systems at play here, and I think I'm getting closer to making it functional. Wish me luck!

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