Domain Play: Cheatsheet

Bullet points and last thoughts.

* Each Domain Turn is one month long.
* Each domain hex is 6 miles, side to side; that’s a hair over 31 square miles.

Economy Cheatsheet
* Your Industry score is the percentage of your population creating food and wealth; the others aren’t.
* Each 5000 of population requires a hex of farmland and a town or a few villages to hold overflow.
* Half your population should be farmers on the plains. You should tweak the numbers so that they don’t produce any taxes, just food for your populace. Since even the non-industrious eat, you’ll also need to account for that here. Farmers output is variable over the year.
* Each 10 working villagers produce 1 gp of taxes, rain or shine.
* Each 10 working townies produce 5 gp of taxes.
* Each 10 working citydwellers produce 10gp of taxes.
* If it’s near a Resource, increase those numbers by 1gp each, per resource.
* 1 regular soldier costs 25 gp per turn: you should have at most 1 full-time soldier per 250 villagers, 50 townies or 25 citydwellers, resources and industry notwithstanding.
* Construction projects take 50 laborers* and 1 month per 5000 gp. That’s enough for a small structure. A village can be founded by building 10 small structures in the location and then setting the workers loose.
* Food probably won’t travel forever. I’d say the farmer has to be within 1 day’s travel of the consumer, whether by road or river, and that the infrastructure to speed and safen travel also needs to eat.

Minister Care and Feeding
Ministers have different skills. Talk to the right one to get something done, since they’re making skillchecks on your behalf. They have agendas themselves, so you may need to maneuver around them sometimes. Ministers have different relationships with each other and the resources at your disposal; they may be able to obtain or deny orders of magnitude of discretionary funds when the people’s interests, their interests and your interests align. The people have a relationship with the ministers too, even if it is one of ignorance.

Treat ministers a bit like henchmen, because they are.

Learn to operate on their scale. Revenues with city holdings are in the hundreds of thousands or even multi millions, but you’ll turn around and plow much of that back into liabilities. Since there are a few sources of percentile swings in the system (population increase, farm generation in winter, market forces), keeping discretionary spending well below a percent of tax income is a good idea, to avoid having to liquidate the army.

Consider making big ticket assets into ministers, if you can: rather than paying the court wizard from tax revenue, give the wizard a minister hat and a finger in the ledger. While she’ll have an agenda, at least this way she’s profit-sharing. The same goes with a high level fighter general or even supernatural allies like gold dragons or unicorns.
If they won’t go for that, consider feudalism: split the domain, leaving you as regent of the remainder, with them having authority over some slice of land and its populace. As long as you can remain allies, this significantly lowers their price tag, though it may limit your future options.

Populace care and feeding
Pick your ministers well. Listen to them. Keep policy and polity aligned.

While you have to spend time and money raising and moving troops, keeping a standing army gets costly quickly; keep them small.
The per-XP price tag on active soldiers reflects the rarity of high level creatures and their own agendas. The rules are a bit wonky anyway; surely active duty versus reserve, front line versus support, sack-the-village versus spare-the-foe should make a difference? A CR 1/8 guard should be 60 gp per month assuming the cost of skilled labor, but this system hands him over at only 25 gp. That’s so that you can afford your muster of knights (700gp a pop!) and suchlike. By the way, THAT means that it takes an optimal 14 city dwellers and therefore 25 farmers per knight, twice as many townies, ten times as many villagers! Chew on that with your hundred-knight units against a cast of thousands of grunts!
Orcs and goblins and such probably charge downmarket rates.
Plot wins; if you can recruit soldiers to your cause through impassioned dialogue, it’s entirely possible they’ll serve at under-rate. That’s glue over my XP rule, but I think it’s good glue.
I might even assign a household of men at arms and knights for free or as part of the reward for investing in a castle, sort of thing. That’d be a quest reward, not necessarily a default mechanic.

I didn’t touch on Elves and other magical wildpeople here. Either they live in cities or they live in magically sustained extended families. Either way, I’m not going into their economics except to remark that elven “farmers” are probably super-effective, and that their fields are probably forests.

Society Estimation Rules of Thumb
A Resource tapped is worth 1 soldier per 250 workers.

Each village of 500 people implies 50 gp taxes, thus 2 soldiers, and a like number of farmers.
Each town of 3000 people implies 1500 gp taxes, thus 60 soldiers (and guards and suchlike), and a like number of farmers.
Each city of 10,000 people implies 10,000 gp taxes, thus 400 soldiers (and guards and suchlike), and a like number of farmers.
Increase farmer and urbanite population by the Industry percentage, and then do the farmers again.

Each 30 guards could buy you a knight and a noble squire.

The per-XP price tag reflects the rarity of high level creatures and their own agendas. The rules are a bit wonky anyway; surely active duty versus reserve, front line versus support, sack-the-village versus spare-the-foe should make a difference? A CR 1/8 guard should be 60 gp per month skilled labor, but this system hands him over at only 25 gp. That’s so that you can afford your muster of knights (700gp a pop!) and suchlike. By the way, THAT means that it takes an optimal 14 city dwellers and therefore 25 farmers per knight, twice as many townies, ten times as many villagers! Chew on that with your hundred-knight units against a cast of thousands!
Plot wins; if you can recruit soldiers to your cause through impassioned dialogue, it’s entirely possible they’ll serve at under-rate. That’s glue over my XP rule, but I think it’s good glue.


* 50 laborers?! I reconsidered the 200 previously specified 🙂

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About lackhand

I was born in 1984 and am still playing games, programming computers, and living in New York City. View all posts by lackhand

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