The Path of Kings
There are two levels of governance in a Kingdom: the Domain and the Realm. Note that, while the term “Kingdom” is used to denote the whole structure of the state, the nation does not formally have to be a hereditary monarchy.
The Domain is the basic unit of governance of a Kingdom. A Domain consists of one or more hexes with a population center or settlement. A hex without a population center must always border a hex with a settlement to be part of a Domain; i.e. the minimum number of hexes in a Domain is 1 (a hex with a population center), and the maximum number of hexes in a Domain is 7 (a hex with a population center and six bordering hexes). A Kingdom can have a high or a low density of settlements.
Domain Leader and Abilities
Domain Leaders are extremely important for the governance of the Domain because they determine the ability scores of their Domain. A Domain has six ability scores which parallel those of its leader.
- Power measures the Kingdom’s real and perceived military strength. Its character parallel is Strength.
- Commerce measures the Kingdom’s ability to trade. Its character parallel is Dexterity.
- Economy measures the productive capacities of the Kingdom. Its character parallel is Constitution.
- Statecraft measures the Kingdom’s ability to govern and minimize bureaucracy and corruption. Its character parallel is Intelligence.
- Prestige measures the Kingdom’s cultural influence. Its character parallel is Wisdom.
- Authority measures the Kingdom’s support among its subjects. Its character parallel is Charisma.
Domain checks are effectively ability checks. A natural 20 is considered an automatic success, while a natural 1 is considered an automatic failure.
Note that a settlement adds its size modifier to all the Domain’s ability scores.
Naming a settlement the capital of the Kingdom increases all ability scores of the Domain of that population center by 2. Relocating a capital increases Unrest in the settlement that previously hosted the capital (see below).
Domain Control DC
Most Domain ability checks are made versus the Control DC of a Domain. A Domain’s Control DC = 10 + the number of its hexes + the size value of its population center. For example, a Domain containing a large town and three hexes has a Control DC of 18 (10 + 5 + 3). The maximum Control DC of a Domain is 25 (10 + 7 (hexes) + 8 (Metropolis)).
Domains are the backbone of a Kingdom’s economy. Production takes place in the Domain’s hexes and is centralized first in its settlements. Each hex contains a number of potentially extractable assets: food (crops, cattle, game, etc.), resources (ore, stone, wood, etc.), and bullion (platinum, gold, silver, copper) depending on its terrain. These values are based on a predominantly human(oid) kingdom.
- Food: 170
- Resources: 20
- Food: 3
- Resources: 25
- Bullion: 4
- Food: 125
- Resources: 125
- Food: 90
- Resources: 165
- Bullion: 8
- Food: 30
- Resources: 30
- Food: 25
- Resources: 225
- Bullion: 15
- Food: 340
- Resources: 40
One food, resource, or bullion point is worth 100 gp. However, trading food or resource for gold is seldom a straightforward process.
Production, consumption, upkeep
All food and resources of a Domain’s hex(es) are seasonally produced and consumed by its population center before any surpluses. The capacity for production and consumption depends on the size of the settlement. When a population center is not connected by the Kingdom’s capital by other governed hexes, it cannot grow beyond a large town.
- Size modifier: 1
- Food consumption: 90
- Resource upkeep: 10
- Size modifier: 2
- Food consumption: 135
- Resource upkeep: 15
- Size modifier: 3
- Food consumption: 200
- Resource upkeep: 25
- Size modifier: 4
- Food consumption: 900
- Resource upkeep: 100
- Size modifier: 5
- Food consumption: 1,800
- Resource upkeep: 200
- Size modifier: 6
- Food consumption: 2,250
- Resource upkeep: 350
- Size modifier: 7
- Food consumption: 5,000
- Resource upkeep: 500
- Size modifier: 8
- Food consumption: 7,250
- Resource upkeep: 750
Production is equal to the amount of food and resources in the Domain’s hexes multiplied with the population center’s size modifier.
Food consumption and resource upkeep is the number of food and resource points a Domain needs for basic subsistence. Any remaining food, resource, and bullion points represent an economic surplus.For each governed hex belonging to the Domain beyond the hex of the settlement, add 10% to consumption and upkeep values.
Note that a settlement adds its size modifier to all the Domain’s ability scores.
Surplus and taxation
The economic surplus of a Domain is divided between the Domain and the Realm (by central taxation). The degree of central taxation determines whether the Kingdom has a more feudalist or absolutist character in its surplus appropriation.
- A low taxation means that central government only appropriates 1:4 of the Domain’s surplus. Most of the Domain’s surplus is spent within the Domain itself. This style of taxation is in line with a decentralized economic policy. Low taxation increases a Domain’s Commerce score by 2, but penalizes its Statecraft score by 2.
- An average taxation means that central government appropriates 1:2 of the Domain’s surplus. This style of taxation strikes a balance between a centralized and decentralized economic policy.
- A high taxation means that central government appropriates 3:4 of the Domain’s surplus. Most of the Domain’s surplus is centralized and then redistributed over all Domains. This style of taxation is in line with a centralized economic policy. High taxation increases a Domain’s Statecraft score by 2, but penalizes its Commerce score by 2.
The population center is also the base for a Domain’s security forces, providing the settlement and its hinterland with a militia or garrison to keep order and peace within its borders. The consumption and upkeep of these units are included in the total consumption and upkeep of the settlements (i.e. they are free).
- Small garrisons free up population for food and resource production, but decrease the overall safety and military capacity of the Kingdom. Small garrisons increase a Domain’s Economy score by 2, but penalizes its Power score by 2.
- Average garrisons strike a balance between production and security. Any military units in the Domain gain a +1 bonus to attack rolls and AC, as they are supported by local militias.
- Large garrisons increase overall safety and military capacity of the Kingdom, but decrease food and resource production. Large garrisons increase a Domain’s Power score by 2, but penalizes its Economy score by 2. Any military units in the Domain gain a +2 bonus to attack rolls and AC, as they are supported by local militias.
Unpopular policies and measures create Unrest within a Domain. The degree of Unrest is measured in Unrest points.
- When Unrest is between 6 and 10, production is sabotaged and politics disrupted within the Domain.
- When Unrest is between 11 and 15 the Domain rebels against its leader.
- When Unrest is higher than 15 the Domain secedes from the Kingdom. However, during the Realm phase, the Ruler has a chance to reintegrate the Domain in the Kingdom.
The Realm represents the central authority and power of the Kingdom.
Just as the Domains, the Realm has six ability scores that parallel those of its Ruler.
The function of the Realm is to use tax income for “national” investments and spending, especially the formation and upkeep of military forces. Furthermore, the Realm engages in diplomatic and trade relations with foreign nations, and claims new hexes for the Kingdom’s expansion.
For each Domain in the Realm, all of the Realm’s ability scores increase by 1.
Realm Control DC
Most Realm ability checks are made versus the Control DC of the Realm. The Realm’s Control DC is 15 +1 per 5 Domains in the Kingdom.
Each season, the Ruler may choose to appoint a number of Delegates, effectively decentralizing some of his/her power. Delegates may take decisions regarding their Legate without permission or prior consultation of the Ruler. Delegating power increases a certain Realm ability score by 1, depending on the type of Legate. If the Sovereign overturns a decision of a Delegate this increases Unrest in all Domains by 1. If the Sovereign deposes a Delegate before the end of the season, this increases Unrest in all Domains by 1+1d4.
The Delegates and their Legates
- Chancellor: The Chancellor is responsible for the administration and bureaucracy of the Realm. Realm Statecraft increases by 1.
- Field Marshal: The Field Marshal is responsible for all offensive troops. He/she determines strategic and tactical military actions. Realm Power increases by 1.
- First Diplomat: The First Diplomat is responsible for diplomatic relations with other nations. Realm Statecraft increases by 1.
- High Priest: The High Priest is responsible for the religious well-being of the population. He/she determines divine Realm spells. Realm Prestige and Authority increase by 1.
- Lord Justice: The Lord Justice is responsible for upholding the Law in the Kingdom. Realm Authority increase by 1.
- Grand Magister: The Grand Magister is responsible for arcane magic in the Kingdom. He/she determines arcane Realm spells. Realm Power increases by 1.
- Secretary of Commerce and Industry: The Secretary of Commerce and Industry is responsible for taxation and economic planning. He/she determines the level of taxation per Domain, and economic Realm improvements. Realm Commerce increases by 1.
- Warden: The Warden is responsible for internal security in the Kingdom. He/she determines the level of garrisons per Domain. Realm Authority and Power increase by 1.
From the perspective of the Kingdom, there are four types of hexes: occupied, wild, explored, and governed.
- Occupied hexes are regions that belong to another state. These hexes can only be annexed through war, prestige, or diplomatic means.
- Wild hexes are regions that belong to no state and are unexplored.
- Explored hexes are wild regions that have been explored, but are not yet (part of) a Domain. These hexes can be formally claimed by a Kingdom, but they are not yet a substantial part of the Kingdom.
- Governed hexes. Only a governed hex produces and consumes food and resources. A hex becomes governed when it becomes part of a Domain, i.e. when it is adjacent to a hex with a population center and/or when it contains a settlement of itself; alternatively, if a hex is not part of a Domain, but it is adjacent to a hex with a hinterland fort and/or when it contains a fort of itself, a hex is considered governed directly by the Realm. Establishing fortifications is thus a means to expand the real borders of the Kingdom without establishing additional settlements and Domains.
In order to peacefully subdue an existing settlement which, the Realm has to make either a successful Power or Prestige check versus DC 15 + the settlement’s size modifier. POWER: If the check succeeds, the population center is incorporated into the Kingdom, but Unrest in the Domain increases by 1. If the check fails, the settlement is incorporated in the Kingdom, BUT its size decreases one step and Unrest in the Domain increases with the settlement’s original size modifier. PRESTIGE: if the check succeeds, the settlement is incorporated into the Kingdom. If the check fails, the settlement is not incorporated in the Kingdom.
If there is no existing population center and the hex does not border a population center of the Kingdom, the Kingdom can establish a colony in the hex, creating a new Domain. A colony always starts at the size of a thorp.