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How do you manage strongholds?

Posted: Thu Nov 21, 2019 2:08 pm
by tvance929
New guy here... I LOVE this system so far as it will have the players really concerned with their wealth. I'm going to make them track everything they buy (probably not encumbrance) to give them a better feeling when they actually attain money in the world.

So I also love the idea of strongholds, etc... Im just not sure how to manage that in and out of game sessions... do you as the DM just make sure the players are subtracting the gold from their accounts as they build? I guess you would also need to keep track of timeline as they are building.

Hmmm.. so something like in between campaigns there is some pre-determined amount of lapsed time ( say 6 months ) and so before you start your next campaign you would have the players submit building plans, subtract money and you would determine what got done during that time...?

Would love to hear how people handle this.

Thanks!

Re: How do you manage strongholds?

Posted: Thu Nov 21, 2019 6:38 pm
by Longman
Good question.

The answer is, I don't manage it. I have never run or played a game in any system where the party properly managed a stronghold. As a GM I have enough trouble getting them to manage their own personal expenses let alone running a castle.

You'd have to check with your players if that's something they were interested in. Some players like bookwork, using craft skills, close tracking of expenses, and so on. Others hate it, and just want to get out there. I've always had some of the latter kind of player in every group I have played in, and haven't ever gotten past that.

The rules in a new system called "Forbidden Lands" are the best I have seen for doing this in a streamlined way. The whole system is based on the idea that the party are in a continually dangerous environment and safety and security is a priority. For players who are into heroic fantasy based on the literature of chivalry and glory, rather than gritty survivalist stuff, this can be a real turn-off.

Anyway check out Forbidden Lands if you can, and draw inspiration from the system there.

Re: How do you manage strongholds?

Posted: Thu Nov 21, 2019 6:45 pm
by tvance929
Perfect, thanks!

I personally love the idea of it but ya, the practicality eludes me.

Re: How do you manage strongholds?

Posted: Thu Nov 21, 2019 6:56 pm
by Longman
On a side note: I have once run a game where the players managed a magic items shop. The haggling was definitely part of the fun. Also, it gave good opportunities for quests to attain certain ingredients, and to actually use magic item crafting skills.

The description is Sir Percy building a castle on Core Rules page 162 indicates it would take over a year to build a basic castle for 24 people, and cost 40,000 gp. You could do worse than use those guidelines and follow the construction guide provided. Afterwards, the upkeep of the castle and payment of followers could be made routine. The real question is, who is doing the paperwork? You or the players? I try to avoid games where I end up doing all the paperwork.

Re: How do you manage strongholds?

Posted: Fri Nov 22, 2019 12:12 pm
by tvance929
Exactly on me doing the paperwork... I think the way this would work for us would be taking time before we adventure to do keep upkeep, etc... make some streamlined rules... adjust income and all that. Could probably be really cool and fun and then maybe have a castle siege someday that they have to defend against.
* Ha, just thought how awesome and terrible it would be of me, right after they spent thousands of GP to pull up about 20 trebuchets right outside their newly built stronghold... :evil: :twisted:

Re: How do you manage strongholds?

Posted: Wed Dec 25, 2019 10:15 am
by Tazer_The_Yoot
I don't like using a lot of different subsystems in my fantasy roleplaying games, which is why I love stuff like BFRPG that keep it simple. True, old school D&D had several fully fleshed out minigames for running strongholds, but those rules aren't necessary.

Here's my golden rule of BFRPG and other OSR titles - whenever possible, adopt the core mechanic or an existing side mechanic to absolve any given issue. In this case, we're adjudicating various tasks through our underlings who manage the stronghold for us. So, some variation of the Morale or Reaction rules would be appropriate. Meaning that Charismatic leaders do better with their strongholds, or people who can Charm their lieutenants. This only makes sense within the fiction, after all. Are the peasants revolting? Not if they believe they have it about as good as they possibly can because of that honey-tongued baron with the 17 Charisma score. Give 'em a morale roll and treat them like they're loyal retainers. Just one lump sum morale roll.

As for money, etc. ask yourself how vital those details really are to your campaign. You have people for that now, after all. Stewards, bankers etc. Does a king do his own finances? No? Neither should you. Similarly adjudicate this using pre-existing mechanics, perhaps treating your fiscal year as a target on a d20 roll, using the Ability check mechanics and Wisdom modifier to represent your rulership abilities. Makes sense, and is simple. See the pattern? If you succeed, especially on a nat 20, good job. You're financially stable. If you fall below the mark, especially on the dire end of things, bad stuff's going down and someone needs to raid a dragon horde to replenish the stocks.

Re: How do you manage strongholds?

Posted: Wed Dec 25, 2019 12:40 pm
by Metroknight
Tazer_The_Yoot wrote: Wed Dec 25, 2019 10:15 am I don't like using a lot of different subsystems in my fantasy roleplaying games, which is why I love stuff like BFRPG that keep it simple. True, old school D&D had several fully fleshed out minigames for running strongholds, but those rules aren't necessary.

Here's my golden rule of BFRPG and other OSR titles - whenever possible, adopt the core mechanic or an existing side mechanic to absolve any given issue. In this case, we're adjudicating various tasks through our underlings who manage the stronghold for us. So, some variation of the Morale or Reaction rules would be appropriate. Meaning that Charismatic leaders do better with their strongholds, or people who can Charm their lieutenants. This only makes sense within the fiction, after all. Are the peasants revolting? Not if they believe they have it about as good as they possibly can because of that honey-tongued baron with the 17 Charisma score. Give 'em a morale roll and treat them like they're loyal retainers. Just one lump sum morale roll.

As for money, etc. ask yourself how vital those details really are to your campaign. You have people for that now, after all. Stewards, bankers etc. Does a king do his own finances? No? Neither should you. Similarly adjudicate this using pre-existing mechanics, perhaps treating your fiscal year as a target on a d20 roll, using the Ability check mechanics and Wisdom modifier to represent your rulership abilities. Makes sense, and is simple. See the pattern? If you succeed, especially on a nat 20, good job. You're financially stable. If you fall below the mark, especially on the dire end of things, bad stuff's going down and someone needs to raid a dragon horde to replenish the stocks.
That is a great idea and I will probably steal it when needed. I would probably set the target number then apply mods for good harvest, invaded by orcs or such, and other things. If they miss the target then the worse the roll, the worse the year they have coming as their reserves are depleted.

Re: How do you manage strongholds?

Posted: Wed Dec 25, 2019 3:37 pm
by teaman
Tazer_The_Yoot wrote: Wed Dec 25, 2019 10:15 am Here's my golden rule of BFRPG and other OSR titles - whenever possible, adopt the core mechanic or an existing side mechanic to absolve any given issue.
This is great advice for adjudicating just about ANYTHING. Love it!

I use this advice when coming up with my ultra-lite mechanics I use for convention (non-fantasy) games. Keeps it much simpler for players too.

There will always be someone who gripes saying "Well, it's not very tactical" or some other complaint. But you'll always have that guy. Don't be that guy, just have fun.