In order to represent things like the population size, overall wealth and the loyalty of a kingdom to its ruler, its necessary to use a system of ratings. Ratings for wealth are described by a number of levels which are used to calculate the yearly income for the kingdom. Loyalty describes how far the king can push his people before they rebel and attempt to replace the king. Population and Wealth are always displayed as in the format #/#, where the first number represents population and the second represents wealth.
The population of a kingdom is noted as a numeric value of zero (0) and higher. This number is used as a relative measure of available fighting men and women in a kingdom. A king may muster no more units per year than he has population level. He simply doesnt have enough free souls to put into service. Of course, this limitation does not apply to the number of mercenaries a king may muster.
The wealth rating of the kingdom is what the king generates through his lands, trade and taxes. This is used to fund his military, life-style, and to maintain what fortifications the king wishes. In addition, wealth has a number of other useful functions; it may be used to help seal diplomatic agreements between kingdoms, it can be used to hire Irish or Saxon mercenaries, and it can be used to fund building projects such as forts, temples or roads. Throwing a celebration or two in hard times does wonders for the loyalty of the kingdom.
Wealth has associated Levels. Whenever income is collected, usually through the kings own properties, an amount is figured based on the following chart. The king may also levy a tax, but this will incur a loyalty loss in the kingdom. It will however, earn the king an extra roll on the table below.
For example, if you are the proud ruler of a kingdom with a wealth of 5, you would roll 2D6 and multiply the total by 2000. This would be the amount in gold the king would collect. We would then record the amount on whatever sheet of paper on which you will be keeping track of kingdom information.
The actual gold coin value of the wealth is not meant to be a literal amount. Rather, this is a value which reflects the total amount of resources available to the ruler. In other words, the amount of income generated reflects goods such as furs, agricultural products, livestock, land, services, etc. Should the king require portable money in a hurry, he can convert up to one third of his treasury to hard coinage per year. Barter is really quite widespread. The gold coin amounts are simply meant to give us a common reference point without having to resort to hard economics to figure out what your total worth is.
Wealth and Religion
At this point in Dawn of Legends, the local religious leaders must depend on the local rulers for support and funding to building temples, monasteries and shrines. This is usually done by reaching a political agreement with the king. For instance, if the king would like access to the clergys services, he may agree to pay the head of the church a yearly amount to cover costs of living and temple construction and maintenance. In exchange, the religious leader may allow the king access to books, offer to care for the kings sick or wounded, or even take to the battlefield with whatever might or magic the church can wield. In addition, the loyalty of the kingdom will be positively affected if they are given a strong religion to hold on to.
The following section describes the kingdoms of Britain and contains many examples of how wealth is used to maintain the kingdom.
Loyalty to the king or queen of the realm is measured in five steps:
The Loyalty of the kingdom will determine how much taxation, warring, and raiding the people will suffer before they rebel and demand a new king. Starting Loyalties are generally given in the kingdom descriptions. However, if a kingdom was taken by force by a rival kingdom, the default Loyalty rating is Unrest. In this case, the new king, or perhaps whoever the new king installs as leader of the conquered kingdom, must work hard to win the hearts of the people.
Effects of Loyalty (or lack thereof!)
Each level of loyalty has an impact on what a king can accomplish within the kingdom.
The king may not muster any troops here, nor may he collect income from a rebellious kingdom. A kingdom which falls into rebellion will generate a number of units equal to the level of the province every year until the kingdoms loyalty improves. These units (the type should be determined randomly or by the GM) will be under the command of a War Leader. If the kingdom is successful in defeating the old kings forces, this War Leader is then made king and the Loyalty automatically reverts to Moderate.
The people are unhappy with the current ruler and are uncooperative. If the king attempts to collect income in a kingdom of this loyalty level, it will immediately drop to rebellious status.
The people stand behind its ruler only so long as he does not overly tax them or loose an important battle. Troops mustered from a kingdom with a poor Loyalty rating will not like being forced to support a foreign war (a war outside its borders or the borders of its sub-kingdoms). The Loyalty rating will drop one level if the king forces the issue by moving the troops out of the kingdom.
The people are satisfied with the current ruler and will most likely go along with most of the kings endeavors.
The people of the kingdom are enthusiastic and feel personally loyal to the king. They will overlook minor abuses of power, so long as it does not happen regularly.
Use the chart to modify the kingdoms loyalty in response to a kings actions.
Option: Kingdom Disposition
Each kingdom hasa Disposition at the start of the game which describes how the population feels about their ruler. This is meant to be used as a guide for the GM to determine how the people react to events in the kingdom and also the kings actions. As the game progresses the peoples Disposition may change depending on the players actions according to the GMs interpretation. The following describes the various Dispositions used in this book.
Things a Ruler Can Do
Through the course of the year, there are a number of things that a king or queen can do. These include things like building things, sponsoring festival, mustering troops, going to war, and holding court. A worthy ruler must also respond to acts of nature, assassination attempts, and are often required to go on special quests for a variety of reasons.
Maintaining the Kingdom
The first thing a ruler must do every year after collecting income, is paying to maintain his army and fortifications. Costs to maintain fortifications straightforward. Simply add together the total number of levels you have under your control and multiply that number by 100 gold coins. This is the total amount you must pay in order to maintain the defenses. Failing to pay this cost quickly causes the buildings to fall to disrepair and loose their defensive benefits. If you control one hill fort with a level 3 and another at level 4, then the total levels would be 7. The total maintenance cost would be 7 x 100 gold coins = 700 gold coins.
To find the total maintenance cost for your army, simply add up the total amount of maintenance as noted for each unit. Failing to pay the maintenance cost for any of your military units will cause the unit to disband. If the unit disbanding is a mercenary unit, they will quite possibly take to brigandage in your own kingdom, unless their is a more promising employment opportunity elsewhere. How to properly terminate a mercenary agreement is discussed later in this chapter.
At this point it is up to the GM to determine what kinds of events may have befallen the kingdoms.
If you have other building projects that require an ongoing expenditure of resources, you also need to account for this. This can include structures such as palaces, manors, temples and churches. Large, or unusually ornate buildings can take more than just a year to build and thus may incur and ongoing cost until they are complete. If you can not pay to continue the construction efforts, you may usually wait until the following year to continue the project, or when funds become available.
Boats are automatically used in trade along rivers and across the sea. However, when a ruler specifically builds boats, it is presumed that these boats are build especially to accomodate units of warrriors. Each boat may hold one unit of any type. Boats have a basic MOVE of 8 for the purposes of determining distance moved in a day. In action, they really have a MOVE of 4, but they can sail both day and night with less effort than someone moving by land.
A dyke is an earthwork that provides a defensive bonus of +2 to Evade and Defense for warriors defending it. It cannot be built in levels like castle however. Obviously, it can only provide defense from attacksin a particular direction. This must be stated when the dyke is constructed. You may build one dyke per hex side at a cost of 500 gold coins per hex. Any number of units may defend a section of dyke. Be aware, however, that once attackers have crossed the dyke, your defensive bonus is essentially eliminated.
A hill fort is a defensive construction with the purpose of providing protection for a population and territory. Thus, they share the same purpose as castles of later periods. At a cost of 2000 gold coins per level of fortification (and this also reflects the overall size of the fort) a ruler may construct a new fort. However, only one level of fortification per year may be built, as defensive works can be a very time consuming effort.
However, if the king has an ancient hill for that has been abandoned at some point in the past, he may refortify this at half the cost of building a new fort! Check the kingdom description to learn if your kingdom has an old out of use hill fort that can be refitted. Obviously, the GM has the final say and can certainly add to the kingdom description as she likes.
The defensive benefit of a hillfort is significant. A bonus of +1 to Evade and Defense for the unit is gained for every level of fort. Obviously, the unit must be fighting from within the fort in order to receive this benefit. The number of units a hill fort can serve is equal to twice its level. A hill fort can be built to be as large as necessary to provide defense and enclose whatever population may choose to live within.
Option: Terrain Cost Modifiers. The GM may wish to apply a modifier to the cost of building a hill fort depending on the terrain the fort is being built upon. As a rule of thumb, you may take the Movement Cost of the terrain time 100 gold coins per level. Thus, to build a hill fort in the swamp would cost 2000 plus 400 (4 x 100) gold coins per level.
Option: Castles of Glass. These rare, but impressive structures have been found to be constructed in the north of Britain. They are built with stone walls, as per a normal fortification, but when it is complete, huge amounts of timber are piled against the walls and set afire. The heat of the blazing inferno melts the surface of the stone, making them very smooth, glassy, black walls. This makes the walls exceedingly difficult to climb. It may not have a direct effect on attackers, as they will likely use ladders, but at least no one will easily sneak in and out of the fortress. This fortress modification costs 1,000 gold coins per level of the fortress.
A palace can be quite useful to a politically-oriented ruler. The total cost of his palace depends on the relative population of his kingdom. Thus, if his kingdom has a Population rating of 4, it would cost him a total of 2,000 gold coins to build. She would then receive a +4 to every Diplomacy roll she needed to make while using the palace.
A construction of one of these structures not only win the ruler points with the local religious establishments, it wins him the heart of the people. Although populating his land with temples or churches is expensive at 5,000 gold coins per level, the Loyalty rating of his kingdom increases by +2 each time he devotes so much to such religious endeavors.
Roads are fairly expensive to build and maintain. Most kingdoms have allowed the old Roman roads to fall into disrepair and do not build new roads. If a king is wealthy and secure enough, roads can be constructed at a rate of 200 gold times the Movement Cost associated with that terrain. A ruler may build as many roads per yeat as she can afford. The main advantage of building roads is that it allows armies to travel much more quickly. Thus open terrain, having a Movement Cost of only 1 costs 200 gold per 3 mile hex. Likewise, building a road through rolling hills with a Movement Cost of 2 costs 400 gold per 3 mile hex.
Roads, once built, also have a maintenance cost. This is equal to 20 gold coins times the terrain cost for each hex. In other words, its 10 percent of the cost to build the road new. Also, if maintenance is not paid for yearly, the roads quickly deteriorate into muddy, rutty messes that are useless for travel.
Purchase Military Units
Military units can also be purchased. The units in Appendix A have a Muster Cost and a Maintenance Cost. A ruler may purchase any general unit, mercenary unit or any listed for his race specifically. In other words, a British king can purchase any British unit plus any that arent specifically labelled for another race.
It takes some time to equip and train a unit of soldiers, however. For simplicity, the mustering time is listed with each unit. As a rule of thumb, the time to muster a unit is usually one month per 200 gold coins of Maintenance Cost. Thus, the time it takes to muster a unit can take as little time as a month (skirmishers) on up to a year and four months (British Heavy Cavalry). As soon as a unit is mustered (purchased), the maintenance cost must be paid. Thereafter, it must be paid once per year until the unit is disbanded.
A unit may be disbanded at any time. The ruler simply informs the troops thier services are no longer required and they can return home.
Optional Rule: Mercenaries
Mercenaries are handled a little differently. They are always mustered in one month (basically just time for word to get around to various mercenary groups). This is because mercenaries are professional warriors who come already equipped and typically well-trained or at lest practiced. Mercenary units have only a Maintenance Cost. When hiring them, this is the only cost incurred.
A wise ruler will always set specific terms for mercenary employment, and this needs to be stated when the mercenaries enter employment. For instance, the Queen might contract three units of Saxon mercenaries to patrol a border with neighboring Picts for a period of three years. These units would then agree to leave the kingdom once the contract was up. Dealing with mercenaries can sometimes be a pretty dicey matter, however. When the contract has concluded, the ruler should make a skill check using his Diplomacy skill versus a Difficulty Value of 14. A failure will result in the mercenaries refusal to disband, and will resort to raiding the rulers own kingdom! The GM should modify the DV depending on how he feels the mercenary band was treated. If they were used as cannon fodder, with no regard to their well-being at all (which happens a lot, anyway), the GM should feel justified in increasing the DV by 2 to 4 points.
It is possible for a ruler to re-negotiate the terms of a mercenary contract. In fact, most mercenaries would view an extension on their time of service to be welcome job security. However, mercenaries depend heavily on the pay they receive from their clients and are not likely to accept early termination of the contract. Unless the ruler is able to sweeten the deal with cash.... The specifics here are left for the heroes to work out in the game with GM. Often, a situation like this can have great adventure potential!
Disbanding a mercenary unit before their contract is up is far more dangerous. The mercenaries, unless obviously strongly outnumbered or outmaneuvered, will resort to banditry. Weak kingdoms may even find that their irate ex-employees may call upon other mercenary bands to help them take revenge!
A Kings Weapon and Shield
In these troubled times, a ruler should have some kind of way to protect his kingdom and his holdings. Usually, this is achieved by building alliances and especially a strong military arm. In addition, many rulers rely on a fortress or protective dyke to shield them from invaders.
Scouting and Patrolling
Hill forts (they are also called fortresses in this book) are always assumed to have small groups constantly patrolling the surrounding area. The size of the area a fortress determines the amount of territory it can patrol. The maximum patrol radius in hexes is equal to the level of the fort. For example, the fortress of Tintagel in Cornwall (a level 5 fort) can patrol an area within five hexes of the fort. For the purposes of this game (and to keep things simple!) it is assumed that any military unit, mercenary unit, or raiders that come within the patrol area of a fort will be automatically discovered and reported to the ruler.
For our purposes, an army is defined as any group of one or more fighting units. All armies are assumed to have at least someone scouting around the area they occupy or are moving through. The scouts are assumed to be active in a radius of three hexes in open terrain and along roads. Any other terrain type is scouted in a radius of only one hex. Like a hill forts patrol, it is assumed that any unit within the armies scouting radius is automatically discovered and reported to the ruler.
Optional Rule: Lines of Communication
If the players and GM agree, patrol and scout information need not necessarily be automatic. For GMs who enjoy a higher level of realism, they can rule that a line of communication must be traced to a rulers location without passing through any ememy scouting or patrolling areas. It is assumed that any messengers attempting to do so would be captured by the enemy. Only particularly daring and heroic adventurers might be able to pull off a harrowing race through enemy-held territory to bring the king the vital information he needs...
Movement is handled in a pretty straight forward way. Various types of terrain, as you may have already gathered, have different costs in terms of movement. Use the following chart to find the Movement Cost (MC) for each terrain type.
A unit may move as far in a day as it has points of MOVE. A unit can at least move one hex per day, even if it does not have enough MOVE points for the terrain type. For example: a unit of Saxon Swordsmen (MOVE 3) can move across one hex of Open terrain (MC 1) and one hex of Light Forest (MC 2). Or, it can traverse just one hex of Mountains (MC 4).
Optional Rule: Weather Modifiers
As an option, the GM may rule that weather can slow troop movement. Movement Costs in the coldest winter months of December, January, and February can be modified by +1 for each hex. Severe weather can also add a +1 for each hex
The movement for a party of heroes is found to be the MOVE of the slowest character. Using this rating, you can use the above movement rules in precisely the same way. Naturally, getting a horse for everyone can help considerably, since you could use the horses MOVE instead. Note that using horses this way is not strictly realistic, but should serve a Dawn of Legends campaign well.
If you are suddenly invaded, raided or attack someone else, you are (obviously!) at war. Up until this point, the GM may have handled kingdoms and their military forces abstractly. But when a war occurs, a GM should take care to mark down the specific location of the units of the kingdoms involved. Rulers take turns moving armies of one or more units each day. To determine who must move first, compare the Intelligence stat of the leaders involved. The leader with the highest INT score will determine who goes first. Roll a die to break any ties.
When two armies occupy the same hex, they must do battle. To resolve battles, refer to the Mass Combat section. The looser of the battle must retreat any forces he has remaining from the battle into any hex not occupied by the enemy. If all available routes of escape are occupied by enemy armies, an impassable river, or the sea, that army is utterly destroyed. All leaders and heroes still alive will be at the mercy of the victors.
A conqueror can capture a fortress, town, or village by removing any resisting army and leaving an army of one or more units to occupy it. A fortress, town or village will automatically revert to the control of the original king if the invading army leaves.
There are a few ways to permanently conquer a village, town or fortress. The easiest way is to convince the former ruler to cede those possessions to the invader. Another way is to kill the ruler or force her to step down. Finally, a victorious conqueror may be able to force the former ruler to accept the attacker as an over-king.
If an attacker does not wish to attempt a costly attack on a well-defended fortress, she may choose to try to starve them out. The attacker and defender can not occupy the same hex without doing battle. A successful siege can only be executed if all routes to a fortress can be blocked with enemy units. This includes routes by sea or river. A besieging army will need boats and troops to prevent ships arriving by sea carrying supplies. Areas that can be monitored with an armys scouts count towards blocking supply routes. However, an army on land cannot use its scouts to control larger rivers or sea hexes without boats.
For every month the besieging army can block potential supply lines, the fortification level will be reduced by one. If the blockade is breached at any point during a month, supplies can reach the fortress or hunting parties can be sent out to gather food and supplies. Thus, if the defenders can get supplies at least once in a month, their fortification value will go up one point (if it had been reduced previously).
If the forts value is finally reduced to zero, the troops inside the fort have starved and will surrender. The besieging commander can at that time put them to the sword, order them to return to their homes (forcing the captured army to disband), or simply allow them safe passage out of the fortress. Usually, the fort commander will sally forth in an attempt to break the besieging armys lines before starvation sets in. Sometimes, however, the commander may feel it would be certain death to attempt the sally.
When two kingdoms make a mutually beneficial arrangment called an alliance, they can give each other permission to move armies through each others lands. These units would then not be regarded as invaders, and so there would be no war.
In addition, units from different kingdoms in an alliance can join together to make armies under the command of a single war leader or council of leaders. The details of these can be left up to the GM and the players to role play out as necessary.
Ending a War
A war is ended if all enemy units leave the attacked countries. Of course, the offended kingdoms can always continue the war by taking their armies to the enemy home kingdom. A war is also ended when all defending units of an attacked kingdom have been defeated.
Religion versus Rulers
Religious leaders within a kingdom can influence who sits on the throne. First, the religion must be the most dominant one in the area. Check this by determining where the temples or holy sites are. If there is one near or in more than half the villages and towns in a kingdom, then dominance has been established. This can be determined by the GM, or it may be noted in the kingdom descriptions. The religious leaders may wish to convene a council to decide, but in the end it is the final decision of the highest ranking religious official in the kingdom whether or not to support a ruler.
If such a ranking priest does not approve of a ruler or ruler's heir, he may declare no confidence in the ruler and throw his support with another champion! On the other hand, if the ruler has been challenged by usurpers or invaders, the religious leaders may decide to throw their support publicly behind the established king. Either way, a civil war generally ensues to resolve the issue. However, the political support of the religious leaders of a kingdom can complicate matters.
Whichever side gains this support gains a number of units equal to the Population level of the kingdom. These are religious faithful who have answered the call to arms to fill the ranks of the righteous. Thus, no Maintenance or Muster Cost is incurred so long as these units remain within the kingdom. They are perfectly willing to take the cause of the holy war outside their home borders, but their Maintenance Cost must be paid immediately starting at that point. This is because although they can live off the land, family and church while in the homelands, they cannot do so easily abroad. They will appear in one week after a declaration of no confidence or support and will remain as long as the conflict continues or the religion loses its dominance in the kingdom. In addition, each spring new recruits will appear to refill the ranks back to the original numbers. This occurs the 2nd of May, immediately after May Day (Beltane).
Refer to the following charts to determine exactly what units are called up.
The Kingdom Campaign
Running kingdoms and playing rulers can be exciting for players and very rewarding for Game Masters, but sometimes a GM may not want to run a game where everyone is a powerful ruler. Playing in a campaign where an non-Player Character (NPC) or a single player character is the high muckity-muck and the Heros are the rulers champions, advisors and other right-hand people can lead to a very cohesive game as well. After all, the ruler cant be everywhere and its also helpful that to eyes watching her back. Besides, it can be pretty expensive to build a ruler type of character since there are so many special perks and skills that are useful and necessary for a successful ruler.
You might choose to create a prince character. You could use naerly any type of package deal to receive a discount on a suite of skills. The position of prince or princess is more expensive in terms of buying wealth and other perks. However, this character has much greater freedom in terms of adventuring. In fact, a young princeling has much to do if he wants to prove his heroism and overall worthiness for the throne of his people, especially if he has any siblings!
Nobles, usually descended from long warrior lines, hold important positions in both Celt and Saxon societies. For the Saxons, Angles and Jutes, the equivalent of this class is known as the Ealdorman. These capable leaders often act with the authority of the king and usually command many thegns, professional warriors who in turn command the lowest warrior caste called coerls. Thus, Ealdorman command entire warbands, but are directly answerable to the king. The British Horse Noble counterparts in Roman and Celtic Britain have a little more freedom. They fight for their king based on loyalty and pay, but will often strike out on adventures of their own.
One of the most important positions in the court of any king or queen is that of Champion. Each king or queen has the right to appoint a champion who acts as the personal bodyguard of the ruler. In peace or war, the champion can accept any challenge to single combat on behalf of her king or queen. In addition, the ruler may reward her champion by giving the champion missions of the greatest importance. When building a character of this sort, you might think of Sir Lancelot of Arthurian fame.
There are many other important positions available as well. A kings court is never complete without a bard or priest as advisor. Bards are usually welcome in any British court as entertainers and fonts of wisdom. Druids and poets are requested to be a part of any non-Christian British kingdom. Christian priests can be found in almost any British court. Saxon, Angle, and Jute kings would not dare to hold court without the input of the dread Saxon Rune Priests. These feared wielders of mystic might can mean the difference between victory and defeat on the battlefield. These Priests can Outlaw even a king and levy the dread Warg Curse upon them.
Using the Maps
The maps included with Dawn of Legends show natural features, towns, villages, forts, and points of interest. In general, the borders of kingdoms represented by the maps are only approximate. There is no definite survey of the land, so a ruler must define his border in relative terms. Some kingdoms are easily defined -- Cornwalls lands extend from the banks of the Tamar to the sea. Other kingdoms are really thought of as so many days walk in various directions from a fort, town or village.