Kingdom Building Basic Rules and Errata

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Kingdom Building Basic Rules and Errata

Post by BulletProofDM on Sat Apr 28, 2018 1:35 pm

Kingdom building rules
"annotations, in the form of quotations, where rules vary from the default"

Ruling a Kingdom
Kingdom Building Quick Reference
With building a kingdom, you begin by founding a small settlement—such as a village or town—and expand your territory outward, claiming nearby hexes, founding additional settlements, and constructing buildings within those settlements. What you build in a hex or a settlement affects the economy of your kingdom, the loyalty of your citizens, the stability of the government, and the likeliness that kingdom will fall into chaos when citizens worry about monster attacks and other threats.

Use the kingdom sheet to track the statistics of your kingdom, just as you use a character sheet to track the statistics of your character.

You and the other PCs take specific roles in leading your kingdom, such as Ruler, High Priest, General, and so on. The leaders provide bonuses on rolls you make to manage the kingdom’s economy and other important issues. For example, having a High Priest makes your kingdom more stable and your citizens more loyal, and having a Treasurer makes your kingdom more profitable.

Instead of using gold pieces, a kingdom uses a type of currency called build points (BP), which represent actual cash, labor, expertise, and raw materials. While it is possible to convert gp into BP and back again, for the most part you’ll just be spending BP to run your kingdom.

Running a kingdom takes place over a series of turns, similar to how combat takes place over a series of rounds. a kingdom turn takes 1 month of game time. Each turn has four phases which you resolve in order: the Upkeep Phase, where you pay the kingdom’s bills; the Edict Phase, where you levy taxes and build improvements; the Income Phase, where you collect taxes; and the Events Phase, where you see if something especially good or bad happens to your kingdom.

These rules assume that all of the kingdom’s leaders are focused on making the kingdom prosperous and stable, rather than oppressing the citizens and stealing from the treasury. Likewise, the rules assume that the leaders are working together, not competing with each other or working at odds. If the campaign begins to step into those areas, the GM is free to introduce new rules to deal with these activities.

Like the exploration system, the kingdom-building rules measure terrain in hexes. Each hex is 12 miles from corner to corner, representing an area of just less than 95 square miles. The hex measurement is an abstraction; the hexes are easy to quantify and allow the GM to categorize a large area as one terrain type without having to worry about precise borders of forests and other terrain features.
"hexes will be six miles from corner to corner in our case"1

Kingdom Terminology
Kingdoms have attributes that describe and define them. These are tracked on a kingdom sheet, like a character’s statistics are on a character sheet.

Alignment: Like a PC, your kingdom has an alignment, which you decide when you form the kingdom. The kingdom’s alignment represents the majority outlook and behavior of the people within that kingdom when they’re considered as a group. (Individual citizens and even some leaders may be of different alignments.)

When you decide on your kingdom’s alignment, apply the following adjustments to the kingdom’s statistics:

Chaotic: +2 Loyalty; Evil: +2 Economy; Good: +2 Loyalty; Lawful: +2 Economy; Neutral: Stability +2 (apply this twice if the kingdom’s alignment is simply Neutral, not Chaotic Neutral or Lawful Neutral).

A kingdom’s alignment rarely changes, though at the GM’s option, it can shift through the actions of its rulers or its people.

Build Points: Build points (or BP for short) are the measure of your kingdom’s resources—equipment, labor, money, and so on. They’re used to acquire new hexes and develop additional buildings, settlements, and terrain improvements. Your kingdom also consumes BP to maintain itself (see Consumption).

Consumption: Consumption indicates how many BP are required to keep the kingdom functioning each month. Your kingdom’s Consumption is equal to its Size, modified by settlements and terrain improvements (such as Farms and Fisheries). Consumption can never go below 0.

Control DC: Some kingdom actions require a check (1d20 + modifiers) to succeed—this is known as a control check. The base DC for a control check is equal to 20 + the kingdom’s Size in hexes + the total number of districts in all your settlements + any other modifiers from special circumstances or effects. Unless otherwise stated, the DC of a kingdom check is the Control DC.

Economy: This attribute measures the productivity of your kingdom’s workers and the vibrancy of its trade, both in terms of money and in terms of information, innovation, and technology. Your kingdom’s initial Economy is 0 plus your kingdom’s alignment and leadership modifiers.

Who Rolls the Kingdom Check?
Running a kingdom is more fun if all the players are involved and each is responsible for making some of the kingdom checks. Who makes each roll depends on the players in your group and what roles they want to play. Some players may not want to make any of these rolls. You may want to start with the following die roll responsibilities and modify them to suit your kingdom and the other players. Anything marked as an optional rule is described in the optional kingdom-building rules.

Ruler: Loyalty checks, any checks or edicts not covered by other rulers

Councilor: Holiday edicts

General: Kingdom checks for events requiring combat

Grand Diplomat: Diplomatic edicts (optional rule)

"Regent: Replaces the roles of Consort and Heir, taking the place of Ruler if vacant and rolling for the random events"

High Priest: Holiday edicts, rolls to generate magic items from Cathedrals, Shrines, and Temples

Magister: Rolls to generate magic items not rolled by the High Priest

Marshal: Exploration edicts (optional rule)

Royal Enforcer: Loyalty checks to reduce Unrest or prevent Unrest increases

Spymaster: Kingdom checks involving crime and foreigners

Treasurer: Economy checks, Taxation edicts, Trade edicts (optional rule)

Viceroy: Vassalage edicts (optional rule)

Warden: Stability checks

Kingdom Check: A kingdom has three attributes: Economy, Loyalty, and Stability. Your kingdom’s initial scores in each of these attributes is 0, plus modifiers for kingdom alignment, bonuses provided by the leaders, and any other modifiers.

Many kingdom actions and events require you to attempt a kingdom check, either using your Economy, Loyalty, or Stability attribute (1d20 + the appropriate attribute + other modifiers). You cannot take 10 or take 20 on a kingdom check. Kingdom checks automatically fail on a natural 1 and automatically succeed on a natural 20.

Loyalty: Loyalty refers to the sense of goodwill among your people, their ability to live peaceably together even in times of crisis, and to fight for one another when needed. Your kingdom’s initial Loyalty is 0 plus your kingdom’s alignment and any modifiers from your kingdom’s leadership role.

Population: Actual population numbers don’t factor into your kingdom’s statistics, but can be fun to track anyway. The population of each settlement is described in Settlements and Districts.

Size: This is how many hexes the kingdom claims. a new kingdom’s Size is 1.

Stability: Stability refers to the physical and social well-being of the kingdom, from the health and security of its citizenry to the vitality of its natural resources and its ability to maximize their use. Your kingdom’s initial Stability is 0 plus your kingdom’s alignment and leadership modifiers.

Treasury: The Treasury is the amount of BP your kingdom has saved and can spend on activities (much in the same way that your character has gold and other valuables you can spend on gear). Your Treasury can fall below 0 (meaning your kingdom’s costs exceed its savings and it is operating in debt), but this increases Unrest (see Upkeep Phase).

Turn: A kingdom turn spans 1 month of game time. You make your kingdom checks and other decisions about running your kingdom at the end of each month.

Unrest: Your kingdom’s Unrest indicates how rebellious your citizens are. Your kingdom’s initial Unrest is 0. Unrest can never fall below 0 (anything that would modify it to less than 0 is wasted). Subtract your kingdom’s Unrest from all Economy, Loyalty, and Stability checks.

If your kingdom’s Unrest is 11 or higher, the kingdom begins to lose control of hexes it has claimed.

If your kingdom’s Unrest ever reaches 20, the kingdom falls into anarchy (see Upkeep Phase).

Founding a Kingdom
Once you have your first settlement, you have the start of a kingdom. You’ll need to make some initial decisions that affect your kingdom’s statistics, and record them on the kingdom sheet.

Choose Your Kingdom’s Alignment. Your kingdom’s alignment helps determine how loyal, prosperous, and stable your kingdom is. Your kingdom may be a lawful good bastion against a nearby land of devil worshipers, or a chaotic neutral territory of cutthroat traders whose government does very little to interfere with the rights of its citizens.
Choose Leadership Roles. Assign the leadership roles for all PCs and NPCs involved in running the kingdom, such as Ruler, General, and High Priest. The leadership roles provide bonuses on checks made to collect taxes, deal with rioting citizens, and resolve similar issues.
Start Your Treasury. The build points you have left over from starting your first settlement make up your initial Treasury.
Determine Your Kingdom’s Attributes. Your initial Economy, Loyalty, and Stability scores are based on the kingdom’s alignment and the buildings your settlement has. (If you start with more than one settlement, include all the settlements in this reckoning.)
Once you’ve completed these steps, move on to Kingdom Turn Sequence.

Build Points
The units of a kingdom’s wealth and productivity are build points (BP). Build points are an abstraction representing the kingdom’s expendable assets, not just gold in the treasury. Build points include raw materials (such as livestock, lumber, land, seed, and ore), tangible goods (such as wagons, weapons, and candles), and people (artisans, laborers, and colonists). Together, these assets represent the labor and productive output of your citizens.

You spend BP on tasks necessary to develop and protect your kingdom—planting farms, creating roads, constructing buildings, raising armies, and so on. These things are made at your command, but they are not yours. The cities, roads, farms, and buildings belong to the citizens who build them and use them to live and work every day, and those acts of living and working create more BP for the kingdom. As the leaders, you use your power and influence to direct the economic and constructive activity of your kingdom, deciding what gets built, when, and where.

Build points don’t have a precise exchange rate to gold pieces because they don’t represent exact amounts of specific resources. For example, you can’t really equate the productivity of a blacksmith with that of a stable, as their goods are used for different things and aren’t produced at the same rate, but both of them contribute to a kingdom’s overall economy. In general, 1 BP is worth approximately 4,000 gp; use this value to get a sense of how costly various kingdom expenditures are. In practice, it is not a simple matter to convert one currency to the other, but there are certain ways for your PC to spend gp to increase the kingdom’s BP or withdraw BP and turn them into gold for your character to spend.

Providing a seed amount of BP at the start of kingdom building means your kingdom isn’t starving for resources in the initial months. Whether you acquire these funds on your own or with the help of an influential NPC is decided by the GM, and sets the tone for much of the campaign.

Wealthy Sponsor
In many cases, a kingdom’s initial BP come from a source outside your party. a wealthy queen may want to tame some of the wilderness on her kingdom’s borders, or a merchant’s guild may want to construct a trading post to increase trade with distant lands. Regardless of the intent, the work involved to create a new settlement costs thousands of gold pieces—more than most adventurers would want to spend on mundane things like jails, mills, and piers.

It is an easy matter for the GM to provide these funds in the form of a quest reward. a wealthy queen may grant you minor titles and BP for your treasury if you kill a notorious bandit and turn his ruined castle into a town, or a guild may provide you with a ship full of goods and workers and enough BP to start a small colony on a newly discovered, resource-rich continent. In exchange for this investment, the sponsor expects you to be a vassal or close ally; in some cases, you may be required to pay back these BP (such as at a rate of 1 BP per turn) or provide tribute to the patron on an ongoing basis (such as at a rate of 10% of your income per turn, minimum 1 BP).

An appropriate starting amount is 50 BP. This amount is enough to keep a new kingdom active for a few turns while it establishes its own economy, but it is still at risk of collapse from mismanagement or bad luck.

As the initial citizens represented by this BP investment are probably loyal to the sponsor, taking action against the sponsor may anger those people and cause trouble. For example, if you rebuff the queen’s envoy, your citizens may see this as a snub against the queen and rebel.

Your responsibility to the sponsor usually falls into one of the following categories, based on the loan arrangement.

Charter: The sponsor expects you to explore, clear, and settle a wilderness area along the sponsor’s border—an area where the sponsor has some territorial claims. You may have to fend off other challengers for the land.

Conquest: The sponsor’s soldiers clashed with the army of an existing kingdom and the kingdom’s old leaders have fled, surrendered, or been killed. The sponsor has placed you in command of this territory and the soldiers.

Fief: The sponsor places you in charge of an existing domain within his own already-settled lands. If it includes already improved terrain and cities, you’re expected to govern and further improve them. (While you’ll start with land and settlements, you’ll still need around 50 BP to handle your kingdom’s Consumption and development needs.)

Grant: The sponsor places you in charge of settling and improving an area already claimed by the liege but not significantly touched by civilization. You may have to expand the borders of the land or defend it against hostile creatures.

Starting from Scratch
It’s not easy to start a kingdom—probably the reason everyone doesn’t have one. If you are founding a kingdom on your own, without an external sponsor or a fantastic windfall of resources, the initial financial costs can be crippling to PCs. Even building a new town with just a House and an Inn costs 13 BP—worth over 50,000 gp in terms of stone, timber, labor, food, and so on. To compensate for this (and encourage you to adventure in search of more gold that you can convert into BP), if you’re running a small, self-starting kingdom, the GM may allow you to turn your gold into BP at a better rate. You may only take advantage of this if you don’t have a sponsor; it represents your people seeing the hard work you’re directly putting in and being inspired to do the same to get the kingdom off the ground.

This improved rate depends on the Size of your kingdom, as shown in the following table.

Kingdom Size Price of 1 Bp Withdrawal Rate*
01–25 1,000 gp 500 gp
26–50 2,000 gp 1,000 gp
51–100 3,000 gp 1,500 gp
101+ 4,000 gp 2,000 gp
* If you make a withdrawal from the Treasury during the Income Phase, use this withdrawal rate to determine how much gp you gain per BP withdrawn.

The GM may also allow you to discover a cache of goods worth BP (instead of gp) as a reward for adventuring, giving you the seed money to found or support your kingdom.

Losing Hexes
If you lose control of a hex—whether because of Unrest, monster attacks, assaults from a hostile kingdom, and so on—you lose all the benefits of any terrain improvements in that hex (such as Farms and Roads). All settlements in that hex become free cities with no loyalty to you or any other kingdom (see Free City). At the GM’s discretion, monsters may move into the abandoned hex, requiring you to clear it again if you want to claim it later, and terrain improvements may decay over time.

Losing a hex may break your connection to other kingdom hexes. For example, losing the only hex that bridges two sides of a mountain range creates two separate territories. If this happens, the primary territory is the part of the kingdom with your capital city (see sidebar), and the rest of the kingdom is the secondary territory. If none of the kingdom’s leaders are in the secondary territory when this split happens, you lose control of all hexes (as described above) in the secondary territory.

If at least one kingdom leader is in the secondary territory when the split occurs, you retain control of the secondary territory, but kingdom checks regarding its hexes treat Unrest as 1 higher, increasing by 1 each turn after the split. This modifier goes away if you claim a hex that reconnects the secondary territory to the primary territory.

If you claim a hex that reestablishes a connection to a leaderless secondary territory, you regain the benefits of the territory’s terrain improvements. You must succeed at a Stability check to reclaim each of your former settlements in the secondary territory. You initially have a +5 bonus on these checks because the cities want to return to your kingdom, but this bonus decreases by 1 (to a minimum bonus of +0) for each subsequent turn since you lost control of the secondary territory.

If your kingdom is reduced to 0 hexes—whether through Unrest, a natural disaster, an attack by another kingdom, or other circumstances—you are at risk of losing the kingdom. On your next turn, you must claim a new hex and found or claim a new settlement, or your kingdom is destroyed and you must start over if you want to found a new kingdom. At the GM’s discretion, you may be able to keep some BP from your destroyed kingdom’s Treasury for a time; otherwise, those assets are lost.


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