Note: This does not have all of the rules from the “Building a Kingdom” pdf, and those rules are available for use as well.
Now down to the Basics of how to run a Kingdom from the mechanical perspective, or what you as players need to know.
A Kingdom as 3 basic attributes they are Stability, Economy and Loyalty; Stability represents the kingdoms general security level, it is rolled at the beginning of each monthly turn and to avoid negative effects on buildings and populous. Economy represents the ability of the Kingdom to make money; it is rolled whenever something involving money happens and the beginning of each monthly income phase. Loyalty represents the moral of the people and is primarily used when the army gets into a fight and to keep public peace, it is not rolled every month and can thus seem unimportant but trust me it’s not.
Turn: One month, all rolls are made at the beginning of the month with events playing out throughout the month, to not gain vacancy penalty you must perform your leadership role for 1 week out of the month.
Control DC: This is the number you roll most kingdom checks against; its value is 20+the kingdom’s size in hexes.
Kingdom Alignment: The Players choose this when the kingdom is founded, It indicates how the Kingdom is run as well as the type of people it draws into it. Each alignment adds to one of the basic attributes. I’m not going to tell you now what adds to what I just want you guys to figure out a Kingdom alignment based of whatever you guys want. I would rather you discuss this Via E-mail then at the game.
Unrest: Unrest is a penalty on all Kingdom checks, 20 is the number to avoid that’s where the “Falls into Anarchy” starts, restoring it is a bitch and a half. Your kingdoms stability check each month reduces this as well as many other things.
Build Points: BP for short. Represents your kingdoms treasury, favors, resources and man power.
Consumption: The amount of BP your kingdom consumes per month.
There is 11 Kingdom roles as follows. Keep in mind you guys can call these roles whatever you want these are just the book names. You could all be council members with equal power that take on these roles, also roles can be changed once per month. I know there isn’t 11 of you guys that’s why I have been playing up the NPCs, if the group wants an NPC to fill a particular role that NPC will have to be Helpful to the group Via Diplomacy, any role but Ruler can be filled in this fashion.
Ruler: Primary leader of the Kingdom, Applies his CHA to any 1 basic attribute, can have a wife or other sort of Co-ruler that also applies their CHA to 1 basic attribute. The book says that the ruler is called a Baron, then a Duke when the Kingdom is larger and adds CHA to 2 kingdom stats, then a King when its even larger adding CHA to all 3 kingdom stats. Without one a Kingdom cannot function.
Councilor: Ensures that the will of the citizenry is represented. Add their CHA or WIS to Loyalty, without one you cannot gain benefits from festivals and the kingdom gains 1 unrest each turn and a -2 to Loyalty.
General: Commands the Kingdoms armies and is a Public hero. Add their CHA or STR to Stability, without one -4 to Stability.
Grand Diplomat: Oversees international relations. Add their CHA or INT to Stability, without one -2 to stability and cannot issue promotion edicts.
High Priest: Guides the kingdoms religious needs and growth. Adds their CHA or WIS to stability, without one -2 to stability and loyalty and +1 unrest each turn.
Magister: Guides a kingdom’s higher learning and magical studies. Adds their CHA or INT to Economy, without one -4 to economy.
Marshal: Organizes patrols and enforces justice in rural and wilderness regions. Adds WIS or DEX to Economy, with out on -4 to economy.
Royal Assassin: Kills members of the Kingdoms royal family…. kidding. He serves as a public executioner, headsman or shadowy assassin. Add STR or DEX to Loyalty and decrease unrest by 1 per month. without one no penalty.
Spymaster: Observes the kingdom’s underworld and criminal elements and spies on other kingdoms. Adds their INT or DEX to 1 kingdom stat of their choosing, without one -4 to economy and 1 unrest per turn due to out of control crime.
Treasurer: Organizes tax collection and manages the treasury. Adds their INT or WIS to economy, without one -4 to economy and cannot collect taxes.
Warden: leads the kingdom’s defense and city guards. Adds their STR or CON to loyalty, without one -4 to loyalty and -2 to stability.
Upkeep Phase: If you kingdom controls 0 hex’s move on to Improvement Phase.
Step 1: Determine Kingdom stability. Make a stability check against the control DC to determine your kingdoms level of security for the month. If you make the check reduce unrest by 1 (If unrest is already o gain 1 BP as a result of surplus goods and services), If you fail this check by 5 or more increase unrest by 2.
Step 2: Pay Consumption: you can go into negative BP if you cannot pay. If you end Upkeep phase in the negative you gain 2 unrest.
Step 3: Fill vacant magic item slots. These come with certain buildings and are rolled randomly.
Step 4: Unrest. if the Kingdoms unrest is 11 or higher it loses a hex chosen by the kingdoms leaders, anything in that hax is lost and must be rebuild later if reclaimed. Settlements in that hex become towns that must be annexed if they are to be reclaimed. Finally, if the kingdom employs a Royal Assassin reduce unrest by 1 here.
Improvement Phase: The number of improvements you can make in one phase is limited to Kingdom size, for size 1-10 all categories are 1 per month.
Step 1: Select Leadership. Assign leaders to any vacant roles. The Ruler must be a PC, and NPCs must be Helpful. You can change leaders as often as you want with no impact on your nation’s statistics aside from what the leader gives from stat boni.
Step 2: Claim Hexes. to claim a hex it must be explored and cleared of monsters or dangerous hazards, its must be adjacent to a hex that is already part of the kingdom with the exception of the first hex which can be anywhere. At this point you can claim the hex as part of your kingdoms by spending 1 BP. Increase kingdoms size and consumption by 1. You can abandon a hex for 1 unrest or 4 if it had a city in it.
Step 3: Establish and improve cities. Prepare land for city districts and then purchase new buildings for your cities. Building adjustments to your nations apply immediately even though it takes much longer to finish the buildings. You can destroy building at this time in order to clear a space for something new, destroying a building has no down sides other than removing its benefits.
Step 4: Build roads. It costs 1 BP to build a road through Plains or hills, 2 for a forest and 4 for swamps and mountains’, crossing a river doubles the cost of the road unless there is already a bridge there.
Step 5: Establish Farmlands. You can make any Farm or Hill hex a farm hex, it costs 2 BP for a plains hex and 4 for hills. Farms reduce consumption by 2.
Step 6: Edicts. 3 types of edicts exist all come in 5 levels. Promotion edicts represent recruiting, advertisements and propaganda, no promotion is a -1 to stability. The other 4 buy stability for consumption increase. Taxes: no taxes gives 0 to economy and +1 to loyalty the other 4 lvs increase economy for a minus to loyalty. Festivals per year, no festivals generate a -1 to loyalty, the other 4 lvs add to loyalty for a consumption increase.
Income Phase: Profit.
Step 1: Deposits. The players can give money to the kingdom at the conversion of 4,000 gp to 1 BP.
Step 2: Withdrawals. Withdrawing can annoy or even incite the citizens. each time you take funds from the kingdom gain 1 unrest, then make a loyalty check Vs the control DC + the amount of BP being taken. Failure increases unrest by the amount of BP taken. Each BP taken equals 2,000 GP.
Step 3: Sell Valuable items. Sell those magic items your buildings make, make an economy check equal to 20 for minor items, 25 for medium items and 50 for major items. Minor generate 2 BP, medium 8bp and major 15 BP. You can make attempt to sell one item per city district per income phase.
Step 4: Generate Income. Make an economy check Vs the control DC if successful divide by 5 doping fractions and increase Treasury’s BP by that amount.
Event Phase: 25% change on an event per month, 75% if no event the prior month. Events and the main and minor story elements are one and the same.
Ok there are the basics of running a Kingdom. I have a nice excel spread sheet that does all calculations. I’ll go over in more detail how to build a city next.
BP is not a pile of money in the kingdom’s vault. BP represents all of the human and material resources and the economic activity of the kingdom.
It is NOT: “I, King Bob, took this Medium Item from MY caster’s tower and sold it to [nameless NPC] for 8 BP. I took 8 BP out of my wallet and went down to the Building Store and bought myself a new Library in Bobville, and look I have 2 BP left over to stick back in my wallet.”
It IS: “The citizens of Bobovia work within the magic trade all month long. Many items are bought and sold, including the public sale of a Medium Item. The citizens are happy and productive, and at the suggestion of King Bob and his ruling council, over the course of the month have been working on building a library and collecting books for it over in Bobville, surrounded by a new neighborhood* and maybe even private tutors who can educate the citizens of Bobville. It has required much hard work but the citizens are happy and proud of it and are already planning their next project (i.e., have 2 BP yet to spend, even though the final purpose to which it will be put).”
Remember that every “building” is presumed to include a number of homes scattered around the city “square” where the building is built – a Library is not a 750’ x 750’ building; it means that this city square has a library per Se, but that the neighborhood around it is also generally dedicated to the purpose of education.
BP is almost never in the form of Cash Money in the pockets of YOU, the king and council. BP are everything that every citizen across your city is doing and building and buying and selling and trading and eating and drinking and growing and sowing and reaping and grinding and collecting and prospecting. You CONTROL what happens with everything in the kingdom (which is represented by the BP), because you are the players, but your characters don’t own everything in the kingdom.
Once you select a location for your city (Which must be in a hex you have explored and cleared), you must pay to have the site cleared and prepared to support the city’s roads and buildings. The cost and time required to clear space in varies by terrain type.
Grassland 1 BP and immediate, Hills 2 BP and 1 month, forest 4 BP and 2 months, Swamp 8 BP and 3 months, Mountains 12 BP and 4 months.
Once this is done your kingdom acquires 1 city grid which represents a square mile of city space. The grid its self is a visual representation of the city divided into 36 city blocks each arranged into nine larger squares. Each block is separated by alleys, while each square is separated by streets, the 9 squares themselves are bordered by four sides, each side represents a border to the entire city district. a District border can represent a wall, river, lake, ocean, shore, cliff or merely the transition from one city district to another. Each city grid costs 1 consumption. If it ever becomes an issue a Kingmaker hex is 144 Square miles assuming there isn’t a lake or something in part of the hex, if such a city were built and completely populated it would hold 1,296,000 people.
Some events destroy city blocks (Tornado, Dragons, etc.) and generate 1 unrest per destroyed block, the cost to build the replacement structure is halved if its the same structure. Each city block is 750’ across and represents 250 people once its filled in. Each city grid equals 9,000 people that life there.
Placement of buildings is left to the PCs but some buildings require other specific buildings be adjacent. Each building takes 1 month or more to complete and you gain its benefits immediately.
Certain buildings (Such as the castle) have an impact on the city’s defensive value, this value only comes into effect if the city is attacked by an army but otherwise it’s not used.
Each city has a base value, any economy related building adds to the cities base value. Base value is listed in GP and indicates the most expensive commonly available items, magic items under this value have a 75% chance to be available and the check is made every month per magic item, I won’t actually role unless someone wants a magic item. There is an upper limit of 16,000 GP to base value per city.
Certain magic’s that aid in building things can reduce a structures cost by 2 BP to a minimum of 0 BP, items like the Lyre of building and spells like fabricate or wall of stone. This is a onetime reduction regardless of the amount of magic used.
Some building generate magic items that the players can buy or be sold off for BP for the Kingdom, taking one of these items is the same as taking money from the treasury and requires a Stability check. The magic item is randomly generated and once sold another is generated in the next Upkeep Phase.