• Crusader Kings III Available Now!

    The realm rejoices as Paradox Interactive announces the launch of Crusader Kings III, the latest entry in the publisher’s grand strategy role-playing game franchise. Advisors may now jockey for positions of influence and adversaries should save their schemes for another day, because on this day Crusader Kings III can be purchased on Steam, the Paradox Store, and other major online retailers.


    Real Strategy Requires Cunning
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Schlieffen

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CKRPG — Kingdom of Albion

Æthelbald of Mercia sought to unify the scattered Anglo-Saxon kingdoms under a single crown, and when the Kingdom of Wessex was finally brought to its knees in 731 AD he had accomplished his goal. Æthelbald ruled this new kingdom with guile and cunning, and over his long reign he slowly eroded the power of the church and nobility until his rule was nearly absolute. His skill on the battlefield made quick work of his foes, but despite his ambitions he actually had very few rivals: His kingdom and its people were rich from trade and tribute from all of Britain, and his skill and charisma made it so even his detractors had to offer their respect.

The year is now 770 AD, and Æthelbald the Great lies on his deathbed. He ruled healthily for decades, so the realm's power remained firmly in his hands until the very end. His apparent heir and his family died in a tragic fire just a few years ago, leaving only a politically disfavored grandson to inherit the throne. The various tribes kept under heel have been preparing for decades for England's grip to loosen. And perhaps worst of all, a storm is brewing in Scandinavia that will change the fate of Europe forever. With fate apparently aligned against it, the fate of the Anglo-Saxon kingdom is now left in the hands of its most prominent nobles.


If you're interested in playing, feel free to stop by the Discussion & Signup thread if you have any questions or want to ask for a role.


RULES SUMMARY
Orders are due every Monday and Friday. Players can generally perform only one order per turn, and players are expected to submit orders every turn. Most orders have both a Success and Failure roll, meaning an order can succeed but still have negative side effects.

Orders can be Minor or Major. Major orders actually change things, and Minor orders help make major orders more likely to succeed — meeting with the local merchants to hear their concerns about a new tax is a Minor order; actually collecting the tax is a Major order. Major orders can be done without preparation in an emergency, but they'll be less effective.


Players act through the Characters they control. Characters have CK2-style stats, but with +/- symbols instead of numbers. Characters are located in specific provinces on the map, and can only act in the surrounding provinces. "Slow" character movement is free, but rushed character movement counts as a full order; this makes positioning your characters very important.


A province's wealth is represented through Holdings, which generate income every turn. Taxing this is a good source of long-term income, but the local population obviously will try to resist this at every opportunity.

A province's Prosperity can be increased through orders, but many orders will also negatively impact Prosperity — raids, raising levies, etc. At extreme values, prosperity can lead to a permanent increase/decrease in a province's value.

A province's Stability represents how secure a ruler's hold over a province is. Stability can be "spent" to boost orders, and also acts as a safety buffer for when orders fail — a stability loss is better than a rebellion, after all. At low stability, performing orders in a province can be both difficult and risky.
 
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Characters

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CHARACTERS
You act through the characters you've created. There isn't a strict limit on how many characters you can have, but new players are strongly encouraged to start with only their main character and maybe a relative or two.

Like in CK2, characters have 5 Attributes: Diplomacy, Martial, Stewardship, Intrigue, and Learning. Attributes are ranked with +/- symbols, where [--] is dismal and [+++] is extremely skilled.

Characters can also have the following stats:
  • Titles are what allow a character to act within the realm: A ducal title, a writ from the king, a councilor position, etc. Performing orders without an appropriate title is usually quite difficult: It's easier to collect a tax than ask for donations, after all.
  • Traits lists various modifiers that might affect your orders: You're a hero for saving York from Norse raiders, your cruelty to defeated enemies is infamous, the archbishop is supporting your claim to be king, etc.

A character can also have secret stats — usually just Wealth, but sometimes traits as well. If you ever forget your secret stats, you can request them in your orders.

CHARACTER LOCATION
Every character has a Base where they meet with their agents, messengers, etc. when not performing orders or in-character actions. A character's base acts as their location for most mechanical purposes. Minor characters' locations are generally not tracked; if it ever matters, the GMs can make a ruling based on in-character posts.

Characters can access any adjacent province for Order purposes, and anywhere within 3 provinces for In-Character purposes.

CHARACTER MOVEMENT
Characters can move 1 province per turn as a free order. When speed is of the essence, a full order can be used to move a character up to three provinces.
 
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Orders

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ORDERS & ACTIONS
Orders are the things your characters do every turn. Except for a few free orders, players are limited to one order per turn. You can go above this limit, but each additional order gives a [-] penalty to all other orders.

Order results are often split into two rolls: A Success Roll and a Failure Roll. This makes it so, for example, an order can be a success but also have a negative side effect. These rolls generally use the same modifiers.

DIE ROLLS
Die rolls work by having every +/- modifier add an additional success/failure result. Each additional result also "promotes" the previous results to a greater degree of success/failure, so a roll's result might be [++].

For die rolls involving numbers, each additional +/- increases the result by half, with the final result being rounded down. For example, if the rules say a Success will result in raising 10 Wealth, a [+++] result will give 20 Wealth (10+5+5).

For opposing rolls, one side acts as the "negative" side and the other as the "positive". This allows both sides to have varying degrees of success/failure. When talking about these results, [+] are always counted as in the favor of the player being discussed and vice versa.

MAJOR & MINOR ORDERS
Most significant undertakings will be Major Orders; these are things that tend to be best performed over multiple turns, but can be done quickly in dire circumstances. Major orders have the following modifiers by default:
  • The Failure Roll has a [--] modifier.
  • Success results are limited to [+], regardless of the actual roll.
Removing these negative modifiers can be done via other orders. In fact, "building up" for major orders is what most Minor Orders will be. What qualifies as major/minor is up to the GMs, but as a rule of thumb an order is only minor if it fulfills at least two of the following:
  • The order only gives a bonus to some other, future order/circumstance (e.g., removing a major order restriction).
  • It's something that could not be prepared for in any circumstances.
  • The order does not impact the map in any way.

If this seems confusing, you can think of it this way: If it affects the stats or map, it's probably a major order and will benefit from some preparation; if it creates a modifier for a potential future die roll, it's probably a minor order and can be done immediately.

ORDER RANGE
If your order targets another character, their base generally must be within 3 provinces of your own. There's a little bit of flexibility to this so orders don't automatically become invalid just because a character moves.

Province-based orders must target a province next to your character. You can also include neighboring provinces in your order — these extra provinces do not need to be next to your character. You can target up to three provinces this way; targeting more adds a [-] penalty per province.


INTRIGUE
A player can send a PM to the Orders GM to perform Intrigue. Intrigue can include performing orders in secret, changing public orders (and faking their results), etc. Basically, your secret orders are the real ones, and your public orders and their (faked) results are a facade prepared to fool other players.

Performing Intrigue, obviously enough, is a minor Intrigue order. This order is free if it's being performed by the relevant character. Covering up a different character's orders counts as a separate order, with all the penalties for performing multiple orders.

On success, your secret orders are kept hidden. The modifiers will depend on if there's a public "cover" order, if you're trying to fake/cover something particularly grand, etc. Intrigue receives a base [++] Success modifier though, so all but the most elaborate coverups will be fairly safe unless someone else is looking (see below).

SPYING & REVEALING INTRIGUE
To detect secret orders, a character can spend their turn Spying. Spying counts as a free order, but only if it's public.

Spying adds an extra Failure roll to any intrigue orders, with your character's Intrigue skill as a negative modifier. Failure will reveal the hidden order(s), but only to you.
 
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Holdings

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HOLDINGS
Provinces are split into Holdings, each with its own Value. NPC holdings generally represent assets owned by small monasteries, churches, minor nobles, peasants, merchants, etc., all collected into a single "Super-Holding" for convenience's sake.

Holding Value generates Income every turn, which can be collected by players. Keep in mind that this represents all of a holding's excess income: If you're collecting 100% of a province's income, your subjects will just barely have enough to make ends meet. Much like you, your NPC subjects will always be reluctant to part with their income, and will always welcome getting some of their income back.

PROSPERITY
The long-term health of a province is represented via its Prosperity. Prosperity ranges from -4 to +3, and resets to 0 when the date advances. Any hit to prosperity below +3 will automatically reduce overall prosperity to -1; at +3, the hit will only reduce prosperity to 0. Once it's negative, a province's prosperity cannot be raised at all: A suffering region needs to recover naturally.

Most orders that draw value from a province or its holdings will also reduce its prosperity — raids, calls for volunteers, etc. all act the same way (albeit to different degrees). Obviously, these orders cannot be done if a province has no more prosperity to lose. For conversion purposes, a prosperity loss is worth 2 Wealth per point of Value.

If a province is at +3 Prosperity when it resets, an NPC holding will gain one Value. When a province reaches -3 and -4 Prosperity, a random holding may immediately lose one Value. (The loss at -4 only happens if the overall province Value is at least 5.)
 
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Titles & Realms

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TITLES & REALMS
Title creation, assignment, etc. are all free orders, but are still based around characters: You need to be within order range to swear fealty to a new king, for example. Claims and disputed titles are no different from a rules perspective: Determining who is the "real" king or the like is left as an in-character dispute. Removing titles is a free action.

Titles are a per-character affair: An area swears fealty to Earl Richard specifically, not just the Earl of Kent. Claiming inheritance is thus an actual order that "recreates" the previous title(s), which leaves the possibility for dispute if another character should decide to do the same.

TREASURIES & WEALTH
While a character can carry all of their wealth with them, most wealth will be stored in a Treasury. The capital's treasury is also where any wealth generated by a title will be placed. Moving Wealth around is a free order.

STABILITY
Stability represents how secure a ruler's grip over a province is through fear, respect, deals, or whatever means they use to keep the locals content and following orders. Orders to increase stability can rely on almost any stat with the right orders.

Stability ranges from +3 to -3, and positive stability is globally reduced every five turns. There's no penalty for having low stability until it hits -2, at which point most orders will receive a [-] penalty.

Stability is shown on the "piece" map with a rook/king, with the color of the banner representing the stability. For simplicity's sake, the map generally won't add an extra piece just to show a stability of 0.

STABILITY & ORDERS
Stability's biggest role is how it interacts with orders:
  • Most orders' negative results will lower stability. If stability is already -2 or less, a more major negative effect will take place.
  • Stability can be "spent" to give an immediate bonus to any order. This may even be effectively required for some especially difficult orders (e.g., increasing a province's value).

STABILITY & MULTIPLE RULERS
It's possible for more than one ruler to have stability in a province — the king and his vassals are both rulers in a province, after all. In these cases, positive stability is a zero-sum game: If another character has +3 stability in a province, no-one else can get +1 stability.
 
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The Church

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THE CHURCH
England's bishops have a great deal of power when it comes to influencing the people within (and, to a degree outside of) their diocese. At the head of the British church is the Archbishop of Canterbury, who has the power to rearrange the diocese of England.

BISHOP APPOINTMENT
When a bishop dies, players have a set amount of time to offer a candidate to the local clergy to serve as a replacement. This counts as a full order, although the method of that order is up to players: Letting the character making a theological plea, using diplomacy, bribing/threatening, etc. are all valid orders.

Note that, like most mechanics, disputes are left as in-character affairs: If the king appoints a bishop and says that's the end of things, it's up to players to resist them.

<TODO: Review>
RELIGIOUS WORKS
A diocese counts as a proper title, just with Learning being used to increase Stability. All of the church holdings within a diocese belong to the bishop, although this power isn't absolute.

By default, unclaimed church income goes into the Episcopal Treasury. This is spread evenly throughout the diocese and is used on good works, improving churches, etc. 10% of this is lost every turn.

RELIGIOUS AUTHORITY
The Religious Authority of a bishop comes from how well he's cared for his diocese. This impacts how effective the bishop's orders are, especially when compared to other bishops.

Authority is affected by a diocese's Stability and the size of it's Episcopal Treasury relative to the diocese's overall size.
 
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Warfare

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WARFARE
RAISING UNITS
Provinces can offer 1 Unit per point of Value, although this may reduce prosperity. As another option, mercenaries can be hired for 3 Wealth per Unit.

Newly raised units can be assigned to any character in the same general region they're raised from. Once a character is leading an army, the two are tied together until the units are disbanded or transferred to another character (usually with a risk of desertion). While characters' armies always remain separate, you can "group up" armies for order purposes.

MOVEMENT & ORDERS
Armies move alongside the character they're attached to, with the additional restriction that a full move only covers 2 provinces and not 3.

Battles will not take place unless ordered; armies will simply camp outside whatever the main city in the province is and allow other armies march past or set up their own camps. Changing an army's fighting stance is a free order.

Your army orders can list specific provinces to travel through, armies to pursue, or be as vague as "Defend the London area" or "Chase this army"; conditional orders are not allowed. As long as it doesn't involve a full move or a siege (see below), army orders don't count as full orders.

ARMY UPKEEP
Armies require 1 Wealth per 5 Units to ship in supplies. If an army is not paid, it will automatically raid the province it's in for its upkeep, delivering any extra Wealth gathered to its lord. To avoid strange situations, a province raid will generally be split between all armies that are present: If one army looted a province for its supply, it's just assumed any other armies attempted to gather their supply from there as well.

If an army is unable to get its upkeep through any means, half its units will disband.

SIEGES
If an army is present with orders to attack the province's owner, its capital is considered under siege. Any armies/characters inside the capital cannot leave the province (escape attempts aside).

The actual siege of a province is handled as a proper order: Unless the attacker actively stops them, its assumed the city somehow manages to smuggle in enough supplies to last the turn.

If the city is assaulted successfully, it goes to a random unit that participated in the battle to take it. This unit is lost and acts as the new city garrison.


BATTLES
When a battle starts, units on each side involved are paired off at random; extra units are ignored. If one side has more units than the other, all of their units receive a [+], [++], [+++], etc. bonus if their army has 2x, 4x, 8x, etc. more total units.

Once units are paired off, an opposing roll is made using their commanders' skill. The [-] results for each side are totaled up, and every [--] (rounded up) results in one unit being lost.

When rolling the engagements, there's a 25% chance that a unit will be the commander's personal unit if it hasn't fought yet. This unit gains the commander's Martial skill as an extra bonus, but if defeated an additional roll is made: Success by the other side results in Capture, and Failure by the commander results in Injury/Death.

BATTLE RESOLUTION
If a commander loses more than half of their units in a battle, they are forced to withdraw. If an army loses more than half of their units in a battle (including forced withdrawals), the entire army is forced to withdraw. Attacker withdrawals are handled first, and a defender will never have to withdraw if there are no hostile units actually in the province. Note that it's possible for neither side to withdraw.

If the defender withdraws, they remain "on the edge" of the province to be moved just before the next turn. The initial withdrawal doesn't count against their movement limit for the next turn, and this pre-turn movement can be into the province's capital if allowed.

TERRAIN
Battles work differently when attacking into Restricted Terrain. This is handled using levels, with more levels harming the attacker more: Owned Fortifications, Forests, Marshes, Hills, and Minor Rivers are all worth one level; and Mountains and Major Rivers are worth three. Terrain modifiers never count against a side that already has an army present and/or owns the province.

Different Terrain Levels and their cumulative effects:
  • Level 1: No effect
  • Level 2: [+] to Defender
  • Level 3: Overwhelming Numbers requirements doubled for attacker
  • Level 5: Overwhelming Numbers requirements tripled for attacker, maxed at [++]

ATTACKING FORTIFICATIONS
If an army attacks a city, it counts as Level 5 Terrain, with an additional [-] penalty to the attacker. The defender will not withdraw even if defeated. If there is no army present, the city itself will raise 1 unit in its defense. This will be led by a skill [-] leader if there are no characters present.
 
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FAQ & GM Team

Schlieffen

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FAQ

CAN I HAVE AN EXAMPLE OF HOW ORDERS WORK?
Let's start with an in-character example: "Earl of Leofraed raises taxes in Middlesex, asking the people to accept the increased taxation to pay for the War with the Scots". Mechanically, this would be performed as two orders:
1) "asking the people to accept the increased taxation to pay for the War with the Scots"
2) "raises taxes in Middlesex"

Most orders will be something like this: Doing something to prepare for action, then actually acting. Players should use their imagination when coming up with ways to prepare for potential orders and situations. Some examples include:
  • Going through the ledgers and negotiating with merchants looking for low-risk areas to tax. [Stewardship]
  • Holding a public assembly to appeal to the people's love of their kingdom. [Diplomacy]
  • Preparing a small group of soldiers to deal with any troublemakers when the tax is collected. [Military]
  • etc.

WHAT IS STABILITY, AND HOW DO I RAISE IT?
Stability is essentially how much the locals respect you as a ruler. If things are going well and you pay attention to your subjects, stability will be high. If things are going poorly or the locals are feeling independent, stability will be low. Stability is important since it acts as a "buffer" to absorb order failures: If an order goes poorly, it's better to take a stability hit than suffer a rebellion or the like.

Stability can be raised through whatever means you see fit: Working closely with merchants to make sure business goes smoothly, tightly policing the realm, working together with the church, etc. Just keep in mind that how you keep your people in line may have an impact on things in the future.

HOW DO I GAIN WEALTH?
There are two answers to this question. The first is to perform a one-time collection, which gives immediate wealth but hurts a province's prosperity. The second is to claim a holding's income, which is more difficult but gives a more stable income.

As for the exact order, this is up to you to figure out. Something to keep in mind is that NPCs are always hesitant to offer their hard-earned income: If you don't offer something that they care about as an incentive, you'll probably lose some stability.


GM TEAM

Head GM: Schlieffen
Lord Bannerman: Firehound15
 
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