Yet another Domains-related question (Axioms 3)

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drkrash
Barbarian Conquerors of Kanahu BackerACKS Heroic Fantasy Handbook Backer
Joined: 2016-04-15 15:54
Yet another Domains-related question (Axioms 3)

I'm reading the "revised" Domains rules in Axioms 3 (and I haven't read the original Domains rules in some time).  The first chart in those rules suggests that a 14th level character can basically manage a single 24-mile hex without penalty.

This surprised me.

When I set up my world map at campaign beginning (about a year ago), I used Hexographer to make a 24-mile hex map comprised of 40x30 rows.  I then divided that up into 4 kingdoms: the Imperial capital and his 3 vassal states.  Each of those states was also dozens of 24-mile hexes in size.  I tried to follow all the guidelines in the core rules, but some of it stymied me, so I eyeballed it.  And it's working fine.

But now I'm reading that my local king (who I put at 12th level, I think) must not only be running a region of literally dozens and dozens and dozens of sub-domains, but in the 10 hex (6-mile hexes) journey my party regularly makes to do serious commerce, they seem to run, according to this chart, through at least two, and probably several, sub-domains, each ruled by 9th+ level characters.

I get how the feudal system works, but this - even if accurate to some real-world standard - seems ridiculous in actual play.  What am I missing?

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Alex
The Autarch
Joined: 2011-06-30 18:10

ACKS does attempt to model the complexity of actual rulership in the ancient and medieval world. For instance, the Roman Empire had an Emperor who ruled over several Prefectures, each with several Diocese, each with several Provinces, each with several Assize Districts, each with several Subdistricts.

Whether you want to worry about it is up to you. For many campaigns all you need to know is:

  • Size of ruler's realm (number of hexes total)
  • Population of ruler's realm (number of peasant families total, plus 10% to 20% to account for urban famliies)
  • Monthly budget of ruler's army (typically 2gp x number of peasant families)
  • Ruler's discretionary income

 

 

 

 

Alex
The Autarch
Joined: 2011-06-30 18:10

To answer your specific question:

A 12th level king typically would have at least 4 sub-vassals of about 10th level, each with 4 sub-vassals of about 8th level, each with 4 sub-vassals of about 6th level, each with 4 sub-vassals of about 4th level. Their personal territories would be 9 hexes, 7 hexes, 4 hexes, 2 hexes, and 1/2 hex each.

The total size of his realm is going to be (1x9) + (4x7) + (16x4) + (64x2) + (256 x 1/2) = 9 + 28 + 64 + 128 + 128 = 357 6-mile hexes, or 22 24-mile hexes. If anybody in that chain has 5 or 6 vassals, it'll be even bigger.

Of the 357 6-mile hexes in the king's realm, 256 of them are under the control of 4th and 6th level characters. So there is no particular reason to believe that traveling 10 hexes necessarily involves interacting with any 9th level characters. There is 1 9th level character per about (357/4) 90 6-mile hexes, or per 9.4 hexes squared. So a 10-mile hex trip likely never leaves a sub-domain

Hope that helps! 

 

 

 

drkrash
Barbarian Conquerors of Kanahu BackerACKS Heroic Fantasy Handbook Backer
Joined: 2016-04-15 15:54

Yes, that does help a lot, thanks.  I'm always impressed by the ACKS math, though I'll never fully use it myself.  Your example also means that it is *not* unreasonable for characters as low as 4th to begin getting their feet wet in the "domain game," right? That will make one of my players very happy.

Jard
Patreon SupporterDomains At War ContributorSinister Stone of Sakkara ContributorLairs And Encounters ContributorBarbarian Conquerors of Kanahu ContributorACKS Heroic Fantasy Handbook Contributor
Joined: 2012-07-11 23:23

Yes, that does help a lot, thanks.  I'm always impressed by the ACKS math, though I'll never fully use it myself.  Your example also means that it is *not* unreasonable for characters as low as 4th to begin getting their feet wet in the "domain game," right? That will make one of my players very happy.


-drkrash

The original core rules make this sort of ambiguous, but the gist is that adventurers, being not overly concerned with kingdoms and such, find that the domain thing just sort of "happens" at 9th level without them putting a lot of effort in.  In reality, anyone with sufficient funds and a secured plot of land can start being a ruler.

That being said, it's not likely to be possible prior to probably at least the "adventurer tier" (levels 4-6) when a party will have a reasonable chance of being able to clear out a hexes worth of lairs.

Alex
The Autarch
Joined: 2011-06-30 18:10

Any character can become a ruler at any time. Most rulers are of fairly low level and rule fairly small domains. What makes adventurers unusual is that they are gaining levels without being rulers. 

If I ever do a 2nd edition of ACKS I will make it more clear that what happens at 9th level is that you automatically attract followers and peasants if you establish a stronghold.  

As the Russians say, "In Name Level ACKS, Domain Come To You."