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Domain level play experiences and advice?

Reverend Keith

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#1
I've been running a B/X campaign for over a year now, and the PCs are currently 8th-9th level. They are now striking out into the wilderness to "clear their ideal hex" for the location of their new community.

I think I have this bit under control, however I'm really curious as how other DMs have handled domain play in the past. Any unexpected pitfalls or problems in play? Know of any good resources, random event tables, products, or advice for Domain-level gaming?
 

Redbeard67

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#2
1st edition "Oriental" Adventures has a pretty decent set of tables for yearly, monthly and daily events that I've heard folks have used. It looks good for what it sounds like you're looking for. The pdf is on sale now at rpgnow for $4.99. Worth it for those 7 pages?
 

thirdkingdom

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#3
Sine Nomine's An Echo, Resounding is one of the best supplements for domain level play that I'm aware of. It's also written for Labyrinth Lord, which is a retroclone of B/X. It's . . . less crunchy than I would like, though, and tends to abstract a lot of stuff out. I'm currently working on a more granular system for domain-level play that will be compatible with Labyrinth Lord. I'm hoping to release a beta version in the next month or so, if you're interested.
 

VicenteC

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#4
Sine Nomine's An Echo, Resounding is one of the best supplements for domain level play that I'm aware of. It's also written for Labyrinth Lord, which is a retroclone of B/X. It's . . . less crunchy than I would like, though, and tends to abstract a lot of stuff out. I'm currently working on a more granular system for domain-level play that will be compatible with Labyrinth Lord. I'm hoping to release a beta version in the next month or so, if you're interested.
I am very interested on this :)

About domain rules, there is a pretty good list in r/rpg wiki:

https://www.reddit.com/r/rpg/wiki/realmrpgs

The main issues with realm management that I have found:

- How to run the opposing factions. If the system has a lot of detail, running the opposing factions is quite a lot of work.
- How to intermingle domain and character level stuff. It's great if both layers feed each other, but it can take some work.
- Sometimes players will think that "yeah, I'm level 10. The ruler of XYZ is level 3, I can charm/polymorph/kill my way easily". It may be easy to do any of those things to the ruler of XYZ, but players are usually very short-sighted on the large scale repercusions of those types of things...

Hope it helps!
 

barrataria

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#5
It's always been my players' favorite part of gaming. The hexcrawl part is a fun mini-campaign, and dealing with hirelings or apprentice thieves or whatever is especially fun.

We did a lot of one-on-one play, but consider having other players run one or more of the henchmen/apprentice/follower characters if you want to continue group play.

I always ran this stuff with the 1E DMG so that is great for filling in details. Birthright stuff can be a good model for high-level design and play too. Also, the old companion module CM1 Test of the Warlords is good for inspiration and a few high-level dungeon/random encounters. Also also, the 1E Oriental (sic) Adventures book had a very interesting and basic event generation system, something like annual events/monthly events/weekly events. So a good guideline for how often events of various import should occur.
 

Reverend Keith

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#6
Thanks for the feedback and advice, everyone! Clearly, I have a lot of reading and prep ahead of me.

1st edition "Oriental" Adventures has a pretty decent set of tables for yearly, monthly and daily events that I've heard folks have used.
Nice! I still have my copy that I bought twhen it was released. I just need to dig up the right box in my garage. ;)

Sine Nomine's An Echo, Resounding is one of the best supplements for domain level play that I'm aware of. It's also written for Labyrinth Lord, which is a retroclone of B/X. It's . . . less crunchy than I would like, though, and tends to abstract a lot of stuff out.
That sounds like a plus to me. At least one of my players is looking forward to the domain/spreadsheet action, however the vast majority of my players want something simple and easier to grok. (Huh, isn't that how the Kingmaker modules are set up to do domain play? I haven't read those in years, now that I think of it.)

Nice thing about An Echo, Resounding is that I won't have to adapt it to another system.

I'm currently working on a more granular system for domain-level play that will be compatible with Labyrinth Lord. I'm hoping to release a beta version in the next month or so, if you're interested.
Yeah! I'd love to check it out, as the PCs won't have finished clearing the hex and starting construction on their strongholds until after New Years anyway.

About domain rules, there is a pretty good list in r/rpg wiki:
https://www.reddit.com/r/rpg/wiki/realmrpgs
Very cool! Thanks for that, and the advice!
 

Gen. Lee

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#7
An option that I used when I ran the Kingmaker AP in Pathfinder: if one player is very interested in the spreadsheets, set up a separate session with them between games or exchange a lot of emails. We usually started each session with that player conferring with the others on broad decisions, and then she & I would work the numbers away from the table. I think it saved us a lot of time of the not-so-interested players being bored.
 

Matt Sheridan

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#8
Brandes Stoddard did a pretty rad series on domain play systems over on Tribaility. It's mostly D&D-focused, but addresses other games. (It leaves out Reign, though, which kinda surprised me.)

Anyway, I'd definitely lean towards An Echo, Resounding . . . plus maybe some concrete numbers just for kicks, even if they're just generated by some other domain system, and not heavily integrated into the mechanics I'm using. Sometimes it's just nice to know how many people live in a place, ya know?
 

thirdkingdom

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#9
I'm editing the domain rules I'd mentioned, and am working with an artist for a cover. Not to threadjack, but I was wondering which sketch works the best to convey "Domain Rules"?
Here's what the artist had to say about it:

In number 1 and 2 I was thinking like a party looking down over a region from a castle tower. In 3-6 I was thinking each party member holding different items reperesenting different aspects of governing a region, like a scroll and quill for diplomacy/sending orders, a handful of gold and a bag of gold for trade/taxes, a set of compasses and a plan for building and planning, and an ear of corn and a handful of grain for food production. Basically just arranged in different ways showing a region and a except for 5 which shows some scenes begins each character relevant to what they are holding, ie. shaking hands with foreigners behind the diplomacy character, a marketplace behind the gold character, farmers working behind the food character and a building being constructed behind the architect/builder character, with the castle in the centre of the characters. The characters will be drawn to look like adventurers first and foremost - warrior, wizard etc, just having picked up the tools of governing. I just used ‘DOMAINS’ as a stand in title.
Domain Thumbnails.jpg
 
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