The Campaign Rounds, in my RPoL game, happen every RL six months but represent a year in game time – it amuses me to use the dates of the summer and winter solstices to start campaign rounds. We started off running campaign rounds every time the group levelled up (I was using a group levelling system) – but that didn’t work well when we recruited new players, because they were never going to catch up. However, that, and the XP system I have put in place, might be a good blog post later.
Anyway, we are coming up to the start of the next Campaign Round, it will be year 4715 and players will have to age all of their characters (any entourage and secondary PC characters, as well as their main PC) by one year. Better news is that existing Entourage members can advance a level – assuming they haven’t reached their permissible level limit (1/2 the level of their PC), or their level cap (L5). Secondary PCs, such squires or cohorts purchased with a feat, are not affected because they level according to their own rules. But most importantly, it is the time they get income from their investments and get to develop the next part of their Character’s (non-adventuring) story.
As DM, I control quite a lot of resources, and while my NPCs each have their own agenda, I like to support the PCs when I can. I always appreciate it when people interact with the structure of my world and, while all things should be a challenge, I try to use NPC resources sympathetically. So I tend to have a quick look at each Business, town or estate, before time, just so I am aware of the problems that they might face – and the options that are open to them, should I be asked for advice. These are my thoughts:-
First, I think, the political climate is important. The King-Regent of Brevoy and The Rostland Aldori are gearing up for a civil war – with a large part of Rostland as the prize. Midmarch is on the border, and we have PCs with family, and allegiances, in different camps. We know that the Gnomes of Jovvox (who sell weapons in bulk) are building a shop in Ringbridge (close to The Aldori) and we think that members of the Rostland Aldori have been speaking with their ‘cousins’ in Mivon.
Other things affect the development climate as well. V&A Shipping will be opening up their first external trade link (quite an important occasion) with a jetty in Jovvox and regular services between Tusk and Jovvox. They are also negotiating for permission of build a jetty in Mivon. Zelona will take ownership of an ancient keep found in the Narlemarch. Henry isn’t interested in colonising that area so, while Henry is prepared to be supportive, Zelona and her colonists are ‘on their own’.
Henry’s main plan is to push Midmarch westward to the East Sellen River, an expansion which will (eventually) cover two ‘interesting’ sites. An old villa, once home to a mage of some sort, which should really be occupied to prevent its re-population by monsters, bandits or tribes. And Bogside, a village on the marshy borders of Hooktongue Lake, which could be taken over – once the current despotic overlord has been dealt with.
But back to Midmarch:
Tusk has been growing rapidly, and has progressed from a simple village into a small city in just a few short years – and that is starting to create size and pressure problems. There are three core districts: Central district (Civic buildings temples etc) is almost full. Port Henry (The dock area) has ONE development slot left. Merchant (home of traders etc) has more room, but (for aesthetic reasons) should probably be saved for the other mercantile businesses which will surely arrive. Outside the walls there are Lakeside (which is filling up fast) as a military / trade district. College (which is what it sounds like) and Ivory Nob, the putative ‘Noble District’.
What would I do? I think I would build a seventh district, to close the outer ring of the city, and start paying smelly and low status developments to move there. Build your own ‘Workers district’, rather than let it develop haphazardly. Things like the Orphanage, The Grain Silos, The Brewery (have you ever lived close to a brewery?) and the Leather Works. It adds a point of consumption (which they would have to pay from taxes) but it establishes the structure of the city and helps with planning. It makes it easier to build an outer wall, gives another water border and makes planning and zoning really easy for the next few Campaign Rounds.
Oston is almost full as well however, the senior residents (Oleg and Svetlana) have decided to limit the size of the town, and won’t allow development of new districts, because they want to ‘live in the country’ – rather than a big town or city. A one district Small Town fits that model well. It also fits in with Henry’s views of a rural economy to the north of Midmarch – which is where all the good agricultural land is.
What would I do? Oston has barracks for its troops, and therefore has two defence points. This means Oston can have two Hamlets (secondary settlements) in their town hex. Oleg and Svetlana are cool with that, so long as there is an agricultural / country feel about such developments.
I don’t see any real issues for any of the other estates. I expect Marik Metals will develop their new mine and I guess the Vallani estate will start on building canals soon. WSM needs to pay back debts this round, and V&A Shipping need to remember that they will want quite a bit of cash (to develop in Mivon) soon – and work out how to raise that out of the campaign/BP rules system.
And my advice for Zelona, if you want a rural/wilderness holding, get your village built first – then look at extending into the surrounding wilderness areas. You might be able to help fund that development by building suitable hamlets (say Fishing and a Green Lumber Camp) in the Old Keep Hex. Last thought is that you will need to balance Econ, Loy and Stab carefully and use the space in your village and your fishing hamlet wisely – while you have more usable space, I struggled when building the Northern Narlmarch Reserve. However, you could also build a small town (as Tatzleford will do) which would make your planning a bit easier, but might not suit your RP needs.