Ruins of Adventure
Edicts are the official pronouncements by your government about how you are running the polity that turn. For example, you may decide to have low or high taxes, to have more or fewer holidays, and how much effort to put into improving the polity’s infrastructure. Edicts fall into several categories: Diplomatic, Exploration, Holiday, Improvement, Promotion, Taxation, Trade, Vassalage, and Special Edicts.
Most Edicts will set policy only for the immediate future, allowing you to fine-tune your polity’s course of action from turn to turn.
Diplomatic edicts are special edicts that allow you to establish an embassy, treaty, or alliance with another polity. You must have an official representative of your polity, such as an ambassador or leader, present in the other polity to make this edict (though the GM may allow magical communication to handle most of the edict’s details). Using this edict costs 1d4 BP in travel and other expenses.
Your representative must attempt an NPC reaction check against the representatives of the target polity. The following situational modifiers apply to this check:
|Bribes and Gifts||+1 per BP spent|
|Your polity is Infamous||-1 per point of Infamy|
|Your polity is Famous||+1 per point of Fame|
|Polity Size difference||+ (Your Polity Size – Target Polity Size)/5|
|Polity Alignment difference||-2 per step of difference on each axis (max -8).|
|Polity and target polity both have an Alliance with a third party||+4|
|You have a Treaty with the target polity’s ally||+2|
|You and the target polity both have a Treaty with a third party||+1|
|You have an Embassy with the target polity’s enemy||-1|
|You have an Treaty with the target polity’s enemy||-3|
|You have an Alliance with the target polity’s enemy||-5|
This takes into account your treaties, alliances, and conflicts with the target polity’s allies and enemies. If you are friendly with the same polities, the target is more interested in diplomacy with you. If you are friendly with the target polity’s enemies, the target is less interested in negotiating with you.
Much like the starting attitude of an NPC, the target polity’s initial attitude toward you is indifferent, though the GM may modify this based on alignment differences, your shared history, culture, warfare, espionage, racial tensions, and other factors in the campaign world.
The act of making this Reaction check takes place over several days, with the emissary socializing with representatives of the target polity, discussing common interests and the benefits and goals of entering a diplomatic agreement with your polity. Because this check is not a singular event, abilities and spells that modify a single roll have no effect on this check unless they last at least 24 hours.
Type of Diplomatic Relationships
You use Diplomatic edicts to establish an embassy, treaty, or alliance; each is a closer relation than the previous one.
Embassy: You attempt to establish mutual recognition of authority and territory with the target polity, represented by granting dominion over embassies in each other’s settlements.
If the NPC reaction check fails to move the other polity’s attitude to Friendly, the other polity rejects your diplomatic efforts and you cannot attempt to establish an embassy with it again for 1 year. If the check causes the polity to become Threatening or worse, your polity’s Fame also decreases by 1.
If you succeed in making the polity Friendly, you create an embassy agreement with the target polity. You may purchase or build a Mansion or Noble Villa in one of the other polity’s settlements to use as an embassy (if so, your ambassador uses it as a residence). The target polity’s leaders may do the same in one of your settlements. Your embassy is considered your territory (and vice versa). Your embassy grants your polity the normal bonuses for a building of its type (they apply to your polity’s totals but not to any specific settlement in your polity) and increases Consumption by 1, Economy by 2, and Society by 2. If the target polity builds an embassy in one of your settlements, that polity gains these bonuses.
If you founded your polity with the support of a wealthy sponsor from another polity, your polity automatically has an embassy agreement with your sponsor’s, and you can use Diplomatic edicts to establish a treaty or an alliance.
An embassy is considered a permanent agreement. Replacing your ambassador does not affect the edict or the embassy. If you want to close your embassy and break the embassy agreement, attempt a Loyalty check. Success means you close the embassy. Failure means your citizens reject the idea of severing ties with the other polity and continue to staff the embassy; you may try again next turn.
If you attack a polity with which you have an embassy, attempt a Loyalty check. If you succeed, your Infamy increases by 1. If you fail, Infamy and Unrest both increase by 1.
Treaty: If you have an embassy agreement with another polity, you can approach that polity’s leaders to establish a treaty that formalizes your economic and social cooperation and understanding. Doing so requires a new Diplomatic edict and requires your envoy to attempt three consecutive NPC reactions checks (as above). These checks must be attempted in order (as an extreme success or failure can change the target polity’s attitude and the difficulty of the later checks).
If the first two checks fail to produce a Friendly result, the attempt to create a treaty fails; your polity’s Fame decreases by 1 and you cannot attempt to establish a treaty with the other polity for 1 year.
If the first two checks succeed, you enter negotiation of terms. Your envoy and one of the target polity’s leaders (typically the Ruler or Grand Diplomat) attempt opposed Reaction checks. As with other Diplomatic edicts, abilities or spells that modify skill checks do not apply unless they last at least 24 hours. Whichever party wins most of these opposed checks has the advantage in the negotiations and decides whether the treaty is balanced or unbalanced.
For a balanced treaty, increase each polity’s Economy by 10% of the other country’s Economy. The Fame of the party with the advantage in the negotiations by 1.
For an unbalanced treaty, the advantaged polity’s Economy increases by 15% of the disadvantaged polity’s Economy, and the disadvantaged polity’s Economy increases by 5% of the advantaged polity’s Economy. The advantaged polity’s Infamy increases by 1. You may use a Diplomatic edict to change an unbalanced treaty in your favor to a balanced treaty; doing so does not require a check.
A treaty is considered a permanent agreement. If you want to renegotiate it, attempt a Loyalty check. If you succeed, your envoy and one of the target polity’s leaders attempt opposed checks as described above (this doesn’t guarantee you end up with a more favorable treaty). If you fail, the existing treaty remains in effect and your Unrest increases by 1.
If you withdraw from the treaty, attempt a Loyalty check. Success means Unrest increases by 1; failure means Unrest increases by 2.
If you attack a polity with which you have a treaty, attempt a Loyalty check. If you succeed, Infamy and Unrest increase by 1d2 each. If you fail, Infamy and Unrest increase by 1d4 each.
Alliance: If you have a treaty with another polity, you can use a Diplomatic edict to form an alliance—a military agreement of mutual defense and support. This works like the negotiations for a treaty, except it requires four NPC reaction checks. The first three of these must succeed for the alliance to form.
If the first three checks are successful, negotiations proceed as for a treaty with an opposed NPC reaction check. The party who gains the advantage in the opposed may decide whether the alliance is balanced or unbalanced, but the bonuses apply to each polity’s Stability instead of Economy.
Polities in an alliance can move their armies through each others’ territories and station them in each others’ territories or in unoccupied Forts and Watchtowers, though not inside allied settlements. If an allied polity stations an army inside your territory, you must succeed at a Loyalty check or gain 1d2 Unrest; this does not apply if your polity has been attacked and you have requested aid from the ally.
If you are attacked by another polity, you can call for aid from your allies. Failure to send aid increases an ally’s Infamy by 1d4; the precise nature and amount of aid sent is at the discretion of the rulers of each polity, and the GM decides whether this Infamy increase happens.
If you attack a polity with which you have an alliance, attempt a Loyalty check. If you succeed, Infamy and Unrest increase by 1d4 each. If you fail, Infamy and Unrest increase by 2d4 each. An attacked ally may end an alliance, treaty, or embassy agreement with the aggressor without penalty.
Relationships with Multiple Polities:
A polity may have embassies with any number of polities. For each treaty or alliance after the first, the bonus to Economy or Stability is reduced by 1 (minimum +0).
Exploration edicts are special edicts that allow you to commission explorers to map unclaimed hexes and prepare them for your polity. You may choose to accompany the explorers or let them explore on their own.
When commissioning an expedition, you must determine the length of time and plan the route in advance. Financing explorers costs 1d4 BP per month of the expedition, paid in advance. The explorers start at your capital, and spend the agreed-on time traveling to, exploring, and mapping unclaimed hexes. At the end of the contracted period, they return to your capital. Normal overland travel and exploration times apply. Each expedition requires a separate Exploration edict.
Explorers note obvious terrain features and resources on the first day in a hex. Each day spent in the hex allows the explorers to make appropriate non-weapon proficiency checks to locate hidden landmarks, lairs, or resources.
Explorers have the same chances for random encounters and other dangers that you would if you traveled through or explored the hex yourself. If you are not traveling with the explorers and they have a hostile encounter, you may attempt a Stability check1. If you succeed at the Stability check, the explorers escape and the exploration continues the next day. If you fail the Stability check, the explorers are killed or scattered and the expedition ends; Unrest increases by 1, and the remainder of your BP investment in the expedition is lost.
1 At the Players’ and DM’s option, an encounter may also be played out using the statistics of the NPCs in question.
Holidays include general celebrations, feasts, festivals, or religious observances that take place across the polity. These may be immediate (such as a parade to celebrate a recent victory), or scheduled weeks or months in advance (such as a harvest festival).
Declaring a Holiday in a turn immediately increases your Loyalty by 1, but also increases your total Consumption by 1.
The increased Consumption lasts for an entire year. The BP expenditure includes lost revenue from citizens not working during the holidays, preparations and logistical arrangements that occur year-round, and the cost of the actual celebrations (these annual costs are averaged over the year and included in the listed Consumption modifier that you pay each turn).
For every Season (3 Months, or 12 Turns) that pass without a Holiday being declared, the polity’s Loyalty drops by 1; as the peasants become discontented with their labor.
Improvements are physical improvements you can make to your polity: founding new settlements, adding buildings to a settlement, building roads, creating facilities such as mines to tap natural resources, and claiming more hexes for your polity.
Your polity’s Size limits how many improvements you can make each turn. You can make a total number of improvements each turn equal to your Polity’s Size divided by 10 (round down to a minimum of 1).
Promotion edicts are events and actions the polity uses to attract new citizens and increase the well-being of the polity, such as recruitment campaigns, advertisements about services and goods, and propaganda to improve the perception of your polity at home and abroad. Promotions increase Consumption, but also increase Stability.
Launching a Promotion campaign immediately increases your Stability by 1, but also increases your total Consumption by 1. Like a Holiday, the increased Consumption lasts for an entire year, with short-term and long-term costs being averaged over the year and included in the listed Consumption modifier that you pay each turn.
For every Season (3 Months, or 12 Turns) that pass without a Promotion event being declared, the polity’s Stability drops by 1; as the natural ill-wind of rumor and discontent goes unchecked.
Setting the tax level determines how much revenue you collect from taxes in the Income Phase. Higher taxes increase your polity’s Economy (making it easier for you to succeed at Economy checks to generate revenue) but make your citizens unhappy (reducing Loyalty). Taxation can be adjusted on a Turn-by-Turn basis. Taxation modifiers to Economy and Loyalty apply only while that taxation level is in effect.
|Taxation Level||Economy Modifier||Loyalty Modifier|
Trade edicts are special edicts that allow you to create a trade route with another polity, increasing the BP you gain every month, as well as possibly increasing your Fame and other polity statistics.
To plan a trade route, select another polity as your trade partner and determine the distance in hexes from a settlement in your polity to a settlement in the target polity, tracing the path of the trade route rather than a direct line. a trade route can pass through grassland, desert, or any terrain that has a road or highway. If your settlement contains a Pier, the trade route can pass along rivers and coastal hexes. If your settlement contains a Waterfront, your trade route can pass through water hexes.
You dispatch a Trade Caravan which travels the length of the new trade route. The Caravan moves 1/2 hex per day through open grasslands and deserts, 1 hex per day along Roads and Rivers (upstream), 2 hexes per day along coastlines, and 4 hexes per day along water or Rivers (downstream). If the journey requires 1 turn or more, you gain no benefits from it until the turn the traders arrive at their destination.
You must invest at least 5 BP into the initial trade expedition using this trade route. The first time your traders reach the destination settlement, attempt an Economy check, a Loyalty check, and a Stability check.
- If all three checks fail, the trade route is a total loss; Fame decreases by 1 and Unrest increases by 1.
- If one check succeeds, the expedition fails to reach its destination but sells its goods elsewhere for 1d4 BP per every 5 BP invested.
- If two checks succeed, the trade route is established; Economy increases by 1 and Treasury increases by 2d4 BP per 5 BP invested in the initial trade expedition. For example, if you invested 15 BP in a trade route, Treasury increases by 6d4 BP.
- If all three checks succeed, the trade route is established and is a great success; Economy increases by 2, Fame increases by 1, and Treasury increases by 2d4 BP per 5 BP invested in the initial trade expedition.
A polity can have one of each of the following types of trade route. Each type requires certain buildings in your settlement, and each increases the Economy bonus from a successful trade route.
- Food: If your polity has surplus production from farms and fisheries that reduces its Consumption to below 0, you may export food. A successful food trade route increases Economy by 1 for every 10 Farms and Fisheries in the polity; this benefit is lost in any month that Farms and Fisheries do not reduce Consumption below 0. You must have at least 1 Granary and 1 Stockyard in your settlement.
- Goods: The trade route transports goods such as weapons and textiles. Count all Guildhalls, Smithies, Shops, Trade Shops, and Tanneries in the polity and divide by 10; a successful goods trade route increases Economy by this amount. You must have at least 1 Guildhall in your settlement.
- Luxuries: This trade route carries exotic goods such as art, musical instruments, books, spices, dyes, and magic items. Count all Alchemists, Caster’s Towers, Exotic Artisans, Herbalists, Luxury Stores, and Magic Shops in the polity and divide by 10; a successful luxuries trade route increases Economy by that amount. You must have at least 1 Luxury Store in your settlement.
- Raw Materials: This trade route carries common raw materials such as lumber, stone, ore, or metal. a successful raw materials trade route increases Economy by 1 for every 10 Mines, Quarries, and Sawmills in the polity. You must have at least 1 Foundry in the starting settlement to count Mines.
Vassalage edicts are special edicts that allow you to cede a portion of your lands (or unclaimed lands you deem yours to take) to a subordinate leader, sponsoring that leader’s rulership in exchange for fealty. You can also use a Vassalage edict to found a colony beholden to your polity. You may also use a Vassalage edict to subjugate an existing polity you have conquered without having to absorb the entire polity hex by hex. When you issue a Vassalage edict, you must select a person to take the Viceroy leadership role.
Issuing a Vassalage edict requires you to spend 1d4 BP and give additional BP to the Viceroy as a starting Treasury for the vassal polity (just as a wealthy sponsor may have granted to your initial Treasury). You may give up to 1/4 of your polity’s Treasury to your new vassal as a grant to help found the polity.
When you issue a Vassalage edict, you are creating a new polity or attaching an existing polity to your own. Your vassal functions in most respects as a separate entity with its own polity scores. You decide how it is governed; you may give its leaders full autonomy, or give occasional suggestions or commands about buildings and improvements, or control it directly by giving orders to the Viceroy.
New Vassal or Colony: When you issue a Vassalage edict to create a new colony or polity, you may immediately establish an embassy, treaty, or alliance (your choice) with your new vassal (see Diplomatic edicts). You may decide that the treaty and alliance are balanced or unbalanced. These decisions are automatically successful and do not require rolls.
Subjugation: When you issue this edict to subjugate another polity, you may immediately establish an embassy, but you must follow the normal rules if you wish to establish a treaty or alliance. If you spend BP on bribes or gifts to reduce the DC and you succeed at forming the treaty or alliance, you may count half of this amount as going toward new improvements or buildings built in the vassal polity that turn.
The starting attitude of the vassal polity is based on alignment compatibility and modified by the circumstances under which you deposed the prior leadership per GM discretion—for example, improving if you removed a hated tyrant or worsening if you unseated a popular ruler.
Subjugation may cause friction between your established citizens and the newly conquered. You must attempt a Loyalty check each turn (when you issue the edict, and on future turns during the Upkeep Phase), increasing the DC by the subjugated polity’s Size divided by 5. Failure means Unrest increases by 1d4. If you succeed at this check three turns in a row, you establish a peaceful equilibrium and no longer need to attempt these checks.
Vacancy Penalty: If the vassal polity take a vacancy penalty for not having a Viceroy or a Viceroy not doing his duties, that polity also takes the Ruler vacancy penalty.
Special Edicts represent the unique functions and proclivities of the various leaders of your polity. Special Edicts are not automatically available to all polities, and most have some requirement that must be met before they become available.
Projects: Projects are those tasks which require the direct attention and labor of one of a polity’s leaders. These may be anything from compiling a dossier on a specific leader of a rival polity (by the Spymaster), researching some strange magical or supernatural event (by the High Priest or Magister), planning and hosting a conference for local business leaders (by the Treasurer), or any other relevant task a Leader can throw himself into. On completion of a Project, the polity gains a +1 increase to the stat overseen by that Leader, and may gain other benefits or information as determined by the DM depending on the nature of the proposed Project.
- Costs: A project costs 1d4 build points and requires the full attention of the designated leader for 1 full turn (precluding any training, adventuring, or other time-consuming activities).
- Requirements: None.
Assassinate: Your polity retains the services of one or more Assassins. The level of the assassin(s) is equal to the Size of your polity, divided by 10 (round down to a minimum of 1). Using the Assassinate Edict, you can order an assassin to attempt to kill one of the Leaders of another polity. This is resolved as a normal combat encounter between the Assassin and his target.
Because it takes time to prepare a strike, the Assassinate Edict can be used only once per quarter (3 months or 12 turns).
- Requirements: Spymaster +5; Crime 10
Beatify: The deeds of a saint are to those of the ordinary man as the clouds are to the earth. Your High Priest has the power to declare someone to be a potential saint within his church (obviously the target must be a member of said religion). A person who has been beatified automatically treats on all NPC reaction rolls vs. members of the religion in question as one stage more positive.
Whether or not the person is actually a saint, and what benefits that might have, is left to the gods to decide.
- Requirements: High Priest +6; Cathedral
Crusade: The polity declares a Holy War upon an enemy polity. Make a Loyalty check. If you succeed, your people martial their resources and travel any distance to attack the blasphemers. This is resolved as a normal war, but all of your troops gain a bonus to Morale equal to half your High Priest’s bonus for the duration of the Crusade. If the Loyalty check fails, you may still declare War, but the lack of religious fervor imposes a -1 penalty to the Morale of your soldiers.
Until the Crusade is called off, your Consumption increases by 2 due to the cost of ongoing operations.
- Requirements: High Priest +6; Fortress of the Faith
Mint: Your polity issues its own currency (usually stamped with the face of your Ruler). Stability and Loyalty increase by an amount equal to one-half your Treasurer’s bonus, due to the populace’s trust in your legal tender. However, the cost of minting, combined with inflationary pressure on the market increases Consumption by 1 for the next year.
- Requirements: Treasurer +6; 1 Mine; 1 Mint
Plunder: Treasure is the goal and speed is the means. You dispatch soldiers, in plain clothes to loot, pillage, and terrorize a Hex or District, which can be either unclaimed or claimed by another polity. If the target is unclaimed land, you gain 2d10 BP and your polity’s Stability decreases by half that as your soldiers become more wanton. If the target is claimed, you gain a number of BP equal to the target polity’s Size divided by 5 (round down to a minimum of 1), the target polity’s Economy drops by 2, and your Infamy increases by 2.
- Requirements: Spymaster or General +5; Crime 10; At least 1 Army unit