AEG Empire, how is it?

Tyler Do'Urden

Soap Maker
Silveras said:
Your Eldritch Knight would conceivably get nothing for the Ranger level, then the 5th level Wizard ability. Thereafter, he might get either the 10th level Wizard and the 15th level Fighter ability, or vice versa, as the EK is a Fighter/Arcanist sort of hybrid class. Although you can qualify by being a Ranger instead of a Fighter, I think you would need to pursue a more woodsy-oriented PrC to get the Ranger abilities.

How I think I'd handle it is that I'd just let the PC's stack their prestige class levels with their base levels as they'd see fit... so, for instance, a Ranger1/Wizard5/Eldrich Knight5 could have not only the 5th level Wizard ability, but could have either the 5th level Ranger ability or the 10th level Wizard ability, or split his levels quasi-evenly and have neither. But that's just a matter of taste, it seems to flow better that way.
 

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Silveras

First Post
Tyler Do'Urden said:
How I think I'd handle it is that I'd just let the PC's stack their prestige class levels with their base levels as they'd see fit... so, for instance, a Ranger1/Wizard5/Eldrich Knight5 could have not only the 5th level Wizard ability, but could have either the 5th level Ranger ability or the 10th level Wizard ability, or split his levels quasi-evenly and have neither. But that's just a matter of taste, it seems to flow better that way.

My spin was based on the way the advice is laid out in Empire, and has little to do with how I'd actually handle it. As I said, I dislike the idea of assigning such abilities to the classes at specific levels.

Empire does not mention multi-classed characters at all, as far as I can see. It deals explicitly with single-classed characters, then talks about assigning an appropriate selection of those abilities to the Prestige Classes. It also urges you to make sure that the ability assigned is to an appropriate level.

Empire said:
The key to assigning abilities is to match them up at levels 5, 10, 15, and 20. Never give out an ability before the level it is assigned for the base classes, and by the same token, try not to delay the abilities. A prestige or new core class should receive abilities at levels 5, 10, 15, and 20, and those abilities should match the talents acquired at the same level by the core classes.

That advice does not work with the reality of multi-classed characters. Is it overall character level that should determine how powerful an ability you get, or is it class level ?

A 15th level character who is Wiz 5/ Clr 5/ MyTh 5 is a 15th level character, but if the guidelines are followed as written, s/he will have 3 5th level "extra abilities" (and no PrC, until Epic levels, would grant 15th or 20th level abilities).

Consider the case of a Wiz 4/ Clr 4/ {other} 4; a 12th level character with 0 such "extra" abilities.

The implicatation is that it should be overall character level that determines which abilities are assigned. It makes much more sense that a PrC you have to be 7th level to qualify for is not going to grant you a 5th level ability when you reach 10th level.
 
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johnsemlak

First Post
just briefly looking at it myself and not being as familiar with the rules as other posters...

One thing I'm a bit dissappointed in is the very small space devoted to running dominions--basically the first chapter, which is really just over 20 pages. The rest is covered by a long mass-battle system, which I didnd't buy the book for, and some other odds and ends. The later chapters have some bits useful for dominions, the short "Running an Empire Campaign" chapter, but not heaps and loads.

This is probably why the book is receiving complaints for being incomplete.
 

Silveras

First Post
johnsemlak said:
just briefly looking at it myself and not being as familiar with the rules as other posters...

One thing I'm a bit dissappointed in is the very small space devoted to running dominions--basically the first chapter, which is really just over 20 pages. The rest is covered by a long mass-battle system, which I didnd't buy the book for, and some other odds and ends. The later chapters have some bits useful for dominions, the short "Running an Empire Campaign" chapter, but not heaps and loads.

This is probably why the book is receiving complaints for being incomplete.

As Mr. Mearls was kind enough to share with us, AEG insisted the book be a 50/50 split. I think that was a poor editorial decision, and has indeed led to Empire feeling more like pieces of two books stuck together. I don't know what business reasons AEG thought made it necessary or appropriate; all I can do is look at the end result and say "This is disappointing".
 

Silveras

First Post
A Question regarding the significance of maps

This is primarily a question for Mr. Mearls:

A couple of places in Empire imply that the placement of strongholds has some impact on the resolution of various things. Villages are mentioned as being necessary in some numbers for efficient gathering of resources. The rules for converting wasteland to other terrain require that the converted square be adjacent to a road or a stronghold. This implies that the "land units" should be laid out in some way, and strongholds assigned to specific ones. However, the book never explicitly says this.

Was it your intention that the region be mapped out in terms of terms of land units, and that the ability of the people to harvest resources be tied in some way to the placement of the strongholds ? The attached map is a 197 land-unit domain mapped out, with 1 city, 1 town, 2 keeps, and a scattering of villages. A large lake dominates the "center" of the region. The assumed "working reach" of each settlement is outlined in red.
 

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RodneyThompson

First Post
Psion said:
I'm gonna outright ignore your restriction and say "Noble's Handbook" as I have it (which usually means it's at your FLGS, too.) It's got a neat little system where you build noble houses almost like characters with feat-like advantages, like "groomed" which lets you give your retainers bonus feats.

Hey, thanks Alan!

A warning to those seeking a domain micromanagement system: The Noble's Handbook system for managing noble houses (and crime syndicates, spy networks, military units, and other such organizations as it's a kind of open-ended system) is geared more toward PC-controlled organization and ease of use in game. As such, it's more personal in scale and may not be exactly what you're looking for. Still, I'm eager to hear more about what people think of it around here.
 
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Silveras

First Post
A problem with Empire: the scaling rules have a flaw, especially if you plan to start at Barony and scale up to Kingdom and eventually Empire. The scaling rules should allow you to represent the same conditions (population, food supply, money, etc.) in the same proportions at each level -- the numbers should reduce to become more manageable, but the proportions should stay the same. Therefore, a domain that "works" (i.e., can feed and house its population) should work at any scale, just with more or less of each unit than at other scales.

The flaw: the population and money units scale by a factor of 10 each, but the land scales by a factor of 20. Because they scale differently, the land units become less useful as you go up in scale. A domain that "works" under Kingdom scale can "fail" when converted to the Empire scale.
 

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