D&D General should we have domains back if so how?

I have been watching videos on older dnd out of boredom and the inability to get into a group.
I have noted that in older editions you could have a domain game and it looked like something that could sell a box far better than dragonlance and spelljammer could.
we need more level 11+ content and a system that lets people make towns and cities that feel beyond the generic would be great for DMs.
one of the old problems is all the classes have separate ones which is bad for the party.
how to integrate all classes/sub-classes seems hard but could be done.
Does anyone have ideas on this topic as I am trying to post less antagonistic topics for my mental health?
 

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Yora

Legend
PCs establishing a domain after 10th level was always really not much more than an idea. Which never really got turned into anything more concrete or robust.
In some very early campaigns like the Greyhawk campaign, some characters would basically go into retirement after 10th level or so and be a baron or something. The players would then make new characters to continue playing in the dungeon crawls that made up the campaign.

The main problem with running domains is that it's not a group activity. Even when the group decides that one PC is going to be the lord and the others all play the managers of different departments of the domain, they still end up doing their own individual spreadsheet games. That's not why anyone plays D&D.
 

PCs establishing a domain after 10th level was always really not much more than an idea. Which never really got turned into anything more concrete or robust.
In some very early campaigns like the Greyhawk campaign, some characters would basically go into retirement after 10th level or so and be a baron or something. The players would then make new characters to continue playing in the dungeon crawls that made up the campaign.

The main problem with running domains is that it's not a group activity. Even when the group decides that one PC is going to be the lord and the others all play the managers of different departments of the domain, they still end up doing their own individual spreadsheet games. That's not why anyone plays D&D.
as I said I saw the flaw but I lack the game design ability to correct it as more options for high level story telling is needed.
 



MarkB

Legend
Can you maybe establish the premise for the benefit of the uninitiated? I'm guessing you mean something other than Clerics' religious domains.

Sounds like you're talking about giving PCs regions to manage, such as cities or districts. Is this the case?
 

toucanbuzz

No rule is inviolate
I'm wrapping up the epilogue for a Kingmaker campaign this afternoon based on managing a barony: get a charter at level 1, scout and explore, by level 4 someone is a baron or baroness. The others assumed roles such as General, Magister, etc.

It's not that difficult as you can pick how much you want to micro-manage your kingdom (there's multiple rule books for this, including Colville's Stronghold book, Paizo's Ultimate Campaign made for the Kingmaker adventure path, and Level Up's building rules). Once you find a ruleset you like, you can try it. The building should always lead to something (after all, what's the purpose of opening up the Seven Feathers Inn and building a moat with walls if there isn't going to be roleplay and an attack on your town). Paizo's UC had an excellent random events chart for kingdom events (it's OGL, free online), and a quick search for Kingmaker random events will yield many homebrew additions to its list.

From there, if you want to incorporate things like Colville's character class strongholds (e.g. a wizard tower where you could research a way to modify your spells, or a fighter keep where you could raise troops and use rules for mass combat), it all depends on how much you want to spend.

If you don't want to buy anything, you can simply make your own kingdom events list, make up a benefit for building a stronghold, and use the DMG for some rough prices on how much it all costs. For NPCs and buildings, I borrowed a little-used book I had sitting on a shelf that had a fully fleshed out town and picked out buildings as the PCs built them. This led to some interesting NPC interactions and side adventures.
 
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We already have them in 5E. Twilight and Death are my two fave.
Can you maybe establish the premise for the benefit of the uninitiated? I'm guessing you mean something other than Clerics' religious domains.

Sounds like you're talking about giving PCs regions to manage, such as cities or districts. Is this the case?
From context, yes, it seems @Mind of tempest is referring to the "domain management" rules found in the earlier editions of D&D. As you say, for the "uninitiated," these were some form of land holding or other leadership role that high-level characters would acquire. E.g.:

Fighters (and similar) would become manorial nobility (not strictly feudal, as feudalism is manorialism plus vassalage, but vassalage wasn't specifically part of the original domain rules AIUI), providing military protection and legal representation in return for taxes and levies.
Clerics would become the leader of a church to their deity (Druids would get a grove, but more or less the same deal), with associated duties and benefits.
Rogues would become the head of a thieves' guild in a city or township, with missions, dues, etc.
Wizards would acquire a wizard tower, from which they could take apprentices and do other forms of wizardy stuff.
 


I have been watching videos on older dnd out of boredom and the inability to get into a group.
I have noted that in older editions you could have a domain game and it looked like something that could sell a box far better than dragonlance and spelljammer could.
we need more level 11+ content and a system that lets people make towns and cities that feel beyond the generic would be great for DMs.
one of the old problems is all the classes have separate ones which is bad for the party.
how to integrate all classes/sub-classes seems hard but could be done.
Does anyone have ideas on this topic as I am trying to post less antagonistic topics for my mental health?
There are few 3PP products that already do this for 5e. I believe both MCDM and LevelUp have these and there are others as well.
 

Fanaelialae

Legend
I have been watching videos on older dnd out of boredom and the inability to get into a group.
I have noted that in older editions you could have a domain game and it looked like something that could sell a box far better than dragonlance and spelljammer could.
we need more level 11+ content and a system that lets people make towns and cities that feel beyond the generic would be great for DMs.
one of the old problems is all the classes have separate ones which is bad for the party.
how to integrate all classes/sub-classes seems hard but could be done.
Does anyone have ideas on this topic as I am trying to post less antagonistic topics for my mental health?
This was kind of the idea behind the 2e Birthright campaign setting. Domain management integrated into the game from level 1. I can't speak to whether or not it actually succeeded, as I never actually ran it. Seemed interesting though.
 


Staffan

Legend
The traditional domain game would consist of high-level characters (primarily fighters) being put in charge of some land at the edge of a kingdom in order to pacify that region and lead it to flourishing. The main point, I believe, was to act as a gold sink for all that money you gained while leveling up (because gold gave XP): building castles and raising and maintaining armies isn't cheap.

Now, in a modern context there are a number of problems with this. One is that published campaign settings tend to be "filled" already. There aren't really any borderlands in which to push. Another is that modern D&D doesn't do XP for gold anymore. While there still isn't all that much to spend gold on, you might not acquire quite the hoards needed to finance such a venture. A third is that you'd need a mass combat system, and that's generally not been one of D&D's strong points – particularly not since people can't even agree on whether they want one with figures on a map or a more abstract system like the War Machine from Companion D&D.

But the biggest issue is that there are many more people playing who would strongly object to taking part in a colonialist project like this. "Pacify the region" is just en euphemism for "kill or drive off all the current inhabitants of this land", after all. Given the direction the game has taken toward "orcs are people too", it leaves a bit of a sour taste in one's mouth.

I think a more modern approach would be to focus on base-building. Start with a village or fort and spend time and resources improving it by adding defenses, facilities, or resource generation (e.g. a lumber mill in a forested region would generate more resources for building certain things). This would still provide the satisfaction of building something lasting, without the expansionist stuff.
 

This was kind of the idea behind the 2e Birthright campaign setting. Domain management integrated into the game from level 1. I can't speak to whether or not it actually succeeded, as I never actually ran it. Seemed interesting though.
the problem with that is it really limits stories and it lives and dies by settings hence the idea for it to be an option for high-level play as just bigger dungeons or quest gets boring and people do love a base, forcing it would be bad but a change of pace is not bad.
There are few 3PP products that already do this for 5e. I believe both MCDM and LevelUp have these and there are others as well.
fair but that tends to be of varying quality, I have no idea what mcdm is and although I agree with several level-up ideas I do not love it sufficiently to change systems.
The traditional domain game would consist of high-level characters (primarily fighters) being put in charge of some land at the edge of a kingdom in order to pacify that region and lead it to flourishing. The main point, I believe, was to act as a gold sink for all that money you gained while leveling up (because gold gave XP): building castles and raising and maintaining armies isn't cheap.
true but people still end up with lots of gold and people desire new ways to play and people love having a base, given it could also be used to make new locations in a way that dms outside of the long-time ones or the truly knowledgeable are unable to do. it would be a viable product in the abstract as it could be sold to multiple people.
Now, in a modern context there are a number of problems with this. One is that published campaign settings tend to be "filled" already. There aren't really any borderlands in which to push.
okay so make it setting neutral also you do not just build keeps to hold borderland they are built at strategically important locations which can change over time, we have had castles at many places also you could be given to take over an already standing one as part of a treaty or gift.
Another is that modern D&D doesn't do XP for gold anymore. While there still isn't all that much to spend gold on, you might not acquire quite the hoards needed to finance such a venture.
how they get the gold is fundamentally not the problem as that is on the table's end we can't know how the party work or what the dm is willing to give them and is not the concern of the product.
A third is that you'd need a mass combat system, and that's generally not been one of D&D's strong points – particularly not since people can't even agree on whether they want one with figures on a map or a more abstract system like the War Machine from Companion D&D.
wotc is apparently already doing this with Dragonlance so we will know soon.
But the biggest issue is that there are many more people playing who would strongly object to taking part in a colonialist project like this. "Pacify the region" is just en euphemism for "kill or drive off all the current inhabitants of this land", after all. Given the direction the game has taken toward "orcs are people too", it leaves a bit of a sour taste in one's mouth.
no offence intended but that seems very American and new world perspective, in general people have built fortifications in the land they already own for reasons of defence which is far more palatable to most people thus it seems like a problem of how it is said not the basic idea.
I think a more modern approach would be to focus on base-building. Start with a village or fort and spend time and resources improving it by adding defenses, facilities, or resource generation (e.g. a lumber mill in a forested region would generate more resources for building certain things). This would still provide the satisfaction of building something lasting, without the expansionist stuff.
that is more or less what I am going for but able to build the larger-scale stuff such as forts and castles.
ideally with far better integrations with all classes having options and some more generic options.
 

niklinna

Legend
PCs establishing a domain after 10th level was always really not much more than an idea. Which never really got turned into anything more concrete or robust.
In some very early campaigns like the Greyhawk campaign, some characters would basically go into retirement after 10th level or so and be a baron or something. The players would then make new characters to continue playing in the dungeon crawls that made up the campaign.

The main problem with running domains is that it's not a group activity. Even when the group decides that one PC is going to be the lord and the others all play the managers of different departments of the domain, they still end up doing their own individual spreadsheet games. That's not why anyone plays D&D.
In Blades in the Dark, the whole group starts right away with a crew, which has a hideout with concrete mechanical features that impact play, without requiring spreadsheet games. You just decide as a group what features you want to start with, which to upgrade. There are also claims on a little map that give you specific benefits just for having them, but you have to do adventures to get them, and those claims are usually taken from some other faction, which affects the faction game—which kind of is a spreadsheet but the GM manages that.

Level Up has detailed rules for strongholds and such, with mechanical benefits for the owner and the party, also without any need for players to maintain spreadsheets. It's one of the things I particularly enjoyed reading in that take on D&D.
 

In Blades in the Dark, the whole group starts right away with a crew, which has a hideout with concrete mechanical features that impact play, without requiring spreadsheet games. You just decide as a group what features you want to start with, which to upgrade. There are also claims on a little map that give you specific benefits just for having them, but you have to do adventures to get them, and those claims are usually taken from some other faction, which affects the faction game—which kind of is a spreadsheet but the GM manages that.

Level Up has detailed rules for strongholds and such, with mechanical benefits for the owner and the party, also without any need for players to maintain spreadsheets. It's one of the things I particularly enjoyed reading in that take on D&D.
those are true statements but those are not the question outside of how to do it without massive spreadsheets.
 


MCDM is a publishing company. Owned by Matt Colville and responsible for several of the million dollar kickstarters. You can find them here: MCDM Productions
The good part of Strongholds & Followers is that it offers a kind of domain play that supplements D&D well.

The bad part of S&F is that it uses 5e keywords in new ways that don't relate to 5e (tiers and levels) leading to confusion.
 

MCDM is a publishing company. Owned by Matt Colville and responsible for several of the million dollar kickstarters. You can find them here: MCDM Productions
okay so he makes third-party content why exactly should I in any way note this?
The good part of Strongholds & Followers is that it offers a kind of domain play that supplements D&D well.

The bad part of S&F is that it uses 5e keywords in new ways that don't relate to 5e (tiers and levels) leading to confusion.
so definitely needed an editor how in-depth is it?
regardless it is a lot easier to get wotc content to your table if you'r,e not the dm and I could not make a plot if my life depended on it.
 

okay so he makes third-party content why exactly should I in any way note this?

so definitely needed an editor how in-depth is it?
regardless it is a lot easier to get wotc content to your table if you'r,e not the dm and I could not make a plot if my life depended on it.
It's edited quite well and a massive book. Colville just has some very strong feelings related to previous editions. He kept those rather than make it read more like WotC.

It's different enough I didn't back Kingdoms and Warfare.

I'm still glad I got Strongholds
 

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