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

MarkB

Legend
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.
Yeah, I can see how that's certainly divisive to party dynamics - tough to have all of those be (a) in the same location and (b) not at least somewhat in conflict with each other. And they're also far too much like full-time jobs to count as mere downtime activities. How do you justify everyone taking time out from their important leadership roles to strap on armour and go clear out a dungeon?

It seems like, if one were to do this at all, then the domain to be managed should be (a) something that arises naturally from the campaign, and (b) something chosen by the group as a whole, not completely different things for each character. You then find some specific roles within the broader domain for each character to look after.

If I were going to do something like this, I'd try to place a lot more emphasis on logistical issues like manpower, planning and transportation, and not on affordability. 5e doesn't really do anything to solve the fact that high-level play tends to break the economy, so in general the assumption should be that you're limited by how many things you can do at once, rather than by whether or not you can afford to do them. Keeping the gold-flow out of things also avoids having to deal with players going in the opposite direction and funnelling an entire region's taxes into their bags of holding.
 

log in or register to remove this ad

cbwjm

Legend
Strongholds and followers is pretty cool. It's been a while since I read it, but one of the things I recall is the extended rest of 1 week, a mechanic that lets you utilise a benefit from your stronghold before you need another extended rest back at your stronghold. Players can also combine their strongholds into a castle, so you might have a keep with a wizard's tower and a temple.

There was also a fairly simple mass combat system in 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
why be so prideful at the expence of the reader?
Yeah, I can see how that's certainly divisive to party dynamics - tough to have all of those be (a) in the same location and (b) not at least somewhat in conflict with each other. And they're also far too much like full-time jobs to count as mere downtime activities. How do you justify everyone taking time out from their important leadership roles to strap on armour and go clear out a dungeon?

It seems like, if one were to do this at all, then the domain to be managed should be (a) something that arises naturally from the campaign, and (b) something chosen by the group as a whole, not completely different things for each character. You then find some specific roles within the broader domain for each character to look after.

If I were going to do something like this, I'd try to place a lot more emphasis on logistical issues like manpower, planning and transportation, and not on affordability. 5e doesn't really do anything to solve the fact that high-level play tends to break the economy, so in general the assumption should be that you're limited by how many things you can do at once, rather than by whether or not you can afford to do them. Keeping the gold-flow out of things also avoids having to deal with players going in the opposite direction and funnelling an entire region's taxes into their bags of holding.
fair point but it will still need rules and ideas as most people find it hard to come up with a great idea on the spot and guidance is helpful.
 



to keep opinions on past editions ahead of the customer's ease of reading is foolish, I do not see how he could affect anything regardless of his opinions on older editions d&d.
The base game already has several things that go by "level." Adding another creates mild confusion and isn't harmful to the fans.

Saying this shows a lack of editors means that every D&D book ever hasn't had editors.

Strongholds & Followers is a decent to good book. It essentially launched Colville to the space where he could have a full time D&D company that produces a magazine and books. It's professionally done and his latter stuff is even better.

If you want domain play it's a solid purchase.

If Level Up spun off their domain stuff from their main books I would purchase it too.
 


to keep opinions on past editions ahead of the customer's ease of reading is foolish, I do not see how he could affect anything regardless of his opinions on older editions d&d.
Me thinks you guys are talking past each other.

Matt liked 4e and brings some 4e design philosophy to 5e. His $2million+ Flee Mortals Kickstarter is a reimagined MM with adding in some 4e monster design ideas, WotC is trying to do something similar with the ‘24 MM.
 

Me thinks you guys are talking past each other.

Matt liked 4e and brings some 4e design philosophy to 5e. His $2million+ Flee Mortals Kickstarter is a reimagined MM with adding in some 4e monster design ideas, WotC is trying to do something similar with the ‘24 MM.
your assessment of our conversation seems true.
any feelings on the broader topic?
 


cbwjm

Legend
I'm actually quite keen to see what stronghold rules for 1dnd are coming, not sure if they'll be full on domains or just a homepage, but it will be interesting to see.
 

What is the broader topic? I may have missed it.
Edit: I have already given my thoughts on supplements for domain rules. I’m for them; however, I will clarify that I prefer if they don’t come from WotC.
 
Last edited:

NotAYakk

Legend
Reign, by Greg Stolz, has a system for organizations. The organization has a bunch of (somewhat abstract) features and attributes.

These organizations can come into conflict or try to do things.

PCs in this game adventure and act as spoilers. Their actions can add bonuses to what the organization tries to do, and the game is designed that these relatively small bonuses (an extra die or whatever) can swing the results.

The idea is that instead of modelling an economy or whatever, you abstractly describe the organization and attach a story or plot generator to it, together with mechanics on how individual adventures can impact the story or plot it generates.

The engine it uses - the One Roll Engine - is cute, and from what I can recall it should be pretty easy to use ORE for domains while using traditional D&D for the individual characters. The two are mostly separable.

As a benefit, it means you don't have to add up the gp cost of all of the retainers in a castle or settlement and determine if the castle is a functioning economic entity. The problem with that model is often you want an economic entity that is either functioning or disfunctioning in a specific way, and simulation level detail means you have to do a PILE of work to get it to function or not function in the way you are aiming for, let alone confirm that the simulation level detail actually simulates what you think it does. A better model would be one that takes what you are aiming for (a keep guarding a settlement) and describes what it needed to make it function, modelling someone in-game having the expertise to know how many cartwrights it needs, instead of telling you the price of cartwrights and the impact carts have on transportation capabilities and cart wear and repair systems.
 

Staffan

Legend
I think the gold standard for base building is Mutant Year Zero, though it would take some effort to adapt it to D&D.

In MYZ, the PCs are residents of "The Ark", a settlement of maybe 150 mutants. This settlement has its capabilities measured with four different values: defense, technology, culture, and food. At the start of the campaign, all four stats are pretty low.

Every session, the PCs decide on what, if any, improvement to work on. These are usually, but not always, physical in-game things but can also be social advances. In-world, it's probably a decision made by the Ark's various bosses, and the GM can override the PCs because "No, you just got hit by raiders, the people want something that increases defense", but it's basically left to the players. Building an improvement requires a certain number of successful skill checks on behalf of the PCs – much like the decision-making, while the actual construction is a collective effort it's based on the success of the PCs. Most improvements increase one or more of the settlement's stats which in turn provides distinct benefits – building a pig farm increases the settlement's food stat, and when it becomes high enough food and water becomes cheaper. Building a statue increases culture, which makes the Ark more harmonious.

Something similar could be done in D&D. Building/improving a smithy might unlock the ability to buy masterwork weapons. A temple provides a place for healing. An inn gives you a never-ending source of mysterious robed figures selling treasure maps of questionable provenance. And so on. This kind of thing sounds more interesting to me than building a castle and raising an army (even though the settlement's defenses are definitely things that could be improved).
 

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top