View Full Version : Rules to simulate the running of a castle/keep/town

2009-05-21, 10:14 PM
Hi guys! General lurker on the forums here.

I'm interested in melding some D&D games with a bit of a strategy system.. maybe with the players controlling a fortified town/keep and maybe even a county/country if it grows that big.

I'm not interested in micromanaging all of the nitty gritty, but would like a simple system that gives the players the flavour of liegeship without needing to do all the logistics (we'll assume they have majordomos etc for that).

Does anyone have any good systems they can recommend, and failing that any other suggestions on how I could run it?

2009-05-21, 10:22 PM
treat the town/castle/sovereign entity like it's a character, with it's own skills and such.

give it hit points to represent the town's cohesion and unity and skills to represent the town's ability to perform tasks. Obviously, certain skills like "jump" would have to be dropped, but you get the idea.

add the following skills:


then, just create a list of major assets the town has that would alter those stats. Set the bonuses / penalties between 1 to 5. adjust for scale

i.e. a small merchants guild will give the town a +1, a single magistrate would give administration a +1, while having an office with a full staff might give it a +2, etc.

every period or so, the town rolls an economics check to see what kind of earnings they have.

2009-05-21, 11:11 PM
Mmm... maybe something slightly more complicated? Like a very very simple TBS type system.

Are there books/resources out there for things like this?

Mad Wizard
2009-05-21, 11:18 PM
If I remember correctly, the Stronghold Builder's guide has a few guidelines about this kind of thing.

Justin B.
2009-05-21, 11:49 PM
Elliot's idea was a good one. Not sure why you're looking to make things more complicated than adding a whole other character sheet for that.

You could also build up character sheets for other towns and administrations that the game does commerce with or wars with. The general scope of a war between two cities could be entirely dictated by a Military modifier, of course the actions of the PC's would exist outside of this mechanic, but it's still an intuitive and interesting way to do things.

2009-05-22, 12:10 AM
the concept itself is actually not new. I took it mostly from the game burning empires, which also has a kick ass model for mass combat, btw.

Mmm... maybe something slightly more complicated? Like a very very simple TBS type system.

Are there books/resources out there for things like this?
What do you mean by TBS? the stronghold builder's guide DOES give you some stuff for it, but most of it is just numbers and costs for various structures. you're still gonna end up having the same problem of book keeping and how to manage the kingdom.

2009-05-22, 12:28 AM
There is a 3.0 edition of birthright floating out on the web somewhere.

2009-05-22, 12:48 AM
TBS = Turn based strategy... something almost Erfworldish, but a lot more simple.

Now that I think about it more I suppose an amended csheet could work.

2009-05-22, 01:37 AM
ahh I see... yeah, you could still play a turn based game with it theoretically.

the trick is that you gotta amend the sheets right. (Hell, the character sheet approach is how I approach armies too.)

2009-05-22, 05:46 AM
D&D Companion Rules had rules for ruling a fief - taxation, growth, random events, etc. They'd work for a city, though you'd have to rework taxation and income.

2009-05-22, 06:46 AM
The old versions (especially the original AD&D) had a small self-contained ruleset for running a stronghold and associated territory; it's in the old DM guide. But the numbers won't work any more unless you do a lot of editing, because they're not calibrated for the 3rd or 4th edition economy.

2009-05-22, 07:20 AM
I recommend A Magical Medieval Society: Western Europe by Expeditious Retreat Press, as a good starting point. It gives rules for resource yields, and such. The Stronghold Builder's Guide also has some useful advice in it for setting up a dominion. The turn based element, and "turn events" you are probably going to have to come up with yourself. As Crow says, the D20/3e Birthright rules may be helpful in this regard.

Crazy Scot
2009-05-22, 08:07 AM
I believe there was an old (maybe 3.0 or AD&D) book that dealt with this kind of thing. I want to say that while the Stronghold builder's Guidebook covers some, there was another more appropriate. Something along the lines of The Castle Guide or something. All I know is there is more than one of them out there. Take a look and they can give you a good foundation to start from.