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Author Topic: Questions about Polian  (Read 6267 times)
rrees
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« on: July 02, 2006, 01:54:28 PM »

I thought I would start another thread to hold questions about the game setting. My first question is: what is the meaning of the Patriarch's stewardship of the Holy Union of Voria? How much influence does the Patriarch have over the temporal kings and lords?
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Keith Senkowski
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« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2006, 07:33:10 PM »

Hey Robert,

Well my initial response is "However much you want him to have," but that sucks as an answer.  In my head, as I see the setting, here is my answer:

What is the meaning of the Patriarch's stewardship of the Holy Union of Voria?
In theory it works like this.  The great lords of the Union meet.  This includes the Archbishops, Dukes, Princes, Palatines, etc.  They elect one of their number to the position of Archduke.  He either gets approved or not by the Patriarch.  If the Patriach says no to the candidate (who is elected for life), they got to revote someone else in.

Other than that, the Patriarch governs the church (which includes the Patriarch's Gift, or Tor and the surrounding countryside).  Priest and the like get trials in eclastical courts, not lay courts.  He also has the fun power of excommunication.  This takes away the rights of inheritence and the office of the person (in theory).

How much influence does the Patriarch have over the temporal kings and lords?
In short, lots.  Excommunication is huge.  Also, a throne isn't really seen as legitimate until the Patriach approves it.  For example, the throne of Oldaska didn't really get legitimacy until Wladyslaw the Bold was crowned by the Patriarch “King of the Valadarins”.  There are other examples in the histories I've written up on the wiki.
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Conspiracy of Shadows: Revised Edition
Everything about the game, from the mechanics, to the artwork, to the layout just screams creepy, creepy, creepy at me. I love it.
~ Paul Tevis, Have Games, Will Travel
rrees
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Posts: 15


« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2006, 02:05:02 PM »

Hey Robert,

Well my initial response is "However much you want him to have," but that sucks as an answer.  In my head, as I see the setting, here is my answer:


I'm glad you decided to give a definite answer from your own point of view. I always think that it is better to give an answer as people can chose whether to accept it or not on the other hand if the GM is left to decide everything themselves then there isn't much point having a standard setting. I also personally think that the conception of the setting influences the system as much as the reverse is true.

One follow on question: if there is disorder or unrest in Tor does the Patriarch resolve it or is that a function of the temporal lords?

The next question is possibly errata: Drethka in Brekav is described as being in the centre of the country and is marked on the map as being in the centre. In the description it is also said that it is on the banks of the River Galisz which would instead be on the country's southern border and far from the centre. So where is Drethka?

If the question seems pedantic it actually does matter as if Jenkaz and Drethka are both on the river Galisz then it is very easy to travel between the two capitals.
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Keith Senkowski
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« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2006, 08:05:17 AM »

Robert,

I could talk about the setting all day long...

If there is disorder or unrest in Tor does the Patriarch resolve it or is that a function of the temporal lords?
Disorder in the city could be contained in two ways.  The most common way would be through the use of the the local constables, who answer to the mayor, who in turn answers to the church.  If it was really bad, it would require the Archduke and the army.  The Patriarch also has his personal guard and the services of the various orders (like the Cup Knights) if shit gets really bad.

The Union has a standing army and navy, much like the professional soldiers of the Roman/Byzantine Empire.  However, it is small, and kept that way by the lords of the Union (so the Archduke can't be a real threat to them).

Drethka in Brekav is described as being in the centre of the country and is marked on the map as being in the centre. In the description it is also said that it is on the banks of the River Galisz which would instead be on the country's southern border and far from the centre. So where is Drethka?
Drethka was on a tributary of the Galisz that ran into the center of the country at one point (in an earlier map).  The tributary didn't make it into the text or the map, but that is where it should be.

But yeah, travel between the two is pretty easy via the river.
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Conspiracy of Shadows: Revised Edition
Everything about the game, from the mechanics, to the artwork, to the layout just screams creepy, creepy, creepy at me. I love it.
~ Paul Tevis, Have Games, Will Travel
rrees
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Posts: 15


« Reply #4 on: July 23, 2006, 02:37:40 AM »

Okay totally different style of question this week. How big on average should a Valdorian's retinue be? How roughly would the travelling household be comprised and more importantly (for my game) when travelling does the noble's host have to provide for his visitor's retinue?
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Keith Senkowski
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« Reply #5 on: July 23, 2006, 09:57:00 AM »

What level in society we talking?  Magnates and royalty would have really large retinnues.  The magnates are richer and more powerful that the royalty in Valadarin society so some would likely have monstrous groups of people traveling with them, particularly in large wealthy countries like Oldaska.  Landed gentry anywhere from three guys to say twenty.  Landless probably zero to three.
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Conspiracy of Shadows: Revised Edition
Everything about the game, from the mechanics, to the artwork, to the layout just screams creepy, creepy, creepy at me. I love it.
~ Paul Tevis, Have Games, Will Travel
rrees
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Posts: 15


« Reply #6 on: July 23, 2006, 01:09:21 PM »

Wow, those numbers are much less than I expected for the landed and landless. Presumably in somewhere like Jenkaz and the Cup Knights the retinues would be much larger but organised much more like a military unit?

Was I also right to assume that the cost of feeding the retinue falls on the host rather than the visitor?
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Iskander
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Alexander Newman


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« Reply #7 on: July 24, 2006, 03:59:58 AM »

Was I also right to assume that the cost of feeding the retinue falls on the host rather than the visitor?
Which causes more fun trouble for the PCs?
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Winning gives birth to hostility.
Losing, one lies down in pain.
The calmed lie down with ease,
having set winning & losing aside.

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rrees
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« Reply #8 on: July 24, 2006, 01:18:18 PM »

Was I also right to assume that the cost of feeding the retinue falls on the host rather than the visitor?
Which causes more fun trouble for the PCs?

Neither and both; but the answer indicates something about the society of the setting. If the setting is like our own Medieval world the host would be responsible and the society would be feudal in nature. A more Roman style setting might have the patron responsible for the retinue unless he was deliberately being entertained and hosted.

As I mentioned near the top of the thread the answer cannot always be, "whatever makes a better story (or is more entertaining)". There is no point to the setting if you always go with that train of thought.
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Keith Senkowski
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« Reply #9 on: July 27, 2006, 11:30:39 AM »

Robert,

For the most part I agree with Alexander, and end up tailoring a lot of things to the players and the game at hand.  I keep shit internally consistent when I do it, but there you have it.

But to answer your question, Cup Knights are for the most part organized like a military unit.  But like the Teutonic Knights they are modeled on, you do have those outside the organization (visiting nobles joining the cause for a time) who's rank allows them privelages they wouldn't normally have.

As for the cost, the host picks up the tab.  WHy it sucks and is a privelege when the King comes to town.
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Conspiracy of Shadows: Revised Edition
Everything about the game, from the mechanics, to the artwork, to the layout just screams creepy, creepy, creepy at me. I love it.
~ Paul Tevis, Have Games, Will Travel
Valamir
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« Reply #10 on: July 27, 2006, 12:03:33 PM »

Here's a couple little tasty tidbits I picked up along the way regarding the king's progress.

Often when the king arrived at one of nobles estates he would overstay his welcome intentionally to bring a wayward noble to heel.  One anecdote I read had the king involved in some negotiations with a greater lord (over marriage, or inheritance or something) and he brought his whole retinue to the lord's land during the negotiations...and stayed until the lord's dwindling pantry and wine celler forced the noble to acquiesce.

It was also suggested that there were several reasons why grand tournaments were often held when the king paid a vist.  One was to honor the king and provide royal entertainment.  One was to invite alot of guests to see how close the noble and the king were getting along.  The one I found most interesting was to spread the pain around.  A noble could burn through his treasury entertaining his king...which could alter the balance of power with his neighbors.  So by inviting those neighbors to a tournament...where they'd have to spare no expense themselves to attend in style and field a tournament team in suitable fashion (after all the king was there)...his neighbors had to waste alot of wealth too...evening things out.

Fun little sources of Role Playing Fodder.
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rrees
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Posts: 15


« Reply #11 on: August 01, 2006, 03:41:36 AM »

Sorry about my last post which was a bit tetchy when I read it back. However I do think that the principle of MGF while fine is not necessarily a universal principle that is always going to be the best. For example immersion gamers find the inconsistency irritiating rather than enjoyable.

The reason I am asking these questions is because Keith has clearly pulled a lot from Eastern Europe, something that isn't in my background and that I'm not necessarily familiar with. Therefore when he answers a question he provides a different insight into the background (as would the other GMs who were running the game) to that I would have with my interpretation.

Personally I find it helps me to be more creative to have an answer than no answer. If I disagree then it inspires me to make up something better!

Another question on the weekend
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rrees
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« Reply #12 on: August 20, 2006, 12:31:38 PM »

This week's question: Jenkaz is a pretty devastated place with a tiny population, who actually keeps the place running? Its neighbours or the Church? How do they keep people fed and supplied? Is anything being done to restore it to a functional state?
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Keith Senkowski
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« Reply #13 on: August 22, 2006, 05:50:17 PM »

This week's question: Jenkaz is a pretty devastated place with a tiny population, who actually keeps the place running? Its neighbours or the Church? How do they keep people fed and supplied? Is anything being done to restore it to a functional state?

In the tradition of other failed states, Jenkaz has a little of everything.  It has a nominal ruler who is weak and caught between two powerful magnates.  Both the Orthodox Church and the Cup Knights have interests there and are trying to strengthen their positions.  The Cup Knights by bringing order and establishing enclaves in hopes of creating a mirror of their territory to the south.  The Church is less militant and expands its influence by supporting local leaders in hopes of creating a strong Orthodox state as a bulwark to Bravich and Malindarov.  Its neighbors Oldaska, Bravich, and Brekav all work to keep it a destablized mess in hopes of annexing territory (think Russia, Germany, and the Austro-Hungarian Empire gobbling up Poland).

Keith
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Conspiracy of Shadows: Revised Edition
Everything about the game, from the mechanics, to the artwork, to the layout just screams creepy, creepy, creepy at me. I love it.
~ Paul Tevis, Have Games, Will Travel
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