- 1 Overview
- 2 History
- 3 Races
- 4 Timeline
- 5 Traits
Crownshatter – Imperium in Turmoil
The Emperor has died, mere months after his coronation. He leaves a throne to a series of bastards and neer-do-wells, a continent-spanning empire of kings and nobles, and a horde of ever-surly barbarians and monsters. Human, elf, dwarf, and many others look to the capital, the center of the world, and find it empty.
The lines on the map are broken. What shall it look like when history takes its toll?
The Atol Empire
Founded originally by dwarves eight hundred years before current time, The Atol Empire is named after its place of founding, the dwarven Freehold of Atol-Ran, where Emperor Runholdt I first rose to power. It spread out, annexing and conquering the human settlements, eventually spreading north and west. The orcs warred with them briefly, before being entirely assimilated, and there are still wars with some of the Elven kingdoms on the edges. The Empire now stretches from north to south, encompassing dozens of kingdoms and provinces and encroaching on the barbaric nations. It is beset by other kingdoms that dislike the idea of assimilation, and monstrous horrors lying on the fringes of the known world.
The Empire's core lies in the Imperial Province: three districts directly managed by the Emperor. The current Imperial Province are the second such entity; the Old Province, Atol-Ran, lie north of the capital of Waryval. The remaining provinces are coverned by local Houses, with Governors appointed by the Senate to communicate the Emperor's will. The Empire's power is upheld by several institutions, one of these being the Senate that votes on Imperial Law and other domestic concerns.
The Imperial Army maintains the Empire's strength; it is the central international troop body. All Imperial state militaries are considered members of the Army, and may be called upon to serve in the Army proper on international sorties; for the most part, local armies are left alone if it can be helped, relying on the main permanent force. Only when the Army is operating from a province does it require the local military join it, unless a great deal of soldiers are needed (such as with the Orc wars).
The Church of Opher
The Church is the foremost spiritual entity in the Empire, and possibly in the world. The pantheon of gods known as the Opher comprises all of the gods and goddesses worshipped across the Imperial territory, their individual temples working under a the unified Church. The Church conducts the ceremonies and sacrifices to these gods, giving thanks for their stewardship over the world and their favour to the great Atol Empire.
In addition to spiritual monopoly, the Church also dominates another field: That of mystical knowledge. As the primary keeper of much of the writing and lore in the Empire, the Church holds virtually all arcane knowledge; as such, it serves as the sole instructor of magery. All mages are members of the Church, studying under it from a young age to master their power and to appreciate their blessings. Mages operate within the Church hierarchy, assigned to various courts and provinces, or dispatched on Church business. Some even join the Inquisition in hunting down pagan mages: practitioners who do not learn under the Church, or who forsake it completely.
The Church also maintains temporal power, in the form of knights-templar and commissioned soldiers; their home province, Valhassan, sits only east of the great Imperial Provinces. The Church's leaders, the High Priests, rule their organization from the great City of Faith, where the Cathedral Opher sits at the epicenter, containing the main temples for each of its respective gods.
There are literally dozens of gods recognized as part of the Opher, from all over the empire. Most local dieties of conquered nations are inducted into the pantheon, with temples build in the City of Faith and possibly elsewhere. In addition, there are the Greater Gods, dieties that are worshipped all over the empire, and brought into new members; Imperial officials only ask that people give thanks at these temples as well as their own, in return for the Imperial immigrants worshipping at local sites.
The noble Houses represent the various family that make up the aristocracies of the Imperium's client nations and enemies. Just as the Imperial Dynasty continues down the family line, so does each province draw its rulership from the nobles.
The traditional Imperial model has a family line as the appointed leaders of their lands, with the eldest matriarch or patriarch as ruler. This line, in theory, rules indefinitely; however, the Empire itself has had several dynasties over the centuries, and so have the Provinces. An oversight exists, in the form of the Imperial Governor, a representative empowered to look after and enforce the Emperor's interests. The Governor, with proper Senatorial authority, can remove a noble house as Steward of a Province, and appoint a new leader, whose family becomes the new noble house. This often requires military backup, and the Governor can request aid from other Governors and Provinces, as well as the Imperial Army, for support.
According to Imperial Law, all Scions (the members of a Noble Houshold) are recognized as officers of the Empire. This means that they can achieve any position within the imperial hierarchy – including the Imperial Seat itself. However, doing so requires an undisputable claim through lineage (a link to the current dynasty, either by blood or marriage), service (conquering significant holdings or providing significant boon to the empire), or might (being burly enough to keep everyone else from swarming or assassinating you). Underhanded means are often employed to remove strong families, and alliances of marriage or of military power are often mage, simply to increase one's station either to the Seat or to something better under a different Emperor.
These species make up the civilized races of the Empire. They can be Noble House races; they may also take other races as Vassals.
Humans: The most populous of the Empire's members, human Houses are found everywhere, but are most common in the southern and central imperial regions. Humans are an adaptable species, found in most roles; the last Emperor was human.
Elves: Originally a barbarian race hailing from the northern reaches, elves are tall and lithe, with pointed ears and a natural aptitude for magical control. They live for centuries, but rarely produce children, leading to smaller populations. Elves are often quite intelligent, and are often mages or other scientists – the Imperial University was co-founded by Elves and Dwarves.
Orcs: Originally western barbarians, the Orc people assimilated two hundred years ago, making them the youngest of the Imperial Races. Orcs are tall, well-muscled people with green, blue, brown, or black-skin, and slightly porcine features and elongated teeth. They have maintained their martial culture, often serving as frontline troops or commanders in the Imperial Army.
Dwarves: The founders of the Empire, The Dwarven Freeholds lie along the Absimmard Mountains, stretching from north to south along the empire's center and eastern regions. In addition, other holds have been established around the Empire, often partially subterranean. Dwarves are a shorter but sturdier people, often hirstute and rough-looking. Dwarves are known for their craftsmanship, at anything from stoneworking to forging, to jewelry or weaving.
Dark Elves: Cousins to the northern elves, dark elves live in the northern mountain ranges, near the elven forests. Disliking their sylvan brethren, Dark Elves were brought into the Empire by their string ties with their dwarven neighbours. Dark elves have learned the arts of underground architecture from the Dwarves, building cities under the rock, though they still practice surface-construction in mountain and hilly regions as well.
These are the less civilized races of the world – other nations outside of the scope of the empire, or people not yet fully assimilated into the Imperial fold.
If you`re playing a Barbarian race as your Noble House, you are not a member of the Empire, or you are recently conquered or defected (there is a trait for this). You may also take Barbarians as Vassals for the listed price.
Humans and Elves may be taken as Barbarian Races. Orcs have been entirely assimilated, as have Dark Elves, and Dwarves are only found within the Empire; they are not suitable for Barbarian Races. In addition, other barbarian races are noted below.
Goblins: These diminuitive creatures live in the north and western regions, in the nation they call Yirther. Many goblin territories have been invaded by Orc and Elven provinces, leading to many vassal-states for them
Beastfolk: This holistic term refers to a collection of human-animal hybrids, believed to have been created by Ley Node exposure or magical weather phenomena. They are most prevalent in the south; most are tribal, though some have emerging civilizations when they`re not under Imperial domination.
These races represent the beasts of the wilds, beyond even barbarian civilization. You cannot play these or have these as Vassals without GM approval.
Nymphs: These creatures resemble elves, if elves where walking tree-women, or women composed of flame or cloud. These elemental creatures can be found in isolated pockets in the wildernesses around the world, amid their element. Dryads are the most commonly-known Nymph; they live in the north, beyond the edges of the elven nations, making expansion nearly impossible with their nature magic.
Trolls: Big, ugly, green beasts that regenerate even the worst injuries and generally wreak havoc. They live deep in the West, but can be found in many places, having migrated before the empire. They are a general danger for most fringe nations and barbarians, and are the nightmare of border patrols everywhere.
Revenants: Necromancy is practised across the world, and pockets of undead can be found everywhere there is magic. Some of these undead are sentient, or develop it due to prolonged exposure to mana or through direct magic; those that are free often gather together with other undead to form communities out on the edges of the world. Away from those who fear them.
Draconians: These monsters are Dragon-childer, winged being blessed with some of their progenitors' features. Stronger and more fearsome than other beast races, these creatures are rarely found far into the Empire, and are probably the source of most of the fear against their lesser cousins. They can be found near Dragon-Wastes, looking for their ancient creators.
Oh god oh god oh god!
Dragons: The fear on everyone's lips and the source of a good number of the horrors of the wilderness, Dragons are feared for a reason. Huge, virtually immortal, and possessing enough innate magical power to level entire cities, they also are the center of a much more destructive phenomenon: the Dragon-Plague, a mutating effect on the surrounding landscape and people. This effect has the peculiar trait of spawning very specific creatures - the Draconians, Griffins, Wyverns, wyrms - all of which are able to breed true and propagate long after the creators are gone. Coupled with the fact that dragons are at best insane by human standards, the discovery of a dragon on the fringes of civilization is enough to rally the nations and its mages together to fight.
Fighting dragons is difficult, as conventional armies have little aside from siege weaponry that can really do much. Mages are the primary defense against them, with magical assistance evening the odds; outnumbering them with troops is difficult, as Dragons are able to produce their own forces by their own nature.
Gods: The Divines walk the Earth. Ancient Myths tell of old gods striding the world, dominating and destroying civilizations and creating great wonders, before vanishing. These are not just legends; recent history has seen the rise and fall of one incarnate diety, killed by a coalition of Imperial forces and wielding great magics. Perhaps they were created by some ancient being, or perhaps some kind of natural phenomenae. Perhaps they're mutated animals; perhaps Dragons are a particularly distinct subset of god.
Despite their monickers, Gods aren't omnipotent. They're about on par with dragons, as far as they can be compared; most are immensely powerful, but killable. They are as varied as individuals, and are thankfully rare. Many sighted over the centuries have been seen far beyond the borders of empire, and have gone in other directions. Reports come with varying degrees of veracity, and some are chalked up to lies or misinterpretations.
- -300 DE: Dragons migrate south-east, leaving behind pockets of Dragon-childer and altered lands
- -200 DE: Dwarven holds begin above-ground forays, leaving behind their isolationism. Find human settlements along mountains and in the valleys; Dark Elves are discovered in the north.
- -170 DE: Elves discovered by long-distance explorers; only a handful make it back alive.
- -50 DE: Dwarven Freedholds trade with Dark Elven settlements in the northern mountains, exchanging
- -30 DE: Dwarves Subjugate the nearby human nations, making alliances and conquering
- -5 DE: Dwarven Freeholds join the Dark Elves in battle against the northern elves.
- -2 DE: The Battle of Blue Forest. The Elven army of Wylin is decisively broken, and the state is invaded by Dwarven troops. Elven nation entirely subjugated.
- 0 IE: Atol Empire founded in Atol-ran by alliance of dwarven freeholds. Runholdt I proclaimed Emperor.
- 5 IE: First Imperial Territory map commissioned, depicting the dwarven holds and the surrounding lands, including occupied elven lands.
- 5 IE-300 IE Empire expands steadily south, taking human kingdoms as it goes. The Emperor facilitates integration by ennobling locals and placing them in charge of their home hands, with a Governor to maintain imperial mandates. This proves effective and leads to contentment among annexed provinces.
- 150 IE: Emperor Runholdt I dies, and is replaced by his daughter, Runholdt II. She maintains her father's expansionist attitude, inplementing several new systems for the Noble Provinces – including the mechanism
- 180 IE: Nymphs discovered beyond the Elven lands. Hostilities force the Provinces to gird their borders, and attacks by wood golems and monsters plague the northwest for centuries.
- 220 IE: The Second Imperial Territory Map is completed.
- 240 IE: Empress Runholdt II dies of old age; days later, her children are crushed when their carriage overturns. A brief scuffle and debate leads to a general to rise to become Empress Ulgin I.
- 250 IE: Ulgin I presses for war on the southern human lands, preaching the Mandate over all sentient races. Beastmen from the far south are conquered and made into slaves for the local provinces; few are sent north due to Northern distaste for the animal-folk.
- 260 IE: Imperial Highway begun, with the intent of creating a road network across the entire Empire.
- 264 IE: Ulgin I is assassinated by a Senator; he is put to death, and Ulgin's son rises to become Ulgin II.
- 265 IE: Ulgin II is smothered by his son, who becomes Ulgin III.
- 267: IE: Ulgin III is poisoned by his son, who becomes Ulgin IV. Human leaders throw their resources into the Imperial Highway; Provinces in the south complete their sections earlier than the norther dwarven and elven nations, which suffer from corruption.
- 268 IE: Ulgin IV kills his daughter as she tried to stab him to death; in a rage, he kills his entire family. The Senate denounces him, but he ignores them; as the mechanism to replace emperors was not truly defined, he is not deposed. Ulgin becomes paranoid, increasing his guard and pouring more money into the army.
- 270 IE: The Beastfolk Haraman Union forms after slaves rebel in the province of Porv after years of brutal slavery, uniting several of the nearby nations into a coalition against the empire under war leader Ragas Vraras. Vicious guerrilla tactics and brutal tortures are inflicted upon imperial prisoners.
- 273 IE: Human soldier Porashamm Ryneth makes history when he successfully recaptures the palace of Pory. Rallying the troops at the battle of Black Horizon fortress, he managed to break the the Beastfolk army and slay Ragas. Rallying the Imperial army, and local militas, the Empire shifted momentum to their favour, and within the year had retaken the provincial capital. The Haraman Union retreats into the southern occupied provinces and fortifies. Ryneth is made Imperial General for his leadership ability, and is sent to the Imperial Court to receive the Mantle of Exaltation.
- 274 IE: Ryneth is sent to deal with Elven insurrections in the north, stirred up by Dryad sympathizers. His charima proves effective at boosting morale and keeping Dryad recruitment down.
- 277 IE: Ryneth successfully urges dwarven provinces to lend their personal armies to him, in view of a spread-thin Imperial Army (due to the Emperor sending more troops south). He successfully pushes north and takes the living fortress of trees he found there, becoming the first Imperial General to successfully capture Nymph-controlled lands. Nymphs abandon the site, leaving their elven slaves/cult to either surrender or commit mass suicide. Ryneth returns to court, where he is hailed as a hero.
- 278 IE: Ryneth praises human efforts in the south at keeping the Union back. Briefly heads northeast to deal with a draconian attack, gaining praise. Ulgin IV becomes envious, as more and more dwarven nobles look to the human leader. Ulgin IV sends Ryneth back south to oversee the war against the Beastfolk, to keep him from gaining more influence in the Court.
- 285 IE: Ulgin IV declares sends dwarven governor to replace human one in Pory, angering humans, including Ryneth. Ulgin responds by recalling the Imperial Army from Pory and the surrounding regions, leaving the local provinces to fend for themselves. Ryneth protests this move; riots break out, but all Imperial Army legions besides Ryneth's personal force return.
- 286 IE: The dwarven court secretly supports Ryneth with troops and supplies, allowing him to keep fighting the Beastfolk. Executions of 'traitors' rise as Ulgin cracks down on supposed agents of Dryads; in truth, he merely wishes to curp human supports. Many humans executed or dismissed from court; Ulgin's unsubtle hatred of humans makes this hard to cover.
- 288 IE: Ulgin IV discovers dwarven support for the humans when a military force is stopped on the Imperial Highway due to construction, and is discovered to be the personal force of one of the Freeholds. Furious, Ulgin imprisons the entire family for treason and recalls all Imperial Forces to the capital, including Ryneth. Ryneth sees that he is to be removed, and refuses; his Legion remains with him to a man. Ulgin IV goes mad, and sends his personal army to deal with the traitor legion, commanding all Imperial army and provincial forces to assist. However, many cite their current assignments (whether real or not) as reasons to stay behind, or simply do not answer.
- 289 IE: The One-Month Civil War. Imperial Army forces clash with human nations united under Ryneth, as well as his personal legion of humans, dwarves, and elves. Ulgin's son, Wyldr, proves to he a potent opponent, her wit and daring matching Ryneth's impeccable strategy. However, poor morale and Ryneth's charisma and compassion for PoWs leads to defections, and the eventual defeat of the Imperial Forces. Wyldr is captured, but is released and sent back to the capital. The victory shakes the entire Empire, dividing imperial forces and provinces alike.
- 290 IE: Ulgin IV fails to rally his supporters; he loses nearly all credibility, unable to even command his Imperial Army. Rumours of Ryneth planning to take command of the Army against the capital causes panic, cumulating in Ulgin's suicide by jumping off of a roof. The Senate puts hold on his son's coronation, leading to widespread panic that is quelled only when Ryneth arrives. Wyldr welcomes him, and joins him in restoring order. Ulgin's children fled to the north and into the forests, fearing reprisal, and so the Senate assumes national control, beginning the Decade of Strife.
- 294 IE: A vicious Union insurgence leads to bloody decimation in the south. The Imperial Army is stretched so thin and without strong command, is unable to curp the uprising before Pory is taken once again.
- 300 IE: Ryneth and Wyldr announce their marriage. This makes Ryneth an imperial candidate; this brings the Senate into nearly-unanimous support of him as Emperor Ryneth I, the first human emperor.
- 450 IE: Orcs discovered. Relations immediately become tense, due to a poor liason and the orcs' warlike nature.
- 480 IE: The Orc War begins, after Imperial Forces attempt to occupy a bordering territory. Hordes of orcs, using tactical and physical dominance, humiliate the Western forces at first.
- 510 IE: Coalition of Central and Southern nations send armies to the new Western Frontier, against the orcs. Dwarven and human inventors create the first airship, promising to revolutionize travel.
- 550 IE: Orcs are completely subjugated under Imperial Rule, their last territories encompassed. Airships become more common, linking together the empire more intimately than before.
- 576 IE: The first Orc Governor, Erak Srivine, is appointed to the province of Kallurn. Several more follow.
- 580 IE: All-predominantly Orcish provinces sport Orc noble families as leadership.
- 600 IE: The Dragon Invasions; Hordes of Draconians attack the southwestern and eastern empire in staggered bursts, damaging several nations and leading to proliferation of Dragon-Wastes and Chaotic Wilds. The surges lasted only one year, however, before the horde broke and scattered suddenly; a dragon was seen heading further south.
- 850 IE: Emperor Modus VII ascends the throne, only to die months later of what appears to be blood poisoning. Murder is ruled out. Examination reveals his children to be generally worthless curs or bastards, and further enquiry exposes a wealth of bastards and worse descended from the previous three Emperors. The Senate assumes control until a suitable candidate can be found.
- 851 IE: The present day.
Noble House Creation
The noble Houses are the core of the Empire; based on the Dwarven Clan system, these familial organizations govern the Imperial provinces and enforce the laws. In return, they receive great autonomy to govern their territories, and maintain their own armies. However, the Emperor's disappearance threatens to shake tradition and reignite old feuds.
Step One: Provinces
You get 15 points to spend on your Province.
- 1 point per Domain, which comes with 1 resource point
- 1 point per Scion, which are built using the rules below
- 1 point per 2 Resource point up to the Domain max
- 1 point per 2 Fortification point up to the Domain Max
Step Two: Scions
You get 10 points to spend per Scion. You must spend at least 1 point in every stat.
- Scions get one Knight unit for free, which represents their personal unit. Their max number of units is defined by Savvy (see below)
Step Three: Resource Spending
Total up the resources your nation produces, and multiply each total by 2. This is your starting resources to build troops.
- You may stockpile these resources, but remember that Corruption rules apply.
- Build whatever troops you want.
These are your characters; members of your family with useful skills and active rolls in your family. Scions represent your Noble house in everything from
Scions use a four-stat system to determine their competence in different fields. The stats are:
Martial: Personal prowess, as well as fighting ability and skill
Knowledge: The ability to plan and design, useful for strategy, invention, and magic
Savvy: Domestic understanding; the ability to manage economies and provincial affairs
Charisma: Personal charm; your ability to rally and convince and engage in diplomacy
These stats are general benchmarks of what your Scion can do well; they're what the GM uses to decide how good you are at something. Ratings go from 1 to 5, with higher being better; a rating of 0 means the person is crippled in some way, and is probably not suitable for play.
Scion stats each have two applications: one military and one domestic.
Martial: How well general soldiers fight.
Knowledge: How well magic and maneuvers work.
Savvy: How many units you can have under your command.
Charisma: Unit Morale
Martial: Enforcing law and punishing crime and corruption
Knowledge: Architecture and fortification defenses
Savvy: Economics; resource production
Charisma: National morale, recruiting
You can, of course, make other characters that aren't represented by stats for the sake of narrative - few characters are interesting in a vacuum, after all. Note that Scions do not necessarily have to include your supreme leader - a king or other high noble might not actually be a Scion.
Officers is just another work for Scion units that aren't part of the familiy - mercenaries that can be hired to add more units to an army, and allow for more operations. These are expensive as hell, but worth it if you're really stretched thin.
Domains are the regions within your province. Each Domain gives a series of resources that it produces every Quarter, as well as some traits which modify actions taken within the terrain. For example, Mountains produce sources of gold and levistone, and are extremely defensive.
In addition, there are Underground Domains, which are linked to an associated above-ground domain. This giant series of vast caverns is located under the associated domain, and requires one go through it get beneath the earth (assuming they have some method to get down there). Underground Domains are extremely rare, and most of them are already claimed by Dwarves and Dark Elves.
Domains must be of a certain 'type' of geography at creation. Different types support different resources, and also provide different levels of natural Fortification which can assist a Scion in defending them.
Domains require the attention of Scions or officers to properly function; production does not occur automatically. Your Scion's Savvy determines how many resources you can produce at any given time; every point of Savvy allows you to 'tap' one point of resources from a nation.
- Plains (Supports Food, Gold, and Beasts, max total 3. Fortification of 0, max 1; Airships can bypass without fighting)
- Forest (Supports Gold, Ore, and Beasts, max total 2. Fortification of 1, max 3; Airships can bypass without fighting)
- Mountain (Supports Gold and Ore, max total 1. Fortification of 2, max 5; Airships cannot bypass without fighting)
- Desert (Supports Ore and Beasts, max total 2. Fortification of 2, max 5; Airships can bypass without fighting)
- Troop: Guys. Used for everything. Produced by Charisma rather than by Domains. All Domains produce Troop.
- Food: How much food your nation produces. Not used to build units, but used to sustain militaries on operations.
- Gold: Imperial Currency and general goods; trade medium, used for Nobles (knights) and mercenaries.
- Ore: Metals used for construction (wood falls under here for some reason). Used for heavily armoured units like Airships and Golems.
- Beasts: Animals bred for war. Generally used for cavalry and for large monster units.
Fortifications: In addition to this, provinces can be fortified to better defend them. Fortifications make it easier to defend a nation's holdings; castles, long walls, hill forts, and roving fields of monsters are all fortifications.
Fortifications are applied as part of defense and offense within a Domain. Using fortifications requires Knowledge, but essentially protects your troops lives, guards your production, and even allows for opportunities. Attacking against fortifications also relies on Knowledge, allowing one to use defenses against each other.
Terrain Types have a natural Fortification score. They can have their score reinforced at chargen with nation points, or later using resources and Scion time (+3 Ore, +3 gold per dot). Terrain scores can only be raised by half the natural rating, rounded up, or 1, whichever is higher (Fortification 0 can be raised by 1, Fortification 2 can be raised by 1, Fortification 3 can be raised by 2)
Corruption: This rating represents the internal strife within your nation. Corrupt nations suffer from lost resources, uprisings, and even injury to Scions.
Corruption exists as a points rating, which applies to individual provinces and nations as a whole. Corruption is granted from several sources, both internal (racial layout, resources) or external (espionage, neighboring effects, random events)
Corruption is opposed by a Scion's Martial - it can be used to quell 'active' Corruption points inflicted upon a nation. Once per turn, a Scion can be tapped to use Martial against Corruption, negating the latter by the former. However, this often requires a scion deal with the event; posting is required, and action can have different side effects.
You get corruption from:
- The number of races you have in your province - 1 (so if you're a monoracial majority you get no Corruption from this)
- Your number of Provinces - 3
- Stockpiling resources, at one point per resource point. Greed is an ugly thing
- Hiring Monster Races. They're the most powerful units in the game, but they cause problems.
- Espionage. You can mess with other people!
Race and Domains: When you pick a domain, you pick the predominant race for that domain. This represents the majority of the population for that province and what troops you get from it.
Different provinces can have different races, easily; however, diverse racial demographics are rare outside of the Imperial Core. Having Orcs, Humans, Elves, and Dwarves all in one nation with provinces right next to each other indicates a forced attempt at colonization or just plain stubbornness.
A single-race nation has no problems. Two races in a nation indicate minor squabbles - more causes more racial tensions.
The equation for racial corruption is (number of races -1). You need at least one race to play the game. Scions of a different race than the province race treat their Martial as -1 when dealing with corruption there. You can have Scions that aren't of a Race you have a province for, but you cannot have racial troops unless one of your provinces supports that race.
Having more than one race means that you can benefit from multiple racial traits, in exchange for a higher rate of corruption.
Your racial demographic also determines where on the map you'll be placed. Orcs/Goblins are native to the west, Dwarves/Dark Elves to the central regions, Elves to the North, Beastfolk to the South, and Lizardfolk to the South and East. Humans are native to the South, but can be found in most places due to high migrations and birth rates (contrived humanocentric excuse #1).
Stats and Domains
Martial allows you deal with the effects of corruption, banditry, and even war on your nation's production. A high Martial makes it easier to enforce the law, and prevents you from suffering other downsides if the corruption is left unchecked.
Knowledge applies to the use of fortifications, as well as to their construction. Building new fortifications relies on how much Knowledge you have; also, using fortifications to protect one's nation is measured by how much Knowledge the Scion has.
Savvy is used to produce resources. A Scion who dedicates himself to resource production can tap resources equal to his Savvy in one Quarter, drawing the points for use. Stockpiling is possible, but you risk theft, corruption and waste. (+1 Corruption per point of resource stockpiled, possibility of theft of the points due to said corruption)
Charisma is used to acquire Troops for production. A Scion can tap a number of Troops equal to their Charisma, and apply them to their army along with resources gathered. Troops cannot be stockpiled like resources; conversely, they're not limited as strongly and don't require you spend any points on domains beyond the base domains.
Military units are built around the Scion that leads them.
Troops: How many raw bodies are attached to the Scion. Functions essentially as HP for the unit - the higher the troop number the more damage the unit can take in a fight. Also, more troops add raw bonuses to your attacks - having more guys than the other guy is a definite benefit.
Your troops maximum is derived from your Savvy stat. Each Scion can have 5 units + savvy of troops without straining their support network; more than that is possible, but will lead to low rations, low morale, and breakdown of communications. Each 'unit' represents roughly 100 soldiers, give or take unit value (knights, for example, represent slightly less total individuals per unit). If this seems both extremely vague and extremely low, that's intentional - you are noble houses, not world-sweeping nations in your own right.
Your troop's race is based on what province you're drawing from. Mark what race of troops you're taking when you build troop units.
Type: What kind of unit you're using. The types currently are Infantry (standard ground troops), Cavalry (Riding units), Airship (flying ships), and Monsters (big scary things). These cover the various roles fantasy militaries employ.
- Knights: Mounted warriors drawn from the nobility, the knights are the backbone of any force. Every Scion has one unit of Knights, and can have more. Knights are heavy units, difficult to damage, but are expensive to replace. You can't have more knights in a nation than either you Scions or your Domains, whichever is larger (meaning with the free Knights from Scions, you can't have more knights than Scions unless you have more domains than Scions).
- 1 Troop, 1 Ore, 1 Beast, 1 Gold
- Infantry: Your footmen, including pikemen, archers, and crossbowmen. These are the core of any force, being the cheapest and best-defensible unit.
- 1 Troop
- Cavalry: Light Cavalry units, quick and often armed with a combination of lances and ranged weapons. These fast units are good at quick strikes, but tend to suffer heavy losses if pinned down.
- 1 Troop, 1 Beast
- Airship: Magically-levitated ships, often used as artillery support and overland transport. Can carry weaponry and fly over troops, but tend to go down spectacularly.
- 1 Ore, 1 Troop
- Monster: Giant monstrosities that don't fall under exotic cavalry or infantry. These can include golems, giants, dragon-spawn (if you want Dragon Slayers to murder your daughters). Big, heavy units, good for sieges and general infantry stomping, but they have real problems harming cavalry.
- 2 Beast (monster)
- 2 Ore (golem)
- Mages: Units of dedicated battlemages used for magical combat. Work differently than standard combat units; they're more like mobile artillery than anything.
- 1 Troop, 1 Gold
Siege artillery and such is usually abstracted.
Morale: How eager your troops are to fight and how likely they are to hold their ground. Your Morale is your Charisma + 1. Morale operates as a general HP for the Scion itself - while units take damage individually, Morale damage applies to every unit.
Morale is lost due to magical effects, troop losses, failed maneuvers, loss of food, and other effects. Losing all your morale leads to a complete rout and possible injuries to your Scion. Or you get captured. Or you get killed. Or worse. Yes, there's worse.
Upgrades: Units represent mundane, typical units. Horses are fairly common beasts to raise, and iron is plentiful. However, the world has much greater wonders.
- Aerial Cavalry: You ride winged mounts into battle. Griffins, hippogriffs, and pegasi are the most common of these. Dragon-kin were popular among southern barbarians, but due to the fact that they're the spawn of province-eating monsters this is frowned upon (as well as forbidden by Imperial Law). Flying Cavalry can ignore most terrain and ground-based forces, and are good at taking down airships. Due to archers and other ranged weapons, they can still take damage if attacking.
- +2 Beast to Knight or Light Cavalry unit.
- Undead: Your unit of troops are composed entirely of animated corpses. This makes them less effected by injuries and morale (with little effect on living troops on their side, who are undoubtedly trained to fight alongside them). The downside is that they are affected by magic, able to be disrupted and manipulated by Mages.
- +2 Gold to any unit
- Mage Knights/Paladins: Your knights are trained mages, as well! They don't have the same versatility as normal mages, focused mostly on self-augmentation magic, but that can make them even more effective on the battlefield. The Church of Opher has these; they're called 'Paladins', and they focus on self-healing and anti-magic spells.
- +2 Gold to Knights Only
Race: Your units are also drawn from different races, like Scions are. Different Races have different traits; unlike internal sub-groups(different skin colours among humans, elves and orcs that have little physical differences), species are physically different enough to perform differently on the battlefield.
- Humans: They're awesome. They have no favoured terrain type, but no unit weakness, either. However, they are very good at Airships.
- Elves: Most at home in Forests. Are great mages, but aren't good at cavalry due to an aversion to fast movement (living in forests!).
- Orcs: Originally Desert creatures, Orcs are good at fighting in these harsh environs. They make good Cavalrymen, but have a weak Mage tradition
- Dwarves: They're called "Mountain Folk" for a reason. They make good Infantrymen, but they don't do as well on Airships due to their subterranean preference (even though they invented the things with Human help).
- Dark Elves: Dark Elves favour mountains, like their Dwarven neighbours. They are good Mages, but are bad with Airships for the same reason as Dwarves.
- Goblins: Goblins favour deserts, much like orcs. Their natural empathy makes them great at taming and directing Monsters in battle; they make terrible Infantry, however.
- Beastfolk: Beastfolk prefer forests, similar to elves even though they're not native to the same areas. They make good Infantry due to their natural weapons, but don't have as refined a Mage tradition as the civilized world.
Monster Races: Monster races are superior to most of the 'civilized' races, as a rule. In general, they're more powerful per individual than others, and have weird traits that put them a cut above. They also have favoured terrains and classes, but do not have an unfavoured class. Monster races cannot be Scions or Units for PCs right now; they can be hired as Officers, but this comes with a few problems to make up for the scarily powerful units.
- Nymphs: Favour forests. They possess a natural power of mesmerization, which makes it difficult to fight them and allows them to manipulate opponents. They favour Mages.
- Trolls: Favour mountains. They have frightening regeneration, which allows them to regrow nearly from death (which helps since they're insane and violent by nature). They favour Infantry.
- Giants: Favour plains. giants are large creatures a story or two tall, resembling large primal humans. All giants are Mages by default, as magic comes startlingly naturally to them. They favour Monster units.
- Draconians: Favour deserts. They have wings and can fly, and are burly as hell. They favour Monster units.
Dragons and Gods: They do not use the rules systems here. They're massive, frightening creatures that can decimate armies. They have more akin to Scions than individual units, and will undoubtedly require more than one Scion to completely defeat.
Stats and Military
Martial represents how good you are at direct combat, how well your troops are drilled and how good you are at tactical maneuvers. It is broadly applied to fighting in general.
Knowledge represents the use of complex strategies, such as ambushes, traps, and spies and assassins. It also represents one's proficiency with battle magic, and using large-scale spells in combat.
Savvy represents your ability with logistics. It allows you to have more troops, which allows you advantages over a smaller force (more guys mean easier to surround them or overwhelm them) and lets you last longer.
Charisma affects the unit's morale and how much your troops want to fight. Morale is the overall state of your army, and degrades as the fighting continues. Low morale can result in losses even if you're not doing too badly in troop numbers.
Heroes are heroes because of their reputation for doing heroic things. If you go out and slay a hundred dragons, and then don't tell anyone, everyone's still going to think you're that little bitchy guy who groped the Countessa last week. You need to make sure someone saw it, or that you brought back parts of the corpses, so you get get away with impregnating the daughters of everyone who owns their own land.
Prestige is how famous your Scions or Officers have become, based on the deeds they have performed. As you use these units to accomplish various things, they accrue Prestige, which can then be used for a variety of things.
What Prestige points can be used for:
- 2 prestige points will give 1 more in one of your four primary stats.
- 1 point upgrades a unit attached to your Scion, giving it Experience. This increases its acumen in combat, and in other actions.
- 2 points lets you add a unit type with a Monster Race like Nymphs or Draconian to your unit. This doesn't let you have more units than your maximum, and you still get all the penalties associated. They don't count as mercenary units, so there's no Gold upkeep.