Rules Rewrite Rationale
After reading a lot of threads on the Kingmaker economy rules, it became clear that they did not do what the designers really intended. The system, as written, has three economic sections, Farms, General Economy and Magic Economy, and each use a different mechanism to work out the value for that section of the economy – and the balance between the three is shot completely.
Using the RAW you get the biggest return by basing your whole economy on two or three big cities, close to each other but with very few inhabitants. If correctly managed according to the RAW – you can become the richest guys in the whole of Golorian very quickly. That defeats the point of the whole adventure arc, which is supposed to revolve around building a kingdom and the problems associated with it. And it is a really well put together story arc with loads of cleverly linked little scenarios – the more I read it, the more impressed I am. So I have followed some of the advice on the discussion boards, and have reworked the rules to try and rebalance them.
In the RAW, you can develop some hexes into farmlands – then rather than costing you 1bp per turn – they generate 1bp per turn. (BPs = money) There are two problems with this :-
1 – The random events built into the systems affect monthly consumption or affect BP generation and this ‘cancelling effect’ can lead those random events becoming ineffective. Rather than a direct cancelling, Farm hexes will still cost 1bp per turn to run, but they will generate 2bp per turn when they are operating smoothly. Overall, there is no net change to the maths, just a tweak in its application.
2 – You can develop some hexes to be a positive resource for you but every hex you claim is a drain on your kingdom resources. Effectively it means that small well developed countries in prime terrain fare much better than larger countries that incorporate a range of terrains – and while that models a real life environment, it does it in a very basic way that doesn’t benefit the campaign much. So I have added a number of other ways to develop kingdom hexes – none of them are as effective as building farms – but they will allow you to offset the costs of developing some other areas of the countryside, and will reduce the burden of having a large kingdom.
I am making a few extra RP-ish add-ons that don’t really affect the economic systems of the game but that do make it easier for me to visualise what is going on in a hex. Basically they will model the population settling along roads and rivers and let me know what sort of settlements you are liable to find in any given hex.
The General Economy
Is based around balancing two or three different kingdom measures – a very basic set of rules that abstract the running of the general economy into a couple of dice rolls. From the comments I have seen on the boards, it seems to work OK. It is tougher to make the rolls with a small kingdom that with a large kingdom – and apparently there is a ‘cut off point’ where good design means that you only fail when you roll a one ….
I am not changing that at all as it appears to work OK. However I might well tweak the ‘Random Events’ table to add a bit of extra risk occasionally.
The Magic Economy
The Magic Economy RAW are a problem at higher levels – especially if the kingdom is written to exploit them to the full. It breaks the story arc and means I have to rewrite all the kingdoms and cities in the area so they match the developments of your cities and towns.
While the other sections of the economy very abstract, the magic economy has been treated differently. The designer has tried to represent the general economic effects of a city capable of making magic items within the same rule that allows PCs to sell items they make or find – and it doesn’t quite work properly.
Instead I am going to add an economy bonus to building that produce magical items – You still need the building to buy and sell party magical items but the Kingdom benefits are handled as an abstract – the same as everything else.