How is Kingmaker economy system in play?


Kingmaker


So I have read through all the rules on how Kingdoms make money and I am a little surprised that if you fail the economy check to get BP, you get nothing. Ergo you either have a good month of getting at least 4-5 BP or you get nothing. How has this worked out for people? It seems too easy for a couple of bad rolls to kill a Kingdom with little options to pull yourself out of the nosedive.

Have any other GMs changed this right away and how did the changes go?


It can be a problem at the very beginning, yes. But that adds to the flavor of building a kingdom in the wilderness, so I wouldn’t change that. My players made sure to keep enough reserves in their Treasury to weather a lean month or two until they got things rolling.

Once you get the Kingdom going, it’s fairly trivial to keep your Economy score high enough to always hit the Control DC (unless you roll a 1). Remember, the players control both the DC (by limiting their expansion) and the score (by choosing buildings, terrain enhancements, or Kingdom leaders).

Unless, of course, your GM manipulates events to influence these factors. But he surely wouldn’t do that...


Personally, I misread the rule and started out just giving them whatever their roll would otherwise indicate (i.e. there was no failure per se). As it was, they had a number of lean months early on as the Treasurer couldn't roll above a 3 on the economy check. Its worked out fine (and that was with using the Venture Capital rules). HOWEVA, each group is different. My group, for instance, doesn't really like spending too much time at once on the kingdom side of things. They will usually go back to exploring after a couple of months of kingdom turns, even between books. They enjoy the idea of building the kingdom, etc., but they don't really want that to be "today's session" if you catch my drift.

You can always start off with RAW and see how it goes. If your party struggles too much you can then decide to house rule, or have someone offer an infusion of much needed capital (albeit with strings attached of course).


FWIW, in the reprinted/revised version of the kingdom building rules printed in Ultimate Campaign, the rules do _not_ specifically say the Economy check must be successful. They just say to divide the result by three (3), and receive that many build points.

Franklin


Thanks for the input guys. Considering I am using the Venture Capital Idea as well but have thrown 8 different factions demanding shrines and the like, I probably will just ditch the failure state not to hamper them too much.

This should also take into account the awful luck these players have. One of them, infected with a disease that would kill him by next sunrise, failed 5 rolls of Remove Disease even though he needed a 4+ aaaaand as we then decided to trade 6k worth of magic item to a devil to cure him diabolically, I don't exactly trust them to hold onto their resources either. :P

Silver Crusade

FWCain wrote:

FWIW, in the reprinted/revised version of the kingdom building rules printed in Ultimate Campaign, the rules do _not_ specifically say the Economy check must be successful. They just say to divide the result by three (3), and receive that many build points.

Franklin

Two ways you'd get 0 BP per the Ultimate Campaign:

Page 199, Kingdom Check, says "checks automatically fail on a natural 1."

Page 207, the Economy check is rounded "down," so a modified result of 2 or less would net nothing.


Touc wrote:

Two ways you'd get 0 BP per the Ultimate Campaign:

Page 199, Kingdom Check, says "checks automatically fail on a natural 1."

Page 207, the Economy check is rounded "down," so a modified result of 2 or less would net nothing.

The second... yes.

But not the first. Please check UC again, this time for the Income Phase. It DOES NOT SAY that you must SUCCEED on the check.

(quote, emphasis mine):
Income Phase
Step 4 — Collect Taxes: Attempt an Economy check, divide the result by 3 (round down), and add a number of BP to your Treasury equal to the result.

If memory serves, I reported this specific phrasing on some other thread here, asking if this was a glitch needing to be errata-ed.

Silver Crusade

FWCain wrote:
...If memory serves, I reported this specific phrasing on some other thread here, asking if this was a glitch needing to be errata-ed.

Just went looking and found in response to this very question Sean Reynolds cited Page 199 that the Collect Taxes check is made against the Kingdom Control DC (20 + Kingdom hex size + # of all districts in settlements + special modifiers).

This also syncs with Page 209 which says under Taxation Edicts that higher taxes increase your Economy "making it easier for you to succeed at Economy checks to generate revenue..."

It's been awhile, so had to go digging, but the OP is correct. Fail the Control check and you get nothing.

However, to each their own, and if you are more focused on adventuring and less on the excitement of getting no BPs in a month, just modify it how you like. Kingdoms will grow a lot faster if you eliminate the failure chance; whether that's good or bad for your game is up to your game.


Touc wrote:
Just went looking and found in response to this very question Sean Reynolds cited Page 199 that the Collect Taxes check is made against the Kingdom Control DC (20 + Kingdom hex size + # of all districts in settlements + special modifiers).

Just to point out...

In the original Kingmaker rules, it was specifically stated that the Economy check had to succeed for the kingdom to get taxes.

In UC, that specific phrasing was _omitted_.

(Furthermore, the divisor to be used was changed from 5 to 3, resulting in more tax revenue for a given die roll.)

This reads to me like a deliberate relaxing on the part of the rules -- the kingdom gets to draw taxes, regardless of whether or not the check "succeeded."

Another reason this is so important to me... Imagine later on in the campaign, when a kingdom has reached triple-digit Size and Attributes, when the resulting tax revenue is _substantial_. Do you really believe that a kingdom will just shrug its metaphorical shoulders once every year and a half to two years (that's how often a five percent chance of auto-fail will occur, statistically), when that 1d20 rolls a "1" and say "Oh well"... My suspension of disbelief goes only so far. Also, as a player, if the GM were to screw me over like that ("well, a natural 1 is an auto fail...") for such a whimsical reason, with no regards for our roleplaying or story, that would probably be the last time I played with that GM.

A _complete_loss_ of the _entire_tax_revenue_ of a goodly-sized kingdom, even if "just" for one month's worth, is a _MAJOR_ story element. This should be an Event at the very least, if not a major plot point introduced by the GM. How did this happen? Was this embezzlement on a grand scale? And how in blazes does the kingdom recover; how do we get back our missing taxes?

Thanks,
Franklin


whether or not it's explicitly stated in the Tax rules, the Economy Check is still a Kingdom Check, and as such always needs to hit the Control DC, or it fails. It's entirely possible that when updating the rules for Ultimate Campaign, they felt it unnecessary to keep that sentence (because the basic rules for Kingdom Checks are already explained elsewhere), and thus omitted it, without meaning to change the rule.

When it comes to suspension of disbelief, remember the rules are largely abstract. It doesn't really make a lot of sense that all the farms in your kingdom produce the same return every month, whether it's August or January. And the Rule Of One for Kingdoms isn't more or less realistic than a Legendary Swordmaster(TM) still missing every 20th swing.

Doesn't mean it's not a good idea to place this in the context of the story. But any GM worth his salt is going to do that with any kind of random encounter or development.

Silver Crusade

FWCain wrote:

...

A _complete_loss_ of the _entire_tax_revenue_ of a goodly-sized kingdom, even if "just" for one month's worth, is a _MAJOR_ story element. This should be an Event at the very least, if not a major plot point introduced by the GM. How did this happen? Was this embezzlement on a grand scale? And how in blazes does the kingdom recover; how do we get back our missing taxes?

Good points but that's how it's written. On page 207, (Step 7, Issue Edicts), it gives an example of play and incentive to get your checks up. "Jessica realizes that an average roll for her Economy check would be a failure...which means there's a good chance the kingdom won't generate any BP this turn."

Now, this doesn't mean you always would earn 0 BP. There are terrain improvements, such as Mines and Sawmills, that generate "+1 BP per turn when collecting taxes" and operate independently of the check. So, if you generate 0 BP from taxes, these as written still provide income. See discussion on this topic a few years back.

Medieval communities were routinely plagued by any number of issues on a routine basis - sickness, bad weather, corruption, rumor of invasion (whether real or not) - that could explain why that particular month no BPs were collected from the populace.

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