You are the prince of a fantasy kingdom (RAR).

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You are the prince of a fantasy kingdom (RAR).

Postby The Romulan Republic » 2016-11-29 05:56am

You wake up one morning as the prince (or princess, if you prefer) of a typical fantasy kingdom.

A few details about this kingdom:

It is about 100 miles across, for a total of a little under 10,000 square miles of land. Its climate is on the colder side of temperate. The geography is inspired by the West Coast of Canada (simply because I like west coast Canadian landscapes), with an ocean on the Western border, snow-capped mountains on the Eastern border, and forests to the North and South. The North and West are wetter, the South and East more arid (though not desert). A major river system runs down out of the mountains to the sea, passing through a large lake, named Silverlake, in the middle of your kingdom. Your capital, also named Silverlake (a full concentric castle with its own harbour and temple) is built on an island in the centre of this lake, with smaller villages dotting the shores. Their are also some smaller streams along the coast, and some smaller lakes in the interior. You also have two other towns/fortresses: Westport (a fishing port/trade centre) at the river's mouth, and Ironhall, in the mountains (a fortified mining settlement).

This kingdom, and adjacent lands, are populated by approximately 100,000 human beings, and 200,000 non-human magical beings. The forests to the north are populated by monsters- vampires, werewolves, ghosts, and the like, with the usual power sets. Their are also a number of rogue wizards who have set up shop here, enthralling the local monsters as troops. Twice before in the kingdom's history, a dark lord has arisen here and then invaded the South, the second time even besieging the capital before the Lord of Westport arrived with his household knights and broke the siege. However, this was nearly 100 years ago, though recently rumours of beasts emerging from the forest and villagers vanishing in the night have filtered South.

The forest to the South is populated by elves- immortal, good at healing magic and communicating with plants and animals, and generally living as hunter-gatherers in the woods. They are ruled by a council of elders and have a small militia armed mainly with bows. They are presently neither friendly or hostile, but mostly isolationist. Border skirmishes have happened in the past though. A very few have chosen to live among humans, intermarrying and interbreeding. About ten percent of your population, mostly in the South, has some elvish heritage. Their are rumours, hotly denied, that some of the royal family does as well.

The Eastern mountains contain a number of dwarfish settlements burrowed into the mountains. They are open to trading their metals and craftsmanship in exchange for food, timber, and cloth from the above ground people (which they have in rare quantities), and particularly fish and pearls from the sea, which they have no access to otherwise. However, they take a dim view to humans setting up a mining settlement of their own in the mountains, and some of their more radical elements have advocated war. The mountains also have a serious bandit problem, which has further exacerbated tensions with the dwarves, and on rare occasions, dragons have swept down from the mountains to slaughter, plunder, and burn. Tribes of goblins also sometimes raid from their holes in the mountains, though they are disorganized and have only the crudest of weapons. However, while blessed with skilled siege engineers and smiths and good at fighting in tunnels, the dwarves don't have much of an army for fighting above ground, usually relying on holing up in their network of secret tunnels to wait out any foe. The are ruled over by a council composed of representatives of the different guilds (the main ones being the mining guild, metalworking guild, architectural guild, and mercenary guild), and their main fighting strength is the guardsmen of the guilds, who are hired from the mercenary guild, and who fight with weapons derived from their tunnelling tools- picks, hammers, and the like. They do, however, have crude explosives. A number of dwarves live as diplomats, traders, mercenaries, or craftsmen in your lands, comprising about five percent of your population, and over half your non-human population.

The sea has never been crossed in living memory, and is often wracked by storms and plagued by great krackens and serpents. Since your most advanced vessels are small cogs and galleys, and only a few of those, sailing across the sea is something few would even contemplate venturing. A few islands beyond the western coast have been settled by your people, however. They are largely independent fishing and farming communities, but some have taken to piracy against your vessels. Until recent events, this was considered the foremost military threat to your realm. The Lord of Westport has been pleading with the Crown to send him additional troops, and commission the construction of more ships, for some time, and some of the knights and West Coast inhabitants have been agitating for a punitive expedition against the island settlements.

As for your own lands- you are currently at a Medieval technological level, pre-gunpowder. Your country is a monarchy, obviously, with the King ruling from Silverlake and the Eastern and Western towns ruled over either by a member of the Royal Family or, when one is not available, a particularly trusted or accomplished knight. The Westport lord is your uncle, and nearing 70. He is loyal, but turning senile, and has no heir. The Ironhall lord is the former Captain of the Royal Guard, giving the posting as a reward after he lost a leg fighting bandits and could no longer lead the Guard. He has a daughter, 19 years of age, and a 15 year old son, who is expected to be knighted and join the Royal Guard next year. The heart of the Kingdom is mostly a mix of farmland and woodlands.

Social values are somewhat regressive, with traditional gender roles, male heirs favoured for inheriting, and women generally being married off for wealth or politics, although laws passed by your father and grandfather do ban slavery and rape and allow a degree of freedom of worship (dark magic such as mind control and necromancy, however, are harshly prohibited). The Crown, or its representative lords, act as judge, jury, and executioner. Most of the populace is peasant farmers (or on the coasts, fishermen), although their is a growing middle class of craftsmen and merchants, particularly in the East. Literacy is rare outside the nobility, merchants, and priesthood, but common among them. Their is a single major roadway, running East to West through the three main population centres/centres of government, as well as harbours at Silverlake and Westport.

The primary religion worships a Sun God who created the world, with the night representing the forces of evil and decay. This religion officiates most marriages and funerals in the realm, as well as royal coronations, and practices a belief in reincarnation. Cremation is the preferred form of disposing of the dead, due to the symbolic association of fire with the Sun (and as a practical means of keeping the dead from rising again).

Magic is present, mainly in the form of small-time healers and psychics, though occasionally their have been legendary battle mages who could conjure fire, move objects with their mind, and shield themselves from enemy attacks. Their have also been those who dabbled in the black arts. Magic is largely frowned on, though it is not uncommon for a King or even a lord to keep a mage on quietly as an advisor. The tomes on magical lore are restricted to the royal library, and only the King has the key.

Your standing army consists of the Royal Guard of 100 knights in partial plate armour, plus a handful of ships and the guards of the Eastern and Western lords (about 100 more men). You can also raise a militia on short notice of several thousand peasants, mostly unarmored and armed with crude bows, slings, and spears. Their are also several hundred sellswords roaming the kingdom, mostly either employed as guards by the more wealthy merchants and craftsmen, or turning to banditry and piracy to support themselves. Your realm's full military capability would likely be around 5,000 men (500 horse and 4,500 foot) and half a dozen warships, given about a week to muster them.

Now for you- you are twenty years of age, the Crown Prince (or Princess) of this realm, and the only heir besides your senile uncle. Or rather, you inhabit their body, but retain their memories. You are currently betrothed to either the Lord of Ironhall, or their daughter (depending on gender). However, two days ago, your father the King died (apparently a sudden illness, but the rumours speak poison). Your coronation is imminent, but a trusty servant has come to you in private, and warns you that your father's Steward (a regressive who intends to repeal the recent reforms and takes a militant view towards non-humans and other faiths) intends to blame you for the death and take the throne for himself, and that he has bribed enough members of the Royal Guard (including the new commander) to put down any likely initial resistance. This servant tells you that she has arranged to leave the castle's postern gate unlocked and has a boat standing by at the docks to leave in one hour.

What do you do?

Edit: I will post further details later, with the direction the scenario takes depending on your answers. :D
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

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Re: You are the prince of a fantasy kingdom (RAR).

Postby The_Saint » 2016-11-30 08:13pm

The Romulan Republic wrote:....populated by approximately 100,000 human beings, and 200,000 non-human magical beings.


The Romulan Republic wrote:A number of dwarves live as diplomats, traders, mercenaries, or craftsmen in your lands, comprising about five percent of your population, and over half your non-human population.


Is it just me or does this contradict??



How well is the monarchy liked?
If the population ratio is 1:2 humans/non-humans and the usurper is a regressive anti non-human and I am pro-everyone and well liked then theoretically I could retain popular support. Whether this can be translated into keeping the throne depends entirely on what the court intrigue is like, eg how much power the steward wields compared to myself. If it's a medieval/fantasy style monarchy then theoretically I have more money to bribe guards and more political clout than the steward to be able to fend off any accusation of regicide.
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Re: You are the prince of a fantasy kingdom (RAR).

Postby Ralin » 2016-11-30 08:58pm

Did my father have a court mage? Do I have any friends among the Royal Guard that I can be confident will side with me against the attempted coup?

If I flee (and I can't rule out that this is a ruse aimed at getting me to do just that) I look guilty and give the steward the chance to consolidate power over the castle. He'll set the terms for whatever happens next and anything I can do depends on the generosity of my uncle, father-in-law to be or whoever else I go to. If it's at all possible I strike first with the aim of killing him and making the planned coup a non-starter. Knowing that I have a substantial number of traitors in the ranks is discomforting, but hopefully a show of strength combined with denying them a leader who could take the throne himself will make them reevaluate their position on regicide, at least in the short-term. I have whoever is in charge of the local temple woken up and told that the coronation is to be carried out immediately.

Once that's done and I am the king I start pouring over the books of magical lore in the royal library.

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Re: You are the prince of a fantasy kingdom (RAR).

Postby The Romulan Republic » 2016-11-30 09:14pm

The_Saint wrote:
The Romulan Republic wrote:....populated by approximately 100,000 human beings, and 200,000 non-human magical beings.


The Romulan Republic wrote:A number of dwarves live as diplomats, traders, mercenaries, or craftsmen in your lands, comprising about five percent of your population, and over half your non-human population.


Is it just me or does this contradict??


Perhaps I was unclear, so I'll clarify.

The total population of your kingdom and the surrounding ones (i.e. the region of the world in which this story takes place) is 100,000 humans and 200,000 non-humans. The majority of said humans live within your borders (though a few live outside them, among the elves or the independent islands or as rogue outlaws/wizards, etc.). The majority of the non-humans live outsider your borders (elves and dwarves and such), but a small number of elves and dwarves have settled in your lands. So your population is about 100,000, with about 10% non-human.

How well is the monarchy liked?


The last King was fairly well-liked, not a great hero or anything, but nobody had a major beef with him, except for the West Coast wishing he'd respond more effectively to the pirate attacks. Of course, any king has a few enemies (people he's outlawed and so forth).

As the heir, you're not yet as well-known to the populace- we'll say your reputation is fairly neutral prior to the coup. You inherit a bit of daddy's popularity, but that'll obviously work against you if the people believe you killed him.

If the population ratio is 1:2 humans/non-humans and the usurper is a regressive anti non-human and I am pro-everyone and well liked then theoretically I could retain popular support.


See above regarding demographics.

To elaborate, the Usurper will not necessarily be hated by most of the populace (especially if he can convince people of his propaganda regarding the old King's death), but will probably have a hard time winning over some of the South (remember that occasional intermarrying with elves that I mentioned). The response will likely be a mixed bag in the East- on the one hand, they have to deal with tensions with the dwarves and invasions from monsters from the mountains. On the other hand, the East has trade with the dwarves and many people their will have dwarfish friends/aqquaintances. The North and West will probably mostly like him as long as he cracks down hard on the pirates/bandits/monsters they have to deal with. Which he will.

Whether this can be translated into keeping the throne depends entirely on what the court intrigue is like, eg how much power the steward wields compared to myself. If it's a medieval/fantasy style monarchy then theoretically I have more money to bribe guards and more political clout than the steward to be able to fend off any accusation of regicide.


To summarize the court politics (much of the following information is in the OP, but its scattered around):

The major nobles/courtiers are:

Yourself, the Crown Prince/Princess.

The Usurper, the former Steward. Manages the royal castle's staff and the day to day bureaucracy. Has paid off much of your Guard to aid him. Powerful in the capital, less so beyond it.

The Captain of the Royal Guard. Loyal to the Usurper (otherwise, this coup probably wouldn't be possible). Commands about half of the professional standing forces of the realm, and can quickly call up the militia/peasant levies in the immediate vicinity of the capital. Likewise, not so powerful beyond the lands around the capital.

The Court Mage (indeed, many powerful nobles and merchants will keep a mage consultant on-hand). Loyal, as far as you know, but the fact that he had not openly taken your side suggests that he will stay neutral and work for whoever is in power.

The Lord of Ironhall. Former Guard Captain to your father and heroic knight (now retired due to battle injuries). He is betrothed to you if you are playing as the Princess rather than Prince. Loyal to your father, but a little out of the loop on current Court politics. Probably the kind of man who would prefer hitting his enemies with a sword to making back room deals.

His children, a daughter (19) and son (15). The daughter is betrothed to you if you are playing as the Prince rather than Princess. The son is to be knighted and join the Royal Guard shortly.

The Lord of Westport. Your uncle (father's brother). Loyal to your father, but now old and going senile. No heir.

The Steward has access to the Royal Treasury, and whatever wealth is in the capital. Their are two other major centres of wealth in the realm, those being the mines and trade in Ironhall, and the port at Westport. To give a sense of scale, I'm going to say that West Port has about half the wealth of the Royal Treasury, while Iron Hall has about 75% as much.
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

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Re: You are the prince of a fantasy kingdom (RAR).

Postby Simon_Jester » 2016-11-30 09:19pm

Uh, you've sort of turned this into a "we're screwed" scenario. The prince(ss) doesn't have enough time to move against the conspiracy before it strikes, and the conspirators collectively have enough resources that fleeing into the countryside and starting a civil war is likely to result in losing.
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Re: You are the prince of a fantasy kingdom (RAR).

Postby The Romulan Republic » 2016-11-30 09:25pm

Ralin wrote:Did my father have a court mage? Do I have any friends among the Royal Guard that I can be confident will side with me against the attempted coup?


The most likely Guards to side with you would be the old hands who you've known your entire life, and who served under the previous Guard Captain. A few of them would likely die for you if it came down to it, but they'd be outnumbered. If you could rally militia or sell-swords to your side, it would help, but that would take time the Steward is not likely to give you.

You do have a Court Mage, but his loyalties are unknown. As he has taken no side openly, either to aid you or to back the Usurper, it is likely that he's staying neutral and will work for whoever comes out on top.

Mages are unpopular enough in this setting that dabbling in politics and risking backing the wrong side is very dangerous for them (even more than it would be for non-mages, that is).

If I flee (and I can't rule out that this is a ruse aimed at getting me to do just that) I look guilty and give the steward the chance to consolidate power over the castle. He'll set the terms for whatever happens next and anything I can do depends on the generosity of my uncle, father-in-law to be or whoever else I go to.


This is all very true.

If it's at all possible I strike first with the aim of killing him and making the planned coup a non-starter. Knowing that I have a substantial number of traitors in the ranks is discomforting, but hopefully a show of strength combined with denying them a leader who could take the throne himself will make them reevaluate their position on regicide, at least in the short-term. I have whoever is in charge of the local temple woken up and told that the coronation is to be carried out immediately.


Its possible, but high risk.

If I'm understanding correctly, your plan is to use any loyal guardsmen to try to quickly assassinate the Steward, then make a show of force to keep the others in line and quell a larger rebellion? Is that correct?

Once that's done and I am the king I start pouring over the books of magical lore in the royal library.


This is wise, especially given the rumours of another dark magical threat to the North.
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

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Re: You are the prince of a fantasy kingdom (RAR).

Postby The Romulan Republic » 2016-11-30 09:29pm

Simon_Jester wrote:Uh, you've sort of turned this into a "we're screwed" scenario. The prince(ss) doesn't have enough time to move against the conspiracy before it strikes, and the conspirators collectively have enough resources that fleeing into the countryside and starting a civil war is likely to result in losing.


Well, I wouldn't want it to be too easy. If I didn't give the conspirators at least a good chance of taking the Capital, then the rebellion part wouldn't be a very difficult scenario. Just have the Guards cut off a few traitors' heads, and that's that (well, aside from any PR issues caused by starting your reign in such a manner). But perhaps I weighted it a little too much against you.

That said, I'm keeping a few factors to myself until I see how people choose to respond to the scenario. Part of the point of this is to see how people respond when they don't have a guarantee that their plan will lead to success.

The conspirators control the capital, for the most part. Their control over anything else is not yet certain.
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

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Re: You are the prince of a fantasy kingdom (RAR).

Postby Ralin » 2016-11-30 10:19pm

If I'm understanding correctly, your plan is to use any loyal guardsmen to try to quickly assassinate the Steward, then make a show of force to keep the others in line and quell a larger rebellion? Is that correct?


No, I plan to go to wherever the steward is at the moment and murder him myself with my loyal guards as an escort. Simple plan, fewer things to go wrong.

There are a hundred knights in the city. Some portion of them are loyal to the steward. Some fraction of them will probably be with or near the steward, along with whoever else he's recruited or hired. A bunch of unfamiliar sellswords tramping around the castle wouldn't stay unnoticed for long, so he probably doesn't have much on the way of other forces on site. If I can get together five to ten knights loyal to me on short notice I'm going to decapitate this rebellion before it begins.

Then I tell the court mage he has a new student. Also I have the steward's body and anyone else I had to kill put on ice in case necromancy turns out to be a viable tool and I need practice dummies. No need to raise the militia for the time being.

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Re: You are the prince of a fantasy kingdom (RAR).

Postby Simon_Jester » 2016-12-01 01:40am

Remind me again how you know which of your guards are loyal, Ralin? Because if you go with an escort of, say, six men, and two of them turn out to be loyal to the steward instead of to you...

I hope you've got nice thick armor over your back.
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Re: You are the prince of a fantasy kingdom (RAR).

Postby Ralin » 2016-12-01 02:14am

Simon_Jester wrote:Remind me again how you know which of your guards are loyal, Ralin? Because if you go with an escort of, say, six men, and two of them turn out to be loyal to the steward instead of to you...

I hope you've got nice thick armor over your back.


I have memories of the prince's entire life and he and I both presumably know who his closest friends/comrades/surrogate uncles among the Guards are. Our combined judgment could of course be wrong, but really if I can't gauge whether someone is trustworthy after knowing them my entire life I'm not going to do better dealing with sellswords and aristocrats who might decide it's in their best interest to sell me out to the new king. I could just as easily be wrong to trust the trusted servant, who might be working for the steward (or Guard Commander!) to trick me into fleeing.

Especially since I'd be paying those sellswords with promises and whatever I was able to stuff in my pockets on the way out of the castle. Militia is likewise composed of people I don't know, I'd probably only have time to call up a fraction of it before the steward starts hunting for me and it would be poorly armed peasants against as many as a hundred knights (some unknown number might desert/be killed for suspect loyalties) who now control the local castle.

Yeah it's risky and could go wrong, but there really isn't a non-risky course of action here. And this one has the benefit of leaving my main force of knights mostly alive and loyal once it's over.

Might be worth sending someone I trust out of the castle to rally support right before I leave though.

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Re: You are the prince of a fantasy kingdom (RAR).

Postby Lord Revan » 2016-12-01 03:04am

The Romulan Republic wrote:
Simon_Jester wrote:Uh, you've sort of turned this into a "we're screwed" scenario. The prince(ss) doesn't have enough time to move against the conspiracy before it strikes, and the conspirators collectively have enough resources that fleeing into the countryside and starting a civil war is likely to result in losing.


Well, I wouldn't want it to be too easy. If I didn't give the conspirators at least a good chance of taking the Capital, then the rebellion part wouldn't be a very difficult scenario. Just have the Guards cut off a few traitors' heads, and that's that (well, aside from any PR issues caused by starting your reign in such a manner). But perhaps I weighted it a little too much against you.

That said, I'm keeping a few factors to myself until I see how people choose to respond to the scenario. Part of the point of this is to see how people respond when they don't have a guarantee that their plan will lead to success.

The conspirators control the capital, for the most part. Their control over anything else is not yet certain.

You want to be carefull at how you forge the scenario, as I've said before a scenario where everything is preset to enable only 1 very specific outcome isn't all that intresting and it would be hypocritical of me to critisize one person for making those and not anyone else.

That said some quick questions, how well liked is the Prince-regent among the non-humans and what about the steward?

Also what's the reason the traitors want to overthrow me? Since I highly dout they were bored and besided high treason was a good way to kill some time, so what's their endgame and how much of this I know before the plot is enacted?

EDIT:how only is the Prince/princess is suppose to be, young adult (as in 16-25) or as old as the person posting?
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Re: You are the prince of a fantasy kingdom (RAR).

Postby The Romulan Republic » 2016-12-01 04:35am

I think I stated that the Crown Prince is 20 in the OP. If not, that was an oversight and I apologize.

And no, their is not one possible outcome to this scenario. Rather, I will describe probable outcomes based on the actions you choose, sort of an interactive story (though if you feel that my conclusions are unreasonable, I'm certainly willing to hear you out). Or at any rate, that was my intent.

As to the motives of the Steward: he's power-hungry, and as perviously stated, a traditionalist/xenophobe. This is an added motive for him to question the Crown, which has been more reform-minded under recent monarchs.

As to the motives of his initial accomplices- bribed/intimidated by the other conspirators, mostly.

As to the larger populace- the traitors are relying on a combination of convincing enough of them that you are a murderer, and dissatisfaction from certain elements of the populace over the above-mentioned reforms, and the Crown's failure to deal with various threats (i.e., Westport will be inclined to favour anyone who promises a quick and bloody solution to the piracy problem).

The non-humans' attitude toward the Crown is largely "dissatisfied, but at least they aren't completely hostile to us, and anyway, better the devil we know."
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

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Re: You are the prince of a fantasy kingdom (RAR).

Postby Lord Revan » 2016-12-01 05:19am

So am I wrong at assuming that it might possible for the prince to successfully hide among the non-humans (at least until he can escape to loyalists stronghold), especially if the steward's xenophobia is well known. Also if the usurpers are held together thru bribes/intimidation it might possible to break their unity thru clever tactics after all even if they still oppose me if they spend as much time fighting each other they're much easier to deal with.
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Re: You are the prince of a fantasy kingdom (RAR).

Postby The Romulan Republic » 2016-12-01 05:31am

Yes and Yes.

If you can make it out of the capital, one of the non-human groups that is not openly hostile is as good an ally choice as any, if you offer them something to make it worth the risk of helping you.
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

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Re: You are the prince of a fantasy kingdom (RAR).

Postby Lord Revan » 2016-12-01 07:21am

obviously it's not a "silver bullet" but it's something to consider. After all a known xenophobe/human-supremist wouldn't be that popular among the people he wants to oppress. Also splitting the power of your enemy is a known tactic.

Hell the thing that's "something to make it worth the risk of helping you" can as simple as a promice that you won't needlessly antagonize them, while the other would do that as long as he thought he could get away with it.
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Re: You are the prince of a fantasy kingdom (RAR).

Postby The_Saint » 2016-12-01 08:13am

I think I'll side with Ralin.

If I have the Crown Princes life memories I should be able to 'remember' who is friendly enough towards me that they would be above bribery.
I take my foreknowledge and move against the Steward. If I flee the capital I play into the Stewards hands, I look more suspicious and I remove access to any of my own resources. I'm going with this being medieval-fantasy land, there's no easy high speed media to get news out to the general population or word to the Eastern or Western towns about my being set up while I'm in the capital let alone on the run.

In moving against the Steward: I head straight for the nearest people I can call upon for support, I take my best #2 person and send them to spread the word of the Steward's attempt to usurp the throne. I want to get my message (that the King is suspected to have been poisoned and that the #1 suspect is the Steward) out to the population as fast as possible. If I can have the usurpers awake to a public outcry outside their windows then some of the traitors might be persuaded to to forget they were bribed.
I take my #3-10+ people and move directly against the Steward. I want to have the Steward in a cell or dead by the time any other conspirators can start rallying.

I immediately break up the Stewards role: I'll keep a Steward to manage the Royal household but create a 'Treasury Lord' to handle finances (pick the most boring unimaginative and loyal person I can).

The Captain of the Guard (if I have omniscient foreknowledge) I either: try with the Steward and send to the hangman OR if the Steward is dead or if the Captain so turns King's Witness and I feel can be compelled to earn their way back into my trust, I'll send to the West to lead forces against the pirates. If he dies on the mission I'm one traitor down and an example to all other conspirators known or unknown and if he succeeds then he gets 1 brownie point towards being possibly maybe trustworthy again.

Note that the Steward dies either in "attempting a coup" or post trial for attempting a coup. The Steward lost his right to live when he committed regicide and planned a coup against me. I find it interesting that knowledge of this coup essentially relies on omniscient knowledge. How otherwise can I be sure that the King WAS murdered, that the Steward WAS the poisoner and that there is a coup being planned? From an Omniscient perspective the scenario is contrived such that without firm knowledge of what is actually happening I stand next to no chance.
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Re: You are the prince of a fantasy kingdom (RAR).

Postby Simon_Jester » 2016-12-01 09:01am

The Romulan Republic wrote:I think I stated that the Crown Prince is 20 in the OP. If not, that was an oversight and I apologize.

And no, their is not one possible outcome to this scenario. Rather, I will describe probable outcomes based on the actions you choose, sort of an interactive story (though if you feel that my conclusions are unreasonable, I'm certainly willing to hear you out). Or at any rate, that was my intent.
The big problem is that the way you set up the scenario seems like you were trying to, uh... not very subtly steer us to "flee the capital and seek refuge with the Lord of Ironhall," to the extent that he's the only realistic potential ally of ours that you even bothered to describe.

It's like... in the art of being a DM, there are several major positions one can take on what I call the "railroading spectrum."

1) Sandboxing: DM creates a setting and leaves it largely up to the players to determine what course of action they want to pursue.
2) Surveying: DM creates a broad map of the possibilities to be explored, providing a wide variety of information and options to players, while hopefully helping them to channelize and focus their thinking so they can make informed decisions between a small number of obvious paths.
3) Trailblazing: DM makes at least a gesture in the direction of creating broad possibilities, but then works much harder to develop a highly specific path for the players than they do on anything else, and so often runs into trouble when the players deviate from the plan.
4) 'Mere' railroading: DM routinely presents players with only one option, and is unhelpful or obstructionist when players deviate from it.
5) Punitive railroading: DM actively goes out of their way to penalize players for deviating from a preconceived plan.

Now, it's rare for someone to get as far as (5) on purpose. But a lot of DMs almost default to (4), because it's very easy to create that situation just by being subconsciously selective about what information you provide the players. And (3) is something nearly every DM struggles with, because there's a natural tendency to go into more detail developing the options we think are 'best' or 'most interesting.

I feel like you're hovering somewhere around a 3.3 on this scale. Maybe that's a perception, but I came by it honestly.
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Re: You are the prince of a fantasy kingdom (RAR).

Postby Simon_Jester » 2016-12-01 10:16am

GHETTO EDIT:

I said "get as far as (5) on purpose." I meant the opposite: "get as far as (5) by accident." I rephrased the sentence without changing it fully, and oops. :(
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Re: You are the prince of a fantasy kingdom (RAR).

Postby Ralin » 2016-12-01 10:43am

The_Saint wrote: I find it interesting that knowledge of this coup essentially relies on omniscient knowledge. How otherwise can I be sure that the King WAS murdered, that the Steward WAS the poisoner and that there is a coup being planned? From an Omniscient perspective the scenario is contrived such that without firm knowledge of what is actually happening I stand next to no chance.


I don't think the assumption is omniscient knowledge so much as that we consider the servant who warned us about this completely trustworthy. The rest is based off our memories of the prince's life.

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Re: You are the prince of a fantasy kingdom (RAR).

Postby Lord Revan » 2016-12-01 10:45am

GHETTO EDIT:

I said "get as far as (5) on purpose." I meant the opposite: "get as far as (5) by accident." I rephrased the sentence without changing it fully, and oops. :(


to be honest it takes a really arrogant, stupid or vindictive to end with doing the #5 option on purpose either, at least this early. All examples of that option 5 I can think of were DMs trying to go for the 4th option and getting fed up when the players protested and so they started punishing players for going off the rails.
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Re: You are the prince of a fantasy kingdom (RAR).

Postby Ralin » 2016-12-01 12:06pm

The_Saint wrote:Note that the Steward dies either in "attempting a coup" or post trial for attempting a coup. The Steward lost his right to live when he committed regicide and planned a coup against me.


Also, I say that the steward doesn't live to see the end of the night (day?) when this is all going down. Part of the goal here is to stop the coup before it can begin by getting rid of its leader and leaving his followers without anyone who can plausibly take the throne for himself without being an obvious usurper. Leaving him alive to stand trial means they have motive to come after me and try to free him by force.

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Re: You are the prince of a fantasy kingdom (RAR).

Postby Lord Revan » 2016-12-01 01:28pm

Ralin wrote:
The_Saint wrote:Note that the Steward dies either in "attempting a coup" or post trial for attempting a coup. The Steward lost his right to live when he committed regicide and planned a coup against me.


Also, I say that the steward doesn't live to see the end of the night (day?) when this is all going down. Part of the goal here is to stop the coup before it can begin by getting rid of its leader and leaving his followers without anyone who can plausibly take the throne for himself without being an obvious usurper. Leaving him alive to stand trial means they have motive to come after me and try to free him by force.

while true it depends on how loyal the traitors are to the steward, they also might cut their losses and throw him under the bus. It was stated the other members of the coup are in it for personal gain or they've been bullied to join, rather then being fanatically loyal to the steward, meaning they probably won't try to save the steward unless they think doing so is in their self-intrest.
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Re: You are the prince of a fantasy kingdom (RAR).

Postby Ralin » 2016-12-01 01:33pm

Lord Revan wrote:while true it depends on how loyal the traitors are to the steward, they also might cut their losses and throw him under the bus. It was stated the other members of the coup are in it for personal gain or they've been bullied to join, rather then being fanatically loyal to the steward, meaning they probably won't try to save the steward unless they think doing so is in their self-intrest.


And as long as there's a chance of the steward coming out on top it's in their self-interest to try and keep me from assuming the throne because for all they know I know exactly who was planning to turn on me and am planning to have them all executed at the earliest opportunity. Once I'm on the throne and have visibly refrained from further reprisals then toeing the line and accepting the unspoken pardon becomes the safest bet, but until things are settled I have to assume that there are more knights against me than for me. If they think they have a chance of winning they still might go for it.

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Re: You are the prince of a fantasy kingdom (RAR).

Postby Ralin » 2016-12-01 01:51pm

And that brings me to the subject of the Captain of the Guard. He seems like another great candidate for summary execution given that he is the highest ranking person after the steward who was part of the coup and also the only knight I actually know was against me, but that would go against my "No reprisals, unspoken pardon" plan. This one comes down to a judgment call over whether he was in it for love or money. If he was a true believer who agreed with the steward's conservative agenda I'm inclined to go with the exile to the front lines idea.

But if he was just in it for wealth and power like it sounds like from the OP I'd privately make sure he knows that I know he was plotting against me and leave him in his position. If done right that gets me respect and fear; respect for anticipating the coup and aggressively putting it down, fear because I'm clearly so confident in my power and authority that I'm willing to leave him in charge of my knights despite everything because I don't consider him enough of a threat to be concerned about. Hopefully that will be enough to cow him and by extension help bring the rest of what's left of the steward's faction in line.

Also it lets me retain someone who is presumably a competent soldier and commander.

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Re: You are the prince of a fantasy kingdom (RAR).

Postby The Romulan Republic » 2016-12-01 07:21pm

Simon_Jester wrote:
The Romulan Republic wrote:I think I stated that the Crown Prince is 20 in the OP. If not, that was an oversight and I apologize.

And no, their is not one possible outcome to this scenario. Rather, I will describe probable outcomes based on the actions you choose, sort of an interactive story (though if you feel that my conclusions are unreasonable, I'm certainly willing to hear you out). Or at any rate, that was my intent.
The big problem is that the way you set up the scenario seems like you were trying to, uh... not very subtly steer us to "flee the capital and seek refuge with the Lord of Ironhall," to the extent that he's the only realistic potential ally of ours that you even bothered to describe.

It's like... in the art of being a DM, there are several major positions one can take on what I call the "railroading spectrum."

1) Sandboxing: DM creates a setting and leaves it largely up to the players to determine what course of action they want to pursue.
2) Surveying: DM creates a broad map of the possibilities to be explored, providing a wide variety of information and options to players, while hopefully helping them to channelize and focus their thinking so they can make informed decisions between a small number of obvious paths.
3) Trailblazing: DM makes at least a gesture in the direction of creating broad possibilities, but then works much harder to develop a highly specific path for the players than they do on anything else, and so often runs into trouble when the players deviate from the plan.
4) 'Mere' railroading: DM routinely presents players with only one option, and is unhelpful or obstructionist when players deviate from it.
5) Punitive railroading: DM actively goes out of their way to penalize players for deviating from a preconceived plan.

Now, it's rare for someone to get as far as (5) on purpose. But a lot of DMs almost default to (4), because it's very easy to create that situation just by being subconsciously selective about what information you provide the players. And (3) is something nearly every DM struggles with, because there's a natural tendency to go into more detail developing the options we think are 'best' or 'most interesting.

I feel like you're hovering somewhere around a 3.3 on this scale. Maybe that's a perception, but I came by it honestly.


It was not my intent to force a particular outcome. If I appeared to be doing so, then that is either a misunderstanding, or a result of flawed thread design on my part. Probably a bit of both. I'll admit that this is the first time I've made a thread quite like this, so its entirely possible that I botched the execution of it through shear inexperience.

In point of fact, though, I can see several semi-plausible paths to take:

Rallin raised very good points about the risks of fleeing the capital, as I previously noted. His plan is something of an all-or-nothing move, but presuming that he is able to organize the loyal guards without tipping off the traitors (and I think I would presume in his favour, since the scenario is difficult enough as is), I'd give it decent odds of a successful counter-coup. Their'd be consequences to that, in the form of negative PR for starting your reign with a bloody crackdown, but it could work given the scenario described.

Ironhall is an obvious ally, yes, but not a sufficient one to win the war in and of itself. Ironhall is under threat from attacks from outside the borders- even if it could raise enough troops on its own to take the capital, and even if Westport did not aid the capital, it could not send the bulk of its defenders abroad for any length of time without risking a successful raid or the dwarves annexing the place. Add to that the fact that the capital is on a lake, on the river, which means that unless you have control of the water, it can be supplied by boat from Westport. Which makes a siege or assault rather difficult unless you take Westport first.

Lord Revan's suggestion of allying with the non-human populace has merit, though again, that alone won't give you the numbers to win.

If my scenario favours a specific outcome its "seek multiple allies", because no one is going to be a surefire win.
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