You are the Kingmaker (RAR!)

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Which claimant do you support

The Warlord
1
6%
The Bureaucrat
5
29%
The Engineer
2
12%
The Fop
8
47%
Other
1
6%
 
Total votes: 17

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Zor
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You are the Kingmaker (RAR!)

Postby Zor » 2017-01-05 05:43pm

In this scenario you are a noble in a large feudal Kingdom at a Renaissance level of development. More specifically you are the Prince/Princess of one of one of the Kingdom's 21 Principalities. You control an area with about 800,000 people, a capital city of 30,000 people, a secondary city with 20,000 on the coast and can call up a force of 2,000 knights in plate armor with lance, sword, hammer and pistol and 12,000 levies with brigandines and helmets armed with halberds and matchlocks. Their is also a dozen castles around your Principality, fortifications around the cities and half the towns and a six cannon armed galleys. Your Principality is in the top five in the kingdom in terms of population and wealth, though the smallest is only about 25% smaller than yours. This kingdom is the largest on the continent, but their are many smaller countries, several of which boarder this realm and three of those are nearby and have 40-60% the territory and population as your kingdom.

Recently their has been a bit of an upset in which the King has died without leaving a clear successor the rules of succession are unfortunately ill defined beyond "child of the king gets the throne, first born males preferred". As such, four men with relations with the king now are aspiring to the throne. Each of them has five principalities supporting him. The support of a sixth principality, let alone one that's unusual strong should be enough to tip the scales in their favor and one way or another will get them the kingship.

Veltarius (The Warlord)
Veltarius is a 40 year old titan of a man, 2 meters tall, 90 kilograms and all of that muscle. He's loud, boisterous and loves drinking, but that does not make him dumb. Veltarius is a traditionalist who believes that the Kingdom is growing soft and loosing it's sense of honor, but more than that he believes that it's high time to expand. His ambitions are to see the invasions of a neighboring kingdoms to gain more territory, strengthening the boarders against the raids and incursions which sometimes happen. He has some interest in the small standing army, but ultimately feels that the nobility and their houses are the best source of military manpower for The Kingdom. He is a masterful tactician and strategist and well regarded by his men. He has a love of cavalry charges. If he becomes King, the chances are that the Kingdom will grow in size and power and those who supported him during his ascension will profit from this by gaining booty and new vassals. If that's enough to cover the expenses of said campaigns is another issue. Beyond his military capacity, he's an adequate ruler though he is rather punctuated in how he goes about it. He does not exercise his authority much but when he does it's quite decisive. Even so he does hold a grudge. He is popular among the chivalry with aspirations of promotion through the ranks and traditionalist lords. If he does not get your support in his bid, their is a decent chance that he'll try to take the crown by force. If he does the other groups will most likely team up to stop him and they might bring in some foreign aide.

Opinions of Rivals: He has a High Opinion of the Fop (The Lad's charming and a blast to be around but he'd be wasted on the throne), a middling opinion of the Bureaucrat (He's a well meaning clerk, but kings are not clerks and he plans for the ruination of our realm by leveling it's traditions) and a low opinion of the Engineer (A half baked tinkerer obessed with the mad claims of similar fools).

Telvilen (The Bureaucrat)
The Bureaucrat is the oldest, 43 years old. He's overweight (if not grotesquely fat) and is generally reconned to be the least attractive of the lot. He also has a reputation of being an up tight stingy old soul who obsessed over every quarter copper. Even so he does have a knack for administration. He has a much better understanding of finance and economics than any of his counterparts. He is also good at construction systems and frameworks to more efficiently gather taxes, oversee projects, fund endeavors and so forth. He is good at selecting men based on their merits and delegating tasks to them regardless of their rank in the nobility (and in some cases those who lack them). His general ambition is to centralize the realm, expanding the (small but professional) royal army and navy* to four times their previous size, establishing a Royal Bank and generally move the kingdom from Game Of Thrones feudalism to a more Court Centered system. He also sees opportunities in the recent discovery of a distant lands inhabited by copper age barbarians across the Eastern Sea and it's colonization that other nations (and his contemporaries) dismiss as being worthless wilderness. His general philosophy is that the King is the ultimate servant of the State. He spends little on himself, is a workoholic and finds elegance in simplicity. Even so he's the most charitable of the four and his charitable efforts are the most efficient. If the choice is between a lavish feast with thirty courses for a hundred lords and ladies or a pleasant five course meal with his wife and children while his servants and cooks give three thousand poor folk a bowl of stew with rice and a mug of small beer he'll go for the latter. He has the support of a lot of the more intellectual figures in the Kingdom, noble houses who are keen on the prospects of advancement, those that have concerns for the poor and the Royal Army and Navy. He's a reasonably competent general and a very capable financier of armies.

Opinions of Rivals: He has a High Opinion of the Engineer (His ideas could be a great boon to the Kingdom, but he's poorly suited to executing them), a Middling Opinion of the Warlord (The old fashioned Warbeast is best suited to commanding armies rather than ruling nations) and a low opinion of the Fop (useless fool obsessed with frivolities and with no mind for administration).

Cantimides (The Engineer)
The Engineer is 38 years old, of middling build and a keen mind. The Engineer loves all things mechanical and takes a keen interest in architecture, machinery, infrastructure, chemistry, natural philosophy, medicine and so forth and sees the application of these things as the future of the realm. If he becomes king he'll order the creation of sewers, aqueducts, roads, bridges and other such bits of Infrastructure, give royal sponsorship to inventors and engineers and establish schools of engineering, mathmatics and natural philosophy. He'd cultivate new industries like glassmaking, gunsmithing, clockmaking and so forth. He's reasonably (if not exceptionally) charming, good at reading people and won't shake up the boat too much as far as the feudal organization of the kingdom goes. His motivation is to use applied knowledge for the benefit of all. Even so he's not good with money and will most likely end up putting the country in debt in a few years. He has support among a fair number of the more technically minded individuals of the kingdom and much of the artisan class. On the field of battle he's an adequate commander and he also has at his back the best shipwrights, armorers, gunsmiths and siege engineers.

Opinion of Rivals: He has a High Opinion of the Bureaucrat (A good man for keeping tract of finances and systems, but lacks vision), a middling opinion of the fop (decent enough lad but too frivolous by half) and a low opinion of the Warlord (the muscle brained idiot has only one solution to any problem: drive a sword through it).

Nilsimial (The Fop)
The Fop is the youngest of the lot. He's 26 years old, has a slight figure and is handsome. He is a great lover of balls, pagents, tourneys, horse racing, plays, hunts, music, fashion (and is always well dressed), good food and wine (in reasonable portions), the arts and is notable for being extremely courteous and charming. He's not above playing the fool at times nor self deprecation. Even so he is never the less a sly planner, highly charismatic and a very talented diplomat. He has a very good memory for faces and names and is very good at putting people at their ease and making them feel that they're voice has been heard and their concerns will be addressed. While he's less adept at Administration, Finance and setting up and managing organizations than the Bureaucrat is, he is still skilled in those fields and good at managing Lords, applying them to make good use of their talents and playing them off against each other to keep them in line. More covertly he has a complex network of spies to both find information on other lords and reveal said information information to the right person at the right time to throw spanners in into their plans and, on occasion eliminate his foes via a well placed dagger, drops of some clever poison or arrange an untimely "accident". He's also speaks a lot of languages and is good at international relations. While he is reported to have a fair number of lovers he's still unmarried, a fact which could easily cement an alliance with one of the kingdom's three main rivals. As he provides them with a lot of custom he's well liked by the merchants of the realm, the people of the capital and his courtiers. Even so while he is trained in arms and likes to fence (with a blunt foil) he has no love for soldiering and if he does become king he will eat up a lot of the treasury on the various things that he likes. His entourage does contain those that are.

Opinion of Rivals: He has a high Opinion of the Warlord (I admire the Old Beast, even if his place is in a saddle leading armies rather the thrown), middling opinion of the Engineer (a Clever old soul, but one who'd be wasted on the Throne) and a low middling Opinion of The Bureaucrat (the fool has no style or savy and no skill at dealing with people rather than systems).

For your support, each Claimant is willing to give various boons. If things are resolved quickly the King might throw one or two of his preferred rivals some important offices to placate them. If you don't cast your support in the next few months their will be civil war. You do not have nearly enough political capital or the proper bloodlines to push your own bid for the throne.

Which claimant do you support?

*The Royal Army and navy have been around for more than a century. The Royal Army has 15,000 heavy infantry (all have breastplates and helmets, some have more than that and are armed with cutlasses, pikes, halberds and arquebuses, the enlisted soldiers and NCOs are commoners while the overwhelming majority of officers are nobles), 2,000 light cavalry (either common or second sons from poor knightly families with breastplates and helmets as well as swords, lances and a pair of pistols) and 2,000 Siege Corps soldiers (guys who man cannons, mostly large caliber castle crackers). Royal Army infantry are reckoned to be a cut above feudal levies while royal army light cavalry are reckoned to be a cut below that of most knights.

The Royal Navy has 20 Galleys (40 meters long, 120 man crews with twenty marines armed with swords and muskets and five cannons firing 5 kilogram shot and a bronze ram) and 3 Galleasses (70 meters long, 400 man crews, 100 marines and 30 5-kg cannons and ram).


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Re: You are the Kingmaker (RAR!)

Postby Crossroads Inc. » 2017-01-05 06:26pm

Shoot Zor, knowing THIS group?
Please, I'll bet you a considerable amount that 90% pick Engineer ;P
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Re: You are the Kingmaker (RAR!)

Postby Solauren » 2017-01-05 06:38pm

Which one will marry me to his daughter so that my children will one day sit the throne?

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Re: You are the Kingmaker (RAR!)

Postby FaxModem1 » 2017-01-06 05:39am

I'm going to go with the Bureaucrat. He'll modernize the country's infrastructure and organization, while also embracing the ideas of the Engineer. This will make our nation powerful enough to stand against its rivals, while also ensuring we pave the way to the next century. While I would love the Engineer to be king, having a nation in ruin thanks to debt would be an awful choice.

Besides, as kingmaker, I can stress to the king to follow through to the Bureaucrat how important infrastructure projects such as sewers and aqueducts would be, and how they would increase the quality of life for all the peasants, as well as making our nation more efficient regarding crop production and reduction of disease.

The bureaucrat's biggest problem is that he seems to be the least popular of the four competitors. However, with my support, that should stack things enough to put things in his favor.
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Re: You are the Kingmaker (RAR!)

Postby The Romulan Republic » 2017-01-06 05:53am

The engineer and bureaucrat both have much to recommend them (indeed they all do), but the engineer is the strongest pick on his own merits, I think. He will, like the bureaucrat, modernize the realm, if by different means, and he lacks any of the glaring weaknesses the others have, being neither warlike/expansionist, nor a backstabbing money waster. The possibility of debt is concerning, but probably manageable if he can be persuaded to give the bureaucrat a high position, which seems plausible.

My only major misgiving is that he seems like the one least likely to get substantial support from other nobles, and most likely to provoke a civil war (given the warlord's disdain for him).
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Re: You are the Kingmaker (RAR!)

Postby Thanas » 2017-01-06 06:01am

It is a feudal nation, which means it runs on personal connections. It also means that the king has to be best at soothing ruffled feathers among nobles to prevent civil war. Feudal nations which succeeded had those things present.

The engineer projects are unsuited to a feudal treasury and the bureaucrat is directly threatening the feudal structure, aka going up against the kingmaker's interests.

The warlord is an interesting candidate. He presumably has children and will thus be able to reward the kingmaker with lucrative marriage opportunities for his dynasty. Plus, with his experience, he will be well respected among the nobility. The Fop meanwhile has the requisite tools and character to be king. Soooo..either one of the two, depending on who offers more.
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Re: You are the Kingmaker (RAR!)

Postby Simon_Jester » 2017-01-06 06:45am

Thanas's analysis is a great example of why feudal societies stay feudal; the incentive structure is generally set up to ensure that they remain that way. :D
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Re: You are the Kingmaker (RAR!)

Postby Thanas » 2017-01-06 07:07am

Simon_Jester wrote:Thanas's analysis is a great example of why feudal societies stay feudal; the incentive structure is generally set up to ensure that they remain that way. :D


Yep, until there is an economical/technological shift there is no realistic way for a feudal society to change But it is not just the incentive structure. It is also about the way power is shared/kept, largely by personal diplomacy and honor rituals. Without a developed state that is the only way to keep power after all.
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Re: You are the Kingmaker (RAR!)

Postby Tribble » 2017-01-06 10:00am

I voted for the Fop. As Thanas noted he seems to have to most traits required to be a Feudal leader. Another point in his favour is his good relationship with the Warlord; while the Warlord might go to war with the Bureaucrat and would probably go to war the Engineer, he's a lot less likely to do so with the Fop. I'd want to avoid a civil war if possible.
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Re: You are the Kingmaker (RAR!)

Postby Thanas » 2017-01-06 10:18am

Also Zor, just to note:

A city of 30k in population is a capital city in the medieval ages. Nürnberg, the most prominent of the capitals of the Holy Roman empire, had a population of 5k in 1397.
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Re: You are the Kingmaker (RAR!)

Postby Zeropoint » 2017-01-14 05:16am

I have to grudgingly admit that the Fop sounds like the best bet for holding the kingdom together. I would try to stress to him that he really ought to get the Bureaucrat and the Engineer into high positions and have them work together for the good of the kingdom.
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Re: You are the Kingmaker (RAR!)

Postby hunter5 » 2017-01-14 07:55am

All four of them will benefit the kingdom though based on the information presented only the Fop seems to have the ability and the connections to integrate the other threes' ideas into the kingdom

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Re: You are the Kingmaker (RAR!)

Postby The Romulan Republic » 2017-01-15 01:05am

Yeah, the Fop might be the best for maintaining a feudal kingdom.

The problem here is that most of us seem to want leaders who will try to move the kingdom to a less feudal model. But if the Fop can be persuaded to give the others positions of influence, then maybe we can have the best of both worlds.
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Re: You are the Kingmaker (RAR!)

Postby Zixinus » 2017-01-15 07:41am

My first pick would be the Bureacrat because he seems the kind that would create a future but the real question is what does the kingdom itself need? Is it threatened by neighboring kingdoms? Is it technologically behind the times? Has the death of the king disrupted internal workings? Is the internal and/or external diplomatic situation unstable?
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Re: You are the Kingmaker (RAR!)

Postby K. A. Pital » 2017-03-01 03:24pm

This is a Renaissance feudal kingdom - so a possibility of a jump like that of the Netherlands cannot be excluded.

If it's the bourgeois revolution and age of technology dawns upon us, I think the Bureaucrat is important. Staying feudal will have a higher prince in the long run, because that civil war will happen anyway, sooner or later. Even if civil war will come, come it may. Progress often has a price.

The Bureaucrat also encompasses the ideas of absolutism, generally progressive at this stage. If he rules, absolutism - and with it progress - might come sooner.

Not getting conquered is also important, and with the Bureacrat the kingdom will have money to fight the wars. This is quite important. More advanced states can lose to their less developed enemies (bourgeois loses to feudal) if they lack the military funding, but the Bureaucrat seems to be keen on funding the military well.

If the goal is simply stability, then another pick will do, but I reject the end of history, regardless of what stage of human history we are talking about.
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Re: You are the Kingmaker (RAR!)

Postby Adam Reynolds » 2017-03-02 08:11pm

I would go with either the Bureaucrat or the Fop, as they would be the most likely to run the kingdom properly, if in very different directions. The bureaucrat would probably have the best long term results from his leadership, while the Fop would likely be a more stable leader in the short term. It really depends upon the likelihood of civil war with the Warrior's faction and whether the risk of that is worth the long term benefits, depending on the current overall stability of the kingdom.

I'd personally like to vote for the Engineer, but the Bureaucrat would likely give the best of both worlds more so than the other way around, while someone with that level of engineering knowledge would be better of using it directly.

The Warrior is the last choice, as he would really only rule by fear. Picking him would be something of a step backwards.


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