Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Want ye not in me fiefdom

We're used to travelling up and down the kingdom.  Going from town to dungeon and back to town.  What if getting back to town was just the beginning of yet another great adventure.  Put yourself in a medieval setting.  You're getting back to town with a lot of money.  A lot of money that can buy a lot of food and sellswords.  That's going to make a lot of people very uncomfortable and they might not want you living in their fiefdom.

More so, who ever gave the adventurers permission to travel.  They belong to their lord and should do as they are instructed.  Plow the land!!!!  So take a moment to think about this and the government system in your setting.  Is it a republic like old Rome?  A theocracy?  A feudal barony?

How are your players allowed to travel freely overland?  Do they require special permits?  Maybe it's ok in their barony, but what if they enter other lands?  What about being armed?  Chainmail could be the only viable armor they can hide as they travel as common folks with robes.  Same applies to weapons.

Now consider this.  Even if they travel to and from the dungeon without being noticed by local or foreign authorities, arriving to town with a large sum of money will have its effects.  First of all taxes.  The liege lord will want a part of it.  A substantial part may I add.  Returning with 50,000 gold is troubling for the local authority.  What are you going to do with that money?  What favours will you buy?  Remember how worried the Roman senate was with Julius Caesar returned from Gaul with all that money.  He offered bread to the people and bought the mob's support with that.

The local cleric will come knocking on your door. Asking for some help for the gods.  If you refuse you might be facing the fundamentalist mob.  Unless you buy them food.  In which case you'll find yourself facing the local temple and quite possibly the local lord too.

How do you use that money to push yourself into court.  Which in those times was the way to earn the king's respect and support.  Thus you swear him fealty and are then entitled knight or noble of the land. What lords do you support on your path to knighhood?  What favours do you buy to promote your social standing?

Maybe the local government is more like the Roman republic.  What senator will approach you for support?  What will you give him?  What are his intentions?  Does he support the republic or is there an empire in the back of his mind?  What are your ambitions?  Are you happy killing zombies for life or are you looking for something broader?
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