Dominion Rules

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I want to see Dominion Rules in the DMG. Paragon-level characters would be fitting rulers of domains subordinate to a country (like OD&D Companion-level PCs). Epic-level characters would be fitting rulers of entire countries (like OD&D Master-level PCs).

I prefer that the 4E designers and developers (what's the difference in those job titles anyway?) read through the OD&D Companion and Master boxed sets and make sure they cover these areas at least as well as OD&D did.

And...where there's Dominion Rules, there's need for Mass-Combat Rules. OD&D's War Machine and Siege Machine, 1E's and 2E's Battlesystem, and 3E's Cry Havoc! would be benchmarks.

Likewise, Dominion Rules call for Economic Rules. Again, I prefer that 4E workers have read through the Companion Set and the Darokin and Minrothad Gazetteers (with their Merchant and Merchant-Prince classes) to make sure the 4E Economic Rules are at least as fun as the OD&D predecessors.

Travis
I would like to see rules for dominions, like you. I wouldn't mind if it were in a separate supplement, or a later DMG, rather than the first DMG, though.
Dominion rules sound familiar... Birthright? So, what are Dominion rules again?
I agree with the OP. I never understood why these rules which were so important in Basic D&D to define high-level play disappeared in AD&D and subsequent edition (except for Birthright),

I think it would be important to place them in the initial core books since it really defines and give a different flavor to higher level and could in fact create an entire new focus for some class abilities that a later release could not match.

I think there is much to say indeed for pushing the designers to take a look at the companion or master sets of yore.. there was good stuff in there (although the mass-battle system was atrocious.. I am sure they could come up with something much better)
Dominion rules sound familiar... Birthright? So, what are Dominion rules again?

Dominion rules describe how PCs found, earn, or conquer provinces and countries. The PCs then become barons, dukes, emirs, kings, emperors, and so forth. Dominion rules also cover how PCs manage and protect their dominions once they have them. A similar thing can be done for Thieves Guilds and Ecclesiastical Provinces. While Dominions are an integral part of the OD&D Mystara setting (the region of Norwold was specifically designed by TSR for PCs to carve into Dominions), as far as I know, Birthright was the only AD&D2E setting that had this focus.

D&D Titles:
I'd like 4E Dominion rules to have a default hierarchy of noble titles, something like the OD&D system of Baron and Duke through King and Emperor. Such an integrated system of D&D titles is no more unrealistic than having default D&D class names such as Fighter and Cleric instead of Warrior and Priest or Combatant and Divinist (or how 3E had default terms for various sizes of communities: Hamlet, Village, etc.).

There could be - at least as a D&DI enhancement - a table listing equivalent titles in other languages, such as Arabic (Emir, Malik, Sultan), Persian (Shah, Padishah), and Mongolian (Khan, Khagan). Campaign Settings such as Forgotten Realms and Eberron, could include a table giving equivalent titles used in the different regions, countries, and languages of those worlds.

Travis
I too would love to have dominion rules a la the ones in the old Companion rules.
Yes... Yes... Yessssss :bounce:
More...

I'd like to see Dominion-Scale rules and Mass Combat-Scale rules in the 4E DMG. Both rules would be modeled on the Tactical-Scale adventuring rules.

Mass Combat-Scale: These rules would essentially be a 4E version of 3E's Cry Havoc!. The equivalent of the 5-foot square would be the 50-foot square, and the equivalent of a Tactical round would be a one-minute Battle Round.

Dominion-Scale: The equivalent of the 5-foot square is the 8-mile hex. Dominion rules include economic rules, diplomacy (as Social Challenges), natural disasters, rebellion, and so forth. The equivalent of the Tactical round might be one Day, though there could be less granular options, such as weekly, monthly, or yearly events. It would something like a 4E d20 version of Civilizations, Sim Games, or Risk. Birthright and OD&D's Companion Set would be fitting models.

4E If a DM wanted to "zoom in" to a locale for the PCs to go on a Tactical-scale adventure, that'd be great, but having the option of less granular scales would be fun, especially for Paragon- and Epic-level campaigns.

Travis
I would love the idea. Unfortunately this is very unlikely to happen. D&D seems to be more and more about just dungeondwelling, even at levels when you can rule a kingdom and people would demand it.
I would love the idea. Unfortunately this is very unlikely to happen. D&D seems to be more and more about just dungeondwelling, even at levels when you can rule a kingdom and people would demand it.

My players characters were just promised payment of land in place of money in our last game. They are so excited about this that they are already planning on future settlement and resource extraction. Its in a wilderness area beyond the borders on a current nation yet on land that was once a another nation.

As I will be using the OD&D dominion rules as inspiration, count me towards another vote for this in 4E.
The Piazza A renaissance of the Old Worlds. Where any setting can be explored, any rules system discussed, and any combination of the two brought to life.
As I will be using the OD&D dominion rules as inspiration, count me towards another vote for this in 4E.

Add another vote here.... Yes, Yes
I'm in!
Maybe in a future splatbook. I can't see "optional rules" like this being included in the core rulebooks.
Epic play (heroic/paragon whatever) misses a lot by not focusing more one a realm/kingdom level play. By those levels the only threats the character can face and have fun are old dragons and elder devils/demons. This all chellenges their hp/magic weapon/etc., but what about challenges that cannot be solved by a sword (or by a dozen of them)? Where the goal is not as much as to kill the enemy, but to save a settlement/kingdom/etc.
A horde of orcs ravage your land. You cannot be everywhere. You cannot meteor swarm them, because it would also damage your own land (and would only decimate the orcs, plenty will remain). You cannot teleport everyone to safety, etc. Characters need to use their resources in a different way using teleports and divination spells to coordinate the effort of the realm, lead campaign against the enemy, parley with nobles to send more men-at-arms.

That is fun (at least for me).
So please instead of developing 10 monsters with 2000+ hp and +50 attack, and magic weapons to deal with them, develop dominion rules!
I am pretty sure that at higher lvs, the party will have no trouble mowing down entire armies on their own, using their own strengths to dictate and control the battlefield.:P

No need for army vs army, since the PCs would be more than a match for any army.
Maybe in a future splatbook. I can't see "optional rules" like this being included in the core rulebooks.

Dominion and Mass Combat rules were not optional in OD&D. Likewise, Monte Cook has expressed his regret that Mass Combat rules were cut from the 3E DMG.

Travis
Dominion and Mass Combat rules were not optional in OD&D. Likewise, Monte Cook has expressed his regret that Mass Combat rules were cut from the 3E DMG.

I termed it "optional" because I saw its purpose as being secondary in a setting which primarily revolves around a small group of 4-5 people overcoming challenges by themselves, not by leading massive armies garnered via leadership.

This is the way it has always been, and will likely be the way it will continue. This is dnd after all, not warhammer. :P
I termed it "optional" because I saw its purpose as being secondary in a setting which primarily revolves around a small group of 4-5 people overcoming challenges by themselves, not by leading massive armies garnered via leadership.

This is the way it has always been, and will likely be the way it will continue. This is dnd after all, not warhammer. :P

He does have a point. From the "points of light" snippets I'm not getting the feeling there will be too many armies/nations hanging around to commanded/ruled. Of course, it would be nice if they eventually supplied the rules to do so (and carve your own kingdom/build your own armies). I would definitely buy it.
Sounds like a great splat book. Combine heroes of battle, stronghold builders guide and some rules for running armies and/or realms.
I accept that Dominion and Mass Combat rules may not be in the DMG. However, I do see these being relevant to Points of Light campaigns. Paragon- and Epic-level characters may carve out "Dominions of Light" surrounded by darkness.

Having these rules also fits with 4E's sword & sorcery theme -- how about King Conan of Aquilonia?

Travis
That is fun (at least for me).
So please instead of developing 10 monsters with 2000+ hp and +50 attack, and magic weapons to deal with them, develop dominion rules!

You can get the best of both worlds, so to speak. Take a page from Reign: if you've got a crazy monsters that's as big as a town, army, or whatever, then use your "town, army, or whatever" rules to represent it.

(Honestly, I think I'd be a lot happier if D&D just shamelessly ripped off Reign for almost everything.)

-- Alex
Dominion should be a feat at paragon levels. But i _HATE_ the idea that every single player that get to a certain level of mastery with swords become a Force Commander with a Castle just as much as every single Thief suddenly become the leader of a Guild.
(Honestly, I think I'd be a lot happier if D&D just shamelessly ripped off Reign for almost everything.)

I do not know that game. Can you point me to it (publisher, full title)?

Anyone have experience with the rules in Cry Havoc, Dynasties & Demagogues or Fields of Blood?
I think the responsibility of running a temple, monastery, school, guild, or kingdom should be available to players after a certain point. I think it should be tied to character level (bring back the "Lord" levels), and not be based on feats or talents. Running a domain is an awesome roleplaying opportunity that should have fairly deep and detailed rules, but it is more often a responsibility than a resource, and thus it shouldn't require a character to spend valuable feats or talents to have a domain.
I think it should be tied to character level (bring back the "Lord" levels), and not be based on feats or talents.

Being a Feat make it a choice. Tied to level imply that, given time, all players will own a stronghold. That is a problem becouse of roleplay:

I might be r'plaing a fighter that is a lonely swashbuckler, with no interest on people or commanding armies.

I might be r'playing a rogue that is a trader with a secret-life as thief. I might even had some success in my job, so _NO_ one (including other thieves) ever knew what i was doing. Where did all those followers come?

I might be a wizzard in a world where magic is not forbidden, but also not so well accepted. Founding a tower of wizardry *might* not be a good idea

I might be a cleric of an evil religion. Even if i'm high level, that does not mean i want to retire to Temple of Elemental Solitude, neither that i want to attract some attention on me having a network of accolytes.

Sure, i*might* as well be roleplaying other kind of characters. But i might not. Getting 200 followers and a castle from nowhere just becouse you killed one extra dragon and leveled up has no sense.
Oh, sorry. I didn't mean to imply that it was an automatic, "at level 10, you get a stronghold" kind of deal. What I meant was that after a certain level, the option of setting up a domain becomes available to players. It's still a choice, but not a choice that forces you to sacrifice something else.
The Powers of Faerun book had some interesting material on this kind of play, from Courtroom intrigue, ruling lands, adventuring as a noble, exploiting the economy and being a merchant, etc.

It is written around FR, obviously, but it is still a lot more vague than most campaign setting books and could easily be adapted to anything else in 3.5.

Perhaps they should just rerelease something similar for 4e but without a specific campaign setting in mind.
I do not know that game. Can you point me to it (publisher, full title)?

Greg Stolze (of Unknown Armies fame) self-published it. The subtitle is "A Game of Lords and Leaders." Here's the website.

An executive summary:
- A skill-based kind of system. Or skill+stat, really -- they're of roughly equal importance.
- It uses the "One Roll Engine": you roll some d10s and look for sets of the same number. Generally you read multiple bits of information from a roll (e.g. when attacking in combat, a set tells you hit location, damage, and when in the turn order your hit occurs). ORE is a bit hard to describe in a few sentences but pretty straightforward in a few pages.
- Combat's like skill use but a hit-location-based system and a collection of special maneuvers (e.g. location 10 is the head -- if you roll a set of 10s, you can hit someone in the head; there's a called shot rule that lets you pay one die in order to be able to take another die and pre-set it to any value before you roll).
- There are mook rules and morale rules to go with them.
- The big change from previous ORE games (and from most RPGs in general) is that in addition to characters you have Companies, which model groups and organizations. Pirate crews, knightly orders, armies, guilds, kingdoms are all represented abstractly with five stats (Might, Treasure, Territory, Influence, and Sovereignty). Characters actions can give them a boost and vice versa.
- The tone's generally conversational and there are some great humorous bits.
- I think there's a softcover version coming soon.


-- Alex
First, I agree that a book containing rules on ruling/running a Dominion (from a small feudal fief to a large kingdom) would be very useful. Mass combat rules would probably also be needed in this book.

As for how to acquire a Dominion, I think it should be a very non-mechanical thing. I don't think a Feat, Talent, or Character Level should be important. It should be based on the Players and the DM working something out. If you're in a low powered world, and the PCs hit level 6 and are the dominant forces in a village, have saved it three times from orcish invasion, and the last mayor just died, then they should have a good shot at becoming the new rulers.
If the PCs are in a high powered world, have hit level 16, and there are a dozen NPCs that are around their level, and they haven't stopped any major threats publicly, they shouldn't be entitled to anything.