Author Topic: Political Intrigue Campaign Ideas  (Read 254 times)

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Offline Slydog75

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Political Intrigue Campaign Ideas
« on: September 26, 2021, 06:38:12 PM »
So, I'm developing some ideas for a politically centered campaign.  I need (possibly loosely) allied nations that I can slowly turn against each other with a realistic central tension as the cause.   I was thinking maybe Duchies within the Rukemian Empire, possibly warring for independence.  If so, what would be their driving force?  What other governments would be a good match for this?
« Last Edit: September 27, 2021, 07:14:55 AM by Slydog75 »

Offline David Roomes

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Re: Political Intrigue Campaign Ideas
« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2021, 06:43:58 PM »
I agree. The Rukemian Empire would be a good place to start looking. You've got all the individual duchies that could go to war with each other. Or, if you want to have it play out on a broader canvas, you've got three subordinate nations allied with the Empire - the War Vales, Ormek and Kitar. Strained relations between the Empire and one of those subordinates could be good. There's also the War Vale, which is a group of seven allied duchies. The War Vale duchies could collapse into their own little civil war, if you wanted to keep it on a smaller scale.

Another possibility would be the Drakkellian Alliance. You've got 5 major wealthy cities that are allied. Each has dozens of towns, guilds and villages supporting it. Strained relations between the major cities could be a good hotbed of political tension.

As for motivations, here are some ideas:

1. Slavery is practiced in the Rukemian Empire. Maybe one of the duchies outlaws slavery and is willing to go to war for it.

2. The discovery of something valuable (a huge vein of a valuable mineral perhaps) in a specific region could cause former allies to go to war over the possibility of vast new wealth.

3. The discovery of a long buried historical document that implicates one nation in a horrific historical event (genocide, assassination, etc) committed against an ally which leads to war.

4. A newly discovered map that supposedly leads to a lost treasure belonging to one nation indicates the treasure is buried in the territory of an allied nation. The allied nation denies access to the site.

5. The rise of a new cult or minor religion could sway leaders in a nation to go to war against an ally.

6. Discovery that the king who sits on the throne in an allied nation is an illegitimate bastard or a shapershifter or something else. 
David M. Roomes
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Offline tanis

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Re: Political Intrigue Campaign Ideas
« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2021, 01:01:53 PM »
I agree, those are all really interesting choices. One of the great things about having so many cool interrelations between, especially, the Rukemian Empire and all of its client states/protectorates.

Kitar is a great choice for an independence movement, Ormek could be a good choice for a slave revolt or revolutionary war, and the War Vales make for an excellent Italian Wars-style clusterfuck.  ;D

I'd be interested in hearing about what sort of campaign you're thinking about running.
He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.

Offline Slydog75

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Re: Political Intrigue Campaign Ideas
« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2021, 05:15:53 PM »
Thanks guys.. I think Kitar is going to be fighting for it's independence... However, there may be other forces hidden in the background pushing them to war.  ;-)

Offline Slydog75

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Re: Political Intrigue Campaign Ideas
« Reply #4 on: October 23, 2021, 10:08:37 AM »
SO here's the campaign seed I'm working on..

Queen Silar is working on a new plan for Duthelm to take over the Rukemian Empire.  This plot is two fold:

1) Force Kitar into revolting against the Empire.  This will seriously weaken the Empires front line with Duthelm.  She will do this by getting the Slave Lords to step up 'recruitment' and cruel treatment of slaves.  Slavery has always been frowned upon in Kitar.  This may push them to outright ban it which would definitely increase tensions with the Empire.  Silar may also sneak a spy into the King's Council (or someone very close to a Council Member) to help push things along.

2) In a twist on the Avisssar Campaign, Silar has discovered the location of Draxxorith's prison and is workign to free him (her agents will basically need to complete the same steps as outlined in the Avissar Campaign.) The PCs (assuming they're not working FOR Silas.. who knows?!)  would need to beat them to the punch to prevent this from happening.    If Silar can accomplish this, it would greatly strengthen her armies.

I'm not sure yet how the PCs will tie into this. 

Thoughts so far?

Also, David.. Quick question regarding travel times.. Why do you only list ship travel from Aridorn to Myranor? There's mention of a main road from Myranor to Aridorn that runs through the town of Waterford in Kitar.
« Last Edit: October 24, 2021, 08:00:01 AM by Slydog75 »

Offline David Roomes

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Re: Political Intrigue Campaign Ideas
« Reply #5 on: October 27, 2021, 10:47:14 PM »


I absolutely love your campaign idea. I think both 1 and 2 are great. Use them both. Sounds like a really fun campaign.

Regarding your question...

Each nation page has a travel section but it only lists travel times by road within the political borders of that nation. Travel times pretty much stop at the border (mostly). So, to calculate travel time on a long journey that starts in one nation and ends in another, you would need to check the travel charts of each nation and add it up manually. That's the intention. So that means more work for the DM. Sorry about that. My intention was to provide enough info so any journey could be calculated, but not make the travel charts too long. I could have extended the charts to include journeys to more distant towns, but the travel charts where already getting pretty long. I had to limit it somewhere. So, I decided to limit each travel chart to include only the roads in its own nation.

For ship voyages, I tried to include the most typical port-to-port journeys. These sometime extend quite far. Ship voyages don't really have the same two-to-town nature as road travel. With a ship, you aren't limited to a road and can go anywhere. A ship can stop at each port town and fishing village along the way, but it doesn't have to. To be honest, in some areas, there were so many possible port-to-port combinations, I didn't list them all. I just tried to include enough of them that even the ones that aren't listed can be estimated based on the sail times of the other voyages.

Sorry for the long winded explanation. Hope that answers your question.

Did I make some reference in the text somewhere to a specific road that goes Aridorn-Waterford-Myranor? If so, where is that reference?





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Offline Slydog75

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Re: Political Intrigue Campaign Ideas
« Reply #6 on: November 04, 2021, 07:56:36 AM »
Hi David, thanks for all your replies, on this and the other posts.  Regarding the road from Aridorn to Myranor, it's mentioned in the description for Waterford on the Kitar page:

"The main road from the Imperial capital city of Aridorn to Myranor crosses the Wild River at this location. The lord of Waterford is Corofen. During times of conflict with Duthelm, log palisades are erected, extra troops are stationed here and Waterford becomes a key staging point for patrols and raids."

I want to further flush out the background without getting completely buried. ON  Ithria who are the, say 5 most influencial Governments? Ones that would almost certainly get involved, or get petitioned to get involved, in a large war between Duthelm and Rukemia? 
I was thinking Drakellian Alliance, Cyrell, one of the Dwarven nations (Urmordia?) and Carrikos?  Or is the distances to large for them to care?

Should I keep it more "local" with War Vale, Ormek and Mercia an Carrikos?


trying to get a sense of scale of Ithria.. How does it compare in size to Europe for instance?
« Last Edit: November 06, 2021, 06:54:38 AM by Slydog75 »

Offline David Roomes

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Re: Political Intrigue Campaign Ideas
« Reply #7 on: November 06, 2021, 10:56:18 PM »
Ok. Now that I'm reviewing it, I think I will need to modify some of the text descriptions. That particular segment of text was written before version 4 of the map and references a roughly linear travel path from Aridon to Waterford to Myranor on the old map (version 3). So, yeah, I'll need to review that and make some adjustments.

Regarding your questions. From the main menu on the left, if you click on the Physical World button and then on the "The Planet" button, it'll take you to a page that gives a good overview of the size of the planet and the scale of the map. The continent of Ithria is roughly 11,000 km wide from east to west - so about the size of Asia. So, yes the distances are vast. A war in the east would not affect the western half of the continent.

In my opinion, if Rukemia and Duthelm got into a major war, the following nations would be affected:

Kitar - Kitar would likely be pulled into the conflict due to its position and political ties to the Empire. Kitar is pretty close and would be directly in the conflict.

Ormek - Ormek might not be directly involved due distance, but the Empire could call on Ormek in other ways. Conscripted troops, higher taxes, etc.

The War Vale - The War Vale is close enough it might actually see some battles on its borders. And like Ormek, the Empire might pressure the Vale to provide soldiers or funds to support the war.

Carrikos - Carrikos is dependent on orichcalcum from Duthelm and would not want the flow of that valuable commodity to be interrupted by a war. There are a lot of interesting ways this could play out.

The Falkir Clans - The Falkir Clans might increase patrols on their borders and roads and might even see some battles at the edges of borders. The Clans might see an influx of refugees fleeing the war. Displaced people would see the Clans as the nearest peaceful region outside of Imperial control.

Vorrik - Vorrik would not get involved. It's too far away and would have no stake in the outcome. However, Duthelm might hire independent mercenary companies out of Vorrik to bolster its own forces.


Beyond that, I think the distances are too far. Other nations would be far enough away that they would eventually hear the news, but probably would not be affected.
David M. Roomes
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Offline Slydog75

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Re: Political Intrigue Campaign Ideas
« Reply #8 on: November 07, 2021, 02:41:32 PM »
Good stuff David, thank you! 

Are there any established 'anti-magic' organizations?
« Last Edit: November 07, 2021, 02:44:23 PM by Slydog75 »

Offline David Roomes

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Re: Political Intrigue Campaign Ideas
« Reply #9 on: November 10, 2021, 09:24:39 PM »
Organizations that are completely against the use of magic? Not really. None that I can think of.

Of course, you could always create such an organization if you need one for your campaign.
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Offline Slydog75

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Re: Political Intrigue Campaign Ideas
« Reply #10 on: November 11, 2021, 04:40:03 AM »
Thanks, I will. Just wanted to make sure I wasn't duplicating effort.

Regarding the Demon Wars.. Mechanically, how did summoning Draxorith the first time, lead to the Wars? Is he able to summon demon armies?

Organizations that are completely against the use of magic? Not really. None that I can think of.

Of course, you could always create such an organization if you need one for your campaign.

Offline David Roomes

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Re: Political Intrigue Campaign Ideas
« Reply #11 on: November 13, 2021, 09:16:12 PM »
The way I ran it during the original campaign was that Draxorith:

a. had powerful magical abilities

b. himself was a physically intimidating foe on the battle field and could wade through armies like an engine of destruction

c. could open temporary gates to the Abyss to bring in demons in small numbers. He summoned single, powerful individual demons and small groups of weaker demons, etc. Not "armies of demons", but individuals and small groups. All of which served Draxorith and helped in the war.

d. most importantly, Draxorith was a rallying point for the forces of Duthelm. He was, after all, a demon lord and this gave the nation of Duthelm a great deal of military clout with which to sway others. With Draxorith leading the war, Duthelm was able to bring orcish clans, mercenary companies, bands of ogres, bandit groups, tribes of goblins and it's own army all together under a single banner.

David M. Roomes
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Offline Slydog75

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Re: Political Intrigue Campaign Ideas
« Reply #12 on: November 15, 2021, 06:36:39 AM »
Perfect, thanks!

Offline Slydog75

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Re: Political Intrigue Campaign Ideas
« Reply #13 on: November 25, 2021, 08:07:05 AM »
Happy Thanksgiving David!  Are the Falkir Clans considered part of the Rukemian Empire?  Also, you didn't mention Mercia in your breakdown of how the other Eastern Ithria nations might be involved with the war.