The “how many lairs per hex” thing is a known issue; I think there’s some solutions on the forums but can’t recall off-hand.
The gp investment into the stronghold limits how “secure” the domain can become: to go from Wilderness to Borderland, you need to have enough gp worth of stronghold/fortification. If you never build enough to push it over into Civilized, it will never be Civilized.
Each Domain needs a stronghold, yes. Domains have strongholds, and Realms are made up of Domains; Realms aren’t secured by strongholds, but rather the component Domains are.
If your henchmen are your vassals, certainly you’re tracking their income and XP, so you’d know exactly how much gp they have for expanding their domains?
Don’t get hung up on the favor mechanics or anything. The mechanics don’t tell you what you can do - it’s obvious that a liege can go to a vassal and say “Hey, you should expand your realm. I can help maybe.” The Judge just has to figure out what happens then, and some rules may provide a framework.
Vassals would probably have to subinfeudate on their own, but the liege of the Realm can definitely sponsor new domains to be cleared at the borders and subinfeudate those domains to the liege’s own vassals (your Hegurow’s barons). Trying to force a noble to give any lands to someone else would, by historical evidence, mostly lead to rebellion and probably wholesale civil war. A noble’s lands were probably almost more important than their own lives to most of them, because those lands were the entirety of their legacy to their descendants.
Yes, again, trying to make your lords give away lands (or even vassals) would be a terrible idea. See below for some ideas, though. However, with such unrealistic and ultimately artificial realms (I don’t think anyone ever cleared out wilderness and established a whole kingdom in it in the space of 5-10 years in real life!), you’re probably going to see some weirdness in the political geography. The main issue, of course, will be that real historical realms were composed of very small units (manor villages of a few square miles) combined into larger units (baronies and counties) combined into larger units (duchies).
Yep. Extra taxes causing issues is, I think, a feature, and either intended or a happy coincidence - because extra feudal taxes were one of the big reasons for discontent and conflict within a realm. The king needs a temporary tax hike to fund a war, and that means his vassals either have to dig into their treasury (note that that is an option - a thrifty lord can avoid upsetting his vassals by drawing on his own funds) or risk upsetting their own sub-vassals.
Note that in all of stages 6, 7, and 8, you’re going to run into physical problems: domains have to be continguous (realms don’t; you could model a Vatican-type Realm that’s composed of Bishopric Domains inside the borders of other Realms). Those split domains won’t be able to expand eventually, because they’re butting up against other domains on all sides.
I personally wouldn’t parcel out my 16-hex personal domain at all; rather, when dealing with realms carved out of the wilderness, the ruler of the Realm-to-be would permit, endorse, and possibly support the henchmen in carving out their own domains at the borders of the original 16-hex domain. Of course, that may need to wait until the henchmen are 9th level, too, or they’ll have slight problems running their domains.
You can get your sub-vassals started by giving them, say, 1-hex domains from the open borders of your domain. Then they start clearing out hexes on the edges of their
Only once the realm can’t expand outside of its borders would you start sub-dividing existing domains. This would be an ongoing process within established realms (that, historically, slowly leads to problems for the nobility as their domains splinter again and again; especially bad for gavelkind succession, and prominently caused issues for ji-samurai in feudal Japan, IIRC).
“Historical” realms could have been composed by a few means…
- From small (not 16-hex, more like 1-2 hex) domains being conquered one-by-one, assimilated into a single domain, with the conqueror steadily expanding his personal stronghold to secure this combined realm.
- As above, but sub-infeudating the conquered rulers instead, bypassing the need to expand the stronghold (although obviously a larger stronghold is more secure).
- A combination of the above.
Most “historical” realms wouldn’t have been carved out of the wilderness, after all; they’d have been composed of pre-existing settlements unified under a leader or system, and would probably have existed in some form or another for hundreds or thousands of years.
Incidentally, if you want to have fun while getting a good working idea about feudal division and sub-division and administrative units, check out Crusader Kings 2. That game is awesome fodder for thinking up and conceptualizing ACKS domain level play…
Can you tell I love domain level play and rules?