Realms and Domains

I’ve a question regarding Building a Realm: I’ve tried to find the answer in the rulebook but can’t find it:

An adventurer can control more than one domain… do the domains have to be “touching” each other (i.e. contiguous) or can there be unconquered land between them?

It would make communication with the vassal difficult and fraught with danger.

I don’t think it’s quite the answer you’re looking for, but just for reference, page 125 of the rulebook defines a maximum size domain (500sq miles) as either 1 24 Mile Hex or 16 contiguous 6 mile hexes.

Reading the other relevant bits of the rulebook, my take is that the default assumption is that a ‘Realm’ consists of contiguous Domains(to make the book keeping and mapping simple?), but if you can model additional risks of communication, trade and travel going through unconquered(or hostile) territory, then why not!

The domains within a realm does not have to be contiguous, no. It's definitely helpful, but not strictly necessary.

A case where non-contiguous domains is quite common is in a feudal society. The king controls the overall realm. Each of, say, four dukes controls a sub-realm (a duchy). However, if the king is smart, he will arrange things such that each 'duchy' is made up of non-contiguous domains spread across the kingdom. That way none of the dukes becomes a regional powerhouse.



Is that how it works in your campaign Alex? How have you managed it, ‘administratively’? Easy? Hard? Somewhere in between?

There have been plenty of non-contiguous realms in our campaigns, yes. When the different domains are within a larger realm that is at peace, it's a non-issue.

It can lead to interesting strategic situations when the realm above goes into chaos, or an enemy attack prevents movement between the domains, and so on. 


Thanks guys. Not requiring having contiguous hexes makes realm-building intriguing.

I’m trying to incorporate ACKS to the Greyhawk campaign setting. I’d like to use the maps of the Flanaess as is (I’m debating whether to change the 1 hex = 30 miles to 1 hex = 24 miles as in ACKS or just convert ACKS rules to a a 1 hex = 30 miles formula - i.e. the maximum domain size is a 30-mile hex, not 24 - any input on this would be much appreciated as well).

I’m using the Living Greyhawk Gazetteer as a reference… I’m not necessarily trying to apply it word-for-word however (for example, I have no qualms about leveling down most NPCs in that book to ACKS’s level range, and plan on using ACKS population assumptions, with the book’s population totals merely being a “guideline” in my decision-making)

Last night, for a warm-up, I attempted to apply the ACKS domain rules to the County of Urnst, which prompted me to ask the question in the OP. The “rulership” of the County is listed as follows:

1 Countess
6 Archbaronies
9 Lord baronies
11 Field baronies

Taking that info, I assumed that the Countess is the overall ruler of the realm; the archbarons are her henchmen; they in turn, control vassal realms - their henchmen are the lord barons; they in turn have sub-vassal realms and their henchmen are the field barons.

When assigning all 27 members of the rulership a hex, there were still quite a few hexes left over on the map for the realm of the County of Urnst. I would like to assume that, for the un-claimed hexes, the Countess claims such lands in name only. Furthermore, several cities, villages, and towns are noted on the map. Placing domains around these locations necessitates having to “spread out” the domains such that they need to be interconnected through contiguous lines (which looks weird), or there needs to be unclaimed territory between them.

I’m pretty sure most, if not all of the nations in the setting will have similar results of several unclaimed hexes, and that many nations claim regions of land “in name only”.

Does that all sound about right? I think I’m using the ACKS rules as intended.

Beragon, that sounds right.

The unclaimed hexes in between the domains will be where monsters live, and create ideal opportunities for adventuring.