Say Goodbye to Manors and Patricians!

I’ve decided to eliminate the “patrician/lord/manor” tier from the default tiers of nobility throughout ACKS. Before I explain why I’m making this change, let me explain what the change actually is.
In prior iterations, the manor the smallest domain in the “Tiers of Nobility” table and related tables. Manors covered about 2 square miles, had about 20 peasant families, and and generated about 75gp per month for their lords. Manors were the vassal domains of baronies. Baronies included the baron’s personal domain of about 8 square miles with 80 peasant families, plus 4-6 manors. They generated about 425gp per month for their barons.
Going forward, the barony will be the default smallest domain. Baronies will now cover 16 square miles and have 160 peasant families (so the net population is unchanged). They will now generate about 600gp per month for their barons. The elimination of the manor makes the barony the foundation for all larger realms. It means, for instance, that an empire is made up of 4000-46,000 baronies, rather than 16,000 to 280,000 manors.
There are other small ramifications of this change that show up in the rules, but by and large it should be painless and probably unnoticeable in casual play.
Why am I making this change? It’s largely for convenience of mapping and movement during campaign play. ACKS assumes a 6-mile map for regional play. Baronies nicely occupy a 6-mile hex. Thus, with a barony as the foundational domain, the GM can work out the “average barony” in a realm and know, more-or-less, that there is 1 stronghold with 1 baron present in each 6m hex of settled land. This is very helpful for wilderness hexcrawls, and particularly important for Domains at War campaigns where armies are maneuvering across the regional map.
In contrast, 10-16 manors fit on a single 6-mile hex. That means there are 10-16 tiny strongholds per 6-mile hex, each with a lord and a tiny garrisons. This is tedious and difficult to administer in a hexcrawl. In a Domains at War campaign, it’s mind-breaking, as one needs to be able to account for families, population, and supply at the hex level.
My initial approach was to rule that all domains in 1 6-mile hex count as part of a single domain, but I have been forced to ask myself why I am asking ACKS GMs to create and track domains, only to then tell them to ignore them?
The answer was, of course, history. Historically, many important kingdoms, such as medieval England, were founded on a manorial system of small manors, and that is the reason I used that as the default in ACKS. But playtesting with Domains at War has convinced me that I must allow historicity to give way to gameplay.
I hope no one is too deeply offended that I’ve grown soft in my old age.
Let us please have a moment of silence for the 88,000 patricians who have vanished from the Auran Empire. “It’s as if 88,000 voices cried out and were suddenly silenced.”

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Eh, if you want a whole bunch of manors you can always play Pendragon! My Knight always seemed to marry rich and have quite the turnover rate for wives. I think he had something in the neighborhood of 8-12 manors last time we played :wink:

Good riddance.

Sensible change, nice one.

Very sensible… it dramatically reduces the intimidation factor of creating a realm.
And of course, you can always release those bottom few tiers as a web-addon for the truly hardcore :wink:

By which of course I meant ‘that bottom tier’. Stupid lack of sleep brain.

Hmm, is it possible (without I mena, dramtically altering the rules methodolgy) to decouple the rank/area link and tie it instead to a % of relative pop density? That way you could scale a “typical” barony to a “typical” hex but ahve multipe “manorial” baronies in wealthy and densely populated regions, or cover several hexes with “frontier” baronies.

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Aldarron, probably not at this late stage in the design, no. I suspect I’m already at about as complex as most folks want, in any event…