Continuing my slog through the domain rules …
A lot of the vassal duties are self-explanatory. And almost all of them, I can see a PC lord requesting of a vassal at various points, and a PC vassal feeling that they were useful and good.
I don’t understand the Call to Council at all, however. Is there any benefit that the lord or vassal receives from this? Otherwise … it seems punitive rather than useful.
(I mention the vassal’s benefit because most of the duties will at least theoretically benefit the vassal as well.)
The easiest way I can explain "Call to Council" is to reference King Robert summoning Ned Stark to serve on his Small Council at the start of Game of Thrones.
In game terms, here are some reasons why a PC might use Call to Council:
- The NPC Vassal has knowledge, proficiencies, spells, or magic items that the PC ruler wants to gain access to. For example, if the Vassal has Loremastery, or the ability to cast Communion.
- The PC wishes to go adventuring and wants to have his most trusted Vassal running the realm while he is off adventuring. Substitute "carousing" for "adventuring" and you have the Game of Thrones situation.
- The PC thinks the Vassal may be turning treacherous, and he wants to "keep his enemies close" by having him in the capital, near the PC. This was a tactic that Louis XIV used extensively.
The benefit to the Vassal is that he is getting close access to his Lord, which is generally a good thing. He'll have the opportunity to present children as pages, show his worth, and so on.