# Vassals and border gore

So an aspiring lord goes out into the wilderness and conquers some territory.  Being 9th level he can only safely control 6 hexes and becomes a powerful baron.  Unsatisfied with that and wanting to become a respected lord, he clears more land, giving each of his 4 8th level henchman 4 hexes of their own, becoming a marquis with 4 barons under his rule.  Wanting to strengthen his realm further the 5 lords now clear more land, resulting in 1 Count, 4 Marquis, and 16 Barons.  Repeat again to become 1 standard Duke (6 hexes, now borderlands hold 1500 families), 4 Counts, 16 Marquis, and 64 Barons.  Ok so far.  Now everybody levels up.  What happens now?

The Duke can now control 8 hexes instead of 6, but the 16 hexes he gave to his first barons surround him.

The Counts can now control 6 hexes instead of 4, but the next set of 16*3=48 hexes were used to create the 16 Marquis.

The Marquis can now control 4 hexes each instead of 3, but the next set of 64*2=128 hexes were used to create the 64 barons.

The Barons can now control 3 hexes each instead of 2, but surely some are not on the border.

How does the Duke, now aspiring to Princedom grow his domain, and help his vassals tier up?  Further, do his vassals make henchman loyalty rolls when they level up to decide if they remain vassals?  Is that the solution?  (Would seem to screw over characters that inspire near total loyalty, rather than slightly over half)

Am I making sense?

Axioms 3 proposes rules for handling non-contiguous domains. it essentially causes the non-contigous parts to count as more hexes than they actually are.  other than that, you're quickly discovering why the HRE was such a mess :-P

I was hoping there was a way to handle it without non-contiguous domains, the Duke above has effectively filled a hex with 7 rings around it.  Not even a 14th level character would be able to add another hex from the 8th ring.  The rules and wilderness encounters seem to strongly encourage organic rather than stringy growth.  Question is how to handle the scaling up.  Once you try to go past the Count level, the existing vassals start to get in the way.  Hopefully there is a way to grow without arranging unfortunate "accidents" and "fortunate" betrayals.

[quote="chrisianak15"]

I was hoping there was a way to handle it without non-contiguous domains, the Duke above has effectively filled a hex with 7 rings around it.  Not even a 14th level character would be able to add another hex from the 8th ring.  The rules and wilderness encounters seem to strongly encourage organic rather than stringy growth.  Question is how to handle the scaling up.  Once you try to go past the Count level, the existing vassals start to get in the way.  Hopefully there is a way to grow without arranging unfortunate "accidents" and "fortunate" betrayals.

[/quote]

The answer, of course, is "plan ahead" and "don't box yourself in with no room for 'personal' growth".

Order the vassals to give you some of their lands in exchange for domains further out. A perfect way to build some tension if they feel like they're being robbed.

I was kind of wondering if this was an option.  Perhaps using the land values from Axioms 3, 200gp per peasant family, and stronghold value to estimate the gain/loss of the trade?

[quote="chrisianak15"]

I was kind of wondering if this was an option.  Perhaps using the land values from Axioms 3, 200gp per peasant family, and stronghold value to estimate the gain/loss of the trade?

[/quote]

As Jard said, this sort of situation is exactly why real-world kingdoms were such a mess!

I believe your solution above is probably the right way to handle it. You can trigger some vassal loyalty rolls and it'll all be quite fun.