Saturday, March 18, 2017

Testing tables for urban politics

Draft so far (very rough)


Roll on Status and Trends once for every community/city.


what the current mood/environment is when the adventurers roll into town, as well as recent 

events shaping same

Town is:

01-50. stable/peaceful with no great worries or pressures (possibly only in ignorances or

51-60 currently safe but worried or under pressure; roll on EVENT SUBTABLE II to determine 


61-70 remarkable/unusual event occurring


1-10 Merchant Caravan(s)
11-13 religious revival(or heresy)/local prophet
14-17 unnatural weather
18-25 pilgrimage
26-30 temporary overcrowding/census
31-33 Trial/Election
34-36 conquering hero(s)/explorer returns/local boy done good
37-45 local scandal
46-52 spiritual manifestation
53-60 financial speculation or discovery/prominent merchant
61-65 guild/trade dispute
66-72 rival thieves guild making a play
73-80 Day of Recognition and Consecration
81-100 Roll on EVENT SUBTABLE II; use result as current event

71-80 recovering from a recent remarkable/unusual event


1-8 Financial disaster/Fire
9-40 Festival/wedding/anniversary/Holy Day
41-45 natural disaster/infestation
46-50 famine/drought
51-55 undead manifestation
56-60 bandit/pirate attack
61-70 military activity in the outskirts (this includes humanoid groups)
71-80 misc monster activity
81-85 coup d'etat activity (of any sort of leadership, not limited to governing)
86-90 street violence/tax revolt/infamous crime
91-92 death of ruler/priest rejected at death
93-100 Outerplanar Occurrence

81-85 losing importance/size over time

86-90 gaining importance/size over time

91-95 preparing for military action

96-100 under attack/siege

Then roll to determine the general relationship between the crown and the populace ("crown" used to describe whatever civil/noble/royal ruling structure is locally present; note some powerful bishops and archbishops wield civil authority as well)

crown is (roll for each):  

01-20 loved 
21-50 tolerated
51-80 uneven support
81-100 disliked/hated

01-60 strong/waxing
61-90 weak/waning/fractured
91-100 facing rebellion

01-85 longstanding/hereditary
86-100 newly established

After determining the general state of the location, roll once more to determine if any other
local politics or peculiarities influence the dynamics.  Always remember to temper the general result to the situation.  In a village of 600 a feud between "crown" (perhaps a mayor) and "church" (perhaps a local abbot) might be on everyone's lips, but otherwise no issue.  In a capital that could be completely different.  In a thorp it could be trivial, for most game 


0-2    Thorp or Dorf
0-3  Hamlet
1-4  Village or Wych
2-6  Town
3-12  City


Duplicate results may be re-rolled or considered cumulative at DM option 

1-10         Factions and Rivalries
11-20 Feuds and Grievances
21-30 Triangles and Alliances
31-40 Plots and Intrigues
41-50 Heresies and Scandals
51-75 Crime and the Underworld
76-90 Sorceries and Abominations
91-100 Mercenaries and Adventurers


Who's in charge and how securely?  Who are other factions with power? What competitions exist and why?

Local ruler is: 

01-65 rule by betters (legal power limited to royal/noble/official/church,
                        either one alone or mixed)
66-85 balance of power between betters and merchants/other
86-100 rule solely by merchants/other

Significant factions present

01-12 pretender and supporters
13-24 churchmen/prophet
25-35 trade guilds/merchants
36-40 free radicals/outsiders
41-50 aggrieved commoners/local climber/charismatic leader
51-60 underworld
61-90 aristocratic/court (if applicable/reroll)
91-100 sea captains (if applicable/reroll)

Rivalry Drivers between Factions

1-16         ruling favoritism by law or deed
17-33 historical emnity/disagreement
34-49 class dynamics
50-66 sudden weakness/unpopular leader
67-82 new, able leader-candidate or source of power
83-100 trivial concerns given outsized importance


What are the longstanding petty hatreds, current flashpoints of animosity, or potential entanglements?

Feuds between

01-10 crown and ecclesiastical power
11-20 crown and significant vassal/citizen
21-30 crown and merchant/guild/commerce
31-40 urban and rural
41-50 two or more merchant families/guilds/etc
51-60 underworld and government
61-70 underworld and merchant/guild/commerce
71-80 underworld and ecclesiastical power
81-90 nearby entity of roughly equal size  (which may one-way)
91-100 neighborhoods/quarters

Feud is 

01-15 minor/underplayed publicly by the participants/not well known
16-30 one side is about to put an end to it
31-60 stalemated, and unlikely to end decisively
61-80 resolvable if a 3rd party beneficially intervened
81-90 possibly ended through major efforts
91-100 intractable

Feud involvement of outsiders

01-40 outside agents aren't used
41-80 outside agents are used
81-100 those who involve themselves are marked by one or more sides

Beginning of feud 
01-25 Our tablets tell us the story
26-35 the elders remember
36-50 in this or previous generation
51-70 between 5-10 years ago
71-90 within the last 1-5 years
91-100 the blood is still fresh

Source of feud

01-20 someone died
21-30 someone stole
31-40 someone cheated (money or love)
41-60 someone insulted
61-70 someone betrayed
71-80 someone attacked
81-90 someone's jealous/covetous
91-100 distant or immediate family dispute (inheritance, dishonor, etc)

Current flashpoints and simmering discontent

01-10 workers on ruler's property recently died due to indifference/neglect (mine                             collapse, privation, firetrap buildings, etc)
11-20 Insult and duel (50% chance of a resulting death)
21-30 local military or navy despise their commanders/officers
31-40 faction stirring population toward desired war
41-56 criminal activity above accepted levels
56-70 oppressive taxation and/or tithes
71-80 non-clerical magic recently forbidden (either temporarily or indefinitely)
81-100 widespread rumor of an unproven treachery  


Power dynamics keeping other forces in check, willing and unwilling interdependences, networks of mutual support

01-10 Crown and underworld allied against the merchants
11-20 cartel of merchants and underworld allied against other merchants
21-30 two promient families work together against crown
31-40 one prominent family critically important to crown
41-50 local clergy well-supported by rich local benefactor
51-60 Underworld and clergy undermine crown
61-70 inkeepers and operators of other public houses jointly/quietly gather information                     for reason of DMs choice
71-80 Crown (or priest, guildmaster, etc., at DMs discretion) can call on                                           powerful adventuring party if in need (perhaps retired adventurer, etc.)
81-90 town is suffering due to alliance of hostile monsters (known or unknown)
91-100 faction or powerful person(s) significantly supporting faction in another town 


Is someone working to take power or otherwise impact the status quo from behind the scenes?

1-10         either a single magic-user or a cabal are subverting the crown, military or the                         clergy
11-20 The heir of a prominent family is attempting to inherit early
21-25 Military rival in process of buying a high level Benedict Arnold
26-30 somebody's coin shaving/counterfeiting
31-40 The Family is buying off the cops and black robes
41-50 While everyone's distracted next holiday/holy day...
51-60 Unmarried crown courted by secret agents; or married crown tempted 
61-70 efforts to establish/expose/accuse illigitimacy of rival
71-80 a merciless merchant's about to corner the market
81-90 Desperate Crown or prominent family schemes to seize weath of merchant to pay                 debts
91-100 <ROME> has discreetly turned against the crown and is working against it                             through the local clergy


Any dark or corrupt forces at work within the local clergy?

01-10 An influential heretic has gained a devout base of support
11-25 the benevolent sisters and the holy fathers are more than friends
26-35 the bishop is a drunk and incredibly offensive when so
36-45 clergyman secretly attempting to impregnate wife desperate to provide heir
46-55 clergyman/sister is actually a diabolic/demonic double agent, may be unwilling
56-70 new sister is exiled, formerly prominent woman who may still receive visitors
71-85 bishop lining his pockets with stolen offerings
86-100 The injured and sick fear being tended to by "Sister Wretched"  


What's going on with the thieves and underclass?  Any notable lone wolf criminals?

Any roll resulting in this category means a thieves guild is generated for the location.  Duplicative rolls do not indicate a guild war with a rival was rolled previously as an unusual 
event when determining STATUS AND TRENDS (which itself would require generating two thieves guilds)

Guild Power

01-50 effective; risky to defy
51-60 control their spheres with iron fists
61-70 below critical mass for dominance but not toothless
71-80 paper tigers ripe for takeover
81-100 merely first among equals (note: this doesn't necessarily mean having little
power/control in a machiavellian world) 

Guild Capability (e.g., begging, extortion, traditional urban crime, smuggling, counterfeiting, 
etc., etc., as determined by the DM) 

Size modifiers: thorp +50, hamlet +40, village +30, town no adj., city -50

01-10 Has in-house expertise and activities in entire range of criminal activities ongoing                   in their territory
11-30 most areas and access through fealty with the remainder
31-60 a narrow but lucrative range of activities allowing it to buy anything else it needs 
61-100 A narrow range of activities centered around physical intimidation

Underworld current events

01-10 wanted posters just went up with a good reward
11-20 Outsiders caught red-handed; indiscriminant reprisals by locals against like                           outsiders
21-30 guild agents trying to catch indy operator
31-40 guild needs help transporting hot item to destination
41-50 tonight there's gonna be a jailbreak
51-60 looking for a magic-user to tell them what this is
61-70 recently paid out a large sum in a numbers racket
71-80 intervened in a wrong done to the poorest of society (and are enjoying a measure                 of goodwill from same) for (in)sincere reason determined by the DM
81-90 prominent citizen shockingly discovered partaking in the sins of the slums
91-100 someone brought a knife to a sword fight


Presumes local magic-user(s). ongoing secret experiments? diabolical or demonic activity? Other 

M-U related stuff, etc., Rumors of magic and such

01-05 secret undead servitors (possibly solely for convenience)
06-15 secret explicit diabolical/demonic pact and agency
16-20 surreptitiously using enchantment/charm for personal benefit (80%                                         judiciously/20% recklessly)
21-30 maintains attitude of guardianship over locality
31-35 practitioner of magic resides unknown to populace at large
36-40 researching location of desired item
41-45 graduating an apprentice or looking for one
46-50 having difficulties/just finished researching a spell (unique at DM discretion)
51-60 prone to arrogance
61-65 recently lost control of something that would make people angry if they knew
66-75 has texts/maps they've never got around to translating
76-80 impending wizard duel
81-85 magic-user recently burned at the stake
86-95 magic-use restricted/prohibited
96-100 (possibly obscure) curse in effect 


A mercenary troop in town and available for hire? Have other adventurers caused a stir in the area, either recently or currently?

01-05 HQ for a mercenary company (multiple companies at DMs discretion or duplicated                 roll results;availability at DM discretion)
06-10 HQ for adventuring party (same)
11-20 Temp HQ for adventuring party operating nearby; 20% chance recovering and                       preparing to leave after discovering insufficently powerful to meet goal (fatalities                     at DM discretion)
21-25 location has influx of sell swords; men-at-arms available doubled, 50% chance                       excess is fleeting due to unretained mercenary company passing through locality
26-30 location has dearth of sell swords; men-at-arms available reduced to 0%-50% of                   normal
31-40 adventuring party(ies) passing through locality
41-45 adventurers operating locally don't want competition
46-50 adventuring party or individuals willing to provide training
51-55 locality famous for military specialist hirelings of a certain type; 75% likely                           available for hire (adjust down for unusual demand); competent or better.
56-60 archery competition
61-65 fine light/med/heavy horses sold here
66-70 armorer/weaponsmith/bowyer here produces quality work in only 75% of the time                   for 200% of the cost.
71-85 starry-eyed local youths seek adventurer's life
86-95 grizzled vet down on his luck, of average ability, seeks opportunity to get back in                   the action (25% likely no intention of surviving)
96-100 Young barbarian causes stir