Re: Province ownership and other subjects
Mon, 27 Jul 92 20:23:18 EDT

The following addresses some of the things recently brought up about
land ownership. Some of this I have said before but since so few either
(A) seem to have read it or (B) cared, I will say it again. If (B) is
the case, I assume this will be ignored yet again. If you actually care
about moving this discussion forward, READ what I am writing and return
some sort of opinion. If you like it or think it is terrible, LET ME

1) Why should people be able to control regions?

Because I think that "land ownership" is integral to the type of
environment being represented. Right now, you can be a wandering
adventurer, a dabbler in skills, or a marauding maniac. There is no
"lord of the land". I think that should be an option, supported by
the game, just like "minstrel" and just like the guilds used to be.
If someone doesn't like the idea of someone owning the land, let them
be a Robin Hood and bring them down. I think that sort of conflict is
a positive thing to have in the game.

2) How do you take posession of a region?

I have seen various approaches to this but recently, this argument has
come back to something I suggested a while ago. Let whoever posesses
the top building in the region control the region, just like whoever
controls the top position in a building controls the building. Now,
while I do think you should be able to raze buildings, I think there
is an easy mechanism for changing the capitol building of the region.
Simply have the owner of the capitol building PROMOTE the new capitol.
A lot of things can be accomplished simply by reading the command list
over again and thinking of new applications for existing commands.

3) What can rulers do once they get control of a region (specifically,
that one can't do now)?

Scott Turner summed this up rather nicely so I will paraphrase.

(1) they can keep units from entering a region
(2) they can keep units in a province from purchasing
(3) they can tax the peasants

to that, I will add

(4) they can tax money making and purchases in the region

I, personally, doubt the need for (2). I think the problem at the root can
be solved with a combination of (1) and (4) -- either don't let them NEAR
the market or tax them if they buy. I do, however, have a mechanism that
SORT of allows for this option.

To implement (1) is simple. There is a mechanism to control stacking,
extend it to control moving. Allow a region to have an attitude and
have the attitudes have the following effects on MOVE. If the
attitude is FRIENDLY, COOPERATIVE, or NEUTRAL, a move is permitted.
If the attitude is UNFRIENDLY or HOSTILE, the move is not permitted.
The attitude check, for simplicity, should take place only once,
probably at the start of the MOVE. Any unit already travelling will
not be effected by attitude shifts (I can expound on the reasons for
this call if anyone really wants to know or you can just "trust me"
:-) so if half-way to Pesbrand, the ruler declares me UNFRIENDLY, I
can finish the trip. Now, what if I get there and the place is
UNFRIENDLY or HOSTILE or turns that way when I am there? If the
attitude of the location is UNFRINDLY, you can leave but cannot
return. You also cannot purchase or sell things in the market and you
cannot WORK, ENTERTAIN, etc. You have been blackballed. If the
attitude becomes HOSTILE, you are automatically attacked by the
controlling units (remember those guys in the first building?). There
is more to this below. Now, people are saying, how can I be sure of
my moves if routes can be turned on and off during the month? This
could be very frustrating. Simple. Add an option to both MOVE and
STACK called "FORCE". You would issue "move 324 force" if you want to
be sure of the move. What it means is that you will move to 324 and,
if prevented via attitude, you will attack the controlling unit. If
you flee, you will travel back down the road you came on, wasting gobs
of time. If you win, you replace the controlling unit as the owner of
the first building. Likewise, if you are in town and want to take
control of a building, you could issue "stack [tower] force" which would
attack any controlling unit. This system allows for relatively clean
attacks on whomever is in control of a region or structure. If someone
is keeping you out, you can attack him. When rulership changes, all
attitudes and other setting return to neutral or 0.

A possible implementation of (2) is shown above.

To implement (3) is tricky. As the ex-T'Nyc players point out, if you
get this wrong, things go WILDLY out of control. Should peasant
taxation be allowed, the value of a peasant should be on the order of
1 gold per head or less (then processed through a percentage tax rate)
-- VERY low. Another possible solution is to assume the peasants do
not so much pay taxes in gold but in grain, etc. and therefore the
controlling faction's units need not pay any maintenace in the
controlled territory. There are a lot of options here so this idea
need not be rejected outright.

I think (4) is a better focus of the tax system. By taxing other
players, the game will naturally respond to good rulers and bad
rulers by PCs either flocking towards to fleeing away from a place.

My suggestions for implementing taxes, again, is simply to have:

"set [location] tax [rate]"

The tax rate, as a percentage (max 100% for sanity), for simplicity, would
be applied to ALL purchases, sales, and money making enterprises (work,
entertain, etc.) performed within the region. To make it simple, you
pay it. If you really want to have evasion, have "set 0 evade 1" or
somesuch nonsense but I really think the option should be "if you don't
like the tax, kill the king". To prevent being fleeced, simply use
the second variable in the "buy/sell" command or allow tax rate changes
to only come into effect at the end of the month. Either would do.

In addition, *I* would like to see the command:

"set [object] fee [rate]" which would charge a monthly rate or stacking/
moving rate on people. This could be used for rent on buildings or tolls
on roads (I will repeat that I REALLY think roads should be new objects
of the old exit type [you can stack with them] ADDED to the existing exit
structure -- but that is another obsession of mine...).

Some other odds and ends.

*ALL* pre-existing Olympian structures would have NPC units placed in
control of them at the (re)start of a game similar to Castle Chardia.
This could be done retroactively upon implementation but I can see
this pissing a lot of tower warmers off.

Any unoccupied structure, after, say, 4 months, would start to deteriorate,
eventually falling apart completely. This would allow the land to clean
itself up a bit and would allow for picturesque ruins... :-)

Tax rates in a city would effect the peasant population over time.

Tax and fees chould be linked to attitude. If you are friendly to the
taxing or feeing body, you would not be charged taxes or fees. If you
are cooperative, you would be charged taxes but not fees. Neutral
and below would be charged both.

I have tried to make all of the above as simple as possible and I have
tried to use existing commands where ever applicable instead of
inventing a slew of new commands. What I would really like is
COMMENTS on the specifics. Very little of the above is new. I have
said most of it before either here, on or to people in
mail. If the above is stupid, inane, unworkable, boring, WHATEVER,
let me know and I will stop saying it. (I am threatening that I
will KEEP saying it if you don't... :-)

John Morrow - Varian [856]

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