INTRO THE BASICS
Each Game Turn represents a month in the game world and takes one week of real time to process.
Once the Player has been assigned, he or she sends the Magister a Declaration each week, describing the ruler's decisions and actions for the month. There is a link to the standard Declaration Form on the front page.
Declarations are due to the Magister no later than Tuesday Midnight (Standard Eastern Time, U.S.). The Magister's Report, detailing the results and any other events that the Player King or Queen should be aware of, arrives by the following Friday Midnight.
If the Player fails to declare, results will be determined as though the ruler of that particular kingdom took no action. Other factors in the game (Player and non-player) will take advantage.
IT'S GOOD TO BE KING
THE ROYAL COUNCIL
Running the kingdom requires a hands-on approach. A wise and effective ruler should be privy to all of the information available concerning His or Her realm - from the current balance in the Royal Treasury and the disposition of the nobles to the status of military forces in neighboring kingdoms. To aid His or Her Majesty in this enormous responsibility, each ruler has a Council of Ministers to advise and perform the tasks of government. These personages, appointed by the ruler and payed a salary from the Royal Treasury, are the best source of information available ...
In the weekly Declarations email, Players may ask the advice of their ministers. The Magister will respond in the weekly Report, as appropriate and based on the ministers' expertise (and loyalty). Ministers don't know everything and sometimes their intelligence is flawed. So, rulers must depend on their own judgment - especially when the advice of His or Her ministers conflict.
THE ROYAL TREASURY
Money is the life's blood of government. Gold pays for everything from construction projects to the military. Coin is truly King, and without it, no kingdom can hope to accomplish much.
The Royal Treasury represents that amount of money in the kingdom that is available to the throne. Counted in gold crowns, the Treasury is fed by Taxes which are imposed on the ruler's subjects and collected annually. The Tax Rate is up to His or Her Majesty, and it can and will effect the loyalty of the population over all. The higher the taxes, the greater the annual revenue to the Treasury, and the less happy the people are with their ruler.
If gold is the life's blood of the kingdom, then the army is its good right arm. Military forces vary, depending on a kingdom's Culture, history and location ... barbarians don't have crossbowmen and desert nomads do not produce knights. Still, each kingdom has its strengths and weaknesses as far as the soldiers they can field and the ships they can put to sea. Most have access to unique types of soldiers. The more effective the troop on the battlefield, the more expensive they are to field.
There are two types of military forces available:
Standing Forces are those under arms and ready, under the command of the King or Queen. They are professional units, payed monthly from the Royal Treasury. They guard the Royal Castle and man fortresses. In most kingdoms, the ruler will have a standing Royal Guard at least, and possibly a navy.
Reserve Forces are available from within the kingdom, but are not normally under arms. They may be called upon by the ruler and are only payed when active. The common peasantry may be massed and placed under military command (conscripted). Untrained and poorly equipped, they are useful for sheer numbers when every able man is needed for defense. Militia are better trained and equipped, serving as the garrisons of large towns and cities. Mercenaries are professional soldiers, ready for hire, who fight for the highest pay. In feudal societies, the land-owning nobles maintain their own forces which are drafted by the King in time of war. These usually include knights, men-at-arms, archers and other professional infantry.
Ships can be categorized the same way as soldiers. The ruler can have a standing navy and there may be civilian merchant ships which can be commandeered. Ships are expensive to build and those under the King's command must be funded monthly from the Royal Treasury.
Fortifications include castles and fortresses, as well as city walls. They are expensive, requiring both money and time to construct. While cities may have their own militia guard forces, Royal fortresses are manned by the ruler's payed troops.
If gold is the the kingdom's lifeblood, then loyalty is its heartbeat. The King or Queen must be constantly aware of the mood of the people, in order to safeguard the throne and prevent rebellions. The loyalty of the populace rises and falls according to the ruler's behavior (it is checked monthly by the Magister), as does the loyalty of ministers, commanders and other personages of influence and power within the kingdom. Taxes are the greatest factor in overall loyalty. Grumbling over the tax burden turns to discontent if left unattended, and opportunistic rivals within the kingdom can be encouraged to open rebellion, particularly if the King or Queen is seen as unconcerned, greedy or tyrannical. One way to counter disloyalty among the peasantry is to maintain a strong standing army - at a cost, which may increase the tax burden ... Good luck in walking that fine line.
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