Tang Chinese Steppe Falconer at Court

A Twilight of Empires

Lords of the Earth, Campaign 13

Avoiding Dynastic Failure

... or How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The DF.

Some of you will have enjoyed a DF (Dynastic Failure) in other LOTE campaigns. Others have yet to embrace the collapse of civil order in their realms. Few players know the causes of a DF and the process. The procedure is outlined here in order to help players guide their activities, and to allay the usual bitterness involved towards the GM - doubtless a futile gesture, but well-intended.

The list below contains items from the GMs manual, as well as a few additional causes peculiar to A Twilight of Empires in order to add that dread ingredient, flavor - or worse still, flavour.

What we are talking about are events which prompt fate (aka your GM) to check on the state of the nation. Be mindful that there are other situations which may require loyalty checks on individual leaders, apart from any consideration of national crisis indicated below. Also, this list is illustrative, not necessarily exhaustive.
  1. The national leader dies. - Clearly an interregnum in antiquity was a dangerous time.
  2. Enemy agents. - This is the danger that your enemies are plotting against you, stirring up trouble.
  3. Capitol city is captured. - An obvious sign that the current leadership may not be up to the task.
  4. The national army has been destroyed. - If no army remains which is capable of even token resistance to the enemy, confidence may die as well.
  5. Religious, governmental, social, or cultural crisis. - This is an especially dangerous time, when the king decrees that green is red, or similar. Along these lines, see also Dangers Of Bucking Reactionaries.
  6. Peace. - War is hell, but peace is not entirely wonderful. Young nobles chafe without opportunity for martial advancement. Too much time spent at court leads to intrigues. Peace is defined by the GM. Nomads and barbarians treat raiding as a suitable substitute for warfare. Generally, 12-20 years (depending on government type) of peace can provoke the warriors.
The GM rolls dice to determine whether there is a DF. The base chance is modifed by a number of factors. An example of a positive modifier is a high BL. Examples of bad (for the player) modifiers are inadequate infrastructure, a national ruler in his minority, and high taxes. There are others ...
Generally, these are not good.
  1. Loyalty check of leaders.
  2. Revolt checks of the provinces and cities.
  3. Possible fight for the crown.
  4. Possible successor state formation.
  5. Repeat as necessary.

I hope that you have enjoyed this little peek at "the man behind the curtain." The above is intentionally vague, and subject to change without warning.

Chris Cornuelle / lote13gm at xmission dot com / last modified Tuesday, 16-Nov-2004 14:24:07 MST
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