Xian Zhu Xuande wrote:As a ruler in SimRTK you will have a great deal of work ahead of you as your kingdom grows, Kingdom Turns require a fair portion of work and you must remain active on a political front if you hope to emerge among the strongest of kingdoms. This optional guide explains a little on the fine art of picking and choosing your battles so you don’t find yourself overworked, even when managing the largest of kingdoms.
The strength of your kingdom is directly linked to the loyalty of your subordinates. If your subordinates (Player Characters in particular) trust you, and want to see you succeed, you will enjoy a strong advantage in the game. Power rarely buys this advantage, it is something which you must earn through your actions. If you do not trust first, the others will rarely take that initiative.
When people come into your kingdom you have to give them a chance to serve and make a difference. This should not only be done in vital kingdom affairs, but also in the technical work behind running your territory. You will have military leaders, trusted and capable officers each, and they will work in battles and help to plan them, but what of all the other people in your kingdom?
If you wish to win this loyalty you must trust all of those players in planning and kingdom management. As your kingdom grows delegate authority of regions and cities to other players who you have built relationships with while you focus on the active fronts. Work with those players and teach them how to handle their duties. Develop systems for your regional governors to communicate with each other as they work, and allow them to take political initiative. You might consider handling your kingdom turn in four divisions, for example, then assembling them all together for your final kingdom turn. You could post objectives for each regional governor and let them carry those objectives out when they make their turns, giving everyone more time to role-play and providing them with an important kingdom task in the process.
Players select the political classes because they want to be involved in kingdom management and negotiation along with role-play. Don’t toss these players into cities simply to develop assuming they are happy because they aren’t doing or saying much. Find those who are able to represent you well and send them out as your diplomats. Give your good plotters a budget to work with in furthering your kingdom’s goals. Assign them duties such as developing a system to help manage an aspect of your kingdom (a Planning Hall addition to help them tutor each other more efficiently, for example). Those who are good role-players can also be rewarded with the right to role-play major NPC characters in your kingdom (and if they do well they can even role-play them when captured, a point at which Game Masters usually take over). The point is, always make sure you find something for each major officer in your kingdom to do, a duty or way of working in your kingdom to keep them active. Make sure new additions to your kingdom have a chance to earn this trust (or they will never become loyal).
If you do not do this, you will begin to alienate your officers (they may form their own bands inside your kingdom, but they will not be as active in supporting you as you think) and as the game progresses you will become increasingly distrusting and focus more on work yourself. You will find that you are doing your whole kingdom turn on your own to be more efficient, that you share little information with your subordinates out of mistrust, and you will start to burn out. Your officers will also become dissatisfied and this can lead to problems that can tear your kingdom apart under the right negative circumstances. Delegate and trust, use spies to your advantage (you can even make it some players’ duties to manage, locate, and work with spies in your kingdom to hurt your enemies), and you will find that your kingdom runs as efficiently as it would if you managed it all on your own (or even more so), and they will all share a strong sense of loyalty.
When you start as a ruler you are left with a barren planning hall which contains only a few vital threads. These generally include your initial Infothread, Turns thread, and an Admin Communication thread. You are left with the task of making every other addition to that forum, and what you do with this chance will directly relate to how strong or weak your kingdom becomes.
Work with the officers who join you to add new things to your Planning Hall. Possible suggestions include major threads for Political and Military planning, another for Turn Planning and Coordination (if you use regional leaders, something you should do as your kingdom grows). Develop a system for trading money among your players, a system to make it easier for them to tutor each other. If you have enough money to award your players (something you should do regularly if you want to see widespread loyalty in your ranks) become familiar with items they may want and interests they might have through another thread. Have a feedback thread where they can provide honest criticism on how you manage your kingdom (and suck it up and take that feedback well), and another where they can request tasks to occupy themselves and help your objective (work with them to fulfill these tasks whenever possible). And finally, never forget to encourage role-play in your kingdom, allow role-play threads, and also have a common role-play and OOC commentary thread for players to make use of. Any unique addition you can make to your planning hall will help your kingdom that much more.
Resource, Commercial, and Item Management
In SimRTK developing your cities is vital to success. If you draft excessively at the start and focus on military your kingdom will seem to rise with amazing force, but as you reach a later point in the game you will start to fall behind other kingdoms due to poor resources. Your ability to succeed will hang on winning battles, but the moment your large army is destroyed, your kingdom will follow shortly after. Maintain a military strong enough to meet your goals, but aside from that draft carefully (you’ll have to figure out where and how to do this) and develop regularly if you want to win the long-term game.
If you do this well, and are successful in your endeavors, you will have enough money to develop your kingdom, maintain your military, and develop with plenty to spare. You should first build up an emergency fund, and once that is done you should balance your remaining money between two things. First, rewarding your officers with increased salaries, and second, buying special things like Buildings and Monuments, or building items like Arbalests. Continue with this pattern and your power and the loyalty of those under you will only grow with time.
Political and Player Relations
As a ruler the way in which you interact with other rulers around you, players who pass through your halls, and those who you are at your mercy will impact how everyone else in the land sees you. If you treat visitors with disrespect, forcing searches as if they cannot be trusted, they will probably feel you do not trust them and act accordingly. If you betray people, you will be known as a traitor, and that reputation will haunt you until the end of the game (or your character’s life). If you don’t maintain a strong relationship with your neighbors you may find yourself alone against numerous opponents, something that can quickly take you out of the game (on a military front) with short notice. This is one of the most important aspects of ruling a kingdom.
Think carefully before you do things like seizing items from officers that come into your territory or who are captured by you. As much as you may like having that item, you will be left with any number of people who will actively work against you for the rest of the game (people who may have one day been working to help you). When you execute someone other characters that were close to that person will act against you. That unique item you took for yourself could later be the undoing of your kingdom because the previous owner rose to a position of authority and managed to work against you in a coordinated focused effort. Never let greed dictate your actions, and don’t act out of anger in dangerous situations (unless you are role-playing your character’s personality, in which case it is encouraged). These things are rarely, in the long-term, worthwhile enough to justify the short-term benefits.