Warhammer Quest Kingmakers
Kingdom Temporary Bonuses
There are an enormous number of ways to temporarily increase a Kingdom’s stats besides assets, tags, and player actions. Here are some to consider:
Temporary Raises for Might
Gaining temporary advantage is what being a good commander is all about. Some ways to get the advantage include…
Fight From Entrenchments: A force that’s holed up in a fortress bristling with siege engines is a lot harder to eliminate than one in the open field. Getting your enemy to attack when you’re defending from some impregnable fastness can directly improve your chances of fending him off.
Surprise Maneuver: If you can keep some grand plan secret and spring it at the last moment, you can dismay and confuse an opponent. Dismay and confusion are not conducive to effective brain-smashing and gut-sticking. If you successfully conceal that you have a cavalry platoon on the hill, waiting to descend on his flank, then said flank is going to much softer when the charge comes down. Keeping secrets is, of course, hard.
Head Hunt: Sneaking in and murdering highly visible figures in the enemy command structure is a great way to get an advantage, if you can do it. Even if the general you assassinate is actually a figurehead, while his aide did all the strategizing… well, it’s still demoralizing to know your leader is vulnerable. Not to mention how nervous that aide’s going to be, wondering if his noggin’s next on the block.
Scare Tactics: If you can get the enemy troops spooked before the engagement, by exaggerating your own fighters’ prowess or ruthlessness or eeriness, your enemies are more likely to collapse in a rout. Of course, this does pose the question of how you’re going to get them to trust your assertions.
Be Smarter: In the spirit of old fashioned roll-playing, here’s a gamble. Your commander rolls a strategy leadership check against their commander. The Higher set gets a temporary +1 to Might.
Hire Mercenaries: Make a pure Treasure roll with no other Quality. If it succeeds, you’ve raised your Might by a point for one specific military action. (GMs may not permit this action if it’s unreasonable that mercenaries would be acting freely in the area.) Even with high Treasure, this roll is likely to be dodgy, so you may want to first boost that Treasure roll through some character play. Keep in mind that this erodes your Treasure rating for a season, just like rolling it in conjunction with another Quality.
Temporary Raises for Treasure
Treasure is fiendishly difficult to increase for only a short period — ask anyone who’s ever needed a loan until payday. It’s no easier when you’re a trading cartel with empty coffers. But some possibilities include…
Ask for a Loan: Find another Company whose Treasure is sufficient that they can give you some. Work out terms. If an agreement is reached, they transfer some Treasure to you for a pre-determined term, after which you either give it back or default on the loan. If you default, you’d better hope their Might is insufficient to raid you for redress. The terms vary from loan to loan. Some expect a return with interest. Others expect the same money back, accompanied by concessions of some other kind.
Issue Bonds (or Debase Currency): Issuing bonds is a bit like getting a loan, only you’re asking your own citizens. If you’re a business, the equivalent is asking your workers to accept deferred payment. For churches, you shake down the congregation. It works like a normal loan, only you permanently lose a point of Sovereignty if you default on the debt. Nations can also debase their currency, if they’re sophisticated enough to be using credit or paper money. In that case, you borrow from Territory
— it’s just that your people are pretty much forced to give you a loan.
Threaten: By making a pure Might roll (with no other Quality) you can shake down your creditors or your debtors or just some timorous bystanders into extending you some credit. This erodes your Might like any other use of Might (as explained on page 141.), so you may want to roleplay some to boost the pool. If the roll succeeds, you get a temporary raise and avoid any serious blowback — there might be some ill will, but no one sneaking into your bedroom at night with a stiletto. Some GMs may roll this in secret and extend you the credit even on a fail — only to have repercussions crop up later, either in the form of covert attack, open attack, or the choice between those and a temporary Treasure penalty when the account comes unexpectedly (and persuasively) due.
Temporary Raises for Influence
Some fine ways to temporarily improve Influence include the following.
Impress the Gentry: If your characters are charming, suave, debonair and respectful to foreign dignitaries and opinion makers, without seeming flighty, smarmy, foppish or ingratiating, it can give you pull with them. They have pull with others, and, if you keep at it long enough, you can pull just about anything.
Bluff: If you create a convincing illusion of wealth, prestige or force beyond what you actually possess, you can influence others by playing to their misplaced greed, envy or fear.
Threaten: Reminding others of past military exploits, while subtly touching upon preparedness for future military exploits, can often make people remarkably pliable. This can backfire, of course, if you get someone hard-headed or aggressive who’s just looking for an excuse.
Promise: The flipside of the threat is the promise, in which you play up your vast wealth, staggering influence or lush tracts of land in order to get the greedy to aid you. Keep in mind, however, that the greedy are fickle without some eventual reward.
Temporary Raises for Territory
It’s hard to accelerate the productivity of something as big and amorphous as a fleet or a nation or a noble family, because any obvious improvements have already been made. But there’s one way to squeeze out a bit extra — if you’re willing to pay the price.
Exhaust the Fields: Or make your craftsmen work sixteen-hour shifts. Or mortgage your property for a second time. Or borrow against money that’s already earmarked for something else. There are many ways to milk short term improvement at the cost of longterm damage. If you think of one and the GM agrees, the mechanics are like this: You get a temporary +1 Territory increase that lasts 3 seasons, or until used, whichever comes first. When it’s been used, you temporarily lose 1 Territory for 6 seasons.
Temporary Raises for Sovereignty
Being such a fluid Quality, there are several good ways to raise Sovereignty.
Declare a Holiday: Once a year you can get away with declaring a holiday for some reason or another — high priest’s anointment, the birth of an heir to the throne, important wedding, to honor this dignitary or that historical figure. People like an excuse to quit working and put on their good clothes, so their Sovereignty goes up by at least 1 the season after the holiday. If you give them a really good reason to celebrate — the long-unwed king finally finds a queen, and she’s pretty and nice to people, or you’ve finally bested a long-grudged enemy — the bonus might increase or the effect last longer.
Dispense Justice: Oftentimes, the leader of a kingdom is expected to adjudicate conflicts within said kingdom. If you do this justly and personally, if you care (or at least put on a good show of caring) and avoid conflicts of interest (or, again, make with the good show) and generally present an image of Solomon-like wisdom, then the people become more likely to trust your judgment in other matters. On the other hand, if it looks like you’re helping your cronies or selling out, your Sovereignty may suffer.
Permit Them to Ignore You: If your Territory is greater than your Sovereignty, and you do nothing with Territory for a season, you may (at the GM’s discretion) get a +1 Sovereignty bonus on your next roll, for no reason other than the people have a vague sense that you’re less demanding than other monarchs, employers or conquerors. It won’t get you cheers and flowers strewn in your path, but apathetic people don’t agitate for change. If things are going poorly for the kingdom, you won’t get this bonus. But if things are on an even keel, or are going well, it’s probably something you can expect.