Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
This is an Excel Calculator with a PDF guide. The guide is 23 pages long and has all the information needed to run the Calculator. The image below is a sample portion of the Excel Calculator. The image represents one of sixteen subordinate sections. There are also four Mid-tier sections and an Overlord.
First and foremost, this Calculator was made to facilitate political intrigue. I wanted a way for players to participate in national bureaucracy and quid pro quo politics. However, doing so through creativity and imagination alone, is quite cumbersome. I have often had problems when running a game, that what I designed, and player’s expectations were wildly different. This Calculator helps by providing a framework for political systems.
The framework has twenty-one positions. Sixteen of which, are subordinate figures. Four are mid-tier figures, and the last position represents the leader of all other positions (aka Overlord). Each position generates that position’s finances, land, people, and military. The Calculator does this by allowing any of the twenty-one positions to appoint people to their personal court. Each of the sixteen can appoint up to four people. Each of the four can appoint up to fourteen people. While the Overlord can appoint up to twenty-four people. Because power is generated from all members of the court, no one is able to rule alone. As one climbs this political ladder, their power becomes ever more reliant on others. Because of this, infighting, fear of betrayal, and ever shifting alliances will become the norm. The framework is also made so that each mid-tier figure has four subordinate figures who serve them. These figures can have money or military power drafted from them by the mid-tier figure. All four mid-tier figures directly serve the Overlord in a similar capacity. Each mid-tier figure can have money or military power drafted from them by the Overlord they serve, as well. Because positions are directly under precise people, the framework enables four microcosms of political infighting to take place at once. With infighting taking place within and across subordinate lines. Furthermore, the Calculator takes political and public positioning into account. Thus, figures gain power by changing laws to favor them or by getting the public’s favor on their side. Their power will take a significant hit if the inverse occurs and laws move against them or the people look upon that figure unfavorably.
Because of the amount of detail required to automate political intrigue, this Calculator is great for nation building. Each position has an army, land in square miles, number of subjects, taxation, military/government operation cost, region slaves, percent losses and gains, mental cancer, crime, government industry control, peoples’ wealth, farming incentive, land richness, and longevity of land. Each of these numbers can be modified individually to facilitate unique world building for each region.
This Calculator was also made with the intent of allowing player characters to participate in nation building and political intrigue in any capacity the DM wishes. For example, players can be outsiders from the system that are interfering with people within the system. They can be henchmen as part of one of the Twenty-one figure’s courts, or each of the players might be one of the twenty-one figures. I love the idea of the players slowly climbing the ranks of the political world becoming the highest members of their government. Thus, the Calculator is built for such a task.
Furthermore, the Calculator has many national sections that effect all positions in the Calculator. There are three national guilds that can affect the nation. Each of which can have up to eight notable members. The guilds influence is also affected by its fame within and outside this nation. There are four national myths that are affected by internal belief and external knowledge of the myth. There are also up to four national icons, which represent the greatest heroes or icons of this nation. Normal D&D games would end with the players taking these positions. These icons change national power because of their fame within and outside their current nation. There can be up to four total myths about these National Icons, which are controlled by internal belief and external knowledge of the myth.
Lastly, there are up to four national aristocrat families. These families do not change any figure’s power. Instead, they are representatives of this nation’s greatest wealth. Each family can have up to seven members, with their wealth being controlled by these members and public and political wealth investment. Despite being separate from the automated designer of the rest of the Calculator, these families will likely influence the game more than most. This is because of their detached nature and extraordinary wealth.