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Campaign System


The campaign system is a Role Playing tool uses a number of mechanics to help players (and their characters) interact with the game world. It complements the games rules, rather than replaces them, and players who choose not to use this system won't suffer during the 'adventure' part of play. Drawing inspiration from Paizo's Ultimate Campaign tome, it also pulls together concepts that I have been using for years - into a system that is consistent, coherent and works as one.

Campaign play is pulled into one Campaign Round that represents a year's worth of activity for each PC and is a good time for the PC to have their birthday and add a year to their age. For my online campaign, I use the following calculations. If these rules are used in a different game, you might want to reconsider these times.

  • A year has 350 days (Which makes calculations easy)
    • 100 days are spent adventuring. This includes exploration, resting up and other associated time.
    • 100 days are spent working for Henry. You are expected to help supervise settlers, keep order, enforce the law and generally be a leader in the new state.
    • 50 days spent as 'weekend' days.
    • 50 days doing the everyday training, gear repairs and other stuff that we all need to do.
    • 50 days down time that is available for crafting and other activities.

People & Society

These basic concepts can be incorporated into any game.

Entourages and Noble Houses help your players develop a presence in the world. It represents the NPCs who gather around them, and allows them to build a structure to Role Play with away from Adventure Threads. These are helpful in campaign style games and in rich worlds that encourage the PCs to interact with their environment.

Homes and Hamlets become important if your campaign is based around a settlement. Where do the PCs live? Who is there to help them? How many servants have they got? Are all questions that come up in the game - many times they are waved away, but these rules allow you to add a bit more flavour to the PCs roleplay. In most cases a home in the town will be sufficient, but the Hamlets rules allow each PC to create a small estate of their own - which is helpful if anyone is experimenting with the Noble House guidelines. They are designed to be used with the full campaign rules, but they can just be used to give the game a bit of flavour.

The last couple of links are to administrative structures that I use in my games. They work quite well if you just dip into them as you need them. Most are designed to be fairly simple, easy to implement - and not to change the basic structure of the game too much.

Main people page

  • Entourage - The PCs followers, assistants and hangers on.
  • Noble Houses - Family and how to develop it. The same concepts apply even if the PC isn't noble.
  • Retirement - What happens when a PC retires from adventuring?
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  • Homes for PCs - simple descriptions of houses related to the Cost of Living rules.
  • Hamlets - Build your own small estate in the hinterlands.
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  • Sports and Games - everyone needs something to keep them amused or get them excited.
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  • Ranks and Titles - a basic structure of Noble Titles in Brevoy and the colonies.
  • Contract of Incorporation - some example contracts that can be used to establish parties, families and other things.
  • The Lex Gasgana - a legal System, that leaves the PCs plenty of freedom to act.

World Building Basics

Over the years, many D&D variants have had 'guidance' on setting set up Cults, Businesses, Strongholds as part of the game, or as campaign rewards. I enjoyued 1st edition AD&D guidance on strongholds and building costs, and the Merchant-Rogue from Al Qadim - and was excited by Paizo's campaign rules. Then disappointed when they didn't hang together. This is my attempt at a more integrated version of the rules. They are based on the concepts called Build Points(bp) as a form of super currency and Defence Points as a way of describing the policing and military strength of a settlement.



Business and Organizations

These are the most straightforward of the 'World Building' rules and allow your PCs to take an active part in structure of your world. These simple rules cover a range of business, religious organizations, schools, colleges and guilds.

Academic and religious organizations are the easiest to play and are generally welcomed by city Councils and stronghold owners. Businesses are a bit more difficult and the PC will need to negotiate to get permission to build.

The Guilds rules can be used for Wizards' Guilds, Scholars' Guilds, Trade Guilds, Merchant Guilds, Mercenary Guilds, Adventurers' Guilds or even a Thieves' Guild. However, if one of my PCs were really building a Thieves' Guild in secret - I think I would probably want to double all the costs. You can use these rules for just about any type of group or society. You could even use the Guild Rules used to build a jointly owned base for an Adventuring Party, a Members' Club, Fraternity or Sorority.

The quick links make it look like there are lots of different systems - but there aren't. They all follow the same rules, but are categorised differently to make them easier to work with.


Businesses and Organizations - Overview page, that puts it all in context.

  • Commercial - General and service businesses.
  • Manufacturing - Businesses that make things.
  • Retail - Shops and Markets
  • Hospitality - Bars, Hotels and entertainment.
  • Magic Businesses - businesses selling magical items or providing magic services
  • Residential - Every one needs somewhere to live. Slum landords to proper rented accommodation.
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  • Leisure - A mixture of commercial, civic and community ventures, all associated with sports and leisure.
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  • Religious - Shrines, Chapels, Monasteries - right up to Cathedrals
  • Academic - Schools, Colleges - Academic Organizations are the most straightforward part of the World Building Rules.
  • Guilds - Merchant Guilds, Mages Guilds, Mercenary Guilds … and anything similar.

Merchant Houses

These are a more sophisticated, and more complicated, version of the business rules, that allow a PC to build a Merchant Empire. Mule trains, caravans, Shoipp and boats travel between settlements carrying goods and spreading culture and news. A good merchant tries to exert some control over the settlements they frequent - with offices, warehouse and shops.

Merchants need to negotiate with the leaders of every settlement they want to trade with - however, that could be difficult because merchants have ways to avoid taxes - and the towns folk know that.

Merchant Houses - The main page that holds everything you need to know.


The Stronghold Rules lets your PCs build to build village, towns and cities - to create a stronghold. They are built around player interaction, low level politics and planning, and cover everything from a ranger's wilderness estate, right the way through to a City State or Metropolis - and just about everything in between.

However, they are also the most complex rules in the campaign system. Stronghold owners need to balance the needs of their people by keeping Economy, Loyalty and Stability in balance, make sure their holding is defended, and strike deals with Business Owners and Churches and other organizations. These rules build on the other sections in the campaign system.

These rules are designed to be incremental. Your PC needs to start with a wilderness or rural hex and build up - and, with enough investment, you can go on to build a city state of your own. Get a few friends together, and you might even have a small country.

World Building Rules Overview , probably not needed as most detail has been pulled out into sections of this page.

Stronghold Rules - If you are just starting out with these rules - read this section carefully, as it contains all the basic rules. There is a lot of it, and it is complicated to start with - although it gets easier to run, when you have had a bit of practice. If you are unsure, ask your DM for advice.

These links take you directly to the relevant building rules for different sizes of stronghold. Make sure you have read the Stronghold Rules before you use these links.

Boosters - a list of some things you can build to boost Loyalty or Stability.

Down Time

These downtime rules are designed to work with the World Building rules, which imply huge amounts of down time. However, parts of that non-adventuring time are taken up with World Building tasks and it isn't quite so clear-cut as it might appear. This system just clarifies the way characters can use the Crafting Rules, or Employment Skills to make extra money during their down time.

Alternatively, Players can write an Extended IC post, describing their downtime instead. While this won't earn money or items for their Character - it does win some Role Playing XP.

Down Time Rules

Quick links

Mass Combat Rules

The Mass Combat Rules are different to those used in most fantasy RPGs. Rather than being an attempt to use a simplified War Game, I have decided to continue with the heroic themes normally found in RPGs. Rather than commanding the troops of an army, the PCs are sent off on battle-critical missions that are resolved in the same way as all other PC encounters. The overall battle happens in the background - however, the outcome of the battle depends on how well the PCs carry out their mission.

Mass Combat

pathfinder/campaign_systems2/start.txt · Last modified: 2022/09/28 13:32 by johnb