Since my last Mount & Blade post four weeks ago, I’ve been thinking about populating rosters of Lords for players to rob . . . swindle . . . exploit . . . take advantage of Who am I kidding? A bunch of NPCs with land, money, and power.

I was trying to figure the best number of lords to generate.

And then I thought of thirty. ‘Cause why not, right?

My concern at that point was making sure they had enough land and intrigue to satisfy players. But not too much intrigue, I mean players want to get up to their own shenanigans. Can’t be upstaged by any uppity nobles, knowwhatimsaying?

That’s actually where I was about four weeks ago when I wrote up that original post. I’ve been thinking about the land portion ever since.

Since my current group is adventuring in the Nentir Vale and the-land-on-the-other-side-of-the-mountains, I figured I’d use that as a starting point.

Break it down into 6-mile hexes.

And then, I started playing a lot of Alpha Centauri.

There’s things I want to do. Certain effects I want to achieve. Last week I posted my attributes for rolling up random regions.

Link: Rolling a Region in Broad Strokes

What I figure is this — one region, thirty Lords (or Ladies). I’ll work out how many hexes are in the region, and then it’ll be up to the PCs whether they back one or more of the lords to be like, a king or something — or forge their own kingdom.

I mean, I can guess what a lot of players would prefer.

I’m still negotiating how much land is represented by a region. I have a feeling that it will have to be variable to accommodate some oddly-shaped landmasses, but I don’t know how to organize that kind of information yet.

Another thing I’m admittedly still trying to work out, is the percentage of settled peoples to nomadic peoples in a given region. I mean, until the last couple hundred years, the vast majority of people lived in rural communities.

I’m just not comfortable cloning the Civilization city systems under those kinds of circumstances. There’s an important “rural community” concept that I think is eluding the genre in general. Not to mention “barbarians.”

Oh, and nomads. I mean, orcs don’t just settle down. They horde. And rove.

Seriously, what if a player wants to command a nomadic orc tribe? That kind of thing just isn’t represented, and it seems like a basic idea. If the players don’t have rules for it, the Dungeon Master has to just . . . make stuff up.

I’d like to take a load off, for DMs everywhere.