The land of Zaidan is ruled over by a number of noble clans claiming descent from the great heroes of the Gokai Taisan. While these clans are in theory all equals, they vary greatly in both power and prestige. The clans can be broken down into the following three categories.
These clans rule entire provinces and are the de facto government of the land. They too can be subdivided into two subcategories.
These five clans hold sway over an entire district and owe allegiance to nobody.
While they do demand and receive tribute from the lesser clans in the region, they are not really the same as the standard Birthright liege lord; they are closer to the Chinese warlords who held their positions through superior force rather than any right of birth. While the tributary clans are their vassals, they are at the same time their immediate rivals for local supremacy, biding their time for an opportunity to replace their liege as the Paramount Lord. In effect, the relationship can be viewed as somewhat akin to a protection racket.
· Game Mechanics Note: These are fully independent player position realms that get the normal allotment of court and regent actions which they pay for themselves.
These clans control a province or two and owe allegiance and tribute to one of the Paramount clans. They are very much like the normal vassals found in any Birthright campaign; however, there are some very important differences. While they are bound to their local Paramount Lord by an Investiture: Vassalage agreement, this vassalage is more a recognition of the Paramount Lord’s superior might than anything else. They are required to pay tribute in both RP and GB (usually 10% after maintenance) and are expected to support the Paramount Lord when called upon but they are not required to do so (i.e. some sort of Diplomacy is generally required to cajole them into doing so). However, refusing is usually considered a hostile act and can be expected to lead to punitive military action on the part of the Paramount Lord – assuming he has the power to do so, of course.
· Game Mechanics Note: These are also player position realms. They have 3 actions per round, can have lieutenants of their own, and can also have tributaries and Minors of their own as well. Tributaries can be expected to pay for their own actions and assets out of their own resources, however, once again, the Paramount Lord must use an action (usually Diplomacy, though Dispatch and Decree can also be used, depending on the circumstances) in order to get them to expend those actions the way the player wants them to.
These clans hold very small minor holdings within provinces controlled by one of the ruling clans and owe both allegiance and tribute to those clans. These minor NPC positions lack the resources to act independently and are thus effectively controlled by the PC regent, by virtue of them being either traditional retainers of the main clan, or minor cadet branches of it, or simply because their holdings are in a province controlled by the major clan. In the absence of some outside influence (i.e. a bribe from a rival PC), they can be expected to do as they are told.
· Game Mechanics Note: Minor clans are sort of like the traditional Birthright Lieutenants inasmuch as they allow the PC to take an additional action, but there are some important differences.
First and foremost is that, unlike Lieutenants who provide only the single extra action no matter how many of them there are, each Minor clan provides an additional action. However, the Minor clan must pay for their actions out of their own resources. Should a player wish to cover the costs, the PC must transfer GB or RP to the Minor clan first. In addition, unlike with a regular Lieutenant, the PC must expend some sort of action to instruct the NPC Minor to do something. Usually, a simple Dispatch action (a free action) or Decree action will suffice, however a Diplomacy action (or a Court Session) could be used to plan out a series of actions for the Minor to take in advance.
Secondly, they collect GB and RP independently and maintain their own treasuries. They pay a 50% tribute in both GB & RP to their ruling clan.
It is important to note that just like the major clans; these minor clans may have a member holding some position of power or authority in a sect as well.
These clans have either no holdings, or at best level 0 holdings. They get only a character action per Domain Turn.
TABLE OF CLANS
Clans listed alphabetically
Clans listed by region