View Full Version : Ecclesiastical/Holy Cities and Relics

Darren Buxbaum
05-19-2004, 02:52 AM
I have tried some thig new in our local gaming group, VLAD (Valparaiso Local Area Dba) and I wanted to share it with you guys to see what you think.

Ecclesiastical/Holy Cities and Relics

In a current campaign I have been running, I have introduced a fun twist on our usual DBA campaign to include a religious aspect of medieval politics. At the beginning of the campaign, each player selects a city other than his capital as his ecclesiastical city. Each player then is assigned a religion according to his historical counterpart. In the campaign I am running, there are three faiths; Catholic, Orthodox and Muslim. Then I have made Relic Cards for the appropriate number of players in the campaign. In my case there are 7 players and 3 faiths (2 Catholic, 4 Orthodox and 1 Muslim). So 3 cards contain one relic that represents each separate faith (Catholic, Orthodox and Muslim) while the other 4 contain “no relic”. These are then drawn by the players and they place them in their ecclesiastical cities. Those that have a relic that corresponds to their faith receive 5 prestige points at the end of the campaign year. Those that have a relic, but does not match their faith receive 2 points. Each ecclesiastical city can only contain one relic. When the player’s ecclesiastical city is captured by an opponent, the players card is forfeited. The captured relic card can be exchanged with another relic card to bring it to your ecclesiastical city. If a player loses his ecclesiastical city then, he must recapture it or capture another (to adopt it as his new holy city) to gain a relic card. We started our campaign with the ecclesiastical cities and relics written down on paper and didn’t disclose their location or the nature of the relic card until the end of the first campaign year during point tallies. Then only a player could tell if another had the appropriate relic of his faith (through points gained from keeping the relic; 2 or 5pts).

I like this twist although some may think that the point allotment may seem high. I did this due to the variation of player skill in our group. Those that are not great field generals have a chance in making some points by taking smaller risks and keeps them from being discouraged. I figure that if a player gains a relic of his faith, he will gain honor and ecclesiastical favor from his Pope/Patriarch/Mullah. Having an opponent’s relic is rewarding since it can be somewhat holy and you are keeping it from your enemy.

Generally the player needs to decide what is more important; keeping his capital or protecting his holy city. One hand, there is much prestige to be gained if you can capture a city that contains a relic of your faith. Conversely, if you lose your holy city and proper relic, you will lose many points (3 for a city under your direct control + 5 or 2 for the relic = 5 to 8pts per year). On the other hand, conquest of a neighbor not only secures a border, but also gains you additional prestige points. At the moment, most of our conquests have begun by starting with the opponent’s holy city. If a player holds many relic cards (through conquest), he is spread thinly and is at greater risk of losing one (since holy cities can only hold one relic each).

I wil note that all of the "relics" are generic for now. I haven't assigned actual names to them. A friend suggested that I should watch the "Black Adder" for some inspiration rather than just using the "The Holy Handgrenade of Antioch".


05-21-2004, 11:19 AM
I like it! It sounds like it would add some more depth to a campaign than merely "destroy everybody else".

My own preference, relic-wise, would be more along the lines of the Holy Handgrenade of Antioch or other such silliness than something serious, just to keep things lighthearted. Then again, I'm one of those heretics who's not generally worried about playing battles only between historical opponents.

05-24-2004, 11:28 AM
Sounds like a good way to recruit allies from those of the same 'faith'.

'Defend the Holy Handgrenade!' tongue.gif


05-24-2004, 09:53 PM
Originally posted by Martian:
Sounds like a good way to recruit allies from those of the same 'faith'.

'Defend the Holy Handgrenade!' tongue.gif

Marty I like this idea, but it needs to have some sort of reward for those that rally around the relic or leader of their own faith.

Otherwise as it stands, the rest of Christian Europe is best off allying with the Muslims (or Moonies or Aztec Sun Worshippers) against the holder of the Holy Handgrenade in the hopes that they will be the ones to capture it and then claim the kudos.

Certainly, without relics involved, in my Mediterraean Campaign with 1 Orthodox (Byzantium), 3 Moslem (Egypt, Ottomans, Berbers) and 2 Latins (Venice, Knights of St John) any appeals to religious solidarity as a basis for alliance were met with the question "Whats In It for Me??"