Ronin Round Table: Out of Strife, Prosperity & Community Development

For a while now, we’ve been working at producing some mechanics-focused short products for the Chronicle System, the "engine" that powers A Song of Ice & Fire Roleplaying. The first of these, Woodland Creatures, released a selection of creatures with which to populate the forests of a campaign.

The next is Out of Strife, Prosperity, a rebalancing and dramatic expansion of the Wealth Holding rules. With this product, Narrators and players can flesh out the kinds of resources a House has access to, from different kinds of goods and resources produced by their domains, to important persons who add to a House’s prosperity, or the elements of luxury that only the noble can truly afford.

Because part of this process involved a retooling and balancing of the costs of these Holdings versus the benefits they offered, we decided to do something we haven’t done on a bigger scale before. Though many of our lines use a small collection of fans to give new material a once-over, we decided to turn to a more public Community Development model, actually releasing the pre-edited version of the majority of the material to our Chronicle System Community Development forum to give folks the chance to look it over and comment.

As far as experiments go, this one was definitely a success. The conversation ranged from very specific comparisons of balance to discussing broader questions (such as what exactly constituted a holding, and how did it impact the setting). Its only real flaw, ultimately, was probably the time it took to go over all of the great discussion, noting changes that seemed necessary in light of those conversations. Of course, time is often the one thing we don’t have in abundance, preventing us from doing this with every sourcebook; nonetheless, I’d judge this little experiment a success, and would like to try it again at some point in the future! You’ll soon be able to judge some of the results for yourself by checking out the final version of Out of Strife, Prosperity!

Keep an eye out for more Chronicle System supplements to follow, including the Chronicle of Sorcery, for adding magic rules to Chronicle System games; By Tread of Boot, expanding out the rules for building Warfare units; and Spark to Powder, which adds a whole set of mechanics for incorporating gunpowder weapons to the Chronicle System.