Each smaller city is run by Houses comprised of the most influential group or family of the area and of the time. Each House has its own style of governing, ranging from a little more power than its subjects desire to ruling as far and as thourough as its members’ abilities allow. In essence, one can find anywhere from a near-totalitarian state to a state of near-anarchy.
On the one end, citizens generally like the lax laws of the lighter governments, but are usually fickle and unwilling or too apathetic to stop most crime. Being more free, the citizens are also more free to not care. This structure usually doesn’t end well, and power tends to change Houses rapidly.
On the other end, more strict government structures are generally more ordered, and thus less crime, but the citizens are less content. There are laws to be followed and a justice system to handle the consequences. The problem most houses have is that they simply aren’t large enough to handle enough law enforcement.
Some Houses will band together to form either an alliance or a new House. This is often done as a trade, quite often if two areas have something each other needs. Occasionally, two Houses will form together to boost both in power, one House taking over governing while the other enforces the laws, for example.
A House loses power when its citizens no longer treat it as an authority. This can happen for a number of reasons, but usually due to either a more powerful House or shifting opinions of a do-nothing House. This manner of power shifting quite often leads to political struggles and conspiracies. Two large Houses in close proximity may try to discredit or weaken one another through techniques like mudslinging or more hostile events like assassinating higher-level or more powerful House members. All of this has to be done behind closed door, or the offending House usually ends up more discredited than the House they just made a martyr out of.
The justice system is determined on a House basis; each has its own style. Just as each House is on a sliding scale of governing, their justice systems range from draconian to laughable. Usually the type and quality of justice depends on the size and influence of the House. If it can’t enforce most of its laws, it normally won’t be able to give a fitting punishment.
A few constants exist in the system. Those convicted, even of serious crimes, are never put to death without consent or very good reason (such as clear and present danger of a sociopathic mass killer fleeing jail and killing again). Those convicted of a capital crime are usually sentenced to life, but also given the option of being put to death instead of the sentence. Naturally, few choose this, which can cause overcrowding in detention facilities.
Another strain for the detention facilities is properly maintaining a magic-suppressing field. Due to most Aegs’ arcane talents, normal facilities are inadequate to hold most criminals. These fields often require a high volume of residuum, and the Houses responsible for running the facilities often are those most skilled at budgeting (more out of necessity than coincidence).
Aegrynd culture focuses primarily around the Arcane. Many structures are held together by, if not outright made of, magic. Arcane batteries are charged and put to use as a primary power source. Wizards and Sorcerers are held in high regard, while Fighters and Rangers are sometimes treated as lack-wits. Plenty of interesting and novel uses for magic are employed daily.
The primary religion for Aegrynds is Arcanism, a religion about the subject of Arcane magic, its source, and its best use. Different branches of it exist over the proper use of it, from reshaping the land to focusing on just one school.
Some Aegrynds instead choose to follow the more primal Geygan religion, as they may feel a stronger connection to the world and nature.
Where the culture is largely focused around magical practices, culture does tend to vary by race and location. Canids tend to form very close-knit groups, while Felines tend to be more loners. Drakon tend to be very arrogant and focused in magic. These cultural traits tend to affect how a House governs; Canids will protect their town but not be very keen on negotiating, Felines have a very hands-off style of governing, Drakons put magic-users in high positions.
Magic items are quite common, especially due to the nature of the Aegrynd economy. For high-level purchases, it’s quite common to see vials of residuum be used in place of gold or platinum; a 4oz vial is worth 10,000gp. For lower-level purchases, Silver and Gold are used just as in most cultures.
Shops commonly stock lower-level magic items (up to level 6), but not always of every type (Flaming Urgoshes +1 are not always available, for example). Higher-Level magic items are occasionally seen at The Bizarre, and are usually quickly auctioned off.
Auctions are held as long as items are for sale. Some items attract very little attention, while others attract a fevered bidding war. Usually, auctions are only held for items of value (above level 6). The auctions require either residuum or gold as payment up front and in full.
-Gameplay Mechanics of the Economy
- For shop keepers, roll 1d6. Increase the price by 5% times 1 less than the roll (a 6 would be 25%, 1 would be 0%, etc).
- For selling, see below.
- For Auctions, see below
-Selling Skill Check
- Characters may choose to either sell the item at 20% base value or enter a skill check
- The party may use Diplomacy to talk up the item, Bluff to make the item seem more valuable, or Intimidate to Threaten the buyer.
- Opposed checks: Diplomacy-Diplomacy (argue with arguement), Bluff-Insight (identify the real value), Intimidate-Will (Resist intimidation)
- Success requires 2 successes before 1 failure.
- On a total success, roll 1d6. Increase the selling value by 5% times the roll. (Example: if the roll is a 4, the selling value increases to 40% of the base price instead of 20%.)
- On a partial success, roll 1d4 and multiply: 5% times the roll minus one. (1: 0%, 2: 5%, etc.)
- The max selling value is 50% of the base price. Jewelry’s selling value is always 100%.
- Auctions start at the base value of an item.
- Each bid requires a minimum bid of 10% of the base cost.
- At the start of each round, roll 1d4 and increase the bid by 10% times the roll.
- Next, the party bids in increments of 10%.
- At the end of the round, roll a d20. If the roll is less than or equal to the number of 10% increases, the bidding ends.
- Example, the bid is at 50%. 12 is rolled, the bidding continues. Next round, the bid is 70%, a 7 is rolled, and the bidding ends.