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Scorp40left.png The Game of Realms Scorp40right.png

An introduction to the new political endgame in Shadowbane.

The coming of the second Shadowbane expansion, Throne of Oblivion, brings sweeping changes to the dynamics of city, guild, and nation play, along with substantial refinements of the siege system. This article will explain these new systems, helping players find their place and form new strategies in the new order.

Some Definitions
Before describing the new systems in detail, some basic terms need to be defined.

Guild : A coalition of players, bound together under a Guild Charter and sharing a set of heraldry. Throne of Oblivion leaves basic Guild dynamic unchanged: leadership, ranks, black and white marks, initiation, and status are exactly as they were before. There are a few different types of Guilds:

  • Landed : A Guild that owns a City

  • Errant : A Guild without any City at all

  • Nation : A Guild that has another Guild sworn to it (also called City-State)

  • Petitioner :A guild that has been invited to swear fealty to a Landed Guild

  • Sworn : An unlanded Guild that has sworn fealty to a Nation Guild (also called sub-guilds)

  • Protectorate : A landed Guild that has been invited to swear fealty to a Nation

  • Province : A landed Guild that has sworn fealty to another Landed Guild

  • Nation :A landed Guild that has at least one Province; An alliance of Guilds, created when one or more Guilds swears fealty to another. Every Nation can have only one Nation Guild: all of the other guilds must be Sworn Guilds of that Nation Guild.

Cities and Nations 
Landed Guilds can swear fealty to other Landed Guilds, but such hierarchies can only be one level deep.

EXAMPLE : A City can swear fealty to another City, but the Nation of that Nation cannot then swear fealty to another City: the two Guilds must dissolve their Nation, then both swear to the new Nation individually.

Cities, Nations, and Sworn Guilds
Landed Guilds with Sworn Guilds can swear fealty to other Landed Guilds, and bring their sub-guilds into the Nation automatically. The alliance must not, however, exceed the Nation Guild limit (described below), or the attempt to swear fealty will fail.

Nation Guild Limit
The maximum number of Guilds, landed or sworn, that any Nation may contain is limited to EIGHT. The eight Guilds may be any combination of landed or Sworn Guilds, and sub-guilds of sub-guilds count against this total.

EXAMPLE : City A is the Nation Guild of a Nation, with 1 landed sub-guild and 3 sworn guilds. The landed sub-guild has one sworn guild of its own. City A's Nation, therefore, contains 6 Guilds (itself, the 3 subs, the sworn city, and its sub). City B wants to swear fealty to City A. If City B has only one sub, the alliance is permitted (it will bring City A's Nation to eight, the limit). If City B has two or more sub-guilds, the alliance is prohibited.

The Nation Guild limit does not affect pre-existing Nation structures, but does still apply to them.

EXAMPLE : a pre-ToO Nation of 20 Guilds cannot add any more sub-guilds. If the Nation banishes a Guild, the Guild cannot return or be replaced until the Nation's Guild total is reduced to seven or lower. A Nation's sub-guilds can occupy any number of different realms.

Realm
A Realm is a geographic subdivision of a world map. Each world map has around 30 realms. Crossing a realm boundary triggers an on-screen message and a sound cue. Realms can be defined in several ways, based on whether or not Cities can be built there, and whether or not players can rule that realm:

  • Primal Land : No player cities can be built within the realm, and the realm cannot be ruled.

  • Hinterland : Player Cities may be built within the realm, but it may not be ruled.

  • Contested Land : Player Cities may be built within the realm, and it may be ruled, but the realm has no current ruler.

  • Ruled Land : Player Cities may be built within the realm, it can be ruled, and the realm has a current ruler.

Occupancy
Every player City is part of one realm, the realm that contains the center point of the City's Tree of Life. Hence, every City and character has a "home realm," the realm that contains their home City.

Tree of Life Limits
Every realm that allows player Cities has a limit on the number of Trees of Life that can be planted within it, based upon the number of macrozones contained within that realm and other factors. The realm ToL limit can be as low as four and as high as seven. Any attempt to plant a Tree of Life in a realm that is over its City limit will fail.

The realm ToL limit does not affect existing player Cities, but it does apply to them.

EXAMPLE : a realm with a ToL limit of six currently has 15 pre-ToO Cities. No more Cities can be founded in this realm, and any Cities that are destroyed cannot be replaced.

The Nation Guild limit and the realm ToL limit are two completely independent systems. If a City swears fealty to a City in a different realm, the number of ToLs in each City's realm remains unchanged. The number of Guilds in the Nation does increase, however, up to the limit (see above).