Introduction to 'Fiefdom'
Original by Usman, updated by 01brclar, Latest edition by OriginalSnarf
Serfs (Citizens) are the ones who pay you taxes, but in return, you have to provide them with food! You can set your taxes, anywhere between 0-15%, but higher taxes lower the serf's morale, which can cause treasury robberies or even civil war in which you may lose land! If your serfs pay high taxes, they expect room to live comfortably (not to be over-crowded), and enough food! You can make your serfs happy, by ensuring they have ample land, and giving them enough food! If you keep your serfs happy, their morale will increase and your serfs may host a parade in your honor, and sometimes they erect a statue. These two things are broadcast in the “Fiefdom World News”, which goes to all players in a realm. Serfs like to live in large areas; so if you have large amounts of land, and very few serfs, then foreign fiefdom’s serfs and serfs living in unclaimed land will immigrate! The higher your serf morale, the more serfs that will immigrate. The more serfs you have, the more gold you'll get from taxes and the more you will be able to recruit to your army every year.

Every year, a number of serfs are available to serve in your Military! You can draft serfs into the army according to your needs, and retire soldiers if they not needed or you cannot afford them. In realms where soldiers are very expensive, it is sometimes a good idea just to keep 10 and retire the rest. That way your wage bill is very low and you will have enough gold for when the time comes, when you need to draft up all those soldiers you have been ‘saving up!’

You need an army to defend yourself from attacks by other fiefdoms and to attack to conquer land. Your military will need food, like the serfs, but they also need pay. You will have to pay them a certain amount of gold every year. If you make your army happy, their morale will increase, and they will be more effective! If your army has a low morale, then they will not defend you properly. You take care of your army, they take care of your fiefdom in return, for example, 50 soldiers with morale of 90 can defeat 200 soldiers with morale of 30. Your army will be able to fight much better if you have discovered all the military innovations.

Every year, if this has been enabled in your realm, a number of serfs are available to become spooks. You may draft spooks or retire spooks as needed. Spooks are like spies. They go in other fiefdoms, and they can smuggle innovations (inventions), they can give you the other fiefdom's military information, gold information, food information, serfs information, so spooks can be very useful. They can also be used to invoke civil unrest. Be advised: this is considered a hostile action and will forfeit your immunity if you are still immune. Spooks typically demand a high pay (in 90% of realms), and can require even higher pay depending on the assignment they are given. Pay for one spook can be as much as eight soldiers are paid, but they do not need any food from you! So keeping spooks is quite useful, but expensive!

Food and Gold:
You will obtain gold in taxes from your serfs. Gold is required to pay your military and spooks, maintain and/or increase your serfs’ health and education, and pay for innovations. Your serfs expect to pay taxes, but they also expect to get something for their money. If you do not invest enough gold in their health and education, it can lower serf morale. The more land you have, the more food you can produce. Every year the weather is different. If the weather is fair, you will get a lot of food, but if it rains too much and flooding takes place, you will be able to produce very little food. Serf's morale also plays a part in the growing of food. High serf morale means more productive serfs, who in turn will take better care of your crops, whereas low morale means serfs that really do not care how well their Lord does. In the production of food, agriculture innovations play an important role. If you have discovered all the agriculture innovations, you will be able to produce a lot of food from a certain amount of land, but if you have not discovered any innovations, you will not get any extra food. There is also a world food market where you can buy and or sell grain as needed.

Sometimes different disasters can strike your fiefdom’s food production industry. An insect plague or a wildfire can wipe out many crops and/or stored grain. You can reduce the probability of these disasters happening by having the correct innovations. For example, pesticide reduces the probability of, and damages from an insect plague, and Fire Brigades help to minimize the risks of wildfires. These will not eliminate natural disasters, but it will decrease the occurrences and the damage that results when they do occur.

Ranching is simply the availability of cattle in a realm. The natives own a certain number of cattle when a realm opens, which can be purchased for gold. Most often, in realms where ranching is available, you will be given a small number of cattle to start. You must feed your cattle grain, or they will die. The purpose of the cattle is to slaughter them to feed your serfs and soldiers. You can choose to feed them either grain or cattle, or a combination of both. When ranching is available, it is difficult to attain a 100% morale for your serfs and military without feeding them cattle.

Education and Health:
You can spend as much gold as you like on serf’s education and health. In some realms it is very expensive and in others it is very cheap. The higher your education level, the more taxes your serfs will pay, and innovations are a bit easier to complete. The higher your health level is less serfs die per year and more births will take place, less soldiers will retire from the army due to injuries, and more serfs will be capable to serve as soldiers, every year. In addition, education and health also affect the serfs' morale.

Karma is basically your serfs perception of what they think of you. The morale of your serfs plays a large role in your Karma rating. If you attack a fiefdom, and the lord is a tyrant or rogue then your serfs will be happy and your Karma will rise along with their morale. However, if you yourself become a tyrant by attacking other Fiefdoms who have not attacked you, then your Karma will go down. The term “Lord” indicates neutral Karma. The terms “tyrant” or “rogue” indicate negative Karma. The terms “Sovereign Lord” and “Lord Protectorate” indicate positive Karma. You can see what kind of lord you or your opponents are by clicking on the link to your realm on the Fiefdom home page or clicking 'Scoreboard' at the top while playing. The scoreboard also shows how many acres each fiefdom has and what their power is. Power is a combination of land size, serf size and morale, military size and morale, and innovations. The scoreboard is a good place to check how strong a fiefdom is before you attack it.

World Food Market and World Bank:
Grain can be bought or sold at the World Food Market. The price of grain is dynamic and based on supply and demand in the realm. If you are short of money, you may borrow it from the World Bank, but you will have to pay it back, in 20 years, at an interest of about 10% per year. On occasion, the World Bank will own some or most of the land in a realm. In this case, you purchase land from the bank, rather than attacking unclaimed land.

Innovations play a very important role in this game. There are 10 agricultural innovations. These help you to produce much more food than you do normally, and help increase cattle births and decrease deaths. If you have discovered all the 25 true military innovations, your military will fight much more effectively. To see how different military innovation will affect your attacks, check out the War Advantage Calculator. There are 17 industrial innovations. Some of these help decrease the chance of forest fires or insect plague. Some increase your tax base. Some are stepping stones for more advanced innovations in other categories. You need to pay gold to discover innovations. There are two types of realm settings for developing innovations. The first is Simple Research & Development. This means that once you pay for the innovation, you get it added to your list and can begin using it. The second type is Advanced Research & Development. With Advanced R & D you first pay to develop the hypothesis for the innovation, then you pay to develop the hypothesis into a working innovation.

Some innovations require other innovations to already exist before it will let you have them. For example: to get the field hospital, you will need the hospital, to get iron armor you need a blacksmith, to get cross pollination you need research centers. To get an Mk 4 Turbo Meson Cannon you need to be GameMaster. This is not a real innovation, per say. You cannot discover it through research.

For detailed descriptions of what each innovation is and what is required to get each, please read the “Innovations Descriptions” page.

Military Strikes:
To conquer land, you will have to fight battles. There are six different kinds of military strikes. You may send any number of soldiers necessary; the chances of victory, and land seized on a victory, increase with an increased force (as a general rule.) -- But so does the number of soldiers, which may be lost in battle! If you are able to capture all the land from another fiefdom, you will effectively take over all their belongings -- land, gold, grain, and serfs. This is known as 'usurping' them.

1. Head on assault: This is the most typical type of attack. You will take land, but you will also lose a larger number of soldiers than with any other type of attack.
2. Siege war: In siege war, it is very easy to win, but you conquer only a little land. You surround an area of the opposition, and wait until the enemy surrenders.
3. Guerrilla War: In guerrilla war, it is quite difficult to win, but a lot of land can be captured in a victory. This attack is becoming increasingly popular with people with large armies who want a quick take-over.
4. Terrorism: In this type of attack, your soldiers are on suicide missions, and try to kill the serfs of the opposition. You do not conquer any land; this is just to make the opposition weak.
5. Assassination: It is very, very difficult to win this type of attack. In this type of attack, you try to capture the opposition's lord. It is almost impossible to succeed in this attack, to increase your chances you should have your soldiers trained to the maximum and have your spooks get an ideal assassination location. This can increase your chances by up to 10%
6. Ambushes: In this type of attack, your soldiers' mission is to catch the enemy soldiers off guard. In this type of attack, you do not conquer any land; it is just to kill more soldiers of your opposition. Many enemy soldiers can be killed. A small number of soldiers is capable of eliminating a much greater number of enemy soldiers with this type of attack.

In realms that use military experience, you build experience in each individual attack type each time it is used. The more experience, the more likely you are to win using that type of attack. Your new soldiers have no experience, and will decrease your overall experience in every type of attack when they are drafted.

There can be many fiefdoms in a realm, depending on the land available. Realms are like universes! Every realm has different settings, for example, some realms have hungry and rich serfs, and some realms have poor serfs. Some realms are very difficult to survive, while some are very easy.

Every realm has a description that includes the basic realm settings. First, you can have total immunity or standard immunity. If it is total immunity, during the immune period, no one can attack anyone else who is immune. If they want to attack someone who has finished their immunity already - they can. However, this forfeits their immunity. Standard immunity is when, if you are immune, you can attack other immune players and still keep your immunity. It will tell you if there are no attack limits. If it does not say “No attack limits” you are limited to attacking each individual player. To figure out how many attacks you will be allowed, divide the number of turns in a day by 5. (A realm with 25 turns a day will have an attack limit of 5. A realm with 24 turns a day will have an attack limit of 4.) It will tell you if there are “No Spooks”, which simply means you cannot enlist spooks. If it says “Ranching,” this means there are cattle available. If it says “Single Assault Style,” this means you cannot use all 6 attack styles and only Head On Assault is available. If it says “No Military Experience,” it means that your military will not build experience with each attack.

Turns refresh at varying times throughout the day. If a realm is set to refresh once a day (this is the standard setting) the turns will refresh at the hour the realm was created. If a realm was created at 15:29 you will get your turns for the day at 15:00 Fiefdom Time. Fiefdom time is the same as Eastern Time in the United States. If a realm is set to refresh twice a day it will refresh 12 hours after it was created, and then again at 24 hours (again, on the hour, not down to the minute). If a realm is set to refresh 3 times a day it will refresh 8 hours after it was created, again 16 hours after it was created, and finally 24 hours after it was created. Turns can accumulate for 2 refreshes. Any turns beyond this will be lost. If a realm has 25 turns per day and you cannot play for one day, the next day you will have 50 turns available. If you cannot play on the second day and the realm refreshes, you will only have 50 turns available on the third day. If you do not play in a realm for too long, you will be removed from the realm automatically with the notation that you have abandoned your fiefdom.

Realms can now be created in advance with a declared start time, giving players a chance to join the realm before it opens for play. With realms that are set up with a delayed start time, you must join before the realm opens for play or you will not get all of your turns. There is also an option for time limited realms. Some realms will only be available between the hours of (for example) 14:00 and 16:00. These realms are only open to be played during that specified timeframe. At all other times they will appear in the realm selection screen with a red line through the realm name.

Bugs may appear from time to time during play. When the bug happens, click the “Bug Report” button on the bottom left of the play screen. This will show GameMaster what exactly went wrong. This is the ONLY way for bugs to truly be worked out. If you have a newcomer related question or do not understand how to do something, then you should post in the Fiefdom University. It will typically be answered within 24 hours.

You may have treaties with other players. You may offer any fiefdom, a treaty. As well as treaties, there are global pacts, of different kinds. Global pacts may be joined by many fiefdoms. The fiefdoms, in a global pact, act as a team. There are 3 kinds of global pacts, defensive pact, offensive pact, and full alliance. Members in a treaty, or in a global pact cannot attack each other, as long as they don't leave the treaty, or pact. Different restrictions and settings are chosen by the pact creator.

Winners are decided according to the power ratings. Power is judged by the amount of land, soldiers and their morale, serfs and their morale, food and gold also count, a little. After 5 days of being open a realm will close to new players, if there is still unclaimed land. When a realm has only one player left who has claimed all the land, or there is only one player left after the realm is closed to new fiefdoms, a moderator of the game will close the realm. If you won the realm in less than 48 hours or it was a ‘Private Realm’ you will not get a token for winning, as it is not counted as a full scale realm. Realms with less than 5 players also will not count as a full scale realm. You will not get a point added to your number of wins either. For each full scale realm that you win, you are awarded 1 token, which can then be used to create a new realm (1 token = 1,000,000 acres), transfer your token to another player, or place a bounty on another player.

In addition to a player winning through overall power and/or claiming all the land, there are “Scenarios” which provide victory conditions. These scenarios are titled so that they explain themselves: i.e. land size, serf size, largest reserves, peace on earth. To determine who is the leader of these realms, it is necessary to look at the “Rating” rather than the power or land numbers on the scoreboard. A rating of 1000 is the leader with the lower numbers giving you a rough idea of how far the other players trail behind. Typically, scenario realms will have a pre-appointed end date, at which time the winner will be declared based on the victory condition that was set.

Bounties are tokens offered to the first player to usurp the subject of the bounty. Any player (excluding the moderators of the game) can post any number of tokens as a bounty on any other player (again, excluding moderators). To post a bounty you must have the tokens that are to be awarded in your account. They will be deducted as soon as you post the bounty. Bounties are for fun! Perhaps someone usurped you in a realm and you’d like to see them usurped? You can offer a reward to the first person who usurps them. Perhaps a friend also plays Fiefdom and you just think it would be fun to place a price on their head. Bounties by no means imply anything negative and are not to be taken as a threat or anything serious.

You will notice three symbols next to players’ names. The first and most common is an orange star. This indicates that the player is a Premium Member of 4WebGames. When the orange star is placed next to a realm name it indicates that the realm is available only to Premium Members. The second symbol is an armor head or helmet. This indicates a “Lord to Fear”. The Lords to Fear are the 10 players who have the most wins in the last 30 days. The third symbol is a gold crown. This indicates a “Fiefdom Grand Master”. The Grand Masters are the top 10 players of Fiefdom, and have won more realms than anyone else.

Realm Creation:
For each full scale realm that you win, you are awarded 1 token, which can then be used to create a new realm (1 token = 1,000,000 acres). Premium members receive 1 token each week, in addition to any tokens they earn for wins. When you have a realm token, if you log in, you will notice a link below all the available realms. It will say, you have x realm tokens remaining. Create a new realm? Clicking the link will take you to the realm creation page. There are many options. Most of these have a default value that is already in the box. If you are unsure of a setting, it is advisable to leave the default else you might end up creating a realm that is unplayable. You can also choose a previous realm's settings by selecting the original realm from the drop-down box at the top, and clicking the 'Load Realm' button. From there, you can tweak the settings, add your own descriptions, etc. Not all previous realms are available this way, only those realms which have been shown to be unique, and to be highly attractive to the players. Above most settings there is a gray descriptor telling you what that setting does, and if you can or cannot set the value to zero. It is extremely important that you read each of these descriptions to ensure that the realm you create will be playable. Always remember to give your realm a name. Any unnamed realms will be closed by moderators as unplayable. Without a name, players cannot select your realm to join.

Premium Membership:
You can become a premium member almost instantly by following the link on the Fiefdom home page. You can use PayPal secure online registration or you can send a check. To send a check or money order, please send a private message to GameMaster.

Premium membership has its rewards! You get 1 realm token per week even if you haven’t won or even played. You get rid of all the ads on the site, banners and pop-ups. You also get “hot buttons” next to the serf & military grain, military & spook pay, and health and education. If you want to provide them with double food, you do not have to calculate it or type it in, you just click ‘200%’. You get “at a glance” color-coding for food & expenses. Shades of red to green let you know if you are giving your serfs and military enough of what they need just by looking. You get a Fiefdom Ledger that automatically calculates your expenditures for you and shows you how much you have fed and spent and how much you have left. You have access to realms that are devoted to "Premium Members Only." You also get a pretty orange star next to your name.

Private Messaging:
4WebGames provides you with an internal e-mail system where you can e-mail other players. When you log-in, if you have any new messages it will come up with a dialogue box saying welcome back user, you have x unread messages and tell you how to access these messages. If you receive new messages while you are logged in a dialogue box will pop up letting you know that you have new messages. In a realm, you can also send short messages to other players (along with innovations, ideal targets, etc) via the Courier in the game.

Realm Selections:
To access the realm selection page, first sign into your 4WebGames account, then click the “Let’s Play” button in the lower right of your screen. The realm selection page is color coded for your convenience. If you are already playing in a realm, it has a green background and is at the top of the list. Realms that are for Premium players are yellow and realm that are private that you can join are an orange/red color. Realms that are only available at certain times may appear with a red line through the name. This indicates that it is not currently available. Check the “Available Times” to see when you can play that realm. Next to the realm names, you can see what settings have been assigned for that realm, as well as who created it and at what time. You will also see how many players have joined that realm, and how many acres of unclaimed land are left.

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