tl;dr: talk to you players;engage the system – ORC!
The Traditions of the Swordlords campaign has reached a point where the frontier nation has grown and now they are collecting taxes and founding a proper state (or as Janaki put it, “So they were getting colonized but now they are doing the colonizing?” Me, defensive, “NO!…maybe. Kinda, yeah.”). We made some big rolls and got some big things done and oddly, the players navigated clear of any internal war. It was a close thing and they made some smart decisions, some brilliant decisions and some lucky ones.
We were starting to use our G+ community dedicated to just the game to write out to-do lists. Not wanting to play Crusader Kings 2 (a game I LOVE) at the table, I wrote told them an orc invasion was coming and after discussing it with them for a while and realizing there was so much to do before the orc impact, I wrote the following:
Here’s my idea.
Feel free to write any orc-invasion beliefs and set them aside.
One of Eliska’s left-over squires arrives on a half-dead horse that Bow-mother was attacked and decimated by wolf-riding orc. The refugees who could make it, made it to Spearpointe and the gates were closed. 3 pages made their way out and so far, she is the only one who made it to you. She says Baron Kucera reckoned there were about 100 wolf-riders.
Within the hour you will hear from Haps that someone set a fire on Spider Hill and it led to a few buildings there being burned down and whoever did it seems to have gotten into some kind of tussle with some soldiers and were driven off. He isn’t sure; he was keeping clear of it all but heard about it all second hand from merchants on their way down to Spearpointe to purchase more wool.
You get an Estate Management roll. Don’t have the skill? Roll unskilled and every two successes is a success (and take a test!). For every success you complete one to-do item before the orc arrive. Each item has to align with a pre-orc belief, so the max is 3.
Yeah, you can get shit done but how much you get done depends on how good your character is at administrating medieval fiefdoms. Roll the dice.
Orc are coming!