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Thread: Some thoughts on diplomacy.

  1. #1

    Default Some thoughts on diplomacy.

    Hey folks,

    That first AAR game got me thinking a bit. I was referring to diplomats quite a bit, just for the sake of the story but it did get me wondering how we could implement some diplomacy options for the Neutral Provinces.

    We would probably want a more elaborate model for diplomacy with the AI factions and getting that in place and getting the AI to use it too would, I'm sure, be a whole other can of worms. So this is 'fake diplomacy', designed to add a few more options for dealing with the Neutrals. The options though are essentially linear and shouldn't require any AI input for now.

    At the moment, the process of taking over a province has three distinct phases. 1. Defeat standing army. 2. Siege. 3. Bring loyalty up to the point where construction and/or training can take place.

    Defeat standing army

    At the moment, as I understand it, the standing army in a province is linked to the size of the province but I'm thinking that it should also depend upon how friendly the province is to your faction. We've already got a convenient way of doing this in the Social Model and the relative power of each Social Class in a province. Moreover, for each Faction, there's a social Class to go with it.

    So this bit is easy. If you're invading a province where the dominant social class is aligned with your faction, then the size of the standing army in that province should be reduced, reflecting the fact that the province is likely to be favourably disposed towards you. Conversely if the dominant social class is far away from your faction then the standing army will increase. Example: Castillar: Gets a reduced standing army in provinces where Clerics are the dominant class, gets an increased standing army to deal with in provinces where Academics are the dominant class and other dominant classes don't affect the standing army at all. We can construct a whole matrix of modifers for Faction vs Dominant class here.

    It might require some map tweaking but the way I'm picturing it, is that the first few neutral provinces around your home territories are friendly (and thus a little easier to deal with), then as you expand, you're going to come across provinces that are first neutral and then actively hostile towards your faction.

    Note: We already have a strong historical background for Fringe provinces (obvious example Trentare but it would be consistent with the province descriptions if we had more). Fringe provinces are automatically hostile towards any faction.

    Sieges.

    No changes here for now I don’t think

    Loyalty.

    Again, if the province you’re conquering is naturally aligned to your faction (see 1.), it could confer either a temporary increase in loyalty generation after the province is conquered. Or it could simply provide a modifer that reduces the amount of loyalty lost in the first place. Again – if your faction is opposed to the dominant social class in the province, the opposite effects take place, reflecting an extended period of guerilla warfare as the populace try and kick you out.

    Alignment Changing

    So how can Neutral Province alignment be changed to suit your needs? The answer to that is simple – by letting the player build infrastructure in neighbouring neutral provinces and let the population of those provinces evolve with time in the same way that one of your own provinces would. So with some judicious builds, it should be possible to ‘soften up’ provinces and so make them easier to conquer by force of arms. Bettter yet, the newly conquered province is then all set up and good to go. Infrastructure builds will also affect a new type of counter applied to each province – lets call it Resistance for the sake of argument although I’m sure we can come up with a better name. Simple model – each province starts off with 6 resistance counters. Building Tier 1 infrastructure (barracks, shrine, sigil) removes one counter, building Tier 2 infrastructure removes two. Note that ‘foreign’ infrastructure builds are 10% more expensive as you’re effectively operating at ‘arms reach’ through unfamiliar agencies.

    Favour and Diplomatic Actions

    The final element to tie all this together is the notion of Favour. Favour operates much like Influence, Espionage or Mana points, in that you accumulate them over time and then spend them on particular actions, in this case Diplomatic actions. You generate favour points by spending gold per turn in the same way that you generate Research Points. Effectively you devote a portion of your treasury to keeping everyone around you that little bit happier, greasing the odd palm, acting behind the scenes to fund some nobleman’s pet project, donating to good causes etc.

    Very simple to start with, there are two Diplomatic Actions that I’m envisaging , although I’m sure that more could be added.

    1. Make Petition. Spend so many Favour points to obtain the right to build 1 piece of infrastructure in a neutral province.
    2. Make Alliance. Spend rather more Favour points and a hefty chunk of gold to either peacefully annexe the province or give you a chance of doing so. The amount of gold you spend will be directly related to the Resistance of the population and probably to province Alignment relative to yours. We could specify that Make Alliance only becomes available once Resistance has been reduced by a certain amount.

    I *think* this all hangs together quite nicely. Spend gold to generate Favour. Spend Favour to bribe neutral provinces with infrastructure builds. Then either let the population drift into a more favourable social structure for an easier military invasion, or spend much more Favour and gold on a peaceful takeover. At the least it should make the deliberate development of an economic infrastructure that bit more compelling, as well as providing a gameplay alternative to permanent war. I’ve also tried to base it as much as possible on existing game mechanics for (hopefully!) ease of implementation.

    Comments welcome!

  2. #2

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    A note from Vel.


    Oh, oh! Printing this out now to give it a thorough going over! Good stuffs, as always!

    Quick thoughts so far are these:

    * I like the idea of favor points (blends nicely with what we've currently got in place, and rather "straddles" the notion of research and secondary layer resources (initially, we had discussed having a "diplomacy tech tree" which feathers nicely into the idea you've outlined!

    * Not as sure about the petitioning to build infrastructure in a neutral province (pre-building, as it were), but the mechanism is surely a sound one (pandering to, and currying favor with the segments of the local populace that are most closely aligned with you) - eventually I would foresee the need for a toggleable overlay shaded map, using the alpha shading we currently have, but set to show not province ownership, but dominant social faction, in order to gain a bird's eye view of the social fabric tapestry that the basin is made up of (a similar toggle for resources would be an intriguing addition too, but that's straying from the topic!

    *Anyway, all that to say that I think the *concept* is certainly sound, and instead of petitioning to build things in provinces, favor (as you say, derived from gold) could certainly be spent in other ways and on other things to strengthen the folks favorable to you, and/or weaken oppositional social groups.

  3. #3
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    G'morning!

    I've been thinking about this over the last couple of days and trying to organize my thoughts on it. I'm not sure I'm there yet, but at least they are slightly less scattered!

    I LOVE the basic premise of utilizing the societal model as the basis for the diplo. I think they not only blend well, but it serves to strengthen that existing model, and opens up all sorts of tasty possibilities where diplomacy is concerned!

    I also love the idea of Favor as a secondary layer resource, and then spending favor to do various things.

    I would like to expand the concept of favor though, to also include "internal diplomacy." That is to say, diplomacy with your own holdings, and with the various social groupings that make up your realm.

    When we get to the point of adding this model to the game, one change I'd like to see on the faction selection screen is that in addition to selecting your starting faction, you "declare for" a certain social group. As I envision it presently, this declaration, once made, cannot be changed, and provides certain additional bonuses to the choosing player (tho I'm certainly willing to have my mind changed re: changing this declaration mid-stream).

    What this does then, is set the stage. Having selected a faction and declared for a certain social group, you'll recieve bonuses (both in and out of your holdings) when dealing with that social group. You'll also recieve penalties when dealing with the two oppositional groups (and be net-neutral with regards to the two remaining groups).

    Each faction could start with some amount of favor, and should probably generate some small amount (depending on group declared for--it strikes me that the Aristocrats would "naturally" generate more favor than the other groups) without doing anything...this would allow for some base level diplomacy to occur, no matter what your current situation. And of course, you could spend money to generate more (we should build in a brake, such that small kingdoms are not disadvantaged when compared to large kingdoms, where diplo points are concerned...perhaps by making it a % of GDP investment, rather than a total gold investment...that is to say, a smaller kingdom investing a lesser amount of raw gold, but a larger % of GDP could generate MORE favor than a significantly larger kingdom, even tho that larger kingdom might be spending more gold in total).

    I've not yet created an exhaustive list of internal and external things you could use favor for and spend it on, but the idea would look something like this:

    Internally, you could enact laws and decrees (at the province level, so each province can and would have different decrees in place, depending on its unique social fabric), that would do such things as:

    * Create tax holidays, incentives, and exemptions for certain groups (this would slightly reduce province income, while currying favor with the target group. That group's social power would increase at the expense of it's two oppositional groups).

    * Levy new taxes against certain groups - the inverse of the above scenario

    * Special Decrees (each social group could have some number of "special decrees" designed to give or take away social power to social groups (ie - "Institute Prima Nocte" for the Aristocracy would increase their social power, while reducing the peasants and merchant classes, "Create Academic Cloister" would do likewise for the Academics, at the expense of the peasants and clergy, "Special Dispensation for Church Estates" would boost the clergy, while reducing the academics and merchants, and so forth). In this way, we introduce another (infinitely more active) methodology for allowing a player to influence the social fabric of his/her provinces.

    Of course, such decrees, once passed, can be undone as well, again, by spending favor to change policy.

    Externally, favor can be used to:

    * Write Letters to the ruling Duke/Duchess (very small impact, and again, if the province has one of your oppositional groups in power, this could well have the opposite effect!)

    * Send a small token of appreciation

    * Send a larger token of appreciation

    * Send an extravagant token of appreciation

    * Open Borders (to prevent neutrals from being backstabbed, an Open Borders arrangement cannot be violated...if an attack is attempted, the Church will automatically intercede)

    * Military Alliance (open borders is a pre-requisite - this is a promise by the player faction to protect the neutral faction from rebels and other players) - Such an offer would, by its nature and definition, carry with it a significant increase in our relations. (with regards to neutrals, this alliance is always "one way" in that they have no standing army to speak of, but with regards to other factions, this alliance would always be a two-way street.

    * Economic Alliance (open borders is a pre-requisite) - this mechanic gives the player a boost equal to 10% of the income generated by the target province, and provides a like boost (10% of the player's economy) to the neutral faction. Note that this is NOT a reduction of income for either party! This is "new money" representing additional activity generated via increased trade. Pure profit for both parties.

    * Directly pander to a specific social group (each social group would have a different thing they like/thing you could do for them: For the aristocrats, it might be hosting games. For the academics, it might be implementing an exchange program with the province. The clergy might appreciate a conference being held, while the peasants might get a craft fair and the merchants might get special licenses to sell goods in your borders)....these things would (depending on the group the offer is made to), help curry favor with the faction in question, and allow for the effects Rich described (either a general warming in relations, or a reduction in the (eventual) size of the army you'd face, or both.

    Like the spell/miracle/espionage system though, I do not think we should attempt to build this model in one shot. We could implement it in stages, balancing and re-balancing as we go, and get a really good sense for how it all hangs together, but on the whole, I think Rich has found his way to a MASTERFUL mechanic for diplo!

    The only thing I'm not in agreement with in the system is allowing builds in provinces you don't control, but I think the mechanic is superb! (thumbs up!!!)

    -=Vel=-
    Last edited by Velociryx; 14-01-10 at 14:12.

  4. #4

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    Glad you like it - and I have to say that I *really* like the notion of Internal diplomacy. That was the final piece I needed in my societal model puzzle to turn a mental tangle into a coherent piece. Having Favour created as a percentage of GDP also helped a lot.

    My reasoning behind the infrastructure prebuilds was that in practice the Player controlled faction would have some influence (with a small i ) over the rest of the Kingdom, even if it didn't directly rule any of it other than your starting provinces. Hence lobbying neutral provinces to build stuff for you didn't seem completely unlikely. As I said - it was basically a rather large bribe with a tangible result But yeah maybe using External Diplomacy instead to improve relationships would make more sense from a gameplay perspective - with sufficient gold you could cheese your way to a lot of territory rather quickly.

    I'm not quite buying into that notion of declaring for a social class at the start of the game. It would undoubtedly add replayability but the five factions are pretty bound up with a particular Class and the idea of say selecting Castillar and then declaring for the Academics just seems a bit odd On a more practical note, it might make the story events a bit more complicated. If they were tied to a particular Faction, then they don't quite gel if you choose a 'non canon' Class. Or you could tie them to a particular Class but then the geographical events might not make much sense.

    One way around all of this though might be to have two options at game start - Story Mode and Sandbox Mode. In story mode you get what you have now - 5 factions each predeclared for their canon social class and each in a predetermined starting location. As the name implies, Story Mode includes all the story events. As you can probably guess, Sandbox mode does the opposite. You pick a faction, choose your class and get stuck into a more freeform game experience but one that doesnt include the story events. Heck you could even have a bigger pool of start locations for Sandbox mode or completely randomise them.

    Of course, if we end up going with a 'declare class on game start' approach, there's absolutely nothing to stop the player declaring for the historically 'correct' Class for his Faction, so in a sense this is all semantics

    - Rich.

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    re: the "declaring for a social class" thing - another alternate way of handling it is this:

    You point out (and correctly so) that the five factions already mirror the five classes in-game

    Mourngrym = Merchant
    Council = Peasant
    Fury = Aristocracy
    Castillar = Clergy
    and
    Mystic = Academic

    So...rather than allowing for complete freedom, if you choose, say, Castillar, then you can declare for either the Clergy, the Aristocracy, or the Peasants (you would be unable to declare for the faction's oppositional social groups).

    In this way, we get the best of both worlds...added replayability, but it wouldn't throw any (serious) monkey wrenches into the event mix.

    Whatcha think?

    -=Vel=-

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    Re: The Factions.

    We have the five (primary) factions, sure...but say for "sandbox mode" (and this is something that would be a LONG time in coming, if ever...just a random thought at present), what about the notion of playing other groups besides the "Fab Five?"

    What if there was an option to play as Kell? Trentare? Brom, even?

    The five "historic" factions certainly drive both the game story and the story told in the trilogy, but drawing on that work, there were lots of other contenders (among them: Kell, Trentare, StroudHaven, The North Spur Confederation, and the Argen Alliance...Brom to a lesser extent--tho quickly entering into a protected status in Fury orbit, and then later destroyed).

    Still....that opens up a WORLD of other possibilities...

    -=Vel=-

  7. #7

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    A long way down the road to be sure but I have one word....

    Nilroggi.






    - Rich

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    Co-Owner/Founder Solver's Avatar
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    I appreciate you volunteering to write the code for them

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    Oh yes!

    I'd love to see them make an in-game appearance at some point, but for the near term, probably the best we'll get is indirect references, events that cause mysterious happenings and the like, but they are an integral part of the world, and their constant and looming threat should be (at some point) a dire consideration for all players...

    -=Vel=-

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Velociryx View Post
    re: the "declaring for a social class" thing - another alternate way of handling it is this:

    You point out (and correctly so) that the five factions already mirror the five classes in-game

    Mourngrym = Merchant
    Council = Peasant
    Fury = Aristocracy
    Castillar = Clergy
    and
    Mystic = Academic

    So...rather than allowing for complete freedom, if you choose, say, Castillar, then you can declare for either the Clergy, the Aristocracy, or the Peasants (you would be unable to declare for the faction's oppositional social groups).

    In this way, we get the best of both worlds...added replayability, but it wouldn't throw any (serious) monkey wrenches into the event mix.

    Whatcha think?

    -=Vel=-
    Yes that would work quite nicely. Taking Castillar as an example, the story events would probably have a fairly churchy feeling to them still but you could be playing either as a pious Aristocrat, as the historical Clerical faction or as a Peasant on a crusade to topple the bloated Church and restore the true Word of J'honsa to the Basin.

    Ummm, actually this is sounding better and better actually! Some awesome potential for exploring alternate timelines, wildly different styles of AAR and other CB fiction. Yep - that works. Ohh - and the possibilities for writing scenarios (as and when we get to that) have just exploded!

    Because you know - a whole Kingdom and 200 years backstory clearly isnt enough to write about

    - Rich.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Solver View Post
    I appreciate you volunteering to write the code for them
    Anyone got a copy of 'XML for Dummies'? Ideas for bribing Hex to do some suitably 'gog army markers also appreciated

    Seriously though - agree that indirect appearances are all we're going to see of them for now. On a more general note though I do like the idea of playing Factions outside of the 'Fab Five'

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    Outline of Conjectural New Diplo Model

    This is meant to be a "first pass" at what could become our first generation Diplo-Model

    Initial Notes
    * The Diplo Model makes extensive use of the existing Societal Model, and builds upon its basic framework.
    * It requires an addition to the Faction Select Screen, allowing a faction to "declare for" one of three social groups at the game's start (this can also be changed later, in game, at a cost of Favor).
    * The Model introduces "Favor" as a new secondary layer resource.

    Factional Changes
    Each faction in-game is currently seen to be "in natural alignment" with one particular social group. That said, players of that faction may choose from one of three social groups to "declare for" at the game's start.

    The selections are laid out thusly:

    Moungrym = Merchant. May declare for Merchants, Peasants, or Academics

    Castillar = Clergy. May declare for Clergy, Aristocrats, or Peasants

    Mystics = Academics. May declare for Academics, Aristocrats, or Merchants

    Council = Peastant. May declare for Peasants, Clergy, or Merchants.

    Fury = Aristocrat. May declare for Aristocrats, Academics, or Clergy.

    Note that under this new system, no faction may "declare for" its oppositional social classes. This is by design.

    A faction may changed its "declared for" social group at any time, by spending 40 Favor.

    This will have impacts and reprecussions for any existing relationships. All existing relations suffer an immediate -20 hit, save for those of the newly declared for social group, which are entirely unaffected.

    Such a change may only occur 1x per game year (every 24 turns).

    Favor
    Favor is gained in two ways.

    Each turn, some number of Favor points are gained naturally. This is determined by your continued existance as a kingdom in the realm, your declared-for social group, and your Honor level, such that players with high Honor generate more Favor points each turn vs. those with lower Honor. Note that it is possible to generate "negative per turn Favor," and because of this, Infamous players will ALWAYS be at a diplomatic disadvantage.

    Declared-For Social Groups are worth the following in per turn Favor:
    Aristocrats: 3 per turn
    Merchants, Academics, and Clergy: 2 per turn
    Peasants, 1 per turn

    In addition to this, the mere fact that you have a capital province generates 2 Favor points each turn.

    In total then, your NATIVE Favor points are gained thusly:

    (Capital Favor + Declared For Social Group + (Honor Level * Declared-For Social Group)) = X favor per turn.

    You may also "invest" in Favor points, just as you invest in Military or Technological research. Diplomacy doesn't care about raw gold, but about relative effort, and as such, is based entirely on the % of your GDP spent. This is to say, a small kingdom can be every bit as adept at diplomacy as a large one, and possibly even moreso, depending on the "native factors" involved.

    This also means that the absolute cost of diplomacy is higher for larger kingdoms, which is as it should be.

    For each 10% of GDP spent on Favor, you gain + 10 Favor Points per turn.

    What Favor Can Be Spent On

    Favor is used to initiate various diplomatic initiatives, either inside or outside your own borders (diplomacy knows no boundaries). Internally, Favor can be used to help shape and change the social fabric and makeup of your provinces, bringing them more in alignment with your declared-for social group, slowly and relentlessly breaking down existing power structures, and giving boons or punishments selectively, to target groups within your realm.

    Externally, Favor can be used to forge alliances with other provinces or rival kingdoms, create lucrative trade arrangements, boost relations, spark rebellions, change the social fabric of OTHER PEOPLE's provinces, and peacefully take control of provinces. Dangerous and powerful stuff!

    So let's get down to particulars and talk about what specific things you can do with Favor, and how they manifest themselves.

    To do that, we'll break down the discussion into Internal Effects, and External Effects:

    Internal Diplomacy
    Summary of Effects:
    Internal Diplomacy is all about two things:
    * Changing the social power numbers of your population groups
    * Loyalty Control

    It represents the most direct means by which you can change the social power equation in any given province (with the other big game changer being the provincial improvements you choose to build).

    Internally, diplomacy amounts to passing laws and making edicts that impact the lives of your citizens in a particular social group.

    Each social group has their own "set" of edits that apply to them, and these can be applied in any order or combination that you choose, on a per-province level (ie - Passing a law that is applicable to one of your provinces doe NOT make it applicable to all of them).

    For the initial offering, each social group will have one edict (we'll start off here just like we did with spells and the like, and expand on the system iteratively).

    For all effects: Once implemented, they may not be recinded for one full game year (24 turns). Once recinded, they may not be re-introduced for one full game year (24 turns).

    Aristocrats:
    Institute Prima Nocta - This gives the ruling Lords the right to take any newly wedded bride to his bedchamber on the first night of her wedding. Needless to say, this did not often sit well with the larger populace...

    Cost to Implement or Recind: 20
    Effects: Social Power of the Aristocrats = +1, Peasant Social Power = -0.5, Merchant Social Power = -1. Causes an immediate drop in provincial loyalty equal to (1% * (provpop * (%merchant pop + %peasantpop)). RR = +2% for 6 turns (3 months), in addition to any RR that stems from the drop in loyalty.

    Gain +1 Cavalry unit as happy nobles flock to you in support!

    Recinding Prima Nocta: All armies in the province get -1 Move Points on the turn the edict is recinded. If the province is dominated by Aristocrats, RR is +4% for the next 12 turns (6 months), as angry Nobles express their disdain. If the province is dominated by any other population group, Loyalty in the province increases by +10%. Social Power of the Aristocrats = -1, Peasant Social Power = +0.5, Merchant Social Power = +1.

    Academics:
    Establish Academic Cloister - One part exclusive University (by invitation only), and one part Secret Society, the establishment of a Cloister inside the borders of a Province sends a clear and unequivocal message that the Academics hold a favored position with the ruling Lord.

    Cost to Implement or Recind: 15
    Effects: Social Power of the Academics = +1, Peasant Social Power = -0.25, Clergy Social Power = -1. Causes an immediate drop in provincial loyalty equal to (1% * (provpop * (%clergy pop + %peasantpop)). RR = +2% for 6 turns (3 months), in addition to any RR that stems from the drop in loyalty.

    Provinces containing Cloisters generate bonus research points. Three points of Military Research, and Three points of Infrastructure research, per turn.

    Recinding a Cloister: Social Power of the Academics = -1, Peasant Social Power = +0.25, Clergy Social Power = +1. Free research points no longer accumulate. Causes an immediate drop in provincial loyalty equal to (1% * (provpop * (%academic pop))). RR = +1% for 6 turns (3 months), in addition to any RR that stems from the drop in loyalty. If the province is dominated by Academics, double the loyalty drop and the RR.


    Clergy:
    Special Dispensation of Church Estates - By classifying Church Land Holdings as a special case, and exempting them from many of the taxes that the other Social Groups are required to pay, it sets the Clergymen apart, and helps to build their base of power within the province.

    Cost to Implement or Recind: 30
    Effects: Social Power of the Clergy = +1, Merchant Social Power = -1, Peasant Social Power, unchanged. Reduces province income by -5%, and gains a max. loyalty cap of +5%, and +1 Influence per turn. Also gains +2 Build Points per turn. Causes an immediate drop in provincial loyalty equal to (1% * (provpop * (%merchant pop)).

    Recinding Special Dispensation: Province immediately gains +5% income, and loses -2 Build Points per turn, and its +5% loyalty cap goes away, as does the Influence bonus. Loyalty is reduced by (1% * (provpop * (%clergy pop)), and the province gains a +2% RR for 3 months (6 turns). Double the loyalty hit and RR penalty if the province is dominated by the Clergy. Also, if the province is Clergy dominated and this is recinded, lose -20 Influence from stored Influence. If you do not have the full amount, lose all that you have.

    Merchants:
    Establishment of Crafter's Guilds - By allowing the creation and spread of such guilds, the Ruling Lord is sending a clear message that he/she strongly supports the rising star that this new "middle class" represents, much to the chagrin of a good portion of the established order.

    Cost to Implement or Recind: 40

    Effects: Social Power of the Merchants = +1, Social Power of the Clergy = -1, Social Power of the Peasants = unchanged. Causes an immediate drop in provincial loyalty equal to (1% * (provpop * (%clergy pop)).

    Additionally, each turn, there is a 1% chance that the guilds will find newer, better, more efficient ways of using existing province resources. This will amount to a gain of 7-12 (d6+6) resource points for one (random) resource that the province contains, with a corresponding gain in total province income (and possible monopoly benefits, depending on your current resource situation).

    Recinding Craft Guild Charters: Social Power of the Merchants = -1, Social Power of the Clergy = +1, Social Power of the Peasants = unchanged. Causes an immediate drop in provincial loyalty equal to (1% * (provpop * (%merchant pop)). If the province is dominated by the merchants, also add a 3% RR for the next 12 turns (6 months). There is a 30% chance that such a move will damage the long term economic prospects for the province (-10% to income for 2 game years (48 turns)).


    Peasants:
    Free Education – In an effort that combines the cooperation with the Church and taxes against the Aristocracy, a series of schools are created in the province, with an eye toward increasing the skills and opportunities of the peasantry. It is a bold move, and one that is not well liked by all…

    Cost to Implement or Recind: 60

    Effects: Social Power of the Peasants = +0.5, Social Power of the Aristocrats = -2, Social Power of the Academics = -1. Causes an immediate drop in provincial loyalty equal to (10% * (provpop * (%aristocrat pop + %academic pop)).

    Peasant growth rate -2%. Merchant and Clergy Growth Rates = +1% each (annual). The province gains +2 Build Point, +2 Training Points, +5% to its total economic value, +1 Siege Counter, and +1 to Troop Batch Size.

    Recinding Free Education: Social Power of the Peasants = -0.5, Social Power of the Aristocrats = +2, Social Power of the Academics = +1. Causes an immediate drop in provincial loyalty equal to (2% * (provpop * (%peasants pop)). If the province is dominated by the peasants, also add a 4% RR for the next game year (26 turns). Immediately lose the modified growth rates, the extra build and training points, the economic boon, batch size, and siege counter. (the siege counter will stay gone for 3 months (6 turns) before coming back naturally.

    General Edicts
    Emergency Tax Measure
    Cost: 20
    Gain +10% income from the province. Lose -2 Build Points, -2 Training Points, and gain a 3% RR. All effects last for 6 months (12 turns).

    Emergency Public Works Measure
    Cost: 20
    Gain +4 Build Points. No troop training possible in this province. Loyalty drops -10%. Loyalty CAP drops -10%. Bewitch and Binding Chant no longer function in this province. All effects last for 6 months (12 turns).

    Emergency Military Service Measure
    Cost: 20
    Gain +2 to Batch Size. Gain +4 Troop Training Points. No build points are generated in this province. Each company trained in this province reduces Loyalty CAP by -4%. All effects last for 6 months (12 turns).

    General Holiday
    Cost: 30
    Natural Loyalty Recovery rate in the province triples. All other loyalty enhancing activities (festivals, binding chant, bewitch, and bread and circuses), see their loyalty boosting effects increased by +50%. Training and Build points are reduced by -50%. Income in the province drops by -50%. All effects last for two months (4 turns).


    External Diplomatic Initiatives

    In order to explain the exact effects of these external initiatives, it is necessary to add a new variable to the mix. Relationship.

    You, as the leader of your Kingdom, have a certain “Relationship” with the leaders of other lands.

    This is expressed on a scale which measures friendship (or enmity) with those other rulers. The scale ranges from -200 (abject hatred) to +200 (the closest and most trusted of friends).

    Natural Drift
    Over time, friends become distant, and enemies tend to forget old grudges. Thus, in the long run, and with no other factors acting upon them, all relationships tend toward zero. That is to say, remaining a foe, or developing a friend takes WORK. It takes a bit of conscious effort to do either.

    We see this manifest in our system thusly: Every month (every other turn, on the even numbered turns), all your relations with all rival factions and neutrals will increment toward zero. Friendships will lose value, and hatreds will become less intense, tending toward zero.

    All positive relationships are -1 (until they reach zero)
    All negative relationships are +1 (until they reach zero)

    This is modified thusly:

    Sympathetic Bonus: Rival Kingdoms or Neutral Provinces that are aligned with your declared-for social class will gain +2 Relationship on even-numbered turns.

    Diametric Penalty: Rival Kingdoms or Neutral Provinces that are in opposition with your declared-for social class will lose -2 Relationship, every other turn (again, even numbered turns). That is to say, friendships will degrade faster, and rivalries can eventually turn to outright hatred.

    External Diplomatic Initiatives fall broadly into two categories: Relationship Boosting, and Treaties & Covenants.

    The former category is fairly straightforward. You spend Favor in order to gain (or intentionally lose) Relationship with a neighboring kingdom or neutral province.

    The various options for doing so are outlined below:

    Draft a Letter
    Cost: 5
    Effect: Gain 2-5 Relationship (d4+1)
    May be done once per turn, per province.

    Send a Small Token
    Cost: 10
    Effect: Gain 5-8 (d4+4)
    May be done once per month, per province.

    Send a Large Token
    Cost: 20
    Effect: Gain 5-20 Relationship (5d4)
    May be done once per three months, per province.


    Send an Extravagant Gift
    Cost: 40
    Effect: Gain 10-40 Relationship (6d6+4)
    May be done once per year, per province.

    Declare against a Ruler
    Cost: 5
    Effect: Relationship drops by -15. (-10 if Sympathetic, -20 if Diametric).
    May be done once per turn, per province.


    Forment Dissent
    Cost: 40
    Effect: -10% loyalty in target province.
    May be done once per turn, per province.


    Then of course, there are…

    Treaties & Covenants
    Note that cancellation of any treaty or covenant will cause an immediate loss of relationship with the other party. This loss is measured at: (Relationship – 200) + (Honor Level * 2) (-10 if Sympathetic, +10 if Diametric).

    Treaty of Friendship
    Cost: 30
    Effect: An acknowledgement of the ongoing and enduring relationship between the two parties. Both sides gain a +2% economic increase of the OTHER party’s economy. You may also cast Intercessions in your ally’s provinces. A Treaty of Friendship grants a +1 Relationship boost every even numbered turn. Treaty acceptance is not automatic! The chance that a province will accept is: (Relationship Value – 100) + (Honor Level * 2). This figure is modified by +10 if the province or kingdom is sympathetic, and -20 if the province or kingdom is diametric.

    If a Treaty of Friendship is cancelled while relations are at +150 or higher, you lose -10 Honor.

    Open Borders
    Cost: 30
    Effect: This allows your armies to move into your ally’s territory without triggering a siege (and allows his troops to do the same). You may also cast Intercessions in your ally’s provinces.

    If a kingdom or province you have open borders with is attacked and you do NOTHING in support of them (no intercessions, no battles on their behalf, no spells cast on enemy troops inside their borders), you lose -10 Honor, and the treaty is broken (this happens after one province falls under enemy control).

    Trade Agreement
    Cost: 30
    Effect: You may trade one or more of your resource points to your ally, in exchange for like value in gold, or other resources. A trade that is favorable to your partner will result in an additional +1 Relationship per even numbered turn. A trade that is favorable to you will result in an additional -1 Relationship per even numbered turn. To be considered favorable, a trade must generate at least 10gpt over and above what the “other party” receives in benefit. Both Open Borders AND a Treaty of Friendship are pre-requisites to a Trade Agreement.

    Economic Agreement
    Cost: 40
    Effect: YOU gain +10% of the economic value of your partner, and your partner gains +10% of the economic value of YOUR kingdom, each turn. You must have both Open Borders AND a Treaty of Friendship in place in order to establish an Economic Agreement.

    Land & Title Agreement (levels 1-5)
    Cost: 20
    Effect: You gain a 10% Stake in the other party’s per turn economy. You may gain up to five land and title deeds (which will give you access to 50% of that province’s per turn income). You may only purchase land and title in any given province once every six months (12 turns). A Treaty of Friendship MUST be in place in order to purchase Land and Title in another Realm.

    Treaty of Annexation
    Cost: 20
    Effect: You gain complete control over the target province. Chance of success is not automatic! It is: (Relationship – 200) + (Honor Level * 2) + 10% per land and title already owned (+5% if sympathetic, -10% if diametric). Additionally, if you have a larger military force (measured in total companies under arms), you gain +10 to your percent chance.

    While land and title are not strictly necessary, your odds of a successful annexation are significantly higher WITH them than without. An unsuccessful bid for annexation will reduce Relationship by 3-30 points. Annexation may not be attempted again for one full game year (26 turns).

    Honor and Infamy

    If you are Honorable, and you attack a friendly province (relationship of +75 or higher), then you lose Honor equal to (relationship/10).

    Further, all provinces will regard you with an increasingly dim view (-10 Relation * the number of attacks on friends you have made this game).

    -=Vel=-


    Soooo....whatcha think?
    Last edited by Velociryx; 18-01-10 at 00:46.

  13. #13

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    Blimey

    A job well done I'd say and one that's going to open up a *whole* lot of new options and fun! I'd say that there's definitely enough detail to construct a diplomatic model there and there's a nice selection of effects in there too - I particularly like the variation in Faction specific Edict effects, even if we have to add a warning tag to any AAR's where the player invokes Prima Nocta

    What I'm not quite sure about are some of the numbers. For example, how significant is a +1 power gain, in terms of changing the social makeup of a province in a reasonable timeframe. Not meant as a criticism though, because really, the only way to answer such questions is the old build, test and modify if necessary method!

    I do have one comment about the emergency measures and that is that +4 build points or +4 recruitment points doesn't seem overly generous compared to the downsides of the relevant edicts.

    - Rich.

  14. #14
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    Hear hear!

    Glad you like the general bent of it!

    And quite right...these are numbers I'm just plugging in as initial values...we'll need to test and tweak to see if they hold water, or if stuff needs to be buffed some more to make it viable.

    My HOPE is that the social power edicts, when taken with the social power enhancing effects of buildings will be enough to begin to turn the tide, but they both may need further strengthening in order to do what I'm hoping they will do...

    -=Vel=-

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    Added some additional verbage to the treaties and covenants (% chances of success), but when I went to edit it above, it made my post too long, so I am reproducing it here (with the additions) instead of simply editing the above!@

    Treaties & Covenants
    Note that cancellation of any treaty or covenant will cause an immediate loss of relationship with the other party. This loss is measured at: (Relationship – 200) + (Honor Level * 2) (-10 if Sympathetic, +10 if Diametric).

    Treaty of Friendship
    Cost: 30
    Effect: An acknowledgement of the ongoing and enduring relationship between the two parties. Both sides gain a +2% economic increase of the OTHER party’s economy. You may also cast Intercessions in your ally’s provinces. A Treaty of Friendship grants a +1 Relationship boost every even numbered turn. Treaty acceptance is not automatic! The chance that a province will accept is: (Relationship Value – 100) + (Honor Level * 2). This figure is modified by +10 if the province or kingdom is sympathetic, and -20 if the province or kingdom is diametric.

    If a Treaty of Friendship is cancelled while relations are at +150 or higher, you lose -10 Honor.

    Open Borders
    Cost: 30
    Effect: This allows your armies to move into your ally’s territory without triggering a siege (and allows his troops to do the same). You may also cast Intercessions in your ally’s provinces.

    If a kingdom or province you have open borders with is attacked and you do NOTHING in support of them (no intercessions, no battles on their behalf, no spells cast on enemy troops inside their borders), you lose -10 Honor, and the treaty is broken (this happens after one province falls under enemy control).

    Treaty acceptance is not automatic! The chance that a province will accept is: (Relationship Value – 100) + (Honor Level * 2). This figure is modified by +10 if the province or kingdom is sympathetic, and -20 if the province or kingdom is diametric.

    Trade Agreement
    Cost: 30
    Effect: You may trade one or more of your resource points to your ally, in exchange for like value in gold, or other resources. A trade that is favorable to your partner will result in an additional +1 Relationship per even numbered turn. A trade that is favorable to you will result in an additional -1 Relationship per even numbered turn. To be considered favorable, a trade must generate at least 10gpt over and above what the “other party” receives in benefit. Both Open Borders AND a Treaty of Friendship are pre-requisites to a Trade Agreement.

    Treaty acceptance is not automatic! The chance that a province will accept is: (Relationship Value – 100) + (Honor Level * 2). This figure is modified by +10 if the province or kingdom is sympathetic, and -20 if the province or kingdom is diametric.Treaty acceptance is not automatic! The chance that a province will accept is: (Relationship Value – 100) + (Honor Level * 2). This figure is modified by +10 if the province or kingdom is sympathetic, and -20 if the province or kingdom is diametric.

    Economic Agreement
    Cost: 40
    Effect: YOU gain +10% of the economic value of your partner, and your partner gains +10% of the economic value of YOUR kingdom, each turn. You must have both Open Borders AND a Treaty of Friendship in place in order to establish an Economic Agreement.

    Treaty acceptance is not automatic! The chance that a province will accept is: (Relationship Value – 100) + (Honor Level * 2). This figure is modified by +10 if the province or kingdom is sympathetic, and -20 if the province or kingdom is diametric.

    Land & Title Agreement (levels 1-5)
    Cost: 20
    Effect: You gain a 10% Stake in the other party’s per turn economy. You may gain up to five land and title deeds (which will give you access to 50% of that province’s per turn income). You may only purchase land and title in any given province once every six months (12 turns). A Treaty of Friendship MUST be in place in order to purchase Land and Title in another Realm.

    Treaty acceptance is not automatic! The chance that a province will accept is: (Relationship Value – 100) + (Honor Level * 2). This figure is modified by +10 if the province or kingdom is sympathetic, and -20 if the province or kingdom is diametric.

    Treaty of Annexation
    Cost: 20
    Effect: You gain complete control over the target province. Chance of success is not automatic! It is: (Relationship – 200) + (Honor Level * 2) + 10% per land and title already owned (+5% if sympathetic, -10% if diametric). Additionally, if you have a larger military force (measured in total companies under arms), you gain +10 to your percent chance.

    While land and title are not strictly necessary, your odds of a successful annexation are significantly higher WITH them than without. An unsuccessful bid for annexation will reduce Relationship by 3-30 points. Annexation may not be attempted again for one full game year (26 turns).

    Honor and Infamy

    If you are Honorable, and you attack a friendly province (relationship of +75 or higher), then you lose Honor equal to (relationship/10).

    Further, all provinces will regard you with an increasingly dim view (-10 Relation * the number of attacks on friends you have made this game).

    -=Vel=-

  16. #16

    Default When diplomacy goes bad – nefarious options for the Infamous player

    Looking at the Diplomacy system so far, much of the external diplomacy will be driven by the player’s Honor rating, which is entirely reasonable. However, it doesn’t give an Infamous player a lot to work with. Fortunately, we already have a game mechanic that is perfectly suited to the less salubrious side of Faction relationships, namely the Black ops or Espionage system.

    It occurs to me that we could have a whole series of Black Ops that only become available once the player reaches a certain level of infamy. Ops require a certain number of espionage points and/or a good chunk of gold to launch. Ideally, they would only be added to the Espionage list at that point, possibly preceded by a pop-up screen, (“Sire, your growing notoriety has opened up some…interesting diplomatic moves. May I suggest that you review our new options”). Alternatively they could simply be greyed out of the Espionage list until they become available but this does take away some of the fun and discovery!

    Much scope for invention here but a few that immediately leap to mind:

    Extort Province.

    Requires Infamy level 15 (-15 honor). Costs 40 espionage points.
    "Sire, our network of spies has uncovered a particularly large skeleton in the closet of some unfortunate official. With a delicate blend of blackmail and bribery, this can be turned to our advantage."

    Effect: Identical to current implementation of Extortion.

    Replace Lesser Noble.

    Requires Infamy level 50. Costs 60 espionage points and 200g. The Infamous equivalent of Deeds and Titles and functions in much the same way. A lesser noble or public figure in the target province is quietly removed and replaced by someone more amenable to your cause. Stacks up to five times in a single province.

    Instigate Coup.

    Requires Infamy level 60 and costs 100 espionage points plus 800g. The Infamous equivalent of a Treaty of Annexation. Masterminding a successful coup increases player’s Infamy level by 5 points.

    As usual, all numbers are just to get the discussion started. Also I would move Foment Discord from the diplomatic actions and add it as a Black Op.

    - Rich

  17. #17
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    Yes yes! I love it! And you're right...Diplomacy (at least based on the options I originally outlined) is pretty much the domain of the honorable, but I really like the idea of giving "special options" to the infamous...nefarious deeds to be performed in the name of "diplomacy." That's pretty cool!

    To that end (and yep, I quite agree that the "dissent" option should be made exclusively Infamous), how 'bout another one:

    Threaten
    Cost : 20
    May only be used by a player with L3 (or better) Infamy
    Adds +25% success to your NEXT diplomatic initiative.

    (here then, diplomacy "costs more" for infamous players, and they're on balance getting less per turn to work with, but they still CAN succeed...in their own way)

    -=Vel=-

  18. #18

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    Sounds great! I have only one two issues, one tiny, one slightly larger.

    In terms of the edicts, this one is a little silly:

    Quote Originally Posted by Velociryx View Post
    Aristocrats:
    Institute Prima Nocta - This gives the ruling Lords the right to take any newly wedded bride to his bedchamber on the first night of her wedding. Needless to say, this did not often sit well with the larger populace...

    Cost to Implement or Recind: 20
    Effects: Social Power of the Aristocrats = +1, Peasant Social Power = -0.5, Merchant Social Power = -1. Causes an immediate drop in provincial loyalty equal to (1% * (provpop * (%merchant pop + %peasantpop)). RR = +2% for 6 turns (3 months), in addition to any RR that stems from the drop in loyalty.

    Gain +1 Cavalry unit as happy nobles flock to you in support!
    Or rather, in gameplay terms, there's no issue. Rather, it's the background text that's a little silly. For starters, Braveheart and Marriage of Figaro aside, the whole thing is apparently a millennia-old urban legend. Granted, this is a world with magic and Nilroggi, so that wouldn't be that big a deal....except that it's so jarringly out of "character" given the way the aristocrat-faction (ie, the Furies) are portrayed in background material (I've only read Flight and Founding, but I assume from honor-raising component to the Fury faction, "modern" Furies are similar). Granted, there are other aristrocrat-compatible factions, but since the Furies seem set up as the ~ahem Stark-like 'good guys' of this world, this seems inconsistent with their portrayal. One alternative which would also be consistent with the bonus would be the establishment of some sort of military academy open only to nobles. Another might be passing a law giving the nobles some new legal power (restricting certain jobs to nobles, excepting nobles from normal courts, etc). Personally, I like the first as being most consistent with the role-playing aspects and with the stated bonus.

    My only other, and slightly larger issue is the concept of declaring for a social group. This is a neat idea, but I feel this is something that should NOT be allowed initially. Declaring for social groups seems slightly similar to the SE choices in SMAC. In both systems, there's an element of role-playing (Deirdre the fundamentalist vs Deirdre the democrat vs Deirdre the dictator), combined with strategic and tactical choices that effect all elements of gameplay, including interactions with other players. SMAC, I believe, wisely limited SE choices in the initial game. This a) was consistent with the role playing elements of the game b) kept new players from drowning in a sea of complicated and far-reaching initial choices c) gave players "new shiny things" as a game progressed and d) is consistent with the notion seen in many similar games of having deeper options opened only later in gameplay.

    I feel that delaying social group declaring would have similar benefits. It would be consistent from a story point of view (Mourngrym may eventually declare for peasants but it seems inconsistent that he would start alligned with them). It would also simplify the initial game slightly. It would give the player something to *earn* later in the game. And finally, it would prevent the factions from becoming too similar to each other initially.
    Perhaps there could simply be a time component (cannot make any declarations until turn 30). Alternatively, as in SMAC, there could be techs that could make one (or all) declarations possible (and maybe other techs that would enable additional social group/favor related options). Yet another option could be that certain requirements must be met before declarations are possible (nn taverns, say, or +5% clergy growth). Yet another option could be to use events unlocking the declarations ("my lord, our productivity is hampered by the generally poor education of our peasants -
    -we should do something about that (money spent to unlock declaration)
    -'tis true but there is nothing to be done at the moment (option not unlocked)

  19. #19
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    OH, OH! Good ideas here as well! And a good link re: the Prima Noctis infos...

    You're right in pointing out that the Furies are the "standard bearers" for the Aristocracy, and that the particular policy doesn't really "fit" with the accounts of them. I'll make a change to the notes, and you've just joined Master Rich in helping to shape the diplo system!

    And I really like the idea about not getting to "declare for" a faction straight off. Maybe we could tie that to some level of research (or even multiple levels of research...say, this option hits when you reach Mil 3 + Inf. 4 or somesuch, representing a reasonably more advanced/established kingdom).

    -=Vel=-

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