I absolutely do want for a family. Been asking for it around other communities for years.
I have thought of many things, but I always reached the conclusion that Taleworlds will most likely never implement a family system as complex as Crusader Kings 2. Nor will they allow you to actively engage in battle as a pregnant lady, or implement the crude baby-making system from Brytenwalda.
So I thought of a better way to handle the family management.
Retirement and Settling Down
Retirement is pretty pointless in earlier games. All you get to see is your score (which assigned you a random rank) and the quit screen.
My suggestion - drastically improve this thing and integrate it with the family system.
Make it worthwhile - and this is exactly where you'll be having kids.
How it works:
Basically, when you have done your time of adventuring, you should retire and "settle down" for some calm life with family.
Since this is perma-death mode, you should be retiring when you are safe enough anyway.
This will end the game map and instead lead you to a menu-based part of the game. Here you will see:
- Your family tree, whether it consists of only you or more
- Your retainers and companions
- Probably your inventory stuff
- Your relations with factions and people
- All kinds of interactions and things you can do in this calm time
- All kinds of management stuff including finances, household and such
Here, the game turns into something of a management game but it is much less work for Taleworlds implementing it this way. You have to manage your family, dynasty, household, finances, estates (which you probably bought in cities during adventure time) and if you are a lord, passively run your actual fiefs.
The Passive Gameplay
The game will keep note of your previous relations with factions and lords, and your karma. And the game will display an overview map of Calradia (similar to the one you see in Warband mods like Floris) where invasions, treaties and peace will still happen like usual, only autocalculated and less demanding on PC.
If you have married a lady/lord in the game, he/she will appear in your family. If not, you will have an option to seek a low-class spouse based on your rank (assigned by your retirement score like in Warband).
During this time, the game will either be turn based or real time like in Paradox games. I suggest turn-based, because this is much simpler to implement. Each turn should count as one season (so 4 turns a year?).
Every turn there will be a random event to keep things interesting, and also because Calradia is a violent, volatile place. These will be like event chains in Paradox games especially CK2. Events will be based on your stats, social status and the like. Things like:
- You were permanently injured in a riding accident and lost XYZ stat.
- You were arrested by the bailiff of Pravend for begging.
- Sultanate of ABC declared war on Kingdom of DEF
- Your harvest was stolen by the bandits.
- You found a hidden cache of gold.
- Lord NameSurname visited you, increasing relations.
- Wedding feast is being held for the wedding of Khan HorseShagger's of Khuzait Khanate's daughter, you are invited.
- Family member/Companion named XYZ died of pox.
- You were slandered by House [rival name here] and lost bid to a new fief.
- Diplomat from [faction] has arrived, asking for an alliance, what say you my king?
And hundreds other things I could imagine.
Each of these events would be a chain
, with different outcomes possible and such. It is here that you also court a spouse or lose them if you hadn't already done that in adventure mode. And during these events anything can happen, from losing a child, your spouse, a companion, gaining new bonuses or items, anything you can think of.
Once you are married, you will have an option to have kids with your spouse.
They will spawn in your family tree. There should be a limit to how many times a person can try for kids, with a lot of failure chance and increasing risk of lady dying in childbirth unless she is at high level.
Your companions may also marry and have kids of their own, or might leave. Or you can even marry them from this part of the game.
Once a certain amount of turns and years have passed, infants will turn into children and teenagers.
At this point they can be assigned to either study with certain people (very costly) or not. This part is something I have yet to think out properly. Education is rare in Calradia. And if you retire poor, you'll not gain anything
Your kids will grow into adults around 16-18, and that is where you can leave your retirement, and return to adventuring i.e. the main map and the game.
When you return from retirement, you are presented with the family tree screen. You choose one character (either your old, aging dude or one of your kids or brothers) as your main player character.
And then the normal game resumes. Only that you start with some stuff based on how the older dude retired:
- You should be able to pass a few items from the old character to the newer one unless it is the same guy. Things like trusty old sword passing from father to son, and so on.
- If you retired as a lord, when you resume the game you should actually start with some troops and a fief at least.
- If you retired as a king, you are essentially starting a prince/princess unless your father (the old character) died. But you will still have to work your way around because lords will not respect you.
- You may retire as a city-dwelling affluent middle-class person, and restart as their kid as an educated merchant with his own horse.
- If you retired as a poor beggar, you will essentially restart off as some hick in the forest or a steppe tribal, or a drifter in the desert. All you'll probably start with is some sword and probably a bow.
You may also be able to bring your old character back as an adventurer again, provided they have no grave injury and disease, and that their stats and age are alright. And any old companions or their sons can later be brought with you too, if your relations were strong.
Also, because so many years have passed, other lords may also have aged up and have had children in the background. You may see a new king on the throne of other nations (or your own as a lord), you will encounter new randomly generated lords and ladies from their dynasties ruling in their place. You may even encounter your former companions hanging around as old people, if they had left you.
New randomly generated people will be there to act as companions again. How this will even work, I don't know.
The entire thing repeats with the new character. You retire,
So this is just a prototype though, nothing more, but I think it can work.
TL;DR: Having kids and making a family happens off-screen when you retire, and then bring the kids and family members back as new players back to main game.
It enhances the RPG side of M&B, without having to animate/code/work on female pregnancy, lovemaking and such.
Plus, it can lead to a long game that spans generations and spawn many great men, and a great fun for the player.
What are your suggestions?