A realistic way of implementing Civil Wars

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I started thinking about this when playing as a Battanian, and reading into their lore. Caladog was appointed by his predecessor based on his personal prowess, but his clan was pretty unremarkable prior to that. At the same time there are proud, old clans like the Fen Uvain (Melidir) who could easily make a valid claim to the throne. So I was thinking, instead of having claimants residing in foreign courts, like we had in WB, civil wars could be started from grievances within a faction.

Now I do NOT expect the AI to start those wars - implementig that in a balanced way would take quite some time - instead we could have the player start them in a two step process:

Step 0: I think it would be best if the player clan has to be a member of the faction.

Step 1 - Learning about the claim:
Since they are vassals, not exiled claimants, clan leaders who want to become king won't be likely to just outright tell you about that. The player should need to have a VERY good relation with a clan for them to trust you enough and reveal their hidden agenda.
But knowing about it is only half the deal...

Step 2 - Starting the war:
Just because they told you, doesn't mean they actually want to take the risk. The player should need a fair bit of power (influence, fief count, manpower, ...) for them to actually believe you can pull it off together. Persuading them should still be easier than getting a foreign lord to defect, since it's their own personal goal, and (for the same reason) shouldn't cost money to convince them - but you should need to be REALLY strong.

I think implementing it this way should be doable:
- the AI won't do it by itself, so that shouldn't unbalance things, and doesn't need all the development time of fine-tuning the AIs behaviour
- the player can only do it after a fair bit of preparation, again keeping it balanced
- mechanically it would mostly be an expansion on rebel factions, which are already in the game


One thing I forgot: Staying with the theme of easy implementation it would probably be best to stick with just one pre-defined claimant-clan per kingdom, since implementing it for any given clan would require to calculate the viability of their claim based on their current strength, maybe relationship with the liege etc. Not saying that couldn't be done, but my goal for this idea is to be as easy to implement as possible. At the same time it shouldn't be shallow, so basing the claim on the existing (or expanded) lore seems to be the best idea to me. For the same reason it probably won't fit for empire factions, since they already are in a civil war.
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Sergeant at Arms
I really like your approach. This reminds me of the story in the fire and Sword DLC's of Warband. It is like a quest that has multiple phases. This could also give an idea to more quest that has layers. I think this mindset for civil war should be widened to some unique quest for maybe certain clans, factions or towns, etc.

Who was the quest designer or responsible for it in TW that we can ping? Does anyone know him/her?


Diplomacy mod recently introduced the idea of civil wars within a kingdom. From the mod’s page:
Added Factions and Civil Wars. Players and AI clans may create or join factions. If a faction gains enough support, they will start a civil war as rebels. If the rebels wins the war, their demand will be applied. If the loyalists win, the rebel clans will return to the kingdom. Victors in the war (rebels or loyalists) also receive an influence gain and relations with their comrades. The losers of the war will lose influence.


Diplomacy's approach is really good here. I think the OP is thinking more in the vein of the claimants from Warband, specifically. That might benefit from a different solution, but Diplomacy's model is really great for those internal disputes.
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