Bandits need some love

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Bandits have existed since the original mount and blade but to these days they still are totally shallow, we just see them as mobs to kill and... that's it.

To be fair they have the potential to be much more... interesting and in this post I would like to suggest how I think they should work:

-Bandit hideouts reworked: The way the hideouts work is a disaster, a total and absolute one, that at this point we are still attacking a bandit hideout with a tiny group of men rather than a proper battle is just wrong, even the groups that you see on the map are more numerous than the ones on the hideout. So... what I would actually recommend is a total rework of this aspect.

First of all renaming it from bandit hideouts to bandit forst and dividing it with 3 levels, level 1 being a badly developed fort that you can enter from anywhere, level 2 it would actually have walls done and level 3 needing at least a ram to take down the door, it would actually help to increase a bit of engineering when you start the game, fighting against a basic fort would be much more interesting than the current hideouts and having some sort of progression would actually make you feel how the bandits grow stronger when they aren't under control.

-Non-generic bandit leaders: Another thing to note is that the generic bandit leaders have to go and have non-generic ones that actually work in different ways depending on their leader traits:

*An honourable bandit leader will make that the bands of bandits from that fort will always ask for a toll and only attack when refused.
*A cruel bandit leader will directly attack those weaker than him and kill them all, why bother asking when you can take it by force?
*A merciful bandit will tend to avoid violence and even if you are defeated he would release you and your soldiers.
*A calculating bandit leader will always choose the optimal option for him (asking a toll if they have similar strength, if they are a lot stronger directly attacking and never releasing a prisoner without ransom)

-Ability to develop your own bandit fort: You would be able to get a supply of bandit recruits, sell all the stuff you have stolen or sell your prisoners, the number and quality of recruits would depend on both fort development and your roguery skill tree. You can ask your companions or a generic leader to command bands of bandits to patrol and attack caravans or peasants in the zone.

-Treatment of bandit prisoners matter: Bandits aren't gonna hate you cause you defended yourself or fought with them, but they for sure hate bounty hunters and if you like to take defeated bandits as prisoners to sell into slavery you may find yourself that bandits will hate your guts and they will try to hunt you down if you piss them off enough, on the other hand being merciful and letting defeated bandits leave would increase your relationship with the bandit leader (depending on what trait does he/she have).

-Friendly bandit forts if you are considered a criminal: If the kingdom considers you an enemy while not being affiliated with any kingdom or having your own then the bandit forts will welcome you, you will be able to meet the bandit leader and do quests for him/her, even be able to marry him/her if you get enough relationship points. The missions would be:

*Help attack a caravan: The bandits got information that in a few days a caravan will appear at a certain point in the map, they have prepared an ambush but they don't feel that they are strong enough to take them on their own so they will ask for your help to do a joint attack with the bandit ambushers towards the caravan. As a reward you will get a part of the loot of the caravan and relationship increase with the bandit leader.

*Raid a village (only cruel or calculating bandit leaders): A village near the fort isnt showing the bandits enough respect, they will ask you to raid the village and make them fear them. The bandit leader expects 30% of the loot as tribute, finishing the quest will give you relationship increase and roguery skill points.

*Scout near towns/castles: The bandit leader fears that the kingdom may be preparing an offensive towards them so he will ask you to scout nearby cities/castles to see if they are preparing an army. You will earn relationship points + scouting skill.

*Defend the bandit fort: A messenger arrived to the player asking for help, the kingdom has prepared an army to attack their fort and they feel that they won't be able to defend it on their own. If you help them you will earn a massive relationship gain + 5000 coins.

*Provoke a war between kingdoms: Peace between kingdoms is bad for the bandits, they will ask you to take recruits of their residing kingdom and attack peasants and caravans of another kingdom to provoke a war.

These are just a few missions that come out of my mind at the moment and that would make it interesting for a bandit walkthrough.

About bandit fort levels: A bandit fort level (NPC one) will increase based on the garrison it has, the 3 levels would be as it follows:

*Level 1: 10 to 50 bandits work as a garrison of the fort.
*Level 2: 51 to 150 bandits work as a garrison of the fort
*Level 3: 151+ bandits work as garrison of the fort.

Level 1 fort bands will only attack/toll travellers, level 2 forts will attack/toll villages and caravans while level 3 forts will prepare an attack on a castle/city and if successful will declare the bandit leader as bandit king/queen.

About how AI should work related to bandits:

If the bandit fort is level 1 they will tend to ignore it, only the village leaders may give a quest related to it, if the bandit fort is level 2 and the kingdom is at peace the city owner of the zone will prepare an attack to the bandit fort, if not at peace they will issue a quest that the player can take from them, if the bandit fort is level 3 the issue will be much bigger, if the kingdom is at peace they will organize an army before it's too late to attack the fort, if not the owner of the city will try to go to it's rescue when it's under attack.

About bandit number of units related to fort level: At fort level 1 the bandit bands of units are of lowest quality and tiny (10-20 troops), being only able to win against peasants, at fort level 2 the bandit parties will be stronger and of better quality (30-60 troops) being able to assault caravans with little issue, at level 3 the parties will be top notch with a significant number (70 to 90).

About the number of partis, level 1 would be 2-3 parties, level 2 4-6 then level 3 7-9. Related to the time it takes to increase each level it would take 3 months for a bandit fort to increase from level 1 to 2 and 6 months from level 2 to 3, doing missions for the bandit leader will speed it up.

EXTRA: If the bandit assault on the city is successful and they captured a noble of the opposite gender on the assault they will forcefully marry him/her and they will forcefully stay on the city until they accept their destiny (becoming a part of the bandit leader founded clan).


Grandmaster Knight
This is why the Suggestions thread is so tragic -guys spends all this time and energy on a good idea and what becomes of it - just becomes a shout at a cloud with no Devs anywhere to hear nor care....
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