[Challenge] The Egalitarian Idealist

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Captain_Octavius

Sergeant Knight
WB
Introduction
This is a challenge template for a character that I'm currently playing myself that I'd like to share with you. To make this game different and more challenging than my previous ones, there are certain restrictive rules which are supported by role-playing reasons (or rather role-playing excuses, the restrictions are leading). My hope is that I inspire some of you to try exactly this or something similar, or that I receive advice to make my own game more enjoyable.

The role
Particular details are up to you. As the title suggests, you play an egalitarian idealist. You are a commoner and dislike the nobility in general. You are concerned with the well being of the common people and want to protect them from outlaws, savage tribes, and hostile armies. Eventually you conclude this is impossible with the violent nobility in control, which will be your incentive to lead a commoner rebellion.

The rules
  • You never become a vassal.
  • You only use commoner troops, with the exception of your custom Order troops (provided that they don't appear as nobles that stand above the commoners).
  • You never ride a horse, nor ever take cavalry in your army, except to passively train (i.e. using the Trainer skill or Training Ground) Nobles for your custom Order troops. Look at this as a symbol of equality. (A bit far fetched, I know, but a non-cavalry army is a thrilling and unique experience!)
  • You only take companions with views that are not in conflict with yours (no elitist nobles or plundering outlaws).
  • You initially choose one nation you belong to, and only recruit troops from that nation. You can always recruit from villages that you own yourself though, even if they provide different troops.
  • You never harm innocent commoners. No plundering villages, no harassing caravans. Instead you try your best to protect them, especially the ones from your own nation.
  • Being a mercenary captain is allowed in the early game, but only for your starting nation faction, and you don't assist them in taking new lands. You'll focus on protecting the villages and villagers from raiding Lords instead.
  • You don't allow existing Lords to join your own faction. You may only promote commoner companions to Lords.
  • You only hire mercenaries if the need is great, preferably not at all.
  • You don't set up enterprises in towns that you don't own.
  • You don't take part in Tournaments in towns that you don't own.
  • You play at Normal damage to yourself and allies, Campaign and Combat AI at Good, Combat Speed at least at Normal, Battle Size at least at 150. Or if your system can't handle the latter, as high as you can set it. You don't lower it later to make battles easier.
  • Try not to abuse autocalc.

Please share your experiences if you give it a try! In the second post I'll tell about my own attempt, so don't stop reading yet!
 

Captain_Octavius

Sergeant Knight
WB
Here I'll tell you about my own game.

Character creation
I chose Ravernstern as my nation of origin, because they have the best commoner archers. I also think that the Sarleon and Empire commoner troops look too professional for this story. My second choice would have been Fierdsvain, I may try that later. Anyway, on to character creation:

  • Male
  • A mysterious figure who told you nothing of his past
  • Left you to fend for yourself
  • A tracker and a hunter
  • The lure of gold, the bright prospects of opportunity and the thrill of adventure

I choose these because of the starting statistics. This way I start with 6 Looting, which is quite important in this particular game. I invest my Attribute points in Strength up to 11 and put my skill points in Power Strike and Weapon Master.

My plan is to have Strength and Agility at level 15 in the early game with the help of an Elixir by trading the Qualis gem of Rane. Aside from putting one point in Charisma to get it to 9, all other points go into Intelligence, at least until it's 30 so I can have 10 in Pathfinding and Surgery and probably Tactics. After that I'll see whether I'll keep investing in Intelligence for extra Skill points or whether to invest in Charisma to match it at least with Strength and Agility.

After I'll get the second Qualis gem from the Red Brotherhood hideout somewhere in the mid-game I invest one more point in Strength and Agility to have them at 18, and when in the mid-later game I get a third from some lucky spawn I do the same again to get them to 21. After the first 3 Elixirs the bonuses they provide are halved, so then I'll start using my Qualis gems for other things until I have plenty of them in the far late game. Then I might drink 8 more Elixirs to get to 30, if it ever comes to that.

Preparation
My first priority is recruiting all the companions I want. For that I need money however, a lot of it. I really enjoy the regular arena matches in PoP, the cash rewards are far higher than in Native. It's also a great way to get your first levels and weapon proficiencies, and for this particular character it's a good opportunity to get some extra practice in fighting on foot. Trading would have been an alternative, but that only gets you money, not the other benefits of arena matches.

Hence I start traveling from Town to Town and looking in every tavern for any companions that I want to recruit. Whenever I find one, I jump into the arena and fight until I have the money to hire the companion. This takes me several hours, if you're a better fighter than me you could do it faster. The companions I recruit are:

  • Diev Wodenssen - Commoner egalitarian, fits perfectly.
  • Lethaldiran - Not the best fit, but he can teach even the Ravenstern people a lot about archery. He's apparently a noble but not elitist about it, plus he desires peace between humans and Noldor.
  • Sir Roland - A noble Knight, but one with strong morals and sworn to poverty.
  • Sigismund Sinclair - A broken commoner warrior who lost his wife fighting Vanskerries to protect commoners.
  • Frederick of Mettenheim - A great commoner soldier, not particularly egalitarian but his skills are great.
  • Sara the Fox - A commoner bard. Neutral disposition.
  • Kaverra - A commoner woman with a grudge against rapists. Sir Roland says she has a fine sense of justice.
  • Leslie - A commoner merchant, victim of a Jatu raid. Cares about the common people.
  • Julia - A commoner fighter, accidentally killed her brother in a fight when she found out her family was protecting a Snake Priestess. Obviously has proper morals.

I sold their horses if they came with any. After gathering them all I had accumulated quite some XP from the arena matches and reached level 11. I had gotten myself into a few minor battles with outlaws along the way which got me some basic equipment. I also picked up the Qualis gem in Rane and traded it for an Elixir. My character now looks like this:

mbwarband20130422191409.png


At this point I'm ready to start the game in earnest.

Building a force
With my companions I start hunting outlaws in the Kingdom of Ravenstern. Due to several high level companions this isn't particularly hard. I decided I'm going to make Leslie, Julia, Kaverra and Sara archers. The others were either already archers or too high level.

After gaining some cash from battle loot, I start recruiting Ravernstern recruits while doing village quests at the same time. I continue doing battles with outlaws, initially keeping my recruits/militia back, but once they get to Skirmisher level and above they start taking part in shooting the arrows. This is a bit of a slow process, since only a few of my companions have Trainer points so far. I place my companions in the front so they are first to get into melee, reducing the chance of casualties among my regular troops.

After getting them at Archer tier they start making short work of outlaws, so once I got them to Warden level I started fighting rogue knights and such. Then the Fierdsvain declared war on Ravenstern, and since I'm a protector of the common people I figured I might as well get paid for protecting the villages. I met up with a Ravernstern Lord and got myself a mercenary contract, which luckily compensated most of the already costly troop wages.

At this point I realize I need better protection for my archer line than just my companions, so I recruit more Ravernstern recruits and this time train them in melee combat. At first it seems almost impossible to fight the Fierdsvain Lords due to their party sizes, though sometimes I'm able to jump in and help a Ravenstern Lord. After the war continued for some time some of the Fierdsvain Lords got defeated and now return with smaller parties, roughly matching my own. Now I can take those on by myself.

After having some battles in which my Rangers run out of arrows before killing off the last wave of Fierdsvain warriors and suffering losses as a result, I start to realize I need to more carefully manage them. In the next battles I only let them fire at will once the enemy is within 50 paces of the front line. This seems to work out, at relatively close range they are extremely lethal even against shielded troops, and few of them get into melee with my front line. My hope turns out to be true, with proper leadership I can defeat Lords with just commoner troops with no or only a few losses!

Currently my party and character look like this:

mbwarband20130423204747.png


mbwarband20130423205031.png

To be continued! Later I'll try to take and hold my first Ravenstern Castle or Town, that's when the real challenge begins!
 

noosers

Grandmaster Knight
M&BWB
If you go infantry only, you should have gone Empire. More tricky to start early on but better faction troops and Immortals which would rather fit your concept.

With Ravenstern you´ll have to invent a CMKHO using a hefty polearm to gather some pike cavalry stopping power as you´ll end in great pain facing Knight heavy opponents who will eat you alive if you don´t get the stopping power to break up charges because sometimes you´ll end up beeing caught in plain cavalry territory and wince at the casualitites you take.

Kiergards and Men at Arms have too little durabilty and too short weapons to survive long enough to withstand a plain charge of Sarleon Knights out in the open.

You´re definetly in for a very entertaining game though it would have been greatly enhanced had you restricted yourself to not abuse elixirs and keep intelligence under your main attribute, Agility and not played the obvious overpowered Ravenstern foot archer/Ranger but a melee/crossbow guy within the Empire.

Nonetheless, I´m looking forward to your reports about your progress. Decently written, well formatted and the odd screenshot. A pleasure to follow.
 

Captain_Octavius

Sergeant Knight
WB
noosers said:
If you go infantry only, you should have gone Empire. More tricky to start early on but better faction troops and Immortals which would rather fit your concept.

With Ravenstern you´ll have to invent a CMKHO using a hefty polearm to gather some pike cavalry stopping power as you´ll end in great pain facing Knight heavy opponents who will eat you alive if you don´t get the stopping power to break up charges because sometimes you´ll end up beeing caught in plain cavalry territory and wince at the casualitites you take.

Kiergards and Men at Arms have too little durabilty and too short weapons to survive long enough to withstand a plain charge of Sarleon Knights out in the open.

You´re definetly in for a very entertaining game though it would have been greatly enhanced had you restricted yourself to not abuse elixirs and keep intelligence under your main attribute, Agility and not played the obvious overpowered Ravenstern foot archer/Ranger but a melee/crossbow guy within the Empire.

Nonetheless, I´m looking forward to your reports about your progress. Decently written, well formatted and the odd screenshot. A pleasure to follow.

I rather like the look of the Ravenstern soldiers, and to me the Empire troops feel a bit too professional for a rebellion. I also don't really enjoy crossbows that much. Do you think drinking 3 Elixirs is abuse? I probably won't even get to the point of drinking more, after the first three I'll spend them on runed weapons (at least runed bows for my companions too) and ofcourse CKHO. Going full Intelligence is almost necessary to actually win this game I think. I forgot to add to the OP that another rule is that you can't recruit Lords, you may only promote your commoner companions to Lords. This means I'll be greatly outnumbered the entire game.

As for my CKHO, I plan to give the Sergeants, bow, arrows, arrows, halberd, and the Knights, bow, arrows, onehander, shield. I'll use the Sergeants mainly in the field as the front line against cavalry attacks (and if they don't have cavalry as amazing archers), and the Knights I'll mostly use in sieges, similar to the KotEG.

Until I get those I'll have to try to counter cavalry by using the terrain. I rather like having a weakness. If I get decimated a few times, so be it. It makes the victories all the sweeter.
 
Well the Empire are invaders from Bacus or Amala, while Ravernstern are native of Pendor, same with Sarleon. Lothario did a no lord no vassal and I can't remember but I'm pretty sure he wasn't a merc play through with just commoner troops mostly legionaries/ gladiators and some orc troops and dabling with some sarleon armored bowmen, he exploited the village patrols and of course he also took lords captive without ransom, which is totally unfair. :p But he did lose them when he lost his only city a few times, the snake cult was heavily abused by him into being his slaves same with the heretics.
 

Ansiktslos

Sergeant
Oh, an interewsting challenge, and well-formatted BTW.
I am eager to read about your further progress, Octavius. Hope your shiny armor won't get dirty with the blood of innocent.

After completing v3.61 on normal setting I will probably try some sort of a challenge, too. It will have completely different set of rules, suitable for a lawless bloodthirsty violent scoundrel.

 

Shingen

Knight
WBVCWF&SM&B
Ravenstern can do fairly well against heavy cav, if you use them correctly.

Densely group or shield-wall you front-line melee troops against the initial cavalry charge, set archers to HOLD until enemy has hit the front-line troops, and group compsies separately to flank left or right of your front-line.

With a decent surgery, you shouldn't sustain too many fatalities.

Rangers have an uncanny ability to shot ponies out from under heavy cavalry, unless they are facing anything on Netherworld Chargers. Those damn things are just hard to kill.
 

azxcvbnm321

Sergeant at Arms
I think the greatest challenge will be when he captures his first castle or town.  As he cannot be a vassal, he'll have to start his own kingdom or become a rebel king.  He'll have no stockpile of troops elsewhere and it's likely he'll face armies of 2000+ in a siege unless he times the capture right when that nation is already at war with several other factions and severely weakened. 

The lack of recruiting lords other than companions isn't as bad as it sounds.  You only need two or three to be able to stand up to the AI.  That's because you can reinforce them at will if you want to and make them super strong.  As long as he can get over the hurdle with his first castle/town and survive that, he'll be fine and it'll be like any other playthrough once he can get honor troops and cavalry.
 

Captain_Octavius

Sergeant Knight
WB
azxcvbnm321 said:
once he can get honor troops and cavalry.

The honor troops won't be cavalry and I won't fight with the nobles, only passively train them to get them to honor troops, so no cavalry ever.

riraito. said:
play without surgery  :twisted:

Should be possible I guess, it just makes everything more lengthy and costly. The focus would then heavily lie on Trainer skill for all companions to be able to replace losses quickly. I'm not sure whether it would make for more enjoyable gameplay.
 

Arcanum

Sergeant at Arms
Captain_Octavius said:
Should be possible I guess, it just makes everything more lengthy and costly. The focus would then heavily lie on Trainer skill for all companions to be able to replace losses quickly. I'm not sure whether it would make for more enjoyable gameplay.

It wouldn't.
 

noosers

Grandmaster Knight
M&BWB
Personally, I find using gems and all INT characters a pure exploit of game characters and doing so it would greatly spoil the fun of the game for me. And I would get rid of the no lords recruited as well as I greatly dislike to release carefully groomed compansies into independence.

As I said - Ravenstern is perfect for your cause and build and you know what you´re doing - though, again, personally, I´ve had picked scholar as I usually do for the free bock. IF you´re lucky, you get the surgery or wound treatment one and are fine enough, if not you net a few thousand gc as startesrs.

Playing a pure infantry character, Agility should be your prime attribute of focus. May sound stupid, but atlethics is your friend. However, since you play an archer, you rely on STR for Powerdraw which will leave you with 2 choices, either using light armour or dying quite often once you join the fracas.

If you rely on training instead of surgery, you need a lot more of money as well to actually replace losses since you need to redraft and retrain those lost units.

Still, I´m really looking foward to this as I assume it will be well done and written. You should consider moving your AAR inot the stories thread though, at least once it´s finished.

Otherwise it will end just like Lothario´s no lords-autocalc playthrough - lost in forumite space - and that was a pity.
 

Nikomakkos

Knight at Arms
WBVC
Nice, well done. Did you consider only using your custom order sergeants and not the knights since they are nobles?
 

Captain_Octavius

Sergeant Knight
WB
noosers said:
Personally, I find using gems and all INT characters a pure exploit of game characters and doing so it would greatly spoil the fun of the game for me.

After thinking about it for a while, I see where you're coming from, especially concerning INT. I just planned a new character (I like to play several with different styles and alternate between them regularly) in which I'll restrict myself far more in these matters.

Nikomakkos said:
Did you consider only using your custom order sergeants and not the knights since they are nobles?

Good suggestion, I'm definitely going to consider that, although I figured that the Nobles joining me would be egalitarian converts, why else would they join me? If I won't use the Custom Order Knights I'd still have to train them though, since Sergeants can't surpass the Knights' stats.
 
Captain_Octavius said:
noosers said:
Personally, I find using gems and all INT characters a pure exploit of game characters and doing so it would greatly spoil the fun of the game for me.

After thinking about it for a while, I see where you're coming from, especially concerning INT. I just planned a new character (I like to play several with different styles and alternate between them regularly) in which I'll restrict myself far more in these matters.

Nikomakkos said:
Did you consider only using your custom order sergeants and not the knights since they are nobles?

Good suggestion, I'm definitely going to consider that, although I figured that the Nobles joining me would be egalitarian converts, why else would they join me? If I won't use the Custom Order Knights I'd still have to train them though, since Sergeants can't surpass the Knights' stats.

They both train at the same time anyways so won't matter, and your knighthood patrols will spawn knights anyways so...
 

Zim45

Sergeant at Arms
Very, very neat idea. Well done on capturing a Fierdsvain lord, and beating them at their own game (all infantry). I like the idea of a "commoner" with heavy rp and challenges. I had set some rules for a merchant type character, but nothing nearly so harsh. Hats off to you.  :smile:

I'd second Noosers about moving to the stories thread at some point (or maybe just a short summery post with a link here). When someone mentioned previous challenge threads I tried to do a search for them, but haven't found the right search terms (unsurprisingly, "challenge" shows up quite a bit in posts/threads about PoP  :razz:). I'd hate to see this get very far and then disappear.

I'm forced to admit since reading this the wheels have been turning in my head about trying a challange of some sort, although with a different theme.

 
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