Civil wars, feasts and more: Medieval high society in Bannerlord

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Madijeis

Sergeant
WBNW
As it is now, politicking and relationships in Bannerlord is unfinished. There is simply no reason to talk to other Lords. In warband, atleast, if you talked to someone after defeating an enemy lord you could raise your relationship with them based on their personality. From the fact that the "Quick Question" menu is always empty I assume this is already being worked on, but here I go regardless.

NECESSARY PREMISES
You just need these, you really do. Mostly because Warband already had them and they can be good fits with the current system.
  1. Personal Relationships: Clan relationship and Personal Relationship need to be separate. It is ok for Clans to be historic allies, but members of these clans shouldn't automatically be friends or enemies. Ideally, Clan relationship should increase slightly everytime you raise your relation with a member of a clan (IE 1 for every 4 for normal clan members, 1 for 2 for clan leader), and contributes to personal relationship points (IE Clan relationship at 100 means you get a +50 bonus with every clan member). Crucially, both should decay over time (not necessarily to 0, perks could fix the baseline at +25 for example). You need to cultivate certain relationships to keep them. This can become a chore, but there's already a ton of ways to increase relationship with other clans anyway.
  2. Feasts: In the current Beta build, 1.7.0., you've already implemented a mechanic that increases the value of tournament rewards the more nobles attend. The incentive for the player to follow a gathering of their peers is already there, it literally makes no sense not to reimplement the invitation pop-ups from Warband.
  3. Opinions: You should be able to ask a Lord their opinion on certain matters. This can be on the state of the war, on the internal balance of power, on policies that could or are already enacted. Who they support and who they oppose, as well as the possibility to persuade them (please work on the persuasion system, the forum is filled with suggestions anyway)
POLITICS
The political system in Bannerlord can, potentially, be an extremely entertaining system to interact with, and in many aspects it is still a marked improvement from Warband, since you are no longer at the complete mercy of a butter-addicted tyrant and there's more to it than the mere nomination of marshals and distribution of conquered lands. However, there are critical areas and potential improvements.

First of all, I've yet to see a clan being expelled. I don't even know if it can happen organically. The idea that you could be stripped of all your lands and holdings at a 48 hrs notice if you don't keep up your influence game is quite the incentive to get involved into politics, but it just never happens and I don't care to do it to others because there's barely anything in it for me. Secondly, I'm more often than not surprised by the pop up, there's just no warning or way to predict it, no political strategy: are we ever going to vote on Cantons? Why are we voting to jump on the Western Empire if Vlandia has recovered and is ready to pounce? This is mitigated by the fact that I can start the vote with influence, but it still comes out of nowhere and it's over before you can react.


The former is largely the result of clans not really having that much to fight over, just the occasional split between the candidates to get a fief (I don't even know how they are chosen, influence ranking? Clan leaders in the army that took it?). Kingship could be the one prize that could really put things into motion, so I propose the introduction of Inheritance law. Some users have already noted how factions, especially the Imperials, could be made more immersive by them having precise patterns for selecting the next monarch, this should be modifiable by law (with obvious repercussions). This can't really be done with the current "policy" system, they're gonna have to be a special type of policy; unless you make it so that certain combinations of policies give you a matching inheritance law (IE Senate without Sacred Majesty gives you the Northern Empire senatorial system). Most importantly, it should be clear, at all times, who the candidates are for succession and why. Ira succeeds Rhagea because she's the only child, Garios' successor is decided by a calculus where the candidate with the most points win, where the points are the sum of, for example, influence and VIG skills to reflect the martial nature of the faction. Nobles can candidate themselves for a varying amount of influence (Traits, current laws, other bonuses...). Nobles can pledge their support to candidates if they have no interest in kingship themselves and whatever inheritance law is active qualifies them (in the points system previously mentioned, for example, if they weren't the best commanders in the kingdom they might have a hard time rallying support), such support can be regular or strong: basically, are they willing to start a war for them? If a candidate chooses to contest the result of the election, strong supporters will side with their chosen candidate, starting a civil war with the claimant as ruler, while regulars will back down; lords who did not support any candidate will simply go along with the law. Ira, for example, might be the heir apparent by law, but she's a meanie so nobody likes her and will be okay with a chiller dude in charge, though they're going to have an uphill battle since the system heavily favours Ira's claim. Now, all of a sudden, I have reasons to pick a fight with the other lords. Mechanics to lower the influence of rivals could fit nicely.

The second problem could be fixed by getting rid of the "Quick" decision making process for certain policies, instead require for the ruler to speak to the noble clan leaders before making a decision, usually the most efficient way to do so is a feast. Now, none of us wants a return to the Warband meme of kings partying as their realm disintegrates around them, but I don't want for certain decision to be locked behind a "Be at Peace" prerequisite just in case you get stuck in a Forever War. The AI should probably be tampered with to enact such a change. Now, it should still be possible for the ruler to unilaterally pass war measures, policies like War Taxes and Debase Currency that give significant short term boosts in the place of long term gain. When peace comes, the ruler is given the choice to keep them active at a significant influence and relations cost. Blocking succession behind a slow gathering of nobles might be too harsh on a faction that has just lost its king in battle (so they're already not doing too well), the solution would be that the heir by law immediately becomes king as a war measure, to become officially the king they have to be attend their coronation, until then whatever bonuses are associated for the King position (for example those of Royal Guard and Debase Currency) will be withheld, or atleast strongly nerfed. A feast is organized, and that's where rheir right to the throne can be confirmed or rejected by the assembly of the Lords.

It is notable that most of this is applicable to Clans as well, not just kingdoms, should you choose to do so.

RELATIONSHIPS
Courtship is, sadly, a straight downgrade from Warband. To revamp it I just think you should take the one from Warband and make it so it can make use of Bannerlord's superior engine. It's so bare bones I can't really muster anything beyond. I guess being able to choose your desired spouse in the barter screen is a good start.

Speaking of which, when the wandering poets in Warband explained to you the courtship mechanic, they told you that the competition would be fierce since the Lords and Ladies grew up with each other. As it turns out, since the ancient period, nobles would send their offspring as wards to other houses, where they were going to study and learn, and also be hostages. The mechanic by which the children of the clan grow up obviously addresses this, but doesn't actually implement this. I think you should implement this for real: notables and nobles can be given wards to take care of. The child is given skill points and focus points based on their guardian's actual skill points and focus points (of course, when selecting them to be a guardian you should be able to see their points allocation). Players that want to min max can absolutely just take care of it themselves, but there should be a limit to how many wards a character can take (Crusader Kings came up with 2, I think that's reasonable), and guardian-ward relations are a significant diplomatic boost.
 
I am reading this and silently rejoicing because I will have all that in CK 3 newest DLC in a few weeks.
The chances of this being in Bannerlord 2 are slim. I would be happy, but chances are very very slim.
 

Goyyyio

Regular
here and there I see a thread like this, and its kinda saddening, because the devs will never add features like this, which is kinda ridiculous because the game is clearly in need of more roleplaying/immersion features, something that add more personality to the world. But we can trust modders will do something about it in the future hopefully
 
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