Engaging and player-driven village, city, castle, and keep scenes: Your ideas?

Which engagement category looks most interesting to you?


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Reposting from this thread in general discussions. Posting here to see if other people have similar ideas we can compile here.


Villages, cities, castles, and keeps are beautiful. Unfortunately however, there isn't much reason to go in and appreciate all that apart from some quests for very narrow or limited interaction with these places.

To address this issue, so far and/or incoming we have:
- Culture-specific barbers found in cities
- Trade rumours to be collected from peasants
- Prison breaks
- Battles in the keep, resolving holdouts after sieges
- Something about gang development I think
- Voiceover for select individuals

These sound great because they sound player-initiated; that is, a player can choose to go bust their friend out of prison, and/or can go assist gangs maybe in a way other than the gang faction street fight quest. You don't have to wait for a quest to "let" you do it.


So further to this player-initiated interaction, here is a summary of ideas for adding more player-driven "life" to these scenes. Some might be better-suited to cities only, or anything but villages, etc. Loosely organized by their theme or most related game element.


Rogue-related:
- Ability for self or others to pick-pocket people, or even merchants/workshops, based on rogue skills in an rng fashion (which may necessitate fleeing town without Tab assistance on a critical failed check)
- Random, active thieves to be stopped for renown and/or relations? Sort of "catch them before they reach point X and disappear"
- Existing gang leaders could be contracted to carry out nefarious deeds such as the ones in this mod to lords and settlements within "range," with costs and outcomes considering the gang's influence (perhaps an extension of the continued development on gangs such as owning streets/territory), and the player's relationship with the leader. Examples include spreading rumours, sowing unrest, etc.


Relations-related:
- Charitable acts to be performed (donating food/money/goods/troops to particular individuals, maybe church or charity characters? maybe landless faction leaders?), for raising relation and/or renown
- Small, local charities (churches, poor houses, whatever) or charitable notables sort of like the antithesis of gangs (to facilitate the above actions)
- Perform actions unique to your own settlements, such as personally giving funds to entertainers (patron of the arts kind of thing) and the actions in the above points to improve loyalty in your settlements
- Feasts as in the past (see link to peonicus' post for ideas on depth), meeting a greeting nobles
- Parades and/or Festivals: Same function as feasts, but held outdoors in cities and villages. Meeting notables, and perhaps the odd noble
- Councils/meetings/votes: Declare wars, vote/use influence in person within keeps
- Family time: Small talk or little games with clan and/or family members for slight relation boosts
- Sports: horse racing, shooting range etc perhaps similar to tournaments, or like tablut, with a relations boost for participants (though maybe "cruel" characters or similar will drop relation if they lose)


Local Economy:
- dogu91 mentioned production, crafting, or management rolls etc for playing an active role in the local economy. Anyone with any specific ideas for this category?
- Found one example of the above here in "Xorberax's Honest Work" mod which lets you work in villages.
- In-workshop options to upgrade workshops (depositing materials directly, hiring people, etc)
- Workshop quests for temporary bonuses or penalty mitigations (eg. getting rid of racketeers, providing tools, etc)


Generic:
- Buying and/or building/outfitting your own house (think Skyrim maybe)
- Random combat encounters with bandits or other NPCs, such as people from enemy factions
- Companions to be found in the streets, instead of always/only in the tavern
- Drinking at the tavern, with effects for morale/weight capacity (decrease?) and/or bonuses or penalties on select settlement missions (eg. tavern brawl)
- Riot/revolt scenarios:
- Enter the affected settlement for an altered experience.
- Keep/tavern must be manually navigated to, at risk of harm or capture;
- kill or knock out peasants for related relationship gain/loss;
- quell the riot for yourself or for another lord, with greater relation loss for peasants killed;
- give the revolt a leader or several, whose defeat impacts rioter morale
- Small in-settlement quests to be collected from peasants, to be completed in town, for small relationship bonuses with locals or minor dinar amounts/very minor goods
- Peasants asking to use your medicine (or other) skills
- Practice fights with town militia, perhaps some of whom may join you
- Settling arguments based on skills eg. charm
- Tavern brawl
- Persons of interest: skill- and/or knowledge- based conversations that may lead to gaining faction troops or faction relation gain/loss
- Fetch quests (deliver a letter or a new law, find a hidden cache for a criminal, find X number of items and deliver, etc)


Culture-Focused:
- Festivals (see link to peonicus' post)
- Social quest interactions with culturally "better" dialogue responses
- Differentiated relationship gains/losses for settlement quests (or others?) based on a new relationship between mission type, outcome, and quest-giver's culture (eg. some cultures may favour individuals who start tavern brawls)
- Culture Ideas for the world in general (not necessarily related to settlements engagements)
- Slave trade banned in Vlandia and the Northern Empire, maybe you cannot trade slaves here except to gang leaders
- Raiding is worth more relation to Sturigia, you get a relationship boost to all lords for every village raided.
- You get more renown and relation in tournaments you win in Empire territory.


What do you think?
I think anything like this would add a ton more depth to the whole social and roleplaying side of the game, in many cases without inventing too much in the way of new game mechanics (some ideas obviously requiring more rework or new elements than others).

Do you know any mods that fulfill functions like this/these? How do you bring cities to life?
If you share, I'll add new ideas or mod suggestions to this post and maybe we can help each other liven up the out-of-map interactions a bit more. I'll try to summarize your idea in one sentence though both for brevity, and to test its simplicity!

dogu91
peonicus
Sphere69
Pensaci
Warlord123123
Magello
 
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dogu91

Recruit
I think they can also beef up something about economy and crafting. You can take active role in city economy, have skills related to production, crafting, management...etc.

This is a dream of mine too. This game cannot go wrong with going further into RPG style.
It will only expand its potential further.

Another amazing aspect of open-world RPGs is world exploration and travelling. This is quite difficult with MB as the scenes feel like momentary distractions rather than an alive world. But I hope the game's development can open up new potentials in this area.

Something that will give you a sense of travelling and exploration.
 

peonicus

Recruit
I would definitely agree in this department. A lot of love clearly went into the villages and cities and it's a shame that you can skip most of them through just menus. While I like that the game works as kind of a hybrid RPG/grand strategy, a great deal could be done to bolster up the RPG side of things. I would hope that they could eventually find the game as interesting to play as a party of 12 as it is to lead a kingdom.

Villages
Festivals

Depending on your starting culture or what rumors you hear, your character could be made aware of yearly festivals (held at varying times depending on the culture). Have an extended scene that requires 3 activities (can be made generic though I think culture specific ones would go a long way to making the factions feel more fleshed out) and depending on your performance in each of them, can dramatically increase your relationship with the notables in the town or the village's prosperity. Think things like mini-unarmed combat tournaments, winning at board games, conversation minigames (basically testing either your knowledge of a faction or your charm skill), archery contests, bringing the right variety of foods and preparing a quality meal based on local tastes and your stewardship skill, horse races or mounted archery contests, or an event where the player or another character has to survive for a period of time by avoiding mounted warriors. or even an event such as stealing an item from another village without getting caught. Again, I think it would be excellent to make these as culture specific as you could tie these to specific events in the history of Calradia and the different perspectives on it.

Random Events in Town
Now I think this would work better if we still had to go into villages to hand in quests but a set of events on a random rotation or with increased chances based on skill would be good. Think things like, being approached by someone asking you to use your medicine and current supplies skill to treat their sick child, offering to train the town militia in a miniature practice fight event with a chance of being able to recruit 1-2 higher level troops if you win, settling arguments between villagers based on charm + knowledge of their culture/history.

Cities

Drinking

It's a minor thing but I think the game would only be improved by allowing you to drink. Give it some effects on other social events such as being better at tavern brawls and intimidation but also being tricked into paying more or less for some companions and performing better or worse in some social checks. Maybe tone back the weight mechanic in the overworld (it's pretty broken right now) and tie it things like drinking or feasting.

Political/Philosophical Discussion
Be able to strike up provocative conversations with locals in taverns for a chance to gain a special companions or troops or to increase your relation with specific notables. Like in villages, this would be a combination of your knowledge of the game's lore and charm skill but could venture into leadership, tactics, trade, roguery, and even steward. Benefits could be convincing a set of unique mercenaries like the Hidden Hand or Brotherhood of the woods to join you and you could be punished with a reputation hit with that faction or...

Tavern Brawls
Keep it fairly simple. It can start as an unarmed combat challenge but if you don't mind the reputation hit, you can draw a weapon which would prompt other members of the offended party's group to start attacking and your companions to come to your aid. Depending on the culture, winning could boost your reputation or cause it to take a hit.

Riots
If conditions become too poor for the peasants, a town could risk a revolt. While if you're just a mercenary or unaligned, the only penalty will be having to manually shop around town with the occasional ornery rioter harassing you, as a vassal of the city's faction, you'll basically have a target painted on your back. This could prompt fairly creative solutions for nobles as their goal if they wished to stay in the town would be to get from the gates to the keep while avoiding getting mobbed. Killing peasants in this mode as either would incur serious relation penalties with bound villages and companions while knocking them out would incur a lower one. To quell the riot, you can offer your services to a lord or do so as a lord yourself either by approaching from the town gates or the keep if you were in town. The challenge would be to use non-lethal damage to target specific agitators or knock enough people out until they retreat.

Basic Fetch Quests

Don't get too crazy with it but something like being tasked with decreeing a new law to several townsfolk, delivering a secret message to the right townsperson, or finding a hidden cache for a criminal leader. Hell you could even have a small number of collectibles or something.

Feasts

Bring em back but maybe make them function like the aforementioned festivals. Your overall performance could be judged by your choice of outfit, your ability to charm various nobles, tell an interesting war story, settle a dispute, defending your honor in a duel, picking the right dancing partner (testing relations, athletics, and charm), or a medicine check to assist a lord who's had too much to drink. As a lord hosting the feast, you could be challenged with convincing local merchants to provide adequate supplies and obviously ensuring there isn't a riot.
 

dogu91

Recruit
Amazing ideas! There can be various things like you explained and these can be used to "improve relations" with the village-castle-towns, so they would make sense from a strategic perspective too.

Using various skills to do usefull activities for people, improving relations such as helping with medicine, engineering, managements...etc.

I too hope for a game where you can have 12 character elite companions and still have a lot of fun instead of going around with an army. I get this feeling whenever I play battle brothers :grin:
 
Amazing ideas! There can be various things like you explained and these can be used to "improve relations" with the village-castle-towns, so they would make sense from a strategic perspective too.

Using various skills to do usefull activities for people, improving relations such as helping with medicine, engineering, managements...etc.

I too hope for a game where you can have 12 character elite companions and still have a lot of fun instead of going around with an army. I get this feeling whenever I play battle brothers :grin:
I know a couple people who would LOVE to give this game a solid go, if it only had a stronger "banner brothers" vibe in the small-party sense.
 

Sphere69

Recruit
I can't remember if it was in vanilla Warband or a Mod, but I remember that at the end of a siege battle you would have a mini-battle in the Lords Hall with the last few hold-outs of the garrison. Honestly it was one of the things I most looked forward to in the game. Unique settings, a break from the long monotonous monster battles and a lot was still at stake.
 

Pensaci

Sergeant
Parade
This is very close to the militaristic waring world theme. Location can be a problem, an option is outside around the city wall, which happens to be a lot of room in the open scenes as well. The event is like a semi-festival itself, player can be the one host it or attend it. In meaningful way, my thought roughly take from WB feast, like you can meet characters( notables, lords, etc) so lead to relations. And the host get influence ofc.

Councils/Meetings: War Councils, Councils for issues/policies, Big decisions
This is big controversial I guess. Take current on menu UI-only insta things, into actual scenes. Like declare a war you have to be there, this makes big decision/choices become a big thing, a event of itself. It can just be like current army thing, use influence to call, wait for everyone to start, in a scene. Pros and Cons is clearly there.

Throne Room Audience
The owner of a fief host the event, may be vary abit to faction owner. So those with issues( quests), the icons on the map? They come to you instead when you are the owner. In the same way, if player is not noble they shouldn't be able to just walk up and speak to nobles ( trying to use ingame word choice as much as I can). So they can do so in an audience. The meaning of Audience is a calling for the people in need, notables with issue so the nobles can solve it.

Spent some time with your Family/Clan
The current education screens is ok tho imo, it is on part with character creation at least. This is like a small talk, a scene on wall, this sort alike. I take it from the reaction talk by companions already in game, but just you actively chose to do it. This improve your relationship with them. Need a meaningful application for clan relation tho.

Horse Racing, Shooting Range alike Civil Activities
I see this in the same extend like the current arena/tournament, which need a meaningful entry to main map itself however. It can be a big thing to gameplay itself too, because it can essentially separates combat from both Mount,& blade if you know what I mean. The meaning can be like unique horse reward exclusive to horse racing, best/unique Bow reward exclusive to Shooting Range, this format. But also if there can be a more meaningful entry for arena/tournament, then also these activities, into the live world, then the meaning can step up as core gameplay even.

Really want to see how the scenes can work with other parts especially core parts of game too. I feel like this is where M&B unique at. There is also some related problem like a brute loading screen and static scenes( like time only flow in main map) is standing in the way I think.
 
I can't remember if it was in vanilla Warband or a Mod, but I remember that at the end of a siege battle you would have a mini-battle in the Lords Hall with the last few hold-outs of the garrison. Honestly it was one of the things I most looked forward to in the game. Unique settings, a break from the long monotonous monster battles and a lot was still at stake.
Oh yeah I forgot about that one, that's already been identified as incoming I think!
 
Parade
This is very close to the militaristic waring world theme. Location can be a problem, an option is outside around the city wall, which happens to be a lot of room in the open scenes as well. The event is like a semi-festival itself, player can be the one host it or attend it. In meaningful way, my thought roughly take from WB feast, like you can meet characters( notables, lords, etc) so lead to relations. And the host get influence ofc.

Councils/Meetings: War Councils, Councils for issues/policies, Big decisions
This is big controversial I guess. Take current on menu UI-only insta things, into actual scenes. Like declare a war you have to be there, this makes big decision/choices become a big thing, a event of itself. It can just be like current army thing, use influence to call, wait for everyone to start, in a scene. Pros and Cons is clearly there.

Throne Room Audience
The owner of a fief host the event, may be vary abit to faction owner. So those with issues( quests), the icons on the map? They come to you instead when you are the owner. In the same way, if player is not noble they shouldn't be able to just walk up and speak to nobles ( trying to use ingame word choice as much as I can). So they can do so in an audience. The meaning of Audience is a calling for the people in need, notables with issue so the nobles can solve it.

Spent some time with your Family/Clan
The current education screens is ok tho imo, it is on part with character creation at least. This is like a small talk, a scene on wall, this sort alike. I take it from the reaction talk by companions already in game, but just you actively chose to do it. This improve your relationship with them. Need a meaningful application for clan relation tho.

Horse Racing, Shooting Range alike Civil Activities
I see this in the same extend like the current arena/tournament, which need a meaningful entry to main map itself however. It can be a big thing to gameplay itself too, because it can essentially separates combat from both Mount,& blade if you know what I mean. The meaning can be like unique horse reward exclusive to horse racing, best/unique Bow reward exclusive to Shooting Range, this format. But also if there can be a more meaningful entry for arena/tournament, then also these activities, into the live world, then the meaning can step up as core gameplay even.

Really want to see how the scenes can work with other parts especially core parts of game too. I feel like this is where M&B unique at. There is also some related problem like a brute loading screen and static scenes( like time only flow in main map) is standing in the way I think.
These are awesome. I especially like the councils/meetings and civil activities ideas because, like feasts and tablut, I think there's already precedent for that sort of thing (I'm just assuming feasts are already planned for implementation at some point)
 
Some ideas regarding city life:
  • Upgrades to your workshop (buying materials, mules, hiring people)
  • Quests related with your workshop (getting rid of racketeers, providing tools etc.).
  • Ability to build your own house
  • Random encounters with bandits or some NPCs
  • Random events in the cities, like celebration of a victory with a small parade or smth like that
 

Magello

Sergeant
These are all great, I really would love to see culture specific policies to be added to the game such as,

Slave trade banned in Vlandia and the Northern Empire, maybe you cannot trade slaves here except to gang leaders

Raiding is worth more relation to Sturigia, you get a relationship boost to all lords for every village raided.

You get more renown and relation in tournaments you win in Empire territory.

These are just some quick examples but something like this could help to differentiate the cultures some more and add some flavor to additional playthroughs.
 

robed12

Recruit
should let you duel lords who you are at war with(when they try to run away from your army to a neutral settlement) or lords with bad relationship in towns
 

Tryvenyal

Sergeant at Arms
ORIGIN
Based on choices in backstory and culture, you start in different places, with different settings and challenges. The whole intro plays in this scene - you learn to know the inhabitants, gets friends and enemies, and some companions with life, flavour and their own agendas.

This could also involve a home, a business and/or a belonging to the world. A reason why men would follow you, why you have the force to rise to power. In short, flavour. not just a lonely poor fellow who has lost everything but magically can draft 20 villagers to start the jurney towards conquering the world :smile:
 
I would like spies these could send a select lord to a village or city were the player with his big army waits for revenge or tricks a lord to take his army across the map while you attack there fiefs . Assassins hired to kill enemy lords or family members this could be done like the bar brawl in warband the player would be close and poison a drink or better still a companion could do the job this could also happen in the keep where a companion tries to kill select target if they fail the companion dies the player could control the companion for the task, if the companion is captured you get so long for a prison break before everyone knows its you. Also you could have public executions for enemy lords with high negative relationships with clan or faction this would negate the minus relation to your character as its been done official the could be a meeting of the lords and a little scene like the marriage attempt where you ask questions to get 3 passes to execution. All these actions could happen to the player too. Plus one little thing the current execution system is something i don't like because its a player option only i stopped using it as it seems like god mode so what if no one like you there is not really any come back for your actions.
 
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