Interpersonal Relationships: Why is this still not a thing?

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The Issue​


So currently the only "relationship" stat you have with in-game NPC's is your Clan Relationship. That is when an event occurs that modifies your relations with NPC's the modifier gets applied across every NPC within that Clan. Although preferable to having to pursue every single lord in-game for relationship farming, like in Warband, it leaves a lot to be desired.

Firstly this is incredibly shallow. It reduces ALL character interaction down to the Clan. It mostly annuls the significance of Character Traits on interplay between characters since their relationship is simply distilled down to whether their Clan Leaders can get along.

Secondly it means that there are almost no meaningful intra-clan mechanics available. Improving your relationship with your spouse doesn't matter, your relation to your companions doesn't matter, your relationship to your children, siblings and parents doesn't matter. Clan intrigue cannot be a thing, at least not in a meaningful way.

Thirdly, in the Character Wiki entry there are 'Friends' and 'Enemies' entries. Eventually this list will become VERY long and full of characters both living and dead and all I can think to myself is "Who da f**k is that guy?" when I look at it. My point is, this entry is essentially meaningless when you only have Clan Relations since there is no such thing as a "Friend."

And fourth, I like the idea of being able to play a character that doesn't belong to a clan. Although I understand that is not what Bannerlord is meant to be it would make implementing alternative origin mods much easier.

The Fix​


I suggest adding a "GetPersonalRelationship" method to the Agent object with the values being pulled from a global table. By default it could be null and should only be calculated after meeting a character for the first time. Obviously the initial calculation should be somewhat relative to Clan relationship, maybe something like:

InitialRelationship = ClanRelationship * 0.20 + CharacterTraitModifier;

From then on your personal relationship might still be partially connected to Clan relations but to a much lesser extent.

Also, Clan relations NEED to have greater diplomatic significance. It's somewhat immersion breaking when other factions constantly declare war on you and your 100 relations with both their Ruler Clan and every other Clan in their faction is completely irrelevant.

But Why?​


Bannerlord is due to release officially in a month and NPC interaction still feels flat and monotonous. Could I write a mod that does this? Sure. But I really feel like this is something the game needs by default. The significance isn't just the stat itself but the effect it can have on story and world building and I certainly don't have the personal time to implement dozens, even hundreds, of cascading mechanics that would make use of it.

However it would provide a framework for a wide array of quests and mechanics to be implemented. Think about this:

  • Marriage:
    • High relations can result in improved fertility rate, greater spousal loyalty, your children being healthier and receiving additional bonuses as they grow up.
    • Low relationship could result in reduced fertility, adultery, 'poorly' raised children etc.
    • A variety of quests and mechanics, like the aforementioned "Adultery" mechanic, divorce, illegitimate children etc. Adultery likelihood could be calculated by comparing the contrast between your negative relationship with your spouse and theirs to other NPC's.
  • Companion development
  • Sibling/Succession Rivalry:
    • Choosing a successor could cause a rift in the clan, potentially splitting it into two. Particularly if siblings don't like each other.
  • Personal Rivalries:
    • Between both player and NPC's, receive and give quests available when relations reach a certain threshold.
  • Dishonourable NPC's might execute other NPC's if their relationship is bad enough
  • Pretty much anything your imagination could conjure, really.

It would be extremely useful for modder and would make the Vanilla Enjoyer even more of a Vanilla Enjoyer.
 
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