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Mod Idea: Merchant Prince.

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Does anyone remember Merchant Prince/Machiavelli The Prince? It was an old turn-based game where you played the Prince of Venice as you attempted to explore Italy, establish trade relations with other Italian city-states, and acquire more money than anyone else. Additionally, one would also have to bribe senators/Cardinal electors if the person wished to be head of the Council of Ten, or even to become the Pope. One could do all sorts of dirty tricks too, such as hiring assassins, arsonists, slanderers, etc. as well as recruiting armies to disrupt enemy trade routes.

The question I have is...does the M&B engine have the potential to be modded into a game of this style? It seems at the very least that if talking with the Guild Master of a town the user owns, he could attempt to create a "trading" strategy for each town. The main issue would be naval units I suppose.

I can't see any problem making a mod like this, everything you've mentioned is possible. By naval units do you mean actual ships you can stand and fight on or just something on the world map?
Great idea, some things such as hiring an army to attack a caravan should be easy, although would caravans belong to different merchants rather than factions??
In the original version of Merchant Prince, there were 4 types of ships. There were Small Cogs, Large Cogs, Small Galleys, and Large Galleys. Cogs were better at surviving storms, while Galleys were better at outrunning pirates. They weren't used for battle, so they could play a secondary role (troop and cargo transportation).  If one were to make them for fighting, they would most likely simply be platforms ala siege towers.

The idea is that Caravans would belong to faction, for the player is the ruler of his home city (nominally Venice). The Guild Master instead is used to coordinate where to send caravans though based on market assessment. "Milord, where shall we export our Velvet/Spice/etc." That sort of thing.

Additional agents could be hired in Taverns, with such agents including the Slanderer (damages the Renown/Honor rating of a target), the Arsonist (destroys City/Village/Castle improvements), or the Assassin (percentage chance to kill an agent/merchant/etc). Should an elected character be assassinated or die otherwise, then elections would decide a replacement ala selecting a new Marshal. Thus in theory one could get elected Doge or even Pope (bribe the Cardinals in your favor).
If that's what the ships are used for then I see no problem in this becoming a mod. Could be a refreshing change from battle strategy to political/economical strategy.
It's a really good idea, but Machiavelli was more about trade and political maneuvers. I mean, factions (as Venice vs other cities or merchant family against merchant family) could be added as the neutral/hostile cities. This way the player could manage to conquer enemy cities, assault caravans and so on. Even a system like the Senate could be created with the marshall feature from .950.

Problems I see (please, don't drown me under a flooding of critics and acid sarcasm tides if I'm wrong cause I'm no moder but I guess those would come from the kind of game and its scale):

-Another capital difference between galleys and cogs was speed and cargo capacity. Galleys were incredibly fast but hold little cargo, while cogs where slow... but when a "caravan" of  of those arrived you earnt tons of money. Donkeys and camels weren't so different, just their chances to survive sandstorms and rockfalls.

-In Machiavelli the Prince there was factions inside the factions. The four players competing in the game were from Venice, so in times of need they allied to fight the enemy cities and the muslim/genoan armies. I'm not sure this could be done in M&B.

-Again, that game was about trading at great scale. You could customize you own caravans adding more or less guards and choosing the amount of donkeys/camels/ships you wanted. I cannot see the way you could manage your trading empire in M&B.

-Don't see how the Pope issue could be added in M&B. You know, buying cardinals, calling crusades, excomunicating (spelling?), raising the money you get from cardinals... and the elections, of course.

-Some details that were the flavour of the game, like storms, rock falls, sandstorms brigand attacks... would be nonsense in M&B. The funniest features, like the arsonist, assassin or the slanderer (and the popularity rate) would be nonsense too, or too powerful.

-In Machiavelli you hadn't fiefs. Ok, you had, but weren't the owner of its production. I mean, even if you conquered Novgorod, you still had to buy those furs as everyone allowed to trade in the city had. This bring me to the stocks issue... Machia was a rush for stocks. No stocks, no trade, no profits (I seem a Teladi, anyone who played Xuniverse games know what I'm talking about :lol:). In M&B as you own the fiefs and its hipotethical production (if were scripted into the mod) this couldn't be done. Thus, the trade competition would go under the property of the sources, what brings us to war.

But I sincerely hope I'm wrong and this could be done cause that game is one of the best oldschool games, ever. Maybe creating a resource system similar to that one in townstroop mod could help. I mean, creating mines, farms, hunter's guild, glassware's to improve... and weekly (or every period of time) check how the caravans do, reassign escorts, create more routes, hiring more mercenary armies and so on.

Sorry for any spelling mistakes, English isn't my mothern language.
Naha, you'll be surprised. the module system is versatile enought to do most of those tihngs, if not all.
Glad to read that, then. :wink:

EDIT: take a read over the Modplosion thread. I thin that there you could find some useful ideas.
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