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Proposed Castle Mechanics

Hello - having castles is great but I do feel like they just act as places to dump troops when not at war. There doesn't seem to be a lot of character to them atm, which is a pity because they look fantastic! Anyway, I was thinking about a few options which might make it a bit more interesting.

For the below to work, every castle would come with a Steward. This could be a randomly generated NPC who hangs around the keep. He/she would remain with the castle despite how many times it changed hands. If the player allocates a Governor, the Stewards position would be reduced and the below mechanics would be triggered by the governor instead.


  • Every Castle comes with a steward, but if a governor is appointed, the governor will take over these roles
  • Stewards can be asked to send letters, and arrange rendezvous with other lords
  • Should a lord involved in a plot enter a castle, there is a very small chance that the steward will learn of the plot. The steward would then msg his lord (the player) with the partial information he had, I.E. "Etna and (Lord X) and (Lord X) are plotting to (Kill) (Lord X). I discussed how a plot mechanic could work here
  • The steward will also inform the player of rumours, price spikes in goods, recent war developments (city X was captured by X)

Governing your fief

Through your steward, the following policy decisions could be made for the attached fiefs:

  • Raise/lower taxes - this action will affect prosperity/happiness in the villages
  • Increase/lower militia - this would effectively force more villagers into the militia but lower prosperity as men spent less time on their farms. It would also lead to more discontent
  • Festival - For a price, your castle could arrange for festivals to take place in the villages, raising contentment
  • No trade/recruitment with faction X - this would bar parties of a certain faction (with which you are at peace) from trading and recruiting with the villages connected to the castle. If your King has good relations with the faction X's leader, you may have to answer for this (Law and Order Mechanic). Needless to say your relationship with Faction X will take a significant hit

Peasant Rebellions

Every action will affect contentment in the villages and may lead to a peasant rebellion, as proposed here.


  • Weaponmasters could be hired through the steward/gov and would have a corner of the courtyard
  • They would function like training camps do and would help newer players gain basic/advanced skills
  • If the player is in a castle with a weaponmaster that is not his own, but he is friendly with the owner, he may engage with the castle weaponmaster
  • If a weaponsmaster is in residence, the player may challenge other lords in the castle to a friendly duel
  • Should a weaponmaster be present, party troops will receive XP while resting in the castle, and garrison troops will gain XP at an increased rate

Keeping the peace

  • When the player arrives in his castle a random "Keeping the Peace" event may fire
  • This would involve speaking to the steward who asks the lord to pass judgement on a legal case involving a prisoner held in the castle dungeon
  • This would involve a simple speech mechanic and so dozens of these could be written by modders/devs (relatively) easily
  • Each decision could result in increased/decreased relations with the villages/leige lord/ other clans/ own clan etc etc
  • The player may also choose to defer judgement with the Governor/Steward, who will choose an outcome

Children's Education

  • A steward takes responsibility for the education of the children placed in that castle
  • The player can direct the steward to focus the child's education on different skills
  • Random events may also fire which involve the child - these events could impact the players relationship with the child, and the child to its siblings, and its character traits

I also considered other things such as a hunting mini game but I am not sure how that could work or if it would be interesting.

Proposed City Mechanics

In my mind, a castle is really just an armed camp with walls, primarily for military functions. A city, with its constant flow of trade and criminal activities, would be a much more complicated beast to master.

Outline: I propose that City life is affected chiefly by the wealth of the merchants versus the power of criminal gangs. Strong criminal gangs mean unhappy merchants who may demand action from the city owner. Failure to deal with these issues will lead to an unhappy city and may lead the city's merchants to appeal to the King.

For the below to really work, it would require AI lords to have more agency in the world. This would involve AI led plots (a mechanic I previously proposed here), as well as AI lords buying up workshops and engaging with the criminal gangs.

City Militia

  • Depending on city policy, a city would spawn up to three parties of militia
  • These parties would focus on hunting down looters and gang parties operating near the city
  • Militia parties would not attack lords' parties, even if that lord is hostile to the city owner
  • Militia parties would not be considered part of the faction's fighting strength. The reason being is that these men are purely for law and order, and not to fight wars
  • Should a player attack a militia party, this will seriously sour the relationship with the city owner, as well as the cities merchants
  • The militia units would be led by a randomly generated captain

Criminal Gangs

In a previous post I outlined how players and AI lords could contract criminal gangs to carry out actions. For simplicity, I will also list how they can be used here. All of these actions would require sizable payments to the gangs. While this wealth would be constantly degrading, new contracts from lords and the actions of the gang’s parties would increase it. The greater the wealth, the more parties the gang can field (up to 3 parties of 30-50 men each). The gangs wealth would also increase the chance the success of certain activities and "contracts" below:

  • Target the caravans and/or parties of X clan or X faction
  • Vandalise a workshop in the town (putting it out of action for a set period of time)
  • Assassinate/kidnap X lord or any lord of X faction
  • Trade for rare/unique items
  • Do not target the players caravans / kingdoms caravans (protection money)
  • Uncover plots - should a player have partial details of a plot (as described below), the gang could be paid to uncover it further - likewise should a lord involved in a plot enter a city, there is an X% chance some details of the plot will become know to the gang. The gang will then offer to sell this information to friendly lords
  • Break prisoner X out - a mechanic I proposed here
The gang's parties would work differently than regular bands of looters. They would target selectively based on who has payed them off or who they are paid to target.

Gangs would have their own troop tree which would branch off into cavalry, ranged and infantry units.


Much as in my castle post, every city would come with a randomly generated steward. A governor can also be appointed, taking most of the functions of the steward. The steward/governor can be asked to undertake the following actions/policies:

  • Increase militia patrols - a player could (at significant expense) increase the city's militia patrols to up to three parties. This would increase the happiness of the merchants but would anger the criminal gangs
  • Random events/decisions - the player will be asked to rule on certain legal cases. Their decision could impact relations with the criminal gangs, the merchants, their King and other nobles
  • Seize workshop - should a rival clan own a workshop in the city, the player may as his steward to seize it. This is an "illegal" action and the player could face punishment from the King, a mechanic I proposed here. This action would also anger the city's merchants.
  • Stewards can be asked to send letters, and arrange rendezvous with other lords
  • Should a lord involved in a plot enter the city, there is a very small chance that the steward will learn of the plot. The steward would then message his lord (the player) with the partial information he had, I.E. "Lord Etna and (Lord X) and (Lord X) are plotting to (Kill) (Lord X). Again I discussed how a plot mechanic could work here
  • Investigate criminal gang - the steward will look into all existing contracts the gang may have with AI lords. This has a mixed chance of success and should the steward fail, relations with the gang will take a hit
  • Raid gang X: This would involve a "street fight" between the city's garrison the targeted gang, in which the player may partake. Should it be successful, a portion of the gang's wealth will be siezed, seriously diminishing their influence. Of course relations with the gang will suffer, as well as any lords who had contracts with them. Relations with the city's merchants will receive a significant boost however
  • Bar merchants of X clan/faction: this will anger the city's merchants and, should they have a good relationship with the clan/faction, it may also anger the King
  • Hold a tournament: I propose that rather than happening automatically, clans should have to pay for such an event. Holding an event, while costing money, would provide a boost to the clans influence. The tournament would also increase relations with the city merchants
  • Hold feasts: I intend to write another post on detailed mechanics for feasts - (i miss this option!)
  • The steward will also inform the player of rumours, price spikes in goods, recent war developments (city X was captured by X)

Anyway, those are my thoughts for ways to make cities "feel alive". When I walk around the cities now I always admire the work the devs took to make them look so unique and beautiful. This said, the ways to interact with them is somewhat limited. I love the game and see it as having such amazing potential. For the moment I am happy to be patient while the devs do what they need to do behind the scenes to lay a solid foundation for whats to come. I can't wait to see what they do!

P.S. Thanks to STAN Games & Tutorials for making a video critiquing my Calradian Navies mechanic



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