In Progress Very high Roguery skill levels are impossible to reach in reasonable time span without grind of prison breaks.

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Second way of tl;dr:
If you don't care about detailed examples and data and you just want some few end numbers and general idea about the issue, you can skip all the chapters besides "Introduction" at the beginning and "Conclusion" at the very end of this post. For "true tl;dr experience" you may also use only bold text there or even read only "In summary" paragraph in the "Conclusion" chapter.

1. Introduction
2. Useful Data
3. Results of the Calculations
4. Hypothetical Examples
5. Real Examples
6. Conclusion


There is a serious problem with the balance of leveling up Roguery skill. It doesn't seem like a bug per se, but a design issue severe enough it feels and acts like a bug.
I have observed in my campaign playthroughs that leveling up Roguery is very slow. It's slower than other hard to level up skills like Medicine for example. That is the case even if you put 5 focus points into Roguery, 10 points into Cunning attribute and you heavily focus your gameplay on leveling this skill. So, when I was planning my next campaign revolving more around Roguery skill, I decided to test exact xp gains from various actions which give Roguery xp. Next, I calculated how much time is needed and how hard it is to get high Roguery skill levels by doing those actions. I used some "excel spreadsheet magic" for this and, oh boy, the results are ridiculous and painful to look at. Only grinding prison breaks in neutral settlements seems like a viable option of getting high Roguery skill. If you plan to read this entire post and you have an ongoing campaign where you try to become the roguery master, bring yourself some tissues to wipe all the tears that will be caused by this sad story.

Let's start our analysis by presenting useful data. Here's a list with in-game actions that give Roguery xp and xp gains they provide:

#1: Keeping bandits in your party
- it works only if your party have over 70 morale: 0.01xp * NumberOfBandits * (CurrentPartyMorale - 70)
Recruiting bandit prisoners to your party: 2xp * NumberOfBandits
Selling prisoners to a ransom broker: 6xp * NumberOfPrisoners
Bribing to enter a keep: 0.1xp * CostOfBribing
#5: Forcing
notables in a village to give you recruits: 0xp
Forcing peasants in a village to give you supplies: 0.5xp * NumberOfMilitia
#7: Forcing
peasants in a village to give you supplies, but you needed to defeat the militia to do this: 1xp
Raiding a village: 4xp * InGameHoursOfRaiding
Defeating a villager party: 1xp * SizeOfVillagersParty
Robbing a villager party: 0.5xp * SizeOfVillagersParty
Capturing a surrendering villager party: 0.5xp * SizeOfVillagersParty
Defeating a caravan: 3xp * SizeOfCaravan
Robbing a caravan: 1xp * SizeOfCaravan
#14: Capturing a surrendering caravan:
Unfortunately, I wasn't able to test it yet because all caravans wanted to fight me.
#15: Regaining freedom after imprisonment: 0.5xp *InGameHoursOfImprisonment
#16: Succeeding at disguise mission: 17.5xp on average (seems like random float number from 10 to 25)
#17: Failing at disguise mission: 5xp on average (seems like random float number from 0 to 10 **)
#18: Succeeding at prison break: 4750xp on average (random number from 3500 to 6000)
#19: Failing at prison break: 1750xp on average (random number from 1000 to 2500)

** I'm not sure about #17. After 27 tests the average was 4.86444..., but all numbers from these tests were from 1 to 10 which should give 5.5 on average.

Also let's assume Roguery is a big part of our build so our hero has 10 points in Cunning attribute and 5 focus points in Roguery. Let's also say getting the last perk is important to us so we will use Roguery skill level 275 and level 330 as our reference points. We want to achieve them at some point in our campaign playthrough. Taking learning rate into a consideration gives us the following xp values needed to level up Roguery skill:
from lvl 0 to lvl 275 - 349100xp,
from lvl 0 to lvl 330 - 2334855xp.

Also 1 year takes 84 days.

Now interesting stuff begins. Let's calculate for each listed action how much of it we need to do, to level up Roguery skill from level 0 to level 275 and 330, in a span of a given in-game time. Our hero is a very patient person so they don't need to be the master of Roguery before their children will turn 18, hence let's pick 20 years which equals to 1680 days. This will help us take a grasp of how difficult leveling this skill really is.
To not make this long post even longer let's just jump straight to the results of my calculations I have made in excel. Here are the results for each of xp giving actions done daily for 20 years of in-game time, numbered accordingly to the previous list. Most results are rounded to integers/whole numbers. So, in order to achieve your skill level goals you need to:

#1: keep 693 bandits in your party and have 100 morale for lvl 275 and 4633 bandits for lvl 330
- for more realistic 80 morale you would need 3 times as much - or
#2: recruit 104 bandits daily for lvl 275 and 695 bandits for lvl 330, or
#3: sell 35 prisoners daily for lvl 275 and 232 prisoners for lvl 330 - this one might be even half-possible! - or
#4: bribe for 800 denars 3 times a day for lvl 275 and 17 times for lvl 330 - I think we might need a smaller map with more towns for this - or
#5: forget about forcing villagers to give you recruits because it gives 0 xp, or
#6: force a village with 100 militia to give you supplies 4 times a day for lvl 275 and 28 times for lvl 330, or
#7: force a village to give you supplies, but militia wants to fight every time, 208 times a day for lvl 275 and 1390 times for lvl 330 - damn those pesky peasants! - or
#8: raid a village for 52 hours per day for lvl 275 and 347 hours for lvl 330 - you only need a very fast horse and a game engine with implemented time dilation - or
#9: defeat 5 villager parties daily consisting of 40 peasants each for lvl 275 and 35 parties for lvl 330, or
#10: rob those villager parties 10 times a day for lvl 275 and 69 times for lvl 330, or
#11: capture 10 villager parties daily when they surrender for lvl 275 and 69 parties for lvl 330, or
#12: defeat 1.4 caravans daily consisting of 50 people each for lvl 275 and 9.3 caravans for lvl 330 - this one was rounded differently for better precision - or
#13: rob 4 caravans of the same size daily for lvl 275 and 28 caravans for lvl 330, or
#14: I don't know yet - but I have a bad feeling about this - or
#15: regain freedom after 416 hours of imprisonment daily for lvl 275 and 2780 hours for lvl 330 - being really fat causes some time dilation, just saying - or
#16: succeed at disguise mission 12 times a day for lvl 275 and 79 times for lvl 330, or
#17: fail at disguise mission 42 times a day for lvl 275 and 278 times for lvl 330, or
#18: succeed at 0.04 prison breaks daily for lvl 275 and 0.29 prison breaks for lvl 330, or
#19: fail at 0.12 prison breaks daily for lvl 275 and 0.79 prison breaks for lvl 330.

It doesn't feel so good, but is it really impossible to level up Roguery in a decent time span? You can do more than one thing in one game of course, selling prisoners and defeating caravans look promising compared to the rest and having bandits in the party gives xp passively so why not to do this too, right? Let's create some reasonable in-game scenarios and calculate for each of them how much time is needed to level up Roguery skill. In the next chapter we will also take a look at real examples from my campaign playthroughs. This should help us answer that question.

Hypothetical scenarios below are based on my own quite long experience in game. I tried to push them to the limit for the highest Roguery xp gains and at the same time make them to fall within the scope of normal campaign playthrough.
First example scenario - quite standard playstyle, pretty big and reasonably mobile party.

We want a big party
but still fast enough to catch most of the lords without much trouble. Because of this we decided to have 280 high tier bandits in our party. We play mostly honorably because after leveling up Roguery skill we want to replace bandits with better troops, thus good relations in towns and villages are needed. We fight lots of battles, including the big ones. Frequent victories, together with quite high Leadership and variety of food types, give us 95 morale on average. The core of our plan for leveling Roguery is selling as many prisoners as possible. High medicine level helps us with healing and keeping our bandit troops mostly alive and with getting lots of prisoners. Most likely 80% of the defeated enemy troops, and over 90% of our defeated troops, get knocked unconscious instead of killed. We have something like 180 prisoners limit, and we are able to fill it and sell the prisoners probably once every 4 days on average. In a mean time, we are constantly recruiting bandits from prisoners. This process is slow, but thanks to the high level of Medicine we don't need to replenish troops too much, therefore around 6 bandit prisoners get recruited to our party daily.
I don't think we can do more
for longer time period in order to level up Roguery faster, so let's calculate daily xp gains we get from mentioned actions:

Keeping bandit troops in the party: 280 Bandits * (95 Morale - 70 MoraleThreshold) * 0.01 xp = 70 xp per day
Selling prisoners:
180 Prisoners * 6 xp / 4 Days = 270 xp per day
Recruiting bandit prisoners:
6 RecruitedPrisoners * 2 xp = 12 xp per day

Total daily experience
: 70 xp + 270 xp + 12 xp = 352 DailyXP

Getting 275 Roguery
skill level: 349100 NeededXP / 352 DailyXP = 992 Days = 12 Years
Getting 330 Roguery
skill level: 2334855 NeededXp / 352 DailyXP = 6633 Days = 79 Years
Second example scenario - bandit like playstyle, small/medium in size and very fast party.

We want a very mobile party,
but also big enough to capture a decent number of prisoners, so we have 100 high tier steppe/desert bandits in our party. Because of fighting smaller battles and having harder time leveling Leadership skill, we have lower party morale. We end up probably having around 80 morale on average. To level up Roguery skill we focus mostly on defeating and capturing enemy caravans and villager parties. We manage to defeat a caravan consisting of 50 troops and a party of 30 villagers once every 6 days and not only that, but we also rob similar in size, non-hostile caravan and villagers party every 4 days. Of course, we are fighting not only honest hardworking people, but also some bandits and smaller lords' parties. We don't like competition in that business, and after all we need some new recruits from time to time. Thanks to these fights we end up recruiting 3 bandit prisoners a day. Also, with the help of the Medicine skill and some blunt weapons usage, we are able to capture and sell 30 prisoners daily. Besides all of that let's assume we also raid a village for fun once in a while and, if we are lucky enough, we also successfully force peasants in another village to give us supplies without need to fight village militia consisting of 40 people on average. We want more than 1xp for this action obviously. We do both of those things once every 20 days. The last thing we must mention is that raiding a village takes 50 hours each time.
We are pretty busy this time so with all the hope we have yet, let's do some math for xp gains in this scenario:

Keeping bandit troops in the party: 100 Bandits * (80 Morale - 70 MoraleThreshold) * 0.01 xp = 10 xp per day
Defeating caravans:
50 CaravanTroops * 3 xp / 6 Days = 25 xp per day
Defeating villager parties:
30 Peasants * 1 xp / 6 Days = 5 xp per day
Robbing caravans:
50 CaravanTroops * 1 xp / 4 Days = 12.5 xp per day
Robbing villager parties:
30 Peasants * 0.5 xp / 4 Days = 3.75 xp per day
Recruiting bandit prisoners:
3 RecruitedPrisoners * 2 xp = 6 xp per day
Selling prisoners:
30 Prisoners * 6 xp = 180 xp per day
Forcing villages to give supplies:
40 Militia * 0.5 xp / 20 Days = 1 xp per day
Raiding villages:
50 HoursOfRaiding * 4 xp / 20 Days = 10 xp per day

Total daily experience:
25 xp + 5 xp + 12.5 xp + 3.75 xp + 6 xp + 180 xp + 1 xp + 10 xp = 243.25 DailyXP

Getting 275 Roguery
skill level: 349100 NeededXP / 243.25 DailyXP = 1435 Days = 17 Years
Getting 330 Roguery
skill level: 2334855 NeededXp / 243.25 DailyXP = 9599 Days = 114 Years

First campaign - standard playstyle, really big and decently mobile party.

Here is an example from the campaign I have played on Bannerlord version e1.5.10. It is quite similar to the first example scenario described above. I have played this campaign for 2134 in-game days which equals to 25.4 years. It was a pretty standard game, just playing honorably as a vassal, mostly fighting other lords and armies, expanding the kingdom and eventually becoming the king of this kingdom and unifying the Empire at the end. On average I had 80 morale and 160 regular troops in the party before I became a king in day 707, and around 95 morale and 400 regular troops for the rest of the game. My high medicine skill level helped me with getting and selling many prisoners. My hero doesn't have focus points in Roguery and does have 9 attribute points in Cunning, but fortunately enough, he never hit the hard cap of this skill. Thanks to that I was able to make my calculations. I have used several save files from different points in this campaign to precisely determine whole xp gained in few different skills including the Roguery. Next, I calculated for these skills what levels I would have if had 5 focus points in each of them and 10 points in right attributes from the start of the campaign. Here are the results:

Roguery: 290000 GainedXP => it would give 263 level
Tactics: 327692 GainedXP
=> it would give 271 level
Medicine: 415172 GainedXP
=> it would give 284 level
Scouting: 3030866 GainedXP
=> it would give 330 level + 696011 xp going into the void because of the hard cap

I have also compared Roguery xp gain with the rest of the mentioned skills:

TacticsXP = 1.13 * RogueryXP
= 1.43 * RogueryXP
= 10.45 * RogueryXP

And here is an estimation of how long my campaign would be if had wanted to level up the Roguery:

Average Roguery xp a day: 290000 RogueryXP / 2134 Days = 136 DailyXP
Getting 275 Roguery
skill level: 349100 NeededXP / 136 DailyXP = 2567 Days = 30.6 Years
Getting 330 Roguery
skill level: 2334855 NeededXP / 136 DailyXP = 17168 Days = 204.4 Years

Let's also calculate what would have happened if I had used bandit troops in my party:

Total xp from bandits in the party: 707 Days * 160 Bandits * (80 Morale - 70 MoraleThreshold) * 0.01 xp +
+ (2134 Days - 707) * 400 Bandits * (95 Morale - 70 MoraleThreshold) * 0.01 xp = 11312 xp + 85620 xp = 96932 BanditsXP
Total xp from recruiting bandits:
6 RecruitsPrisonersDaily * 2134 Days * 2 xp = 25608 RecruitmentXP
Total xp from Roguery:
290000 OriginalRogueryXP + 96932 BanditsXP + 25608 RecruitmentXP = 412540 TotalXP => it would give 284 level

Average daily xp:
412540 TotalXP / 2134 Days = 193.32 DailyXP

Getting 275 Roguery
skill level: 349100 NeededXP / 193.32 DailyXP = 1806 Days = 21.5 Years
Getting 330 Roguery
skill level: 2334855 NeddedXP / 193.32 DailyXP = 12078 Days = 143.8 Years
Second campaign - grinding prison breaks, medium sized quite fast party.

This example is from my freshly played campaign on version beta e1.6.5. I wanted to level up Roguery in this playthrough with different methods, but it was just too slow. At some point I have decided to travel from one town/castle to another and tried to do as many prison breaks as possible. I just needed to find 2 neutral factions at war with each other and start visiting their settlements, so I did. My hero has very high combat skills so doing prison breaks was fairly simple. Most of them were successful and when I failed some of them it wasn't really a problem. It costed me only getting smaller Roguery xp gain and I was always instantly released from imprisonment because of my neutrality. The 7-day-long prison break cooldown wasn't causing me that much trouble either. There were always few settlements with many prisoners. In the meantime, I was doing simple short quests, participating in tournaments, and occasionally fighting bandits and smithing weapons. I was playing like this for 138 in-game days straight and ended up with 2150 xp daily from which at least 2050 xp was from sole prison breaks, successful and failed, and the rest from selling small number of prisoners.
Let's take this daily xp and a hero with 5 focus points in Roguery and 10 attribute points in Cunning and then calculate for them time needed to achieve 275 and 330 Roguery skill level:

Getting 275 Roguery skill level: 349100 NeddedXP / 2150 DailyXP = 162 Days = 2 Years
Getting 330 Roguery
skill level: 2334855 NeededXP / 2150 DailyXP = 1086 Days = 13 Years

It seems like prison break xp gains might be balanced, although for the rest of possible in-game actions it is clear that leveling Roguery skill takes just too long. If you wanted to get level 275 of this skill, you would need for example to raid a village 24/7 for over 44 in-game years in the best-case scenario, which is having 10 points in Cunning attribute and 5 focus points in Roguery. How long would it take to get level 330 then? The answer is whopping 290 years! And it's not only xp gained from raiding being the problem. Every in-game action which gives Roguery xp is as bad or even worse than that. The only exception other than prison breaks is selling prisoners but using it to level up the skill is still painfully slow. Hypothetical and real gameplay examples I provided earlier in the post are the best way to show it.

In the first hypothetical scenario with quite standard gameplay, mostly focused on leveling Roguery as lord leading bandit troops and selling prisoners after battles, calculations showed that getting level 275 might take 12 years and 79 for level 330. In the second one with a bandit gameplay revolving around robbing and attacking hard working people results were even worse, 17 years to get level 275 and 114 for level 330. In both examples xp gained from selling prisoners have made around 75% of total Roguery xp gain. First real example, based on my own campaign playthrough with high Medicine skill and fighting plenty of big battles, also proves my point. Roguery xp gain was roughly twice as bad compared to previous examples and modifying it by putting in hero's party bandit troops in the place of regular ones only shorted Roguery leveling time by 30%.

That first real campaign example also showed how Roguery xp gain compares to some other skills. Tactics xp gain was 13% faster and the Medicine one was 43% faster. Difference might not seem like much, but those skills are way more useful to have at a high level than the Roguery. Also, you can change your gameplay to level up them much faster than I did, but for the Roguery not so much. Still, I can agree that these skills are also pretty slow and probably need to get some balance update to, because fairly balanced Scouting completely destroyed them in the competition by having over 10 times faster xp gain than the Roguery. However, in my experience leveling most of the combat skills is even faster than that.

The last example
, the one from my second mentioned campaign, shows that prison breaks might be balanced quite ok. However, it is still hard to really tell without balancing the rest of Roguery xp gains first. You can say that 2 in-game years for level 275 and 13 years for level 330 seems great compared to the other examples, but they are hardly a competition. This example is also kind of a grindy scenario. You need to sacrifice many of standard in-game activities while executing it. Plus, it requires a hero and a player with quite high/decent combat skills. The good side of this method is that you can nicely improve relations with nobles and level up some Charm.

In summary, in the current versions of the game, repetitively doing prison breaks is the only way of achieving very high level of Roguery. With this method you can get level 300+ in few in-game years. Selling prisoners is worse even than failing every prison break. Realistically it can probably get you up to level 275-300 in the best-case scenario, but you would need a very long playthrough and it would be kind of useless at this point of the game. However, it can be ok for getting few first Roguery perks. What about the other methods? Well, you would be better off if you just forget they exist. They are not worth your time.

I think that is all I have got and wanted to say about technical aspects of the issue.
If you were able to read it all, give yourself a pat on the back and please do not try to find and beat me for writing such a long post. I tried my best to make it shorter, I really did, but there was just too much information I wanted to share with you.

As a side note, here are some final personal thoughts about this issue:
The most frustrating thing about this issue is that it would have been fixed long time ago, or even would have not happen at all, if only someone had done a little bit of math while coming up with base values of Roguery xp gains. Longer playthrough wasn't needed to test it, just some basic knowledge about campaign and character development mechanics and fairly simple calculations. If math had been done during design process, players would have tested the balance of it by now and it could be fine-tuned already. Yes, writing this post wasn't wasted time for me, it was good for practicing my English and testing the game was fun, but I personally think it would have been better for development of the game to do such things earlier. Especially if that doesn't require a lot of work and it can help speed up significantly part of the development process.
No hard feelings though, I just felt I should communicate it somewhere in this bug/balance issue report.

I hope this monstrosity of a post is more useful and helpful than it is hard to read. Have a nice day!
Forwarded to the QA team for further investigation. We will reach out again if we need more information. Thanks for reporting and sorry for any inconvenience!
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