Victory Through Execution Should Not Be So Easy

Which of these features would you like to see added to combat Execution Abuse?

  • Assassins of gradually increasing difficulty sent after the player

    Votes: 16 59.3%
  • Parties and armies hiried to specifically hunt the player's clan

    Votes: 17 63.0%
  • Extended family generated to fill in for executed clan members

    Votes: 13 48.1%
  • Increase of children born to fill in for executed clan members

    Votes: 8 29.6%
  • Neutral towns and castles to eliminate automatic fief acquisition when faction nobles are eliminated

    Votes: 12 44.4%
  • Increasing risk of player execution when the player executes many nobles

    Votes: 25 92.6%

  • Total voters
    27

MightyMidgit

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Bannerlord gives the player the option to execute any captured lords and nobles. If the player feels so inclined, they can eliminate every single noble in the game and win by default in less than 1 in-game year. Currently there is no way to prevent this, and unless something is done, this will still be an easy-win once missing content is added such as clans intermarrying and having children to create more combat notables (because again, killing everyone may only take a year). To enable freedom for the player but keeping with the challenging nature of the game, I am suggesting some changes that would make executing anyone and everyone to instantly win much harder and with far more drastic ramifications.

For complete disclosure, I know there are other suggestion threads about execution, but they mostly deal with other lords' opinions of the player (such as in this great Grievance thread that deals with relations and the right to execute given various factors), but opinions of other notables only bother players who are executing periodically and trying to do a legitimate playthrough instead of someone cheesing the system by killing EVERYONE (no one cares what the dead think of them). Quite frankly, no amount of negative influence or reputation is going to hinder players who want to do this. My suggestions here are more geared towards making world conquest by execution just as challenging as... well... actual conquest if not more so.

First, a few notes on victory through execution as currently implemented:
  • Recruiting is not hindered at all by how much others hate you or who you are at war with. You can still recruit from villages that like you or force conscription (one of the hostile actions) or recruit prisoners you capture. With a maxed rogue skill, you can get all the bandit troops you want.
  • As mentioned in this thread, once all clans of a faction are eliminated, fiefs are given randomly to other factions who you may or may not be at war with and even you if you are far enough in the main story to have your own kingdom. This means you do not need to seige every castle and town to win!
  • As those of us (me included) who have executed many lords can attest, clans disperse to factions with fewer clans. This initially makes it difficult to eliminate a faction in this manner at first, but once that happens, the other factions are terribly weakened due to lack of lords as you keep executing them.
I think the misconception most people have about abuse of the execution mechanic is the belief that inconveniences that would hurt a normal playthrough will also work against a player who wants to behead every noble. They won't, at all. If the world burns around them, they don't care because they are the one carrying the torch and oil. There needs to be something more, something that creates a direct risk for the player, that way the more they abuse execution, the more direct danger they are in instead of the more damaged everything else is, because they do not care about everything else. That is what we need to figure out, and that is the purpose of this thread.
My suggestions here can be summarized in three main areas:
  1. Ramifications for the player
  2. Functionality to prevent the complete elimination of nobles
  3. Eliminating the default win caused by automatic acquisition of fiefs from eliminated factions

***Note 1: My suggestions here are not to make victory though noble execution impossible but make it a very difficult method to beat the game.***

Ramifications for the Player

Assassins
Bring back the assassins from Warband. In Warband if a lord hated you, when you took and action in a town or village a group of assassins could appear that you had to fight solo. If you won, you learn who send the assassins, but if you failed you would be incapacitated for a number of days. I want to bring this back but expand on it further in light of downright evil players.

If a lord or faction hates you, they can send out an assassin, but if you execute someone, assassins will immediately be sent out by the associated family. Assassins travel invisibly from town to town just like wanderers but their routes also include villages and castles, and their destinations move from nearby location to nearby location in the direction of where a player is. If you take any action in a town, village, or castle, even just using the menu to select the arena to see if there is a tournament, you can encounter the assassin located there.

Battles with assassins initially involve only you and the single companion that follows you into the town (only you if in a village). In towns, if you have companions elsewhere in the town, you can possibly kite the battle near them, and they can help. If you win the battle, the assassin group disappears from the world until hired again, and you learn who sent them. If you lose, you are secreted from the location and captured by the enemy lord. If the lord hates you enough, you could get executed. Assassins create a very real threat to the player, because it means that the player's clan can get wiped out before they wipe out all the other clans, because there are far fewer people in the player's clan that all notables as a whole.

Assassins should come in tiers depending on the amount the lords hate your and your overall infamy to the ruling bodies as a whole.
Tiers:
  1. Level 6: cloth armor, equipped with throwing knives and swords.
    • only appear at night
  2. Level 11: leather armor, some equipped with bows or crossbows in addition to their sword
    • only appear at night
  3. Level 16: mid-tier armor, some appear with shields/spears/2h weapons, stronger bows/crossbows
    • appear during day or night (as do all higher tiers)
    • default lowest level assassin sent by relatives of those you have executed
  4. Level 21: mid-tier armor, much higher skills, throwing weapons and arrows are poisoned causing small damage over time.
    • When you are poisoned, the melee assassins will fight defensively to slowly run your health out and prevent you from escaping.
    • The more times you are hit with the poison, the faster it acts
    • This is the highest tier assassin that can be sent without execution as the primary reason
  5. Level 26: high-tier armor, high combat and athletics skills
    • only sent out if overall hatred is high (you have executed many lords)
    • sent by factions, not individual lords
    • failure to defeat assassins might result in death of the player with a low probability
    • if you start seeing these assassins, consider yourself warned
  6. Level 31: high-tier armor, near-max combat and athletics skills
    • at this point, the world hates you, good luck
    • if you do not kill them fast enough, they can call for reinforcements from the 4th and 5th tier assassins
    • if you fail to defeat them, you die. Capture is not an option. You were warned.
Once the player dies to assassins, your clan infamy drops by 3 tiers symbolizing that the lords think your clan has learned its lesson.

Personal Vendettas
Family of the one you execute can have a personal vendetta against the player. Where assassination involves the player personally fighting those after them, vendettas target the armies/parties/caravans of the player and those in the player's clan. The purpose of the vendettas is to seek out the player's armies/parties/caravans and eliminate them, removing the player's combat strength and making it easier for the player to be captured and face justice. Think of how lords gather to you when they call them to form an army or how when you take hostile action against a town/castle/village they come after you, seemingly knowing magically where you are on the map. Vendettas are the same, only they will not ignore you if your party/army/caravan is more powerful. They are there for a purpose. Vendettas come in 2 levels:

Hunting Party:
  • A hired party of 50-100 is created with some non-notable running it, similar to caravans.
  • Any clan or family member of the executed can hire a hunting party.
  • They hunt the player's party, play clan member parties, and player caravans.
  • Any player clan member or companion who loses to a hunter party gets captured, and escape is far more difficult because their goal is capture, so they will not be so easily distracted.
  • They do not accept ransom, so to release your captive clan members and companions, you must seek out the hunter party and defeat it or wait for the rare chance they escape
  • If the player is captured by the hunter party, they have until the hunter party makes it to the notable who hired them to escape. If they cannot, the notable then takes over your capture and might execute you if they hate you enough.
  • Hunting parties ignore all war calls and summons from others in the faction. They have a task to complete.

Vengeance Army:
  • Functions similar to a hunting party except it is an army of 700-1000 strong.
  • Vengeance armies do not spawn unless the player has executed most clan/family members of a particular clan/family.
  • The one who hires the army leads it, so if you defeat it, you can execute the leader.
  • In addition to targeting your companions, caravans, clan members, and you, they also raid your villages as often as are able while they search you out.
  • Any player clan member or companion who loses to an army and gets captured might get executed if they are not rescued or get lucky enough to escape in time, but due to the size of the army, it is easier to outrun them.
  • Vengeance armies do not disperse due to low morale, lack of funds, or lack of food. They are risking their lives to hunt you down.
  • The player losing to a vengeance army and getting captured results in immediate execution by the noble leading it.
  • Because a noble leads the vengeance army, if you want to kill that noble, you have to defeat that huge army at the risk of losing and getting executed yourself. This makes capturing and executing that noble much harder.
The key to these parties and armies is that they create dangerous battles for the player and the player's faction that do not include nobles or include only a single noble in the Vengeance Army case. Facing these armies does not progress the player's goal of executing all the nobles because the nobles are not present. They are a punishment for excessive execution.

Functionality to Hinder Complete Noble Extermination
The idea here is to make complete elimination of nobles far more difficult and take longer but not make it impossible, enabling the player to choose that method of victory if they want.

Extended Family
Don't you find it strange that all these clans and noble families only have 5 to 6 members? If they are long-rooted nobility, their family should extend much farther. This ideas enables clans to pull in their extended family into the main clan. Essentially, it generates random nobles based on tweaks/modifications/and combinations of the appearances/stats/traits of both the dead and living members of the clan.
  • Extended family are not generated until there are only a few clan members remaining.
  • Opinions of other factions and clans are based on the general opinions of the clan.
  • They join the clan with hatred for those who executed members of the clan.
  • Extended family are generated at about the same rate as pregnancy
Clan Children
The wives of many of the nobles are non-combatants, so you should be unable to capture and execute them (easily). This means they have the ability to produce children to continue their clan's name. One of the issues mentioned at the beginning of this post is how fast a player can kill all the nobles. Given some of the suggestions and especially the extended family suggestion, eliminating all nobles might take longer. This could give enough time for children to grow to teenage years where they are able to join combat and lead armies.
  • Infants are automatically born to surviving clan women once clan numbers begin to decline.
  • Stats, etc. are determined the same as any children whenever that gets correctly implemented into the game (we are waiting, TW!).
  • Children of dead parents start with strong animosity towards the ones who executed them, meaning possible assassin attempts or vendettas.
  • The stats of the children are higher than normal because of their revenge-fueled training growing up.

Combining these two options, fully eliminating a clan will be much more difficult. It will still be possible if planned correctly and given the right factors, but it will take far more work.

New Clans
Idea initially proposed by xHDxzero.
When clans start to be eliminated, new clans can be generated to fill in with their own leaders, members, etc. This certainly will be a little more difficult to implement than simply adding a new member to a clan like the suggestion above, but it will add more variety to the game. The new clans can follow various cultural templates with randomness added in to make sure there is variety to the clans generated. At times, a few new members could arrive to revive an already eliminated clan, connecting this suggestion to the Extended family one above.

The only possible downside to this idea is that if new clans are generated too quickly, it would be impossible to a player to win by execution (which should at least still be a possibility if a player wants to take that route), so there needs to be some balance in how quickly they appear and to what factions they join. Perhaps they arrive as a neutral faction or no faction at first and a larger faction can then request they join.

Eliminating the Automatic Acquisition of Fiefs
The whole reason that a player can automatically conquer the world through execution is because once a clan/faction is eliminated by execution of all nobles the fief are handed out at seemingly random. The player is just given the property with little work and no sieges. This makes no sense.

Instead of giving away the fief, the fief should go neutral without a banner. The banner on the map turns grey and the visage of the notable with the most influence is shown on the banner instead of a clan symbol.

Towns: the most influential Merchant, Artisan, or Gang Leader becomes ruler of the town.
Castles: the most influential Village Leader becomes ruler of the castle.

All garrisoned troops remain in towns and castles funded by the new leaders. Militia generation gains an increase because now the peasants are fighting for their own town/castle, not for a noble.

Neutral fiefs can be acquired in 2 ways:

Conquest
This is the same as any other siege. You attack the castle or town and have to defeat the garrisoned troops. The main difference is the larger militia and that ANY clan can attempt the siege. If a faction is at war with you, they can disrupt the siege, kick you out of it, and then continue the siege themselves against the garrison you weakened. Of course, you also can do the same if you see another clan/faction besieging a neutral fief. Taking a neutral fief by conquest gives a strong negative relation penalty with the notable of the affiliated villages and town.

Influence
Periodically, the notables of the affiliated villages and town will cast a vote on if they want to be under the rule of a clan. Each vote is weighted by the influence of the notable, and if the majority influence is in favor of a single clan, that clan claims the associated fiefs. If the player is present during the vote (there can be a notification when the vote will happen in a few days), the player can help influence the vote. If the player's clan is liked by the affiliated notables, the player can claim the town/castle. However, if the player is hated by the notables because of pillaging, raiding caravans, etc. no amount of influence is going to sway anyone, so the player will have no other choice but to conquer the town/castle through force.

I am also open to adding other players' suggestions to this list.
 
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xHDxzero

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good thread. i do think players should not be able to chop their way to victory. also a way of fixing it could be that if the game notice the player is mass excuting nobles or the a faction is low on lords. it will either rapidly make new clans or give new memebers to clans already in the game(i prefer the formor. but both could work) and have these newly generated clans hate the players if he has been mass killing lords. also the player should never inherit any fief unless there related to clan(like there your inlaws or maybe their your cousins) .
 

MightyMidgit

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good thread. i do think players should not be able to chop their way to victory. also a way of fixing it could be that if the game notice the player is mass excuting nobles or the a faction is low on lords. it will either rapidly make new clans or give new memebers to clans already in the game(i prefer the formor. but both could work) and have these newly generated clans hate the players if he has been mass killing lords. also the player should never inherit any fief unless there related to clan(like there your inlaws or maybe their your cousins) .
Adding new nobles to clans is already in the list above, but not creating new clans altogether. I will add that to the list
 

GG Cannon

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I like this. I really, really do.
I wouldn't agree to extended family generated to fill in for executed clan members or an unnatural increase of children born to fill in for executed clan members, but I definitely agree to punishments and severe difficulties that makes it a LOT harder to finish the game executing everyone.

There could be loss of loyalty to your towns that used to belong to the faction of the executed nobles.
Loss of loyalty to some of your vassals that used to be of their faction.
And the could be an "honor" system that creates several problems if it is very low, like big armies that attack you, if your honor is too low, they could not even talk to you and give you a chance to talk it out and go straight to attacking or even all the world's factions could declare war on you at the same time if you execute too many nobles.
 

MightyMidgit

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Congratulations on being added to the Top Curated Feedbacks!
Thanks for adding me to the curated list!

There could be loss of loyalty to your towns that used to belong to the faction of the executed nobles.
Loss of loyalty to some of your vassals that used to be of their faction.
Many of the execution suggestions talk about relationships, and that is why I am suggestions something different. The main problem, as mentioned near the beginning of my post, is that players who want to cheese the execution system already don't care about relationships or loyalty or that the entire world is at war with them. When everyone is dead, it doesn't matter. And when you are the only lord remaining, town loyalty to you doesn't matter because they don't have a choice.

And the could be an "honor" system that creates several problems if it is very low, like big armies that attack you, if your honor is too low, they could not even talk to you and give you a chance to talk it out and go straight to attacking or even all the world's factions could declare war on you at the same time if you execute too many nobles.
This is more or less the idea of the "Personal Vendettas" section of the post. Clans and factions hate you more and more as you execute more nobles, leading to large parties and eventually huge armies targeting you specifically. If you piss off enough nobles and factions, the entire world will eventually send these one-track-mind armies after you.

If it's just that the factions hate you and are at war with you, that wouldn't matter to a player abusing the execution mechanic. They expect it. If anything, it would make it easier for the player to encounter more nobles and execute them. That is why I made it so Hunter Parties do not have notables in command of them. They are a threat to the player's clan, especially if there are a lot of them, and killing them does not enable the player to execute another noble. Vengeance armies do have a "single" noble in command, unlike normal armies that have many, but they are huge and much harder to kill, so if you want to kill that noble, you have to defeat that huge army at the risk of losing and getting executed yourself.
 
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kweassa

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Active penalties for negative relations should do the trick.. ie., lords not cooperating/participating when you call them into army. In extreme cases, possible civil war, even. Also, bringing in the concept of "bureaucratic limits" can do pretty well with trying to control too large a fief by yourself. CK2 has a "bureaucratic limit" concept, which applies increasing penalties the more you go over the current fief limit, with the reasoning that Medieval bureaucracy is not like modern bureaucracy using modern tech to maintain control over a large area with a single governing entity. Therefore, if the player controls too many fiefs, an increasing penalty should be applied, such as decreasing loyalty, frequent rebellions, general mess of the region with even more bandits and looters, villages declining, towns losing prosperity, etc etc..

Of course, to enforce something like this, the devs would first need to have the vassal system make more sense than as it is right now.
 

MightyMidgit

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Active penalties for negative relations should do the trick.. ie., lords not cooperating/participating when you call them into army. In extreme cases, possible civil war, even.
This is not an issue if you kill off all the lords (no rebellion if there is no one to rebel), and that's the problem. So many "inconveniences" solely related to relationships don't matter when the player executes everyone. There needs to be direct dangers to the player for abusing execution, because relationship inconveniences like lords disobeying you can been ignored.

Also, bringing in the concept of "bureaucratic limits" can do pretty well with trying to control too large a fief by yourself. CK2 has a "bureaucratic limit" concept, which applies increasing penalties the more you go over the current fief limit, with the reasoning that Medieval bureaucracy is not like modern bureaucracy using modern tech to maintain control over a large area with a single governing entity. Therefore, if the player controls too many fiefs, an increasing penalty should be applied, such as decreasing loyalty, frequent rebellions, general mess of the region with even more bandits and looters, villages declining, towns losing prosperity, etc etc..
This is a nice idea, but again that suggestion comes down to simply adding more inconveniences that in the end do not stop the player. If a town rebels against you, who would they switch allegiance to if all the nobles besides you are dead? You can sustain a large army solely on pillaging and loot from combat without needing the exorbitant income from a large number of fiefs, especially if bandits are rampant and you can hunt them for loot. If properties suffer because of going far beyond the "bureaucratic limits", that's not going to stop a player from axing every noble they encounter. It might only hinder them a little.

I think the misconception most people have about this issue is that the inconveniences that would hurt a normal playthrough will not bother a player who wants to behead every noble. If the world burns around them, they don't care because they are the one carrying the torch and oil. There needs to be something more, something that creates a direct risk for the player, that way the more they abuse execution, the more direct danger they are in instead of the more damaged everything else is, because they do not care about everything else. That is what we need to figure out, and that is the purpose of this thread.
 
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GG Cannon

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That is the thing though. I believe it should be THE HARDEST way to clear the game and full of hardships, extremely annoying with several things to bother you and several assassination attempts... but that still should be possible, bothersome, maddening, almost impossibly hard, but still possible somehow.
Why? Because a LOT of people are gonna complain if there are mechanics that turn it 100% impossible.
It is better to severely discourage but still allow for it to happen that to flat out forbid.

Also, because in some situations, execution might be beneficial and you should still be allowed to do it.
Imagine an NPC that actually does that and commit executions to your vassals, or maybe even your wife/husband.
Shouldn't you be allowed to execute them? I'd even say that is one execution that would not lower your honor at all, maybe even raise it depending on the situation.
If that was an NPC with severely low honor and executed a lot of nobles, even if none of them were your vassals, executing him should give you honor.


And that would matter a LOT if they introduce named, notable bandits which create a "bandit way of life" path choice.
So, should you receive those punishments if you execute 100 bandit lords?
 

MightyMidgit

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That is the thing though. I believe it should be THE HARDEST way to clear the game and full of hardships, extremely annoying with several things to bother you and several assassination attempts... but that still should be possible, bothersome, maddening, almost impossibly hard, but still possible somehow.
Why? Because a LOT of people are gonna complain if there are mechanics that turn it 100% impossible.
It is better to severely discourage but still allow for it to happen that to flat out forbid.
100% agreed. Maybe the tone of this post sounded like I was trying to outright forbid it instead of simply making it far more difficult. I believe it should be possible as a means of victory but be very, very challenging. When I talk about inconveniences that would hurt a legitimate playthrough not bothering a player who wants to go on an execution spree, what I mean is that such inconveniences do not make victory though execution much more difficult if at all.

Also, because in some situations, execution might be beneficial and you should still be allowed to do it.
Imagine an NPC that actually does that and commit executions to your vassals, or maybe even your wife/husband.
Shouldn't you be allowed to execute them? I'd even say that is one execution that would not lower your honor at all, maybe even raise it depending on the situation.
If that was an NPC with severely low honor and executed a lot of nobles, even if none of them were your vassals, executing him should give you honor.
I also agree here. My suggestions only get really bad for the player if they execute a lot of nobles. Of course, even if you feel you are justified in executing someone, that does not mean the executed's clan is okay with it. They might still be furious and send assassins your way for it because "how dare you hurt my clan." One of the reasons I linked the Grievances suggestion in my post is because I feel it does best in tackling that complex side of relations and execution justification.

And that would matter a LOT if they introduce named, notable bandits which create a "bandit way of life" path choice.
So, should you receive those punishments if you execute 100 bandit lords?
This suggestion is primarilly dealing with execution of nobles, as they are the main default power and land holders. Gang leaders are always in towns, so you don't even have an opportunity to capture and execute them. If that becomes possible at some point, certainly nobles/lords/merchants/whatever wouldn't care if you executed them, but the gang's members might still and send assassins your way. I might even be more scared of an assassin sent by a very powerful criminal family than a noble.
 
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GG Cannon

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Can you imagine how terrifying and at the same time awesome it would be to walking inside a town with your bodyguard and suddenly you lose a significant CHUNK of life, just to see a scene where you got stabbed in the back by a beggar you just passed by and failed to notice him approaching and then some quite a few thugs come out from several alleys?
 

MightyMidgit

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Can you imagine how terrifying and at the same time awesome it would be to walking inside a town with your bodyguard and suddenly you lose a significant CHUNK of life, just to see a scene where you got stabbed in the back by a beggar you just passed by and failed to notice him approaching and then some quite a few thugs come out from several alleys?
Look like you pissed off the wrong set of people! :ROFLMAO:
Assassins sent by nobles confront you directly. Gangs play dirty!
 

GG Cannon

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Assassins sent by nobles confront you directly. Gangs play dirty!
Well... sometimes, but maybe not always...
If they add mechanics that make it either beneficial or even needed to rest and give more reason for you to stay some time inside fiefs you own, there could also be a battle that starts with a scene of assassins attacking you as you sleep, but you wake up just before they strike and rolls out of bed.
Now you have to fight from 1 to 3(randomly selected, influenced by how much the person that sent them hates you) guys, either alone or with your body guard but with NO ARMOR. Maybe even no weapon and you have to run to get a weapon (random chance).

The more they hate you, the stronger and more well equipped are the guys they send after you.
 

MightyMidgit

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Well... sometimes, but maybe not always...
If they add mechanics that make it either beneficial or even needed to rest and give more reason for you to stay some time inside fiefs you own, there could also be a battle that starts with a scene of assassins attacking you as you sleep, but you wake up just before they strike and rolls out of bed.
Now you have to fight from 1 to 3(randomly selected, influenced by how much the person that sent them hates you) guys, either alone or with your body guard but with NO ARMOR. Maybe even no weapon and you have to run to get a weapon (random chance).
I keep thinking of noble-hired assassin encounters like they were in Warband where they would appear as a surprise but still fight you directly. Having one appear in your sleep would be both awesome and terrifying and certainly add to the immersion of the game. Perhaps the ability for an assassin to successfully sneak up on you or attack you in susceptible situations could be tied to you or your companions' Scouting and Roguery skills. If high enough, they wouldn't even be able to enter your abode unnoticed. This would also give a reason to have a roguery companion (because currently there is none).

The more they hate you, the stronger and more well equipped are the guys they send after you.
Yup, I have 6 tiers of assassins in my suggestion above specifically for this idea.
 

GG Cannon

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I love the idea of your companion's roguery skill influencing the chance of it being foiled way more than the Scout skill. Makes much more sense as well that a "rogue" would understand an assassin's mind and know what to be ready for and where to check for what and how to prepare to keep you safe from assassination attempts.

Another thing that could influence is the security level of the settlement you are currently in.
If you are in a town if very little security, it would be way easier for a much higher number of assassins to reach you, while if you are in very high security settlement, it would be much harder for them to reach you and probably would need to go with less assassins as well.
 

Wehveechen

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As well thought out as these suggestions are, I'd have to disagree. I'd be happier about functions that give me valid alternatives to execution, as opposed to making execution just downright pointless.

Besides, I believe in giving players the option to just murder their way to the top if a kingdom of absolute rulership is the only thing they actually care about.
 

Niomedes

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~~ YOU CAN VOTE FOR ANY NUMBER OF CHOICES IN THE POLL! ~~

Bannerlord gives the player the option to execute any captured lords and nobles. If the player feels so inclined, they can eliminate every single noble in the game and win by default in less than 1 in-game year. Currently there is no way to prevent this, and unless something is done, this will still be an easy-win once missing content is added such as clans intermarrying and having children to create more combat notables (because again, killing everyone may only take a year). To enable freedom for the player but keeping with the challenging nature of the game, I am suggesting some changes that would make executing anyone and everyone to instantly win much harder and with far more drastic ramifications.

For complete disclosure, I know there are other suggestion threads about execution, but they mostly deal with other lords' opinions of the player (such as in this great Grievance thread that deals with relations and the right to execute given various factors), but opinions of other notables only bother players who are executing periodically and trying to do a legitimate playthrough instead of someone cheesing the system by killing EVERYONE (no one cares what the dead think of them). Quite frankly, no amount of negative influence or reputation is going to hinder players who want to do this. My suggestions here are more geared towards making world conquest by execution just as challenging as... well... actual conquest if not more so.

First, a few notes on victory through execution as currently implemented:
  • Recruiting is not hindered at all by how much others hate you or who you are at war with. You can still recruit from villages that like you or force conscription (one of the hostile actions) or recruit prisoners you capture. With a maxed rogue skill, you can get all the bandit troops you want.
  • As mentioned in this thread, once all clans of a faction are eliminated, fiefs are given randomly to other factions who you may or may not be at war with and even you if you are far enough in the main story to have your own kingdom. This means you do not need to seige every castle and town to win!
  • As those of us (me included) who have executed many lords can attest, clans disperse to factions with fewer clans. This initially makes it difficult to eliminate a faction in this manner at first, but once that happens, the other factions are terribly weakened due to lack of lords as you keep executing them.


My suggestions here can be summarized in three main areas:
  1. Ramifications for the player
  2. Functionality to prevent the complete elimination of nobles
  3. Eliminating the default win caused by automatic acquisition of fiefs from eliminated factions

***Note 1: My suggestions here are not to make victory though noble execution impossible but make it a very difficult method to beat the game.***

Ramifications for the Player

Assassins
Bring back the assassins from Warband. In Warband if a lord hated you, when you took and action in a town or village a group of assassins could appear that you had to fight solo. If you won, you learn who send the assassins, but if you failed you would be incapacitated for a number of days. I want to bring this back but expand on it further in light of downright evil players.

If a lord or faction hates you, they can send out an assassin, but if you execute someone, assassins will immediately be sent out by the associated family. Assassins travel invisibly from town to town just like wanderers but their routes also include villages and castles, and their destinations move from nearby location to nearby location in the direction of where a player is. If you take any action in a town, village, or castle, even just using the menu to select the arena to see if there is a tournament, you can encounter the assassin located there.

Battles with assassins initially involve only you and the single companion that follows you into the town (only you if in a village). In towns, if you have companions elsewhere in the town, you can possibly kite the battle near them, and they can help. If you win the battle, the assassin group disappears from the world until hired again, and you learn who sent them. If you lose, you are secreted from the location and captured by the enemy lord. If the lord hates you enough, you could get executed. Assassins create a very real threat to the player, because it means that the player's clan can get wiped out before they wipe out all the other clans, because there are far fewer people in the player's clan that all notables as a whole.

Assassins should come in tiers depending on the amount the lords hate your and your overall infamy to the ruling bodies as a whole.
Tiers:
  1. Level 6: cloth armor, equipped with throwing knives and swords.
    • only appear at night
  2. Level 11: leather armor, some equipped with bows or crossbows in addition to their sword
    • only appear at night
  3. Level 16: mid-tier armor, some appear with shields/spears/2h weapons, stronger bows/crossbows
    • appear during day or night (as do all higher tiers)
    • default lowest level assassin sent by relatives of those you have executed
  4. Level 21: mid-tier armor, much higher skills, throwing weapons and arrows are poisoned causing small damage over time.
    • When you are poisoned, the melee assassins will fight defensively to slowly run your health out and prevent you from escaping.
    • The more times you are hit with the poison, the faster it acts
    • This is the highest tier assassin that can be sent without execution as the primary reason
  5. Level 26: high-tier armor, high combat and athletics skills
    • only sent out if overall hatred is high (you have executed many lords)
    • sent by factions, not individual lords
    • failure to defeat assassins might result in death of the player with a low probability
    • if you start seeing these assassins, consider yourself warned
  6. Level 31: high-tier armor, near-max combat and athletics skills
    • at this point, the world hates you, good luck
    • if you do not kill them fast enough, they can call for reinforcements from the 4th and 5th tier assassins
    • if you fail to defeat them, you die. Capture is not an option. You were warned.
Once the player dies to assassins, your clan infamy drops by 3 tiers symbolizing that the lords think your clan has learned its lesson.

Personal Vendettas
Family of the one you execute can have a personal vendetta against the player. Where assassination involves the player personally fighting those after them, vendettas target the armies/parties/caravans of the player and those in the player's clan. The purpose of the vendettas is to seek out the player's armies/parties/caravans and eliminate them, removing the player's combat strength and making it easier for the player to be captured and face justice. Think of how lords gather to you when they call them to form an army or how when you take hostile action against a town/castle/village they come after you, seemingly knowing magically where you are on the map. Vendettas are the same, only they will not ignore you if your party/army/caravan is more powerful. They are there for a purpose. Vendettas come in 2 levels:

Hunting Party:
  • A hired party of 50-100 is created with some non-notable running it, similar to caravans.
  • Any clan or family member of the executed can hire a hunting party.
  • They hunt the player's party, play clan member parties, and player caravans.
  • Any player clan member or companion who loses to a hunter party gets captured, and escape is far more difficult because their goal is capture, so they will not be so easily distracted.
  • They do not accept ransom, so to release your captive clan members and companions, you must seek out the hunter party and defeat it or wait for the rare chance they escape
  • If the player is captured by the hunter party, they have until the hunter party makes it to the notable who hired them to escape. If they cannot, the notable then takes over your capture and might execute you if they hate you enough.
  • Hunting parties ignore all war calls and summons from others in the faction. They have a task to complete.

Vengeance Army:
  • Functions similar to a hunting party except it is an army of 700-1000 strong.
  • Vengeance armies do not spawn unless the player has executed most clan/family members of a particular clan/family.
  • The one who hires the army leads it, so if you defeat it, you can execute the leader.
  • In addition to targeting your companions, caravans, clan members, and you, they also raid your villages as often as are able while they search you out.
  • Any player clan member or companion who loses to an army and gets captured might get executed if they are not rescued or get lucky enough to escape in time, but due to the size of the army, it is easier to outrun them.
  • Vengeance armies do not disperse due to low morale, lack of funds, or lack of food. They are risking their lives to hunt you down.
  • The player losing to a vengeance army and getting captured results in immediate execution by the noble leading it.
  • Because a noble leads the vengeance army, if you want to kill that noble, you have to defeat that huge army at the risk of losing and getting executed yourself. This makes capturing and executing that noble much harder.
The key to these parties and armies is that they create dangerous battles for the player and the player's faction that do not include nobles or include only a single noble in the Vengeance Army case. Facing these armies does not progress the player's goal of executing all the nobles because the nobles are not present. They are a punishment for excessive execution.

Functionality to Hinder Complete Noble Extermination
The idea here is to make complete elimination of nobles far more difficult and take longer but not make it impossible, enabling the player to choose that method of victory if they want.

Extended Family
Don't you find it strange that all these clans and noble families only have 5 to 6 members? If they are long-rooted nobility, their family should extend much farther. This ideas enables clans to pull in their extended family into the main clan. Essentially, it generates random nobles based on tweaks/modifications/and combinations of the appearances/stats/traits of both the dead and living members of the clan.
  • Extended family are not generated until there are only a few clan members remaining.
  • Opinions of other factions and clans are based on the general opinions of the clan.
  • They join the clan with hatred for those who executed members of the clan.
  • Extended family are generated at about the same rate as pregnancy
Clan Children
The wives of many of the nobles are non-combatants, so you should be unable to capture and execute them (easily). This means they have the ability to produce children to continue their clan's name. One of the issues mentioned at the beginning of this post is how fast a player can kill all the nobles. Given some of the suggestions and especially the extended family suggestion, eliminating all nobles might take longer. This could give enough time for children to grow to teenage years where they are able to join combat and lead armies.
  • Infants are automatically born to surviving clan women once clan numbers begin to decline.
  • Stats, etc. are determined the same as any children whenever that gets correctly implemented into the game (we are waiting, TW!).
  • Children of dead parents start with strong animosity towards the ones who executed them, meaning possible assassin attempts or vendettas.
  • The stats of the children are higher than normal because of their revenge-fueled training growing up.

Combining these two options, fully eliminating a clan will be much more difficult. It will still be possible if planned correctly and given the right factors, but it will take far more work.

New Clans
Idea initially proposed by xHDxzero.
When clans start to be eliminated, new clans can be generated to fill in with their own leaders, members, etc. This certainly will be a little more difficult to implement than simply adding a new member to a clan like the suggestion above, but it will add more variety to the game. The new clans can follow various cultural templates with randomness added in to make sure there is variety to the clans generated. At times, a few new members could arrive to revive an already eliminated clan, connecting this suggestion to the Extended family one above.

The only possible downside to this idea is that if new clans are generated too quickly, it would be impossible to a player to win by execution (which should at least still be a possibility if a player wants to take that route), so there needs to be some balance in how quickly they appear and to what factions they join. Perhaps they arrive as a neutral faction or no faction at first and a larger faction can then request they join.

Eliminating the Automatic Acquisition of Fiefs
The whole reason that a player can automatically conquer the world through execution is because once a clan/faction is eliminated by execution of all nobles the fief are handed out at seemingly random. The player is just given the property with little work and no sieges. This makes no sense.

Instead of giving away the fief, the fief should go neutral without a banner. The banner on the map turns grey and the visage of the notable with the most influence is shown on the banner instead of a clan symbol.

Towns: the most influential Merchant, Artisan, or Gang Leader becomes ruler of the town.
Castles: the most influential Village Leader becomes ruler of the castle.

All garrisoned troops remain in towns and castles funded by the new leaders. Militia generation gains an increase because now the peasants are fighting for their own town/castle, not for a noble.

Neutral fiefs can be acquired in 2 ways:

Conquest
This is the same as any other siege. You attack the castle or town and have to defeat the garrisoned troops. The main difference is the larger militia and that ANY clan can attempt the siege. If a faction is at war with you, they can disrupt the siege, kick you out of it, and then continue the siege themselves against the garrison you weakened. Of course, you also can do the same if you see another clan/faction besieging a neutral fief. Taking a neutral fief by conquest gives a strong negative relation penalty with the notable of the affiliated villages and town.

Influence
Periodically, the notables of the affiliated villages and town will cast a vote on if they want to be under the rule of a clan. Each vote is weighted by the influence of the notable, and if the majority influence is in favor of a single clan, that clan claims the associated fiefs. If the player is present during the vote (there can be a notification when the vote will happen in a few days), the player can help influence the vote. If the player's clan is liked by the affiliated notables, the player can claim the town/castle. However, if the player is hated by the notables because of pillaging, raiding caravans, etc. no amount of influence is going to sway anyone, so the player will have no other choice but to conquer the town/castle through force.

I am also open to adding other players' suggestions to this list.
yes.
 

Dionaea

Regular
Best answers
0
Well executing lords makes you hated by everyone, even your allies. The problem is that people resort to execution because they get frustrated by the attack spam by lords that you captured 1 day and that escaped the next day and raised a full army the day after that.
 

MightyMidgit

Veteran
Best answers
0
Well executing lords makes you hated by everyone, even your allies. The problem is that people resort to execution because they get frustrated by the attack spam by lords that you captured 1 day and that escaped the next day and raised a full army the day after that.
As mentioned in the post, being hated by everyone is not a problem when someone plans on just executing everyone eventually. Also, even if something changes to make lords not escape and return immediately, that would still not stop someone from winning incredibly easily by beheading everyone. These suggestions are to make victory by mass beheading harder, not to find ways to make it less of a necessity.
 

Dionaea

Regular
Best answers
0
As mentioned in the post, being hated by everyone is not a problem when someone plans on just executing everyone eventually. Also, even if something changes to make lords not escape and return immediately, that would still not stop someone from winning incredibly easily by beheading everyone. These suggestions are to make victory by mass beheading harder, not to find ways to make it less of a necessity.
Yeah but who wants to play as a psychopath who is universally hated?