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Thread: [Brainstorm #2] Character Development

  1. #1
    The Brainstormer Emperor Leo's Avatar
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    [Brainstorm #2] Character Development

    So, here we have brainstorm number two. I thought we should take a look at character traits, titles and stats. I'm sure a lot of us think that the character system has room for improvement. There's nothing wrong with the current characters per se, but I'd like to see a few tweaks.

    Titles

    As the current system for assigning titles is at the moment, I assign titles simply to keep characters happy or boost loyalty. After a while, assigning titles becomes a pointless chore, handing out titles arbitarily. There isn't enough reward or consequence to assigning titles. Pretty much all the titles carry the same modifiers. This is especially the case when playing as a form of monarchy or tribe, where the titles are dull and uninspired. There needs to be more choice of titles and each with a different effect. I want to see Stable Masters that give small bonuses to horse units, Historians who give a small popularity bonus to the ruler, etc. I'd also like the option to revoke titles (at a loyalty cost).

    Traits

    There isn't much wrong with traits, in my opinion. They do exactly what they're intended to do. My only problem with them is when they become too abundant on certain characters. I like to follow my characters roleplay-style, and I personally hate it when characters gain an excessive amount of traits. I may be alone with this, but I prefer my characters to have coherent traits and have their personalities visible at a glance. Therefore, I'd like to have a cap on the amount of traits each character can collect (maybe 10 or so). This may seem too low, but I will suggest that Personality and Tactical traits are treated seperately.

    Young Heirs

    This will pretty much only apply to monarchies. I belive in Crusader Kings, when an heir was born, you could choose how your child was educated. I'd like a similar feature added to Rome. I'd like more control over how my heir was educated. Maybe add a new government position or title of Royal Tutor. Using the current Royal Tutor's skills and traits to determine which areas your heir will develop in. E.g. if your Royal Tutor is a skilled, yet corrupt General, your heir may grow up with a bias towards Martial and corruption.

    Hereditory Skills / Traits

    I'm not sure if this may already be included, but I'd like to see hereditory skills and traits. For example, if a mother and father with high Finesse values and Good Natured traits, give birth to a child, then that child has an increased chance of growing up to have a higher finesse and be a good person. On the flip-side, we could take a page out of Rome Total War's book (Sorry, folks...) and have children born with opposite traits to their fathers, as they wish to make a name for themselves and not follow in their father's footsteps.

    Sorry for the long post, but it will be good to read your responses as usual!

  2. #2
    Most of the following ideas are not mine, but collected from various other threads (I have not had the time to give proper credit, apologies for that):

    Character interaction

    1. Ability to choose suitors for your ruler and heirs, with a loyalty increase for the suitor and the suitor’s parents.

    2. Introduce something like “casus belli” for characters -- call it “ad hominem” (or some other Latin phrase). When the ruler has an “ad hominem” against a character, it can banish/imprison/execute that character with little or no tyranny penalty. Ad hominems could arise from random events or fabricated by the “smear reputation” option.

    3. Give characters the possibility to defend themselves in trials. Chance of acquittal should depend on the accused's prominence, popularity, wealth and finesse. The ruler can still banish/imprison/execute people without trial, but doing so will incur a higher tyranny penalty.

    4. Ability to take a foreign heir as a hostage for that country's goodwill.

    5. More titles to give out, with more variation in consequences and rewards (as per Emperor Leo’s suggestion).

    6. Ability to use captured characters as "bargaining chips" towards war score.

    7. When negotiating peace, ability to set up a pretender as the ruler.

    8. Give historical characters a chance to appear in the later stages of a campaign, and not just at the beginning of a scenario. Historical characters should have a high probability of marrying historical wives (creating them if necessary) and have historical children.

    9. Effects for specific characters when leading an army, i.e. being lead by your king should provide a morale boost as opposed to being lead by a non-prominent guy who just happens to have a high martial stat.

    10. Generals with specific traits affecting morale, discipline and land organisation.

    11. Link diplomacy to the character system. For example, diplo-annex and royal marriages should not work abstractedly like in EU3, but should be more like CK, and possibly be linked to bribing /befriending foreign rulers and heirs.

    12. Introduce personal missions which, similarly to “ambitions”, apply to characters rather than to countries. For example, there could be missions to increase popularity, liege’s loyalty, wealth, etc.

    Character Interface

    1. Add to the interface a “character tracker” that allows to keep an eye on characters who show promise.

    2. Show "results" pop-up after events changes a character’s stats. (Currently, the only time you are shown the result is when that character died.)

    (Ideas supplied by nachinus, Cheexsta, Emperor Leo and other forum users)

  3. #3
    The Brainstormer Emperor Leo's Avatar
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    Great ideas all round, Thorv! I especially like 2, 5, 6 and 12. No reason why, though. I just think they're soild ideas. Whoever put them out there is a genius and should be snapped up by Paradox straight away. Joke, joke!

    But seriously, these are all good ideas. I'd really love the ability to choose a suitor for my children. This way, alliances between certain families could be introduced. I also love the idea of being able to befriend foreign rulers and heirs!

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Emperor Leo View Post
    Hereditory Skills / Traits

    I'm not sure if this may already be included, but I'd like to see hereditory skills and traits.
    I think, it is included. If I look in one of my save games, I see, that one man with DNA ojbfmjhel with (6, 7, 6, male) has a wife with DNA ejnclofeg with (6, 9, 7, female) and their three children have as DNA ojbflofeg (0, 8, 7, female), ejbfmpfeg (6, 5, 7, male) and ejncmjhel (4, 7, 7, female). I assume, that DNA and skills are related.

  5. #5
    Veni, vidi, vici Cheexsta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phi View Post
    I think, it is included. If I look in one of my save games, I see, that one man with DNA ojbfmjhel with (6, 7, 6, male) has a wife with DNA ejnclofeg with (6, 9, 7, female) and their three children have as DNA ojbflofeg (0, 8, 7, female), ejbfmpfeg (6, 5, 7, male) and ejncmjhel (4, 7, 7, female). I assume, that DNA and skills are related.
    DNA determines the character's appearance.
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  6. #6
    Just a quick one. When assining an exclusive title to someone, other characters with this ambition should lose loyality. the more exclusive the title (eg king for lifetime), the bigger the loyality loss

  7. #7
    Some nice ideas in the first two posts.

    Also I note that Traits can be hereditary if the are given the tag Congenital. Actually I am only assuming that based on the definition of the word and its placement in the traits.txt file.

    Also when you start breeding your characters like race horses you would need some sort of balance. Otherwise it would be to easy to create a superkid. I dont think life is as simple as that. There are to many factors involved in the Homo sapien world.

  8. #8
    Meteorsexual Teurlinx's Avatar
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    But you can't control who marries who like in CK, or can you?

    Great ideas in the first posts btw!
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  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Cheexsta View Post
    DNA determines the character's appearance.
    Argh, I think I knew this fact some moths/years ago and forgot it.

    But perhaps the character's appearance and his skills are related and EU:R is a secret revival of Physiognomy?

  10. #10
    Quasi-Teetotaler UniversalWolf's Avatar
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    Anything that makes characters more distinct and interesting as individuals would be good. That gives the game a nice, personal sub-narrative.
    I support separation of charity and state.

  11. #11
    The Brainstormer Emperor Leo's Avatar
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    This is brilliant, i dunno how i have missed this thread. I keep reading the other posts ...
    It actually dissapeared of the forum due to it being fairly old. Had to do a Google search to find it. I've made links to all the Brainstorms in my sig now, so feel free to join in the discussions that you may have missed!

  12. #12
    Captain NoodleNaught's Avatar
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    I said this in another thread, but i will say it again here. There should be a adoption option in the game.

  13. #13
    friend&foe ash001's Avatar
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    Just wanted to let you know, Emperor Leo, it’s a great thing you’re doing coming up with the Brainstorming ideas…
    And there’s some really interesting ideas floating around - I hope it does get the dev’s attention.
    As for any other suggestions, I haven’t played enough of the game to propose anything substantial… But I do agree with putting a cap on the number of traits for each character… right now, it feels like it’s too much, and maybe too random… you were spot-on on your comments.

    In fact, the reason why the game hasn’t appealed so much to me has everything to do the characters and the way we’re supposed to deal with them in-game…
    It seems like too much micromanagement and, worst yet, there’s not much reward in it.
    Ideally, there should be ways to make the interaction with the characters more meaningful – and have some characters take a more central role along the game
    I keep thinking of ways to make wealth and prominence play a bigger part in the gameplay, distinguishing some characters and making them have a few other options the average character won’t have.

    Anyway, I’ll stop here and even go play a little more EUR to see if there’s more to share and brainstorm…

  14. #14
    Homo ludens Demi Moderator nachinus's Avatar
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    AFAIK, there is a hereditary factor in some traits. In the traits file, some of them are marked as hereditary = yes (or something like that). I dunno about skills.

    Great sugestions all around. I really agree that current trait spawn kind of beat the purpose of the trait system. A cap should be added, and a system that gradually makes harder to get a new trait the more traits the char already has.

    I specially like the suggestions that involve characters in the diplomatic/peace negotiations game.
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  15. #15
    Corporal KPamplona's Avatar
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    Bump.....for the passion of Rome
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  16. #16
    Titles should follow a Career Path, and the rigidity of the requirements and what titles are required to advance should be keyed off the government type, amongst other things.

    Just as there is a succession order, there should be this "Career Path" order...this is how it was in the titular Roman Republic...and I am certain there were similar situations in the concurrent states of the time.

    The moral malleability of those wishing an appointment and those in position to theoretically make appoints should be factored in also (as a Bribe for Position event) which could allow a character to "jump" into a position they coveted if they were otherwise eligible or not.

    Additionally having an "Appointment" (non-bribe) event where the person with title would select someone for a lower title which has been vacant for some months...the player would get veto of this in the same fashion as the "Senate Thinks You Should Appoint" event...with similar repercussions. Of course the appointing character would be interested in elevating someone of his relation, clan/ideology, friends, etc. over others.

    This would provide structure for appointments made by the player, and two mechanisms to prompt players to fill vacant appointments.

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