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Conclave Dev Diary #3 Homeschooling

Greetings!

Today we’re going into the details of some features from the expansion. Just like last week the team has cooperated in writing this diary. First out @The Witch-King and @markuso will give you the details on how we changed the life of children.

In Conclave, we have made a major rework in how young characters develop in terms of upbringing and education. Basically, non-adult characters now go through two phases, younger childhood (0-11) and adolescence (12-15), and for players who own Conclave, new childhood and adolescence events have replaced the old trait related events. Although these effects will primarily be felt when playing as a young ruler, other characters near children and adolescents will also occasionally be presented with various events affecting trait outcomes for the young ones, taking a part in their story and affecting how they develop.

From the age of six, all children will have an Educator. Just as before, you have the option of appointing a guardian to act as Educator for your child, but otherwise the Educator may be a parent, liege or regent. You can also choose a Childhood Focus to guide the direction of the child’s development (see below). Note that the Educator’s traits will now very rarely affect the child’s development - this is a major change to how it worked before. Also, a young character’s attributes now grow randomly with some genetic influence from the parents - but is no longer affected by the Guardian’s or Educator’s stats. The reasoning behind these changes is that a child’s everyday interactions are primarily with nannies and tutors, while the guardianship is more of an honorary function used for diplomacy.

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Educating a child left, and choosing focus on the right.


Childhood Focuses
A Childhood Focus will impact the likelihood of certain trait outcomes and with the Heritage or Faith focuses also religion and culture assimilation.

Childhood Traits
The new traits that children receive are different from the regular adult traits. These new traits are defined more as childish personalities and tendencies, and each Childhood Trait has the possibility of maturing into one of several adult traits during adolescence. The Childhood Traits are gained through a set of new events in Conclave.


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Childhood Trait: Curious


When a child reaches the respectable age of twelve they are considered an adolescent, this is the start of a new era, Education.

Education Focuses

Focuses are conveniently color coded to resemble their adult counterparts. Focuses cannot be changed once set and will guarantee that the character receives an education trait of that category on reaching adulthood. The tooltip for an Education Focus indicates which traits increase or decrease the chances for a higher level education outcome from that particular Focus. You may still select any Education Focus you want, but some children have more aptitude for war, for example, and will prosper more if you send them down that path.

The childhood and education focuses are set by the liege of an unlanded character and by the child itself if landed. As a liege you can ask a vassal to switch the childhood focus of a child in your care to heritage in order to change their culture and religion.

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Diplomatic Education Focus

Now @Groogy will go deeper into a subject we touched upon in the last dev diary and tell you more about how councilors vote.

So today I am going to talk a little about the decision making behind the councillors when they vote on your council. First I will say that the system is fairly automatic except when it comes to voting for laws so you won’t get a thousand of pop-ups during your playthrough just because your liege want to check with you if it’s okay if he presses your claim to some county. In laws you can yourself decide if you want to vote with a “Fo sho” or “Aw hell naw” but when it comes to the everyday matters you choose a position to adopt which will set what kind of attitude you will have on matters. This also makes interaction with the AI on matters more transparent as they play with the same rules as the human and you will be able to easily see why they vote as they do by simply hovering over the voting reason icon in the voting window. The AI will act on the council based on their own agendas and pick positions that suits them.


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There are five different positions that a councillor can adopt. Loyalist, Pragmatist, Glory Hound, Zealot and Malcontent. The Loyalist and Malcontent are the polar opposites of each other where the Loyalist will be loyal to the Crown and vote accordingly while the Malcontent will refuse anything their liege proposes. The Glory Hounds concern themselves with the greatness of the realm and wants their King to prove that their Kingdom is the greatest on the surface of the Earth while the Pragmatists are more concerned with stability and low risk. The Zealots main concern of course is that the holy scripture is followed and that the realm does not deviate from the will of God. But as you can see in the picture these various positions are not absolute and some can be swayed if given the right incentive….

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@rageair now will present the changes we’ve made to laws and how ambitions have changed.

Greetings, loyal Lords and Ladies of the realm! I’d like to show you how we’ve redone the laws for the upcoming Conclave DLC. We’ve aimed to break down the formerly rather uninteresting laws in order to present you with more choices in how to run your realm. Many laws, i.e. Crown Authority, have been broken down into their constituent parts and in some cases completely reworked. Your council will also have varying opinions about these different laws, some might approve of you Centralizing the realm while others approve your right to revoke titles from Heretics, but it’s going to be a hard to find a council that’ll let you pass any law you want. This means that it’ll be more of a challenge to pass laws than it used to be, but hopefully it’ll also feel more interesting and useful to do so!

Inheritance

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The Inheritance screen is mostly the same, except for the obvious facelift. This screenshot is of the Duke of Breizh in 1066 and as you can see it’s possible to see most of the succession laws without having half of them hidden in a scrolling list. We’ve also extended the pretender list to show more characters, which I find especially useful in elective realms. We had some spare room, so we decided to add in a flavorful image and text to represent the realm you’re ruling. There’s a lot of these to discover, so try mixing & matching laws, religions, cultures and capital locations to find some of the more exotic ones!

Realm Laws

realm.png


The Realm Laws tab contains most of the laws you’ll recognize from pre-Conclave. In this screenshot I’m playing as the nation I run in the Developer Multiplayer; Jardarus. As you can see I’ve not had much time to change my Realm Laws, although my main focus from now will be to outlaw out-of-realm inheritance which is one of the few Crown Laws still in the game (as indicated by the Crown next to the name).

It’s in this screen that you’ll be able to manage the new laws derived from the old Crown Authority laws, such as Controlled Realm Inheritance, Title Revocation and a new Administration law called ‘Late’ which enables the late-game succession forms (i.e. Primogeniture). You’ll also find old friends such as the Centralization and Viceroyalty laws, along with the new addition of Status of Women (which is harder to pass than Imperial government in many cases!). While the early steps of the Status of Women gradually open up job titles for landed women, female dynasty members and nuns, the later stages enable Absolute Cognatic (equal inheritance for men & women) as well as being able to use women as generals in your armies!

As Crown Authority is gone, most laws will be unlocked by a combination of Technology and Council approval.

Obligations
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Obligations replace the old tax/levy laws. Obligations represent a balance in what a certain type of vassal has to provide you, their liege, with. The scale is a range of tax and min/max levy size, with each vassal type preferring one direction over the other (with the exception of Temple vassals, they want to stay in the center!). Vassals always provide you with tax and levies unless you’re at the very edge of the scale, so it’s mostly a matter of your personal preference. I myself like taxing the Bourgeoisie and getting my levies from the Gentry, although they tend to disagree with me...

Absolutism/Empowered Council

8.png


There’s two very different ways of ruling your realm - ruling together with your Council (to varying degrees) or with an Iron Fist as an Absolute Ruler. In the screenshot you can see the various Council Laws as they are set for the Holy Roman Empire at the start in 1066. The Holy Roman Empire has a fully empowered Council, which means that the Council gets a say in everything they do. Though if you start as a Muslim ruler at the same date, the situation looks different. They start with no Council Laws enabled, which means that they rule with an Iron Fist and get all the bonuses from doing such (i.e. being able to change laws at a whim, albeit with a longer cooldown), though this is obviously not appreciated by their vassals who will most likely start factions to increase the power the Council gets. Naturally, the most common thing to see is a healthy middle ground - a constant struggle between the Ruler and the Council.

This works differently for Tribal and Nomadic rulers, where Tribal rulers enable Council Laws by increasing Tribal Organization in order to Feudalize, and Nomads always have all of the Council Laws enabled.

Ambitions
For Conclave we’ve decided to remove most of the the largely insignificant old ambitions in favor of new ambitions with a bit more player agency and weight behind them. This means that you won’t be seeing any ‘Get Married for +5 prestige’ ambitions, but rather ambitions that actually alter the flow of gameplay in a significant way!

First off, the ‘Become King’ ambition has been changed slightly. Having the ambition now allows a slight chance of successfully fabricating a claim on a kingdom, and having it also reduces the cost of creating a new kingdom. Now on to the new ambitions!


Ask for Council Position

9.jpg


If you feel like having a say in how the business of the realm is run you can now take the ‘Become Councillor’ ambition, which replaces the old similar ambitions. With this ambition active you’re able to manually ask your liege for a position on the council. As you can see in the screenshot, it’s not always an easy thing to get on the council of your liege - but if you build up enough opinion and/or invite your liege to plenty of private feasts you might just sway the odds in your favor! Vassals with this ambition who have a favor on their liege tend to use it to guarantee themselves a spot on the council!

Ask for Land for an Unlanded Son

10.jpg


If you’ve got plenty of sons but too little land it might be a good idea to ask your benevolent liege for some more! With the ‘Gain Land for Unlanded Son’ ambition it’s possible to ask your liege to give land to a second or third son of yours, increasing the influence of your dynasty in the realm. This is a tall order for just anyone of low status to ask of their liege, but if you’re lucky and/or have friends in high places it might just work out!

Ask Liege for Title

11.jpg


If you’re really brave you might dare to ask your liege directly for land. Now this might not please your liege too much, but if you’re influential enough your liege might just cave to your demands! Just beware so that you’re not impressed by vague promises...

Build a War Chest

12.jpg


If you find yourself lacking money for that war you’d really like to wage, you can choose the ‘Build a War Chest’ ambition in order to prepare! When you choose this ambition your vassals will gain the ability to send you donations in order to fill the War Chest, though they often have ulterior motives for doing so. You might occasionally receive a donation offer from a vassal that you can choose to accept in exchange for a favor - a powerful alternative currency that’s been brought up in another Dev Diary. Though if you’ve got no patience for your vassals you can always choose to ‘Extort your Subjects’!

13.jpg


By choosing to do this morally dubious action you can raise vast amounts of money in a short amount of time, but at the cost of Tyranny and general opinion. You’ll be able to extort the pathetic peasants residing in your demesne provinces, the wealthy characters of your court and the greedy clergymen who do nothing but sit on their riches. You’ll effectively be sacrificing long-term gain for short-term gain, a choice that’ll be yours to make.

Finally, as promised in the last dev diary, @Servancour will present you with a new business opportunity!

Dynamic Mercenaries
Since we enjoyed the Dynamic Mercenaries mechanic added in Horse Lords, we decided to expand upon them further. With Conclave, lords and doges alike will be able to create a Mercenary Band of their own! Unlike nomads however, who sends off their sons to gain fame and prestige, these Mercenary Bands are assembled to increase the wealth of its creator. Whenever the band is hired by anyone else, you will gain a percentage of the band’s income.

14.jpg


Before you can create a band, you need to have an eligible courtier that has a military education available (you can also not already have a band under you service, since you are limited to a single one). The band itself is created through a targeted decision on the character you want to appoint as its captain. Though you’ll have to pay the new captain a small fee of 50 gold before he can get started.

15.jpg


The sizes of the created Mercenary Bands will vary depending on your own levy size. The band will look at your personal demesne and use a percentage of your levies to decide how large the band will be. Thus created bands will come in many different sizes and will be ranging from just a few hundreds all the way up to two or three thousands. Potentially though, they may end up with much more than that. The most common size will probably be in between the nomadic mercenaries and the smaller pre-existing Mercenary Companies. Even if you don’t create a band yourself, these will be good for filling in the gap in situations where you will want to have a few hundreds of additional soldiers to guarantee victory against a slightly weaker or equally strong opponent. Rather than paying a hefty sum for more soldiers than you’ll need.

Maintaining these mercenaries comes at a cost however, so you will not always want to have a band active. When you assemble a band, all of your demesne holding will be affected by the “Maintaining Mercenary Band” holding modifier. This will lower your levy sizes for as long as you control the band. You will be able to dismiss the band whenever you want though to remove the modifier, as long as they aren’t being hired by anyone else.

Finally, all mercenary captains will eventually grow more ambitious when granted the opportunity to lead troops of their own. They will start asking you for more troops to reinforce the band with and possibly even ask for more money! If grown too ambitious, they will even be able break away from your control. To prevent this, you will be able to replace the captain through a targeted decision with a suitable replacement. This will reset the ambitious level of the band and you will be free to continue to enjoy your extra income.

That’s it for today! We hope you’ve all enjoyed this dev diary and we’ll see you on the release a week from now.
 
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_Arzakon_

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Thing is, you really can't, as those same mayors will start looking like they want your head... and how the game works, is that the more they like you, the more levies and taxes you get, at below 0 opinion it's basically nothing...

I was just pointing an extreme for fun, xD. Of course it's impossible to get max levies and taxes, but playing in the middle ground, as of now, is. For example, I usually try to get on the good side of my nobles because they cause trouble, but for mayors having some simple WoL bonuses with the trading focus let's you increase taxes and levies one level without fearing any consequence. That makes having a relative focus on cities, rather than castles, in my demesne quite attractive, because I get good money (for retinues and developing my holdings) while still getting a decent amount of troops. Not as good or as numerous than castle levies, certainly, but you cannot just enforce different obligations for barons and the rest.

Besides, even if not for strategy reasons, it's also because of the flavour. Raising taxes, squeezing people a little bit during hard tames and those kind of things were (and are, xD) common things. When I roleplay good rulers I tend to lower all obligations for cities during long peace times, for example, and that's something that doesn't fit in the new obligations system.
 

nyah

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Holding heirs and second sons as glorified hostages in foreign courts isn't unique to any culture or era. It's a polite fiction where the adults on both sides know what exactly is going on. I guess the difference is how well the children are treated during their time as "guests".

Yes, it was standard practice in medieval England, for example, for the king to take hostages from all his vassals to ensure their loyalty.

It must be possible for a landed character to be the educator for more than two children because if no guardian is assigned then the liege or the parent will be the guardian.
 

SnowHawkKiller

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The achievements for Conclave are already view able on the game, not all of them in the screenshot are the Conclave ones, but the majority of the 0% ones are. The Conclave achievements are Follow Me, Someone Paid to Win, One is not Amused, Prodigious Five, Peace in Our Time, I am the Law, Pay to Win, Shadow Prince, The Yes Men, and You Owe Me.

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Lord_P

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The achievements for Conclave are already view able on the game, not all of them in the screenshot are the Conclave ones, but the majority of the 0% ones are. The Conclave achievements are Follow Me, Someone Paid to Win, One is not Amused, Prodigious Five, Peace in Our Time, I am the Law, Pay to Win, Shadow Prince, The Yes Men, and You Owe Me.

Df53qKn.png
One is not amused feels like too easy an achievement, but Shadow Prince is very intriguing. I'd like to be in the role of the "kingmaker", especially in a large realm like the Holy Roman Empire.
 

yezhanquan

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Awesome! Is it possible to form your own party as a councillor to wield more power in a realm? It would be really fun to play as a councillor who actually runs the realm.

I'm thinking that it's more awesome to have a ruler-most powerful vassal double team. Your liege likes your expansion/administration ideas and pursues them; you like your liege as a drinking/hunting buddy and you two have great fun together, be it drinking or feasting or hunting together, or just plotting together to bring down the realm next door.
 

tu_79

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Regarding the Tax/Levies issue:
This is a CKII+ design, the quantity you require in taxes and levies together goes in the Centralisation bar. That way you set the mix for every kind of vassal, and how much pressure you are willing to exert. That saves you a lot of time changing obligations when you feel stronger/weaker.

Regarding mercs:
From a merc employer view, I should be able to call some mercs fitted for my current character, but not always, and neither too many. If there are too many mercs, I will spend too much time searching the best company for the task (not fun). Also, I expect good mercenaries not to be easily found in wartime, because they are currently working for another.
The new dynamic may work, if correctly balanced. In order to have a standing mercenary army, it needs to be profitable, cause it's going to cost money per month. If there aren't many wars at sight you might prefer to disband the mercs. So, more wars means more mercs. If your mercs are too big or too small for the current warmongers needs, chances are that your mercs stay unemployed, thous losing money. Don't know what the AI incentive to create new mercs is, maybe when the available mercs pool is empty, some lord will try his luck.

A feature that could change the game and add more realism is that mercenaries start ready for combat, but spawn in their homeland. Irish pikemen fighting in Tuscany? Sure, but also rent some irish boats so they can conmute, and await several weeks for their arrival. That needs that you are allowed to contract mercs without being at war for it to work.

From the merc owner view, warfaring is a way to deal with excess population. Unhappy commoners may join the army if they are starving, looking for a better life. If your demesne has low population (recovering from a previous war), less people will be willing to try that adventurous life. While your mercs aren't working, they may be accepting new recruits every month from your levy pool (providing it's full), and you may have to pay for their maintenance. When they are out working, they may reinforce with people from the counties they are in, what can be hard if the county has been plundered or levies has been raised. The mercs will pay you a tax every month they are working, from their earnings.
So, when they are at war they give you money, and when they are at peace they grow but cost you money. If they become too large, nobody hires them and you cannot pay their cost any more, you could ask to send some former mercs to reinforce your levies at a price, use them for your own wars or disband them at the risk of rebellion.
 

Moah

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Currently in CK2, it is very very rare for me to see a female ruler actually initiate a matrilineal marriage themselves. More often than not, they will just enter a regular marriage and lose their land/dynastic holdings to their son of another dynasty.
We have indeed improved this. Noble and powerful women are now much more likely to look for a matrilinear marriage.
 
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Jorlem

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We have indeed improved this. Noble and powerful women are now much more likely to look for a matrilinear marriage.
Any chance that matrilinear marriage could be made the default in enatic realms, to help modders?
 
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Seelensturm

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One of my house rules is to never use matri-marriages unless I am playing the woman myself. Mostly because the AI isn't capable of it so far and it is mostly ahistoric. Just marrying your kinswomen to some random dudes helps so much to inflate the size of your dynasty which feels overpowered. You can also force any courtier e.g. some heir or claim holder in a matri-marriage which feels overpowered again. Maybe I will consider it in the future for landed woman, if the AI improves.
 
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Thure

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One of my house rules is to never use matri-marriages unless I am playing the woman myself. Mostly because the AI isn't capable of it so far and it is mostly ahistoric. Just marrying your kinswomen to some random dudes helps so much to inflate the size of your dynasty which feels overpowered. You can also force any courtier e.g. some heir or claim holder in a matri-marriage which feels overpowered again. Maybe I will consider it in the future for landed woman, if the AI improves.

It's not really ahistorical. There are many exemples were the dynastic name was passed from the female line. I found many exemples in Byzantine families for exemple.
 
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Ruwaard

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We have indeed improved this. Noble and powerful women are now much more likely to look for a matrilinear marriage.

Let's see how this works out then; it IMHO shouldn't become too common either. I guess it depends on personality and characteristics; 2 landed noble women of comparable power, but with a different personality (one may be strong and the other a weak ruler) should IMHO still end up in a different kind of marriage. IMHO every female ruler in a matrilinear marriage would be just as bad as no female ruler in a matrilinear marriage. It occurred, but certainly not always. Again let's see how the changes work out.
 
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Jorlem

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You know what would be neat? If there could be a marriage setting or something where children could end up in two different dynasties, so the elder child would be of one, while the second heir would be of the other, and would be the primary heir for the parent of that dynasty.
 

Frank327

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Let's see how this works out then; it IMHO shouldn't become too common either. I guess it depends on personality and characteristics; 2 landed noble women of comparable power, but with a different personality (one may be strong and the other a weak ruler) should IMHO still end up in a different kind of marriage. IMHO every female ruler in a matrilinear marriage would be just as bad as no female ruler in a matrilinear marriage. It occurred, but certainly not always. Again let's see how the changes work out.
Logically, being proud or humble would be the main modifier and of course status (countess/duchess/queen/empress) should have a big effect. Maybe dynastic prestige should factor in as well.
 
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