lazprune

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Features I Would Like to See in CK3

EDIT: This thread was made before CK3's announcement, but I think it's still relevant.


Hi everybody!
Few months ago, I started thinking about the core limitations of CK2 and, even though I hope its development to continue for some time, I wrote what I would like to be implemented in the next game.


I would like to have your opinion on this. :)


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------​


Here we go:


Rise and fall of empires: Authority mechanic


Prestige and Muslim Decadence could be replaced by a modifier I called “Authority”. It represents the political influence or power strength of a character over their fellows. While not being a frustrating anti-blobbing mechanic, it actually makes large expanding empires harder and harder to manage without implosion. No more late game boredom! Instead it becomes trickier to play… ;)

fjokL0K.png

(“Authority” is a word I'm going to use a lot in there… you are warned!)

It also gives more depth to interactions with vassals. In CK2, you have the same power over every vassal whereas in reality some were more autonomous or rebellious than others… Authority handles this.

>> How does it work?

Each title, rank, religious support, piece of land, honorary/courtly title, and councilor/commander office a character got would add base points as long as they are kept. Further temporary points can be added or removed from this base depending on war/battle successes or defeats, marriages, specific events or most of what gave Prestige in CK2. Those increase or decrease instantly your Authority (and can cumulate), even though the total amount will slowly come back the basis, given time.

Note that the quantity instantly gained or lost from conflicts depends on the relative strength of the enemy: defeating a powerful empire as a middle-sized kingdom is more prestigious than bullying a tiny county. Same logic with the rank of your spouse for example (don’t marry lowborn nobodies, you fool!)

The more the difference between your Authority and that of one of your vassals is great, the less he is rebellious and the more he pays taxes and gives you troops (following laws beside of that). Most of the time vassals have less Authority than their liege, but as it’s dynamic you’ll sometimes get subjects with more than you:eek:

These will rebel more, attract more people in their factions*, gain more easily council support* and more votes in elective monarchies*. They will actively seek independence (if at the edge of the realm) or try to usurp your titles (if close to capital). They also win elections over you in republics and become khagan upon ruler’s death in hordes.
(*all of this because of the new diplomacy mechanics I’ll talk about below)

And subjects WILL try to get more and more Authority. You should either increase yours to counteract that or find a way to undermine theirs!

“Wait, won’t opinion become useless?” Nope! Subjects with higher Authority than their liege but liking him wont rebel. But they will ask more freedom/gifts to be content and maintaining a high opinion. You may bully petty lords as long as the great ones are your friends! (and bullying someone’s enemy could even increase the former’s opinion of you!... ;) )

Speaking of it, neighboring lords bordering your realm with high opinion and lower Authority will likely accept peaceful vassalisation (for something in return… more on that below).

Note that the Authority perceived by characters isn’t the same everywhere. Outside of your de jure territory, the distance to capital reduces progressively your perceived Authority over landed vassals. You control more easily someone whose capital is next to yours than one who is far away with the same amount of Authority. In addition to fostering distant vassals’ rebelliousness, this rule will stop kings and emperors from diplomatically vassalizing every petty lord around (their “superiority” diminishing with distance). This also makes unlimited expansion hard but not impossible. You can always soften the reduction hit with more Authority, laws, better technology or government… However, for the sake of World Conquest lovers, game rules could allow distance reduction-free campaigns. ;)

“That’s a lot of information to check! It would be a mess! :mad: ” Don’t worry! We just need a new vassal tab which for each realm (and subrealm) displays direct subjects from the most “autonomous” (highest relative and distance-perceived Authority) at the top to the least petty baron at the bottom. Yes, kinda like the society members lists. ;)

You guessed it: with larger realms, the risks of troubles with distant subjects are higher, leading to conflicts, perhaps leading to Authority losses, leading to even more independence revolts… the situation may degenerate quickly unless a strong ruler (or a good player) stop the fall. You could be tempted to conquer other lands and titles to boost your Authority, thus calming down the rebels… but on the long term it will make it harder to control new far away vassals because of distance reduction. That is the flip side to the coin of quick expansion, though it may be a valid way to play the game. :p

BONUS: Avoiding ahistorical endless conflicts between great powers? Now possible! A war exhaustion system could diminish Authority considering war duration and negative warscore. Large realms will no-more fight until last breath and will now capitulate just when they should to avoid collapsing. Small and quickly occupied realms, on the other hand, have less vassals to worry about (they are thus more stable) and will fight for their survival. I think it’s better that way than in CK2, balance-wise.

Assuming bordergore issues are addressed, we will see games in which it won’t be uncommon for empires to appear, to spread, and then, once they are weakened by defeats or weak rulers, to be fragmented and conquered by a stronger foreign invader or by a former vassal.

… and what about Score if Prestige is no more? Let’s say it’s now an accounting of how long your family members keep Authority. So, remaining a small kingdom for centuries should give as much as being a fast-expanding empire which disintegrate quickly, allowing different gameplay approaches and government/religion features. And you’ll now have an incentive, for example, to marry every member of your family since – remember! – they get a small boost upon marriage :)

BONUS 2 : What about a parallel modifier for Abrahamic religion called Religious Influence which whould replace Piety? Following your traits and decisions, the clergy / papacy will or will not support you against your foes, muslim tribesmen will or will not accept you as their leader and join your armies instead of those of your rivals...


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------​


Diplomacy and Intrigue overhaul


Characters can interact by exchanging objects / actions between them like:
  • Gifts (or monthly Gold, meaning tribute),
  • Pacts (including alliances, non-aggression, guarantee…),
  • Marriages/Concubines,
  • Titles/Lands,
  • Offices/Honorary titles,
  • Council support,
  • Independence/Vassalisation,
  • joining plots/factions,
  • freeing prisoners,
  • any Jade Dragon imperial interaction for empires and so on.
Imagine a menu like Stellaris trade between two empires, but here between characters trading-off diplomatic interactions. People will accept deals if what they want carries a positive score (over things they would give up to, or are disadvantageous for them), helped by a high positive opinion. Setting deals that are advantageous for them increase their opinion of you. (Note that acceptance score is separate for each character, which means both can assess a same deal as advantageous for them. This helps the A.I. to match-make deals.) For balance purpose, there should be a cooldown! Oh, and some stuff always go hand in hand with each other or necessarily lead to a specific counterpart (marriage implies a non-aggression pact for instance).

Opinion matters! Opinion makes characters more or less likely to accept deals that don’t clearly advantage them. Furthermore, dealing with A while B hates him decreases the opinion B has of you. Conversely, undertaking any hostile action toward A increases B’s opinion of you. The enemy of my enemy is my friend. Pay attention to who you are dealing with.

Remember high Authority subjects might attract a lot of people in their plots or factions? Here’s what allow them to be threatening: /!\ Authority is used to weight what one offers to another. /!\ Marrying the emperor’s daughter will cost you more if you are a nobody. Likewise, a powerful vassal will then get more people to join their factions for lesser counterparts.

Favor here should become a kind of neutral currency which comes in various amounts and not just yes/no. It’s like “OK the trade is advantageous for you now, but I might ask you something later”. Unless you pay it back by a disadvantageous deal you proposed yourself, the other character is likely to claim things later that you cannot refuse without a general opinion penalty.

The only thing not influenced by Authority in trade-offs is Favor. So, for example you can offer your help in a civil war to the claimant of the thrones against a huge amount of Favor and when he is king you will remind him what he owes you. :D

slSEUOa.png

(An example of how situations can be handled in different ways. Showing China is absolutely not because I want it to be in the base CK3 game. Not at all. I swear. :oops: )


>> As for intrigue:

Opinion is still a good character motivation to help you in your plot or to plot against people they dislike. But here’s a quite deceitful addon: forcing characters to help you in your plots by blackmailing them. Let’s say:
  • you hold a relative as prisoner, the character decides if they obey or betray you but, in this case, you kill or mutilate their relative.
  • Or you could know a shameful secret via ‘intrigue focus’-like events (or a plot?) and threaten to disclose it.
  • Or, last but not least, in certain cultures you poison the character and give them periodically an antidote (if they disobey or if you die, they die).
You could see the list of people under your threat in the intrigue tab. Have great time building a spy network around the guy you want to plot against! :cool: (plot power increase when people in their court help you).
You can also use blackmailing to extort them an advantageous deal.
XLsvEhI.jpg
But keep in mind this can be risky as characters may nevertheless choose to face the consequences of telling the truth to everybody (depending on traits) they may also attempt to kill you. :confused:

Speaking of, you might need one or several spymasters if you are bad at intrigue (but here it is a truly secret office and they remain unknown to everybody!) and simply give them plot orders they must fulfil, coping themselves with building a spy network (of which you are not aware) to accomplish their job. You could recruit them with the trade-off mechanic or among blackmailed characters. They can themselves have their own spymasters etc. Be careful as, even though they are caught instead of you if the plot fails, nothing forbids them betray you by joining someone else’s spy network for a better deal…

I can’t imagine how exciting internal politics, full of pledges and backstabbing, would be with these mechanics! :D


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------​


Focus Points, aka the no-mana workaround


So, the idea came from the WoL foci that allow your character to… focus on certain stuff giving bonuses/improving relations/unlocking event chains/etc. while preventing them from focusing on other stuff at the same time. I thought: why not generalizing this and instead of spending Prestige, Piety or Gold for any decision in the game (feasts, pilgrimages, trainings…), you would spend ‘time’ to fulfill these goals? Less gamey, more strategic beside being immersive. :rolleyes:

To allow multiple tasks at the same time, each character gets a fixed max amount of “Focus Points” representing time, personal/court involvement and mental/physical “workforce” that they can use/spend to perform actions and get them back once the action is finished, or for continuous ones (like swaying), when they choose to stop. Considering the variety of possibilities and outcomes, you’d have to choose where to allocate your points and some decisions/interactions/actions/choices might be costlier than others. You can still cancel undertaken actions to get then back earlier but won’t earn anything if not continuous. Cancelling allow you to use these points for something else instead. :) The outcomes and chances of success depend on your personal or state skills!

The costs may also vary depending on your traits. So, let’s say your character is a genius, you’ll need less Focus Points to write a book; if high stewardship, less to organize a tournament and so on. That way, the player must think about what is worthwhile and make rational choices fitting the roleplay aspect as well.

YPb7GGd.png

(Technology via Learning improvement is a long-term investment, I guess.)

But that’s not all! ^^ Governments with some level of bureaucracy and their viceroyalties will heavily rely on this new system!

Indeed, if some foci are about character improvement (to increase personal skills), help to get free Authority/Gold/Piety via events or influence opinions, that’s not the only purpose of Focus Points! :) To fully exploit your demesne, you must attribute some of them to your counties to collect taxes, calm down peasants and supervise constructions (think energy you spend for administration). The issue is, the larger your empire and demesne gets, the more you’ll have to use points to administrate your counties or you won’t gain much from your large territory. You could increase your results with higher stewardship skills, but you’re now lacking these skills without personal improvement focus…

While you’re busy administrating, your vile subject with smaller demesne continue improving their own skills and may eventually have better stats than you thus getting even more taxes, armies and technology nonetheless and becoming a threat. To avoid this, you can delegate administration of your demesne to them realm in exchange for a part of local taxes and troops (in the form of a deal, see above)… They will also slowly heighten their Authority with time by doing the job. Sure, they may be the most competent and greatly help you, but they will become very powerful. The choice is yours and you must think of the lesser evil. As a smart ruler, you must secure your power using their rivalries to make them infight. Be careful, a higher relative Authority make vassals more demanding in negotiations. :eek: As a vassal however, this is a mean to “climb the social ladder” among the various rulers of the realm :cool:

“Hey hold on! That just replaces the demesne rigid limit! Isn’t the solution to create new vassals like in CK2, then? o_O ” You are right! :) I described here how viceroyalties would work now, being way more modular and adapted to various situations and cultures… Viceroyalties are no more landed titles you get back upon death but are now a bit like councilor missions. “Viceroys” (or historical equivalent) won’t *own* the land they administer, but still get some taxes and troops, can build things… and gain Authority from it. And can revolt, of course. :(

As a bureaucratic or semi-bureaucratic government, you must assign them areas to govern. In the deal, you offer a part of the cash and troops and they offer their Focus Points (can’t trade it against something else). Whereas as a feudal of feudal-like government, you offer land and they offer an oath. Not the same thing at all!

Sooooo… even though weaker in general, feudal or tribal government lords are less likely to need maneuvering than other governments because of the generous land distribution the vassals get. Hey, it’s sometimes also a good thing for the king to be only primus inter pares! :p

Playing tall is also a solution as you could focus on improving yourself without delegating admin so you can stand up to not-so-stable wide playing empires. Or allocate more points to fewer provinces. Yeah, that works as well.

4I1n5SO.png

(It’s a joke! Peasants’ work isn’t modelized by this game mechanic…)


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------​


Playable… yet, landless???


Yes! Think about those non-feudal gov. characters: nomads, patricians, chinese imperial courtier, norse adventurers, non-landowner byzantine bureaucrats, some “minor” titles holders… what do they have in common? They are all – or sometimes can be or should be – landless. (Currently, CK2 handles patricians with the tricky barony workaround and nomads are just landowner who may teleport their capital barony).

What a shame considering all the new mechanics explained above! They are now much more important in the game and interesting to play as!

>> How to make that possible?

Each realm, depending on its size and government (mainly bureaucratic), may have several “courtier” titles held by the head of an influential landless family which are top liege’s direct vassals. Their number increase when the realm expands. Should they ever have zero Authority or not enough when the realm size is reduced, and it is Game Over for them unless they acquire lands. In some cases (republican elections…), formerly landed people may become playable landless.

As landless subjects don’t have to use Focus Points for administrative purpose on their own (no personal demesne), they dedicate themselves during their “free time” – I mean remaining Focus Points – to improving their skills and thus quickly become essential for their liege’s realm administration as they are better than anyone else. They are then a nice pick for viceroyalties in bureaucratic governments ;) If they don’t administer lands but still hire mercenaries, the troops they spawn would appear few counties away from their liege’s capital.

Landless courtiers are listed, along with regular vassals, in the vassal tab ranking them all by Authority amount. (Reminder that all realms get their own list.) The courtiers’ aim is to rank up by gaining Authority like anybody else. They will use it to better trade-off with others. Why? To forge better alliance, amass more wealth, be awarded with courtly/honorary titles. Why? To gain even more Authority and to eventually get inheritable lands via a deal or to directly replace their liege if the government allows it (remember you can ask to join your faction for lesser counterparts if your Authority is high enough).

Vassals could also have those kinds of courtiers for burgers, petty barons and high clergy members, replacing the barony system for the sake of gameplay mechanics homogeneity, even though they are not playable. But this is minor and one may disagree.

3hDSk6O.png


As landless notables compete to rank up in the subjects list, they often plot to push down rivals - right above or below them - and the liege might use these rivalries to manage internal threats. It will be a huge deal for China if it is on the game map, because most of the Song emperor’s subjects of note are “landless” for instance. :oops:

Tribals and nomads would have their own specific kind of landless subjects called “warriors”. While they’d replace adventurers for tribal pagans, they’d be the new “clan leader” in nomadic realms. These characters have standing armies and loot to amass wealth to either recruit more troops if tribal or increase population if nomadic (what about “merging” pop and troops for the later like tribes in Imperator: Rome?). Succeeding raids is what gives them Authority boosts. To gain lands, they may either duel their overlord when he has less Authority to take his place, or claim lands they have helped to conquer, or prepare invasions (making them independent and landed in case of success), or even being vassalized by neighboring lords in exchange for lands (trade-off interaction), etc.
They are however those who supply the chief or the khan with troops.

Now that a khagan doesn’t have to manage land repartition anymore, nomads can be true landless nomads like CK2’s bands/raiders/adventurers from the steppes. They would actually move their entire “realms” on the map/migrate. The khagan should himself being landless, his “capital” being defined by where his main standing troops-pop stack is positioned. Same for clan leaders. Their respective Authority amounts tell us who becomes overlord upon succession. Empty counties are dynamically distributed by the game between hordes depending of the khans’ troops-pop positions and those counties don’t give anything on their own (not even basic Authority). Khans don’t fight each other for lands but for population, and as you don’t besiege a nomadic clan, you defeat it by destroying-capturing its troops-pop on the battlefield. Khans and khagans aim to subjugate lower Authority neighbors (can be done “peacefully” via deal) and get incentives to move their standing pop (=migrate) from the pursuit of far away weaker hordes or sedentary realms, or to flee a bigger horde…
Just like hordes swallow others to grow (and extend the radius within which counties are allocated to them), defeated or fleeing ones will leave uncontrolled areas where new hordes will appear.
I would honestly really like these realms to be as much versatile as they were historically. :)


There’s a lot more to say, including about warfare, governments, cultures and religions, but it’s already too long. :eek: For more, see this older, quite outdated and really long text: https://forum.paradoxplaza.com/foru...-make-the-game-perfect.1133422/#post-24920080


Your opinion? :)
Feedback? :)
Booing? :confused:


TL;DR : I present ideas of interconnected mechanics adding depth and dynamism to internal politics and offering different approaches for the player at several levels (among other things).
 
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nightgerbil

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Interesting, but your authority system reeks to much like rhys "rise and fall" civ4 mod, where empires got unstable cos reasons and would just collapse game overing you. Was pretty frustrating tbh. Given ALREADY how my biggest ck2 complaint is the game just rng game overing you, I have zero interest in adding another mechanic to do that: esepc one that increases in chance the better Im doing in the game.
 

lazprune

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Interesting, but your authority system reeks to much like rhys "rise and fall" civ4 mod, where empires got unstable cos reasons and would just collapse game overing you. Was pretty frustrating tbh. Given ALREADY how my biggest ck2 complaint is the game just rng game overing you, I have zero interest in adding another mechanic to do that: esepc one that increases in chance the better Im doing in the game.

Well, I don't understand your reasoning... :confused: I would agree if it was just a modifier deciding at some point that "you are too successful, DIE!". But that's not the idea as it only makes the vassals more rebellious, and you can manage - or avoid - that if you are good/careful enough. Unilike the CK2 opinion-only system where randomly unlucky rulers getting bad traits would drive your empire into chaos, "Authority" mechanic would only punish wrong choices. And again, 1/ it should be possible to play tall and 2/ the distance reduction (the true punishing part of that system) must be a "game rule".

Still, thank you very much for your feedback :)
 

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Naval warfare!!

I get that navies were not important in the Middle Ages if you were a duke in central Germany, but the ERE had a (several) dedicated warfleets during the entirety of the Macedonian Era. Greek Fire was infamous for a reason.

And I really like your anit-blobbing mechanics. The stability and power of the blobs are one of my big issues with the game right now.
 

lazprune

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@dk753 That's true, naval warfare is really missing in CK2. However, even though it will not be used by everybody I feel like there must at least be a tiny rework of warefare in general to include it properly. Like, having some land provinces banning naval landing (Constantinople and its walls for enemies, places without a proper port for everybody), thus adapting someting like the fort system from EU4 (but in a way which fits the CK time period).
Having different kinds of ships with different navigating opportunities (I'm thinking of rivers here) instead of it being tied directly to culture/religion would also be great... :rolleyes:
 

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This is amazing.
 

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Something I'd like to see in the future is some kind of culture/religion overhaul, but especially a cultural overhaul. Nowadays it's kinda too easy for a Culture to die out once it get conquered by foreigners and the provinces will slowly but certainly start to convert one after another.

Culture and Religion could be a little more complex, and I feel that culture in particular should be considerably more static outside of the scripted historical melting pot events.
 

lazprune

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Something I'd like to see in the future is some kind of culture/religion overhaul, but especially a cultural overhaul. Nowadays it's kinda too easy for a Culture to die out once it get conquered by foreigners and the provinces will slowly but certainly start to convert one after another.

Culture and Religion could be a little more complex, and I feel that culture in particular should be considerably more static outside of the scripted historical melting pot events.

Yessss! I wrote about that in my older thread (and thought it would be too much to it here) :
It is not necessary to have a pop system in CK, but a percentage of culture and religion (in addition to a population level) would be a good idea. Here's how it could work:

- Counties may have several cohabiting cultures, each with a defined religion;

- The conversions of cultures and religions are progressive;

- The culture conversion by normal means affects less and less the cultures when they become a minority, and almost not when they are rare on the map;

- Conversion is easier in sparsely populated counties;

- A culture present in an adjacent county increases the chances of converting a population to that culture;

- Convert the religion of a culture which is not that of the Lord convert it also culturally, with preference to a culture of that religion found in the county or in a neighboring county. If not, it is converted to the culture of the lord (Prussian Germans, Turks of Anatolia, etc.);

- Cultures may spread as a minority in counties of the region, especially if they are in highly populated counties;

- This migration is encouraged by the invasions of other religions (Armenians, Berber of Spain, etc.) or by events (Jews, heretics);

- The characters generated from the county have a culture determined in percentage of chances by the percentage of culture in the county. They have the religion associated with this culture;

- The percentage of population of your religion decreases the penalty of conquest. It is easier to pacify the territories obtained during the Reconquista than during the Baltic Crusades;

- Characters of certain cultures are more willing to assimilate to the cultures of their provinces instead of converting them. Others, on the contrary, are more resistant. Turkish characters, for instance, do not become Persian or Greek.

That was there : https://forum.paradoxplaza.com/foru...-make-the-game-perfect.1133422/#post-24920080
 

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BeyondExpectation

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Lots of interesting ideas, some of which, like the exchange menu, I thought of too. I'll propose alternatives in later posts (mainly so people can agree/disagree more specifically).

The authority idea I think could be made largely redundant by adding a "fear" mechanic equivalent to the like/dislike one, with fear decreasing over distance.

The whole focus point thing I understand fully from a gameplay/balance perspective. I am worried though, about both Paradox's ability to pull it off while remaining both historical and fun, and more generally it turning the whole game into a "do I have enough focus points" question.
 

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Here's my proposal for vassal/liege interactions in CK2:

In feudal realms, all landed nobility can be “at court” of their liege[1] (only one liege if a noble has multiple). Being at court has advantages and disadvantages, with opportunities for gain both there and at home. Which are greater depends on the strength of the central government and whether you are more suited to martial and stewardship or diplomacy and intrigue.

When at court, you’ll need a regent. This is mainly a disadvantage, partially as an inevitable result of AI mediocrity, and partially for their propensity for self-interest, which can generally be avoided with a loyal one. In a centralized realm though, the liege’s court is where one can reap the greatest rewards. A decent part of this should be prestige (which should have a serious rebalance so that it’s still worth gaining as an emperor and rarely worth dying for as a count), but the bigger prize is influencing realm policy. Depending on laws (I’ll go into more detail about how they should work soon) every lord above a certain rank at court votes on more minor state actions such as selling towns charters[2] or borrowing money from the Jews etcetera. One’s advisers (the “council” in CK2 is nothing of the sort) would generally be chosen from this group of people. This is because people who want the jobs are likely to hang around their liege’s court and picking someone else would piss the people who do want the job off[3]. There are also some people who would accept the job who would be annoyed by the obligation to move.

Side note: council members should generally not need to travel to do their jobs (the most absurd example of this being one’s spymaster permanently studying in Constantinople), and doing so would mean they could no longer vote on everyday issues.

As some will have deduced, being at a sparse court is more beneficial than a packed court, as one’s both more likely to be able to be a deciding vote and to be chosen as an advisor. This means that vassals are more likely to join a sparse court and more likely to leave a packed one, creating a sort of homeostasis.

The advantages of being away from court are principally derived from your ability to commit crimes without being arrested easily. In court, it’s a small matter for your liege’s guards to surround your residence and ensure that your retinue has no chance of fighting its way out, and so you should just surrender. On your home turf though, you can launch an open rebellion and cause him much more trouble. Rebellions should be a big risk to trigger, for reasons I’ll go into soon.

Elsewhere I’ve proposed “autonomy” as a system. I believe this system has the potential for extreme good. Under it, every vassal would have between 0 and 100% autonomy, which depicts the amount of tax and men they’re willing to supply you, with the vassal giving none at 0%. Now, vassals can raise their autonomy at any time, which is just reason for imprisonment and worse. For this reason, vassals will only raise their autonomy when away from court, and they can indeed go straight from 0 to 100%, though this is unlikely. Note that lieges that let their vassals be more autonomous are feared less (though this should quickly reach a cap.) But there’s more. Vassals that are very autonomous and fit other criteria can start going to war with other vassals, whether legal or not. You can intervene to stop it[4], but again risk triggering a rebellion. Though this is usually unlikely, if you’re getting to the point where vassals are fighting, they’re probably fairly powerful compared to you and fighting wars in CK3 ought to be hindered by the greater value of money (see my sig) and often the vassal votes mentioned above.

Now as to why triggering one lord is so dangerous: conspiracies. These would be a merger of factions and plots, it’s criminal to be part of one, and subsequently they are supposed to be secret. Vassals will often form conspiracies of, for instance, mutual aid against their liege, so if the liege tries to arrest one, the other conspirators will join the war. They may just try to defend their titles, but if their victory is looking more decisive, they may try for more power for vassals (could be votes on more realm decisions, could be more autonomy, or even full independence[5]) or the liege’s resignation or his replacement. People can be invited to conspiracies like plots, but upon invitation can choose to join, join on a condition, do nothing, tell the liege or stay silent on condition. Forming conspiracies is less dangerous than it sounds as one does not immediately know every other member of the conspiracy; that would be far too dangerous. Instead, there are inner and outer members, with outer members unable to recruit new members and only knowing the one member that invited him in. To become an inner member, the other inner members must vote to accept him. Of course, some people will want to become inner members so they can tell their liege about the traitors, whether for their liege’s gain or their own. On top of this, even members who don’t spill may still betray; when the rebellion begins, some may not fight or even join the liege, either because they want to be on what they think is the winning side or because joining in the first place was just a ploy to get the conspirators to overreach.

The result should be that large conspiracies will likely have leaked information getting to the target – a combination of people being invited but choosing to inform their liege, and drunk people spilling info. Nonetheless, this will rarely be enough to destroy the conspiracy; even the people you are told are conspiring can counter that their enemies are spreading lies – and indeed, deceitful vassals and those that care little for justice and while not fearing repercussion will lie about their enemies. (Some sort of court and trial system would be good here.) As your vassals won’t go to war with you while inside your capital, the final sign of a rebellion will often be, if you have a large court, a major exodus from it.


Now, on laws. There are two states laws can be in: vassal voting, and dislike causing. In non-feudal realms, the latter would be the case for the vast majority of laws the vast majority of the time. In feudal realms, the former. For example, if I were to raise taxes in Oman, my vassals would be pissed, but to do it in Hungary, I’d need the vassals to vote for it. (Keep in mind that vassals could always raise their autonomy, but that means they can legally be punished, and raising taxes will also increase the max you vassals will pay you). Of course, vassals can like laws (e.g. realm peace if vulnerable to neighbors, status of woman if a woman, though there are always weirdos who value some bizarre moral code over their self-interest, also meaning the extremely rare vassal will want to pay more taxes.)

As for how laws change from vassal voting and dislike causing, there are three ways, and all involve the consent of the ruler. One is through making deals[6]. In short, one would offer more power to vassals in return for support on some other matter (another law for instance). The second is through conspiracies. A conspiracy seeking to replace the king could require any number of pro-vassal (or rarely, some other laws as well) changes for their support for a new claimant[7]. The third way is through regency councils and would merely be until the ruler reaches majority[8]; lords could agree to share power or could rebel to install a regent who was willing to. (I suppose the latter fits way 2 as well.)

Yes, this does mean it will be very rare to change from no vassal voting to some vassal voting or back, and that’s quite deliberate to try and imitate historical precedent, and even better do it without any rigid government types or suchlike.

Some will have concluded that this system would be very annoying due to the micromanagement needed to get a majority of lords at court on board for routine actions. For this purpose, some sort of currency reminiscent of imperial grace should be in place. I don’t know how this should work; perhaps it could just be an opinion boost for decisions lords like which can be “spent” until gone by making decisions they dislike.

There is one kind of law, however, that should have its own way of working for historical accuracy. Laws of succession shouldn’t be possible to change like other laws as they only apply occasionally, and furthermore it’s when the ruler’s dead. Rather, though one would normally start with succession laws in a normal CK2 state, if one wanted a new heir, you would proclaim one and demand your vassals swear allegiance to him. In the law screen, this would create some sort of “disputed succession” thing where (at least) two different succession laws were indicated as being arguably valid. The prior heir, who is very likely to be pissed that the liege has snubbed him, has a strong chance of forming a conspiracy to be launched upon the liege death (or less likely, to rebel to be named heir, or still less likely, to replace the king himself) where he would be made ruler rather than the liege’s chosen heir. Note that other people might form the conspiracy and then try to invite their chosen person in, who’d probably but not always be the prior heir.

In order to remove “disputed succession” the title would need the new ruler to be followed by another who succeeded in his predecessor’s chosen manner, or if as is likely he has a clearer succession[9] with living, legitimate unordained sons, a second succession would need to happen with the same choice in the previous disputed succession winning out.

The obvious implication is that if things go wrong, you’ll be left with a confusing mess of succession laws where every other succession plunges the realm into civil wars. This is intentional. Just look at the chaos in England following the first few successions after William the Bastard’s usurpation of the throne, or Hungary in the late middle ages; successions in CK2 are, strangely, disputed by people always with a clear position behind the ruler, rather than those with a half-decent claim. The former existed, (particularly in the early middle ages, as a consequence of Gavelkind). Furthermore, people (and to a lesser extent, AI) should often be forced to choose between their preferred heir and the kingdom’s stability.


[1] They should also be a similar “on campaign” modifier, but that’s beyond the scope of this essay.

[2] This should be something in the game; a way of gaining money in the short term at long term loss, which spawns republics from cities, as cities often had other forms of rule

[3] Picking a lowborn person in somewhere feudal will piss just about every vassal off, especially nobles who want the job

[4] This should be an option regardless of laws but should cost tyranny if it’s your intervention that’s illegal.

[5] If they have a different religion or culture, are a long way from the liege’s capital, are not contiguous with it, ect.

[6] For for an obscenely complicated example:

I am the King of France negotiating with my vassal the Duke of Burgundy. I offer him the betrothal of his daughter to my son and heir, the County of Nemours, the right to vote on whether the liege can intervene in vassal wars, 491 ducats, the title Keeper of the Swans, and threaten to execute his friend whom I kidnapped, and in return he will convert from Waldensian to Cathar, decrease his autonomy from 100 to 75%, support my war for Catalonia and hand over the King of England’s evil ¾ brother (whom I can likewise use to extract concessions).

[7] Vassals should want someone who actually has a decent claim in feudal realms. For reasons unknown to me, in other kinds usurpers often had little or no justification for their claim to the throne.

[8]though this could be made complicated and intrigue-y with a DLC

[9] For instance, if the law was changed from semi-Salic law to Agnatic-Cognatic
 

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Copies from where it's linked in my sig:

There’s a lot wrong with the “Holding” system of world construction in Crusader Kings 2. The way its tied to government type results in numerous problems, such as the Byzantine Empire turning tribal and being unable to become feudal, kingdoms randomly turning into theocracies and an ahistoric inability of the King of France to hold Paris himself. Furthermore, the system of “spend money to both make money and permanently have more levy” causes areas to always progress unless attacked by nomads and causes easy minmaxing with no-brainer building choices. It also enhances blobbing as there’s no disadvantage to having lots of army buildings in the capital – in reality, a large rich empire would be constantly spending enormous quantities of money to keep thousands of armed men happy, weather they were in fortified positions or not.

My proposal is very radical, but don’t worry; the POPs have nowhere near Victoria level of detail[1]. Each would inhabit a province, while having a religion, culture, agitation, number of people and way of life. Agitation is very similar to revolt risk, while way of life does not correspond exactly to any mechanic in Crusader Kings 2 but is most closely linked to government type.

There are four possible ways of life: nomadic, tribal[2], settled and urban. Nomadic is the way of life in the steppes of central Asia and the interior of Arabia, among others. A majority of a nomadic POP can be raised by a strong ruler to wage war with relative ease, but such POPs only give the tiniest trickle of income. Tribal is the way of life of the Daylamites in the Elburz, Albanians and Montenegrins in the Balkans, and the Scottish Highlanders, among others. Most tribal rulers can raise a large minority of their POPs in defence, and the most effective can raise similar numbers on the offensive, but tribal POPs only give a small amount of income. Both nomadic and tribal armies are strongly inclined to settle in newly conquered areas, the former particularly. Settled POPs, which cover most of the map at the latter start dates, give a moderate amount of income, but only a fairly small fraction can be used for defensive wars, and less for offensive ones. Urban POPs, such as the inhabitants of Bagdad or York, give the highest incomes to their rulers, but only a few percent can be used for external conquest.

Urban POPs are very desirable to have due to their great wealth but are hard to keep intact. Provinces have a POP “cap” which, as the POPs in the province approach it in numerical size, their growth will deaccelerate. The cap is increased multiplicatively based on way of life and the size of the area controlled from it and hence it can draw resources from. In rare circumstances, the POP size will significantly succeed the cap, due to for instance an abnormally long period of peace without plague, abnormal amounts of wealth flowing in through trade or being the capital of a large area[3], in which case the extra population will split off to form a new POP[4]; an urban one. Urban pops are particularly vulnerable to disease, sacks and general shrinkage. Urban POPs are inclined to become republics in times where their liege’s control is weak, and in select cultures, they may be sold town charters to become republics to grant the ruler who sold it an immediate cash boost. In order to protect an urban POP from war, it may be a good idea to build city walls, which leads into the structures feature.

First, city walls prevent any enemy army which just moves into the province from damaging the POP. Instead, to access it, they must besiege the city. City walls are also unique in that they can be built around other structures, like castles, granting additional protection. The disadvantage to city walls? They, like all structures, require maintenance. Zero or insufficient maintenance will cause structures to gradually decay, losing defensive advantage at first very quickly but at ever slowing rates[5]. However, a half-decayed structure will be much cheaper to repair than building a structure from scratch.

There would be two non-defensive kinds of structures: palaces and temples. The former would be things like the Apostolic Palace or Palace of Westminster, while the latter would include Aachen Cathedral or the Al-Azhar Mosque. Like other structures, they would require maintenance, but Palaces would give more prestige the larger and better maintained they were, and Temples would give piety[6]. Note that theocrats would not live in temples, but castles or palaces.

[1] They have a closer resemblance to EU:Rome or MEIOU & Taxes 2.0 POPs

[2] Not to be confused with tribal government type, which are actually much closer to chiefdoms.

[3] This would be done with a formula something like T=B*C+C/x, where T is the new total the province’s POPs are geared to (collectively) grow towards, B is the base POP cap of the province, and C is the total caps of all the areas controlled (minus perhaps some sort of autonomy modifier like Crown Authority in CK2).

[4] Or POPs, if the province is religiously or culturally diverse

[5] For instance, not maintaining a castle for a decade with substantially reduce the defensive advantage, but a castle neglected for 50 years is not much worse than one neglected for 25

[6] Both should be subject to diminishing returns, as someone who owns 100 palaces is not twice as prestigious as one who owns 50. (Indeed, this should be a general principle as it would stop prestige becoming a bottomless pool for major emperors.)
 

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lazprune

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Lots of interesting ideas, some of which, like the exchange menu, I thought of too. I'll propose alternatives in later posts (mainly so people can agree/disagree more specifically).

The authority idea I think could be made largely redundant by adding a "fear" mechanic equivalent to the like/dislike one, with fear decreasing over distance.

The whole focus point thing I understand fully from a gameplay/balance perspective. I am worried though, about both Paradox's ability to pull it off while remaining both historical and fun, and more generally it turning the whole game into a "do I have enough focus points" question.



Thank you for the feedback! You adressed very interesting stuff in your threads and messages here.

I will answer you point by point:


- About Fear vs. Authority: I used "Fear" in the older thread in a way which is outdated but you might not refer to this. What you wrote here is somehow exactly what Authority is meant to be, so beside naming I don't get your point... :confused:

- About Focus Points: I agree than it could become a overused feature if not well designed. However, I have to emphasis that Focus Points would not be EU4's Monarch Points. You will not wait to get them to then spend them. See them as the CK2 foci but with the ability to have several active foci at the same time (the whole "points" system is there because some foci should be more important and rewarding than other and thus should ask for more character involvement i.e. more points for balance purpose).
There's a strict max amount (let's say 15) of points and you can at anytime withdraw them from your current focus to use them for another task. There could be a menu where you see for what matter they are used and choose to stop these tasks to get them back and use them elsewhere (put and end to two minor foci needing 4 and 6 points respectively to start a 10 points focus for instance).
It's more like "how much time I must spend on this" rather than "how many point". :)

- About your "at court" mechanic: I didn't want to write about too specific mechanics, but I must say I love this one! :D Besides, it would make Authority (or Fear if you wish) even more useful as having your vassals at court could be for the liege a way to undermine the distance reduction modifier and thus to better control them.

- About Autonomy: it could be merged with Authority like said in the first post. The issue with "chosen" Autonomy by vassals IMO is that it would destabilize a realm quickly without any way to prevent this from a player-liege perspective. (Just imagine every vassals push their Autonomy straight to 100% at the same time and you are basically dead for no reason even if you did everything well... :eek: )

- About conspiracies: This idea is genuinely brilliant. :D If you add a blackmailing mechanic like in the first post to it, I would really start daydreaming of something like that.

- About laws: I agree. Nothing to add besides the "Autonomy" stuff I already answered to.

- About Succession : I put a great "YES!" to this! CK definitely needs better succession crisises like that. :)

- About POPs and holdings: very interesting, although your defined POP types are, I think, too specific and wouldn't fit for example Tibet or Silk Road posts where merchants are a huge deal. But the idea is good and seems to be what Pdx tends to do if we are looking to Imperator.
POPs could be a way to get rid of the outdated and messy "holding" system... and I support this!

- About "The value of money and blobbing" that you didn't write here but let a link in you signature: it would be nice have this being adressed as it would deepen the gameplay. :)
People seem to think "WC players" are not going to like it that but then why not make it a "game rule" to make everyone happy? :cool:

Cheers.
 
Last edited:

lazprune

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We need victoria 3 not ck3 yet

I would like VIcky3 to be the next Pdx game too, but that's absolutely not the point of this thread.
It is relevant to discuss about future game mechanics when they are not set as the game is not yet in development. That why I talk about this now.
 

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Inland republics like Florence, Novgorod and others would be wonderful to see. With a proper system of term times and limits.

And the ability to play as a baron.
 

lazprune

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Inland republics like Florence, Novgorod and others would be wonderful to see. With a proper system of term times and limits.

And the ability to play as a baron.

Like the landless playable characters of the original post, off chance? :p