DLC idea - Qabila - Desert tribes, Slaves, Cadet branches and enhanced islam

BeyondExpectation

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Don't feel bad elvain. Bar some monstrous calamity, Crusader Kings 3 will be released within the decade and a rework of the field developed by the first ever CK2 expansion is highly likely to be at or very near the top of priorities.
 

elvain

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How about the devs hold a contest for the best mods along the vein of OPs to make into DLC?

I'd pay for this ****.

Then again, I'd also rather NOT have to pay for it.

The dilemma of pay-for-mods.:(
You know the ideas outlined here are mostly beyond modability, so they can't be modded in and they need either the game to become far more moddable, or be a DLC content.
As for the mods contest - it's kinda good idea, but I do believe that the game developpers at least sometimes look into mods and they get inspiration from them.
The ability to pay for mods content is then out of question, though it would be very helpful, considering that often the modders have to buy DLCs they're not interested at all only to allow the mod development to keep going... and sometimes modders even buy the DLCs for other members of their mod teams. Considering that modders' work is often used in DLC development and that PDS earns money from their work, it would be fair if modders would have at least the DLCs for free or discounted...

Don't feel bad elvain. Bar some monstrous calamity, Crusader Kings 3 will be released within the decade and a rework of the field developed by the first ever CK2 expansion is highly likely to be at or very near the top of priorities.
No worries, I don't feel bad :)
We'll see what happens
 
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elvain

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Part 11 - Religious movements and orders (could be considered as playable theorcracies if you want)

This outline is based on abstraction of some religious movements and orders, which emerged in the muslim world and christian world such as the Almoravids, the Almohads, the Qarmatians or Cathars of south France, and to a degree of military orders such as the Knights of St.John, Templars and Assasins.

Internal organization
One thing they all had in common was that they were - to a degree - brotherhoods.
The gameplay inside the movements would have several layers depending on how strong and powerfull the movement is and depending on whether or not it is part of some official religious structure (military orders subordinated to the pope).
Internal workings of the movements are to a degree similar to how Qabila tribes and their clans work inside (which is variation of Merchant republics and/or horde mechanics) - recomended to read to understand following.

The major difference between the Tribes and religious movements is the way how they get their new members. While tribes have it simple and their new members are results of marriages, religious movements require that the character becomes their member first *. The goal of each religious movement thus will be to attract and get new members which can be done either via propaganda or force. The player can concentrate on climbing the ladder to the top of the movement, expand its influence and possibly also power. Just like dynasties need to fear they won't grow heir, religious movements need to keep getting new rectuits and for that they need influende at the right royal courts.

*
Some of them, like the Almoravids or Almohads or Cathars allow their members to enter marriages with one woman and have children, but from that moment on these children have same rights as any other movement members. Military orders on the other hand don't allow neither marriages nor bastards to become members of the movement - the bastard becomes member of his mother's dynasty

1) Basic structure

Typical religious movement will be at c_tier (with possibility to rise to d_tier) and will look like single tribe or merchant republic with one-layer structure.
Its landed power is based on ownership of special baron level holdings. In case of religious movements, those would be monasteries or ribats (for muslims) or generaly monastic fortresses (if conquered by non-movemental holder, they'd become temple holdings).
In case of military orders it would be commendaries, which would turn into castles if held by non-movemental holder. In case of muslims, these would always be called ribats and would always turn into castles, since muslims don't differentiate between temple and castle holdings in terms of ownership.

Large religious movements or orders (such as Hospitaliers, Templars or Teutonic knights) will have the basic structure strictly tied to c_tier and will have one more layer above it, which will be similar to what I have described for Qabila tribal confederations and thus will have interface of a horde.
If the movement/order becomes too large and its basic structure would exceed certain number of monasteries/commendaries, and the head would acquire duchy tier, the leader could split the order/movement into Priories, which will have subordinate monasteries/commendaries. Priors of the Priories would then struggle for the position of grand-master. In case of orders falling under some organized chuurch (catholic military orders), the pope will assign the Grand-master according to his personal relationswith pope, piety and prestige. In caseof independent movements or heresies (Almoravids, Cathars etc.) they will elect their leader amongst themselves.

1b) Religious Movement/order dynasties

The most important goal of religious movements and orders is to spread their influence to attract new members without whom they would die out. It means convincing noble families to send their sons for training in the order.
Young noble sons assigned to the order/movement will first get a trait which indicates their novice status. When they finnish the training, they become local members of the order, and that will change their dynasty. For instance a French lord who becomes Templar in Paris would have his dynasty changed to Templar/Templier de Paris... other 'dynasties' would be Almoravid Idjili or Marrakushi, Qarmat Bahrayni or Cathar de Albi etc.

Like Qabila tribes, the structure of Orders would be outside of normal vasal structure. Their primary obligation lies with the order, yet they could be vasalized by a kingdom_tier rulers. For instance by granting a castle in Mazovia to Teutonic order, the king of Poland can create "Teutons of Mazovia" as a sub-branch of Teotinic order and they could start as his vasals, yet receiving support from other Teutonic dynasties (see below under Army of...)

These order/movement dynasties will be able to build their new holdings either on the territory of their de-facto liege (with his consent), or get them from liege's other vasals, or they could build them on infidel territories (all they need is to de-facto control the province, just like with forts). In the end even if the war is eventualy lost, the holding remains there giving the order-dynasty a free county CB.

2) Gaining influence and securing succession
At the lower level the local movement/order dynasties can try to expand their influence/power inside their county or duchy in order to convince as many young nobles to join the order (dynasty) as possible.
- The ultimate way is to directly ask the noble himself to join the order, or to ask his liege (just like when negotiating for marriage).
- to increase chance, the order dynasty can build hospitals, schools or other church or educational buildings in its own holdings as well as in all holdings in the same province.
- These activities can be funded from donations either given voluntarily by pious charecters, or by sinners under pressure from the order/dynasty
- the order/movement can also build hospitals throughout the territory of the liege.
- there could be also special plots called religious foundations, where sympathizers can join and for the benefit of piety pay some small but regular donations.

3) Army of religious movements/military orders
Each order/movement local dynasty has its own army based on their levy troops from their holdings.
- They will also have automatic retinues. Size of retinues depends on prestige and piety of the current dynasty leader and will automatically be reionforced on any territory of dynasty's/order's religion. These retinues are meant to serve as detached military orders' armies in Holy land, or like the ghazi forces known from muslim world, which were helping to expand Islam into Central Asia or Anatolia.
Novices or members of the dynasty serve as military commanders of these armies - thus fighting the infidels would increase prestige and piety of their own as well as their (former) dynasty.

- Then there is similar retinue army of the Grand-master/Movement's supreme leader, which works similarily, except that the military leaders are nominated from order/movement's dynasty leaders.

4) Succession
In smaller movement or order with simplier structure, there are only 3 levels of succession
a) commendors, abbots or murabites are chosen from all available members of dynasty. The player can't influence who will get which commandery/monastery/ribat, it will always be the one of dynasty members with highest combination of diplomacy+learning+martial+stewardship and prestige+piety. In military orders, diplomacy and prestige are those, who decide in case of equal values. In other religious movements it is learing and piety.
b) dynasty leader is elected from dynasty's most prestigeous and pious members. Usualy its from the ranks of the abbots or commendors/murabites - that is holders of dynasty's holdings. Succession is the same like in case of chosing the abbots or commendors/murabites. Player can't influence it.
c) Supreme leader of smaller orders/movements or Prior of the larger orders/movements are chosen by the council of the order. Here, finally also relations, favours etc. can play their role. To this position any of the abbots or commendors/murabites can be nominated, he doesn't necessarily be a leader of some dynasty.
- However, if the order is subordinated to a religious head, it works differently. The council picks 2 most favoured candidates and it is the religious head, who picks the new leader
d) Then in case of larger orders/movements, there is one more layer above the Priors. Here the grandmaster is also elected by the Order's/Movement's council, except that he is only picked from among the Priors, not all members of all dynasties.

PS: All these movements are strictly patriarchal. Women, even if born within ranks of these movements, are allowed only to marry inside the movement itself. It might be fun to have some matriarchal movements as well, where situation would be totally oposite - men would be allowed to marry only inside the movement itself and in case of female military order, male bastards would be members of their fathers' dynasties, while female bastards would becomes members of the sorority.
 

elvain

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elvain

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Some ideas about tribal armies and cultural spread in general:

Now let's look at tribal armies, be it under the Qabila government, or the Tribal government we have now.

The typical aspect of tribal populations/cultures was, that they were able to raise relatively strong armies (stronger than what their population could provide compared to other societies). Ibn Khaldun would explain it with relative roughness of the desert and/or mountainious people compared to "settled" dwellers of relatively rich agricultural areas.
I think the game could/should reflect this in a way how certain cultures' tribal armies strength is calculated.
The Masmuda berbers (core of Almohads), Daylamites, Kurds as well as the Scotch, Georgian or other highlanders were cultures with some kind of clan society which proved very resistant against foreign invasions.
At the same time cultures like Desert Sanhaja or Zanata Berbers, Bedouin Arabs, the Beja/Blemmyes, Baloch, but also the Turkic peoples and Khazars all lived in steppes or semi-deserts and they could raise large armies which were able to threaten and conquer lands of their neighbours mostly thanks to their mounted armies.

Therefore I think that tribal armies should be more tied to the typical terrain of those cultures. This way, if mountainious culture (Daylamite, Masmuda, Scotish/Pictish, Georgian, Kurd etc.) has tribal settlement (but perhaps also feudal settlement) in mountainious province, it should provide much stronger army than settlement of the same culture in grassy or arid plains.
Thus for instance a mountainious or hilly province should provide at least 500men stack of tribal army for these cultures (with aditional men comming from more developed buildings), but in other terrains this basic army should be considerably lower (say 100-150 men). Furthemore these armies should be constituted from light infantry and/or pikemen etc. - units which have bonus for fighting in this specific terrain, while when facing cavalry or heavy infantry on plains, they should be much weaker.

The desert or semi-desert based cultures of those nomadic tribes should OTOH have something similar to what we have in Horde armies - strong tribal armies which are derived from manpower which is not dependent on number of settlements and their development, but on number of herds they can support. Therefore these cultures should have strong tribal armies from semi-desert, desert or arid plains (Bedouin, Zanata, Desert Sanhaja, Beja, Baloch) with some 300-400 lance-horsemen (light cavalry/camel cavalry) per province or 100-150/200 of these horse/camel-men per empty holding in this terrain. OTOH when holding a province with other terrain, it should be only about 1/3 of the original strength. The same applies to Khorasani, or Turkic people who control steppe provinces.

Then there are cultures which don't depend that much on their typical terrain, like French, Byzantine/Greek, Persian or Italian who all mainly rely on heavy infantry or heavy cavalry - these armies should be generally much more effective, except when fighting in extreme terrains, like deserts or high mountains and thus heavy infantry should have large morale and possibly also other malus in desert or steppe provinces, while heavy cavalry should have the same malus in mountains.

The terrain aspect could also play role in the way how cultures spread and assimilate original populations.
For instance Turkic cultures should spread easily in provinces with mixture of steppe and hills, while forested provinces should be harder for them to be assimilated
Mountinious cultures should spread more easily in hilly or mountain terrain provinces, but be much slower to spread in plains... also these cultures should be very resistant in their original terrains.
Perhaps each culture could have defined its typical favoured terrain type(s) and terrain type(s) which are not favoured.
This way we could relatively easily avoid or at least considerably slow down Khazaria becoming Byzantine/Greek or Georgian, Persia becomming Turkish and/or North Africa becomming Italian/French within few decades.
 
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elvain

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so maybe with the new development around China and possible more DLCs this might be a posibility for further development?
 

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China would be more provinces and more excuses for less in-game interactions and characters instead of more actual depth to the game.

Instead of reddit-down-voting me why don't you think critically for ten seconds? India has added so little it feels like its a separate game's map crudely clamped onto a game about Medieval Crusades and interactions between the West and East Abrahamic religions. Pagans were icing on the cake to me.
I would rather them devout all their time and energy to making a proper Imperial System like Elvain has said. Rather then wasting time trying to pad China out more. Adding to the map and religions to me seems like widening the game not actually adding depth that this game needs so bad and is lacking in without tons of mods. Still after all these years Prince and the Thane has more backbone.
 
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China would be more provinces and more excuses for less in-game interactions and characters instead of more actual depth to the game.

Instead of reddit-down-voting me why don't you think critically for ten seconds? India has added so little it feels like its a separate game's map crudely clamped onto a game about Medieval Crusades and interactions between the West and East Abrahamic religions. Pagans were icing on the cake to me.
I would rather them devout all their time and energy to making a proper Imperial System like Elvain has said. Rather then wasting time trying to pad China out more. Adding to the map and religions to me seems like widening the game not actually adding depth that this game needs so bad and is lacking in without tons of mods. Still after all these years Prince and the Thane has more backbone.
From your original one line it wasn't very clear against what this rant was intended (sorry to call it rant, but the unedited message didn't look like anything else). Frankly I actually understood it that you consider all this effort as something like China.

I obviously have no idea who downvoted you, but I would guess it was mainly the people who follow this thread because they find its ideas somehow interesting and that they misunderstood you like I did. I just don't like downvoting, so after putting together planned text I wanted to ask you to elaborate your statement. Thankfully you did it yourself :)

To defend the devs, China is something which causes strong emotions and opinions, but is generaly very demanded and offers big marketing potential. Going deeper usualy means changing core mechanics to which: 1) many people are used to and they do complain when they are changed, 2) is very difficult in terms of ballance and even if there is high demand for rework of some core mechanics, I bet that if they are overhauled, there would still be very vocal and possibly also numerous group which would still complain (like there is against China).

The width and depth of these suggestions is reflecting these factors and is being adjusted in order to adapt to them.
Originaly this was rather adding width - new system for a region which isn't the most popular among many users, map expansion in Africa which many CKII users would prefer to be cut off rather than expanded... and frankly you can't expect a game called Crusader kings to ever have any big marketing success in the muslim world, which would IMHO be the best marketing target for this DLC.
Only thanks to the level of abstractions I am trying to make that many of the above mentioned suggestions appear to be usable not only for the muslim world mechanics, but with some tiny amount of fantasy could also be used in Europe or elswhere (clans do work for mountinious cultures such as Scots, Georgians or even Armenians, perhaps also the Basques), Madrasas could with some adjustments work as European Universities, the dynamic structure of tribes could be used for creating cadet branches in general - that is all my intention (and geniality :D) to make it usable also for those who would never be interested in Desert tribes and Islamic civilization ;)
 

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China would be more provinces and more excuses for less in-game interactions and characters instead of more actual depth to the game.

Instead of reddit-down-voting me why don't you think critically for ten seconds? India has added so little it feels like its a separate game's map crudely clamped onto a game about Medieval Crusades and interactions between the West and East Abrahamic religions. Pagans were icing on the cake to me.
I would rather them devout all their time and energy to making a proper Imperial System like Elvain has said. Rather then wasting time trying to pad China out more. Adding to the map and religions to me seems like widening the game not actually adding depth that this game needs so bad and is lacking in without tons of mods. Still after all these years Prince and the Thane has more backbone.

I'm fine with the China DLC if anything because it will add cool and new modding capabilities, but it is true that CK2 is in need for more depth. What is the purpose of so many characters if playing a bengali ruler is almost the same as a saxon one, half a world away? There's such a wealth of possible flavour and mechanics that could make the pre-ROI map so much more diverse and yet all of that potential remains untapped.
 

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I'm fine with the China DLC if anything because it will add cool and new modding capabilities, but it is true that CK2 is in need for more depth. What is the purpose of so many characters if playing a bengali ruler is almost the same as a saxon one, half a world away? There's such a wealth of possible flavour and mechanics that could make the pre-ROI map so much more diverse and yet all of that potential remains untapped.
This. Hell, the reason I'm reading this thread is to see how awesome adding depth to CK2 would be.

Sumbro also summarises why I, along with quite a bit of the CK2 population in general I think, tend to play modded to hell games over vanilla...
 

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Sumbro also summarises why I, along with quite a bit of the CK2 population in general I think, tend to play modded to hell games over vanilla...

Yeah, many of the bigger mods change not only the setting but also the dynamics of the game. Hopefully once the Paradox team finishes CK2's development modders can really get their hands on all the interesting concepts and functionalities that could be implemented without the burden of constant (but welcome) updates.
 

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I'm fine with the China DLC if anything because it will add cool and new modding capabilities, but it is true that CK2 is in need for more depth. What is the purpose of so many characters if playing a bengali ruler is almost the same as a saxon one, half a world away? There's such a wealth of possible flavour and mechanics that could make the pre-ROI map so much more diverse and yet all of that potential remains untapped.
Yup, that is exactly, that is the biggest downfall of the current stage of the game: The difference in playing various characters is very shallow. However, there are some interesting things. I think that the Republic did add some different experience and so does the Horde - they both need player to take different perspective and adjust his goals and gameplay. Some pagans have also received interesting features... and the internal gameplay was also nicely enhanced by the latest DLCs. Compared to them the first two DLCs (Sword of Islam and Legacy of Rome) are very shallow and don't add much diversity, despite SoI opens up a large world which is very different from what could European feudal lord expetience.

I do hope that China DLC will offer some enhancement to budeaucratic empires so that the debt to LoR and Byzantines would be paid back and I think the same should happen to the Islamic civilization. After all I would like to also develop something which could enable us to simulate the stagnation and decline, which was typical for the Islamic civilization in 11th-14th centuries. Also some sort of Imperial decay could add great depth and challenge not only to Islamic civilization, but also to Europe

This. Hell, the reason I'm reading this thread is to see how awesome adding depth to CK2 would be.
Thanks for the compliment :)
The world of fantasy and speculations is unlimited, unlike our skills and potential... and unlike the budget and personal capacities of CK2 dev team. I'm really hoping that this could be inspirative for @Doomdark and @Darkrenown or @rageair and that the success of the latest DLCs will open up a hope for some more DLCs and that some of these ideas will get in there.
I would really love to keep doing what I am doing here. It is really exciting to do these abstractions and transform the knowledge about how things worked into this kind of ideas. I just wish I could do more to help with putting them into the game somehow.

Yeah, many of the bigger mods change not only the setting but also the dynamics of the game. Hopefully once the Paradox team finishes CK2's development modders can really get their hands on all the interesting concepts and functionalities that could be implemented without the burden of constant (but welcome) updates.
The only downside of mods is that they can't change core mechanics and Islam would really need at least the possibility to somehow mess around with decadence and Tribalism. Perhaps @Meneth or @Divine might help in case that none of this wouldn't make it into a DLC?
 
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Hell, you're an inspiration for me. Some great game design ideas you've had here, and excellent explanations. I'd love to read some of the history books that you have!

It feels to me that development is winding down for the game. I wouldn't have said that before the release of M&M but now I feel that the devs are putting the finishing touches on the CK2 experience. Anything large that intends to add depth will have to come from a mod. It doesn't make economic sense to do large additions now when, in all likelihood, it's something that can be saved for a CK3. The devs have always maintained that they wouldn't make a sequel unless they had a good game design addition to justify it. Something like this, and a new engine that allows East Asia, would fill such needs.

I do hope we eventually manage to see these designs live on either in a major mod like CK+ or in the eventual sequel. And Elvain, I would encourage you maintain your extensive game system designing. That's an excellent skill in the industry, and nothing stops a dev team faster than stale derivative ideas.
 

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The logic behind width vs. depth is a complete non sequitur because what people consider to be depth or width can be completely different. Paradox tried to add depth with Conclave and got slammed for it. Paradox is trying to accommodate those who don't and do want China with the next semi-China DLC, and they'll probably get slammed for it again.
 

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The logic behind width vs. depth is a complete non sequitur because what people consider to be depth or width can be completely different. Paradox tried to add depth with Conclave and got slammed for it. Paradox is trying to accommodate those who don't and do want China with the next semi-China DLC, and they'll probably get slammed for it again.
I have to admit their route they went with China has impressed me although. As someone completely apathetic towards the whole matter (although one who likes new toys either way) them making China in a way which won't make my already-overtaxed CK2 engine melt even more while still making China a very real factor in the game is dang awesome to me. I'd not even considered them going down that route or that it could be a thing prior to reading the dev diary which introduced it, which had me going "Huh. That is AWESOME."
 

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so maybe with the new development around China and possible more DLCs this might be a posibility for further development?
I don't mean to discourage you, here. You've obviously put a lot of thought into these issues. Perhaps too much thought. However, it's highly unlikely that they're going to rework Islam at this stage.

The fact is that Paradox Interactive is a business and it has to operate under the rules that govern businesses in Sweden. Sword of Islam advertises explicit features like the decadence mechanic and other things that might not have met your expectations. Paradox might find themselves in a difficult position, legally or otherwise if they were to begin the practice of publicly advertising things and then taking those things away after they've received money from consumers. Try to give them a break because for them, any decision like this could have consequences. It is perhaps best to accept that as far as Sword of Islam goes, what's done is done.

Also, consider that developers are human beings who are limited, at most, to having two hands. Having them rework Islam (with no guarantee that they would satisfy you on the second try, anyway) prevents them from working on anything else. That's a limitation of our species, in general. There are a lot of things that could be reworked in CK2 and honestly, if there's only one big expansion left after the Chinese one, I'd rather see them work on others things that have been neglected since launch.

Again, not saying any of this to discourage you. You certainly made a lot of well-written points. I just think that maybe it's more practical to ask for these things in Crusader Kings III. From their own mouths, the developers believe that it is hard to teach an old dog new tricks and they consider CK2 to be an old dog at this point. It is a little naive to seriously put your faith into them turning any part of the game upside-down and inside-out at this point in the game's life. Don't set yourself up for further disappointment.
 

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I don't mean to discourage you, here. You've obviously put a lot of thought into these issues. Perhaps too much thought. However, it's highly unlikely that they're going to rework Islam at this stage.

The fact is that Paradox Interactive is a business and it has to operate under the rules that govern businesses in Sweden. Sword of Islam advertises explicit features like the decadence mechanic and other things that might not have met your expectations. Paradox might find themselves in a difficult position, legally or otherwise if they were to begin the practice of publicly advertising things and then taking those things away after they've received money from consumers. Try to give them a break because for them, any decision like this could have consequences. It is perhaps best to accept that as far as Sword of Islam goes, what's done is done.

Also, consider that developers are human beings who are limited, at most, to having two hands. Having them rework Islam (with no guarantee that they would satisfy you on the second try, anyway) prevents them from working on anything else. That's a limitation of our species, in general. There are a lot of things that could be reworked in CK2 and honestly, if there's only one big expansion left after the Chinese one, I'd rather see them work on others things that have been neglected since launch.

Again, not saying any of this to discourage you. You certainly made a lot of well-written points. I just think that maybe it's more practical to ask for these things in Crusader Kings III. From their own mouths, the developers believe that it is hard to teach an old dog new tricks and they consider CK2 to be an old dog at this point. It is a little naive to seriously put your faith into them turning any part of the game upside-down and inside-out at this point in the game's life. Don't set yourself up for further disappointment.
First of all, no need to worry. I'm very well aware that there are many things that deserve or even require devs attention before the game is left for good (for CK3). Just as you think they should prefer something else, I believe they could do this and I'm trying to make it as easy for them as possible... and show that doing this stuff will allow them to target and developed also other aspects of game, some of which are on long-term community wishlist.
If you want other stuff to be done instead, posting this won't help...just as it won't discourage me, but thanks for your care.

Secondly, It seems you probably haven't red the suggestions or didn't understood them well.
The suggestions here are designed to avoid the possible legal or other problems you mentioned. The mechanics outlined here build on what already exists and expand it. Not a single thing would have to be removed. You might have assumed that Asabiya requires decadence and thus would require that feature to become free or removed? But Asabiya doesn't require it, nor the Qabila government. It only makes it more effective and accurate.
The mechanics outlined here don't go against SoI features, they go beyond or more precisely take another direction and if used together, they expand SoI.

Is it naive to hope? Perhaps... Frankly I don't expect much. I know there is only limited room and capacities, I know there are things that need to be adressed and all I'm doing is to make potential 'Qabila DLC' (or some of its ideas part of another DLC) as easy for Paradox as possible. There still is room for it..and it would fit to some things which need to be done before CK2 is abandoned. Or they might later use it for CK3? or never. Who cares? All I do is to make sure they know about this possibility/ies.

Want something else? Discouraging posts like this won't help (I know you don't want to discourage, but...). Perhaps helping Paradox would be more helpfull for your cause ;)