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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

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I'm making this thread as as continuation of the thread with a link below. Reason is that while the old thread isn't very far down, it is pretty old and we're not supposed to be doing thread necroing. Hence this new thread. If the mods would think it would be better to continue in the old thread I'd like to make my opinion know that, that would be perfectly fine in my opinion. But I did check up the rules of conduct, it says that thread-necromancy is not good and since the last post in that thread was from 2020-03-03 I decided to make a new thread.


Now the reason to make this thread is to make a suggestion for how a GSG in a fantasy setting could be made. And I've come to consider that a map randomly generated might be the best for this, which is naturally in stark contrast to my previous belief on this topic. But I've looked a little at Stellaris and think that for a non-historical game it might be best to increase the replayability for the game.

To start, I think that the sheer diversity in the takes on the fantasy genre should mean a significent number of game rules and options for a generated world. Things like;

Intelligence species: Humans only, mostly humans, balanced between humans other intelligent species, human just one of many intelligence species, no humans present

Magic: Magic is common, Magic is scarce, Magic is rare, Magic is unheard of, no Magic at all

Dark Lord: Several Dark Lords, succession of Dark Lords, one Dark Lord, no Dark Lord

And so on. Many fans of fantasy have different tastes for their fantasy and the same person can reasonably want to play in different fantasy settings in different runs. So I would think that offering options for what to include or not include in the world of a specific run could be something to expand on.
 
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I'm surprised this hasn't gotten replies. I've gotten more into Stellaris lately and been following the CK3 development closely and planning to dive into that since I never really got into CK2 very much for some reason. But I keep day dreaming about a Paradox take on a Fantasy 4X game that combines elements of Stellaris and CK3. There has to be more people out there who have thought of this? Imagine a fantasy strategy game with a religious system with the depth of the system they're doing for CK3, map and world generation with the variety we now see in Stellaris after a few years of patching, quasi-random world shaking events along the lines of the mid and end game crisis, Victoria/Stellaris style pops, magic systems that tie into the religious systems, etc. Drool.
For me its a close call between this and Victoria 3 for what I'd like to see next from Paradox in terms of grand strategy.
 
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Ck3 with stellaris style empire and race creation with optional magic and dark lords?

10/10 would pay full price for that game.

Ck3 with some home brew preset tolkien fantasy hodge podge or some boring fantasy IP?

0/10 wouldn't even look.


Fully agreed. The races could be divided into general archetypes like they are in Stellaris and then have a bunch of flavor portraits to choose from, and lot of racial perks/traits that would be similar to how species are handled in Stellars. And the possibilities for "crisis" events pretty much write themselves, a bazillion fantasy tropes to borrow from just as Stellaris borrows from so many sci-fi tropes.
Now combine that with a culture/religion system on part with what CK3 seems to be going for, and have dynamic magic systems that can also be customized and that tie into the religion system. "Heroes" could be like CK3 knights but with maybe some more detail and ability to equip them, etc. I am split on whether this fantasy game should be dynasty based like CK or Kingdom-centric like EU4....I lean towards saying the CK model is a better fit....and I like the idea of the detailed characters and CK-style RPG elements and vassals and whatnot in the fantasy context.
 
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I was thinking about how to model a fantasy grand strategy game the other day. I think players, such as myself, would want variety options to customize a world setting and their fantasy empires, rather than a limited set of predesigned empires. That said the game could come with a few preset races and empires for quick start, like in Stellaris.

However, the problem with the sandbox Stellaris model on launch was that the universe of Stellaris felt stale, lacked depth, and character.

I think one way to get around the sandbox problem for a fantasy game would be to create a common mythology/cosmology of the fantasy universe on to which details could built by the player in game or in game set up. Like any mythology, it could be added to and expanded with DLCs.

What I am imagining is a beginning set of Gods and Nature Spirits that would orient the player's action in game and create the feeling of storytelling in game. The player could follow event chains that would define the orientation and play style of their empire. Similar to how event chains are being used in Humankind or Old Gods, to define the player's empire over the course of the game rather than having your empire and play-style railroaded from the start. The player could choose to work with or against the designs of these gods and spirits in shaping the world and the civilizations in it.

For the purpose of world building, this arch-mythology (pantheon of gods, spirits, heroes) could even have a general narrative that spans over historical/geological time, providing a few ready made settings for random generation of the world, that could be further customized.

-Dawn of the Races scenario: post-ice age environment, tribal starts, magic sparse, divine intervention high, high diversity of races
-High Fantasy scenario: temperate climate, settled agricultural starts, high magic, sparse divine intervention, humans most common race
-Dark Sun scenario: post-apocalyptic environment, city or tribal starts (fallen empires present), low magic, gods absent, some races extinct
 
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I was thinking about how to model a fantasy grand strategy game the other day. I think players, such as myself, would want variety options to customize a world setting and their fantasy empires, rather than a limited set of predesigned empires. That said the game could come with a few preset races and empires for quick start, like in Stellaris.

However, the problem with the sandbox Stellaris model on launch was that the universe of Stellaris felt stale, lacked depth, and character.

I think one way to get around the sandbox problem for a fantasy game would be to create a common mythology/cosmology of the fantasy universe on to which details could built by the player in game or in game set up. Like any mythology, it could be added to and expanded with DLCs.

What I am imagining is a beginning set of Gods and Nature Spirits that would orient the player's action in game and create the feeling of storytelling in game. The player could follow event chains that would define the orientation and play style of their empire. Similar to how event chains are being used in Humankind or Old Gods, to define the player's empire over the course of the game rather than having your empire and play-style railroaded from the start. The player could choose to work with or against the designs of these gods and spirits in shaping the world and the civilizations in it.

For the purpose of world building, this arch-mythology (pantheon of gods, spirits, heroes) could even have a general narrative that spans over historical/geological time, providing a few ready made settings for random generation of the world, that could be further customized.

-Dawn of the Races scenario: post-ice age environment, tribal starts, magic sparse, divine intervention high, high diversity of races
-High Fantasy scenario: temperate climate, settled agricultural starts, high magic, sparse divine intervention, humans most common race
-Dark Sun scenario: post-apocalyptic environment, city or tribal starts (fallen empires present), low magic, gods absent, some races extinct


I like the idea of the starting scenarios, its kind of like origin stories for species in Stellaris but applied to the world as a whole. 'Dominions' does this.

Your idea of having the hard coded myhtos/pantheons is interesting as well as long as the details are randomized or at least randomly selected from a large list. I.E. its just a general framework but not totally hard coded. And the player should be able to tweak things in the set up as well, pick and choose which aspects of the mythos/cosmology to include, etc.
 

Zavaleta

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I like the idea of the starting scenarios, its kind of like origin stories for species in Stellaris but applied to the world as a whole. 'Dominions' does this.

Your idea of having the hard coded myhtos/pantheons is interesting as well as long as the details are randomized or at least randomly selected from a large list. I.E. its just a general framework but not totally hard coded. And the player should be able to tweak things in the set up as well, pick and choose which aspects of the mythos/cosmology to include, etc.

I haven't played Dominion, but my understanding is that players select a deity from the start to guide their empires. What I am imagining is that the pantheon of gods/deities would exist in the world (separate from empires), as part of the general story content predesigned by the developers (yet open to customization and modding). As a player, you would attempt to follow/carry favor with or oppose these supernatural powers in order to gain benefits (could be a bonus tree, even defining the technology and magic tree), which would in turn define your play style. In this way, the player would have the sense of guiding their empire through an evolving story, the outline of which is predefined with branching content, hence replayable.

The starting terrain could help define these decisions. If you start in the hills or mountains rather than forests, you would have more incentive to follow a god that benefits mining and precious metals rather than the forest goddess. Such content could even be tied to discoveries on the map, dungeons, found artifacts. Following one deity could put you on a crash course to conflict with another and their followers.

Also, in this way, the player would not play an undying God or Wizard (common to fantasy 4X), but a civilization with mortal leaders that would come and go (unless transformed into an undying lich king!), while maintaining/growing/antagonizing relations with a permanent supernatural entity in the world.
 

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I haven't played Dominion, but my understanding is that players select a deity from the start to guide their empires. What I am imagining is that the pantheon of gods/deities would exist in the world (separate from empires), as part of the general story content predesigned by the developers (yet open to customization and modding). As a player, you would attempt to follow/carry favor with or oppose these supernatural powers in order to gain benefits (could be a bonus tree, even defining the technology and magic tree), which would in turn define your play style. In this way, the player would have the sense of guiding their empire through an evolving story, the outline of which is predefined with branching content, hence replayable.

The starting terrain could help define these decisions. If you start in the hills or mountains rather than forests, you would have more incentive to follow a god that benefits mining and precious metals rather than the forest goddess. Such content could even be tied to discoveries on the map, dungeons, found artifacts. Following one deity could put you on a crash course to conflict with another and their followers.

Also, in this way, the player would not play an undying God or Wizard (common to fantasy 4X), but a civilization with mortal leaders that would come and go (unless transformed into an undying lich king!), while maintaining/growing/antagonizing relations with a permanent supernatural entity in the world.

You could also have gods/powers/heroes/horrors reveal themselves based on things on the map and also based on player actions. I.E. researching into some arcane arts can unleash eldritch horrors or awaken certain gods. etc. Which is obviously similar to Stellaris with its dangerous tech paths and mid/end game crisis mechanics.
Also...the power of gods could be tied to the number and zealotry of their worshipers. So a religion more dominant in the game world will have more powerful gods and larger buffs/malices, etc. Or a small but very fervent religion could still have interesting abilities. This would be a twist on religion that I haven't seen another game do before.

By the way, a "research/tech" system similar to Stellaris where you pick from a few choices instead of having total control of what you research is a perfect fit for a fantasy setting as well.
 
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Some brainstorming:

Standard start, players would start as "tribe of x"(man, elves, dwarves, orcs, etc.) Fantasy races with different benefits, drawbacks.

The tribe would first be faced with the decision as whether to settle into cities (civilized) or remain nomadic (savage). This decision would be affected by starting race and environment. The player could sandbox non-standard paths, like civilized orcs, but bonuses would encourage the standard fantasy tropes.

Following, the player could begin to cultivate relations with specific deities augmenting their play style, providing benefits directed towards sandbox goals. You want to play as a tall as a wealthy city or nomadic raiders. Choices of deities would alter available technology tree and magic tree options, sending players down forking paths.

I would love a dynamic map, in which the terrain could be altered or affected by the player and empire development paths. Elves nurture forests while greedy civilizations burn them down.

Within these forking deity paths, players would encounter further forking decisions between "dark" and "light" paths, or "lawful" and "chaotic" paths, could design forks using standard fantasy roleplaying alignment chart. So you could lead, or be tempted to lead your empire down a path that transforms a kingdom of man into a vampire cult, or wizard council into dark sorcery. These decisions could be semi-randomized. Like your hero finds a powerful magic sword that is also cursed, and you are forced to decide how to deal with the curse. Much like the "Gravity is Desire" event chain in Stellaris. These could trigger mid game crises.

These forked decisions could be design to culminate into epic or apocalyptic struggles between opposing alignments. End game crisis.

I would desire a character system somewhere between the depth of Imperator and Crusader Kings. As you are roleplaying an empire and not a family dynasty like in CK, an extensive genealogy/marriage and personal relations mechanics would not be necessary. Rather as characters gain experience you gain the option to promote them into "heroes". Heroes would have different classes (depending on the race/deity path you have gone down) with individual skill trees that can level up with experience. Your empire would be limited to a set number of heroes that can be active at any given time, making them limited special units and not a micromanagement chore. In addition to standard character roles (governors, generals, researchers, etc) heroes can perform special actions and participate in quests, specific map event chains, like dungeon runs, monster hunts, etc.
 
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CypherLH

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Some brainstorming:

Standard start, players would start as "tribe of x"(man, elves, dwarves, orcs, etc.) Fantasy races with different benefits, drawbacks.

The tribe would first be faced with the decision as whether to settle into cities (civilized) or remain nomadic (savage). This decision would be affected by starting race and environment. The player could sandbox non-standard paths, like civilized orcs, but bonuses would encourage the standard fantasy tropes.

Following, the player could begin to cultivate relations with specific deities augmenting their play style, providing benefits directed towards sandbox goals. You want to play as a tall as a wealthy city or nomadic raiders. Choices of deities would alter available technology tree and magic tree options, sending players down forking paths.

I would love a dynamic map, in which the terrain could be altered or affected by the player and empire development paths. Elves nurture forests while greedy civilizations burn them down.

Within these forking deity paths, players would encounter further forking decisions between "dark" and "light" paths, or "lawful" and "chaotic" paths, could design forks using standard fantasy roleplaying alignment chart. So you could lead, or be tempted to lead your empire down a path that transforms a kingdom of man into a vampire cult, or wizard council into dark sorcery. These decisions could be semi-randomized. Like your hero finds a powerful magic sword that is also cursed, and you are forced to decide how to deal with the curse. Much like the "Gravity is Desire" event chain in Stellaris. These could trigger mid game crises.

These forked decisions could be design to culminate into epic or apocalyptic struggles between opposing alignments. End game crisis.

I would desire a character system somewhere between the depth of Imperator and Crusader Kings. As you are roleplaying an empire and not a family dynasty like in CK, an extensive genealogy/marriage and personal relations mechanics would not be necessary. Rather as characters gain experience you gain the option to promote them into "heroes". Heroes would have different classes (depending on the race/deity path you have gone down) with individual skill trees that can level up with experience. Your empire would be limited to a set number of heroes that can be active at any given time, making them limited special units and not a micromanagement chore. In addition to standard character roles (governors, generals, researchers, etc) heroes can perform special actions and participate in quests, specific map event chains, like dungeon runs, monster hunts, etc.

Agree with all this. I would add that like Stellaris it should start off as 4X with an early game expansion/exploration stage....and then settle into more of a proper grand strategy game once you get into the mid-game and beyond.

Paradox, get started on this immediately ;)
 
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Zavaleta

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Paradox, get started on this immediately ;)

Please!

Agree with all this. I would add that like Stellaris it should start off as 4X with an early game expansion/exploration stage....and then settle into more of a proper grand strategy game once you get into the mid-game and beyond.

Agreed.

But I would like PDX to move away from many of the standard 4X mechanics and attempt to integrate their province system into a 4X model. The traditional 4X tile "city" development mechanics in Stellaris (the dreaded planet tile system). I would prefer a 4x that integrate more elements from the province system, like they did in Stellaris with the planet rework. I find it more immersive and less micromanagement oriented.
 

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Please!



Agreed.

But I would like PDX to move away from many of the standard 4X mechanics and attempt to integrate their province system into a 4X model. The traditional 4X tile "city" development mechanics in Stellaris (the dreaded planet tile system). I would prefer a 4x that integrate more elements from the province system, like they did in Stellaris with the planet rework. I find it more immersive and less micromanagement oriented.


Yes....I would hope the map is more like a procedural generated CK3 style map and not really your typical traditional 4X style map. And the economy should definitely be more Stellaris/Victoria and less Civ or other typical 4X games. I'm split on whether it should use Victoria/Stellaris style pops or just the more generic province populations like CK and EU4....I lean towards saying pops is the better fit since that way you can have more distinction between the fantasy races and more explicit migration and whatnot.

A lot of what I want in a paradox fantasy game could probably be accomplished in a CK3 total conversion mod...but it would lack true pops and true early-game 4X mechanics and proper deep crisis events and whatnot.
 
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A lot of what I want in a paradox fantasy game could probably be accomplished in a CK3 total conversion mod...but it would lack true pops and true early-game 4X mechanics and proper deep crisis events and whatnot.

As great as I imagine a total conversion for CK3 could be, it will never be able to replicate a dedicated Magic and Hero/Quest system that would be essential for a fantasy game.
 

Zavaleta

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Strategy Front Gaming just wrote up retrospective about the Fall from Heaven 2 fantasy mod for Civ4, "the most popular mod ever" for the game, and maybe the best mod ever in the Civ series. Truly an epic game for designers to build on for a full fantasy grand strategy game.

Where Fall From Heaven 2 truly sets itself apart with its character. Games like Alpha Centauri thrived on the feeling of each of their leaders is their own person with consistent ideologies, and every part of the game from the cutscenes to the flavor text on technologies serviced building that up.

Fall From Heaven 2 succeeds by doing the same thing. There’s such care in how the game world was crafted to fit the Civ IV engine and how they crafted Civ IV to meet with their ambitious goals.

Fantasy mods are quite popular for PDX games. I think it would be short sighted for PDX not to try and cash in on that interest with a stand alone game.
 

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I think a 4X game like Civilization 6 in the fantasy universe would be my dream game. Why Paradox hasn't done that?!
 

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I've been advocating the fantasy random world map game for a while. Looking at stellaris and PDS's experimenting with randomization it makes the most sense and would instantly give the game a 'thing of it's own' compared to the rest of PDS portfolio.

Just like Stellaris the game should feature boatloads of fantasy tropes, there's so much to build upon. I'd argue that they should start out with 4 races (orcs, dwarf, elfs and humies) and give them different skin tones depending on where on the world the faction originates or before a migration stems from (Orc's ranging green at the equator to blue in the arctic, Elfs gold at the equator to onyx at the poles, humans dark skinned to light skinned etc.) That should give some nice diversity.

Next to that I'd say just like stellaris you should be able to pick some sort of foundation legacy at the start: a tribe recently migrated from other areas, a small ambitiuous feudal kingdom, a collection of republican cities. the crumbling remains of an empire, etc.

Unlike Stellaris I'd argue that startpositions should not be equal but there should be diversit in where you start out. Gamerules should give you the option to start small, medium or large and give you a hard starting position (next to one or more big nations, an easy position (next to little guys) or isolated, etc.

In the base game I feel that two development choices should be layed out each giving very different military, organisational, political options. One would be a magical path where your society increasingly relies on mages, their impact on warfare, long distance communication, etc and the other would be technology which allows you to develop towards some steampunk victorian-era like nation. I cannot wait to charge some Airship riding orc's into Elfs in purple dresses.

I feel that these elements cover a nice base game and allow for great dlc opportunities adding races, starting foundations and substantially different development paths (tree loving hippies, religious zelot, quest of immortality through necromancy, demon summoning, etc.)
 
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This project looks promising: Anbennar: CK3 Fantasy Total Conversion Mod
I agree that mod looks awesome.

I don't think fantasy mods for ck3 are what people want though.

I don't want a specific setting, or an original setting, I want a self generated settings based on my own whims.

More stellaris less warhammer40k.
 
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