Breeding a super-leader

By on September 20, 2009 1:18:05 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums


Join Date 04/2003

Have not seen this discussed much in this forum, yet i think this idea of "breeding" leaders could have a huge effect on the game.  This could really be a sort of game within a game if done right- and since there does not have to be any graphics involved it may not be that hard to have a genetic/political/social system that could continue to surprise -long after you have played the game many times.

I am not very organized so below are some random thoughts on this matter that i hope other folks might comment or expand on:

Genetic system (simple) - a simple system would be to allow a 50% chance of inheiriting either your father's or mother's traits for a given characterists.  This way there is no blending of specific traits and its easy for you to calculate the likelyhood of getting a certain trait.

Genetic system (complex -this would be more similar to the way real genetics works-some genes are masked by dominent genes, some traits are blended, some important traits are controled by more than one gene).  This would be more realistic (and maybe more mysterious) but harder to predict outcomes.  The outcomes would be hard for players to calculate but still it would be a simple thing for a coputer to calculate.  I sort of like the simple system myself (with in inclusion of mutations).

Mutations-the human would could start with a standard set of genes (alleles really) but there could be a rare chance (1 in 50 births?) that a mutation could appear giving which could produce a better (or worse) allele for that trait.  This may really force you to think about finding a way to let the third son be king or marrying off the daughter to a fraction that you will be friends with for a long time (so that the special allele (gene) could be breed back into the line of kings.  Or it may force you to consider incest.

Breeding and social norms: As one may of making these all-human fractions different- they could have different social norms.  for instance:

-only males can be king.

-only females can be rulers.

-both males and females are OK.

-incest if strictly taboo-any attempt at this will likely cause some sort of rebellion, loss of faiths, loss of vassel states, ect.

-incest encouraged-sort of a xenophobic society where mates brought in from out of the country cause political unrest.

-religeous societies- can only marry those similar allignment (fallen can only marry fallen) -otherwise political unrest.

-open society- perhaps trade is more important than morals- can marry anyone

-strict customs whereby people will only accept leadership from the first born.

-not so strict-people expect that the king will choose the best successor for his offspring-whoever that may be.


Breeding and politics events

Infidelity-Arranged marriges to not alway work.  If too many social norms and  allignments are crossed -there may be a greater chance that the union fails and political rest (displayed as lower productivity or the ability to amass troups or less dipolmatic power or loss of vassel states) may result.  This could be modified by the trait of "passivity or willfulness"--you may want to breen passive sons and daughter who will do what they are told (for political stability)- but they will likely not be the best leaders.

-event-infertility--every now and then there is a chance that no childern are produced in a royal union.  Polical unrest is increased for a bit and you have to go back down the bloodline.

-True love- every now and then, love between between two people will not be denied despite you best efforts.  You will just have to make the best go of the situation. Not likley with passive folks but more likely for willful characters.

Incest-an easy way to keep good genes in the family and holding onto power if socially acceptable. But to represent inbreeding there should be a 10% each generation of gaining a deleterious gene.

Interesting Traits

-The standard traits should exist that have already been developed and somewhat standardized (intelligence, strength, wisdom, ect) and should be included.  Some others that may be interesting to include are:

-passivity/willfulness -passive offspring to exactly what you want but lack a certain spark that produces exceptional leaders.  One the other hand exceptional leaders are hard to control and might marry agaist your will.  But will be likely well-loved by the people (less political unrest for any infractions) and be a great leader.

-magic ability?-Sure, why not? maybe having a gene that gives a leader access or bonuses for learning/casting magic.  Putting together a magical royal court could be fun.

-Diplomancy- better relationships with other countries

-leadership ability- increases moral of troups and nation productivity.  Vassels tend to remain alligned with them.

-innate hunting skills-

-innate fight skills

-innate farming skills?

-innate trading skills?

-talk with dragons? (very rare)-maybe your great great great great great great great grand mother had an affair with a dragon?  Inreased ability to get along with dragons (or other monsters?)

-far-sight-has scout abilities-can see farther?

-naturally good with animals?-better riding skills?

-ability to predict the future- has warning (a few turn ahead of actual event) of any random event?

Deleterious traits-harder to marry off any of these.

hunchback- hard to marry off. increase chance of infidelity if married.

hemophilia -blood won't clot- should not go into battle-dies if hit.

dimwitted-poor leader in general.  General decline of kingdom if leader.

blind-increases the chance of having a far-seeing or future-seeing gene.


Silly genes:

Well, since we have come this far -(if we have this system set up anyway) it would be fun to throw in some genes/traits that have no effect on the game but can be used as flavor the the basis of some insults in a multi-player game:

-baldness -"death to all harry people!"






-unnaturally short or tall


Hidden combinations:

I think Brad hinted that here could be certain genetic combinations that produced surprising results.  Again lots of room for surprises here.



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September 20, 2009 1:40:44 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

let me guess you want a Kwisatz Haderach ?

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September 20, 2009 1:54:48 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I was not thinking in those terms but sure- why not?

Also, each fraction could also have some ledgendary leader from the deep past that has been predicted to return someday.  So there could be a small chance (despite what you are trying to breed for) that the stars could allign and this figure could be reborn.  This could also spice up the fractions.

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September 20, 2009 3:04:56 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting tesb,
let me guess you want a Kwisatz Haderach ?

Lol, I have already proposed the Kwisatz Haderach thought:;2352797

I know it is not really how genetics work, but I would like to see something like this in the game.

Taking a single attribute, say innnate fire magic skill, and having  one parent (mother) with a skill of 4 and another with a skill of 2(father):

There is a 60% probability of the child cetting the trait ADDITIVELY. (Skill of 6)

There is a 10% probability of only getting the mother's ability (Skill of 4)

There is a 10% probability of only getting the father's ability (Skill of 2)

There is a 10% probability of getting an average of both parents skill, rounding up (Skill of 3)

There is a 5% probability of getting an exceptionally gifted, getting additive of both parents + 50% (Skill of 9)

There is a 3% probability of a "squib" (Skill of 0)

There is a 2% probability of a still birth.

There is a 1% probability of a still birth which also kils the mother.

Note that such a system is inherently going to improve your stock, as there is a 65% chance that the offspring will get additive skill or better, and a 6% chance for a truly negative outcome. And these probabiliies could be tweaked as needed for balance - this are just for example.

Also note that this is only taking one ability into account/ You might breed two strong fire magic people together and they might squib on the fire ability but at the same time get an exceptionally gifted child in an area that you were not expecting.

This also throws an intersting twist into your heroes -do you send them out to fight and risk losing the genetic line, or do you keep them safe and use them for breeding stock for the next generation? An interesting strategic fork in the road for sure... I think there should also be a slim chance for each possible trait to show up even if neither parent has that trait.

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September 20, 2009 3:38:42 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I dont want Kwisatz Haderach - I want King George the Third of England.

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September 20, 2009 4:13:26 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Denryu-I think your system is another viable way to go!  Thanks for suggesting it.

Another interesting trait:

Longevity-This could be a trait you could inheirit or it could be a trait specific to different fractions.

Average life spans could vary anywhere from 40-300years.  Those blessed with long lives will have more of a chance to build on whatever genetic traits they also have through practice and learning.  The downside is genetic recombination does not happen as often.  Shorter generation folks will often die off before training and learning peaks but on the other hand they can take more of an advantage  by breeding more often and  improving the genetic base!

Might be another neat tradoff to consider!

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September 20, 2009 5:44:27 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

George III was the Kwisatz Haderach, and the British Empire was his golden path

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September 20, 2009 8:35:12 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Nights Edge,
George III was the Kwisatz Haderach, and the British Empire was his golden path

Maybe, maybe not. The whole turns:time ratio question is just not well-answered outside of TBS/4-5X games that are mainly about a canned campaign, e.g. King of Dragon Pass.

If you keep to just Frank Herbert's published texts, 'the Golden Path' begins ages before the short life of Paul Muad'Dib and it might not really have 'ended' many millenia later when the fallout from his God-Emporer son's death led to the Honored Matres' rise as a rival to the Bene Gesserit.

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September 20, 2009 9:20:18 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Here is another example of a useless/harmful gene (in a vain attempt to keep this thread OT):

Colorblindness- people that carry this gene have a 10% chance of attaching their own mem in combat. "Hey! Can't you tell I am wearing our red uniform rather than the green of our foes?"

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