Guilds, Hansas, Orders, Cults and whatnot

By on October 14, 2009 9:18:28 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Finneglot

Join Date 10/2009
+2

Dear fellows,

 

I am quite aware it is terribly rude to offer a suggestion without a proper introduction, therefore I must humbly ask your forgiveness for my hastiness. Suffice to say for now I greatly appreciate Stardock diligence and competence in making games and as result I keep a close eye on its projects. This one, of course, caught my interest and for this reason I'm submitting one particular idea that was partially discussed (http://forums.elementalgame.com/362278) before (http://forums.elementalgame.com/362475) but it is quite deserving of a new and exquisite vesture:

(In)formal organizations. I believe it adds immense depth to any game to have random (or perchance not so random) organizations forming within certain kingdoms or between kingdoms. These organizations could be of any kind and have any affiliation. They could range from State sponsored religions to ancient Cults, to economic guilds between border towns to military orders. Their spread could suffer influence from game related events (a dragon rising in the sky could give birth to a Dragon Cult, for example) or be simply of stochastic nature (a merchant one day saw a fungal fruiting body growing outside his home and decided to create the Mushroom guild. Thanks to his innate persuasion skills, or sheer luck, his guild grew fabulously well). Players could also have a say on how some organizations are received inside his Kingdom: the Ruler could decide to add them to the power structure, basically turning them into official organizations - think of State religion or mercantilism. He could also oppose them and try to banish those Mushroom-loving merchants who are nothing but trouble. He could also ignore or even tolerate their presence by various degrees - for example, he could banish them from one town but tolerate in another.

Now, one would be asking, what would be the advantages of these organizations? Are they fluff or crunch? Both, my dears. What could an organization offer to gameplay?! Worlds! Infinite opportunities to tinker with internal and external politics! Imagine a military guild growing out of your State religion and spreading through two of your most populous cities. Well, imagine all the zealot swords you could add to your army if you just declared Holy War on your heathen neighbor? Besides, they could offer bonus (and also penalties) to the cities in which they are housed. Having a military order in a border town might improve its defenses but could be a drain from your food resources and make local lords and peasants not very happy. In another situation, a merchant guild could add economical bonus to the towns they operate but could also inflate the prices or reduce the availability of certain resources. Being organic organizations, the relations between the Ruler i.e. your Empire/Kingdom and them might change; events could turn a fairly benign Sun Cult into a parasitic and vicious sect of bloodsucking vampires. Military orders could turn their backs on you and start major banking operations, burying you in debt or sucking you into hopeless wars. Merchant guilds could be smuggling goods to your enemies during sieges or perhaps cheating on your taxes. Not to mention, of course, these organizations could grow in power and start chipping yours away. Rebels and revolutions could certainly follow, same with attempts of regicide. The possibilities are endless.

This could be seen as an advancement of the system GalCiv II had, a damn good one if implemented. The addition of a completely new level of complexity and uncertainty could certainly add immense and durable fun to a game that already promises to be quite fantastic. I'm eager to see the discussion that will follow.

 

Cheers,

Finneglot.

 

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October 14, 2009 11:42:49 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I actually like this idea quite a lot. It adds a degree of realism and fun complexity.

 

"The Merchant's Guild" - Gain +50% trade revenue with every other empire or kingdom which supports The Guild. The Guild will however become hostile if you trade with non-Guild approved Sovereigns increasing unrest across the Kingdom/Empire. Beware of their internal Guild Wars because it can cause trade to come to a crashing halt.

"Cult of Fire" - This cult worships the element of fire. You suffer a loyalty and morale penalty or bonus depending on whether they've infiltrated your Kingdom/Empire already or not. Diplomatic relations will benefit or suffer based on your choice. Supporting them also gives you +2 Fire mana per shrine, but beware the random acts of arson they may occasionally promote in your towns. Setting your society to "religious tolerance" negates any diplomatic changes (benefit or loss) but still causes the latter changes to your towns if enough of your people are swayed by the cult.

 

Just some ideas of how it could be thrown out there. Some of these groups might become powerful enough to seize control of towns of their owns and become "minor civilizations" in their own right as well. Their actions toward you would then depend on how you treated them in the first place.

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October 15, 2009 2:45:28 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

In addition to guilds, I think we need proper religions. At least 4 elemental religions, and perhaps a religion for death, and possibly an order-eque religion for life? alternatively your life religion could be more "nature based" although I would think earth, wind, and water have plenty of chances for "nature" ... especially EARTH.

meanwhile, there should be room for other various cults and religion ...

For instance, the main Death religion could be Fiends of the Fallen, a fascist, tyrannical, sacrifice the weak and abuse the poor, place the powerful,greedy, and evil up on pedastals and heroes ... and above all probably some sort of hybrid-study (more mutations) or demon worship of some-sort (probably parasites "item" that lives in the host fallen, giving them extra powers). This "Main" death religion would be only allowed by either a fallen sovereign or a fallen nation. Power over Free-will.

Meanwhile, as there are parts of the Religion of Ruin as it were, which involves re-animating the sacrificed slaves for minor minions to aid in combat ... a more "undead" based death religion could be adopted by either race (more preferably evil-aligned humans) that do not believe in the honor of demons, and think only science ... science of the arcane arts of necromancy ... will lead to the ultimate truths. Therefore, most of the army is built entirely around the undead ... of course zombies will be aplenty, although you can also acess the rare skeletal beast, or bone horror ... although to keep in its favor you will have to have a steady stream of bone meal made from your dead (you have a meter ... taken from "sacrifices" from the cities and "casualties" of war ... which represents the amount of dead bodies you have acess to. Bone Horror would eat perhaps 5 bodies per turn? 10? can devour extra bone-meal to heal faster)

grunt troops would have religious zealot "taskmasters" which means the dark priests and their mortal, fanatical, (brainwashed?) footsoldiers. Who relay orders to legions of skeletons, zombies, and possibly some beastly horrors.

Special abilities of dark priests would include fear tactics, level drains (wears off after battle ends/or alternatively at the end of the world-turn* "whichever is longer"), and perhaps imbuing their undead, occasionally mortal soliders too, with diseases designed to spread quickly over the battle-field and kill its host fairly quickly ... although surviving the host just long enough to best enable full battlefield spread (several hours) ... and perhaps a certain ability or spell (or soveriegn spell) that causes all currently diseased (living) units to die instantly, the down-side being that the disease is also wiped off of the battlefield.

Im thinking the Zombie/Skeleton Necromancy religion should have access to the second best diggers ... ghoulish tunnelers and gravediggers ... second of course to the main Earthen religion (and any digger based Earthen-spinoff cults). If there is some sort of poisonous and bloated Death Grub/ Death Worm ... perhaps it could be the exclusive unit for the leader of the Necromancy religion (kind of like a unique patriach unit .. only a monster)

Which brings the issue of religion spread, holy cities, fractures within the church, conversions, inquisitions, patriarchs, any sort of senate/college of cardinals .... and any other way to distinguish who commands the religion (the head or highest authority) and those that follow the religion (or happen to have sympathizers in the citizenry)

 

The Fire based religion could be called Firebrands or Order of the Flame (something of the sort) I bet the Fire religion should have the highest bonuses in missionaries and inquisitions (passion of the fire) so probably the religion to spread the quickest. (perhaps with some fitting penalty tacked on ... like weaker holy city, or best Holy City bonuses/ spreading/ inquisition however the penalty lies in increased worldwide maintanence) Perhaps access to certain fiery beasts (demonic one could say) like the typical Hairy beasts with hooves and horns ... or simply giant hairy bulls combined with scaly horned creatures wielding swords.

A likely spin-off of the Fire religion would be a much more reclusive/isolationist version which tends to worship dragons ... perhaps red dragons in particular. This would focus less on the passions of mass-conversion, or fiery beasts ... and focus more on age, skill, and learning through experience. Religious units and units influenced by the religion would perhaps have increased upkeep yet much faster experience gain. Dragons or dragon-kin would of course be immune to this effect, but you don't start with any way of gaining dragon-kin to begin with ... the religion gives you bonuses of dealing with such units, and grants you a greater ability. (any dragon to enter your army would be blessed with morale bonuses all around, for itself and the soldiers)

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October 15, 2009 12:25:57 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I think that the inclusion (and modding) of various guild/religions/cultures/loyalties would be a very powerful draw for gamers to EWoM.  The possibilities are almost endless for those who, like me, are hoping for a subtle and complex game which we can extend for a loooong play time.  The possibilites are limited only by our imaginations.

I would hope that the 'standard' game would not be too overpowered with the effects of an organization.  For example, a merchants' guild adding 50% tax revenues to a city would probably be too much, unrealistically huge.  What do our real world equivalents add?  Well, an active Chamber of Commerce or Lion's Club might add to the growth rate of the city, both in populationi and wealth and might make it more likely that new businesses/buildings will be built, even reducing their cost.

A religion might both add population and add loyalty to the leader making governance easier.  The religion could be encouraged through the use of youth training (acolytes), sacred music (requiring both the 'musical instruments' advance which required the 'mechanical inventions' advance which required 'blacksmith shop' building and also a weaver's shop for the choir robes).  However, establishing a powerful religion also opens up the possibility of heretics and schisms which might devide the population loyalties, particularly if fed by spies....

We could design secret societies, like Masons, to have certain effects.  We could design the impact on society of professional organizations like the American Medical Associaton aka Royal Society of Healers (making healers more effective) or the American Institute of CPAs (reducing inflation and tax collections).  But, on the flip side, the more organizations you have the harder it is to control the population, they learn to think for themselves.  You might end up with other organizations forming which you do not want, like political parties!

 

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October 15, 2009 4:57:13 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I would stay away from basic religions and have a system that takes for granted that they exist. Instead I would focus on cults.

Why? Too easy to offend first of all.

Second, too easy to screw up (though at least we wouldn't be dealing with real world religions like Civ 4 and its totally bogus historical revision of the religions).

Just make the cults, "Cults" as in powerful minorities that might have significant control of a certain aspect of the civilization.

 

Oh, and on the 50% bonus I don't think it would be too much if it had a major set of drawbacks like having your trade suddenly cut off with non-guild partners (does 50% increase of one route compensate for the complete loss of another?) or potentially having all trade cut off if you're in the midst of a Guild war.

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October 15, 2009 6:32:05 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Elemental Religion ideas below

Water, Earth, and Wind seem a tad more mellow, although the Wind seems like it would more be a gypsy/nomad religion than a structured organization.

Earth does seem like a concrete religion, set in stone and gems ... treating the earth (and nature) with respect ... kind of like a mix of ROK and FOL from FFH2 (a gold loving relig and a tree loving relig) ... while Water and Wind (being opposing spheres) seem more like philosophies, although they probably to have large bonuses both in their own elements (the sky and sea) and in combating the forces of their opposing spheres.

For instance, even though Fire spreads really fast, Water religion is highly resistant to inquisition by Fire, and Fire cannot spread to cities where Water is present. So it takes time to inquisition water, and then finally you can spread fire. A water missionary can also infiltrate a Fire city, and establish a school ... although there is little immediate effect. However, if a water nation takes over a fire city, the core leaders of Fire are exiled, Fire is removed, and people all learn the secrets of water in the schools of tranquility. Also, I think water-priests should focus on magical shields ... especially focused on preventing damage from fire-priest fire spells (or fire attacks of any kind).

Earth is probably the slowest growing religion, with almost no natural spread via trade routes, however it grants the greatest economical/terraforming boosts.

Air meanwhile will randomly spread to almost any city, and soldiers of Air have greater movement values. Wind priest-magic is good for tearing down city improvements, especially natural ones like that made by earth. I have to think of other things to make wind more intersting and nomadic ... but it may just turn into a destructive religion :/ ...

however, I DO think Wind-religion should give an increase to trade/traderoutes ... and even open up a possibility for Air-shipping lanes or something. Powered initially by religious energies, to form the wind currents for the trade routes, and then nature takes care of the rest. Air does things quickly, Earth slowly, although in terms of spreading, fire would seemingly take over everything if not for Water to combat it ... and of course Death does the best job of taking advantage of arcane powers, especially demonic strength and raising the dead ... while Life/Order cities are the epitome of "Holy" order ... ranging from anything to holy monks to Kings and Crusaders, fighting for "angelic" ideals. Certainly not evil like Death, but the religion with the most direct control over its people. Its basically seeking into the will-power of the populace in order to fight against the magic wielding alter forces ... in such a way it would be more "holy power" or the "magic of human beings." This would probably be the most balanced of religions, having equal strengths in all aspect of religious defense and offense, being of moderate speed, granting moderate bonuses. Imbued with holyness, their soldiers would have bonuses when fighting the undead.

 

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October 15, 2009 6:34:30 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

(does 50% increase of one route compensate for the complete loss of another?)
No, you would need a 100% increase to do that.

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October 16, 2009 1:10:26 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I don't see any problem with making a major religion based upon each of the 6 (possible) elements. If you want your guilds and schisms ... either go with skill-based guilds, or a cult system which amplifies certain aspects of one of the major religions.

You don't have to "avoid making major religions" because it will offend people belonging to real world major religions, because its like offending minorities by making non-human races. I mean, just because some fantasy worlds have orcs, dwarves, elves, humans, and gnomes, doesnt mean Asians=humans, Africans=elves, and Caucasians = dwarves or something.

I mean, RL religions aren't so vastly different that one could obviously be translated into an "element" or anything else.

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October 16, 2009 1:33:12 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Actually your "real life religion" rant kind of proved my point in my opinion about it being offensive and controversial. The on-topic game forums is not a place to drag that into.

But a simple risk/benefit makes it easy for me. The risk? Alienating over 2/3rds of the potential market (closer to 4/5ths probably) that is religious.

The gain? Not even sure if there is one.

It is easy enough to assume that any religions in Elemental are an every day part of life and only with the exception of a few cults don't have a huge impact on the civilization. Even going that far isn't necessary and one could simply stick entirely with non-religious organizations like Guilds, Hansas, Corps, and whatnot.

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October 16, 2009 2:27:50 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Lords of Magic has element based religions, Civ 4 has religions (if bland), Fall From Heaven has religions (nicely flavored ones) .... and even better Medieval Total War has all the controversial western religions, plus witches, heretics, inquisitors, and crusaders.

Im honestly quite surprised you don't want Elemental to have its own religions ... Im all for it if its part of the design plan ... also I like the Idea of a completely Necromancy related religion (for non-upkeep undead at the cost of a weaker overall economy).

Your idea about focusing on small cults WITHIN religions, while not having actual religions themselves is kind of ... yea odd.

its like ... lets not have MAIN ARMIES or wars .. no no no, lets only have battles be fought between mercenary auxiliaries ... because the ideas about a Nationalized Army offends people.

I would rather have my game uncensored, thank you.

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October 16, 2009 8:50:51 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Guilds +1

Religions -1

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October 17, 2009 12:44:27 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Hm, I didn't particularly mention religion because I thought the matter was a no-brainer. I cannot possibly imagine how could anyone be offended by a game that creates random or not-so-random religions - after all, it happens in the real world all the time. People that could get offended by this are the same that complain about the immorality of the Internet or television: chances are they won't be part of your play-base no matter what.

With that said, religions could be empowered versions of cults - they are more organized, have considerable tradition and are politically influential. Aside from that, their mechanics should be identical to every other organization, perhaps only with a little more options. For a fact, religions are merely cults that survived the tests of time.

The most interesting part of religions however is the immense backdrop they create. Their substance is not what a connoisseur appreciates - it is rather the volatile aromas, present in tiny bits, that brings most of the flavor. Many interesting organizations, conflicts and diplomatic relations happen beneath one holy symbol or another. Monastic orders, schools of thought, military orders, fanatical sects, heretics and much more can be created out of a particularly sensitive religion. These filial organizations can even sub-divide, go rogue or be naturally independent. Among international relationships, kingdoms that share the same religion can be natural allies against a seemingly much threatening force from a heathen. Borderless entities could grow and supranational religions would form. New figures heading the faithful could become increasingly important, the same with the institutions built by them. Holy wars could be declared and religion could be used both as a tool for political advantage or with genuine intentions. The most important thing, however, is trying to build this as organic as possible: it is important to make sense out of the creation of new faiths and to achieve that the system must be reactive. What happens around nations influence what happens inside them and what happens inside change how nations are. For example, a nation isolated in an island with almost zero foreign contact will probably develop creeds that are very different from what continental, border-rich nations will develop. The nature of the religion and the type of civilization it happens to spread will also exercise influence on how it matures and grow. As an example, pacifist nations that adopt, because of some irony of destiny, a warlike religion won't take its main tenets very seriously, in fact it is quite likely they will adapt their creed to suit their needs - this could easily lead to conflicts, because some radicals will always cling to the "true version of the book".

In the end, possibilities for religions and its consequences are limitless, mostly because they are also organizations and share with them most of its characteristics and qualities to add to gameplay. In addition, it must be made abundantly clear that I'm not suggesting all this complexity should be implemented in the game - what I'm proposing here is an exercise of ideas, suggestions that could be picked and pickled. The more ideas you create, bigger the pool to fish the practical and beautiful fish.

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October 18, 2009 2:51:11 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I think this is a great idea.  Both religions and NGO's should be included, over which the player should exercise influence but not complete control.  If not included in the game itself, the ability to mod it in (in a type of Magnus Mundi style of mod a la EU III) should exist.

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October 18, 2009 3:14:06 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Indeed lwarmonger, modding is also essential for creating diversity. Stardock could give us the basics and a little flavor, but by allowing us to create our own systems of organizations and how they interact with the world will create a great deal of variety. I dream - figuratively, of course - of a structure that permits me to establish my Organizations tree, what kind of conditions certain types of cults or associations will be created, and most importantly, how will they develop under certain circumstances. Would a big empire develop a Whaling Guild? Depends. Is there any major ports inside the empire? Citizens are free to pursuit personal enterprises? Will local nobles or powerful wizards be the ones spearheading this or giving support? National heroes, perhaps? Will the guild spread or be constrained to one country? What will be reactions by other trading nations? The most important thing is, however, if there is any whale to hunt.

Any world that seeks to become real must be consistent and consistency is created by complexity. How many layers of complex interactions one wants to make is a matter of personal preference or drive. I particularly like a powerful machinery of events, with a huge number of possible and optional levers one could pull under a variety of occasions. I could sketch the major scaffold of this machine in the following way:

Organization Creating Events (OCE):

  • Wars (civil or otherwise);
  • Cataclysms;
  • Discoveries (of lands, resources, treasures, artifacts etc);
  • Reaction to other events (the spread of a new organization or religion, rebellions, economic down or upturns, etc)
  • Monsters or other creatures arising;
  • Reaction to your policies (restricting the importation of magic honey from your neighbor could create a bootlegging guild);
  • Branching and schisms (factions branching into military, magic arms or falling into internal strife and emerging as two opposing new factions);
  • Player controlled (your ruler desires a new State religion in which he is god, or perhaps a monopoly over timber);
  • Random (observe that creating a Plum Cult in a place which has no actual plum tree is not very advisable).

Organization Behavior (OB):

Once created, any given organization will have an impact in the place it has risen. This impact could be instantaneous or it may take some time to be felt depending on many variables:

  • Size (an organization in theory could be created with any number of members, but in general they start with a small number of people; large organizations often have great impact);
  • Class (say, a merchant organization is made of merchants, a Lord's league is made of nobles, a Mage's Guild is made of wizards and so on. Religious cults, however, have a more heterogeneous mix; an organization made and composed by the ruling or influential classes will have the greater impact);
  • Fanaticism (the more fanatical or loyal their members are, greater the impact);
  • Outside meddling (organizations can often be funded by outside powers seeking to undermine your righteous rule - the larger the money they siphon from their patrons, greater their impact);
  • Region (organizations created in large urban areas have greater initial impact than if they are created in remote rural areas; same with organizations created in resource-rich regions or in areas of special magic interest);
  • Goals (organizations often have public and private (often secret) goals. A commercial organization might desire to implement practices of fair trade among candle makers but in reality is seeking to fix the price in a way that favors them. A spin-off military organization from your State religion declares to help you to fight the infidels but when out of your sight, they plane to replace you with a new-born messiah. The more global their public goals, greater their initial impact. The more ambitious their private goals, greater their late impact);
  • Aggressiveness (aggressive organizations have greater impact than pacific ones);
  • Trade (obviously the most important of all variables for trade guilds; what does an organization do will greatly affect its impact. If your Kingdom or Empire is reliant on iron and have huge iron mines, having merchants to declare an Iron Trading Guild will surely give you more creeps than if they declare a Copper Trading Guild if you don't need copper at all);

It is important to note that impact has qualitative value: it can be positive or negative. Negative impact means the organization is initially bad for something or someone in your empire; they might be openly hostile to some of your subjects or openly hostile to some of your policies. They might be turning down the output of some of your mines by killing miners and using their bodies to raise undead armies for some obscure goal. They might be turning your hardy peasants into hippies or blocking completely the trade of some of your goods. They might be inciting insurrections, raising crime levels on your roads, murdering your appointed governors, terrorizing nobles or cheating on your taxes. Resuming, they are being a pain in your buttocks. This pain could be mild, chronic or acute and that will depends on how great their negative impact is.

Of course, on the bright side they might be also doing some positive impact! This means they offer initially something good for something or someone in your empire and you can reap some of its benefits. They might be hunting down bandits, or turning them into pudding. They could be improving the quality of life of some of your peasants. They might be introducing new techniques to chop wood down. They could be promoting commerce in regions you thought dismal to any productive activity. They could be giving yummy recruiting bonus into some of your major towns. Resuming, they offer something you just can't immediately turn down.

Being an organic system, however, means the impact values could change over time. Initial impact means how they are first seen and felt after they arise. The impact also measures how important they are to come to your ear: a low impact organization will take longer to raise awareness than a higher impact one. Lower impact organizations will also be dealt more leniently i.e. your choices on how to react to them are proportional to their impact. Here are some possible ways to deal with a recently emerged organization:

  • Total annihilation (your leader didn't like what he heard, better send the knights or the sorcerers to eliminate this cancer at once; this is an extreme decision and will be better placed to deal with higher impact organizations or you might be accused of using disproportionate power);
  • Ignore the trolls and they might go away (tired of being pressed on every single issue that raises in your Kingdom? Let them be, then. Allow them to grow and challenge your power or disappear without trace by their own);
  • Use them (turn the organization into an official one or pour money on them to gain favours);
  • Vilify their name and actions (publicly denounce the new organization but do nothing else to contain them; creates some resistance to their spread depending on how your ruler is viewed by its populace)
  • Persecute them (oppress them, put your soldiers on their chase, harass and be generally mean; this might turn the organization hostile or secretive but will reduce their general influence depending on how effective you are in your persecution);
  • Infiltrate them and get to know their private goals (better to take an informed decision, no?)

Combinations of some of these reactions might also be in order as you might take a public instance while doing secret deals by the back-doors. It might be interesting to say these reactions should also have the option of reversion. You, after all, is the mighty immortal ruler of some faraway land and do as you please. If you want to sanction a trading guild, so be it. If you want to kill them all next day, by all means, do it. Another point to take from here is how these reactions will take effect. By ordering total annihilation, are you really eliminating the threat completely? How will you control this? Or is it not something you control? A game of chance and probability based on your nation-state stats versus the new organization characteristics? What if you hire a bloodthirsty hero to move there and mow them for you? Many possibilities, I'm not quite sure which one could work best. For one side, controlling an army and moving it to the place where the guild arose might eliminate a bit of dice play, but complicate things in how to create areas and enemies for each kind of organization based on their stats. The probability game side, or the dice play, will resolve things on the fly, eliminating the need of special graphics but also the thrill of hunting down those heretic rebels! It is something to be further analyzed.

 

[...]

I might consider this post the first part of others to come because unfortunately I can't write forever without serious consequences, apparently. I will continue it later.

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October 18, 2009 11:20:15 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

My thanks for thy introduction. Butt - if my eyen be true - methinks thou hast not learnt the modern virtues of simplicitee and economee of speech.

Hm, I didn't particularly mention religion because I thought the matter was a no-brainer. I cannot possibly imagine how could anyone be offended by a game that creates random or not-so-random religions - after all, it happens in the real world all the time. People that could get offended by this are the same that complain about the immorality of the Internet or television: chances are they won't be part of your play-base no matter what.

With that said, religions could be empowered versions of cults - they are more organized, have considerable tradition and are politically influential. Aside from that, their mechanics should be identical to every other organization, perhaps only with a little more options. For a fact, religions are merely cults that survived the tests of time.

The most interesting part of religions however is the immense backdrop they create. Their substance is not what a connoisseur appreciates - it is rather the volatile aromas, present in tiny bits, that brings most of the flavor. Many interesting organizations, conflicts and diplomatic relations happen beneath one holy symbol or another. Monastic orders, schools of thought, military orders, fanatical sects, heretics and much more can be created out of a particularly sensitive religion. These filial organizations can even sub-divide, go rogue or be naturally independent. Among international relationships, kingdoms that share the same religion can be natural allies against a seemingly much threatening force from a heathen. Borderless entities could grow and supranational religions would form. New figures heading the faithful could become increasingly important, the same with the institutions built by them. Holy wars could be declared and religion could be used both as a tool for political advantage or with genuine intentions. The most important thing, however, is trying to build this as organic[ally] as possible: it is important to make sense out of the creation of new faiths and to achieve that the system must be reactive. What happens around nations influence what happens inside them and what happens inside change how nations are. For example, a nation isolated in an island with almost zero foreign contact will probably develop creeds that are very different from what continental, border-rich nations will develop. The nature of the religion and the type of civilization it happens to spread will also exercise influence on how it matures and grow. As an example, pacifist nations that adopt, because of some irony of destiny, a warlike religion won't take its main tenets very seriously, in fact it is quite likely they will adapt their creed to suit their needs - this could easily lead to conflicts, because some radicals will always cling to the "true version of the book".

In the end, possibilities for religions and its consequences are limitless, mostly because they are also organizations and share with them most of its characteristics and qualities to add to gameplay. In addition, it must be made abundantly clear that I'm not suggesting all this complexity should be implemented in the game - what I'm proposing here is an exercise of ideas, suggestions that could be picked and pickled. The more ideas you create, bigger the pool to fish the practical and beautiful fish.

Word count: 530

I didn't  mention religion because I thought the matter was a no-brainer. People that could get offended won't be part of your play-base no matter what.

With that said, [r]eligions create interesting organizations, conflicts and diplomatic relations. Organizations sub-divide, go rogue or be independent. Kingdoms that share the same religion can be natural allies. Borderless entities could grow and supranational religions would form. New figures could become increasingly important, the same with institutions. Holy wars could be declared. Religion could be used as a tool for political advantage.

The most important thing is trying to build this as organic[ally] as possible. The system must be reactive. What happens around nations influence[s] what happens inside them and what happens inside change[s] how nations are. For example, a nation [on] an island will develop creeds very different from what continental, border-rich nations will develop. The nature of the religion and the type of civilization will also influence how it matures. [P]acifist nations that adopt a warlike religion won't take its main tenets seriously. They will adapt their creed to suit their needs - this could lead to conflicts, because radicals cling to the "true version of the book".

I'm not suggesting all this complexity should be implemented. I'm proposing suggestions that could be picked.

Word count: 212

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October 19, 2009 1:36:15 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Word count: 212

Nice, much easier to read...

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October 19, 2009 6:43:11 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Thank you, schoolmarm Zigzag.

Alas, I must learn to become less of a sesquipedalian if I'm to communicate in here. Shame, I am fond of my floundering writing.

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October 19, 2009 6:52:53 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

 Alas, I must learn to become less of a sesquipedalian if I'm to communicate in here. Shame, I am fond of my floundering writing.
 Alas.     

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October 20, 2009 5:13:01 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

yay for the full spectra of human experience!!! (at least from a 4x perspective)

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December 24, 2009 8:42:48 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Finneglot,
Thank you, schoolmarm Zigzag.

Alas, I must learn to become less of a sesquipedalian if I'm to communicate in here. Shame, I am fond of my floundering writing.

My basic impulse is to take the long way 'round a sentence also, but somehow I ended up actually earning some kibble for my kitties by doing cutwork like zigzag offered above.

Finneglot, don't shun your sesquipedalian streak, just learn to make the most of it. Management twits and rubes in the peanut gallery have roughly equivalent needs for concise info and fairly similar vulnerabilities to distracting verbal flourishes. Neither PowerPoint nor rap music would be as successful as they are if that weren't true.

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December 24, 2009 10:00:08 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Finneglot,
Thank you, schoolmarm Zigzag.

Alas, I must learn to become less of a sesquipedalian if I'm to communicate in here. Shame, I am fond of my floundering writing.

I'm sorry, the way you write gives me this image of you with big Amish beard on a horse and cart with a laptop glowing in front of you. I don't mean this in the way of an insult. I mean this in the way of compliment.

But still, you should get someone to translate for you.

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