Some thoughts on succession

By on December 7, 2009 3:31:50 PM from JoeUser Forums JoeUser Forums

Frogboy

Join Date 03/2001
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We’re starting work on Dynasties in Elemental. 

Here’s a basic outline:

Sovereigns will get the opportunity to get married. Once married, they will, for a period of time, be able to have children.

The sex of the child will result in very different game options.

Males stay part of your family line.  Females are married off to other families.  However, should the sovereign of a particular kingdom die, then his kingdom is inherited by the player whose daughter is married highest up into their family.

Hence, if I marry my daughter off to the first born son of the sovereign of Kraxis and that sovereign is killed, then his kingdom becomes my kingdom.

Speaking of sovereign “killin’” we do plan to have an option where your sovereign cannot actually die in battle for those players concerned about sovereign assassination.  However, AI sovereigns will “abdicate” if they think their situation is hopeless and rather than abdication being random, it will be based on the aforementioned succession rule.

We will have quite a bit of time to play around with this come January when the dynasty beta goes out. But this hopefully gives you some insights on how we’re currently looking at implementing this.

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December 7, 2009 3:53:04 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

It sounds a lot like the Total War system, which I liked a lot.

A request, though- rather than making all sons part of the family line and marrying off all daughters, can we have some gender equality? Why can't you have a female sovereign?  You could make it so that there's a decision whether to marry someone into a different family line or keep them in yours. This could add an interesting mechanic if children have traits- do you keep the children with good traits for yourself, or do you marry them off, presumably generating more good-will?

In a purely Medieval setting, I'd have no problem with automatic patriarchy, but what role does gender have in the distribution of magical ability?

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December 7, 2009 3:54:43 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

That sounds a bit off to me. According to Primogentiture, inheritance passes to the oldest male relative of the primary line. Alternativley there is also Cognatic Primogentiture where the oldest child(male or female) inherits all. Your example does not follow either of these systems. The way you have it set up the AI will always lose inheritance to the player...

Quoting ,

Hence, if I marry my daughter off to the first born son of the sovereign of Kraxis and that sovereign is killed, then his kingdom becomes my kingdom.

According to Primogentiture, when the father of your daughter's husband dies you get squat and your daughters husband gets all and continues on his main line. However, if your fellow channeler had only daughters and the eldest to which you or your eldest son was married and the union produced a male heir then that child would inherit both lands upon reaching majority and the passing of the current sovergiens of both lands. Basically, in Primogentiture females can not inherit directly but inheritance can be traced through them by a male decendent.

A request, though- rather than making all sons part of the family line and marrying off all daughters, can we have some gender equality? Why can't you have a female sovereign?

Read up on Cognatic Primogentiture...

 

Considering this is a fantacy strategy game I would think Channeler Primogentiture would be more appropriate. In this instance the eldest channeler male heir would inherit all. This is of course assuming you can have non-channeler offspring. Alternativley, if there will be differeing government types why not instead include differening catagories of laws that when combined will define your government.(i.e. Alpha Centauri government system)

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December 7, 2009 4:07:52 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I think that's the point nathaniel.  When the  AI realizes that it has no chance of winning the game, it retires.  and gives its kingdom to the player who is married furthest up in his family tree.  Like when empires surrendered in galciv 2, but this way is much more predictable and visible  as to who will obtain the country.

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December 7, 2009 4:11:33 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Ah, yes. I forgot that when your channeler dies it is GAME OVER... I think that is seriously handycapping the games diplomatic strategic potential but that is just me. I also find it a bit simplistic considering that it was previously stated that the diplomatic/inheritance system would use the series, "A Song of Ice and Fire" as inpiration.

 

Then again a full inheritance system similar to EU3 may be a bit much for more cassual players.

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December 7, 2009 4:20:49 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I could care less about historical prescedent as it is a good gameplay mechanic. If you want kids you have to risk the fact that whoever you get the daughter from will inherit your kingdom should things go wrong.

I'm assuming the male sons will become heroes on the map right? Otherwise, why would I care about having sons if soverign death = kingdom over anyways.

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December 7, 2009 4:23:33 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I would rather be able to select an heir than to follow any rites of succesion involving blood relation. Perhaps after a few betrayals by "former allies", I might look at an enemy and consider them honourable in comparison. My thoughts might be "Atleast he had the decency to face me on the battle field." and "Despite our grudges, he seems to treat his people right.".

Plus I would like to be able to select a champion of mine to be the successor. My hopes being that I might be able to continue playing if I were to do something silly like get my soveriegn killed.

Having my soveriegn, lets say "Tanzu the wise", be slain in battle and be replaced in by my Soul Knight champion, lets say "David guardian of souls", does sound epic. Story wise, it could also represent a change in the times as a enlightened civilization becoming more militant to reflect the times.

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December 7, 2009 4:26:03 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Meh, less then excited. Somehow sounds boring to me. The system itself also doesn't seem to make much sense though. Why would the kingdom fall to the hightest married daughter, when only sons remain in the family line?

 

Besides I want to have female heroes and marry my sons off to some forgotten land instead.

 

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December 7, 2009 4:30:17 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

An important question, does this mean no female channelers?

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December 7, 2009 4:44:56 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Edit: I seem to have lost my train of thought. I might re-edit later.

An important question, does this mean no female channelers?

By Frogboy, orginal post

Sovereigns will get the opportunity to get married. Once married, they will, for a period of time, be able to have children.

My guess is that unless a male soveriegn cheats on his wife, or is polygamous, there shouldn't be any major difference in the rate of birth. So female soveriegns should probally work.

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December 7, 2009 4:51:43 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

An important question, does this mean no female channelers?
There will definatly be Female channelers.

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December 7, 2009 5:10:05 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Cool! To bad we have to wait awhile for dynasties.

 

I dont see why we cant give out male offsprings too. You know keep the good ones and send off the ones thats arnt great but ya still love em. Cause the Sovs offspring there could be chances that they could be generals, heros, leaders or just normal offspring right?

 

I also hope you get major diplo hits if you give out lots of offspring to a major empire and then go attack it... Other nations wouldnt take your kids. Even you kids would be like wtf and hate you and could even leave your nation... might make things really interesting...

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December 7, 2009 5:19:24 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

what I think would make the dynamics more interesting is if the player could define for their civilization at the beginning of the game which sex would the inheritance fall to first (or if the society regards something different like the youngest or eldest regardless of sex). This would make the marrying off a lot more strategic cause then you have to deal with the fact that not all civilizations treat inheritance the same way. This could arise in situations where you have to decide weather you marry your daughter to the weak kingdom where she would be in line for the throne should their soverign die or to the strong kingdom to cement an alliance but have no chance for the throne.  

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December 7, 2009 5:31:46 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting DivineWrath,
I would rather be able to select an heir than to follow any rites of succesion involving blood relation. Perhaps after a few betrayals by "former allies", I might look at an enemy and consider them honourable in comparison. My thoughts might be "Atleast he had the decency to face me on the battle field." and "Despite our grudges, he seems to treat his people right.".

I don't really understand how one could say one's enemy treats his people right, when he is sending them to their death against your people. There is nothing decent about facing an enemy on the battle field, aside possibly from 1 on 1 duels. A battle field is a place where on leader sends his folk in to kill the folk of another leader. You don't do that with people you intend to become friends with.

If you think so highly of someone that you'd give them your kingdom, why are you at war?

If you have "allies" that are so trecherous you would rather give your kingdon to your enemies, why do you keep them as allies?

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December 7, 2009 6:02:14 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting BoogieBac,

An important question, does this mean no female channelers?There will definatly be Female channelers.

Beardy Lady Sarah disagrees?

Quoting ,


Sovereigns will get the opportunity to get married. Once married, they will, for a period of time, be able to have children.

The sex of the child will result in very different game options.

Males stay part of your family line.  Females are married off to other families.  However, should the sovereign of a particular kingdom die, then his kingdom is inherited by the player whose daughter is married highest up into their family.

Hence, if I marry my daughter off to the first born son of the sovereign of Kraxis and that sovereign is killed, then his kingdom becomes my kingdom.

Ah... honestly? I don't understand/like it.

How many times can the inmortal sovereign marry? Or it's just one and pray your wife/husband isn't sterile?

Keep the males, send the females... No, thanks. I prefer options there. That some civilizations follow that model, ok. That there could be more equalitarian, ok. That there could be some that do it just the opposite keeping the females and sending the males, ok too. But just one system for all (hopefully just a placeholder? a placeholder is fine) is a big no no for me. (or a "to mod" thing) I'll use my usual extreme example of amazons. If my Sovereign is an Amazon, she would prefer to keep her daughters and send away the boys. She would only send away a daughter if the "price" was really good for here civilization/interests.

That if the other Sovereign dies you get the kingdom if your daughter is the higher... Uf. Which is the word? Far-fetched? Altough I understand what this idea pretends, it surely needs more work. Are Sovereings the Kings/Emperors? Do those Kingdoms/Empeires have Noble Houses/Clans? If so, and supposing that the sons and daughters get to have their own and therefore the most influential when deciding to who to follow in case their current Sovereign dies... Makes sense then. A: "Hey, my father Resonlin has died. Hmmm Maybe we should go under the protection of your father, Magnar. Protection and all that." B: "Yeah, even if we are imbued with Essence, we are not Sovereings so better we go with my daddy, who can protect us from other Sovereings."And something about the Sovereing's right to reclaim any land of which someone of his blood has the biggest authority. But if it's not something in these lines, I don't get it unless you explain me how you deal with it in your book.

And how is possible that population in cities is supposed to grow mainly (solely?) during the whole game based on prestige (which means attrackting people from the wilds) but the Sovereing (and maybe his sons/daughters) can have offspring? Time lines collapsing in three, two, one...

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December 7, 2009 6:50:32 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Thank you, Wintersong. You said it all, so now i don't have to go into a big long spiel to try and explain why i don't like it either..

Quoting Nathaniel Richter,
I also find it a bit simplistic considering that it was previously stated that the diplomatic/inheritance system would use the series, "A Song of Ice and Fire" as inpiration.

1000% agree with you here, Nathaniel

Quoting Wintersong,
Do those Kingdoms/Empeires have Noble Houses/Clans?

Oh man, I hope so  Otherwise, it wont be anything like "Song of Ice and Fire"...

edit: fixing quotes

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December 7, 2009 7:07:05 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Is that it? I expected more depth.

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December 7, 2009 8:21:14 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I'm assuming (hoping) that this is just the "skeleton" system that will be improved on later..... I for one would prefer a system in which the factions have varied and customizeable succession systems.

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December 7, 2009 9:03:30 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

... Cognatic Primogentiture...

Elemental is not premodern Europe.

 

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December 7, 2009 9:21:40 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting DivineWrath,
I would rather be able to select an heir than to follow any rites of succesion involving blood relation. Perhaps after a few betrayals by "former allies", I might look at an enemy and consider them honourable in comparison. My thoughts might be "Atleast he had the decency to face me on the battle field." and "Despite our grudges, he seems to treat his people right.".

Plus I would like to be able to select a champion of mine to be the successor. My hopes being that I might be able to continue playing if I were to do something silly like get my soveriegn killed.

Having my soveriegn, lets say "Tanzu the wise", be slain in battle and be replaced in by my Soul Knight champion, lets say "David guardian of souls", does sound epic. Story wise, it could also represent a change in the times as a enlightened civilization becoming more militant to reflect the times.

Edit: I just reread your post. You're talking about continuing to play the game if your Sovereign dies by playing your heir instead, which is actually an interesting idea. It kind of conflicts with the whole "lose the game if Sovereign dies" mechanic, however. Either Sovereigns have a way to avoid assassination/flee from a losing battle, or they die but you continue playing as your "heir", I can see both working.

On another note, any system that chooses a single undisputed heir, whoever he may be and whoever does the choosing, will be nothing like "A Song of Ice and Fire," the entire series is one massive tangle over who should inherit the throne. In both the books and real history, wars over succession are unfortunately common, I'm pretty sure such disputes actually happened more often than smooth transitions of power to the guy the king actually wanted to succeed him. I mean I'm sure Elemental will be a great strategy game with or without a complicated succession system and civil wars over who should inherit the throne, but without those it won't be able to duplicate the kinds of political conflicts you have in "Ice and Fire" or actual medieval history.

In short: kingdoms who suddenly find themselves short a sovereign really ought to fracture between all viable heirs, with an intact kingdom only getting passed on if there's just one son to inherit it.

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December 7, 2009 9:35:10 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting austinvn,

In short: kingdoms who suddenly find themselves short a sovereign really ought to fracture between all viable heirs, with an intact kingdom only getting passed on if there's just one son to inherit it.

This is exactly how I feel too.

I believe that each city should go to the heir "resident". If you don't then only getting the first primary heir spot will matter and every heir is nearly worthless.

Might be a good idea to make the sending of male or female heirs togglable for modders. But I think it works great the way it is for humans. It might be interesting for Fallen to be different, but to be honest I'll probably just metagame the whole dynasty thing.

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December 7, 2009 9:48:10 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Seedy,

Quoting DivineWrath, reply 6I would rather be able to select an heir than to follow any rites of succesion involving blood relation. Perhaps after a few betrayals by "former allies", I might look at an enemy and consider them honourable in comparison. My thoughts might be "Atleast he had the decency to face me on the battle field." and "Despite our grudges, he seems to treat his people right.".

I don't really understand how one could say one's enemy treats his people right, when he is sending them to their death against your people. There is nothing decent about facing an enemy on the battle field, aside possibly from 1 on 1 duels. A battle field is a place where on leader sends his folk in to kill the folk of another leader. You don't do that with people you intend to become friends with.

If you think so highly of someone that you'd give them your kingdom, why are you at war?

If you have "allies" that are so trecherous you would rather give your kingdon to your enemies, why do you keep them as allies?

This is getting completely off-topic, but there's a simple answer to your questions: convenience. I don't like it and you may not like it either, but people can be very practical in choosing sides in wars - siding against the respected rival who stands in their way, or supporting the hated rival whose help they need to win the current war. Look at the relationship between France, US, Britain, and Prussia (Germany) during the revolutionary war and the Napoleanic wars, and how that changed come WWI - and how the relationship between US, Britain, Germany, and Russia changed from WWII going into the cold war - not to mention China, Japan, and the US from WWII to present day - and so on, and so on. I won't get into a Song of Ice and Fire or Lord of the Rings, because really all they do is mirror actual human behavior throughout history. Allies-of-convenience turning to enemies and rivals you feel forced to war against later becoming allies are far more common than you might think.

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December 7, 2009 10:30:22 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

1. What are the roles of Sovereign's children? I mean, I can send my daughter as a 'present' to my ally, but can't she be a general/city mayor/dragon slayer?

2. Can I choose whether or not to marry a queen? How will the system of sending/marrying be resolved?

3. What do I gain by marrying? Only children?

4. Will family members get some special traits? I mean, some will be stronger, smarter, etc.

5. Is that basically the whole system? I was never into the family system, but this sound like a very simplistic system without much depth.

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December 7, 2009 11:17:36 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Love it - way to fix a problem and enhance the strategy at the same time.  More depth would be awesome, but I'm just happy having a replacement in the event of assassination. 

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December 7, 2009 11:41:08 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I also find this concept a bit iffy. Siring your own bloodline seems like an interesting mechanic, but it becomes rather uninteresting if all your sons are simply general, and all your daughters are bargaining chips; this may not at all be what Brad intends, but so far fathering children doesn't seem to have many advantages. I have an idea for a system in which family members will be crucial to maintaining your economy and inner diplomacy, as well as opening intersting options for outside influence. Of course, I am not a deisgner, which leaves me the luxury of raving madly about extravagant systems, but I'm glad to contribute to the development of Elemental, and I hope that the guys and gals at Stardock don't wear their eyes out reading my wall of text. 

First of all, the sovreign's family won't be the only bloodline in his kingdom: tribal structures from the wasteland have survived and evolves into noble houses. Each kingdom will have several of these. The noble families will each have two attributes: number of family members, and prestige, both of which could be decided by the kingdom's own prestige (more on the role of family prestige later on). These families will be somewhat loyal to their reigning sovreign, but they will ultimately be independent entities.

Brad has already spoken about big empires needing to separate their cities into vassal empires in order to keep the economy manageable; this mechanic does not only add great depth to diplomacy and economy, but also faithfully recreates a primitive world with slow communication and transport. What I propose is to couple this system with the families. The system is as follows: when your economy starts getting muddled and your empire overstretched, you need to start giving cities some more autonomy. For this, you need to choose a noble to oversee that citie's production and tax collection. At this stage, you have two choices: first, you may assign a family member to govern the city; doing so has two great advantages: your family members have greater loyalty towards you (though it is not absolute, and can still be swayed by enemies through diplomacy or magic, as I have described here), and when a family member controlls a city, you get full returns from its production and taxes. However, if you run out of offspring (or if someone has assassinated them all), you will find yourself forced to appoint a member from one of the noble houses in your knigdom; however, the problem with doing so is that the noble houses can be manipulated by your enemies, and in addition will keep a percentage of the city's taxes and production for themselves. This system adds much greater value to your descendants, rather than having them simply be a deciding factor in succession.

I have already mentioned that the noble families could be manipulated, both by you and the other sovreigns, so let me explain how that would work. Simply, a noble family that has been assigned a city would behave as a minor side as far as diplomacy is concerned; this doesn't mean that they will act on their own like an AI, but rather that the usual diplomatic options will apply to them. This mean that a sovreign will have to keep his noble families in good relation, just as he would an AI empire. Ultimately, the families would be interested in money and prestige, and so a sovreign wishing to keep his nobles under control will have to pander to those need. Gifting them money is pretty straightforward, but granting prestige to a family might be more complicated, and could take several forms: for instance, placing a larger garrison in the vassal family's city, or marrying one of your daughters to vassal nobles. In addition, a noble family may be upset if it is assigned to a city with lower prestige than its own (which would force a sovreign to increase that city's prestige through the regular means). Under normal circumstances, a sovreign shouldn't have to work too much to maintain the familie's positive disposition. It only gets intersting when another empire starts to make some very attractive offers to the family. Doing so should certainly not be easy: an enemy empire would first have to infiltrate a spy or scout into the city, and create a situation favorable to befriending that family (just like one would do before proposing an alliance in Galciv2). After a fair amount of diplomatic effort, an empire can propose for a family to shift over to his side, through a gift of money and prestige; this would be done just like diplomacy in Galciv2, where you simply select your offer (marrying a daughter to the family, giving it more cities...) in exchange for the family's offer to shift to your side. This would enable the gaining of cities through diplomacy alone, creating a viable alternative to brutal conquest.

However, an enemy sovreign's children could not be manipulated in such a way, whence comes their significant advantage. Despite this, it may be intersting if they might also rebel against their progenitor under extreme circumstances, or when under a mind controlling spell. Imagine for instance a scenario where a sovreign's son tires of toiling for a king who will never die of old age, and decides to speed his succession by marching his loyal army into the capital.

Finally, this system may sound complicated, but its base is in fact rooted in existing mechanincs, such as the diplomacy system and the prestige mechanic. It would not only create greater value for family members, but also add depth to diplomacy  and to empire management, not to mention that it would make the world feel more like a living thing, rather than a gameboard filled with mindless slaves (which is not always bad, but Elemental seems to be trying to be almost a simulation of a fantasy world).

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December 7, 2009 11:44:48 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I agree with Nathaniel that it is a bit off. The throne should only be inherited if there is no children capable of holding it. The right order would be: if the King of Kraxis dies leaving no male heirs and you happen to be married with one of his daughters, then you have the right to claim the throne and eventually inherit it. I see no reason for you inheriting the throne of Kraxis if your King's son is married to one of his daughters. If anything, Kraxis will get a new King who happens to be your King's son. Now, if he dies you now have a direct claim on the throne. Women can inherit the throne with priority if they are not married and there is no male heir. Note a claim is not a deed; I suggest a more adaptive system instead of instant inheritances if a few preconditions are fulfilled: it must take into account the size of the would be inherited nation, also its diplomatic status with the pretenders, degree of nationalism and cultural differences. The AI might also find strategically more interesting to favor one claimant over the other, which can trigger succession wars.

Another problem is: what if for some reason Kraxis has no heir at all? One solution would give the throne to the closest living relative who happens not to be another ruler. If that fails, then the throne should go to the closets living relative who is a ruler. If there is two or more rulers who fulfill this caveat then there should be a diplomatic negotiation or war.

Other situation might arise: the king of Kraxis had too many children, most of them went unmarried. In this case, the Kingdom could be parted into many smaller fiefdoms, one to each unmarried child. It doesn't stop a living ruler of ceding parts of his Kingdom to nobles or even his children too.

What about gender equality? SpoonGod gave a nice suggestion: you can choose to keep your children or send them away. This is all nice until you consider the AI must also have a say on that. You marry your Prince Albert with Princess Gheta of Kraxis, you decide to keep your son within your Kingdom, but what about Kraxis, will they allow a precious child to go away? And by going away do they become the "lesser" part of the marriage (i.e. the part whose property rights are transferred to the spouse)?

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