I am very glad that Frogboy starts considering Sovereign succession. I am proposing the following, a system involve a lot more fun & involvement from players. Make the succession be a main part of gameplay (as an pre-game option)
When the Country A sovereign dies, an unique "Ark of the Essence" spawn somewhere in his country. Only those who appears in Country A's Dynasty chart can 'equip' the Ark, including those are originally from other country. Otherwise, the Ark cannot be moved. Those who equipped with the Ark rules the country and gain the ability to use Essence. The ark can be destroyed by some special magic (that requires 10 turns of casting time); when it is destroyed all cities/land of the country is destroyed, game over for that player.
Before the Ark is found, the player of Country A cannot make use of Essence, cast spells, use diplomacy, research spells/tech etc. Basically, the player can only recruit or move troops but not much more. Player A are forced to ask one of the bloodline to find the Ark ASAP.
Prince & princess can be married off to other country & so they are 'relocated' to another countries' Dynasty chart. Even they are moved to another chart, the original player can still have huge influence on them, because of an "Affinity" mechanism. Everyone listed in the Dynasty chart has one "Affinity" value for each players, but its exact value is not displayed.
Assuming I have a high affinity with MY princess married to Country A, I can ask her to do many things inside Country A, by right-clicking her info card in the Dynasty chart. Some examples:
- share her line of sight (LOS) to me
- espionage, sabotage, steal tech,
- improve my own popularity/prestige in Country A,
- spread rumor to damage Sovereign A.
- steal/smuggle items/troop/$ from Country A to me,
- have influence in diplomatic treat,
- Give me complete control of her for certain number of turns, so I can ask her to do battles etc.
- Make part of Country A to be my vassal
- break away from her current Sovereign & come under my control/owernership
Doing any of flavors above consume certain amount of her Affinity points to me.
In most of the game time, even her Soveriegn (Player) do not know where she is because she does not share her LOS to the Sovereign by default. Affinity point has to be spent to ask her to share her LOS, or control her for a period of time. They are 'special' heroes that are minding their own business most of time, unless Affinity points are spent asking them to do something specific. They are invisible in the cloth map to all players most of time. Depending on their instinct occupation, they spend most of their private time governing their own allocated land/city, exploring dungeons, killing roaming monsters to level up, accumulating $, etc, all invisible/uncontrollable to the Sovereign's eyes.
Even my princess now displayed in Country A's Dynasty chart, I can increase her Affinity value towards me by doing one of the following:
- gifting $/items/troop
- sparing her life, when she/her husband/son lost a battle with me.
- let her son marry one of my bloodline
However, the action of Sovereign A has more ways to affect her Affinity value to him. For example:
- give her direct family more $$/land/item etc
- arranging a prestigious marriage for her/her direct family
- give her ample opportunity to level up quickly
- force her to lost battles, by not providing overwhelming force
- the Sovereign lost lots of war/Prestige/controlled area
- someone spread rumor against the Sovereign
- or, someone has murdered her beloved husband/son, etc etc.
Finally, if that send-away princess of mine happens to be the first one to equip the "Ark of the Essence" and she has high affinity with me, I can ask her to surrender the Country A to me, because I have accumulated enough Affinity points to spend. I can pay lots of affinity points to directly control her, give her free troops etc, during the search for the lost Ark. Player A can compete with me on who get the final control of her, by spending Affinity points or performing other actions.
If the princess is not the first one to equip it, I can help her. Killing the current Ark bearer so she can equip it instead. A bloodline assasinating the Sov is possible, although difficult to execute as lots of affinity point is required. However, if devs want 'Personality' can be introduced to all bloodlines, so the increase/decrease of Affinity point is different for different person. Some of them wants to kill the Soveriegn without any other players' meddling.