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TL DR;

 

A new mechanic where-in the player's management of stronghold quests occurs on a separate / detailed section of the campaign map of Palatinate of Dyrwood. Feudal conflicts with a plethora of neighbours reflects growth of stronghold and broader feudal development in the context of Dyrwood. Would not necessarily require additional play maps / "wilderness areas" to be created. Mostly could be managed with text and stills.

 

 

 

The very long version:

Significant scope addition, that might potentially be manageable as a separate stretchgoal or better-yet - separately in the expansion. Could enhance the end-game for the stronghold.

 

Those of you who have played "Birthright" / NWN2 SoZ, like overland travel maps of Fallout, might get a sense for what I mean.

 

Imagine that the geographical area around the stronghold on the campaign map offers a "zoomed in" view, showing "Risk-style" (more accurately Birthright-style) grid of neighbouring feudal holdings. Not all your neighbours are high lords, most in your "backwater", are landed knights in small hamlets, barons, guild-towns etc. With patches of neutral land in between (forests where druids, elves, trolls and orcs live etc). All of these are vassals of more powerful Earls or of the Duke of Dyrwood himself.

 

The idea is that these territories are where most of your stronghold-related mini-quests happen (mini-quests like where the parked NPCs in your stronghold are sent to "adventure" or where various text-based quest-prompts in regard to your stronghold development are sourced from).

As the player grows their stronghold, the game asks for decisions to be taken in regard to these neighbours, some decisions might have to be hostile, others might be in order to help your neighbours, others might be trade-related and so the player's standing with the various neighbours changes over the course of the game.

A mini-quest might take the form of:

   Neighbouring knight's hamlet is attacked by Orcs (as a random / scripted "event")

   The player decides to send NPC + guards to help --> they succeed --> Knight "allies" with player

   The player cannot send an NPC to help (they're off doing other stuff) --> Orcs pillage and move on, the Knight is wounded and the hamlet is saved because one of the other neighbours helped

   The player is Machiavelian --> Orcs pillage, the NPC + guards arrive "too late", clean up the Orcs and kill off the Knight --> The player annexes the lands

End result - the relevant cell changes "colour" (allegiance)

None of this happens in "real time", the decision is made by the player and a result is given a few in-game days later

 

As the player interacts with these stronghold quests, the various neighbours' attitudes to the player change with relevant effects. Not all challenges are military - some might require the party rogue NPC to be sent to quietly kill an evil guildmaster, others might require the party druid NPC to commune with the local druid circle to take the forest back from witches coven who are dominating the local troll population into attacking the feudal settlements etc.

 

At certain points Dyrwood Earls or even the Duke, give specific task(s) to complete that unlock or provide major Stronghold improvements.

 

Stronghold end game scenario opportunity:

Player is attacked by a jealous / power hungry Earl and loses the stronghold (result of player being very ineffective)

Player is attacked by an Earl (who the player found out to have been conspiring against the Duke). Player with help from allies, rebuffs the assault and the Duke replaces this Earl with the Player

Player "bullies" the vassals into service, the local Earl tries to intervene, loses. Player thus proves right to be promoted to Earl (might makes right)

Player is promoted to Baron, because the route taken was mostly diplomatic and boosted trade, eased tensions in the region (everyone is happy)

etc.

 

 

 

Specific mechanics:

1) The zoomed in map of the region allows the player to see how various Stronghold tasks / NPC miniquests etc tie-in to the broader world

   --> The NPC you sent on a "quest" while your party is actually following the actual game plot, is represented as a figure on a map

   --> The trade-caravan you established from your Stronghold to a local Elven enclave crosses a patch of neutral territory (and you know to allocate guards to it accordingly)

2) The disposition and relative "garrison" strength of your neighbours guides allows the player to plan defences accordingly (and help neighbours who will come to your help in the event of a siege when your party is on the opposite end of the map)

3) Some of these map spaces act as "NPC quest sinks" earning you rewards e.g.:

   --> you send your rogue NPC to steal the Baron's jewels (+gold if success, - reputation if caught)

   --> you send your fighter NPC to participate in a melee tournament etc.

4) Broadens and contextualises rewards:

   --> trade routes, NPC thieving etc add gold

   --> working with organisations (Druid circles, Mages, Dwarven inventors, assassins etc) - adds unique items

   --> working with racial enclaves might add allies during siege (Elven archers on the battlements!)

   --> working against shadowy groups or competitors, lessens the chance of sieges, caravan robberies etc.

   --> that Knight's hamlet you "annexed" --> +Food and Conscripts!

5) Can't do everything, some things are mutually exclusive or require specific NPCs (add replay value)

6) Offers a potential end-game / "DLC" future opportunity, as some of these spaces could become self-contained maps in the future, where the player takes on the role of the Rogue, sneaking through a wizard's tower etc.

 

 

Thank you kindly if you read the whole thing! Again - doubt it would be possible to bolt on this late into the design process, but it is a [late] idea...

Edited by Azmodan
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4) Broadens and contextualises rewards:

   --> trade routes, NPC thieving etc add gold

   --> working with organisations (Druid circles, Mages, Dwarven inventors, assassins etc) - adds unique items

   --> working with racial enclaves might add allies during siege (Elven archers on the battlements!)

   --> working against shadowy groups or competitors, lessens the chance of sieges, caravan robberies etc.

   --> that Knight's hamlet you "annexed" --> +Food and Conscripts!

I like your idea, though I think the current stronghold plans are set. I wonder how this management would fit into the main path though. And you have to be careful that you're not mixing a different game in with the one you're making.

 

That said, anything which expands on the sstronghold is likely to be met with positive criticism from me

Remember: Argue the point, not the person. Remain polite and constructive. Friendly forums have friendly debate. There's no shame in being wrong. If you don't have something to add, don't post for the sake of it. And don't be afraid to post thoughts you are uncertain about, that's what discussion is for.
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Ok I think we're on the good way for a PE spin-off, a management game maybe ?

lol :)

 

Thanks for reading guys!

 

I probably went overboard with the detail in terms of the quest descriptions, but that was done for the benefit of those who don't remember Crossroad Keep.

http://nwn2.wikia.com/wiki/Crossroad_Keep

 

The stronghold quests in prior games were text, that you as the player had to keep track of without adequate context.

There was a lot of numbers buried in conversation trees, away from the player's immediate reference.

The gist of my idea is to track these on a localised portion of the campaign map, and take advantage of that map in an additional way - visually demonstrate the player's progress.

 

But yeah - it would be a feature requiring a lot more work.

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The more depth there is to the stronghold, the better, the actual change to game maps as a result of your strategic decisions sounds awesome too - probably too much for a release version, but would be cool to see something like this in the add-on.

 

p.s. frankly, I'd love to see a rpg where stronghold building is a primary focus and not a gimmick, imo it is a great concept, playing a sovereign of some type.

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// believing is bleeding

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