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Messages - willy

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Stories to tell / Re: The Greenwardens
« on: June 25, 2017, 03:08:48 PM »
I've also come up with some in-game plans. Estates that demonstrate things fairly well (village, town, capital), and some watchtowers with enough blindspots to play a game of hide-and-seek. I can tell them about the overtly complicated tribute system the Wardens pay out.

I'm also going to try a more RP heavy Greenwarden in Molk. I'm not sure if I've mentioned the Molk Town Melee, but slumberblighted-old-man Greymane demands blood. It's about as quirky, but I'm going in an entirely different direction with how to keep knights.

General Discussion / Re: Wanted: Your Top Ten Changes
« on: June 23, 2017, 10:19:05 AM »
I had an idea about troop training. Why not a building, that modified militia? Is it feasible to have a "practice field" where your veteran troops (humans with experience) can train your newbies for you? Say, 1 veteran at 50 xp can give 5 or 6 fresh recruits 1 xp a week (or month, whatever balances. Probably cap max training xp, too). Suddenly those human veterans aren't just expensive fodder, but start to flesh out as individuals. It could even modify production in an estate, and be a proper burden to stack too heavy.

It's a bit of a twist on the drill grounds idea above, I suppose.

Stories to tell / Re: The Greenwardens
« on: June 22, 2017, 05:05:07 PM »
So I've worked grammar and spelling some. Fleshed out odd bits that were suggested. I'll post a foreward I did, something kind of orienting new players for 'wat do'...rather than 'how do'.


So you have taken the prerogative of a First One, the rightful command of humans. A worthy deed in itself, but there is much to it that you will need to know. Your first step, swearing to a liege, should be complete (if you've taken a knight offer). Finding a position in a power structure (a realm) is vital to survival and finding out about your surroundings. There are those who strike off on their own, but such a task is risky.

Now what to do? A liege may have tasks for you. They are your go-to for questions, problems, and concerns. What you intend to do will require different things, some of which your liege may provide...some you may have to find on your own. You'll find realm chatter, which varies from quantity to quality, tyrannies to paragons of freedom of expression.

Were you able to find help to decide what to do next? Good, do that...and figure out what might be best for the long term. No? Greenwardens typically offer mentoring, you may find others nearby in similar situations, or this might be a chance to come up with your own goals. Big events can take time, sometimes, First One's living life at different paces.

So now you have a goal. Be it grow and prosper as lord of an estate(s), or serve as a warrior knight commanding troops in glorious battle for your liege. You'll need to know how best to do these things effectively. So here is the Mad Keeper's Primer, the first entry in a helpful collection of observations by mentor Greenwardens. Presenting, the Steward (or Marshal's) Handbook.

A bit bare-bones like the handbook drafts, but that is the essential keypoints. I'll flesh it out some, maybe incubate a few more ideas before I post it... then I'll run some knight offers and see if it helps retention. Maybe it goes full blown academic journal-ish if other authors/armchairexperts get interested.

Creating Might & Fealty / Re: Equipment Overhaul
« on: June 17, 2017, 08:17:17 AM »
Again it is going to depend on tactics. If you have ambushes that can negate the advantage of heavier armour. Of course you are now talking an entirely different form of combat then general battle. Pitched battles within forest are going to favour those with shorter weapons in general. Solid battle lines are less important then you think here, since you aren't fighting against an enemies battle line either. What counts in forest combat (and I am generalising here since my own military training extends to jungle warfare not forest, but many concepts remain) is the ability to fight in loose formations, ie the training and awareness to maintain close proximity to your comrades. Most assuredly narrow visors would limit that, but then narrow visors presented awareness and vision problem in all terrain and by no means were universal among heavy infantry.

Like I said, its not that in certain cases, under certain conditions and certain enemy troop compositions that forest would not confer advantages, simply that it is rubbish to say that light infantry in all circumstances gain some sort of advantage from forest.

Oh, I agree that lighter gear wouldn't always help in the real world. I'm more talking about a general "what can be helpful" in the real world...then a way to translate that as a minor game mechanic that gives the world flavor. Where the battles are calculated for us (and with some randomization), all the 'tactics and formations' of battle are RP after the fact. A mechanic that gives skirmishers and non-shinies a (minor) boost would simply help promote more flavored variety in how the dice can fall for combat. XP already kind of covers combat awareness/training, but that would be a great modifier for forests.

Creating Might & Fealty / Re: Equipment Overhaul
« on: June 17, 2017, 07:43:25 AM »
I'm not gonna say that heavy armor would slow someone down a great deal, 25-60 pounds evenly distributed isn't harsh, but I will say that a narrow vision helm and bulky grieves would probably be a bitch to try and charge an enemy in dense brush/brambles (with trees all around for quicker troops to flank from). I just don't imagine heavy infantry being as effective in forests where they wouldn't be able to form a solid line and engage an orderly pitched battle.

Think of Teutoburg forest. Not an ideal case (experience, familiarity with the grounds, and other things factoring more than Germanic light vs Roman heavy), but if you abstract the battles in your head you get the idea. 60 pounds isn't much if you are hiking or for a short sprint, but climb a tree with it (or try to hide with reflective surfaces on you).

Wouldn't want modifiers to be 'make or break' type things, though. Just little advantages that add up or can be capitalized on.

Creating Might & Fealty / Re: Equipment Overhaul
« on: June 17, 2017, 06:04:47 AM »

I like the idea of expanding on equipment but I wouldn't throw too many redundant options at people. A high class shield (metal instead of the low-class wood shield) and cheap slings (as a low-class javelin) would be great additions. I figure most people go with 'what is best' with high investments or 'what will suffice' with less investment, then a bulk of mids. Cheap, middling, and elite gears seem a good spread that shouldn't confuse anyone.

I'd like to see specialty gears available for culture-packs. Maybe orientals get metal-less scale armor, maybe northern European axemen are more frightening. Little quirks that might see a large effect en masse, but are tied with flavor/RP. Mostly swag, but with a small yet noticeable effect they become swaggier.

Talking of different types of terrain there makes me think how useful it could be to the game as a whole if this greatly expanded list of equipment types could confer advantages and disadvantages based on where a battle takes place. For example, cavalry would get their advantages in grasslands but lose them in dense forests. Heavy infantry would be at a severe disadvantage fighting in marshes, where light infantry would get greater bonuses. That sort of thing.

That would force people to put greater thought into where they intended to fight, rather than pumping out the best equipment they can produce all the time. It would also present the interesting possibilty of 'inferior' troops outclassing 'superior' troops if they were clever about where they brought them to battle.

The drawback is whether it would be possible to make terrain count enough across the board for it to have much of an impact. Most of the weapons we have here could comfortably be used in any terrain.

I do like that, equipment/terrain modifiers. Buffs to cavalry in grass/scrub (charging/flanking), buffs to light-inf in forest (where dense growth restricts maneuvering), buffs for archers in marshes/hills (where it's a rougher time for infantry charges). It would at least add an extra dimension to war.

Realms Chat / Re: Something That Probably Shouldn't Happen: The Realm
« on: June 15, 2017, 12:36:26 PM »
Steeples fingers in contemplation. Soon the seahorse shall kiss the shaft, and a ancestral homeland will be born. Checks map. Damn...Tor Dun and Strenvale did look like a seahorse a month back, at least.

Not gonna go full Tor, though. A little barony or county for Givenses within a larger barbarian hierarchy. I probably will keep the wacky stuff to one estate and a jester character, innuendo and quirkiness more common.

Stories to tell / Re: The Greenwardens
« on: June 15, 2017, 12:27:47 PM »
Hmmm, I had an estate's total go up after mobilizing some heavy cavalry. Not sure what mechanic would be doing that, though. Might just be too many militia and efficiency went up per human.

I'll incubate the primer a week or two more. Good stuff rolling in here and there. Other characters are taking priority right now so I could do without a knight for a bit.

Helpline / Re: Regarding Subscriptions.
« on: June 13, 2017, 06:01:55 PM »
Not sure what you mean by buying a GM spot though.

Oh, just that by flooding an area with nobles you could conceivably control a larger part of the map. GM as a kind of artificial powerful kingdom, I guess (you'd essentially have dozens of NPCs). Part of me doesn't care how density increases, but would just like it to increase. Ideally with interesting characters in a fleshed out world, but even if someone wants a thousand drones roaming and be known as 'that guy'....let 'em. As long as they don't harass other players.

Fight the good fight, integrate into their sandcastle dominion, or go find greener fields. All apart of a little story.

Helpline / Re: Regarding Subscriptions.
« on: June 13, 2017, 03:13:36 PM »
It does open up the "pay to win" option, but if someone wants to buy a isn't real densely packed. They aren't so much paying to win, but buying a GM spot. It's still kind of the same thing, but doesn't Might and Fealty have the same "playing with friends" clause about being a dick (as Battlemaster does)? Let them have at it if it'll add to the game, ban them and keep their monies if they start to take away from it (after proper warning).

I feel like 8 characters are a bit much with regular activity on a normal subscription. Not sure what you'd do with dozens of char to need multiple paid accounts. Alotta drones I suppose.

Developing Might & Fealty / Re: Third slot overhaul
« on: June 10, 2017, 01:43:52 PM »
+1 for the whole idea, except about cavalry. I think currently they kill fleeing enemies at a higher rate (or they should), which is the perfect effect. Probably already a defense/offense boost for war horses.

Developing Might & Fealty / Re: Javelins
« on: June 10, 2017, 01:29:55 PM »
Bringing them down below shortbow effectiveness and linking to a cheaper blacksmith-build would be a good tradeoff, I think. Would help make still effective militia that were cheap and easy. Resupply would be less issue since you could forage most anywhere for pointy sticks to throw.

Stories to tell / Re: The Greenwardens
« on: June 10, 2017, 01:19:05 PM »

I feel bad for throwing it out roughshod as it is, but I'm lazy and more concerned that the information is correct/helpful before a rewrite.

I would avoid Har's and Yar's, beyond just being more difficult to read, I imagine a noble or First One in this case would keep their accent out of their letters.
Probably best. Maybe a flavor intro, then 'a scribe takes over'.

Also, the militia numbers are fine, atleast the 100 militia part is, generally you want 100-200 militia in a town. And a token militia is just that. I wouldn't really say much about numbers beyond there though, just say something like: "More than that would greatly reduce the worker count in the settlement, which would reduce production and future recruitmen".
10% of population was put forward by Demivar as a good benchmark for 'token militia' and should generally reflect defense against a brigand in a town worth defending. I wanted to include a 'high' militia mark, which 1k was more or less off the top of my head. Maybe I should focus on a 'optimal maximum' rather than a 'what can stall an invasion'. Three tiers: One or two behind walls to force a battle, a token 10%, and the maximum troops you can garrison comfortably off total surplus food.

I need to add in about 'floating militia', or what army you have mobilized that could defend a town, too. Probably a big factor.

Here I would just say: "Serfs, who work the land or construct buildings and roads. And lastly, the Thralls, who can only work the land, but consume less food."
I knew there was a way to simplify, thanks. 4 kinds of humans, soldier/craftsman/serf/thrall. Not sure why I wanted to separate builders and serfs.

This is only semi-correct. A soldier or militiaman don't eat less or more than normal peasants, they just produce less; none for the soldiers and 50% for the militia. The thralls eat less and produce the same as normal peasants, but they still eat at the same time as normal peasants. 
Glad I screened this. I was under the impression that food consumption varied more among soldiers. Didn't even occur to me that militia had an effect on production, hence the consumption change. Didn't even notice goods/wood.

How strong is the effect of cavalry on food consumption... and do surplus horses(produced gear) consume food?

Stories to tell / Re: The Greenwardens
« on: June 10, 2017, 10:49:06 AM »
Yeah, seems like retention is a problem all over. I've been working on some publications that might help. One for lore, but primarily two that are a kind of academic journal on the game. I'm trying to start it with a 'newbie primer' that might help people get to thinking on what they would like to do. I might add more to it, but I'm hoping to spread and get authors to make an article with their musings about management/war.

So here is a kind of bullet-point rough draft on the primers:

The Stewards Handbook (The Management/Steward Publication)

The managing of an estate is, in essence, the managing of humans and what they can do. You'll find that there are roughly 4 or 5 types of human in an estate. A soldier, who eats and fights. A craftsman, who works a building. The builders, unassigned freemen who erect buildings and roads. Lastly, the laborers who toil the land and generate the bulk of resources (as freeman workers with no vocation or enslaved thralls).

Protection (Soldiers)

There are a few stages to garrisoned militia. A token militia; perhaps a few soldiers to hold the gates and provide a bit of economic security as a townwatch, it at least blocks unacceptable entry and forces a person to break through the gates. A small militia; a company of ~100 to hopefully fend of a brigand (behind solid foritifications), denying entry to your estate from typical brigand hosts. 300 may fend off a few invading nobles, more than a thousand will look to eat away your peasantry but may stall an invasion.

Production (Craftsmen)

Buildings enable peasants to work a trade, yet each building takes away from available peasants.  Craftsmen will abandon their job to be a builder, so take care that you always have enough peasants (due to starvation or building workcrew). A thrall cannot be a craftsman, chained in a way to their farms/forests/mines. Wood, metal, goods, and wealth may help produce gear...but production is largely set by the population/food of an estate (and amount of craftsman you can devote to an industry).

Population (Peasants and Thralls)

Population of peasants and thralls fluctuate with food available, so food is by far the most vital resource. A mobilized soldier eats more than a garrison, a garrisoned soldier eats more than a peasant, a peasant more than a thrall, and a thrall eats least/last of all. So many militia can be a heavy burden from your farmers and craftsmen. Spreading food out evenly may yield quicker recruits, but consolidating into capital/house-seat is typically most useful for building and equipment production. Larger batches of soldiers being available for training when resources are focused into one core estate. Quicker gear production when peasants are consolidated in a high functioning city.

The Marshal's Handbook (The War/Marshal Publication)

The mobilization and usage of soldiers, in essence, is the calculated use of force. The amount of soldiers you can raise, the quality and richness of gear, and when/how the force is used...these are at the heart of what that force will consist of. That force will be represented by troops, classified typically by armor on reports, but they are simply an expression of power/wealth. Attack strength, determined mostly through weapons and exp, is less easy to gauge/scout. A recruit with an axe looking similar to a veteran with a broadsword from 1000 yards away, somewhat masking the force being used.

Amount and Types

You might consider troops at three tiers. Quick levies; naked axemen who are easily shredded in combat but are useful tools for looting and militia. A core of mass produced troops; generally leather/shield with varying weapon, the materials plentiful and training time moderate. The elites; a core of harder to produce troops, whether it's heavy armor or javalins, these will take far more investment and time but are true warriors...especially if veterans.

Use and Application

Quick levies of humans with little more than an axe might be considered purpose tools. They can provide number superiority in a battle on fairly short notice, equally capable at looting, and better speed than most units. Behind good fortifications they can be surprisingly effective, but better gear is always preferable.The amassed core of troops will likely be spear/leather/shield and longbow/leather/shield. Well rounded and cheap (if not quickly) produced troops that can hold a wall quite well and quite capable in the field. A small variation here can be quite impactful; 100 mace/leathers fighting 100 axe/leathers will seem similar in reports...but the battle will show you something was different. Elites are where you'll see a characters personality show. Amassed, heavy infantry are frightful behemoths. The fear factor will cause enemies to flee, the protection in ranged will likely get them to the melee. Cavalry having a similar and more powerful effect, but requiring a heavier investment of resources. Armored archers and mixed infanty (javalins) are impactful in both phases of combat, while varying in gear/effectiveness.

When and How

So you have an aggressor or are an aggressor, now heres where force application is determined. If you are vastly outnumbered our outmatched, there are a few tactics that might help, but you'll likely want to avoid engagements. If you are evenly matched; forcing your opponent on grounds that favor you will be the marshal's gambit, forcing them to storm you behind fortifications or luring them out of their fortifications (when you can get allied aid). You'll generally have a freer hand if you vastly outmatch your opponent, but may have to deal with the Greenwardens if you abuse the weak.

There are cases of pre-determined wars of honor. It can be helpful to both aggressor and defender to limit the all-out, grizzly fact of war. You'll likely not find it with brigands or those with poor reputation, but a limited and honorable war can make true friends faster than a decadent ally.

Figured I'd get some feedback and make sure I'm not just spouting nonsense before I publish it. I'll expand a bit in the rewrite, flesh it out with some Har's and Yar's, but once the primer's are up I'll set a modest batch of knight offers and we'll try and try again. I thought about adding stuff about relations and getting in a hierarchy and all that...but that seems a liege's responsibility. Anyone like, disagree, or would alter?

*Edit Notes: So misspelling and grammer aside, feedback so far is the militia garrison talk needs to be tweaked away from hard numbers. Maybe replace with 1/10th of population probably. Still not 100% on the scale of 'militia enough to defend against 3 or 4 characters with moderate means" and "enough militia to withstand a 20-character-realm invasion".

So I'll probably make a little flavor intro full of Mad Murphys oddballness. Simplify militia garrisoned into three tiers: One or two behind walls to force a battle, a token 10%, and the maximum troops you can garrison comfortably off total surplus food. Add in about 'floating militia', or what army you have mobilized that could defend a town, too. Describe the effect of militia on production, and simplify human classifications into four castes (soldier/craftsman/serf/thrall). Flesh out the wording here or there, fix the spelling/grammer, so far good stuff.

Stories to tell / Re: The Greenwardens
« on: June 02, 2017, 07:45:27 AM »
Total Slumberblighted Collected: 9
Total Knights Trained: three A sleeper and two suicides

Might be about ready to send an expedition to try and setup a neutral wardenpost in the north-central (Lowlands/Strenvale/Ascalon), if I can keep a few steady knights. The public works/service stuff seems to be going well, if not the newbie training.

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