The basic idea:
(1) All units of a faction lose a bit of loyalty each month. It
would be "neat" to have elite units that don't lose loyalty, but
I don't have any suggestions on how to form elite units. They
should be rare. Maybe a unit that you maintain at 100% loyalty
for an extended period - a year, say - would become a devoted
follower with Loyalty == 100?
(2) Loyalty would be regained by being PERSUADED by a unit with a
higher Leadership skill than the unit being persuaded. (But see
below about eliminating Persuade.) This would cost the faction
in both time, money and bother.
Faction trees fall out of this, because what happens is that you have
a Leadership 1 unit that you use to keep up the Loyalty of your units
in Drassa. But this unit itself loses Loyalty. So you need a higher
commander to come around to him occasionally to boost his morale.
Essentially, you get a tree of leaders.
So each faction ends up spending men, time and bother to maintain
their faction, and the costs grow as the faction grows. You can
tinker with the rate of loss of loyalty to adjust how much trouble it
is to maintain a large faction. You might also want to make the
loyalty loss dependent upon the size of the unit (bigger units harder
to maintain), the level of skills in the unit, and the loyalty of the
unit (barely loyal units lose loyalty faster).
In addition to this (although this is really a separate issue) I would
have a Leadership skill tree:
Level 1 Recruit
Level 2 Bribery
Level 3 Public Speaking
Level 4 Form
Recruit can be used for another unit, i.e., Use Recruit 5 1088, recruit
five men into unit 1088. Public Speaking sways a unit's loyalty by
giving a stirring public speech and generally campaigning (as opposed
to Bribery, which involves a cash payout). PCs would start with at
least Level 1 in Leadership, and maybe you give them a free Form or
There are several advantages to this:
(1) Skills can be used for variable time periods, so that you could,
for example, PERSUADE for only 2 days if you chose. (2) You could
study up or get more experienced at things like recruiting, impressing
and so on, all of which seems reasonable.
-- Scott T.