Re: Nail in the coffin

John Sloan (
Mon, 06 Dec 93 16:38:42 GMT wrote :

>Back when Olympia _didn't_ have FT's, and I wanted to add them, I received
>equally strident arguments that they would be the death of the game. A
>survey of 57 players came out nearly 50-50 for/against FT's.
>I think the (ex-current) FT system is somewhat too complex.
>Perhaps it would help to find out what parts of the design were
>liked, and what parts can go.
> 1. FORMed units must always have the forming noble as their lord.
> Thus, FT's cannot be arbitrarily flattened without having the
> vassals visit the top character.

If you really wanted a flat tree, then yes you would have to work at it. So
what? That has its disadvantages.

> 2. The subtree loyalty check on death and desertions.

On death, I disagree with. On desertion, it should be about 50/50 whether
vassals stick with the faction or the deserting noble.

> 3. Displaying the immediate lord in all location reports.

Pointless. Display nothing. If I want to advertise my allegiance, let me do
it in the Banner.

> 4. No tree-stealing; a noble deserting doesn't take his whole
> subtree along.

We've had none of this yet. With limited numbers of Noble Points, getting a
larger faction would only be possible by gaining unsworn nobles, or pinching
them so we might see more of this.

With a flat tree, this is not a problem. Flat trees require more work,
though, unless they are all oathbound - which again would be less true if we
had less NPs floating around.

>Let me sketch an alternate system:
> SWEAR by default makes the unit's lord the player entity of the
> target character. However, one may give a flag to swear directly
> to the target. So you could make a tree if you wanted to, but
> by default, there would be no FT. (FORM would work similarly; by
> default, the noble's lord would be the player. A flag would make
> the new noble's lord be the forming unit).
> It's too nasty to have #4 if we force players to use FT. If they
> are entirely optional, however, we can have tree-stealing. #2
> has no purpose if we have #4.

It means you have to put a bit of thought into how you set up your factions
tree. I'd rather see a wider variance in the possible level of loyalties,
myself. However this is really the only way to hurt a faction short of
attacking them. I'd rather have more polotics and intrigue than more

>What about #3? I think it's ugly to display the lord of every unit.
>With mandatory FT's, I would rather show no-one's lord than everyone's,
>since it just looks like "lord %d", rnd(1000,8000) to me anyway.

I think its ugly and unnecessary too. I'd rather that the order parser did
Name to Number mapping for nobles, skills and commodities so we could do away
with all the numbers altogether. How hard would that be?

>What about allowing players to display or conceal their lord, without
>having to learn a stealth skill?

Needs to be. Not much point in hiding your lord, as it just shouts 'I have
Stealth - KILL ME', unless everyone can does it by default. Hiding in a
crowd is easier than hiding with a Placard on a football pitch.

>Rich Skrenta <>


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