Statecraft game mechanics, change logs and lore.

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    Here game explanations, progress and backgrounds can be placed.



    Here’s a collection of everything i dropped on Statecraft in the discord. This It’ll keep me accountable 🙂

    Warning it’s a chat transcript so formatting and grammar can and will be funky.

    game concept
    A king is powerful but to some extent confined to his throne room like a bee queen
    entrusting capable men with power and responsibility.

    That social dynamic is well explained in a book I’ve read many times called Machiavelli’s “the prince” which is what finally pushed me to build this game. It is not a daunting book and it is fairly explicit as far as power politics goes.. a must read id say since it is the soul of StateCraft.

    [snip] You can’t just mindlessly click your way to success..yes the mechanics are simple (yes/no answers to all queries) since the game gives you hints on who is valuable and who is not. It engages the player actively to reflect and analyze.

    The big difference with Crusader Kings 2 is that in CK you micro manage your army and troops. Also courtiers are present and can be assigned roles but I would have enjoyed more emphasis on courtship. In StateCraft however, you are confined to your throne room, greatly putting the emphasis in surrounding yourself with the right courtiers and being cautious as of who your are nurturing .

    The true magic is when the game corners you into acting a certain way to secure what could appear to be the immediate solution for your problems as a suzerain. The intended mechanics is not far from a card game where you have to juggle with what is proposed to you while keeping a close eye on the 10 ish ressources that makes you a dead king or not.

    currently your kingdom has the current stats to maintain:
    -army (offensive soldier since population is the levy)
    -defenses (structural defenses)
    -diplomacy (over all diplomatic image) not to confuse with relations with your 4 neighbors
    -personal protection (state of your personal guard and close protection of your familly)

    On queens and brides

    lot of trash brides out there yes
    But the provenance is where you can predict their ability to govern with you
    a merchant (especially your courtiers) will spend years accumulating gold just to give it back to you in order for you to mary their daughters
    Queens will be able to act as any of the 5 vocations which includes rogue
    the trick with the queen is that she looks at the status of the realm before acting
    then act upon a situation
    Normal courtiers simply dont have that situation awarness mainly due to their position
    It is a very fun mesh (cluster fuck) or social and power interaction

    The game is admittedly male dominant however the queen is the most important character in the game (like chess) so it is primordial to secure a decent queen.

    In the new version I want the queen to be able to spend time with a courtier in order to give you her appraisal of him/her. This is all nice and dandy however if your queen sucks she may give you the wrong info and worst upset the courtier if he is of a certain status (Seniority is the main status denomination.

    On courtiers

    we get in the core mechanics but here it is
    there is 5 classes of ‘courtiers’
    -knights (high risk high reward npcs (since they can die) deal with attacks war and raids and patrols everything military)
    -shcolars (low risk low reward sure shot npcs deal with laws and diplomacy)
    -Merchants/Bankers (truly the best money makers in the game but have the tendencies to make money with money)
    – Rangers (eyes and ears of your realm.. when bad stuff happens to you or an act of intrigue has been comitted usually they can help, they also deal with bandits and explore your land (find new mines and such)
    – finally rogues (allow you to ‘cheat’ and do intrigue for a great cost to your diplomacy and church and potentially morale of your courtier if caught.. can also do low scale activity such as attacking trade routes
    all of these courtier come to you and suggest course of action to you
    depending on their skills they succeed or not impacting your stats and your overall power in the realm
    they die, get sick, have personal issues, dont like each others, maneuver for better power ect..
    that is currently in the proof of concept
    and working although the older version was class specific so a bounty hunter would only bounty hunt.. now all the martial trades have been regrouped under ‘knights’ and each individual can perform a wide variety of actions.

    you can have a courtier that has 50% skill and these guys are the hardest, he will go on a stretch of success but then come forward with an high risk high reward action and quite naturally you will conceded, spend the gold and take the risk. At this point he will fail and as a player it’ll be hard to trust him again
    courtiers with 0% (quite a crazy absolute but they are out there.. pretty much usurpators claiming to be something they are not, gravitating around the court) are easy to deal with. They will never show up for work :smiley: as competent courtiers always seek work (you first cue actually to know if a courtier is trustable with important matters)

    This is where Statecraft shine and evolve the urb factor. I find most of our crowd to be scary smart so I added a mechanic where the player, over time can deduce how competent is a courtier. So the luck factor is there but the player use his wits to anticipate probabilities.
    it’s like a political game of poker really where the cards effects unviel themselves 3 to 8 turns later

    On rogue courtiers

    Rogues are pretty cool, they get targets from their informants and ask you if they can act on them. So far they can kill agitators (if you have low popularity in your realm), foreign diplomats (if you prestige is low) or priests (if your church level is low)
    killing foreign nobles or king will be a cost action.

    It gets pretty nasty when you assassinate within your lands absolutely.
    Mechanics wise its formidable because the difficulty ramps up.

    On forgiving or punishing a courtier that has failed you

    On the mechanics of forgiving or discourse a courtier that has failed. In the previous versions this had a little effect but in the new one the reaction to failure must be wisely considered. Offending a high achiever can be detrimental (lower loyalty) and discoursing a less competent courtier can motivate him to get better. Forgiving a high achiever is usually the best way to go but if you forgive a low achiever he will assume weakness in your character and is maybe more likely take advantage of you in the future.

    Either action you are doing the game makes a skill roll and if the skill roll is successful then the courtier view himself as a high achiever
    So if you have a courtier that has 75% skill which is a fairly good rate and you discourse him.. he only has 25% to take the blame and better himself

    On courtiers salary

    On salaries:

    A courtier works for you at a certain amount of gold per year (4 seasons) this amount is usually 1 gold per year. Now if a courtier is extremely competent, he is likely to ask for more gold eventually. To the point that very competent courtiers know their value and will become expensive over the year. A good king will identify these individuals and offer them titles in order to retain them in their court for ‘free’ by granting them lands.

    Lands carry on with the family if he has a hier. Can you see how the game gets complicated tho?
    When you have a noble that dies and stuff gets passed on, maybe his son is incompetent? Now you have to deal with an idiot that manages 20% of your kingdom. 🙂

    On peasants

    Dealing with peasants is more of an important deal in the new state craft, more than often you have to balance the affairs of the state versus their demands. Population morale becomes at this point more of a currency that you closely monitor while balancing between accumulating it or spending it.

    The difference between prestige and diplomacy

    Prestige is a value that goes up and down depending on how you conduct yourself as a king at the realm level. Being caught using subterfuge and intrigue will reduce this value amongst other things. It’s you reputation.

    Diplomacy is a value that represent the state of affairs with a particular state.
    Now that I’m doing the basic AI the nature of their actions will be based upon you diplomacy score with them. The extent of their actions will be determined by your prestige.

    On other states and conquest

    Picture statecraft as you being france west is spain east is holy roman empire north england and south italy/byzantine
    so theres only 4 other factions
    identified by their cardinal location, I just assumed really they would be on the same religion
    for some time anyways.

    It is the beauty of it. You want to grow organically and not push boundaries that is the safest play, however that also means the other kingdoms grow. You want to grow more dynamically then you weaken your neighbors opening the door for the external threats. The realm as it is, have a fragile balance, the difficulty emerge from player’s ambitions.

    On barbarians

    I haven’t defined the specific mechanics about these. They are conceptual exterior threats that will be harsher to deal with on the military and diplomatic level.

    They will be more into raiding you and asking for tributes and such which is what your neighbors are dealing with and protecting you from to some extent when you start. It’ll be feasible to go in total war with them and hurt them enough so they back off for a period of time. But maintaining a decent army is costly.

    On church

    The church of Gygax is the only church

    I like the idea of a central, established and overly ambitious and perfid church.

    the church has its own entity in this game and pretty much act like the pope in our own medieval time, using faith to push his own agenda
    it is a very powerful entity (can assign Templars (pretty much medieval jedis) to your court if they like you) but they can also excommunicate you and start crusades against you. During inquisition they roam in your land burning folks and stuff and even sometime claim that one of your courtiers is an heretic.

    The pope is a very generous friend but he is high maintenance
    and the pope tend forgive less than kings ironically enough.

    Random quotes about the game I dropped

    – You build the empire .. your hiers and the nobles you groomed will take care of destroying it.
    – The game saves exactly after you answered a query. So reloading to get a different result will simply take you to the moment after you answered.
    – Random events are predetermined in advance, so reloading in order to get good random events will produce the same events regardless.
    – The game is a long run. You can keep playing until you dynasty last. You will at one point lose, just like mnb2. Branching a dynasty generates a lot of frustration for the claimants of the throne (brother, cousins, nobles nominated by your fathers (your last character)). This combined that the nobles nominated will die and their dynasty will take over their estate, which doesn’t guarantee the same level of competence initially secured by giving a title to a super competent courtier.
    – There is no ribbons but the will to create throne room decorations based on feats yu accomplish in game is there. If you win territory over a war you get shield and swords to put on your wall. ect..
    – @Fireiy yes yes and yes. So basically every slice of say 100 population gives you a rank. Every time you get promoted you can give a title to a courtier (which gives him land and that slice of population) that individual will work for free now and you have secured yourself a competent individual. This man will now work on his own and report to you every seasons with his management of the land you gave him. Upon further population increase from your part you can give that individual more title (now lord to baron) or give a title to another courtier you judge competent enough.
    – There is few losing scenarios. Dying is one without a heir. Running out of gold by the end of winter. Running out f population (territory).
    – Most of my general direction as far as mechanics goes is roughly based on the machiavelli book the prince.

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 1 month ago by  urbzz.
    • This reply was modified 1 year, 1 month ago by  urbzz.


    A few questions:

    Is the time passage constant throughout encounters – one day passes for each encounter, for instance? Can there be multiple encounters on the same day?

    Is Machiavelli always available as your counselor on every new game?
    Is he a 100% trustworthy mentor figure, or is he himself also a player in the scheme of things?

    Do NPCs age and die or retire?



    This is the old version 0.2 that can be played by “testers”.
    The new version (see Discord channel “Statecraft) will be much more elaborate and balanced.
    urbzz talked mostly there about the game since traffic here is sometimes zilch.
    The channel is quiet right now so reading up on what is going to go down, maybe, may be the best way to get the most recent information.

    To your questions. Time goes by by seasons. At the moment I forgot on how many times you call in court per season but it is something like each month worth so 3 times before the season changes.
    Assigned tasks can take multiple seasons before completed.

    Do NPCs age and die or retire?

    Yes, everyone ages in the game. Your hirelings can die in many ways including conflicts (only knights), sickness, accidents, assassination by your assassin and sorts of old age right now.
    In the next patch there will be even more ways for them to fall out of your service.
    Retiring; more like quitting your services if you do not fulfill their wishes over a longer
    Or you simply let their contract time end without lengthening it.
    The is the option to “give them the boot” but that never worked so far in game. Is borked.



    Bit more up to date game lore by urb over at the Discord.

    The current system that is sort of new in this iteration works in a comparable manner. Servants come to you and offer their services on a random basis. They can be from one of the 5 castes:
    Merchants (which deals with markets and gold)
    Knights (which are -very- useful during open war and moderatly during time of peace)
    Scholars (which deal with diplomacylaw making and engineering)
    Rogues (which are masters at intrigue. A high risk High reward avenue) and finally,
    Rangers (who deal with defenses, investigation and exploring)
    All their actions are skill driven. The amount of time they seek work and how successful they are, is determined by a 100% roll every seasons. The core game loop of statecraft is that as a king you have to be able to guess who is competent and who is not. And this very quickly. Because comeptant individuals will demand more money over time and will become irritated very quick if you do not approve them.
    The mechanics in order to make this a fun game are the following: A courtier seeks you permission to accomplish a task. You then say yes or no. the reasons to say yes or no can be various, either you deem this individual not good enough for the task and the damage of a potential failure is too risky for you. OR you simply can afford such an actions. Either in time, troops, gold or diplomacy.
    If you say yes a skill check is done and the courtier comes back to report. Now 2 things can happen. Either he/she succeeds or fail. And here note that a courtier that has a 75% skill (which is fairly high and be considered as a competent individual) can fail from time to time. As a king it is important that you forgive the competant people and disapproving the idiots. At first it can be hard since the courtier has not been on many tasks before and task failure or success is truly your only way to find out.

    In case he is successful nothing much is done on your part. You can approve his success or disapprove it. NOW if he is unsuccessful this is where you need to think. You can forgive him or not. When you forgive a failure the courtier makes a skill check. if he passes it, it means that the individual views himself as worthy of that forgiveness and thanks he can do better. If the courtier fails his skill check then he views himself as not up to the task but yet granted leniency by his lord. Which at this point if any of you have read Machiavelli’s works is a mark of weakness from a king. The incompetent Courtier that has been forgiven will start to view tyou as a weak king and increase his disloyalty slightly

    So let’s go the other way now
    If you elect to reprimand the individual then things are different.
    A competent courtier will not be pleased by the reprimand and would have expected a more graceful treatment. His respect for you will decrease slightly. If an incompetent courtier is reprimanded then he will get his act together and since he is fully aware of his lack of seriousness being noticed by the king. He will then increase his skill by 1 to 3%
    So by being a good judge of character you can groom incompetent courtiers to become respectable. And by being a a jerk antagonize your elite until they take you off the throne. Such as real life.
    Or also by being too soft you open the door for the less than desirable individual to move against you by lack of fear that you will be unable to eitherr be aware fot heir machinations or respond in any stern fashion.

    All the courtiers in your court are of higher standings
    it is that just some of them are less than competent. As we all know by know that bloodlines have little to do with competency.
    Statecraft lore is minimal right now.
    Now that the game loop is established let’s take a look on how this turns the game into a time bomb of urbness.
    If it were for only courtier this is fine. But here comes the royalty. These guys that somehow are part fo your court but you can’t fire them and also think they are to some extent previous to your respect.
    The Queen, is a special npc and like chest she moves in all direction. It is the most powerful npc of the game, that is if shhe is cometant. If you tool the gold of a rich merchant and married his daughter.. you risk to have a lower quality queen since that poor girl had no idea what ruling a country was 2 weeks ago
    As far as competency the queen works just as nay other NPCs described above on the leniency algorythm. a less than cometant queen will seek to imporve upon being reprimendanded or will maneuver agaisnt you out of undeserved foirgiveness.
    This is not too bad because a queen is manageable. Same goes for your Sons and first genrations nobles.

    Chances of Hiers and beauty and also skill at diplopmacy is all related to the ‘one’ skill
    Although as a king you may indulge intyo extra marital activities in case you seek additional heirs or fun. This however might not fly if your queen is skilled. She will realise what is going on and will not tolerate it.
    Sleeping out with other women while having a powerful queen seems to be detrimental as history teached us.

    • This reply was modified 1 day, 1 hour ago by  Lance. Reason: more content
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