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Corrupt NPC secret societies based on node types.

Currently nodes can be developed as Economic, Military, Scientific, and Divine. As these nodes level, it would be interesting if rogue secret societies would develop in conjunction. It would make for an interesting system for questing and add an alternative element of corruption for each node that must be kept in check.

Economic nodes could naturally generate a mafia style society whose activities if left unchecked would lead to an increase in NPC assaults on caravans and disruptions in trade. Unchecked corruption could result in higher fees charged by normal NPCs to cover the costs of stolen goods and other leakage. Node managers should be required to spend resources to maintain significant policing to maintain node level and order. Players wishing to maintain good economics, order, and level up their node could perform quests that would suppress this society. Players wishing to undermine a node could contribute to the selling of stolen goods in this node as well as completing related nefarious quests.

War profiteers could naturally develop as Military Nodes level and without adequate policing, significant portions of node defense resources would disappear. Left unchecked, the strength of defensive NPCs would decrease significantly due to lack of support resources. Defensive NPCs could also be more susceptible to bribes. Military strength is based on adequate funding for weapons and food as well as soldier loyalty.

A society of anti-science zealots could form as a counter to Scientific Nodes. Believing science is an affront to the natural order of life, these zealots left unchecked would hamper scientific development by corrupting research leading to an increase in failure of scientific discovery. Players supporting the node would be required to perform quests and spend resources to keep zealot activities to a minimum and of course players wishing to undermine a Scientific Node would help them.

I can’t envision a Divine Node existing without religious nuts seeking to promote their twisted, evil religious interpretation. Left unchecked, they would cause significant damage toward religious order disrupting the benefits normally provided by the orthodox divine order. There’s a great opportunity here for some dark and twisted questing for both players that want to eliminate or support this unorthodox cult.

The TLDR: Nodes should have NPC secret societies that must be constantly suppressed by players wishing to maintain and level up their node while allowing opposing players to perform quests that would support them thus undermining node progress and maintenance. Such societies would fit the lore nicely and provide opportunities for interesting questing and espionage. As populations increase in a node, it is natural that crime and cults should form. Interesting gameplay would result with players seeking to oppose or support them and it would give every node a living, dynamic element. All game systems of course require an investment of resources by the studio. Would you all be in favor of such a system and would it be possible for Intrepid Studios to implement in a fair amount of time and using a reasonable allocation of development resources?


  • If balanced correctly, then that certainly sounds like fun!
  • DygzDygz Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    Sure. A Divine Node or Military Node might choose to be anti-Science.
    Won't be a Corrupt mechanic for that, though.
    I think what you may be describing is what Steven refers to as the Twisted path which player characters can pursue.
  • Sounds interesting.

    A blackmarket for the caravan system is already going to be put in, so how about thieves guilds, assassin guilds, cultists, shady mercenaries groups, depending on the type of node.
  • DygzDygz Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    edited February 13
    Ashes lready has a Thieves Guild as one of the Social Orgs - I expect Assassins and Cultists to be a subgroup.
    May be that Cultists would be a subgroup of Religions.
    Mercenaries are already associated with Military Nodes.
  • El Stevo has already expressed that he expects at least the dynamics of subversion of each of these to develop, albeit informally in some cases. The Twisted Path that Dygz mentioned.

    And that they are going to be initially hands off to some of this to see what happens. They may want some observation first before driving it with any NPC behavior, if at all. All part of the 'players shaping the world' ethos.
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