Caspian has finally released the nine page, +4000 word Design Journal #18, "Kingdoms & Land Management". While it is a long read, compared to other Design Journals, it was incredibly detailed and provided an in depth look at the mechanics behind the acquisition of land and titles.
In today's post, we are going to taking a look at the mechanics for acquiring titles of nobility, instead of land management or acquisition. There are several principles of nobility that we will be covering in depth:
The term Casus Belli is Latin for "an act or event that provokes or is used to justify war". This term first saw wide use in the 16th and 17th centuries. Informally, it may refer to any "just cause" a nation or its leader(s) can claim for entering into a conflict.
In CoE, Casus Belli is a claim for noble title and lands. For a non-noble, either a member of the Aristocracy (Mayors, Magistrates, and Barons) or the Gentry (non-titled landowners), there are three ways to obtain a Casus Belli for a noble title:
For nobility to lay claim to a higher title, a casus belli can only be obtained via Favor; As Caspian has stated, "Once you are noble, you must play the Dance of Dynasties to move up".
How do I obtain Casus Belli?
Well, the first route to a noble claim, is Favor. Obtaining "favor" is achieved by receiving signed contracts from the Aristocracy or Nobility stating a support for you claim. For example, if I was a local Magistrate and I wanted to create a new County, separate from my current County, I could woo the local mayors, magistrates and barons to sign contracts support my claim to the noble title of Count.
If you can muster a two-thirds majority of affected aristocrats, then you will obtain a casus belli for claiming a Count title. But mayors and barons are no the only people to obtain favor from. If you can obtain 51% of a Count's peers (other Counts) support, then you have a claim to perform a coup.
Alternately, you can obtain 25% of Counts and their Duke to obtain a casus belli.
Since there is no noble title above King / Queen, you would need to gather the support of his Dukes / Duchesses or his rival Kings to attempt a usurpation.
This system of gathering favor from nobility is the only way to advance above the Noble Title of Count.
If you are looking to obtain the title of Count, you can also do this by accumulating fame. In order to have an automatic casus belli, one must rich a level of fame directly underneath that of the Count's fame. Since most all Counts will have a minimum fame level of "Renowned", then the minimum fame you will need to obtain is "Famous".
If you obtain this level of fame, then you will have an automatic claim to the noble. Of course, as is pointed out in the Design Journal, you will still need an army to wage a coup.
The Third and final way to obtain the noble title of County is "Wealth". Soulbound Studios has not released the amount of wealth (nor how it would be defined) needed to obtain a casus belli . This will require play-testing and balancing. I can only speculate that it will be an accumulation of total assets (lands, properties, buildings, and gold) instead of mere liquid assets (such as currency).
I have Casus Belli... Now What?
Now that you have your noble claim, you must now act on it. After all, a claim is nothing more than words on a piece of paper. As Neddard Stark, Lord of Winterfell tragically discovered, a paper shield is easily torn asunder. Every claim for nobility will need an army to back up the claim.
To enforce a claim for noble title, the usurper must EITHER set up a County (or Duchy or Kingdom) seat in his own lands AND claim its independence from its Count (Duke or King) OR march into the current seat of power for the noble and take it by force.
At this point, whether you claimed your own land as an independent county, duchy or kingdom, you must DEFEND your claim for 28 real-life days (not Elyrian Days). During those 28 days, the noble you are deposing or declaring independence from must destroy your seat of power.
IF the usurped noble removes your seat of power, THEN the usurper forfeits his current title(s), a power vacuum ensues and he can appoint a new Mayor, Baron, Count, etc. in your place.
IF the usurped noble fails to remove the usurper within the 28 day period, THEN the usurper successfully obtains the titles and lands claimed.
IF the usurped noble was deposed, THEN his title changes to "Deposed Title of Nobility".
Can I obtain a Noble Title without resorting to violence?
The answer is absolutely yes. There are a few different ways to obtain a noble title without having to go to war over it. First of which is marriage
UNLESS a term in the marriage contract prohibits it, THEN marrying a noble will convey a Noble title to the spouse. So if a Duke marries a woman without title, then she will be bestowed the title of Duchess.
However, it is possible to forge a marriage contract that prevent conveying a noble title to the spouse.
Another way of obtaining a noble title is to inherit it. If written into the Will (another contract), then a player can obtain a title of nobility upon the death of the noble who has written him / her into his will.
The final way of peacefully securing a noble title is through appointment. In the event that a noble dies without an heir OR is removed from power due to treason, then a power vacuum exists and the ruling noble that holds jurisdiction over the empty spot may appoint a new noble, but only someone who EITHER already holds that noble title OR holds a title one rank below.
For example, if a Duke is seeking to fill a vacated Count, he may only appoint another Count or Baron / Mayor in his county. IF a Barony was vacated, THEN only another Mayor / Baron or Landowner in that district may assume the position.
Caspian was very clear to state the following: "A title can only be revoked due to a player's choice of actions"
That is to say, if you are not out committing treason, then your liege lord cannot simply replace you with another noble. However, that is not to say that he cannot undermine you (by offering support to your usurper).
A noble can also surrender his noble title to a usurper by delivering his ring to the usurper. This will automatically transfer ownership of the noble title (and its associated lands) to the claimant AND entirely revoke the title from the current noble. No twenty-eight day waiting period required.
It is also possible avoid the 28-Day period by killing the current lord and taking his ring, provided you have a casus belli to back up your claim.
We have taken a small in depth look at the acquisition of noble and aristocratic titles. In my next post, we will be discussing what other types of governments could potentially exist in Elyria under the current dynamics.
Thanks for reading!
If you're interested in talking about this live, join us on the Dagger and Crone Inn & Tavern Discord Server.
~ Paddy Bardic
Owner / Proprietor
Dagger and Crone Tavern and Inn