It’s something that I’ve really been missing in the current game, so I hope it gets added. :D
Going to go through your comments bit by bit:
Hmmm, yeah, having them as a full faction might contradict their purpose, as it implies that you’ll encounter them frequently and as a Great Enemy. The idea behind them doesn’t rely on them not being seen often, like Lovecraftian horrors, but they would still have to be rare for the disconnect between the fantasy style of the world and their own deformed design to have best impact. Like you say, it should not just become a standard encounter, but something weird and baffling even when encountered multiple times. Instead, it might be sub-faction of the Beast groups, which would justify them being rare and only found in hard to reach places. A variant that is less mythological and more unfathomable.
Regarding demons. Having the demons like that would be amazing, though I assume that the devs have already sketched out designs that are less strange, for that faction. However, you could still use the idea by there being the more ‘regular’ demons and beings that are not strictly demons, but things that the cultist happened to lure there somehow with, for example, ancient mystical rituals that they don’t understand. They might even actually be demons, but there’s no way of confirming or denying it, since they do not make any kind of sense to mortals or even other demons. They’d explicitly not be Lovecraftian though, so no need for madness mechanics and such. Just a thing that’s incomprehensible and unpredictable, but no less dangerous for it. You could have those ‘demons’ be a part of both the Deformed sub-faction and the Cultist faction, just like Werewolves are currently Undead and Beasts.
In fact, let’s take that idea a bit further and have the Deformed serve as a sub-faction that is usually spread across different factions, where they show up as rare encounters found in the hidden places of the world. Like a being that sometimes shows up with the undead in the bowels of the mountains, that is not undead itself but seems to somewhat act in concert with them for reasons unknown.
I think the difficulty will depend on what the reworked world map will look like. Something like this would work well with smaller locations that you can interact with, spread across the map. Like the old location suggestion thread. The Wildmen village would be far smaller than an actual city, since it’s essentially a hunter-gatherer community, and way more easily destroyed. Kind of like a small Orc camp. I think your idea would also work well with this, with small locations further away from the main cities and villages allowing for more customisation, like different building styles and materials used in construction.
How about, rather than having the robber knight destroy the caravan, have it so that they take a percentage of the goods carried by the caravan (when the caravan is too weak to resist or surrenders when it’s guards have been killed). So the caravan wouldn’t be destroyed, because it’s not in the interests of the robber knight to destroy trade and reflect how they’re not a desperate band of robbers, but it would deliver less resources to its destination. That way they’re a drain on resources and worth taking out, but wouldn’t cripple trade.
I’m also assuming that the other mercenary companies that are going to get added will often take the role of guarding caravans, essentially having them fill in the role of upgraded form of the caravan guard, so the robber knights would be the bandit equivalent of a group willing to try to take on a juicy target like that.
As for expanding, how about having it depend on how successful the bandits are? That way a small group can grow into a greater threat as it continues to successfully raid caravans and sometimes cities.
A somehwat similar case to the wiedergänger diversity, I suppose. Would make a for nice detail, though.
I did say I was using old ideas. ;) The same objections as then still apply though. It’s something that would be nice if it does not take as much effort as creating new units and would be a great finishing touch, rather than being of the same priority as a new faction.
More pastoral elements:
Sounds like you’re thinking of a pastor, rather than pastoral. :P Pastoral can refer to the life-style of shepherds and herders and a pastor is symbolically the shepherd of his flock of Christians, hence the name. Pastoral literature is more about depicting natural or rural life and often in an idealised fashion, though it’s the elements of non-idealised natural life that I’m most interested in.
However, that doesn’t mean that monasteries and clergy wouldn’t also be worth adding! I think there’s a good chance of that getting added, since we already have the monk background, that legendary weapon example that mentions a monastery and I think I saw a church in Psen’s art thread. Monasteries would a good resource of information and supplies (monasteries being self-sufficient) or they could be a part of quest lines and turn out to be infested with vampires. Agreed on not wanting to see blessings and other holy powers. That’s way too much D&D and would be too direct a representation of deities, rather than humanity having to rely on itself.
Vampire Lord:/Primal Werewolf:/Ghoul Tyrant:
They’ll probably get added eventually, yeah. :P I only saw what looked like a werewolf-boss in the art thread, though. Just thought I’d make some suggestions on mechanics that would work well with the flavour of the regular vampires, werewolves and ghouls. I particularly like the idea of a Ghoul Tyrant being a hulking brute who rules the ghoul pack through fear and violence.
Internal faction differences:
Ah, I was thinking more of differences between groups belonging to the same (sub-)faction. Like different Orc tribes and Bandit gangs having different troop compositions relative to other tribes and gangs (like relatively having more berserker or raiders). Currently we see Orc tribes fielding their own flags, but they don’t actually seem all that different when you fight them.
What are your thoughts on the Restless Lord, by the way? I imagined that as being a regular unit, rather than a leader type (meaning there can be multiple of them in a battle).
The battle UI will get a major work-over once the devs find a UI programmer that matches their needs. It still needs quite a bit of tweaking.
That’s basically what my Restless Lord idea, outlined above, would be. You could try to puncture its armour, but doing so would be very difficult because of its ghostly essence.