The torture or other stuff I find unnecessary for a world game building. Sure it happen but I don’t really see this as a form of mechanic.
There is no ‘Company morale’ feature so there is no reason for having mechanics to get it higher. And even if there were one I find that getting people some extra alcohol, food rations or bonus pay will motivated them more than some torture on random guys(that they probably would do off screen anyway and don’t tell anyone).
On the other hand, slaves.
The medieval Europe banned slave trade. The Christian part of it. But there was still slave trade and slave raids against them done by muslim Berbers Turks and Tatars.
There are not muslims in this game but there are bandits and orcs(also undead).
#Bandits can abduct people so they can force them to work for them for free. It could be a part of their economy alongside from tributes from villages and protection money from traders(no need to kill your source of income – its no wise anyway).
#Orcs can abduct people for the same reason. If they are a ‘Amazon ants’ faction(or warrior – and it looks like they are) they still need somebody to work for them and grow the food. Slaves are perfect for that.
So orcs raid not only to prove their worth(in fight) but also to make some profit. Stealing livestock of any species and killing guard dogs of any kind sounds like a right job for an Orc.
>Now i gonna shock some people:
Personally I really dislike idea of undead faction in current shape.
Why you ask?
First vampires or ghouls are OK with me. The other not so much.
They are some species that have inhuman powers and feed on blood. Fine with me. Immortal or semi immortal make perfect leaders for enslaved human faction. The court of vampires ruling over masses of enslaved humans with help of possessed/brainwashed caste of warriors(Janissaries). It make now pretty clear why Vlad Palownik stick some Turks on stake. Jokes aside – its more reasonable for vampires ruling over humans than having zombies or skeletons, for a simple reason humans are perfect source of fresh blood.
Also it will give vampires much more personality than they have now. Make them as a sort of sultan court with human Janissaries and other slave troops. Their raiders come to steal people and animals. They could have economy based on slave labour and caste system. Some of their human slaves can be fanatical when other can be just opportunistic. Some of them can use alchemic potions(based on vampires blood) to become stronger fighters(making them go after you even if they are killed – going back from dead just to kill you). There can be a lot of flavour for this faction. Right now we have some generic undead.
>Not happy with this.
As a nocturnal scavengers that lurk in shadow and night make a perfect sense to me. They are great for a low fantasy setting too. Make them having lairs ruled by Queens or Matriarchs, move mostly by night, scavenge battlefields for fresh corpse, steal sheep and chickens from peasants(or unlucky peasants if the ghouls are lucky).
They can also make(because they are cunning but still animals) perfect soldier-beasts for vampires. Vampires feed on blood, ghouls feed on flesh. The more primitive, brutal or dumb vampires can easily take control of ghoul pack and make them their servants(thanks to mind control trick and inhumane vampire powers).
Ghouls fit perfectly well as a ‘wild beast’ threat, renegade/exiled vampire bodyguards or as a part of ‘undead realm’.
And that lead us to two most offenders.
They are ANIMATED bones. MAGIC involved. If you have skeletons – golems(or gargoyles) are not far away. How they move? They have no flesh, no muscles. They do not eat, no drink. They have no brain. Pure magic. For a non magic settings they are really poor choice.
>Yes I am looking at you with disdain right now German bros.
The zombies. I don’t really mind them much. Thing is that they not fit that much in the settings. Sure they provide a generic enemy but that is all. They are now slow, low damage rather hard to kill enemy but only thing that they have going for them is their reanimation skill. Not mention that I am little tired on zombies(they shouldn’t really be in a medieval setting).
>Not mention that people aren’t fools. If skeletons or zombies where real you would find that there are no graveyards because are bodies are burned to the last bones or at last their bones are crushed, tied and bodies decapitated(as it happen for real in areas where there was some suspicious of vampires).
So yeah. Slavery is a thing. Not mention that it can add few backgrounds like a ‘Former slave’ or ‘Runaway slave soldier’, become basis for a few quests like ‘Free the slaves’ or ‘Check what happened to my peasants’. It can also become a part of real world economy and lore building.