16 October 2011

Other Clans

Several players have been wondering just how King of Dragon Pass manages the other clans in the game. What’s tracked? (I think this usually comes up in the context of whether a second raid on a clan will find them weakened.) Is there an artificial intelligence?

I just fixed a bug where a clan would raid you with 0 weaponthanes, so yes, the game obviously keeps track of that! In fact, I think this bug completely answers the question, in that the AI is clearly not up to player standards.

But it’s not quite that simple. For one thing, the game lets you interact not only with other clans, but groups. Some of these groups are worshippers of a specific deity (e.g. the Uroxi), others are actually much larger or amorphous (the trolls, dragonewts, or Horse-Spawn). This is one reason Horse-Spawn raids can be common: you are actually being attacked by different war bands. For simplicity though, the attitude and other relationship values are common for the entire group.

It’s also worth remembering that King of Dragon Pass tells a story. It’s not a simulation of Iron Age magical economics. So while the game does track food, population, cattle, etc. for every clan, it’s not trying to exactly duplicate what a human player would do. (If it were, the story would probably not have a happy ending…)

So yes, if you trade a treasure, the clan will almost certainly still have it if you go back. If you kill many of their warriors, it will take time to recruit more (just like it does for you). If they’re too short of cows to trade, it may be a while before they have enough. Their chief will remain chief until something happens, etc.

Early in development, we contemplated making King of Dragon Pass a multi-player game. This is one reason every clan is completely detailed. But we never figured out a way to make an interesting story game with multiple participants. There can, after all, be only one King of Dragon Pass!


  1. Thanks for the update! Very much appreciated

    Is it possible to raid a clan into annihilation? Or will they always just move away at a certain point and regain their strength, to bedevil you down the road once they recuperate?

  2. I don’t remember. But I do know that neither outcome would actually help you win the game.

  3. True, i suppose you need to incorporate the other clans into a kingdom, not stamp them out. it would be nice to utterly crush 1 or two hated enemies though. Which i suppose you can in a sense.

    I was hoping to start a wiki site for the game, any idea how that would be accomplished? I know nothing of the technical aspect, but if a site was up i'd fill in information and content as i continue to learn the game.

  4. Hope this doesn't sound circular, but the wiki is something you might want to ask on the mailing list. I've never set one up but I think there are indeed places to do that sort of thing.

  5. Mind if i keep shooting questions your way? Feel free to let me know when you tire of them.

    So the manual states that unknown races/groups you can meet through exploring are still a threat to you if you decide to not explore beyond the known Orlanthi clan territories. To what extent is this true?

    If you don't go rocking the boat, why would any of the inhuman groups (besides you're ancient enemy) ever have reason to come make trouble for you?

    Is the manual correct in it's statement? I play on hard difficulty, but i can't recall being endangered much by inhumans in games where i didn't explore at all.

  6. or do you remember enough about the code to know

  7. My general rule is: trust the manual. We put a lot into it.

    Exploring gives you an active way to annoy others, but you will get plenty of chances to annoy them reactively.

    Not exploring at all is a poor strategy, and the manual should tell you that.

  8. The manual does indeed state that. The way it must work is that should you ignore exploration, certain threatening and negative scenario scenes will have a higher chance of occurring. For example, i sacrificed to Lhankor Mhy to learn the greatest threat to my clan, the answer was the undead. I surmise then that because i was not exploring, the threat of undead from the marsh lands area (presumably) was higher, and the chance of a dangerous interactive scene involving undead (for example the vampire attack scene) was higher. It was not guaranteed, but it was higher.

    How does this reasoning sound to you?

    As an aside, do you enjoy sounding out game mechanics with customers? I'm loving every new thing i learn about the game, but there's no real interactive information site (a wiki for example) for people like me to use. No forums either, so shooting questions out here or on twitter i suppose is the only real option. The yahoo group too.

  9. Can't answer in detail right now, but the Yahoogroup seems the most interactive to me.

  10. There's this, although for the PC version:

    This also helped me a lot:

  11. The undead threat scenario sounds basically correct, as I recall.