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Field of Glory: Kingdoms: Dynasties and Characters

Published on February 23, 2024

One of the major new features of Kingdoms, which aligns with the significant events of the medieval era often initiated by great men rather than established states, is the addition of dynasties to the game, and more generally, a much more advanced management of characters (compared to Empires, the predecessor of Kingdoms).

Each game faction (whether a duchy, an emirate, an empire, or even a knightly order) is indeed led by a ruler with several important characteristics.

Just like any other character, the ruler has an administration value, very important for providing economic bonuses to his realm, but also a military value, which allows for the recruitment of higher quality units, and finally, since we are in the Middle Ages and religion was of paramount importance, a piety value, very useful for helping to convert the population, being well seen by the Pope if you are Christian, and generally useful for making heresies rare. 

These 3 values are supplemented by one or two possible skills that have very diverse effects, ranging from tolerance towards other cultures, to dubious life practices (reducing life expectancy), to the propensity to attack one's neighbor sneakily without a formal declaration of war.

This ruler is often accompanied by his spouse and often courtesans. The Middle Ages not being very progressive, it will not be possible to see one of these ladies leading an army; however, daughters of marriageable age hold particular interest, as they allow for the conclusion of royal marriages. These are, however, double-edged swords, as if your sovereign dies without an heir, it is possible that your nation will suffer, with the faction where your daughter resides taking over part of your territory.

The picture would not be complete without the mention of possible brothers, sisters, uncles in addition to your descendants, all of whom have a role to play, as they can be Peers of the Realm, sort of governors of certain portions of your territory, allowing for better administration than if there were only a modest noble. Your characters can also, just like the sovereign, lead armies, with their own statistics, in attack as well as defense, and various tactical abilities (far more numerous than in Empires, and veterans of our first installment will be pleased to learn that there are 6 times more in Kingdoms than in our first game).

All these additional possibilities come at a cost, however, but this is also what makes Kingdoms intriguing.

Each character also has a loyalty, which is not necessarily known initially (but rest assured, there are ways to find out through decision options). Thus, a disloyal character presents a dilemma, as if they are good, you will want to use their services, but then there is a risk of betrayal.

These betrayals come in several forms: a coup d'état, which immediately replaces your leader with the traitor (which, let's be cynical, can be a blessing in disguise if the traitor is competent while your leader was not), or an armed revolt. If the character was a general, they might even keep their troops and immediately recruit others using their personal funds (and characters accumulate funds more or less quickly, depending on their position and integrity... but it is possible to prosecute those embezzling funds).

Rest assured, however, in Kingdoms, characters serve at the heart of its gameplay, consisting of a rich economic management of your nation's regions and a sophisticated and nuanced military simulation.

Our game is primarily a historical strategy game, which has adopted a dynasty system to complete the picture, and we neither pretend nor aim to make it a dynastic role-playing game. We hope this direction is what you wish to see in our game, and we look forward to sharing more in a future developer diary.

Target Games
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