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Author Topic: When fortress purposes are added, there should be many special types of fortress  (Read 1031 times)

thompson

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I won't go through it in detail as I am posting from my phone, but scenarios where fort legal status is relevant include:

Prison colonies
Bandit camps
Separatist groups
Civ sponsored strategic military outpost
Frontier colonies with only loose ties to parent civ
Claiming a site with special magical properties

The possibilities are very broad.

If you don't want to be subject to restrictions, you presumably could play a standard fort.

As for different legal castes - yes, it is unnecessary. But you could say that of any feature.  it would add flavour to the game and would create a useful framework for modders etc. And, as always, if you don't want serfs or whatever you could turn them off in world gen.
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GoblinCookie

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I won't go through it in detail as I am posting from my phone, but scenarios where fort legal status is relevant include:

Prison colonies
Bandit camps
Separatist groups
Civ sponsored strategic military outpost
Frontier colonies with only loose ties to parent civ
Claiming a site with special magical properties

The possibilities are very broad.

If you don't want to be subject to restrictions, you presumably could play a standard fort.

There is no such thing as an independent colony (three of the above with I have bolded do not therefore exist as genuine starting scenarios).  That means that realistically legal status of the fort is pretty much always going to be the same, which is dependent upon whatever created them in the first place.  The historical trajectory is always or virtually always that the colony starts off highly dependent and with little autonomy, then it obtains greater amounts of autonomy as it becomes more developed, either peacefully (Canada) or violently (USA).  There is a reason why that is, any colony is in competition with it's own homeland for people and the accumulated capital of centuries or millennia cannot be replicated by a handful of people starting from nothing. 

The present DF then is built on a lie.  The situation works because the surplus value produced by dwarves with minimal or no capital investment is so staggering (surplus value is the difference between the value of what dwarves produce and the value of what they consume) that the fantasy of the independant colony is a possibility.  Realistically the amount of the surplus value produced by the colony is too small to independently allow anything but an extremely primitive lifestyle and production for centuries, which means the embark goods are absolutely critical to the situation rather than being optional as they presently are.  While situation works fine at the moment, it is not compatible with the Economy actually existing, unless what we have in mind is post-scarcity. 

The restrictions should be based upon this issue, in order to create a viable colony with any degree of long-term prospect somebody has to foot the bill.  That somebody has to have a reason to do so, the starting scenario is the reason why the colonists were given the goods needed to set up a site.  The starting scenario represents a situation where what the colonizers had in mind was something very specific in the sense of a return on their investment, they only accidentally ended up creating an actual settlement with independent viability; the initial restrictions derive from the purpose the accidental colonizers had in mind. 

A standard fort on the other hand represents a situation where the civilization rulers actually decided to flat-out build a new fortress.  In that situation the conditions are that you remain part of their civilization and ultimately contribute in whatever way an ordinary settlement would contribute in your situation.  Independence should still be an option, but it should not be a starting scenario but something declared by a settlement advanced enough that it's declaration is taken seriously, it is an end-game scenario in effect not a starting scenario.

As for different legal castes - yes, it is unnecessary. But you could say that of any feature.  it would add flavour to the game and would create a useful framework for modders etc. And, as always, if you don't want serfs or whatever you could turn them off in world gen.

You don't know what a can of worms you just opened there.   ;)

You see the amount of working hours in Toady One's life so happens to be a finite resource.  Adding serfs in for no reason or purpose is an example of wasting that finite resource, since nothing is really added to the game by making it more oppressive, that we can opt out of the system does not change the fact that Toady One hours were wasted adding it in to the game, hours that could actually be used developing worthwhile elements.  But different legal castes *are* needed, because we need to be able to distinguish in prison colonies (and forts more genuinely) between prisoners and free people; my point was solely that we did not need starting scenarios for that. 

Provided the framework is flexible enough, it can be extended to a wide range of other options beyond prisoners.  Really what we need for prisoners is occupational restrictions (prisoners cannot be hunters), low-priority for goods distribution (aka poverty), mobility restrictions (obviously) and lack of certain legal rights and a name that identifies them as prisoners of a certain type.  As long as the above things are defined loosely enough, it becomes possible to add your serfs into the game simply by reusing the tokens that are used for prisoners in a different context.
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thompson

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I'm trying to understand your argument. Why wouldn't a bandit camp be a legitimate starting scenario? It seems plausible that a small group of outlaws could form their own base in the wilderness. Gameplay would be radically different to a normal fort as you wouldn't be able to rely on caravans, but raiding could plug the gap, at least until the authorities turn up.

The other point I'd like to make is that a 7 dwarf expedition is very different logistically to the establishment of a nation-sized colony. In the early days of the settlement of the New World there were indeed many small private expeditions to settle new land. The complication that existed historically is that most land had already been claimed by someone. Dwarf fortress worlds are typically less densely populated with much space to explore, so a very different paradigm.

As for Serfs (etc), my view is simply that a more generalised framework for social status that interacts with the legal system in a meaningful way would seem like a logical addition to the laws and customs release. This would mean that instead of defining noble positions by hand for elves, humans, dwarves etc, social hierarchies could be procedurally generated during world gen. This could include lower levels of social status (serfs, prisoners), rigid social conventions (children of craftsmen can only become craftsmen) or anything else. I'd expect this to be done during the Laws and Customs arc. Without an overhaul of the social hierarchy I'm not really sure what that release could involve, besides some civs using bows and a tidier legal system.
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GoblinCookie

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I'm trying to understand your argument. Why wouldn't a bandit camp be a legitimate starting scenario? It seems plausible that a small group of outlaws could form their own base in the wilderness. Gameplay would be radically different to a normal fort as you wouldn't be able to rely on caravans, but raiding could plug the gap, at least until the authorities turn up.

Because a bandit camp does not become anything but a bandit camp.  It is not the start of anything, it is just a bandit camp and it lives until the wrong person discovers it's location, at which point it will disband and a new camp will be set up somewhere else. 

The other point I'd like to make is that a 7 dwarf expedition is very different logistically to the establishment of a nation-sized colony. In the early days of the settlement of the New World there were indeed many small private expeditions to settle new land. The complication that existed historically is that most land had already been claimed by someone. Dwarf fortress worlds are typically less densely populated with much space to explore, so a very different paradigm.

Not only is it not the case that it is a different case, the fewer the people involved in the initial colony, the worse the situation actually is.  The reason for this is economic, the larger the number of people, the greater the total surplus is.  The greater the surplus is, the quicker you can turn your colony into something that people will actually want to live the rest of their lives in, that is the quicker you actually become viable in long-term.

The key thing here is that a colony competes not only with other colonies but with the motherland they came from.  If you were the only settlement in the world, eking out a cave-man existence with 7 people might work, but people expect more than a cave-man existence.  The colony must be able to replicate the amenities that the folks (amenities includes such things as government, law and security) back home enjoy or else the folks in the colony will eventually simply go home and nobody else will ever turn up.  This is why successful independent colonies are not a thing, the initial colonists cannot produce enough surplus to make their colony competitive, which means nobody else ever turns up. 

Yes, small private expeditions may have existed (or are they just mythology?) during the (re?)settlement of the New World.  But none of these were ever independent were they? However small and private they might have been, they were still accountable to an existing country and crucially were defended by it's military.

As for Serfs (etc), my view is simply that a more generalised framework for social status that interacts with the legal system in a meaningful way would seem like a logical addition to the laws and customs release. This would mean that instead of defining noble positions by hand for elves, humans, dwarves etc, social hierarchies could be procedurally generated during world gen. This could include lower levels of social status (serfs, prisoners), rigid social conventions (children of craftsmen can only become craftsmen) or anything else. I'd expect this to be done during the Laws and Customs arc. Without an overhaul of the social hierarchy I'm not really sure what that release could involve, besides some civs using bows and a tidier legal system.

A tidier legal system is quite a lot of work, enough to keep the devs busy for at least a year. 

We are proceedurely generating social hierarchies?  But what are we doing that for?  Why do we want social hierarchies to automatically emerge anyway?

The legal system requires prisoners and exiles/outcasts to exist, but I cannot see any point in anything else.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2018, 08:26:49 am by GoblinCookie »
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