Basically, a revision to the current sieges/megabeast/snatcher system, with a focus on modabillity.
Some of this is probably already planned for the army arc, but I just wanted to lay out an idea for the game mechanics.
Rather than the current system of sieges etc being pretty much a yes/no option, this would allow players to dictate when, where, how many and of what attacked your fort via the creation of specific event files in the raws.
Each event would be listed as a new raw entry, like a creature, and would be comprised of three parts; triggers, behaviour and fluff.
Triggers would be things like [WEALTH:#:#:#] (wealth lies between some value), [SEASONAL:#:#] (number of seasons between visits), [ETHICS:Y/N:#] (ethics clashes can trigger) and so on and so forth, with the final hash in each tag dictating whether it's an optional or required trigger (kill a hundred of some race AND their one king, kill a hundred of some race OR their one king).
Behaviours would deal with what race can trigger it, how many people will come if you do trigger it, whether they charge in or sneak, etc. Thus, players could make the event result in a single kobold thief, or a thousand angry dragons spewing FPS-death. Incidentally, these would not generally spawn a character etc out of nowhere, rather it would command an existing entity to leave their current locale and move toward the fortress, meaning events may occasionally occur sometime after they were triggered.
Fluff is basically what appears on the screen when the creature/s arrive or are discovered. The player can write text ranging from "For [civ name]!" to "You slaughtered my home, my race, my blood and kin. I will not rest 'til you lie bleeding and broken before me, so help me [character's god's] you will..." yada yada. Basically, it let's you create as much or as little atmosphere for the events as you wish. Incidentally, the 's indicate tags that would tell the game to draw relevant information from the history folder etc.
While it would be a bit of a hassle to create too many of these things, it would be easy to trade them on the forum, allowing players to build up a library of the best events.
Here are some situations I thought of while typing this;
- An elven champion, seeking to end your tree slaughtering ways, will arrive and call out your mayor/count/king (whoever is highest ranked) for a challenge. He will wait a short while for you to send out said dorf, before coming in after him.
- A human prince (and his trusty page Jenkins) comes to slay you all for your repeated slaughter of his merchants, and brooking no argument charges straight through your front gate, slaying every dwarf he can find.
- A pair of goblin brothers comes seeking revenge for their father, who was killed by a guard that recently migrated to your fort. After sneaking to the dwarf's quarters, they lay in ambush for their quarry's eventual return.
- Envious of your fort's skyrocketing wealth and power, a noble back at the mountainhomes engages an assassin to slay your mayor. Arriving at your fort dressed as a peasant, he requests a meeting with your mayor, then stabs him in the face.
What say you?
TL:DR? Basically, modular scripting for sieges and other invader events that could be easily constructed and traded among forum goers.