I have recently started playing an adventurer character, and must say the class is impressing me in quite a good way. We have plenty of RP going on, monsters or undead to kill, and though Dwilight has usually less than 2-3 advies per realm, it's nice to work with our realm-mates.
However, I noticed a few things I thought could improve the advy game, *if* you agree with one premise.
The premise is to increase the role of the advy before the realm or nobility, or at least the means for this relationship to develop. It is a complicated premise, since too much power to advies will take all the freedom of the class, and probably generate more "don't hurt this commoner" behaviours. Must be done carefully.
1. Unhorded monsters/undead causing impact on region
- Thus giving the advy the chance to work with the nobles, should he be interested in it
Monsters and undead should have an impact on the region even before they horde up. After all, if I get a message they are everywhere, people should be already in distress, at least the people that live outside the walls in small villages (after all, monsters come up outside the fortifications). Also, no need to add distress for each level of infestation, just the higher ones. I'm not saying this should add up to the total distress, but rather be incorporated to it, since region maintenance is already pretty hard to manage. Say, today we have distress from various sources that sum up to 100%. This total be lowered to 99% or 98%, and monsters/undead distress come in there. And, main point - the realm can't possibly know how this is affecting, they don't get any messages, unless an advy reports in, saying monsters are everywhere - thus keeping advy independence. This way, we'd have an extra reason for bounties and a bit extra relationship between advy and realm, if the advy is willing to spend a long time in it. Not to mention advies could perform "monster management": kill a bit every few days, keeping numbers high but not enough to horde, thus slowly increasing the unrest on the region (monster army would of course cause greater damage, but this way it can be a bit undercover). Very slowly. If it gets too powerful, people will abuse it.
2. Monster warnings for advies
A region being infested by monsters would be something noticeable for the common folk, and I suppose news would travel fast, mouth-to-mouth, even while the guards haven't sent the warning to the nobility. I think a warning of 2-3 turns before the hording, for regions 2-3 regions away, saying "People on the streets can talk just of one thing, today: Monsters are everywhere in Blobsville!", would be a very good implement, specially if we add a random factor of lying to it. Peter and the Wolf story. ;)
On another thought, this info could be available when we mix with the locals, if it wouldn't cause too much programming trouble. Say: "The people mention rumours that monsters are everywhere in Blobsville"
- #3 and #4 refers to the amount of information we can gather as commoners.
3. Option to listen to rumours about regular nobles in the area
I must agree that an adventurer would never be able to estimate unit's power or number of men, and also that it would be quite possible to abuse. However, if an advy can listen to rumours to find out about suspicious people in the area, I believe there should also be an option to look for information of the regular nobles in the area: Name, Titles/Realm, troop leader (yes or no). The last could also be taken away.
We have a way of knowing if there are monster/undead army around, and I'm not asking for a military report. But knowing the nobles and their titles might make our lives easier if we ever need to establish contact, and is perfectly reasonable. This investigation, though, could take a few hours longer than rumours, according to the number of nobles in region, making it only worthwhile if we really need it.
Thing is: the only way we can know who is in the area is on the "message to all in region". And this doesn't give the family name, nor the Realm, nor if the person has any importance whatsoever. A way to research those people would be pretty nice.
I cannot see how this would be abusable, but if anyone does, tell me so.
4. Option to learn about the noble's tendencies
The pies. After all, as far as I heard, at least notoriety was supposed to be how the people saw the noble. We are the people, aren't we? As commoners, we should be able to listen to distant rumours about how evil Lord Bob has been to peasantry, or how well Lady Mary manages her estate. I haven't yet figured out how this should be done, if by the relative value, if we should just be able to look at the pie chart, or if by the absolute value.
The report I would like to get could contain just a short note, and be prone to error. Something like:
"After several hours inquiring local people and travellers from afar, you managed to gather the following information on a few nobles that are camping nearby:
Lady Mary is quite known for her diplomatic abilities
Lord Bob is a warrior of renown and also notorious peasant hanger
Dame Poppins is still little known, so you could not hear of any specific behaviour of hers
Lord Dylan is a man to keep distance from - the commoner that crosses his path is doomed"
Could have two or three levels of intensity, according to the absolute value... or not. I don't mind that it is made of simple and hardly reliable information, but commoners should know at least about the black part of the chart. Can list a few random nobles of the region, can list only the ones with higher value on their charts, can list all (but I would rather not, or it gets too easy). The point is - gives us not only the option to run from the black nobles, but also good RP. :) Yet, it should be very hour costly. At least I highly value my advy's hours, and would think twice before using it vainly... :)