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Settlement Warfare Changes

Bob
I'm working on editing the Settlement Warfare rules to take into account the structure upgrades, and there are a few other things I'd like to change along the way. Lisa and I are still talking the details through and won't be able to finalize things until she gets back from her upcoming vacation, but the current draft is ready for some community feedback. Here are the things I'm looking at changing:


  • Remove requirement that all 6 neighboring hexes have siege equipment. The damage/defense numbers work out so that it's almost always cheapest from the influence side to put siege equipment in all 6 neighboring hexes if attacking a settlement with a decent number of structures/upgrades. This will mostly just make it easier to siege minimalist or shutdown settlements.
  • Make clear that siege equipment doesn't count as part of a supply line.
  • Allow briefly shutdown settlements (less than 3 days) 3 days to reactivate after war is declared. That gives settlements some time to recover from technical glitches.
  • Add that structures can be placed or upgraded during a siege, but that such improvements won't count toward the settlement's defenses. Downgrades will be allowed and do affect the defenses, but teardowns won't be allowed.
  • Make clear that siege equipment hexes not meeting the feud requirements won't count toward damage.
  • Base the structure defenses and structure hit points on upgrades rather than settlement level. The numbers are basically identical to the previous ones when a structure is upgraded to match the corresponding settlement levels, and mitigation bonuses will be taken into account while they're still active.
  • Penalize settlement defenses a bit if the settlement is shut down.
  • Penalize structure defenses and hit points a bit if they're shut down. Essentially, they'll count as a -1 upgrade instead of +0.
  • Make clear that settlements skip the Bulk Destruction and/or Structure Destruction phases entirely if they start the day out with nothing to destroy.
  • On settlement destruction, remove downgrade the Keep's Max Upgrade by 1, or remove it if the Max Upgrade is +0. This means that victors or new claimants will need at least a Keep Structure Kit, possibly an upgraded one, to get the settlement back where it was.
  • Change selection of structures to remove for each size when the victors don't manage to claim the destroyed settlement from purely random to removing those with the lowest Max Upgrade first (ties decided randomly).
  • Make clear that victors have the exclusive right to claim the settlement for two weeks, though they'll still only have 1 week of exclusive rights to placing holdings in the neighboring hexes.
  • Add a section about abandoning settlements voluntarily/involuntarily outside of a siege. If owners are notified that there are no active owners or that the settlement has been shut down for at least 4 weeks, they get 3 weeks to resolve the issues, then successors (if any) get 2 weeks to resolve, and finally active founding/banner company leaders (if any) get 2 weeks. After that, the settlement is abandoned and anyone can take it over.

Here's the first draft of the edited text:

Settlement Warfare

Settlements are the ultimate way to own a part of Golarion, but they’re not necessarily permanent features to the map. The River Kingdoms are littered with the remains of ancient civilizations, and leaders that aren’t managing their kingdoms might wake up one day to find themselves staring down an army of siege engines and attackers Hell-bent on their destruction.

Settlement warfare is designed to:

  • Provide company and settlement leadership who have substantial resources and people behind them the opportunity to change the world.
  • Require sustained effort on the part of the attackers.
  • Give defenders equal opportunity to defeat the siege and retain their settlement.

Rules for Settlement Warfare

Disagreements between settlements (or between companies and settlements) can sometimes only be resolved on the battlefield. Settlements (or companies) can attack and capture other settlements by surrounding them with Siege Engines and Camps. The ensuing siege first destroys any stockpiled bulk resources in the settlement's upkeep vault, and then steadily disables all the structures in the settlement. Once all the structures have been disabled, the settlement's owners will lose control of the settlement. At that point the settlement can be claimed by having 1 active holding and 2 active outposts in each neighboring hex.

These are the basic steps for attacking a settlement:

  • Prepare for war by stockpiling influence, bulk resources, and siege equipment.
  • Declare war.
  • Place Siege Engines and Camps around the enemy settlement.
  • Defend your siege equipment and keep it active.
  • Continue until the settlement (or your siege equipment) is destroyed.

Preparing for War

Attacking a settlement should never be taken lightly. Sieging a settlement requires a significant investment in resources and influence by the attackers. Lesser military options like feuds and the occasional Holding capture, or diplomatic options like trade agreements or tribute payments, are often the best ways of solving problems between companies and/or settlements. However, when those options fail, here's what a company needs to siege a settlement.

The first order of business is crafting the necessary siege equipment. The siege equipment needs to be powerful enough to actually damage the target settlement based on that settlement's current settlement level and structures (see the damage section below to calculate this). The siege equipment kits must be initially stored at an attacking settlement (NPC settlements count if all attacking companies aren't attached to a settlement).

The second order of business is to acquire a source of bulk resources to keep the Siege Engines active. Unlike other outposts, Siege Camps don't provide bulk resources, so the Siege Engines need to be manually stocked with bulk resources to keep them active and doing damage. Between the heavy siege equipment and the bulk resources, some mule saddlebags would also be helpful.

Third, establish a supply line between at least one of the attacking settlements and the target settlement. This involves having a series of hexes no more than 3 traversable hexes apart, each with a holding and 2 outposts (siege equipment doesn't count) held by a company involved in the attack. Hexes of different elevations can't be traversed between without going through a pass hex. Basically, the attacker must be able to draw a traversable path from one attacking settlement to the target settlement, and a character traveling that path (without jumping off cliffs) must never go more than 3 hexes without getting to the next hex controlled by an attacking company with a holding and 2 outposts.

Finally, the attacking companies will need enough influence to place and upgrade all the required siege equipment. If the attacking companies are attached to settlements, then the founding companies of those settlements will need enough influence to feud the target's founding company. If the attacking companies are unattached, then they need enough influence to also feud the target's founding company themselves. Whenever feuds are required throughout the process, they must be between founding companies unless the attacking company is unattached.
Declaring War

Once everything is nearly prepared, all attacking parties need to send an email to customer.support@pathfinderonline.com stating the target settlement and the attacking companies/settlements, along with which character (or characters) will be given control of the target settlement if the siege succeeds. This email should be sent well in advance of any planned siege so that the GMs and the attackers can work out an official start time for the siege. At the agreed time, a GM will verify that the attackers have everything needed for the attack (including that the siege equipment is stored at an attacking settlement), and will also record the target settlement's current bulk resource stockpiles, settlement level, PvP windows and settlement structures.

After everything is verified and recorded, the attackers post a war declaration under the General Public forum. This declaration must list all settlements or individual companies participating in the attack. From here on out, the attackers must maintain feuds against the targeted settlement and/or one of its territory-holding companies throughout the bulk of the target's PvP windows. The attackers must also pay a weekly Settlement Warfare Deposit to a GM of 1 Copper Coin for each point of Settlement Defenses the target has for the duration of the war, half of which will be given to the victor at the end of the war (attacker wins by defeating the settlement, target wins by retaining settlement ownership).

At least 24 hours must pass between the posting of that war declaration and the first placement of any siege equipment (an exception is made for any siege equipment a participating company placed during a previous siege attempt that has not been destroyed). It will often be beneficial to declare war before attacking any of the holdings around the target settlement, since any attacks before the declaration could tip the targeted settlement off and result in them raising their settlement level or taking other measures to increase their defenses.

Once war is declared, the defending settlement is under some restrictions:

  • The settlement level can be raised or lowered, but only lowering it will affect the settlement's calculated defenses. If a settlement was only briefly shut down (less than 3 days) at the time of the war declaration, it has 3 days to reactivate at its previously set level.
  • New structures can be placed, but they won't count toward the settlement's calculated defenses.
  • Structures can be upgraded or downgraded, but only downgrades will affect the settlement's calculated defenses.
  • Structures cannot be torn down.
  • Bulk resources can be deposited or withdrawn, but the remaining amount of bulk resources that need to be destroyed before the buildings start to take damage can only go up on days where the settlement is not surrounded by active siege equipment (whether before or after the target settlement is first surrounded by siege engines), and then only by 100 bulk resources per day per type of bulk resource for each neighboring hex that doesn’t have an active siege engine in it.
  • The days and times during which PvP windows start must remain unchanged unless both the attackers and defenders agree to a change.

Starting the Siege

The siege officially starts when the following conditions are met for 3 days in a row during the defending settlement's PvP days (which are automatically applied to the neighboring siege equipment):

  • There must be a supply line with active PvP windows and active feuds (at least 48 hours old) against the target settlement's founding company all 3 days. Make sure all holdings and outposts are constructed far enough in advance to ensure that the hexes will be active the first day.
  • All neighboring hexes with siege equipment have active PvP windows and active feuds (at least 48 hours old) against the target settlement's founding company all 3 days. Make sure all siege equipment is constructed far enough in advance to ensure that the hexes will be active that first day. Hexes that don't meet the feud requirement won't be considered as active
  • The active siege equipment in the neighboring hexes is sufficiently powerful and upgraded to do actual damage to the settlement throughout all 3 days.

This will all be checked right before or after downtime each day, as appropriate. Once the siege is officially started, it enters its initial bulk resource destruction phase.

Damaging the Settlement

During the 3 days the siege is being established, no damage is done to the settlement or its bulk resources. After that, damage is done each day that PvP windows are open for hexes neighboring the target settlement and that the supply line is active. Each hex that has an active Siege Engine and 2 active Siege Camps, all of which survive an active PvP window and feud (at least 48 hours old), will have its damage calculated based on the lowest upgrade of the lowest tier for all the siege equipment in that hex. For example, a hex with a Master's Siege Engine +3, a Professional's Siege Camp +5 and a Professional's Siege Camp +4 will do the damage listed next to Professional's +4. That's because the lowest tier for any of the equipment is Professional's, and the lowest upgrade among those was +4.

Here's the amount of damage each hex will do based on its lowest siege equipment tier/upgrade:

  • Professional's: 30 (+0), 45 (+1), 60 (+2), 75 (+3), 90 (+4), 105 (+5)
  • Master's: 115 (+0), 155 (+1), 195 (+2), 235 (+3), 275 (+4), 315 (+5)

The damage from all the neighboring hexes gets added together, with a 5% bonus for each neighboring hex contributing to the damage (i.e. no bonus if only 1 contributing hex, 5% bonus if 2 contributing hexes, up to 25% bonus if all 6 hexes are contributing). If necessary, round the damage down after the bonus is applied.

Next, the target settlement's defenses are calculated to see how much damage gets blocked that day. The defenses can drop over time if some of the settlement's structures are damaged or if the settlement isn't able to maintain its original settlement level, but the defenses can't go up from their original value.

Settlement Defenses are based on Settlement Level and the settlement's structures. The first part comes purely from the Settlement Level, as follows:

  • Shutdown: 200
  • 9: 220
  • 10: 225
  • 11: 232
  • 12: 242
  • 13: 256
  • 14: 276
  • 15: 303
  • 16: 338
  • 17: 383
  • 18: 439
  • 19: 508
  • 20: 590

The second part comes from adding up all the settlement's undestroyed structures and their upgrades. While the mitigation bonuses from high settlement levels are still active, structures will be treated as being upgraded to the degree those bonuses provide, including partial bonuses for structures that are operating "between pluses." Keeps aren't included, but do play into the highest possible upgrade for the other structures. Here are the formulas for each structure size (structures that are shut down count as having a StructurePlus of -1):

  • Infrastructure: 10 + (StructurePlus * 2)
  • Small: 15 + (StructurePlus * 3)
  • Medium: 20 + (StructurePlus * 4)
  • Large: 25 + (StructurePlus * 5)

The Settlement Level Defenses are then added to the Settlement Structure Defenses to get the final Settlement Defenses. Here are a few examples:

  • Shut Down, Empty: 200 + 0 = 200
  • Settlement Level 9 (Not Shut Down), Empty: 220 + 0 = 220
  • Settlement Level 12, +1 Structures From EE 11 Distribution: 242 + 276 = 518
  • Settlement Level 14, +2 Structures Matching EE 11 Distribution: 276 + 322 = 598
  • Settlement Level 20, All Possible +5 Structures: 590 + 840 = 1430

The amount of actual damage done to the settlement each day is calculated by first taking the total damage from all neighboring hexes and then subtracting the settlement's defenses.

To very roughly calculate the siege equipment required to damage a settlement, divide the Settlement Defenses by 7.5 and see which tiers/upgrades do at least that much damage. Having active siege equipment of at least that tier/upgrade in all 6 neighboring hexes will guarantee that some damage is done each day. It’s possible that mixing and matching siege equipment will let the attackers get by with some slightly lower tier/upgrade equipment, but for actively defended settlements, attackers will usually be better off having some extra damage capability in case one or two hexes are temporarily unable to contribute to the damage totals.

Bulk Resource Destruction

During the bulk resource destruction phase, the damage done to the settlement each day is used to decide how much of each bulk resources gets destroyed that day. The amount to be destroyed is doubled for every previous successive week of PvP during which the settlement took damage all three days. In other words, the multiplier is 1 the first week, 2 the second week, 4 the third week, and so on, with the multiplier resetting to 1 any PvP day that the siege equipment doesn't manage to damage the settlement.

If any one of the bulk resource types doesn't have enough available resources to cover the damage, or if the total amount of damage to that resource type over the course of the siege exceeds the amount the settlement started out with of that type, then 4 times the amount of other bulk resources (starting with the most plentiful) will be taken to cover the remaining damage. If there are aren’t enough bulk resources to cover all of the day’s damage, the siege will move into the structure destruction stage the next day.

Settlements that start with no bulk resources to destroy on any given day move immediately to the structure destruction stage.

Structure Destruction

During the structure destruction phase, the amount of damage that gets through each day is passed on to the settlement's structures. There is no multiplier for successive weeks of damage.

Each day, damage is applied to only the smallest size of buildings still remaining, with damage applied to one building at a time until it is destroyed. Damage to individual buildings carries over from day to day. On any given day, at most 4 Infrastructure, 3 Small, 2 Medium or 1 Large structure can be destroyed. Once that limit is reached, or once the last building of a particular size is destroyed, no more damage is applied to any additional buildings that day.

The amount of damage each structure can take is based on its size and upgrades (structures that are shut down count as having a StructurePlus of -1):

  • Infrastructure: 50 + (StructurePlus * 10)
  • Small: 150 + (StructurePlus * 30)
  • Medium: 400 + (StructurePlus * 80)
  • Large: 1000 + (StructurePlus * 200)

Once the last structure is destroyed, the siege will move into the settlement destruction stage the next day.

Settlements that start with no structures to destroy on any given day move immediately to the settlement destruction stage.

Settlement Destruction

During this final phase, if the attackers damage the settlement at all, the settlement falls and the victors have the first shot at claiming control. At this point, the Keep will also be considered destroyed, and its Max Upgrade will drop by 1. If that drops the Max Upgrade below 0, the Keep will be removed and will be ineligible for repairs.

The victors have exclusive holding/outpost building rights in the neighboring 6 hexes for 1 week, and for 2 weeks have the exclusive right to claim the settlement by surrounding it with 1 active holding and 2 active outposts in each neighboring hex. The newly claimed settlement is protected from being sieged for 1 month. Destroyed buildings can be repaired at a cost of 1 gold coin each (regardless of size), but at least 25% (rounded down) of each size of buildings must be torn down (not including the Keep, if it was not removed). The new owners get to decide which buildings they'd like to repair and which will be torn down.

If the victors do not claim the settlement within two weeks, then buildings will be chosen based on their Max Upgrade (lower numbers get torn down first, ties decided randomly) to tear down and the settlement is treated as abandoned. Rules for claiming abandoned settlements are listed below.
Defeating the Siege

Until the target settlement is destroyed and turned over to new owners, the siege can be defeated in the following ways:

  • Prevent the siege from being established within 6 weeks of the siege declaration.
  • Destroy all the Siege Engines surrounding the target settlement, including any replacements, after the siege is established.
  • Prevent the attacker from doing damage 3 weeks in a row after the siege is established.

If the siege fails for any of these reasons, then the attacking companies/settlements cannot participate in another siege for 1 month.

Abandoning a Settlement

It is also possible for owners to abandon a settlement, either voluntarily or through inaction/inactivity. To abandon a settlement voluntarily, simply send an email to customer.support@pathfinderonline.com.

If the owners of a settlement are notified that none of the current owners are on an active account, or that their settlement has been shut down for at least 4 weeks, they must resolve the situation within 3 weeks by reactivating at least one owner account, adding an active owner, and/or reactivating the settlement. If the situation is not resolved within that time, ownership/activity will be worked out with the settlement's successors. If that can't be worked out within 2 weeks, or there aren't any successors, then the settlement's active founding/banner company leaders will be contacted to work out ownership/activity. If that can't be worked out within 2 weeks, or there are no active founding/banner company leaders, then the settlement will be abandoned.

Settlements abandoned in these ways will have all contents of their settlement vaults transferred to the founding company's vaults. Existing structures will not be torn down, but will be considered destroyed. The settlement will be transferred to a caretaker GM company and left in a shutdown state.

Claiming Abandoned Settlements

Abandoned settlements can be claimed by any group of cooperating companies that manages to surround the settlement with 1 active holding and 2 active outposts in each neighboring hex. Any remaining structures can be repaired at a cost of 1 gold coin each or torn down. Newly claimed settlements are protected from being sieged for 1 month.
NightmareSr
First question that comes to mind: Will the Abandoned Settlements change in any way on the in game map (as far as the flag with the settlement name currently)?
- Wandering gatherer (NightmareSr#2669 on discord)
Bob
NightmareSr
First question that comes to mind: Will the Abandoned Settlements change in any way on the in game map (as far as the flag with the settlement name currently)?

When abandoned, I'll change their names to reflect that, and there would be an announcement on the forums as well. I'll add that to the write-up.
Bringslite
@ Bob

Is this work designed to make it easier for groups coming in to secure their own "castle", for current groups to more easily grab more "castles", or a mix of both?

Do you think that established groups will take advantage of it?
Virtute et Armis
-Unknown
Azure_Zero
I think it is a combo of both, yes it'll be easier to take a settlement (especially abandoned ones), but to keep it will be a Big chore to do.
And given How much folks hate to do chores in game along with the cost of building and upgrading a settlement I think those currently in a settlement might just stick with doing the minor chores of helping out then take on the chores of keeping, maintaining, and building up a settlement.

So Groups with more then one settlement might lose a few of them, due to the rules.

I currently run two of them and I don't mind doing the boring chores of running them (though I might be screaming a bit later when the upkeep cost go really high)..
The only thing I want from those in my settlements is that as that they pitch in some influence, some coin for Upkeep (mainly from tax), and some stuff to help upgrade the buildings from time to time, Obey the nation's few rules, and nothing more.
Bob
Bringslite
Is this work designed to make it easier for groups coming in to secure their own "castle", for current groups to more easily grab more "castles", or a mix of both?

Do you think that established groups will take advantage of it?

The main reason for doing this work was to take into account structure upgrades, but that made this an opportune time to revisit the rules overall and see where improvements and clarifications could be made. Since there haven't been any sieges yet, I did want to lower the bar a bit for sieges against minimalist/shutdown/abandoned settlements in hopes that more groups would find them within reach and worth the cost. I certainly hope there will be some sieges once the rules change, but admit that most of the established groups might have enough on their plates already that they don't want to add more settlements to their tasks.

In terms of newer companies vs. established companies, there's nothing in these changes specifically trying to advantage one more than the other. That said, lowering the bar for a siege does put them more in reach for newer companies, while merely making them more affordable to established companies. Still, that just lets newer companies in the door, it doesn't change the fact that the more established companies are better positioned to take the settlements themselves if they choose to compete for them. I suspect we'll need to look at deeper, in-game mechanic changes to nudge established groups to focus more on building up their existing territory first over claiming new, and to reward newer, independent companies sufficiently for grabbing their first settlement once they're ready.
Bob
Azure_Zero
I think it is a combo of both, yes it'll be easier to take a settlement (especially abandoned ones), but to keep it will be a Big chore to do.
And given How much folks hate to do chores in game along with the cost of building and upgrading a settlement I think those currently in a settlement might just stick with doing the minor chores of helping out then take on the chores of keeping, maintaining, and building up a settlement.

These changes only set the bar for keeping a settlement at maintaining an active account and not letting the settlement shut down, neither of which is particularly difficult. However, they do make it a bit harder to keep your defenses high without doing more work, and make it easier to attack settlements with lower defenses. If one or more groups start to feel that it's now worth sieging less-defended settlements, that may change people's calculations about holding on to settlements they can't afford to build up. If this still doesn't make an occasional siege worthwhile, we'll look at additional changes. We may ultimately have to move toward some kind of low-scale, low-cost sieging, like just being able to damage/threaten a settlement and raid some of their bulk goods by placing siege equipment nearby, and I suspect any changes like that will require in-game mechanics rather than GM moderation, meaning more code work.
Bringslite
Bob
Bringslite
Is this work designed to make it easier for groups coming in to secure their own "castle", for current groups to more easily grab more "castles", or a mix of both?

Do you think that established groups will take advantage of it?

The main reason for doing this work was to take into account structure upgrades, but that made this an opportune time to revisit the rules overall and see where improvements and clarifications could be made. Since there haven't been any sieges yet, I did want to lower the bar a bit for sieges against minimalist/shutdown/abandoned settlements in hopes that more groups would find them within reach and worth the cost. I certainly hope there will be some sieges once the rules change, but admit that most of the established groups might have enough on their plates already that they don't want to add more settlements to their tasks.

In terms of newer companies vs. established companies, there's nothing in these changes specifically trying to advantage one more than the other. That said, lowering the bar for a siege does put them more in reach for newer companies, while merely making them more affordable to established companies. Still, that just lets newer companies in the door, it doesn't change the fact that the more established companies are better positioned to take the settlements themselves if they choose to compete for them. I suspect we'll need to look at deeper, in-game mechanic changes to nudge established groups to focus more on building up their existing territory first over claiming new, and to reward newer, independent companies sufficiently for grabbing their first settlement once they're ready.
Seems like a sound move. It is also in the neighborhood of "making the game feel more attractive to new groups". Now we just need new players and "groups of". smile

Thanks for clarifying, Bob.
Virtute et Armis
-Unknown
NightmareSr
Bringslite
Bob
Bringslite
Is this work designed to make it easier for groups coming in to secure their own "castle", for current groups to more easily grab more "castles", or a mix of both?

Do you think that established groups will take advantage of it?

The main reason for doing this work was to take into account structure upgrades, but that made this an opportune time to revisit the rules overall and see where improvements and clarifications could be made. Since there haven't been any sieges yet, I did want to lower the bar a bit for sieges against minimalist/shutdown/abandoned settlements in hopes that more groups would find them within reach and worth the cost. I certainly hope there will be some sieges once the rules change, but admit that most of the established groups might have enough on their plates already that they don't want to add more settlements to their tasks.

In terms of newer companies vs. established companies, there's nothing in these changes specifically trying to advantage one more than the other. That said, lowering the bar for a siege does put them more in reach for newer companies, while merely making them more affordable to established companies. Still, that just lets newer companies in the door, it doesn't change the fact that the more established companies are better positioned to take the settlements themselves if they choose to compete for them. I suspect we'll need to look at deeper, in-game mechanic changes to nudge established groups to focus more on building up their existing territory first over claiming new, and to reward newer, independent companies sufficiently for grabbing their first settlement once they're ready.
Seems like a sound move. It is also in the neighborhood of "making the game feel more attractive to new groups". Now we just need new players and "groups of". smile

Thanks for clarifying, Bob.
I agree, and it is rather frustrating to see so many shutdown settlements across the map.
- Wandering gatherer (NightmareSr#2669 on discord)
 
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