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All posts created by Bob

{Updates are now being handled on the official Settlement Warfare page, go there for the most current version.}

Here's a proposed update to the Settlement Warfare Rules. This hasn't been fully vetted and approved yet, so some of it may just be my own crazy ramblings, but we wanted to get some feedback before a final round of debate and polish. The current rules will continue to apply until a new version is posted on the official Settlement Warfare page.

Here are the biggest changes:

  • Removed requirement that all 6 neighboring hexes have siege equipment, but the damage/defense numbers work out so that it's almost always cheapest from the influence side to put siege equipment in all 6 if attacking a settlement with a decent number of structures/upgrades. It also prevents the settlement from increasing its bulk resources. Mostly this just makes it easier to siege minimalist or shutdown settlements.
  • Clarified that siege equipment doesn't count as part of a supply line.
  • Added that briefly shut down settlements (less than 3 days) have 3 days to reactivate after war is declared. That gives people some time to recover from technical glitches.
  • Clarified that structures can be placed or upgraded during a siege, but that such improvements won't count toward the settlement's defenses. Downgrades are allowed and do affect the defenses, but teardowns aren't allowed.
  • Clarified that siege equipment hexes that don't meet the feud requirements don't count toward damage.
  • Based the structure defenses and structure hit points on upgrades rather than settlement level. The numbers still work out exactly the same if the structure is upgraded to match the corresponding settlement levels.
  • Penalized settlement defenses a bit if the settlement is shut down.
  • Penalized structure defenses and hit points a bit if they're shut down. Essentially, they count as a -1 upgrade instead of +0.
  • Clarified that settlements skip the Bulk Destruction and/or Structure Destruction phases entirely if they start the day out with nothing to destroy.
  • Added a section about abandoning settlements voluntarily/involuntarily outside of a siege. If owners are notified that there are no active owners or 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). After that, settlement is abandoned and anyone can take it over.

With that, here's the proposed updated 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 neighboring 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 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 and its neighboring hexes are under some restrictions until the war ends:

  • 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.
  • Whenever the siege engines or holdings in a neighboring hex are overrun, the company that overran them has the exclusive right to decide who places replacement buildings during the next server day. This right expires if no buildings are placed during that time.

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. 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 abandoned settlements, including for claiming them, 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

In addition to being abandoned when victors don't claim a settlement within 2 weeks of their victory, it is also possible for owners to abandon a settlement voluntarily or through inaction/inactivity. To abandon a settlement voluntarily, simply send an email to

If the owners of a settlement are notified that none of the current owners are active, 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, 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.

Abandoned settlements will be transferred to a caretaker GM company and left in a shutdown state. The settlement name will also be changed to reflect its abandoned state, and an announcement that the settlement was abandoned will be posted to the forums.

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.

Edit 1: Under Abandoning a Settlement, removed references to active accounts, since the requirement now would be that the specific owner character is active.
Edit 2: Gave the company that overruns siege engines or holdings in the neighboring hexes during the war the exclusive right to replace those buildings during the following server day.
Masked Dwarf
Ok, so since I got 3 points I could get 1 - T1 recipe/expendable, but then what do I do with the remaining 1 point? Pick my teeth with it I suppose?

Yeah, the math doesn't always work out. But teeth gotta be picked, so there is that.
It's a complicated system, and there's admittedly not a lot of explanation in that window.

Support comes purely from Settlement Level. Your minimum Settlement Level (assuming you're not shut down and therefore at Settlement Level 9) is based on the amount of bulk resources and coin you're paying just to keep your structures running. If you set your Target Settlement Level higher than that minimum, then you'll pay some extra upkeep to boost your Settlement Level to that target. If you Target Settlement Level is equal to or lower than that minimum, then you'll just pay the amount determined by the structures and be at that minimum.
Live and learn I guess. smile

Hopefully I will do the same.
  • keeping the list of what achievements counted super secret was annoying and counterproductive
    Fair point. I didn't want to give everything away by revealing them before anyone had been through the new escalation, but probably should have posted a list sometime before Phase 2.

  • loading almost all the reward points into the latter parts of the final escalation meant some people put in days of work for virtually no points
  • Yeah, I didn't differentiate the early mobs enough to give them their own Slayer achievements, and the later mobs got most of them because they were so much tougher than anything else along their lines that they deserved Elite and Boss classifications. Something to keep in mind if we do this again, though we may also want to think about different ways to track event-related actions. Achievements were a handy thing we could easily track, but they're not the most flexible way to track things.

    • the level 4 cutoff for the "Youthful" achievements was almost impossible to achieve
    That was pretty hard. Some people did manage it, but I probably should have set the cutoff for that one lower than I did for the others.

    Question - can people "donate" some of their reward points to others in an effort to get enough on one character to obtain something useful

    The rules were set up to encourage focusing on one character throughout the event, in part to minimize the number of characters I'd have to manually email and arrange awards for (yeah, I know, lazy me). As such, they couldn't allow for pooling points, because otherwise you'd actually be better off switching to another character once you'd hit rank 4 in a few achievements. That's because less kills are required to get to level 4 again than are required to get to level 5.

    The rewards also tend to go up in value in such a way that pooling points would almost always be the only strategy that made any sense, and I wanted these to be personal rewards, not group rewards.

    TL;DR: Nope.
    Since it wasn't very generous, would it be too late to adjust what can be purchased with the points?
    Seems only a few or 1 character got enough for a T3 recipe/expendable.
    Maybe like grading a test on a curve the value of points could be curved?

    I was very, very, ridiculously tempted to adjust the rewards, but ultimately decided that any post-event changes lead to the argument of "I would have done things differently if those were the rules." The game is all about meaningful choices, after all, and some players will have chosen what to focus on depending on what they felt was achievable given the rules as they were. I will, however, try to err in the other direction next time. smile
    Made significant progress on the Alchemists, but between the snow and a few other surprise crises, we couldn't devote much time to them this week. Might still be able to get an initial version of them up on Zog around the middle of next week, assuming no new crises.

    As I mentioned elsewhere, we ran into some issues that required all our attention for the past couple days, and will likely continue to occupy much of our time for a few more days, so getting something on Zog probably won't happen until at least mid-late next week. Sorry for the delays. The joys of both developing and supporting a game at the same time.
    Just out of curiosity, what largest individual points gained by a character?
    I spent more time clearing the lower escalations than working on the new Eternal Youth escalation so I'm sure that is why I got a small amount of points but just curious what the high side was.

    The highest number of points was 15, just enough to get a T3 recipe or expendable. In retrospect, I wish I'd set the rules up to be a bit more generous, but this is how we learn. smile
    But the most crucial suggestion I have - there must be some reliable reference resource for new players. Pathfinder is known for having rules to cover almost anything the players can conceive. There is no guessing what skills one needs to focus on to develop their character; if a player knows what they want to build, it is not difficult to plan out a build strategy. PFO needs that deep documentation. The depth of this game justifies a full-sized hardback reference guide. Perhaps marketing would permit a 6-month subscription key included as part of the purchase price.

    Printed material can be a little tricky while a game is still in flux, but then I suppose Pathfinder players are used to Errata and regular releases of new material. The larger issue is just our limited resources to work on reference materials. We do have the PDF Guides that are linked to at the top of the Patcher, but have to admit they haven't been updated for several years. Still, they're pretty good resources for players just starting out.

    For deeper documentation, we also have the Public Spreadsheets, and much of the data there has been scraped by other players and made available in a much more user-friendly way on the Goblinary. I try to keep the spreadsheet updated with all the latest changes, and will have a bunch of updates to add soon when the Alchemist is released.
    The second suggestion is less trifling. LOS needs fixed - desperately. If I can't see or attack a monster, it should not be able to see and attack me - especially if there is (for example) an unclimbable hill between us, or some drastic elevation change that players cannot scale (even though the monsters can).

    LOS definitely needs a lot more polish. It's a very tricky system to get right, particularly in a game that doesn't use a first-person point-of-view. Depending on where the camera is at any given point in time, it may not accurately reflect what your character can or can't "see", or what your character can or can't hit given the location of their weapon. To simplify things, we check LOS from the center of the character to the center of the monster. There are also a lot of issues that arise from slight disagreements between the client and the server, which are somewhat inevitable in any MMO. There are some tricks we can use to try to smooth that over, but we're not sure when we'll be able to implement some of them.

    In general though, monsters technically can't attack you unless you can attack them, at least not if you're both within range of each other's attacks. Whenever an attack is attempted, the server checks to see that both the monster and the character have LOS to each other, and only lets the attack through if they do. What does happen regularly though is that the client may not think the character has LOS to the monster, so it disables the attack UI to reflect that. However, at that exact moment in time, the server may think both the character and the monster have LOS to each other, so it allows the monster to attack. In fact, if you trigger an attack despite the UI saying you lack LOS, the server will let that attack go through. One trick I use regularly is to trigger attacks while I'm approaching an enemy, so that it will go off as soon as I'm both within range and have LOS.

    There are some other bugs around this that add to the confusion, like the attack animation sometimes not playing on the initial attack. That can make it hard to tell that the attack finally went off, other than seeing the damage to the enemy. These are all issues we plan to work on when we figure out how/where to fit them into the schedule. It's great to hear feedback on these kinds of things so we can make better decisions about exactly what to focus on next.