Medieval Clarity begins simply but quickly grows in complexity as the player grows into his role(s).
Everything begins at the map. The map shows the kingdom's current size, geography, land use, population, and so on. Cities and towns dot the landscape, where they have been founded, along with rivers, mountains, deserts, forests, lakes, and ocean shores. By zooming in and out, the information displayed changes. A closer inspection yields specific details about the region in question, while zooming out gives broader statistics about the land as a whole.
From the highest viewpoint, the ruler can see information about international treaties, trade, and relations. Current expeditions to nearby and distant foreign lands can be viewed in real time, both to and from the nation and of both national and foreign peoples. Slight lower down, the nearby wilderness can be seen surrounding civilized land. Here, the king can requisition troops to conquer more territory and colonize the resulting land acquisition. Closer still, intra-national political, ethnic, and economic boundaries become visible. The ruler can change political boundaries as he sees fit (takes some time to take effect, due to speed of information travel, see Magic), granting land to new nobles or revoking land from rebellious politicians. Zooming into a political region, individual cities and towns become visible, and the king (along with human regional rulers) can order construction of complexes (new cities and towns) or, closer still, declare usage of individual plots of land.
- Main article: Moebius Territory
Land in medieval times is very important to rulers for a number of reasons. War strategy, economic development, and politicking are the most prevalent. In MC, the vast majority of what's possible factors around territory and how its used.
Land falls under the following geographical types:
- Hill country
Every plot of land has a natural level of magic permeating through it, and the perceived level of magic is dependent on the culture observing it. This is a numerical value that changes pseudo-continuously as one travels the landscape. The classification breaks down as follows.
- Banal (-100 - 0)
- In banal locations, most kinds of magic becomes more difficult. Of course, depending upon one's cultural perspective, one man's banality is another man's manna, and thus one or two cultural types may be significantly enhanced by the local emanations (typically receive bonuses equivalent to the Serene/Spooky level).
- Mundane (0 - 100)
- Mundane localities form the baseline of the world. No particular type of magic in enhanced or inhibited, but if emanations are present, they grossly aid all magic.
- Serene/Spooky (100 - 300)
- At this level, locations begin to favor one cultural perspective over all others. Others are still enhanced, but the favored viewpoint is undeniably stronger here than any other. (Non-favored cultures receive flat 100-level bonus.)
- Mystical (300 - 600)
- Truly powerful magic can be practiced here with little worry of dangerous results. Again, however, a single culture is favored, but practitioners of these schools of magic can cast their spells without much worry of dangerous effects. A region this naturally powerful is best used for research and study rather than tactical or strategic warfare. (Non-favored cultures receive flat 200-level bonus.)
- Awe-Inspiring (600 - 1000)
- Extremely rare locations, if a man doesn't not share the favored viewpoint, even setting foot here may dampen the natural magic that flows from these places of power. (Non-favored cultures receive flat 300-level bonus, though if occupied for too long, the magical level will reduce down to 500, placing it in the Mystical category.)
- Legendary (1000 - 1500)
- Legends say there are only one or two such locations per continent, and some may even be in the middle of the oceans. Legendary locations again favor a single viewpoint, but being occupied by people with an opposing culture does not diminish its power. Legendary locales are just too powerful to be phased by local belief. (Non-favored cultures receive flat 500-level bonus.)
There are two main ways to acquire new territory. One involves conquering the nearby wilderness, and the other involves conquering it from neighboring nations.
Conquest From Wilderness
At any time, a nation's ruler (and only the ruler) may requisition a battalion (or more) of soldiers from a nearby political region to conquest in the nearby wilderness. Such conquest takes 2 hours of real time, and the number and training of those sent determine how much land is acquired (and potentially in what state).
Land type is randomized, weighted by the nearby land. For example, if soldiers are conquering near mountains, grassland is unlikely, and hill-country or more mountains or favorable. Thus it is likely for kingdoms to have large amounts of few geographical types.
Additionally, mystical emanations are randomized again depending upon the nearby civilized lands. If a nation has few regions of high magical ratings, it is more likely that its conquest will result in highly magical land. Ratings of conquered land rank anywhere from Mundane to Awe-Inspiring. Banal and Legendary rankings can only be unlocked by completing (or failing) certain rare quests.
If a plot of land is of the Mystical level or higher, additional to its geographic type it has a magical feature. The preferred cultural viewpoint determines what kind of magical feature can reside there, but this again is randomized.
- Great Library Ruins
Conquest From Neighbor
Conquering land from a neighboring kingdom captures it exactly as it is (potentially with its human-produced structures partially destroyed). There is no randomization process, so with proper reconnaissance, the ruler knows exactly what he is getting.
However, land does not "magically" move from one kingdom to another. It stays exactly where it is, abutting its former ruling nation, with no buffer wilderness between, and potentially wilderness between it and its recent conquerors. (For ways to connect it with its new ruler's homeland, see below.)
When a new kingdom forms in the game, it forms from the wilderness between existing kingdoms, or at the edge of the known world. Thus the kingdom is surrounding entirely by "uncivilized wilderness," which forms a buffer between it and other kingdoms. No matter how much land is conquered in the usual way from this wilderness, it will never forcibly connect two kingdoms.
If kingdoms wish to bridge the wilderness and form a safe route between each other, they must enter into a specific kind of economic treaty (see below). Under this treaty, each side requisitions a number of troops to conquer "remaining" wilderness and guard road builders until
After acquisition, there are many things that one can do with land. The overarching categories are cross-cultural, however the specific implementation (and gains and losses) are culture-specific.
- Resource Acquisition
- Cultural Sanctification
Additional to their uses, plots of land have some attributes that may be controlled directly by the ruler.
- Accessible Water
- Clean Water
- Main article: Moebius Government
Above everything else lies the nation's ruler. He is the player who either founded the nation or was the one to whom the previous ruler abdicated his throne. Below the ruler lies many offices, all of which are empty at the start of the kingdom, but which may be filled with Heroes or other human players.
- Commander General
- High Financier
- High Priest/High Cleric/Archwizard/All-Mother/Science Advisor/Etc.
Each geographical office can appoint people to their own respective branch offices. The king, obviously, is the only office to which an appointment can be made only once (after which the newly appointed king takes control and may appoint the previous king to another office or ignore him entirely). A Baron is given a region over which to govern, and a governor is given a single city.
If a position is filled, the kingdom gains benefits depending upon who fills it (human or Hero) and to which cultural worldview the kingdom subscribes.
Regional and Local Rulers
As the kingdom grows, it becomes more difficult to manage. After a certain size, inhabitants become increasingly unhappy with the expanding nation as they feel individuals are being ignored for the whole. To avoid civil unrest, the kingdom can either stop growing or appoint regional rulers. These are the Barons mentioned above.
A Baron controls a region just as the king controls the nation, however certain abilities (such as forming treaties and declaring war) are reserved for the king. The Baron dictates what plots of land will be used for what, what mystical research will be undertaken (if any), how much to tax who, and how to train the regional branch of the military.
As the kingdom continues to grow, no matter the size or number of political regions, unrest will continue to grow. This can be stymied by appointing local rulers. These are the governors mentioned above.
A Governor's reach is extremely limited. He can only decide what takes place inside his city and (if granted by the king or Baron) the immediate surrounding countryside.
Much of this structure may change should the kingdom be made a vassal state by another kingdom (see below). Many of the king's regal powers may be transferred to the conquering monarch or eradicated entirely, and so the title "king" is no longer so befitting. In such a case, the former-king of the conquered nation gains the new title Duke.
The powers of the Duke are identical to those of a king excepting where changed by the treaty of vassalage. Thus, those powers cannot be explicitly stated and vary according to the particulars of the treaty.
- Main article: Moebius Military
- Warrior - Weapons
- Archer - Advanced Weapons
- Pikeman - Specialized Training
- Mounted Warrior - War Animals
- Catapult - Siege Engines
|Mtd. Warrior||Mtd. Warrior||Archer||Pikeman||X||Catapult|
Key: The unit stated in the middle defeats the other unit easily. An "X" means each is neutral versus the other. "Poor" means each is not very effective versus the other.
All constructions require at least knowledge of Tools from the Social Welfare tree.
- Wall - Weapons
A wall can be built on one or more edges of a tile. No unit can pass through a wall without destroying it first, which no unit will do unless specifically ordered to attack the wall.
- Gate - Weapons
A gate can be built on one or more edges of a tile. If no military units are stationed in it, it is unowned and any unit may pass through it as if the edge is unobstructed. If military units are stationed in it, it will follow the foreign policies of the nation that owns the units unless given specific orders otherwise.
- Fort - Strategy and Tactics
A fort occupies one or more squares of territory owned by the nation that builds it. It trains military units at twice the normal rate and automatically draws food and supplies from nearby storage facilities, or from nearby farms if storage is not close enough.
- Base - Logistics
A base occupies one or more squares of territory that need not be owned by the builder. It will automatically draw from food stores if there is a connected path from it to one of the builder's food stores. It can also be supplied by the hosting nation if the right treaty options have been established.
- Attack - Weapons
- Main article: Moebius Foreign Relations
In real life, foreign relations can get extremely complicated. Likewise, in MC there are many options rulers have for dealing with neighboring and distant kingdoms.
Diplomatic Relations is an attribute shared between two nations. It represents the common knowledge of the laypeople inside and outside of those nations on how the nations get along.
Between two or more nations, rulers may sign various types of treaties. Each treaty falls into one of four types: Economic, Military, Social, or Legal.
When war is declared, the kings of the two warring kingdoms gain a number of options. These options manage the special economic situation of a kingdom at war and they manage how a kingdom treats prisoners of war.
First, by default, all trade agreements and formal trading are canceled, but a king can break "latent" trade as well, if there is any. Latent trade is the trading done by the populace near the border with another kingdom. If the kingdoms don't share a border, or the border is buffered by wilderness, there is no latent trade.
Second, the kings must decide how they will treat each other's prisoners of war. Humane treatment boosts local morale and popularity, but does not affect the enemy's morale or popularity. Inhumane treatment reduces the local monarch's popularity, but also reduces the enemy's morale. If both sides agree to humane treatment, neither side gains a morale boost, but both gain popularity boosts.
- Main article: Moebius Cultures
A nation's magical culture stems from its mundane culture. So when a player chooses the magical culture his nation will have, he is also choosing the slant of its mundane culture. This has a few major and many minor effects on the entire rest of the game.
- Main article: Moebius Populace
A kingdom's populace is the source of all of a king's wealth as well as most of the king's headaches. If a king exploits his populace for all he can get, his popularity will drop and he risks a revolt. If instead he placates his population and empties his coffers to make them happy, he risks attack from foreign powers who view him as weak.
The census gives demographic data on a kingdom's population. It tells the age and gender distribution, along with percentages of the populace that is well-fed, literate, sick, and more.
Dichotomic Percentage Data:
Non-Dichotomic Percentage Data:
The various data from the census are rolled into several final popularity values.
Each individual plot of land has a popularity rating for the population living there. These ratings are then averaged with weights by population and by land area. If the area is divided into baronies, the ratings are then also averaged over baronies by both population and land area. This is iterated again at the region level, and finally the kingdom level. Thus one officer can have up to 16 popularity ratings, allowing him to find out quite a bit of information.
If a king's popularity rating falls below a local regent's popularity rating by enough points, the regent has the option to declare sovereignty of his region. This can cause a clash between the local populace and the king's military forces, if the king makes it so. Deaths due to this clash will reduce a regent's popularity, but if he can weather the storm and come out still ahead in popularity than the king once fighting ends, then he will have asserted his sovereignty and will lead a new kingdom formed from his region.
As a measure to control multiple pointless wars and extremely unbalanced wars (a month-old nation declaring war on a day-old nation), the populace can suffer from war weariness. War weariness depends on a number of factors, but the principle factors are (1) the number of different nations the kingdom has been at war with recently, and (2) the size/power disparity between the kingdom and its enemies.
If the kingdom is at war with many neighbors or has declared one war after another with different foreign kingdoms, the populace begins to see this activity as morally objectionable and pointlessly aggressive (this does not apply if the multiple foreign kingdoms are in an mutual protection treaty).
By default, a population is predisposed to think and feel counter to the actions many kings (players) will want to take. This provides a level of control and mitigates several balance problems. However, over time a player will find this stifling and find the game less enjoyable because of it. This is where propaganda comes in.
At a later stage in the game, a king, and all player-filled officer positions below him, will be able to fund propaganda campaigns. These can take place in any subset of the kingdom, or the entire kingdom itself, and campaigns can be targeted to certain demographics.
- Popularity boost for the initiator.
- Popularity drop for officer or foreign nation of the initiator's choice.
- Support for ongoing war.
- Support for new war against a neighboring kingdom.
- Support for peace after military defeat.
- Support for new reigning monarch (one player taking over for another in the same kingdom).
- Support to depose reigning monarch (one player trying to take over another's throne in the same kingdom).
- Support for new monarch (kingdom becomes vassal state of another kingdom).
- Support to depose reigning monarch (kingdom trying to break treaty of vassalage).
- Main article: Moebius Items
Items are either earned as quest rewards (see MC Quests) or purchased. Quest rewards can only be used in a specific game and must be earned again when a new game is started. Purchased items are identical copies of quest rewards, but they may be migrated from game to game. This means a player may transfer an item between games, not copy, however the player may purchase multiple copies, potentially at a discounted rate.
Items come in three flavors: burst item (Charm/Gadget), conduit (Artifact/Invention), and enchanted item (Talisman/Device). A burst item can be used only a certain number of times, but it can be used by any unit or Hero. A conduit requires an elite, magically-trained unit to use it, but it can be used infinitely many times. Finally an enchanted item is the best of both worlds. Any unit or Hero can activate or otherwise gain the benefits of an enchanted item, and it may be used indefinitely.