Results 1 to 17 of 17

Thread: 'Embezzler' Trait

  1. #1

    Default 'Embezzler' Trait

    Hey guys,

    Long time player and don't post often, but I've come to my wits end with a certain trait I'm experiencing in my Romani campaign. After 400 turns of working on my economy, limiting army size and being extremely frugal with building (not to mention some strategic conquest) I've managed to create at a healthy treasury well above 100,000. However, within 20 turns my entire family has gained the Embezzler trait which is extremely frustrating for the fact it means none of them can be governors anymore, and any client rulers I recruit are the exact same.

    I won't deny the historical accuracy of the amount of embezzlement, but I will say that at least for me, it is ruining the gameplay. I cannot have a single governor in a city for more than a few turns without them gaining the trait, no matter how many other moral and strong traits they have. I realize that halfway through the game I can't change the trait (which is a shame as I'm only 15 turns off of the Marian reforms...) but for my next games, I'd rather just not have this trait around as there are enough corrupt traits for governors already (at least for my own style of gameplay).

    How can i rewrite the script to remove this trait? Or does anyone have any suggestions as well?

  2. #2
    Rosbjerg's Avatar Tiro
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    The State, in which something is rotten.
    Posts
    224

    Default Re: 'Embezzler' Trait

    The problem is that your treasury is above 100k, keep it around 90k and lower you'll see this trait much much less.

  3. #3

    Default Re: 'Embezzler' Trait

    Even better <50k to mitigate corruption in all provinces regardless of traits.
    Mouzafphaerre, aka Urwendur, Urwendil...

  4. #4
    Lusitanio's Avatar Content Staff
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Location
    Portugal
    Posts
    936

    Default Re: 'Embezzler' Trait

    Quote Originally Posted by Mouzafphaerre View Post
    Even better <50k to mitigate corruption in all provinces regardless of traits.
    I actually prefer <100k, first because there are really few bad effects for having your treasury above 50k and because you may need the extra money in emergencies.

  5. #5

    Default Re: 'Embezzler' Trait

    Quote Originally Posted by Lusitanio View Post
    I actually prefer <100k, first because there are really few bad effects for having your treasury above 50k and because you may need the extra money in emergencies.
    Glad to hear that. Although my Marian legions are eating up most of the surplus in my current SPQR campaign nearing completion, I'll feel easier with a bit of hoarding in future campaigns
    Mouzafphaerre, aka Urwendur, Urwendil...

  6. #6

    Default Re: 'Embezzler' Trait

    Wow 100k.... With topic opener's playstyle, I wish his faction leader would've gained a trait called "hoarder"

  7. #7

    Default Re: 'Embezzler' Trait

    I really hate that trait line, or at least the way it currently works.
    Atm, the way to stay honest is to stay poor. That's not how it works. I know plenty of crooked poor people
    I recommend a pugio rather than a spear, because in close quarters combat, a dagger will serve you better than a spear.

    Rad, 2016.

  8. #8

    Default Re: 'Embezzler' Trait

    IMO the penalties should be random rather than based on a certain amount of cash, because, as can be seen in this thread, people will open the game files and play aroud the limits to avoid the bad traits. I think several factors could affect it: authority of the faction leader (the big one), loyalty of the character and traits like selfish (another big one), and finally number of regions/cash in reserve. I'd make sure to make it random with higher chance depending on factors like these, instead of establishing hard caps, or you get people playing around the cut offs to avoid any penalty.

  9. #9
    Lusitanio's Avatar Content Staff
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Location
    Portugal
    Posts
    936

    Default Re: 'Embezzler' Trait

    Well, I added another level for the Embezzler trait and will include it on my submod. Basically it's something to delay the full effects of the trait (it gives like half the effects) but also improves the flavour since your characters have to "climb" the corruption ladder, that is, they don't become sudden masterminds of corruption but slowly start becoming "worse" governors.

    Just check the description for the first level which will be named Financially Irregular

    The exorbitant wealth of your people has had 'unintended side effects' on your ruling class, starting to cause an increase of selfish and greedy men who seek to enrich themselves with funds that should rightly belong to the state, the people, or greater tribe. Such corrupt behavior is sure to lower the income and public order of a settlement...\n\nThis trait will only begin to appear once your treasury has reached more than 100,000 mnai in total.

  10. #10

    Default Re: 'Embezzler' Trait

    Quote Originally Posted by Hellenikon View Post
    IMO the penalties should be random rather than based on a certain amount of cash, because, as can be seen in this thread, people will open the game files and play aroud the limits to avoid the bad traits. I think several factors could affect it: authority of the faction leader (the big one), loyalty of the character and traits like selfish (another big one), and finally number of regions/cash in reserve. I'd make sure to make it random with higher chance depending on factors like these, instead of establishing hard caps, or you get people playing around the cut offs to avoid any penalty.
    Good suggestion!
    I recommend a pugio rather than a spear, because in close quarters combat, a dagger will serve you better than a spear.

    Rad, 2016.

  11. #11
    Roma_Victrix's Avatar Gatorade, is it in you?
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Virginia, USA
    Posts
    13,502

    Default Re: 'Embezzler' Trait

    Quote Originally Posted by Hellenikon View Post
    IMO the penalties should be random rather than based on a certain amount of cash, because, as can be seen in this thread, people will open the game files and play aroud the limits to avoid the bad traits. I think several factors could affect it: authority of the faction leader (the big one), loyalty of the character and traits like selfish (another big one), and finally number of regions/cash in reserve. I'd make sure to make it random with higher chance depending on factors like these, instead of establishing hard caps, or you get people playing around the cut offs to avoid any penalty.
    I back this at least in part, since I think additional corruption should exist for someone with a massive empire and a huge budget with like over 500k. I think the harsh penalties you incur for a measly 100k is a bit extreme, especially since certain provinces need good governors at all times if they are to remain stable without rebelling due to insane public order penalties. For instance, in Liguria and Celtiberia.

  12. #12

    Default Re: 'Embezzler' Trait

    Quote Originally Posted by Hellenikon View Post
    IMO the penalties should be random rather than based on a certain amount of cash, because, as can be seen in this thread, people will open the game files and play aroud the limits to avoid the bad traits. I think several factors could affect it: authority of the faction leader (the big one), loyalty of the character and traits like selfish (another big one), and finally number of regions/cash in reserve. I'd make sure to make it random with higher chance depending on factors like these, instead of establishing hard caps, or you get people playing around the cut offs to avoid any penalty.

    Quote Originally Posted by Roma_Victrix View Post
    I back this at least in part, since I think additional corruption should exist for someone with a massive empire and a huge budget with like over 500k. I think the harsh penalties you incur for a measly 100k is a bit extreme, especially since certain provinces need good governors at all times if they are to remain stable without rebelling due to insane public order penalties. For instance, in Liguria and Celtiberia.
    Selflessness and Loyalty already play a role in the triggers, as well as the presence of other traits (Stoic, Austere, Upright). Chances aren't that high (10% for the first trigger) but they increase with the amount of stockpiled money. To be honest, I might put slightly more stringent conditions, as I think these triggers aren't optimally designed, but don't expect major changes. Liguria and Celtiberia are on the brink of revolt by design, so only good governors are to be put in charge of those regions if you don't want to deal with angry rebels.
    Is really 100k that measly?

  13. #13
    Lusitanio's Avatar Content Staff
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Location
    Portugal
    Posts
    936

    Default Re: 'Embezzler' Trait

    Quote Originally Posted by mephiston View Post

    Is really 100k that measly?
    Depends on the campaigns, with Carthage you reach 100k easily on the first 30 turns, with the Seleucids I only reached it after turn 240. With the Romans it's also easy to reach that number.

  14. #14
    Roma_Victrix's Avatar Gatorade, is it in you?
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Virginia, USA
    Posts
    13,502

    Default Re: 'Embezzler' Trait

    Quote Originally Posted by Lusitanio View Post
    Depends on the campaigns, with Carthage you reach 100k easily on the first 30 turns, with the Seleucids I only reached it after turn 240. With the Romans it's also easy to reach that number.
    Exactly, and I always play campaigns well after turn 600, as I always make it a goal to reach the early 1st century BC at the least, around turn 700. For me that's a bare minimum and I would never play a shorter campaign than that. For the Romans it's a must if you even want the Marian reforms and to enjoy them for any period of time. My Romani campaign was literally 1000 turns even. With Western Greek factions, I have played on average about 800 turns each, give or take 50 turns here or there.

  15. #15

    Default Re: 'Embezzler' Trait

    Quote Originally Posted by kekailoa View Post
    being extremely frugal with building (not to mention some strategic conquest) I've managed to create at a healthy treasury well above 100,000.
    Quote Originally Posted by Rad View Post
    I really hate that trait line, or at least the way it currently works.
    Atm, the way to stay honest is to stay poor. That's not how it works. I know plenty of crooked poor people
    I think we are missing the big picture and what the trait represents. It is not your money and you are not an honest businessman making money out of his investment. You represent the government. It is your taxpayers' money, and they are expecting public services and development for it.

    Being frugal means money meant for developing infrastructure and defense just disappearing somewhere like in some second-rate dictatorship.

    Quote Originally Posted by Roma_Victrix View Post
    a measly 100k is a bit extreme
    In my Roman campaign in which I try to develop as much as possible and bulldoze as little as possible, 100k is about what my entire empire has under the line after four turns (one year). I often start a turn with about 25-32k after unavoidable expenses, and usually all the building, repairing and retraining eats that money up before I can even consider truly expanding my military for conquest.

    It is hard to imagine a real-life situation in which a country without oil could ice and hoard a full year's budget without causing great unrest among those dependent on the spending in one way or the other. Not building anything at least means massive unemployment to those who are supposed to do it and to anyone who support them (tool makerss, working clothes manufacturers, meal providers, architects, etc.).

    I feel that it is natural to spend all income unless some great undertaking, such as massive port infrastructure work for 36k, takes saving money on a short term. That is what the present system allows for without penalty. Or am I looking at this wrong?

  16. #16

    Default Re: 'Embezzler' Trait

    Well, if you were going to tweak the game's income and finance system to be more historical, what I think is that it should be made to revolve around your FL. (In almost every instance except for, ironically, maybe Rome and the Koinion Hellenon, two factions which had proto-professional institutional structures, whereas in all other societies depicted in the game the kingdom was a personal possession of the FL). Except for in Rome and Hellas, the state revenue would never be in an independent treasury belonging to the government itself rather than the King. Your sources of faction revenue should be dynastic lands, plunder, and taxes extorted from your subjects. Think for a second about the fact that building aristocratic estates in your provinces increases your income. This is totally overlooked but its a big mistake. The growth of elaborate landed aristocracies in a region would absolutely crowd out you, the governing faction, as an extorter of money and taxes. Instead it would be interesting to see this simple device, the 'Embezzler' tree, expanded and used as the basis in all factions for a group of trait trees incorporating multiple sides of the antique governor's relationship to government money-making, and then make these traits the centerpiece for the player's effort to try and manage up-or-down fluctuations in their income. Even in Rome, you had many countervailing forces working to keep revenue from ever reaching your treasury. Your fellow nobiles and the magistrates were, frankly, very likely to pocket parts of the money they were responsible to collect from any province or city they might happen to govern. You could get lucky sometimes and have truly good boys at your disposal for running the realm. But more commonly, getting a better percent of the revenue out of your taxable subjects carried a political cost. In fact, I would say that for the Roman Republic, it was a cost that was far too high! The Roman political culture absolutely expected these kickbacks as part of the appeal to govern.

    However I do understand that the gripe here is specifically that income will more often than not creep over 50 and 100k, just through being the human player entering into middle and later game stages, which handicaps the player's capacity to take steps preventative of corruption, like they might in real life. But the best approach would be, in my opinion, expand the trait system to make Embezzler just one of a number of traits (like Humanitarian/Absentee/Embezzler or something, each of these has two apposite values) and create possibilities for governors who, albeit they may fall into the antique trap of pocketing everything they get their hands on, nevertheless find ways to form a good relationship with their subjects and keep PO at a reasonable level.

  17. #17

    Default Re: 'Embezzler' Trait

    Quote Originally Posted by Septentrionalis View Post
    100k is about what my entire empire has under the line after four turns (one year). I often start a turn with about 25-32k after unavoidable expenses,
    Quote Originally Posted by Beckitz View Post
    income will more often than not creep over 50 and 100k,
    Now that Beckitz talks about those sums as small ones too, I realize that my style of play, keeping taxes down to avoid unhappiness and the negative traits that it brings, is of course not normal. Trying to run a happy ship, money has always been a problem but corrupt and morally rotten family governors hardly ever. I guess it is choice in between two evils.
    Last edited by Septentrionalis; October 28, 2019 at 11:34 AM. Reason: missing tag

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •