Some rare jewels and things can only be found deep within the mines. Same for the highest quality wood- you want the oldest wood from the oldest tree in the deepest forest.

Different types of trees for different types of wood. Old oak, cedar, even some that are partially flame retardant. Lumberjacking lets you see what it is when you mouse over.

Seige Equipment

ladders, portable towers, grappling hooks, epic bows that shoot arrows attached to ropes. Goal is to slam it through a chest, knock the dead defender off the battlements. Counterweight allows light person to scale the wall.

If two or more people who do the same thing get together, they have increased production. Smiths in a building cranking out weapons can do it faster. Same with farming, everything.
What if great merchants (pc or npc) could own property that had to be guarded? What if the NPCs occasionally had lots of NPC guards to protect them?
With that, players should be able to pay to have other players kill NPCs for them or retrieve items from other players. For example if Bill (PC or NPC) takes my Excalibur, I can setup a pay guarantee for Steve (PC or NPC) to kill Bill and bring me my Excalibur. I can also hire PC’s or NPCs to kill NPCs for me (but not PCs). This can lead to people being paid to assassinate NPC kings or heroes.

Great castles are difficult to siege. They are important places to hold in the landscape, because there is no “auto-reclaim” at any point. Once you hold it, they have to do the same tough siege to get it back. Sieges work because NPC soldiers die, so you are losing reinforcements, weakening your soldiers elsewhere.
Large scale NPC and player battles need a way for players to communicate with NPCs quickly, and influence their decisions. This is done through “quick diplomacy.” This is essentially a diplomacy check, based on your Quick Diplomacy skill (which is influenced by all your other diplomacy skills and is a raise-able (though difficult) skill). An example might be “we need to retreat!” The commander’s Mental Fortitude rating and how opposed that is to what they want/are currently doing is checked against your quick diplomacy skill. If you are way too low, he will just ignore you. If you are close, he will be upset with you (possible small faction loss). If you beat the score, he will be influenced to do what you want. Other players can do the same and he can be convinced to do what the group of you want. If you overwhelm the score, he will immediately concede. This could also happen if he “pretty much wanted to” as well.

Many player owned cities will be owned by guilds. They will still be a part of their race though, not a separate entity. However, they can promote officers to high positions, have the leader be the king, etc. New recruits can easily prove themselves to the guild by doing lots of work for the town. A guild might see that a recruit has harvested a lot for them, recruited lots of NPC soldiers, and fought well in battles for them. They would have an easier time deciding to have him join the guild. Guilds can also keep players they don’t like out of their cities fairly easily. Guilds in many ways don’t have to worry as much about being conquered while offline, because their city is still a city of the race, and many of the race will work to defend it. Guilds can’t be as “all for themselves” as in other games, or players of their race won’t help keep their city safe. They must work together or they will surely fall.

Trials by combat at common law in England were carried on with quarterstaffs, on a duelling ground of sixty feet square. Each litigant was allowed a rectangular, leathern shield, and could be armed with a suit of armour, provided that they were bare to the knees and elbows, and wore only red sandals on their feet. The litigants appeared in person; women, the elderly, the infirm of body, and minors could have champions named to fight in their stead. The combat was to begin before noon, and be concluded before sunset. Before fighting, each litigant had to swear an oath disclaiming the use of witchcraft for advantage in the combat, which oath is in words and figures as follows:
Hear this, ye justices, that I have this day neither eat, drank, nor have upon me, neither bone, stone, ne grass; nor any enchantment, sorcery, or witchcraft, whereby the law of God may be abased, or the law of the Devil exalted. So help me God and his saints.
Either combatant could end the fight and lose his case by crying out the word "craven", from the Old French for "broken," which acknowledged "(I am) vanquished." The party who did so, however, whether litigant or champion, was punished with outlawry. Fighting continued until one party or the other was dead or disabled. The last man standing won his case.
Trial by ordeal

Trial by water: used in places near the coast or a major lake. Battle underwater, basically a contest to see who can hold their breath longer. Must retrieve bags of stones from underwater, stones weigh a lot. If you come to the surface with less bags than your opponent, you lose. If you drown, you lose.

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