This was a post I was going to originally make here about Inns: https://forums.elementalgame.com/384226
But it turned into something larger. This a post about how to integrate Inns into the gameplay then I began to think about how quests as a whole could play out. Some is just fun stuff but in regards to inns it could be taken seriously.
Maybe quests could be broken down into categories
Population/Prestige Quests which the primary hub for these quests would be through inns. Because the local populace would congregate at these Inn "hubs" so it would be advantageous for a sovereign to win over the countryside by completing quests for them. Thus increasing his empire's prestige and population and happiness. Example of these quests could be to help some poor folk do x or y etc. But this is a minor tangent. Back to inns.
Perhaps inns would be rare as only 1 near your spawn. Or only spawn after you successfully settle an area and begin clearing the local countryside of enemies. Perhaps there would be a quest completion meter for the inn kinda of like a Faction. The more you complete for that particular inn would begin to unlock benefits.
Maybe below could be a list of simple benefits to "owning" an inn. That's right. Perhaps through major influence of quest completion or land dominance you basically owned the inn or claimed it into your territory. View it as secondary shop that provides off-market or outside-empire, goods, quests, and information
- Quest Pick Up or Completion - With increasing rewards and tougher quests similar to factions but this faction is the local indigenous and vagrant populace.
- Item Shop - What if the inn had the ability to produce rare items or black market items. Items that may have been scavenged by the locals and sold in a sort of pawn shop. Or have unidentified items that were a gamble to purchase at inns. Lots could be done with this. Also the more work you do with the inn by keeping the countryside free of enemies and the local quests completed, would increase the value of available services such as items.
- Mercenary Recruitment - Not like recruited champions who are loyal to you forever that wave your banner as you raze cities - but actually neutral mercenaries that could sabotage, raze, conquer, and harass supply lines - all the while your kingdom doesn't even take the blame. Ofcourse it costs a pretty gildar.
- Infiltration - Seen in the movies a million times - spy/infiltrator walks into a bar to garner local information of his enemy. Finding your enemies inn could provide excellent intel on the status of his empire. Inns could be the pulse of your empire. What buildings does your enemies' cities have, how large is their army, etc. All could be revealed as rumors garnered through bribery coin and charisma stats.
- Healing - Sovereigns and their armies could even stay at an inn to replenish health and mana. Ofcourse it depends on how well you have taken care of the inn. The better the inn the larger the army it could support and eventually even replenish mana. Even give a temporary bonuses such as buffs to health for 10 turns etc.
Perhaps the second type of quests would be
Political/War quests which would be accessed through a throne room icon where adivsors both political and perhaps religious or even magical - could..well..advise you on political quest opportunities. Ex. Such and such a princess from such a such a neutral city fell into a rabid koala bear pit and saving her would bring kudos in neutral city relations. This could even play out in multiplayer. Maybe it was even your wife or child - you kept telling them to watch their step!
Want to improve relations with a rival? - perhaps quests would help? Definately feasible versus the AI. Perhaps in multiplayer you gain word from your advisors that one of your actual champions disappeared from your army and fell into the rabid koala bear pit. And sure enough, you look at the army group and he is gone. You kick your self for not researching rabid kaola awareness. Well this kaola bear pit is far away and you are currently embroiled in a war with fish-men. But lo-and behold a known enemy (or likely to be one) accepts a quest to save the champ. You read this in your throne room and are surprised. Is he serious? Does he really want to improve our relations or is it a ploy? Sure enough a few turns later he pops back into your squad with just a few bites.
Before letting the opponent or ally - AI or real, accept the quest you could quickly add rewards to a simple trade window. You could wager the quest much like diplomatic tech trades. You could give any number of resources, even fair maidens. Which makes me wonder if rabid koala bear pits could actually be a tech the enemy could research and plant in unseen places. hmmm
- War quests would be that of "conquer the enemy at your gate within the month! Or our citizens will flee!" Rewards for political quests are obvious, make enemies or make friends. But War quests would earn prestige but perhaps perks such as veteran statuses to troops, ability to place 1 free fort, etc.
Adventure Quests - These are your standard kill, retrieve, quests but perhaps involve some journey and exploration. These quests come to you through exploring ruins and the countryside. Rewards would be that of increasing, stats, rare weapons, etc.
There could be 3 simple bars that track the number of each type of quest completed. Prestige, Political & War, and Adventure.
Each quest line could lead to some great epic rewards if a player concentrated on one alone. Each quest line treated as a faction may have let's say 5 levels. Each level would require more and more completed quests and at level up would earn a reward such as a choice between stat boosts of your choice, to eventually abilities both active and passive abilities. Such as, ice protection, fleet of foot, invulnerability sphere, it is endless. Would be nice if there were some randomness to the rewards. Each game would be different.
Quests then have a surefire affect on strategy. Do I focus on adventure quests to have a shot at getting item x? Well I am at the end of the earth - do I accept this quest or attack this enemy? Strategy...