Serfs Up!

Even Serfs Deserve to be Happy

Woodcutters in Rustywood

Any successful modern business person will tell you that a company’s employees are its greatest resource.  Back in medieval days, it wasn’t any different.  Well okay, it was a lot different because employees were called serfs and they weren’t paid. And didn’t have medical care.  Or time off.  But that doesn’t mean they weren’t important.

And that’s the way it is in a new game, FEUDUMS, a medieval 4X MMO-strategy game releasing soon.

While the game has three main resource types: coins, materials and food; its people are its most important resource.  Without a population of serfs working their tails off, there would be no one to mine that gold and iron, plant and reap the crops and all the other work which has to be done in order for everyone to survive.

The people of your lands are the glue which holds it all together.  Treat them well, keep them fed and protected and don’t take all their money in taxes, and they just might be your secret weapon as you fight to become the High King! Happy workers are productive workers (they get a production bonus!) and, more importantly, don’t revolt!  

Farmers in Field

A happy and growing population of serfs is crucial to a player’s success in the game.  A lord’s priorities are many but your population is limited by the available housing.  A player needs to strike a balance between gathering different types of resources, upgrading tiles and using their serfs in military campaigns.

The duties of a serf are plentiful and fall within six categories.  There is field labor, castle duties, labor on Ecclesiastical lands (workers are loaned to a nearby monastery), woodcutting, mining and quarrying.

If it sounds like a lot of work, it can be!  However, Feudums is set up so players don’t need to worry too much about day-to-day assignments if they don’t want to.  The game has built in settings, which can be fine-tuned, to free players from repetitive micromanagement.

Players assign their serfs to complete different tasks which will vary from season to season.  Planting and harvesting crops are all important while preparing for the long winter months. Seasonal changes can affect game play and a good lord will look ahead to make sure his feudums are prepared for anything Mother Nature can throw at them.  

And since settings and values (taxes, population, labor work settings) are all per feudum - players can (and should) develop different priorities, trade-offs or development strategies for each.  For example, you could focus on building a cultural center in your rear kingdom with a sole priority to prove your greatness and diplomatic weight while a frontline feudum which has to protect your lands from hostile breaches concentrates on food production and military service.  A lord’s work may not become repetitious but no one said it would be easy!  Proper planning will make sure your population stays safe and fed which means morale stays high.

feudums laborwork preview2

Morale can be affected by several things: tax rates, the amount of food available, military presence in the area, if Ecclesiastical land is nearby, and, depending on your game play, certain Feudum effects and House-won abilities.

Taxes have a starting default rate and are collected each tick.  Taxes over the default rate will cost morale while low taxes can help improve the mood of the population.

Coins collected via taxes can be used to pay your own taxes, pay for tile improvements like upgrading your castle or, if you need some more muscle,  hiring a mercenary squad to defend your lands from attack. You can also buy things you’re short of from other noble lords and ladies.

Like their modern-day counterparts, lords and ladies who learn to value their workers should prove to hard to beat!