Discussion on Imperial Legion

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Discussion on Imperial Legion

Post by vrolok » Tue Apr 12, 2016 3:44 am

Imperial Legions
The Empire's military hand. Home defense in Cyrodiil, ensuring the peace of its citizens and suppressing any unrest. Garrisons and patrols throughout the land. Divided in several sub-legions guarding separate areas (allowing us to tell storylines without having the entire landmass present): The First Legion in Colovia, the Seventh Legion in southern Nibenay, and the Third Legion in the Imperial City. Also associated are the Imperial Navy and the Battlemage Academy. The top ranks of the Legions are united in two militaristic knightly orders: the Knights of the Garland and the Knights of the Imperial Dragon (whom I consider to be the same as the Order of the Dragon from Oblivion). The Legions support a strong Emperor, and do not have good relations with the Elder Council, Administration, or the various mercenary organizations in Cyrodiil (Fighters Guild, Blackwood Company, etc).
I wanted to discuss how the legion is going to be presented in Cyrodiil. I will admit, I understand this point of view of separation. It seems logical and lore-friendly to me, that there are several independent legions in Cyrodiil. I understand that it would be easier to make quests for the legion as we go along, instead of leaving all the quests till the later date. But as much as I understand both these points, I am afraid that it might be not the best choice from story telling point of view.

Most importantly, the story just wouldn't be that great. Unless we are extremely creative and come up with something brilliant, having three small stories for one faction is not the best option. As a result, we would get a very fragmented vision, without understanding the whole picture. Plus it feels like a mod. The idea does not seem very plausible to me.

We can of course have just one faction as an alternative. It eliminates the problem of the story, but it is harder to make and does not show the diversity of legions properly.

What if we go with a compromise? We can have three different legions as possible start where you can be accepted only in one of them. It wouldn't make sense to be enlisted in several armies, would it? Once you are enrolled in one of the legions, you complete different quests and get promoted. At this point, you get certain insights in the future plot, but can't see whole picture yet. That part we can do while working on different territories.

Once you complete a quest line, you get a rank of a Knight of the Imperial Dragon, similar to Morrowind. Morrowind Imperial Legion will count as enough for admission, since you become one at the end. From that point onward, you will be doing more dangerous work all across Tamriel, getting your orders from the Order itself. It would also include some internal struggle and plots. This part we can do after finishing most of the province (in a few years? :P )

What do you think? Should we have one faction only without any additional work, several factions with separated stories or my idea, where we have three smaller factions leading player to bigger and more exciting story? Granted, it's more work, but we can do it, I am sure. It would also significantly increase replay value of the mod, having different quests for different legions. It also makes sense to have more quests, considering how much bigger Cyrodiil is, compared to Vvardenfell. I believe we can do it. Maybe it was the plan all along, then we can say that great minds think alike :lol:

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Post by Anumaril » Tue Apr 12, 2016 8:38 am

Personally, I think it a better option to have separate questlines for each Legion, with smaller questlines or side-quests for the lesser factions of the Legion. Once the player has tackled the main questlines of each Legion, the lines would intersect to one final, more grand questline where characters from past quests would make a return. This would serve to create a somewhat cohesive story, while not forcing players to wait until the completion of the province to get involved in the Legion.

Should the player have completed the Morrowind questline or reach a decent rank, they'd be recognized and be able to immediately begin the proper questlines of the Legion. Otherwise, they'd go through some basic training and minor dispute-settling quests before made a proper member of the Legion. Further information on other territories will need to be formed before proper ideas can be made for their Legion quests, but I imagine the First Legion questline for Colovia would involve the warring baronies of Hastrel, Linchal, and Wariel. I've some basic ideas regarding a questline for this feud, many elements of which I think would fit right into a legion-based questline.

Found this post made by Infragris on the topic, though I disagree on the concept of each Legion being less of an individual entity and more a ladder by which to reach the high ranks of the Third Legion. I'd think it more interesting for each Legion to have a questline that deals with the larger issues occurring in their corresponding region.
Infragris wrote:Imperial Legion: one idea for P:C's Legion was to divide it into three different sub-legions: the First, Seventh, and Third Legion, with different leadership, responsibilities and territories in Cyrodiil. This would allow for the faction-based questline to occur in three stages bound by release areas: the player receives basic training in the recruitment-oriented First Legion of Colovia, is promoted to officer and reassigned to the Seventh Legion in the Nibenay, and then moves up to the honor ranks of the Imperial-City based Third Legion, and the High Command. Numbered legions have been mentioned numerous times in game lore, but never really featured in the games. Relations with the vanilla faction are explained as double-digit Legions having less of a defined company culture, and Imperials regarding soldiers recruited in the provinces as little more than ill-trained mercenaries. Upper ranks like Knight of the Garland/Dragon are also dismissed for the same reason.

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Post by Infragris » Tue Apr 12, 2016 12:01 pm

Hold on, I had a more detailed version of this lying around:
The Imperial Legion(s), also known as the Imperial Army and the Ruby Ranks, are the main fighting force of the Septim Empire. They operates under the auspices and authority of the Emperor himself, Uriel Septim VII. With its vast numbers, quality training, and rigid discipline, the Legion is considered one of the best armies ever assembled in history. The primary mission of the Imperial Legion is to preserve the peace and rule of law in the Empire.

In Cyrodiil, the Legion acts as a garrison force – manning forts, patrolling the roads and borders of the province. Though the Legion acts as a suppressing force elsewhere, in Cyrodiil they are restricted from interfering in the cities by the ancient privileges of nobility and citizenry – cities are defended by watchmen who obey local officials, not by soldiers.

The Legion is a strictly hierarchic organization. Minor outposts or watchtowers are usually commanded by a Champion, while garrison forts can only be governed by a noble Knight. The commander of a fort is usually called 'captain' or 'General'. Only Knights may serve as generals. Above the Generals stands the High Command on Isla Carcementum, in the Imperial City. These commanders are all Knights of the Garland or the Imperial Dragon, and are awarded the extra title of Marshal or Seneschal. They answer to the Emperor only.
Knight Errant
Knight Bachelor
Knight Protector
Knight of the Garland
Knight of the Imperial Dragon

The Legion is divided into disciplined military units, known as the eponymous Legions. These are in turn divided into cohorts. In theory, each Legion is to have its own number and history. In practice, however, the three Cyrodiilic Empires did not always employ standing armies, and legions were created, used, and disbanded again. There have been hundreds of named and numbered Legions throughout history.

Provincial Legions in places such as Morrowind usually lack such histories and only use their number as an administrative detail. These legions are often newlt founded and rely heavily on locally sourced recruits, meaning that they have little heritage.

Of course, this is not the case in Cyrodiil, where honorary Legions with exceptional histories have been selected to serve the (rather ceremonial) task of defending the homeland. At the moment, there are three Legions present in Cyrodiil: the First Legion in Colovia (focused on recruitment), the Seventh Legion in the Nibenay (mostly deployed in the south to quell the trans-Niben unrests), and the Third Legion in the Heartlands (ceremonial defense of the capital and surrounding areas).

Besides these, there are also a number of sub-groups: the aforementioned High Command, the Imperial Navy, the Shadow Legion (Battlemage training, has its own high command of Magus-Generals), the dysfunctional Mananaut program, and the Palace Guard. The Imperial Watch is often considered a part of the Legion, but in Cyrodiil it is organized and funded by local dignitaries who hold the requisite privileges, and does not stand within the Legion hierarchy (though many watch officers are ex-legionnaires).
I don't think making them three separate factions would be a good idea. It makes sense that players have to choose between opposing political factions with their own identities, but it makes a lot less sense to have to choose between essentially the same faction thrice, nor what you would have to base this choice on.

Telling a large all-encompassing story through these questlines is difficult, because Cyrodiil is much larger than Vvardenfell. It would quickly fall into a kind of tokenism if for every faction the player has to travel to each and every county or city to get a bite-size of the story. The problem is less present for Guilds since you can tell a self-contained story around one guildhall, which is what I tried to emulate here. Each of the stories would also not be self-contained, but used to highlight a specific aspect of the Legion. The player's rank progression would be much more important in this than in the vanilla questlines: I want to really emphasize the rise from lowly recruit to the exalted upper ranks.

I realize that the jumping between legions might seem a little forced, but I think I have the rank progression more or less sorted out: the player is essentially a recruit/trooper in Colovia, doing grunt work (delivering messages, patrolling, manning a watchtower) until their promotion to officer ranks. It's only when they are officer/inspector/Military police that the player is reassigned to the Nibenay: the basic role of the Legion in Colovia is to act as a recruitment ground for talent. The second transfer is further along, when he player has distinguished themselves in combat and/or discovered some dirty secrets and has to be bribed with a promotion: assignment to the Legion of honor guarding the capital, a position reserved only for the bravest and most exceptional legionnaires.

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Post by vrolok » Tue Apr 12, 2016 3:35 pm

That's all true and I agree your approach here is better. I did not get the idea at first, but looking at it from perspective, it is brilliant in many ways. Yes, that is definitely the way to go. I still feel that later quests should send you all around the province from time to time, but I agree on the overall structure and progression. It makes sense, both logically and gameplay wise. My idea was more makeshift and not very well thought through.

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Post by dobren » Sat Jan 27, 2018 4:54 pm

Love the plan Infragris.
If I may be so bold as to offer a hopefully interesting compromise suggestion that should add something extra to the Province without undermining the unity of the Legion?

I've used the "Races Are More Fun" mod for years. In particular, I'm referring to the changes to the Imperial race, which replaces the "Voice of the Emperor" power with;
-- "Star of Colovia" - Resist Frost 50% & Fortify Attack 20pts (I've reduced the resistance to 40%)
which reflects the Colovian martial attitude & their Nordic descent.
-- "Star of the Niben" - Fortify Personality 10pts & Spell Absorption 25pts
which reflects the more diplomatic, magic-using peoples of the Niben Valley.
[inspired over Christmas, I spent some time making a Colovian race. As they "make up the majority of the soldiers in the Ruby Ranks", I turned most of Morrowind's Legion & guards into Imperials with Nord heads (no tattoos or full beards), with attributes & skills I felt were suitable for the militant, less magic-using Colovians. I'll probably end up using your wonderful future mod to greatly improve my changes for myself]

The vanilla description, attributes & skills of Imperials are suitable for the Nibenese, not the Colovians.
According to the in-game description, Nibenese "are known for the discipline and training of their citizen armies" & for "their remarkable skill & training as light infantry", reflected in the Light Armour skill bonus. The Imperial Legions, of course, utilise either Medium or Heavy Armour, which suits the Colovian majority of the Legions proper.
A sizable problem that crossed my mind, as I was searching my esp's & esm's for potential Colovians, is the absence of a formally organised Nibenese "light infantry", never mind a "citizen army".

This is where the compromise suggestion comes in. What about a Nibenese Reserve Force?
Although I have left some Nibenese in my vanilla Legion (where appropriate), surely it makes sense for the Legions to make extensive use of supporting troops. The Spellsword class, for example, is described as "especially trained to be support troops for the Legions". I have no problem imagining Nibenese Archers, Agents, Assassins, Nightblades, Scouts, Spellswords, Warriors, Crusaders & Knights training under Drillmasters & Masters-at-Arms in Reserve Camps, maybe with an occasional Battlemage or Colovian officer supplementing their light training to ensure maximum effect when co-ordinating with Legion forces.
I think some variations of the Imperial Studded armour & Imperial Newtscale armour for officers (which are grossly under-utilised by Imperials in vanilla) could be assigned as "Reserve uniforms". Would it make sense to use the Legion script to have a Legion officer acknowledge the uniform of a Reserve member for those faction quests?
This Reserve might also tie in to Infragris' recruitment plan in some way I haven't yet come up with. Some kind of "overlap" between Legion & Reserve could provide some funny/interesting side-quest potential.

This would solve my problem with the absence of disciplined Nibenese citizen armies, it wouldn't interfere with the Legions proper & it could provide that separate story vrolok suggested.
Last edited by dobren on Sun Jan 28, 2018 11:01 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Post by dobren » Sat Jan 27, 2018 6:15 pm

On a related topic, "the Colovian nobility, all officers of the Imperial Legions or its West Navy".
I write this having only visited Stirk briefly ages ago, so forgive me if I accidentally contradict what already works there.

I see that Tamriel_Data has a West Navy as its own faction (love that, by the way), and I think I've written elsewhere in the forums about what I called "Old Colovians" & the probability of less nordic blood in the western lowland coastal region. This means I would view the Colovian nobility of the Strident Coast & the West Navy as being mostly Old Colovian.
I like the idea of the Al-Gemha in Infragris' "Culture and History of the Nedes" thread. It enriches the "Westerners" who "embarked on a mastery of the sea" & "annually raided".

Similar to my suggestions above, I'd suggest the Navy utilises light armour as well. I wouldn't want to strip my naval officers of any chance of survival if they're washed overboard, or pushed...
I don't know what TR has planned in that regard (& my characters usually tend to avoid the Empire at all cost), but I think some variation of Imperial Studded armour & Imperial Newtscale armour for the officers is more appropriate as "Navy uniforms" for marines & naval officers than heavy or even medium armour. That said, the naval base guards & higher ranks would use medium/heavy armour. It seems likely that Knights-Navarch (a sub-admiral?) are designed to be the land-based naval administration (I assume the Knights of the Drake Helm are the Admiral's elite bodyguard).
I wrote above about the Colovian changes I've made to my vanilla Legion with the RAMF mod. I think I'll be leaving most of the population of the Strident Coast as ethnically Nibenese, so they can use the "Star of the Niben" spell absorption power. That seems more suited to their (less diluted by Nords) heritage & also advantageous in terms of the age old fight against the ocean-going Mer nations. But that's just me.
This would be similar to the Nibenay naval forces, which would draw heavily from the river-based Nibenese population.
Hopefully, this has made sense.

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