Characters are complex. They have different personalities, different drives and motivations, and build relationships – both positive and negative – with those around them. You must attend to their needs in order to keep them loyal, and shield them from situations which will dissatisfy or endanger them.
Characters in Three Kingdoms touch every part of the campaign game. They are the generals of your armies, inhabit key posts in your faction hierarchy, boost productivity in your commanderies, engage in espionage on your behalf, and grant benefits to every aspect of your game, both on the campaign map and in battle.
Other Total War Three Kingdoms Guides:
- Total War Three Kingdoms: Guide to Factions
- Total War Three Kingdoms: Guide to Siege
- Total War Three Kingdoms: Guide to Characters
- Total War Three Kingdoms: Buildings Guide
- Total War Three Kingdoms: Food Guide
- Total War Three Kingdoms: Diplomacy Guide
- Total War Three Kingdoms: Spies & Espionage Guide
Guide to Relations
As characters become embroiled in the same events, or hold positions in close-proximity working environments such as armies, your court, or the administrational office of a commandery, they can develop positive or negative relationships with one another. These relationships can influence their satisfaction and their performance in battle. You can view a character’s relationships under the relations tab in the character panel.
Any character can form a relationship with another, and those relationships form when localised events happen involving them both. Such events are many and varied; battle outcomes, duel outcomes (or interruptions), diplomatic acts between faction leaders, appointment to – or recall from – an administrational or ministerial role, adopting a character, or appointing an heir, are all good examples.
Once a relationship is formed, a character’s traits can enhance harmony or disharmony between the two individuals. Resonant traits between characters, or traits in a character that another respects, may promote harmony. Dissonant traits between characters, or a trait in a character that another dislikes, can promote disharmony. These fluctuations cause relationships to deepen. Characters’ attitudes towards others in close-proximity working environments are indicated by speech-bubbles over their portraits, displaying ticks or crosses if they’re working with someone they particularly like or dislike.
Relationships begin as positive or negative acquaintances. They can further develop into friendships or rivalries, enhancing their effects. They may ultimately evolve into the two most powerful forms of relationship: Oathsworn or Nemesis. The impact on relationships caused by events involving two characters is always amplified if one is a faction leader, and characters may also develop a fondness or a grudge for specific factions as a result of their actions.
A character’s relationships can alter their capabilities in battle. If a character is rivals with another in the same battle – whether friendly or the enemy – he will act more aggressively, gaining bonuses to his fighting abilities. Likewise, if a character has a friend in his army or the enemy’s, both will mutually gain defensive bonuses. If one falls however, the other will enter a state of rage – they will gain large combat bonuses and become uncontrollable for a period.
In campaign, relationships can improve or reduce a character’s satisfaction. Characters working alongside one another – such as generals in the same army, ministers in your court, or administrators and their assignees – can develop positive or negative relationships depending on the harmonies or disharmonies between them. Professional proximity to friends increases satisfaction, while working close to rivals reduces it.
A good rule of thumb is to take a common-sense approach to relationships. If you think something will work in a certain way, it probably will. For example, if there are two characters who are Oathsworn to each other – one in your faction, the other in an enemy faction – and you choose to execute the enemy character post-battle, the one in your faction will hate you for it. You may even become his nemesis, and he may develop a grudge against your faction. His satisfaction will plummet because he’s in your employ, and he will likely leave to join another faction, carrying his hatred with him!
In summary, the tendrils of a relationship can reach far and wide, beyond faction boundaries. It’s therefore important to keep an eye on your characters’ developing relationships, whether with friends or foes, as they can make a big difference to a character’s performance in battle, their satisfaction in the campaign, and ultimately, the choices you make as faction leader.