Dear Reader, welcome to the next blog post for the Silmarillion mod for Mount and Blade: Bannerlord. My name is Llyngeir, loremaster, writer, and general handyman on the project, and I am going to take you through the process of creating troops trees for our many factions.
First, it is important to consult the text to find any inspiration. Tolkien never went into much detail of the troops of the many kingdoms and nations of Beleriand or Middle Earth, although Lord of the Rings has more references to work from than the Silmarillion. That said, there are some mentions of troops that we can use in our trees to really make them feel like they have come straight from page to screen. For example, there are the Iathrim Marchwardens, elite troops who guard the borders of the forests of Doriath, and Tol-in-Gaurhoth's werewolves. Once we have these references, we look at the general feel of each of the factions as they are presented in the Silmarillion. Sticking with Doriath, the faction is very much associated with woodlands and trees, they are insular, and as such are very defensive, and lastly we have Beleg Strongbow, a renowned archer, so we can see that they have a penchant for archery among their aristocratic class, meaning it likely that it permeated their whole society.
So far, we have seen that Doriath has a Marchwarden unit, they are forest based, defensive, and favour archery. Using this, we can start to write down any ideas that come to us, and when we have a enough ideas, we can start to organise them into an order that clearly indicates a progression through ranks by their names alone. As a picture of the troop tree starts to take shape, more and more ideas come, and the tree begins to expand from a sapling to an oak, and the faction now has a formidable roster.
2D designs made by Efe Karacar. Concepts can be modified.
"However, it is important to note that this tree isn't necessarily the last version. All throughout the drafting process, ideas are shared with the wider team, and they may have their own takes on the inspiration, their own versions of troops, and these can be added in later. Also, whoever is making the tree may have a better idea down the line that they want to input. The hardest part of making troop trees is finally saying they are done.
For some of the factions we may try and find some historical inspiration for the troops. As the Human factions are the most grounded to our world, we mostly looked to historical inspirations for them. The Men of Dor-lómin, the House of Marach, are described as being tall with blond hair, so we decided to base them off the Anglo-Saxons, and this enables us to create a clear picture of the faction and their troops, and how their troop tree will look, as well as helping us to create a clear and distinct feel for each of the Human factions. Looking to history also helps with creating the visual style of the different factions, which Ubal shall explore in the next blog post.
Thank you for reading! I sincerely hope you enjoyed this little look into the development process for creating troop trees, and I hope you are just as excited as we are to explore the world of Beleriand in Mount and Blade: Bannerlord!