In the latest developer blog for Mount and Blade II: Bannerlord, TaleWorlds Entertainment discussed the changes to the army recruitment system since the original Mount and Blade, as well as the importance of questing for the sequel. In order to raise a fearsome host of warriors, you’ll need to forge strong relationships. This is where the new quest system comes in.
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Similar to Mount and Blade: Warband, completing quests for NPCs will build up your relationship with them. Whereas the NPC player relationship in Warband was fairly linear, having good relations with local townspeople can have profound effects on the success of your roving army. Compared to just receiving a group of local recruits when you march to a nearby town, having healthy relationships with the townspeople will increase the number of soldiers that will follow your banner.
With almost all quest giving NPCs potentially raising your soldier count, it is important to not only fulfill their quests, but to make sure they aren’t at risk of death. Losing a certain NPC may massively damage your ability to raise an army, so looking after your fellow man is important to building a powerful force.
However, this does not mean you have to be all sweetness and light; the role of bannerlord gives you some room to be ruthless. As an example, TaleWorlds imagines a quest where a local has tasked you with clearing out some bandits who are menacing the populace. You could do the right thing and get rid of the bandits, or you could side with the ruffians and extort money out of the quest giver. You could even throw out the gang and then install your own men in their place. The branching nature of the quest system gives players plenty of room to experiment within the realms of Bannerlord’s sandbox.
NPCs also have their own relationships with other NPCs, so you need to balance the short term goal of gaining some extra troops, with the possible long term effects of creating a rivalry with powerful people. Be careful of the company you are keeping, as it may come back to bite you.
It looks like a long wait until you can raise your flag over the fields and fiefs of Calradia, so keep your eye on Mount and Blade II: Bannerlord’s Steam page for updates.