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From Sanctuary Shard

RPCSS is a complex concept for new players to grasp. It is actually a very easy system to use, but because it is something almost completely new to MMORPG role-play communities it can take some time to digest. We try and keep a list of commonly asked questions and their answers update. This page was significantly updated as part of May 4th RPCSS changes.

So will I be able to recruit NPCs to fight another's NPCs?
A player will be able to establish an Estate in game that will give them a team in RPCSS. Orders to your estate armies are given in RPCSS, but the armies show up in-game as mobs. You can direct your armies to engage other estate armies. RPCSS, using "board game" logic will determine who the winner is of each encounter. Controlling an area (a map hex called a hexacre) will give the estate owner certain powers over that area.
Can players fight armies? Can armies attack players?
Yes, and Yes, but the details are still being worked out. Some of our thoughts include: Guards in town that can be activated to defend members against attackers. Armies implemented as champ spawns with outlying scouts and men at arms which would be hostile to players and might trigger the champ spawn. The in-game army could be damaged by players which would be reflected in RPCSS.
It is perhaps important to mention that players will only interact with armies when they are "at rest". Two hostile armies will never meet in-game and "fight it out" in real-time. The ruleset for conflict resolution is in RPCSS and happens at the end of a turn. If a PC comes across an army it is either a) traveling from one hex to another b) waiting on orders or defending the location from potential attack c) has just defeated another army d) or is on the run from a recent defeat.
Does each estate have a unique set of NPC's they can recruit.
When we go live, everyone will have access to the same set of "basic humanoid infantry and knights". However, we have a number of plans for later release that will let you "skin" the mobs with other UO Graphics, as well as "dress up" your guards with custom livery. Please note that we are talking about appearance, not game mechanics. All armies have equal game mechanics, it is the estate owner's tactics and allies that will win or loose encounters.
What resources will I need to build an army, and with those resources can I effectively have a larger army.
Estates can have a ranking of 1 to 10. Gaining rank is a function of gold and land. As you gain more land, you get more taxes, as you get more taxes you can upgrade your level and recruit a larger army. We hope to implement other types of in-game resources, such as food, ore, and artifacts that will allow you to "buff" up your forces in one way or another. Details not available until we see some in gameplay.
How will you effectively stop a player who has been playing a while, from just wiping out newer players?
We won't. The responsibility is on the new player to establish role-play relationships with existing players who are motivated to gain and protect new estate owners. This game requires allies, not just for new estates, but for existing estates. When we playtested this in 2018 it worked out like this just as we had hoped. Remember the goal is to generate role-play interaction, not build a sim game -- you can get that on a dozen world builder browser games.
There is a max number of hexes that any one estate can control consequently joining an alliance may be crucial for keeping control of your estate. Which is how it should be.
Will ig (character uo) actions like crafting and resource gathering have any effect on the overarching game?
Once all the BODs systems are scripted, they will be implemented in-game with an RPCSS hook. As crafters complete BODs, points will be awarded to each estate. These points will impact initiative, initiative is a crucial element of the gameplay.
Will there be in-game resource nodes that can be claimed, controlled, and defended?
Yes, that is a goal of this system, but how that will be actually implemented has not yet been designed. Keep an eye out on the forum RPCSS board for new designs as we work them out.
Will players be able to directly impact aspects of the campaign, such as running mule trains or interrupting supply lines.
Without further playtesting, I would say something like ... Team A, plan an event to run supplies, do that as a RP event, have a great time running it as an event, and I as a staffer will give your team a bonus for creating in-game role-play scenarios. Because we couldn't script that in the other alpha test, we did it this way, and it worked out really well and generate a ton of RP.
How does one establish an estate?
Mith is working on scripting a sextant that will be used in-game to establish an estate and claim a hexacre.
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