An aristocrat who wants to get to a high level of helot cred should spread the raids around a little, pissing off everyone very mildly (you don’t have to raid the merchants or aristocrats at all if you don’t want to, though I don’t mind raking them both a little), and raiding the helots for grain is fully a part of this strategy. Yeomen too - selling mules and redistributing the take will more than pay for the yeomen you pissed off. If you get 30,000+ drachems from the winter, then the helots, yeomen and priests should all be fully behind your glorious regime.
As I’ve said before, this is socialism at its finest. You take everyone’s wealth, then give it back to them, and they love you for it.
Easiest? 2INT. I made a guide for it that’s pretty simple. You can also use my guide for a 2COM Aristocrat, but that requires a slightly different and more particular combination of moves to gain the love of Aristos (most notably, you choose a Shayardene name at the beginning, and raid the Brecklanders and make pro-Noble statements in Chapter 3).
Best? I prefer 2CHA High Anarchy Eclect runs, which allow you to build truly massive hordes and keep Zvad (who ends up going super saiyan against the Archon if you have him). The end result is that you quickly defeat the Archon and still have tons of people around. The 2CHA builds can even succeed handily while keeping Breden around, and Havenstone has said that it will help to have more high-skill lieutenants in later games.
Hmmm, you’re probably right. I just checked the code and saw this for the Helots donation.
If you can get 100 bonus just from bribing the Helots, then you can easily have both Helots and Aristos on your side for the showdown with the Archon.
(Though I still prefer to play nice with either Helots or Yeomen during the Winter so I can better recruit from them. I’m not generally a Merchant fan, IME it’s only really worth it to be nice to them on fully nonviolent runs, where you really have no choice. Extorting Alaine is obviously optimal, but only 2 builds have it as an option, and it’s really pointless on runs where you let the Harrowing happen).
If someone refuses to learn Theurge (there was an option like that in the game) would 2 INT be viable at all? I don’t remember it gave that many benefits aside from the Theurge.
And about being handy, they seem more of a risk to be honest (with the whole traitor suspicion around them). Though I guess you’d want to keep them if you romanced/married them or if you’re curious whether they’re the traitor or not.
Extorting Alaine (raid Owlscap as early and often as possible) is really useful because it lets you slack off on bringing in food during the last few weeks of Winter, you can get by with Alaine’s tribute + buying the difference. This virtually guarantees your safety from the second Theurge attack, and it also allows you to maximize your recruitment. Because recruitment is exponential, that’s quite strong.
Extorting Alaine requires that the sum of your COM and INT be 3, so you need either a 2COM/1INT or a 2INT/1COM build.
Is 2INT/1COM more useful than 1 CHA then? I remembr 1 CHA was quite useful though, you needed it to convince the helots to give a fair trial after they stop the harrowing (you can pick more blood phials this way) and in some other places where you could use 1 Cha+Breden to replace 2 Cha. I think it was necessary for becoming Eclect too (not sure on this part though) and becoming Eclect gave you a a lot of new followers.
On a build where I stop the Harrowing, I would use 2INT/1COM, because I like extorting Alaine.
On a build where I let the Harrowing happen, I would use 2INT/1CHA, because extorting Alaine is difficult and pointless in a game where it’s super easy to feed your band. These are the games where I throw out Breden as well, tbh.
But it’s mostly up to your personal preference what you choose.
What do you get from letting the Harrowing happen? I don’t think I ever tried that
How would your rebellion even start without stopping the Harrowing? You’d be seen as cowardly and nobody would follow you
Eh, not quite since you’re not leveling the playing field or given to each according to their needs, you’d still be giving the least to the helots and by far the most to the aristo’s who don’t need it.
Well, that is true. I think that’s a tradeoff Havenstone wants us to make later: do you want a large rebellion with high-skill lieutenants that may betray you, or do you want a small rebellion with poor leaders, but one where people are loyal to you?