A medieval strategy/role playing/simulation hybrid series originally developed by TaleWorlds Entertainment
. Its major highlights include cavalry combat simulation, direct participation of the player's character in real-time 3D mass battles, factions, armies, recruitable non-player characters (NPCs/companions), quests, manual trade, and town development. The series allows the player to pursue an open path to the player's discretion with little or no identifiable main plot.
The following applies to all games within the series unless expressed otherwise:
Mount&Blade and Mount&Blade: Warband feature the same fictional medieval world, while Mount&Blade: With Fire and Sword is set in medieval Eastern Europe. Each faction consists of generals, most of which control town(s) and/or castles(s), both of which control a specific number of villages. All these locations are viewable from the main political map and may be visited by the player to reveal further action menus or optionally enter them in a 3D environment.
The player may attempt to join a faction by first gaining reputation. Gaining reputation may be achieved by winning battles and completing quests. When the player's global reputation reaches a certain level, a faction's general may request the player to be hired as a mercenary. If the player accepts, the player will be considered as an independent army within the faction and be subject to wars that faction is facing.
When the player reaches a more significant reputation level, the player may request to the leader of a faction to become a noble of that faction. As a noble, the player has the right to bear a personal banner and be given a starting village to rule. Depending on the course of a war and internal politics, the player may fight or plot to obtain the right to a town or a castle. Joining a faction will, if the player chooses to do so, allow the possibility of marriage with a general's relative of the opposing sex. A courtship must first be conducted before the proposal is accepted. The new spouse may allow further political actions to be accessible.
The player may also opt to start a rebellion from within a faction or join up with individuals that have claims to the throne, both of with involve constant battles with the usurped faction.
- Cavalry Simulation and Real-time Mass Battles
Combat initiates when the player's party encounters an enemy party on the main map (or in other cases, events). The player in third or first person perspective participates in battle alongside all the troops of both parties (depending on the unit limit - e.g. max 150 units). The player may engage on foot in melee combat, ranged combat (bow or crossbow), or if the player is in possession of a horse, enables a unique feature to enter mounted combat allowing the player to charge the enemy for minimal blunt damage or inflict significant crouching damage against an enemy unit when using specific polearm weapons.
In Mount&Blade: With Fire and Sword, the crossbow is replaced with gun-powder based weapons.
The player may, in addition to units, hire the services of NPCs (in taverns) who act as companions to the player. Companions may also be equipped with weapons and armor. Companions cannot be killed in combat and will only become unconscious (wounded) if he/she falls in battle.
Additionally, companions react to the company of other companions, preferring or hating some over the others. The combination of the player's leadership, events, and attitude of a companion towards another, will effect the overall happiness of a companion. Unhappy companions may opt to leave the player. The like/hate algorithm between companions are pre-determined, where the total enmity between some companions outnumber companions that like each other. Thus, it is not possible to have all of the available companions happy all the time without some form of directed strategy by the player.
- Character Development
Character advancement (player and companion) is skill and experienced based. Statistics that may be developed are:
In Mount&Blade and Mount&Blade: Warband, a character creation feature is available by selecting the character's background which will later be represented in stats and skills. Character creation has been removed from Mount&Blade: With Fire and Sword and replaced with a pre-generated male character.
Consists of four stats which allows the cap limit of a skill to be increased, in addition to attribute-based bonuses. One attribute point may be distributed per level.
Consists of twenty-four skills, some of which effect only the player/companion, others used as a party skill (only party member with highest skill used), while a few others effect all units. One skill point may be distributed per level.
Consists of six weapon proficiencies which may manually be increased by consistently using a specified weapon-type in battle. Ten proficiency points may also be distributed per level.