The Good, the Bad and the Mechanics

Everything you always wanted to know about Fear Factor, but were afraid to ask.

Fear Factor is controlled by placing Good and Bad things that can be found under the Town Buildings tab. There are two types, Fear Factor Pleasant, which requires placement of Good Things, and Fear Factor Cruel, which requires placement of Bad Things.

How many Good/Bad Things are required to change Fear Factor?

The number of Good/Bad things needed to change your Fear Factor rating depends on population. For up to 15 people 1 Good Thing is sufficient to change the Fear Factor rating by 1, with another 1 needed for each rating change in the factor up to the maximum of Pleasant 5. From 16 to 31 people you will require 2 Good Things for each rating change, from 32 to 47 you will require 3 and so on, in increments of 16 people. The same applies to Bad Things. If you have a mix of Good and Bad Things then the difference between the amounts of each is what is counted.

As an example with 45 people in your city you require 9 Good Things in your city to get a Fear Factor of Pleasant 3. Having 9 Good Things and 13 Bad Things would give you a Fear Factor of Cruel 1.

What effect does Fear Factor have?

Each increase in your Fear Factor Pleasant raises your Popularity Rating by 1, each increase in your Fear Factor Cruel decreases your Popularity Rating by 1, to a maximum of 5 in each direction.


For each change in the Fear Factor rating you also get a change in the efficiency rating of your workers of 10%. Each rise in the Pleasant rating makes your workers 10% less efficient, eg with a Fear Factor of Pleasant 3 they work at 70% efficiency. Each rise in the Cruel rating makes your workers 10% more efficient.

In practical terms this means if you have a Fear Factor Pleasant rating then your workers will produce less, i.e. at Fear Factor Pleasant 3 they will on average produce only 70% of the amount of food/goods that they would otherwise.

They will spend time between production cycles wandering around, sometimes visiting the Good Things in your castle or sit outside their workshop. The workers do not always go to the closest Good Thing, but seem to select one randomly within an undefined area. If Good Things are close they will go there between every load. If the only Good Things are right at the other side of the map they will go there, even if it means a 2 year walk! On return they will then work at normal pace for a period of time, with maybe an occasional short break outside their workshop. I presume that over time this means that in either case they end up resting and working for a similar amount of time. It can cause major problems in the short term though, so I would suggest spreading good things around your map not too far from your workers.

One other thing I have noticed is that at decreased efficiency all the workers from weapon workshops returned to their workshop after going to the armoury before they will collect the next load of raw materials (under normal conditions they will pick the materials up while returning from the armoury). This means that if the workshops are some distance from the stockpile at 90% efficiency the actual drop in production can be significantly more. At lower efficiency this evens out.

With a Fear Factor Cruel rating most of your workers will produce foods/goods at an increased rate. They produce 10% more for each 1 point rise in this rating. Workshops that produce finished goods do this without any increase in the amount of raw materials used.

Combat bonus/penalty

Fear Factor also has an effect on troops which can be seen in the scribe’s book under Army as either a positive (Fear Factor Pleasant) or a negative (Fear Factor Cruel) Combat bonus. Each point change in Fear Factor varies the combat bonus by 5%.

The combat bonus/penalty from Good Things/Bad Things changes how much damage the unit inflicts (rate of fire, and defence do not change). So, an archer with level 5 good things (represented by 5 green dots under his health bar) does 25% more damage than usual.

Which is better? Being Cruel or Pleasant?

This is of course a decision that must be made mission by mission, depending on the mission requirements, and of course in some missions having a Fear Factor Pleasant or Cruel will be one of the objectives that must be met.

In general though I would have to say that Fear Factor Cruel has more benefits than Fear Factor Pleasant, and that I use it whenever practicable, particularly in missions with high economic goals. Even in combat missions the benefits usually outweigh the disadvantages though sometimes I will delete the Bad Things near the end for a difficult final battle.

The drop in popularity points from Fear Factor cruel can be made up for by increasing rations since food is produced at a higher rate. In particular with bread you get the efficiency increase in both your wheat farms and your bakeries (not the Mill though) so at 150% efficiency rating you can actually produce 225% the amount of bread from the same number of wheat farms.

To cancel out the Combat penalty, weapons are produced at the higher rate too, which means while your troops may inflict slightly less damage you can get many more of them. This is particularly the case if iron or wood for weapons is in short supply as you also get an increase in their production if you are producing them yourself, or if you are importing them you get the benefit of having to import less for the same number of weapons.

There is a cost for this, bad things cost 50 gold each, with a large population initially finding this amount of money may be difficult. Also if you do produce extra troops you also have to pay for them.

Compiled and written by Merepatra

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