Social interactions and crime
As you already know, in Norland, there is an elite family of lords that you can directly manage as a player. You can give them tasks, and like the colonists or The Sims characters, they will try to complete them, albeit not immediately. The loss of this family means the end of the game. In addition, there are workers, soldiers, and enslaved people. These social groups work in the economy and protect the player's group, bringing him income and security.
Another group is as old as urban civilization — these are criminals, people who for some reason (most often economic) choose to break the rules.
A transition between all groups is possible. Workers become criminals out of desperation, and you can recruit unemployed workers into the military. Soldiers who have developed a disability leave the ranks and join the army of unemployed, sleeping in the temple. The foreign soldiers, who are not initially involved with your city, can be taken to prison and then turned into slaves. Slaves can be sold or bought. They can also be freed, or they can run away to the woods by themselves and, eventually, become criminals. In turn, a convicted criminal can not only be executed but can also be turned into a slave.
So what are the criminals? Alas, they always appear where the rules are the same for everyone, and everyone's life situation is different.
In our case, miserable workers become criminals. For example, a former miner who has lost their arm in the mine and can no longer earn money honestly might end up on the criminal path. To survive, they will try to get money by any means: robbing drunken passers-by on the street or breaking into homes, and the especially ruthless ones will try to infringe on your treasury.
These are more dangerous criminals; they’re armed with daggers, they know how to fight, and they gather in groups to break into your lords' houses. If a lord wakes up in the process, he will grab his sword and try to protect his goods. But since he won't be wearing armor, instead wearing whatever his mother gave birth to and up against several thugs, the outcome of the battle is not clear. That's why in the world of Norland, all of your lords should preferably boost their combat skills to at least the medium level.
Means of protection from the criminals are traditional: assigning some of the soldiers to patrol the city is one option, but they do not like it too much. You can also pay the unemployed to do it — even if you pay them the minimum wage, they will finally find employment and have no reason to become criminals. There is also a justice system. The executioners find criminals and take them to the scaffold. If they are guilty of a crime, they will be executed or enslaved, and if they're not, they will be released.
The type of punishment will be determined by the player: it might be execution, enslavement, cutting off a hand or a disgraceful mask. In the latter case, the culprit will walk around town with their head chained in an iron mask, and any peasant in a bad mood can beat them up with impunity.
If the player grabs and executes random innocent townspeople, others will perceive this as terror. This drastically reduces their desire to become criminals, but the frightened townspeople will try to leave the city at the first opportunity. Such a measure can be effective when there’s a combination of excess population and out-of-control crime.
Another obvious way to reduce tensions is to recruit unemployed people into the militia in order to use them for conflicts with neighbors. This is one of the historically credible causes of constant military conflicts in agrarian societies. We will examine this point (or more precisely the implementation of the Malthusian trap in the game) in more detail later.