Strategy: Murder

You’re starting a new game. You’re trying hard to get the best, most awesome group of hearthlings you can. You re-roll, and re-roll and… You come across a group with 5 very good hearthlings, with 2 very bad ones with low stats.

You start thinking, what if those 2 hearthlings with bad stats had an unfortunate “accident” soon after you embark?

It would be sad. They will be missed. But… They’ll also be replaced with new arrivals with better stats! You can build nice fancy memorials!

Time passes.

You build your kingdom up. More new arrivals come. You’ve got 25 hearthlings now. Some are good, some are not so good. You start thinking, what harm could a few more “accidental” deaths be? You could build a very nice cemetery or mausoleum!

More time passes.

Your kingdom is awesome - full of the most talented collection of hearthlings Stonehearth has ever seen. You have an abundance of food, an impressive armoury, an unstoppable military. Your dining rooms are legendary. Your housing is impeccable. Your cemetery is both huge and luxurious! Your hearthlings are all happy!

Are habitual, ritual sacrifices really so bad? :smiling_imp:


You could achieve this my sending them on “very important missions” without any equipment


Make only them capable of mining, dig a hole, leave them there. Tah’dah, ritual sacrifice and they dig their own grave!

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I’m thinking of building a fancy mausoleum under my fort that features a ceremonial pit. A lucky candidate would be asked to defend the bottom of the pit while the ladder out is being removed. Afterwards the ladder would be put back so that the headstone can be retrieved and installed in the mausoleum.

I’ve done a few quick tests. It takes roughly 4 days for them to starve. Average morale (the “food” part) is effected by this until they die (but not much if it’s only a small number of hearthlings), then once they’re dead the “food” part goes back to normal.

However, when they die average morale drops down (the other hearthlings get worried and the “safety” part of their moral drops), and the morale for some hearthlings returns to normal within a day or 2, but others seem to remain worried about safety for ages (I’m not sure why). This mostly means it’s probably a bad idea to do large groups at a time (if morale drops too much you don’t get new immigrants).

I also found that patrolling clerics heal starving hearthlings. The cleric doesn’t get XP if starving hearthlings are healed by the cleric’s aura, but if the cleric casts a healing spell they do get XP. With this in mind I’m thinking of having a 2 level pit, where the first level is for the cleric to stand and train, and the second/deeper level is for the starving hearthling/s (and has to be about 30 blocks down from the surface so that starving hearthlings are out of range for a cleric on the surface and are only in range when the cleric is on the first level of the pit). That way I could use the ceremonial pit (with several starving hearthlings) to train clerics quickly, but also remove the cleric’s ladder (when the cleric is on the surface) if I want to prevent healing.


You could ofcourse lock them up somewhere and wait for them to wither away like an annoying The Sims character.

But making this a gameplay feature would really lower the feeling of having a group of settlers trying to build a nice life for themselves. Maybe if a playable race of barbaric people would be able to kill of the weaker links. But the way I imagine both the Ascendency and Rayya’s children would find a job that is simple enough to do for their weaker/dumber people

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Every job involves travelling, so every hearthling benefits from a high body stat (speed) to improve efficiency.

To get more HP I cross-train all of my citizens. Each level they gain in any skill gives them an extra 10 HP. For example, a builder (who doesn’t need any skills/levels for their work) can be trained as level 6 footman, farmer, and mason and gains an extra 6*3 * 10 = 180 HP (and ends up with about double the HP they’d have with no levels). In the same way a knight (with level 6 farmer, footman and archer) ends up with almost 600 HP. For this reason, the mind stat (which effects how quickly they get levels) benefits every hearthling because it allows them to gain extra HP faster.

The only other stat (spirit) is important for military (including clerics) and trappers.

Hearthlings with low spirit can be farmers, crafters or builders; but other than that I’m growing fond of the macabre idea of a decorating a mausoleum with large quantities of tombstones (and the added challenge of carefully managing morale instead of ignoring it). :slight_smile:

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Or… you could savescum :stuck_out_tongue:

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I’m fairly certain that hearthlings lose the job related bonuses when they switch out of a job. The devs deliberately didn’t want people just power leveling all their hearthlings for that reason.

They lose all the buffs and abilities except the basic +10 hp-per-level. So a former-lvl6-footman has no extra speed, no +50 sta/courage from Basic Combat Training, but will keep the +10*6 hp from gaining 6 levels.

I think the ‘balance’ for that is that your xp-for-next-level is also kept when you switch professions. So someone who’s a lvl 6 farmer has +60 hp … but also needs a “lvl 7” worth of xp to gain lvl 1 in any other job.



It’s the extra XP needed to gain levels that makes the HP gain balanced; but it’s also the extra XP needed to gain levels that makes “low mind stat” a problem if you’re planning to do extensive cross-training.

The other thing I’d point out is that there’s a population cap. Once you reach that cap you can’t improve your workforce or military by getting more hearthlings, and can’t improve them by training them past level 6 in the role they’re doing. Cross-training is the only way you can improve your workers/military.

In theory, by mastering all skills (now that engineer has been added), a knight could have over 1250 HP and a plain worker could have over 1000 HP. That could allow you to get away with a much smaller military and larger workforce (and get much higher productivity from your kingdom at “end game”).

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Oh my…

The maximum number of turrets you can have is “4 * number of engineers”.

What would happen if all 50 of your hearthlings were cross-trained as engineers; and you changed them all to “engineer” at the same time, built 200 turrets, then changed them back to whatever they were before (farmers, archers, etc)?

My suspicion is that you could end up with (e.g.) 4 engineers maintaining 200 turrets indefinitely.


Nice idea, but there is a little problem. If you aren’t changing the costs for some recipes the engineer has, I’d like to see the map you were playing to achieve that on x-ray. The costs to train 50 hearthlings to engineer lvl. six are insane.
And if I’m right the turrets which were placed wont be replaced until the new limit is reached. You’d have to change all hearthlings to engineer after each fight to replace them.

Every map has at least 40 levels of dirt and stone to mine (both drop ores), plus merchants that allow you to buy ore. It would take a very long time, but it’s entirely possible (given enough time) to train 50 engineers on any map.

I’ve tested my theory now, and…

When you build the max. turrets you can then change engineers to workers, you end up with more turrets than your limit and the turrets work (and can even be moved elsewhere by workers and keep working). However if a turret is destroyed or runs out of ammo when you’re over the limit, it’s gone.

This means you could build 50 turrets at your fort’s entrance and another 150 turrets in a storage area; then switch everyone to other jobs and have no engineers at all, and when a turret dies you can shift a turret from the storage area to your fort’s entrance; but when you run out of turrets in the storage area you’d have to switch everyone back to “engineer” and build the next batch of 150 turrets in the storage area.

To be honest; it’s probably too much hassle. Engineers can mine (and I’m planning to do a huge amount of “terra-forming”) so it’d make more sense to have 15 engineers/miners/haulers (and 60 turrets).

The best way I think is to just use them as workers that have" volunteered" as militia during the early game, and you don’t have to bother assigning a soldier for about a week, unless you are on hard mode, yeah they will eat your food, but they still help get things going early on.

Good luc with that. I’m staying with five engineers as maximum, but I’ve changed the amount of uses for the turret to balance the use/cost ratio a bit.