I released a new mod on the Workshop that addresses something I feel that I've seen many people discuss before: Yuan Shu's lack of unique characters in the 190 start and his difficulty in obtaining them because of the relatively high (50) legitimacy cost.
Here's the link: https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=2470584078
Specifically, this addresses Yuan Shu's one historical unique character currently in the game: Ji Ling. Although he starts with Yuan Shu in the 194 start, in both the 190 and 182 starts he is in the Han Empire's recruitment pool. Because the Han Empire often doesn't hire him, he bounces around other factions recruitment pools for a while before being hired. Because he has fondness for Yuan Shu, he often shows up there, but Yuan Shu simply doesn't have enough legitimacy in those few turns to hire his only historical unique general.
This mod aims to spice up Yuan Shu's faction up by having Ji Ling join Yuan Shu in the 190 and 182 campaigns BY DIFFERENT MECHANISMS (read below for details).
190 Rise of the Warlords Campaign: Ji Ling will start with Yuan Shu in the 190 Rise of the Warlords campaign. This is accomplished with a simple lua script: in the vanilla game, Ji Ling is in the Han Empire's recruitment pool in the 190 start. The script I wrote removes Ji Ling from the game, and then recreates him in Yuan Shu's faction. To prevent too much desire for higher court position, I set him to only spawn at rank 2, so you get to pick a skill on turn 1 (see screenshots). This also helps him not immediately leave the AI Yuan Shu faction due to dissatisfaction, which would violate the purpose of the mod.
Ji Ling now starts with Yuan Shu in the 190 start date, always at level 2
182 Mandate of Heaven Campaign: Additionally, I've created a new event for the 182 Mandate of Heaven campaign where Ji Ling will have a chance to join you after 30 in-game turns. Note that unlike in the 190 start, the event will only trigger if you are playing as Yuan Shu: if you are playing any other faction, the event will not fire and he will not necessarily go to Yuan Shu. This is to prevent him from suddenly disappearing from the player's faction. After all, MoH is more of a sandbox experience anyways.
Lastly, I added him onto the faction selection screen in both the 190 and 194 start dates to reflect that Yuan Shu has the unique character Ji Ling at the start from the frontend level (see screenshots).
Updated the frontend faction selection UI for Yuan Shu in the 190 and 194 start dates to reflect that he has Ji Ling at the start
This mod does not edit startpos or ceo data, so should be compatible with everything.
I hope that you all will check out and enjoy my mod! Hopefully it will also encourage more people to try out everyone's favorite false emperor!