New unit: bard

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Monkey
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Post by Monkey » March 17th, 2005, 7:42 pm

no way a capitain, that trains for years on how to lead people, can do the same bonus as a bard, who trains his piper in his home.
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Post by Casual User » March 17th, 2005, 10:44 pm

Just thought I would give you my two cents (I realize no one asked): I like the idea of a bard, since armies have used musicians to keep units disciplined (I don't think they still do though I'll have better information soon), but it is true that they weren't as good as captains, so here's my proposal: give him leadership, but make him max out at level 2. That way the bonus would mostly be for level 0 and maybe level 1 units, never making him any better than a lieutenant. For fighting, how about if he were a weak mage? Plenty of societies have traditions of bards having magical powers. I don't know exactly what his attacks could be, maybe a moderately good bladed one (sword) and a weak magic missile of fire or cold... We could have a weak fighter/mage/captain, master of none but good at all three and cheap! Sounds good to me!

Monkey
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Post by Monkey » March 18th, 2005, 1:09 am

I think it's best for him to raise hit% of all attacks except marksman and magical.
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romnajin
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Post by romnajin » March 18th, 2005, 1:26 am

Yeah, like bards in D and D I know that WIN...
Sorry for the meaningless post

dtw
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Post by dtw » March 18th, 2005, 5:29 am

Monkey, captains raise you damage by 25%, not increase your number of attacks.

CyberJack
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Post by CyberJack » March 25th, 2005, 1:38 am

I quite like the idea of the standard-bearer as increasing morale of adjacent units, giving them an extra melee attack per turn. But be aware that historically (and for very good reasons!) the standard would be a primary target. If the enemy capture your standard, you might as well go home (and many soldiers no doubt would)!

Can we model that? It's not obvious how ... perhaps the death of your standard-bearer acts as a *slow* on all your units? Or at least all adjacent ones -- though, if the enemy have reached him, there probably aren't any adjacent defenders left!

So the standard-bearer, if any, would be an elite unit. Probably not one you could recruit at first level, but an alternative advancement path. He might have only a weak attack, but be heavily armoured so that he could fend off enemies. This would distinguish him from the Hero (who favours sheer attacking power) and the Captain (all round fighter with Leadership) and offer a third career path.

Only factions with a strong identity bond would have standard-bearers. Obviously, Loyalists would qualify, but some Chaotic factions such as Northerners would too. The ones I don't think could have them are Undead, and chaotic humans (thieves, thugs, bandits, etc). Wesnoth doesn't have a Thieves Guild ;-)

Hmm ... interesting variation: make the bonus apply only to units of the same alignment as the standard-bearer (who would normally be the same alignment as the leader). Thus a human faction led by a lawful unit (e.g. Lieutentant) could include rogues and such, but they wouldn't get the bonus. Conversely, any (neutral) nagas in an Orc-led faction wouldn't share their standard-bearer's bonus. We'd definitely need new code for that ...

As for musicians, they're quite different. Historically they weren't tough fighters; often they were young ("The Little Drummer Boy"). And they weren't that important during battle (too much noise to hear them anyway!). They helped during marching (e.g. drummers), or *before* a battle (intimidating the enemy -- my favourite example being the Scottish pipers)!

So, in Wesnoth they should be cheap, and have modest attacks, and only a minor boost to other units. Perhaps the +25% XP would be appropriate (i.e. 10XP per enemy level killed, rather than 8). Not enough to hugely unbalance play, and not a quick effect either; it will still take several kills to go up a level. But maybe only 4 insted of 5 :-)

That would give us several different and mostly orthogonal area effects:
+1 hit from standard-bearer
+10% CTH from ... something
+25% damage from leadership
+25% damage from illumination
+25% XP from musician

So theoretically, you might transform 4-3 @ 50% into 6-4 @ 60% (and 10 XP for a successful kill). But it would take extremely careful management to get more than one or two of these at a time ...

Hmm .. is there an argument for saying time-of-day/illumination *shouldn't* affect damage, but should change CTH instead? It's easier to hit your target if you can see it (lawful/daytime units), or (chaotic/night units) if you can see in the dark and it can't!

Monkey
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Post by Monkey » March 25th, 2005, 1:44 am

dibblethewrecker wrote:Monkey, captains raise you damage by 25%, not increase your number of attacks.
I'm not saying to increase attacks, but to make people hit their attacks more. For example, attacking mermaids on water is 70%, with the help of a bard would be 60 or 65%
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Post by Elvish_Pillager » March 25th, 2005, 10:15 am

CyberJack wrote:I quite like the idea of the standard-bearer as increasing morale of adjacent units, giving them an extra melee attack per turn. But be aware that historically (and for very good reasons!) the standard would be a primary target. If the enemy capture your standard, you might as well go home (and many soldiers no doubt would)!
If troops don't care when your leader gets killed, why would they care if the standard-bearer gets killed?
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dtw
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Post by dtw » March 26th, 2005, 7:58 am

Yeah - I'm not talking about lead to hit either monkey - i'm simply talking about an extra swing - just so we are clear

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Post by Assasin » March 27th, 2005, 3:21 am

Man, this whole bard thing has brought up some interesting discussions. I like the idea of a flag bearer much better them a spoony bard playing a flute :wink: Besides, like Cyber said, the music was only for marching. It didn't really effect the troops as much as seeing their flag waving amid a group of enemy soldiers.
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