Descriptions

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jhanlon
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Re: Descriptions

Post by jhanlon » June 24th, 2009, 12:16 pm

Thanks for the comments mellnath. You're right it does get rather monotonous. I think your beginning sentence sounds better. I'll change it and use that if it's ok with you. I'd with more comments if you see anything else wrong with it.

" Long hours of waiting near lonely roads have honed the highwayman's skill in wielding his heavy mace, until he can assault even well armed travelers with confidence. The greater rewards gained from the purses and gear of such make him bold enough to attack where thugs and most rogues would merely seek to remain hidden. Few will not go to lengths to avoid the places where these men lurk."

Also, I wasn't sure if starting a new thread would be considered as splitting one topic into too many places. I suppose I'll more on the ball when I've been here for a while.

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melinath
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Re: Descriptions

Post by melinath » June 24th, 2009, 2:44 pm

Your posting here was not off-the-ball. If anything, I was being too careful.

I like the new version. It's fine that you're using my suggestion. Glad you liked it! And it's nice to see that's not the only thing you changed. But it's still a bit redundant. I'll try to show what I mean by boiling down the sentences to their basic statements.

1. Highwayman attacks targets others would not. Reason: he's skilled.
2. Highwayman attacks targets others would not. Reason: the rewards are greater.
3. Everyone is scared of the highwayman.

So the first two sentences basically say the same thing, with a slightly different reasoning. Perhaps you could change it a bit to say that the greater rewards that are possible from trickier targets made him become more skilled, so now he can.
The logic in the last sentence is a bit convoluted. Lots of negation-like-words. Few will not go to lengths to avoid etc. You could rewrite it as "Many go to great lengths trying to avoid the places...."

Also, I ran across something the other day which may alter your description. Apparently the Highwayman is going through a redesign:
Jetryl wrote:To me, the highwayman -is- a mercenary of sorts; the description you give sounds more like our "fugitive" unit. Of our outlaws, I view the thugs as not being free-rangers or woodsmen at all, rather they're just brutish "down on their luck" soldiers of fortune, and they have no scruples about working for robbers. Whatever pays them. Their function is to be the bruisers that get right into the fray, and IMO they'd generally have reasonably soldier-like equipment cobbled together by the time they're at a high level. I don't think they'd usually -be- part of the core robber groups during downtimes, rather they're hired-guns brought in when they plan to pull a job.
I personally don't think that this idea fits with the name highwayman, but...
1. Maybe they'll switch the name with the outlaw or something.
2. This is referring to the art. Theoretically, the description could take it a different direction. (However, the new proposed version really doesn't look much like my idea of a highwayman, which is also reflected in your description.)
3. I don't think it's an absolutely final version.

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jhanlon
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Re: Descriptions

Post by jhanlon » June 25th, 2009, 12:36 pm

Thanks for summarizing the sentences, it really gave me the idea of what you meant. It also helps to know what other people have said about the highwayman. Was Jetryl's post referring to my description or something else? I'm trying two different versions of the description. The first is a revised version of my original. The other is based on the quote from Jetryl.

" The experience in wielding their heavy maces that highwaymen have gained from attacking well armed travelers well repay the risks of such encounters. They have learned to deliver devestating blows, always towards the vulnerable parts of their opponents to do the most damage. Without a strong escort, few will traverse the areas where these men lurk."

I still used few and without, but I think it sounds more natural now.

" The highwaymen have gained an infamous reputation from many underhand deeds of violence. Ready to hire themselves out to whoever will pay the most, they lead bands of lesser rogues against their creditor's enemies, attacking on lonely roads or in the dark of night. They seldom fail to strike the first blow, and the experience gained from these encounters makes them deadly in hand to hand combat"
Last edited by jhanlon on July 6th, 2009, 7:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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The1exile
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Re: Descriptions

Post by The1exile » June 25th, 2009, 5:00 pm

A couple of issues with that second one... the first "the" seems a little superfluous, "creditor's enemies" implies they somehow owe this creditor, when it could just be an employer using them as enforcers, and the "seldom fail to strike the first blow" seems to suggest a nonexistent firststrike ability to me. My suggested rewrite would be more like this:

"Highwaymen have gained an infamous reputation for underhanded deeds of violence. Ready to hire themselves out to whomever will pay the most, they lead bands of lesser rogues against their employer's enemies, often attacking on lonely roads or in the dead of night. Their experience with such encounters makes them a deadly foe to face in hand to hand combat."

I'm undecided on whether "gloom of night" or "dead of night" works better here, but I think the latter is better with the prefacing "the", so that's what it is in the above.
Rubies for passion, rubies for revenge.

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jhanlon
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Re: Descriptions

Post by jhanlon » June 25th, 2009, 6:40 pm

You're right, that sounds better. I think I must have just been getting to used tom putting "the" at the beginning of my descriptions, and didn't really notice the way it sounded. I was also taking some liberties with the first blow phrase, but leaving it out works better for a regular description.

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melinath
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Re: Descriptions

Post by melinath » June 25th, 2009, 6:53 pm

I really like The1exile's rewrite of the second one. The only thing I'd suggest changing is "makes them deadly foes in hand to hand" instead of "makes them a deadly foe to face in hand to hand".

As for the first one:
jhanlon wrote:" The experience in wielding their heavy maces that highwaymen have gained from attacking well armed travelers well repay the risks of such encounters. They have learned to deliver devestating blows, always towards the vulnerable parts of their opponents to do the most damage. Without a strong escort, few will traverse the areas where these men lurk."
("Do dragons have vulnerables?")
In other words, this desc sounds a bit like the highwaymen strike below the belt, so to speak. The second sentence isn't really necessary, and I miss the long hours near lonely roads! Perhaps something more like:

"Highwaymen have learned: more guards equals more treasure. Over time, they have honed their skill at wielding their heavy maces until even the well-guarded try to avoid the lonely roads where these men lurk."

Or:

"The highwayman has honed his mace-wielding in encounters with all kinds of travelers, from the weak peasant alone at night to the well-armed merchant escorts. Long hours of waiting near lonely roads have made him much more comfortable at night, a time when guards tend to be at their least alert. Those who have the time often go to great lengths to avoid places said to be a highwayman's haunt."

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The1exile
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Re: Descriptions

Post by The1exile » June 25th, 2009, 7:38 pm

melinath wrote:I really like The1exile's rewrite of the second one. The only thing I'd suggest changing is "makes them deadly foes in hand to hand" instead of "makes them a deadly foe to face in hand to hand".
Thanks, and doh! Good point, although I actually think "make them deadly foes" may be better. How's this?

"Highwaymen have gained an infamous reputation for underhanded deeds of violence. Ready to hire themselves out to whomever will pay the most, they lead bands of lesser rogues against their employer's enemies, often attacking on lonely roads or in the dead of night. Their experience with such encounters make them deadly foes to face in hand to hand combat."
Rubies for passion, rubies for revenge.

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melinath
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Re: Descriptions

Post by melinath » June 25th, 2009, 9:18 pm

The1exile wrote:Thanks, and doh! Good point, although I actually think "make them deadly foes" may be better.
That's what I meant... but the wording may have been confusing.

I happen to be of the opinion that speakers of English should accept the fact that 'whom' is dying... but it is technically correct. I still think that "to face" is a bit awkward + unnecessary (deadly foes in hand to hand combat would mean the same thing), but other than that, it's a description I wouldn't be ashamed to see in the game. :wink:

EDIT:: Also, it should be makes.
Last edited by melinath on July 2nd, 2009, 6:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Exasperation
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Re: Descriptions

Post by Exasperation » June 25th, 2009, 11:46 pm

Actually, "Their experience...makes them" is correct (alternately, "Their experiences...make them", but I personally prefer the former). The experience is what is doing the making, and 'makes' is the correct form to go with the singular 'experience'.

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melinath
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Re: Descriptions

Post by melinath » July 2nd, 2009, 7:07 pm

@Turuk: Are you planning on going through this thread, or would you prefer that people dig up the better descriptions and post them here at the end for consideration for commitment?

That doesn't really apply to this particular description, since it's the one that was just being discussed anyway... this is a slightly modified version of The1exile's version of jhanlon's new Highwayman description, based on comments Jetryl made about the new Highwayman art. I think it's a great improvement over the original, and there's not really anything left to do to it. Could it perhaps be committed? Or if there's something wrong with it, say the word and someone could fix it. It's sort of been written by committee anyway.
The Original Description wrote:Armed with heavy mace, Highwaymen are the last people you want to meet on a deserted road late at night.
A (Current) New Version, by jhanlon et al wrote:Highwaymen have gained an infamous reputation for underhanded deeds of violence. Ready to hire themselves out to whoever will pay the most, they lead bands of lesser rogues against their employer's enemies, often attacking on lonely roads or in the dead of night. Their experience with such encounters makes them deadly foes in hand to hand combat.
@all: Is writing by committee something we want to do for descriptions, or should we more stick to training the individual how to write better?

((EDIT: Incidentally, this description has been committed to trunk.))
Last edited by melinath on July 9th, 2009, 1:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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thespaceinvader
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Re: Descriptions

Post by thespaceinvader » July 2nd, 2009, 7:30 pm

Writing by committee is asking for trouble. I'd suggest having a single individual writing a single description or tree of descriptions and then putting it up for review by the community, in much the same way as the art works.
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Turuk
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Re: Descriptions

Post by Turuk » July 6th, 2009, 4:34 pm

thespaceinvader wrote:Writing by committee is asking for trouble. I'd suggest having a single individual writing a single description or tree of descriptions and then putting it up for review by the community, in much the same way as the art works.
Very true, or at least one person should be in charge of making all alterations suggested by others so that there are not multiple versions floating around.
melinath wrote:@Turuk: Are you planning on going through this thread, or would you prefer that people dig up the better descriptions and post them here at the end for consideration for commitment?
See above. If you or someone else wants to take the task of collecting the most coherent descriptions and monitoring changes to keep a list of which ones are in progress and which ones are complete and ready to be considered for commitment, that would work best.



Highwayman description committed to trunk.
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mabeenot
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Re: Descriptions

Post by mabeenot » August 17th, 2009, 8:57 am

I couldn't find an existing thread discussing the description of the human race, but this general description thread seemed like the most natural place. Please move this post if it needs to be somewhere else.

The current description for humans consists of an introduction followed by two sections identifying the "Subjects of the Crown" and "The Clansmen." Are there any plans to expand the human description with additional sections on other regional, social, or ideological groups?

For example, the intro mentions that some humans can learn to wield magic, yet there is no section on the intricate hierarchy of magi or their dark adept counterparts. I think the criminal element in Wesnoth also deserves a section, especially when the Liberty campaign revolves around outlaws (although those particular outlaws may be more like mercenaries turned freedom fighters than petty criminals) and outlaws find themselves allied with dwarves in MP. In addition, the citizens of Elensefar constitute a unique regional group like the Clansmen currently in the human description.

If nobody else is currently working on the human entry, I'd like to try writing sections for the "Order of the Magi" and the "Criminal Underground." Would this fit into any currently existing plans for the human description?

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melinath
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Re: Descriptions

Post by melinath » August 17th, 2009, 10:13 am

My immediate reaction is: read this. If you write something that's mainline quality, it will probably be used, but you may find it useful to wait until the Lore Collection Project is finished - or to just follow it closely.

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mabeenot
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Re: Descriptions

Post by mabeenot » August 17th, 2009, 5:28 pm

I've been poking around the lore collection and playing through the campaigns. Here is my first attempt at writing a new section for the human description. Unleash the comments and criticism.
The Order of the Magi

Both revered and feared by Wesnothian society, magi wield the mystical powers of the natural world and learn to channel this natural energy through alchemy and meditation. No defined criteria dictate the selection of new magi, although the two most common forms of admittance to the Order lie in apprenticeship to an experienced mage or through written examinations administered to children of Wesnoth’s nobility. Most mages receive four years of rigorous study conducted at one of two schools of the Academy of Magic located on the Isle of Alduin. Graduation from the Academy involves an elaborate naming ceremony held deep in Alduin’s forests at the sequestered Old Campus. Once named by the Order, a mage is free to pursue one of several paths, including greater study at Alduin or service as advisors and healers to Wesnoth’s elite. Few reach the upper echelons of the Order. Some older magi leave the Order after becoming disenchanted by the hierarchy of magedom or growing tired of the advanced study necessary to become an Arch Mage. These dejected magi may become wandering mystics and soothsayers, often attracted to the secretive Lodge of the Silver Mage. Other magi may be expelled from the Order for failing in their study at the Academy or as punishment for violating the rules of the Order. Mage outcasts are vulnerable targets for dark sorcerers offering the powers of demonology and necromancy.

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