Wesnoth Reference

For writers working on documentation, story prose, announcements, and all kinds of Wesnoth text.

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melinath
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Wesnoth Reference

Post by melinath » June 30th, 2009, 7:58 am

ancestral wrote:I think part of the problem is there isn't enough written about the Wesnoth universe to even determine what fits in and what doesn't. Aside from what's already in the game and some brief history, we have no reference material to tell us in detail about Wesnoth.

Perhaps we need to start on a reference document, and get some of our long-time writers to share their vision of the universe. Either we could focus on one time period, or just focus on one subject at a time and simply write across eras. We need to ask questions, about politics, trade, military, farming, etc. and think up some answers, from anything like "what does it take to become a High Lord of the Elves?" to "what is the punishment for impersonating a city official?" I've posted about this here and some about it here.

I don't know if anyone else would be up for this? Start small, get big later.
I think this sounds like a fantastic idea. I'd say we should start somewhere and then just follow where it takes us... I'll collect the results in this post.

So...
Question: What does it take to become a High Lord of the Elves?:
Last edited by melinath on July 2nd, 2009, 6:39 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Wesnoth Reference

Post by The Great Rings » June 30th, 2009, 8:02 am

I seem to recall something in one of the unit descriptions about elves giving ranked based upon skill in battle. Could maybe be interpreted either as "might makes right," or as a more idealistic meritocracy?

I'll look it up.
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Re: Wesnoth Reference

Post by AI » June 30th, 2009, 3:13 pm

Elvish Captain description wrote:Elves, unlike many other races, will quickly acknowledge and follow any of their peers who have experience in combat. In this they differ greatly from humanity, for whom leadership is often a matter of coercion and intimidation. The combination of their willingness to accept the wisdom of their leaders, and the tendency to choose leaders of merit is one of the quiet strengths of the elves.
Sounds like a meritocracy to me.

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Re: Wesnoth Reference

Post by jhanlon » July 2nd, 2009, 12:24 pm

Is lordship among the Elves ever a birthright, or is it always democratic choice?

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Re: Wesnoth Reference

Post by thespaceinvader » July 2nd, 2009, 12:50 pm

It's not a democratic choice, it's a meritocracy more than anything - if you do well, your people come to respect you as a leader, and you lead them. There's no voting involved, except on a metaphorical level.

However, either way, my impression is that leadership is not an outright inherited thing, but probably the children of leaders would often go on to be leaders, simply through learning from the best.
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Re: Wesnoth Reference

Post by Turuk » July 2nd, 2009, 1:04 pm

thespaceinvader wrote:However, either way, my impression is that leadership is not an outright inherited thing, but probably the children of leaders would often go on to be leaders, simply through learning from the best.
This makes sense, and the fact that they would probably put some stock in that the offspring of a leader is under more pressure to learn well and perform to the same high standards as his/her kin that are leaders.
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Re: Wesnoth Reference

Post by melinath » July 2nd, 2009, 1:29 pm

Elvish High Lord: "The leaders of the elves do not fall sallow and frail with age. Rather, it is then that they grow to their true potential. Quiet and contemplative in times of peace, a High Lord in the full of his wrath is an awesome sight indeed."
10-4 melee, 7-5 ranged arcane.

Elvish Lord: "The nobility of the elves are possessed of merit to match their standing in society. Elvish Lords are the wisest and strongest of their people, and are fearsome in their command of magic. "
8-4 melee, 7-3 ranged arcane.

Elvish Lady: "Elves choose their leaders for their power and wisdom; foresight is what has protected them in times of uncertainty. Their just reign is rewarded by the unflagging fealty of their people, which is the greatest gift any ruler could ask for."
No attacks. (Ladies don't fight?)

This does indeed sound like a meritocracy. However, this does not answer the question of how one becomes an elvish high lord. It's a sideways jump, somehow. i.e. if it were a true meritocracy, and that was all, then every single unit would have the ability to advance to elven lord and then elven high lord.

Obviously one of the reasons that this doesn't work is gameplay. Another is that the elves clearly don't define 'merit' as skill in battle. Though there is a correlation, apparently. But here are some questions:
- what is merit? What are situations where an elf could show merit? How much merit do you need to show to become an elvish lord?
- How is it that Elvish lords can use magic? They are the only male elvish units to do so. Where do they learn it and when? Is there a "lord-in-training" phase? Is there an inauguration ceremony where they're sort of blessed with these powers?

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Re: Wesnoth Reference

Post by Turuk » July 2nd, 2009, 1:37 pm

melinath wrote:- How is it that Elvish lords can use magic? They are the only male elvish units to do so. Where do they learn it and when? Is there a "lord-in-training" phase? Is there an inauguration ceremony where they're sort of blessed with these powers?
I would imagine that by the fact that they have demonstrated the control, wisdom and skill necessary to become a lord (on top of proving their worth to become a lord), and so they have demonstrated that they are judged responsible/capable enough to wield magic effectively in battle.
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Re: Wesnoth Reference

Post by melinath » July 2nd, 2009, 1:48 pm

Turuk wrote:I would imagine that by the fact that they have demonstrated the control, wisdom and skill necessary to become a lord (on top of proving their worth to become a lord), and so they have demonstrated that they are judged responsible/capable enough to wield magic effectively in battle.
Demonstrated to who? i.e. are you saying that all elves can wield magic, but only the high lords are responsible enough to do so and everyone else has really good self control, or are you saying that there's some sort of council/being/whatever that grants the ability to use magic in battle to the lords? (Or are you saying something else altogether?)

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Re: Wesnoth Reference

Post by thespaceinvader » July 2nd, 2009, 3:14 pm

In Kalenz' case, Legend of Wesmere implies that he got his magic from a potion, or something like that. I don't know about in general.
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Re: Wesnoth Reference

Post by Skrim » July 3rd, 2009, 8:40 am

All Elves, as far as I know from playing all the mainline Elvish campaigns and reading descriptions, have magical potential.

This is what gives them their unusually clear eyesight and allows all of them to wield bows even without specific training. It's what gives Marksmen/Sharpshooters the 'Marksman' ability at Level 2 itself, something that, outside Elves, only human Huntsmen can achieve with a lot more practice(and Master Bowmen never get it at all). It's what gives Rangers/Avengers their 'Ambush' ability, which even the most close-to-nature humans(again, Huntsmen/Rangers) cannot match. It's what allows Scouts/Riders/Outriders to travel so swiftly through dense forests which would be impenetrable for human cavalry.

Of course, only Shamans actually work on their magic and gain the skills of calling upon nature to entangle their enemies and heal their allies, while Fighters/Archers/Scouts are busy honing their archery, swordsmanship and riding skills. The Druid line furthers the healing aspect of Elvish magic, while the Sorceress focuses on harnessing the destructive capabilities of the same.

I think Lords learn to harness the destructive potential of their previously-latent magic only after they've been promoted to Lordship for whatever meritorious reasons.

Kalenz was taught to use his magic by Cleodil on Crelanu's advice. But Kalenz's case is also quite ridiculous. If he is still a Fighter when he gets his line-shift, he wasn't very meritorious at all, just an armchair general with no first-hand combat experience. If he was a Marshal, he suddenly forgets his tactical leadership ability and loses some of his sword skill. If he was a Champion, he loses much of his sword skill, even though Elves are not supposed to forget skills once they've learned them(see the Hero description). And if he's a High Lord at the end of LoW, it doesn't make sense for him to downgrade to a Lord when he appears in later campaigns.

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Re: Wesnoth Reference

Post by thespaceinvader » July 3rd, 2009, 9:41 am

Thenlast point, in particular, is for simple balance reasons. Havving him at level 3 early in the game would be overpowering. It's also because HttT was written well before LoW, and the character didn't have the history at that stage.

I'd sugegst that an explanation for why Champion!Kalenz loses his sword skills is not due to forgetting them, but being out of practice - it's nott hat eh doesn't know how to do it, it's that his muscles can no longer keep up with his skill, due to spending less of his time practicing the sword. Losing Leadership from the Marshall line is... difficult to explain, I must admit. Perhaps it's worth suggesting to LoW's maintainer that Lord!Kalenz should have Leadership.
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Re: Wesnoth Reference

Post by Skrim » July 3rd, 2009, 12:35 pm

thespaceinvader wrote:I'd sugegst that an explanation for why Champion!Kalenz loses his sword skills is not due to forgetting them, but being out of practice - it's nott hat eh doesn't know how to do it, it's that his muscles can no longer keep up with his skill, due to spending less of his time practicing the sword.
Really? The Elvish Hero description says this:
A relatively small amount of experience will turn an elf from a competent fighter into a master of combat. Those who are honored as heroes are strong with both sword and bow, and their skill once acquired does not fade for lack of practice.
His skill does drop, from 9-5 to 8-4. One way to explain it would be to say that he traded in his Champion-form's bigass broadsword for a smaller, lighter blade.

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Re: Wesnoth Reference

Post by melinath » July 3rd, 2009, 12:44 pm

Skrim wrote:His skill does drop, from 9-5 to 8-4. One way to explain it would be to say that he traded in his Champion-form's bigass broadsword for a smaller, lighter blade.
That might account for the change in damage, but if anything, a smaller blade would allow more attacks, not fewer.

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Re: Wesnoth Reference

Post by thespaceinvader » July 3rd, 2009, 2:02 pm

My skill in riding a bike hasn't faded for lack of practice. My ability has, because my thighs can't cope with it for long periods any more. See the distinction?
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