Lore Collection Project

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Skrim
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Re: Lore Collection Project

Post by Skrim » August 6th, 2009, 4:27 pm

Alright, second draft up. Includes the mainline Runemaster and Gryphon Rider line. If there are no problems with it, I'll finalize this. 17 descriptions analyzed in total.

I think I'll also take the 8 lawful Wesnothian human unit lines on my plate(All 7 Loyalist human MP units + Sergeant line). 34 descriptions, or 36 if I throw in the Peasant and Woodsman. It should keep me busy for a while, along with the Elves.
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Re: Lore Collection Project

Post by thespaceinvader » August 6th, 2009, 4:41 pm

You could do with taking a look at the portraits for the units whilst you're doing this. The Dragonstick is decorated with bronze, not wood, for instance.

I think this would also be a good place to set out roughly the thoughts I've had about the relative heights and sizes of the various species:

Humans - slightly shorter than the modern average. Mean height for men around 5'8".
Elves - a little taller than humans, averaging around 5'10", though this difference is enhanced by the Elves's willowy physique.
Orcs - average slightly over 6', but tend to stand hunched with a distinct forward jut to the head and face, and so tend to actually stand abotu the same height as humans
Minor orcs - average around 5' to 5'6" - same applies as to orcs, however.
Goblins - average around 3' to 3'6".
Dwarves - 4' to 4'6".
Saurians - stand around 4'6" at the head, but measure more like 7' or 8' nose to tail.
Drakes - stand in a somewhat digitigrade stance - average around 7' tall when standing normally (more like 9' including wings), can stretch up to 8', and with wings fully extended, can be up to 15'. Wingspan of around 15'. These latter are subject to change, considering that the drakes aren't quite finalised, and their wing sizes are deformed a lot by the sprites.
Trolls - whelps are about 3'6" to 4' at the shoulder. Adults stand between 9' and 10'.
Nagas and mermen - around 10' to 12' long, stand around 5'6" on land.
Woses - vary in height as much as trees. The tallest Ancients go up to 30' or 40'. Normal l1 Woses would be around 8' to 10'.

All these are somewhat speculative, but they seem about right to me.
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Re: Lore Collection Project

Post by melinath » August 6th, 2009, 5:25 pm

TSI: Good point about the portraits, but the heights are perhaps better saved for the post-analysis extension.

Skrim: Thanks for the analysis. Right now, I can't accept it as an addition to the compendium; there are some things you'll need to do a bit differently. Right now, you're drifting a little out of the bounds of the descriptions and making your own assumptions about the units. One thing that might help with this is if you try to give a source for every single thing you say. For example:
Dwarf desc analysis:Gryphon Lore wrote:They live in high mountain chains, preferring isolation and avoiding other intelligent races.
Although "They live in high mountain chains" is not an unreasonable statement, it is not in the unit descriptions. It's not derivable from sprites or portraits, either. (This is the kind of thing we would probably add in the post-analysis extension.)

"Preferring isolation" is utterly unfounded... the descriptions don't even say that they live in isolation, let alone whether they like it. "Avoiding other intelligent races" is not entirely incorrect, although it might be better to preserve the meaning given in the description: wary, cautious doesn't necessarily imply strict avoidance.
Dwarf desc analysis:Gryphon Lore wrote:The Dwarves are the only race known to tame and ride Gryphons,

though the talent to do so is limited only to some individuals and not inherent to all.
The first part of the sentence is true. It does go a bit beyond dwarf unit descs, but it stays within the realm of mainline units. The second part, though, is incorrect. The gryphon descriptions don't say anything about a 'talent' that dwarves can have to bond with gryphons. It could be a talent, but it could also be hair color or body odor or just a gryphon's whim. This is a particularly dangerous kind of assumption, because it's really easy to make.

As a general statement, I'd prefer to have an analysis of dwarf culture as expressed in the unit descriptions, rather than a listing of the various units and their strengths and weaknesses. The unit stats are not lore. (Though they may have lore implications.) For example, in terms of lore, it doesn't really matter what weapons a particular unit uses, but it would be interesting to have a list of everything that we know of that's made in the dwarvish forges - armor, weapons, whatever.
Last edited by melinath on August 6th, 2009, 6:16 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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Re: Lore Collection Project

Post by thespaceinvader » August 6th, 2009, 6:03 pm

Probably, but I thought i'd put them in somewhere, this seemed like a good place.
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Re: Lore Collection Project

Post by Skrim » August 6th, 2009, 6:39 pm

thespaceinvader wrote:You could do with taking a look at the portraits for the units whilst you're doing this. The Dragonstick is decorated with bronze, not wood, for instance.
I did. It looked like wood to me. But I'll correct it to bronze.

Another thing visible in the portraits is the armor the various Dwarves wear, which I haven't mentioned in this version of the analysis. Most Dwarves seem to wear chainmail and leather armor, with the heavier melee units(Stalwart/Sentinel, Lord) having plate armor and the Ulfs not having any armor whatsoever.
Skrim: Thanks for the analysis. Right now, I can't accept it as an addition to the compendium; there are some things you'll need to do a bit differently. Right now, you're drifting a little out of the bounds of the descriptions and making your own assumptions about the units. One thing that might help with this is if you try to give a source for every single thing you say. For example...

Although "They live in high mountain chains" is not an unreasonable statement, it is not in the unit descriptions. It's not derivable from sprites or portraits, either. (This is the kind of thing we would probably add in the post-analysis extension.)

"Preferring isolation" is utterly unfounded... the descriptions don't even say that they live in isolation, let alone whether they like it. "Avoiding other intelligent races" is not entirely incorrect, although it might be better to preserve the meaning given in the description: wary, cautious doesn't necessarily imply strict avoidance.
I think I got carried away on the Gryphs. I'll revise them to a much stricter version, based on their 2-line descriptions.

And the next draft will contain all the necessary citations.
The first part of the sentence is true. It does go a bit beyond dwarf unit descs, but it stays within the realm of mainline units. The second part, though, is incorrect. The gryphon descriptions don't say anything about a 'talent' that dwarves can have to bond with gryphons. It could be a talent, but it could also be hair color or body odor or just a gryphon's whim. This is a particularly dangerous kind of assumption, because it's really easy to make.
If it isn't a talent, what is it? Ability? Luck? Or do we just assume that only a few Dwarves can bond with Gryphons for some unknown reason, and leave it at that?
As a general statement, I'd prefer to have an analysis of dwarf culture as expressed in the unit descriptions, rather than a listing of the various units and their strengths and weaknesses. The unit stats are not lore. (Though they may have lore implications.) For example, in terms of lore, it doesn't really matter what weapons a particular unit uses, but it would be interesting to have a list of everything that we know of that's made in the dwarvish forges - armor, weapons, whatever.
Dwarf culture from the unit descriptions? I don't get it. How am I supposed to extract "culture" from the few-lines long and unit-specific descriptions while strictly staying on the rails and making no assumptions?

Would the list of Rune magic implementations count as "culture"? Would the civilian duties of the Scouts count as "culture"? Would the preference of axes and thundersticks instead of more conventional swords and bows count as "culture"? And so on. I'm not sure exactly what counts as culture.

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Re: Lore Collection Project

Post by thespaceinvader » August 6th, 2009, 7:24 pm

The armour thing: most dwarves wear chain mail and leather - the whole thunderer line, the Explorer. The Guard wears half plate, the sentinel and stalwart wear full plate, as does the Lord. The Steelclad wears half plate (though currently shares a portait with the fighter, who wears scale mail along with some pauldrons). The Scout wears a brigandine, the gryphon rider wears no armour at all. The Runemaster wears a leather apron with armour/runic plates over chainmail. In the portraits. The plate armour is generally relatively simple in design, and decorated with ornate celtic knot style designs and runes which extends also to the weapons.
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Re: Lore Collection Project

Post by melinath » August 6th, 2009, 7:47 pm

Skrim wrote:Or do we just assume that only a few Dwarves can bond with Gryphons for some unknown reason, and leave it at that?
For now, that's exactly right. Speculation is fine, to an extent, but make sure it's clearly separated from the facts – say, by putting it in italics after the citation.
Skrim wrote:Dwarf culture from the unit descriptions? I don't get it. How am I supposed to extract "culture" from the few-lines long and unit-specific descriptions while strictly staying on the rails and making no assumptions?
You may not be able to find very much, especially considering the way the current descriptions are written.
Skrim wrote:Would the list of Rune magic implementations count as "culture"? Would the civilian duties of the Scouts count as "culture"?
Culture may not have been the best word. Lore. Culture is part of that, as are social and military organization. The civilian and military duties of any unit as stated in the unit description are lore.

A list of ways that Runic magic can be used is definitely lore, but you're presently going beyond what's stated in the descriptions. (I know it's a pain, since you know the other applications, but they'll be covered in the analysis of the campaigns; we don't want to combine everything yet.)
Skrim wrote:Would the preference of axes and thundersticks instead of more conventional swords and bows count as "culture"? And so on. I'm not sure exactly what counts as culture.
A statement that axes and thundersticks are the conventional weapons for dwarves would be lore.

In terms of what is lore... it's a difficult question to answer.
Basically speaking, unit stats are not really lore, I would say. It's not that interesting to know that a particular dwarf unit has lots of movement, does a lot of damage, doesn't have a ranged attack, and can't defend itself in water. I can tell that really easily just by looking at the unit in question. However, other than that, pretty much everything is lore, including an analysis of the relationship between different unit's stats. For example, the 'characteristic racial strengths' bit you've got. Said another way: it's not just a matter of what you find, it's a matter of how you connect it.

Exception to the rule of generalities: detailed information like what TSI's provided about the portraits is definitely lore worth mentioning.

Keep in mind that I don't have a list in front of me saying what lore is and what it isn't. If you see something you think is worth including, include it. Just try not to include anything that isn't in the descriptions/sprites/portraits themselves.

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Re: Lore Collection Project

Post by thespaceinvader » August 6th, 2009, 8:02 pm

It's also worth noting, by the way, that not everything about the portraits is set in stone. The Dwarves pictured in the individual portraits are wearing that gear, but that doesn't mean that EVERY dwarf of that type will wear that exact gear. It's not a uniform.
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Re: Lore Collection Project

Post by Turuk » August 6th, 2009, 11:38 pm

Basically, if you are sure, state it. If you are unsure, perhaps include a question mark next to it in your extraction/analysis, so that you can give a bit of what you think the reason might be, but you are informing the others checking through it that it is questionable and needs to be thought over/considered by others.
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Re: Lore Collection Project

Post by Deusite » August 7th, 2009, 8:42 am

Behold!

It's Really Sodding Long™ though. I'm still trying to find ways to condense everything.
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Re: Lore Collection Project

Post by melinath » August 7th, 2009, 3:21 pm

Deusite wrote:Behold!

It's Really Sodding Long™ though. I'm still trying to find ways to condense everything.
Wonderful! Noted. You can leave it long, if you like.

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Re: Lore Collection Project

Post by Deusite » August 11th, 2009, 7:45 pm

I'll do the text extraction for Descent into Darkness and The Sceptre of Fire as well.
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Re: Lore Collection Project

Post by melinath » August 11th, 2009, 8:58 pm

Glad to hear it and noted.

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Re: Lore Collection Project

Post by Deusite » August 12th, 2009, 2:24 am

The Sceptre of Fire

Nice and short(er), although the spelling alternates between American and British English, which is just plain wrong.
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Re: Lore Collection Project

Post by melinath » August 12th, 2009, 3:24 am

That was fast! Noted, and thanks. :-)

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