Fluff explanations for weaknesses/resistances

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Skrim
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Fluff explanations for weaknesses/resistances

Post by Skrim » August 31st, 2009, 4:57 pm

Hi,

I started this thread to discuss fluff reasons for various unit resistances that are, apparently, ad hoc, and are presently explained only by saying that they fit the game balance.

This includes:

1. The Blade, Pierce and Impact weaknesses of elusive foot units like the Orcish Assassin, Thief, Footpad and Fencer. I know they don't wear any armor, but neither do the Peasant, Woodsman, Ruffian, Mage or Dark Adept - and they don't suffer any weaknesses. The Mage and Adept could be said to be wearing magically-enhanced robes, but that surely cannot be applied to the L0 humans.

2. The Cavalryman's cold resistance, in contrast to the Heavy Infantryman's cold weakness. Both are heavily armored warriors, it's just that one of them is riding a horse. Also, the Fencer's cold resistance. You'd think he'd get chilled harder because he has no heat-trapping armor, but the opposite occurs.

3. The Javelineer's pierce resistance. This guy is a glorified spearman wearing studded leather, not even plate armor like the Pikeman or Swordsman. Yet he resists piercing weapons like a skeleton resists blades.

More to come tomorrow. I thought the writers' forum would be the best for this, since writers would be the best at creating fluff.

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Re: Fluff explanations for weaknesses/resistances

Post by Yeran » August 31st, 2009, 8:21 pm

1. The Blade, Pierce and Impact weaknesses of elusive foot units like the Orcish Assassin, Thief, Footpad and Fencer. I know they don't wear any armor, but neither do the Peasant, Woodsman, Ruffian, Mage or Dark Adept - and they don't suffer any weaknesses. The Mage and Adept could be said to be wearing magically-enhanced robes, but that surely cannot be applied to the L0 humans.

I dont see any inconsequences here. As the elusive guys are dodging most of time, obviously they are not in the best defensive position if they actually get hit. The L0 units most likely try to parry. If they fail they are at least not jumping around asking to get pummeled hard, but can harden themselves soaking up the blow.

2. The Cavalryman's cold resistance, in contrast to the Heavy Infantryman's cold weakness. Both are heavily armored warriors, it's just that one of them is riding a horse. Also, the Fencer's cold resistance. You'd think he'd get chilled harder because he has no heat-trapping armor, but the opposite occurs.

Easy for cavalery. Cavaleryman are designed to be well protected, including the right armor to suffer less from cold attacks. Those armor however is way to heavy to be used unmounted.
The fencer might also be less susceptible to frost attacks thanks to some special clothing. At least I always pictured him as the rather wealthy and intelligent duelist guy. Rather weak explanation, but we only talk about 10% resist here. Maybe someone comes up with something better. ;)

3. The Javelineer's pierce resistance. This guy is a glorified spearman wearing studded leather, not even plate armor like the Pikeman or Swordsman. Yet he resists piercing weapons like a skeleton resists blades.

Now thats a hard one. While plate armor contrary to popular belief was not that good against sharp weapons (if well-made that is), that doesnt explain the Javelineers resistance to piercing attacks anyway. Or the fact the pikeman-line got those resistances while the swordsman-line doesn't for that matter. I could only come up with special fighting training, as those guys are destinated to fight those dangerous lancers and stuff. But that leaves us with the problem that while we have no trouble explaining resistance to spears and daggers that way, it doesnt include arrows.

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Re: Fluff explanations for weaknesses/resistances

Post by Cloud » August 31st, 2009, 8:27 pm

Before the debate gets too serious... WINR.

Of course there probably are reasons I could fluff for at least 2/3

2) The Calvaryman has a whole other lifeform with him, which he can huddle up to and retain more warmth than an unmounted troop. The fencer can keep moving to keep himself warm, and can always put on a spare fur from hammerspace or something along those line. The HI has neither of those, in think armour, which if it gets cold could freeze to any exponsed skin. It might take a lot to chill thsoe suits of armour, but once it's cold, it's ****** cold.

3) I don't know the intracies of armour, but I remember reading somewhere leather is better against arrows the plate. Plus it's got a little extra mobility that plate, which may not allow the wearer to dodge the blow entirely, but at least keep vitals out the way better.
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Re: Fluff explanations for weaknesses/resistances

Post by bvanevery » September 1st, 2009, 8:30 am

Skrim wrote: I started this thread to discuss fluff reasons for various unit resistances that are, apparently, ad hoc, and are presently explained only by saying that they fit the game balance.
I find blind religious adherence to "the stats as balanced" exceedingly annoying. It would be a good basis for a fork, along with less random combat resolution, as then some sane stats could be re-balanced. But, recognizing the stubbornness of the incumbent devs, I appreciate your writerly attempts to work around the warts. Here are my smartassed responses:
1. The Blade, Pierce and Impact weaknesses of elusive foot units like the Orcish Assassin, Thief, Footpad and Fencer. I know they don't wear any armor, but neither do the Peasant, Woodsman, Ruffian, Mage or Dark Adept - and they don't suffer any weaknesses. The Mage and Adept could be said to be wearing magically-enhanced robes, but that surely cannot be applied to the L0 humans.
Assassins, Thieves, Footpads, and Fencers are actually extremely poor fighters. They've spent all their time either skulking and sneaking away, or engaged in pointless dueling and verbal repartee that has no relevance on the modern battlefield. The Fencers, in particular, have a particularly inflated opinion of themselves, thinking that charm, panache, and ducking between opponents' legs when they're not looking, is more important than disciplined battle line tactics. They only really score a victory when mainline battle troops have already beaten the enemy nearly to death, then run around taking all the credit like the prima donnas they are.

Mages don't have combat weaknesses simply because they have more spine. You have to be friggin' crazy to jump into battle armed only with a robe and a wand, so the ones that do, use their wands ruthlessly. Peasants are too stupid to do anything other than the obvious: stab the enemy. This gives them an ironic Zen for combat; by living as though death does not matter, they prevail. Until of course they die, which is why those peasant AI idiots will run up to immensely powerful creatures and stab them.
2. The Cavalryman's cold resistance, in contrast to the Heavy Infantryman's cold weakness. Both are heavily armored warriors, it's just that one of them is riding a horse. Also, the Fencer's cold resistance. You'd think he'd get chilled harder because he has no heat-trapping armor, but the opposite occurs.
Cavalrymen double as couriers throughout the realm, the Pony Express of their day. Consequently, they put up with all-weather conditions a lot more frequently than the Heavy Infantry. Nanny boys who can't tough it out in courier duty, "wash out" and form the backbone of the HI, where they don't have to do as much in peacetime. Just sit around the castle turrets rusting in their heavy armor, waiting for the next invasion to come over the wall, instead of getting down and dirty "in country."

Fencers are so full of hot air that they couldn't possibly be bothered by cold.
3. The Javelineer's pierce resistance. This guy is a glorified spearman wearing studded leather, not even plate armor like the Pikeman or Swordsman. Yet he resists piercing weapons like a skeleton resists blades.
Javelineers have well known sexual fetishes involving the tools of their trade. They get damaged by piercing weapons readily enough. They just don't care and sorta enjoy it. Compare the Lancer's zeal for a quick death.
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Re: Fluff explanations for weaknesses/resistances

Post by Specialist290 » October 3rd, 2009, 5:26 pm

My own take on this:
Skrim wrote:1. The Blade, Pierce and Impact weaknesses of elusive foot units like the Orcish Assassin, Thief, Footpad and Fencer. I know they don't wear any armor, but neither do the Peasant, Woodsman, Ruffian, Mage or Dark Adept - and they don't suffer any weaknesses. The Mage and Adept could be said to be wearing magically-enhanced robes, but that surely cannot be applied to the L0 humans.
In addition to what's already been mentioned, you could also think about it this way: All four of those classes aren't likely to be used to any really strenuous physical activity, meaning that they wouldn't develop as strong physiques as the other classes. Peasants and Woodsmen, of course, would have spent pretty much their entire lives working either in a field or in the woods, and would therefore naturally be much hardier than your typical townsfolk. For line soldiers, of course, intense physical exercise would be part of the daily routine. I'm not sure how mages and dark adepts would fit into this, especially since DAs are already described as being frail in the fluff.

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Re: Fluff explanations for weaknesses/resistances

Post by The1exile » October 4th, 2009, 12:00 am

Specialist290 wrote:I'm not sure how mages and dark adepts would fit into this, especially since DAs are already described as being frail in the fluff.
While DAs and Magi are frail of arm, the mage training may well require some resilience (especially for DAs, who being an outcast will have to rough it a lot more than any fencer).
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Re: Fluff explanations for weaknesses/resistances

Post by Aethaeryn » October 7th, 2009, 2:42 pm

Plus, it's magic! Their robes could be enchanted with a basic protection spell. It's not like their magic attack is the only magic they know.
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Re: Fluff explanations for weaknesses/resistances

Post by wesfreak » November 6th, 2009, 9:24 pm

i'd thought H.I. heat and cold weakness was because they're wearing twice their weight in steel, and metal is a great heat (and cold) conductor. ever get inside a car that's been under the summer sun for the past few hours? that alone is much hotter than the outside.

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Re: Fluff explanations for weaknesses/resistances

Post by Sapient » November 7th, 2009, 7:26 am

:lol2: bvanevery had some great answers. The Cavalier's courier duty explanation is almost believable enough to put in their official description. I think you have got to come up with something more believable than "hot air" for the fencers' cold resistance, though (so far I haven't heard any good explanation for that... )

Maybe this site has a good idea though: "In general, clothing for upper classes entails more of everything: more types of fabric, longer lengths, more embroidery and patterns, more threads made from precious metals, and more exotic furs."
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Re: Fluff explanations for weaknesses/resistances

Post by Hushpuppy » November 7th, 2009, 4:47 pm

Skrim wrote: 2. The Cavalryman's cold resistance, in contrast to the Heavy Infantryman's cold weakness. Both are heavily armored warriors, it's just that one of them is riding a horse. Also, the Fencer's cold resistance. You'd think he'd get chilled harder because he has no heat-trapping armor, but the opposite occurs.

3. The Javelineer's pierce resistance. This guy is a glorified spearman wearing studded leather, not even plate armor like the Pikeman or Swordsman. Yet he resists piercing weapons like a skeleton resists blades.
I like to think of it with a bit of mystery thrown in. Since Wesnoth is a magical world, there is a bit of magic tinged with everything, including a simple cold attack. All beings are suffused with magic, to a certain degree, whether they know it or not. The horse has a natural resistance to cold which affects his rider as well. Besides, they're big warm beasts, as others have said.

A Heavy Infantryman's cold weakness could come about because if you are a mage with a cold attack, you but the big freeze on his armor. Yeesh! That's chilly: a big heatsink. Just like the transistors on your computer's processor, you use metal to draw off the heat. Perhaps the magic of a cold attack is drawn to metal, and gains some energy or potency there.

The Javelineer carries a big pointy stick. If you come at him with another pointy stick, you are going to have a hard time getting at him- because you have to get around his big pointy stick. And, he's liable to not tangle with you- he's going to throw his big pointy stick right at your chest and it's all over for you. He fights with a pointy stick, he knows the strengths and weaknesses and how to avoid one that's pointed at him. He's the pointy stick champion. Kinda makes sense to me.

As well, I just saw a History Channel episode where they discussed ancient armor. They built some armor of layered linen, bound crosswise layer upon layer, like the ancient Greeks wore. Then shot an arrow into it at point-blank range. The arrow did not penetrate. Pretty amazing. It turns out the ancient armorers were pretty clever people. Studded leather armor may have been pretty decent stuff.

See this article for some more talk about putting some commonly held beliefs to rest: http://forums.swordforum.com/showthread ... adid=21752 ...That's a segue, not directly related to this discussion, but interesting in that it makes you think about how armor really was constructed and worked. Maybe not in the way that seems obvious.

Finally, I will say this: I would look at a Javelineer's overall stats vs. a swordsman's. The swordsman is a stronger character (55 HP vs. 48), and has a stronger attack. In a sense, you could say that perhaps a Javelineer is like a swordsman but with greater weaknesses all around, except against piercing attacks. A swordsman can try to duck a point-blank arrow shot, that's all. A Javelineer can toss his weapon first, before the bowman shoots. So again that makes him more effective against another warrior with a pierce weapon, which is reflected in his pierce resistance statistic.

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Re: Fluff explanations for weaknesses/resistances

Post by thespaceinvader » November 7th, 2009, 5:58 pm

The final point is the most important: resists are not the be-all and end-all of the unit's defences. HP and defence values are also important.
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Re: Fluff explanations for weaknesses/resistances

Post by Araja » November 8th, 2009, 2:00 pm

Hushpuppy's first idea on Cavalrymen seems perilously close to "a wizard did it".
I think the warmth of the horse and the thick clothing is more fitting.

And I like the idea of well-built leather armor resisting crossbow bolts, it certainly works better than pointy stick mastery or sexual fetishes... :P
Last edited by Araja on November 8th, 2009, 2:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Fluff explanations for weaknesses/resistances

Post by Aethaeryn » November 8th, 2009, 2:02 pm

Araja wrote:
Hushpuppy wrote:I like to think of it with a bit of mystery thrown in. Since Wesnoth is a magical world, there is a bit of magic tinged with everything, including a simple cold attack. All beings are suffused with magic, to a certain degree, whether they know it or not. The horse has a natural resistance to cold which affects his rider as well.
"It's magic, next question please" :P
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Re: Fluff explanations for weaknesses/resistances

Post by Araja » November 8th, 2009, 2:06 pm

Oh Aetheryn! :o

I was editing it to say "A wizard did it" and I click Submit and find out someone has beaten me to it!
Now I've got the edited messages of doom. :)

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Re: Fluff explanations for weaknesses/resistances

Post by Aethaeryn » November 8th, 2009, 2:16 pm

Araja wrote:Oh Aetheryn! :o

I was editing it to say "A wizard did it" and I click Submit and find out someone has beaten me to it!
Now I've got the edited messages of doom. :)
That's okay. You beat me to mentioning a trope once by a few minutes (I forget the thread, though). Consider us even. :P
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