Writing for 'War of the Guards'

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Writing for 'War of the Guards'

Postby Tom_Of_Wesnoth » January 18th, 2015, 10:37 pm

I'm making a campaign called 'War of the Guards', based on a terrible idea I had eight years ago. I read the guide to writing campaigns and it said to storyboard your campaign before you start working on it, so that's what I'm going to do. The plot was summed up by my eight year old self as:

"The guards are having troble with orcs undead bandits and other evil guide Sir Kikoi and the guards on a adventure."

The idea is, to be blunt, awful. It's really generic and dull. So to make this campaign interesting, I'm going to be focusing on having diverse characters, and interesting relationships between them.

The main (protagonist) Characters are:

-Sir Kikoi. An awful name, but I'm sticking with my old ideas. He's the leader of the South Guard, his first ever commanding role. He is calm, wise beyond his years, and cautious.

-Sir Glyr. He's the second in command of the South Guard. He's seen several superiors come and go, but never become commander himself due to discipline issues. He's brave, determined and reckless. Expect him to clash with Sir Kikoi on multiple occasions.

-Rhoswen. She is the mage accompanying the South Guard. She's kind but reckless. She is young and inexperienced, but has vast magical power that she struggles to control.

-Fulnir. A Dwarf banished from his underground home decades ago for a crime he won't reveal. He is bitter and cynical, but is always the first to crack a dark joke about the situation.
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Re: Writing for 'War of the Guards'

Postby max_torch » January 20th, 2015, 8:51 am

What causes them to start their adventure?
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Re: Writing for 'War of the Guards'

Postby Dugi » January 20th, 2015, 1:06 pm

Problems with orcs undead bandits? You mean walking dead orcs robbing people or three groups of enemies? The storyline would be quite bad if the objective of the whole campaign was to deal with enemy 1, then to deal with enemy 2 and finally with enemy 3. So if these enemies aren't just one type, you'll need something that connects them. For example a necromancer who hired orc and bandit mercenary forces to help him invade the land and rob their graves. Or they go fight bandits and end up attacked by orcs whose shamans dabble into necromancy and create undead.

The bad guys should not be just screwing around when the legendary Sough Guard comes to attack them, that would be boring, they also need an evil plan.

Do you know what Kikoi means? It's some sort of weird clothing worn in Africa. And it also sounds somewhat vampiric. If you want to stick to this name, you could poke some fun out of it. Having him wear weird clothes, have black skin, speak about drinking blood or have the drain weapon special.

It's true that interesting characters can turn dull story parts into something nice, but it's questionable if you can succeed at it or if it can hold for a story that is entirely dull.

Example story:
A group of foul undead is seen approaching the frontier. The Guards attack them and defeat them, but then they spot another group of undead, not much further away from the frontier. So they destroy them too. They return back to their keep and notice that during their absence, it was taken over by orcs. Because the keep is very well defendable, they have to make a detour to attack them from behind. When they come to the nearest passage, they notice that it was just taken by the orcs from their keep. The orcs are less numerous and the keep is smaller, so they conquer it and later retake also their own keep. They wonder how could the orcs use the undead band to distract them.

Then, a few undead are seen approaching the frontier, but from inside. When the undead are killed, they find nearby a fresh corpse of a messenger carrying a note that a horde of mercenaries and bandits is laying waste to the land they were supposed to protect. Realising that these attacks were connected, they attack the mercenary army's rear. However, it does not make the invaders focus their attack on them, they carry on progressing towards Weldyn. They realise that the invaders are calling their invasion 'revolution' and are joined by many. It's quite obvious that these mercenaries got into Wesnoth thanks to the orcs who took over the keeps and it appears that there is a serious conspiracy behind it.

The Guards prepare to attack a camp the invaders have set up for night, but then both sides are attacked by undead. The invaders destroy most of the undead and their leader, an evil looking nobleman calling himself 'de Ceisse' explains visits for a diplomatic talk and explains that their rebellion is aimed at purifying the kingdom from evil magic that many noblemen have fallen into lately. The Guards' wizard reports that he can feel the nobleman's aura of dark power and that most likely he summoned the undead himself so that he could accuse others of it and also to carry small military operations. De Ceisse returns to his camp and his attacks the Guards. They are too numerous.

But the Guards come with a plan. If they attacked de Ceisse, he might retaliate with black magic. They break through the enemy lines in an overly aggressive charge and attack de Ceisse. He changes the day to night, raises a few undead and attack back with a shadow blast. His army realises that they were helping a necromancer probably trying to steal the throne and abandon the cause. De Ceisse can't fight an army himself, so he runs away. Happy end.
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Re: Writing for 'War of the Guards'

Postby johndh » January 20th, 2015, 2:58 pm

Dugi wrote:De Ceisse can't fight an army himself

Of course he can! A necromancer is never alone as long as he has some corpses/souls and a pile of gold. It might be interesting to have the final battle feature the player alongside the nobleman's deserting troops vs. the undead horde he's raised. At an (in)opportune time, the orc mercenaries could show up to seize their chance to break their former master (they got swindled, perhaps?) or to overthrow the weakened/disorganized human rabble. Thus, player + humans vs. undead vs. orcs free-for-all.

Tom_Of_Wesnoth wrote:<snip>

What if you switched the roles by making Fulnir a human outlaw, and making Kikoi and/or Glyr into dwarves? The player would command a ragtag bunch of misfits defending their encampment of exiles -- dwaves, outlaws, and shadow mages -- somewhat like the Knalgan Alliance.

Centuries ago, the Rocktooth Clan of dwarves was defeated in battle, and the survivors fled their underground home into the wilderness of Wesnoth. They made their way among the hills and trees, starting their new lives there. Over the generations, their enclave of Second Chance has become a lure to all sorts of people wanting to start their lives anew -- refugees, rebels, outlaws, and practitioners of forbidden magics. Their peaceful, agrarian way of life is now in danger. Thus begins our tale.
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Re: Writing for 'War of the Guards'

Postby Dugi » January 20th, 2015, 4:02 pm

johndh wrote:Thus, player + humans vs. undead vs. orcs free-for-all.
Yeah, that might be better.
johndh wrote:The player would command a ragtag bunch of misfits defending their encampment of exiles -- dwaves, outlaws, and shadow mages -- somewhat like the Knalgan Alliance.
How about making them guard the north instead of south, have a huge wall of ice to help them defend the kingdom and be called Night Watch?
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Re: Writing for 'War of the Guards'

Postby ancestral » January 20th, 2015, 5:25 pm

Dugi wrote:How about making them guard the north instead of south, have a huge wall of ice to help them defend the kingdom and be called Night Watch?

:annoyed: Really?

(It’s been done.)
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Re: Writing for 'War of the Guards'

Postby Dugi » January 20th, 2015, 6:44 pm

You didn't get the joke. I was speaking exactly of that. A ragtag bunch of misfits guarding the borders of the kingdom is already close enough, I wrote the suggestion to adjust the location and name to make the similarity even more obvious.
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Re: Writing for 'War of the Guards'

Postby Tom_Of_Wesnoth » January 20th, 2015, 7:57 pm

Wow, thank you for the replies everyone! :D

@ max_torch - I'll answer that question at the end of this post.

@ Dugi - Three groups of enemies. And yes, I will be tying them all together. I think I'll take your idea of having Kikoi be oddly vampiric. I won't copy your example story, but I'll definitely be influenced and inspired by it.

@ johndh - Don't worry, there will be a fun free for all at the end, although I won't give away any more about that yet. They're not really supposed to be a ragtag bunch of misfits initially, although throughout the campaign they'll pick up some interesting characters and allies.

I've never read A Song Of Ice and Fire, so I don't get the jokes!
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Re: Writing for 'War of the Guards'

Postby johndh » January 22nd, 2015, 3:18 am

Ehh... I think you're kinda reaching for the comparison there, Dugi. "Ragtag bunch of misfits guarding the border of the kingdom" is actually pretty general/generic. Could you not say almost the same for the American forces at the Alamo, or the Power Rangers, or the crew in any submarine movie ever made? This would be like seeing a movie about a peasant hero saving a princess and scoffing, "Star Wars much!?" :lol: In my suggestion, the settlement itself was made up of refugees, and the protagonists just happen to be patrolling for threats, rather than being some special guardian order of bastards and traitors.

Also, it's been about a decade since I read Game of Thrones, so I don't remember a whole lot of details.
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Re: Writing for 'War of the Guards'

Postby Tom_Of_Wesnoth » January 24th, 2015, 7:24 pm

Scenario One - Arrival

-Sir Kikoi arrives at Fort De Cadarnle, the home of the Guards.
-He is greeted by Sir Glyr, who seems concerned by Kikoi's lack of experience.
-A scout rushes in and infroms Sir Glyr about a bandit raid on a nearby village.
-Sir Kikoi orders Sir Glyr to gather the Guards.

Scenario Two - Business as Standard

-The Guards arrive in Alldaflu village
-The Bandits have occupied the village and control the encampment in the centre
-The Guards have to retake the village
-Some houses in the village will spawn bandit units when occupied

------------------------

These two scenarios are intended to just establish the status quo, before the rising conflict begins. They also give the player a chance to get some experience using some of the Guards units before the main plot kicks in.
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