Dunefolk(previously Khalifate) race description

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Airatgaljamov
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Re: Dunefolk(previously Khalifate) race description

Post by Airatgaljamov » February 1st, 2018, 6:25 am

Cold Steel wrote: Magi-phobia will not even be a unique characteristic as the curmudgeonly dwarves already occupy this viewpoint: "Given their technological inclinations, many dwarves tend to distrust magic users."
And directly in the next sentence Dwarves are using rune magic. And they make firespitting magical artifacts. And some of them have been seen to use necromancy. So no viewpoint occupied. And besides why would it be bad if it was occupied?
Cold Steel wrote: Well, if you have such a big problem trying "to insert some new element into established system" then you should be against adding dunefolk altogether.

You seem to be employing a double standard for what can and cannot be inserted into canon lore. You have no problem with a whole culture of humans just popping out of nowhere without anyone noticing them or where they came from, yet rare creatures living in remote environments have to be featured at every petting zoo or they can not exist.
Big difference is that Dunefolk have to be included. They have elaborated idea for the faction, style, sprites. There as Rocs and Jinn are just being forcefully promoted, when there is no reason to do so. Dunefolk can perfectly exist without them. Jinns at this point have no sprites, no background, no future. Even a small mention now will lead to annoying unresolved element for years.
Cold Steel wrote: Even if the kingdom won't spend the modest coinage to find out what threats and opportunities might lie just to their south along the coast, you still have sea traders and mermish that would be moving freely up and down it.
Anyone would think twice about going into ocean when Sea Monsters are waiting there. Wesnoth have no motivation for developing ocean trade. There is no India or China with exotics to trade with.
Cold Steel wrote: This is fast becoming an impressively eclectic series of natural barriers conveniently separating these two groups of the same race. At this point, why not just put the dunefolk on a separate continent? Certainly that would be a more elegant way of keeping the two apart?
Well, why not? Some kind of sea or gulf could do it.
Cold Steel wrote: There can also be no way around the forest or the point is moot. Swamps, dunes, mountains are not adequate barriers by themselves. Saurians, dwarves and the dunefolk themselves would be able to cross these, especially at certain points where the obstacles narrow or lessen in severity. Just look at how readily severe natural barriers to overland travel were overcome throughout real world history.
I'm okay with having Dwarves and Trolls living in mountains far to the east in Dunefolk land. And Wesnoth never had motivation to overcome all this perils. Only Mal-Ravanal and his followers traveled to the east. Actually I'm imagining making events of Eastern Invasion triggering eventual First Contact between Wesnoth and Dunefolk.

Celtic_Minstrel, I would avoid sultan as it is too real-world-ish. And obviously I'm against Jinns. It’s going good

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Pentarctagon
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Re: Dunefolk(previously Khalifate) race description

Post by Pentarctagon » February 1st, 2018, 7:49 am

I'm not really sure why it's such a problem for the Dunefolk to be mostly unknown, to be honest. If they live mostly in/on the other side of a big desert, and are a secretive people that go out of their way to not interact with anybody else, then it wouldn't be surprising that not much is known about them. There could even then be a campaign where a new ruler comes to power who decides to change things and make permanent contact with the races to their north, as a way to canonically introduce them to the other races/factions.
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skeptical_troll
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Re: Dunefolk(previously Khalifate) race description

Post by skeptical_troll » February 1st, 2018, 8:18 am

I suppose the reason why everyone wants to put physical barriers between the Khalifate/Dunefolk and Wesnoth is simply because they aren't mentioned in mainline campaigns. On one hand, this could be easily solved by sparingly inserting references to them in existing campaigns (where suitable, of course), on the other hand the barrier could be temporal: the dunefolk arrived in the continent quite late in history, and made contact with Wesnoth later than all mainline campaign (except UtbS, obviously).

Oath of Allegiance by Kwandulin begins in 696 YW, which seems to be the first contact between the elves of Southwood and the dunefolk. According to the timeline , the only pre-fall campaign happening later than this is SotBE (842 YW), but it's set far in the north where nobody would give a damn about the dunefolk. Eastern Invasion finished in 627 YW, and since Wesnoth was pretty much wiped out it makes sense that they had more urgent business than sending explorers or ships to the far south. I set Return from the Abyss late in time for similar reasons of consistency, and I believe this is true for most UMCs where the Khalifate appears (e.g. a New Order).

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Re: Dunefolk(previously Khalifate) race description

Post by The_Squished_Elf » February 1st, 2018, 11:16 am

I'm with Airatgaljamov, adding mention of Jinns is just going to create problems. Not mentioning them, while keeping the obvious middle-eastern flair, lets UMC come up with any number of possibilities. It's not Wesnoth's duty to lead content creators by the nose into what some forum members want to see in a campaign; the UMC is a "free market" of lore, and trying to stimulate it interferes with that.

Note - is it even necessary to elaborate on the (apparently controversial) nature of the barriers between the Dunefolk and Wesnoth? Location/geography isn't really so important to race descriptions as opposed to habitat, so why not call it due to unspecified "natural barriers"? If you want to go aggressive on it, call them "more dangerous than the Heartfangs." On a related note, specifying the location of the Drakes with regard to the Dunefolk probably just causes unnecessary confusion; "at the desert's fringes" or something similarly vague (civilization's fringe?) should suffice.

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Re: Dunefolk(previously Khalifate) race description

Post by Eagle_11 » February 1st, 2018, 11:33 am

Something i have seen and liked in other games is rewarding the player with lore as he plays an campaign. Now why did i mention this here is because we dont necessarily have to put all of those information about geography, culture etc. into their race description, much less into their faction description, actually many of our current race descriptions are wrong probably due to missing capability to dynamically write their own seperate lore pages into something like the Encyclopedia.
Imagine how nice it would be to gain lore entries about wesnoth as the player completes levels in HttT campaign, or entries about rune magic that gets known to the player upon progressing in ThoT. Playing SotB would reward pages that tell more about the orcs, completing AoC would yield pages describing elf tactics and so on. Its not only fluff but also an motivator for the player.

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Re: Dunefolk(previously Khalifate) race description

Post by Kwandulin » February 1st, 2018, 12:53 pm

The_Squished_Elf wrote:It's not Wesnoth's duty to lead content creators by the nose into what some forum members want to see in a campaign
This. It feels like the current changes to the dunefolk will lead to huge regressions of UMC content (both WML- and storywise), rather than open up more space to explore. It is a bad idea to break exisiting content without offering new (playable) stuff.

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Re: Dunefolk(previously Khalifate) race description

Post by name » February 1st, 2018, 3:36 pm

Pentarctagon wrote:I'm not really sure why it's such a problem for the Dunefolk to be mostly unknown, to be honest.
Then let us consider the opposite question too then:

If the dunefolk are so geographically and historically isolated from the factions of default era, why do they need to be merged into default era multiplayer?

Does default era contain every possible race and civilization on the great continent? Almost certainly no. It contains only those groups geographically and politically relevant to the kingdom of Wesnoth around the time of Heir to the Throne. The rest is left to UMC eras to cover. So why do the hardest and most controversial possible thing of merging a not so popular, oddball faction like this into delicately balanced default era multiplayer and then make that faction irrelevant to world events?

What is our overall goal here?
The_Squished_Elf wrote:It's not Wesnoth's duty to lead content creators by the nose into what some forum members want to see in a campaign; the UMC is a "free market" of lore, and trying to stimulate it interferes with that.
The difference is that unlike other UMC, this khalifate/dunefolk multiplayer faction has been pushed into mainline status by "crony capitalism" to use your metaphor. It has not floated to its current status on its own merits and is lacking as a result.

If it is ultimately de-mainlined and released back into the UMC ecosystem to meet its natural fate (whatever that is) then so be it. But if it is to remain mainlined then it should be experimented with and improved until it reaches the state of popularity and balance of the factions it is supposedly going to share an era with.
Kwandulin wrote:It feels like the current changes to the dunefolk will lead to huge regressions of UMC content (both WML- and storywise), rather than open up more space to explore. It is a bad idea to break exisiting content without offering new (playable) stuff.
A mainline multiplayer faction outranks a UMC campaign in priority. It is ultimately a great deal more work both in terms of balancing and animations. And its ability to positively or negatively impact the game is much greater since it will be used extensively online where balance is very delicate and can be used in mainline campaigns once it is stable.

As long as dunefolk is a mainline multiplayer faction its development should not be restrained by UMC.
Airatgaljamov wrote:And directly in the next sentence Dwarves are using rune magic. And they make firespitting magical artifacts. And some of them have been seen to use necromancy. So no viewpoint occupied. And besides why would it be bad if it was occupied?
The knalgan alliance multiplayer faction uses no magic and neither do the northerners. It is rarely used in general by multiplayer balanced units. The dwarves did not create the fire-spitting ruby of fire they were only hired to craft a scepter for it. The necromancer dwarves hid behind masks and were not exactly embraced by their former kin when they revealed themselves.

So there isn't much ground left to cover with the "disfavors magic" angle. Especially not for a multiplayer faction, where magic is the exception not the rule.
Airatgaljamov wrote:Big difference is that Dunefolk have to be included.
Then they have to be interesting as a multiplayer faction and fitting to the other factions of default era to be accepted. At present they are bland and their support is lackluster. That is why all these threads have popped up; it is altogether an attempt to fix them.

Airatgaljamov wrote:Anyone would think twice about going into ocean when Sea Monsters are waiting there. Wesnoth have no motivation for developing ocean trade. There is no India or China with exotics to trade with.
There are intelligent races everywhere to trade with. The green isle was colonized by sea far from the great continent so there is blue water exploration from the very beginning. And the mermish live in the sea, they have no other choice but to face its dangers (and are in fact exceptionally good at it).
Airatgaljamov wrote:Well, why not? Some kind of sea or gulf could do it.
That has never stopped historical peoples. It would have to at least be an ocean. In other words the dunefolk would be living on another continent.

ahmannar
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Re: Dunefolk(previously Khalifate) race description

Post by ahmannar » February 1st, 2018, 4:20 pm

A mainline multiplayer faction outranks a UMC campaign in priority. It is ultimately a great deal more work both in terms of balancing and animations. And its ability to positively or negatively impact the game is much greater since it will be used extensively online where balance is very delicate and can be used in mainline campaigns once it is stable.

As long as dunefolk is a mainline multiplayer faction its development should not be restrained by UMC.
I feel like this is the point in the khalifate discussion that isn't completely clarified, at least in my view. The removal of religious references, homogenization of unit names/descriptions and work on unit stats/graphics can be completely separated from the lore view point. Since there isn't any indication of work on a khalifate campaign in the near future intended for mainline or transformation of an UMC campaign to mainline standards, it seems strange to try to restrict story-line possibilities for the faction.

After all, we currently have the drakes mainline description, which gives an appropriate amount of lore to a faction that has been in the game over more than a decade, with different interpretations in UMC campaigns. This is possible because nowhere in the mainline lore is information that restricts these campaigns as some attempts for the current khalifate revamp.

What i mean with this is the following: it's possible to have flavorful descriptions and general lore without giving so many details to a faction culture/origins like we currently are doing now. This course of action is directly correlated to the fact that, after years of the faction being mainlined, there was no attempt to introduce or adapt a khalifate campaign, despite a few of them having been made and clearly showing a great amount of work.

Of course mainline trumps over UMC, but it is undeniable that repeating the same mistake that happened with the drakes faction and trying to come up with "artificial" lore without the content to back it up, even if it has been in UMC for quite some to be adaptable or discussed, leaves a sour taste in the mouth.

Airatgaljamov
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Re: Dunefolk(previously Khalifate) race description

Post by Airatgaljamov » February 1st, 2018, 5:40 pm

Cold Steel wrote:
The difference is that unlike other UMC, this khalifate/dunefolk multiplayer faction has been pushed into mainline status by "crony capitalism" to use your metaphor. It has not floated to its current status on its own merits and is lacking as a result.

If it is ultimately de-mainlined and released back into the UMC ecosystem to meet its natural fate (whatever that is) then so be it. But if it is to remain mainlined then it should be experimented with and improved until it reaches the state of popularity and balance of the factions it is supposedly going to share an era with.
Either of these possibilities requires lots of time and effort. Experimenting with adding more and more new elements to me seem to be just unfulfillable in near future. And I cannot agree with wasting all the work that has been already done on Dunefolk. But I believe it is possible now with minimum effort make Dunefolk more solid and coherent.
Cold Steel wrote: The knalgan alliance multiplayer faction uses no magic and neither do the northerners. It is rarely used in general by multiplayer balanced units. The dwarves did not create the fire-spitting ruby of fire they were only hired to craft a scepter for it. The necromancer dwarves hid behind masks and were not exactly embraced by their former kin when they revealed themselves.

So there isn't much ground left to cover with the "disfavors magic" angle. Especially not for a multiplayer faction, where magic is the exception not the rule.
Firstly, Default is just a slice of the world of Wesnoth. And Orcs, Trolls, Griffons and Dwarves themselves look unnatural for any human. Is the whole Northerners faction an exception? Secondly, creating magical artifacts and necromancy IS a magic, whether it tolerated or not. Elves and Humans also do not like necromancy but practice it occasionally. Dwarves' distrust of magic is more like distrust of strangers and their magic. So place of culture, which despises all magic, is definitely not occupied.
Cold Steel wrote: There are intelligent races everywhere to trade with. The green isle was colonized by sea far from the great continent so there is blue water exploration from the very beginning. And the mermish live in the sea, they have no other choice but to face its dangers (and are in fact exceptionally good at it).
Where? There is no one out where. And if was, what can people trade with them?
Intelligent race would not travel into certain death without a reason. Green Island was inhabited because the Old continent was a bad place to live (probably because of orks). Islanders were looking for new land because of limited living space and Lich-lords' presence. Why would people of Wesnoth travel if there are enough place to live and expand?
Contact is possible through some medium race. It is most likely to be Elves or Merfolk. But neither of them is actually obligated to be aware of Dunefolk. Why would they travel so far to meet them if no one is pushing and resources are plentiful? And unknown only promises death from perils. Why would the Merfolk travel into deep ocean if settlements near the shore are protected and have access to every needed resource?
Isolated communities are not something unseen and unprecedented. Combination of factors may result in complete separation of societies and their mutual ignorance about each other. Until some event, either human caused or natural, shifts the current state and the world is turned upside down.

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Re: Dunefolk(previously Khalifate) race description

Post by name » February 1st, 2018, 8:21 pm

Airatgaljamov wrote:Either of these possibilities requires lots of time and effort.
No, un-mainlining would require no time or effort at all. It would in fact create enormous time and effort savings in the long run as animators and portrait artists could focus their attention on existing mainline content. Most animation frames for most mainline faction units in default era are still to be done.

Bringing dunefolk up to mainline quality and consistency will require great time and effort regardless of what fundamental changes are made to them at this point. Because they are only in a very basic state right now. Broken balance. Almost no animations. Conceptually bland. The time and necessity for change is now and present.
Airatgaljamov wrote:Experimenting with adding more and more new elements to me seem to be just unfulfillable in near future.
In a few days v1.14 will be frozen and a new development cycle will soon begin. The last cycle took about 3 years and the next should take about the same. There is not a pressing "near future" deadline. This is the perfect time for experimentation.
Airatgaljamov wrote:But I believe it is possible now with minimum effort make Dunefolk more solid and coherent.
All that has changed are their names. They are fundamentally the same faction stuck in development hell for the last decade or so.
Airatgaljamov wrote:Firstly, Default is just a slice of the world of Wesnoth.
If they are to be merged into default era then that slice is all that is relevant. If they are to be spun off then I have no objection.
Airatgaljamov wrote:And Orcs, Trolls, Griffons and Dwarves themselves look unnatural for any human.
So then dunefolk should hate them too? Your description proposal reads: "People of desert hate any form of unnatural"
Airatgaljamov wrote:Is the whole Northerners faction an exception?
In default era multiplayer the northerners have no magical units of any kind. Neither do the knalgans. Only rebels and undead have more than a single recruitable magic wielder. Magic is rare.
Airatgaljamov wrote:Secondly, creating magical artifacts and necromancy IS a magic, whether it tolerated or not. Elves and Humans also do not like necromancy but practice it occasionally. Dwarves' distrust of magic is more like distrust of strangers and their magic. So place of culture, which despises all magic, is definitely not occupied.
You are weaving together the actions of criminals, elites and radicals with the predominant culture of the group. By this logic, if even a single dune person tinkers with magic, then the whole race/faction is using magic.
Airatgaljamov wrote:Where? There is no one out where. And if was, what can people trade with them?
Heading south along the coast, the elves and then the dunefolk are out there.

Different regions are abundant in different resources. That is the driving force behind trade. The steppes of wesnoth, the forests of the elves and the sub tropics of the dunefolk would produce different agricultural products. The same goes for minerals.
Airatgaljamov wrote:Why would people of Wesnoth travel if there are enough place to live and expand?
Opportunity, refuge from wars and detection of foreign threats to the kingdom. And expansion requires travel.
Airatgaljamov wrote:Why would the Merfolk travel into deep ocean if settlements near the shore are protected and have access to every needed resource?
The dunefolk do not live in the deep ocean in the description proposals, they live in a southern desert along the coast. And merfolk already travel the open ocean readily and even fight wars in its deep.

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Re: Dunefolk(previously Khalifate) race description

Post by Deciton_Reven » February 1st, 2018, 8:48 pm

So re: Jinn and Wyverns and stuff. If those things are part of their culture they should absolutely be mentioned. Doubly so if there is not space to represent them among the "balanced" units in the MP faction. After all, we never see Drake eggs, but they are born from them, and that's a detail that's important for actually no reason other than flavor. Makes them feel more real if they have that fluff.

Also it's perfectly acceptable if multiple races distrust magic. There is no watering down of flavor there. That doesn't even make sense. If two races use magic that doesn't water that down?

I think it's probably okay to limit the view of "who exists" to just Wesnoth and surrounding in "The Battle for Wesnoth" for purposes of trading and exploration. Wesnoth has long gotten alone fine where they are, without crazy expansion attempts defining their character so it's perfectly fine if they aren't the ones who first meet the Dunefolk, the southern elves seem like the perfect candidates to ease those groups into each other, and it was likely the Dunefolk found them rather than anyone finding the Dunefolk. Searching for better/more good places to live is a far more likely reason to travel than "oh a desert full of nothing lets cross it because that's not going to be a challenge and cost lots of resources for potentially 0 gain" which is what an elf or person of wesnoth would see. I mean right? Has anyone even tried to explore the angle that the dunefolk are just now appearing is because they are the ones to initiate it after all this time, because the other races really didn't seem to care. It's easier to spin that angle too, as literally nothing about the dunefolk's motives and history is set yet you could give them any reason to migrate or at least explore to the north and it would be able to be in character for them.

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Re: Dunefolk(previously Khalifate) race description

Post by Airatgaljamov » February 1st, 2018, 9:44 pm

Cold Steel wrote:
No, un-mainlining would require no time or effort at all. It would in fact create enormous time and effort savings in the long run as animators and portrait artists could focus their attention on existing mainline content. Most animation frames for most mainline faction units in default era are still to be done.

Bringing dunefolk up to mainline quality and consistency will require great time and effort regardless of what fundamental changes are made to them at this point. Because they are only in a very basic state right now. Broken balance. Almost no animations. Conceptually bland. The time and necessity for change is now and present.
Un-mainlining means Dunefolk would be forgotten. If no one is eager to create at least some quality material for Dunefolk now why would anyone start when Dunefolk go out from mainline? Work on current mainline units is slow. My guess is that there not as much to be done as it may look like.
And you know what, I would be glad if Dunefolk become excluded from mainline and some talented group develops them, sprites, animations, campaigns and everything. But that is not likely to happen.
As you mentioned soon will be a 1.14 release. Renaming of Dunefolk is supposed to happen before freezing. So is it a good time to start reinventing a faction?
After 1.14 release of course discussion about Dunefolk can be started again but this time with possibility of major changes.
Cold Steel wrote: So then dunefolk should hate them too? Your description proposal reads: "People of desert hate any form of unnatural"
Guess so. Is that a problem? I can imagine Dunefolk ceasing any form of contact with Trolls or Dwarves. Even not trying to enter the land with their presence. For Dunefolk that land can be cursed with magic.
Cold Steel wrote: You are weaving together the actions of criminals, elites and radicals with the predominant culture of the group. By this logic, if even a single dune person tinkers with magic, then the whole race/faction is using magic.
To make magic person must have ability, talent to magic. Not everyone is magic-capable that's one of magic's characteristics, isn't it? Dunefolk may become the first non-magical or even anti-magical culture. 30% arcane resistance would be nice in that case.
Cold Steel wrote: Heading south along the coast, the elves and then the dunefolk are out there.

Different regions are abundant in different resources. That is the driving force behind trade. The steppes of wesnoth, the forests of the elves and the sub tropics of the dunefolk would produce different agricultural products. The same goes for minerals.
At this point there is no evidence nor for us nor for in-world people that these different resources exist or even can exist. And I can never buy exotic resource if I never encounter a trader who sales it. Case is even stronger if I never had idea that this trader exists. Trade between Wesnoth, elves and dwarves for resources are now fulfilled without need for long ocean travel. So again there is no reason for anyone to overcome definitely perilous regions. So my point is following: there is no reason why Dunefolk were not able to exist in isolation for a long period of time. Merfolk or Elves are not obligated by any physical law to encounter Dunefolk. First Contact with any race can be established at any point in time, space and with wide choice preceding events. Dangerous natural borders combined with reluctance (plentiful resources and space here) and inability (periodic dark ages) of known races to explore distant land and Dunedolk's distrust make their "sudden" reasonable and not forced.
Cold Steel wrote: Opportunity, refuge from wars and detection of foreign threats to the kingdom. And expansion requires travel.
Wars come from outside. Refugees flee to safe places. While Weldyn and Elensefar standing there is no reason to flee to deadly desert. And Wesnoth tends to expand northward, to the north bank of the Great River.
Eastern Invasion wrote:the wave of colonization had begun around 530 YW
So Wesnoth started colonizing eastern regions only 500 years after establishing the state. This is obviously because there was much to do in local lands. And after start of colonization undead invasion happened. So exploring was kicked back for the whole century. Then we have Silver Age which ends in 673 YW with civil war, so again no time for traveling. Or in contrast these events can be a trigger and a background for the First Contact.

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Re: Dunefolk(previously Khalifate) race description

Post by name » February 2nd, 2018, 12:42 am

Deciton_Reven wrote:Also it's perfectly acceptable if multiple races distrust magic. There is no watering down of flavor there. That doesn't even make sense. If two races use magic that doesn't water that down?
It is acceptable but not particularly interesting.

If every default faction used magic extensively and then you introduced a new faction that instead relied on an equally powerful but completely different thing (say steam powered gadgetry) that would be flavorful.

But existing default factions have magic wielders only sporadically. A third of the factions use none at all. Another third uses only a single magician each. And the dunefolk do not have anything like superior technology. Their smithing is inferior to drakes and dwarves, their armor is inferior to the loyalists, their greek fire guy is nothing amazing next to the dwarven hand cannons. Their technology is average. They have a better healer (than even the elves somehow, which seems wrong) but otherwise they are just more dudes with swords.

With flavor from near eastern mythology like flying carpets, jinni, rocs, etc., we have more options for a wider mixture of units and abilities. But alas, these things tend to fall under the category of "magic".
Airatgaljamov wrote:Un-mainlining means Dunefolk would be forgotten. If no one is eager to create at least some quality material for Dunefolk now why would anyone start when Dunefolk go out from mainline?
Well then what does that say about the merits of this faction? It has been in development since 2005. If it has not attracted enough support by now to survive on its own like other UMC factions then what is the point of keeping it on life support?
Airatgaljamov wrote:Work on current mainline units is slow. My guess is that there not as much to be done as it may look like.
Each animation has to be done 4 times so that it can appear to face in every direction while executing an action. Maybe not every unit needs an idle animation or even a standing animation and hit animations can be one frame. But attack and running animations are highly dynamic and several frames each. Multiplied by the 4 directions. Multiplied by the total number of mainline recruitable units, custom units and monster units. Multiplied partially by the advancement versions of these. So there is quite a lot to be done.
Airatgaljamov wrote:As you mentioned soon will be a 1.14 release. Renaming of Dunefolk is supposed to happen before freezing. So is it a good time to start reinventing a faction?
It will be a good time in only a few more days.

For 1.14 I only suggested removing two lines from the proposed race description which contradict how the faction could be developed in the next release cycle. It wasn't a big ask.
Airatgaljamov wrote:Guess so. Is that a problem? I can imagine Dunefolk ceasing any form of contact with Trolls or Dwarves. Even not trying to enter the land with their presence. For Dunefolk that land can be cursed with magic.
It casts the dunefolk as quite backwards and limits the kinds of interactions that are possible between them and anyone else. They are basically hostile to everyone, like the orcs. Except even the orcs are allied with trolls and naga.
Airatgaljamov wrote:To make magic person must have ability, talent to magic. Not everyone is magic-capable that's one of magic's characteristics, isn't it?
For humans it is mostly a matter of knowledge and practice. It is a skill you and anyone else can develop. For races with a partially magical "nature" like the woses and drakes it is something they do not have to learn but cannot control in as much detail. For elves it is a bit of both cases.

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Re: Dunefolk(previously Khalifate) race description

Post by Pentarctagon » February 2nd, 2018, 1:19 am

@ColdSteel So this is what you would prefer? It may only be two points, but it takes out about half the description:
The Dunefolk are a human culture hailing from the southern desert, beyond the secretive elven forests. Nomadic tribes of Dunefolk constantly roam the desert, leading their herds from one watering hole to another. Some Dunefolk gather into their bustling cities which have grown up around the fertile spots scattered across the desert. Each city is mostly independent and ruled by a sultan. Caravans carry trade across harsh desert between the cities.

The Dunefolk are composed of cultured scholars, talented healers, and ferocious warriors who have mastered both steel and fire to decimate their enemies in combat. As a result of living in the harsh desert for unknown ages past, the Dunefolk have developed rational methods of enquiry, through which they continue to improve their knowledge of the world. Their skill in herbal medicine perhaps rivals even the elves, providing them an efficient way to keep fighters alive between battles. Moreover, the Dunefolk have learned to tame the peculiar beasts of the desert for warfare and destruction.

Due to impenetrable mountains and swamps, there has been little to no contact between the Kingdom of Wesnoth and the Dunefolk. Elves of the southern and far eastern forests aren't particularly forthcoming with information even on the rare occasions that they come into contact with the humans on either side of them. The Dunefolk are also involved in frequent skirmishes with drakes to the northeast, largely over the rights to hunting the desert herd-beasts.

Common fear and distaste for undead and dark magic is even stronger among the Dunefolk. The people of the desert have an unusual distaste for the supernatural, perhaps in part due to sharing the sands with the fickle, often unpredictable Jinn. As a result, most have little tolerance for a person who vainly tries to master the secrets no-one should have access to.
Also...
Cold Steel wrote:
Airatgaljamov wrote:Un-mainlining means Dunefolk would be forgotten. If no one is eager to create at least some quality material for Dunefolk now why would anyone start when Dunefolk go out from mainline?
Well then what does that say about the merits of this faction? It has been in development since 2005. If it has not attracted enough support by now to survive on its own like other UMC factions then what is the point of keeping it on life support?
Like it or not, unmainlining the Dunefolk is not something that's being considered. A main goal of the renaming and bringing them more in line with Wesnoth's conventions though, is that they will see greater use because they better fit in with the rest of the game. Getting them some actual, canon lore is also a part of that. Whether or not they should have been added to mainline several years ago is, by now, a moot point.

Given their current situation though, of having been added amid much controversy and then their creator leaving, it would be more of a surprise to me if they were popular and were doing well. Any content will wither when its author leaves and nobody decides to maintain it.

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As far as magic goes, I think there can be a distinction made between the Dunefolk as a whole, and a smaller group of people within the faction. The Dunefolk as a whole could distrust magic, and there could still be a guy on a flying carpet as a recruitable unit - so long as the unit's description explains how they fit into the Dunefolk's general distaste of magic. Maybe they're outcasts, maybe they're accepted or at least tolerated because of their usefulness, and so on.

I do think Celtic_Minstrel's description leaves the door open for their use of magic anyway, seeing as it only specifically calls out undead, dark magic, and vanity as being especially disliked.
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Re: Dunefolk(previously Khalifate) race description

Post by Celtic_Minstrel » February 2nd, 2018, 1:37 am

So I read all the comments and adjusted my proposed description, but can't be bothered to individually respond to each comment.
Cold Steel wrote:Their smithing is inferior to drakes and dwarves, their armor is inferior to the loyalists, their greek fire guy is nothing amazing next to the dwarven hand cannons.
You've said this several times, but I wonder where you get it from. How do you know their smithing and armour is inferior? I'm not saying it's not inferior, I'm just wondering about the basis for this claim.

As for the naffat, I think with a little work it could become just as amazing as the hand cannons. I think it should confer a "burn" status effect that works similarly to poison. I think I mentioned this in another thread too, there might've been a bit more detail there...
Cold Steel wrote:With flavor from near eastern mythology like flying carpets, jinni, rocs, etc., we have more options for a wider mixture of units and abilities. But alas, these things tend to fall under the category of "magic".
Flying carpets and jinn, sure, but rocs don't necessarily need to fall into the "magic" category, and with just a name change the faction could already have them.
Cold Steel wrote:It casts the dunefolk as quite backwards and limits the kinds of interactions that are possible between them and anyone else. They are basically hostile to everyone, like the orcs. Except even the orcs are allied with trolls and naga.
This just gave me another idea. We've posited that elves and drakes block passage from Wesnoth over land. What if there are nagas living off the desert's coast that block passage by sea? Perhaps the Dunefolk could even have good relations with them (which would be kinda nice, since they don't have good relations with the elves or drakes that also live in the area).


I also just thought of something. I don't know if it's a good idea, but... let me start from the beginning. So, the Default Era is basically Wesnoth-centric, right? It consists of Wesnoth (the Loyalists) and the surrounding factions at a specific point (or maybe a vague region) in history. I'd been considering for awhile the possible addition of an After the Fall era, which would consist of the Desert Elves and the surrounding at another point/region in history.

But, moving the time isn't the only option. You could also move the location. So, if the Dunefolk end up being unwelcome in the Default Era, you could add them as a focus to a new Southern Era (probably needs a better name), which would consist of the Dunefolk and their surrounding factions. I'm not sure if you could come up with enough factions to make that worthwhile, mind you, and I'm not even sure it's a good idea, but it's something to maybe consider.


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Anyway, here's my updated proposal based on all the comments since the previous one. I made certain things more vague, as some people requested.
Celtic Minstrel's Proposal wrote:The Dunefolk are a human culture hailing from the southern desert, beyond the secretive elven forests. Nomadic tribes of Dunefolk constantly roam the desert, leading their herds from one watering hole to another. Some Dunefolk gather into their bustling cities which have grown up around the fertile spots scattered across the desert, each of which enjoys a large measure of independence. Caravans carry trade across the harsh desert between the cities.

The Dunefolk are composed of cultured scholars, talented healers, and ferocious warriors who have mastered both steel and fire to decimate their enemies in combat. As a result of living in the harsh desert for unknown ages past, the Dunefolk have developed rational methods of enquiry, through which they continue to improve their knowledge of the world. Their skill in herbal medicine perhaps rivals even the elves, providing them an efficient way to keep fighters alive between battles. Moreover, the Dunefolk have learned to tame the peculiar beasts of the desert for warfare and destruction.

Due to perilous natural barriers, there has been little contact between the Kingdom of Wesnoth and the Dunefolk. Elves of the southern and far eastern forests aren't particularly forthcoming with information even on the rare occasions that they come into contact with the humans on either side of them. As a result of these barriers, the Dunefolk are known in Wesnoth only through occasional tales of adventurous travellers.

The Dunefolk are also involved in frequent skirmishes with drakes at the interior borders of the desert, largely over the rights to hunting the desert herd-beasts. Between the hostile drakes and neutral yet aloof elves, the Dunefolk thus have poor relations with most of the neighbouring cultures.

Common fear and distaste for undead and dark magic is even stronger among the Dunefolk. The people of the desert have an unusual distaste for the supernatural, perhaps in part due to certain other creatures with which they share the sun-baked sands. As a result, most have little tolerance for a person who vainly tries to master the secrets no-one should have access to.
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