Dunefolk(previously Khalifate) race description

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Re: Dunefolk(previously Khalifate) race description

Post by Deciton_Reven » February 2nd, 2018, 2:07 am

That's not a description I'd be unhappy with as a player, though it under performs compared to the other mainline races by a far margin, but a strong workable starting point. One certain problem is the line "perhaps in part due to certain other creatures with which they share the sun-baked sands". Saying "certain other creatures" make it seems like you know what the creatures are, but aren't naming them. I'd name those creatures outright or cut that, as it raise more questions than it answers.

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Re: Dunefolk(previously Khalifate) race description

Post by Celtic_Minstrel » February 2nd, 2018, 2:18 am

It's probably obvious to anyone who was following this thread, but I'm thinking of jinn there. Someone suggested making references to specific things that don't yet exist in mainline less explicit.
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Re: Dunefolk(previously Khalifate) race description

Post by catagent101 » February 2nd, 2018, 3:25 am

Before the subject of the (un)natural obstacles to the realm of the Dunefolk restarts, I would like to point something out. In the 4th scenario of SotA, some Dunefolk - merchants probably - are briefly seen running into the cargo hold, and the unit image used for them is called "khalif" in the files (or "dunefolk" as of latest master), so it's them all right. The campaign - according to the wiki - occurs during 22-23 YW i.e. the Dunefolk have been known to Wesnoth for nearly as long as it has existed, given the distance a ship would have to go, and it can be assumed that the nation of the Dunefolk is about as old as the Kingdom of Wesnoth, if not older. Of course, this is extrapolating from a brief cameo, but it's worth noting given it's their only appearance in the mainline campaigns as of current. Who discovered who first is another matter entirely.

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Re: Dunefolk(previously Khalifate) race description

Post by name » February 2nd, 2018, 7:28 am

Pentarctagon wrote: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.
I am personally indifferent to whether they end up back in the ecosystem or we go the distance to make them truly fitting and worthy of default era and they stay / get included. I am also just as good with them staying mainlined but separated in default+dunefolk era and then adding more UMC factions to it to create an "experimental era" where standards are looser (while preserving default era the way it is).

The one eventuality I would not want to see is dunefolk being made just good enough that everyone can tolerate them but next to no one loves them and then they slide into default era on inertia even though they contribute nothing to it or detract from it.

Some people were arguing that it is too expensive to make more than superficial changes to this faction, yet it is a permanent fixture. That kind of double pessimism is exactly the recipe that would bring about such a worst case scenario. And that is what I was arguing against.
Pentarctagon wrote: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.
I have no issue with that. I do not know what exactly "supernatural" means in a wesnoth context but if it only calls out the undead, then sure.
Celtic_Minstrel wrote: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.
For starters, from the drake and dwarf race descriptions, respectively:

The only technology drakes value is armour- and weapon-smithing, and neither know or need other science and culture besides this. However the few implements they do fashion are almost unrivaled in quality, only matched by those produced in the finest Dwarven foundries.

Dwarven smiths are renowned for their deadly weapons and heavy armor. These accouterments are unrivaled in quality, possibly only matched by those produced by drake armourers. Their intelligence and natural inquisitiveness has also made them the most technically advanced race on the continent.


And then you have unit resistance stats which are used for armor simulation (among other simulations, like the undead being unaffected by blood loss and thus resistant to puncture wounds). Granted, this does not distinguish artificial from natural armors.

Finally the appearance of their armor. They do not seem to possess full suits of plate armor as the loyalists do and instead rely on older fish scale and chain mail types.
Celtic_Minstrel wrote: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...
While slowly burning your enemies alive with incendiaries is certainly vicious, it is not so technically impressive as black powder and lightweight cannons.

For dunefolk to compete with dwarves as the "the most technically advanced race on the continent" the naffat (now called "dune burner") would need to be something even more gadgety. Like a mechanical siege machine the size of a drake, armed with the greek fire thrower and an incendiary onager or ballista.
Celtic_Minstrel wrote: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.
Well keeping dunefolk in an era outside of default would get my annoying ass out of everyone's hair. The challenging standards I apply to the dunefolk is exactly because they are aimed at default era.

There would also be more ways to balance them if they were set in an era with fewer existing factions, as you could tweak one faction match up without always breaking another.

You could also make this the Old Continent Era. The epic and dreadfully dangerous sounding description the wesfolk give of that land plus the fact it is the origin point of humanity plus the mystery surrounding it given the lack of any depiction or detailed description of it... make it the most interesting place in the game, in my opinion.
Celtic Minstrel's Proposal wrote: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.
It works for me so long as "supernatural" does not equal "magic".

Maybe the idea with "magic" could be, the dunefolk are not against the ability per se, as long as they have had ample time to dissect it, understand the pitfalls and master its use. If they are an inquisitive, rational, scientifically minded people living in a world where things classified as "magic" actual have physical effects, they should not turn their backs on it but they should proceed slowly and cautiously.

One of their units is now called alchemist, and the founding goal of alchemy was actually to achieve immortality. Turning common elements into gold was only a prerequisite step to acquire the quantities of gold that were assumed to be necessary to achieve immortality (those pesky starting assumptions). So they might even be the only faction that does not see the undead as essentially evil (since immortality is a noble goal) but a product of foolishness and selfishness by necromancers trying to cut corners and achieve this goal within their own lifespans (and instead becoming tyrant monsters that ultimately die at the hands of all the enemies they make).

In other words, the dunefolk would not be magi-phobic troglodytes but the kind of cautious and systematic people you would want overseeing a nuclear power plant.

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Re: Dunefolk(previously Khalifate) race description

Post by Pentarctagon » February 2nd, 2018, 8:20 am

Cold Steel wrote:One of their units is now called alchemist
Err... what? Alchemist was a suggestion, but it wasn't what was chosen. Hakim -> Tabib is going to become Dune Herbalist -> Dune Apothecary.
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Re: Dunefolk(previously Khalifate) race description

Post by Airatgaljamov » February 2nd, 2018, 9:30 am

Cold Steel wrote: Finally the appearance of their armor. They do not seem to possess full suits of plate armor as the loyalists do and instead rely on older fish scale and chain mail types.
These types of armor are not inferior to plate armor. For nomadic Dunefolk it is reasonable to use them, because they are easier in production have lower weight and more mobility.
Cold Steel wrote: It works for me so long as "supernatural" does not equal "magic".
How is it possible if magic is defined to be supernatural? Even in a world where magic has physical effects its rarity, exclusivity for gifted and violating the laws that everything and everyone generally follow make magic supernatural and supernatural magical. How am I supposed to believe that supernatural fire-spitting giant winged reptile have nothing to do this magic? And how am I supposed to believe that mage creating waves of cold out of nothing is not supernatural while no one else in entire community can do so?

proposal wrote:
The Dunefolk are a nomadic human culture inhabiting dry deserts of the distant southeastern regions of the continent. Tribes of the Dunefolk constantly roam the desert, leading their herds from one pasture to another. The desert is scarce for permanent generous water sources. These scattered fortunate spots gave a rise for bustling cities of the Dunefolk. Cities are small in number but each enjoys a large measure of independence. Under protection of warriors from friendly nomadic tribes caravans carry trade across the harsh desert between the cities.

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. The desert tought them to use every its gift carefully and efficiently, save the knowledge and pass it through generations and to be no less then excellent at their activities. The Dunefolk are composed of cultured scholars, talented healers, and ferocious warriors who have mastered both steel, tactics to decimate their enemies in combat. Their skill in herbal medicine allows them to keep their warriors and workers always fresh and healthy. Moreover, the Dunefolk have learned to use more some peculiar gifts to bring the fire into warfare.

It is known that the Dunefolk are involved in frequent skirmishes with Drakes at the interior borders of the desert, largely over the rights for lush and fertile territories. Desert highlands and mountains are regions which the Dunefolk would like to seize from Trolls and other creatures. (this should be improved and expanded)

Constant need for water and land make the Dunefolk explore new lands. Their expeditions to the western perilous sands eventually have led to the contact with locals and the Dunefolk became a significant force in the struggle for the steppes, mountains and forests near the Great River.

Common fear and distaste for undead and dark magic is even stronger among the Dunefolk. The people of the desert see the magic as a curse, uncontrollable, unpredictable and unnatural. They look at unlucky individuals, creatures and races that were touched with magic with a mix of fear and pity.

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Re: Dunefolk(previously Khalifate) race description

Post by name » February 2nd, 2018, 3:25 pm

Pentarctagon wrote:Err... what? Alchemist was a suggestion, but it wasn't what was chosen. Hakim -> Tabib is going to become Dune Herbalist -> Dune Apothecary.
My bad, I was looking at this thread rather than that one. You are correct.
Airatgaljamov wrote:These types of armor are not inferior to plate armor. For nomadic Dunefolk it is reasonable to use them, because they are easier in production have lower weight and more mobility.
And you can say the same things about elven armor versus dunefolk armor. And the same about wearing no armor at all. :P

But the point remains their armor demonstrates less technical sophistication than precisely jointed suits of full plate armor like loyalists have. And their smithing technology is certainly outperformed by the drakes and dwarves as the race descriptions indicate.

And this feeds back into the wider point that their current unit line shows only average technological knowledge versus other factions.
Airatgaljamov wrote:How is it possible if magic is defined to be supernatural? Even in a world where magic has physical effects its rarity, exclusivity for gifted and violating the laws that everything and everyone generally follow make magic supernatural and supernatural magical. How am I supposed to believe that supernatural fire-spitting giant winged reptile have nothing to do this magic? And how am I supposed to believe that mage creating waves of cold out of nothing is not supernatural while no one else in entire community can do so?
Well this is why I prefer to cut through the whole problem by having the dunefolk not be against "magic" but against exploiting powers of any kind that are not fully understood yet.

They might have something like the great Library of Alexandria where they hold vast knowledge accrued over their centuries of nomadic wanderings and where new discoveries are brought for careful study by an order of scholars there. As a matter of honor, whenever ordinary dunefolk individuals find something powerful and dangerous, they wrap it up and send it to the council of scholars for examination.

This way their culture avoids the pitfalls created by having power hungry or eccentric individuals like mages and necromancers, or even individuals in desperate situations like Landar or Malin Keshar, becoming so destructive.

And yet through this process of careful study their scholars eventually learn to fabricate for their people such things as magic carpets and other wonders that vex even the magi of wesnoth and the elves.

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Re: Dunefolk(previously Khalifate) race description

Post by Pentarctagon » February 3rd, 2018, 12:43 am

catagent101 wrote:Before the subject of the (un)natural obstacles to the realm of the Dunefolk restarts, I would like to point something out. In the 4th scenario of SotA, some Dunefolk - merchants probably - are briefly seen running into the cargo hold, and the unit image used for them is called "khalif" in the files (or "dunefolk" as of latest master), so it's them all right. The campaign - according to the wiki - occurs during 22-23 YW i.e. the Dunefolk have been known to Wesnoth for nearly as long as it has existed, given the distance a ship would have to go, and it can be assumed that the nation of the Dunefolk is about as old as the Kingdom of Wesnoth, if not older. Of course, this is extrapolating from a brief cameo, but it's worth noting given it's their only appearance in the mainline campaigns as of current. Who discovered who first is another matter entirely.
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Re: Dunefolk(previously Khalifate) race description

Post by SigurdFireDragon » February 3rd, 2018, 1:10 am

Cold Steel wrote:
Pentarctagon wrote: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.
I am personally indifferent to whether they end up back in the ecosystem or we go the distance to make them truly fitting and worthy of default era and they stay / get included. I am also just as good with them staying mainlined but separated in default+dunefolk era and then adding more UMC factions to it to create an "experimental era" where standards are looser (while preserving default era the way it is).

The one eventuality I would not want to see is dunefolk being made just good enough that everyone can tolerate them but next to no one loves them and then they slide into default era on inertia even though they contribute nothing to it or detract from it.

Some people were arguing that it is too expensive to make more than superficial changes to this faction, yet it is a permanent fixture. That kind of double pessimism is exactly the recipe that would bring about such a worst-case scenario. And that is what I was arguing against.
We might as well see what happens with what has been done so far, though I do share some of these concerns. I think it would be much better for the project if they cross the finish line enthusiastically, instead of limping or being pushed across.

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Re: Dunefolk(previously Khalifate) race description

Post by Celtic_Minstrel » February 3rd, 2018, 3:03 am

Re: magic vs supernatural

Generally speaking, magic is a subset of the supernatural (but not necessarily a proper subset). In other words, magic is supernatural, but supernatural may not be magic (depending on the setting). In some settings though, the two could be synonymous.

Re: different armour types

When you're comparing the dunefolk armour to full plate armour, I don't think it's fair to say the dunefolk have inferior armour. Plate armour is not categorically superior to the types of armour that the other races of Wesnoth use — it has better defence, sure, but it also has some disadvantages. In particular, I think it may actually be too hot to be feasible in a desert environment. In other words, the dunefolk probably have the technology to make plate armour comparable to that of Wesnoth, but have chosen not to for logistical reasons.

Re: The latest proposed description

Okay, first of all, there are quite a few grammar and spelling issues in this latest version, but I do like some of the changes. One thing I don't really understand however is the fourth paragraph:
Airatgaljamov's proposal wrote: Constant need for water and land make the Dunefolk explore new lands. Their expeditions to the western perilous sands eventually have led to the contact with locals and the Dunefolk became a significant force in the struggle for the steppes, mountains and forests near the Great River.
What's these western perilous sands? Don't they literally live in the only place that could be described as "western perilous sands"? To the west of them lies a great bay, to the east lies the steppes. (To the north is swamp and mountains if I recall correctly, and the south hasn't been established.) Also, what's this Great River? It sounds to me like something too close to Wesnoth, but I'm not sure; if you just mean a river wending through the desert itself (the dunefolk Nile-equivalent or Euphrates-equivalent or something like that), then that would be fine.

I'm going to omit that paragraph from my next proposal (which is primarily correcting the grammar issues in your version), but I could probably be convinced to bring it back.

Another minor point of contention is the presence of trolls, which I had thought of as native specifically to the _northern_ mountains. On the other hand, it's not that much of stretch to suppose they might also live in warmer mountains, so for now I'll leave that reference in.

I'm not a fan of the way you reworded it to imply that the dunefolk are primarily nomads and only secondarily city-dwellers, but in the end, I guess it doesn't really matter that much.
Celtic Minstrel's proposal wrote: The Dunefolk are a nomadic human culture inhabiting the dry deserts south of the known region of the continent. Tribes of the Dunefolk constantly roam the desert, leading their herds from one watering hole to another, as permanent large water sources are scares in the desert. The largest of these fortunate areas have given rise to a small number bustling Dunefolk cities, each of which enjoys a large measure of independence. Under the protection of warriors from friendly nomadic tribes, caravans carry trade across the harsh desert between the cities.

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. The desert taught them to use every its gift carefully and efficiently, saving their knowledge and passing it on through the generations. The desert is an unforgiving mistress, requiring them to be no less then excellent at their activities. As a result, the Dunefolk are composed of cultured scholars, talented healers, and ferocious warriors who have mastered tactics to decimate their enemies in combat. Their skill in herbal medicine allows them to keep their warriors and workers always fresh and healthy, and in addition to steel and arrows, the Dunefolk have brought deadly fire and ferocious beasts into warfare.

It is known that the Dunefolk are involved in frequent skirmishes with Drakes and Trolls at the inland borders of the desert, in part over the rights to the more fertile territories and in part due to the rights over the desert herds. The more fertile highlands and deserts are an attractive region for the enterprising Dunefolk, and many would like to take those lands for themselves. On their opposite border, they have more cordial relations with the neighbouring naga tribes, but to the north, the elves remain aloof, neither outwardly hostile nor particularly friendly.

Common fear and distaste for undead and dark magic is even stronger among the Dunefolk. The people of the desert see it as a curse — uncontrollable, unpredictable and unnatural. They look at unlucky individuals, creatures and races that were touched with magic with a mix of fear and pity.
You could replace "naga tribes" with some more generic "sea tribes" if you don't like relating the dunefolk to nagas specifically, but I personally think it could be an opportunity to give a bit more definition to the nagas at the same time.

Also, I still want to keep a reference (possibly vague) to jinn in the description.

(By the way, I should note that a new description is almost certainly for 1.15+ only.)
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Re: Dunefolk(previously Khalifate) race description

Post by Airatgaljamov » February 3rd, 2018, 7:59 am

Celtic_Minstrel wrote: What's these western perilous sands? Don't they literally live in the only place that could be described as "western perilous sands"? To the west of them lies a great bay, to the east lies the steppes. (To the north is swamp and mountains if I recall correctly, and the south hasn't been established.) Also, what's this Great River? It sounds to me like something too close to Wesnoth, but I'm not sure; if you just mean a river wending through the desert itself (the dunefolk Nile-equivalent or Euphrates-equivalent or something like that), then that would be fine.
My intension was following. I imagined the Dunefolk living rather far to the east from Wesnoth. So to meet Wesnoth Dunefolk would have to traverse a big desert, which is to the west from Dunefolk's territory, thus western sands. But yeah, Based on maps from Oath of Allegiance and this thread I should have said northern desert. After this crossing the Dunefolk would become eager to occupy this new fertile land of THE Great River, where Wesnoth is located.
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Re: Dunefolk(previously Khalifate) race description

Post by Celtic_Minstrel » February 3rd, 2018, 3:51 pm

Hmm, I might be misunderstanding the geography of Wesnoth, then. Is that the map from Oath of Allegiance? Is Wesnoth over by those forested areas in the west? I think I recognize one of the forest names... In that case, where would the eastern horse tribes be?

(To be quite clear, I'm referencing the first map, not the second.)
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Re: Dunefolk(previously Khalifate) race description

Post by Kwandulin » February 3rd, 2018, 4:10 pm

Quick and dirty merge: The horse clans of Wesnoth are located in the circled area.

Maybe duen worms roaming in the sandy wastes could be a reason, why there is little contact between the elves of the Southwoods and the Dunefolk. At least in OoA, there is one scenario in which the group encounters a destroyed camp and some worms.
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Re: Dunefolk(previously Khalifate) race description

Post by Airatgaljamov » February 3rd, 2018, 4:14 pm

Celtic_Minstrel wrote:Hmm, I might be misunderstanding the geography of Wesnoth, then. Is that the map from Oath of Allegiance? Is Wesnoth over by those forested areas in the west? I think I recognize one of the forest names... In that case, where would the eastern horse tribes be?

(To be quite clear, I'm referencing the first map, not the second.)
Yes it is OoA map. Top left forest on the map is the Aethenwood. It also mada a appearance in The South Guard. You can see Weldyn on map so it should give some idea of distances. And I'm not sure about which eastern tribes are you mentioning.

P.S. guess Kwandulin already answered to everything.
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Re: Dunefolk(previously Khalifate) race description

Post by Eagle_11 » February 3rd, 2018, 5:48 pm

The way i have understood the Horse Clans are located directly north(and north-east) of Weldyn, as the Horse Clans level takes place around there in HttT, or atleast was so last time i have played that campaign. It also makes perfect sense for Wesnoth to let the knights settle into their very center.
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