Dunefolk(previously Khalifate) race description

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Re: Dunefolk(previously Khalifate) race description

Post by name » February 14th, 2018, 4:51 pm

Airatgaljamov wrote:Yes, leaving that basic description is a reasonable idea.
[...]
Maybe it would be better to start discussing here not the total description, but ideas of how the Dunefolk and their cultural features can be shown in a campaign.
I agree. Also there is a lot to discuss about what recruitable units they should have and what to do about liminal alignment. Getting clear on these details would inform the race/faction description.

The driving force behind rushing out an interim description was the impending string freeze. Since the freeze has presumably happened (a second time) a more comprehensive approach seems now the better option.
Airatgaljamov wrote:My thoughts were following: if we introduce brand new magical creature species it would be nice if they are consistent with current magical kin of Wesnoth. For example this new species can be faeries of deserts as Woses (and somewhat Elves) are faeries of forests.
That is exactly what jinni would be though. There is no need to rename them.

In different stories from mythology, jinni are depicted as having all different degrees of power. Often they are depicted more as strange living creatures that have offspring and eventually die from old age or, for example, in battle. They can be somewhat stronger and faster than humans and possess abilities humans lack but can also have counterbalancing weaknesses.

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Re: Dunefolk(previously Khalifate) race description

Post by Airatgaljamov » February 14th, 2018, 5:20 pm

Cold Steel wrote: That is exactly what jinni would be though. There is no need to rename them.

In different stories from mythology, jinni are depicted as having all different degrees of power. Often they are depicted more as strange living creatures that have offspring and eventually die from old age or, for example, in battle. They can be somewhat stronger and faster than humans and possess abilities humans lack but can also have counterbalancing weaknesses.
Exactly this radical difference in power level in different sources can be considered as a reason for a name change. Less ambiguities and wrong expectations. Plus some unique style for Wesnoth. We have Woses not Ents, why not have just a random guess Badavs instead of Jinns.

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Re: Dunefolk(previously Khalifate) race description

Post by nemaara » February 14th, 2018, 6:05 pm

Pentarctagon wrote:
Airatgaljamov wrote: That is exactly my point; we should wait until some mainline quality campaign appears before creating final description. For example this one could be promising.
So you'd prefer to leave the current description in until a campaign gets mainlined? I'd agree that the description can be modified if/when a Dunefolk campaign gets mainlined, but I'd also rather not wait until one is added to have something more concrete for their description. Unless there's someone who is interested in having their Dunefolk campaign mainlined already, it could easily be another couple years at least until that happens.
Another thing is that the current Dunefolk campaigns (that I am aware of) are short (or planned to be short). It's unlikely that someone will come up with a substantial Dunefolk campaign within a short period of time that covers their origins and culture in great detail. And then it'd be even less likely that it would be of mainline quality without substantial effort and time from the author(s).

Basically, the point is that waiting for "someone" to make a mainline-quality campaign that covers all of the Dunefolk's culture and origins seems like a bit of a stretch, and it might be reasonable to just finish a more polished/detailed description now, then change it later. The reason is that the race description is relatively easy to write and change, and even if there might be changes later, those edits probably would not be very drastic. As it is right now, the description is a little bare compared to those for the other mainline factions.

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Re: Dunefolk(previously Khalifate) race description

Post by name » February 14th, 2018, 6:35 pm

Airatgaljamov wrote:Exactly this radical difference in power level in different sources can be considered as a reason for a name change. Less ambiguities and wrong expectations. Plus some unique style for Wesnoth. We have Woses not Ents, why not have just a random guess Badavs instead of Jinns.
The name "wose" comes from the mythical creature "woodwose", although it does also take a lot of features from the ent as you observed.

This is wesnoth's way -- start with a source of inspiration from mythology, then select from it the elements that fit the story world and game play. But the name of the thing stays about the same from the mythological source rather than a gibberish name getting assigned. So we have "dwarf" rather than "duundwel", "drake" rather than "nogard" and "elf" rather than "leefbro".

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Re: Dunefolk(previously Khalifate) race description

Post by Airatgaljamov » February 14th, 2018, 7:28 pm

Cold Steel wrote: The name "wose" comes from the mythical creature "woodwose", although it does also take a lot of features from the ent as you observed.

This is wesnoth's way -- start with a source of inspiration from mythology, then select from it the elements that fit the story world and game play. But the name of the thing stays about the same from the mythological source rather than a gibberish name getting assigned. So we have "dwarf" rather than "duundwel", "drake" rather than "nogard" and "elf" rather than "leefbro".
Dwarves and Elves are common and widespread names. They establish ground and working point for the world. With this working point it is possible to have some change to add flavor so Woses not Ents. Unfortunately I cannot find any good equivalent substitution for jinns as for Woses, so I guess jinns will be jinns if the decide to keep them as a part of Wesnoth.
nemaara wrote: It's unlikely that someone will come up with a substantial Dunefolk campaign within a short period of time that covers their origins and culture in great detail. And then it'd be even less likely that it would be of mainline quality without substantial effort and time from the author(s).

Basically, the point is that waiting for "someone" to make a mainline-quality campaign that covers all of the Dunefolk's culture and origins seems like a bit of a stretch, and it might be reasonable to just finish a more polished/detailed description now, then change it later. The reason is that the race description is relatively easy to write and change, and even if there might be changes later, those edits probably would not be very drastic. As it is right now, the description is a little bare compared to those for the other mainline factions.
Problem is that detailed description cannot be polished because people have quite different views on how the Dunefolk should be. I am in general against jinns and sandworms or any other new magical creature and making the Dunefolk magic capable. And I am especially against making Ruby of Fire a MacGuffin which makes every event in the world occur (exaggerating here) as in Cold Steel's suggestion. Another example Celtic_Minstrel was against my idea of interaction between the Dunefolk and Dwarves. Probably the only thing we can surely add now to current description is the lines
The Dunefolk are a human culture inhabiting the dry deserts in the southern region of the Geat Continent. Most of the Dunefolk population is gathered into nomadic tribes, they lead the herds of livestock around desert, between several pastoral territories. A few cities of the Dunefolf are the centers of trade, production, science and culture.
Also minor concern about Soldier description. Wouldn't it be better The Soldiers form...

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Re: Dunefolk(previously Khalifate) race description

Post by nemaara » February 14th, 2018, 7:57 pm

Airatgaljamov wrote: Problem is that detailed description cannot be polished because people have quite different views on how the Dunefolk should be. I am in general against jinns and sandworms or any other new magical creature and making the Dunefolk magic capable. And I am especially against making Ruby of Fire a MacGuffin which makes every event in the world occur (exaggerating here) as in Cold Steel's suggestion. Another example Celtic_Minstrel was against my idea of interaction between the Dunefolk and Dwarves. Probably the only thing we can surely add now to current description is the lines
The Dunefolk are a human culture inhabiting the dry deserts in the southern region of the Geat Continent. Most of the Dunefolk population is gathered into nomadic tribes, they lead the herds of livestock around desert, between several pastoral territories. A few cities of the Dunefolf are the centers of trade, production, science and culture.
I see your point. However, there are a couple things that can still be added without touching Dunefolk relations to other races and their history. For example, are the Dunefolk famed for any particular skill? In the case of elves, these would be archery and possibly mysticism. For dwarves, it is smithing and runecraft. It is quite possible that the Dunefolk could be very skilled in alchemy, and a little detail could be added to the description about this. There is no need to mention their history at all, since the origins for several other races (elf, human, orc) are not discussed in any detail in their respective descriptions. However, what I don't really like is that the current description doesn't really feel like it has enough substance to it. Right now, it has the level of detail of a description for a less detailed race (like naga or goblin), which have far less unit diversity than the Dunefolk. Then again, maybe other feel that it is not really a problem, so it's really up to the devs to figure out what they want.

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Re: Dunefolk(previously Khalifate) race description

Post by Xalzar » February 14th, 2018, 8:02 pm

Airatgaljamov wrote:
Cold Steel wrote: The name "wose" comes from the mythical creature "woodwose", although it does also take a lot of features from the ent as you observed.

This is wesnoth's way -- start with a source of inspiration from mythology, then select from it the elements that fit the story world and game play. But the name of the thing stays about the same from the mythological source rather than a gibberish name getting assigned. So we have "dwarf" rather than "duundwel", "drake" rather than "nogard" and "elf" rather than "leefbro".
Dwarves and Elves are common and widespread names. They establish ground and working point for the world. With this working point it is possible to have some change to add flavor so Woses not Ents. Unfortunately I cannot find any good equivalent substitution for jinns as for Woses, so I guess jinns will be jinns if the decide to keep them as a part of Wesnoth.
Well, Jinns are quite exstablished as well I think. If we really want an alternative name, we could use Genie.

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Re: Dunefolk(previously Khalifate) race description

Post by Airatgaljamov » February 14th, 2018, 8:17 pm

nemaara wrote: It is quite possible that the Dunefolk could be very skilled in alchemy, and a little detail could be added to the description about this.
Their features are also debated, some say they should lack magic and above average in smiting, herbal medicine and scientific research, others justly say that these are not the defining features of a culture. Some say we could make them close allies and a mix in faction with jinn, but this would be great change to current Dunefolk core idea.
nemaara wrote: There is no need to mention their history at all, since the origins for several other races (elf, human, orc) are not discussed in any detail in their respective descriptions.
Yeah, but human description at least states that they originate from the Old Continent and migrated to the Great Continent from the Green Island on the West. This is quite detailed origin.
nemaara wrote: However, what I don't really like is that the current description doesn't really feel like it has enough substance to it. Right now, it has the level of detail of a description for a less detailed race (like naga or goblin), which have far less unit diversity than the Dunefolk.
Yes, this probably caused by the fact that the Dunefolk are indeed lesser race or subrace of humans. So there is not much to tell if we already have humans’ description.
Xalzar wrote:Well, Jinns are quite exstablished as well I think. If we really want an alternative name, we could use Genie.
Genie, jinn, djinn are basically the same and have no difference, especially in some other languages. I had concerns because all-powerful Disney's jinni is not the same as a desert spirit or fairy from hard fantasy world. But it is really irrelevant now, so jinn are jinn.

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Re: Dunefolk(previously Khalifate) race description

Post by name » February 14th, 2018, 9:47 pm

Airatgaljamov wrote:Their features are also debated, some say they should lack magic and above average in smiting, herbal medicine and scientific research, others justly say that these are not the defining features of a culture. Some say we could make them close allies and a mix in faction with jinn, but this would be great change to current Dunefolk core idea.
There really is no core idea for the dunefolk, besides them being near eastern inspired.

That near eastern is the theme, plus the fact wesnoth is a fantasy-mythology setting, is why infusing the richer concepts from near eastern mythology is the way forward. Units based on jinni, indriks, ruhks, magic carpets, et al. Maybe aeolipile driven siege machines or war elephants.

Embrace the intersection point of the chosen setting (fantasy war game) and the chosen theme (near eastern mythology) and the faction blooms. Compelling visual, game play and story ideas are on the table. If we just let go of the purism for a starting concept so ill defined and bland that it takes scientific equipment just to know if it exists. :P

And I guarantee writing the description will then be cake.

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Re: Dunefolk(previously Khalifate) race description

Post by Celtic_Minstrel » February 15th, 2018, 2:07 am

Airatgaljamov wrote:
Celtic_Minstrel wrote:I'm confused, you're saying we can introduce jinn but shouldn't call them jinn? What else would we call them? Is there some problem with associating them with mythological jinn?
My thoughts were following: if we introduce brand new magical creature species it would be nice if they are consistent with current magical kin of Wesnoth. For example this new species can be faeries of deserts as Woses (and somewhat Elves) are faeries of forests. And if this species look like these: Image Image then it would be good to make them unique and standing out from EoMa, EoM or Disney's jinns. This can be achieved for example be having unique name for their kin. I unfortunately cannot come up with some name which satisfies possible descriptiveness, recognition or translation problems.
I'm not sure why you're bringing up Disney here (it doesn't even use the term "jinn", referring to them as "genies" instead). I also don't like those two sprites very much, though the one on the left would do as a stand-in, I guess.

But all that aside, none of what you've said here seems like an argument against associating them with mythological jinn.
Airatgaljamov wrote:Exactly this radical difference in power level in different sources can be considered as a reason for a name change. Less ambiguities and wrong expectations. Plus some unique style for Wesnoth. We have Woses not Ents, why not have just a random guess Badavs instead of Jinns.
Ents aren't mythological. Woses are. (Admittedly the mythological wose isn't actually a tree, though.)

I don't think the existence of jinn in other addons should be relevant, either.
Airatgaljamov wrote:Another example Celtic_Minstrel was against my idea of interaction between the Dunefolk and Dwarves.
I'd like to clarify that I have no problem with the idea that they might have interacted; it just seemed like a highly unlikely scenario given what I know of the lore. If it can be explained satisfactorily, I might be fine with it.
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Re: Dunefolk(previously Khalifate) race description

Post by MathBrush » February 16th, 2018, 6:44 pm

I wanted to add my two cents since I just uploaded a Dunefolk campaign.

I set my campaign about 100 years after Son of the Black Eye. In my game, the Dunefolk had a great empire (which I imagine as the Second Dunefolk Empire, leaving room for a much earlier one removed from the rest of the Wesnothian world).

This empire subjugated all races and known nations except elves, and oppressed shamans and mages. The empire was divided by two factions, the Black Lily and the White Lily, which fought and destroyed each other.

Afterwards, the Dunefolk fragmented into traveling caravans protected by Windriders, with much of the knowledge lost or preserved only by traveling herbalists. The Emperor's Personal guard (the Dune Soldiers/Arifs) remained in the shell of the capital city.

I chose this story because 1)it happens after everything else, explaining why the Dunefolk didn't appear earlier in the campaigns, 2)it suggests two earlier empires, allowing huge campaigns with elaborate magic/jinn/etc. for those settings, and 3)the subjugation of the mages and anger of the elves hints at a reason for the creation of the second sun by the mages we see later in Under the Burning Suns.

These are just my thoughts!

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Re: Dunefolk(previously Khalifate) race description

Post by Pentarctagon » February 17th, 2018, 8:46 am

Regarding waiting for a campaign aiming for mainline to come along to define the Dunefolk, and then creating a description based on that - the campaign is going to have to go through revisions and receive feedback on what it does actually set forth as their background. So even if/when a Dunefolk campaign aiming for mainline does come along, the same sort of discussion that we're having at the moment would need to take place anyway. By setting a description of the Dunefolk forward now, it would at least give anyone who wants their Dunefolk campaign mainlined an idea of what would be considered acceptable/workable for mainline.

To use MathBrush's take on the Dunefolk above: Is that a good starting point for the mainline Dunefolk lore, if he did want to try to get it into mainline? Right now, who knows.
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Re: Dunefolk(previously Khalifate) race description

Post by Xalzar » February 17th, 2018, 3:29 pm

Pentarctagon wrote: To use MathBrush's take on the Dunefolk above: Is that a good starting point for the mainline Dunefolk lore, if he did want to try to get it into mainline? Right now, who knows.
I need more information to make an educated opinion on MathBrush's story.
For now, I can only say that I'd prefer to not have every civilization except Elves under the Dunefolk yoke in the future (unless it's a temporary, short-to-medium situation): IMO it limits greatly the storyline of that historical period (even if there are not many campaigns set in those years).
Also, I can't imagine the Dunefolk invading the northern lands and being able to subdue all Wesnoth + Dwarves + Orcs. Expecially Dwarves and Orcs, the first being mostly subterranean and the latter populous and not keen on stay under invaders' rule.

Most importantly, it seems to imply that the first Dunefolk Empire was detached from Wesnoth-and-surroundings affairs, leaving most of the timeline inappropriate for Dunefolk involvement in campaigns; lastly, it seems the creation of the second sun is imminent just 100 years from the second to last mainline campaign (chronologically in the timeline, ndw), so it compresses the whole timeline of pre-Fall Wesnoth.

I'm interested to know more, but I think we should not focus too much on this version in particular, since it's set in late years of the timeline and I think the known history of the Dunefolk should start earlier. Here, this is an interesting topic to discuss: WHEN should the Dunefolk make their existence known to the races of the Great Continent? When does their timeline cross path with the Wesnoth one?

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Re: Dunefolk(previously Khalifate) race description

Post by nemaara » February 17th, 2018, 4:18 pm

I might be wrong, but by the sound of it, having a powerful Dunefolk empire conquer much of the known lands might conflict with the current history we have. Also, my impression of the Dunefolk was that they were never the empire type, but more of a nomadic people who had only a few settlements as like "rest stops" for their caravans. So his/her version might need some tweaks if it were to be used as a starting point.

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Re: Dunefolk(previously Khalifate) race description

Post by MathBrush » February 17th, 2018, 4:22 pm

Hmmm, yes, it seems I should have read through this thread more carefully first! I was just excited at having completed a campaign, and wanted to share my ideas here. I didn't realize how complicated this all was.

It sounds like you don't want them completely separate during current campaigns; are you planning on changing a current mainline campaign to incorporate Dunefolk? I've been going through them, and they seem like an absolutely perfect fit for The Desert of Death in Son of the Black Eye (which currently has giant scorpions and bandits).

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