Re: Swamplings - v1.1.7 - for 1.8 and 1.9

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boru
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Re: Swamplings - v1.1.7 - for 1.8 and 1.9

Post by boru » April 29th, 2010, 3:55 am

Please post your comments in this thread ... I really need your feedback to make this campaign better!
117update.png
7/1/11

The 1.1.7 update includes new sprites from artisticdude, a new portrait by Santiago Iborra, and some major changes to gold balance.

The Direwolf now has leadership over lesser wolves, including the wolf rider branch. The Firefly has a new ability: wildfire. When attacking with the torch, the fire spreads to nearby units. :twisted:

There is a new story part in Full Circle regarding Clammie and his son. And Dire Cave has teleporting statues.

===========================================
Info about earlier versions here:
Spoiler:
ORIGINAL POST FOLLOWS:

=================================================

After reading esr's excellent Campaign Design How-To, I was inspired to create a campaign of my own, entitled: :eng: Swamplings. It is about the chieftain of a primitive tribe of swamp goblins, who becomes enmeshed in the intrigues and betrayals of the men of Wesnoth.

While I haven't placed it in a precise spot on the timeline yet, it involves the first time a goblin rode on the back of a wolf, so it's a very early story. My storyboard is in 16 parts (some of those are cutscenes, so perhaps it is not quite as epic as it sounds) and the first 5 scenarios are available on the add-on server now.

Please note that these scenarios are not complete. There's not a lot of balance here yet -- mostly I'm laying down the storyline and where the battles happen.

At this stage I am requesting as much criticism as possible. Learning WML has been a challenge but I am gradually getting a grasp of it. Don't be shocked if you dig into the code and find I'm using 20 lines to do something that can be handled with one tag.

My characters tend to talk a lot. Hopefully what they say is of interest, and there's not a lot of descriptive narration, so in the end it should all average out.

Please use this thread to report major bugs and (especially) your first impressions of the story.
Last edited by boru on July 15th, 2011, 10:38 pm, edited 30 times in total.
“It is written in my life-blood, such as that is, thick or thin; and I can no other.” - J.R.R. Tolkien

My campaign: Swamplings - Four centuries before the founding of Wesnoth, the first wolf rider emerges from a tribe of lowly swamp goblins.

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Re: Swamplings

Post by Hulavuta » April 29th, 2010, 10:09 pm

I played through it. One thing that really was kind of odd were the names. Rashki sounds a bit like the Rahkshi, from the old Lego toy line "Bionicle" from 6 or 7 years ago. Also, Nosferatu, hmm, that's a famous vampire, so famous that not only I recognized it, but my spell check recognized it as well. I would recommend changing the name of Nosferatu.

The first level with swamps was really irritating since the goblins can really move much and get bad defense in swamps.

What else?

Oh yeah, I REALLY REALLY REALLY liked the story parts. REALLY REALLY REALLY. Further scenarios should have story parts like those.
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Re: Swamplings

Post by boru » April 30th, 2010, 1:36 am

Nosferatu is a wonderful old german silent horror movie I used to watch every Halloween at the Cathedral of St John the Divine in New York. Murnau wanted to adapt Bram Stoker's novel but they couldn't get the rights so they just called it a nosferatu instead of a vampire. Anyways I thought it would be an amusing name for a bat, but maybe not.

The Lego thing .. never heard of that. Rashki just sounded like a good name for a professional assassin.

About the swampiness .. I wasn't sure about changing the goblin movetype to speed them up in the swamps, with the excuse that these are goblins who have lived in swamps all their life and consequently have better swampy combat skills blah blah blah ... which, maybe I'll do. Either that or make my swamp less swampy. Once you get your guys up into the fortress north of your keep, it's not that awful. Or is it?

I'm glad you liked the story parts (although I'd really like to know specifically what you liked). More story parts are on their way! In my opinion, the story gets better as it goes on.

Also, I kind of rushed with this release and didn't set the credits to roll, but I want to publicly thank Stern for his awesome Giant Rat animations (which are mainline but are a bit tricky to find cause they're in the DiD campaign folder instead of the units folder).
“It is written in my life-blood, such as that is, thick or thin; and I can no other.” - J.R.R. Tolkien

My campaign: Swamplings - Four centuries before the founding of Wesnoth, the first wolf rider emerges from a tribe of lowly swamp goblins.

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Re: Swamplings

Post by Hulavuta » April 30th, 2010, 1:45 am

I kinda liked how the story gave a lot of exposition, (which I just realized would be a great idea for my campaign) and the one liners aren't cliche'd or lame at all.

I would go with the "less swampy" approach.

Nosferatu might bring up some copyright issues, I dunno. I named a character in my campaign "Braxis" and that hasn't really been trouble.
F:tGJ, Saurian Campaign
The Southern Chains, a fanfic
“The difference between winners and champions is that champions are more consistent."
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Re: Swamplings

Post by boru » April 30th, 2010, 2:43 am

I think I'm on safe ground here. If Nosferatu was a Disney character, the lawyers would be knocking on my door right now, but luckily I didn't name the bat Lilo and Stitch. On the other hand, if the bat's name makes people think too much about the bat's name, then it's not what I want, so I might end up renaming him anyway.

Exposition is a tricky thing. You can't just spring it on people, you need to present it and serve it in small doses. Remember, mystery is a great tool too. Ideally, you want to give enough information to keep people interested, and that is easier said than done.

I seem to have a knack for one-liners. I threw out a lot of things I thought were funny at first. Just from play-testing the campaign and seeing the same jokes over and over, it became obvious which ones were clunkers. I usually don't try to think of funny jokes. I think of funny situations, and the jokes grow organically. Also you don't want it to get too funny, because then you can't deal with stuff like the death of the son and how that would affect someone like Clammie.
“It is written in my life-blood, such as that is, thick or thin; and I can no other.” - J.R.R. Tolkien

My campaign: Swamplings - Four centuries before the founding of Wesnoth, the first wolf rider emerges from a tribe of lowly swamp goblins.

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Re: Swamplings

Post by Frigeridio » April 30th, 2010, 5:21 pm

I played through your campaign and liked it so far:

1. The first scenario was quite okay for me as you know, swamp goblins aren't outright famous for their forming of the landscape, but maybe one less swamp tile between the keep and the fortress would be okay and already it would make a big difference in moving your bunch of bog goblins to the right place until the worst of the fighting is over. On the other hand heavy casualties give you a good idea of the price you have to pay, explaining as well the choice to move out and not to stay and fight.

2. the second was a bit tedious as I tended to kill the bats with my "magic" stick. Quite interesting the bat vs assassin part.
(Nosferatu is fine for me)

3. The overall gameplay is ok, but the saurians seem a bit strange, as they are obviously overpowered for the goblins to imagine both of them living in the same swamp. Maybe a phrase to introduce them would be nice, something like. "Great, a saurian raiding party, just what we needed now." Meaning from time to time the saurians harrass the goblins, but normally they stay elsewhere.

4. I gave up on that one. I see what you want to do with it, but as I always get poisoned by the Cuttlefish and than arrive with one hitpoint where I get attacked by the mosquitos... seems an invitation to an endless series of save-loads :annoyed:

Anyway, nice story and interesting tactics most times, so I'm looking forward to see the rest.
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Re: Swamplings

Post by boru » April 30th, 2010, 7:53 pm

Frigeridio,

Thanks for your comments!

1. I'll probably make the area around the keep less swampy in the next version of scenario one.

2. You got me thinking about this one. Maybe I could set the requirements to charm 3 bats instead of 5 ... either that or make the wand do less damage. Goblins do get three attacks after all, so a lot of bats don't survive.

3. There is a backstory to the local saurians and their relationship with the swamp goblins which I ought to include in scenario 3. There is a short message that triggers at the first attack of a saurian but there could be a bit more.

4. There are only two mosquitoes in scenario 4 if you play it on normal difficulty, three mosquitoes on hard and one on easy. Sorry you gave up there, hope you'll give it another chance.
“It is written in my life-blood, such as that is, thick or thin; and I can no other.” - J.R.R. Tolkien

My campaign: Swamplings - Four centuries before the founding of Wesnoth, the first wolf rider emerges from a tribe of lowly swamp goblins.

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Re: Swamplings

Post by Frigeridio » May 2nd, 2010, 9:54 pm

boru wrote: 4. There are only two mosquitoes in scenario 4 if you play it on normal difficulty, three mosquitoes on hard and one on easy. Sorry you gave up there, hope you'll give it another chance.
Ok, I',ve saveloaded through scenario 4 and got to scenario 5

Nice start, nice talk, but the inital map is a bit boring, maybe it needs an overhaul :hmm: More variation would be welcome even if it doesn't change anything gameplay wise; you know some eye-candy. :wink:
I liked the second part better, even if it is not so challenging.
Keep it up
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Re: Swamplings

Post by boru » May 3rd, 2010, 1:37 am

Hey thanks :) much appreciated.

I guess I need to work harder on my maps ...
“It is written in my life-blood, such as that is, thick or thin; and I can no other.” - J.R.R. Tolkien

My campaign: Swamplings - Four centuries before the founding of Wesnoth, the first wolf rider emerges from a tribe of lowly swamp goblins.

tsr
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Re: Swamplings

Post by tsr » May 3rd, 2010, 9:53 am

Some feedback...

I played on the middle difficulty - maybe I should have played on the hardest one, but anyway: some thoughts per scenario.
1. I like how you can't really move faster here. If you are planning to redo anything I'd say: more swamp and lower the movement on swamp to 2 (but only swamp, not shallow water).

2. I didn't really like how this scenario 'forced' me to save/load to find the WM:s house, maybe a bit more direct clues... Otoh I really liked the colorblindness and how I accidently killed a few bats for being to strong for them. Gives the gobos character.

3. Fairly straightforward, nice mixture of enemies, but again if the gobos are given better movement over swamp you could add more swamp...

4. Really nice story wise, but I must agree: depending on 0 mosquito-hits to win this scenario really makes it boring for me, maybe add a healing (not cure) plant - like the plant you smelled in the second scenario so that you fight the mosquitoes with at least some health.

5. On my first go I lost this, killed the archer... On the second one I managed to kill everything using bats (yes including the real archduke) and then escaped. I think it would be possible to do something so that you can't attack the archduke even if you see him - and make it credible. I understand why you can't bring your recruited units with you down the sewage - but I do hope you will allow them to be recalled later - I got 2 blood bats and a dreadbat here that I would love to keep. Again very nice touch to tame a rat (maybe it could be interesting to keep the bat-taming want to be able to tame more rats and also add some kind of level 1 for them).

Ok, that's it - overall I like where this is going...

Some thoughts related to this campaign and the over-arching story in Wesnoth:

In BfW goblins are not a race of their own but are just the smallest orcs, do you intend to integrate that into your story? If so how?

Have you seen the Free Goblins? They are not in any way mainline quality (art-wise) but maybe you can use some ideas from them to explain how this band of goblins decided to move out from their regular orc-society.

I don't know how orcs and/or goblins reproduce or if goblins by themselves are able to do it - say for example that all goblins are (fe)male and that orcs/goblins need a female and male to reproduce then it wouldn't be possible for goblins to create their own societies without orcs.

I'm trying to say: good work so far, some things could imho be improved and there might be some problems fitting this into the core wesnoth story. But: Good work!

/tsr

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Re: Swamplings

Post by boru » May 4th, 2010, 5:54 am

1. Lower the movement? They're too zippy? Wow, okay. Hmm, now I'm not sure what would be best.

2. If Ronry starts out at full health after the bat encounter, you should be able to check all the nearby structures before he dies. On the other hand, if you go too far from the base and/or he was beat up by bats and/or you play it on Hard, then saveload (or luck) is the only way to beat it (which I agree, needs some kind of fix, perhaps with a clue or some other brilliant thing I haven't hit on yet. I can't really figure a good rationale for a clue).

I wanted to make the bat encounter somewhat challenging, so accidentally killing the bats seemed like a good way to do that. I playtested this one a lot, so I know that sometimes it can get really frustrating if you kill a lot of bats in a row. On the other hand, you can also level up charmed bats by having them chase uncharmed ones, which is fun.

3. Thanks, I will probably expand this one a little bit to include some of the saurians' story, which unfolds later.

4. Okay, I hear you. I do want this scenario to end with Clammie having only one hitpoint when he meets Shining, because if Clammie was in anything like healthy condition, he'd certainly try to kill Shining. So healing plants would kind of mess that up. Maybe I'll give the mosquitoes zero attack points.

5. Oops, you're not supposed to be able to kill everyone! You're too good at this! lol ... I don't plan to restrict who you can recall in future scenarios, so you can count on your blood/dread bats being at your side in future scenarios. The Giant Rat unit is from Descent into Darkness, it used to look like a bunch of rats clustered together into one unit, but Stern did some excellent work updating it and animating it. That unit is level 0 and as you noticed, it doesn't go any higher. I didn't plan to do much more with the rats than just this little bit. I'm just setting up that since these guys are primitives and they have a rapport with animals, they just might be able to ride wolves.

Now, as for the the goblins actually being orcs ... well, there's some info about the orc bloodline being in serious unknown trouble. My theory here is that goblins were once a pure and separate race many centuries ago, but they were conquered by the orcs who, over generations, merged into one genetically unstable race. (This is not really a part of this campaign, just a thought). Clammie's tribe are the third generation of swamp dwelling goblins who were deserted by their orc brethren and established their own independent community. Since we are in a time before wolfriding, I don't think that the wonderful advancements of the Free Goblins would be available yet. There's some amazingly creative ideas in there.

I've always assumed there were male and female goblins as well as male and female orcs, although the line between orc and goblin would be rather blurry. Female orcs would often give birth to goblins, although a goblin mother would not survive bringing an orc child into the world. Therefore, a separate goblin tribe would be possible, as long as they kept to a territory that wasn't particularly desirable by stronger peoples.

I think the major problem with fitting this story into the timeline is finding the point at which goblins did not ride wolves. I think the earliest mainline story is Rise of Wesnoth and there are already wolfriders at that point.

tsr, thank you very much for your detailed comments!
“It is written in my life-blood, such as that is, thick or thin; and I can no other.” - J.R.R. Tolkien

My campaign: Swamplings - Four centuries before the founding of Wesnoth, the first wolf rider emerges from a tribe of lowly swamp goblins.

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Re: Swamplings

Post by SkyOne » May 4th, 2010, 6:42 am

boru wrote:Lower the movement? They're too zippy? Wow, okay. Hmm, now I'm not sure what would be best.
:smile: That is one of the hardest parts for campaign creators. Each player has different approach to campaigns. I played the first two scenarios on HARD difficulty, then my impression was more like Hulavuta's, but I judge tsr is a pretty much experienced player. So it will be your call. You must like this campaign a lot to keep it up.
I think creating own race of Goblins is one of the ways to make it more fun. At least, they need more defense on the swamp terrains if their home is in swamps, like Saurians.

Good works. I like this campaign so far. :smile:
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Re: Swamplings

Post by tsr » May 4th, 2010, 7:08 am

Follow up comments...
boru wrote:1. Lower the movement? They're too zippy? Wow, okay. Hmm, now I'm not sure what would be best.
Well, imho opinion it works nice right now, just saying that it might fit a bunch of swamp dwelling goblins to actually be able to move through swamp ;)
boru wrote:2. If Ronry starts out at full health after the bat encounter, you should be able to check all the nearby structures before he dies. On the other hand, if you go too far from the base and/or he was beat up by bats and/or you play it on Hard, then saveload (or luck) is the only way to beat it (which I agree, needs some kind of fix, perhaps with a clue or some other brilliant thing I haven't hit on yet. I can't really figure a good rationale for a clue).
I don't remember the exact circumstances (and I haven't checked the code), but it seems the box is random between a few locations. Making sure that those villages are owned by side 1 (so the movement isn't stopped) and changing the water village to something land-based might be enough...
boru wrote:4. Okay, I hear you. I do want this scenario to end with Clammie having only one hitpoint when he meets Shining, because if Clammie was in anything like healthy condition, he'd certainly try to kill Shining. So healing plants would kind of mess that up. Maybe I'll give the mosquitoes zero attack points.
Well, the thing with 'healing' is that it doesn't restore health if a unit is poisoned, it just prevents the poison from taking hp from the unit and still being poisoned ('cure' that is done by White Mages, villages, etc is another matter). So having a plant that keeps Clammie poisoned but prevents the health to drop would still leave her/him in a terrible condition.

You could even make sure that the mosquitoes leave Clammie with just 1 hp if you want.
boru wrote:5. Oops, you're not supposed to be able to kill everyone! You're too good at this! lol ... I don't plan to restrict who you can recall in future scenarios, so you can count on your blood/dread bats being at your side in future scenarios. The Giant Rat unit is from Descent into Darkness, it used to look like a bunch of rats clustered together into one unit, but Stern did some excellent work updating it and animating it. That unit is level 0 and as you noticed, it doesn't go any higher. I didn't plan to do much more with the rats than just this little bit. I'm just setting up that since these guys are primitives and they have a rapport with animals, they just might be able to ride wolves.
Oops (and I tried a second time on 'hard' with the same result) ;) Anyway, good to hear that I will be able to keep everyone :D And again, I was just tossing around ideas for the rats, I really like it how it works now.
boru wrote:[...stuff about the story...]
This all seems quite thought out, so nothing more for me to comment on ;)

One additional thing:
You have a couple of generated fights, I think that later on, when it is time to apply the shiny polish these could be scripted using some kind of AI-mechanism. For the moment it doesn't look that good (I can't really say how, but it is apparent that they are not working like normal fights - something about the tempo). Also you float some red text to show the damage done as in a normal fight. But the normal fights just show 10 and not -10.

Ok, that's it for now, looking forward to see more of this.

/tsr

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boru
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Re: Swamplings

Post by boru » May 4th, 2010, 2:48 pm

tsr wrote:Follow up comments...
boru wrote:1. Lower the movement? They're too zippy? Wow, okay. Hmm, now I'm not sure what would be best.
Well, imho opinion it works nice right now, just saying that it might fit a bunch of swamp dwelling goblins to actually be able to move through swamp ;)
Yes that is true. But there's also something attractive about sticking to the default units. I need to spend more time thinking about this issue.
tsr wrote:
boru wrote:2. If Ronry starts out at full health after the bat encounter, you should be able to check all the nearby structures before he dies. On the other hand, if you go too far from the base and/or he was beat up by bats and/or you play it on Hard, then saveload (or luck) is the only way to beat it (which I agree, needs some kind of fix, perhaps with a clue or some other brilliant thing I haven't hit on yet. I can't really figure a good rationale for a clue).
I don't remember the exact circumstances (and I haven't checked the code), but it seems the box is random between a few locations.
Yes, it's set up to be one of the five structures nearby, either one of the three villages or the windmill or leanto.
tsr wrote:Making sure that those villages are owned by side 1 (so the movement isn't stopped) and changing the water village to something land-based might be enough...
Thanks, I didn't think of setting village ownership. That will help.
tsr wrote:
boru wrote:4. Okay, I hear you. I do want this scenario to end with Clammie having only one hitpoint when he meets Shining, because if Clammie was in anything like healthy condition, he'd certainly try to kill Shining. So healing plants would kind of mess that up. Maybe I'll give the mosquitoes zero attack points.
Well, the thing with 'healing' is that it doesn't restore health if a unit is poisoned, it just prevents the poison from taking hp from the unit and still being poisoned ('cure' that is done by White Mages, villages, etc is another matter). So having a plant that keeps Clammie poisoned but prevents the health to drop would still leave her/him in a terrible condition.

You could even make sure that the mosquitoes leave Clammie with just 1 hp if you want.
Maybe there can be a bush with healing berries, but the mosquitoes are circling it. The player would have the option of approaching the bush or avoiding it, so if he's already down to 1 hp after the cuttlefish encounter, it's his own damn fault if he dies.
tsr wrote:
boru wrote:5. Oops, you're not supposed to be able to kill everyone! You're too good at this! lol ... I don't plan to restrict who you can recall in future scenarios, so you can count on your blood/dread bats being at your side in future scenarios. The Giant Rat unit is from Descent into Darkness, it used to look like a bunch of rats clustered together into one unit, but Stern did some excellent work updating it and animating it. That unit is level 0 and as you noticed, it doesn't go any higher. I didn't plan to do much more with the rats than just this little bit. I'm just setting up that since these guys are primitives and they have a rapport with animals, they just might be able to ride wolves.
Oops (and I tried a second time on 'hard' with the same result) ;) Anyway, good to hear that I will be able to keep everyone :D And again, I was just tossing around ideas for the rats, I really like it how it works now.
Could you please post a savegame of this? It would help me a lot ... I might even learn some fighting strategies for my own gameplay.
tsr wrote: You have a couple of generated fights, I think that later on, when it is time to apply the shiny polish these could be scripted using some kind of AI-mechanism. For the moment it doesn't look that good (I can't really say how, but it is apparent that they are not working like normal fights - something about the tempo). Also you float some red text to show the damage done as in a normal fight. But the normal fights just show 10 and not -10.
I struggled with the scripted attacks, and got a lot of help from people on this thread. http://forums.wesnoth.org/viewtopic.php?f=21&t=29380

Where could I learn how to use an AI mechanism to make these look better?
tsr wrote:Ok, that's it for now, looking forward to see more of this.
Again, many thanks for your help!
“It is written in my life-blood, such as that is, thick or thin; and I can no other.” - J.R.R. Tolkien

My campaign: Swamplings - Four centuries before the founding of Wesnoth, the first wolf rider emerges from a tribe of lowly swamp goblins.

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boru
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Re: Swamplings

Post by boru » May 4th, 2010, 3:31 pm

SkyOne wrote::smile: That is one of the hardest parts for campaign creators. Each player has different approach to campaigns. I played the first two scenarios on HARD difficulty, then my impression was more like Hulavuta's, but I judge tsr is a pretty much experienced player. So it will be your call. You must like this campaign a lot to keep it up.
Yes I like it a lot. :) Maybe l'll work something where level 1 gobos get a swamp-savvy trait.

This becomes less of an issue in later scenarios when you have bats, then later wolfriders and other units.
SkyOne wrote:I think creating own race of Goblins is one of the ways to make it more fun.
I'm just glad the mosquito unit worked! :lol2: There's going to be at least one new goblin unit, a magic unit similar to the saurian augur. But we won't see them until part 13. You'll get some orc archers too. And you won't be in the swamp all the time.
SkyOne wrote:At least, they need more defense on the swamp terrains if their home is in swamps, like Saurians.
The strength of gobos is that they are cheap and can be easily replaced when they die. Saurians are much better defensively and offensively, not only in swamps but in forests, sand, cave, hills, etc. But you have to pay upkeep on Saurians and their initial recruitment costs are considerably higher, so losing one is a big deal. My goal is not to create a race that can go toe-to-toe against a saurian army but one that survives by wit, guile, temporary alliances, luck and the occasional spear in the back.
SkyOne wrote:Good works. I like this campaign so far. :smile:
That means a great deal to me, because I really enjoyed Brave Wings.
“It is written in my life-blood, such as that is, thick or thin; and I can no other.” - J.R.R. Tolkien

My campaign: Swamplings - Four centuries before the founding of Wesnoth, the first wolf rider emerges from a tribe of lowly swamp goblins.

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