HttT Revised

Discussion and development of scenarios and campaigns for the game.

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Caladbolg
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Re: HttT Revised

Post by Caladbolg » October 28th, 2018, 11:13 pm

octalot wrote:
October 27th, 2018, 6:54 pm
A reason to take her hostage: if the myth is that only the rightful heir can wield the sceptre, a public exhibition that Konrad can wield it while she is still alive would help his claim to the throne.
For that, you'd need an exhibition that only Konrad can wield it. He wouldn't be able to show that.

To be clear, I do have an explanation for all the options. The issue is how to deal with their results.

Explanations:
1 If they freed Li'sar, she'd just attack them from behind with her army after regrouping. This is a choice available without asking anyone for advice, i.e. Konrad's own stupid and naive idea.

2 If they killed her, her soldiers would riot and attempt to avenge her (unless Konrad would also be willing to slaughter all of her soldiers that had surrendered); and Asheviere would send all her forces against Konrad. However, this is what Delfador advises, as getting rid of Li'sar would be a major blow to Asheviere's military might, and would remove competition for the throne.

3 So the best option for Konrad is to take Li'sar hostage so as to prevent her army from going after them, and to possibly blackmail Asheviere later on. This advice is given by Kalenz, so that he has an actual role in a conversation for once.
LienRag wrote:
October 28th, 2018, 7:57 pm
The main question is with the Wesnoth Chronology: wouldn't Li'sar's death make it moot?
True, but it could be treated as an "what-if branch"; a glimpse into a hypothetical universe where Konrad decided to be a tyrant, and not really canon. So it's fine in theory as long as there's a canon branch, but I'd like to avoid this as it's too much work.
Whiskeyjack wrote:
October 28th, 2018, 8:30 pm
I don't know what the current status of Dunefolk and lore is, but if I recall discussions correctly it was at least discussed that at this point the are not even known to Wesnoth (as in: not in their vicinity). Also, IIRC, there was more or less a consensus that they are in the southern wastes, which would make it quite weird for them to show up in Abez (wrong side of the kingdom - how'd they even get there!?).
I'm not that bothered by it, considering that (forum discussion aside) there is nothing in mainline campaigns to act as canon for Dunefolk, and this revision is a bit of an experiment altogether. If it turns out Dunefolk don't work in this context, I can always easily roll back the changes.

"Scenarios south of Abez" was a bit of an overstatement. More precisely, scenarios up to (and maybe including) Siege of Elensefar. Or at the very least first 3 scenarios. The issue I have with orcs being there is that they're really far from home. And let's not forget that Wesnoth was in "bitter war" with them, less then 20 years ago. So in less then 20 years, the orcs went from being Wesnoth's main enemies to commonly used mercenaries. So commonly used, in fact, that Asheviere uses them more often than human armies which are at her disposal. And they are used throughout the Wesnoth, even in the southernmost reaches such as Aethenwood. I find it really hard to believe. It's a recipe for a nationwide rebellion from the get-go. That's why I wanted to replace them in scenarios happening south with Dunefolk.

To be fair, I was mistaken in the position of the Sandy Wastes and thought they were just a bit SE of northern Aethenwood where the first scenario takes place. Now I've checked the map, and apparently, Wesnoth has the province of Kerlath between Aethenwood and Sandy Wastes. Even so, the areas where the beginning of the campaign takes place are closer to them than to orcs, and there's no bad blood between Wesnoth and Dunefolk as with orcs. Had Asheviere made deals with the Dunefolk, Dunefolk mercenaries would be stationed in Kerlath anyways, having easy access to Aethenwood. If they are seafarers, reaching Alduin, the Bay of Pearls, and Blackwater Port also isn't a stretch. And it's possible that south of Kerlath, the elven and dunefolk territory directly border each other. They might have allied with Asheviere to overtake Aethenwood for themselves.

In short, I don't find Dunefolk being there more implausible than orcs being there, and I believe it'd open up a lot of area for politics and the like. It could even be that Dunefolk make first contact with Wesnoth early in Asheviere's reign. She hires them as mercenaries to keep piece in the southern reaches of Wesnoth and grants them passage through Kerlath, and they make war with Aethenwood, taking the territory for themselves and eliminating the elves which Asheviere fears and despises.

That being said, I won't put them in just yet. It proved to be too finicky even in the first scenario as I don't know what would be a good replacement for trolls and I'm not at all experienced with playing Dunefolk so the balance would probably be trash.

Whiskeyjack
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Re: HttT Revised

Post by Whiskeyjack » October 29th, 2018, 8:43 am

Ah, it seems I misunderstood you - that sounds a lot more plausible. Just some more thoughts:

1) As the timeline tells us, the orcs are only placaded by tribute payment, not by defeat. This makes it quite plausible that Asheviere hires them later on. As Elensefar is not Wesnoth (also explicitly mentioned in the timeline) it is also quite plausible that Asheviere first incites the orcs to attack her western enemies even way before they appear on Wesnoths soil.

2) Elensefar is (almost) directly bordereing orcish territory. Glamdrol is (or at least was in prior versions) an orcish settlement and the lands north and west of Wesmere are under orcish control (or more like: not populated because its orcish raiding ground...) at least until NR.

3) I really like your idea of Dunefolk as mercenaries in the south, at least for Aethenwood and Blackwater Port they are quite fitting as enemies.

4) Bay of Pearls is somewhat of a headscratch for me - I'm not sure a desert nation (remember, you need wood to build ships and (as of TSG) Aethenwood [edit: not even Southwood/Black Forest - though those are also not populated by elves & co. so they wouldn't know about Dunefolk felling trees on the southern edges, but it doesn't fit for the is not in Dunefolk hands image conveyed of Black Forest for desert people to just be deforesting it]) could establish itself as a sea power in waters already crowded by Mermen and Nagas. If the mercenaries attacking Aethenwood and Blackwater Port hunt them, they could show up in the Bay of Pearls, but seeing as they escaped by ship, the attackers of BP are not explicitly chasing them and lose the battle (so BP still stands to hold their roar), I think it makes more sense to have the enemies there still be raiding orcs and allied Naga. Or even a Wesnothian expedition (this could then actually include Dunefolk and an advisor/leader from Wesnoth proper) + naga.
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LienRag
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Re: HttT Revised

Post by LienRag » October 29th, 2018, 7:22 pm

Indeed, since when we discover the Scepter of Fire we believe Konrad to actually be the legitimate heir, I never paid attention to the contradiction with the Scepter being able to recognize a heir; is that a myth or (in Wesnoth's lore) a fact? Konrad should not be able to wield it then...

About the Orcs, they serve to show how evil Asheviere is (and Delfador legitimate in his attempt to overthrow her) since they hire them as mercenaries. The Horse Clans show it BTW when they claim to have no orcs in their plains.

Dunefolk, AFAIK, wouldn't mean the same then - Konrad would have no reason to go and slaughter them on sight like he does with Orcs and Undead (note that when confronting humans, there's always a reason for it; much less so with the formers).

I'm not against politically-charged campaigns with branching trees, but it seems to me that it would be a mistake to do that in HttT.

Too, it's good to hint at Delfador's being pushy, but he's the good guy here and you shouldn't change that - at least if he wants Li'sar's head I plan to add dialog to explain that she surrendered without being asked to, so they don't have to spare her life.

On the same point, Li'sar is brash, arrogant and deceptive, but she's honour-bound so she can't make any promises about not pursuing them (unless you leave enough room in her exact promise to allow her to play on words). Actually in the original campaign I found that her confessing to having participated in large-scale massacres (or at least being aware of her mother doing so) is contradictory with her being shocked by her cousins' slaughter - I don't know how you adressed this, I haven't crossed the Ford of Abez yet.

Konrad2
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Re: HttT Revised

Post by Konrad2 » October 29th, 2018, 7:36 pm

LienRag wrote:
October 29th, 2018, 7:22 pm
Indeed, since when we discover the Scepter of Fire we believe Konrad to actually be the legitimate heir, I never paid attention to the contradiction with the Scepter being able to recognize a heir; is that a myth or (in Wesnoth's lore) a fact? Konrad should not be able to wield it then...
IIRC SoF loses not a single word about the Sceptre of Fire being able to do that. So it's probably a myth. (How Thursagen would be able to craft such a function without ever meeting Haldric the 2nd eludes me.)
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Caladbolg
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Re: HttT Revised

Post by Caladbolg » October 29th, 2018, 8:59 pm

Whiskeyjack wrote:
October 29th, 2018, 8:43 am
1) (...) This makes it quite plausible that Asheviere hires them later on. As Elensefar is not Wesnoth (also explicitly mentioned in the timeline) it is also quite plausible that Asheviere first incites the orcs to attack her western enemies even way before they appear on Wesnoths soil.
2) Elensefar is (almost) directly bordereing orcish territory. (...)
Yeah, the idea was that Dunefolk are used in the southern parts of Wesnoth, and orcs in the northern parts. You have a point about Elensefar, orcs should stay there.
3) I really like your idea of Dunefolk as mercenaries in the south, at least for Aethenwood and Blackwater Port they are quite fitting as enemies.
4) Bay of Pearls (...) I think it makes more sense to have the enemies there still be raiding orcs and allied Naga. Or even a Wesnothian expedition (this could then actually include Dunefolk and an advisor/leader from Wesnoth proper) + naga.
Hmm... you're kinda right. But on the other hand, Dunefolk could occupy Alduin and the Bay of pearls from before. After all, the orcs there didn't overtake them just recently to hunt down Konrad- they are mercenaries that Asheviere shipped off to those places to control them. By that logic, there'd be no issue with replacing orcs with Dunefolk. In other words, the queen sent Dunefolk to take control of Alduin and the Bay before the beginning of campaign- this is an internal dispute. The Dunefolk in the first two scenarios would be another group, sent to wage war on the elves.

In any case, I'd still like to have one more scenario with Dunefolk at the beginning. I'll have to think this through (but again, that's all for some later revision).
LienRag wrote:
October 29th, 2018, 7:22 pm
Indeed, since when we discover the Scepter of Fire we believe Konrad to actually be the legitimate heir, I never paid attention to the contradiction with the Scepter being able to recognize a heir; is that a myth or (in Wesnoth's lore) a fact? Konrad should not be able to wield it then...
Yeah, it makes no sense. It's not even a myth in my revision. The reason you can't pick it up with some other unit and have them bring it over in the Sceptre of Fire scenario is because Delfador lies and says that if someone other than the heir picks it up, they'll be incinerated, so no one tries. And the reason the creatures in the caves didn't take it is because they sense its magic and it doesn't feel very nice so they don't dare.

In fact, I put in a small easter egg, where if Kalenz and Delfador are next to each other after this coversation and there's no one else around, Kalenz is like "why did you lie to them?" and Delfador lets him in on his ploy.
About the Orcs, they serve to show how evil Asheviere is. (...) Dunefolk, AFAIK, wouldn't mean the same then (...)
I don't think the point about Asheviere being evil needs to be hammered home, as she's allied with the undead. She will still have orcs, just not exclusively. I also don't really like that the orcs are being used as a symbol of evil.
Too, it's good to hint at Delfador's being pushy, but he's the good guy here and you shouldn't change that - at least if he wants Li'sar's head I plan to add dialog to explain that she surrendered without being asked to, so they don't have to spare her life.
I've made Delfador quite a bit morally ambiguous, as I think it makes him a much more compelling character so he'll stay like that in my revision.
On the same point, Li'sar is brash, arrogant and deceptive, but she's honour-bound so she can't make any promises about not pursuing them (unless you leave enough room in her exact promise to allow her to play on words).
Ooh, boy, you're not gonna like her then. My Li'sar is a pragmatist through and through, and has no problem going back on her word if it'll ensure that she and her men are safe. Well, she threatens to go back on her word, and has no issue with it in principle at least. I don't think she participated in massacres (though she knew about them), but at that point she was helpless to stop them. Now that she has more clout, she's using this chance to go after the sceptre and overthrow her.

I'll try to put the new version up in an hour or two. Failing that, it'll be out tomorrow for sure.

Konrad2
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Re: HttT Revised

Post by Konrad2 » October 29th, 2018, 10:15 pm

About the Dunefolk: IIRC they intensily dislike magic, which does not go well together with Asheviere being somewhat of a mage and all those undead.
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Caladbolg
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Re: HttT Revised

Post by Caladbolg » October 29th, 2018, 11:27 pm

New version has been uploaded to the 1.14 server! :D

Everything is pretty similar to the previous version, but I made some changes to dialog, events, etc. As before, I didn't playtest for balance and I fiddled with stats like gold or turn limits here and there based on a feel, so balance might be off in certain scenarios.

In the campaign file, there are textfiles called 'todo' and 'changelog', detailing what I want to do going forward, and which changes have been made. Individual changes are also marked in the scenario files, in lines marked with ###, and they are well explained, including what was the issue with how things were, and how the change contributes to the plot/characterization, etc.

There are still no Dunefolk in this version. The dialog mechanic at the end of Princess of Wesnoth has been improved, wrong choice doesn't directly lead to loss, but allows you to retry the choice. New mechanics in the last scenario may not stick around, I'm not too sure about it still.

LienRag
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Re: HttT Revised

Post by LienRag » November 8th, 2018, 2:14 am

I'm still finishing the 1.12 campaign (I just got out of the Underground Channels) and reading the changelog I notice that you "added bigmap" to some scenarios: what does that mean?

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Re: HttT Revised

Post by Caladbolg » November 8th, 2018, 6:13 pm

LienRag wrote:
November 8th, 2018, 2:14 am
I'm still finishing the 1.12 campaign (I just got out of the Underground Channels) and reading the changelog I notice that you "added bigmap" to some scenarios: what does that mean?
It refers to the path on the map between scenarios (those red / grey dots). In 1.12.6, the Cliffs of Thoria - Underground Channels route didn't have that, so those scenarios (and the ones after, if you continued from that route) didn't show the bigmap with the whole path from Aethenwood on scenario 1 to the Battle for Wesnoth on scenario 24, but only the latter portion of the path after the branch. Other branches had the whole path on the bigmap, only this branch was messed up. I corrected it so even that route shows the whole path on the bigmap.

This was fixed at some point by 1.14 in the mainline HttT.

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Re: HttT Revised

Post by WanderingHero » November 17th, 2018, 1:31 pm

Got distracted but yeah I had fun with this but something I wonder. I'm glad to skip the hellish 3 lich scenario, but aren't all those high level loyal units going to make things too easy?

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gwen42
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Re: HttT Revised

Post by gwen42 » November 26th, 2018, 4:26 am

Just finished this one tonight - it didn't take long, probably because I played on "Easy" mode. I did notice a strange moment in the dialogue. I had Konrad pick up the Scepter, but in later conversation (the exact scenario eludes me), Li'Sar spoke as if she had the Scepter... even though Konrad carried it for the remainder of the campaign. It seems to me that if he's carrying it and using it without problems, that should somehow effect the plot and the dialogue.

I do like the changes, by the way. It makes the characters more interesting.

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Re: HttT Revised

Post by Caladbolg » November 27th, 2018, 12:50 pm

gwen42 wrote:
November 26th, 2018, 4:26 am
I had Konrad pick up the Scepter, but in later conversation (the exact scenario eludes me), Li'Sar spoke as if she had the Scepter... even though Konrad carried it for the remainder of the campaign.
Hmm, that shouldn't happen. I probably gave some message to the wrong speaker. I'll look into it.

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