Rough outline for a campaign "The northern province"

For writers working on documentation, story prose, announcements, and all kinds of Wesnoth text.

Moderators: Forum Moderators, Developers

Post Reply
SaloGhost
Posts: 6
Joined: May 9th, 2018, 4:21 pm

Rough outline for a campaign "The northern province"

Post by SaloGhost » May 11th, 2018, 5:40 pm

Hello everyone,

inspired from the talk in the discussion about units and different perpective on the different cultures in Westnoth, I have created a rough outline for a campaign that has thematic roots in stories about colonialism. Please consider the draft here a first iteration, because it's not yet done with an eye on gameplay but more on story. Also, I'm not quite sure how well it meshes with standing lore and where it could fit into the history of Wesnoth.

I would be really gratful for feedback. If there is some interest, I'm quite willing to flesh it out further and see if I can help implementing it.

Campaign Outline: A Northern Colony
Setting and Themes

Location:
The campaign will be set in the lands east of Wesmere forest and the heart mountains, north of the great river but south of the pass into the northern great continent.

Timeframe:
The campaign will be set somewhere in the Golden Age of Wesnoth from 200-350 YW. (likely more in the beginning.

Running Themes:
A) Justice of Colonial Actions (against the Orcs as an "evil" natural culture who hate humans for the most part, being a past enemy in war)
B) Being "Lawful" (in the sense of upholding Duty and obligations) or "Empathic" (in the sense of being altruistic and valuing live)
Characters

Main Characters:
A) From the 7th company (reinforcing the colony and arriving in the beginning of the story)
A1: Lieutenant Siegfried - Commanding officer of the 7th company. An intelligent commander who is by-the-book and respected for his tactical prowess, though often regarded as a bit distanced and cold by his men. He is strict but fair, giving punishement as well as rewards. Has a good grasp on the larger objectives behind the battles as well and is well-read in many subjects.
A2: Sergeant Hartmut - Second-in-Command of the 7th company. Leads the frontline-troops personally, enjoying personal combat and seeking it out. Nicknamed "The Spearhead" in acknowledgement of his tendency to lead from the front as well as gently mocking his tendency to bash his head against a metaphorical wall often. Being of inspiring presence and personal combat prowess, he is beloved by the men and regarded as a counter-weight to Siegfrieds style of leadership.

B) The leadership of the Northern Colony
B1: Governor Balthasar - A veteran of the Estmarks, he was given the rank of general and the royal assignement to build up the northern colony. Being a stern and unforgiving man with an unshakable faith in the greatness of the wesnothian kingdom, he started to build up the colony and took the position of governor. His main objective is the prosperity and security of the colony and he is not above using ruthless methods to achieve it. Views orcs as little more than "wild beasts" who have to be "domesticated" to be of use (or put down, when that's not feasible).
B2: Lieutenant Casper - The commanding officer of the 11th company, which is responsible for the northern and eastern frontiers of the new colony and has taken the brunt of the combat against the orcs. He is a loyal man with a deep regard for the mean under his command. He is weighted down by the decisions he has to make, but determined to see it through to the end. Takes overall command of the colonies defenses when the Governor has to take care of the civilian side of things.

C) The orcish natives of the lands where the Northern Colony is build:
C1: Chief Rohterg - The leader of the orc before the human arrival, in the current time leader of orcish fighters trying to reclaim their land. An orc with respect for the traditions of his clan and a concept of honor, he is a leader that is wise, although not book-smart. He believes that strength is virtuos and fights to protect his people and their interests throughout.
C2: Kardash - An orc who once was a candidate to lead the orcish tribes, he is a warrior of great strength. Although not dumb, he is hotheaded and prone to solve problems through violence. He has no qualms about brutality and sees humans as "weak creatures" who should be put in their place. He rather enjoys personal combat and seeks the thrill of battle.

Minor Characters:
B) The leadership of the Northern Colony
B3: Lieutenant Otto - Commanding officer of the 2nd company. Commands the port city of the colony, while his company mainly has responsibilitied along the coastlines and raods. More of a logistician than a field commander.
B4: Lieutenant Werner - Commanding officer of the 4th company. Is responsible for the southern regions of the new colony and tries to maintain relations with Elensefar and the elves of Wesmere. Also a white mage. Takes a more neutral role in the civil war.

D) The elves of Wesmere forest
D1: "The Ranger-Captain" - The leader of an unit of elves that are sent to support the northern province during the campaign.
First Arc: The Northern Colony

Mission 1: Travel North
Introduction to main characters: Lieutenant Siegfried & Sergeant Hartmut as they lead their unit northwards to reinforce the colony and get confronted by orcish rebels that try to ambush them on the road.

Mission 2: Clearing the countryside
The unit arrives in the main settlement of the colony. Governor Balthasar and Lieutenant Casper explain them the situation (quite biased) and task them with subduing orcish attacks on the outskirts of the colony.

Mission 3: Break them
After foiling the attacks, the pair can find out where the Orcs have their base of operations. They follow the leads and attack their base and subdue Chief Rohterg (who gets introduced in this mission).

At this point, they start a dialogue with the Orc who recounts why he resists and rises up. The next three missions are a played retelling of the story of the orcs:

Mission 4: Orcish Memories I - A Test of Strength
Fighting between orcs, but emphasis on positive aspects of competition. Rohterg (controlled by the players) wins supremacy about his people through winning a battle against Kardash and let's him live when he acknowledges the good battle and the leadership of Rohterg.

Mission 5: Orcish Memories II - Human Encounter
Chief Rohterg is fighting off (and killing) human advance parties who try to subjugate (and exterminate the unwilling) orcs.

Mission 6: Orcish Memories III - Subjugation
The main force of the human expedition arrives under Governor Balthasar and overwhelms the orcs, being all around cruel to them. Chief Rohterg evacuates with the young and weak, while Kardash holds them off and bows head when nothing else can be done. Kardash and the Orcs staying behind get enslaved.

Decision Point: To respect laws, to respect lifes
After hearing the story, Sergeant Hartmut is not willing to go through with his extermination orders as he sees something in the orcs which does not deserve to be extinguished or be held in cages like pigs and slaves etc.
Lieutenant Siegfried on the other hand points to the fact that this is war and the enemies before them are combatants and didn't hesitate to kill humans either. Also, they both are bound by an oath to do their duties.
The player has to decide, which one of the two he wants to be for the rest of the campaign (this does not change the story or it's outcome, but the perspective the player follows!)
Sergeant Hartmut (and with him, a good few, maybe the majority of the uniz) decide to disobey the orders and ally with the orcs. They intern the lawful and leave to free the other orcs from their slavery.
Second Arc: Chaos - Empathic

Mission 7E: Reasserting authority
Chief Rohterg has lost a big battle and was captured. His strength is questioned and not all are willing to follow his commands any longer. He has to quell the uprising and subdue his challengers to rally his clans around him once more.

Mission 8E: Liberating the Camps
Hartmut roams the countryside with his loyal soldiers and liberates the orcish slaves (some possible by negotiation, some by force). The internment camps are destroyed or used to imprison those who surrender.

Mission 9E: Hostage situation
The liberating troops encounter orcish enemies. When asked why they would take up arms for their oppressors Kardash reveals that Governor Balthasar has given orders to take the rest of the orcish non-warriors hostage and kill them if the liberation is not stopped. He has to think of his people for which he has sacrificed his pride and freedom. - Here Hartmut has to survive (and try to not damage his opponent too much) until Chief Rohterg sends word that the hostages are freed.

Mission 10E: Securing a foothold
Hearing that Governor Balthasar has mobilized all forces in the colony and marching in their direction, Chief Rohterg and Hartmut decide that it would be very hard to win in an open field battle. They task Kardash with completing the liberation of the prisoners and march their combined troops to a town where there are sympathizers who dislike the rule of "The Governor" to defeat the guard force there. The task has to be completed relatively fast to be ready for the arrival of the governors forces.

Mission 11E: Tyrants' Fall
Governor Balthasar arrives at the town with his forces. As they are not willing to unconditionally surrender, he declares them all to be executed. An All out battle ensues in which Governor Balthasar is slain and his army splintered into the winds. After the victory, Chief Rohterg and Hartmut declare the ((Free Northern Alliance)) to win independence and individual freedom from the crown.
Second Arc: Chaos - Lawful

Mission 7L: Prison Break
Lieutenant Siegfried uses the fact that Hartmut and Chief Rohterg are out to rally his faction and break out of their imprisonment. being few and starved of resources, they retreat fast into the countryside.

Mission 8L: Through the countryside
Lieutenant Siegfried and his men hasten back through the countryside and witness chaos: Some Orcs use their new freedom to take revenge. Citizens are afraid because their own troops seemingly fight each other. Emphasis on the unintended consequences of Hartmuts liberation-actions.

Mission 9L: Friendly Fire
As Lieutenant Siegfried and his men draw near to the main settlement of the colony Lieutenant Casper and his units arrive to stop him, as they believe them to be rebellious like Hartmuts forces. After defeating Lieutenant Casper, Lieutenant Siegfried can explain the misunderstanding and "The Commander" submits to his command, acknowledging his superior abilities and sense of duty.

Mission 10L: Restoring Order
Lieutenant Siegfried gets an update on the situation and decides that he and his now grown forces should prioritize saving the civilian population displaced by the fighting while breaking the supply lines of the traitors and then joining the Governor in his siege. He and Lieutenant Casper arrive in the countryside and eliminate the Orcs who take their revenge on the humans. One of their leaders taunts them about how Kardash is rampaging through the northern camps and torching them all. Lieutenant Siegfried decides to prioritize stopping the Rampage above helping out the Governor at ((town)).

Mission 11L: Stopping the Rampage
Kardash is murdering and burning across the colony, blind with rage and a burning wish for revenge against humans. Without oversight from Chief Rohterg, he lashes out with impunity. Lieutenant Siegfried and Lieutenant Casper at last can confront him and his troops in the ruins of the internment camps and slay them all.
Third Arc: Civil War - Empathic

Mission 12E: Keeping the Peace
After declaring independence the town where the battle against Governor Balthasar took place is declared the capital of the new alliance. But after a short while more and more Orcs (some even from mountain tribes that were displaced) and humans (searching for safe haven and opportunity for freedom) arrive and soon resources get sparse and tensions mount. After an incident where a human trampled an Orcs honor and he retaliated with force, both sides are ready to raise arms. Chief Rohterg and Hartmut must put down both sides ringleaders to keep the peace.

Mission 13E: Securing Survival
With the resources getting even more strained, the Alliance sets out to gather more room and food from the land. But in the shadow of the war, plunderers and thieves from humans and orcs alike roam the land and are unwilling to share their loot. Driving them from the land and securing it's bounty is necessary for the continued survival of the refugees in your care.

Mission 14E: Victory in the Field
After weeks of small skirmishes in the fields the scouts of the alliance spot a bigger army being raised at the main settlement and marching towards the alliance capital. Unwilling to risk the food reserves and civilians in the fighting and confident in their strength, Hartmut and Chief Rohterg call to the banners and march towards the enemy. They meet the army of Lieutenant Casper and best him in combat.
But the triumph is short lived. A messenger arrives shortly afterwards to announce that elves have attacked the capital after sneaking through the woods and ambushed them hard, destroying much of the storage houses in the process, as well as killing a good chunk of the guards left behind.

Mission 15E: Exodus
With much of the supplies destroyed and the elves having big advantages in the woods, Chief Rohterg and Hartmut decide to abandon the lands of the Northern Province for good and leave for the mountains, where the Orcs would be able to effectively fight the elves. In ths mission, the alliance escorts a convoy with the necessary supplies and civilians through the woods while the elves under the command of "The Ranger-Captain" employ guerilla tactics and hit-and-run to try to slow them down and bleed them dry.

Mission 16E: Battle of Elornas' passage
At the base of the mountains, the alliance realizes that they cannot outrun the main army of the northern province that followed along outside the woods and is nearly upon them. After reminiscing about the story from Chief Rohterg and Kardash, Hartmut decides to block the pass into the mountains to buy the rest enough time to escape. Overruling the Protests of Chief Rohterg he entrusts him once more with leading the people to safety and creating a new home for the free and honorable.
He and a company of volunteers bunker down at the base of the mountain pass and meet the army of Lieutenant Siegfried. After a last attempt to parley a truce falters around the unwillingness to forgive each other (for supporting a corrupt and repressive system and for being a traitor who killed his liege and instigated a rebellion respectively) both sides commence battle.
From the perspective of the good faction this battle plays out as a battle to survive for a certain number of days to buy time for the rest to escape. In the end, it becomes a heroic sacrifice for the future of the free people. Chief Rohterg and his people manage to escape and found a new, independent alliance in the mountains, where they can ensure their safety from the kingdom and their provincial servants.
Third Arc: Civil War - Lawful

Mission 12L: Consolidating Power
After getting messages about the defeat of Governor Balthasar, Lieutenant Siegfried and Lieutenant Casper rally their troops and the citizens they saved and return to the main settlement, rescuing survivors of the main army on the way and fighting of vanguard squads of the traitors and orcs.
Once in the settlement, Lieutenant Siegfried is named as acting governor. Watching his own forces and those of his enemies he decides to take a defensive approach and send an envoy to the elves to ask for their help against the Orcs after the previous governor spurned them.

Mission 13L: Denying the Thieves
The traitors are sending teams to plunder the countryside and steal the corn and other supplies from the land. If they are not stopped, the people of the province will have to hunger. In addition, some thieves and plunderers are around, stealing just for their own greed. Denying all of them the opportunity to take what's not theirs and upholding the law of the crown is imperative to maintain order within the province.

Imtermission/Story:
After a few weeks of skirmishes, where no side could gain a significant advantage, the envoy to the elves returns. With him comes "The Ranger-Captain" and a unit of elfish fighters. They are no friends to the humans, but if there is an opportunity to get revenge on the orcs for past transgressions against their woods, they will take it. With this additional force, Lieutenant Siegfried puts his plan, to end the conflict swiftly, in motion.

Mission 14L: The Stratagem - Sacrifice
Lieutenant Casper (The player) has been given command of a good chunk of the guard forces, reinforced with drafted people from across the province. The operation is designed as a decoy for the real strike, but Lieutenant Casper wants to try his hardest to achieve a victory on the field.
From the perspective of the lawful faction this battle plays out as a battle to survive for a certain number of days to buy time for the elves to ambush the base of the traitors. In the end, it becomes a heroic sacrifice for the future of the province, when Lieutenant Casper succumbs to the stronger forces of Chief Rohterg and Hartmut.

Mission 15L: The Stratagem - Victory
"The Ranger-Captain" and his elfish troops have taken the way through the deep woods to reach the enemy base without detection. As the enemy main force is away to chase the decoy, their guard is weak and their supplies are open for an attack. Am bush them and take over the majority of the supplies before they have a chance to inform their main forces.

Mission 16L: Battle of Elornas' passage
The main army of the traitors has turned and is in full retreat from the province. Lieutenant Siegfried sees the opportunity to end the rebellion once and for all. The traitors must be brought to justice and, in addition, if they are allowed to escape, they would surely become a threat to the province once more. He and his army close the distance at the base of a mountain pass where they meet with their elfish allies, who had pursued the enemy through the woods.
Hartmut and a company of traitors bunker down at the base of the mountain pass and prepare to resist Lieutenant Siegfried. After a last attempt to parley a truce falters around the unwillingness to forgive each other (for supporting a corrupt and repressive system and for being a traitor who killed his liege and instigated a rebellion respectively) both sides commence battle. In the end, the traitors are beaten and Hartmut is executed.
Seeing as his troops are tired and the orcs have a big advantage in the mountains as well as a big lead, Lieutenant Siegfried decides to not pursue further. Instead, he declares the pass as the new border of the province and sets up a garrison before returning to the main settlement, sending envoys to the kingdom and the elves to make arrangements for a further entrenchment of the colony.
Last edited by SaloGhost on May 31st, 2018, 1:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

SaloGhost
Posts: 6
Joined: May 9th, 2018, 4:21 pm

Re: Rough outline for a campaign "The northern province"

Post by SaloGhost » May 20th, 2018, 5:09 pm

Hello everyone,

just to give a short overview of my schedule:
I have decided to train myself by making the missions 4-6 into a mini-campaign ("Orcish memories") and implementing them as playable scenarios to have a better idea about the required work and get a feel for the WML etc. - The storyboarding on these missions is about halfway done and I've started the implementation work.

In the meantime, I'll also work out the lore further, by setting up the elements that will play a role in the campaign. Today I present a short-story (in the style of a historical text) that represents my ideas about the human expedition and it's organization. As always, feedback is much appreciated.

A note: General Balthasar is the person that will later become "The Governor", while Lieutenant Casper will take the role of "The Commander". The other two Lieutenants will get minor roles in the campaign, if any.

The formation of the „Northern Expedition Corps“

As the kingdom of Wesnoth planned the creation of its northern province, there was a clear need for a military force to accomplish the take-over of the land and guaranteeing the safety of the settlers there. After some deliberation, it was decided to form a new structure to oversee the whole endeavor of establishing the colony: The Northern Expedition Corps.

The man chosen to lead the corps was named Balthasar and he was a veteran of the Estmark, where he commanded the Eastern Outposts of the kingdom. He was known as an effective commander, but even more as an avid supporter of an expansionist policy for the kingdom. The Corps was an independent organization and responsible for a whole front section of the kingdoms borders. In accordance with decorum he was given the title of general.

To achieve the level of military power deemed necessary to carve out the province and guard its mountainous borders, three companies were placed under the command of the Expedition Corps:

Balthasars’ former command, the 11th company, made up of recruits from the Estmark and the riding clans of the region. It was lead by the newly promoted Lieutenant Casper, who took over command when Balthasar was promoted.

Then there was the 4th company under the command of Lieutenant Werner, who was also a white mage and one of the few practitioners of magic within the leadership of the wesnothian army. Before being assigned to the Expedition Corps, the 4th company was stationed in the northwestern part of the kingdom and responsible for the borders with the free city of Elensefar and the Forest of Wesmere.

Finally, the 2nd company under Lieutenant Otto, which had responsibilities along the coast of the great ocean was added to the Corps. While the unit was famed for its logistics and maneuvers it hadn’t seen serious combat for a while.

Additionally, a small detachment of the royal guard was given to the Expedition Corps to serve as the personal retinue of the general and guarantee his security.

The decision was met with protest by those advisors who favored a strategy to consolidate the holdings of the kingdom and prioritize inner security and well-defined borders over “military adventurism”. There were also those, whose lands were under protection of the reassigned companies, which were unhappy.

But in the end, the kings` decision proved final and the Expedition Corps assembled at the bay of pearls to be shipped northward. In its wake followed a host of settlers, hungry to make a future for themselves in the new lands.
Also I don't think, much of this story will make it into the campaign, I think it serves well to establish certain facts.

My main goals with creating this structure were:
1) Give some vague way to measure military strength. "A company" implies a good few soldiers, but doesn't say exactly how many so I don't have to go into details how the units "on screen" translate into the numbers in the lore. But if I say "half the company was wiped out", the player can make an educated guess that it was a hurtful defeat as a half of a company is a sixth of the overall strength of the expedition.

2) Characterize the Expedition as an organized military force. Having structure and a chain of command with implied rules about decorum and functions helps set them up as the "lawful" faction within the defining choice of the campaign and differentiates them from other forces like the orcs (and civilians).

3) Give me some context for what I could expect to use as the "leader" of different sides in my scenarios. In the end I came up with:
a) General ("de facto Governor") = Overall commander. Takes the field very seldom. More someone who sits far behind the lines and moves bigger segments around. If he takes the field, he'll have a personal elite guard.
b) Lieutenant = Commander of a company. Will take the field when the main force of a company is engaged or when a mission is vitally important. May function as a secondary leader (or unit) in a scenario where the general is present.
c) Sergeant = Officer within a company. May take a leadership role when a detachement of a company is engaged and follows some objective of lesser important. Will take the field as a secondary leader (or unit) alongside the relevant Lieutenant.

A Note: These ranks do not mean that the character has to be represented as a Sergeant/Lieutenant/General unit type in game. They may use other types or even custom ones.

The next big step will be to update my starting post once I have finished my work on the storyboard for the orcish missions. I will add the names of the characters from this story in at the same time.

I appreciate every feedback, ideas, questions etc. This is a draft for the story and it is absolutely open to change.

Best regards.

Landiss
Posts: 33
Joined: May 18th, 2018, 6:48 pm

Re: Rough outline for a campaign "The northern province"

Post by Landiss » May 22nd, 2018, 8:08 pm

This sounds quite interesting, I like how much work you have put into the background already.

I wonder, what exactly is the goal you want to achieve by having this particular subject? It's not very clear to me what's your story about - that is, not literally what happens, but do you want the player to take away from it. It's clear to me that unlike most campaigns in Wesnoth (which, let's face it, usually consist of very fan-fiction level of writing) you want to tell something and not just provide pure entertainment.

I'm asking about this, because it seems to me that by choosing this topic you are taking a huge risk of getting into cliches and a superficial view on colonialism, known from lots of movies like Pocahontas or Avatar. I'm not even sure how it would be possible to not get similar result in Wesnoth, which doesn't really have that many story-telling tools at its disposal.

SaloGhost
Posts: 6
Joined: May 9th, 2018, 4:21 pm

Re: Rough outline for a campaign "The northern province"

Post by SaloGhost » May 22nd, 2018, 10:40 pm

Hi Landiss,

first of all thanks for replying. I really appreciate that. :D

Regarding your question, I actually chose two themes for the campaign which interconnect (and are basically present in most stories about colonialism, as you have pointed out): The first one is about stereotyping other cultures, making wrong (and sometimes right) assumptions and the ensuing conflict. The other one is about which set of morals we follow. Do we follow some personal moral/ethical compas or do we conform to the expections of society?(Although I have desribed the sides as "Good" and "Lawful" because of the classical alignement scheme, but in the end it is not my goal to say that the "good" side is the right one, I hope that comes across.)

Why did I chose these themes? Basically the first thing I got pointed to when I arrived here and offered my skills as a writer was the "Wesnoth unit description rework" and the associated discussion of bias in the descriptions (against orcs, towards elves/Humans). And I thought it would be a valuable addition to discuss this questions within the medium and through it's story instead of just on a meta-level.

My basic goal is to make the player think about the basic themes that are underpining the story. About the Pros and Cons, by showing him different perspectives of the matter (and forcing him to decide which major viewpoint he wants to share). I think I would have done a good job if he can say in the end "I can understand where both sides are coming from" and if different people would prefer different sides (like not all think one of them is designed to be "the ones the author agrees with and morally superior").

I also think there is a certain value in just posing the question against the typical black-and-white of simple High-Fantasy stories, even if it will not be on the same level of complexity as a novel about the same thing could achieve (or a film or any other medium). I do think however that games have some storytelling-modes that are inaccesible for most mediums in that the player has a certain amount of potential to influence what's happening.

So, coming to the harder question: How do I avoid certain problems inherent to the genre? Well, some of the usual tropes I will not avoid but consciously use. I mean, certain beats in this kind of story are there for a reason and it would make it kinda strange if they were absent. Having the conquerors at large not trying to dehumanize their victims (as "monsters" and "beasts" in the case of the orcs, but generally as someone who doesn't stand on the same level as themselves) would probably make for a very interesting story, but it also would probably drain out the conflict necessary for the central story to get under way.

What I do plan to do however is to not unilaterally side with the "home crowd" against the "invasion force". Not even with those who advocate cooperation over conflict. But paint a picture of both their civilizations and compare their shortcomings. I mean, I could write it with the "good" faction being the good guys of the story. Helping the misunderstood "primitives" against oppression by the "advanced" power. But that's not what I'm going for.

Orcs are impulsive, warlike and aggresive. Not some tribes that just life peacefully and never disturb each other or nature. Orcish children have to fight for survival and their place in society and when they fail they must fall in line and/or die. If you repress them (as the expedition force does) and then free them (as the "rebels" do), they don't seek to just resume their life and walk away. They unleash hell against their former captors.

Yes, ending the oppression and not being part of a system that chains and violates a whole race is a noble choice. But on the same hand, the people making that choice betray their own country and start a civil war that claims a huge number of lifes (including many of their former comrades) and it ends in death and disgrace, although they can send of some to freedom. Continuing the system would probably lead to the creation of enduring slavery and oppresive institutions, but the toll on the lifes of soldiers and civilians (and even on the slaves themselves) may have been aoided.

Well, many of these things will have to be carefully balanced in the actual texts, but that's basically what I'm going for. This got a bit longer then I expected. Really happy to discuss it (and if you or anyone have feedback/ideas/comments, it's all subject to change).

Best regards

Landiss
Posts: 33
Joined: May 18th, 2018, 6:48 pm

Re: Rough outline for a campaign "The northern province"

Post by Landiss » May 23rd, 2018, 8:38 am

Hey Saloghost, thanks for detailed answer. I have to say I am now even more interested what will come out of this.

Some things to consider:

- portraying racists as simply evil people who simply do cruel things because they can (Governor seems to be like this), it's easy to make racism look simply as a character flaw, while historically speaking, it was a cultural flaw. The whole societies were/are racists and it's something that a really decent person could do as well, to some extent. For example, a governor who believed he was doing orcs a favour by forcefully "educating" their young with cruel methods, let's say by removing their canine tooths to get rid of their "inhuman, savage instincts" would be much more interesting to me. Someone so strongly believing that orcs are inferior they need to be led by human, for their own good, by force if necessary.

- in general I would go for a baseline model of racism for all the human characters in the story. Almost everyone should be racist and seeing orcs not as someone inferior should be an exception and be treated with shock by other humans. However, what they do on that racist basis could be different. Maybe some character would want to get rid of all the orcs while someone else sees them as useful workforce that need to be treated well, just out of an economic calculation.

- let's not forget about orcs themselves - they should be as varied as their human opponents. There could be orcs selling other orcs into slavery, for example. There could be orcs working for humans at their own free will for a payment (not slaves) etc.

Of course I realize this might be too much for the scope of the campaign, I'm just spitting out ideas that came to my mind while reading your posts.

BTIsaac
Posts: 255
Joined: December 7th, 2017, 7:30 am

Re: Rough outline for a campaign "The northern province"

Post by BTIsaac » May 25th, 2018, 5:40 pm

SaloGhost wrote:
May 22nd, 2018, 10:40 pm
So, coming to the harder question: How do I avoid certain problems inherent to the genre? Well, some of the usual tropes I will not avoid but consciously use. I mean, certain beats in this kind of story are there for a reason and it would make it kinda strange if they were absent.
You know, that's the thing. Sometimes strange is better than the established tropes.

SaloGhost
Posts: 6
Joined: May 9th, 2018, 4:21 pm

Re: Rough outline for a campaign "The northern province"

Post by SaloGhost » May 26th, 2018, 8:48 pm

Hello BTIsaac,

I do aknowledge that going for different ideas at times is beneficial (and try to do that where I think it is sensible). I also think there are instances where you play some tropes straight is the way to tell your story.

If you want to suggest certain tropes or story beat's I should subvert or avoid, feel free to do so. I have an open mind on the issue.

Beste regards

SaloGhost
Posts: 6
Joined: May 9th, 2018, 4:21 pm

Re: Rough outline for a campaign "The northern province"

Post by SaloGhost » May 31st, 2018, 1:11 pm

Hi everyone,

after taking into account various feedback I have started to refine and rewrite parts of the story. As such, I updated the first post a bit:

Content:
1) Added rough estimates for location and timeframe (there will be a few changes necessary to accommodate that): Golden age and Northwestern mark.
2) Renamed the “good” path to “empathic”.
3) Expanded the characterization and background of the main cast.
4) Added in names across the board.
5) Added in the minor Lieutenants (Otto and Werner) and gave them a bit of characterization.
6) Renamed Missions 4-6.
7) Named the mountain pass “Elornas’ Passage” (and will for the moment presume it is the mountain pass Elornas used in "An Orcish Incursion".

Technical:
1) Introduced a „Section“-structure to the main post to improve readability.

The next step will be to rewrite and expand the Orcish memories to include the work I've done while fleshing them out to be the test-case mini-campaign. Also, I want to write a bit about the history and other fluff of the 7th company.

Farther out I want to do a bigger rewrite of the first portion of the campaign to push the decision point a bit further back and make the pressure that leads to the split a bit higher. I may also switch over to a two-arc structure at that point (having two arcs of about equal length with around 9-10 missions each, the second of which would be divided between the two lines).

Feedback and such is still much appreciated!

Best regards

Post Reply