Therian faction --- EoM

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Therian faction --- EoM

Postby JW » December 10th, 2005, 3:23 am

------This information will most likely be scrapped------


Background for the Shifters:
During the years 250-276 settlers venture into the areas south of Wesnoth and adapt to their new environment and fight to stabilize their population in several communities.

In 276 a massive earthquake tears a rift in the ground effectively seperating the Shifters from the rest of their Wesnoth bretheren.

From 290-330 there is relative peace and minds are left the luxury to ponder the world around them.

From 330-365 organized schools are created to teach the younger generations.

From 365-422 the study of the discipline of magic becomes the focal point of all southern communities

In 422 a wise mage discovers the art of shapeshifting in his studies.

From 422-460 said wise mage shares his discovery with the surrounding communities and the practice spreads like wildfire becoming the focal point of all magical studies

This is what I had before the EOM was created. I need to work in the Werewolf relationship, and all the other factions as well.


---

My proposal for a new faction has a temporary name of the "Shifters." Keep in mind it's won't be perfect and I'll need to fiddle with the stats and ideas some more.

BACKGROUND: To give some background, the Shifters are a society that has studied magic intensely and focus primarily on the process of shapeshifting – hence their name. Their philosophy is that is order to transcend human existence they must actually transcend human bodies. Those who do not use their magical powers to shapeshift use their powers to manipulate universal energies. Those who shapeshift generally transform into the creatures they personally revere the most.

The animals the Shifters revere the most, generally, are:

1) the Tiger for his strength and speed
2) the Serpent for her fluidity and adaptability
3) the Falcon for his grace and vision

Not all members of the Shifter society study magic, in fact many do not. Outside of the Guards their towns employ, these non-magic-using members of their society are wholly unfit for combat, hence you will only see magic-users and Guards in MP.

Here are the entire unit, race, and movement_type lists:

***Editted to the newly updated, hopefully better and more balanced, stats and unit list:***

Tiger Shifter >> Jaguar Shifter >> Puma Shifter
Serpent Shifter >> Water Snake
>> Sandskipper
>> Cobra >> Spitting Cobra
>> Cobra >> King Cobra
Falcon Shifter >> Falcon >> Peregrine Falcon
Shifting Apprentice >> Shifting Mage >> Shifting Master
>> Shifting Shaman >> Shifting Priest
Shifting Monk >> Shifting Spirit >> Shifting Aura
Shifter Guard >> Shifter Defender

-

I toyed with the Aura idea a lot. I originally intended it to be a Cold, Ranged attack, but I couldn't justify it. It seemed more like they would emanate a force - like an impact - that you would be able to feel when you approach them. Therefore I had to change it to a melee attack. I also didn't want it to be overpowered as it is magical AND impact, but I think that my attempts to keep it from being overpowered have left it as somewhat of a weak attack. --EDIT: I notice that it is quite a powerful attack for the mage branch and still a moderate attack for the fighting branches. More modifying may be done in the future.
Last edited by JW on March 1st, 2007, 5:46 am, edited 11 times in total.
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Postby turin » December 10th, 2005, 3:31 am

Tech tree? I assume you mean unit tree? :roll:

Anyway, I think typing out a full unit tree, although somewhat annoying for you, would be helpful. Are you planning on 6 lines? Or more? IMHO, you have enough lines right there.

Gameplaywise, the faction looks a bit too versatile. Can you tell me what the faction's weaknesses are?

Worldwise, are these supposed to exist in the same world as the country of Wesnoth? If so, a bit more elaboration on their history would be nice.

IMHO, Shapeshifting is an interesting idea, but it will be hard to make a good faction out of it. My suggestion, if you are going to do so, would be to have this shapeshifting be their only magical ability. Don't give them mages in the normal sense. Just give them these transforming units. Basically, IMHO, the Shifter Monk line decreases from the originality of the faction.


(Also, I have real problems with the idea of a completely magical race, but I won't bring them up here...)


Oh, and a minor quibble. Mountain lions, IIRC, are usually smaller and weaker than regular, African lions, so it doesn't make sense to me to have a generically labelled "lion" unit level into a mountain lion.
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Postby Eleazar » December 10th, 2005, 3:32 am

So, are the animal shifters animals all the time? Do they talk?

It will be hard to get an elephant into a hex, are you sure they don't revere the resiliance of something else?
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Postby irrevenant » December 10th, 2005, 3:57 am

Lion and Elephant are African animals. Wesnoth seems to be more Europe-inspired. That's not to say you can't have Lion & Elephant - just that if you can find similarly themed European animals it might be better.

Also, they're very standard beasts. It might be more interesting to pick less 'standard' animals.

Frog, for example, would give you amphibious units.

Tortoise would be appropriate for 'sturdiness' and gives you flavour: a slow, tough line, probably with 'steadfast'.

Alternately, 'Lizard' could have a couple of branches: Crocodile for aquatic prowess, chameleon for "Ambush" ability etc.

Note, that I'm assuming humans that take on aspects of these animals, or assume human-sized variants of the forms. Turning into a standard-sized frog or tortoise wouldn't do you a lot of good. :)

[edit] P.S. This is to indicate the variety of the field you can select from, but I'm not suggesting you select all of them. Like Turin said, you want to be very careful about creating a 'god faction' with no real weaknesses. They become dull to play, and dull to play against...
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Postby JW » December 10th, 2005, 5:01 am

I know it would help if I typed it all out, and I'll try to later tonight, but here are my thoughts on what I would like their strengths and weaknesses are currently:

Strengths:
1) Every unit has a magical attack (albeit a weak one)
2) several units with Impact damage (other than Aura)
3) flexibility in mage unit (although he does less damage than standard mages)

Weaknesses:
1) few units with ranged attacks
2) expensive units (for the most part)
3) lots of XP to level up
4) weak scout unit (compared to other factions: Eagle Shifter - I'll list stats below)
5) No abilities that really stand out at level 1

Also, they would be a neutral faction - strength or weakness? Although the Serpent line could conceivably be Chaotic and the Eagle line Lawful.

Of course, these are subject to change as is necessary. I'll research Wesnoth History a little more later to find how they might fit in. The only real strength I wanted was that each unit have a magical Aura attack. All else is secondary, although my concept is that since they'er a magical race that their "mage" unit be flexible with different types of magic.

I'll list the other level 1 units here(I should have done that in the original post):

Serpent Shifter
Level: 1
Cost: 15
HP: 26
XP: 40
Move: 5 (4?)
Attacks: bite (5-3 pierce, melee), aura (6-1 magical, impact, melee)
Move type: smallfoot (woodland?)
Resistances -20 blade, 20 cold, 0 fire, 20 holy, 0 impact, 0 pierce

Eagle Shifter
Level: 1
Cost: 17 (18?)
HP: 28
XP: 36
Move: 7
Attacks: talons (3-4 blade, melee), aura (6-1 magical, impact, melee)
Move type: fly
Resistances: standard

And yeah, I meant unit tree. Mental slip. These should cover the only 6 units I considered for level 1s. I thought that would be enough - but I could come up with more if some of these end up not working. I like the idea of alligators; frogs however, not so much.
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Postby JW » December 10th, 2005, 5:20 am

turin wrote:IMHO, Shapeshifting is an interesting idea, but it will be hard to make a good faction out of it. My suggestion, if you are going to do so, would be to have this shapeshifting be their only magical ability. Don't give them mages in the normal sense. Just give them these transforming units. Basically, IMHO, the Shifter Monk line decreases from the originality of the faction.

You may be right. I'd like to keep them. I could decrease their levelling options to make them less useful and therefore less used. It would probably make more sense too. I think I'll go with a single 3 tier progression.


turin wrote:Oh, and a minor quibble. Mountain lions, IIRC, are usually smaller and weaker than regular, African lions, so it doesn't make sense to me to have a generically labelled "lion" unit level into a mountain lion.
That can be resolved by keeping their damage increase minor - especially since they get added mobility bonuses. I think that would keep it closer to what you're thinking of.

Eleazar wrote:So, are the animal shifters animals all the time? Do they talk?

It will be hard to get an elephant into a hex, are you sure they don't revere the resiliance of something else?

Yes, they would remain in their animal forms - although they could revert if they wished (it would be regressing to them however). Also, they could retain the ability of speech once their transformations completed - although I imagined that they could magically speak to one another, so I'm not sure that it's necessary.

I'm not quite sure what else they could revere the resiliancy of...I suppose an elephant isn't necessary. The tortoise would be interesting. I'll brainstorm some more.


irrevenant wrote:Lion and Elephant are African animals. Wesnoth seems to be more Europe-inspired. That's not to say you can't have Lion & Elephant - just that if you can find similarly themed European animals it might be better.

Also, they're very standard beasts. It might be more interesting to pick less 'standard' animals.

I think you're right. I want to keep the Lion and higher level Cobras, but I suppose the others coud change and even the Eagle could be removed if I brainstormed a different scout unit.

irrevenant wrote:Note, that I'm assuming humans that take on aspects of these animals, or assume human-sized variants of the forms. Turning into a standard-sized frog or tortoise wouldn't do you a lot of good. :)

I was thinking human sized creatures, somewhat. Obviously the elephant would be bigger and the serpent and eagle a little smaller. The original vision actually was that the level 1 units were humans with animal traits and then level 2 and beyond they would be mostly animal. This would show a transformation with a gaining of power. It would be difficult to draw this I suppose. It was also why I wanted a high XP between levels and a generous gaining of traits. To state it more clearly, a level 0 unit would look human, level 1s look human and slightly animal, level 2s animal and slightly human, level 3s animal. Of course there is no level 0 unit, but that shows the progression I'm thinking of quite nicely.

Of course, these are all just concepts right now.

irrevenant wrote:Like Turin said, you want to be very careful about creating a 'god faction' with no real weaknesses. They become dull to play, and dull to play against...

You mean like dwarves? ;)
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History of the Shifters

Postby JW » December 10th, 2005, 6:32 am

The History of the Shifters
I think the Shifters would work in very well in this part of Wesnothian history:
the wiki wrote:530-630
The Age of Fear takes its names from the events of the end of the era. On the surface, the first 90 years were every uneventful. However, all through the era unexplainable magical events took place, especially in the eastern lands. Also, in the last 10 years of the age, Wesnoth bore the brunt of the most powerful Undead attack ever, and was nearly destroyed. By the end of the era, most of Wesnoth had been made barren, most of the great buildings inside and outside of Weldyn were razed, and the population of Wesnoth was half what it had been.

It was in this era that certain areas of the chaotic Northlands were for the first time put into any kind of law and order. In the early days of this era, a small body of mostly humans and dwarves, accepting anyone of any race who wished to join, formed themselves into the "Northern Alliance�, with the vision of making the Northlands safe to live in. Over time, this alliance grew slowly but steadily in power. By the end of the era, the alliance had succeeded in making a few small areas, including Knalga and the surrounding regions, stable and prosperous. Consequently, many people evacuated from the wasteland that most of Wesnoth had become and moved north - depleting the population of Wesnoth still further.


"However, all through the era unexplainable magical events took place, especially in the eastern lands."

This sounds like a place where the Shifters could easily be written in. I didn't really get a good understanding of the eastern lands though.

But a magical human-like race or evolving from humans could be a very interesting part of this period of Wesnothian history. Perhaps the magical events that transpired infused humans with innate magical powers in the eastern lands where new communities were created. These communities, in an age of relative peace, had time and luxury to expand their minds into unknown realms - the true meaning of existence. They become obsessed with the idea of transcendence and explore ways to meet with this idea.

A compelling campaign could arise when their quest for transcendence is disturbed by outside forces and are forced to take arms.

I smell something cooking...
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Postby Jester » December 10th, 2005, 10:37 am

Hey, I had the same sort of idea, called them Gaians. Posted it somewhere in the Werewolf thread...

O well, great idea, I hope you will make it happen.
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Postby turin » December 10th, 2005, 7:03 pm

Sorry, I think you misunderstood what I wrote for the Age of Fear stuff. The Magical Events the Age of Fear was referring to was Mal-Ravanal conquering the eastern lands, and putting a magical cloud-shroud-thing there to block out the sun.

The Eastern Lands were not at all a peaceful time during the Age of Fear - they were the first lands to be conquered by Mal-Ravanal.

So, you should probably find a different place for them... perhaps they should go in the southern desert, below Wesnoth? If you do that, you could keep the Lion and Elephant, because they're in a part of the WorldofWesnoth that corresponds roughly with Africa.
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New proposal for the history of the Shifters:

Postby JW » December 10th, 2005, 8:26 pm

New proposal for the history of the Shifters:

the wiki wrote:200-350
The Golden Age of wesnoth was the time of the great kings, and of peace and prosperity within the kingdom. The Orcs had suffered a grave defeat at the hands of Wesnoth and Elensefar seventy-five years earlier, so they did not pose much of a threat, and whenever they did attack they were quickly defeated. This allowed the army to lessen in size, and the kings of this age to undertake the great public works they are renowned for. The era ends when the king of Wesnoth dies without an heir, and a new dynasty begins.


During this time period (sometime between 220-250) humans travel south and begin to colonize the southern lands. Disconnected from the rest of Wesnoth, these humans are ignorant of the orcish attacks that happen during the First Dark Age of Wesnoth as well as the events that take place in the Age of the Turmoil of Asheviere:

the wiki wrote:350-440
The first Dark Age was a time of strife and attacks from the outside. When Haldric IV died, it left Wesnoth without a king, and the next 90 years were marked by short-lived dynasties, attacks by ever more aggressive orcs, and the further separation of Wesnoth and Elensefar. The Dark Age ended when Garard I took the throne, and began a new dynasty that would last for several hundred years.


the wiki wrote:440-530
King Garard's dynasty was long-lived, but its first eighty years of existence made observers at the time believe that would not be so. The first king suffered a very destructive undead attack, and the second was murdered by his own wife and son. It was only until 519 that Konrad I was able to wrest the throne from the Queen Mother Asheviere. After Konrad I took the throne, though, the turmoil ended, and Wesnoth entered its next era.



Over the course of the previous 3 centuries, these inhabitants of the southern lands have, in an age of realatively constant peace (according to them), had time and luxury to expand their minds into before unknown realms - the meaning of existence. They become obsessed with the idea of transcendence and explore ways to meet with this idea.

During the years 250-310 settlers adapt to their new environment and fight to stabilize their population in several communities.

From 310-350 there is relative peace and minds are left the luxury to ponder the world around them.

From 350-390 schools are created to teach the younger generations.

From 390-463 the study of the discipline of magic is a focal point of all southern communities

In 463 the Wise Mickkel discovers the art of shapeshifting in his studies.

From 463-530 Mickkel shares his discovery with the surrounding scommunities and the practice spreads like wildfire becoming the focal point of most magical studies.


What do you think? I'm planning on adding more detail and turmoil in there, but I don't know the geography or the racial layout of the southern lands as they are envisioned now to really draw something up.
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Postby turin » December 10th, 2005, 8:29 pm

Ask Aelius; his South Guard campaign is the only one that really defines the southern lands, AFAIK.
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Postby JW » December 10th, 2005, 8:40 pm

I sent him a pm and I'll download and play the campaign soon.
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Postby irrevenant » December 15th, 2005, 8:21 pm

turin wrote:So, you should probably find a different place for them... perhaps they should go in the southern desert, below Wesnoth? If you do that, you could keep the Lion and Elephant, because they're in a part of the WorldofWesnoth that corresponds roughly with Africa.

As I understand it, Wesnoth is an island of unclear size on a world of unknown size. It's entirely possible for all sorts of cultures and species to have popped up on other islands. Certainly we assume that Wesnoth is basically the whole world, but then, so did the Roman empire! Maybe Wesnoth is just the size of the UK!

Look at the variety of cultures our world evolved, from pacific islanders to soviet Russia to the US to Aztecs. A world's an awful big place...
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Postby turin » December 15th, 2005, 8:55 pm

irrevenant wrote:
turin wrote:So, you should probably find a different place for them... perhaps they should go in the southern desert, below Wesnoth? If you do that, you could keep the Lion and Elephant, because they're in a part of the WorldofWesnoth that corresponds roughly with Africa.

As I understand it, Wesnoth is an island of unclear size on a world of unknown size.

Yeah, uh... in version 0.7. Wesnoth is NOT an island. And the known geography of the world of Wesnoth includes 1. the Old Continent, which it may be assumed is as large as America, at least; 2. the Great Ocean, which is about the breadth of the Atlantic, and which has 2, no more, major islands in it (the green isle, and morogor), and 3. the Great Continent, which has Wesnoth (about the size of europe), the Northlands (about half the size of europe, although I'm not sure), a desert in the east, and some stuff in the south (I'm unsure what exists there, although it is defined in The South Guard).

The Old Continent at one point contained the Lavinian Empire, the Dardans, a variety of Orc, and (perhap) the Aiyira. Later, it contained the Akladian and Aragwaithi countries, and (I would assume) the orcs remained on it. The Green Isle contained at one point the Wesfolk/Undead and the Estfolk; it now contains mostly orcs, although some undead might still remain (it is implied they all left, though, in SE). Morogor was the land of the Drakes; it was actually an island chain, like the ones in the south pacific. However, I'm pretty sure it sunk into the ocean. Wesnoth has three different parts; Elensefar, the heartland, and the Clan lands. Elensefar is the size of the UK, maybe a bit smaller, and Wesnoth is the size of Western Europe. The Clans are probably similar in size to half the Great Plains in the US. The Northern Lands are, as I understand it, similar geographically to the Scandinavian peninsulas, and they contain Dwarves, Northern Elves, and Orcs. The Southern Lands contain a large forest where the Southern Elves live. In the East, you have a mountain range separating Wesnoth from the East, and then a desert which the Kedari live(d?) in.

And, the planet is almost certainly the same size, or nearly the same size, as earth...


Wesnoth is a LOT more defined than you seem to think. ;)

[edit]
Well, I just felt like going on a rant there. But I'm still unclear about what your point was - you seem to be basically saying, "Wesnoth is not the whole world". Duh.

What I listed above is probably enough to fill the geography of half of it.
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Postby Boucman » December 15th, 2005, 9:00 pm

anybody tried to draw a world map yet ?
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