[mainline] Renaming Khalifate for Wesnoth-ian identity

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Turuk
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Re: [mainline] Renaming Khalifate for Wesnoth-ian identity

Post by Turuk »

Pentarctagon wrote:Turuk said on the previous page that he'd be putting a poll together soon, so I think it's just a matter of waiting for that.
Yes, I was just waiting for people to hash out or provide any and all options they wanted for consideration.

The poll has been made and I have included what appeared to be all of the possible contenders based on this discussion. The poll will run for five days, as I imagine a number of people will vote even if they have not been actively commenting. After this, it will move to top 4 and then top 2 to decide between as an option.

This may seem a bit slow and unwieldy, but I feel it allows everyone to continually weigh in on what they feel is the best choice even if their original vote was not chosen. It also allows debate to continue as to the advantages of one over the other as the options are whittled down.
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Re: [mainline] Renaming Khalifate for Wesnoth-ian identity

Post by Sapient »

Turuk, I was hoping for the first iteration the poll could be multiple choice, so that we can gauge the low-key support better. The problem with the current setup is we don't have any idea how many people are fine with several different choices. For example, if 100% of people had Sultanates as their second pick, we would have no way of knowing that it has broad support before moving to the second (favorites) phase. Also it is a bit unfair for the vote to be split right away among too similar choices, e.g. the Dune/Dunefolk split.

I apologize but is there any way we can redo phase 1 as multiple choice?
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Re: [mainline] Renaming Khalifate for Wesnoth-ian identity

Post by Can-ned_Food »

Because I'm an idiot …

here is
my commentary
  • Dunefolk
    seems more like the name of a race than a multiplayer_side name.
  • Dune (Tribes/Kingdom)
    although this is actually two, i gave it my vote: it roughly outlines their political structure and territory but little else.
  • Khalifate
    see to “Xalid”.
  • Nomad (Tribes/Kingdom)
    workable, but it is more limiting on their cultural aspect than Dune Tribes or Dune Kingdoms.
  • Sandfolk
    ditto as with Dunefolk.
  • Sons of the Sands
    it does seem more like the name of a campaign or saga.
  • Sons of Zamarkand
    decent for a faction name — actually, i quite like it, — but it implicates backstory that i think will never get included well enough.
    it makes me think of Turks and Mongols and the Chalk of Fate; any absence of similar elements in any thusly named faction would disappoint me. well, the Chalk of Fate thing is extraneous, but i would expect such a faction to be more Mongol–esque than anything else.
  • Southerners
    not evocative or descriptive enough;would work as a vague label thrown around by dialogue in a campaign or two. see below; this one seems, to me, that it would inply a much nearer proximity than Southern Kingdom.
    the relational counterpoint of the geography does require that they are renamed if an era occurs beyond Wesoth — that is not such a major concern. if does, however, make it more difficult to conceive that they themselves have much business with any nations or people more southerly than they.
  • Southern Kingdom
    doesn't seem foreign enough. when i see this, i think of some kingdom which has ambassadors and other diplomatic and trade relations with a Northern Kingdom; granted that much of that is rather a leap — could also be a Northern Republic or separate continents.
    :hmm: however, much of that could be remedied by deft narration and storytelling: fanciful mentions of the unknown Sultans in the south, hidden beyond the swirling storms of sand and far across the barren lands, dried and parched.
    the people in Wesnoth, unknowing the distinctions between a king and a sultan or whatever, could probably call it The Kingdom in the Far South. of course, then you get back to these people being the pioneers and border armies of the Xalidı, and not so much the confederation of tribes living between the Xalidı sultanates and Wesnoth, in the desert hills where few others dare venture.
  • Sultanates
    see to “Xalid”.
  • Xalid
    not only is this word incorrect — it should be Xalidı, as Xalid is a name for a singular person, — i would rather that it be another faction. as of now, i plan for that faction to use the words Xalid, Sultan, and kalīfate.
Last edited by Can-ned_Food on December 10th, 2017, 6:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: [mainline] Renaming Khalifate for Wesnoth-ian identity

Post by skeptical_troll »

I'm following this thread with some interest as, depending on the outcome, I'll probably have to change much dialog of my campaign. Few personal comments:

- naming the faction after an environment flattens it a bit. To me having 'sand/dune/desert' suggests that they are a bunch of barbarians living in the wild. Same goes with 'nomads' or 'tribes', they don't convey the idea of a sophisticated civilization, which seems to be the goal.

- 'Zamarkand' is An almost direct reference to the real city, it feels weird and breaks immersion, I think.

- I personally like names that hints to the backstory or to the social/political structure. The problem is making decisions about the backstory. But I would start from there, not from which name is nicer. Are they settlers from the old continent? Exiled people? Are they merchants? Organised in a league of city states? I have my own ideas and preferences, but I feel this belongs to a different thread. If I interpret them correctlt, the faction names 'loyalists', 'rebels' and 'Knalgan alliance', refer to quite precise events in the timeline.

- following this, I'd say that if nothing substantial is decided on the lore, the name can only be something generic like southern states/cities/league, or a middle-eastern sounding name, which however may sound funny to players from that area.

My overall conclusion is that the discussion of the backstory should be the priority here. In the meanwhile, changing the name of the units as suggested could be indeed a great improvement.

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Re: [mainline] Renaming Khalifate for Wesnoth-ian identity

Post by Turuk »

Sapient wrote:I apologize but is there any way we can redo phase 1 as multiple choice?
No need to apologize, that’s a valid point and will help in the process. I have edited the poll to let everyone pick their top 3 choices. Let me know if you have already voted and it does not let you pick additional options.

Also, everyone has the option to change their votes at any point by resubmitting (your votes are not locked until the end of the poll).
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Re: [mainline] Renaming Khalifate for Wesnoth-ian identity

Post by Can-ned_Food »

skeptical_troll wrote:- I personally like names that hints to the backstory or to the social/political structure. The problem is making decisions about the backstory. But I would start from there, not from which name is nicer. Are they settlers from the old continent? Exiled people? Are they merchants? Organised in a league of city states? I have my own ideas and preferences, but I feel this belongs to a different thread. If I interpret them correctlt, the faction names 'loyalists', 'rebels' and 'Knalgan alliance', refer to quite precise events in the timeline.

- following this, I'd say that if nothing substantial is decided on the lore, the name can only be something generic like southern states/cities/league, or a middle-eastern sounding name, which however may sound funny to players from that area.
Indeed. Perhaps the zeitgeist has shifted somewhat, but it was my understanding that the name was being used as a principle with which to outline and inform a certain theme. The Khalifate would then be revised using that theme.
Therefore, it seemed that the purpose of this discussion has tended toward narrowing down a set of characteristics which people would like to see in the revised Khalifate.
The reason being, of course, that many people think the Khalifate was never quite properly grafted to the Wesnoth lore or so, in that their religion, backstory, and underlying theme was not fictional enough and was based on a limited range of culltural motif from our world. I'm simply restating what I've seen so that you know how I've formed my view of the whole scene — also so that someone can correct me if I've misinterpreted something. Anyway …

I also haven't quite gotten an answer as to whether the revised Khalifate would occur in the default era or in a new one which represents the state of affairs at some later date in the history of Wesnoth.

Also, I voted when it was single choice and seem to be unable to change my vote. Not that my vote matters so much, but if have a problem then it is possible that others will have it too.

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Re: [mainline] Renaming Khalifate for Wesnoth-ian identity

Post by Turuk »

Can-ned_Food wrote:The reason being, of course, that many people think the Khalifate was never quite properly grafted to the Wesnoth lore or so, in that their religion, backstory, and underlying theme was not fictional enough and was based on a limited range of culltural motif from our world
I do believe that it could be fictional enough if fleshed out, even in their current state, but that previous discussions derailed so frequently that it was never able to get far enough - proving your first point that they were never properly grafted into the game.
Can-ned_Food wrote:Also, I voted when it was single choice and seem to be unable to change my vote. Not that my vote matters so much, but if have a problem then it is possible that others will have it too.
:doh: That is on me. It has now been fixed, though it did reset the votes. Sorry to all, but hopefully the five day window accounts for everyone to come back and vote again as needed.
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Re: [mainline] Renaming Khalifate for Wesnoth-ian identity

Post by ChaosRider »

a) Wandering tribes of sands
b) Tribes of sands
c) Wandering tribes
d) Kingdom of South Sun
e) Desert people
f) Tribes of wandering sands
g) Desert civilization
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Re: [mainline] Renaming Khalifate for Wesnoth-ian identity

Post by Crow_T »

I changed my mind last night so I'm glad to see I can re-vote. I think Nomads is probably the best because you have this idea that while there are forces trying to unite/destroy the Kingdom of Wesnoth there are also outliers who have some stake yet are doing their own thing away from the general turmoil. Of course for them the threats from the North are always looming and opportunities arise for them out of the chaos. Also, "Nomads" is simple like Undead, Orcs, Elves, Loyalists so I think that although not highly creative it fits in, creative names can be used for story and specific Nomad faction purposes, eg. the Knalgan Alliance. "Nomads" is generic enough to allow content creators some creativity without being locked in to a very specific idea which I think is a good thing given that Wesnoth is as much a creative story telling tool as it is a game.

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Re: [mainline] Renaming Khalifate for Wesnoth-ian identity

Post by mintleaf »

Crow_T wrote:I changed my mind last night so I'm glad to see I can re-vote. I think Nomads is probably the best because you have this idea that while there are forces trying to unite/destroy the Kingdom of Wesnoth there are also outliers who have some stake yet are doing their own thing away from the general turmoil. Of course for them the threats from the North are always looming and opportunities arise for them out of the chaos. Also, "Nomads" is simple like Undead, Orcs, Elves, Loyalists so I think that although not highly creative it fits in, creative names can be used for story and specific Nomad faction purposes, eg. the Knalgan Alliance. "Nomads" is generic enough to allow content creators some creativity without being locked in to a very specific idea which I think is a good thing given that Wesnoth is as much a creative story telling tool as it is a game.
I like the idea of Nomads and I agree with every point you're saying actually, and yet I feel that it is the wrong identity for the faction. My biggest qualm is that the unit feel of the faction implies a large organized society, not wandering tribes or nomads. Craft needs markets, art needs communities, and science needs cities and governments. Nomads and outliers are great ideas, but to me don't fit right with our current idea of the Khalifate and their units, namely the fiery Naffat, the medical Hakim, and the regal Mudafi upgrade of the Arif.

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Re: [mainline] Renaming Khalifate for Wesnoth-ian identity

Post by Samonella »

For what it's worth here are my opinions:

"Southerners" is my first pick for the faction name because it fits the current faction names. The orcs aren't called "The Great Horde" and loyalists aren't called "The Kingdom of Wesnoth," they're named by their relationships to each other, presumably during the time period of Heir to the Throne. I think "Southerners" is the best fit for that. Granted, by that logic the Knalgan Alliance doesn't really fit in.

Of course their actual kingdom/culture would need a different name, and for that I like Xalidi. I'm not a fan of the dotless 'i's simply because that makes it a pain to type.
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Re: [mainline] Renaming Khalifate for Wesnoth-ian identity

Post by Turuk »

mintleaf wrote:I like the idea of Nomads and I agree with every point you're saying actually, and yet I feel that it is the wrong identity for the faction. My biggest qualm is that the unit feel of the faction implies a large organized society, not wandering tribes or nomads.
I would say that there are a number of examples throughout history of nomadic societies (Scythians, Kushan, Mongols) that utilized a central city for government and overall organization.
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Re: [mainline] Renaming Khalifate for Wesnoth-ian identity

Post by mintleaf »

Turuk wrote: I would say that there are a number of examples throughout history of nomadic societies (Scythians, Kushan, Mongols) that utilized a central city for government and overall organization.
Knowing that now, I'm warming up to the idea. The idea of a sprawling nation with expansive communities like towns that move around rather than permanent cities, save for the capital. I'm loving it. It matches the romantic feel of expert Arif swordsmen and artful Jundi warriors, the enigmatic Hakim, and the wandering Rami and Khaiyal. It speaks of a civilization of journeymen and artists. The remaining issue for me are the Naffat. They don't quite fit with this identity as I would believe that the logistics of fire technology wouldn't function very well in a nomadic society. But they could even be the capital's elite troops or something of the sort. After doing some research spurred on by your comment, the Nomads as a faction feels great. I personally love the sound of the Dunefolk as well, but that could still be the name of the race/culture.

I'd suggest that in the poll however, the option for Nomads should just be plain Nomad Kingdom or Nomadic Kingdom. Even Nomadic Empire sounds great. I just think the idea of tribes is really incongruent with the current identity of the faction.

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Re: [mainline] Renaming Khalifate for Wesnoth-ian identity

Post by Turuk »

mintleaf wrote:The idea of a sprawling nation with expansive communities like towns that move around rather than permanent cities, save for the capital. I'm loving it. It matches the romantic feel of expert Arif swordsmen and artful Jundi warriors, the enigmatic Hakim, and the wandering Rami and Khaiyal. It speaks of a civilization of journeymen and artists.
I love this description, it does serve as a great snapshot of the faction as a culture.
mintleaf wrote:The remaining issue for me are the Naffat. They don't quite fit with this identity as I would believe that the logistics of fire technology wouldn't function very well in a nomadic society. But they could even be the capital's elite troops or something of the sort.
I think that could fit with their function - there is a case to be made that if most of the people live in non-permanent structures, there would be a much stronger awareness of the destructiveness of fire.
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Re: [mainline] Renaming Khalifate for Wesnoth-ian identity

Post by Can-ned_Food »

Here is an example of the sort of tweaked backstory we could do. In each of the five parts here is briefly posited five aspects of their cultural heritage: overall faction, genus and race, civil government, religion, and ambitions.

The Dunesdwellers are a confederation of semi–nomadic tribes, following their herds through the arid and sandy deserts, journeying scholars and alchemists, and the patrolling sultanate armies.
Though they themselves rarely talk about it with outsiders, rumors seep to the north of an old history with the indigenous Djinn and some bitter feuds of the past; it is believed that some among the tribes hide their half–Djınnı ancestry. The others among them are a diverse mixture of human folk from the lands conquered or absorbed by the sultanate empire.
The Sultans subject themselves to the priestly Xalid, or ‘the One of Might and Permanence’, who resides in Xalārkānd, ‘the City of Evermighty Wonder’ in the Far South; therefore, they consider themselves the Xalīdı. There are no ethnic limitations to aquiring greater citizenship among the Xalīdı, but the procedures are not trivial.
Though they are rather monotheist, believing in a supreme deity whose dominion is the entire world, they do permit hierarchies of immortal gods and mortal princes. They traditionally believe their Xalid to preside over all mortal races in direct line with their deity.
They are not a bloodthirsty people, but they are proud and haughty. Those who are not yet within the domain of a sultanate are considered to be savage pagans in need of education, prosperity, and social order. Those who oppose their regime are classified as enemies of morality and civilization.

Though most people would probably prefer to dilute or tone–down that last part, I think it could be done well if people were sensitive to it. I mean, it has happened very often and repeatedly in human history; that sort of echo needn't be a bad thing.

EDIT:
I forgot to mention that there is also room in this tweaked history for the concept of something like a ‘kalīfa’ as the name of the Xalid's dynasty and method of appointment to the position. Of course, the question should always have been, but rarely was, not whether it should be called a Kalīfate or a Successorship, but: What is the nature of that formal and ordained successorship and how it is granted?
If use of a word like kalif is better because it is stronger and more evocative than a more simple ‘heir deputant’, then people should be exploring the nature of that heritage. I think there is a good opportunity there to use the concept as a springboard into worldbuilding.
Is it simply to say that those people respect the decree of their Xalid so much that they would permit anyone to become the new Xalid simply because such a person was declared to be “kalīfa”, even if the person was not a child of that prior Xalid?
Or, does the decree come from some other source and does the Xalid have no say in that matter? Would that be a more vibrant aspect of their traditions?

All that being written, the concept is more important than the associations of a certain spelling or phonetic string. If that is an important aspect of this faction's fictional history, but the word “Khalifate” really doesn't quite convey such to the audience, then certainly consider a word or phrase which does.
Maybe that's what was originally wanted all those 10 or so years ago …
Last edited by Can-ned_Food on December 10th, 2017, 8:45 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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