Avian Faction (The faction of winged people)

It's not easy creating an entire faction or era. Post your work and collaborate in this forum.

Moderator: Forum Moderators

Deciton_Reven
Posts: 94
Joined: August 6th, 2012, 4:49 pm

Re: Avian Faction (The faction of winged people)

Post by Deciton_Reven »

Hey there, if you are looking for a bird to associate with magic or "magic" you could use the Sacred Ibis, the animal that represented the Egyptian God Thoth, God of Writing, Math, the Moon, and Magic. If you wanted to make it have to do with fire you could permute the Sacred Ibis and the red Scarlet Ibis, and maybe even the Bald Ibis to the equation since it looks bad-a.

The "In Culture" section of the Wikipedia page has a few really neat facts about Ibises.

And that's about my knowledge on the subject of birds, good luck!
Vanagandr
Posts: 36
Joined: May 17th, 2014, 5:48 pm

Re: Avian Faction (The faction of winged people)

Post by Vanagandr »

I wanted to make a bird faction long ago and chose the Ibis as scouts :) Interesting to see how the same birds seem to be always popping up when designing a Wesnoth bird faction.

As orangebox hasn't answered yet: My understanding so far of Avians and magic was that they don't/can't use it at all. I may of course be wrong about that.
I agree that it would be interesting to relate the high amount of female warriors to them maybe laying eggs, and it would also give the Rhea an important role in their society. Female Avians could also just be stronger than males, in many bird species the females are actually larger (e.g. gyrfalcons).

Below I made a possible advancement tree. Tell me what you think.

Code: Select all

Hummingbird (archer, skirmisher)
│
├ Thorntail/Sabrewing (martial branch)
│
└ Nightingale/some Owl (assassin branch)

Shrike (fighter)
│
├ Kingfisher (fighter line)
│
└ Rhea (ground fighter)

Alchemist (healer, fire damage)
│
├ Raven/some Crow (better Alchemist)
│
├ Ifrit/Pitohui (something with poison)
│
└ Dove/Caladrius (healer specialization)

Swift (scout)
│
├ Kestrel/Needletail/Peregrine (better scout)
│
└ some Owl/Swiftlet/Nighthawk (assassin branch)
For additional units: Are gryphons still in consideration for allies to the Avians to support their nomadic lifestyle? Maybe we could make an armored gryphon to balance out the general weakness to impact damage in the Avian faction.
I also attached a new version of the Avian era, I removed volley from Hummingbirds because it basically didn't do much aside from complicating animations. I also gave the units some real stats, I would be thankful for feedback as I just put in whatever came to my mind with inspiration by the first post in this thread.
Attachments
Avian_Era.rar
Now with Swifts and Alchemists, taking flight also costs 1mp
(479.23 KiB) Downloaded 361 times
orangebox
Posts: 107
Joined: May 3rd, 2012, 7:14 pm

Re: Avian Faction (The faction of winged people)

Post by orangebox »

Ah to answer their affinity to magic, I'd say there's none. Which is my original intention of making them weak against it. I see them being spiritual, fearful of the elements, but are unable to use it. So technically Vanagandr has the right idea.

For mounts, my most obvious go-to solution would be gryphons due to their similarities. But wyverns or lesser drakes are fine as well to increase variety. Regardless, I do enjoy the idea of mounts as they are nomads. And moving around with their houses in tow requires a form of carriage.

And yes, females are dominant and males tend to be much more worried about their appearance - just like how male tropical birds are generally fancier than females. So you've got that right as well Vanagandr. I didnt know you wanted to make a bird faction as well haha.

The progression class tree looks great! But won't the pitohui be better as a lv1 unit? Then again, I have no idea what will thatrbe named as... I'm also thinking that would it be a better idea for owls to be as a hummingbird next tier instead of the scout line? nightingale feels better in the scout line.
Vanagandr
Posts: 36
Joined: May 17th, 2014, 5:48 pm

Re: Avian Faction (The faction of winged people)

Post by Vanagandr »

Yeah, my faction was planned to be more like actual birds though. I had plans for factions for pretty much any type of animal, so it's not surprising that there was also one with birds :P Anyway, that was a few years ago.

I'm also not sure about the Pitohui. I don't quite know what role he is supposed to fill. We still need some unit that is good against high defense, but if we give him poison+marksman he'd just be another orcish asssassin, that wouldn't be very original.
orangebox
Posts: 107
Joined: May 3rd, 2012, 7:14 pm

Re: Avian Faction (The faction of winged people)

Post by orangebox »

The era looks good btw! I'll try to come up with the alchemist line base for the time being :)
User avatar
johndh
Posts: 591
Joined: June 6th, 2010, 4:03 am
Location: Music City

Re: Avian Faction (The faction of winged people)

Post by johndh »

Vanagandr wrote: Female Avians could also just be stronger than males, in many bird species the females are actually larger (e.g. gyrfalcons).
As far as I know, this is true for all raptors. The females are bigger for nesting purposes. Since they don't have discernible genitalia, size is actually how we tell the sex of the birds at our aviary. It's not as precise as a costly blood test, but we just need to know which pronouns to use. :)
orangebox wrote:Ah to answer their affinity to magic, I'd say there's none. Which is my original intention of making them weak against it. I see them being spiritual, fearful of the elements, but are unable to use it. So technically Vanagandr has the right idea.
Understood. That actually creates an interesting relationship, as most races in Wesnoth that are vulnerable to magic (or arcane, at least) are those that are connected to it in some fashion. Elves and woses have a connection to faerie, undead are bound together by necromancy, etc. Avians seem to be sort of the merfolk of the sky, perhaps with a strong connection to elemental air giving them their flight, but they are unable to consciously bend this magic to their own desires.
For mounts, my most obvious go-to solution would be gryphons due to their similarities. But wyverns or lesser drakes are fine as well to increase variety. Regardless, I do enjoy the idea of mounts as they are nomads. And moving around with their houses in tow requires a form of carriage.
Gryphons seem to share their habitat and are able to be tamed, so they're a good choice. I'm not sure how much use they'd be as pack animals, since I would think any real caravaning would probably have to happen on the ground. Depending on their technology or relationship with neighboring dwarves, maybe they use balloons or airships to carry their stuff? This needn't be a unit or gameplay thing at all, but it would work as an interesting piece of background fluff.

Slightly revised with some of my suggestions:
Hummingbird (archer, skirmisher)

├ Thorntail -- Sabrewing (martial branch)

└ Ifrit -- Pitohui (poison darts): skirmisher, poison

Shrike (fighter)

├ Kingfisher -- Heron (fighter line)

└ Rhea -- Cassowary (ground fighter): first strike

Magpie (healer, fire damage)

├ Rook -- Raven (explosives specialization)

└ Dove -- Caladrius (healer specialization)

Swift (scout)

├ Needletail -- Albatross (better scout)

└ Nightjar -- Owl (assassin branch): nightstalk, backstab

Kestrel (enforcer)

├ Merlin -- Peregrine (enforcer line)

└ Harrier -- Red-tail (renegade line)

The new unit line I've suggested are named after three different kinds of falcons, and are meant to patch up the lack of impact attacks and various vulnerabilities of the avians. In real life, falcons often prey on other birds, and this is reflected here by the Kestrel, Merlin, and Peregrine being anti-avian avians. Additionally, the Harrier and Red-tail are two kinds of hawks that don't really fit with the other units, so I thought they'd be a kind of Footpad/Poacher type with a blade and sling, either branched off from the Kestrel or the Swift. I realize that this is a lot of units, so I won't be heartbroken if you don't think they're necessary. As you can see, I've also proposed moving the poison line to branch from the Hummingbird since envenomed darts fit more with archery than grenades. I renamed the Nightingale to the Nightjar, as that seems like a more fitting predecessor to the owl. Here are some unit descriptions:

Physically strong and hardy avians may find themselves drawn to work as kestrels. Depending on their employers, they may serve as the entry-level bounty hunters, enforcers, or peace-keepers of the avian race. No mere thugs, kestrels lack neither grace nor speed when carrying out their tasks.

Kestrels who show an aptitude for their work will quickly acquire new and better equipment, trading their wooden clubs for sturdier maces. Padded armor and a shield give the merlin some protection from the arrows and spears of their fellow avians, and their blunt weapons are able to break bones easily.

While avians are typically cooperative amongst themselves, there comes a time when one must be brought down. The elite enforcers known as peregrines are widely feared among avians. They strike quickly and with great power, shattering bones with brutal efficiency.

Harriers may be habitual renegades, but not usually outright criminals. Just as often, they are avians who find authority uncomfortable and have decided to make their own way in life. They quickly learn their way around the wilderness and become versatile hunters and foragers. They are valued as mercenaries for their knowledge of things that lurk outside the borders of civilization, but their loyalty is fickle.

There may be no greater ally than the red-tails to have in the mountain wilderness that surrounds the avian homelands. Their familiarity with the hinterlands is unmatched and they are skilled fighters as well as survivalists. However, anyone who hires them must be careful to stay in their good graces.
It's spelled "definitely", not "definately". "Defiantly" is a different word entirely.
Vanagandr
Posts: 36
Joined: May 17th, 2014, 5:48 pm

Re: Avian Faction (The faction of winged people)

Post by Vanagandr »

I like the Magpie a lot as a name for the base Alchemist. I also agree that the Pitohui and Ifrit seem out of place in that line.
For the assassins, I had the following idea: The Hummingbird assassin branch would have backstab on its ranged attack and skirmisher (skirmisher only when flying), which I think would be more refreshing than another melee backstab assassin. The Swift assassin branch would have nightstalk and maybe a special that, if it attacks and began the turn concealed, lets it deal more damage or reduces the opponent's strikes by 1 or something like that.

For the new unit line: My idea was that the non-assassin scout line would be the "anti-avian" unit, which is why I named them after falcons (also because falcons are fast) and gave them an impact attack. Maybe this would also be a good unit to give the dive special to, the dive special could interact differently against opponents on ground or in flight. Maybe if the attacker hits a flier it would ground the defender, and if the attacker gets hit he gets grounded instead.
I agree with someone earlier in this thread who said that maces don't seem like weapons Avians would like to use. However, I like the idea of the blade and sling unit very much. How about we merge that with the Ifrit/Pitohui and give it poison on its knife attack and maybe marksman on its sling attack? The poison would also go well with the bounty hunter/survivalist flair I think.
User avatar
johndh
Posts: 591
Joined: June 6th, 2010, 4:03 am
Location: Music City

Re: Avian Faction (The faction of winged people)

Post by johndh »

Vanagandr wrote:For the new unit line: My idea was that the non-assassin scout line would be the "anti-avian" unit, which is why I named them after falcons (also because falcons are fast) and gave them an impact attack. Maybe this would also be a good unit to give the dive special to, the dive special could interact differently against opponents on ground or in flight. Maybe if the attacker hits a flier it would ground the defender, and if the attacker gets hit he gets grounded instead.
I agree with someone earlier in this thread who said that maces don't seem like weapons Avians would like to use. However, I like the idea of the blade and sling unit very much. How about we merge that with the Ifrit/Pitohui and give it poison on its knife attack and maybe marksman on its sling attack? The poison would also go well with the bounty hunter/survivalist flair I think.
Ah, I didn't actually look at the stats yet, so I missed the impact attack. In that case, I see what you mean and I guess we came to roughly the same idea about an anti-avian unit. Personally, I wonder about the usefulness of a poison knife for a primarily ranged unit, though. Having the Ifrit as the survivalist unit sounds fine, but it seems like poisoned darts or arrows make more sense for hunting. I'm also having trouble imagining how a ranged backstab would work, flavor-wise. Ditching the club/mace line and shuffling some names and ideas around, here's what I have (only slightly different from yours):

Hummingbird (archer, skirmisher)

├ Thorntail --> Sabrewing (better archer)

└ Ifrit --> Pitohui (renegade): poison darts

Shrike (fighter)

├ Kingfisher --> Heron (fighter line)

└ Rhea --> Cassowary (ground fighter): first strike

Magpie (healer, fire damage)

├ Rook --> Raven (grenadier)

└ Dove --> Caladrius (healer)

Swift (scout)

├ Kestrel --> Peregrine (interceptor): sword and sling, marksman

└ Nightjar --> Owl (assassin): nightstalk, backstab?
It's spelled "definitely", not "definately". "Defiantly" is a different word entirely.
Vanagandr
Posts: 36
Joined: May 17th, 2014, 5:48 pm

Re: Avian Faction (The faction of winged people)

Post by Vanagandr »

I coded my ideas so that you can take a look at them (only works in 1.11.15). I gave the swift ->kestrel -> peregrine flying line the weapon special dive. This makes both combatants deal 50% more damage and also dazes anyone that gets hit (meaning it can't attack for one turn). It also grounds any flying unit that gets hit. I think it fits quite well with the falcon path.
The other advancement line for the swift (currently swiftlet) gets the lurker and nightstalk abilities instead, the lurker ability gives it +50% damage if it starts the turn out of sight of any enemies.

The ranged backstab would work like melee backstab, if the unit turns its back it is easier to land a critical hit. The assassin would use a smaller bow for that probably, something with an effective range of a shuriken or a little longer (or maybe just give it shurikens? I don't know if that fits with the flavor of the faction).

About Ifrits and Enforcers/sling users: Reading it up on wiki again, it says that all the poison of Ifrits and Pitohuis does is numbing the hand of whoever touches them. Maybe we shouldn't give them poison as a weapon special (i.e. - 8HP per turn) but rather something different. The dazed status I mentioned above comes to mind (that way I could also use that in more than one place).
I would have thought of the sling-using unit as a mixed fighter, something like
7-2 melee, blade, poison/daze
4-3 ranged, impact, marksman

That way the unit wouldn't be as straightforward in its use and also not fill quite the same role as the Hummingbird or Shrike, who are heavily ranged and melee oriented respectively.
Please tell me what you think :)

Edit: I also made some changes to the fly special, a unit is now forced to land if it captures a village and can't land on unwalkable terrain or deep water.
Attachments
Avian_Era.rar
with hummingbird and swift advancements, also features weapon special dive and ability lurker
(486.09 KiB) Downloaded 281 times
User avatar
johndh
Posts: 591
Joined: June 6th, 2010, 4:03 am
Location: Music City

Re: Avian Faction (The faction of winged people)

Post by johndh »

Vanagandr wrote:I gave the swift ->kestrel -> peregrine flying line the weapon special dive. This makes both combatants deal 50% more damage and also dazes anyone that gets hit (meaning it can't attack for one turn). It also grounds any flying unit that gets hit. I think it fits quite well with the falcon path.
The other advancement line for the swift (currently swiftlet) gets the lurker and nightstalk abilities instead, the lurker ability gives it +50% damage if it starts the turn out of sight of any enemies.
I think I like it. :)
Vanagandr wrote: The ranged backstab would work like melee backstab, if the unit turns its back it is easier to land a critical hit. The assassin would use a smaller bow for that probably, something with an effective range of a shuriken or a little longer (or maybe just give it shurikens? I don't know if that fits with the flavor of the faction).
The backstab ability works against a target that is currently flanked or surrounded by enemies. From a practical standpoint, the worst time to shoot at a target is while it's surrounded by your buddies (friendly fire) and dodging around while fencing with them. A ranged backstab doesn't make a lot of sense to me, but I'm not opposed to some kind of sniper shot ability.
About Ifrits and Enforcers/sling users: Reading it up on wiki again, it says that all the poison of Ifrits and Pitohuis does is numbing the hand of whoever touches them.
Batrachotoxin is actually very potent (after reading about it, I'm surprised at how potent), and the fact that it can numb your hands just by touching the bird is a pretty good clue. Imagine how bad it would be to actually try to eat the bird or the poisonous beetles that it gets its poison from. It's the same toxin used by poison dart frogs, and a pure dose the size of two grains of salt is fatal to humans. I don't think it's absolutely essential for the unit to precisely mimic the bird and the way it uses its poison. Just the fact that there is a poisonous bird at all is probably enough to intrigue people and get them interested in learning more. Batrachotoxin has been used for poison darts (hence the name "poison dart frog") by various South American tribes for a long time, so having the Ifrit using poison darts ties in very nicely with that. Also, these darts are used for hunting in real life, so that ties in with the Ifrit's wilderness nature. The real bird gets its poison from eating beetles, so it makes sense for a wilderness-dwelling survivalist to use toxic beetles as a source of poison as well. It's ornithology! It's herpetology! It's toxicology! It's anthropology! It's Wesnoth! :D https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Batrachotoxin#Toxicity
Maybe we shouldn't give them poison as a weapon special (i.e. - 8HP per turn) but rather something different. The dazed status I mentioned above comes to mind (that way I could also use that in more than one place).
Slow, poison, and daze could each be a good option, as batrachotoxin causes death by paralysis. I'm not too picky about the exact mechanism.
That way the unit wouldn't be as straightforward in its use and also not fill quite the same role as the Hummingbird or Shrike, who are heavily ranged and melee oriented respectively.
Please tell me what you think :)
I was thinking more like Ifrit:Hummingbird::Orc Archer:Orc Assassin, meaning that the Ifrit would soften up enemies with its special attack, but wouldn't do much of the killing on its own, like how the Orc Assassin poisons enemies so that other units can finish them off. Having two slinger lines in addition to an archer line seems redundant, even if their roles are slightly different. Plus, a blowgun is more interesting and a break from the bows, slings, and knives that we see all the time. Birds tend to have advanced respiratory systems, so avians would be pretty good with them.
Edit: I also made some changes to the fly special, a unit is now forced to land if it captures a village and can't land on unwalkable terrain or deep water.
Sounds good. What happens if a unit is flying over deep water and gets batted down by a diving unit?
It's spelled "definitely", not "definately". "Defiantly" is a different word entirely.
Vanagandr
Posts: 36
Joined: May 17th, 2014, 5:48 pm

Re: Avian Faction (The faction of winged people)

Post by Vanagandr »

Hm, yeah I guess if you look at backstab that way it doesn't really make sense for a ranged unit to have it. I was looking at it rather that the unit getting backstabbed doesn't have to be in an actual fight at the moment, it just has its attention elsewhere, as it is not necessary that the unit getting backstabbed was attacked in order to recieve the backstab bonus.

I didn't actually propose to have two units with a sling attack, rather move the sling attack from the kestrel (as it is in your example) to a new unit. So my unit tree would look something like this:

Hummingbird (archer, skirmisher)

├ Thorntail --> Sabrewing (better archer, weak melee attack added)

└ Nightjar --> Nighthawk (ranged assassin, not so sure anymore about that)

Shrike (fighter)

├ Kingfisher --> Heron (fighter line)

└ Rhea --> Cassowary (ground fighter): first strike

Magpie (healer, fire damage)

├ Rook --> Raven (grenadier)

└ Dove --> Caladrius (healer)

Swift (scout)

├ Kestrel --> Peregrine (interceptor): dive attack (like drake slam)

└ Swiftlet --> Owl (assassin): nightstalk, lurker (+X damage if starting the turn invisible)

New Unit (Enforcer/Survivalist/something similar): melee poison (or daze), sling marksman

├ Ifrit---->Pitohui (poison specialization, poison/daze also on ranged (darts/blowgun as you mentioned))

└ more of a direct fighter specialization

Edit: I guess if a unit gets knocked down over deep water it still goes into its grounded version and has then 0% defense there. Don't know if that's good or bad, doesn't sound too unintuitive.
Post Reply