Li'sar's Characterization in HttT (Spoilers)

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Whiskeyjack
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Re: Campaign idea: Li'sar's adventures

Post by Whiskeyjack »

The Great Rings wrote:1. Include a line in the narration or dialog about most of Li'sar's troops leaving rather than fight alongside a traitor.
I am strongly against this from a story perspective: Firstly, I think it strange that most of Li'sars (personal?) troops would be this disloyal to her because she (at this point) temporarily teams up with a traitor against a more dangerous enemy. Secondly they would have to be fiercely loyal to Wesnoth in general and Asheviere in particular. Thirdly Li'sar joins Konrad deep down under the Heart Mountains. No way would a small independent group of soldiers leave their leader because of a temporary ceasefire to go on a very dangerous journey to the mother of said commander to report their desertion...

I always found it strange that Wesnoth is liberated by criminals and outsiders. Only at the very end we get the horse lords as one single group of Wesnothians to join our cause. From the story perspective I would favour it very much, if we could get the loyalist troops as recruits (even better if under Li'sars command) but I do see the problem gameplaywise with this. Having Li'sars units join your cause might be an acceptable solution.

Edit:
Turuk wrote:This would make sense, as she might release her army so that they aren't branded traitors as well, an action a good commander might make. If she releases her troops, then she couldn't expect to recruit and lead Konrad's mixed army.
I overlooked this part. We could have Li'sars veterans join down in Knalga and be released before going to Lintanir (I´d say after scenarios 19a/b/20b). But I do not like this especially since the moment Li'sar decides to join Konrad she declares her aim to be to overthrow her mother. They need every soldier they can get and especially every Wesnothian support because that raises their moral ground in getting more people to join their cause...
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Re: Campaign idea: Li'sar's adventures

Post by Turuk »

Whiskeyjack wrote:I always found it strange that Wesnoth is liberated by criminals and outsiders. Only at the very end we get the horse lords as one single group of Wesnothians to join our cause. From the story perspective I would favour it very much, if we could get the loyalist troops as recruits (even better if under Li'sars command) but I do see the problem gameplaywise with this. Having Li'sars units join your cause might be an acceptable solution.
What if the troops stayed, but instead of the ability to recruit, she had a small core of troops that deployed with her for scenarios? It could signify the loyal troops but remove the complications of giving a player two leaders with recruit lists.
Whiskeyjack wrote:I overlooked this part. We could have Li'sars veterans join down in Knalga and be released before going to Lintanir (I´d say after scenarios 19a/b/20b). But I do not like this especially since the moment Li'sar decides to join Konrad she declares her aim to be to overthrow her mother. They need every soldier they can get and especially every Wesnothian support because that raises their moral ground in getting more people to join their cause...
True, and as you noted, they are more likely to be loyal to their commander who has looked after their interest for the past few years over a Queen known for her transgressions.
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Re: Campaign idea: Li'sar's adventures

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Turuk wrote:What if the troops stayed, but instead of the ability to recruit, she had a small core of troops that deployed with her for scenarios? It could signify the loyal troops but remove the complications of giving a player two leaders with recruit lists.
Yeah, all things considered I do think TGRs second option is the best we have. Plus the point he brought up about Li'sars troops being objectives to protect rather than cannon fodder in that scenario (it would of course have to be made clear to the player in some way). Or did you mean adding some predetermined units after the scenario? That could do the job as well.

Edit:
Just a wild idea: To pick up on your idea of a Li'sar scenario: Did you intend this to portray a mission from earlier on in her career or should this be something like a battle with someone else while chasing Konrad (perhaps an explanation how she got down into the caves and found Konrad again after he entered Dwarven Doors)? Especially if it is the latter, we could add the veterans from said scenario to the recall list after she joins. (I think this would be satisfying from a player perspective (the troops of that scenario would not go to waste) and it could be great to flesh out her character and motivations before joining Konrad).
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Re: Campaign idea: Li'sar's adventures

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Whiskeyjack wrote:Just a wild idea: To pick up on your idea of a Li'sar scenario: Did you intend this to portray a mission from earlier on in her career or should this be something like a battle with someone else while chasing Konrad (perhaps an explanation how she got down into the caves and found Konrad again after he entered Dwarven Doors)? Especially if it is the latter, we could add the veterans from said scenario to the recall list after she joins. (I think this would be satisfying from a player perspective (the troops of that scenario would not go to waste) and it could be great to flesh out her character and motivations before joining Konrad).
Not a bad idea - even though the campaign focuses on Konrad, it might be useful in dealing with giving the player insight in to her mindset. It could be the battle that drove her into the caves after him, her force fleeing in front of a greater threat or trapped somehow.
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Re: Campaign idea: Li'sar's adventures

Post by lonebeast »

A late answer for a question...
Stepping back from the Li'sar campaign perspective, what would you do to better portray her understanding of the situation and character development if it could be fleshed out in the current HttT?
I'm not really sure, but what if, at the very least, Delfador's revelation (that part where he tells Konrad that he is not prince Konrad) would be changed from monologue to dialogue? Where we could see Konrad's reaction to news that he is not the person he thought he was and (given the question) Li'sar's response?
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Re: Campaign idea: Li'sar's adventures

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lonebeast wrote:A late answer for a question...
Stepping back from the Li'sar campaign perspective, what would you do to better portray her understanding of the situation and character development if it could be fleshed out in the current HttT?
I'm not really sure, but what if, at the very least, Delfador's revelation (that part where he tells Konrad that he is not prince Konrad) would be changed from monologue to dialogue? Where we could see Konrad's reaction to news that he is not the person he thought he was and (given the question) Li'sar's response?
That would be valuable, instead of just having solely his point of view in relaying the news.
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Re: Campaign idea: Li'sar's adventures

Post by The Great Rings »

Whiskeyjack wrote:
The Great Rings wrote:1. Include a line in the narration or dialog about most of Li'sar's troops leaving rather than fight alongside a traitor.
I am strongly against this from a story perspective: Firstly, I think it strange that most of Li'sars (personal?) troops would be this disloyal to her because she (at this point) temporarily teams up with a traitor against a more dangerous enemy. Secondly they would have to be fiercely loyal to Wesnoth in general and Asheviere in particular. Thirdly Li'sar joins Konrad deep down under the Heart Mountains. No way would a small independent group of soldiers leave their leader because of a temporary ceasefire to go on a very dangerous journey to the mother of said commander to report their desertion...
Interesting points. I could see Li'sar's men being divided on the issue.

Also, you seem to be viewing Li'sar's force as a small personal guard. Give the size of the forces she deploys in some earlier scenarios, I'd say she was leading an actual army.
I always found it strange that Wesnoth is liberated by criminals and outsiders. Only at the very end we get the horse lords as one single group of Wesnothians to join our cause. From the story perspective I would favour it very much, if we could get the loyalist troops as recruits (even better if under Li'sars command) but I do see the problem gameplaywise with this. Having Li'sars units join your cause might be an acceptable solution.
Aren't the horsemen you can recruit from the second scenario on (like Haldire) and the mages you can recruit from the third scenario on Wesnothian?

If you mean that loyalist troops don't join the rebellion, well, Li'sar aside, yes. Why should that be surprising? They're called loyalist troops for a reason.

That said, like I said before, I can see having a few troops switch sides with Li'sar.
I overlooked this part. We could have Li'sars veterans join down in Knalga and be released before going to Lintanir (I´d say after scenarios 19a/b/20b). But I do not like this especially since the moment Li'sar decides to join Konrad she declares her aim to be to overthrow her mother. They need every soldier they can get and especially every Wesnothian support because that raises their moral ground in getting more people to join their cause...
Depends weather Li'sar's troops are still loyal to the queen. You don't want men who you can't trust.
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Re: Campaign idea: Li'sar's adventures

Post by The Great Rings »

Whiskeyjack wrote:
Turuk wrote:What if the troops stayed, but instead of the ability to recruit, she had a small core of troops that deployed with her for scenarios? It could signify the loyal troops but remove the complications of giving a player two leaders with recruit lists.
Yeah, all things considered I do think TGRs second option is the best we have. Plus the point he brought up about Li'sars troops being objectives to protect rather than cannon fodder in that scenario (it would of course have to be made clear to the player in some way). Or did you mean adding some predetermined units after the scenario? That could do the job as well.

Edit:
Just a wild idea: To pick up on your idea of a Li'sar scenario: Did you intend this to portray a mission from earlier on in her career or should this be something like a battle with someone else while chasing Konrad (perhaps an explanation how she got down into the caves and found Konrad again after he entered Dwarven Doors)? Especially if it is the latter, we could add the veterans from said scenario to the recall list after she joins. (I think this would be satisfying from a player perspective (the troops of that scenario would not go to waste) and it could be great to flesh out her character and motivations before joining Konrad).
I don't mind giving Li'sar a bigger role, but giving her a scenario in a campaign that's otherwise entirely from Konrad's perspective seems a bit... out of place.

And would the sudden shift in which side you're controlling be confusing/off-putting to some people?

Not saying its necessarily a bad idea. Just looking at both sides.
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Re: Campaign idea: Li'sar's adventures

Post by Whiskeyjack »

The Great Rings wrote:Interesting points. I could see Li'sar's men being divided on the issue.

Also, you seem to be viewing Li'sar's force as a small personal guard. Give the size of the forces she deploys in some earlier scenarios, I'd say she was leading an actual army.
I never questioned that some of the soldiers would be uncomfortable with the decision. And you misunderstood me, if you thought I thought of a small personal guard. What I meant was the following: At the point Li'sar joins Konrad (down in the Knalgan caves) that is a reasonable decision (she wouldn´t have done so otherwise, as she still thinks of them as enemies and traitors). At that moment I think only a small part of her army would consist of guys loyal enough to the queen that they would put logic over reason. Those guys would still have to be pretty nuts to desert as the small group they are, down in the caves, a long way from home, surrounded by enemies. That means at least until they leave the caves I think it is impossible to have those guys desert. Now the remaining people fought for a couple battles with the rebels. They braved the darkness together. They probably had some talks (and fierce debates) about the whole rebellion issue. Last but not least, they are now for a while under Li'sar´s command and she´s lead them well. Now they are out of the caves and we reach the following dialogue lines (scenario 18: A Choice Must Be Made):
Konrad: Indeed there are. We will have to fight our way out. Are you with us, Princess, or against us?
Li’sar: Perhaps it is in both our best interests for us to remain allies for a little longer... but I do want that Sceptre, and someday I will have it!
So at this point Li'sar still seems to consider them enemies (even if her resolve is faltering) and thus her soldiers will see her take the reasonable option: fight one enemy at a time. The choice for the hardcore-royalists is not better than down in Knalga.
Now at the moment they decide to seek refuge with the elves a breaking point might be reached. But all the above considered, I do not think there are many soldiers left that would put the queen above Li'sars aims (who can still be seen as an enemy of Konrad & Co. that is just too honorable and stands to her vows...). Those few would again not leave at the scenario. They would silently desert once they realise that there is a Wesnothian army at Lintanir searching for Li'sar and she won´t join it, but instead go to the elves. Again I don´t think at this point they would be of any numbers to be taken into account.
The Great Rings wrote:Depends weather Li'sar's troops are still loyal to the queen. You don't want men who you can't trust.
As argued above, the soldiers you can´t trust will take care of themselves at the outskirts of Lintanir. You can´t stop a few to stay as spies (but even that´s not likely, imagine the amount of (self)organization it would take for those soldiers to independently start their venture), but the main force should be trustable. And you can stop said spies easily by using elves as nightly guards. No deserting any more after the army marches from Lintanir and in the big battles that follow, the hand full of untrustworthy soldiers won´t be a problem any more. The loyalty of all the rest will actually be improved at this point because the moment they followed Li'sar to Lintanir and abandoned the chance to rejoin the Wesnothian army they forsake Wesnoth for real and became actual rebels. They would have to fear execution should they return to the Wesnothian forces or should the rebels lose.
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Re: Campaign idea: Li'sar's adventures

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Whiskeyjack wrote:As argued above, the soldiers you can´t trust will take care of themselves at the outskirts of Lintanir. You can´t stop a few to stay as spies (but even that´s not likely, imagine the amount of (self)organization it would take for those soldiers to independently start their venture), but the main force should be trustable. And you can stop said spies easily by using elves as nightly guards. No deserting any more after the army marches from Lintanir and in the big battles that follow, the hand full of untrustworthy soldiers won´t be a problem any more. The loyalty of all the rest will actually be improved at this point because the moment they followed Li'sar to Lintanir and abandoned the chance to rejoin the Wesnothian army they forsake Wesnoth for real and became actual rebels. They would have to fear execution should they return to the Wesnothian forces or should the rebels lose.
This all also comes from the belief that the soldiers are fiercely loyal to the Queen to begin with, and then over time some of them switch that loyalty to Li'sar as such a strong commander. Given her penchant for unfavorable actions, the rank and file of the army might be loyal to Wesnoth, but not specifically to the Queen or even the crown as much as they are loyal to having regular meals and a place to sleep every night. It might not be difficult for them to switch sides, as long as they feel their interests are being looked after by Li'sar and there's a chance for actual peace in the kingdom.
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Re: Campaign idea: Li'sar's adventures

Post by The Great Rings »

Turuk wrote:
Whiskeyjack wrote:As argued above, the soldiers you can´t trust will take care of themselves at the outskirts of Lintanir. You can´t stop a few to stay as spies (but even that´s not likely, imagine the amount of (self)organization it would take for those soldiers to independently start their venture), but the main force should be trustable. And you can stop said spies easily by using elves as nightly guards. No deserting any more after the army marches from Lintanir and in the big battles that follow, the hand full of untrustworthy soldiers won´t be a problem any more. The loyalty of all the rest will actually be improved at this point because the moment they followed Li'sar to Lintanir and abandoned the chance to rejoin the Wesnothian army they forsake Wesnoth for real and became actual rebels. They would have to fear execution should they return to the Wesnothian forces or should the rebels lose.
This all also comes from the belief that the soldiers are fiercely loyal to the Queen to begin with, and then over time some of them switch that loyalty to Li'sar as such a strong commander. Given her penchant for unfavorable actions, the rank and file of the army might be loyal to Wesnoth, but not specifically to the Queen or even the crown as much as they are loyal to having regular meals and a place to sleep every night. It might not be difficult for them to switch sides, as long as they feel their interests are being looked after by Li'sar and there's a chance for actual peace in the kingdom.
I would think that since Li'sar is the princess and stated to be Ashevier's best general, her troops are probably the best of Wesnoth's army, and that could include being the most loyal.

On the other hand, Ashevier might want to keep her most loyal men as guards, defending Weldyn. I guess it depends how many reliable troops she has to spare.

Its also possible that after a while serving under Li'sar, her troops might grow more loyal to her than to the queen, presuming Li'sar is competent and not too harsh towards her men.
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Re: Campaign idea: Li'sar's adventures

Post by Turuk »

The Great Rings wrote:On the other hand, Ashevier might want to keep her most loyal men as guards, defending Weldyn. I guess it depends how many reliable troops she has to spare.
She hired orcs to go after Konrad, both from a deniability perspective, but also from probably a lack of loyalty perspective. She wants to make sure that he doesn't somehow manage to convince them to support him instead, which could also be the reason behind sending her daughter with any Wesnoth troops.
The Great Rings wrote:Its also possible that after a while serving under Li'sar, her troops might grow more loyal to her than to the queen, presuming Li'sar is competent and not too harsh towards her men.
Given how Li'sar turns out at the end, I agree, I do not think that's an absurd assumption.
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Re: Campaign idea: Li'sar's adventures

Post by The Great Rings »

Is their any evidence for the notion that Ashevier was looking for deniability when she sent the orcs? I don't recall any.

Besides, it wasn't a small-time raid. It was a major military campaign, and everyone seemed to know who's orcs they were.

Besides, Ashevier could just say that the original Konrad died (I presume she had some story she told the public about how the heirs died) and that the new one is a fake. And guess what? She'd actually be telling the truth (though perhaps omitting the "I killed the heirs" part).

And frankly, you don't unleash an orc horde on your own populace, as Ashevier did, if you're overly concerned about PR.
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Re: Campaign idea: Li'sar's adventures

Post by Turuk »

The Great Rings wrote:Is their any evidence for the notion that Ashevier was looking for deniability when she sent the orcs? I don't recall any.

Besides, it wasn't a small-time raid. It was a major military campaign, and everyone seemed to know who's orcs they were.
True, but there are plenty of examples throughout history where everyone knew the real powers at play, even if it they still used other entities. Not that she needs to have it, as it makes no difference if the elves know or not.
The Great Rings wrote:And frankly, you don't unleash an orc horde on your own populace, as Ashevier did, if you're overly concerned about PR.
Hitler used extreme tactics to keep the populace in line even before the outbreak of World War II, and still managed to convince the President and the wider world that they were necessary measures and everything was under control. I agree with you, though stranger things have happened before, even in non-fantasy worlds.

So it can be solely from a lack of true loyal troops to deal with a potential "heir" to the throne.
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Re: Campaign idea: Li'sar's adventures

Post by The Great Rings »

You've made some valid points.

I do think Ashevier is probably short on trustworthy manpower. I mean, much of her kingdom seems to be in open revolt. And what loyal men she does have will probably be used to guard her and her capital first and foremost.

That said, she clearly does have enough loyal troops for some offensive operations, even without relying on orcs (at the very least, she has enough to send an army out under Li'sar, and another towards Lintanir, and another to the gryffins).
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