Possibility of canonical in-game faiths

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ShootyMcFace
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Possibility of canonical in-game faiths

Post by ShootyMcFace » August 21st, 2014, 12:35 pm

Hey y'all, long-time gamer and forum newcomer here! Nice meeting ya! ;)

I've been tossing around some ideas for my own campaigns, of course aiming at the holy Mainline-Grail at some point in the far future (gee, I'm sure noone ever had that intention before). As I am still finding my way around the forums, wikis and whatnot, there's this one question I have not been able to answer myself yet:

What is the official, canonical view on in-game faiths/religions in Wesnoth?

Please put down those pitchforks and torches and hear me out: I used the forum search engine. I am aware of threads like this or this. I've seen that there is a kind of "NRIW" stance, though that seems to be more of a debate rather than a true policy as far as I can tell. After all, NRIW is not listed in the official acronyms.

Given that, let me rephrase my first question:

If I was to include some kind of fictional in-game deity into my campaigns-to-be, would it mean I am never, ever going to be part of mainline, like, ever?

I am of course not talking about any of todays real world religions or thinly veiled versions thereof to push some kind of agenda. Furthermore, I'm not intending to write my own era, faction or anything. I want to write within the established, canonical universe of Wesnoth, rather not within the "Future History" section. I'm thinking about some "natural religion" type (think pagan, elemental gods) that fit into the overall game style. Not as playable units (which would create serious balancing issues), but as narrative characters that the protagonists turn to in their hours of despair. Think greek relations between humans and their gods.

My own 0.02$: Given that "Under the Burning Suns" has its Lady of Light, various races get their shamans and holy symbols, we get ghosts, lore etc., there seems to be room for Wesnothians being religious within their world, only it's not "officially" established. UtbS seems to deviate from the NRIW paradigm, yet it went mainline. The "Future History" factions go extra miles inventing (IMHO rather far-fetched) new dimensions, demons - heck, even aliens - and seem to be semi-mainline.

TL;DR summary: Noob wants to establish his own gods in Wesnoth, even aspires to become mainline campaign. Is he mad? ;)

Opinions greatly appreciated! :eng: (Mods, if this is on the wrong board, please move!)

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zookeeper
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Re: Possibility of canonical in-game faiths

Post by zookeeper » August 21st, 2014, 1:01 pm

ShootyMcFace wrote:If I was to include some kind of fictional in-game deity into my campaigns-to-be, would it mean I am never, ever going to be part of mainline, like, ever?
Well, in theory everything's possible if you do it well enough. However, I'm sure that in practise, putting actual deities in your story makes it very very very unlikely that it'd ever be mainlined, especially if the deities are actual real characters in the style of greek gods and the story as a whole is to be taken at face value and not as a possibly unreliable and inaccurate re-telling.

ShootyMcFace
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Re: Possibility of canonical in-game faiths

Post by ShootyMcFace » August 21st, 2014, 1:23 pm

Well, in theory everything's possible if you do it well enough.
Perfect! That was exactly the kind of response I was hoping for :) It is also the only reason I can think of why UtbS was made mainline - it is just really well done, even though it is kinda far off from the other mainline campaigns in terms of style.

With the unreliable re-telling I can work ;) Thanks a lot!

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Re: Possibility of canonical in-game faiths

Post by James_The_Invisible » August 21st, 2014, 1:29 pm

For the record, in several mainline campaigns are vague references to entity called Lords of Light which I believe are a kind of deity. But these references are very vague (no names or descriptions) and not so numerous.
ShootyMcFace wrote:Noob wants to establish his own gods in Wesnoth, even aspires to become mainline campaign. Is he mad?
I do not think so :). Many people would like to eventually see their creations being a part of mainline. For establishing own gods, fantasies often have multiple religious systems (different races/certain parts within them may worship different gods). It might enrich the story but even creating just one system may require quite a lot of work and it may or may not be worth (it depends on detail about your campaign). I personally go with just Lords of Light/Gods of Darkness in my campaign.

ShootyMcFace
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Re: Possibility of canonical in-game faiths

Post by ShootyMcFace » August 21st, 2014, 1:47 pm

Thanks for the hint with the "Lords of Light", i'll look into this! :)

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James_The_Invisible
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Re: Possibility of canonical in-game faiths

Post by James_The_Invisible » August 21st, 2014, 1:53 pm

If you want some starting points, I remember seeing them in campaigns The Rise of Wesnoth and Northern Rebirth. They might appear in other human campaigns too. (If I remember correctly, I have seen only humans mentioning them but I may be wrong with this.)

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Re: Possibility of canonical in-game faiths

Post by zookeeper » August 21st, 2014, 2:50 pm

ShootyMcFace wrote:Perfect! That was exactly the kind of response I was hoping for :) It is also the only reason I can think of why UtbS was made mainline - it is just really well done, even though it is kinda far off from the other mainline campaigns in terms of style.
Well, there's also the striking difference that in UtBS...
Spoiler:

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Re: Possibility of canonical in-game faiths

Post by Yomar » August 21st, 2014, 3:39 pm

Maybe they don't have a religion, lol.
By the way with time great heroes can be prayed like gods, maybe you can put Konrad, Li'sar, Delfador or Asheviere as divinities.
Or go more back in time and use Addroran, Haldric , Eldaric, Kalenz , Landar or Iliah-Malal, they have evoking names.

Here is the link for the characters > http://wiki.wesnoth.org/Wesnothfigures

Or just invent something of cool.
Last edited by Yomar on August 21st, 2014, 4:12 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Possibility of canonical in-game faiths

Post by johndh » August 21st, 2014, 3:56 pm

I think it's important to note that there's a difference between including religions and religious characters in a story, and including actual gods who show up and are demonstrably real. I think having a character who prays to his ancestors or some abstract god of battle or whatever, has a much better chance of being mainlined than one where an actual god shows up and intervenes.

But I'm not a developer, so that's just my observation so far. :)
It's spelled "definitely", not "definately". "Defiantly" is a different word entirely.

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Re: Possibility of canonical in-game faiths

Post by Andrettin » August 21st, 2014, 3:57 pm

zookeeper wrote:
ShootyMcFace wrote:Perfect! That was exactly the kind of response I was hoping for :) It is also the only reason I can think of why UtbS was made mainline - it is just really well done, even though it is kinda far off from the other mainline campaigns in terms of style.
Well, there's also the striking difference that in UtBS...
Spoiler:
Speaking of UtBS, in that campaign the Trolls and Dwarves also have deities (Griknagh and Moradin, respectively). Considering Moradin is the name of the major dwarven deity in DnD, couldn't the use of that name for the Dwarves' god in UtBS be considered copyright infringement? Or am I mistaken?

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Re: Possibility of canonical in-game faiths

Post by Chewan » August 21st, 2014, 5:49 pm

Off topic
Yomar wrote:great heroes can be prayed like gods... Konrad, Li'sar, Delfador, Asheviere, Addroran, Haldric, Eldaric, Kalenz , Landar, Iliah-Malal
Most of them … All? are dead. But KALENZ has not yet died, has he?!?!
With this "potion of Crelanu"-problem!? - Did I miss this bad news?

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Re: Possibility of canonical in-game faiths

Post by James_The_Invisible » August 21st, 2014, 6:05 pm

I see no problem with them being dead. Many cultures ( mostly so called "primitive") was praying to their ancestors, asking them for advices, etc. But yes, they were not called gods.
I think that Kalenz died eventually as his lifespan was just extended by the potion of Crelanu. But it was not mentioned for how long.

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Re: Possibility of canonical in-game faiths

Post by Chewan » August 21st, 2014, 6:25 pm

@James_The_Invisible
Sure, no problem with them being dead and hero worship. That's how it works.
Just wondered about good old Kalenz... I think he's still tramping around,
long after the fall of Wesnoth.

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Re: Possibility of canonical in-game faiths

Post by James_The_Invisible » August 21st, 2014, 6:46 pm

(complete off topic) Oh, I got you wrongly. Well, I remember reading some mentions of a (user-made) campaign that takes place after the Fall and where Kalenz is an important (or maybe main) character. But I do not know anything about its state.

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Re: Possibility of canonical in-game faiths

Post by johndh » August 21st, 2014, 7:32 pm

Andrettin wrote: Speaking of UtBS, in that campaign the Trolls and Dwarves also have deities (Griknagh and Moradin, respectively). Considering Moradin is the name of the major dwarven deity in DnD, couldn't the use of that name for the Dwarves' god in UtBS be considered copyright infringement? Or am I mistaken?
I did a quick Google and Wikipedia search and couldn't find any source for the name "Moradin" as a dwarven god preceding the 1980 publishing of "Deities & Demigods" by TSR for 1st edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, so as far as I know it is intellectual property of Wizards of the Coast, the company who took over TSR in 1997. Materials from 3rd edition Dungeons & Dragons were released under the Open Game License, but that covers rules and not content.

Since Wesnoth's dwarves borrow somewhat from Old Norse culture and mythology, that seems like a good place to start looking for a replacement. Given the context of battle against the trolls, a god like Tyr/Tiwaz would be good for inspiration.

"There is yet an asa, whose name is Tyr. He is very daring and stout-hearted. He sways victory in war, wherefore warriors should call on him." [source]
It's spelled "definitely", not "definately". "Defiantly" is a different word entirely.

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