Undead Campaign?

Discussion and development of scenarios and campaigns for the game.

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Ken_Oh
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Undead Campaign?

Post by Ken_Oh »

I've looked and looked but I haven't found any Undead campaigns. The only thing I found is that "3 Tests" one which is seriously lacking. Am I missing a campaign anywhere?

I think there is some real good potential for Undead campaigning, but it would obviously be quite a bit different from the others. First of all, there aren't many unit levels to deal with, which may also be a blessing, since you're not always going to worry about losing your Champion. But, at least you know you're trying to win for time to get more golde rather than trying to get exp. Also, it might be a bit cumbersome because it seems like you need to order around more units compared to other races.

I have a few ideas for gameplay if anyone wants to work on some Undead scenarios. I have half-a-mind to just make one myself, but I doubt I'll put in that much time.

-In a lot of the scenarios, have groups of villages populated with relatively non-aggressive, artificially weak fighters (perhaps some new unit) to represent peasants who can easily be turned to Walking Corpses.

-Or, maybe whenever an Undead unit hits a town for the first time, a few Walking Corpses are released (like freeing the Mermen in HttT).

-Open grasslands for better usage of WCs. A lot of my trouble in using WCs and Ghouls in multiplayer mode comes from their low mobility on the busy terrain. Take a page from the Valley of the Damned from HttT and make it easier for the walking dead, if need be.

-Lots of walls. In maps that are supposed to be valleys, put walls around as conduits for ghost armies.

That's just a few. I'm working on more and we'll see how up to the challenge I am. I see a bunch of talk on Vampires too. That could be a nice unit for specific uses too.
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Post by Ranger M »

see eternal kingdom (probably right name) and the dark hoards (you know, the one about necromancers)

but they are no reason not to make a new campaign, and I would like to see another undead one (all of the before mentioned ones haven't been finished yet, or are broken)
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Re: Undead Campaign?

Post by Mustelid »

Ken Oh wrote:First of all, there aren't many unit levels to deal with, which may also be a blessing, since you're not always going to worry about losing your Champion
The Undead have four units with a L3, (Draug, Soulshooter, Nightgaunt & Spectre, Lich & Dark Sorceror) and any number of special units already used in campaigns (Vampire Lady, Chocobone, Ancient Lich, the Initiate line...). If one wanted to create an undead campaign with an emphasis on high-level units it wouldn't be too difficult.
Ken Oh wrote:-Open grasslands for better usage of WCs. A lot of my trouble in using WCs and Ghouls in multiplayer mode comes from their low mobility on the busy terrain. Take a page from the Valley of the Damned from HttT and make it easier for the walking dead, if need be.
There's a level in The Dark Hordes where you're only able to recruits WCs - it has an absolutely gigantic keep and a vast open plain, and is really pretty easy. Lots of fun, though.
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Post by zookeeper »

I've thought a bit on what an undead campaign could be like. One of the main problems I see is the lack of personality in the units. The main character is pretty much limited to the adept line (or one of the nonstandard ones), and you don't get very interesting or talkative sidekicks from skeletons and ghosts. So you either introduce a fair amount of non-undead heroes or make them all necromancers/liches (quite boring). The plot in an undead campaign would IMHO take more work than campaigns for other races or factions, because you'd have to avoid the typical "evil necromancer conquering the world" plot (I somehow believe that's the very strong default plot for undead) and also somehow come up with interesting characters.
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Post by Nerdanel »

How about a peace-loving necromancer having to defend against a world that thinks necromancy is inherently evil? Anyway, I think there would be some necromancers who got into the art for morbid curiousity or a desire for immortality and don't necessarily care for empires.
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Post by Mustelid »

zookeeper wrote:I've thought a bit on what an undead campaign could be like. One of the main problems I see is the lack of personality in the units. The main character is pretty much limited to the adept line (or one of the nonstandard ones), and you don't get very interesting or talkative sidekicks from skeletons and ghosts.
Ghosts could be imbued with plenty of personality if one felt like it. Ghouls too, possibly. And non-default units like the Vampire Lady have plenty of mileage in 'em.
Nerdanel wrote:How about a peace-loving necromancer having to defend against a world that thinks necromancy is inherently evil? Anyway, I think there would be some necromancers who got into the art for morbid curiousity or a desire for immortality and don't necessarily care for empires.
Sounds good to me. Necromancy as Necessarily Evil always struck me as a bit dodgy. I mean, once you're dead you're not really doing anything with that skeleton...
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Post by turin »

Sure, a necromancy campaign if done well could be pretty good. The plot would take a lot of work, though. I'm struggling with that in the one I'm writing - you really have to make his "conversion to the dark side" believable. (Or, you could start with him already evil, but IMHO that's a bad idea. It misses all the interesting plot, and skips right to the "let's go conquer the world!" part.)

Having the campaign be about how "necromancy isn't really evil!" would be OK, I guess. I don't like the idea. I prefer the idea that necromancy IS inherently evil, but some who dabble in it don't believe that... at first.

One thing about a necromancy campaign is, IMHO, if you don't want the hero to start a lich, but eventually turn into one, you must make a big deal out of the transformation. I hate how in The Dark Hordes you just suddenly become a lich when you advance, no big deal.

Having characters other than the necromancer could be difficult. An obvious choice is a "dark spirit", a la The Dark Hordes. I'm not sure ghouls would work. They seem pretty personality-less to me. You could also have a prisoner that the necromancer has taken, whom he is trying to torture or something, who has some dialogue...
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Post by Cuyo Quiz »

A Lich, a human Necromancer (his second), an elven Shaman and his relation to the human. Add the brooding intrigue and slow, careful backstabbing of the human to his Lich master while this one develops his cunning plan of tricks and deception to make an empire, as the human leaves/losses loyalty, respect, and love for what he considers to be the greatest magical art in existence.

He would then become a Dark Sorcerer, and reign as a stern lord over his secret land. A saviour of humanity by right, although he just doesn't care about that collateral effect and also, the means he uses make him quite the anti-hero.

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Post by Ken_Oh »

Interesting takes on everything. I really need to check out the Dark Hordes after I'm done my current game.

I do actually think Necromancy is necissarily evil, or at least perserve, since it takes unwilling bodies and souls and forces them to do your bidding. It's at least "unnatural" in the sense that you're going against the rules of life.

As far as campaign directions, a couple come to mind:

-I see necromancy as a means to an end. While the living must take time away from life to fight, when necissary, the undead exist because someone wants power. This means the undead forces would start out serving some side, but they could eventually betray that side and either ally with someone else or go into business for themselves. Stories involving evil characters would work well with options to backstab and take all the power for yourself or choices to try to be heroic, with different endings based on paths.

-Undead could be a natural force of Armageddon. While the living are escallating their warfare on each other, undead forces sprout up start to take over and cleanse the planet. Think of the recent Romero movie "Land of the Dead" where humans are more despicable than the undead.

More and more I'm thinking I should try my hand at this...I hope some of you are thinking the same for yourselves.

EDIT: heh, Cuyo Quiz posted while I was still typing mine. Looks like we both came up with the backstabbing thing independently. Maybe we're onto something then.
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Post by Mustelid »

I do actually think Necromancy is necissarily evil, or at least perserve, since it takes unwilling bodies and souls and forces them to do your bidding.
I'm not entirely sure how a pile of bones can be unwilling. Souls - perhaps, but read any collection of ghost stories and you'll find any number of reasons why souls might rather want to come back... there's no particular reason why the necromancy process has to make them unwilling slaves.
It's at least "unnatural" in the sense that you're going against the rules of life.
I shall use this argument when the magistrate asks me why I wasn't wearing pants.

I also seem to recall an (unfinished?) campaign about a heroic human commander who some evil lich raised from the dead to fight as his second-in-command; the human commander predictably bides his time and then turns on his master, and then, um, goes off to right wrongs or some such.
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Post by turin »

An undead campaign done well would be cool. Go for it. Don't be daunted by having to learn WML - it's not that hard.
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Post by Mustelid »

I'm not sure ghouls would work. They seem pretty personality-less to me.
You are a basically decent guy. Unfortunately, you've died and been brought back to life, albeit a rather more putrid, decomposing version of life. You were a soldier before, so you've got used to the whole kill-people-because-you're-told-to thing, but the only way to sustain yourself is through the consumption of human flesh, and you have a few qualms about this. Everything you touch is poisoned. Also you have this enormous waggly tongue. Oh, the character conflict!

Alternatively, I think they'd be pretty easy to play for comedy. Think Caliban, except with more anthrophagy.
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Post by turin »

:roll:

I would say that the undead are like the ultimate hive mind. The corporeal undead have no will of their own - none. However, the ghosts are more like imprisoned spirits. They definitely have personalities, and they would probably hate their controllers, but they have no choice but to help him.

They would probably be really sarcastic when talking to their master, and insult his plan for world domination all the time... but they're also afraid of the necromancer. That would be fun dialogue to write. ;)
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Post by Cuyo Quiz »

Ghouls were humans. So i think they would have a personality, albeit a traumatized one in some levels.

And about the Ghost, he would be either hateful of his master or submissive.

The Skeletons basically now live for war and servitude, with crude, beast-like personalities (remnants of his human life with the basic AI implanted on them). As long as they are doing their work as soldiers/servants (they only preserve personality for this basically), they should be well, as it is practically the only way of expression they have.

And thus is my take on the whole thing.
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Post by player »

Cuyo Quiz wrote:Ghouls were humans. So i think they would have a personality, albeit a traumatized one in some levels.
Ghouls are not humans, they're undeads. Well, they were former humans.
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