Racial Flavour (not that kind of flavor)



  • HavenHaven World Burner Flight School
    @Vyxsis While I agree with you and share the concern to an extent, I'm more of the belief that the broader categories of lore like race are generally utilized as a guideline and not a hardline stance. As such, I think it's cool the admin are offering an opportunity for players to influence parts of the lore this way.

    Because the playable races usually allow for a broad stroke of variation from the norm, I think it's safe to say established players would not necessarily need to change or discard their background. So long as player and admin tolerance continue that trend then I think the system works just fine. In truth, there's very little stopping players from role-playing how they wish to begin with. Whether they're embraced by the communuty at large though? That's part of the journey and fun in crafting a communal story.

    Where we start to disagree I think is with the responsibility of the game. Unless the creators have expressed this purpose, and I don't believe they have, it's not Aetolia's job to try and curb real-life beliefs. Aetolia is an entertainment platform where we've come to craft the stories of people in the Midnight Age of the world IRE's built for us. I think sometimes too many players forget why they're here. But that's a whole different can of worms.
    ¤ Si vis pacem, para bellum. ¤
    Someone powerful says, "We're going to have to delete you."
  • @Vyxsis I think I see what you are getting at (and feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, I don't want to put words in your mouth) regarding race and culture.

    It's the difference between a help file saying:

    "Horkval are matriachal and live in a strict caste system"

    and saying:

    "The Horkval of the Ulangi Hive (yes, I know this doesn't exist anymore) are stictly matriachal and follow a rigid caste system"

    One put defining limits on anyone who plays that race, saying they have to be this way if they want to fit in with the lore of the world, the other gives players a starting off point for racial roleplay but doesn't define a cultural aspect as a genetic hardline.
  • @Haven sure. i recognize many won't follow me to the point of saying IRE/Aetolia should (much less have to) consider their complicity in greater IRL social structures (or maybe even to the point of agreeing these structures exist), and while i personally think it's important, i'm not gonna die on that hill. not for Aetolia, anyways. soooo yeah. if how you're characterizing the attitude toward player-created lore is correct, then... hopefully my concern w/r/t that is unfounded. i have, however, had the experience personally of being told things like "no, X is like THIS" or "i've been in The Pools and Y = Z-real-life-culture" more than once, so i feel... cautious about simply accepting this. i hope my caution is proved unnecessary.

    @Jaeger i'd say that's pretty accurate - in fact, i considered giving that exact example. it's v much the difference between "this is how it is" and "here's a possibility, others can or do exist".
    Indoran'i is back baby. It's good again. Awoouu (wolf Howl)
    An Atzob cultist says, "Is a shamatato as tasty as a potato?"
    (Tells): From afar, Mephistoles hisses harshly to you, "Hey baby, show me your ovipositor?"
    The mighty Jy'Barrak Golgotha opens his maw, catches the glowing spear in his many jagged teeth, and chomps down. The Divine spear breaks with a noise like thunder, shards toppling from the Emperor's jaws. "OM NOM NOM!" He declares, then spits the last of the ruined weapon from his lips.

  • I think the Mhun help file is very good about defining a solid core, but giving room for variance; it says that if you were raised in Moghedu at such-and-such times, this was your experience, and if you're outside of Moghedu, things can be a little more flexible. I might be biased because this is the race I happen to be playing, but I've found a nice middle ground between what the strict lore demands and what's true of my character, in practice, as a member of Enorian. I'm not saying that HELP MHUN is the golden standard or anything - it just does these things well, imo, and it points to Mhun areas where you can get a better sense of what's going on.

    @Vyxsis - I hear you. Games don't exist in a vacuum and whatever happens, I'd like us to be careful about playing into that kind of racial/ethnic essentialism because it can help perpetuate real-world attitudes. Our races work differently - they're more along the lines of species - but that's still no reason to say that a member of X race must behave in Y way, or that doing so is predetermined. I 100% share your concerns, and I would hope that beyond strict biological details and potentially the details of a homeland, hometown, or 'hub' area (like Moghedu), nothing else gets laid out as immutable or invariable.

    I don't think the admins want to take a dump all over everyone's personal lore. What they're looking at is trying to establish a baseline level of detail so that people don't end up contradicting each other - lore anarchy tends to lead to that in practice, to the point where it's useful to hash some things out and establish them as a standard, even if the standard is "this tends to be true more often than not." Consistency is a good thing, if only because it makes deviations from the norm more interesting.

    As for finding player lore, there are not that many admin, and less of them who are directly concerned with lore - a fair number of them are primarily coders, and the rest have to split their time between the game and their projects. The time they spend working on this game is also in conflict with the time they have to spend doing other real-life things. What this adds up to is that they have limited time and attention, and they can't catch everything - so it seems like they're asking here, in order to avoid missing something. It seems like they don't want to overlook anyone and do the same thing that's happened before, but maybe I'm just misreading the thread.

    The reason the admins can't guarantee a complete sign-off on player-invented lore - and the reason they give that disclaimer - is probably because they want to avoid canonizing or giving sanction to things like 'Humans have bubblegum pink hair' or 'Imps reproduce by asexual division' or 'all Trolls do booty dancing as a mating ritual' or similar. Sometimes, people do things that are silly or would not work if they were generalized to the entire race. It's the admin's sandbox, and they have the authority to make those calls if they want to.
  • ArbreArbre Arbrelina Jolie Braavos
    Shachalai said:

    The reason the admins can't guarantee a complete sign-off on player-invented lore - and the reason they give that disclaimer - is probably because they want to avoid canonizing or giving sanction to things like 'Humans have bubblegum pink hair' or 'Imps reproduce by asexual division' or 'all Trolls do booty dancing as a mating ritual' or similar. Sometimes, people do things that are silly or would not work if they were generalized to the entire race. It's the admin's sandbox, and they have the authority to make those calls if they want to.

    I'm pretty much okay with all three of those examples, by the way.
  • edited September 2017
    All else fails, do what I did in creating something different than a tree hugging Tsol'aa, I messaged the lore admin and asked:

    "Is this okay"
    "Sure, maybe there could be something down the line , who knows...but be prepared to expect something different if it does"
    "Cool. I'll create a dynamic backstory with some good holes in it so it can be modified if said lore comes out down the road"
    (IE finding out what you know of your history before becoming an adventurer is a lie)

    I found its a good way to be unique, if you can expect and roleplay being disappointed or surprised when you find out maybe what you created as a backstory is less cool, and more screwed up than you thought.

  • Slightly more serious note:

    There's a lot of room for Moghedu to be fleshed out, right now. I'd love to see more NPCs giving more of a sense of the scope and the feel of the city; I like that there's a lot of stuff to buy, and I like that sometimes you'll see laborers hauling stuff here and there.

    (I have a head and a half of headcanons, so if anyone wants to ask me about those I am more than willing to divulge.)

    Special things for the Liberation of Moghedu would be cool. It'd be nice to know about the holidays Moghedu celebrates, too.
  • As a note!! There is not currently a Horkval hive, since Ulangi blew up. The queen and consort are currently staying in a sanctuary in Mostyn, so search around! They are there.
  • I always considered the whole Grook and Horkval arc as dropped and dead....since they were basically locked in Damariels temple and forgotten about what...
    3 IRL years ago.
  • There are a few races that have sorted of been left hanging in the breeze.

    The Grook and Horkval, the Atav, the Goblins of Moghedu.

    I'd love to see them go through a Mhun-esque comeback.
    Now with 253% more Madness.
    Cute-Kelli by @Sessizlik.
  • yeah, i don't consider the ulangi hive and its, erm, diaspora to be the final word on horkval, or even a half-decent first word. super boring, doesn't even really make sense in connection with the horkval origin myth, etc.

    i enjoyed the achaea website's suggestion that horkval might be From Space but i don't think that's right for aetolia, either.
    Indoran'i is back baby. It's good again. Awoouu (wolf Howl)
    An Atzob cultist says, "Is a shamatato as tasty as a potato?"
    (Tells): From afar, Mephistoles hisses harshly to you, "Hey baby, show me your ovipositor?"
    The mighty Jy'Barrak Golgotha opens his maw, catches the glowing spear in his many jagged teeth, and chomps down. The Divine spear breaks with a noise like thunder, shards toppling from the Emperor's jaws. "OM NOM NOM!" He declares, then spits the last of the ruined weapon from his lips.

  • BenedictoBenedicto Tentacles Errywhere!
    edited October 2017
    Reppin' for the Kelki massive! Brap brap! (I understand that might well sound like a foreign language to any non-UK players).

    I developed Bene as a Kelki based on the city of Kelsys and @Phendegwen's portrayal and descriptions of the Kelki about 9 or 10 IRL years ago. Steam power yo!

    @Kelliara made an interesting point earlier in the thread about Kelki being created to be beautiful. There's a hint of truth in that Slyphe created the Kelki to be pleasing to Him/Her/It and there's a vague reference about the Kelki having a brother/sister race that exists in the darkness but, to my knowledge, has never been fleshed out.

    The Grook were one of Slyphe's earlier attempts until the Kelki were made so I'm not sure if that's supposed to reference them?

    Now, I might be wrong and I may not have read something that is actually documented somewhere, but I find there to be some pretty extreme differences between the Kelki that have been and gone (Forgotten Dome/Kelsys), those that exist on the mainland (Mournhold) and those off it (Libec Cay).

    I understand that a separated people might evolve in different ways, i.e. those closest to Slyphe remain the truest forms of themselves. However, I've never really seen/read/heard of why/how the Mournhold guys are as they are (no technological tinkering/almost Victorian-esque architecture/very dour (though you would be with that cult and everything else living under your town.)

    I'm of the opinion that all the HELP scrolls for the older races could do with an update to include the history up until this point and to provide some direction on the differences between the various Kelki settlements.
  • @Benedicto There was an event at one point that involved that brother/sister race. I don't remember what they were called but they really got the short end of the stick. Literally, since Kelki had a lot of technical know-how and the like and the other race was basically stuck living in underwater caves and using sharp rocks and the like to try and hunt. There were a couple of them near Kelsys but most of them were killed off in the event.

  • I wish there was an Indyuk language.
    As someone mentioned, I think it would also be nice if some villages had dialects, eg the Attican dialect, the Arbothian dialect, the Jaziran dialect, etc etc. I would imagine they'd be easier to pick up than the regular languages.

    As also mentioned, I think food is very important to the feel of races. Some areas have a very large variety of terrain and fauna, so I would love to see a great variety of local foods too. Eg Why aren't the Indyuk selling me some Orgyuk heart soup or something like roasted gyrfalcon or faex chops. I could probably go on for hours with the regional food.

    I think things like more holidays or festivals would help too. Tainhelm has lots of farmland, do they celebrate the harvest? Trolls in Hubride have very interesting mortuary rituals. Could there occasionally be an echo/program about a dying Troll and the ceremony? Or a holiday for the dead? These are maybe superficial or silly examples, but I think most existing areas have potential to be more lively.

    On another matter, I think it could really help the racial help files to mention or briefly describe the current areas occupied by those races. For example, Kelki in Mournhold and Libec, Trolls in Mostyn, Enorian, Stormcallers, Grook and Horkval in Torston, Xorani in Xoral and Xaanhal, etc. As for areas that have disappeared, what's happened to the remaining live? Did they seek refuge in the cities? Are they nomadic? It'd be cool if there were wandering camps or groups randomly strewn about. changing locations, and selling whatever or just for flavor (like the Mitrine bands in the Liruma, or the werewolf packs in Dry plains).
  • Tiur said:

    As we move ahead with some of our projects, and the consideration of racial skills and flavour, I wanted to hear from you, the players; what you find useful or important, so that we can best put our time to use with development.

    What kinds of things do you find important, when it comes to developing your character and their racial tie, or would you like to see when it comes to NPC communities?

    Unique holidays
    Racial games (Trollish oiled wrestling, Impish kick-the-beehive, Djeri Hazard/craps?)
    Cultural foods
    Clothing/garment/material preferences
    How much language would you like to be made available?
    Footnotes on age/gender/occupation dynamics?
    Etc (fill in your own blank: "I wish I knew more about ___ for ")

    Additionally, have you seen other players do something really solid with their racial RP that you think should get more of a spotlight/be taken under consideration as canon? Keep in mind this is not a guarantee nor right.

    Less serious notes:

    All recommendations of Tsol'aa information will be discarded, because I am a racist.
    Rajamala Harem Island is already canon, no worries.

  • Hey now! I've been trying to keep longstanding Tsol'aa rp alive for years now. No discarding it! But adding in something basic is good. I've had lots of ideas over the years, but things happen. You know, like practically a genocide.
  • AishiaAishia Queen Bee
    emote 's ears flap around angrily.
  • Re: Heritage abilities. Could just give endgame one free heritage ability per their race and make the rest available for purchase as five haven point abilities? We need more things to do with haven points anyway.

    Also, re: heritage, being able to move the 'Race heritage' bit around in your desc as a token would be amazing and less clunky. Kira's desc already said 'Tsol'aa heritage' in it before heritage became a thing, as an example, and it flows better with it in the actual desc instead of in the base line, because with the addition of the heritage line, it makes it clunky as hell.

    So like. If you don't use the token, it'd just desc as normal, but you could also describe self and is obviously possessed of $(heritage$).

    and it'd plug in Race heritage, for the tag, wherever you want it in the desc?
  • ZailaZaila Pacific Time
    I don't want them to allow a heritage token to be moved around for one selfish reason:

    I want to be able to know what anyone's basic description looks like in the first sentence of LOOK

    If I get wall-of-text when I LOOK and I am just trying to very quickly jump into a scene without dedicating that kind of time to reading a description, I want to at least know what sort of species you look like so I can get a brief mental picture and respond before they think I'm ignoring them because it takes me so long to emote back to their NOD. And, if people can move around the token, there's a good chance I won't get that one-sentence-skim answer I am LOOKing for.

    Reading is hard.
  • Yeah we already have enough Special Snowflake descriptions out there without people making their race more difficult to discern.
  • Zaila said:

    I want to be able to know what anyone's basic description looks like in the first sentence of LOOK.

    Until you only read the first sentence and completely miss out on the fact that the person has 3 heads and 9 tails.
  • As a person who is a 'special snowflake' in terms of description, the RP I engaged in with Satomi over the years has basically reached a point where the most accurate representation of what she is is Horkval (which I only picked because the Heritage System became a thing).

    I'd say that about 1/4th the population have descriptions that don't fit their Heritage simply because Heritage never existed when they reached endgame and as their bodies were remade they either created what they wanted or moved beyond the scope of Race with the expectation that they were now endgame, not whatever race they started as.
    (Or they just decided to remake themselves anyway, heritage be damned)

    That said, is this Heritage swap thing one time only? Or is it just.. whenever you want?

  • edited October 2017
    It's one time only. And I totally agree @Satomi. It's not a matter of 'special snowflake' stuff. It's more down to the fact that for forever endgame basically gave you complete creative freedom to make your character resemble whatever you'd like, within some bounds of reason. You'll still need to catch things like height and coloration, I'm sure, to get an idea of what they look like. I just don't think that judging what a character looks like based on heritage alone is a great idea @Zaila. I'd honestly support the ability to nix it from descriptions if the player would like.

  • AishiaAishia Queen Bee
    I think that disguise gem arti lets you pick whatever and blank heritage if you want maybe they want you to buy that instead idk?
  • ZailaZaila Pacific Time
    edited October 2017
    @Xavin - I didn't say "first eight words" I said "first sentence".

    To better explain my point: If you popped into the room and waved at my character as my character was hanging in a shop scoping for some RP and I LOOK at you and you have a ten-sentence description, there is no way in god's green half-acre that I'm going to have time to read that and form a reasonably engaging reply before you think I'm AFK and leave. I want to have a chance to have half-a-clue what you look like before I respond.
    But, if all I get in that first sentence is:
    "She is an intelligent Azudim with luscious locks that trail down her back in perfect ringlet curls that vary in shade from a light blonde at the top that shift into luscious honey tresses at her shoulders and terminate in a cheery flip near her low back where they have been dyed a striking crimson."
    when all I wanted was a general sense of: are you a bug/fish/frog/winged/fuzzy? A huge thing or a tiny thing? Something familiar or something new to me?

    I would LOVE it if people just generally had a brief summary of their appearance as the first line of their description and then elaborated from there (therefore making a movable token perfectly fine!), but I know that isn't going to become a 'thing' just because it'd be convenient for me.

    It has nothing to do with poo-pooing your level of visual uniqueness, it's a matter of "I'm a slow reader, give me a chance"
  • AishiaAishia Queen Bee
    @Zaila u better read my whole desc every time or I sware.
  • I try to keep essential traits at the top of my desc and all the added nonsense near the bottom, working from head to toe :P That said, I'm with @Zaila in that I skim descriptions mid-RP and read the full desc over the course of a session.

  • Honestly, very few of my 19 endgame characters are immediately discernable as their original race.

    I've got Kira, who is still obviously Tsol'aa, kinda, plus antlers and faerie wings. And a few who were originally human that are kind've magic-y human now. And a xoran who is still xorani-like. But mostly, there is very little correlation between heritage and the desc.

    And there is absolutely no reason I should have to pay 80 coins per character to make it not show up in my desc. -.- I didn't -take- heritage for anyone that got endgame before it was a thing except for Kira, who again, it made sense for.

    As far as moving the token around goes--I'd be okay if it could have a configable colour or something, to make it easily apparent at a glance? It still won't really help you get an idea of a character's appearance 9 times out of 10, but it wouldn't hurt the game to have the option to make that part stand out.

    Though. Re: being a slow-reader, I'd totally be okay with an optional quick-desc field we could fill out.

    Look Erzsebet Quickdesc
    She is humanish.
    She has green, tattooed dragon wings.
    She has long black hair.
    She has serpentine green-gold eyes.
    She is pale as fuck.
    She has lots of tattoos.
    She is covered in excessively shiny baubles.

  • Or you could just ... write a description such that it communicates the important things succinctly first and then expands into detail afterwards.
  • Frankly, no one I actually RP with has a problem with the way my descs are written. So changing it to suit the one or two people who don't want to read it that I don't RP with anyway, isn't something I'm inclined to do.

    In any case, back on topic: racial flavour. I feel like more holidays would be nifty? But I also feel like you should be able to config them on or off by race, because frankly, not one of my characters has any in-game reason to know it's moghedu liberation month, or w/e. The only centralized culture where everyone lives together we have is the PCs, and very few of them know or care about the RP behind their places of origin, so it isn't like the RL versions of these holidays, where everyone knows it's Canada Day or Black History Month etc etc regardless of their nationality or race, because it's all over social media and people -talk- about it.

    Alternatively, I dunno, have the Mhun (as an example) -talk- about it? Have NPC event things (not necessarily god-run, these could be fairly simple progs) where they celebrate and put up colourful decorations all through moghedu and set off fireworks or what have you on certain days of that month?
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