It is currently Sat Dec 16, 2017 4:33 pm
Change font size

General Discussion

Orc Play!

Discuss game issues here.

Moderator: Elder Staff

Orc Play!

Postby Octavius » Tue Dec 17, 2013 2:02 pm

So far, humans have gotten all the love on threads.

For those excited about the Orc sphere, what do you want to see?

What challenges do you wish to face?

What resources do you desire to acquire, and what do you desire to manufacture from them?
User avatar
Octavius
Journeyman Architect
 
Posts: 1094
Joined: Tue Nov 05, 2013 1:33 pm
Location: East Coast, USA

Re: Orc Play!

Postby Throttle » Tue Dec 17, 2013 5:27 pm

Shape the orc sphere around one tribe, not multiple clans as they will just destroy each other and ruin the sphere. There's enough opportunity for conflict within one clan when it concerns orcs as it's not faux pas to harm clanmates, so it probably wouldn't become a circle jerk too easily. Rival tribes, if any, can be represented by NPCs. There's not going to be enough players for multiple orkish clans. Outside of PvP sessions against humans, orcville conflict can consist of raiding NPCs and of infighting and the control/plotting thereof.

Use the alpha to experiment with a shop- and currency-free environment. Make orc gameplay an extra challenge of resource management and clan maintenance, and make the whole sphere consist of just the tribe rather than some weird orc town where the tribe resides. Basically, the orc sphere should be like the Battallions sans the farmers and NPC-run shops that were in that Ithilien outpost in the end. Make it a really gritty, simple and brutal experience, and make it a sphere that can make the most of its inevitably small playerbase.
You notice a gigantic orb spider with raw-umber patterning's attention shift toward you!
You notice a giant orb spider with night patterning's attention shift toward you!
You notice a rugged orb spider with sepia patterning's attention shift toward you!
User avatar
Throttle
Honored Elf
 
Posts: 358
Joined: Sun Dec 01, 2013 3:59 am

Re: Orc Play!

Postby toofast » Tue Dec 17, 2013 5:35 pm

Throttle wrote:Shape the orc sphere around one tribe, not multiple clans as they will just destroy each other and ruin the sphere. There's enough opportunity for conflict within one clan when it concerns orcs as it's not faux pas to harm clanmates, so it probably wouldn't become a circle jerk too easily. Rival tribes, if any, can be represented by NPCs. There's not going to be enough players for multiple orkish clans. Outside of PvP sessions against humans, orcville conflict can consist of raiding NPCs and of infighting and the control/plotting thereof.

Use the alpha to experiment with a shop- and currency-free environment. Make orc gameplay an extra challenge of resource management and clan maintenance, and make the whole sphere consist of just the tribe rather than some weird orc town where the tribe resides. Basically, the orc sphere should be like the Battallions sans the farmers and NPC-run shops that were in that Ithilien outpost in the end. Make it a really gritty, simple and brutal experience, and make it a sphere that can make the most of its inevitably small playerbase.


This seems excellent to me! Stick to the lore, make the sphere brutal and gritty! PvP ahoy!
User avatar
toofast
Elf Recruit
 
Posts: 188
Joined: Mon Dec 02, 2013 6:15 pm

Re: Orc Play!

Postby Nimrod » Tue Dec 17, 2013 7:50 pm

Throttle wrote:Shape the orc sphere around one tribe, not multiple clans


This is exactly what we're doing.
The greatest enemy to propaganda or even counter-propaganda is open, unadulterated channels of free opinion.
User avatar
Nimrod
Game Lead
 
Posts: 5425
Joined: Tue Aug 20, 2013 12:51 pm

Re: Orc Play!

Postby Octavius » Tue Dec 17, 2013 7:53 pm

Throttle wrote:Use the alpha to experiment with a shop- and currency-free environment. Make orc gameplay an extra challenge of resource management and clan maintenance, ...


Expand on this?

What does this entail and how would it work?
User avatar
Octavius
Journeyman Architect
 
Posts: 1094
Joined: Tue Nov 05, 2013 1:33 pm
Location: East Coast, USA

Re: Orc Play!

Postby Drew7uk » Tue Dec 17, 2013 9:47 pm

I'd love to see a tribe steeped in tradition with various rituals for new members, plays for power, festivals, hunting, and battle.

I've always been a very strong believer in a clan and its players creating its own history and notoriety but there's a good deal that can be done to help that along, especially for a new game and setting.

In terms of challenges, I think survival has to be the most exciting and interesting challenges of any Orkish playerbase. Whether that's from internal conflict, starvation, politics, or wildlife. An Orc's life should never be easy.
User avatar
Drew7uk
Dwarf Recruit
 
Posts: 56
Joined: Wed Dec 04, 2013 7:40 am
Location: Singapore

Re: Orc Play!

Postby Nimrod » Tue Dec 17, 2013 9:53 pm

Drew7uk wrote:I'd love to see a tribe steeped in tradition with various rituals for new members, plays for power, festivals, hunting, and battle.

I've always been a very strong believer in a clan and its players creating its own history and notoriety but there's a good deal that can be done to help that along, especially for a new game and setting.

In terms of challenges, I think survival has to be the most exciting and interesting challenges of any Orkish playerbase. Whether that's from internal conflict, starvation, politics, or wildlife. An Orc's life should never be easy.


I think you'll really enjoy the Vadok Ushtarak clan, Drew. We're working very hard to provide just enough background for the clan to be plausible without forcing anything and allowing players to exert great influence through play.
The greatest enemy to propaganda or even counter-propaganda is open, unadulterated channels of free opinion.
User avatar
Nimrod
Game Lead
 
Posts: 5425
Joined: Tue Aug 20, 2013 12:51 pm

Re: Orc Play!

Postby Drew7uk » Tue Dec 17, 2013 10:22 pm

Nimrod wrote:
Drew7uk wrote:I'd love to see a tribe steeped in tradition with various rituals for new members, plays for power, festivals, hunting, and battle.

I've always been a very strong believer in a clan and its players creating its own history and notoriety but there's a good deal that can be done to help that along, especially for a new game and setting.

In terms of challenges, I think survival has to be the most exciting and interesting challenges of any Orkish playerbase. Whether that's from internal conflict, starvation, politics, or wildlife. An Orc's life should never be easy.


I think you'll really enjoy the Vadok Ushtarak clan, Drew. We're working very hard to provide just enough background for the clan to be plausible without forcing anything and allowing players to exert great influence through play.


Super happy to hear that! Very much look forward to seeing how it develops :)
User avatar
Drew7uk
Dwarf Recruit
 
Posts: 56
Joined: Wed Dec 04, 2013 7:40 am
Location: Singapore

Re: Orc Play!

Postby Throttle » Wed Dec 18, 2013 1:45 am

Octavius wrote:
Throttle wrote:Use the alpha to experiment with a shop- and currency-free environment. Make orc gameplay an extra challenge of resource management and clan maintenance, ...


Expand on this?

What does this entail and how would it work?


Just instead of having money and shops, don't have any. Aside from it feeling off-theme when orcs save up money and go shopping, shops tend to run starkly counter to grit and resource scarcity. When it's easy to store and dispense something, and therefore easy for others to come and get it, everything tends to just become readily available no matter how rare the designers of the system try to make it. If you take bullets on ARPI/PRPI, for instance: they were supposed to be rare and coveted but were almost immediately for sale cheaply in several shops because capitalism. I'd like to see a sphere with none of that.

The reason I would try that is precisely because they're orcs, and a lack of real economy would mean that nobody has a pressing need to get rid of their stuff. If someone has an extra sword in a cash economy, they'll usually feel compelled to immediately go and sell it because money is a more efficient resource to have than a spare sword. The absence of this possibility will (hopefully) mean that if you want something, you'll have to find a way to get the owner to give it up. Maybe there's a way to get them to do it willingly, maybe there isn't. You can't just go to the NPC and purchase it without stepping on anybody's toes; you have to either take it by force or give the owner a reason to let you have it.

That epitomizes orc culture to me, and I'd like to see how people handle it. The race was always supposed to be like that, but I never felt that it really worked because players could always choose the path of least resistance and just go buy something they wanted instead of risking conflict by trying to take it from somebody (or, conversely, selling it instead of trying to keep it and risking someone's ire). It made for a remarkably complacent roleplaying environment.
Last edited by Throttle on Wed Dec 18, 2013 2:01 am, edited 2 times in total.
You notice a gigantic orb spider with raw-umber patterning's attention shift toward you!
You notice a giant orb spider with night patterning's attention shift toward you!
You notice a rugged orb spider with sepia patterning's attention shift toward you!
User avatar
Throttle
Honored Elf
 
Posts: 358
Joined: Sun Dec 01, 2013 3:59 am

Re: Orc Play!

Postby Kayube » Wed Dec 18, 2013 1:53 am

That's kind of an interesting idea. As someone who's enjoyed playing characters on the bad side but has had, at least in my opinion, a tough time making them actually evil, something like that might help push me (and others in the same situation) in the right direction- or rather, the wrong direction. :lol:
Kayube
Forum Hobbit
 
Posts: 36
Joined: Tue Nov 26, 2013 3:19 pm

Re: Orc Play!

Postby benjaboonchar » Thu Dec 19, 2013 3:59 am

The Orcish crafting economy will be tricky, especially with wear and tear. Assuming that the orc sphere will have enough crafters to supply the population (which is a matter of how the crafting skills are spread out amognst the PCs rather than the shear number of crafters) the crafting system I would propose that:

Orcs have access to a set of crafts which are lower quality than those of humans.

The raw materials and tools required to make and maintain these lower quality items are readily avaliable to the orcs through crafts of some sort, importantly in the absence of an economy any orc with craft skills should be able to use them.

Restrict either the tools or the raw materials required to make and maintain higher quality items by requiring that some violence be done.

This can come in two flavours, crafts or progs which spawn hostile NPCs carrying these precious resources (whether they be human or an NPC clan of orcs further into the mountains which is sitting on a seam of iron) and/or give crafters the ability to recycle gear from enemy NPCs and PCs to make the higher quality raw materials.

I'm not sure if this is a viable system, but it is an attempt to adress the problem of making crafting characters viable in an economy based on violence rather than money without quickly leading to a situation where every Orc is superbly outfited.
benjaboonchar
Verified Member
 
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Dec 16, 2013 1:08 pm

Re: Orc Play!

Postby Octavius » Thu Dec 19, 2013 8:03 am

Violence for quality raw materials is feasible. One option already mentioned by Icarus on other player threads was "orcs raiding river shipments." Depending how complex we get, the success of orcs in raiding goods on the river could impact the amount of goods arriving in the human town, and human PCs could be given means of improving how well these shipments are defended. This way there could be direct PvP in the forest, and proxy conflict through NPCs along the river.

If orcs are stealing and recycling for their basic goods, we could investigate putting the "firebreather" recyclers into use on their side. While these would not be giant processing machines like they were on ARPI, they could represent groups of goblins performing the same function. These objects convert a crate of any items to a new raw material based on weight and material code.
* "A giant cauldron surrounded by a hectic group of goblins" could be an organic firebreather which allows any organic material to be exchanged for "buckets of chunky, grey stew." (Any quality roasting or cooking would be a specialty role, but all orcs could toss corpses here and get slop to eat.)
* "A hectic workroom filled with leather-clad goblins" could convert any leather clothing, armor, or goods into "piles of patchwork leather." These piles of miscellaneous hide could be crafted into basic orcish clothing and armor (without them resorting to wearing human goods).
* "A swelteringly-hot smelter crewed by scarred orcs" could convert any metal objects taken into metal ignots that could be recrafted.

As a side note, given the value of metal, I'd give a matching smeltery on the Human side so they can confiscate and repurpose any orcish metal captured as well.


So... that is possible. But is it desirable? It simplifies a lot of the resource process orc-side significantly, giving them easy access to poor-quality food-slurry and servicable pathchwork leather to craft with. (I also see them having a harder time getting astringent and doing more with rawhide.)
  • I don't see a shortage of capability for orcs to go murder forest creatures to get their own better-quality meat and hides. They likely will have enough good raw material to not really need the breathers if they don't want to use them.
  • Would you rather be required to roast and prepare food in less-generic ways?
  • Would you rather they need to treat their hides and make goods from better-quality leathers (which will be more durable)?

Then back to my bigger question... Orc Play.

If the economy is simplified as above...
  • What will Orc players do with their discretionary time? What activities do you desire?
  • What resources do you need that don't come from the human settlement?
  • What should you be able to do that is orc-specific and doesn't include going after the Humans?
User avatar
Octavius
Journeyman Architect
 
Posts: 1094
Joined: Tue Nov 05, 2013 1:33 pm
Location: East Coast, USA

Re: Orc Play!

Postby Throttle » Thu Dec 19, 2013 8:39 am

I would make a poor-quality material called scrap iron or something for recycled metal, otherwise you'll get mudflation of metal. I understand it's supposed to be somewhat uncommon and that won't happen if it can be recycled again and again. The firebreathers really destroyed any notion of resource scarcity, to be honest, and only really had to be in the game because the natural sources of these materials were nonexistent. I'm no expert but it seems feasible that iron would become more fragile and impure as it gets recycled with low-tech facilities.

A rags recycler seems superfluous, there will be more than enough basic clothes coming in from chargen and it doesn't seem like the sort of thing orcs would waste their time on. A food "firebreather" should also be unnecessary as the source of the gruel would literally be food. This was only ever necessary in Atonement because the lack of cooking crafts and food objects was explained away with meat being poisonous, but in reality it was more down to the fact that nobody had bothered to make the crafts and objects. When we started making these in Parallel, it made the food paste redundant and only contributed to food excess. Since orcs can eat raw meat, there should be no need for a food recycler and no reason to have one.

If the economy is simplified as above...
- What will Orc players do with their discretionary time? What activities do you desire?
- What resources do you need that don't come from the human settlement?
- What should you be able to do that is orc-specific and doesn't include going after the Humans?


Orcs will do a lot of the same stuff humans do: hunting, crafting, training, socializing. They don't particularly have less options, the theme should just fit orkish culture. They'll have much more freedom to engage in conflict and fighting (not necessarily fatal) as well as politics because their environment will be somewhat lawless and thus malleable whereas politics and conflict on the human side has traditionally felt a bit pointless due to the inability for most characters to do much to change their environment and the fact that you can't really get away with antagonism to any serious extent.

A staple of orc gameplay could be raiding. Back in the Tur-Edendor days we had these farms that would spawn and could be raided, and NPCs would come out and we could kill or enslave them as we pleased. You could even have randomly generated "events" spawning throughout the wilderness such as trade convoys, travelling groups, a shepherd/fisherman/hunter, a lonely farmstead, etc. This will also bring players out of their safe zone and into areas where they might encounter enemy PCs, which was half of the goal when I designed PRPI's turfquest system.

It was a bit basic and testing-stage, but it was a system where events would spawn in the streets, usually some variation of helping or harrassing slummers in exchange for a little money. Scale it up a bit so it's farms and caravans instead of prostitutes and kid gangs and you've got a good framework for a system. The turfquest system was purely progged, but crafts might be more practical if it's something that has to spawn mobs and such, not to mention much easier to create.

Holmes wrote the progs so I don't really know how complex they were, but they even posted messages on boards (mostly staff-side ones) when triggered so that their usage could be tracked easily and reliably. Some of them also created posts on player boards to alert clans when outsiders had robbed people on their turf and whatnot, and of course the rewards were better when you did something close enough to your enemy that they would get an alert. Crafts obviously can't do this by themselves, but maybe there's a way to combine progs and crafts.
You notice a gigantic orb spider with raw-umber patterning's attention shift toward you!
You notice a giant orb spider with night patterning's attention shift toward you!
You notice a rugged orb spider with sepia patterning's attention shift toward you!
User avatar
Throttle
Honored Elf
 
Posts: 358
Joined: Sun Dec 01, 2013 3:59 am

Re: Orc Play!

Postby Letters » Thu Dec 19, 2013 9:35 am

I like Throttle's suggestion about scrap metal. Going off on a tangent, I think the really major thing that needs to be achieved first, to make that work out, is to add permanent wear to armour, and to drastically decrease the lifespan of weapons. Permanent wear in ARPI took a long time indeed to happen, and a lot of use, meaning that even if they're out fighting daily, a person's weapon may remain serviceable and not become permanently worn down for a matter of a few real life months. Permanent damage to armour was extremely rare, and armour didn't suffer from the limited lifespan of weapons, where there was only so much patching and polishing that could be done until an item became worn. Allow the material from regular stuff to be smelted down, but don't enable the melting of scrap stuff - assume it's just degraded too far.

I wonder how orc raids are to be implemented.

Here are some hypothetical numbers to illustrate a point: the permanent population of Esgaroth and its hinterland is 15,000, which may increase by a few hundred or more at the height of the trading season, due to the presence of caravans and mercenaries. The average orc population in the region doesn't tend to exceed 300, and the camp tends to have as many temporary residents as permanent ones, largely vagabonds and treasure hunters. Hypothetical, like I said, but with those, the human population outnumbers the orc population fifty times over, and I'll assume a similar scenario for the rest of this post.

It is not in the interests of the orcs to raid elven caravans. Some few might try it, but those with any sense should realise that to attack elves might invite retaliation.

The Iron Hills are rather more distant from the orc settlement than Thranduil's Hall, but the orcs should still be careful with how they treat dwarves. To attack a dwarven caravan directly means getting past dwarven warriors, for a start, and that may not be a very appealing prospect. And even if the caravan were to be overwhelmed, it may only take a witness escaping to tell the tale to invite Dáin's wrath. I envisage sensible orcs instead trying to creep up on dwarven camps by night to steal what is needed - nothing exceedingly valuable, in case the dwarves come after them - rather than attacking them head-on. And if the dwarves are alerted, the thing to do is run, not fight.

Humans are a different matter. Not all the humans in the area are united under the rule of a single person, nor do they possess the elves' ability to traverse the forest, or the dwarven steel and ability to fight. They'd still be well-advised not to push at Esgaroth too hard, however. Raiding the caravans of foreign humans bound for Esgaroth might work out, unless it proves disruptive enough to commerce to provoke a reaction. Large scale massacre of the residents of Esgaroth is possibly not such a good idea. Even if the orcs were to conduct a single raid in an in game month, and kill five humans per raid, that's sixty in a year, and assuredly enough to see the Master hiring mercenaries and weeding out the orc camp. So the orcs should be careful when it comes to killing, unless they're trying to instigate an all out war - one which they probably stand no real chance of winning, all things considered. Beating up a fisherman and stealing his boat, on the other hand, isn't likely to provoke more than an irate and badly bruised fisherman knocking on the Master's door, rather than the public outrage that murder would instil.

So if an orc is out raiding, unless events dictate that they are in a position to engage in open battle and fortify their camp against a determined assault, it seems unlikely that they would kill, if they know what's good for them. They might still capture a person to hold for ransom, of course, if they come across somebody who seems sufficiently valuable.
A skeletal, pig-tailed-haired male teen says,
"Prepare to meet your doom, loping man. It is I, loitering person, your nemesis."
Letters
Elf Recruit
 
Posts: 228
Joined: Thu Dec 12, 2013 5:55 pm

Re: Orc Play!

Postby Feawen » Thu Dec 19, 2013 10:20 am

I thought I'd wander over here and put in my 2cc. I kind of skimmed the last few bits because I wanted to churn out a few ideas.

*Activities for Orcs

-Pit Fights - Also a place to settle disputes, and make a show of it to other Orcs so everyone sees you're one of the baddest in the tribe. Obviously not all fights would be taken here, but I could imagine this being a big deal in orkish culture.

-Warg Training - Especially in The Hobbit (the book!) orcs are shown as having more of a connection to the wargs. Though I've always thought it was more of an alliance than master to pet. It's feasible that a warg pack would be part of an orc tribe, but self-contained.

So realistically the orcs and wargs would need to train to work together. Wouldn't put it past any of the wargs (since they seem intelligent) to fight in the pits, either. The culture does revolve around who's the nastiest.

-Religious Rites - I don't quite go in for the shamanistic religions that SOI frequently used; but most thinking creatures do have a form of religion. And when you were created by a dark "god" (Vala) twisting you into the state you're in...

Well, there's history for worship of Morgoth among Men. Why wouldn't there be among Orcs? I have no ideas for religious practices, though. Yet.

-Other Cultural Rites - Rites of passage, challenges. Orcs aren't very organized, but I could see a few of these.

Materials and Such
I know Octavius mentioned raw materials, and Throttle said there would be most of the same ones. Which is true, to an extent. I just wanted to add in a few thoughts down here.

Most armor and clothing would probably be based off of hides, wood, and scrap metals. Perhaps stone tips for some arrows, when in need. Orcs are pretty devious when it comes to fashioning anything into a weapon. If you don't have metal, use wood or stone.

Quick list of things you'd likely see orcs using more than humans, if we're going with the idea of iron being scarce:

-Tools or armaments carved from stone
-Tools or armaments carved from wood
-Scrap Metal
-Animal Teeth
-Hides and Leather (though probably not lesser quality. Orcs aren't -stupid-; they would find a way to work with this. I could imagine a craftsperson orc being fairly prized.)
-Different Foods - Orcs will eat pretty much anything (though now I'm picturing a chef orc as a concept; that's awesome.)

...And of course, whatever the little bastards can pillage from rival tribes, Men, Elves, or Dwarves.

*EDIT* Also, I don't see why orkish goods should necessarily be lower quality. Certainly they would be by the eyes of other races; they would likely look crude, but be effective.
Feawen
Forum Hobbit
 
Posts: 37
Joined: Tue Dec 17, 2013 9:35 am

Re: Orc Play!

Postby Octavius » Thu Dec 19, 2013 11:45 am

This was only ever necessary in Atonement because the lack of cooking crafts and food objects was explained away with meat being poisonous, but in reality it was more down to the fact that nobody had bothered to make the crafts and objects. When we started making these in Parallel, it made the food paste redundant and only contributed to food excess.


To be fair, this decision was the other way around. :) We originally wanted the use of the artificial food processors and artificial flavorings to be primary as a core element of the game theme. The characters were several generations removed from anyone remembering what the processed-food's predecessors really looked like (even though players would know), and we deliberately skipped cooking at first to support the moon theme. Parallel has a different theme - you're rising from a prison colony, not aping after a lost Utopia of processed things. :)

The firebreathers really destroyed any notion of resource scarcity, to be honest, and only really had to be in the game because the natural sources of these materials were nonexistent. I'm no expert but it seems feasible that iron would become more fragile and impure as it gets recycled with low-tech facilities.


So, recycle one time and produce a 'scrap-iron' variable instead of what went in?

Or eliminate the capability?

I prefer the idea of orcs repurposing stolen material for their own crafting rather than just utilizing stolen items. I'd rather let them break down human armor and weapons and make new orc weapons, than to see orcs wearing and using human items.

A staple of orc gameplay could be raiding. Back in the Tur-Edendor days we had these farms that would spawn and could be raided, and NPCs would come out and we could kill or enslave them as we pleased. You could even have randomly generated "events" spawning throughout the wilderness such as trade convoys, travelling groups, a shepherd/fisherman/hunter, a lonely farmstead, etc. This will also bring players out of their safe zone and into areas where they might encounter enemy PCs, which was half of the goal when I designed PRPI's turfquest system.


This is a neat idea. I could see putting a part of the Old Road on the map and having "campsites" pop up on it at night where vNPC travellers are stopping. Similarly, along the river.

Ideas of what would occur deep in Mirkwood is otherwise problematic for me, so I invite more brainstorming. Most of my ideas involve NPC nodes that pop up as a result of Human PC funding of them to protect the camp/town.

So if an orc is out raiding, unless events dictate that they are in a position to engage in open battle and fortify their camp against a determined assault, it seems unlikely that they would kill, if they know what's good for them. They might still capture a person to hold for ransom, of course, if they come across somebody who seems sufficiently valuable.


Yes. Your whole argument is key to my question.

I think over-simplistic solutions like "a bounty on human heads" are a major risk for the game.

As long as we're playing before the Battle of Five Armies, the Orcs are at least nominally under the thrall of the Necromancer, who is hiding and trying to not attract attention. How DO we come up with a method to allow Orcs and Humans to essentially wage a Cold War?

Would Orc PCs really be okay with non-lethal options? If so, which ones?

Where we do allow and encourage Lethal game play, how long before it demands a greater response?

(I kind of like the idea of giving Orcs a coded way of pissing off Elves or Dwarves and bringing down wrath, though... :) )
User avatar
Octavius
Journeyman Architect
 
Posts: 1094
Joined: Tue Nov 05, 2013 1:33 pm
Location: East Coast, USA

Re: Orc Play!

Postby Throttle » Thu Dec 19, 2013 12:45 pm

So, recycle one time and produce a 'scrap-iron' variable instead of what went in?

Or eliminate the capability?

I prefer the idea of orcs repurposing stolen material for their own crafting rather than just utilizing stolen items. I'd rather let them break down human armor and weapons and make new orc weapons, than to see orcs wearing and using human items.


Recycling into scrap-iron seems best, except the word 'scrap' is a bit off-putting. Maybe slag iron instead. Anyway, orcs are supposed to be very effective and industrious crafters, they just don't make anything pretty, so I think it's a good idea for them to do their own crafting instead of just wearing looted stuff. However, that shouldn't be impossible either, so the trick will be to find a way to encourage re-crafting without resorting to racial restrictions on items.

You might even have to make orc gear a bit better -- humans will never wear it so it's fairly safe to make orkish armor a little lighter and say that it's because it fits them better. The tradeoff can be lower durability, orcs aren't artisans.

What are the planned sources of iron? I get the impression that it's supposed to be imported and slightly rare, but this of course limits availability and makes it gated behind wealth instead of time and effort like it is in an environment where it can be mined. Maybe impure iron ore can be obtained in wetlands as bog iron which was actually the main source of iron for vikings. This would be available to both orcs and humans and would be a very good non-combat wilderness activity, something that RPIs often lack.

Short video on bog iron and description of the job of a bog iron hunter.
You notice a gigantic orb spider with raw-umber patterning's attention shift toward you!
You notice a giant orb spider with night patterning's attention shift toward you!
You notice a rugged orb spider with sepia patterning's attention shift toward you!
User avatar
Throttle
Honored Elf
 
Posts: 358
Joined: Sun Dec 01, 2013 3:59 am

Re: Orc Play!

Postby Octavius » Thu Dec 19, 2013 1:16 pm

Throttle wrote:You might even have to make orc gear a bit better -- humans will never wear it so it's fairly safe to make orkish armor a little lighter and say that it's because it fits them better. The tradeoff can be lower durability, orcs aren't artisans.


I'm okay with that. Lighter and less durable so it is damaged and destroyed more easily.

Throttle wrote:What are the planned sources of iron? I get the impression that it's supposed to be imported and slightly rare, but this of course limits availability and makes it gated behind wealth instead of time and effort like it is in an environment where it can be mined. Maybe impure iron ore can be obtained in wetlands as bog iron which was actually the main source of iron for vikings. This would be available to both orcs and humans and would be a very good non-combat wilderness activity, something that RPIs often lack.

Short video on bog iron and description of the job of a bog iron hunter.


An interesting idea - Icarus would need to be convinced by the arguments made.

You are proposing a metal progression of:
slag iron (recycled)
bog iron
iron
bronze
steel
dwarven steel
User avatar
Octavius
Journeyman Architect
 
Posts: 1094
Joined: Tue Nov 05, 2013 1:33 pm
Location: East Coast, USA

Re: Orc Play!

Postby Throttle » Thu Dec 19, 2013 1:21 pm

Well, it's easy to do materials in the ARPI engine, but I didn't know we were dealing with bronze, steel and even dwarven steel. I think that's excessive. Are those set in stone? I especially don't see the need for dwarven steel. You could also make slag and bog iron smelt into the same product.

I'm also reminded that there didn't seem to be a way for the material to determine any tangible properties for armor beyond weight and durability, so a chainmail would have to provide the same armor whether made of slag iron or dwarven steel. Weapons have a parameter for a damage penalty/bonus, but with so many materials, you can probably still only get away with at most -1/+1 or you'll break balance. Has anything changed in that regard?
You notice a gigantic orb spider with raw-umber patterning's attention shift toward you!
You notice a giant orb spider with night patterning's attention shift toward you!
You notice a rugged orb spider with sepia patterning's attention shift toward you!
User avatar
Throttle
Honored Elf
 
Posts: 358
Joined: Sun Dec 01, 2013 3:59 am

Re: Orc Play!

Postby Letters » Thu Dec 19, 2013 2:07 pm

This region of Middle-earth doesn't see the same battle of Good versus Evil that can be seen in the southern conflict (Evil Gondor from a few years ago notwithstanding).

I'm going to reiterate a couple points below, largely to try and keep track of my own train of thought, and then expand on the above.

The orcs, as Octavius rightly mentions, are probably not in a position to draw a great deal of attention to themselves. While people are certainly aware of a shadow having fallen over Mirkwood, a large concentration of orcs may spur the White Council into action far more quickly than a shadow and the presence of foul creatures of the less sapient variety. Beyond that, there are ample reasons in the local area for the orcs to try to pass unnoticed.

The local elves aren't the elves from the western regions of Middle-earth. They are arguably rather xenophobic, potentially malicious and just not all that trustworthy. They might react to a huge build-up of orcs, but with small numbers, the orc presence should fly right under their radar. The orcs would have to be particularly reckless or do something far too noticeable to draw the attention of the elves.

Dáin is a formidable figure. He killed Azog outside Moria, appears to have seen the balrog and was able to persuade Thráin not to venture in. He will later take his army to Erebor, and become King under the Mountain after Thorin's death. He will die in the War of the Ring, at the age of 252, defending the body of King Brand of Dale. He might even scare the orcs more than elves do, but at least they can flee into the forest if dwarves come knocking on their door.

The humans in the region aren't the staunch men of Gondor or Rohan. They haven't have the necessity of defending against the encroaching darkness instilled into them over the course of generations of frequent warfare. The nastiest thing to occur to them has been the destruction of Dale by a dragon, which now appears to be asleep in Erebor, and no sane person wants to risk waking it. These people aren't magnificent warriors, or unrivalled smiths, or great horsemen. They're living in a pretty brutal region of the world, and have no reason at all to believe that anyone will dive in to save them if they get into trouble. The orcs manifest as a pest, but better to endure them and drive them back than to try to find and destroy their home, which may amount to kicking a wasp nest, as far as anyone in Esgaroth is concerned.

So there you have elves, who don't care about lesser beings right now, but might lift a hand if the orcs annoy them. Dwarves, who for all we know have their own troubles, since little is written of what lies beyond the Iron Hills. They might stir themselves to action if they see too great a number of orcs. The orcs probably steer clear of the elves, and are wary of the dwarves, and probably know Dáin as the one who killed Azog. The humans believe themselves very alone, and are probably at least somewhat aware of the evil in Mirkwood, and know better than to go too far, in case they wake something nastier than pesky raiders.

The elves and dwarves are NPCs, and staff can easily keep them in check.

In the case of orcs, if an orc decides to openly attack elves or dwarves, or to massacre a village, that orc should be promptly murdered by a bigger, meaner orc. In every case, the orcs may be forced to break camp and move before vengeance arrives, and if they were silly enough to attack an elf, that may not be enough. Orcs should be the aggressors in most armed conflict here, I think, hence the perhaps harsh penalty for grossly overstepping reasonable bounds.

In the case of humans, (and not counting the above scenario wherein the orcs have invited destruction upon themselves, which may include a large number of human NPCs) the only people to venture deep into the forest on an orc hunt are the stupid or suicidal, and if they engage any orc near the orc home camp, swarms of orc NPCs should descend on them. Nobody with authority will sanction a large expedition into the forest unless the orcs are really, really asking for it - again, see the above, and even then, the orcs should be aware of their impending doom and run away.

The consequences for overstepping the bounds of reason and sense are perhaps a little harsh, but hopefully conveys the point that nobody wants to annoy anyone else too much, because then really nasty stuff might happen to them. If it seems harsh on the orcs, that's because they're the ones most active in attacking and trying to steal from others, so the burden lies with them to keep their activities in check.

So the humans deem the orcs the lesser of two evils, for now, the greater being outright war or delving into the forest, and for as long as the worst the orcs do is steal from outlying settlements and maybe knock a hunter or two over the head. The militia will of course engage and actively seek to kill orcs when it can - defense of Esgaroth's hinterlands is certainly within their remit.

The orcs perhaps view humans a little like sheep. They want to shear them this year, and next year, too. Killing them means fewer sheep to shear. This doesn't always apply to human warriors, however. If the orcs bear a particular hatred for a warrior, or deem them to be a greater than usual threat, then they may kill them outright. If a human seems less of a threat, though, the orcs could weigh up if they could get more profit from ransoming the human compared to the trouble the human might cause them at a later date.

Unrelated bit on language
Orcs don't need to speak in apostrophes, or to be barely intelligible. There's nothing to say that they're inarticulate. I hope this is kept in mind.

And now I'm going in search of chocolate. I've been writing far too much and begin to wonder if I'm even coherent at this point.
A skeletal, pig-tailed-haired male teen says,
"Prepare to meet your doom, loping man. It is I, loitering person, your nemesis."
Letters
Elf Recruit
 
Posts: 228
Joined: Thu Dec 12, 2013 5:55 pm

Re: Orc Play!

Postby Octavius » Thu Dec 19, 2013 2:51 pm

Throttle wrote:Well, it's easy to do materials in the ARPI engine, but I didn't know we were dealing with bronze, steel and even dwarven steel. I think that's excessive. Are those set in stone?


No, I was just being comprehensive. No decision made on what levels there are, as yet. Keep talking. :)

Throttle wrote:I'm also reminded that there didn't seem to be a way for the material to determine any tangible properties for armor beyond weight and durability, so a chainmail would have to provide the same armor whether made of slag iron or dwarven steel. Weapons have a parameter for a damage penalty/bonus, but with so many materials, you can probably still only get away with at most -1/+1 or you'll break balance. Has anything changed in that regard?


Nothing has changed code-wise regarding that.

Variables can impact one skill, or any OVAL. We didn't vary things much on ARPI with the variables, but I'm not sure that we couldn't. I need to look.


Letters wrote:This region of Middle-earth doesn't see the same battle of Good versus Evil that can be seen in the southern conflict (Evil Gondor from a few years ago notwithstanding).
...
So the humans deem the orcs the lesser of two evils, for now, the greater being outright war or delving into the forest, and for as long as the worst the orcs do is steal from outlying settlements and maybe knock a hunter or two over the head. The militia will of course engage and actively seek to kill orcs when it can - defense of Esgaroth's hinterlands is certainly within their remit.

The orcs perhaps view humans a little like sheep. They want to shear them this year, and next year, too. Killing them means fewer sheep to shear. This doesn't always apply to human warriors, however. If the orcs bear a particular hatred for a warrior, or deem them to be a greater than usual threat, then they may kill them outright. If a human seems less of a threat, though, the orcs could weigh up if they could get more profit from ransoming the human compared to the trouble the human might cause them at a later date.


So, if we're not in an a state of open warfare (which is what MUD combat code effectively models) and it is understood that neither side should go there, where is the line? And what is it that the orc sphere wishes to do? If attacking humans is a "bad thing" then what do they do?
User avatar
Octavius
Journeyman Architect
 
Posts: 1094
Joined: Tue Nov 05, 2013 1:33 pm
Location: East Coast, USA

Re: Orc Play!

Postby Letters » Thu Dec 19, 2013 3:10 pm

Orc raids on human lands would be to gather resources, I suppose? The camp either exists merely as a convenient location to subsist, or perhaps there's an orc leader there in contact with some other orc who in turn takes orders from the Necromancer. That sort of thing. It could be a mix of both, and the option exists for staff to furnish orcs with all sorts of tasks that don't necessarily involve humans. Humans are a good source for resources, however. Mirkwood is a magical place, and probably brimming with all sorts of strange things, so the orcs can have their own goals related to it. I'd say that if having separate, active plotlines for orcs isn't feasible, then they shouldn't be opened as a sphere just yet. A sphere designed exclusively to antagonize another sphere, without its own independent purpose, isn't too great an idea, and such single-minded hostile entities are something better left to staff to control, I think.

If the orcs raid a farm, or a camp, their goal should be to procure resources, first and foremost. They snatch what they need and then flee. A bored orc might engage in a spot of wanton destruction, too, but not too much. If humans are present, they should either run or hide, unless they're unusually heavily armed or just determined - I can envisage a band of lumberjacks setting upon orc raiders. The orcs could kill humans, but then there are fewer humans to steal from next time. The main goal of the orcs, however, should be to get away clean, with their loot, before the human militia appear, and if they get into a fight, the longer they're slowed down, the more militia are going to be drawn in from the surrounding countryside.

Do orcs still have infravision? That's a major determining factor in whether extra code is needed to perhaps deter humans from then pursuing fleeing orcs across the entirety of the wilderness. If they don't, then I'd use a system where orcs are able to take such measures as setting buildings on fire. That should keep the humans busy extinguishing the fire or dealing with whatever other problem there is, while the orcs make good their escape with their ill-gotten goods.
A skeletal, pig-tailed-haired male teen says,
"Prepare to meet your doom, loping man. It is I, loitering person, your nemesis."
Letters
Elf Recruit
 
Posts: 228
Joined: Thu Dec 12, 2013 5:55 pm

Re: Orc Play!

Postby benjaboonchar » Thu Dec 19, 2013 3:40 pm

An orc sphere would need a long term goal that could be completed in multiple small steps, something along the line of having a number of NPC orc tribes which the PC orcs are trying to navigate around and eventually unite would be very RPI intensive. Otherwise there could be a struggle over control of natural resources, so long as the orc PCs have a use for the wood they're trying to deny the humans. Interaction and alliance with Wargs and wolves, however that's implemented, would add great flavour.

Crafting still concerns me, because in the absence of NPC shopkeepers (who are a part of the system that wouldn't really work in a moneyless economy) orcs would lose the ability to procur consumables which could not be crafted under the old system and were instead bought, as well as the ability to replace non-crafted reusables when someone inevitabily logged off with them for significant stretches of time. A solution to both these problems that doesn't unbalance the game but maintains a cashless economy for the orcs would be great!
benjaboonchar
Verified Member
 
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Dec 16, 2013 1:08 pm

Re: Orc Play!

Postby Nimrod » Thu Dec 19, 2013 9:13 pm

After skimming through this, most of it was tldr as I'm quite busy atm, I would like to pull everyone back to reality and just let you know that metal will be extremely scarce throughout the game. Planning and talking about dwarven steel and such is well beyond our scope at this time.

As for long-term goals... you betcha you'll have goals. Some admin-set and some player-set.
The greatest enemy to propaganda or even counter-propaganda is open, unadulterated channels of free opinion.
User avatar
Nimrod
Game Lead
 
Posts: 5425
Joined: Tue Aug 20, 2013 12:51 pm

Re: Orc Play!

Postby Letters » Thu Dec 19, 2013 10:46 pm

Nimrod wrote:After skimming through this, most of it was tldr as I'm quite busy atm, I would like to pull everyone back to reality and just let you know that metal will be extremely scarce throughout the game. Planning and talking about dwarven steel and such is well beyond our scope at this time.

As for long-term goals... you betcha you'll have goals. Some admin-set and some player-set.

I think the tl;dr got the better of you, since that bit could be paraphrased as "Metal is scarce. Maybe even harder to get for orcs than for humans. They might have to rely on melting stuff to remake into whatever they need." By happy chance, the ability to melt metal items and get a usable material out - in this case, probably some sort of shoddy reclaimed iron - already exists, if it's deemed desirable.
A skeletal, pig-tailed-haired male teen says,
"Prepare to meet your doom, loping man. It is I, loitering person, your nemesis."
Letters
Elf Recruit
 
Posts: 228
Joined: Thu Dec 12, 2013 5:55 pm

Next

Return to General Discussion

Connect

FacebookTwitter

Login

Who is online

Very smart users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests

Login