Proposal for a new Aurora
Written by Caligula (21 Feb. 1999)
Revised by Prefect (22 Mar. 99)
As Drak decided to resign from his Liegedom over the Aurora domain, I was taking my first steps towards the actual implementation of my pet project, the Vucero area.
His resignation worried me, as it was yet another sign that Auroraís and perhaps even the whole of OuterSpaceís star was failing. Not wanting to be one of the rats that leave the sinking ship, I started to think on how I could improve the Aurora design to make it more attractive to players and guide it further into the AD&D life it was intended to have.
When Prefect was appointed as our new Liege, I thought it would be best to pass him my ideas, in the hope that this new design of the domain would effectively be implemented. But, as two minds know more than one, a few more minds can easily give additional ideas that prove to be better options than some of the things we cooked up.
Bear this in mind when you read this document: nothing has been decided yet, we are waiting for your input.
NOTE:Please read the files in /d/Aurora/open/doc/ first.
The current phase in Auroraís history is that of the aftermath of the Great War. We believe it is time for the different races and civilisations of Aurora to get on with their lives.
"Years have passed since the Great War, and the civilised Aurorans have regained a lot of ground from the Demonic Army. The enemy was thrown behind the grand river of Anassan, and the villages slowly rebuilt. Then came a new player on the battlefield: the humans. For years they had been living inside a volcano in the southern-most parts of the Continent. As the magical wards their god had placed around their new home to prevent any interference with the rest of Auroraís population began to fade, a few bands of adventurers roamed the lands, followed by a vast Roman army that tried to gain control over the other civilisations.
They were stopped by the Kiíthar armies at the banks of the river Anassan in the north, by the Lurkane and the Kiízern at the Lake of Kastadan in the west, and by the Ríseers at the Swamps of Sidikhan in the east. At that point, the strangest thing in the history of Aurora happened: the most powerful of the Guild Masters called for a conference of the different races and civilisations on the Island of Rogílan, and decided it was time to put aside their differences and draw eternal borders. All rulers of the civilisations, albeit some more reluctant than others, signed a treaty, and agreed to build a monument on Rogílan and declare it neutral ground, where the different races would meet to settle their disputes. A city grew quickly around this monument, and all races established a permanent embassy in this new city << you name it, Prefect J >>. Roads and bridges were built, and it became the new centre of Aurora."
It is my personal belief that this step forward in the history of Aurora will provide us with a more flexible approach to the expansion of the areas and their implementation. In the following chapters, Iíll try to prove this with a list of the civilisations as I see them, along with guilds and areas.
NOTE:From now on, we speak in terms of civilisations rather than races.
Based around Arbor, they have two guilds: the Magikhans and the Militians. The former work with magic and get their training in the Wizschool, the latter are warriors trained in the Stronghold.// I assume the Wizschool is the opened area, but what about the Stronghold? A new area to be coded? Where, in Arbor? //
Based around the Stone Towers, they have two guilds as well: the Sardokhans and the Defenders; similar to the Kiíthar.
Based around Belan, they are masters of thievery. They are organised in Thieves and Illusionists. The Thieves have a choice to be either more of an acrobat or assassin. While the Assassins are skilled fighters, the Acrobats can evade almost any attack The Illusionists play tricks on peopleís minds.
Based around the forest of Edenia, they have two guilds: Shadows and Hunters. The Shadows should be some sort of shapeshifters, whereas the Hunters are comparable to Rangers.// An entirely new race/civilisation? //
Based around Romanova in Vucero, they have two guilds: Ecclesiastics and Legionnaires, similar to the Kiíthar and Kiízern.
Based around Celvig in Vucero, they have two guilds as well: Druids and Bards, again similar to the Kiíthar, Kiízern and Romans.
The Evil guys havenít just disappeared from the face of Aurora however, and a new War might very well start soon. The reasoning might be as follows:
"There are several different stories as to why the Demonic Army was defeated at Arbor. Some said it was because the army was split up between the Kiíthar in Arbor and the Kiízern at the Stone Towers. Others added that none would have survived the encounter with the Foul Minions if it hadnít been for the intervention of the Lurkane, the outcasts of the other races, while a few people still speak of the Zwansen as their saviour. Recent information however, shows clearly that none of these stories was entirely true, even though all these had an influence on the defeat of the Great Foe.
It seems that the only reason they were defeated, was an internal struggle between the different factions of the Ríseer leaders. Some had gained control over a huge winged insectoid// Changed from dragons. One or more? //, and tried to seize power over the other clans. This caused the Amphydian Alliance that made the Ríseers so powerful, to implode and the tribal wars started all over again. New alliances are being formed however, and if one faction were to gain control over the others again, the other races would be in serious trouble."
Now that should leave us room to come up with new factions and guilds aíplenty J
NOTE:With minor civilisations, I mean those without guilds.
Based in Mirdilia, they are the sole survivors of a UFO-crashing. Since this should under normal circumstances interfere heavily with normal Auroran history, I advice that they be placed on an island.
As we donít have any information regarding this race, other than that they helped in the Great War, Iíd say they are a seafaring community of fishermen and explorers around a coastal area where you can hire ships to sail to the different islands (e.g. Mirdilia).
NOTE:This is not intended as an in-depth view of these guilds, just some thoughts.
I think that players should pledge allegiance to a civilisation before they can actually join one of their guilds.// See notes (*) at the end of the text. // This way we could declare Guild Wars between civilisations, as we use the "Race" guild-slot more as an "Allegiance" slot. These allegiance guilds should add a few emotes and maybe a magical object which allows them to transport them back to the centre of their Allegianceís area.
At this point, Iíd also make it a standard that all guilds fill in both the Occupational and Layman guild-slots. This will make it easier to balance the different guilds, without having to do difficult tweaking over power and tax.// See notes (**) at the end of the text. //
Kiíthar and Kiízern
As these two civilisations are actually very similar, Iíll discuss them in one chapter.
To put it bluntly: mages. What the difference should be is up to the Powers That Be. One option is to give them spells specialised in a certain area. Anyway, they should both go to the wizschool to improve their knowledge of magic.
Militians / Defenders
Both regular fighters, they might come in different flavours regarding the focus of their skills (bonus for blunt weapons or swords, stuff like that).
Thieves// Changed from Assassins & Acrobats //
As stated above, these guys are trained in thievery. Assassins might get a bonus on their backstab and learn to parry attacks, while Acrobats are very hard to hit and rely on throwing daggers to do damage while they have a bonus in unarmed combat.
Hereís where the nqgic// magic? // creeps in; the illusionists can play tricks on peopleís minds, thus they have some psyonic capabilities, while having the same basic thieving abilities as the Assassins and Acrobats.
Conclusion:Join thief first, then chooses a direction.
Basically rangers, they rely on two-handed combat and archery. They might also have a pet (dog, cat, squirrel if you like) they can call for aid.
// What aid are you thinking about? I donít think such small animals would do much help in a fight? Perhaps a big dog... Or a rabbit could be food... //
A sinister group of mages, that have the ability to change themselves into monsters, each with their own strengths and weaknesses.
As true priests, they choose between a few gods to serve, with options for healing, disease-causing, fire-striking or even other prayers for their gods to grant.
Masters of combat with a shortsword, they can hurl spears like no one else. Definitely strong fighters, who can call to the goddess Victoria to give them some aid, and can bind wounds when not in combat.
Masters of herbalism, they can mix all sorts of potions, thanks to being close to nature, they can call on the four elements (earth, wind, fire and water) to kick their opponents asses.
A mix-and-match combination of different guilds, they have basic fighting skills and basic knowledge of magic. They mainly rely on singing and playing their harps to scare and slowdown their enemies and to encourage and speed up themselves.
Since the Ríseers are divided into different factions, more guilds might be added in the future. For now, weíll do with these.
These mages have gained control over a huge winged insectoid// Changed from dragon //, which can transport them to all kinds of places (not rooms of course). These insectoids // Changed from dragons. One or several? // can aid them in their fights, but they have to be trained and fed, so this guild will probably have a huge tax.
Ya basic warrior, dumb-asses that rely on sheer but brute power.
// Sounds a bit wrong to call them Barbarians considering Ríseers are reptile-like, but perhaps itíll work fine J //
NOTE:Through a small restructuring of the continent, we can make room for
what we need and still enable future expansion.
Map of the new Aurora
Mi = Mirdilia
Se = Seagate
St = Stone Towers
La = Lake
Vu = Vucero
Be = Belan
Ro = Rogílan
Ed = Edenia
Ar = Arbor
Mo = Mountains
Ju = Jungle
Py = Pyramids
Dj = Dark Jungle
Sw = Swamp
<< I admit, crudely drawn, but then again, Iím no artistÖ >>
In my view, this map is a good guidance for building the new areas and integrating them with the old ones. In the next few pages, Iíll explain which new areas we should build, and build some sort of a framework on which weíll base our intended progress.
Further expansion can be done either on islands, or to the north (Desert?). Smaller areas can be built between villages.
NOTE:Please read the different backgrounds of existing areas first.
Arbor has always been seen as the northern village (in spite of the terminated Desert project). It already has an eastern exit to the Mountains, so that shouldnít really be a problem. To be added: a throne room for the Kiíthar King and a Training Grounds for the Militia.
Used to be the connection between Arbor and the Stone Towers. Will be moved to an island.// Did we decide where to move this place? I think we talked about putting it where Edenia is now, and make Edenia a smaller place? //
Will still be in the southwest, but will now be connected to the plains through Belan.
Will gain an extra exit to the Plains. Will remain the connection between Arbor and the Jungle.
Will gain an extra exit to the Plains. Should become the headquarters of the Barbarians.
Will be connected with Plains and squeezed between the Jungle and the Dark Jungle.
// Styxx complained a bit that you had put it between two jungles. He has placed it in a desert; perhaps it can fit in north of Arbor? (You mentioned there might be desert there) //
Will be connected to the Plains. Should become the headquarters of the InsectRiders.
Rogílan, with its monument, will be the new centre stage of Aurora. This is where new adventurers will come in from space, and be able to beam up.
It will also be the home of the Observers (thatís us, the Wizzes J ) who are gradually filling a library with writings about areas they have visited. The players should think the Observers are a band of the most powerful adventurers that go about exploring new areas and study the history of Aurora.
The library will contain our scribblings about the areas and the races [especially the "Recent Discoveries" section], while new players will be able to learn a number of things about guilds and cities at the different embassies.
The plains completely surround Rogílan and form the cement between the different areas. They contain a series of villages, bridges and the rivers. This area will be built first to hack in the new connections between areas. Then, as areas are completed, new roads will be built and new villages to connect them.
Should become the harbour of the Continent, and have ships to carry us to islands.
The city of thieves will get a new place on the map.
The homeland of the humans.
Swamp & Lake
Could be the homes for quest areas.
// Weíll have to fill something here. //
Phase 1. Restructuring what we have.
The first things to implement should be the Plains (partially, except for the connections to the area of the humans and the unimplemented areas of the Ríseers) and Seagate (so weíre still connected to Mirdilia).
Phase 2. Work on new areas and guilds.
This will be the tricky phase, in which players wonít see progress for a while, and most of us might get bored with finishing areas where no player has gone before, and guilds to build which none of us have done before.
Phase 3. Introduction of Rogílan.
This will probably be the most confusing step for the players. By that time we should also have implemented most other areas, so everything fits in nicely.
Phase 4. Addition of new areas.
The last phase of this overhaul, during which we can expand through islands for large areas, to the north for a desert, and throw in some smaller areas right in the Plains.
<< Thatís it for now, weíll discuss it online of course J >>
Notes and Comments by Prefect:
Ok, first of all Iíve put some notes inside the text, coloured in blue so youíll find it easily.
And I guess youíve noticed I put some colour to the map. I tried to make it a bit easier to read thereby, I hope I coloured the water correctly? (I also changed the shorts for two areas inside the map)
Iíve written down some additional notes here, but some of them Iíve already brought up inside the text, so donít be alarmed if you think itís alot. J
There are a few things that weíve already talked about, that I thought Iíd bring up again so we donít forget it. J
Styxx pointed out that youíve put his area, the Pyramid, in the jungle. He has put it in a desert, so perhaps itíll fit in north of Arbor (if we make some desert area)?
You mention the area Edenia, with a new race and a few guilds.
It is Raiden who is working on that area (and started it), and from what Iíve seen so far he wouldnít be able to code anything like that today... not an easy task.
Hmm, now when I think about it, I wonder if he didnít talk with me some time ago about he wanted to create a new race...for his area that was supposed to be an ancient city below the water...Iím gonna look that up later. But perhaps that area needs to be replaced on the map, and perhaps not to be counted as a big area.
Guilds and races
When you say Ďpledge allegiance to a civilisationí I assume the player can be of any race and still join the guilds? How about those players who are of the race Kiíthar or Human? Can they only join the guilds belonging to their race? Are they already in allegiance with that civilisation?
I think this can become a problem. A player of any of those two races gets restricted of what to join, comparing with players of other races. Perhaps the player can change race in order to be able to join a guild of another race, but that is more up to the admin of OS, I guess, to decide if such is allowed. Or just join anyway and be considered a defector?
Perhaps it makes it easier to balance the guilds and such if the guild fill both slots, but it might reduce the opportunities the player get. Some player might like an idea such as joining an Occ fighting guild to become a good fighter and then a Lay magical guild to get some basic spells to add an extra edge to the fighting. But of course, by making a guild fill both slots it can be a more powerful guild.
Iíd like to see that the magical guilds of the auroran races would be more powerful than the human ones, since the magic is strong within aurorians. So perhaps those guilds would be good if they fill both slots, like the Roman Legionnaires are good fighters and therefor could fill both slots to become more powerful.
And we shouldnít forget that a player might already be a member of a guild in another domain that fills one slot, and wants to join a guild that fills the other slot.
Perhaps it can be done, with little means of work, to make a player able to choose whether to join the guild with both slots, and get all power within the guild, or just one slot (either Occupational or Layman), and get less power.
An idea I have about the Illusionists. I thought Iíd write it down here while I still remember it. J
They are supposed to play tricks on other peopleís minds. When another player appraise an Illusionists to compare the stats, the Ill. could try and misguide the player so he/she appraises wrong. The Ill. chooses whether he wants to appear bigger or smaller then he/she really is, and depending on skills (and perhaps luck?) the player will see a somewhat changed result of the appraise.
Weíve just discussed about most of my comments in OS J
But Iíll leave them as they are, and we can continue our discussion later.
Mostly itís details that shouldnít be any problem to solve later, and most of them perhaps should be solved later when we see how things turn out.
Overall I think the entire idea looks great!
Lets try and finish this file so we can put it on the web and announce it so everyone can look at it and give their comments. Perhaps Iíll try and make a text version later, in other words draw the map with text, so it can be presented within Outer Space for those who prefer that. Probably be good in the long run to have the map and all as simple text.