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Thread: Dark Elf Units

  1. #1

    Dark Elf Units

    Alright guys, the time has come to work on finalizing the list of Dark Elf units. I'm sure Cirno will jump in to help shape this discussion. We have to reign in our ideas and decide on a definite lineup. In order to do that we need to keep the main themes of the Dark Elves in mind while we put together a strategically sound list. What images should the Dark Elves bring to mind? Spider Worship, matriarchal society, slavery, and sacrificial magic stand out.

    With that in mind here is the current lineup as I see it (this was taken from posts Cirno made):
    Web Site Diviner – This is the settler unit. It has to be renamed. (Sorry Cirno, it's very clever and witty, but it seriously doesn't fit the rest of your theme.) I'm open to suggestions.

    Slave Unit – We've talked about this a lot. We need a unit that you have to spend slaves to make. You'll need some kind of slave building to make it and will be able to spend slaves to “buy” the unit quickly. Personally I like the idea of a magically altered creature covered in armor of some kind. (For one thing that will hide what “race” they are. So even though slaves may be elves, humans, dwarves, etc, all the slave units will look the same.) They should be melee fodder. Also, they need a good name.

    Web Warden – These are melee units that fight with magical life draining whips. The lore behind them is that they are overseers of the slave units. This idea is interesting, but I really feel it's a weak link in the chain. I'll explain more near the bottom of the post.

    Zealot – These are spider riders. I think they should be lightly armored and carry a light lance with a hand crossbow (poisoned) as a secondary weapon. They shouldn't be near as fast as other mounts and won't get Charge, but they will get Wall Climbing.

    Inquisitor – This is a melee and magic unit that focuses on stealth and charm magic. I think it should have very light armor and appropriate weapons. Duel scimitars and a hand crossbow (again poisoned) stand out in my mind. They won't be as good at melee as the Grey Elf Faradrax, but their charm spell will make them strategically interesting. We just have to careful not to make them too powerful for their tier. Of course, we can move them around a bit.

    Warlock – These are male dark elf sorcerers who focus on a single school of magic. I would suggest Death or Fire, but I'm open to other ideas. I think they help flesh out the lore as well as the dark elves battlefield lineup.

    Weaver – Priestess unit. She can cast spells including Web and has the Wall Climb ability.

    Reclusian Knight – This one may need to be renamed. It's a mutated priestess with additional “legs” (“arms”?) growing our of her back. They are a strong melee unit with a very high number of attacks that do lower damage. I think they should also be poisoned.

    Armaghoma – This is the top tier unit and is a giant armored spider. Now, looking at the rest of the lore I would pitch it like this: The Armaghoma (plural) are powerful priestesses who undergo a magical transformation that turns them into spiders. You could look at them as next in line for the empresses throne or whatever. They are dark elf power in the flesh. Well armored, fairly fast, high damage, they could have both Wall Crusher and Wall Climber and could use Web. I think it's an interesting take.


    Now, as I said I think the Web Warden is the weak link. Why? First, I think the slave units on the battlefield should be obedient without overseers from a lore point of view. Second, I feel the dark elves need at least one really good ranged unit. I know they have magical ranged attacks, but I can't see them without at least one good bow using unit (even if they used crossbows with poisoned bolts).

    So, now you know where we are.

    Thoughts?
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  2. #2
    THE GRAND BACKER zdsdead's Avatar
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    Just a couple of names, from me.

    Settler name :- Brood spinner.
    Slave Names :- The altered, The blessed, Shields of the Chosen

    Also, Hopefully, we will hit the 9 units a faction stretch goal, and if this is so, then why not a good normal crossbow unit (as Aaron pointed out),also armed, maybe with double handed scimitar, or if thats too heavy a melee weapon, two curved short swords.

    Names :-

    The spiders tears, Weave Warriors.
    Last edited by zdsdead; 10-21-2013 at 01:46 PM.
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  3. #3
    Abecedarian Mage
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron View Post
    Now, as I said I think the Web Warden is the weak link. Why? First, I think the slave units on the battlefield should be obedient without overseers from a lore point of view. Second, I feel the dark elves need at least one really good ranged unit. I know they have magical ranged attacks, but I can't see them without at least one good bow using unit (even if they used crossbows with poisoned bolts).
    I'll answer to your point about ranged power first.

    Looking at the suggested lineup, web is already quite a pervasive power, and I could see it expanding into a theme.

    To cite from a different kind of universe: "Tangle them down and drill them to death!".

    So, DE would only have ranged web as a ranged power, relying on melee against webbed (and thus helpless) or partially webbed (a penalty to defense, maybe even to counter-attack) for damage.

    Webbing should disable enemy units for 1-2 turns, typically leaving one ranged attack before the DE unit is in melee range.

    For the theme, almost all units should have a web power.
    That universal power needs to be balanced, either by making web one use per combat, by preventing a second web on an already webbed unit (even if it only has the lingering effect), or similar. I rather wouldn't give out a saving throw - if it works rarely, why give it at all, and if it works often, it shuts down the tactic and thus the theme.

    Even after the disabling effect is over, there should be a penalty of 2 to armor class, and a penalty of 2 to attack for a high-tier unit's web. Closing in an profiting from the AC penalty is the "drill them to death" part, and armor piercing would be topical especially for high-tier units.

    Even the Inquisitor's charm may play a similar role,again at a range: take control of one enemy unit for one turn (with a saving throw that means the Inquisitor should rather go for a low-tier unit), and make it attack the closest ranged unit (possibly damaging that unit, but especially preventing that unit from firing).

  4. #4
    When it comes to slave units, I think "Thralls" is a good choice. As for what their artwork should look like, here's a few ideas:







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  5. #5
    Abecedarian Mage
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    Yes to a conventional ranged unit. Crossbows would be nice.

  6. #6
    Developer Hoverdog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron View Post
    Web Site Diviner – This is the settler unit. It has to be renamed. (Sorry Cirno, it's very clever and witty, but it seriously doesn't fit the rest of your theme.) I'm open to suggestions.
    Hatcher, Developer, Settler, Founder

    Slave Unit – We've talked about this a lot. We need a unit that you have to spend slaves to make. You'll need some kind of slave building to make it and will be able to spend slaves to “buy” the unit quickly. Personally I like the idea of a magically altered creature covered in armor of some kind. (For one thing that will hide what “race” they are. So even though slaves may be elves, humans, dwarves, etc, all the slave units will look the same.) They should be melee fodder. Also, they need a good name.
    I like the model idea. Name: Battle Thrall?

    Web Warden – These are melee units that fight with magical life draining whips. The lore behind them is that they are overseers of the slave units. This idea is interesting, but I really feel it's a weak link in the chain. I'll explain more near the bottom of the post.
    life draining on an early game (as I understand) unit seems an overkill. I'd replace them with a crossbowmen unit too:

    Puncturer: (poisoned?) crossbows, short swords, light armor. Good long-range damage, weak in close combat: your typical shooter.


    Inquisitor – This is a melee and magic unit that focuses on stealth and charm magic. I think it should have very light armor and appropriate weapons. Duel scimitars and a hand crossbow (again poisoned) stand out in my mind. They won't be as good at melee as the Grey Elf Faradrax, but their charm spell will make them strategically interesting. We just have to careful not to make them too powerful for their tier. Of course, we can move them around a bit.
    Charm also seems an overkill, considering half the army already has Web. I'm not a fan of the name either.

    Warlock – These are male dark elf sorcerers who focus on a single school of magic. I would suggest Death or Fire, but I'm open to other ideas. I think they help flesh out the lore as well as the dark elves battlefield lineup.
    My MoM sense is tingling they should be upper-tier secondary to the spider-thingies.

    Weaver – Priestess unit. She can cast spells including Web and has the Wall Climb ability.
    cool.

    Reclusian Knight – This one may need to be renamed. It's a mutated priestess with additional “legs” (“arms”?) growing our of her back. They are a strong melee unit with a very high number of attacks that do lower damage. I think they should also be poisoned.
    Dark Widow?

  7. #7
    Battlemage
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    I think Cirno is looking this from DnDish perspective where females outrank males in magical power, skill and toughness. This why walocks are below priestesses. Lower tier units should probably be male.

    Honestly I feel the giant spider thing should not be top end unit. I'd restructure the list to:

    "Settler"
    Thrall
    "crossbowmen"
    Zealot <-- spiders can spin a web
    Inquisitor
    Armaghoma <-- armored wall crushing and/or climbing spider with web
    Warlock <-- powerful male mages but below priestesses
    Weaver <-- priestess that can cast web
    "Spider-arm-priestess" <-- way too cool to not be top tier and spins web

    I'm also a bit suspicious about charm part. Would that steal control of unit, pacify it, or merely inflict penalty? Even making it to break on attack sounds powerful. Maybe they could "brand" enemies instead. This could cause some damage and blind them. It would be powerful but not completely negate enemy unit.

    ---------- Post added at 05:38 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:25 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Hoverdog View Post
    Dark Widow?
    or maybe just Widow? I mean writing prose with "dark elf widow" sounds better than writing prose with "dark elf dark widow".

    Other spider/DE inspired names
    Recluse
    Spinner
    Latrodectus
    Aranea (though this is actually a monster)
    Bloodletter
    Voidraker
    Nightmare
    Disciple
    Soulcrawler
    Bloodcrawler
    Arachnomancer
    Stalker
    Lurker
    Baiter
    Sniper
    Raider
    Trapper
    Last edited by Beregar; 10-21-2013 at 03:59 PM. Reason: ahem.. below, not blow

  8. #8
    Battlemage Cirno9destiny's Avatar
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    Well my last post vanished becuase i miss-clicked a link. I'm really annoyed over that so, quick run down.

    I see new units have made it in: Inquisitor (hee hee) and Warlock (not sure about that)

    I see some units have made it out: Enforcer and Widow maker.


    As for renaming the settler and knight, call them Spinner and Cutter. That way we have a spinner, weaver and cutter for the strands/web of fate. Could easily make them a race very much into the concept of fate. Fits in with the spider theme quite well as well.

    Would spinners/religious units still be able to purify?

    Kinda like troys last image for a thrall/slave design (maybe call them Moirai to fit with the fate theme perhaps or something similar?)

    Web wardens are actually more of a buffing/debuffing unit than an actual fighter. You want them for thier effects, not thier damage. The healing whip was supposed to be used to offset thier squishyness as the race is supposed to be a "glass cannon" race. Also would gain a bonusto capturing slaves but I'm guessing that won't be happening.

    Armaghoma no longer a giant spider dressed up to look like a giant scorpion? :P I like the lore idea. Considering I first pitched this a 'syderpunk' themed race I was going to suggest that Dark Elves possessed/uploaded thier minds to the giant spiders, making the whole 'spider parts' thing the race has going on a similarity to cyberpunks machine parts thing. Also suprised that the name has made it this far...


    If we HAVE to have the Warlock i'd rather them be of the death school to fit the theme. BUT i'd rather not have an arcane caster unit and keep them a pure divine magic race. Of course It's kinda obvious that that option might be unpopular... also Aaron keeps suggesting warlocks so :P


    I think my final issue is that the race seems a tad bit...hmm... well i was trying to avoid some of the more common units concepts with the warden's whip and the Widow Maker's kick boxing. Now i'm going to assume the removal of Widow Makers and thier leap/pesudo-charge ability that offset the spider riders lack of charge is simply because kickboxing with bladed shoes will be hard to create an animation for. (Honestly i'd rather have widowmakers than zealots...)

    So in that case i'd like to suggest swapping the Inquisitor's melee focus for a large crossbow + dagger, making a 'sniper' unit instead. Flimsy up in close combat unless it uses its charm-spells but other wise a dangerous ranged combatant. I'm not too sue what charm spells are either if i'm honest. All I can think of is an ability that lowers my opponets attack one stage... stupid pokemon.

    also looking at some posts I'm wondering if I should link to the older Dark Elf threads... so people get a better idea on them.
    'Everything you wanted to know about Dark Elves that i'm allowed to post' - thread coming soon

  9. #9
    Battlemage
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    Also light armored mobile units that utilize poison is a good theme. More assassins. Less elf rangers. However please avoid the stripperific female "light armor" units trope which often happens with DEs or I will be very sad.

    Ediy: Also I'm neutral on warlocks. Priestesses can easily double as mages and priests. Actually might be interesting to have them primarily female only race where male role is non combatant (settlers) except for slave races.
    Last edited by Beregar; 10-21-2013 at 04:15 PM.

  10. #10
    However please avoid the stripperific female "light armor" units trope which often happens with DEs or I will be very sad.
    +1 to that.
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