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Thread: Loose The Locust Of War

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  1. #1

    Loose The Locust Of War

    Alright, up there among the ranks of unique races are the insectoids. There's a lot about their unique flavor to discuss, but I think we need to start with a unique name. Some of the really good ones are already taken: Klackon, Thri-Kreen, Bees. At least the names seem completely arbitrary. So, if we call them the “HamFu” they will eventually work their way into the fantasy culture and when a DM says “Out of the mist steps a HamFu warrior.” not everyone at the table will bust out laughing.

    Of course, what's in a name? Moving on to the “out of the box” flavor insectoids have: The BIG difference for me is the hive mind. Insects are like the Borg, what's good for the community is good for them. Instead of paying no taxes they give everything they don't eat to the hive. They work as long as they're awake and love it. If their death will further the hive they'll sacrifice themselves without hesitation. These creatures would do the math and if it was more efficient to loose more soldiers than to spend time making armor they would just loose the soldiers.

    In my mind all this makes their strengths fairly obvious. There is no unrest. They pay 100% taxes minus food. (The hive mind understands that other races love useless gold.) They have high production bonuses. They attack using wave after wave of their men. They have exoskeletons so their base armor class is good.

    On the other hand they give the other races the creeps. It's almost impossible to effectively bring other races into their hive. So, captured cities have extreme unrest issues. However, if they complete destroy enemy cities they generate even more negative feelings. All the races may decide to unite and destroy the Borg, I mean insectoid, menace before they resume killing each other.

    All in all I think it has a lot of flavor and I think more can be added.

    Thoughts?

  2. #2
    Moderator Asmodai's Avatar
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    I've been trying to figure out a way to suggest an insectiod faction to pay homage to the Klackon in MoM. Someone else suggested Formian since we're using D20 SRD and I really liked that idea but other then repeating the name in support I've been unable to think of a specific way to give that faction "flavor". I think limiting myself to Formians however has been a hindrance and opening it up to anything insect makes a lot of sense. Still however I've been leaning against them as a player faction because they are so different. Instead what I was thinking is that they are a possible 'event' or sorts. In other words there is a change that a Insectoid (working name, no idea what to actually call them) hive is generated on the map. It's like a neutral city but it cannot be captured. It grows and expands it's borders and even founds new hives just like cities but as you say it's a hive mind but unlike the borg it can't assimilate (how does an elf join an insect hive mind?) so it doesn't "capture" cities. It's not aggressive or evil per se, not trying to take over the world, but it IS territorial and with it's constant growth that eventually puts it in conflict with neutral cities and other factions. Again they don't capture cities so if their border grows to hit yours they'll just go and try to wipe you out to continue their expansion. There are no treaties, no diplomacy, no trade agreements. If they are found and eliminated early (though they may not even be in every game) they may be no big deal but if they are allowed to survive for too long and grow too big they become a threat to EVERY faction (much like the borg).

  3. #3
    Asmodai: True, that could make sense. But you and I both know that such an event would only make people more eager to play said faction.

    Now considering the Locusts (The Hive? The Exos Commune? The Winged Horde?), one thing we should keep in mind is how similar they are to the other races, not just how cool they are individually. Every starting faction should put something new on the table (DLC or expansions? I think overlap would be okay in that case). The problem in my mind is that the Locusts seem to be very similar to the Undead. Locust units are cheap and rely more on mass tactics, which is the vibe I get from the Undead. Neither Locusts nor Undead civilizations have use for Gold. Both races "give the other races the creeps." Both are, in a sense, a hive mind. So in thinking up the Locust faction, we have two real challenges: Make sure that they are different from the Undead, and make sure that they offer something really unique among the five starting factions. (A small note in Locust's favor: If the Undead don't use mass wave tactics, then the Locusts would be very unique in that regard.)

    At the moment, I have no thoughts on how to add flavor to them. I'll have to think about them for a bit and come back with some ideas.

  4. #4
    Iron Kaiser, you make a good point. I think there's enough space between the insects and the undead to create flavor, but it may not be enough of a gap to be fifth race worthy.

    Asmodai, that's an interesting idea. We might have an event that fires off a "primitive" version of the insectoid race. They can have some sort of cap to distinguish them from the playable faction, but they will start off as an "independent empire" like we talked about in that other post.

    Once again, this race may get put on the DLC shelf.

  5. #5
    Moderator Asmodai's Avatar
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    I really like the idea of an insect based race at the high level... I'm just not super sure about an approach I like at the low level. I definitely want to see one EVENTUALLY in the game but I'm very comfortable with it being a DLC add-on later.

  6. #6
    Mage of the Lesser Tower Rybon's Avatar
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    How about using the using the Robert Fiest model from the Magician Series of Books. That makes them usuable by other races and gives them the ability to be their own race.

  7. #7
    I haven't read those. Can you give us the run down?

  8. #8
    Acolyte
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    I think there are plenty of options to make an insect-based race viable and unique.

    Just look at the sheer number of insects in the world, most of them can easily be converted into a human-sized counterpart with a fear-inducing name.

    For good measure and ease of use you can just include arachnids and other forms of invertebrates, as long as you stay away from the reptiles, they should have a race of their own(maybe not apart from draconians though)

  9. #9
    There is a lot we can pull from with Insectoids.

    The general lean has been to keep the Draconians separate from any other reptilian races. The jury is still out however, lol.

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    Moderator Asmodai's Avatar
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    TormentoR, I don't think this issue is with finding different insects to base the units off. The thing with WoM is they want the different factions to actually work differently (what Aaron refers to as "flavor") so while it would be easy enough to make an army list of insect based units and have them work just like everyone else (essentially what MoM did with the Klackon) Aaron is looking for an interesting new mechanic in how the faction functions so they add something more... "flavorful". All this talk of flavor and insects makes me want to go out and buy some chocolate covered ants, rofl.

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