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Should Norseband retain an astral dungeon?
Yes 60%  60%  [ 3 ]
No 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
I'm not sure 40%  40%  [ 2 ]
Total votes : 5
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2006 10:48 pm 
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Uruivellas

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I'm unsure about keeping the astral dungeon in Norseband, for several reasons. First, the game will include more than one religion; sending all ghosts to the same afterlife seems wrong. Second, I plan to save Eljudnir (the hall of Hel) for the endgame; players who've already beaten the five normal-win bosses will need to pass through Eljudnir to reach the lair of Nidhogg (the ultimate-ending boss). Third, I couldn't imagine a soul wanting to escape from other possible worlds (Valhalla, Purgatory or what-have-you).

In spite of those problems, I can certainly understand that veteran players enjoy playing in a special "challenge dungeon"--someplace whose rewards are worth the risk of near-instant death, at least in the beginning. If any of you can suggest a more suitable name for the astral dungeon and a solid "in-character" reason for its existence, I will reconsider dropping it from Norseband.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2006 1:01 am 
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Uruivellas

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I opted for not sure.

I like the concept of it, and there's no reason in 3.0 (or in 2.3.x if you didn't mind doing some rather messy lua hacking) that you can't send the different character types to different dungeons if you want.

Of course, that depends on whether it's practical to implement, and if you're using the dungeons later, it might be best not to put them in.

"Go not to the elves..."


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2006 1:22 am 
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Uruivellas

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Falconis wrote:
I opted for not sure.

I like the concept of it, and there's no reason in 3.0 (or in 2.3.x if you didn't mind doing some rather messy lua hacking) that you can't send the different character types to different dungeons if you want.

Of course, that depends on whether it's practical to implement, and if you're using the dungeons later, it might be best not to put them in.



I've actually thought of adding a "Limbo" astral dungeon to my next T-Plus release; Banished Angels (and Lost Souls of a non-Tolkienian race) would start there, instead of in the Halls of Mandos. Their exit point on the surface would depend on race:


* Angels would exit to Ambarannon, the town on the Hidden Hallows island.

* Northmen would exit near the entrance to the Northern Reaches dungeon.

* Other non-Tolkienian races would exit to the usual spot in the wilderness.


With those rules in mind, what would that "messy Lua hacking" look like? Sounds like something I could use in my other mod, at least. 8)

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2006 11:14 am 
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Uruivellas

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Well, thinking about it now, it shouldn't really be too hard. (And not all that messy).

I guess the best way would be set up a function with HOOK_STAIR, so that when the player got to level one, and left it, then the player.wilderness_x and player.wilderness_y coordinates were changed according to where you wanted them to go. This should suffice for getting the different races to the different locations.

Now that I remember: If you want to alter the dungeon characteristics for various races, that's possible too. Just look at the god quests (god.lua) to see how.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2006 9:15 pm 
Just to voice the philosophical standpoint: How does adherence to a particular religion define what afterlife you will experienve? Either there IS an afterlife, or there is not. It's like with laws of physics - what you believe just doesn't change the facts. So just decide what suits you best; after all, who's to say the gods are always telling you the truth? :D Really, Escape from Hel's Realm isn't that bad, it would suit Norseband pretty well.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2006 10:09 pm 
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Sher'Tul

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just to voice a philosophical counterpoint: what's to say that adherents of different religions don't end up in different afterlives? for that matter, most religions claim a basic form of this: the claim that "people who believe what we believe will end up in heaven, and those people believing in those other, wrong religions end up in hell". this isn't that much different.
there are probably real-world examples of it taken to a greater extent, but i can't quote any of them, so to continue examples, i'm switching to fictional religions (not a problem, as norseband itself is a work of fiction). in the default D&D cosmology, for example, different people end up on different "planes" of existance after death, such as bytopia, or the abyss, or mechanus, depending, in large part, on what religion they followed while alive. technically, those are sects within a single polytheistic religion, as each acknowledges the other gods as existing, but simply favors its own over those others. but a simple change in dogma, having each god and his cronies actively denying each others' existance (note that this doesn't change the fact that, within that cosmology, the denied gods do still, in fact, exist), and they suddenly become seperate religions, with the proponents of each having an afterlife differing in nature and venue from those of the proponents of other religions.

in summary, just because a religion happens to be right about what happens to them when they die, does not automatically mean that they'r right about every other religion being a total scam. therefore, should 2 such religions both be right about what happens to themselves after death, while lacking comperable accuracy both regarding each others' validity, and regarding what happens to non-members of their religion after death, then you could very easily end up with the situation suggested above for norseband, with both halls/mandos-proxies, according to the occupant's beliefs. either there is such thing as an apple, or there is not, but i'v got 2 in my kitchen right now, and neither's existance precludes the other.


ps: i also take offence at your usage of the terminology "*the* philosophical standpoint", as it explicitly precludes the validity of any view other than your own. that's how holy wars get started.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2006 12:36 am 
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Uruivellas

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Norseband is indeed a work of fiction, although it is based on the myths and folklore of several real cultures. That implies using playable versions of historical religions; anything less weakens the "look and feel" of my chosen theme. However, since Norseband ISN'T a tool for converting players in real life, I am assuming three rules:

1. Every god (or other spirit) whom I can include in the game is equally real. Hard-coded limits still restrict my maximum; furthermore, I would not want to overwhelm the player with dozens of choices.

2. The gods (and other spirits) of any given culture are independent beings in their own right; some faiths may teach otherwise, but don't know or care that they might be wrong. Without this assumption, I'd be seeing the gameworld in black and white--all the good guys would have to agree with the same religion, and all the bad guys would have to oppose it. Since I want Norseband's storylines to feel more like a saga than a morality play, I shouldn't have such clear-cut divisions.

3. Every faith is right about the fate of its own followers in the afterlife; this does sound AD&D-like, but also reflects the open-minded attitude which real Norsemen had towards outside religions.

How does this affect gameplay? It probably means I'll need two astral dungeons, at least: Lost Souls who had followed the Church would end up in Limbo (not evil enough for Hell, but not faithful enough for Purgatory either). Choosing a location for Norse astral characters, however, is harder: the only soul to escape from Hel is Baldr's, and that happens after Ragnarok. On the other hand, the story of Baldr's death also says that a journey between Hel and the living world takes several days; a Nordic astral dungeon could be described as "The Road to Hel" or simply "Between the Worlds".

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2006 1:26 pm 
Ok, you want to do the D&D-style, which means a definitive state of afterlife is out. Fine with me, so, how about that: Every god creates his own "paradise island" thing in the Aethereal Realm (or the "Whirling Nether" or "She'ol" or whatever you think sounds best), but there has to be some time of transition, namely something like the road to Hel. You could simply rule that there IS a sort of limbo state when souls get sorted by faith and transported off to wherever on the inner planes they are supposed to be. In case of the player character something got screwed up major, the astral currents blew him off to nowhere and he has to make his way back to Midgard and fulfill his destiny. That's as LOST a soul as I can imagine right now. You're right with what you said in your first post, after all: Why would you WANT to leave from Walhalla or Paradise (and why call being in heaven "lost"?)
Of course this is just a basic outline, but since you're mixing up cosmologies anyway this wouldn't even rule anything else out - AND it would save you a whole lot of work. The astral dungeon is just a gameplay gimmick anyway; better one thing fully realized than a lot of half-assed approaches. You could always add additional astral dungeons in later versions if it works out well.
I wonder what you will do about atheists, though. Will only the followers of gods get an afterlife?

@Logrus: By Occams Razor and classical logics the simplest hypothesis is that there is afterlife (something "after life"), meaning that something outlasts death and that this "something" is governed by laws just like life is. Saying that there are gods, that the gods create the afterlife, that every god creates his own afterlife, that souls get to/don't get to choose their afterlife, that consciousness and soul are the same, that afterlife is in fact a PLACE, all that would needlessly complicate it and mean a whole lot of assumptions that are not directly falsifiable, so I stuck with the theory most close to baseline. Philosophic methodology and religious dogma are not one and the same, and D&D cosmology isn't all that coherent anyway.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2006 5:10 pm 
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Uruivellas

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Guest wrote:
Ok, you want to do the D&D-style, which means a definitive state of afterlife is out. Fine with me, so, how about that: Every god creates his own "paradise island" thing in the Aethereal Realm (or the "Whirling Nether" or "She'ol" or whatever you think sounds best), but there has to be some time of transition, namely something like the road to Hel. You could simply rule that there IS a sort of limbo state when souls get sorted by faith and transported off to wherever on the inner planes they are supposed to be. In case of the player character something got screwed up major, the astral currents blew him off to nowhere and he has to make his way back to Midgard and fulfill his destiny. That's as LOST a soul as I can imagine right now.


You've made a darn good point in favor of some intermediate sorting place: even looking at gameplay alone, a 99-level maze which allows hiding in walls would make "losing" a soul pretty darn easy. The neutral "Between the Worlds" name would describe the spiritual middle of nowhere accurately enough, too. :)

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2006 6:56 pm 
Especially a 99-level maze that changes completely everytime you go up or down some stairs... Heh.
Well, very glad to have been of help to you. I had quite some fun with T-Plus and I'm looking forward to Norseband, so anything to make it come up faster ^^

BTW, "The Whirling Nether" is a term from the Warcraft universe. I don't know whether you intend to use it, but if you do you might care to look up some information on copyright issues first.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2006 7:32 pm 
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Uruivellas

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Guest wrote:
Especially a 99-level maze that changes completely everytime you go up or down some stairs... Heh.
Well, very glad to have been of help to you. I had quite some fun with T-Plus and I'm looking forward to Norseband, so anything to make it come up faster ^^


The Fury and I are working together as fast and as well as we can: our release will be a freestanding variant forked off FuryBand. (Don't worry, ToME 3 coders: once your program moves beyond beta status, I'm developing a NorseMod for that program too... :wink:


Guest wrote:
BTW, "The Whirling Nether" is a term from the Warcraft universe. I don't know whether you intend to use it, but if you do you might care to look up some information on copyright issues first.


I am unfamiliar with Warcraft, so I would not use terms specific to that setting. For that matter, I would never knowingly add parts of ANY copyrighted setting to Norseband. (Thank goodness the Eddas and sagas are old enough to be public-domain texts!) If I do violate copyright laws by mistake, the holder is free to e-mail me about it.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2006 11:39 pm 
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Sher'Tul

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Guest wrote:
@Logrus: By Occams Razor and classical logics the simplest hypothesis is that there is afterlife (something "after life"), meaning that something outlasts death and that this "something" is governed by laws just like life is. Saying that there are gods, that the gods create the afterlife, that every god creates his own afterlife, that souls get to/don't get to choose their afterlife, that consciousness and soul are the same, that afterlife is in fact a PLACE, all that would needlessly complicate it and mean a whole lot of assumptions that are not directly falsifiable, so I stuck with the theory most close to baseline. Philosophic methodology and religious dogma are not one and the same, and D&D cosmology isn't all that coherent anyway.


you seem to misunderstand mr Occam. Occam's Razor does *not* state that the simplist hypothesis, of those consistant with available data, is the accurate one, only that it is the preferable one; ie that so long as it continues to hold consistant with all available data, it remains the best hypothesis on which to base ones actions and decisions. occam's razor is not about the accuracy of the *model*, it is about definition of a desirable trait of a decision-making method, based on the interaction of *probability* of accuracy, and degree of resources consumed by the decision-making method in question.

anyway, occam's razor states "the SIMPLEST hypothesis", not "your hypothesis, so long as its simpler than that of your debate opponent". the simplist available hypothesis for the afterlife component of a cosmology, at least regarding the real world, is that there is not an afterlife at all, as any afterlife is, by its nature, an instance of increased complexity in the model, relative to a model in which a human's self simply ceases existance at death.

not that any of this matters for the situation at hand. this isn't about what the accurate cosmology is for the real world, it's about selecting a cosmology for a fictional world, a world where whatever ISNorden decides will inherently become the accurate cosmology. and if we go with the simplest possible cosmology of those which Ms Norden has the option of choosing, we'd be sticking to the Empty Universe model widely used in physics though experiments, which i personally think would make for a pretty boring game.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2006 12:08 am 
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Uruivellas

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LogrusMage wrote:
Not that any of this matters for the situation at hand. This isn't about what the accurate cosmology is for the real world, it's about selecting a cosmology for a fictional world, a world where whatever ISNorden decides will inherently become the accurate cosmology. And if we go with the simplest possible cosmology of those which Ms Norden has the option of choosing, we'd be sticking to the Empty Universe model widely used in physics though experiments, which i personally think would make for a pretty boring game.


You took the words right out of my mouth ^H^H^H^H^H fingers, LogrusMage. Norseband is a game, not a tutorial in philosophy or comparative religion. Like most adventure games, Norseband needs to follow rules; sooner or later, some players want an in-character explanation for those rules. Since I'm allowing multiple religions, and since I'm not designating any of them as the One True Way, I needed a suitable explanation for game mechanics like the astral dungeon. Thankfully, our "guest" helped me find one... :D

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2006 12:09 pm 
Quote:
Occam's Razor does *not* state that the simplist hypothesis, of those consistant with available data, is the accurate one, only that it is the preferable one; ie that so long as it continues to hold consistant with all available data, it remains the best hypothesis on which to base ones actions and decisions.

Yep, that's just what I said. The least possible number of hypothetical assertions.

@Ingeborg: I'd like to know whether you already have some design ideas in mind with regards to your Middle of Nowhere. I'd suppose to be "feely" it would have to be a little more chaotic and spacious than the god-made Halls of Mandos, y'know, more rugged around the edges. Maybe you could involve a comparatively high number of nether tiles, just for looks at least. It would make for a nice representation of the "chaotic matter" from which the dungeon is composed if you randomly dotted it into the dungeon walls. The possible experience drain would also make the use of wall-traveling a bit more hazardous, without being too extreme.

Actually, now that I think of it, you could make it a nice thematic touch. I don't know if this is possible to do, but if you could hard-code a kind of "hole" into the middle of each level, with the bottom being on level 99, you'd even have an explanation how you managed to get at the very bottom of an impossibly dangerous and completely random dungeon. The soul currents blew you down that cave opening in the astral realm, and there you are, right down at the roots of Axis Mundi.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2006 4:57 pm 
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Uruivellas

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Since Norseband is based on ToME 2.3.*, somebody would need to rewrite parts of the dungeon-creation source code to guarantee "holes" in the middle of a level. Adding some damaging walls would be a good thematic touch, but it would also kill most 1st level characters (who often end up hiding in a wall just to survive). Otherwise, I agree with your ideas for designing "Between the Worlds": I see it as dark like the Maze, with huge areas like Erebor, and with randomly shifting walls/spaces like the Heart of the Earth. (Those shifts, in themselves, could justify a Lost Soul dropping to the bottom: "There I was, trying to find a way out, when the floor went out from under me"... :shock: )

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