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Loxbourne
Apr 6, 2011

Tomorrow, doom!
But now, tea.

I fear the fundamental problem here is that the reader is asked to be sympathetic to a bunch of arseholes who raid villages.

At least Cryx in Warmachine did more than just horrifically kill coastal villagers (although they did an eyerolling amount of that).

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Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.


Loxbourne posted:

I fear the fundamental problem here is that the reader is asked to be sympathetic to a bunch of arseholes who raid villages.

At least Cryx in Warmachine did more than just horrifically kill coastal villagers (although they did an eyerolling amount of that).

And who steal parts of the essence of those people to save their children (which you might understand) who they then enslave and use as fodder because they resent them being developmentally less 'able' and feel they're impure because they needed to be healed with pieces of 'lessers'.

wiegieman
Apr 22, 2010

Royalty is a continuous cutting motion




Here's how to think about the Harlequins: Cegorach used to be the Eldar devil, until Slaanesh came along. He is mad as hell that someone stole his act and is engineering the creation of an entirely new god just for revenge.

Froghammer
Sep 8, 2012





Everyone posted:

So, basically, the long-lived leaders are being stupidly, selfishly short-sighted. Par for the course for Aelves.
This is an attitude it's easy to have when you aren't staring dying children in the face.

I think, moreso than any other faction in AoS, the Idoneth are absolutely not a monolith, and cultures and attitudes regarding the work they do will vary greatly plane to plane, kingdom to kingdom, or aelf to aelf. Opinions run the gamut from day job to grim responsibility to burden to sport. Some city-states have the luxury of being able to pick and choose which targets to go after, some don't. After all, human live like what, 70 years? 80 tops? Aelven lifespans can go millennia. All the surface races are basically mayflies anyway, right? Who cares whether it's humans or orruks?

War is the default for Idoneth society. They need it just as much as food and oxygen. Treaties and truces with them are always temporary, because once they have no other opportunities to get their pillage on, by definition they must turn on their allies. Honestly I put them in the same category as the Vidiians from Voyager; they're an antagonist faction whose motives are understandable without necessarily being sympathetic.

Froghammer fucked around with this message at 01:03 on Mar 12, 2021

OvermanXAN
Nov 14, 2014


Loxbourne posted:

At least Cryx in Warmachine did more than just horrifically kill coastal villagers (although they did an eyerolling amount of that).

Cryx also aren't intended to be in any way sympathetic, except insofar as portions of their troops essentially victims pulled into a cycle of abuse.

Everyone
Sep 6, 2019


Froghammer posted:

This is an attitude it's easy to have when you aren't staring dying children in the face.

I think, moreso than any other faction in AoS, the Idoneth are absolutely not a monolith, and cultures and attitudes regarding the work they do will vary greatly plane to plane, kingdom to kingdom, or aelf to aelf. Opinions run the gamut from day job to grim responsibility to burden to sport. Some city-states have the luxury of being able to pick and choose which targets to go after, some don't. After all, human live like what, 70 years? 80 tops? Aelven lifespans can go millennia. All the surface races are basically mayflies anyway, right? Who cares whether it's humans or orruks?

War is the default for Idoneth society. They need it just as much as food and oxygen. Treaties and truces with them are always temporary, because once they have no other opportunities to get their pillage on, by definition they must turn on their allies. Honestly I put them in the same category as the Vidiians from Voyager; they're an antagonist faction whose motives are understandable without necessarily being sympathetic.

I might have a modicum of greater sympathy if they weren't staring the dying children in the face to say "You there, lesser creatures that somehow sprang from my loins, snap to it! Those seashells aren't going to stack themselves in a way that's aesthetically pleasing to me."

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.


I suspect a lot of the 'we're going to write elves, but they're assholes, just hideous, awful assholes (who are still incredible at everything, but don't worry, they're also loving idiots)' comes out of the fear that otherwise they'll be taken as mary sues, but it gets kinda tiresome in the other direction.

Froghammer
Sep 8, 2012





Everyone posted:

I might have a modicum of greater sympathy if they weren't staring the dying children in the face to say "You there, lesser creatures that somehow sprang from my loins, snap to it! Those seashells aren't going to stack themselves in a way that's aesthetically pleasing to me."
What part of "they're not supposed to be sympathetic" are you failing to understand here

Proud Rat Mom
Apr 2, 2012

did absolutely fuck all

IDK sounds cool to me, seems a bit more intresting then elves, but dark

Proud Rat Mom fucked around with this message at 03:23 on Mar 12, 2021

MonsterEnvy
Feb 4, 2012

Truly Cursed


Should also note that Namarti can just as easily give birth to a full souled Idoneth as a full souled can. So while the Full Souled Idoneth look down on the Namarti they know they are needed to continue their species.

Also yes the Idoneth are probably the least monolithic of the Factions.

Benagain
Oct 10, 2007

Can you see that I am serious?


Fun Shoe

The other point to be made is that the namathi thing explicitly isn't heriditary. There's a 1 percent chance for any child to be high caste so more baby making is always better from their perspective.

Edit beaten

The Lone Badger
Sep 24, 2007



Though I bet there are a few fullsouled who are extremely proud of their unbroken fullsouled heritage and think it means something.
ok maybe broken a couple of times but we murdered everyone who knew about that so it doesn't count

Robindaybird
Aug 21, 2007

Neat. Sweet. Petite.



Night10194 posted:

I suspect a lot of the 'we're going to write elves, but they're assholes, just hideous, awful assholes (who are still incredible at everything, but don't worry, they're also loving idiots)' comes out of the fear that otherwise they'll be taken as mary sues, but it gets kinda tiresome in the other direction.

it does make a strong argument for anyone making a fantasy setting not to have any kind of elf because they inevitably end up as too awfully perfect, or too perfectly awful as no one can quite make the right balance.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.


Spire did elves fine!

Pakxos
Mar 21, 2020


Froghammer posted:

Yes. The Idoneth are elves aelves at the end of the day, and that always comes with smugness. The Namarti are a burden to the Idoneth's leadership; a perpetual cause for constant raids and endless wars. It's really, really hard to forge lasting peace treaties with nominal allies when you need a steady stream of souls in order to make sure the goddamn peasants don't keep dying in droves. That causes quite a bit of resentment between the working class and the upper crust.

Their models are really, really pretty and cool and fun to paint.

Plus, eels. Who doesn't like eels?

Agree in part - aesthetics and model design-wise they are off the chain. But there is some serious tonal whiplash in the lore which is really throwing me. I'll hold off until Mors finishes his write-up. Maybe I'll be convinced to buy in.

Ghost Leviathan
Mar 2, 2017

Exploration is ill-advised.


Idoneth are like, the one thing from AoS that got my interested, both because I'm way too into anything aquatic and they ride sharks and giant tentacle seahorses and would not be out of place with half the life from Subnautica, but also because they're kinda metal as gently caress.

Just Dan Again
Dec 16, 2012

Adventure!


I think the Idoneth are aesthetically really cool, but the fact that they need to steal souls en masse just to exist is deeply off-putting. The Idoneth didn't need to be written that way to be unique and fishy, and GW could absolutely have come up with another reason that they need to raid surface civilizations to survive. The way they've written them isn't indefensible or anything, and could make for some interesting stories in the future, I just wouldn't have done it that way.

JcDent
May 13, 2013

Give me a rifle, one round, and point me at Berlin!


I for one enjoy eels and sharks floating over land about as much as I enjoy kharadron sky boats always flying arms reach of game armies that are all melee ground.

Then again, GW had always been terrible with flyers, and [insert rant about flyers on the table in 28mm games ft. Space Marines shouldn't have anything outside of Thunderhawks] why I should be given the governance of Wales.

Loving the Buck Rodgers poo poo, wish it got a treatment with a good (lol) modern system.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
Walls of Text
#1 Builder
2014-2018



Age of Sigmar: Idoneth Deepkin
Creatures from the Black Lagoon

Idoneth warfare is built around ambush, guerrilla tactics and swift movement. They come in fast, hit hard and get out in an effort to maximize damage while minimizing their own risk. They are never out of their element because they carry the sea with them in the form of their ethersea magic. On land, it calls forth the mists of the ocean, allowing creatures of the deep to exist in the air, while underwater it makes the liquid shimmer and fog, allowing creatures of land to breathe freely. It is hard to spot at first, appearing as tricks of the light while the mist starts to form, but quickly overtakes the landscape with shadows of sea beasts, shoals of fish and phantom shipwrecks. Many foes have no idea how to handle what they're seeing, which only helps the Idoneth take them off guard.

The attack comes quickly once the ethersea forms, with eyeless Namarti skirmishers heading out to harry foes. While they have flesh covering their eye sockets, they fight as if they could see, either with bows or twin blades. The Akhelians charge in on the second wave, riding powerful monsters from the deep ocean. They cover the retreat of the Namarti and get dug into heavy combat, then pull back for another charge. All throughout, the Isharann mages call up ethereal sea monsters and waves of water to support them, turning the ethersea into an even greater weapon or harvesting the souls of dead foes. At last, in the greatest battles, the Eidolons of Mathlann emerge, raging incarnations of the deep that command waves and tide as their weapon. Once they have achieved their aim, they fall back quickly, vanishing as fast as they arrived.

While the Idoneth rely heavily on the use of sea monsters and animals, they originally had a lot of trouble taming them. A few Ochtar and Deepmares cooperated with some lucky aelves, but most of the beasts proved entirely impossible to tame and befriend, or were too unpredictable to trust even if they could theoretically be trained. To solve this problem, the Isharann developed a new subschool of their magic, practiced by a group called the Embailors. Rather than try to befriend and tame the wild sea beasts, the Embailors used magic to infiltrate their minds and break their wills, allowing any Akhelian to ride them rather than relying on a need to bond with and master the beast. It's a long process, often involving distasteful rituals and with risks of horrific violence if done incorrectly, though. To work properly, the Embailors found they had to blind the monsters - an acceptable sacrifice, given the darkness in which they lived and the power of their other senses. Now, all Idoneth warbeasts are blinded before they are used.

This solution has allowed the Embailors to find uses for a number of animals that would otherwise be too stupid or dangerous to tame. When light is needed, they rely on the glowing luminar fish, they use rock-eating druilfish to aid the Namarti miners, they fire their forges with the molten discharges of the fuiadons. And, of course, they produce the animals needed for the Akhelian cavalry. The most common are the blood-crazed Allopexes that tear holes in the enemy and aggressive Fangmora Eels, which swiftly swim across the field to attack. The Embailors are constantly seeking new kinds of fish that will prove useful in some way, too.

The book goes over the division of Akhelians and Isharann but I've done that before, so...of note, despite massive amounts of research, the Idoneth can find absolutely nothing that influences the odds of a child being born Namarti or not. It's not hereditary at all - every Idoneth has exactly the same odds of having a Namarti, Akhelian or Isharann child. They tend to find little use in the concept of lineage or bloodline, thanks to that. We also get a few more kinds of Isharann named - on top of Tidecasters, Soulscryers, Soulrenders and Embailors, other fanes include the Tru'heas who specialize in healing magic and the Chorralus who build living coral structures.

Idoneth armies are known as phalanxes. Each phalanx has three main components - the triumvirate of leadership, the Soul Warden, and the main body of troops. The leadership triumvirate is also called the royal council, because it's made of an Akhelian King as well as a Tidecaster and Soulscryer. They command the phalanx, and while the King is often in charge, they aren't always - the enclave and specific mission will determine who has the highest command rank in any given situation. When it comes to actual combat, though, the Akhelian King has final say in the field.

The Soul Warden exists outside the main command structure, because their job is to handle the phalanx's logistical needs and strategic planning. They take no part in actual combat. They serve as the main liaison with the enclave and especially the Incubati who care for the withering souls of the Namarti. Soul Wardens are tasked with counting the souls gathered in a raid and determining if any Namarti are close to soul-withering and need immediate care by using their trained soul-sight. They report to the triumvirate about how many souls will be needed and how soon.

The vast majority of the phalanx is line troops. These are further divided into the Akhelian and Namarti battalions. At full strength, a phalanx usually has three of each battalion, with the first being the most experienced and the third the least. Few phalanxes actually operate at full strength, though - losses in combat against sea monsters or raid targets is common, and most phalanxes are down one or two battalions at any given time. Even at full strength they rarely use their full numbers, with about half of a phalanx left in reserve for emergency defense most times.

Each Akhelian battalion is usually made of three groups of Akhelian Guard and a Leviadon. They are highly trained and must pass grueling tests before they're allowed out of their training academies, and because lineage is so unimportant, promotion is almost entirely a matter of luck and proven success in the field. Each one hopes, eventually, to be crowned as a king or queen. The Akhelian battalions are much smaller than the Namarti ones - a unit of Akhelian Guard might have up to six Fangmora riders, but the average Namarti Thrall formation has upwards of thirty soldiers. While all Akhelian go into military service, only the most athletic and physically skilled Namarti do. Most Namarti become laborers in service to the Isharann fanes in the enclaves. Also of note: all Namarti soldiers are volunteers. Namarti are never conscripted for combat - but there's always volunteers, because the Namarti know their lives depend entirely on the retrieval of souls, and they often want to be part of that.

Next time: The Enclaves

Froghammer
Sep 8, 2012





Yeah, if we haven't mentioned it before, the re-ensouling process takes their eyes

Real shocker why rear end in a top hat elves treat them as second-class citizens

By popular demand
Jul 17, 2007

IT *BZZT* WASP ME--
IT WASP ME ALL *BZZT* ALONG!




We can only guess that they are well aware of just how awful and xenophobic elves are in any setting and accept the life of servitude as the lesser evil.

MonsterEnvy
Feb 4, 2012

Truly Cursed


What they look like.



Also the Higher Ranks have total control over Witch Namarti have longer lives or not. Idoneth as a whole have short lives by aelven standards. A full souled Idoneth will normally be lucky to live past 200 years, but Namarti average around 40 after they are given their first soul transfusion. Most Namarti will also never get another Soul Transfusion unless they impress the higher ups in some way which can lengthen their lives.

MonsterEnvy fucked around with this message at 19:09 on Mar 12, 2021

Froghammer
Sep 8, 2012





All of this is just making me want to run Soulbound and have the PCs run around an Idoneth society while pointing out how lovely and regressive they are despite their posturing and "woe is me we have to steal souls" schtick

megane
Jun 20, 2008





Froghammer posted:

All of this is just making me want to run Soulbound and have the PCs run around an Idoneth society while pointing out how lovely and regressive they are despite their posturing and "woe is me we have to steal souls" schtick

I'm going to refer to all these wacky elf subtypes as "schtick elves" from now on

By popular demand
Jul 17, 2007

IT *BZZT* WASP ME--
IT WASP ME ALL *BZZT* ALONG!




Which RPG does "Elves as a civilization are xenophobic and inflexible and that is why their empire crumbles regardless of whether they understand it" best?
Spire seemed pretty good at a glance but I never got to play it.
Warham could be used but it'd need work.

Epicurius
Apr 10, 2010


College Slice

By popular demand posted:

Which RPG does "Elves as a civilization are xenophobic and inflexible and that is why their empire crumbles regardless of whether they understand it" best?
Spire seemed pretty good at a glance but I never got to play it.
Warham could be used but it'd need work.

D&D's Dragonlance setting did that. The Silvanesti, who were the extremely xenophobic and inflexible elven state, fell apart because they were so xenophobic and inflexible that when the dragonarmies invaded, they didn't bother to tell anybody, with the king instead using this magical artifact that he had no idea how to control, turning the entire place into this horrific realm of nightmares.

Froghammer
Sep 8, 2012





Also, why aren't there rules for Namarti in Soulbound? Being born without a soul because your god hosed up, having to have a bunch of souls duct taped together get shoved into your body in a way so violent that it takes your eyes, then having to live as a second-class citizen / serf because the culture that raised you resents all the trouble they have to go through to get you your K-Mart soul sounds amazing and I want to roleplay it.

"Yeah, I'll sign up to be a black ops Chaos-fighting super soldier that's cursed to die a violent death. Please. Right now. Anything to get me out of this goddamn culture"

Froghammer fucked around with this message at 21:54 on Mar 12, 2021

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
Walls of Text
#1 Builder
2014-2018



Froghammer posted:

Also, why aren't there rules for Namarti in Soulbound? Being born without a soul because your god hosed up, having to have a bunch of souls duct taped together get shoved into your body in a way so violent that it takes your eyes, then having to live as a second-class citizen / serf because the culture that raised you resents all the trouble they have to go through to get you your K-Mart soul sounds amazing and I want to roleplay it.

"Yeah, I'll sign up to be a black ops Chaos-fighting super soldier that's cursed to die a violent death. Please. Right now. Anything to get me out of this goddamn culture"

Largely? No Namarti hero units to base it on.

e: it'd be pretty easy to figure out how to do as a custom archetype, tho, if you knew what you wanted to do as your mechanical schtick.

PurpleXVI
Oct 30, 2011

Spewing insults, pissing off all your neighbors, betraying your allies, backing out of treaties and accords, and generally screwing over the global environment?
ALL PART OF MY BRILLIANT STRATEGY!


By popular demand posted:

Which RPG does "Elves as a civilization are xenophobic and inflexible and that is why their empire crumbles regardless of whether they understand it" best?

Birthright elves have a helping of that, they've got some decent reasons for hating humans, but they got their asses handed to them(for a number of reasons including their being such a bunch of arrogant pricks that they can't even be clerics because they're literally too busy worshipping their own civilization's "perfection" to be divine conduits for a god's power) and now they're stuck between either embracing the way other species do some things better or buddying up to Elf Hitler(which worked great for them last time, by which I mean they're still reeling from their own xenophobia dragging them into a near end-of-the-world scenario on satan's side).

Everyone
Sep 6, 2019


PurpleXVI posted:

Birthright elves have a helping of that, they've got some decent reasons for hating humans, but they got their asses handed to them(for a number of reasons including their being such a bunch of arrogant pricks that they can't even be clerics because they're literally too busy worshipping their own civilization's "perfection" to be divine conduits for a god's power) and now they're stuck between either embracing the way other species do some things better or buddying up to Elf Hitler(which worked great for them last time, by which I mean they're still reeling from their own xenophobia dragging them into a near end-of-the-world scenario on satan's side).

The only things I remember all that clearly about Birthright was that there was some weird Highlander-style thing where if ruling folks killed each other they got some kind of bennie. And in one of the novels, a lady fucks a minotaur. Like, hardcore, "onscreen" fucks a minotaur.

The Chad Jihad
Feb 24, 2007




I remember the Birthright strategy layer being really weird

Everyone
Sep 6, 2019


The Chad Jihad posted:

I remember the Birthright strategy layer being really weird

But was it "fucks a minotaur" weird?

I've read AD&D tie-in novels before. They were all pretty workmanlike, PG-13 things even if sex was involved. This was just... ho. lee. poo poo. That really happened.

Leraika
Jun 14, 2015

slime time



please stop talking about minotaur loving tia

Tiler Kiwi
Feb 26, 2011


dont have a cow, man

Poland Spring
Sep 11, 2005


this thread is getting way too horny go back to dunking on elves

PurpleXVI
Oct 30, 2011

Spewing insults, pissing off all your neighbors, betraying your allies, backing out of treaties and accords, and generally screwing over the global environment?
ALL PART OF MY BRILLIANT STRATEGY!


The Chad Jihad posted:

I remember the Birthright strategy layer being really weird

It wasn't particularly weird, but it was very much its own system that didn't really interact with the core systems of 2e AD&D much. So in that sense it may have seemed strange because it just felt different.

Ghost Leviathan
Mar 2, 2017

Exploration is ill-advised.


Weirdly enough, the short lifespans for the majority and the use of floating heavy units with aquatic themes gives the Idoneth a few things in common with the Tau of all things.

The Chad Jihad
Feb 24, 2007




PurpleXVI posted:

It wasn't particularly weird, but it was very much its own system that didn't really interact with the core systems of 2e AD&D much. So in that sense it may have seemed strange because it just felt different.

Yeah true, I guess for me the whole "Holdings" thing with different holding levels and then Law Temple Guild and Source types, was all weirdly abstract. It felt like a euro boardgame on top of an RPG

JcDent
May 13, 2013

Give me a rifle, one round, and point me at Berlin!


Ghost Leviathan posted:

Weirdly enough, the short lifespans for the majority and the use of floating heavy units with aquatic themes gives the Idoneth a few things in common with the Tau of all things.

Two bad flavors...

Idoneth: the bargain bin elves your aunt bought you instead high elves (or Lumineth).

Love how both Namarthi and the sea beasts must be blind, but for entirely different reasons lol.

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MonsterEnvy
Feb 4, 2012

Truly Cursed


JcDent posted:


Love how both Namarthi and the sea beasts must be blind, but for entirely different reasons lol.

Well the magic they use for both rituals is the same.

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