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Author Topic: Semi-Sapiants  (Read 45150 times)

Owlbread

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Re: Semi-Sapiants
« Reply #60 on: March 29, 2012, 11:21:19 am »

Well, for starters, Armok doesn't exist.  You must be thinking of [ADJECTIVE][NO_ART_NOUN], the creator deity of [NOUN][PHRASE]. 

Anyway, the only thing unique about dwarves, aside from some attributes and a few personality things that don't make much difference until after the Personality Rewrite, the only thing that really matters is that they have TRANCES (which also makes them mood), and 60k size. 

Attributes unfortunately don't matter nearly as much as skills do right now, and since most animalmen don't even have any attributes given to them at all (or rather, all of them have default attributes), then the differences between the animalmen are essentially restricted to maxage and size. 



Sure, we could ask Toady for caste-level body-templatable clothing tokens... but that's another suggestion entirely, and I fully support making it (if it hasn't already been made). 

Which was my whole point - these sorts of things rely upon other suggestions to be implemented beforehand.



CAN_READ is not a token, by the way.  Reading is a skill, and while it might be possible to make creatures innately read or possibly even theoretically impossible to read through use of the caste-level skill tokens, those aren't being used in such a way right now. 



Digging is not a creature-level concept right now, either (barring skill tokens being used in a way they aren't right now, again), it's a civ-level token, so again, anyone who joins a dwarf civ is going to immediately become capable of dwarven steel manufacture, and have access to all other civ-level knowledge.

To get onto the "well that's how it should be", with lizardmen not being able to "dig as well"... once again, you're not answering the important question: Why shouldn't they?

Why can't a lizardman dig as well as a dwarf can dig if they are members of a dwarf civilization?  Unless there is some sort of physiological or deeply ingrained psychological problem with them not being able to swing a pick in a way like how a dwarf does if a dwarf taught him how to do that digging, why wouldn't a lizardman learn to dig just as well as a dwarf does?

Why shouldn't a lizardman know how to make steel if a dwarf shows him how?  Why shouldn't a lizardman start making =steel breastplates= with the best of them?

What you would have to justify is some sort of actual racial inferiority.  You need to explain why a lizardman will never be able to understand how to pound a bar of steel with a hammer to make it sharp the same way a dwarven weaponsmith will be able to understand it, no matter how tutored in the arts of weaponsmithing he/she may be by dwarves.  What justifies that?

The rest, after that, is all culture, and how cultures interact, and those are the very things that I am trying to say are the most important aspects.

So what if it takes a lot of thought?  This is the suggestions forums.  Anything that DOES get implemented is going to get implemented only after a few years and dozens of threads on the subject with hundreds or even thousands of posts.  THINKING or conversing are not the bottlenecks to ideas in DF.  If there's one thing we can do, it's hash out ideas as thoroughly as we need to before any action is taken upon them.

Firstly, I know Armok doesn't exist, I was trying to appeal to your inner dwarf as you seemed to be doing the same thing earlier on with Cacame. To be honest, most of these ideas from all of us rely on other suggestions to be made beforehand, which can be done. We're just having a brainstorm here, really. Even if attributes don't matter as much now, that's not to say that they can't in the future. Maybe that needs to be suggested beforehand, like you said.

As for lizardmen not being able to dig as well as a dwarf, yes. I believe there should be physiological powers and limitations in every race; even Cacame could never be as good a smith as a biological dwarf, nor could Morul or Tholtig ever be as good merchants as humans are or druids as Elves etc. It could just be innate within dwarves to be skilled in certain areas that others aren't, as with every race. As for the "should" argument here, I think it adds more dept to the races as things stand. If the creator wanted all the races to be equal in every way, why did he bother creating seperate races other than for cosmetic reasons or for roleplay, as race relations may be oriented towards? I really like the idea of inter-racial diplomacy, dealing with racism etc, but there's only so many times you can be called "pondscum" before you realise you're exactly the same as that human guard only you weren't born and raised in the same town as him. That just makes it all seem a bit silly, doesn't it? Like real life racism; but this isn't real life.

I'm getting carried away here, but one of the conclusions of the "Biological powers" thing is that if an elf marries a dwarf and they have kids, the child would be a better smith than any elf but never as good as a true blooded dwarf, but also a better druid than any dwarf. If that dwarf had children the power would be lost, or it could lie dormant like a recessive gene. Again, that's genetics getting involved there - another suggestion? We could make a list.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2012, 11:23:34 am by Owlbread »
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miauw62

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Re: Semi-Sapiants
« Reply #61 on: March 29, 2012, 11:32:49 am »

I want this to the above:
the [TRANCES] is NOT related to moods.
It makes them go into martial trances, nothing else.
And those martial trances are damn scary.
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Owlbread

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Re: Semi-Sapiants
« Reply #62 on: March 29, 2012, 11:35:57 am »

I want this to the above:
the [TRANCES] is NOT related to moods.
It makes them go into martial trances, nothing else.
And those martial trances are damn scary.

There's another thing that Dwarves do and other races don't. They have strange moods.
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NW_Kohaku

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Re: Semi-Sapiants
« Reply #63 on: March 29, 2012, 12:21:56 pm »

I want this to the above:
the [TRANCES] is NOT related to moods.
It makes them go into martial trances, nothing else.
And those martial trances are damn scary.

Nope, [TRANCES] causes strange moods as well as trances. 

It's like how all the behavior of cats were wrapped up in the [VERMIN_HUNTER] token until recently, and you couldn't make a creature that hunted vermin without also making them adopt owners instead of the other way around.  Likewise, most goblin-related stuff is related to being the child snatchers.

It's one of those annoyances to modders that many of the things you wish you could separate out are hard-coded onto tokens that are all-or-nothing they-behave-only-like-things-in-vanilla tokens.
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NW_Kohaku

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Re: Semi-Sapiants
« Reply #64 on: March 29, 2012, 12:30:01 pm »

As for lizardmen not being able to dig as well as a dwarf, yes. I believe there should be physiological powers and limitations in every race; even Cacame could never be as good a smith as a biological dwarf, nor could Morul or Tholtig ever be as good merchants as humans are or druids as Elves etc. It could just be innate within dwarves to be skilled in certain areas that others aren't, as with every race. As for the "should" argument here, I think it adds more dept to the races as things stand. If the creator wanted all the races to be equal in every way, why did he bother creating seperate races other than for cosmetic reasons or for roleplay, as race relations may be oriented towards? I really like the idea of inter-racial diplomacy, dealing with racism etc, but there's only so many times you can be called "pondscum" before you realise you're exactly the same as that human guard only you weren't born and raised in the same town as him. That just makes it all seem a bit silly, doesn't it? Like real life racism; but this isn't real life.

I'm getting carried away here, but one of the conclusions of the "Biological powers" thing is that if an elf marries a dwarf and they have kids, the child would be a better smith than any elf but never as good as a true blooded dwarf, but also a better druid than any dwarf. If that dwarf had children the power would be lost, or it could lie dormant like a recessive gene. Again, that's genetics getting involved there - another suggestion? We could make a list.

Here's the thing: I've always really hated those sorts of assumptions. 

The games where elves are made to be wizards, because they have higher INT, and lower STR, so they have to take magic-based classes, and where there is no point in making your wizard anything but an elf?  It just crushes the RP when you stereotype and constrain race and class to mean the same thing.

I much preferred something more like 3rd ed D&D, where the difference between an Elf and a Human was +2 Dex, -2 Con.  Or, +5% evasion, +5% ranged attack accuracy, and -1 HP per level.  Put the skill and feat stuff plus those bonus weapon training aside for a second, and consider what classes you are allowed to take or are constrained to based upon race from just that...

You can play an elven pretty much anything and take functionally similar bonuses and penalties for doing so.  You aren't overly punished for being an elven fighter.  A human wizard was just as good as any other basic race (actually a little better because of the feat and skill, but again, that's going beside the point). 

What I don't want to see is a game where efficiency dictates type-casting dwarves as miners and smiths, tiger men as the warrior caste, and gnomes or whatever as your gem setters.

It just utterly cheapens the fantasy into nothing but stereotypes, which is the eternal pitfall of fantasy.
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Owlbread

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Re: Semi-Sapiants
« Reply #65 on: March 29, 2012, 01:46:16 pm »

As for lizardmen not being able to dig as well as a dwarf, yes. I believe there should be physiological powers and limitations in every race; even Cacame could never be as good a smith as a biological dwarf, nor could Morul or Tholtig ever be as good merchants as humans are or druids as Elves etc. It could just be innate within dwarves to be skilled in certain areas that others aren't, as with every race. As for the "should" argument here, I think it adds more dept to the races as things stand. If the creator wanted all the races to be equal in every way, why did he bother creating seperate races other than for cosmetic reasons or for roleplay, as race relations may be oriented towards? I really like the idea of inter-racial diplomacy, dealing with racism etc, but there's only so many times you can be called "pondscum" before you realise you're exactly the same as that human guard only you weren't born and raised in the same town as him. That just makes it all seem a bit silly, doesn't it? Like real life racism; but this isn't real life.

I'm getting carried away here, but one of the conclusions of the "Biological powers" thing is that if an elf marries a dwarf and they have kids, the child would be a better smith than any elf but never as good as a true blooded dwarf, but also a better druid than any dwarf. If that dwarf had children the power would be lost, or it could lie dormant like a recessive gene. Again, that's genetics getting involved there - another suggestion? We could make a list.

Here's the thing: I've always really hated those sorts of assumptions. 

The games where elves are made to be wizards, because they have higher INT, and lower STR, so they have to take magic-based classes, and where there is no point in making your wizard anything but an elf?  It just crushes the RP when you stereotype and constrain race and class to mean the same thing.

I much preferred something more like 3rd ed D&D, where the difference between an Elf and a Human was +2 Dex, -2 Con.  Or, +5% evasion, +5% ranged attack accuracy, and -1 HP per level.  Put the skill and feat stuff plus those bonus weapon training aside for a second, and consider what classes you are allowed to take or are constrained to based upon race from just that...

You can play an elven pretty much anything and take functionally similar bonuses and penalties for doing so.  You aren't overly punished for being an elven fighter.  A human wizard was just as good as any other basic race (actually a little better because of the feat and skill, but again, that's going beside the point). 

What I don't want to see is a game where efficiency dictates type-casting dwarves as miners and smiths, tiger men as the warrior caste, and gnomes or whatever as your gem setters.

It just utterly cheapens the fantasy into nothing but stereotypes, which is the eternal pitfall of fantasy.

It does, but DF is full of stereotypes. Dwarves like metal and do blacksmithing, they have beards and dig holes to hide their treasure in. Elves live in the woods and have floppy hair, no beards (yet) and try to protect nature. Humans are the most balanced of the two races, but they are also the most prolific. Goblins are evil and violent. Practically every creature in DF is a fantasy stereotype; and that's not a big problem. DF handles things differently to an extent, but not to the point that it abandons traditional fantasy conventions. Dwarves are already type cast as miners and smiths, elves are already type cast as tree huggers and humans are already type cast as... well, merchants and... humans I suppose.

Still, it won't be "overly punishing" you for trying to make an elf smith or a dwarven ranger if they just won't be as good (in specific ways) as the race that is "specialised" for that role. Remember what I said about antmen being more efficient miners than dwarves, but they can't dig intricate designs? The same principle can be applied across the board, meaning that if you decide to make an elf smith, he'll be a different sort of smith to a dwarven one; exactly how, I don't know yet. I know, for example, elven warriors may traditionally fight with a sword and bow, but what if you made a heavy armoured elf that uses druidical powers to cause trees to twist and tangle together in the path of his fleeing enemies, allowing him to cut the villains down where they stand? He won't be as good an axeman as a dwarf, but he will be able to use other powers that make him very interesting. I would like to find a way to allow these things to be up to the player to find out new combinations of innate skills and skills that can be learned to create very unusual characters; specialised to fit roles of our own creation. It encourages experimentation; if everyone can be anything, then why experiment? Just be "everything".
« Last Edit: March 29, 2012, 01:49:09 pm by Owlbread »
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NW_Kohaku

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Re: Semi-Sapiants
« Reply #66 on: March 29, 2012, 02:17:20 pm »

You might want to correct your quote error.

Anyway, no, elves aren't just people that live in woods.  The Forest culture that is formed around the nature spirits, in which elves are by far the most populous species does that.  Elves as a species are not entirely defined by their culture, however.  Elves preferring bows are just what their culture does, but an elf raised in a different culture should not be incapable of wielding an axe - there is no reason they would be physiologically less capable of being an axelord if they were born to a dwarven culture.

I can find "humanized" or "dwarfified" elves, and they are defined only by the personality traits and physical differences they have, but those "dwarfified" elves are capable of becoming artisans and even metalsmiths of just as fine craftsdwarf/elfship as any other.  Why shouldn't an "elfified" dwarf be able to become a druid just like an elf?  Unless there is some reasoning that dwarves physiologically are incapable of that sort of magic, there shouldn't be such a thing, just as there is no reason an antman shouldn't be capable of learning to apply intricate designs to his engravings, so long as they have the eyesight, dexterity, and mental capacity for doing so.

Artificial limitations just to enforce a stereotype are not something that adds character to the game.  Personality-based or culture-based preferences add character, and that is why I guide this towards making culture and cultural interactions and tensions more meaningful.
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Owlbread

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Re: Semi-Sapiants
« Reply #67 on: March 29, 2012, 03:34:52 pm »

You might want to correct your quote error.

Anyway, no, elves aren't just people that live in woods.  The Forest culture that is formed around the nature spirits, in which elves are by far the most populous species does that.  Elves as a species are not entirely defined by their culture, however.  Elves preferring bows are just what their culture does, but an elf raised in a different culture should not be incapable of wielding an axe - there is no reason they would be physiologically less capable of being an axelord if they were born to a dwarven culture.

I can find "humanized" or "dwarfified" elves, and they are defined only by the personality traits and physical differences they have, but those "dwarfified" elves are capable of becoming artisans and even metalsmiths of just as fine craftsdwarf/elfship as any other.  Why shouldn't an "elfified" dwarf be able to become a druid just like an elf?  Unless there is some reasoning that dwarves physiologically are incapable of that sort of magic, there shouldn't be such a thing, just as there is no reason an antman shouldn't be capable of learning to apply intricate designs to his engravings, so long as they have the eyesight, dexterity, and mental capacity for doing so.

Artificial limitations just to enforce a stereotype are not something that adds character to the game.  Personality-based or culture-based preferences add character, and that is why I guide this towards making culture and cultural interactions and tensions more meaningful.

You're not listening, so I'm going to have to repeat myself, and I can't fix the error because it doesn't seem to appear in the editor, same with yours above it. I've told you that the stereotypes are already there, and why an elfified dwarf shouldn't be able to become the best straight-up druid in the land. Elves are people that live in the woods, and that's an example of the stereotype I'm giving you - I'm not saying they're just people with floppy hair that live in the woods, and I'm not attacking the Elves and you don't need to defend them like that, I'm just saying they fit the bill set by lord of the rings, DnD and so forth because (for example) they have floppy hair and live in the woods. I was using the example of Elves using bows because it's a part of Elven culture to do that, and I think Elves could have developed that part of their culture because they are physiologically suited to it - tall, skinny, dextrous, able to hide well, good affinity for the woods. Otherwise, why did Elves do that and not dwarves? Because Armok/Toady made them that way?

I've also explained that I believe that limitations (it's not specifically artificial because everything in DF is artificial) do add character to the game because they encourage players, outside of RP, to choose their races and origins carefully, and to experiment in order to have different gameplay experiences. They don't mean that an elf can never be an axelord, they just can't be a better legendary axelord straight up than a dwarf could - but maybe they could be better in different ways, ways that we can work out. I don't think Dwarves should be able to have the same affinity with the woods if they were raised there as an elf because elves were presumably created by the gods in the wilderness whereas dwarves were created to live underground. If elves were created for the wilderness and created in the wilderness, why would dwarves be exactly the same if they were brought up there? If you are a god and you are creating a creature to live in the woods and one to live in caves, do you give the one that lives in the caves the same links with the forest as the forest creature? Or do you just have 1 creature, because it really doesn't matter what race they are that way besides roleplay.

We seem to have reached the point that we're repeating things to each-other, but we don't seem to be going anywhere. Is there anything we can do?
« Last Edit: March 29, 2012, 03:37:57 pm by Owlbread »
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Captain Crazy

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Re: Semi-Sapiants
« Reply #68 on: March 29, 2012, 07:20:31 pm »

why does this have to devolve into some race debate

i want other non-dwarves to join my fort for strategic reasons. the undergrounders can innately swim and some animal-peoples can take to the skies. why does it have to be more complex than "send liason to animalman outpost. animalmen get shelter, you get extra workers."
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Splint

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Re: Semi-Sapiants
« Reply #69 on: March 29, 2012, 07:26:22 pm »

why does this have to devolve into some race debate

i want other non-dwarves to join my fort for strategic reasons. the undergrounders can innately swim and some animal-peoples can take to the skies. why does it have to be more complex than "send liason to animalman outpost. animalmen get shelter, you get extra workers."

THANK YOU. Jeeze.

NW_Kohaku

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Re: Semi-Sapiants
« Reply #70 on: March 29, 2012, 09:45:38 pm »

It's about making the differences between species be actual differences of the species, not the culture they come from.

Elves have an innate artistic sense as part of their personalities (which are apparently species-based), and will decorate things like cloth or wood objects in their own culture, but not so much stone.  They have the dexterity, the physical and mental capacity to and inclination for such artwork.  Put an elf in dwarven culture, though, and why should they suddenly fail to understand engraving just because "stone" or "metal" is somehow something too difficult for an elf to grasp? 

The same goes for those tigermen smiths - unless there is some sort of physiological reason they cannot learn how to pound a steel rod into a sword, there is no reason they cannot be as good a smith as a dwarf can be, provided they have the proper training.

Now, if it is something like a druid, and there literally is some reason that a dwarf cannot cast magic the way that an elf can, because some fundamental magical makeup of their being is different, then it's something different from just "because that's what elves are good for".  If only elves and forest creatures are born with the nature-magicky-souls needed for nature magic, then it would make sense to say dwarves can either not learn that profession or that they can only advance up to a certain point and even then with great difficulty. 

Likewise, if you had an animal-man creature that had no sense of sight, and no concept of aesthetics, then it would make sense to say that they are incapable of almost any form of artwork, not just some specific material they choose to work with.

If it's something like fishing for muscles, and you have a race of water-breathers, then yes, that makes sense to say that the water-breathers are going to be more efficient about collecting muscles, but saying that a lizardman can't learn to dig in the same way as a dwarf does simply because dwarves are stereotypical miners doesn't make sense.

So again, saying just a blanket "dwarves are better axelords" does not make sense - it can make sense to say that dwarves will be stronger than elves, and elves will have more agility, on average, (where the way that attributes are distributed now is perfectly fine) but not that an elf is somehow fundamentally incapable of understanding a concept like "swing an axe" in the same way they understand "swing a sword". 

So yes, there's a difference between a physiological difference that provides a strength or weakness, and a totally arbitrary stereotype limitation.
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GreatWyrmGold

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Re: Semi-Sapiants
« Reply #71 on: March 29, 2012, 10:52:21 pm »

why does this have to devolve into some race debate

i want other non-dwarves to join my fort for strategic reasons. the undergrounders can innately swim and some animal-peoples can take to the skies. why does it have to be more complex than "send liason to animalman outpost. animalmen get shelter, you get extra workers."

THANK YOU. Jeeze.

What about the whole "Dwarves seem xenophobic due to their tendancies to kill traders and even useless immigrants, and also the pre-existing stereotypes" thing, and the whole "Dwarves' unthinkability of slavery means the animalmen or whatever would be granted equal rights, even if the dwarves didn't like them?" Think about it: Would YOU want to live next door to a weird scaley person with a viper's head, or bump elbows with a race your kind has strongly disliked for centuries, or know that your first line of defense against the deadly outside world is a band of combat-hungry tigerpeople? Now add to that the issues of dwarven xenophobia, and you have a complex social situation on your hands. A multiracial fortress would need these social considerations to be interesting, aside from the possibility of various modifiers to skills/attributes/personality traits/etc as NW_Kohaku and Owlbread have been debating.
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Re: Semi-Sapiants
« Reply #72 on: March 29, 2012, 10:57:57 pm »

I've given up because all the debating makes this an obviously pointless thread to have gotten involved in.

I'd just like the option. If nothing else, figure a way to make them work as mercenaries. No slavery, both sides benefit, and not much consideration needs to be made for either side in such a situation. Tribe defends fort, fort pays them in tools or food or whatever. Pay insufficent, tribe leaves. Probably not possible/ this won't be implemented anyway.

Farewell thread. May your debate continue in peace.

GreatWyrmGold

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Re: Semi-Sapiants
« Reply #73 on: March 29, 2012, 11:25:47 pm »

Simplicity is nice but unrealistic. It would be more interesing if social complexity was added. That is all we're saying.
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Re: Semi-Sapiants
« Reply #74 on: March 30, 2012, 10:37:46 am »

It's about making the differences between species be actual differences of the species, not the culture they come from.

Elves have an innate artistic sense as part of their personalities (which are apparently species-based), and will decorate things like cloth or wood objects in their own culture, but not so much stone.  They have the dexterity, the physical and mental capacity to and inclination for such artwork.  Put an elf in dwarven culture, though, and why should they suddenly fail to understand engraving just because "stone" or "metal" is somehow something too difficult for an elf to grasp? 

The same goes for those tigermen smiths - unless there is some sort of physiological reason they cannot learn how to pound a steel rod into a sword, there is no reason they cannot be as good a smith as a dwarf can be, provided they have the proper training.

Now, if it is something like a druid, and there literally is some reason that a dwarf cannot cast magic the way that an elf can, because some fundamental magical makeup of their being is different, then it's something different from just "because that's what elves are good for".  If only elves and forest creatures are born with the nature-magicky-souls needed for nature magic, then it would make sense to say dwarves can either not learn that profession or that they can only advance up to a certain point and even then with great difficulty. 

Likewise, if you had an animal-man creature that had no sense of sight, and no concept of aesthetics, then it would make sense to say that they are incapable of almost any form of artwork, not just some specific material they choose to work with.

If it's something like fishing for muscles, and you have a race of water-breathers, then yes, that makes sense to say that the water-breathers are going to be more efficient about collecting muscles, but saying that a lizardman can't learn to dig in the same way as a dwarf does simply because dwarves are stereotypical miners doesn't make sense.

So again, saying just a blanket "dwarves are better axelords" does not make sense - it can make sense to say that dwarves will be stronger than elves, and elves will have more agility, on average, (where the way that attributes are distributed now is perfectly fine) but not that an elf is somehow fundamentally incapable of understanding a concept like "swing an axe" in the same way they understand "swing a sword". 

So yes, there's a difference between a physiological difference that provides a strength or weakness, and a totally arbitrary stereotype limitation.

Excellent point. I see what you mean now, I just had this idea in my head that Dwarves could have some sort of physiological reason for being good miners and such. We should probably cut it there and shake hands in celebration of a good debate, seeing as we've drifted a bit from the original proposals of the suggestion, as the other chaps are saying.

I've given up because all the debating makes this an obviously pointless thread to have gotten involved in.

I'd just like the option. If nothing else, figure a way to make them work as mercenaries. No slavery, both sides benefit, and not much consideration needs to be made for either side in such a situation. Tribe defends fort, fort pays them in tools or food or whatever. Pay insufficent, tribe leaves. Probably not possible/ this won't be implemented anyway.

Farewell thread. May your debate continue in peace.

Ah wait, don't go. I was debating with the intent of stopping at some point, dear Splint, as I have decided to do now. I thought that if we had a debate like that we might start creating more ideas and exposing problems with others, thus allowing us to build on that. The reason for us having a debate was the fact that Kohaku disagreed with me over things like creatures being innately better at things than others, as he is entitled to do. That argument has been explored in-depth now, which is handy because it relates to the whole idea of tribes becoming a part of your fortress - antmen miners, tigermen ambushers etc. By all means, keep posting. I just hope the debate was constructive in some way rather than killing the thread.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2012, 10:45:19 am by Owlbread »
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