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Author Topic: Dwarven Social Lives  (Read 24006 times)

Ninjabread

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Dwarven Social Lives
« on: June 08, 2018, 07:33:35 am »

So right now, iirc, there's an issue with antisocial dwarves, they have a broad but shallow relationship pool because they seek places to socialise, but no specific dwarves to socialise with, leading to low marriage rates and an overdependence on migrants to keep population up, as well as poor mood due to a lack of friends to have pleasant conversation with, and lack of weddings and children to boost mood too, though if a marriage does manage to happen then there is certainly no shortage of children for that couple. I have a couple of suggestions to remedy this:

1) Dwarves make plans with friends and hang out together when they feel the need for some social interaction, friends who are also feeling that need, or who aren't really doing anything anyway, agree to meet up for an activity (they don't necessarily have to meet up to plan, they could use whatever dwarven telepathy they use to take orders from the player/nobles). They all go to the same meeting area/location, stay close enough to each other that each member of the group can talk to at least one other group member, and they perform appropriate activities for the zone, be it drunken revelry, admiration of art, or a group study. This should be restricted to dwarves that are already friends, and group sizes should stay fairly small to keep it distinguishable from parties, maybe a maximum of 8 so that if they go to the tavern or the library they can all sit around the same table.

1a) A dwarf who has no friends in their current burrow who feels the need for some social interaction seeks friends among some of their acquaintances, these interactions may end in drunken fistfights if they end up having grudges rather than friendships, but hey then they might get a little more focus after causing trouble/fighting/arguing as well as the conversation prior to the violence sating their need for social interaction.

2) Sexually compatible and available acquaintances (not friends since if they were gonna be lovers they would be already), and already existing couples, go on dates if both of them feel the need for romance. Dating acquaintances may also result in a brawl if they end up with a grudge since they're only acquaintances, but you can RP it as the dwarven equivalent of getting slapped for saying/doing something the other person strongly disagrees with. Dates would basically work just like friends meeting up, with the exception that only 2 dwarves may be on the same date.

Hopefully, both should make dwarves happier and more sociable, 1 should get them to form cliques, which could be expanded into gangs during the crime arc or something if the game can be made to recognise these cliques somehow, and 2 should make them less prone to extinction through celibacy.

EDIT: Thread was a bit longer than I anticipated, so I'm gonna list as many related suggestions that popped up during the discussion here as I can find (not including those mentioned in the OP) to make it easier for people to get involved and add their own ideas and opinions, or to pique interest into reading the thread since I'm just doing quick 1 sentence summaries of the suggestions.

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« Last Edit: March 18, 2024, 11:58:49 am by Ninjabread »
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Bumber

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Re: Dwarven Social Lives
« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2018, 06:29:53 pm »

I think a lot could be accomplished from just preferring to talk to people they know when they happen to be in the tavern together.
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SixOfSpades

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Re: Dwarven Social Lives
« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2018, 02:31:20 am »

     It's also high time dwarves actually LIVED in their own rooms. Currently, they do nothing there but sleep--you'd think, in a culture so focused on skilled craftwork and acquisition, they would occasionally stop & take the time to enjoy their own creations and possessions. If dwarves (especially the less social ones) hung out in their bedrooms when they had nothing to do, their friends would know where to go if they wanted to visit. Then they could hang out & chat in the room, or alternatively pick a destination / activity and go there together. (So, much like your Point 1, Ninjabread, but without the telepathy). More to the point, friends in general should seek out other friends. Are they busy in a workshop? Go and chat with them, it might slow them down a little bit but they'll be grateful for the company. Are they chopping trees outside? If you can stand the sun, go watch their back for them, in case those dingoes start getting a little too close. Are they mining for more flux stone? Grab a mug of ale or two before you go looking for them, digging is thirsty work. Are they lying in a hospital bed, recovering from something? Make them a new craft or garment, & take it to them to cheer them up. Are they already in the tavern? Tilt one back!

     Next: Enlarge the interaction radius. Currently, dwarves can only converse with others standing no further than 1 tile away. This means that, counterintuitively, all types of meeting areas "need" to be made impractically small if they're to serve the purpose of dwarves actually meeting there. So much for your idea of a grand throne room, spacious tavern, airy temple complex, or whatever. Any dwarf busy in a workshop has a 1-tile-wide wall of NO all around him. Want to arrange a romantic dinner date? Too bad, dwarves can't talk if there's a table between them. But if dwarves were able to hold conversations with individuals further away than the end of their arm, then interactions could happen a lot more frequently, and multiple people could take part in the same one, enabling friendships to advance in parallel.

     Thirdly, let's have some table tweaks. Currently, the only designation option is to assign them as a particular dwarf's dining room. But what about designating them as . . .
Desk: Forbids eating or drinking, encourages them for use in reading / writing. Perfect for libraries or offices.
Altar: Forbids eating or drinking, except by a priest as part of a religious service. Provides a focus for the clergy performing said ritual. Encourages the placement of candles, idols, icons, prayers written by supplicants, etc. Option to have temple areas designated from an altar.
Hospital use Only: Forbids eating or drinking. Now when you visit your friend in the hospital, you have a place to sit down & play chess with her without having to worry about finding some stranger already in there, eating his lunch.
Gaming table: Forbids eating or drinking, encourages the placement and use of various games (once they're implemented), such as skittles, dominoes, playing cards, etc.
And finally, those tables that ARE used for eating/drinking carry an interaction side effect: Sitting down at a table automatically puts you in a conversation with everyone sitting at tables adjacent to yours. This puts a good deal of power in the hands of the overseer: You can place tables all by themselves, set them up in pairs, rings of 4, or long benches, to fine-tune the levels of interaction you want. Dwarves might have unhappy thoughts like "was forced to sit near someone irritating recently", but that's perfectly realistic.
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Ninjabread

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Re: Dwarven Social Lives
« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2018, 04:40:30 am »

Bumber, I agree completely

SixOfSpades, I was just thinking telepathy so meetups weren't a huge time sink, but seeking a single friend for a quick chat without significantly interrupting their friends work is certainly also a good idea, and bedrooms are definitely not used for enough things, though I imagine more gregarious folk to be more inclined to hang out in more public areas like the tavern.

I didn't really pay much attention to how close people were when developing relationships, I just assumed it was the same deal as adventure mode: if they can see each other they can chat, if that isn't the case it definitely should be.

As for the table tweaks, I reckon the desk, and possibly the altar, could be defined the same way as a hospital bed: it is automatically reserved for this use in an appropriate zone, simply because they only really have uses within those zones, and those zones have no other logical use for tables. The hospital use only one confused me a little because currently hospitals already reserve tables for surgery, but the gaming table seems like a decent idea, assuming when games are a thing that most games are to be played at an ordinary table, like most board and card games, rather than having their own special kind of table, like billiards and pool, or not using a table at all, like horseshoes and darts. I'd like to see a good mix generated per culture per world, but when it's generated you never really know what you'll end up with.

Definitely like the idea of people sat around adjacent tables for a meal all talking to one another, even if they didn't like each other it'd be sorta weird to sit there in silence.
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GoblinCookie

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Re: Dwarven Social Lives
« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2018, 08:57:13 am »

I think that folks should be able to invite their friends, possibly several of them at once to their rooms.  I don't think dwarves (bar extremely antisocial ones) should spend much waking time in their rooms, because they don't exactly have much to do there, they don't have computers or anything.

Books are not a good idea either, because lighting up every dwarves room (lighting is of course abstracted at the moment) would eat of fuel and oxygen too fast.  I would reckon dwarves would probably spend most their time round a communal hearth (not a dining hall as such) which produces light and also has a nearby ventilation shaft to provide oxygen. 

I think we should have two rooms.  Once should be a general dining hall/tavern which dwarves meet more impersonally to eat/drink and then they would head over to a hearth with their friends/lovers on a more individual basis.  The hearth can also double as a kitchen, so the dwarves would cook their food at the hearth, eat it in the nearby dining hall and then return to now unused hearth to spend time with their friends. 
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Ninjabread

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Re: Dwarven Social Lives
« Reply #5 on: June 09, 2018, 12:09:32 pm »

GoblinCookie, they have a few things they could do in their rooms, but don't yet, like practice a performance, invite friends over to socialise as you mentioned, or to watch/help with the performance, read, pray, meditate, and once they're implemented, play board/card games. Gregarious people should prefer to do all of these things in public and might not get as much of a mood boost if they have to do things in their rooms, but the option to do these things at home makes sense.

Yeah books may be a bad idea if you use fire to light rooms, even without considering the possibility of fire related accidents, but glowing fungus has appeared in at least one Threetoes story iirc, so it might be a thing once the game actually does simulate light, making lighting dwarven rooms cheap and easy (the drawback being a less impressive room, nobles may insist on wall-mounted torches and a central fire pit).

I'd say taverns should stay as meeting areas that may contain hearths, could even be that dwarves don't get the "ate in a legendary dining room" thought if they can't see it due to poor lighting to encourage people to place hearths in them, and the hearth itself would encourage ventilation post-gas simulation. I say this because taverns as meeting areas are such a common fantasy trope that it's a cliche tabletop RPG campaign starting location. Not saying there shouldn't be other meeting areas, just not sure hearths as their own type of room fill any role that taverns don't already fill, especially since booze, socialising, and performances are pretty close friends irl.
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SixOfSpades

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Re: Dwarven Social Lives
« Reply #6 on: June 09, 2018, 04:08:30 pm »

Another table thought: Currently, the chair:table ratio in dining halls should be no higher than 1:1, because a dwarf who sits down with his food will claim the whole table as his eating space, and anyone who sits in the other chair will have the thought "annoyed at having to eat without a proper table recently". But what if two dwarves came to eat at the same time, and agreed to share the exact same meal, as in the archetypical milkshake with two straws? They'd each only get half of the nutrition/satiation, of course, but the intimacy factor would probably be magnified. You could set up a dining hall (or subsection thereof) for couples only, with single tables between 2 chairs. (Make sure those not there on dates have plenty of more regular seating options, though.)
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Ninjabread

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Re: Dwarven Social Lives
« Reply #7 on: June 09, 2018, 06:56:14 pm »

I now have a mental image of the lady and the tramp spaghetti scene, except it's two dwarves and some raw intestines.
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SixOfSpades

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Re: Dwarven Social Lives
« Reply #8 on: June 09, 2018, 11:10:45 pm »

I now have a mental image of the lady and the tramp spaghetti scene, except it's two dwarves and some raw intestines.
Well, then my work here is done.  8)
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GoblinCookie

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Re: Dwarven Social Lives
« Reply #9 on: June 10, 2018, 09:03:55 am »

GoblinCookie, they have a few things they could do in their rooms, but don't yet, like practice a performance, invite friends over to socialise as you mentioned, or to watch/help with the performance, read, pray, meditate, and once they're implemented, play board/card games. Gregarious people should prefer to do all of these things in public and might not get as much of a mood boost if they have to do things in their rooms, but the option to do these things at home makes sense.

Indeed, but the problem is the lack of light and also the lack of air.  Can a large number of dwarves actually congregate in a small area deep underground and far from any ventilation without them all suffocating before very long?  Sleeping people using less oxygen than waking people and they are more dispersed, but having a load of people plus their lights in a small area with poor ventilation? 

Yeah books may be a bad idea if you use fire to light rooms, even without considering the possibility of fire related accidents, but glowing fungus has appeared in at least one Threetoes story iirc, so it might be a thing once the game actually does simulate light, making lighting dwarven rooms cheap and easy (the drawback being a less impressive room, nobles may insist on wall-mounted torches and a central fire pit).

Glowing fungus certainly solves the light problem without adding to the air problem.  It does not solve the air problem though by itself, as the dwarves still need to breathe. 

I'd say taverns should stay as meeting areas that may contain hearths, could even be that dwarves don't get the "ate in a legendary dining room" thought if they can't see it due to poor lighting to encourage people to place hearths in them, and the hearth itself would encourage ventilation post-gas simulation. I say this because taverns as meeting areas are such a common fantasy trope that it's a cliche tabletop RPG campaign starting location. Not saying there shouldn't be other meeting areas, just not sure hearths as their own type of room fill any role that taverns don't already fill, especially since booze, socialising, and performances are pretty close friends irl.

The idea was to have hearths as places that dwarves can invite other dwarves to associate more personally, seperate from the tavern which is more impersonal.  The hearths also double as a kitchen, the dwarves cook their food in the hearth, then they serve the food in the tavern/dining hall and then some of the dwarves head into the now empty hearth to do other stuff.  It is basically correct to say they are socializing 'in the kitchen' really :).

Fire is a major problem for dwarves.  Unless they like to actually live in pitch darkness or they have glowing fungus at hand (my own book has moths!) then they need fire to light things.  They also need fire for other purposes (cooking, forging, smelting etc).  Every fire eats up oxygen like crazy and also requires a level of oxygen that is pretty high in order to burn brightly at all (not to mention the smoke).  The solution is to centralize everything around the fire and to center the fires around the ventilation shafts/chimneys; they have to be few in number or you risk the whole fortress caving in.  People also have to live near to the ventilation shafts and they also like to be able to see things.  Building hundreds of individual rooms sprawled out underground, that that works in the quite opposite direction. 

The thing here is that it makes sense to reuse the same few fires for the same few purposes.  The fires in the kitchen cook the food, but the dining hall is close to the kitchen so the light in the kitchen also lights up the dining hall.  Folks do not have to see very well to eat their food, but to do other stuff they need more light.  Once the food is cooked and eaten, the kitchen is now empty and the kitchen is better lit than the dining hall is. 
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Ninjabread

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Re: Dwarven Social Lives
« Reply #10 on: June 10, 2018, 11:16:13 am »

Goblincookie, take it from someone who's played Klei's Oxygen Not Included, poorly ventilated residences is a very, very bad idea once you have any significant number of residents, unconsciousness + poor oxygen supply = not waking up.

I would say a more personal meeting area definitely interlinks well with the whole group hangout/dating idea, though making a hearth a necessity seems too restrictive on fortress design, so perhaps call it a rec room? Cause again, you might decide you want an alternative light source like glowing fungus or little hanging lanterns filled with fireflies dotted all over the room if you want it all romantic for the couples, and a fairly small fire or an enclosed oven for the kitchen. I usually tend to have my tavern on a different z-level to my kitchen anyway, and usually there's a booze/prepared food stockpile between them, so if I were forced to have a cooking/socialising hearth it wouldn't serve my tavern too well as a light source.

The caving in from over-ventilation problem may not be as big of an issue here for 2 reasons: 1) ventilation could lead to the surface or the caverns, spreading out the oxygen sources should reduce structural stress, caverns must have abundant oxygen in order to have such enormous wildlife, and 2) crops, potted plants, and subterranean orchards could take in CO2, and give out oxygen, again relieving stress on the system, farms may not need any ventilation at all, and may reduce the need for ventilation for surrounding areas.
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Starver

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Re: Dwarven Social Lives
« Reply #11 on: June 10, 2018, 12:19:38 pm »

Speaking personally as a largely asocial human, an asocial dwarf might have issues with being visited in their bedrooms (by those not already intimately involved as lover/spouse, and maybe siblings/children and definitely parents). Everything from just wanting some alone-time (with a less-than-player-level locking of the door being possible) to being absolutely paranoid that someone wants to steal(/tidy up) their huge collection of odd socks, carefully arranged across the floor.

So let's not assume that one dwarf would necessarily aim to seek out another dwarf in their bedroom. Or, if they do, do not assume that it will result in mutual happy thoughts, as the latter screams "Get out!" or hides under the bed, the (currently metaphorical) lights turned off so as to pretend not to be there. Or overly 'theatrical' snoring, as loud and as long as necessary to convey the necessary hint.

So, yet another Personality vs. Personality test needs to he resolved, Definitely (with social/performance skills used to smooth things out or otherwise for the visitor).
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Ninjabread

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Re: Dwarven Social Lives
« Reply #12 on: June 10, 2018, 12:46:04 pm »

Starver, I see that as more of a privacy issue than a social issue, I'm quite unsociable myself, I have a very small group of friends, and I spend most of my time alone, however I'm not a particularly private person either, possibly as a result of having always shared a room with at least one of my brothers, and consequently I've never had an issue with people being in my room, if I want alone time and someone's in my room I just go somewhere else. Perhaps as a control group we need to find someone who is very sociable but also very private, to see if it's just privacy that governs it or if it's a combination of privacy and asociability.

Bad thoughts from unwelcome visits should be included if bedroom visits are included though, we just need to be sure what governs whether or not the visit is unwelcome.
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Starver

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Re: Dwarven Social Lives
« Reply #13 on: June 10, 2018, 12:57:25 pm »

Indeed, it's a more complex thing. (For my part, I describe myself as asocial rather than unsocial, or indeed antisocial, but I put on a decent mask when I find myself in any form of socialising situation. However, that's more than enough about me. Really, it is far more than I'd tell you face-to-face!)

But without reviewing all the social skills and psych-points available, something should act as a counterpoint (or an impediment) to the possibility of inviting others to one's room. Not so puritan so as to suggest only romantic relationships should ever go to a room, but definitely there could be some reluctance or resistance to inviting/hosting visitors.
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SixOfSpades

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Re: Dwarven Social Lives
« Reply #14 on: June 11, 2018, 04:49:29 am »

So let's not assume that one dwarf would necessarily aim to seek out another dwarf in their bedroom. Or, if they do, do not assume that it will result in mutual happy thoughts . . .
So, yet another Personality vs. Personality test needs to he resolved, Definitely (with social/performance skills used to smooth things out or otherwise for the visitor).
Very true, I hadn't considered that. Still, if the dwarves are already friends, it's safe to assume that they know each other's Privacy traits, and likely have Gregariousness traits that aren't too dissimilar. And of course they would knock first, as opposed to just barging right in.

(♪ Do you want to build a gabbro man? ♫)

And not to turn this thread into a rehash of the Lighting arc, but even better than glowing fungus, is glowing plants. Phosphorescent trees have been suggested for the caverns, which could be adapted for use as dwarven "streetlights", with small, potted bonsai versions as single-room illumination. Plants would actually generate oxygen, as opposed to ventilation shafts which just share whatever oxygen is outside.
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