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 Post subject: Flavor
PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2014 11:13 pm 
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A plane that no longer moves. One side is completely frozen and the other is a hellish wasteland where the sun never sets.

TPzombieW wrote:
Card Type Matters (not subtype, I'm talking the stuff Tarmogoyf cares about)

Mown wrote:
Seriously though, we need to develop some regions and culture. I'll see if I can provide some thoughts later when I'm not at school, but try to put in some descriptory flavor text on your cards. Not that I'm less guilty of this.

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Time for a flavour thread perhaps? I've got ideas, but I'm not sure whether this was the place for them.

This is the thread for Starstill's broader flavor concerns. In it, you should talk about what creature types we should be using, write flavor texts for cards in the spoiler that don't have any yet, and extrapolate on the setting.

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 Post subject: Re: Flavor
PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2014 12:33 am 
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So just to summarize what's on the cards that are already in the set:

0) The Starstill, an ancient event in which the plane stopped moving about its sun, has divided the plane into two terrible extremes, a scorched desert (Illpyre) and a pitch-black tundra (Frostwynd). The border between the two, which is probably relatively habitable, is named or has a place named Maraka.

1) Illpyre has one or more white groups that probably worship the sun. Elori is implied to be the name of a deity or something. Some of the devotees are humans, some of them are humans that are also enchantments, and some of them are enchantments that aren't humans anymore. This is definitely the faction with the most flavor text so far.

2) Starstill, which is also the name of the plane, has mechanical entities. They don't understand enchantments.

3) Frostblight is probably the name of a place in Frostwynd. It has some connection with artifacts, and there are relics there, which at least one blue human enjoys scavenging.

4) Glacinorak is an ice dragon who, along with his or her fire-flavored brother, caused the Starstill because he or she wanted a more suitable climate for himself or herself. He or she has a card, but his or her brother doesn't yet.

5) There's a serpent in the set. I don't know where it lives.

6) There is a black human rogue living in Illpyre. That is literally the extent of black's worldbuilding.

7) Frostwynd has a red human barbarian that likes the cold and has poor judgment regarding weapons.

8) Illpyre has red viashino and elementals. The viashino we've seen is a scout, which probably implies some form of organization? But there are no goblins, and let's keep it that way!

9) All (?) the trees in Frostwynd have been standing since the Starstill, and there is a green group that can talk to them.

10) Spirits exist, so far in green and white.

11) There are druids, or at least there used to be and they left behind a relic.

So there's plenty of room to work with. :P

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 Post subject: Re: Flavor
PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2014 1:32 am 
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Just wanted to state my opinion: Glacinorak should be male and the other dragon should be female and given a name, with Glacinorak's flavor text changed to say "sister" instead of brother.

Also kind of think it would be better if we just changed Frostwynd's name to Frostblight. The names are too similar, and I think it would be better to merge them than to have one of them changed. I personally think Frostblight sounds cooler, more original, and less cheesy than Frostwynd.

The set should have a Skeletons in Illpyre / Zombies in Frostblight divide.

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 Post subject: Re: Flavor
PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2014 3:23 am 
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You can do whatever you want with Frostblight, but when I made it, it was under the assumption that Frostblight would be an area that was so cold where the landscape was effectively wasteland, as opposed to frozen forest, tundra or whatever else. That is, really close to the center. I mean, I've thought that Frostwynd and Illpyre both sound rather cheesy, but I'll let you guys have your fun if you like it, since I have no better suggestions.

Anyway, I agree that the clerics are so far the most developed. However, do we want that to be a strictly white thing, or could it be stretched to another color as well? We're probably going to need enchantment creatures in other colors as well, so we need to figure out how to represent those while at it. Divine elementals? I dunno.

I want viashino to be an established thing in Illpyre. I imagine that they typically hide, and dart between shadows doing hit and run attacks. I don't know if this actually makes sense for a cold-blooded race. I can see them as rather tactical trap makers, effectively herding beasts to their death. Traps can be some form of temporary enchantment. Threading slightly on kobold territory.

If frostwynd/blight has a "the machine still hum thousand of years after their creator's death", that'd be cool. I'd like it to be an inherently mystical place, secrets buried under the snow etc. Some areas should be close to fairytales, with aforementioned bioluminescence and ice reflections. People voluntarily go to Frostwynd/blight to dig up the dead, and to Illpyre to achieve enlightenment, among other undeveloped reasons. I'm not sure why the first card I submitted is a rogue, but maybe there's a council of magi that needs mana/power from artifacts to undo the Starstill, and they're therefore valuable on the black market?

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 Post subject: Re: Flavor
PostPosted: Sat May 31, 2014 1:21 am 
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My biggest questions:
-How long ago was the Starstill? So far we seem to be assuming that it was hundreds of years ago, but the set could be happening in the immediate aftermath. Just want to be clear on that.
-Is there anything mitigating the effects of the Starstill? Logically, the planet should be unihabitable. I guess we could say, "it's Magic, don't think too hard about it" but we could also have a reason. Moon reflecting light? Depending on how it travels, that could be pretty cool. A ring around the planet refracting light? A great spell or work of artifice keeps the world functional?

I also wonder if we couldn't play up the fire/ice connection more by making the two dragons elemental dragons.
I also think it's worth wondering if these are just two very powerful dragons or if they played some role in Starstill before the Starstill. Maybe they were guides of the seasons? Perhaps they have two more siblings, a fall and spring dragon that are slowly withering away.

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 Post subject: Re: Flavor
PostPosted: Sat May 31, 2014 8:02 am 
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Just wanted to state my opinion: Glacinorak should be male and the other dragon should be female and given a name, with Glacinorak's flavor text changed to say "sister" instead of brother.

Also kind of think it would be better if we just changed Frostwynd's name to Frostblight. The names are too similar, and I think it would be better to merge them than to have one of them changed. I personally think Frostblight sounds cooler, more original, and less cheesy than Frostwynd.

The set should have a Skeletons in Illpyre / Zombies in Frostblight divide.


Something like this?
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They both some sort of gem in their chest, maybe adds to the story how they control the planet.

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 Post subject: Re: Flavor
PostPosted: Sat May 31, 2014 1:46 pm 
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TPzombieW wrote:
Maybe they were guides of the seasons? Perhaps they have two more siblings, a fall and spring dragon that are slowly withering away.

This bothers me; Shouldn't Magic planes have 5 seasons?

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 Post subject: Re: Flavor
PostPosted: Sat May 31, 2014 1:53 pm 
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Should they? Is there a reason their seasons should behave differently?

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 Post subject: Re: Flavor
PostPosted: Sat May 31, 2014 3:25 pm 
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Okay, been thinking some more. Possible factions-ish:

Trade Consortium
Manages the trade of goods between Illpyre and Froswynd/blight. Involves many different individuals. Those more white inclined look for an organizes system to help distribute water and heat to those in need, and have more benevolent goals. Those with a black inclination are more excited about the possibility of creating a monopoly on aforementioned goods. Blue are in-between merchants, some of them just like the logistics puzzle of trading, others find fascination in the objects they can attain. Starstill holds many secrets in the relics buried underneath sand and snow.

Viashino or (Leaning towards the latter, green needs more representation)
Pseudo civil lizardmen living in the shadows of Illpyre ruins. They are excellent trapmakers, and know a fair deal about the habits of local animals. They dart around in the sand dunes doing hit and run tactics as they periodically cool off in the shadows before bursting out again. Sometimes they bleed animals to death, other times they lure or herd the prey.

Eloreans (Maybe green?)
Follows of the sun god, looking to transcent their human form and join in his radiant light. White see a way to become a unity and equal, while Red finds a way to find freedom from mortal boundaries. Green could worship the sun as a symbol of life, but are less likely to do it as part of a religious group.

Kindred
Those who have looked into the sun for too long and are forever blinded. Ravaged spirits that only know the burning sensation of consuming everything. Essentially followers of Elori that couldn't hold on to their humanity. plot tweest

Elves
Does not like the consortiums abuse of the world, and is the primary reason that trading is a complete pain. Undecided on how to feel about the world standing still.

Magius
Group of mages dredging up ancient Artifacts in an attempt to restore or abuse the Starstill phenomenon. Has a pretty castle somewhere in Frostwynd. Fairly ruthless in pursuing their goal, abuses scrying and manipulation magic. You are never safe.

Workshop (And colorless.)
Robots of ancient times still pursuing some unknown task, long after their creator died/planeswalked away. Rumors say their power cores are filled with the souls of the dead. They seem to be building something.

Need more enemy colors up in here.
I want Frostwynd UG faction really badly, but can't come up with anything.
Simic-flavored sentient fungi that are walking mind-controlling steroids? Sounds like fun.

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 Post subject: Re: Flavor
PostPosted: Sat May 31, 2014 4:12 pm 
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Can we NOT do elves? Elves always being the green representation when green is nature-centric is a pet peeve of mine. How about this for the races:


Humans:

Treefolk: :g:, possibly depending on which side of the wilds
Spirits: primarily :g:, secondary :w:

Viashino: primarily , secondary :g:
Elementals: primarily :r:, possibly :g: as well

Enchantments: primarily :w:, should likely be . :w: > :r: = :g: > :b: > :u: for representation
Angels: primarily :w:, possibly :r: as well

Dragons: , possibly if we go for the "Dragons are the masters of the seasons" thing
Serpents: :u:, possibly :r: as well. Could live near or within the worst areas of the plane. Would explain Spellbound Serpent's attack requirement (needs a spell to break the ice to release it)

Constructs/Golems: primarily :infinity:, possibly as well


Races I say avoid (personal opinion)
Goblins
Elves
Vedalken
Demons
Angels (too late)

This is already a bit much in the way of races as it is for just a single set of 245 cards. I'd say the colors each have a decent amount of representation, though black looks a bit lacking. However, I don't see black as being creature heavy in this set so just having humans, viashino, a few enchantment creatures, and maybe a couple of multicolor treefolk will be fine.


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 Post subject: Re: Flavor
PostPosted: Sat May 31, 2014 4:25 pm 
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But treefolks are so passive. I like elves because they are capable hunters, respect and utilize nature, and are willing to aggressively push their agenda. They have this druid warrior image that other's don't. Besides, I feel like we should at least represent one major race, not including humans.

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 Post subject: Re: Flavor
PostPosted: Sat May 31, 2014 5:54 pm 
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Dryads? You know... Arbor Dryad could fit...

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 Post subject: Re: Flavor
PostPosted: Sat May 31, 2014 7:43 pm 
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Keep in mind you need to fill Iconic, Characteristic, and Midrange slots with your creature types. They don't have to break perfectly along color lines (and world designs are usually more interesting, frankly, if they don't), but if your major race for a color falls in the mid-to-iconic size range (as Treefolk do) and you don't have anything for smaller levels where characteristic races usually sit, that could cause issues.


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 Post subject: Re: Flavor
PostPosted: Sat May 31, 2014 7:53 pm 
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mutants trying to adapt themselves and other flora and fauna to the awful cold?

Are we trying to line specific factions up with specific card types?

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 Post subject: Re: Flavor
PostPosted: Sat May 31, 2014 8:37 pm 
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I'm going to reflavor "Cheapshot Enthusiast" to be a Viashino Rogue and rename him "Viashino Backstabber". Just because I needed a good race for him, and now I have it. I also changed Druid's Keepsake to Druid's Heirloom because I came up with the name anyway, and I think it sounds cooler.

Also, the tribe should be Ice Merfolk.

I had to remove the flavor text from Icy Whisper, Frostwynd Foresight, Gleam Collector, and Scavenger's Sack because it made the text box too crowded. (My rule of thumb is, if it takes up more than seven lines in card form, it's too texty. In other words, anything wordier than Scavenged Plans is too wordy.)

I also wrote some flavor texts for some cards that didn't have them yet:

Voice of Unity: She sings for us all.

Frostblight Scavenger: "I never said I could make it work. I just said I'd retrieve it for you."

Qualified Research: For all the downsides of living in Frostwynd, at least there's plenty of time for reading.

Wraith's Whisper: Wraiths know just by looking at someone exactly when they're going to die. They enjoy telling people how long they have left, but not everybody hears them.

Ignite the Ashes: Anjomeddon's temper is literally fiery.

Viashino Sandscout: Taking in their energy from the sun, the viashino are probably the only race that actually benefitted from the Starstill.

Druid's Heirloom: The druids of Frostwynd have little to remind them how fertile the land once was, how the treefolk would once blossom with flowers. They have family heirlooms with dirt taken from before the Starstill to remind them of their heritage.

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 Post subject: Re: Flavor
PostPosted: Sat May 31, 2014 9:23 pm 
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@ seasons: I was just thinking that there would be the regular 4 seasons, Spring :G:, summer :R:, fall :B: and winter :U:, with a possible :W: dragon as a mediator (who's probably dead now).
Multiple dragons might upset the dualism theme of the set though. I just kind of wanted to turn the dragons into elementals tied in with the Four Symbols of China.

@Parad: I'll miss "cheapshot enthusiast". Sometimes playtest names are the best names.

@Keeper: So I see some M:EMbers are poking around down here. Do you think the M:EM or FS&A would be interested in fleshing out Starstill?

And here's a list of creature types for each side:

Hotside: Lizards, cats & Insects / Viashino / Skeletons / Plants/ Elementals/ Clerics & Shaman/ Hawks and Vultures/ All the Enchantment Creatures
Coldside: Beasts & wolves / Yetis / Zombies / Fungi/ Spirits/ Artificers & Wizards/Owls and Bats/ All the artifact cratures

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 Post subject: Re: Flavor
PostPosted: Sat May 31, 2014 10:27 pm 
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I had to remove the flavor text from Icy Whisper, Frostwynd Foresight, Gleam Collector, and Scavenger's Sack because it made the text box too crowded. (My rule of thumb is, if it takes up more than seven lines in card form, it's too texty. In other words, anything wordier than Scavenged Plans is too wordy.)
Nice, three mentions in the "too wordy" category!

Gleam Collector actually does fit on seven lines with flavor text if you pull a Hostility and replace "instant or sorcery spell" with "spell." That might be a better way to cut text.

Probably nothing you can do about the other three, though.

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 Post subject: Re: Flavor
PostPosted: Sat May 31, 2014 11:10 pm 
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I'm going to reflavor "Cheapshot Enthusiast" to be a Viashino Rogue and rename him "Viashino Backstabber". Just because I needed a good race for him, and now I have it. I also changed Druid's Keepsake to Druid's Heirloom because I came up with the name anyway, and I think it sounds cooler.


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 Post subject: Re: Flavor
PostPosted: Sat May 31, 2014 11:23 pm 
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TPzombieW wrote:
@Keeper: So I see some M:EMbers are poking around down here. Do you think the M:EM or FS&A would be interested in fleshing out Starstill?

Well I'll be keeping an eye out at least on this board to see what people are working on. This could, if developed well, be interesting. It's not like I've made a secret of the fact that I'd like to see YMTC folks get involved in M:EM.

As far as folks wanting to get involved in development... I don't know, it depends on whether M:EMbers find this interesting... or find it at all. I know Barinellos and Szat hang around up here sometimes but I don't think many of the others do. And our direct involvement definitely has potential to skew things in particular directions that folks already involved in the project might not be comfortable with, just because we're kind of looking for different things from a setting than YMTCers might be, and there might be some things acceptable here that don't work for us.


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 Post subject: Re: Flavor
PostPosted: Sat May 31, 2014 11:27 pm 
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TPzombieW wrote:
@Keeper: So I see some M:EMbers are poking around down here. Do you think the M:EM or FS&A would be interested in fleshing out Starstill?

Well I'll be keeping an eye out at least on this board to see what people are working on. This could, if developed well, be interesting. It's not like I've made a secret of the fact that I'd like to see YMTC folks get involved in M:EM.

As far as folks wanting to get involved in development... I don't know, it depends on whether M:EMbers find this interesting... or find it at all. I know Barinellos and Szat hang around up here sometimes but I don't think many of the others do. And our direct involvement definitely has potential to skew things in particular directions that folks already involved in the project might not be comfortable with, just because we're kind of looking for different things from a setting than YMTCers might be, and there might be some things acceptable here that don't work for us.

At the least, input is always welcome. If the majority doesn't approve then you won't have any impact on the project. A little thematic overview would probably be good for the project I think.

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