Just out of curiosity, do you instantly get Necromancy when you make a demonic pact? Or is that a separate thing?
A warlock with a demonic pact is almost like a twisted inversion of a priest, but instead of their god granting them power, it's a demon lord. Since their magic comes to them via the demon, nearly all of their magic is demonic in nature. So, yes, they all have access to necromancy. Whether or not they can actually perform powerful necromantic spells depends on the individual warlock's knowledge, skill level, and how many souls they are able to sacrifice, since more powerful spells require a higher price.
I may have a very blunt, and probably brutal question.
How much dead is Nova Refuge (universe) at this point?
lol, not that brutal - NR has obviously not been my top priority for quite a while now. But I am getting back into it! I'm working on getting the second novel (Saber's Edge) ready to publish next year, in time for the 10th anniversary of the first book (!). I've been writing in it every night lately, and it's coming along well. I'm also planning to update Warrior Born with a few small changes and new cover art, and reduce the price, to help promote the series. I might do a Kickstarter for it, as I did with Wulfgard, and of course supporters of my Patreon will be kept abreast of my progress. I will start posting about it here once I have more to show (artwork, etc.).
So I guess the answer is: it's obviously pretty dead right now, but I'm planning to resurrect it.
Reason I asked question number 2 is that I've seen many authors fall into a trap where travelling distances suddenly make no sense or are too inconsistent. Here's just hoping that won't happen. And even if it does, it's no big deal. It's the story that counts.
Minor spoiler: most of the traveling in the next novel will actually take place in space, between planets, rather than on TN, as I expand the scope of the story. So it shouldn't be an issue.
1. Are resurrecting deceased beings through magic possible (full resurrection, not necromancing)? And if so, does it cost something, such as in the classic example of "one life must be taken in order to give life."
2. Are there any other specific rules such as this to the magic of Wulfgard? Costs, expenses and such? (Not talking about mana here, as I already know that's not a thing in Wulfgard.) Things that make mages think again before performing a certain ritual or spell, or make someone think before asking them to?
3. While mana isn't a thing in Wulfgard, is the term still used in any capacity by people who are not knowledgable in magic? As a misconception of how magic works, who just doesn't know if there is such a thing?
1. Resurrection is so rare it may as well be impossible. Legends speak of souls rescued from the Underworld by great heroes in ages past, but such superhuman feats happen very seldom. Clerics of the gods cannot simply resurrect allies (as in D&D and such games), because the gods themselves will only grant such power in the most dire situations, since resurrecting one who has died breaks many of their own rules. When resurrection does happen, it is always extremely difficult and costly.
2. Yes, in some cases, but not all. Warlocks - magi born without the Gift of magic - lose a part of their soul (or must sacrifice the soul of another) to the demon who grants them power every time they cast a spell. Some other complex spells may require certain reagents or have unpredictable side-effects. But for those rare few with the Gift, most magic comes at no personal cost, save the potential destruction they might accidentally cause when unleashing the elements. This is one reason magi are so feared.
Not rude at all - I didn't even realize I had unread questions in here... Oh well, better late than never!
I have a question about military communications in Nova Refuge. Do human militaries still use the phonetic alphabet for letters (Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, etc.) or some updated form of it? It makes sense that even though comm. technology has moved on, the fact that English is still the dominant human language implies that the sounds of E, C, T, Z, etc. and other letters can still be mistaken for each other, especially in high stress situations.
If such codes were used in Warrior Born and I just forgot, I apologize in advance.
Yes, they do. I'm pretty sure I've used them once or twice... I think?
1A What exact weapons and/or armaments does the Silver Scepter have, and exactly how many of each?
2A Also, about how many people can it carry? I know you describe it as being able to carry a relatively large platoon of troops, and that the control room can hold about 12 people, but what about the ship in total? These details can be incorporated into the ship's new wiki article that I've written.
B What is Nick Wolf's preferred weapons? I know he has a handaxe and a rifle with an axe-shaped blazer-shielded bayonet, but are those his favorites? And what model is the gun? The handaxe, I assume, is just a regular axe without any blazer tech, right?
1: Perhaps if I ever make a LEGO of it or something, I will be able to give you exact info about the Scepter for the wiki. But for now, all I can say is: it's a flying arsenal. It can carry at least a dozen troops and is armed with missiles, bombs, blazer guns, and starfire cannons.
2: His favored weapon is an assault rifle with an axe-shaped bayonet. His backup hatchet is blazer as well.
I know it's kind of rude, but bump.
And a question: Are there any Mahlok actually working for Victory?
No. There are very, VERY few Mahlok citizens living in any Human nation. Most Mahlok are too proud and/or too fiercely loyal to their own people to live among Humans, much less serve in their armed forces. There are a few other Natives in Victory's military, however, including Slashrim, Sarran, and Achmer. But they are a small minority.
'Course you can add me on GOG! Pretty sure you can guess my username.
BTW, you asked about The Witcher earlier, and I wanted to give you the same advice I give everyone regarding the first game: don't get bogged down in the Vizima swamp in Chapter 2. If you start to get really tired of running around in the mire killing drowners and bloedzuigers, just go ahead and finish that chapter and move on. It might not be worth doing every side-quest there, since it takes forever. But the rest of the game is fantastic. I still think TW1 rivals TW3 in terms of sheer atmosphere. And the ending is great. Pay attention for the twist.
I've already made a few modifications to my Dwarven Endurance deck in Gwent. I swapped out Iorveth for Ithlinne and switched both Thunderbolt Potions for Alzur's Thunders. The potions were weak, and I needed more removal. Nilfgaard players running Sweers still eat me for breakfast though. Once Sweers eats all your Defenders, game's over.
One thing I can say: of all the digital card games I've tried, Gwent gives BY FAR the most rewards. CDPR gives cards away like candy! Win 3 games for a new pack each day, which takes 2-3 days in Hearthstone, and playing Ranked just showers you in packs...
I hear your cries, people of SSLF. I hear what you truly want. "Scorp!" you shout, "Scorp! It has been too long!" And who am I to deny you? Yes, it is that time again. It's time for...
Another post about a card game no one else plays!
This time it's Gwent. Last time I showed you my Hearthstone Magni deck, all about being tough with Taunt cards. This time I will continue the theme of tough-ass dwarves with my Dwarven Endurance deck for the Scoia'tael faction in Gwent:
The card list is:
Brouver Hoog (or, arguably, Francesca)
3x Dwarven Agitator
3x Elven Wardancer
3x Mahakam Defender
1x Vrihedd Dragoon
3x First Light
2x Thunderbolt Potion
1x Dennis Cranmer
1x Sheldon Skaggs
1x Barclay Els
1x Yarpen Zigrin
1x Iorveth <--- Can be replaced by a better Gold if you have one, but it's good to have some removal.
1x Zoltan Chivay
Try to get as many Dwarven Agitators in your hand as possible. Make sure you DO NOT have all 3 Mahakam Defenders in hand, or else the Agitator will have nothing to copy from your deck! The whole reason we only have 2 types of bronze dwarf cards in our deck is to ensure the Agitator ALWAYS spawns a Defender. I usually keep 1 Defender in hand at most. Mulligan the rest.
Mulligan any Elven Wardancers, since they are played immediately when mulliganed. That is their only purpose.
Try to draw Saskia if you can.
Round 1 Moves:
If you drew her, play Saskia to mulligan any leftover Elven Wardancers or extra Mahakam Defenders, and draw any Dwarven Agitators you have left in your deck. Another good card to draw with Saskia is the Vrihedd Dragoon.
Play the Vrihedd Dragoon as soon as possible, so he can buff your hand throughout the round. If the enemy Locks or destroys him, fine. That's one reason we play him first: so that the enemy uses their lock/damage attacks on the Dragoon instead of our more important cards, like Yarpen Zigrin.
Yarpen Zigrin usually comes next. If you did not draw him, do so now using your Leader card. Play Yarpen and hope that the enemy doesn't destroy or lock him. He has Resilience (meaning he will remain on the board for the next round) and grows more powerful with each dwarf played. He's our most powerful card, but we can still win without him.
Next, play all your Dwarven Agitators to summon copies of Mahakam Defenders. Once they are all on the board, play Dennis Cranmer. The reason you play him AFTER the Agitators is so he will buff the Defender copies they created. If you don't have Dennis, use your leader to summon him.
If you have Sheldon Skaggs in hand, then play EVERYTHING you can into the Melee Lane. If the enemy drops some weather on that lane, clear it with First Light. If you can't, then play Sheldon on that lane in order to move everything else out. Otherwise, just play Skaggs right near the end so he gets maximum buff.
Zoltan Chivay can also be used to move your Defenders out of harm's way and buff them.
Use Iorveth and Cleaver to take down any threats the enemy puts on the board. (It might actually be worth running some more removal cards like Alzur's Thunder in place of, say, a First Light or Thunderbolt Potion.) And finally, use Decoy to restore any Locked units, or to draw more Defender copies with an Agitator, or to take out more threats with Cleaver.
Always hold onto Saesenthessis and play her last, since she is buffed by all dwarves & elves on the board. A great finishing move.
What makes this deck so fun is that we get to go ALL IN, ALL THE TIME! None of that "Should I bluff and pass?" thinking for you, no sir! Because your goal is to win the first round by any means necessary, and to fill the board with as many Resilient units as possible (Yarpen & the Defenders) and buff them as much as possible (using Thunderbolt Potion and Zoltan). All of these will carry over into the second round!
If you lose the first round, then you might be in trouble, because a smart foe will simply pass on the second round (since the board still will be covered in your Resilient dwarves), and then any Defenders still in your hand will be much less useful, since Resilience is no good on round 3. But don't give up! Hopefully you will have used up nearly all your bronze cards on round 1, leaving nothing but Silvers and Golds in your hand (like Saesenthessis), which might be enough to win round 3, since your enemy has probably used up all their stuff to win the first round. Basically it's all luck at that point.
I would like to learn more about magical disguises in Wulfgard, please. The wiki states that full demons can pose as humans, and half-demons can conceal their demonic, physical features with sufficient concentration. Is there any difference between the two forms of disguise? I.e. full demons would obviously change size and shape significantly to pretend to be human, but are half demons doing the same thing, or simply hiding their features from sight? If someone walked behind a demonkin, would they trip on an invisible tail or bump into invisible wings? Or is the required magic and concentration more complex than just active camouflage?
Also, can magical but non-demonic beings replicate this sort of disguise with a spell? Does Arcane magic in WG encompass such glamers, or is it only a demonic skill?
It's more of a physical transformation than something like illusion magic - as seen in the Into the North comic, when Daemonique's wings emerge from her back. So no, there are no invisible tails/wings/horns. The transformation must be maintained actively, almost like tensing a muscle. It's much easier for a full demon to maintain this transformation than it is for a demon-kin. Those sufficiently powerful can remain disguised even while suffering injury, though sufficient trauma will usually cause them to reveal themselves (hence torturing suspected demons to reveal their true form).
Full demons undergo a more significant transformation, as you said, and they also have more control over it. Many full demons can even take on the shape of a specific man or woman in order to take their place in society (e.g., replacing a king or queen) and sow chaos. Most demon-kin have much more limited control: they are able to hide their demon features and change things like hair, eye, and skin color, but their the shape and size of their body and facial features remain mostly the same.
It's noteworthy that dragons can also transform in a similar manner to demons, and that demons and dragons usually have one specific human or elf or dwarf form that is their default "avatar". They can take on many mortal forms, but only those of "lesser" beings - they cannot transform into, for example, each other. A demon can't turn into a dragon and vice-versa. Such are the ancient laws of creation that govern these immortal creatures.
As for non-demonic magical disguises, they do exist, but most are actually illusion magic, hiding something's true nature rather than transforming it. So if one attempted to disguise, say, a lizard-man to look like a human, he would indeed have an invisible tail trailing behind him, and likely other invisible appendages. Such spells are usually only temporary, though some extremely rare enchanted items can grant a more permanent disguise, such as Adrianya's enchanted earring in Into the North, which hides the color of one of her eyes while it is worn.
A type of magic does exist that can change the nature of a physical object in the world - namely, Transmutation - but it usually works only on inanimate objects (those not protected by a soul), and it too is usually temporary. So, say, a merchant who accepted transmuted gold coins from a wizard would find them turned back into lead in a few hours or days. All transmutation magic is extremely rare and difficult, and permanent transmutation is all but impossible (you might recall in the short story "Potential Energy", Plutarch sees a book entitled Transmutation: The Most Difficult Magick - its title does not lie).
Well, I hope all of that is helpful. Sorry for the long-winded answer. I get into this stuff.
When I noticed you "Like" the post without voting, I thought you might be struggling with that last question, Occy. It's a toughie, I know. Of course, I'm a total Narrativist myself. I've enjoyed a lot of games just for their gameplay, and some games just for the immersion, but all of my favorite games I enjoyed for the story.
Agreed on gun sounds, btw. The pistol in Half-Life 1 had such a satisfying crack!... and in Half-Life 2 a great little pop
I of course tend toward the good headshot guns during general FPS play (pistols, burst-fire, etc.), but my favorite guns are all crazy novelty weapons like the Cerebral Bore I mentioned:
Unfortunately those seem less common today. Crazy novelty guns were everywhere in oldschool single-player FPS games (Doom, Turok, Half-Life 1, etc.), but as multiplayer balance took prominence, we ended up with games like Destiny, where it's set in the far-flung magical future, but the guns? Assault rifle, burst-fire rifle, shotgun, sniper rifle, etc. etc.
Under RPG class, I voted for Ranger. I've always gravitated toward Ranger, because they're the coolest dudes, able to survive in the wilderness and fight with the best of 'em, like Aragorn.
Sadly, Rangers too have declined over the years. My first RPG, Baldur's Gate 1, ran on 2nd Edition aD&D, so the Ranger could wear heavy plate armor and swing a 2-handed sword if that's how you wanted to play. In later editions of D&D, Rangers lost their abilities if they wore anything heavier than leather, and their health pool was the same as a Cleric's instead of a Fighter's. And now you had to choose between Legolas style bow skill, or Drizzt-style dual-weapon skill - no Aragorn-style 2-handed sword skill in sight. The same decline of Rangers happened in World of Warcraft. WoW Hunters could simultaneously equip a bow, quiver, and dual swords when WoW first launched, but players complained about hunters rolling Need on basically every type of weapon, so Blizzard cut them down to just shooting things while hiding behind their pet (in Legion they have a spear spec, but it's weird).
Aaaaanyway, now Thrawnie has screwed with my poll. The superpoll tradition lives on.
Now, this deck is gonna be pretty impossible to make unless you're willing to spend real money, or else you've just been free-2-play'ing FOREVER, like I have. But all you really need to get started is Fire Plume's Heart, which is the Warrior Quest. I think it costs 1600 dust to craft. After that, you should be able to climb through the low ranks using whatever taunt minions you have in your collection, though you'll want to craft a Brawl or 2 as soon as possible. The Fire Plume quest always appears in your starting hand, and you play it on your first turn. Then, after you've summoned 7 minions with Taunt, you'll get Sulfuras (the hammer of Ragnaros), a 4/2 weapon that changes your hero power to "Deal 8 Damage to a Random Enemy" for the rest of the game.
The thing I like best about this deck is its simplicity. Not too much of that "thinking" crap for you, no sir. Just keep laying down those big, fat Taunt minions until you finish that quest, equip Sulfuras, and then your goal for the rest of the game simply becomes: clear the board as much as you can on each turn, and then always use your hero power. Eventually you will kill them.
Since ALL of your minions taunt, this is very good against Aggro decks, and since you have plenty of board-clear cards, it's good against Control decks too. The only Aggro deck that gives it trouble is Hunter, who is very strong right now. The way you can try to get around the pure face-damage of the Hunter is to mulligan your quest at the start of the game. Yes, you read that right - just toss it aside. That gives you at least 1 extra card to hopefully control the board long enough to wear the hunter down. Because once a hunter's wasted most of his cards smashing up against your Taunts, he'll be running on empty and just quit. As long as you can hold out, you'll never need Sulfuras from the quest, so don't even try for it.
There are still some decks that cause trouble. First are Mages, who can freeze your minions, deal direct damage to your face with spells (ignoring your taunts), and stay alive using Ice Block and Armor. Luckily Mage is not in the meta right now, so you won't meet many. The trick against mages is to hit their face as hard as you can, as fast as you can. Same with Priests, because one of the top decks in the meta right now is "Highlander Priest" (so called because "There can be only one!" of each card in their deck), and once the Highlander priest has everything set up to their advantage (having played Raza the Chained and Shadowreaper Anduin), it's almost impossible to stop their onslaught. You might consider running Dirty Rat to try to draw out Highlander Priest's Raza without triggering its Battlecry effect (which breaks the priest's entire game plan), but that's kinda risky, and I don't have Dirty Rat, so I haven't tried it.
Man, I hate Priest players...
Anyway, otherwise, just remember not to waste your board-clear cards (Brawl and Sleep with the Fishes) until you absolutely have to use them, and use your "damage all minions" cards (Ravaging Ghoul, Blood Razor, & Primordial Drake) to draw more cards with Acolyte & Battle Rage, and to armor up with Armorsmith, and to clear the board via Sleep with the Fishes, and of course to Execute big threats. It's all about saving, controlling, and enduring until you get Sulfuras, and then go all-out on attack.
Of course I've only ever gotten to Rank 10 in Ranked Standard, so what the heck do I know about it? Anyway, that's all. Enjoy.
4: How did North and the South react to Ildrius becoming Emperor. I assume that some of them tried to invade (i.e. take advantage of the chaos).
5: What happened to the Imperial Family when Ildrius took over? Did any of them escape being killed? Asking this because I have an idea for a custom faction...
6: Did Ildrius actually do anything good for the empire (i.e. expand boarders, driving off invaders) while he was Mage-Emperor, or was he just an insane tyrant?
4: Honestly, we haven't fleshed out every detail of this period, but it would make sense that the Nordlings or Southrons would try to attack the Empire during its civil unrest. This may be how Durand was able to overthrow the Emperor, since some of Ildrius's armies were distracted by attacks from abroad.
5: It's likely that some escaped, yes. Since Durand did not take the throne for himself after killing Ildrius, he must have placed someone on it - probably a relative of the preceding Emperor. Durand was an honorable man who upheld the rule of law.
6: Hmm, that's a good question! It's possible he did some "good" things, like maybe conquered a few noisy neighbors with his mage-backed armies and built some buildings that have since been re-branded. But any positive developments for the Empire were offset by his cruelty to the people, so his rule is generally recognized as 100% negative by most Achaeans.