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Old October 28th, 2005, 01:07 PM

quantum_mechani quantum_mechani is offline
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Default Re: MOD: Zulu

RedRover said:
QM: Oops. Just checked out the Database and realized Knights of Stone are Heroes. Definitely a bad idea to make them the high-end mage!

If you mean they would be too good, not at all, making them recruitable has much more opportunity for unbalance. In actuality, I don't think I have ever gotten more than about three in the course of a normal game.
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Old October 28th, 2005, 01:10 PM

shovah shovah is offline
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Default Re: MOD: Zulu

id say the only way to get alot is turmoil 3 luck 3 on a large map, i rarely get more than 1-2 per game
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Old October 28th, 2005, 01:43 PM

quantum_mechani quantum_mechani is offline
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Default Re: MOD: Zulu

shovah said:
id say the only way to get alot is turmoil 3 luck 3 on a large map, i rarely get more than 1-2 per game
Turmoil has no effect on heroes.
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Old October 28th, 2005, 02:16 PM

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Default Re: MOD: Zulu

it dosnt? never noticed since it increases randoms
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Old October 28th, 2005, 03:28 PM
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Default Re: MOD: Zulu

Heroes aren't events, however... The chance to get a hero is simple (3+Luck scale)% every turn. I'm not sure whether the affecting scale is the base value or citadel luck. (And yes, this means that with Luck -3 (Misfortune 3), you never get heroes!
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Old November 7th, 2005, 02:03 PM

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Default Re: MOD: Zulu

New Stuff

You might take a look at the little trivia game in the last section of this post. Answer in two weeks.

Zulu Folklore Notes
[based on Credo Mutwa’s works]

Still haven’t crunched the numbers on the troops (next weekend, I think), but have been looking into the traditions for ideas. The following is based on hidden shamanic tradition as detailed in Zulu Shaman by Credo Mutwa. It is very different from traditional tales of Unkulunkulu’s creation of man from a bed of reeds, which is the standard fare in those books on mythology that address Zulu traditions at all.

Brief Sketch of the Myth
River of Time (m) joined with Fertile Darkness (f), producing the Living Fire entity. Life as we know it exists in the struggle between the Fire and the Void (the latter is Cold Nothingness—an aspect of the River of Time). If either wins, Life as we know it will be extinguished.

From the warm ashes of the struggle rose Ma, the First Goddess, the Imperfect Undying One, first humanoid entity, the Silvery One, the Goddess of Creation who formed the Earth and Cosmos. Her loneliness caused great restlessness in her creation, which ended with the arrival of the Tree of Life, her destined mate. She fled, horrified. He pursued and forced the issue. Over time, he spewed out the seeds of all plants, and later bore wild animals, birds, insects, and reptiles. She bore the First People.

Much later, one of the First People bore Zaralleli the Wicked, the first deformed child and source of evil in the world. When he matured, he created the metal demons, Tokoloshe (see below), slew his mother, became an absolute ruler, created the Bjaauni abominations through necromantic crossbreeding (see below), and corrupted the First People.

He plumbed forbidden lore, created worse crossbreeds, and made such chaos that Ma and the Tree of Life sent a great flood to destroy him. It did not succeed completely. He assaulted the gods, intending to take Ma for himself, and succeed in stealing her in the course of a cataclysmic battle. Her sorrow and divine nature blistered his people, wracked his lands and cities, and caused the Bjaauni to revolt. The Tokoloshes went mad, attacking all.

Odu the Killer, leader of the Bjaauni and their sole survivor, confronted Zaralleli. When ordered by the sorcerer to kill himself, Odu overcame the potent charm spell and slew the Wicked One. Ma saved one of the First People, Amarava, the only survivor of her race, to become the mate of Odu and bear the Second People.

Odu the High Father & Amarava the Second Mother: They brought the Second People into the world. After many years guiding the Second People, Odu, one of the last immortals, tires of his immortality and lays himself to rest in a volcano, so departing the world. Grief stricken, Amarava flees into the wilderness, where her granddaughter Marimba (see below) and a demon catch her simultaneously. The demon is revealed as a divine messenger from Ma. All this time, Amarava has been polluted by the spirit of Zarallelei, and locked in a constant inner battle with the evil spirit. The inner demon takes control of Amarava and is displayed in all its malice just before it and the messenger disappear in a burst of flame. Amarava is healed, granted immortality, and placed among the stars; the essence of Zarallelei is cast into the Void.

Creatures (inspired by folklore)
Haven’t had time to play with these much, but here they are.

Bjaauni: Giant hairless, mindless undead gorilla-creatures created by Zaralleli. Colored the greenish brown of putrid flesh, they were brutalized and trained to kill by Zaralleli. They revolted and, in destroying Zaralleli and the First People, were destroyed themselves. See Odu.

Tokoloshe: Metal flying demons, much like mosquitoes, but man-sized. Modern biting, stinging, flying poisonous insects are diminutive descendents of these monsters (blood drain? poison?). Destroyed at end of First Age with the destruction of the First People and the evil lord Zaralleli who created them.

Imbula: Ogress, and
Inzimu: Ogre
Ogres are large humanoid cannibals, armed with great clubs or spears. Ugly and deformed, they have large noses, bristly red hair on their bodies, carnivore teeth so large they can’t close their mouths, and long white snakelike tails that they cannot keep from sucking up spilled milk (a characteristic sometimes used to discover their presence). Males have two short, curved horns on their heads (like a western bull’s), while females have a single horn in the center of their foreheads that resembles a rhinoceros horn. Females also have hyena-like snouts and possess witch powers, including the ability to take human form, although the tail cannot change. (In one story, an Ogress wraps her tail around her waist and conceals it with clothing.) See Graphic Sources, below.

Hero Candidates

Chaka/Shaka (m): Great king and legendary unifier of the People. Driven into exile with his mother as a youth, and in constant danger of assassination, this brilliant leader eventually rose to the kingship, having eliminated all rivals. He was responsible for the adoption of modern weaponry and shock tactics, and built the People into an empire to be feared. He is violent, unpredictable, and extremely dangerous.

[Idea: His arrival in the capital automatically kills a friendly leader, non-magical if possible. He automatically recovers all magic the victim was carrying.]

Kintu the Trickster (m): Stomach like a pumpkin, bowed legs, eyes crooked and shifty. See stories in Zulu Shaman. Later he becomes a great and wise king, blind in his last years. He’s clever and a ventriloquist [maybe 1A and Stealth?].

Marimba (f): First poetess and musician, granddaughter of Amarava. [At this point, I might be off:] Had a son, Kawaha. She becomes a target for various unsavory rival tribe leaders and demons that seek to wed/steal her or use war to force her into marriage/consortship. She decides to sacrifice herself for the good of the tribe, but her plan is forestalled by Kawaha, who knocks her out and hides her in a cave. Bloody consequences follow, but when the dust clears the most evil demon suitor is dead, Marimba has married a rival chief, and Kawaha has cut off his own hand for shame of raising it against her.

Zumangwe (m): Strong hunter/warrior, grandson (?) of Odu and Amarava. Not a lot of info here. He may eventually have been killed by an elephant or lion. [More sources on the way.]

Possible Mercenary

Giant of the South: Huge, “black as a thousand nights” cannibal, with teeth like a leopard. May come with Ogres of the Desert. [He has as a great Bag of Holding (one extra misc slot). He can Charm animals (in myth, he captured the Great Leader Bull of the Sun God’s herd).

Graphic Sources
Illustration of Earth Mother:
Zulu Shaman, Vusamazulu Credo Mutwa. Destiny Books: Rochester, NY. 2003. p125.

Illustration of Creation Myth
--ibid p127

Ogres (50-51, 119) and Giant (p39)
Black Fairy Tales. Terry Berger. NY: Athenum.1969.

The Gods

Although it won’t be possible to put together a full dedicated Pretender screen until Dom3, I decided to shoot the works anyway. The first step was to go into the current database list (by Edi) and pick out suitable Pretenders. My final list of them looks like this:
  • Pretender (Type)
  • Cyclops (Giant)
  • Great Mother (Giant)
  • Lady of Fortune (Giant)
  • Lord of The Desert Sun (Giant)
  • Mother of Lions (Giant)
  • Son of the Sun – Astral (Giant)
  • Monolith (Immobile)
  • Divine Serpent (Monster)
  • Great White Bull (Monster)
  • Manticore (Monster)
  • Phoenix (Monster)
  • Shedu (Monster)
  • Crone (Rainbow)
  • Ghost King (Rainbow)
  • Great Enchantress (Rainbow)
  • Great Sage (Rainbow)
Yes, there are two Fire path Pretenders on this list, the Lord of the Desert Sun and Phoenix. I consider them both thematic, and enough people like to go outside the cultural box (in this case Air/Earth/Nature) that either might be a challenge. I also added the Ghost King to represent ancestral spirits, even though the Zultu culture does not really support Death path magic, either.

To these, I eventually added the following:
[*] Pretender (Type)[*] High Father (Giant)[*] Second Mother (Giant)[*] Lord of Light (Giant)[*] Star Goddess (Giant)[*] Tree of Life (Immobile)[*] Avenger (Monster)[*] Great White Lion (Monster)[*] The Smith (Rainbow)[*] Leopard Warlock (Rainbow)

The long form of these follows (short form is in an Excel workbook, which I will eventually attach):

High Father(cf.Odu): Father of the Second People. Resembles a hairless undead gorilla. Immortal. An unexplained point is how the undead hairless gorilla became the progenitor of a living human race. One can only assume that the elder gods purified him and rendered him a fit mate for the Second Mother. Another possible graphic treatment would be to render him somewhat as a gorilla/Neanderthal cross.

High Father, Giant, cost=100, path=E2/A1, newpath=50, dom=3, weap=Bull Knobkerrie (new), armor=Furs, Great Hide Shield, sz=5, hp=105, prot=8, mor=30, MR=18, enc=2, str=24, att=12, def=14, prec=10, mv=3, ap=16, ldr=125-0-5, fear=0, awe=+3, immortal, survival(f,m,w), slots=humanoid.

Both the High Father and Second Mother are only size 5, even though they are giants. This is because they are actually second-generation gods in the mythos, and a step closer to humankind than are their own progenitors. It would be nice if the graphics for them were noticeably smaller than a full size-6 figure, but larger than, say, trolls. All the Giants in this mythos have some Awe power, but the High Father and Second Mother have the highest ratings.

Second Mother (cf Amarava): Mother of the Second People. Female humanoid with red skin, greenish hair, and golden eyes. See illustration notes for a source.

Second Mother, Giant, cost=100, path=N2/W1,newpath=50, dom=3, weap=Fist, armor=None, sz=5, hp=100, prot=4, mor=30, MR=18, enc=2, str=22, att=9, def=9, prec=11, mv=3, ap=15, ldr=75-0-5, supply=10, awe=+3, regenerate=10, survival(m,w), trample, Special=Reduces Unrest 20% in province; + 380 pop in province (in CB 5.0 mod), slots=humanoid.

One concern is that she not overlap the existing Earth Mother too much, and that she not overshadow that Pretender. I really wanted to get rid of the trample attack, but given the generally pacific nature of the culture and archetype, nothing else in the system really seemed to fit. The size 5 should make her trample somewhat less effective. I like the idea of an Unrest reducer, even though we can’t mod it yet. Incidentally, because of the way integer rounding works, the 380 population increase per turn at a Growth 3 scale should yield somewhere around 50,000 population across a 100-turn game, if I did the math right. That’s about three large provinces worth of people, and seems worth testing out to me.

Lord of Light (cf: Somanga): A secondary sun god out of folklore, I picture him as a Zulu warrior. Attended by eagle-men (humanoids with eagle heads, bright blazing wings and celestial nature—maybe as powerful as Dom 2 angelic host or a little less).

Lord of Light, Giant, cost=50, path=S1, newpath=80, dom=2, weap=Assegai (new), armor=Zultun Shield, sz=6, hp=60, prot=6, mor=30, MR=18, enc=2, str=20, att=13, def=13, prec=11, mv=3, ap=24, ldr=85-0-10, awe=+2, fly, shock immune, survive (m), attracts Sparrow Warriors in mountains, slots=humanoid.

On the surface, and at first, there wasn’t a lot of difference between this configuration and the Son of the Sun (Astral). I almost cut the treatment. However, the graphic would be quite different, and the mountain focus is interesting enough to keep him around for now. I cut his original hp a lot and reinforced the mountain/air detail. He is one of a pair of lesser gods (the other is the Star Goddess), and his positioning as a mountain-based Pretender led to the development of Bird-Men servitors. While in final form these are not exactly from the Zulu baseline mythos, they provide a pagan alternative to the angels and demons currently in the game, are consistent with the culture’s orientation toward Nature and nature spirits. With Eagle Warriors as the most powerful, I downgraded the Pretender’s servitors to the weakest (Sparrow) Warriors.

Star Goddess (cf: Nananana): Rides a mythical star beast that eats diamonds for sustenance and flies. Another folklore figure, originally a human maiden who was placed among the stars. Again, the graphic should be Zulu in flavor. I haven’t found a description of exactly what she rides, a wildebeast would be interesting.

Star Goddess, Giant, cost=50, path=S1, newpath=80, dom=2, weap=Thunder Fist, armor=None, sz=6, hp=55, prot=3, Mor=30, MR=18, enc=2, str=18, att=11, def=14, prec=13, mv=3, ap=16, ldr=50-0-5, awe=+1, fly, gems=+1S, mtd, sacred, sail, slots=mtd, no feet slot.

Even though the star-focus makes her Astral, I hint around the edges that Air would be a consistent second path pick, with things like the Thunder Fist. I’ve made her something of a culture-bender. The free Astral gems make her an interesting pick in a nation that does not otherwise support an Astral pretender. Even though the historical Zulus did not do much ocean voyaging, the Zultu may have, and the possibility that you might be facing a Zultu Pretender with some limited sealift capacity would throw a curve into strategic calculations. Lastly, she breaks a time-honored convention: she is a goddess who is also sacred. In general I agree that Pretender-gods should not themselves be sacred; however, I also think the exception proves the rule, and that an occasional sacred Pretender, with the proper back-story, is OK. In this particular case, if the maiden started as a human and became an established celestial being first, before setting out on the road to ascension, she may have received sufficient veneration and “other” influences to have gained and retained a sacred nature. In short, a rare combination of events came together to produce an anomaly (perhaps an impossibility), the very stuff of fantasy.

Tree of Life: Given the mythos, this isn’t actually the original tree of life, which would be far too powerful to represent in the game as anything other than a scenario special. This one might be considered an offshoot, or small manifestation of the greater Tree that has developed an independent agenda.

Tree of Life, Immobile, point=50, path=N3, newpath=40, dom=4, weap=None, armor=None, sz=6, hp=400, str=25, mor=30, MR=18, enc=0, str=20, att=5, def=0, prec=10, mv=0, ap=2, ldr=125-0-60, supply=15, regenerate=20, recuperate, poison immune, fire susceptible=25, need not eat, slots=2 misc, totally immobile.

Not quite as powerful as the Sphinx, but the Nature path puts a different spin on it. It’s useful to use fire against this entity.

Avenger of the Gods: This monster from folklore is a huge bird (eagle?) with a lion head and golden feathers on its wings. It is a servitor of the oldest gods, thus, somewhat more powerful than the progenitors of the Second People.

Avenger, Monster, cost=125, path=A3, newpath=80, dom=3, weap=Bite (20), Avenger1 Claw, Avenger2 Claw, Armor=None, sz=6, hp=50, prot=15, mor=30, MR=18, enc=2, str=18, att=15, def=13, prec=12, mv=3, ap=16, ldr=75-0-0, fear=6, blood vengeance=+3, ethereal, fly, mb, !e, slots=Head, Misc x2, Avenger Claws: one claw Curses, the other Horror Marks, subject to resistance.

Arguably the most powerful Pretender on this list, for this one "the tale grew in the telling." The curse/horror mark combination might be too much, but after all, the Pretender is the Avenger. The fear rating is the same as the Ghost King because I consider fear of retribution and fear of ancestral wrath to be about equal in the culture. Not sure how powerful the blood vengeance will be—Doom Horrors have a +2, so a +3 might be a little strong. I put in the “magic being” tag to make the creature specifically vulnerable to certain weapons.

Great White Lion: Lions are a major theme for this culture, so this is a natural. Why is it white? I’m a Kimba fan, of course! (And no, I’m not old enough to have seen the original run of the animated series.)

Great White Lion, Monster, cost=75, path=N1, newpath=80, dom=2, weap=Bite (322), Astral Claws (new), Armor=None, sz=6, hp=150, prot=8, mor=30, MR=18, enc=4, str=25, att=16, def=10, prec=8, mv=3, ap=18, ldr=85-0-15, fear=0, recuperates, fire immune, poison immune, standard, survival (f,m), slots=He, 2M.Guards: sacred lion x4), base prot 8.

This should be rather fearsome in combat. The new Astral Claws weapon is just like Astral Claw, except it allows two attacks. Originally, I was thinking Awe, for the lion, but went with a moderate Fear effect. I added the Standard effect because this is a totem animal. If that’s too much, I would lose the Fear effect first. The fire/poison immunities come from the national slant as rival to Machaka. Originally, I thought that having the Great White Lion attract Great Lions would be the way to go, but there are already two Pretenders that do that, so I changed to a one-time Sacred Lion guard.

Note: Endoperez suggested I have a Lion Master Pretender on this list. After consideration, and some additional reading, I’ve decided that it’s not thematic to have a giant Lion Master option. The culture is far more about harmonious coexistence with nature than overcoming and forcing human will on the natural order. The whole idea of a pack master for this culture is much more Western than I’m comfortable with. Along this line, I’ll be changing the Zultu leader “Lion Master” to “Lion Companion” to reflect the cultural emphasis.

Smith of the Gods (cf Ngungi): Traditionally a cripple with one eye. Left leg bitten off by a crocodile and replaced with hoofed leg of a bull which is a bit short. Owns a magic forging hammer and has created most of the fabulous magic items of the gods. I picture him in native dress, about ogre-size and stout, but human rather than ogre in appearance.

Smith, Rainbow, cost=55, path=E2, newpath=20, dom=2, weap=Hammer, armor=None, sz=3, hp=15, prot=0, mor=30, MR=18, enc=4, Str=12, att=10, def=10, prec=8, mv=2, ap=8, ldr=50-0-0, resist fire=50, forge=25, slots=humanoid.

Even though he traditionally has a magic hammer, I leave him with a normal one—the player can forge a Dwarven Hammer if he wants one. His rainbow nature makes him more versatile, if less powerful, than the Cyclops.

Leopard Warlock: From traditional folklore, this is a shapechanging warlock with a leopard theme.

Leopard Warlock, Rainbow, cost=50, newpath=10, dom=1, Fighting Stick (new), armor=None, sz=2, hp=10, prot=0, mor=30, MR=18, enc=3, ap=12, str=10, att=11, def=12, prec=10, mv=3, ap=12, ldr=50-0-25, survival (f,m), slots=Humanoid, Shape Change – Were-Leopard (XXX).

[were-leopard form: weap=Bite (20), Claw (29), armor=None, sz=2, hp=25, prot=6, mor=30, MR=18, sz=2, str=16, att=15, def=13, prec=5, mv=3, ap=15, ldr=50-0-0, regenerate=4, stealth=0), survival(f,m), slots=humanoid, Shape Change – Leopard Warlock (XXX).

In most cases this is more powerful than the Crone, but comes at a higher price. At first, I thought making the warlock stealthy would be a good idea. I later decided that making him shapechange for the stealth would be better.

A heroic woman has killed a fearsome magic Ogress in this province. Upon its death, all those it has enchanted and eaten reappear in a great procession. The people settle in the province and the heroine becomes their queen. (Adds 500/1,000/1,500 people, depending on positive Luck scale.)

Magic Items

Pipe of Dreams: Given by Kinta the Trickster to the giant guarding the Land of the Gods in order to put him to sleep. [Game effect +1N, but cursed. In combat casts “sleep” effect on caster each round.]

Idea: List in game documentation as Trickster’s Pipe, +2S, unique item, concealing its actual path bonus and cursed nature. The item is rigged to change its name and properties the first time it is equipped, accompanied by the popup “The Trickster’s Pipe is revealed as the Pipe of Dreams.”

There’s a reason the actual bonus is Nature magic, and considering the effects, this reason is probably what you are guessing right now.

A more complex version might have one of several random effects that changes from game to game, for example:

10% +1 Astral, Horror Marked, cursed

20% +1 Nature, spell: Poison Cloud, centered on owner, cursed

35% +1 Nature, spell: Sleep Cloud, centered on owner, each round in combat. No curse.

20% No path bonus. Spell: Sleep Cloud, ranged, +2 focus, stackable. No curse.

15% +1 Astral, spell: Charm. No curse.

More Magic--Trivia Game Begins

One of these items is taken from the works of a famous fantasy author. Can you spot the ringer?

Bag of the Fairy Bird
Magical sack from which pour hordes of poisonous, stinging insects, snakes, and scorpions.
Casts a Swarm spell. (Lesser Item 1A3N)

Ngona Oil
When used, it immediately raises the Growth scale in a province to +3. The scale defaults to the reigning dominion normally (Greater Item 2N, 1E, 1S). This elixir is consumed when used.

Pythonskin Amulet
A charm of leopard skin, mamba poison, and other elements, bound in a python skin bag. Gives Invulnerability (Greater Item 3E2N).

Trumpet of Rainfall
Forged by the smith of the gods and given to a legendary hero. Spell: Rain (Greater Item 3W1N).

Horn of Fertility
Magical rhinoceros horn that can create either of two effects. (Unique, 3N1E)
Spell: Ritual spell that increases Growth scale in current province to +3 for one turn.
Spell: Ritual spell that creates 190 population (CB 5.0) in current province.

Staff of the Sangoma
Legendary witchdoctor’s staff, potent against evil creatures.
Dam=5, x2 vs magic beings and demons, att=2, def=4, lng=4, +2MR, magic weapon (Unique, 3S 1E).

Spotted it? For bonus points, name the author and source. In two weeks, all will be revealed.
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Old November 12th, 2005, 07:19 AM
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Default Re: MOD: Zulu

A most impressive mod in scope as well as research and ideas. I hope you will finish it. You have my full support. I would also like to see your ideas fulfilled in dom3. Some of the modding restrictions of dom2 will not be there in dom3.

> I haven’t found a description of exactly what she rides, a wildebeast would be interesting.

I love wildebeasts.
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Old November 13th, 2005, 04:47 PM

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Default Re: MOD: Zulu

Bjaauni: Giant hairless, mindless undead gorilla-creatures created by Zaralleli. Colored the greenish brown of putrid flesh, they were brutalized and trained to kill by Zaralleli. They revolted and, in destroying Zaralleli and the First People, were destroyed themselves. See Odu.
One small nit to pick: How can a creature be undead/mindless and then revolt?
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Old November 13th, 2005, 05:05 PM
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Default Re: MOD: Zulu

I guess they revolted as in "completely out of controll".

"Boobs are OK. Just not for Nerfix [img]/threads/images/Graemlins/Smile.gif[/img] ."
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Old November 15th, 2005, 03:24 AM

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Default Re: MOD: Zulu

KO: Thank you for the kind words. I will certainly carry this mod as far as I can under Dom 2, and will revisit it again once Dom 3 is out.

I should mention that if you put the Titanic and my graphic skills into a thimble and shook it, it would rattle. I would really like to hook up with someone who likes doing unit TGAs and could do justice to the Zultus.

(When I was over at the CivFanatic page/Civ3 a while back, I found a very interesting Skaven mod under development, which is being driven by graphic-making gamers. Great stuff--should be done by the end of this year.)

I'm still working on the unit data page. I slacked off over the weekend and went to a movie, Chicken Little--lol! I am currently juggling three Dom 2 projects, but I'll try to get the unit info up this week.

Ironhawk: My guess is that the flavor of mindlessness is somewhat akin to that displayed by zombies in the recent crop of movies. Not too bright, and can be controlled or trained in a limited fashion, but push them too far and you can get a revolt. One reason fantasy necromancy-based societies fall is that the leaders get too overconfident about the degree of their control. Even supposedly controlled undead traditionally retain a certain lizard-brain function that can resent and hate at a very basic level. You usually don't see it in an army level game, but it's there, in the history and in the fantasy traditions.

(I recommend the works of Clark Ashton Smith--Zothique, if you can find it, see here. If you want a real life look at zombies, find The Serpent and the Rainbow by Wade Davis.)
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