Runemaster - Dev Diary 19 - Race: Humans

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Hi everyone!

As you know from the previous dev diary we have decided to keep you in suspense over the summer by posting dev diaries every other week up until August 25th, and then we'll return to our usual weekly schedule.

Our upcoming Tactical RPG game Runemaster will feature six different races, and today we will talk about the Humans. Might as well start with the familiar, right?

Inspiration
As could be expected, we've taken much inspiration from Viking culture and society in designing the Humans: their homes and some of their traditions are all fairly similar in style and tone to what we know of the Vikings. We should emphasize, though, that Runemaster is not a Viking game. This is a fantasy game set in Norse mythology; this is a fictional world. Although the Humans are based on the Vikings, don't expect them to be realistic Vikings in every way.

The Mythology: The Creation of Humans
Long ago, Odin was out walking with his brothers Vili and Ve, looking at the world they had created. The more they walked, the more they felt that the world was empty. The other worlds had Jotuns, Dwarfs, Trolls, Light- and Darkelfs, but Midgard lacked something. True, the Trolls visited from time to time, but that made the world feel even more empty. It needed something or someone to give it life and energy. As they walked, they found two pieces of driftwood - one from an ash and one from an elm. The three gods carved the two pieces of wood into their own likeness and made a man from the ash and a woman from the elm. They were named Ask and Embla. Odin gifted them with breath, life and spirit. Vili gave them brains, feelings and sense. Ve gave them hearing, sight and blood. The humans were given Midgard as their domain to protect, use and thrive in.

The Appearances of Humans
Most Humans are between 1.5 and 2 meters tall, with skin that easily reddens in the sun. Humans can be dark haired with brown eyes, but most are red haired or even fair haired. Their clothes are made from cloth, leather and fur, with some metal reinforcements for fastening. They trust their own strength and stamina more than heavy armor, and so are dressed in flexible chain mail or leather in battle. Humans are fond of wielding swords, axes and spears, often combined with a shield, in battle.

The life, work and traditions of Humans
As the Humans were made by Odin, Vili and Ve, the Humans believe themselves to be the most loved race by the gods. They hold Odin and Thor to be the greatest gods of them all. Humans who speak ill of the gods are shunned by others. One blasphemer in a settlement might cause the whole settlement to be cursed by the god(s). Those who oppose the will of the gods are immediately punished by the others, to make sure the insulted god does not punish them all.

Odin told the Humans that they should always carry their weapon because they would never know when they would need it. They have taken this to heart and they are never unarmed or far from a weapon. A true Human dies with a weapon in hand, slain by an enemy on the battlefield. Valkyries will bring those that have died a valiant death to Valhalla or Folkvangr, where they will eat, drink and fight until Odin or Freya orders them into battle.

The human society is an equal society of men and women, both at home and in battle, and they all share each other's challenges and burdens. Humans appreciate good craftsmanship in all forms, heroism and a wide range of creative talents, such as those found in skalds.

Human houses in Runemaster are very much inspired by Viking longhouses, Swedish hill farms and similar wooden buildings. These buildings were made with large logs which often had large cracks between them that were stuffed with sheep's wool or dried grass to stop draughts. The roofs were thatched with reed and straw. The art style we've chosen for the houses really brings forward our Swedish and Viking legacy.

Humans respect prowess in battle, wisdom in life and a strong body. They believe that you should not waste what a god has given you, so make the most of your strengths and thank the gods for what you have been given.

Poisoned weapons are regarded by the Humans as cowardly, and poisoned food or drink is not accepted at all. They reasoning is eminently practical: 'What if you get hungry after poisoning someone and cannot remember which of the food or drink is poisonous?'
Cats are praised for their valuable skills as mousers and Humans often keep them as pets. A bride must bring a cat to her new household or it is doomed to fail.

Human perform ceremonies known as "blots" to gain the favor of the Gods, whether it's a prayer for fertility, good health, a good life or peace and harmony. These ceremonies require the sacrifice of an animal. 'Til ars ok fridar', they pray, "For a good year and peace". The meat is boiled, and then the blood sprinkled upon the statues of the Gods, on the walls and on the Humans. The Humans then share a meal with the Gods, washed down by blessed mead.

The Heroes of Humans
You can choose to play as either a Human male Berserker or a Human female Skald. We have talked about the Berserker and Skald in earlier dev diaries, if you wish to freshen your memory you can find them here:
Berserker: http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/showthread.php?774091-Runemaster-Development-Diary-12-The-Berserker
Skald: http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/showthread.php?772808-Runemaster-Development-Diary-11-The-Skald

The Units of Humans
Every race has six different units, three standard units and three unique units.

The Humans' three standard units are Axemen, Skirmishers and Raiders. The Axemen are melee fighters who fight with axes in a group of four. They have more armor than the other troops but they deal less damage than the heavier assault units. The Skirmishers are spear throwers and are the ranged units of the Humans. They do not have much armor but can attack from afar. The Raiders are a group of four assault soldiers wielding two-handed swords. They do more damage than the Axemen but have less armor.

The three unique units are Cavalry, Gydja and the Shieldmaidens. The spear-armed Cavalry soldier is no ordinary man on a horse. it takes time and dedication to learn a horse to accept the smell of blood, the noise of metal against metal and the fear that permeates every battlefield. The Gydja is a woman who leads her people in the blot, or the sacrifice. She is a priestess with a lot of spell power that might be able to damage more than one enemy unit at once. On the battlefield she uses her powers to protect, to heal or to wreak havoc upon the enemy. Shieldmaidens are women who have dedicated their lives to battle. They worship Freya and when they die in battle, they will be brought by Freya's servants to her hall Folkvangr. Swords and shields are their preferred weapons, and they go berserk in battle.

The three unique units cost more to hire than the three standard units and might not be available to the player from the beginning of the game.

As always, please post your questions and we'll answer them, as long as it does not spoil too much of the game :). We'll come back 14th of July with a fresh new dev diary and hope you will await it with much anticipation!

Runemaster_devdiary_19.jpg
A screenshot from Midgard, with the Skald and a Human male NPC.
 
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Romulus

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As you know from the previous dev diary we have decided to keep you in suspense over the summer by posting dev diaries every other week up until August 25th, and then we'll return to our usual weekly schedule.

We’ll come back 7th of July with a fresh new dev diary and hope you will await it with much anticipation!
So which is it now? These two statements are contradictory. As the 7th of July is a week from today...
 

Druplesnubb

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The humans in this game seems to have a lot more gender equality than the historical vikings. I can understand the gameplay reasons for this (and female fighters is pretty much a must have considering how common shield maidens were in norse myths), but it's still somewhat jarring.
 

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The humans in this game seems to have a lot more gender equality than the historical vikings. I can understand the gameplay reasons for this (and female fighters is pretty much a must have considering how common shield maidens were in norse myths), but it's still somewhat jarring.
It's not a historical game, it is a fantasy game. And we only base some things on Vikings, not everything. In our version, males and females (no matter the race) have the same opportunities. I feel very strongly for this, and I think gender equality is something we should strive for, no matter if it's IRL or in a game. Why do you feel it is jarring?

Every dev diary and every screenshot I see makes me want to play this game more and more.
Glad to hear that! :)
 

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So how hostile are the humans to other races, say, for example, elves?

Will they kill elves on sight or foolishly attempt to listen to them tell their lies?
 

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So how hostile are the humans to other races, say, for example, elves?

Will they kill elves on sight or foolishly attempt to listen to them tell their lies?
Depends... are you talking Darkelfs or Lightelfs?
 

Druplesnubb

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It's not a historical game, it is a fantasy game. And we only base some things on Vikings, not everything. In our version, males and females (no matter the race) have the same opportunities. I feel very strongly for this, and I think gender equality is something we should strive for, no matter if it's IRL or in a game. Why do you feel it is jarring?
I feel it's jarring because it's a serious departure from the society (and to a lesser extent the mythology) that the game is based on. I don't think video game worlds have to be modeled after what we want our societes in real life to look like. I'm pretty sure most of you guys at Paradox like democracy, but all societes in Runemaster (as far as I know) seem to be monarchies.
 

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I feel it's jarring because it's a serious departure from the society (and to a lesser extent the mythology) that the game is based on. I don't think video game worlds have to be modeled after what we want our societes in real life to look like. I'm pretty sure most of you guys at Paradox like democracy, but all societes in Runemaster (as far as I know) seem to be monarchies.
We don't base the game on Viking society, we only take some inspiration from it and base some things on it (for example appearances).

Not all games have to, but I think gender equality in Runemaster will be great.

There's six different races in Runemaster, and we'll have dev diaries about each of these. There are a lot of differences between them, and I don't want to spoil them here. You'll have to wait until we have posted them :)
 

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I don't understand, can elves be friendly?
All races can be friendly. It depends on how you approach them. There will always be those that want to talk than fight, and they have to be able to do that. ;)
 

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All races can be friendly. It depends on how you approach them. There will always be those that want to talk than fight, and they have to be able to do that. ;)
I still don't understand the concept of elfs that are friendly. Well I suppose I should rephrase my question:

If either kind of elf walked up to your typical human settlement, would the humans throw spears first and ask questions later, or would they let the elf come in and steal their babies?
 

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I still don't understand the concept of elfs that are friendly. Well I suppose I should rephrase my question:

If either kind of elf walked up to your typical human settlement, would the humans throw spears first and ask questions later, or would they let the elf come in and steal their babies?
If it was a Lightelf, the Humans would probably talk to him/her but not allow him/her to steal their babies. If it was a Darkelf, the Humans would let it approach until they could talk to him/her, but threatening him/her with weapons and not allowing him/her into the village at all. Humans and Lightelf are on Thor's side, the Stability side, while Darkelfs are on Loki's side, the Change side. Humans tend to be rather suspicious of most races but be more accepting of races that are on the same side as they are.
 
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