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Petike the Taffer

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Petike the Taffer last won the day on April 15 2021

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About Petike the Taffer

  • Birthday November 17

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    Gothic clockpunk shire of Zemplín
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    Tiff-taffin' around...

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  1. A pretty deadly toy if you "catch" one of its bolts in the face or gut.
  2. Hello, fellow TDM people. Already a while back, @Kurshok and a few other people raised the idea that it might be useful to create something of an overview of the fictional history of The Empire and of nearby lands and regions. Personally, I didn't feel as strongly about it as them, but it was an interesting idea. After putting some thought into it and creating some preliminary notes, I plan to attempt just that. But first, I want to make some clarifications in the following FAQ. Q: Oh no ! This will be considered canon and we'll have to be subservient to it and required to follow it, right ? A: It will not be considered canon, because The Dark Mod de facto has no 100 % canon. Aside from the things established by the game in its first years (see the "universe" wiki articles) and things established in the official missions, virtually everything about the setting beyond that is semi-canonical. Q: So, our new FMs will not have to adhere to the timeline absolutely ? What if they contradict something in it ? A: Of course they won't have to. There are already a fair few missions that are vague about their location, or don't even take place in The Empire. No one's expected to follow some semi-canonical compilation of history and "lore" to the letter, nor should they. As the title of the thread states, this'll be more of a vague guideline. The sole reason I'm bothering with this project at all is to address the occassional complaints that "the sheer number of FMs could create big inconsistencies in TDM". You want slightly more consistency ? You want more guidelines ? Okay. Q: What about the details of the timeline ? Please don't overdo it with extrapolations of existing TDM setting elements. A: The timeline and ancilliary stuff will be written in a manner which provides a basic idea about the world of TDM, particularly history and setting elements seen in The Empire, and some of the more "civilised" states and cultures that border The Empire on land and overseas. Extrapolations will not be overdone, in part because TDM already has pretty good and consistent writing in its FM (for the most part) and good and consistent adherence to the setting's tone, and in part because I don't want this mini-project veering off into implausible fanfiction. As a simple example, when covering any paragraphs about the "present day" technology of The Empire, things like extremely rare experimental airships might get a brief mention (to acknowledge the single airship appearing in the FM Pandora's Box). On the other hand, we don't know much about the existence of guns in the setting, so I intend to treat them as an existing technology that's not gone much beyond maybe a 15th century to very early 16th century timeframe (i.e. they have fairly capable early artillery in the world of TDM, but gunpowder hasn't become crucial yet, and there isn't much variety or user-friendliness in handheld firearms, so forget about wheellocks or flintlocks or all forms of pistols). And that's just the technology. There's plenty of other areas where you can fill in some unclear gaps, but subtly, rather than completely wild extrapolating to the point of absurdity. TDM is a subtle stealth game in a technologically more archaic setting, with a subtle presentation, so any and all extrapolation should be subtle as well. Q: Anything else ? A: There will be an in-universe excuse for the semi-canonical nature of the whole thing. The timeline and claims of various literature about history will not always be consistent, as lack of more accurate records, and the interpretations and biases of the authors will play a role. So, you will not be getting a "The Absolutely True Unabridged History of The Empire" and you shouldn't even expect to receive one. What you will see instead is a broad interpretation of the history of The Empire, the Known World, the Faith of the Builder, etc. Concerning the Faith of the Builder, many of the earliest bits of information will be almost semi-mythical, though a better term would be "legendary" in the original sense of the word. Legends of the lives of the saints, and so on, with the interpretation of details provided in such stories or historical accounts being up to the reader. Maybe some supernatural events were only a tradition and didn't happen, maybe they did, maybe no one knows for sure after so many centuries, etc. Pondering this is intentionally all the more complicated, given that TDM takes place in a world where some magic and some obviously supernatural things demonstrably happen from time to time. If I include any writing by either various strands of the Church or by pagan-sympathizes/apologists, this will portray disparate views on a variety of topics, including religion, interpretation of historical events and historical personalities, etc. Expect that biases will be clear here, with any of the sides often attempting to lionize and whitewash their cause or preferred stuff, while denigrating or even demonizing others. Some of the earlier histories will also reflect rulers who were less educated, but had educated individuals write the histories of their particular period: "History is written by the victors... unless they're actually illiterate !" Q: Is feedback to this little project welcomed ? A: Not only welcomed, I even actively seek feedback from you fine people and outright ask for it nicely ! Granted, different people will have different ideas of what to include or not, where to draw the line on something being vague and mysterious and something relatively well understood, but all in all, I think reasonable compromises might be found in debate. Just keep things level-headed and remember the scope and atmosphere of the setting (lest we stray too far from it). Q: Besides feedback, do you need help with anything else ? A: I certainly do. What's arguably even more important is helping out gathering some of the written materials from existing FMs. Materials that might pertain to the history of the setting, whether it be the local history of some village, town, city or other settlement (fortifications and monasteries are also welcome), or some regional history of a particular geographic area, or the general history of The Empire and of the Builder Church, or even foreign and faraway lands. Things like the history of science and research in the setting and so on is also interesting information you could source from FM readables. I will try to gradually contact various FM authors and ask them about any details that are unclear from the readables of their FMs. I'll also inquire whether they're okay with their FMs being considered at least semi-canonical, for the purposes of the timeline. However, if any FM authors or someone who knows their missions in-and-out decide to show up in this thread and correct the information or claims listed here, or add to them with some out-of-game notes cut from the FM, that would be splendid too. I want the timeline, especially of the more recent history of The Empire, to be fairly consistent with any dates and events that occur in FMs that might be of note. Please bear in mind: Individual stories and twists from FMs that are unlikely to ever become public will not be listed in these overviews. Most things experienced by Corbin, Thomas Porter, William Steele et al will always be known to few and never recorded in the chronicles, literature and news of The Empire. Wish me luck and feel free to contribute at your own pace.
  3. Why would you need a pistol, if skilled FM makers or the dev team could add something like this ? Perfectly realistic from a historical standpoint, fast to reload, but not too powerful or with too great a range. If anything, these would be faster to reload and shoot than an 18th or 19th century pistol.
  4. I have a better quality mic these days, but I still need to acquire some sort of shroud for it, just in case. Currently not recording any sound effects nor voiceovers.
  5. Precisely. The tricky thing is how to justify it technologically, from an in-universe perspective. We don't need to overthink it, of course, but TDM has a very grounded setting in many aspects. I think one of the best ways to "explain away" the existence of electric arrows in TDM would be to have an arrowhead that includes some conductive material on the inside and some sort of made-up gobbledygook alchemical substance that would act as a trigger to the conductive material. Once the arrow arrives at its target, the alchemical substance in one of its compartments is triggered and the substance itself then acts as a trigger for the conductive material in the arrowhead, creating an electric discharge of some sort. Maybe electric arrows would be easier to implement in the setting of your Delightfyl game project. It seems a fair bit more modern technology-wise, especially when it comes to harnessing electricity and various electrical devices and electrical appliances. Not impossible in the TDM setting, but your own setting seems even better-suited to that, including something as advanced as EMP arrowheads.
  6. The problem with every country in the world, from the wealthiest and most developed to the poorest and most "backwards" (least developed) is that unless the people of that country want to improve things themselves, you cannot force them to improve it. This isn't to say no aid or advice should be offered to those countries. Quite the opposite. In Afghanistan, aside from a minority of better educated and more willing people, most people did not care about establishing any sort of true national unity or thinking of their country as a common, mutual project. This extends to the people that were in power before the recent Taliban coup d'état. It was more of a coup, since they didn't have to do much fighting, the army and local officials surrendered themselves, they had all cut deals about it beforehand. Well, the government in power until recently was immeasurably better in terms of human rights than the Taliban, but it was also catastrophically corrupt and apparently had little to no interest in not being corrupt. This cost them the long-term trust of local and regional officials and citizens, while at the same time, those local officials and citizens also had a prejudice against trusting the central government. If you have such absurd levels of distrust between the government and citizens, and it goes both ways, the country has a real inherent problem. And its long-held tribalist mentalities don't help with that at all, especially when they're so ingrained. Saying "the people there deserve the Taliban" is no more correct or reasonable than saying "they deserve a corrupt and incompetent government". They deserve neither. They deserve to have a functioning government that would avoid corruption and try to improve the country. However, if the way of doing things in Afghanistan has almost always been various types of cronyism, loyalty to local areas, tribes and your cronies, and a general lack of care for your fellow citizens and what happens to the country as a whole, then we can't be surprised that the running of Afghanistan has been incredibly corrupt and cronyist. Even if you stopped all forms of foreign aid, the cronyism would continue. You could pour billions into education, healthcare, economic and military aid, but all of those billions will go down the drain or end up in the wrong hands (corrupt local officials, criminals, even outright terrorists) if you put no measures in place whatsoever to discourage corruption and teach people why corruption is ultimately bad and detrimental to any society and country. However, for all our willingness to help a less developed country, we can't do this process for them. They'll have to achieve that process themselves. Is it easy ? Well, of course it isn't. But who else can do it entirely for them ? No one. We can advise, we can provide know-how, but it's them who have to put up the effort. And you can't start making an effort unless you want to take up that effort in the first place. I don't think that Afghanistan or any country is unsuited to democracy. All of them are. But the people first need to understand what it entails and that it won't fall into their laps from the sky, and that others can't bring it to them ready-made, without a domestic effort. You don't even need to look into Afghanistan, as this is still an issue even in Europe, especially former East Block countries like mine, and my country is one of the lucky ones that have been in the EU for nearly two decades at this point. If it's so difficult to clear the judiciary, politics and economy from corrupt crooks, mafiosos and cronyists in a "civilized" and developed European country, you can imagine how hard it is in a heavily underdeveloped and impoverished country like Afghanistan. Do you think anyone swooped in from abroad to clean up the corruption issues in my country, rather than leaving it to the country's citizens ? Of course no one did. They might have provided some aid and know-how and encouraging words, but the tough work was left to the citizens of my country. At least those who were willing to reform things. It's easy to bellow "the US is to blame, NATO is to blame, the EU is to blame, the soviets are to blame, the Taliban is to blame, all Afghanis are to blame" and play other blame games ad nauseam. Those who play blame games are usually people who are unwilling to acknowledge reality and some very real failings, and those who refuse to acknowledge that most of the agency, for good or bad, is in the hands of the people whom the whole situation concerns the most. If most people in a country of 38 millions, like Afghanistan, couldn't put up a proper resistance to a force of at most 50 000, then I don't think Afghanis can talk much about unity or healthy patriotism. I mean, imagine Poland, or Ukraine or Argentina being taken over by a terrorist movement the size of a medium-sized town and putting up nearly no resistance to these. It would be absurd. For all those countries' flaws and past mistakes, they at least had a sense of patriotism and solidarity with their fellow citizens to defend the country from such a takeover. (Today, my country is celebrating the beginning of an armed and organized uprising against its fascist puppet regime and occupation during WWII. Those who took part in the uprising were greatly outgunned, had little material advantages of any sort, and I could go on. Don't you tell me that people in 1940s Slovakia were more capable fighters against a whole militarist wannabe-empire and its heavily subsidized puppets, than 2020s Afghanis are against what is ultimately just a bigger domestic terrorist movement.) Long story short, as much as we can help the various Afghanis, it is their country and they have the main agency to change it for better... or for worse. The onus and the blame is primarily on them, whether we like it or not. I'm no more at fault that many men in Afghanistan are mindless women-haters and women-beaters, any more than a peaceful-minded Afghan bloke is to blame that the Taliban exists. We shouldn't officially accept the Taliban takeover (much like how we didn't accept the USSR taking over Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia in WWII or Russia attempt to conquer Ukraine a few years ago), but at the same time, we shouldn't deceive ourselves that Afghanistan needs constant rescuing. It doesn't. Even the Libyans overthrew Ghaddafi on their own, as squabbling as they are now - but that's part of a country's maturation process. The Taliban is also shooting the entire country in the foot. By excluding women from various walks of life or giving them only token positions, they are inconveniencing the country economically. They're not even good at running the country in a cynical fashion. Sooner or later, this will breed resentment among the female population, especially the women who came of age in the last twenty years, when it was easier for them to study, get a decent education, get a job, even a more sophisticated one. The folly of all authoritarians and totalitarians is that, whether they hide nominally behind lip service to religion, or tradition, or nationalism, or any sort of triumphalist ideology, it will sooner or later come back to bite them in the arse. And it will also bite everyone who uncritically followed them and supported them, and didn't have a care in the world when it comes to such a simple thing as a human conscience. Unfortunately, many entirely innocent and decent people will still suffer. But even so, let's not pretend that the apathy of people towards tyrannical rule by extremist movements is infinite. People are sadly very good at apathy, but history is littered with milestones when people had enough and they woke up. How long that waking up in Afghanistan will take, and how long it'll take for Afghanis to relaise they can govern their country without corruption or narrow-minded tribalism and bigotry, I don't know. It might happen one day, and I won't be betting on when.
  7. People could extrapolate the original pilgrimage chapel from this ruin and make it part of some mission witha Builder pilgrimage chapel (one that's still standing, not a ruin).
  8. Do we have a thread collecting lootlists for TDM missions ? I would like to expand that and update that, if possible.
  9. Don't worry, I meant that as a joke. I don't think robots should speak in exaggerated pseudo-Elizabethan. I meant steam-beasts bought by Builders for guarding (though that depends on whether they'd approve of them at all), but even so, if the steam-beasts should ever be "voiced", they should speak in normal English and the sentences should be bland and short.
  10. I've gone over to Lingo Jam and had some sentences rewritten to Elizabethan English. The results: "Halt, knave ! Throweth down thy arms and surrend'r !" "Stand ho, foul felon ! Giveth up thy thiev'ry !" (stand ho = stop) "Thee shalt not evade the law, rotten knave !" "Assaulting. I shalt maketh quick worketh of thee, vile burglar !" "Thee daw ! Thee cannot escape !" (daw = fool) "I am stout, and thieves like thee gallow easily." (strong, scare easily) Imagine the robots barking this out, in either Builder voices (as above) or in some commoner and thief cant.
  11. I think what Shadow Creepr would really appreciate would be some voice direction. The female voice set is effectivelly non-spoken, it's all vocals rather than words and sentences, but even that sort of performance requires at least a bit of direction, so it could fit with what we'd want to hear during gameplay (in missions using the female voice set for the player character). People have commented before that the recording quality wasn't bad, even if some had to be occassionally fixed a bit in post, but that something was lacking on a voice-performance level. It's fair enough to say Shadow Creepr should feel free to do her performance, rather than do a female imitation/impression of the male voice set, I agree with that. However, I think it's unhelpful to say "I didn't find this vocal convincing" without providing more in-depth feedback and some voice direction on what the voice actor should be going for. If we don't provide any voice direction, we shouldn't be surprised if some recordings might not sound adequate to us, at least in the sense we'd make them a part of the core game. I don't know what experience you have with providing voice direction for the people doing voice acting for your missions, but if you and at least one dev from the core team would like to provide some feedback to Shadow Creepr - just so we avoid people grumbling "that didn't sound convincing", "that was off in this way..." - I'd welcome that.
  12. Hello. Thank you for getting in touch ! I was meaning to finally write to you again this week and ask whether you're not too busy, but you beat me to it. If you'd like to do the recordings, feel free to do it at your own pace. There's no rush. Quality is all that matters, really. Since there have been a few updates to the player vocalisations in the more recent versions of the core game, you could ask some of the dev team members for the new audio files and the titles of those new recordings. Just so you could do all the recordings if you want to, and not have to add new ones later. All in all, you really don't need to hurry. Put your own needs and your own work first, record in your free time when you really feel like it. If you need to contact me, you can message me here or at TTLG.com (I have the same username on both sites). I think you might still have my e-mail adress too. If you do any recordings, leave about 2 or 3 seconds of silence at the start. Just so we could potentially reduce any subtler noise and hum in post-production, if we manage to find any (I mean the near-silent ones, any louder hum should obviously be avoided as much as possible).
  13. The TDM wiki differentiates between FMs and OMs. The three base pack missions are OMs, all the rest are FMs. The Thief Wiki treats all TDM missions as FMs. The TDM wiki and Thief wiki also count the release of Vengeance for a Thief campaign as a single article, because the final version of the mission is a campaign, collecting all three missions of the VfaT (including the first two published previously, as separate missions). I have no say in what goes on the official website list, so if the dev team decides to include the first two VfaT missions separately, and then the whole compilation of them and a final added mission separately as well, that's up for the team to decide. There are also some discrepancies between the Thief Wiki and TDM wiki lists, because one lists a mission by date of first release, and the other used to occassionally move it up by date of re-release. I plan to get rid of this issue and make both lists based on first release (with a note on latest release in the TDM list).
  14. Well, I can honestly say I've climbed the Mount Everest of fan mission database writing... or updating. Or if not the Mount Everest, then at least the Mont Blanc. Which is my long-winded way of saying... I have updated The Dark Mod FM databases both on our wiki and on the Thief Wiki. With the possible exception of the not yet re-released Winter Harvest, every single TDM mission ever made can now be found and read about on both wikis. Every single one of them has its own dedicated article. Behold ! And here, of course. I will still be updating a few minor formatting details and the like, but the hard work is finally done. (Granted, I will be adding new missions to the databases as they come out, this year and in the years to come.) On a sidenote, are there any screenshots anywhere of the current, latest version of the Training Mission, the A New Job mission and The Tears of Saint Lucia mission ? We're still lacking those in the official databases and I'd love to upload at least a few of them to both of the wikis.
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