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Kurshok

Beastfolk Cultures

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So, do the Beastfolk of any kind have any cultures of their own, outside of the pagan culture? Do they have their own cities, towns, or villages? Different religions? Are there any nations in the world where Beastfolk and humans get along, or where Beastfolk are the majority?

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To tell you the truth, these are actually all good questions. To digress a bit, in a fantasy setting I've been developing for a few years now, for a certain RPG project of my own - also inspired by Thief, among other sources - these were the sorts of questions I asked myself when designing the setting's more fantastical species. (There are both human variations in the setting, and animalistic humanoids.) One thing I liked to focus on was the relationship of each species with industry, technology and that nebulous word, "progress", as one of the things the setting has in common with Thief is an early industrial revolution vibe (or that of a premature industrial revolution, if you will).

Now, for The Dark Mod specifically, I think a lot of this depends on whether the beastfolk are like or unlike those of Thief, who were very much in league with the Pagans, or even their servants and footsoldiers, whathaveyou.

We already have a new version of the werebeast (a purely animal-like werewolf, basically) in the works, and it's fairly complete, though not really finished. My impression is that this big guy is meant to be used for missions occuring in the wilderness or in rural areas, and similar. My own impression of the werebeasts from everything released and discussed so far is that they're half-way between a genuine sapient race and an animal (in the sense of belchers, giant spiders, etc.). They don't really have any culture, tools, speech, anything, but they are intelligent creatures that can use their intelligence to dangerous ends.

One of Kingsal's more recent missions has a different species of beastmen, more human-like, intelligent and tool-using, sort of broadly similar to the monkeymen from the first Thief or the ratmen from the third one. They were underground cavern dwellers, living a scavenging and hunter-gatherer life. I thought they were pretty creepy, especially their eyes. You had a swordman version and a javelineer version (rather than an archer), so that gives a bit of variety in gameplay terms and also a bit of insight what their material culture is like. These guys are also the only ones to date that are voice-acted (and very clearly a homage to the aforementioned Thief inspirations, even in their style of speech).

A few years back, Plutonia visited the forums and suggested the concept of "mantians", mantis-like insectoid people that were a riff on Thief's bugbeasts (much like many of the creatures in TDM). I think it's a given these would be as unintelligible to humans in terms of language as the werebeasts, but otherwise, they'd probably be social and very intelligent. Plutonia's ideas for them seemed to hint at a social insect kind of society/civilisation, even though their real world inspiration (mantises) are mostly solitary creatures.

So, we already have two beastmen varieties at least, though one still largelly in development, and one proposed beastfolk variety that is purely at the visual concept stage, plus some general ideas about what they could be like.

You can read about these more closely in this article. Most of the beastfolk and monster concepts are largelly undeveloped at this point, due to the sheer amount of work you need with making new AI for the core game, even if they're bipeds (but not humanoids). We can of course think about this whole thing more deeply as part of general pre-production in this area. I'd even say you're right on the money that these things should be decided about now, early on, before we make more definitive concepts and start work on the various varieties of beastfolk. The game is at a stage when we can slowly begin to move towards incorporating more outlandish AI, the only issue being manpower. TDM never has enough manpower for asset creation, that's for sure.

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2 hours ago, wesp5 said:

So is there a list of missions that already contain beastmen?

It's in the creatures article and also in the article with the fan missions overview.

Volta II: Cauldron of the Gods II definitely has those beastmen with the shortswords and javelins.

Marsh of Rahena has some weird creepy humanoids with glowing eyes, but those might be some form of undead or spirits.

2 hours ago, Kurshok said:

Hot damn, I don't like to consider myself a furry, but that Mantian Huntress is thicc, I wanna clap them cheeks.

Don't get dirty, young man.

Edited by Petike the Taffer
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The term "werebeast" implies that it's a shapeshifter.  I don't know if that's in the wiki or not, but I know my original intent when I added them was that they were some type of lycanthrope.  They're not a race and wouldn't have their own culture, though pagan tribes may look on them favourably (shamans or druids might learn to shapechange into beasts).

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6 hours ago, Springheel said:

The term "werebeast" implies that it's a shapeshifter.  I don't know if that's in the wiki or not, but I know my original intent when I added them was that they were some type of lycanthrope.  They're not a race and wouldn't have their own culture, though pagan tribes may look on them favourably (shamans or druids might learn to shapechange into beasts).

So we technically only have 1 true race of beastmen, the chimp-like ones in Volta 2, and one potentially on the way, the Mantians.

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1 minute ago, Kurshok said:

So we technically only have 1 true race of beastmen, the chimp-like ones in Volta 2, and one potentially on the way, the Mantians.

Well, "potentially"... We have that one concept from Plutonia, and that one is years old. Do the math. The Volta 2 ones are the only ones available right now. I have to wonder whether they could be included in the core mod...

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Maybe we could do some different fantasy humanoids from beastmen, but still not the common ones like Dwarf, Elf, Orc, Goblin, Troll, Ogre, etc. The Silver-Skinned Kothringi and Eyeless Orma from Elder Scrolls were pretty unique subspecies of human from the swamps of Argonia, and for a horror aesthetic, the mutant Freaks from the otherwise-disliked Thief 2014 were a good monstrous humanoid, although they were still referred to as "strange man-beasts" in a newspaper article. Perhaps something like debased troglodytes, or more Lovecraftian fishmen, less sympathetic than the Kurshok I chose as my namesake, or ghouls from Pickman's Model.

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Given that we don't even have the manpower to get the updated werebeast working well enough to release, who are you expecting to  "do some different fantasy humanoids"?

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14 minutes ago, Springheel said:

Given that we don't even have the manpower to get the updated werebeast working well enough to release, who are you expecting to  "do some different fantasy humanoids"?

I wish I could come up with a witty retort or actual solution, but the first thing to come to mind is "i dunno lol".

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9 hours ago, Kurshok said:

I wish I could come up with a witty retort or actual solution, but the first thing to come to mind is "i dunno lol".

Learn rigging and get to work on animating those AIs, young man. :D

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Unfortunately, there's constant shortage of content creators. Ideas are nice and all, but don't expect anyone to jump in and start making stuff based on your suggestions anytime soon. Better learn how to make such content yourself :) 

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11 hours ago, peter_spy said:

Unfortunately, there's constant shortage of content creators. Ideas are nice and all, but don't expect anyone to jump in and start making stuff based on your suggestions anytime soon. Better learn how to make such content yourself :) 

This is exactly why I've been collaborating with Epifire and more recently Shadow Creepr (bless their hearts, both) on getting some new content done for the core game. Nothing as grandiose as new AI, but still something that can add more variety for mission makers. And then there's my own missions... Pity I've never had enough time to really develop 3D skills.

Edited by Petike the Taffer

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