Elemental: Game Play Example – Part 1

By on August 17, 2010 6:13:45 PM from JoeUser Forums JoeUser Forums


Join Date 03/2001

Game Version: Digital v1.0


I am Ezmir, son of Athalyir, himself noble councilman of Valgona, long cherished in my memory, and the memory of all those who knew him. My mother was Daina of the free
city of Eldric; my brothers Garran and Amir lived and died with her in that city. I am the eldest of those who came from the East now living in this world, scribe to Queen Procipinee of the reborn kingdom of Pariden, as I was scribe to her father Amarian III, last Emperor of the Free Cities of the North. What I write in these pages is the tale of the rebirth of the world, the rise of Roland the Great and his Kingdom on the western Island of Ithuna…


AAR: The Rogue and the King



Our story begins in Inthuna. In the century that has passed since The Cataclysm, life has largely recovered on this large island. Civilization, however, has not returned to the land. The wilds are dominated by outlaws, monsters, and worse.

image  A young thief named Roland was no better than a typical Brigand.  [You can design your own character both visually and in terms of their skills].

image Quite by accident, he discovered he was a channeler – a mortal being able to cast magic. This realization set the young thief on a new path.  [When you are done with a design, you can create a “card” of your character].

image Perhaps it is ironic that Roland chose to adopt the people of Capitar, the very people who he had stolen from during his career as a Brigand or perhaps it was merely a desire to provide restitution to the people he had wronged.  Whatever the reason, it would be the people of Capitar that he would lead for good or ill.


imageYithril emerged from the wilds. He had found an ideal spot to start his kingdom.


From the woods emerged Janusk, the old merchant master. He recognized Roland’s great potential immediately.




Having found the perfect location to found his new kingdom, Roland decided to call his outpost in the wilds “Resolve”.


On the day of the founding of the Kingdom of Capitar, the only resource available to Roland was money – Gildar which he had…borrowed from others in the past.  His magical power was only potential without knowledge of actual spells and without materials, metal, knowledge, etc. there would be no future.


The first thing he deiced to build was a workshop. Workshops produce a tiny amount of material but enough to construct other small buildings until he could find a natural resource.

imageHe also wanted to build a study. Roland knew something about fighting but he was, admittedly uneducated. While he had used swords and made use of things of considerable sophistication, those technologies were prior to the cataclysm.  The knowledge wasn’t “gone” entirely but would have to be recovered from the various pieces of the old Empires and Kingdoms of old via their lost libraries that can be found across the land.

Unfortunately, he couldn’t build a study simply because he lacked the materials to do so. Literally. This is what the workshop would do for him.

imageThe nearby gold deposit and iron deposit would be very helpful once he had materials.



For now, he would be fine, Janusk had a knack for bringing in gildar.

 A month later…

The summer was smiling on the fledgling Kingdom of Capitar. While exploring the nearby lands, Janusk came across an ancient battlefield.


imageMidnight stones. These can be sold but there are rumors that some people can take these and forge them into powerful pieces of equipment. But it’s just a rumor.

At the same time, the Outpost of Resolve had begun to attract people from the wilds. The workshop had been completed and upon the completion of the study they could begin trying to relearn the lost knowledge of the world.

image The loremaster of the study explained to Roland that the people of Capitar had categorized knowledge into 5 areas: Civilization, Warfare, Magic, Adventure, Diplomacy.

They could investigate any of the categories and in time, they would, hopefully, have some breakthru that would allow them to rediscover a particular technology.

For instance, the Civilization category would potentially open up knowledge on Civics, Harvesting, Production, and Seafaring. The Lore Masterwere absolutely certain that they could learn any of these technologies in about 5 weeks of study.

Roland, always a student of warfare, suggested learning how to forge steel so that they could produce their own high quality weapons and armor. The Sage Master, however, were quick to warn him that knowledge collection doesn’t work the way he suggests. Their first breakthrus would be relatively easy, they would be the parts of the ancient scrolls and texts most readily translatable. With each breakthru, subsequent ones would be significantly more difficult.

I remember the argument between the Sage Master and King Roland arguing over this topic at length. The Sage Master explained that making steel is a complex process.  The King was already frustrated by the lack of materials.

Paraphrasing the Lord King:

“There are trees all around us, why do we have so few materials to build with?”

The Sage Master replied, “These trees are of poor quality. They are not hard woods but rather poplars and other kinds of woods unsuitable for building. We need to find an old growth forest, one with mighty oaks.

“Fine. I understand. Then why can we not just build our own library and learn these technologies faster?”

The Sage Master replied, “Sire, It took our ancestors hundreds of years to learn the art of forging metal, engineering great castles, forming sophisticated systems of governments. Our objective, if I may be so bold, should be to find the lost libraries and ancient temples that contains the scrolls and knowledge that had already been learned. Then we can construct schools and universities to study these scrolls.”

The King was weary of the argument and understood.

“So be it. We must expand.  We shall need to begin training some pioneers. In the meantime, I will begin exploring the countryside.


Fate was smiling on Roland. While visiting a local Inn you discover that there is someone who appreciates midnight stones.

imageimageMeanwhile, Janusk had begun his own quest:

image image 

The Sorcerer King

There was little magical knowledge left in the world. The ancient Titans had sought out all spell books and destroyed them. But some survived. Roland himself had recovered several but could not read the text.  To that end, he invited a Lore Master to run an Arcane Libratory. It wasn’t much but it was a start.

“My Lord, I shall be honored to study your ancient books regardless of how you, ah, acquired them. It shall time some time, however.”

imageHe presented the King with two choices. He could either teach Roland the easiest spells or try to decipher the more  complex spells so that he could teach Roland those.

Roland, always impatient during his youth, chose to  be taught spells right away.

“Ah, very well then,” said the Lore Master. “Let us look at your spell books.”

image“What do these mean?” Roland asked.

“I shall try to put these as straight forward as possible as the nature of magic remains a mystery even to those of us who study it."

There are two classes of spells. There are spells that require a lot of time to cast (many many hours) and there are spells that can be performed very quickly. The ones that take a long time to cast we call “Strategic”. The ones you can cast quickly are called “Tactical”.

“Flame Dart? What’s that?”

The Lore Master smiled, “Ah, this is a tactical battle. A channeler, such as yourself, can concentrate his considerable intellect and draw on the shards of fire that exist throughout the land to throw a small ball of fire at an enemy.”


“The shards are the source of your power. There are 4 types of them. Earth. Air. Fire. Water.  The titans locked the magic of the world within them. The only magic that exists in our world now besides that in the shards are the trace amounts in the Crystaline deposits that are very rare and have stored background magic from the past ages but that’s another discussion.”

“Where are these shards?”

“Out in the wilds. Even from afar you can draw on their power.  However, if we were to actually control one, why you could dramatically increase the intensity of the spells in question.”

“What do you mean?”

“That Flame Dart spell, for instance, does a limited amount of damage to your enemies because it requires only a modest amount of your concentration. But if you controlled a fire shard directly, you would double the effect.”

Roland was very curious at this. “What if we controlled two fire shards then?”

“Then the effect would be increased further.”

Roland smiled. “Then I shall find these shards. In the meantime, what spell do you think I should learn first?”

The Loremaster considered. “I would suggest Nature’s Ally.”

“Nature’s Ally?”

“Yes, it is a spell that will call out into the world and bring forth a bear to aid you.”

“What good is a bear?”

“Have you ever fought a bear?”


“Ah. Let’s focus on Nature’s Ally.”

Return to the Wilds

Some weeks later, Roland found the Enchanter’s workshop. He only had 1 midnight stone. Maybe he would get lucky.


imageIt was worth a try.

The Enchanter’s workshop, however, was located in the desecrated lands – the vile Fallen Empires of old made use of death magic which twisted and corrupted the land itself.

It was not surprising that the infamous Lord Verga of Yithril would be skulking.


Soon after, Roland was attacked by a monstrous wolf.


image image

Roland knew he was in big trouble. The wolves in the wild had become so dangerous and large that being caught unawares was a death sentence.

Quickly, he opened his spellbook. He was a Channeler after all.

imageAh, yes. Nature’s Ally. Thanks Lore Master. Very helpful now.

 imageBrave Sir Roland ran away…

Having escaped from the Wolf Roland realized he was out of his league this far away from his Kingdom. It would, however, take weeks to get home. Remembering his studies, he opened his spell book again to look for spells that were “strategic”.

image “Pefect,” he said.


imageAnd in a flash, Roland was home.

“My Lord, I am glad to see you,” Janusk said.

“As I am too. However, we lack the funds to acquire the kind of equipment we need.”

That was when Janusk told him about his tip on the location of the legendary Silver Flute. It was worth a fortune but would undoubtedly be dangerous.

“I think together we could take on any of the scum that might be lurking around it.”

Roland, fresh from running away from what amounted to being a large dog, was more circumspect. “Let me summon a friend…”


“Sire, your bear, it’s kind of greenish.”

Roland noticed it too. “Maybe it’s diseased?”

The Lore Master, overhearing this responded, “No, the act of you summoning it changed its hair color, in time, its hair will regrow to its natural color.”

Janusk whispered, “I think it’s diseased. Look at the way it’s always scratching itself.”


The Silver Flute

The tip Janusk had received proved to be correct. The ancient fountain was where he had been told. Unfortunately, news had spread to others where it was located.



“You know, Sire, you and those Brigands look pretty similar.”

“Nevermind that, Janusk.”

image“I shall chronicle every moment of the battle.”

image “That really isn’t necessary, Janusk.”

 image Shopping

With the Silver Flute in hand, Janusk returned to Resolve.


image“This is crap,” Roland growled to Janusk.

“Admittedly, the options are..limited. But we can still sell the silver flute for 100.”

It was not longer after that that the King instructed the Sage Master to focus on obtaining some reasonable weapons and armor.


For the next year, Roland and Janusk explored the wilds, cleaning out the Bandits and other scum to make life safer for his people.  It didn’t take long for Roland to gain experience.

imageHe put focused his efforts on improving his concentration under stress.

While the King and Janusk were deep in the wilds, a messenger from Yithril came in.

image“We will need to return home and prepare,” he said.


Going to War

imageThe Sage Master and his apprentices were clearly disturbed by the news of war.

“Sire, we have many options available for you for going to war.”

They presented him with 6 obvious ones: City Defenses, Training, Mounted Warfare, Cutting Weapons, Blunt Weapons, and Ranged Weapons.

“I don’t think we need to worry about city defenses,” the King said though it was obvious that the Sage Master disagreed. “Yithril is far enough away that we should be safe for now.  Training is interested but we need weapons. I have yet to find a wild horse so mounted warfare is useless. I have used a bow so I grasp that.  But what is the difference between cutting weapons and blunt weapons?”

The Sage Master sat down, “Cutting weapons are like swords and axes while blunt weapons include hammers and maces and clubs and the like.”

The King growled, “I know that, Sage Master. As a user of weapons I understand that. But I want to understand them from the point of view of a sovereign trying to assign limited resources.”

The Sage Master looked embarrassed. “Ah, yes. I understand.  Cutting weapons tend to be faster but do less damage. To use them well, you need to be trained. You can’t just give a peasant a sword and expect him to use it. Thus, swords and other such weaponry require more training time.

The way my old mentor explained to to me, long ago, was that soldiers use swords, warriors use hammers.”

The King asked the Sage Master to explain.

“Well, like I said, swords require more training time but in return you get a soldier who can make more strikes. But each strike tends to do less damage than someone with a hammer thus, you would also want to equip your soldier with armor.

By contrast, a warrior is someone who you rely to take out enemies quickly and devastatingly. A War Hammer is slow but does a lot of damage and takes little training time. One or two great and powerful warriors can do great harm to enemies with it. But a company of soldiers is, in the long run, far more effective because they’ll outlast the warriors. That is why civilization is protected by soldiers, not warriors.

Is that clear?”

The King laughed, “Not really. I think I’ll have us focus on ranged weapons.”

The Sage Master smiled. “Very well, sire.”

“What other options do we have?” The King asked.


At that, an apprentice spoke up, “There is another way.”

“Silence, Apprentice,” the Sage Master commanded.

“But Master, if we are assaulted by the vile Fallen Armies of Yithril, we may need allies.”

“Not those allies.”

The King interrupted the argument, “Speak up, and tell me this alternative.”

Meekly, the apprentice approached the King, “My King, in our diplomatic texts we have learned that the Empire of Amarian – an Empire of men used to recruit all manner of creatures. It’s all in the Hiergamenon.”

“Let me see.”


imageimageimage“Drath?” the King asked.

“It’s just a rumor,” said the Apprentice.

“A MYTH” insisted the Sage Master.

“Nevertheless, we could use allies if we are going to build a kingdom that will stand the test of time.”

End of Part 1…

Locked Post 75 Replies +2 Karma
Search this post
Subscription Options

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
Raven X
August 17, 2010 5:11:10 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Awesome.  Thank You Frogboy.  Next week can't get here fast enough.  This should keep me enthralled for the next hour or so...

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
August 17, 2010 5:12:17 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Wow. That rocked!!

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
August 17, 2010 5:18:44 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Brave Sir Roland ran away…

I think you mean "Brave Sir Robin..." Monty Python FTW!

Ahem, anyway, nice cronicle of the beginning of a game.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
August 17, 2010 5:24:06 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums


Great read! Thank you very much for taking the time to prepare something like this!

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
August 17, 2010 5:25:32 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Good intro tutorial

Best starting spot I have ever seen in a game lately (.98 version)


I still question the multiplier for shards (nodes) since on a large map you can have 4+ of one type. And a linear multiplier just encourage Min/Max strats.


Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
August 17, 2010 5:26:03 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

LOL too cool.  So ready for this to come out.  Keep feeding us please Sir Frog!  I wonder how you got he nickname Frogboy?  I suppose thats a story for a different post.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
August 17, 2010 5:33:15 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Awesome story, but...

It's "breakthrough", not "breakthru".

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
August 17, 2010 5:34:19 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Very entertaining and interesting.

Need new logo pic of Elemental for this forum. That one is... semiinvisible.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
August 17, 2010 5:40:02 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Awesome sauce for the win...

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
August 17, 2010 6:05:41 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Thanks for this.


So 60ish turns to get to that point on a small map with normal settings...


How does the pacing feel?  Not many techs, not many spells, no soldiers, one summon, ...


Not that I really have an opinion on what it *should* be (since that's going to differ for everyone), but are you satisfied with the pacing as it currently stands?  Or are you backwards due to random luck of your start?  Or are you not backwards at all?  I guess in installment 2 when we see more of your AI opponent I'll have a better feel.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
August 17, 2010 6:22:45 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Minor issue: I find the repetition of the text "this breakthrough allows us..." a little, uhm, inelegant.

Other than that, great stuff!

I've got to say, this looks even better than I expected

Thanx for taking the time to post it

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
August 17, 2010 6:32:23 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Okay that diplomacy other race stuff is neat.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
August 17, 2010 6:32:29 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Some exposition with the killer man eating chicken screen shot would have been epic.  

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
August 17, 2010 6:39:47 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Streamlock,
Some exposition with the killer man eating chicken screen shot would have been epic.  


I love that image.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
August 17, 2010 6:44:36 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Frogboy, are you not concerned that your neighbour Yithrir, not only went from a cloth vest to Platemail in 38 turns (cloths on turn 20, and was in plated by 58), would seem to imply either his loot finding luck is way better than yours or that kingdom is very MARTIAL.

This is pretty much backed up too by the fact he went "yeah peace, just stay ot of our territory" to declaring war on you for no apparent reason and without being within in his territory by the end of those 38 turns.

I certainly hope all the npc kingdoms dont all just go straight for the declare war option?  Does the AI allow for peacefully inclinded, mercantile or progressive or knowledge oriented opponents or are they all just predisposed towards aggression?

At any rate im looking forward to this game immensely as well as part two of your Rogues story

p.s  Liked that you worked the bear discoloration issue into the narrative, that made me chuckle.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
August 17, 2010 6:45:43 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

it looks great  i love the long posts

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
August 17, 2010 6:45:46 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Very nice, thanks for taking the time and effort to present the info in lore format!

Dance with dragons tech got me hyped!

1 question, if i am a fallen race will me allies tech tree be the same as the race of men? Is it different for each faction?

If not i would like to see this implimented at some point as i think it would further enrich and set factions apart.

Can't wait! Great job guys!!!!!

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
August 17, 2010 6:46:54 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

A spell named "Teleport" seems kind of jarring for lore. It's a term used way too much in our society. Even in quantum physics lately.

Suggestion: Couldn't you name it something a little less technical sounding and more evocative? Maybe something like "Abyssal gate" or "Waygate" or maybe even "The Traveler's Friend". Anything would be better than the oh so clinical "Teleport".

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
August 17, 2010 6:57:33 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

This is better than ice cream.  So very cool.


I just hope there is no Van Owen, we need to keep Roland safe.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
August 17, 2010 7:01:04 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

It's looking great!! Can't wait to play it!

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
August 17, 2010 7:05:15 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Good stuff.


Now, I'd love some nice game play videos as well to help tide me over

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
August 17, 2010 7:07:58 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting rolandgunner,

I just hope there is no Van Owen Flagg, we need to keep Roland safe.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
August 17, 2010 7:11:40 PM from JoeUser Forums JoeUser Forums

A tech called "A Dance With Dragons"?  Thank goodness the release date is set; otherwise I would never believe that the game would be coming out.  Write the damn book, George.  But in all seriousness, this looks awesome and I appreciate the new screenshots.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
August 17, 2010 7:21:43 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Fun story. If you could get more attention to these writeups, might draw in new purchasers.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
August 17, 2010 7:33:55 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Thanks for That post, its looking and sounding great,I now know why you guys are so proud of this game and why i am so excited to get it next week boy am i  for psyched for this game

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
Stardock Forums v1.0.0.0    #108432  walnut2   Server Load Time: 00:00:00.0000828   Page Render Time: