Original Viking Scandinavia Proposal
Below is Arkenstone's proposal for Viking Scandinavia. WARNING- some quest spoilers. The proposal is followed by commentary about it, and some important notes. Do not simply copy the format of this proposal without reading the entire document or the current Builder Proposal and the Immortal Proposal Process.
--------------------------- Viking Scandanavia Proposal --------------------------- --------------- PERIOD OVERVIEW --------------- The "Viking Age" is somewhat misunderstood. The word 'viking' conjures in most the image of barbarians with horned helmets fighting in Norway. The Viking age was, in fact, a period of Scandanavian history in which the residents of Norway, Sweden, and Finland ventured across the seas and oceans near their homeland in search of land, wealth, and prestige. The Viking age is generally considered to be the period from the late eighth century through the close of the tenth. Archaological records indicate that there was a marked increase in population in scandanavia during the eighth century. It is believed that this provided the impetus for the younger men to go exploring in search of more resources, similar to the wave of displacement which spread across the rest of Europe earlier that century. The men so disposed generally stayed home throughout the winter, helped seed their crops, then "went Viking" for the summer, coming back to stay at the end of the growing season to help with the harvests, 3-5 months later. The Vikings swept across europe and even down to africa, often wiping out the towns and churches they attacked, taking what they could and destroying the rest. The Viking period saw the dominant religion in Scandanavia move from the Pagan worship of idols and a whole pantheon of gods (the Norse Mythos) to Christainity, a slow but steady change ultimately enforced by the medieval Scandanavian Kings. The Vikings had a profound effect upon Europe as a whole. Indeed, the Normans who would later conquer England were Vikings and their descendants. Dublin was a Viking settlement. Trade centers established, frequented, or conquered by the Vikings ranged from Britain to Istanbul. Vikings traveled as far as Egypt's Alexandria harbor, and colonized Iceland and Greenland. Vikings even discovered North America, near or on Newfoundland. Bjarni Herjulfsson was blown past Greenland in 986, and sailed the coast of North America for five days before returning to Greenland, though he did not land. The advent of permanent professional armies spelled the end of the Viking age, but this is beyond the scope of this proposal. --------------------- PROPOSED TIME SETTING --------------------- I can limit the Viking area to a single year, if need be. I would prefer, however, to have the area range over the entire viking era: This would allow players to see the first known Viking attack -- 793 at Lindsfarne off the eeast coast of Britain -- as well as the extent of the Viking colonization to Iceland, Greenland, and perhaps even Newfoundland. The Time range, then, would be 793AD - 999AD. ----------------------- PROPOSED LINK TO LEGEND ----------------------- I would like to link the viking area to Sherwood, in the Medieval era. The two link-points would be: North of 'Crossing the English Channel.' and North of 'A Small Beach' in Sherwood. Links to Klein are also possible later, as are links to France: The vikings had well-established trade routes which visited both Germany and France. ------------- PROPOSED AREA ------------- The proposed area would consist of: - A family farm in Western Norway. Scandanavia had no towns per say in this era. Instead, people lived largely in nucleated villages and isolated farmsteads. Groups of farms often made up a small kingdom/jarldom. A rich farm (my proposal) will give enough interesting mobs and EQ to make play fun, while still being true to the time. I have a detailed description of such a farm, and will work from it. - Norwegian Forests. This area would contain mythical creatures, as well as the many real dangers present in Norway. - A Maze in the Fjords of Norway. - The Church and part of the village at Lindisfarne, off the east coast of Britain. This would probably consist mainly of the church which was sacked. - One settlement in each of Iceland and Greenland Iceland was fairly well colonized, Greenland much less so. The topological layout of villages/farms was similar to Norway, though the social stratifications were relaxed somewhat. These settlements would be token-sized for now. - Possibly the settlement in Vinland or Markland (North America) - Sea connections Future extensions include: - One or more Viking trading centers. - The town of Tunsburg, founded around 900 on the site of one of the greatest markets/fairs of Norway. This was the first Norwegian town, as far as I know. - Asgard - If this is added, it will be VERY difficult to reach, probably requiring a quest AND to pass through the nastiest 'fair' maze I can devise. - Additional farmsteads and perhaps even the king's homestead. - Roving Viking raid parties ----------- SAMPLE MOBS ----------- Egil Skallagrimsson (Lvl 26) [Norway]: Egil was a skald - poet - who wandered portions of Norway. He will hopefully have some verse programmed in. He once saved himself from the wrath of a king by writing a verse to immortalize same. Egil will teach bardic skills. Strong at bardic skills, not so great at fighting. Will know play, eloquence, entrace, praise, and satire. Polar Bear (Lvl 50) [Greenland/Iceland]: The polar bears were present in Greenland, and, when ice flows broke loose, sometimes in Iceland. Polar Bears have no predators except for man. The Polar bear may or may not be accompanied by cubs, (Lvl 18) and (Lvl 33). The Adult polar bear would have a skull which could be taken and used as a helmet. Note that the polar bear will be in the northern reaches of either of these areas, and will not easily be stumbled across. Priest (Lvl 12) [Lindisfarne]: 8-10 instances. Clerk (Lvl 9) [Lindisfarne]: 4-6 instances. Monk (Lvl 6) [Lindisfarne]: 3-5 instances. Berzerker [Ocean, Lindisfarne]: Berzerkers were a special class of warrior who fought with reckless abandon. Will know Rage, bash, and headbutt, and have high strength and cons, but low int/spirit. These mobs will be named individually. Repop time will be 1-2 MUD days. Vit the Bloody (Lvl 33), Eric Bloodoath (Lvl 38), Mord the Stout (Lvl 29), Ulfstan the Fearless (Lvl 26), Thorfinn the Reckless (Lvl 35), Einar Stiffarm (Lvl 31). Viking Mariner [Ocean, Lindisfarne]: The mariners mainly handle the ships. They will also be present in the viking raiding parties to a smaller extent than the warriors. Will know seamanship skills, as well as bash. Named individually. Vemund Keen-eye (Lvl 19), Haarken the Pungent (Lvl 23) Thorstel the Weighty (Lvl 16), Aud the Boastful (Lvl 24) Einar Stonefist (Lvl 21) Viking Warrior [Ocean, Lindisfarne]: Raiders will make up several different levels and capabilities of viking mobs. Each will have a pre-programmed set of places they visit in Lindisfarne, with orders to attack certain mobs on sight. They will know bash, kick, and possibly the special fighting skills (swordsmanship). These mobs will be named individually. Mord the Stout (Lvl 31), Asbeorn Darkbrow (Lvl 28) Ulfstan Skullcleaver (Lvl 34). Thorstein Blacktooth (Lvl 23) Soti Childfriend (Lvl 26). Eric Fangtooth (Lvl 27) Thorkel the Vengeful(Lvl 32 Beorn the Bitter (Lvl 31) Farmer (Lvl 8) [Iceland/Greenland]: This will be named mob who will buy certain goods brought over from Norway: processed goods were scarce in the colonies, and happily bought by far mers. In return, he will sell furs and grain. These mobs will not be named for now. 6-12 instances. Asgerda Skeyvolva (Lvl 16) [Forest] (witch/occultist) Found in a house in the woods, she will know spells, and perhaps even teach chant. Unna Jorglaeknir (Lvl 23) [Farmstead/Forest] (healer) She will know basic medical skills, and perhaps clerical spells as well. Probably found as a guest on the farm. Olaf the Beardless (Lvl 18) Housemaster [Norway Farmstead]: The master of the house, an older man. He's past his prime, but highly respected in his family. He gets his name from his tragic inability to grow a beard. Brunhild (Lvl 16) Housemistress [Norway Farmstead]: The master's wife. she's old as well, Wears the tokens of her position. Keys she wears will let people into chests secreted in storage rooms. Adult sons [Norway Farmstead] Will know a variety of useful skills, as well as some fighting skills. Vebeorn the Haughty(Lvl 24) Vemund Olaf's son (Lvl 22) Vethor Olaf's son (Lvl 24) Thore Splithaft (Lvl 23) Tonnel the Smiter (Lvl 36) Adult Daughters [Norway Farmstead] These daughters are not yet married, because they are too young or, in Ragnhild's case, because they have other things on their mind. Alfdis (Lvl 16) Aldis (Lvl 13) Ragnhild (Lvl 29) Other relatives [Norway Farmstead] Bjarni Greatarm - blacksmith (Lvl 28). Will teach mend, forge, and any other appropriate skills. Ulmar, Thore's son (Lvl 4) Astrid (Lvl 5) Ingmar (Lvl 8) Gunther the Fiery (Lvl 29) Thrall (Lvl 9) [Norway Farmstead]: Slaves used for various chores around the farmstead. Face bare and hair short-cropped. 8 instances. King Canute (Lvl 45) Wolves (Lvl 11) [Norway Forest]: vicious nasty wild wolves, ~8 instances. Reindeer (Lvl 6) [Norway Forest, Farmstead]: These were raised as domestic animals, and also found in the wild. 8-16 instances Wild Hog (Lvl 7) [Norway Forest] Carveable. 2-4 instances. Hare (Lvl 2) [Norway Forest] Carveable. 6-10 instances. Brown Bear (Lvl 36) [Norway Forest]. 2 Instances. Sheep (Lvl 4) [Norway Farm] Carveable. 4-6 instances. Horses (Lvl 9) [Norway Farm] Carveable. 6-8 instances Geese (Lvl 2) [Norway Farm] Carveable. 4-8 instances Watchdog (Lvl 6) [Norway Farm] 4 instances. Traveller (Lvl 16) [Norway Farm, Norwegian woods] This will be a generic traveller who wanders around. If one of them stumbles across the farm, they will stay for a while, if possible. 4 instances Skraeling [Iceland/Greenland] These are the indiginous populants of the islands (eskimos). Various types of Skraeling, Lvl 10-25. ---------------- ROOMACTS/DETAILS ---------------- Vikings liked to take people hostage for ransom. If someone with a certain prestige or higher is wandering around the site of a viking raid, they will be taken for Ransom, and the ransom announced with yell or chat. If the ransom is not paid within a certain time, then a generic mother/father will come and bail them out. The smith in the farmstead is highly respected: While assists will be the norm for family attacked around other family, if the smith is attacked he will yell for (and probably receive) help. The young boys will try to run for help if they see anyone attacked who they know. Some family members will accept wergeld - payment for death of a family member - if they see you killing someone important. Otherwise, they may hunt down the killer and try to ambush them later. If the person happens to kill the farmstead master, they're in REAL trouble. There will be a viking merchant vessel that will ferry people from place to place. If a person is wearing a cross or cassock or any other such item, they will be thrown overboard at the first sign of adverse weather. The vikings considered christians to be bad sea-luck, and actually did this. The Raiding vikings are enemies of (for the most part) the professional armies of europe, as represented by the Ritter's. Anyone who has done the Ritter quest will not be treated well in Norway. At one point, King Canute made any man who had financed and gone on three foreign trading voyages a nobleman. Players will be able to do this. The description is under the QUEST section. The Sunstone is an artifact used for navigation by the Vikings, and is credited as helping them navigate large open stretches of water. Only people with sunstones may go between Norway and Iceland/Greenland. ------------------------ SAMPLE ROOM DESCRIPTIONS ------------------------ North of the English Channel The water beneath your boat's prow is cool and grey, and you can taste the salt spray coming from the whitecaps. To the south is the english channel, frequented by travellers between England and Continental Europe. To the north are scattered isles, and beyond them, open sea. Approaching a Farmstead The private road you are on winds up a grassy hill. The path is paved with coarse gravel, and short stone walls flank you as the gravel crunches underfoot. To the north, at the crest of the hill, you see a cluster of wooden buildings. These plain, gabled structures appear to be linked together via smaller, similarly rooved passageways. Lost in the Fjords of Norway The water is calm here. Towering cliffs on either side of the fjord protect you from the winds that whip the clouds into white streaks high in the sky. The Fjord seems to have no end to it. A notch in the cliffs to one side looks familiar, and you begin to wonder if perhaps you've already been here. The Mat-bur This smallish room serves as the pantry for the kitchen. A portion of wooden flooring has been raised along the north wall to keep food safe from vermin. Bread, butter, cheese and Milk are among the sundries resting upon this 'shelf.' The Stufa Easily the largest room on the farm, this appears to be a banquet hall. The clay floor is covered with straw, save near the long hearth which runs down the center of the room, forming a trench of fire. Two rows of pillars run the length of the room, marking the space between the hearth and the tables to either side of it. Benches providing seating for everyone save the Master of the house, whos High Chair sits furthest from the entrance. Skali Entrance The Skali - or family sleeping apartment - is a large-ish room divided into private sleepers by partitions. A small passageway runs through the center of the room, flanked by locking swing-doors barring entrance to the various sleepers. -------------- HIGH-LEVEL MAP -------------- Greenland-----Iceland----------The Fjords Forest------+ | (Maze) | | | | | | | | | | | +---------------Farmstead---Forest | | | | | | | | | | | | Lindsfarne------+ Forest------+ | | | | A Small---------+ Beach | | | | The English Channel ------------ SAMPLE ITEMS ------------ DESC STATS DAM WEIGHT SLOT A Bone comb: This comb is constructed of a flat wooden backign with fine tines of bone pressed into it. +5 prestige. 1kg. hold Luckstone: This speckled stone has been worn smooth by the worrying of hands over the years. +3 hit, -5 perception. 1kg. hold. Solarstein (Sunstone) - required to go between Norway/iceland/greenland. A Thinly shaved piece of cordierite, This is a polarized filter which appears grey until oriented the correct direction, at which time brilliant blue light filters through. 1kg. hold. A Throwing Spear - The light wooden haft has a short iron spearpoint attached to it with a single nail. Thrown weapon. 1d6 dam. 2kg. wield. A Hand Axe - The haft of this axe is perhaps two feet long, and is capped by a medium-sized axe head, with a flat back. 1d8 dam. 4kg. wield. A Broad Axe - This heavy weapon has a long haft and a broad, crescent-shaped head that looks like it will split whatever it strikes. -1 hit +3 AC 1d15 dam. 12kg. wield (2-handed). A Fighting Spear - The stout oaken shaft of this weapon is capped with a long, double-edged spearhead. 1d11 dam. 6kg. wield (2-handed). Metal Helmet - This sturdy helmet covers the top and back of the head, but leaves the neck and face exposed. -5 ac, 3kg. head. Norse Mail Shirt - A large, heavy mail shirt which has wide sleeves to the elbows, and comes down to your knees. The links are arranged four-deep. -12AC, -1 dex, 18kg. body. Round Wooden Shield: This shield is made from hardwood fashioned in a 2' diameter circle, then brimmed with a metal rim, and fitted with a metal boss to protect the bearer's hand. -5ac. 5kg. shield. Long Shield: This large, oval-shaped shield is made from wood covered with ox-skin, and is large enough to hide your entire body if you crouch behind it. -12 ac, -1 dex, 10kg. shield. Mail Leggings: These leggings are made from loose steel rings, and look like they would protect your legs from most blows. -5ac, 4kg. legs. Mail Gauntlets: These gloves are made of fine chain-mail, and go to mid-wrist. -4AC, -1 dex, 3kg. hands. Fighting Club: This club is constructed of a stout piece of wood, tapered to the handle. The head has been hardened by fire and dipped in metal of some sort. 1d10 dam, 6kg, +2 AC. wield. Greysteel: This is a longsword made by a master smith, which was believed to be so powerful it could bite anything. 1d16 dam, +1 hit. wield. Skin of Mead: This sweet alchohol is the preferred drink of the Norse, but few can afford it as often as they would like. [intoxicant]. 2kg. held. Mug of Ale: A bitter concoction, the ale warms your throat as you drink it. [50% Intoxicant]. 2kg. held. Knarr: This ship is nearly a hundred fee long, with decks fore and aft, and a large, uncovered cargo area in the center. A great sail hangs from the single mast, with alternating bright colored stripes lending a garish air. [holds lots of cargo] Dragon Ship: This ship is almost seventy feet long, with thirty pair oars. The bow and stern raise high above the water, while amidships has scarcely a foot of draft remaining. The ship is impossibly slender, perhaps fifteen feet wide. [holds up to 60] Trade Furs: A bundle of furs has been dropped here. 10kg. held. Sack of Farming Tools: A large sack is here, filled with different tools to help farmers cultivate the land and raise livestock. 15kg. held. Honey: A large pottery container is here, filled with honey. 2kg. held. Keys: A large cluster of keys has been left here. These are used to signify the mistress of the house. [and to open the chests]. 1kg. held. Oak Chest: A stout oaken chest is here, banded with iron and adorned with bronze nails and careful carvings. A board on either end holds the body of the chest off the ground. [locks]. 25kg. held. Soapstone Pot: A soft stone pot is here. It looks like it will retain heat well. [for cooking]. 2kg held. Tableknife: A short, sharp knife is here. It looks like it is used for eating. May be modified to add +food value when able. 1d2 dam. 1kg. wielded. Skees (sic): +movement in Mountains, if possible. 5kg. feet. A Wadmal tunic: This plain white tunic looks like it belongs to the lower classes. -4 AC. 4kg. body. A Linen tunic: Bright colors make this finely wrought tunic stand out. -5 AC. 4kg. body. Rough Trousers: These dark green pants look loose but comfortable, and end just below the knees. -4AC. 2kg. legs. Goat's Milk: This milk is not as sweet as cow's milk, but refreshing nevertheless. 1kg. Polar Bear Skull: This appears to be the bleached skull of a polar bear. -10 AC, +5 STR, +3 CONS, -5 INT. 4kg. head. Drinking Horn: This ornately carved Ox horn has been hollowed out and polished. The rim of the horn is guilded with silver, and small gold feet have been added to enable it to stand on its own. 1kg. held. ----- QUEST ----- To become a Norse Noble: 1) Obtain Solarstein, either by finding it in a mine/rocky area, or by slaying a Viking Mariner who already has one. 2) Buy a Knarr, and make three trading trips to Iceland or Greenland. A trading trip involves bringing furs back from Iceland or Greenland - you can only get Furs in exchange for Hand-axes, or some other metal/ manufactured item. 3) Find the King, and he will make you a noble. Questor will obtain a bounty, prestige, and will receive treatment from Norse similar to klein treatment of Ritter. ----------------------------- Viking Scandanavia Commentary ----------------------------- First, note that his proposal is plain text, 78 cols or less. This makes it easy to read your proposal on the mud's machine without looking through linebreaks and MSWord gobbeldygook. Period Overview - the overview isn't a flat description or a stereotype, but describes the approach to the theme. "Pagan, farmer-trader-fighter Norse" as opposed to just saying "Vikings", which could mean anything. - it's easy to imagine how this overview could be translated into a mud area, as opposed to history-paper style overviews, which are hard to imagine. Proposed Time Setting - Ark anticipated a problem with fudging the timeline a bit, so he added this section to explain. This section isn't required; in this instance it let us know that he really knew his material, and would try to conform to building standards if there was a problem with the broad time range. Proposed Link to Legend - This would have been easier to read if it was next to the map. Proposed Area - Listing expansion ideas is good. Having an area impossible to build in 100 vnums is bad. Sample Mobs - Individually named mobs go a long way towards providing the atmosphere of the area, so a lot of attention is given to those. What's MISSING are 5 actual descriptions of these people. Roomacts/Details - A description of nifty features of the area, both in the FEATURES and QUEST section. Native dislike of ritters, who assists whom, a quest that is a trading venture, etc. show us both the technical things you want to try as an area creator, and your creativity in making the area interesting to visit. Sample Room Descriptions - Competent grammar, not too textbook-y or too generic, reasonable length. Once you get past the basic washout for "can you write", how this is judged is largely subjective. High-Level Map - A map description that clearly tells us where the area can attach, and roughly how the 100 rooms will be used (in this case, some ocean, Olaf's farmstead in Norway, Lindisfarne off England, and other things that didnt get into the game before Ark had to leave). If he'd marked approximate number of vnums for each section, he (and the imms) would have realized the problem and planned what to include better. The area loses some of its interest and quest options by not having Greenland or Iceland. Sample Items - Too many generic items. Things like mead and the farming tools are good, but rough trousers and linen tunics are already in the game, we didn't need to hear about them again. Approx stats on stat items, but kg isn't important except on weapons. It's missing the 5 full descriptions of items. Historical note, at the time the polar bear skull (+5 STR, +3 CONS, -5 INT) was considered too powerful, and the description as "bleached" was deemed unrealistic (this was before the "take an item to a mob for it to be transformed into a different item" type quests became possible). Quest - A list of quest steps as brief as an Andara's summary is fine, but it should also include info on how players would know the quest is there in the first place. Giving the mobs' speeches is too much info tho. For this area, if Beowulf was already installed then we would have been looking for a trans quest idea.
Arkenstone's proposal suits the style of area he was proposing very well, which is why we're giving it to you as an example. This proposal may seem short to you, and by today's judging it would fall short in a few areas (full descriptions on mobs and items, more detail about the quest and preferably a trans quest or other quest ideas). You will notice, however, that the actual area differs in some small ways and some big ways from what you read above - mainly in map and quests. But, this proposal was enough to convince us that Arkenstone knew the subject matter, had good ideas for translating it into the mud (remember, uniquely named mobs were a new thing back then for anything other than the top 5 or 6 "main" mobs in an area), could write well enough to meet our standards, and was willing to be flexible about things (the time period, unusual item effects) that he wasn't sure were allowed.
Try to apply the lessons above to make your proposal suit your area. If you are portraying a civilization with several different settlements rather than one main area like the Dun, Agrabah, Olaf's farm, etc., then the map will be an important part of your proposal. Where would everything fit into a bunch of small villages, and why would it not be repetitive and boring? If your area would have lots of waterways and forest like F&I, how will you populate it? What landmarks will help people learn the area and not get lost? If you are proposing an area that has a huge quest as the major story line, what will the quest be like, and what will be there to attract people even if they can't or don't want to do the quest?