The T9A fluff : why it is promising and how to better exploit it

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    • The T9A fluff : why it is promising and how to better exploit it

      (Reposted from the thread « How to get new players »)


      When I said our BG is an improvement over the WHFB fluff, what I meant was this :

      – Yes, our fluff is still in the beginning, however the fundaments that are being established are more interesting.

      – In a wargame such as ours, the world map is not just a question of personal taste. I'd say our world map is more efficient in justifying why all those different armies are making war with each other.
      *If you look at the WHFB map, there was absolutely no way ever that Bretonnia could fight the Empire, as both countries were separated by a mountain chain with only one super-heavily fortified pass at Helmgart.

      *Likewise, there was simply no way that Sylvan Elves would fight with the Empire – in T9A, the border between the Empire, Wyscan and Equitaine is a very passable river, carrying a lot of trade, that actually goes through Wyscan.
      *Same thing about the Skaven : in WHFB they'd appear in the world for no reason, and noone ever dreamt of attacking Skavenblight, only the Skaven would attack using their tunnels and never for any good reason other than Skaven leaders' prestige or quest for items (even their capital city was located on top of the biggest warpstone lode so they never needed to invade other people for getting it) ; in T9A the Vermin, summoned because of the Vampire's influence, have been pushed out of Avras and are fighting for survival.
      *Avras is a city that 4 factions fight for directly : Sonnstahl, for religious reasons ; Equitaine, because they formally lead the garrison ; the Vampires, because the actual ruler behind the throne is the same Lamian queen that caused the Vermin to appear ; the Vermin, because they want their capital back ; and all the other nations have an interest in making sure they keep commercial access to Avras / pillage the caravans around it
      *In the WHFB fluff, the Chaos Warriors and Dæmons basically only ever fought the Empire, sometimes Bretonnia and the Dark Elves by coming from different routes. But the Warp Portal was located on the North Pole and that was it (well, rumour says there was a Southern Pole portal, but noone ever cared). In the T9A fluff, Dæmons appear from two main spots : the Wasteland, that is located between the Empire, the Infernals, the Ogres and Tsuandan ; the Shattered Sea, between the Saurians, the Dread Elves and the Highborn. The fluff also gives explanations why Warriors of the Dark Gods would appear in the very heart of the more civilized lands, as well as providing a hotspot for Chaos in the Taphrian desert (not releveant for the official factions).
      *In the T9A fluff, the Highborn Elves and Ogre Khans compete for influence in the Sagarikadeshas. In the WHFB world, there was absolutely no chance those two factions would ever meet.
      *The Undying Dynasties have three different versions that allow them to be something else than « just Egypt ».
      *Almost every faction has outposts everywhere in the world : Destria, the Empire and Equitaine have their colonies and outposts in Virentia and Taphria, the Highborn are everywhere, as are the Dread Elves, the Saurians are present in the jungles of three continents, the Dwarves have fortresses a bit everywhere, too. So you can always find a reason why such and such person is there.
      *That makes « international » campaigns a lot more realistic. In the WHFB universe, there were only two ways you'd justify a campaign uniting all factions : 1) a new continent emerges out of the water and everyone rushes to settle it (the case of Albion), 2) Chaos invades the Old World and everyone comes to help the Empire. In T9A, all factions can virtually find themselves everywhere at any time for a good reason.

      – That is the foundation that is being worked on.

      – I don't have access to the hidden fluff, I just have read (and translated) virtually all the material at our disposal, and it's great. I don't agree with people saying there's « no fluff », as there is a lot of information already. However, I understand where it comes from as
      1) there is no place where all that fluff's been collected (although the Fluff Wiki is a good start),
      2) we don't have yet all the wealth of information from WHFB such as a Narrenwald street index or Special Characters with a detailed bio,
      3) reading the fluff is much more demanding (but at the same time, more rewarding, in my opinion at least) as there is no « stated fluff », all the fluff snippets are given « in context », which means you have to collate all those information to get a clear picture. For example, noone says there is a Vampire Queen ruling Avras that has been there for thousands of years, yet if you pay attention, you'll notice. Anyway, the point of the Wiki Fluff is exactly to be there to allow all the community members to collate and synthetize that info.

      On the use of the fluff : almost all the fluff from the BRB, the Magic Book and the Ninth Scrolls has been translated into French (what is missing is the Beast Herds and new « fun » units from NS9) – that includes the poems, they've been put in verses in French as well. We've started working on the FABs. All the translated material is published on the French WarFo. Also, I post every day one fluff snippet + a picture on the French T9A Facebook page as well as on the Belgium T9A Facebook page. Which means at the moment, 500 people get their share of T9A a day, and have started commenting and discussing it.
      ***And that is not counting on the fact that some people active on the FB pages have started re-publishing the fluff from the FB page onto their own club forums.
      So the fluff is alive on our side of the world.
      Other people from other language cultures can get inspiration to do the same ;)

      – I understand that the BG team needed some « secret » in the beginning of the project to create the baby, set up the fundaments, without too much interference. I appreciate a lot the work they've been doing so far, every new release is just wow and getting better as more and more connections are being made between the different parts of the fluff of the different factions. I think that stage was needed. However, I'm sure as more and more people will start getting hold of the fluff and participating in it, the writing will become more and more open. We see that already with what we are writing on Taphria, Nippon, Ukray (and the Sea Elves ?), with the support/coaching of the BG team, as @Calisson stated in the same thread (so that they make sure everything we are adding is compatible, which still allows us a lot of freedom). After all, there is also a will from the BG team not to map out every country map in very small detail and to keep some stuff vague, so that players can write their own stories.

      That is what I meant by « our fluff is better ».

      It is just more cohesive, coherent, and, moreover, more efficient for bringing all our armies into battle – that last point being the most (only one ?) relevant in my opinion.


      Now, yes, we need more background, more participation from the players (which also means more openness from the BG team in due time), a Compendium, more pictures (which is the main reason behind the Art Contests), more syntheses (such as the Wiki allows us to do, and I'm still hoping to get a French fluff Wiki one day soon ^^), and a better diffusion of the fluff (such as what we do on the French-language FB pages).

      Cheers all.
      GHAÂAÂAÂARN ! — The Black Goat of the Woods with a Thousand Young
      First T9A player in West Africa
    • But while people set up nations at the extreme edges of the world, we don't even know yet what our units are. Why they have those silly names. What they are fighting for. I think people are just working on entirely the wrong things.
      A summary of all proposed ideas from the VS LAB brainstorm thread

      "Après la vie - le mort, après le mort, la vie de noveau.
      Après le monde - le gris; après le gris - le monde de nouveau.
      "
    • That's true for some armies such as Vermin Swarm and others…

      While some are pretty much covered, such as Highborn Elves, for whom every unit entry is mentioned somewhere in the fluff (various snippets here and there).

      We have an introductory fluff snippet for every army in the BRB and half of them have had something about them in the Ninth Scroll (though the Vermin part was rather disappointing in that regard, I'd say… the Vermin are so secret that even the fluff about them is secret)

      But, yes, what you are saying is true, most units don't have any explanation on what they are.


      YES,
      It'd be cool to have a small fluff entry under each unit, like people did in the Åskland book or like we do in most homebrew.
      Just a small fluff, a few lines, so that people can immerse in their army's fluff without having to wait for the FAB.
      @Scottish Knight


      On what they are fighting for, though… I'm sure most of them are covered.
      Beast Herds : love fighting, leaders look for legendary feats to be remembered, plunder, survival, revenge, mercenaries
      Dæmons : feed on human souls in order to experience of the Mortal Realm, gather souls for their gods… more on this in the FAB, I guess
      Dread Elves : slaves, empire-building, vendetta against HBE
      Dwarven Holds : survival, revenge, getting old artefacts / payment back (not really covered in fluff but implied from other fantasy worlds)
      Sonnstahl : defending civilization, religious crusades, colonialism, quests, protecting caravans
      Highborn Elves : extending / protecting their sea empire and the maritime routes, empire-building
      Infernal Dwarves : survival, slaves, sacrifices, protecting their trade routes, sport
      Equitaine : defending civilization, crusades, quests, influence abroad (Avras)
      Ogre Khans : protecting/attacking caravans, hunger, mercenaries, empire-building
      Orcs & Goblins : not covered, but is widely implied that they just love fighting for no reason
      Saurians : not covered much, implied that they wish to become the master-race once more ; defending their cities of gold from plunder
      Sylvan Elves : protecting the forest, sport (man-hunting)
      Undead Dynasties : protecting their tombs, revenge, getting plundered artefacts back, empire-building (to get their old borders back)
      Vampires : not covered apart from the fact that they desire power, influence and control over their puppets ; the only vampire (implicitly) mentioned in the fluff is the Avras queen ; so far the faction that got the least fluff about it (we have more Saurian named characters ! including a Saurian Warrior of the Dark Gods), even though they already have five well established strands of vampire bloodlines, which only makes the absence of fluff more glaring
      Vermin : survival, revenge, (plague) crusades, quests for darkstone
      GHAÂAÂAÂARN ! — The Black Goat of the Woods with a Thousand Young
      First T9A player in West Africa
    • thx @Ghiznuk

      Do you see a rationale for why it is not gathered in one place? You say that is collecting snippets that then forms an background that one is able to interpret. Does you find that it makes it more interesting?

      Even though I feel that I have read quite a lot about the 9th age, I still feel disconnected from the background and any characters in it. Any good advice?

      Product Owner - ID LAB

      Alone you may go faster but together we go further ;)
    • As said, the BG team does not want to give a « God-mode » vision on the fluff.
      Just as in the real world there is no such « God-mode ».

      I mean, for example, you don't have anywhere any definitive point of view on the Israelo-Palestinian conflict (or on the Northern/Southern Korean conflict, or on the Syrian conflict, or on the Boko Haram conflict, or whatever).
      You have to read what the Israeli say, what the Palestinians say, what third parties say about that conflict.
      And on both sides you get biases because of prejudices, geopolitical interests, propaganda, national feelings, conflicting social classes/political factions inside each camp, justified and unjustified historical claims/facts… So you never fully know who's right or not.

      The 9th Age fluff should look the same.
      So players are free to interpret it and make a Wiki on it, but every text is « subjective » and everything should be written in the form of « It is said that… It seems that… It appears that… According to… ». That is a historian / journalist work.

      But so, the Wiki is here ^^
      GHAÂAÂAÂARN ! — The Black Goat of the Woods with a Thousand Young
      First T9A player in West Africa
    • Ghiznuk wrote:

      YES,
      It'd be cool to have a small fluff entry under each unit, like people did in the Åskland book or like we do in most homebrew.
      Just a small fluff, a few lines, so that people can immerse in their army's fluff without having to wait for the FAB.
      @Scottish Knight
      It's something I am looking at the potential of for Gold.

      In terms of Army snippets, that already exists in the FBRB.

      Also in need of a background page to draw things together, another thing on the to do list!

      Executive Board

      Head of Background Team


      Team Scotland ETC 2019 Captain

      "I think of the Abyss as being a pretty good catch all term."
    • If the sheer amount of work to write one sentence per unit, per special object and per army special rule is too daunting, call ACS for help so that they could call community.
      It is faster and easier to sort and correct than to write froma blank page.

      Social Media Team

      UN Coordinator, aka UNSG

      - druchii.net contribution: The 9th Age - Dread Elves
    • Please keep most unit snippets to army books. BRB is not place for it. For me BRB is place for faction Background not army background. And faction background I miss even in AB published with backgrounds.
      I want recent history described - last twenty years which are really what matters for current Background. And we do need some god-like view. 'Empire of Sonnstall is in theory ruled by dynasty of X but in fact royal family power is restricted to palace in Y. True power is held by empire marshall Z who controlls imperial guard. This elite infantry...'
      StormRider Games
      StormRider Facebook
      _____________Current goals:
      • Launch crowdfunding campaign to publish The IXth Age Legendary rulebook in Hardcover
      • Convert and paint army of Ogres for my son
    • JimMorr wrote:

      Please keep most unit snippets to army books. BRB is not place for it. For me BRB is place for faction Background not army background. And faction background I miss even in AB published with backgrounds.
      I want recent history described - last twenty years which are really what matters for current Background. And we do need some god-like view. 'Empire of Sonnstall is in theory ruled by dynasty of X but in fact royal family power is restricted to palace in Y. True power is held by empire marshall Z who controlls imperial guard. This elite infantry...'
      I mean, that's true, but I don't think we need the omniscient narrator for that. There's no reason that can't be written as "The Imperial Chronicle of Hermann Schreiberling von Tintendorf".
      A summary of all proposed ideas from the VS LAB brainstorm thread

      "Après la vie - le mort, après le mort, la vie de noveau.
      Après le monde - le gris; après le gris - le monde de nouveau.
      "
    • Eldan wrote:

      There's no reason that can't be written as "The Imperial Chronicle of Hermann Schreiberling von Tintendorf".
      And what will be the benefit? For me 5-6 quotes on fancy background and with fancy fonts are really tiring to read. They harder to write, require additional layout effort and create little added value, as a lot of space is wasted to give them 'the feel'. Effort and space that could be used on providing information.

      Sure, not everything should be delivered like that, just basic facts that will set a frame for further background delivered in any form you wish. But if our very base is disputable than why do we have factions at all?

      "Empire of... Sonn..what? Who cares about the hummies states. They are like mayflies, today called this, tomorrow that. They are all barbs who hardly learned to use fire and play with our stolen technology. Heck, I've heard some of them are sending ships across ocean and call themselves 'empires'. Trust me, in a few years those on the other side will paint some rags blue, put on them moons or stars and start calling themselves nation. Who really cares...?" - Grun son of Thor

      "Elves? I've heard hundred names for them highborn, dark, dread, sylvan, spring, sea, shadow... For me they are all knife-ears, why should I care if they dress green, black, blue or pink? Who am I, dye merchant???" - Sigismund, the gatekeeper.
      StormRider Games
      StormRider Facebook
      _____________Current goals:
      • Launch crowdfunding campaign to publish The IXth Age Legendary rulebook in Hardcover
      • Convert and paint army of Ogres for my son
    • They don't need fancy background. I mean, I totally agree that the vellum background and pseudo-handwriting font looks nice and is tiring. But they could totally be written as normal textblocks. It's very effective for the occasional note, but should probably be dropped for longer texts.

      And not all ingame sources are equal. Grun son of Thor is one thing, but our Imperial writer can be reasonably close to the facts, without being quite omniscient.have it written as an account for later generations that's trying to be neutral.

      "Our current emperor has been on the throne for 27 years and is the fifth emperor in a row. He has three sons from two different wives, who are the counts of Blaberg, Blaburg and Blaborg. The temporal power lies in the hands of nine electors, the dukes of Grünwald, Braunwald, Schwarzwald and Weisswald, the margraves of Nordmark, Ostmark, Westmark and Südmark, and the bishop of Sunnaheim. The Imperial Army is only to be called up in times of emergency and is then placed in the hands of the Great Marshall, who has to be agreed upon by at least five electors. "

      It's a minimal change from an omniscient narrator, only a few pronouns.
      A summary of all proposed ideas from the VS LAB brainstorm thread

      "Après la vie - le mort, après le mort, la vie de noveau.
      Après le monde - le gris; après le gris - le monde de nouveau.
      "
    • In the current full Army Books, I see fluff written in normal case and font all over.

      But yes, agree with your point @JimMorr, the fluff in the SE and UD was not very informative, and I'm really hoping for more.

      Also, @Scottish Knight, the ACS definitely need to be involved with the writing for their respective AB, it'll make everything more fun and enjoyable.
      I mean, we all have already some level of understanding of what our units are, we are all playing with them and while doing this, telling stories to each other and to ourselves.
      So it should be easy, especially if it's just to write 1-2 sentences per unit.
      And that could maybe bring up interesting debates about the true nature of such and such unit.
      GHAÂAÂAÂARN ! — The Black Goat of the Woods with a Thousand Young
      First T9A player in West Africa
    • Sorry, just noticed picture with symbols of dark gods
      i.imgur.com/2l2bRiS.jpg
      And have a fluff question - why God of Envy is Lady of Flies? (I mean why Flies?)

      Another question (i have read the book but still can't understand) why Sorcerers of the Dark Gods do not seek immortality or serve a particular gods?

      I do not ask for a "God mode" answers, but to have slightly more reasoning behind stuff would be welcome for developing of this world.
      DH - main
      WODG - secondary
      OK - reborn be my childhood army
      DL - side project

      The post was edited 1 time, last by Happy Aspid ().

    • Hey mate,
      You're a bit late, the Full Warriors of the Dark Gods army book has been released for ages already.
      You could have reacted then :largegrin:

      Anyway, this is not the place for asking such questions but for commenting the general direction / spirit of the T9A fluff, I believe you can go ask in the BG section of the forum though.
      GHAÂAÂAÂARN ! — The Black Goat of the Woods with a Thousand Young
      First T9A player in West Africa
    • Ghiznuk wrote:

      Hey mate,
      You're a bit late, the Full Warriors of the Dark Gods army book has been released for ages already.
      You could have reacted then :largegrin:

      Anyway, this is not the place for asking such questions but for commenting the general direction / spirit of the T9A fluff, I believe you can go ask in the BG section of the forum though.
      I meant that after reading full book i still have a lot of question you don't need a god mode knowledge to provide answers. Not telling some information could be good, but sometimes you can have just too much mystery over things that are needed for the understanding the world.
      But thanks for direction.
      DH - main
      WODG - secondary
      OK - reborn be my childhood army
      DL - side project
    • Sorry for my reaction, but what you'd written felt a bit like « Oh my god they killed Saddam Hussein ! » :D


      I agree that the FAB does not explain those details.

      Some of the most frequent questions on the fluff are replied to in the Ninth Scroll though, there was one where they were discussing Nukuja and what her adepts do.

      Most people though, such as me, are hoping to get more answers in the Dæmon book ;)
      GHAÂAÂAÂARN ! — The Black Goat of the Woods with a Thousand Young
      First T9A player in West Africa
    • Ghiznuk wrote:

      Sorry for my reaction, but what you'd written felt a bit like « Oh my god they killed Saddam Hussein ! » :D


      I agree that the FAB does not explain those details.

      Some of the most frequent questions on the fluff are replied to in the Ninth Scroll though, there was one where they were discussing Nukuja and what her adepts do.

      Most people though, such as me, are hoping to get more answers in the Dæmon book ;)
      My hope to have more answers about Father Chaos.
      DH - main
      WODG - secondary
      OK - reborn be my childhood army
      DL - side project
    • Ghiznuk wrote:

      Now, yes, we need more background, more participation from the players (which also means more openness from the BG team in due time), a Compendium, more pictures (which is the main reason behind the Art Contests), more syntheses (such as the Wiki allows us to do, and I'm still hoping to get a French fluff Wiki one day soon ^^), and a better diffusion of the fluff (such as what we do on the French-language FB pages).
      I agree. I understand that there is a need for a great deal of secrecy for the BG team to have an open and constructive debate about the fluff and not be constantly scolded at from those of us in the forum who has a different view of how your favorite fraction should be portrayed in the fluff. But some things would perhaps help the BG team if it were released to the public.

      Lists of common namnes for towns and people in different languages would help players to name characters and the home of their armies. It would make home made campaigns easier to fit in new backgrounds as it is released. Simple facts about the world, like the length of a year and common periods in which different races count time would create a bit more emersion. The number of moons visible to the naked eye and their names would be a nice bit of information and a fact that might not be open to debate.

      Perhaps one should look to a more RPG like fluff introduction than the old warhammer way. I know the BRB has a lot of overall information of the world i it, but if, for example, a compendium of the geography of the world was released which painted a description of the different parts of the world in broad strokes it would give some more emersion. If the same compendium was updated with more detailed information as fluff for different fractions was being released then it would be the natural go-to place for information about the world. The AB could be focused on the feel of the fraction as they have been written. Having the majority of the fluff gathered in codices would make it easier to access the fluff and getting in to the 9th Age world. Articles from the the Ninth Scroll and AB could be added to the fluff page as it develops.