Creative Design AMA - Syndra, the Dark Sovereign

First Riot Post
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Harrow

Associate Creative Designer

09-20-2012
6 of 8 Riot Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Campeen View Post
I was lying in bed thinking of Syndra and Justicar Syndra and how they'd relate lorewise, and was wondering if you could shine light on my musings.

I saw Syndra as what she's described, the sort of great power, little knowledge of what she can do.

Then Justicar Syndra as kind of what she'd be if her master survived but he had explained to her the need to keep her power in check (and she agreed). So she learned how to harness magic and force more controlled.

Then I thought of what if her master survived, but wanted her to take advantage of her power and didn't shackle it. Rather it'd be a kind of Avatar thing where masters from various magical arts would teach her.

So I was thinking how powerful she would become if everyone embraced it. Could she become Avatar-esque, where she could control more than force, but natural elements, plants, fire, earth, water, etc? Would she be the "Invoker" of League of Legends?
Skins aren't canon, but this is a pretty interesting story. I do like to think about how characters could've turned out very different if just slightly different decisions had been made. As for the Avatar idea, I'm not sure that Syndra can learn the magical abilities of others...up until this point, she's really just explored what she's capable of through experimentation, rather than studying another's arts. Not ruling it out though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eph289 View Post
How come Creative didn't push for Syndra to be able to throw Yordles, then, Harrow?

I'd be fine with just throwing Teemo, tbh. Roit pls?
She can throw him a little bit with her E...I could try and suggest lots of game-breaking stuff but Meddler would just be like "Oh I'm Mr. Reasonable and I don't want to ruin the entire game for your whims, Harrow" and I'd go sulk.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vulking View Post
Wouldn't Syndra fell the need to help in freeing Xerath of his prison? He is basically what would have happened to her if the Old Mage were strong enough to contain her,

I mean, the new lore direction want to give more freedom to the league champions, and in this I see a very symbiotic relationship, Xerath move to Syndra's floating fortress and become his tutor (since he is the result of pure arcane power knowledge unleashed) in exchange of Syndra's help to find a way to break free of his shackles (since at this point I'm sure Xerath realize how the league is not really interesting in free him form his coffin, only use him for their needs).
Yeah, I think this is very much a possibility.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blaine Tog View Post
Why can't she do this out in Runeterra? She has a flying castle in the sky, after all. As I understand it, the twist with the Fields of Justice is that they're a place to safely exercise your power without nasty side-effects, and Syndra doesn't strike me as someone who especially cares about that sort of thing.
I think there's something in the idea of exercising her power against some of the most powerful beings in the world that would be appealing to Syndra. Not really for ego, but for self-satisfaction.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Toenail View Post
Does Syndra have any sort of lore connection with Varus? If so, what is it and what is their relationship?
No, Syndra hasn't really had reason to cross paths with Varus in Ionia.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Amathris View Post
True, a monastery for magical training is hardly a normal environment. However, all we know about her experience as a student is that she "learned much during her time there" before she decided she wasn't getting strong enough fast enough, started making demands of her mentor and threatening him, and then killed him when he tried to bring her under control by threatening to remove her power.

Were there other students at the monastery? Did she get frustrated when she saw them beginning to surpass her in power (because her potential was being secretly limited)?
No, there were no other students, they deliberately wanted to keep her away from others. You're right that there are gaps in her lore, we have limited space to tell the whole story. I think it's interesting to think about everything she might've been feeling but not admitting - she was excited when the mage told her that he was there to help her learn magic, but that might not have been TOO much of a silver lining around being torn from her home. Further, I think the moment she learned that the whole setup had been a lie was probably emotionally more important than not getting more powerful, even if that's the trigger that caused the confrontation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Amathris View Post
Yeah, I guess the concern I have is that the events of her bio seem to happen on the very outskirts of Ionian society (a small village and a remote monastery). If her treatment is the way that most or all mages in Ionia are treated, her bio could do a better job of expressing that. Her story sets up a personal struggle between her and her teacher, but it's lacking the societal context that could better explain her disdain for Ionia as a whole.

Ionia obviously places a great deal of value on physical martial prowess, and their philosophy of discipline and balance would not lend themselves to a charitable view of arcane magic. If the nigh-inhuman tranquility, serenity, and balance of Karma is the only way mages are allowed to exist in Ionia without being magically lobotomized, then Syndra starts to make more sense and become more interesting/sympathetic. A young girl whisked off to a place where she suddenly has to curb every excess of emotion, every inkling of passion, with the threat of permanently losing her beloved magic hanging over her head until she finally snaps.
The bio offers us a small window into the world, but it's not exhaustive. So long as there's the space to come to interesting conclusions, like you have right here, I'm happy - I'm not the kind of person who likes to constrain hypothesis and theorizing by spelling out every detail, even if I did have the writing space to do so. One of the most exciting parts of my job is seeing players developing their own ideas about characters and the world.


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Razie

Senior Member

09-20-2012

What does Syndra think about crocodiles?

Where did she get her outfit, specifically the headdress?

Considering what Ionia did to her, would Syndra be likely to join Noxus?


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fortide

Senior Member

09-20-2012

How powerful is Syndra's magical potential compared to Lux and Annie? Did she have any friends when she was growing up or was everybody afraid of her?


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Pawlement

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Senior Member

09-20-2012

What would Draven think about Draven? ... I mean Syndra think about Draven? Both being egotistical and all.

Does she simply float because it looks cool? Is she physically weak?

Besides expanding her power, what else would she enjoy in life?


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LordArchanon

Senior Member

09-20-2012

Okay, so, in reading through the responses here I feel like you were intending to get something completely different across with Syndra than actually came out in her lore.

Specifically, the lore says that "her reckless use of magic terrified the elders". When I think terrified I don't think "they were bothered by her defiance of their philosophy", I think "they are pretty sure that she is going to hurt someone and are astounded it hasn't happened yet". Especially since the next thing we, the readers, really see her do is kill her magic teacher in a fit of anger. That immediately made me think she was probably abusing her talents to bully other kids in her village and the elders were genuinely afraid she would kill one of them without realizing what she was doing. It therefore seems completely confusing to me to see that it looks like your intention was that she might actually be the one wronged.

So... I guess the question is, which is accurate? Were the elders actually terrified or would "scandalized" be closer to their actual reaction? Because I kind of like the idea that Ionia isn't all perfect balance and light that it's kind of seemed to be so far, but at the same time I can't reconcile that with her current lore. =\


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Amathris

Junior Member

09-20-2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by Harrow View Post
You're right that there are gaps in her lore, we have limited space to tell the whole story.
Fair enough. I'm definitely sympathetic to the limited bandwidth a champion bio offers to deliver lore, and I hope I'm not being overly nitpicky or confrontational. It's awesome that the lore team takes time to do these AMAs to help us get more context and information about the champions you're writing. It's very much appreciated.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Harrow View Post
I think it's interesting to think about everything she might've been feeling but not admitting - she was excited when the mage told her that he was there to help her learn magic, but that might not have been TOO much of a silver lining around being torn from her home.
It is interesting, especially since she gets left in the care of this strange old mage with no one else to talk to at all. Approximately how old was she when this happened? Did her parents resist giving her up?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Harrow View Post
So long as there's the space to come to interesting conclusions, like you have right here
Thank you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Harrow View Post
One of the most exciting parts of my job is seeing players developing their own ideas about characters and the world.
Sure, and since League champions are supposed to appeal to compelling player power fantasies and exciting archetypes, it's good to have some wiggle room to let each player fill in some of the things they find most personally interesting about said archetypes.

Thanks again for fielding my questions. I'm very interested in seeing how Syndra integrates with the rest of the world and the other champions, and quite excited by some of the questions her story raises about the downsides of Ionian philosophy.


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Dracorya

Senior Member

09-20-2012

I'm assuming most of the Ionian champions look at Syndra the same way a parent frowns at an impulsive child. I mean our general knowledge of Ionians is that they are very reserved or collected in their outward appearance. So Syndra just blew that generalization out the window.

So would people like Irelia, Master Yi, Lee Sin, etc. actually support aggressive action against Syndra IF she ever presented a threat? Just wondering since you said Karma would and she's probably the least violent of them (aside from Lee Sin). Or would some speak against such an idea?


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Luninareph

Senior Member

09-20-2012

Wanted to start by saying that Syndra is my favorite new champion since...probably since Lulu. (I must have a thing for unrestrainedly wild women.) I love her attitude, I love the way she looks, I love the way she plays. I'm super-excited for her buffs.

The question of why Syndra joined the League has already been asked, if I recall, but I would like to know specifically why Syndra joined the League considering her aversion to being controlled. I have difficulty imagining Syndra willingly signing up to have somebody else get inside her head, even if it is to use her powers rather than to negate them. It also seems like a foolhardy thing to do to place herself so squarely in the path of the Ionian figureheads and the Kinkou. Is she trying to make an example to Ionia that letting your power run free is to be commended, not condemned? Is she subtly flipping the bird at Irelia and Karma, saying "Look, I am accepted as a Champion as you are; we aren't that different after all"? Does she submit to League control because she's afraid Ionia is going to get her under their thumb again? Is it a political move to avoid backlash against her activities? Is she looking for allies? It just seems that considering her phobia of control and authority, the League would be the last place in the WORLD she'd want to be. Why does she suffer through it anyway?


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exelsis xax

Senior Member

09-20-2012

Harrow, can you pass along a hug to syndra from me? I think that's what she needs more than anything.


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Trolosaurus

Senior Member

09-20-2012

......So why did she join the League?