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My Fantasy RPG World, Feedback and Ideas appreciated

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by Scalenex, May 17, 2019.

  1. Scalenex

    Scalenex Keeper of the Indexes Staff Member

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    Do you want to read nine MS Word pages' worth of material on Scarterran dragons?

    Too bad.

    Broad History of Dragons

    Origin: During the Divine Rebellion, the Nine fought besides countless numbers of mortal souls. The small number of mortals who survived the battle gained a considerable amount of latent power and became the first Dragons.

    Early History: As a reward for their assistance, the Nine declared that dragons would be the dominant mortal race over the entire material plane of Scarterras. The dragons multiplied and spread out. They dwelled in the forests, deserts, caves, lakes, rivers, seas, mountains, basically everywhere. Some legends speak of dragons having lairs in the sky, on the moon or in other fantastic places.

    The dragons formed tribal lines around religion, philosophy, and differences in their innate powers and appearances. These groups formed competing kingdoms which fought each other for resources and territory. Dragons also had to compete with non-dragons, many of them were created by Greymoria specifically to kill or harass dragons. Schisms developed between young and old dragons as older dragons hoarded the best treasure and territory while also pushing them into cannon fodder roles against the dragon race’s collective enemies.

    A dragon queen of great sorcerous ability attempted to gain dominance in the war of the Dragon Kingdoms by harnessing the elemental powers of all Scarterras. This massive ritual spell backfired and unleashed chaotic elemental energy. Thousands, possibly millions of elementals arose in Scarterras en mass and began radically reshaping the world. Floods, earthquakes, wildfires, and storms raged everywhere. The mega-continent split into pieces. New islands and mountain ranges formed. Water bodies were redirected or formed anew. Most structures erected by dragonkind were destroyed.

    Surviving the First Unmaking: Many dragons died fighting overwhelming numbers of rampaging elementals. Others died in the supernatural disasters that accompanied the elementals. Many dragons were strong enough to weather these attacks, but the elementals nonetheless were destroying their territories and food supplies which led to more dragons dying of starvation. Other dragons died at their talons of their own kind as the already factionalized dragons began competing over increasingly scarce resources. This weakened the already strained loyalty and kinship dragons held for their own kind.

    Depending on which historian you believe, somewhere between 90 and 99% of the world’s dragons did not survive the Unmaking.

    Second Age History: The Nine decided that the elves would inherit Scarterras. Many dragons opposed this and tried to reinstitute their dominance. If the surviving dragons unified, they would have had the power to destroy or enslave the fledgling elven tribes, but they couldn’t unify. Most dragons agreed that dragons to be in charge again but nearly all of them wanted to be the dragon in charge. This created the term “Dragon’s Vote” where everyone votes for themselves.

    As mighty as they were, lone dragons and small hostile bands of dragons were not able to bring fledgling elven nations to their knees. A lot of early Second Age legends speak of legendary dragon slayers. A few dragons were not hostile to elves. Many were indifferent and isolationist. A few even tried to teach and support these emerging elven governments so that they would benefit from the wisdom of the dragons and avoid repeating the ancient dragons’ greatest mistakes.

    Dragons were generally hostile to elves more often than they were supportive. Even in the Third Age, modern elves tend to respect dragon slayers. It might take ninety-nine elves to bring one dragon down but they always seemed to have at least a hundred. For the most part dragons in the Second Age laired as far away from major elven population centers as they could.

    During the First Age, very few dragons had the ability to polymorph into smaller creatures. Over the course of the Second Age, more and more Dragons developed this trait. This led to some dragons hiding in plain sight, and far more half-dragons appearing than in the First Age. The social stigma dragons faced for breeding with lesser creatures was drastically reduced.

    Dragons are willful and independent but the norm was set that most dragons go through a phase in their youth where they either bully or assist the lesser races. As they get older, dragons become more neutral to lesser races and generally want to be left alone. There are exceptions in all age groups, but the stereotype exists for a reason.

    Surviving the Second Unmaking: Some Void Demons went to great lengths to kill dragons, perhaps remembering the Dragon’s forebears helping to bring down Turoch. Others didn’t bother preferring to devour the souls of a thousand elves rather than devouring the soul of a single dragons.

    Some dragons worked heroically to save as many mortals as they could. Other dragons just looked out for Number One. Relatively few dragons actively sold out or betrayed lesser mortals out of spite or a cowardly desire to survive. More often than not, the shared tragedy of the Second Unmaking made dragons feel more solidarity with lesser brethren than ever before though many dragons hold elves in contempt while respecting other humanoids. Afterall, it was elven arrogance that set off the Second Unmaking.

    Most scholars of draconic histories believe that about one in three dragons survived the Second Unmaking.

    Recent History and Distribution: There were a few dragons who tried to reassert draconic dominance over the fledgling human nations and tribes but this was less prevalent than at the start of the Third Age. Rather than dominate the humans outright, many dragons tried to become advisors and protectors to human kings and queens. It’s a matter of opinion whether these dragons were benevolent teachers or nefarious puppet masters. Usually they were a bit of both. A lot of modern monarchs claim to have draconic blood from their ancestors. Some of these monarchs are even telling the truth. While most dragons don’t cross-breed with lesser mortals, the practice is far more common in the Third Age than the Second Age.

    Modern dragons are a varied bunch. Some are overt bullies or benevolent crusaders. Some are covert puppet masters. The majority of dragons still attempt to find territories far from large mortal population centers unless they can polymorph into humanoid forms in which case they will often hide in plain sight.

    The Third Age has seen the most successful attempt of dragons to unify since the First Age. The Dragon Kingdom encompasses the Triangle Islands which is made up of about a score of young dragons, hundreds of giants, and thousands of subordinate humans.

    Dragon Society
    Lifecycle and Society: Dragons are born knowing the draconic language and they are able to fly and hunt on their own less than twenty-four hours after hatching. Some dragons abandon their nests and leave their young to fend for themselves. Other dragons feed their young and teach them for either a short or long period of time.

    Dragons have strong territorial instincts. Even when living with their parents, it’s common for young dragon hatchlings to pick a small alcove of the lair to call their own. Some dragons buck the trend and become nomadic vagabonds though this is rare, usually as result to some terrible loss or trauma. In most cases, an adult dragon considers all land and sea within a day’s flight from their lair in all directions to be his territory.

    Not quite as universal as the territorial instinct, most dragons, even good natured dragons, are covetous for things of value. The majority of dragons go for coins, jewelry and the like but more than a few try to gather up libraries of ancient wisdom, magical items, or even farmland and livestock. If something has value, a dragon somewhere covets it.

    If the dragons acted as unified group, they could destroy or enslave humanity fairly easily, but that threat seems extremely unlikely. Many joke that dragons can barely refrain from killing each other long enough to mate and propagate the species. This is not entirely true, but dragons are far more tolerant of draconic visitors to their territory if the dragons in question are perspective mates.

    Dragons can meet peacefully for reasons beyond mating, mostly commonly to share news or negotiate bordering territories. Sometimes a half dozen or more dragons with fairly close territories will gather at a time to discuss news and issues that affect all of them. Occasionally, older dragons will mentor younger dragons who are neither their offspring nor perspective mates. In nearly all cases, a dragon will try to keep tabs on all neighboring dragons as far afield as possible. Every other dragon is a potential rival, pawn or mate.

    On to mating. Dragons mating practices vary from dragon to dragon. Some dragons leave their young entirely to fend for themselves. Some dragons shelter and guide their young all the way into young adulthood. Some dragons mate for life and other dragons mate opportunistically. There is no guarantee that a dragon will raise all his or her young the same way each time. It’s not uncommon for a dragon to leave its first few clutches to fend for themselves and carefully raise their last clutch or visa versa.

    Sometimes a mated pair will rear their young together. Sometimes the male will raise all the young, sometimes the female will raise all the young. Sometimes dragon couples will split their eggs up and raise their own half of the clutch as they fit. Dragon family units are neither patriarchal nor matriarchal, leadership is based on age and for a dragon, age is synonymous with power. If the older dragon wants to mold the next generation, he or she can take all the eggs and their mate will not object (not out loud at least). If the older dragon in a mated pair views raising young as a burden, then the younger mate will not openly object to being made to raise all the young. If a dragon practices polyandry or polygamy the dragon is probably much older and more powerful than his mates. Most male and female dragons are alike are eager to mate with older higher status dragons.

    A typical dragon clutch is two to five eggs. Most female dragons have four to five clutches over their lifetime, but it is possible for dragons to have many more clutches than that, supposedly there were dragon queens in the First Age who had over a hundred clutches. On a related note, nearly every modern dragon claims to be descended from dragon royalty.

    Some dragons leave their young to fend for themselves entirely after hatching. Even them, one or both parents will often visit the nesting sight periodically and make sure the eggs aren’t threatened. Most dragons enjoy at least a short period of protection and provision living in the lair of one or both parents. One thing nearly all dragons who opt to raise their young do is capture some live prey to serve as their young’s first meal and first hunting lesson.

    Dragons grow in size, strength, intellect, cunning, and magical power as they grow older. Their scales also become harder.

    Religious Practices: Religious practices vary greatly from dragon to dragon. In general terms, dragons are less pious than most other mortals though most dragons at least pay lip service to the Nine. Dragons rarely seek to learn divine magic, and they are rarely empowered as favored souls. It is not unheard of for some dragons to become priests, usually they learn lots of theology, but never bother learning divine magic.

    Dragons may worship the whole pantheon of the Nine or a large portion of the pantheon, but the majority of dragons choose one of the Nine as their primary patron, often picking a patron whose personality and goals already approximate their own.

    Dragon Life Cycle and Biology
    Wyrmling ___40-100 pounds, Large dog _____ 0 years __~6 feet nose-to-tail

    Juvenile 100-800 pounds, small horse ______6 years____~10 feet nose-to-tail

    Adolescent 800-2000 pounds, typical horse____50 years____~20 feet nose-to-tail

    Young Adult 2000-5000 pounds, female orca___ 200 years____~30 feet nose-to-tail

    Adult 5000-8,000 pounds, male orca ______400 years_____ ~35 feet nose-to-tail

    Wyrm 8000-12000 pounds typical elephant_____800 years______ ~40 feet nose-to-tail

    Great Wyrm 12,000-14000 pounds, large elephant____1200 years____~40 feet nose-to-tail

    Wise Wyrm 9000-10,000 pounds, typical elephant____2000 years____~39 feet nose-to-tail

    Dead by old age at about 2500 years give or take.

    Wyrmling Dragons
    Most wyrmlings hatch from their eggs at roughly the same time. If a parent is present, he or she might help the wyrmling escape their egg prison by gently tapping the shell. A wyrmling emerges from his or her shell a soggy bundle of scales. They are roughly twice as long from snout to tail as the size of their egg. Within an approximately an hour they are dry and capable of crawling and simple flying (which is more like jumping very far instead of true flight). Within a few days, a wyrmling is capable of full flight. Wyrmling dragons seem to have proportionately oversized head and feet compared to adult dragons.

    The first thing a wyrmling wants to do is usually find food. If left in an untended nest, a wyrmling’s first meal is probably her own shell. Waste not, want not. This is a good source of vitamins and minerals and this also helps ensure that a young wyrmling doesn’t immediately try to eat her nest mates. If one or both parents are there, the mother and/or father will often provide live prey. So the wyrmling’s first meal is also her first hunting lesson.

    Once the immediate hunger is satisfied, a young wyrmling will seek out a lair. If they are in their parent’s or parents’ lair, each wyrmling will usually find a corner or alcove to claim it as his or her own.

    Even without tutelage from a parent, a wyrmling is born with a lot of inherent knowledge, including the Draconic spoken language, the basics of hunting, how to fly among other things. Even so, wyrmling dragons left to fend for themselves live precarious existences. A majority of young wyrmlings left to fend for themselves do not make it to the juvenile stage. Wyrmlings are instinctively aware of this and their youthful energy is often tempered by instinctive caution. Some wyrmling seek out an older non-parent dragon as a mentor, a relationship which often lasts a few decades (a short period of time for dragons).

    Juvenile Dragons
    The juvenile stage is marked by a large growth spurt though the young dragon still seems to have oversized feet and an oversized head. They also have a mental growth spurt as well. A few early bloomers their first budding ability in sorcery as juveniles.

    Juvenile dragons often choose to leave their parents’ nest at this stage in their lives. Others are forced out. Juvenile dragons that grew up without their parents often find they have literally or figuratively outgrown their first lair and depleted the local game, so they seek out a larger more productive territory.

    Adolescent Dragons
    Adolescence is marked by a new growth spurt, which will gradually let a dragon assume its adult form (his head and feet are proportionately comparable to older dragons). Most adolescent dragons manifest their innate sorcerous talent at this time. Most dragons leave their parents’ nest at this time. If they haven’t begun seeking treasure already, they usually start seeking treasure now.

    Many dragons go through a phase where they become fascinated with the weaker races, either helping them, bullying them, or just studying them. This often but not always manifest in adolescence. If a dragon is going to develop the ability to polymorph into smaller species, this power usually manifests during adolescence.

    Young Adult
    A dragon’s rapid growth spurts give way to slow steady growth. A dragon’s mental abilities continue to grow as well. Dragons who are late bloomers finally develop their talent for sorcery during this stage.

    Even the most patient and tolerant dragon parents push their offspring out at this point. Many dragons with mentors part ways at this point, or if they are lucky, a relationship of mentorship matures into a friendship. Most dragons begin searching for a new long-term lair and territory at this point…ideally one near the territory of a dragon of the opposite sex. Most young adults seek out a mate at this stage in their life if they haven’t started courting others during adolescence.

    At this point a dragon is truly a force to be reckoned with. His physical growth begins to slow but does not stop. Dragons often settle into routines at this point. Whatever prevailing attitude he has towards dealing with the humanoid races usually solidifies at this stage in life. If they haven’t done so already, a dragon probably settles into the territory he plans to die in. If a dragon seeks a permanent mate, this is usually when they pair up.

    If the dragon was the sort to befriend or manipulate humanoids, at this point in her life she probably begins to withdraw from non-dragon societies. Whether dragons view humanoids as treasured friends or useful pawns, after watching at least three or four generations of humanoids grow old and die, many dragons don’t find them worth bothering with anymore.

    Dragons reach their physical peak at this life stage. It is a rare feat for a dragon to reach this great age. Even rivals will give grudging respect to dragons of this age. Few young dragons could potentially rival a wyrm of this power, so it’s common that dragons become mentors and leaders of their own kind at this age.

    A female wyrm is nearing the end of her fertile years. Most females try to raise one last clutch. If she doesn’t have a mate, it’s not hard to find one. Age is power and status and a female wyrm can dictate terms to most males.

    Great Wyrm
    A Great Wyrm dragon is at her physical peak and her mental abilities are beyond compare. Great Wyrm dragons are living legends known for hundreds of leagues around, at least by dragonkind. Physical growth stops, but a dragon’s mental acuity continues to expand.

    Male dragons will become infertile within a few centuries, but during their last fertile years, they will have hordes of suitors since many females who want their offspring to have such a powerful mentor and protector. Unless they’ve taken great pains to maintain their secrecy, dragons of this age usually have world-wide fame among all races.

    Wise Wyrms
    Also called “twilight dragons”. At this point a dragon’s physical prowess finally begins to decline though they mentally as strong as ever. Wise Wyrms are the most magically gifted of any dragons.

    While respected for their wisdom, twilight dragons recognize that they are vulnerable. They have more treasure than any other dragon and they have less means to defend themselves than younger dragons. Dragons have a ritual where they can pass peacefully on their own terms. Most Wise Wyrms opt to do this after making final arrangements rather than cling tenaciously to life though some do.

    Physical Variations between dragons
    Dragons gets stronger and smarter as they age, but there is considerable variation within dragon age categories. Dragons can be jocks or nerds (or whatever the medieval equivalent of these terms is). Dragons that develop abilities and aptitudes related to their personalities. Bold dragons that like to dominate foes physically tend to be more muscular and heavier than dragons that prefer to outwit their foes.

    Phrenology is real with dragons. Most dragons can make an accurate guess of a dragons personality type and ability aptitudes just by looking at them. The shape of a dragon’s teeth, horns, crest, tail, and more contain a wealth of information to those who know. Dragons are a prejudiced lot with lots of confirmation bias. If they see a counter example to what phrenology suggests they will underplay it.

    All dragons can fly. If they want to learn advanced flying tricks like hovering, tight turns, or how to make dive bomb attacks, they need to learn these things by trial and error.

    All dragons can swim, but not all dragons can swim well. Dragons that evolve to be aquatic usually are longer and thinner than dragons that are not aquatic. All dragons can dig with their claws, but few dragons can burrow fast through snow, sand, or soft soil. Burrowing dragons tend to have comparatively short necks and stocky builds. It is very rare for a dragon to be fully aquatic and a natural burrower. It is extremely rare for a dragon to become aquatic or evolve into a natural burrower if they aren’t born with these aptitudes.

    Dragons that are especially magically talented for their age tend to be shinier and more majestic looking. Dragons that are fairly shy and reclusive often gradually take on the coloration of their environments while dragons that are vain and seek attention often develop a very striking color tones.

    Fire breathers nearly always radiate heat and their scales often smell like smoke. Ice breathers radiate cold and their scales tend to smell clean and fresh. Lightning breathers nearly always smell like ozone and they often crackle with static. Acid breathers tend to have caustic drool and have skull like visages with black teeth; they often reek of decay. Sonic breathers tend to be very talkative and have loud voices.

    Dragon Character Creation Guidelines

    Baselines for comparison.
    -Human attributes and abilities range between 1 and 5.
    -Ordinary humans have five health levels. "Heroic" humans have ten health levels.
    -Willpower for all creations ranges between 1 and 10.
    -Appearance for a dragon doesn't mean how pretty or handsome the dragon is but is a measure of how awe inspiring the dragon is A low appearance means "ewww a giant lizard" and a high Appearance means "Oh my gods, don't hurt me!"
    -Arcane is a trait that humans do not have. For simplicity, a dragon uses his/her arcane rating as the dice pool when casting spells.

    My goal is to make dragons mighty and impressive but not impossible for humans or demihumans to defeats.

    The attributes are the minimum levels for a dragon of that age. A dragon can spend his/her freebie points to raise an attribute up to three points higher than the minimum.

    Wyrmling Dragon Character Creation
    Willpower 3
    Dexterity 2, Strength 2, Stamina 3, Appearance NA, Charisma 1, Manipulation 1, Intelligence 1, Perception 2, Wits 2, Arcane NA
    Abilities (Max 3 per ability): 15 dots.
    Freebie Points: 30
    Health Levels: 5

    Juvenile Dragon Character Creation
    Willpower 5
    Dexterity 2, Strength 4, Stamina 4, Appearance 0, Charisma 1, Manipulation 1, Intelligence 1, Perception 3, Wits 3, Arcane 0
    Abilities (Max 4 per ability): 25 dots.
    Freebie Points: 60
    Health Levels: 7

    Adolescent Dragon Character Creation
    Willpower 6
    Dexterity 2, Strength 5, Stamina 5, Appearance 1, Charisma 2, Manipulation 2, Intelligence 2, Perception 3, Wits 3, Arcane 1
    Abilities (Max 5 per ability): 40 dots.
    Freebie Points: 90
    Health Levels: 10

    Young Adult Dragon Character Creation
    Willpower 7
    Dexterity 2, Strength 7, Stamina 6, Appearance 2, Charisma 3, Manipulation 3, Intelligence 3, Perception 4, Wits 4, Arcane 3
    Abilities (Max 5 per ability): 50 dots.
    Freebie Points: 120
    Health Levels: 12

    Adult Dragon Character Creation
    Willpower 8
    Dexterity 2, Strength 8, Stamina 7, Appearance 3, Charisma 4, Manipulation 4, Intelligence 4, Perception 5, Wits 5, Arcane 5
    Abilities (Max 6 per ability): 60 dots.
    Freebie Points: 150
    Health Levels: 15

    Wyrm Dragon Character Creation
    Willpower 9
    Dexterity 2, Strength 9, Stamina 8, Appearance 4, Charisma 4, Manipulation 4, Intelligence 5, Perception 6, Wits 5, Arcane 6
    Abilities (Max 6 per ability): 70 dots.
    Freebie Points: 180
    Health Levels: 18

    Great Wyrm Dragon Character Creation
    Willpower 10
    Dexterity 2, Strength 10, Stamina 9, Appearance 5, Charisma 4, Manipulation 5, Intelligence 6, Perception 7, Wits 6, Arcane 7
    Abilities (Max 7 per ability): 80 dots.
    Freebie Points: 200
    Health Levels: 20

    Wise Wyrm Dragon Character Creation
    Willpower 10
    Dexterity 2, Strength 8, Stamina 7, Appearance 4, Charisma 4, Manipulation 5, Intelligence 6, Perception 7, Wits 6, Arcane 7
    Abilities (Max 7 per ability): 90 dots.
    Freebie Points: 220
    Health Levels: 17

    Dragon Freebie Point Chart (not exhaustive)
    Power or Upgrade___Freebie Point Cost

    First dot of additional armor 5
    Second dot of additional armor 8
    Third dot of additional armor 12
    Fourth dot of additional armor 20

    First and second additional dots of attributes 5
    Third additional dot of attribute 6

    Additional dot of abilities 2

    Additional language 1
    Literacy, all known languages 2

    Water breathing, fresh water and salt 4
    Aquatic movement rate 6
    Natural Burrower 5
    Natural Burrower and Aquatic Movement Rate 15

    Ability to hover in place while flying 3
    Ability to claw at a target while flying over them 3
    Ability to somersault midair to change direction in a tight arc 5

    First Circle Arcane Spell 1
    Second Circle Arcane Spell 2
    Third Circle Arcane Spell 4
    Fourth Circle Arcane Spell 5
    Fifth Circle Arcane Spell 7

    Limited polymorph into one humanoid form 8
    Limited polymorph into three distinct humanoid forms 12
    Near limitless polymorphs into humanoid forms 20

    Perfect traction on ice and snow 4

    Limited Water walking, slow and careful 4
    Water walking, full Dexterityand speed 8

    Spider climb any surface capable of supporting weight 4
    Spider climb capable of supernaturally light touch 9

    Powers all dragons have.

    -They can soak lethal damage with their full Stamina rating.
    -They can fly
    -They have a breath weapon that can inflict Strength +3 lethal damage (I still need to work out how often they can use it. I'm thinking of giving them a shot limit like in the How to Train Your Dragon series.
    -They have claws and teeth that can inflict Strength +1 lethal damage
    -They can lash out for Strength+1 bashing damage with their tail.
    -Dragons have a frightful presence that can be resisted with Willpower. Difficulty to resist is the dragon’s Appearance+1
    -If a dragon wants to pick something up its claws or mouth and fly while carrying it than its Strength is considered three points lower for that purpose. A dragon can carry something on its back (such as a human rider) then it is a lot easier. A dragon’s strength is only one lower if it wants to fly carrying something on its back while flying.

    -Dragon claws lack the fine motor control of humanoid fingers. Rolls involving fine motor skills are at +2 difficulty.

    -Dragons use their Arcane attribute when casting spells.
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2019
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  2. pendrake
    Skink Priest

    pendrake Well-Known Member

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    Nah. (Remember who you’re corresponding with. The official fluff of my Lizardman Army is 25 words.)

    The Nine killed Turoch. This was incomprehensibly horrific and Sad. They spent Nine thousand years shedding tears at the sad horribleness of what they had done. The tears crystallized into gemstones. Boom. Done.

    Moria was also a trade route. A way past nearly impassable mountains.

    The Afghans/Talibaan/Mujahadeeen have built tunnnel networks that go for miles. Largely without industrial scale equipment.

    Underground Dwarf Kingdoms is way less of a stretch that the Void Barrier at each end of the world.

    Put Mera in charge of SovereignSilver that burbles up through the sea floor.
    Hallisan does metals and ores.
    One of the others [?] regulates the barrier and shares SovSilver control with Mera.

    They are basically underground volcanoes. There’s a fissure spewing up molten Tin, or Copper, or...whatever

    But Yipes!

    Dwarfs would build their strongholds far enough away from that action to be safe but close enough to exploit the resource.

    Economic consequences: precious metals are more abundant than Earth normal. Those last 8 words describe 95% of all fantasy worlds and 99% of all D&D campaigns. Sounds like a solution rather than a problem.

    Let there be magma. But if there is not magma to float on, the crust is Less likely to suffer Earthquakes.

    This is causing me to rethink the notions I had regarding the core of this cylinder planet. I had been picturing something more mundane.

    No plate tectonics? Then no volcanoes or earthquakes. Not sure that’s a good thing.

    The movement of lava up into volcanoes causes small localized shaking. 2-4 Richter scale. That is 4 orders of magnitude smaller/less powerful than the great quakes that have (and will eventually again) hit and destroy San Francisco.

    Maybe he just gave them an innate ability to sense where to dig, dig, dig to reveal a gold fissure. And clever them did the rest. The best dwarfy strongholds are centered between three fissures of three different metals.

    Dwarf holds in Scaryerra could be different from the Tolkien model. A mountain. But often not a snowcapped one. At various points around the mountain there are towers and forts projecting from the sides and ridges. Like Predjahama Castle in Slovenia. It is all connected by tunnels.
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  3. pendrake
    Skink Priest

    pendrake Well-Known Member

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    A Dwarf Mountain Fastness
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  4. Scalenex

    Scalenex Keeper of the Indexes Staff Member

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    That's pretty cool. Did you draw that yourself or find it somewhere?
  5. pendrake
    Skink Priest

    pendrake Well-Known Member

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    That is a Pendrake original. Doodled up earlier this AM.
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  6. pendrake
    Skink Priest

    pendrake Well-Known Member

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    Getting anywhere on the BiG Questions:

    Let there be magma? y/n
    • Let there be large earthquakes? y/n
    • Let there be Krakatoas? y/n
    • Those two are related to the question above

    Let there be spheres in the heavens? y/n
    • Normal sphere making gravity off planet? y/n
    • The moon is a disk? Y/n
  7. Scalenex

    Scalenex Keeper of the Indexes Staff Member

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  8. Scalenex

    Scalenex Keeper of the Indexes Staff Member

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    I really like the imagery of dwarves dredging a lake of molten copper. That sort of makes harvesting copper like harvesting a plant resource, only you know way more bad ass.

    Back to the cold iron question.

    The latest video in medieval facts covers how wrought iron arrowheads were sort of coated in a very thin layer of steel by "cooking" them in charcoal so that carbon would be infused in the outer layer. This makes hardened iron which is a sort of like a precurser to modern steel. It wasn't just arrow heads. Most medieval weapons was hardened in a similar fashion to imbue a tiny bit of carbon into it.

    Okay, so that's hardened iron. Without the treatment you have wrought iron or mhardore colloquially known, as cold iron.

    There we go. Spirits and Fair Folk are especially vulnerable to cold iron but not especially vulnerable to hardened iron. That means an average farming implement is deadlier to spirits than most weapons. Why is this? Hallisan. Hallisan is the metalsmithing god and he taught mortals the hardening ritual. Is the metal harder because it's imbued with carbon. Pah, false science. The metal becomes metal harder and less harmful to spirits because the spiritually essence of Turoch is mystically burned out of the metal.


    I should probably put the brakes on musing on my RPG world until my fluff piece Golden Mountain is finished. I'm easily distracted.
  9. pendrake
    Skink Priest

    pendrake Well-Known Member

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    The Benefits of Living on a Sphere World

    Original article:

    The Benefits of Living on a Cylinder World

    (Replace Earth with Scarterra [Sterra] in what follows if I miss a spot...I have clumsily rewritten the NOAA article to describe what I think the effects of living on a drum world would be.)

    The seasons could have something to do with how far the STerra is from the Sun.

    If a noticeably elliptical orbit were the case, it would be hotter at Perihelion and colder at Aphelion. The elliptical-ness would need to be around a full planetary diameter.

    The length of the day will never change because of the cylinder shape.

    Seasonal changes caused by STerra being tilted on its axis... (by an average of 23.5 degrees like Earth [?] Earth's tilt on its axis actually varies from near 22 degrees to 24.5 degrees) ...will not be as strong.

    (No graphic available)

    But STerra's 23.5 degree tilt could cause a different, weaker cycle of changing seasons. Near the summer solstice STerra is tilted such that the Sun is positioned directly over the Top of the Cylinder and the northern latitudes. This situates the northern hemisphere in a more direct path of the Sun's energy and a little closer.

    However the Sun angle and length of day is the same all the way to the South end of the cylinder.

    What this means is an identical amount of the Sun's energy is scattered before reaching the ground because the energy has to travel through the exact same amount of the atmosphere at every latitude.

    At the equinoxes the Sun's energy is in balance between the northern and Southern Ends For STerra.

    What kind of effect does the Earth's tilt and subsequent seasons have on our length of daylight (defined as sunrise to sunset). Over the equator, the answer is not much. If you live on or very close to the equator, your daylight would be basically within a few minutes of 12 hours the year around.

    On STerra because of the cylinder shape it is always a 12 hour day at all latitudes.
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  10. pendrake
    Skink Priest

    pendrake Well-Known Member

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    Benefits of having a Sun like Teegarden’s Star:

    Planet C has an orbital period of 11 days 12 hours.
    Planet B has an orbital period of 5 days.
  11. Scalenex

    Scalenex Keeper of the Indexes Staff Member

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    Works for me. Perfectly even days makes sense metaphysically speaking and I didn't have any solid ideas for the solstices and the equinoxes. Though I could make the day 25 hours just for fun....
  12. pendrake
    Skink Priest

    pendrake Well-Known Member

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    27 is 3 x 9 ....just sayin.
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  13. Scalenex

    Scalenex Keeper of the Indexes Staff Member

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    I like the way you think...but I probably will stick with 24 hours.

    Anyway, now for something completely different...and fairly lengthy

    I’m going to cover my ongoing Creature Roster

    Every creature I include needs a story reason and a meta reason to include. If I cannot come up with both, the race doesn't make the cut. Since I can make up story reasons on the fly, meta reasons are really what's important.

    I’m open to feedback on what should be included and what should not be included. Here’s what I have so far.


    So far I have only put animals on my roster that can be found in medieval Europe. I got the two broad categories of farm animals and wild animals.

    Dogs, casts, horses, mules, warhorses, rats, cows, pigs, sheep.
    Bats, brown bears, birds of prey, deer/stags, wolves, lions, hares.

    I also have mechanics for swarms of stuff where the swarms act as a collective entity.

    Other animals exist. Just because I don’t have stats for chickens doesn’t mean chickens don’t exist.

    That’s what I have. At the moment I am hovering on three options.

    1) Pretty much every land in Scarterras resembles medieval Europe
    2) Each continent has a different biome, likely resembling a real world continent. One continent could have buffalo, black bears, and llamas. Another could have kangaroos and ungodly poisonous snakes. Another would have pandas and tigers. Another would have cheetahs, leopards, and hyenas.
    3) Most of the lands resemble medieval Europe (especially with domesticated animals which have been spread), but there are pockets where the wild animals are very different.

    Then there is another thing I am pondering animal wise. What about extinct animals.

    European lions are extinct in the real world, so I guess I’m going to include them but mainly I am thinking about Ice age animals (aka dire animals) and dinosaurs.

    Being that I’m on Lustria-Online, this seems blasphemous for me to say it, but I don’t see a reason to have a secret island, continent, or interior jungle basin with dinosaurs. In a world with magical monsters, why do I need dinosaurs for exotic-ness?

    Dire animals, I’m less sure of but I’m leaning towards not including them. In D&D settings, dire animals are often sprinkled in among normal animals in the wild, though sometimes they dominate isolated areas. That is sort of required for game balance as it makes druids a lot stronger. They can summon, transform into or command much larger animals this way. My world has druids, but Scarterras doesn’t have D&D power creep. A druid with level Animal ●●●●● can transform into a brown bear and compete on an equal playing field with other characters with ●●●●● powers.

    Though if I adapted my setting back to D&D I almost certainly would add in dire animals and would seriously reconsider adding dinosaurs in. In such a high powered setting, I might add an entire alternate plane of existence called the Spirit Wilds where Korus stashes all the animals that went extinct or even animals that he created for funsies but decided not to release into the material plane. Naturally spell-casters could summon creatures from the Spirit Wilds.

    Anyway, what animals do you think I need to include or not include and why?

    Magical Beasts

    The main limiting factor with magical beasts is that they cannot be so powerful that they push out all the ordinary animals, and they cannot be so ravenous that they overtax the lands they live in. They also need to be able to maintain a viable breeding population but when you have a creature that is inherently magical, less people will question about inbreeding issues.

    I have lots of animals in my Maybe Monster File. Why? Because I cannot make up my mind on how smart to make magical beasts. I definitely want to have griffins, pegasi, unicorns, basilisks, and wyverns along with many others. What I’m not sure is how smart to make them. For simplicity I have four categories.

    1- Regular Animal Smart
    2- Lassie Animal Smart
    3- Dumb People Smart
    4- Smart People Smart

    In fiction and media I have seen griffins in all four categories.

    I only have three finalized monsters with animal intelligence

    I have ankhegs (giant acid spitting insects), rust monsters (metal eating monsters), cockatrices (monstrous chickens with a petrification attack).

    Wyverns and basilisks are probably going to end up here. For them I’m pondering if I want them to be large and slow like the traditional D&D Basilisk, small and fast (and pack hunters) like the basilisks in Rick Riordan’s books, or extra terrifying large and fast monsters like the basilisk in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

    Griffins I’m heavily leaning towards making them Lassie smart, because I am fond of the movie Ghosts in the Darkness. Because regardless of how intelligent they are griffins nearly always like to eat horses I probably should not make pegasi and hippogriffs drastically more intelligent than griffins. Unicorns, I’m more likely to make them people smart.

    Plant Creatures

    Plant creatures grow out of the ground, so one doesn’t have to worry about them not having enough space to roam and breed, but they do have to worry about if they are so dangerous that organized people try to burn them out.

    So far I’ve only statted out twig blights and murder trees, but I plan to include more. Years ago, we got really excited in a D&D 3.5 game when we got a magical weapon with two special abilities while still at level four. We got a bastard sword of throwing and plant bane. We sold it right away because those powers seemed stupid. Just for funsies, the DM sent plant creatures at us over and over again for random encounters. This sort of became an inside joke for future games.

    I am especially intrigued by topiary guardians which are topiary sculptures that come alive and attack. I think a lot of plant creatures would be cultivated by wizards and druids to defend their territory. Unlikely to come up in the short term because my PCs rarely invade other people’s space.

    Intelligent Monsters

    I got more of these guys statted out. Dragons are complex enough they have their own categories. Most non-humanoid monsters were either created to aid the dragons or kill dragons (or both).

    This includes giants, beholders (floating orbs covered in magic eyes), delvers (big rocky guys that tunnel through stone with acid skin), Behirs (vaguely dragon like flightless reptiles with centipede like legs), aboleths (nasty large semi-aquatic stalkers with sorcerous ability), chimera, destrachauns (nightmare-ish tunnel monsters with a sonic attack).

    I only have one nonhumanoid monster that was created after the Age of Dragons. That is chokers. They are vaguely humanoid cave dwellers with tentacles for limbs that sneak up on prey and choke them to death. An Elven wizard created them to guard his subterranean lair, but they bred and expanded far beyond what he expected (and he died in battle away from his lair anyway). I probably need more small scale intelligent monsters. My maybe file includes Umber Hulks and Sphinxes.

    Already covered Void Demons.

    This is fairly simple. Elementals are mainly there for spell-casters to summon but "wild" elementals can appear out of their component element in elements saturated in magical energies. They are a dangerous pest around magic schools and the like.

    I got the classic Fire, Water, Earth, and Air elementals in small, medium, and large sizes. If I feel like it I can add tiny and huge sizes but I don't see the point as much as I like to call tiny elementals funsize or Fun-Damentals.

    For Razz-mataz I got hybrid elementals ooze (earth/water), lightning (fire/air), dust storm (earth/air), hail (water/air), magma (earth/fire), and steam (fire/water).

    Wild elementals are not hostile but they either don't understand or care of the effects they have upon non-elemental creatures. I got twisted or undead elementals, these guys are hostile to the living. Dust elementals delight in breaking things, salt elementals dehydrate everything, ash elementals are heat sinks, and vaccuum elements suffocate everything.

    At the moment I haven't created any element based creatures like salamanders. I don't see a point to it, but I could change my mind later.


    The nice thing about undead is that they don’t need to have a viable breeding population. I could create a hundred purely unique undead creatures without challenging someone’s suspension of disbelief.

    I got undead races that are cannonfodder minions for necromancer villains. Zombies, skeletons, bone claws (stronger faster skeletons), morhgs (stronger faster zombies), wights, ghouls. These creatures can also exist as free agents if their master dies. Wights and ghouls can even replenish their numbers themselves. If a necromancer has a lot of talent and a lot of time, they can stitch together dozens or hundreds of undead creatures into giant Frankenstein style monstrosities.

    I have undead races that were created by the meddling of Void Demons. Faceless, Bonedrinkers (zombies that liquefy bones and drink them). I got a couple boss level undead that exist in very small numbers. Lifted from D&D I have Bodaks and Vasuthant, but it might be more fun to homebrew stuff.

    The evil gods keep a few giant undead monsters in reserve. Lifted from D&D I have Plague Spewers and Charnel Hounds but it might be more fun to homebrew stuff.

    A lot of undead creatures result from successful or partially successful attempts at mortals to stave off a natural death. Liches, vampires, and probably mummies. Not 100% sure I want mummies. Mummies would probably only be a found in certain local areas.

    A lot of undead are created when mortals die under specific circumstances. Ghosts are mortals who died with unfinished business and a small amount of Void energy. Spectres and wraiths are ghosts that pick up lots of Void energy. Allips are mortals who died from their own madness and a modest amount of Void energy. Salt mummies are corpses that end up mummified in salt and moderate Void energy. Ephemeral Swarms are swarms of non-sapient creatures that die all at once in great pain (basically ghost rats). Deathshriekers coalescence when hundreds or thousands of mortals die in a bloody battle field that is exposed to lots of Void energy.

    Maybe file undead monsters are near limitless. The most likely is some variation of D&D Drowned. Aka, aquatic zombies of drowned sailors. Given that Greymoria likes drowning people to discredit Mera’s
    control over water and she likes making undead it seems a natural fit.

    The Oddball Categories

    The Fair Folk or Faerie category is probably going to include humanoids, monsters, animals, magical beasts and more.

    Spirits, the extraplanar minions of the Nine would also have humanoids, monsters, magical beasts and more. MOST of the concepts I have are humanoid but I’m planning to branch out.

    The aquatic biome would have animals, monsters, magical beasts, humanoids and all the rest. I’d like to come up with a whole world for them, but for the moment I don’t really need to. My player characters are hundreds of miles from the sea. Even if they were in a coastal area, I figure a lot of aquatic creatures would lack the ability and desire to mess with surface dwellers.

    The hard part, HUMANOIDS

    Going through the various Monster Manuals, humanoids are the most common. I have access to D&D and other RPG setting with hundreds of humanoid options. I'm open to helpful feedback and suggestions on any category but this is one that vexes me.

    Meta Reason: Because my players and readers are humans. It’d be weird to run a setting with zero humans in it.
    In Game Reason: The Nine wanted a race to rule the Earth with lower lifespans than elves. They figured if a human grew foolish and powerful enough to threaten the world they would die of old age before they had the chance.

    Meta Reason: Because classic fantasy settings have elves
    In Game Reason: Because the Nine wanted a long lived race to replace the dragons as the dominant race. They figured their smaller size and inherit power limitations would make it for a power-mad individual to threaten the world.

    Meta Reason: Because dwarves are cool, I mean because dwarves are iconic to fantasy.
    In Game Reason: Because Hallisan wanted a race that embodied his ideals.

    Meta Reason: Because Tolkien set up the precedent that orcs are the standard bad guy race
    In Game Reason: Because Maylar wanted a race that embodied his ideals.

    Meta Reason: I like gnomes.
    In game reason: Because Mera wanted a race that embodied her ideals who could broker peace between the races. Mera made gnomes small so that they would appear nonthreatening.

    Aranea (spider people)
    Meta Reason: Because their existing fluff in D&D is perfect for Greymoria. The background practically wrote itself.
    In Game Reason: Greymoria created them to plague elves who refused to worship her. Unlike most of her punishment races, the Aranea never wavered from Greymoria worship though they have tempered their belligerence a little bit.

    Kenku (crow people)
    Meta Reason: Because I am a big fan of Star Trek Deep Space Nine. I wanted to add a Ferenghi equivalent.
    In Game Reason: Their origins are shrouded in mystery. The Kenku claim their ancestors gave up their power of flight in exchange for great cunning. Non-Kenku say the Nine took away their power of flight as punishment for their avarice.

    Meta Reason: Because I’m especially proud of my origin story for them.
    In Game Reason: Because Nami wanted a race that embodied her ideals

    There are lots of variation in the origin stories the Satyrs tells but they tend to follow this pattern: A stodgy elven queen (or king or high priest or some other authority figure) in a stodgy elven nation (whose ruins are not far from this very forest!) banned dancing, alcohol, restricted music and generally was anti-fun.

    A cult of Nami moved in to try to teach the subjects of said nation how to have fun. It worked out well, until the queen’s enforcers arrested them all. The queen was a powerful wizard (or had minions who were powerful wizards depending on the storyteller). She told the Nami cultists “If you will behave like animals, animals you shall be” and polymorphed them into goats.

    Nami took pity on her followers and offered to turn them back into the elves, but they insisted on carrying a mark of their transformation as a band of honor. Thus, the first satyrs were created from elves. Finding civilization in general too stifling, the satyrs opted to become nomadic forest dwellers. This is the story satyrs are proud to share with outsiders.

    Meta Reason: Because goblins are a fantasy staple. They are a good sneaky counterpart to the orcs’ blunt force.
    In Game Reason: Goblins were created to harass and kill elves during the Second Age. The Elves responded by enslaving goblin kind. Most got away and the goblins are pissed at pretty much all non-goblins.

    Meta Reason: While not a fantasy staple, they are iconic to D&D and I really went overboard developing fluff for them so it’d be a waste not to use them. Also I wanted a monstrous humanoid that wouldn’t automatically be friend of foe. Kobolds are someone PCs can negotiate with.
    In Game Reason: Because some dragons were punished by being reincarnated into lesser creatures or because Greymoria thought kobolds could take down dragons if they had sheer numbers or both.

    Meta Reason: Derro are human-dwarf hybrids that are skilled at arcane magic and they are also batshit crazy. This seems like a shoe-in for a Greymoria punishment race.
    In Game Reason: Because no race has shunned Greymoria more than the dwarves, they must be punished!

    Meta Reason: Shapeshifters are cool.
    In Game Reason: A powerful group of ancient elven wizards wanted to create a race of spies and infilitrators.

    Meta Reasons: Because players expect to see them.
    In Game Reason: Humans and elves are sometimes attracted to each other...

    Meta Reasons: Because players expect to see them.
    In Game Reason: Humans and orcs are sometimes attracted to each other...

    Spirit Touched, Spirit Blooded, Half-Spirits
    Meta Reasons: Because it is a good way to justify exotic Merits and Flaws.
    In Game Reason: Because mortals and spirits are sometimes attracted to each other.

    A tiny number of races I actively want to refuse to have.


    Halflings: Halflings/Hobbits are so similar to gnomes, I don’t really need both and I like gnomes more.

    Githyanki/Githerazi: Their meta story involves planar shenanigans stories that don’t mesh well with Scarterran fluff.

    Rakshasa: These tiger men are so strong, so smart, so mystically powerful and so well organized that the human race doesn’t stand a chance. Rakshasa would be running the world in a few generations.



    Meta Reason: Because dryads are fairly iconic to fantasy

    In Game Reason: Both Korus and the Fae wouldn’t mind a defender of nature but I cannot fathom while they would make their defenders all-female beautiful humanoids.


    Meta Reason: Because sometimes you want to fight very large humanoids

    In Game Reason: Either they would be a vanity project for Maylar (barely sapient predators) or enforcers for the Fae Courts (intelligent savvy fighters). Maybe both with two subspecies.

    Meta Reason: Because sometimes you want to fight very large humanoids
    In Game Reason: Either a vanity project for Maylar or Korus having a rare vengeful day (when Korus is vengeful tends to make monsters out of farm animals)

    Meta Reason: Because sometimes you want to fight lots of very large humanoids

    My concern is that either ogres would take over the world, or if they are strong and stupid, ogres would get exterminated or enslaved.

    There are lots of monstrous humanoids that are belligerent anti-civilization barbarians. Basically I’m teetering between making orcs the barbarian monstrous humanoid of choice around the entire world or giving each land a regional orc equivalent. Gnolls would basically be a warm weather equivalent to orc.

    On the other hands, orcs can wear warm weather clothing.

    Stone Age Monsters
    There is a A LOT of humanoids with stone age technology in D&D and similar setting. They are usually but not always belligerent to civilized people. This includes but is not limited to Lizardfolk, grimlocks, gricks, some versions of ogres, ettercaps among many others.

    I don’t have a problem with these concepts but I figure most intelligent humanoids with pre-medieval societies would either assimilate or be wiped out. Particularly since if they have even one of the gods going to bat for them, a handful of helpful spirits can bring them up to speed on the basics of society.

    Anyway, I'm open to advice or suggestions on what creatures to include or not to include.
  14. Paradoxical Pacifism

    Paradoxical Pacifism Well-Known Member

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    Perhaps because females are instinctually inclined to protect and defend what they see as their children? Maybe these Dryads see nature (or even the whole world) as their cradle. You also don't have to make them beautiful either. They could even resemble flora rather than the typical trees.

    How about dwarfs and orcs? :D

    How about making their childhood period difficult to survive through whilst also making it incredibly long? A tiger-humanoid race is a pretty interesting, fun idea, but i think it's just that there's no setbacks or negatives that makes the race too over powered.

    Anyway, this long, drawn out growth process would make it so that these tiger men reproduce and breed slowly. When they start growing up, however, is when they will start to become fierce and aggressive.

    In a way, this is sort of a analogue to the typical way elves are portrayed - slow living and few in number, but also incrediably powerful and smart nonetheless.

    When they reach adult hood, perhaps their predatory nature will make them inclined towards warfare and belligerence towards the other intelligent and unintelligent races of this world. This also analogues the war inclined orcs in a way.
  15. Scalenex

    Scalenex Keeper of the Indexes Staff Member

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    My favorite contemporary author Rick Riordian had dryads from a variety of plants. He even had a few male dryads but they were rare. There was a dryad from a Justinian cactus or something with a similar name named Justin. In general Dryads were only male if their plant species name sounded like a man's name. Not one of Riordian's better ideas but the different species of plant thing is solid.

    I don't have a problem with anyone's kink as long as it's between two consenting adults.

    However in my RPG world, only dragons, elves, and humans are the true children of ALL nine gods, so these are the only three races capable of producing half-breeds.

    A half-human, half-elf, or half-dragon that is not a combination of two of these three races will always be sterile.

    Orc/humans, elf/gnomes, dragon/kobolds all exist but they are all sterile.

    Your Rakshasa points are valid and all, but I guess i should say that's a monster that never really interested me much. I'm not a big fan of tigers.

    Snake people, yeah. I just need to figure out what powers to give them and what powers to not give them. Snakemen have LOTS of potential powers, if I give them every ability real world snakes have scaled up in size, then they would be demigods.
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  16. Scolenex
    Temple Guard

    Scolenex Well-Known Member

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    Probably a good thing you don't have a panda based race as they would rule over all lesser races. It would be a true utopian world, but utopias make uninteresting RPG settings.
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  17. Paradoxical Pacifism

    Paradoxical Pacifism Well-Known Member

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    I like these undead a lot. Very creative and evocative. I do have some questions, though. Not sure if they're necessary, but does race dictate who they become in undeath as well? Do they also remember their past lives?

    So far, these casts of creatures have something for classes do deal with aptly (though, what classes does your RPG world have?). There's something for rangers, combat, and magical characters to fight and easily win against. But what about characters that have stealth builds? I think it'd be cool if there was a wild animal(s) that stealth classes would have an advantage over. Things such as big cats, snakes, and other animals that rely on stealth. They would be on a bad match-up against classes built on stealth, and in turn, reward those aforementioned stealth classes.

    Snake people are pretty cool. When i first saw that, i immediately thought their classes would primarily focus on stealth. But the Kenku (handsome bird people <3) already fufill this role, mostly. In that case, what about making these snake people focus on a class that's a hybrid between stealth and warrior? Due to their incredibly fast and flexible attack speeds, and other abilities that can augment a player's stealth, they can alternate between stealth and warrior builds, or possibly use both at the same time.

    These snake people could also be very weak against ranged attacks and also magical attacks too.

    Snakes in the real world have an incredibly rare and overpowered ability - Infrared vision. I would suggest focusing on this ability as it does define them the most (imo). It could probably be used from both a fluff and crunch standpoint as well.

    And, as i mentioned before, perhaps this race could have the innate ability to render stealth builds of the PC relatively useless. Or in the hands of the PC, easily counter enemies and wildlife that rely on stealth.
  18. Scalenex

    Scalenex Keeper of the Indexes Staff Member

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    Most of these ideas are not my own, they are from D&D (which lifts their undead from other sources) but I adapted them slightly to my world.

    You might like Shadowrun which is sort of based on a futuristic version of real world Earth combined with Tolkien-esque fantasy. The idea is that every thousand years or so the Earth switches between a high magic and a low magic world. During the switch in the early 2000s (the game is from the 1980s when the 2000s was the future) a large percentage of the human race reverted to elves, orcs, dwarves, and what not. A tiny percentage of wild horses were born as unicorns, etc.

    Anywho, the supposed undead condition is the result of a disease called the Human-Metahuman-Vampiric Virus (HMVV). HMVV I in humans creates vampires. They pick up an allergy to wood, silver, sunlight anda thirst for blood with a moderate preference for human blood. Elves, dwarves, orks, trolls, and sasquatches manifest different powers and weaknesses but all feed on the living in some way.

    HMVV II and HMVVIII creates entire different sets of undead. HMVV carriers all have a mild preference to feed on their original metahuman type, but they can and will subsist on anything (otherwise infected sasquatches would starve to death as they are rare and widely dispersed).

    Not a good fit for my world, but you might find it interesting.

    Sometimes, it depends on undead type.

    Vampires, liches, and ghosts retain full memory of their mortal lives though as centuries pass their memories may be filtered through their own madness, especially liches which always go mad. Not sure about mummies.

    Wights, ghouls, and salt mummies retain only fragments of their past lives largely limited to basic skills like the languages they knew. Allips, zombies, morhgs, bone claws lose all memories of their past lives (though Allips retain emotional memories of their pain). Faceless have no memories of their past life, the extinction of their identity is core to their concept. Deathshriekers are the undead remnants of hundreds or thousands of souls. As powerful as they are, they are too insane to draw useful information from the fragmentary memories of that many people.

    The name of my first chronicle is "We have no class." A pun because there no character classes. It's a point based system. You buy skills, powers and aptitudes though you can approximate any class that you want. A "rogue" could buy dots in Legerdemain, Subterfuge, Stealth, Disable Device, Escape Artist, then purchase the Sneak Attack! Merit. There is nothing to stop a "wizard," "fighter," or anyone else from purchasing Sneak Attack!.

    Not necessarily. The human race doesn't stand a chance if I give them ALL these aptitudes.
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2019
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  19. Paradoxical Pacifism

    Paradoxical Pacifism Well-Known Member

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    Depends largely on the type of world you'd like to build. The first and third options seem very good for worlds centered on story telling rather than RPG's, where the simplicity/similarity of animals and biomes doesn't matter much at all. In some cases, it can even aid story telling by making it easier to add depth and fluff/backstory to these lands. Differing biomes can often lead to just analogizing world history which is very common in something like Warhammer Fantasy.

    For RPG's, i think the second option would be the best. Having enemy variation is pretty crucial in making combat in RPG's brutal, tense, and fun. Differing continents and biomes can aid this train of thought.

    In my opinion, however, I think the third option would be best for your world in my opinion. The third option aids both story telling, and also introduces the capabilities of having interesting areas and biomes to travel and fight through. It's the mixture of both necessities that wins it for me imo.
  20. Scalenex

    Scalenex Keeper of the Indexes Staff Member

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    Closely related to biomes and ecology is race though it's a topic that one should handle with kid gloves.

    Nationality exists independent of race. For instance I have three very different elf nations but as of now, to a human they all look alike.

    In the Lord of the Rings movies, everyone in the world looked caucasian. I was going to say that is norm for pre-political correctness fantasy but I can come up with too many counter examples.

    Plan A: When the Nine created humanity, the created four "batches" of humans, one for each major landmass and released them. Each batch of humans resembles a different real world race. This would give each continent's humans a default race but this throws me a curveball for elves, dwarves, gnomes and the like.

    If humans were made in several batches, the elves were probably made in similar batches too. This would give the elven nations their own physiolgoical racial traits but maybe a bit muted. The three modern elven nations absorbed refugees from all over so they would likely have mixed racial traits being the norm. Dwarves would all look alike because they were made in one batch. I'm not sure about the umpteen others.

    Plan B: Like in the real world, people near the equator have more melanin than people near poles. Under this system, local demi-humans would usually resemble local humans in their racial traits.

    Plan C: DIfferent races of humans are mixed pretty much everywhere. Much like the casting of a modern Hollywood movie. This is easier for casting but makes no sense. Under this system, demi-humans would be similarly mixed, probably, but not necessary.

    Plan D: Everyone looks pretty much the same. Human and demi-human.

    Plan E: There are regional differences in people's skin tone and hair, but it's not based on latitude. It's based on something else. Maybe elemental forces, maybe magic, maybe terrain type. Under this system, local demi-humans would usually resemble local humans in their racial traits.Under this system, demi-humans would usually resemble humans in their racial traits.

    So far I've developed many nations and cultures but I have yet to cover how these nations and cultures look.

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