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dead_but_dreaming
2007-01-25, 02:12 PM
I admittedly already have half a dozen unfinished projects going on, but one can't just get enough of homebrewing, can you? :smalltongue: Anyway: There is already a community world-building project going on on the boards, but I think it's too far gone for me to make a difference should I join and I bet there are some people out there who feel the same. So, my suggestion follows:

Let's make a new campaign setting, and a new adaptation of the d20 D&D rules! I'm talking about something entirely fresh, deviating as far as possible from the sword and sorcery standard (with merlinesque wizards, dragons, kings and Tolkien-ripp-off-elves) without falling in the "Yeah it's fantasy but we've got ninjas"-trap, Eberron-style. It should still be fantasy, but different and exotic. And let's make new classes, races, spells and feats to go with it! Let's make a new Player's Handbook and let's make it something really extra (I'm not talking about just throwing in half-[insert animal] races)!

I obviously don't want to do this alone, but I'm more than willing to invest time and energy in yet another pet project, this time with the aid of talented and inspired people from all over (sort of, I guess :smalltongue: ) the world. First, let's collect some suggestions about the basic tone of our setting. I'll go first:


Dark Magic: A dark campaign, perhaps inspired by horror-fiction, but different from things like ravenloft which is really only a fantasy version of Dracula. Magic in this world would be dark and badass (George Martin's "A Song of Ice and Fire" is a good source of inspiration for both ruthless characters and magic with dark and terrible 'oomph').
Something Exotic: A world based around a decisively non-European culture, without simply copying another historic civilization. Strange magic, an exotic feel and unfamiliar customs abound!
The New Planescape: A truly grand, crossplanar setting, doing what Planescape did but in a different way.


Of course, I realize I might be getting carried away too far by the demons of inspiration and that this fantasy of mine may never come true, but hey, can't blame a guy for trying, can you? :smallbiggrin:

What do you think?

InaVegt
2007-01-25, 02:39 PM
I would love to help, maybe even create a conlang to go with one of the races (I happen to love conlangs, and need a motivation to create one)

Golthur
2007-01-25, 02:40 PM
For now, I'm lurking, but mildly interested. :smile:


I would love to help, maybe even create a conlang to go with one of the races (I happen to love conlangs, and need a motivation to create one)

I'm a conlang guy, too, but a lazy one :wink:. I only create the minimum vocabulary I need for swear words, personal names and place names.

Roderick_BR
2007-01-25, 02:41 PM
Not a bad idea. Hard to keep on it, though.
I've been working on a simpler D&D style game, like, using 1st edition's concepts with 3.5 mechanics.
A simple class system (Warrior/Expert/Mage), along PrCs exclusive for races would be interesting. The basice classes are just simple enough to don't have any racial indication in it. The PrCs could be very race based, showing an specialization in that culture.
Settings... I was thinking some alien-thing scenario. I can't escape a vitorian-based visual, though. Maybe splitting the campaing world into several continents, each with it's own culture.

Some suggestions:
* Humans: Take a vitorian/greek setting, with little level magic, and lots of combat options.
* Elves: These would mix combat and magic, keeping the magic low enough to be playable.
* Dwarves: Let's dabble more into the nordic legends, making them more sturdy, and magic proof/un-skilled
* Aliens: Some culture with higher tech, and very little access to magic. At some points they could resemble humans, but a diferent culture. Let's just avoid star-treck things.
* Arcane: An old culture, very similar to humans and elves, but more archaic and fully magic proficient. Better as NPCs.

Each region would have his own abilities and problems, like champions, monsters, and skills.
Aliens and Arcanes could have LA +1 or more.

MeklorIlavator
2007-01-25, 03:18 PM
I would also like to help, and I have a couple things that would work for Homebrewed races, only flavor need to be changed(they were made for one of my campaigns)

Rierdrex
2007-01-25, 03:34 PM
I'd enjoy helping. Not sure what I could contribute, exactly, but I'd still enjoy the process. Plus, I don't have much to do lately, so I have a lot of time to spend on a project.

MagFlare
2007-01-25, 03:57 PM
Here's a wacky idea. It may be a little overly detailed for this early in the thread, but it sort of snowballed as I wrote it.

The setting is a planet-sized, eons-old organism (let's call it Orb) drifting through space with which entire parasitic cultures - the PC races included - have developed a symbiotic relationship. There is no sun; rather, Orb's surface throbs with a slow, otherworldly bioluminescence that approximates the night/day cycle. There are plants, which are distinctly alien in appearance and get their nutrients by tapping directly into the vital fluids of Orb, which in turn absorbs the Universe's ambient magic in order to survive. (Thermodynamics? I spit on your thermodynamics!)

Most of the parasites are content to eke out an existence on the surface of Orb, but the setting's dwarf-analogues actually dig through the creature - carefully, so as not to endanger it - to find metallic meteorites which have embedded themselves in its bulk. The dwarves jealously guard their mining secrets, partially to retain their profit margins, but mostly because they know that a reckless miner might strike one of Orb's railway tunnel-sized nerves and accidentally cause Orb's immune system to wipe out all parasitic life.

The setting also has reclusive elf-variants who, intent on discovering Orb's secrets, have built a city within the creature's brain. They've even learned to draw memories from Orb, and plumb its vast wealth of knowledge while worshiping it as a god. The elves have not yet managed to establish any two-way communication, but those who spend too much time reading the thoughts of Orb tend to gradually lose their sense of self and fall under the influence of something else.

Some potential directions for plots:
What lies at the core of Orb?
What if someone tried to kill Orb?
What do the elves and dwarves think of each other, given that one worships the planet and the other exploits it for material gain?
What does Orb want?

YPU
2007-01-25, 04:01 PM
I just started making a php forum for world building and builders, would you be interested in putting this on there?
Would perhaps make a good start.

shaka gl
2007-01-25, 04:34 PM
* Humans: Take a vitorian/greek setting, with little level magic, and lots of combat options.
* Elves: These would mix combat and magic, keeping the magic low enough to be playable.
* Dwarves: Let's dabble more into the nordic legends, making them more sturdy, and magic proof/un-skilled

Thats too similar to what has already been done, i think.


* Aliens: Some culture with higher tech, and very little access to magic. At some points they could resemble humans, but a diferent culture. Let's just avoid star-treck things.

I think aliens do not belong in fantasy settings. Maybe its just me.


* Arcane: An old culture, very similar to humans and elves, but more archaic and fully magic proficient. Better as NPCs.

Always imagined Gnomes to be like that.

Things from the actual D&D I think should not be:

- No Alignments
- Little or no LA
- No more than 2 or 3 sub races per race
- No kenderized halflings
- No nonsense oriental classes (monk, ninja, samurai...)

pyrefiend
2007-01-25, 05:11 PM
Here's a wacky idea. It may be a little overly detailed for this early in the thread, but it sort of snowballed as I wrote it.

The setting is a planet-sized, eons-old organism (let's call it Orb) drifting through space with which entire parasitic cultures - the PC races included - have developed a symbiotic relationship. There is no sun; rather, Orb's surface throbs with a slow, otherworldly bioluminescence that approximates the night/day cycle. There are plants, which are distinctly alien in appearance and get their nutrients by tapping directly into the vital fluids of Orb, which in turn absorbs the Universe's ambient magic in order to survive. (Thermodynamics? I spit on your thermodynamics!)

Most of the parasites are content to eke out an existence on the surface of Orb, but the setting's dwarf-analogues actually dig through the creature - carefully, so as not to endanger it - to find metallic meteorites which have embedded themselves in its bulk. The dwarves jealously guard their mining secrets, partially to retain their profit margins, but mostly because they know that a reckless miner might strike one of Orb's railway tunnel-sized nerves and accidentally cause Orb's immune system to wipe out all parasitic life.

The setting also has reclusive elf-variants who, intent on discovering Orb's secrets, have built a city within the creature's brain. They've even learned to draw memories from Orb, and plumb its vast wealth of knowledge while worshiping it as a god. The elves have not yet managed to establish any two-way communication, but those who spend too much time reading the thoughts of Orb tend to gradually lose their sense of self and fall under the influence of something else.

Some potential directions for plots:
What lies at the core of Orb?
What if someone tried to kill Orb?
What do the elves and dwarves think of each other, given that one worships the planet and the other exploits it for material gain?
What does Orb want?
I like that idea. I'll throw another idea out there to supplement this. The other planes aren't really alternate planes of reality, instead they are the kin of Orb. They are huge like the main Orb, but distincly different. So to plane travel you have to establish a way to fly from the bulk of one Orb to another. That makes room for a lot of alternate cultures.

dead_but_dreaming
2007-01-25, 05:46 PM
The Orb idea sounds really cool! I have always imagined that there would be a channeler class, which would fill the role of the warlock, the favoured sould and any other "inspired" classes, using channel uses per day which could be shaped into spell like and supernatural abilities. Perhaps this class would somehow connect directly to the mind/soul of the Orb?

Concerning races: Personally, I would like to avoid the standard races (I'm sick and tired of Tolkienesque elves and comic relief-dwarves by now.:smalltongue:) However, dropping a race such as the elves leaves the ancient, aloof and enigmatic-slot open. Also, aliens would be a fine addition, but that word may mean anything, provided it indicates a race of (quite recent) visitors from another world/place/universe/reality/plane.

@Roderick: Nothing is stopping us from giving some of the cultures on the Orb (if that's what we'll end up creating) from having vitorian/greek- style cultures. I'm all about visuals, and that might indeed be cool!

Concerning planes: What if there is a "natural" magical link connecting the Orbs, essentially allowing casters to "plain shift" between them? Should there be other planes too?

Keep spawning ideas, guys :smallsmile:

Roderick_BR
2007-01-25, 07:12 PM
An actual living world, eh? Sounds awesome.

shaka gl
2007-01-25, 07:25 PM
Just because you have Hit Dices and you are throwing d20s around the table, it doesnt mean you are playing D&D. What i mean? Maybe you can play another game, but you CANT take some things to D&D and still call it D&D. Elves are D&D. Dwarves are D&D. Classes are D&D. You can change their concepts, but without them its just another d20 fantasy based game.

Fualkner Asiniti
2007-01-25, 09:24 PM
We should have a huge planar travel setting. Planar travel is easier, happens alot, planar mutations are possible (Melding with the essence of Limbo, anyone?) And the "Material Plane" Doesn't exist. each plane has 1-3 dominating races. Some have LA, some don't. This would be my dream campaign setting. We need alot of planes, though... 50+ would rock the house.

cferejohn
2007-01-25, 09:58 PM
We should have a huge planar travel setting. Planar travel is easier, happens alot, planar mutations are possible (Melding with the essence of Limbo, anyone?) And the "Material Plane" Doesn't exist. each plane has 1-3 dominating races. Some have LA, some don't. This would be my dream campaign setting. We need alot of planes, though... 50+ would rock the house.

I like this idea, but it would require either a) very small planes or b) a whole lot of work (since you have to design each plane). The DnD solution/copout is to make each plane embelmatic of something, which means for the most part they don't have maps, complex interacting cultures, etc. I don't mind the idea of some very small dimensions.

I think it would be cool if planes were not "good" or "evil" but just different from one another. Some could be more plesant than others, but Hawaii is more plesant than Greenland, and it's not because Hawaii is "good" and Greenland is "evil." The best example I can think of now are the Robert Aspin "Myth" books (Phil Foglio made a 2-part graphic novel of the first one).

Just spitballing though...

Indon
2007-01-25, 10:24 PM
We should have a huge planar travel setting. Planar travel is easier, happens alot, planar mutations are possible (Melding with the essence of Limbo, anyone?) And the "Material Plane" Doesn't exist. each plane has 1-3 dominating races. Some have LA, some don't. This would be my dream campaign setting. We need alot of planes, though... 50+ would rock the house.

I like this idea, and I like Orb.

So, I propose somewhat of a synthesis.

Rather than a living world, Orb is a small, living multiverse. Orb consists of multiple 'higher' or 'lower' planes, forming concentric spheres progressing from the Outer Plane, to the innermost, or Core Plane.

I'd say anywhere from 8-20 planes for Orb, depending on what we settle on. I'm not sure if the planes should be themed or not, or what kind of theming scheme could work.

I'd also like to propose an innovation on the magic system based on this: That a spell would become more or less powerful, based on the plane it was drawn from. Say Orb Plane #5 is the plane of Darkness. But you're on Orb Plane #12, the plane of Wisconsin (I told you I'm not sure on the thematic scheme!). Your Darkness spells get a negative caster level modifier; your Wisconsin spells get a positive caster level modifier.

Flabbicus
2007-01-25, 10:31 PM
I have found something new with which to watch with interest.

I can't really add anything to this discussion besides a silent prayer for no beings like Galactus or Unicron. Although I guess that could work...


^ I like your thoughts on planes affecting spell potency.

Callos_DeTerran
2007-01-25, 11:24 PM
Spherical living planes? Magical pathways between them? Channelers of the Orb? BREAKING AWAY FROM TOLQUINESQUE ELVES AND COMEDIC RELIEF DWARVES?! I love it yet hate it (You need dwarves and elves, even if they don't fill the same slots.)


Having a living multiverse though with "Outer" spheres and "Core" sphere? Not so much a good idea. Just replicating the Great Wheel in a new format. Doing away with the planes and just making new Orbs is an idea I support however.

duncan
2007-01-26, 12:48 AM
I liked the idea of a horror set theme, and was wondering if I could throw in some ideas. I've been really waiting for a "Sin City" meets fantasy type era... something that really makes you grit your teeth when your playing? Makes you wonder if you are the good guy or the bad guy.

Maltrich
2007-01-26, 01:07 AM
I'm loving the Orb idea; I don't know if I'm loving the "Orbs as Planes" idea.

I could definitely see there being more than one Orb, however. Getting there would be a problem... with metal existing only as meteorites, it would be expensive to build spaceships, and if you have to channel power from the Orb, magic probably doesn't extend far enough into the ether.

I'd like to see a system of improvised spells, in which you have skill at certain applications, and you need skill checks for different uses. Instead of "I cast Animate Plants on those trees," you end up with "I establish psychic contact with the Orb, and begin drawing power. I want to fill those trees with my volition and enable them to move." The DM says, "Okay, roll three times: once for Mind, once for Plants, and once for Manipulation" (those are just ability names I pulled off the top of my head: my for exerting influence over others, plants because that's your target, and manipulation because you need to enable them to move). The pre-defined spells in D&D would be dumb if we're channeling the Will of a planet-sized, hyper-intelligent being.

It should be divorced from the Planescapes planar cosmology, of course. Deities are probably a no-go, although religions are certainly possible. It would be cool if the Orb is asleep, and it has a Dreamland (like in Cthulhu games) that characters can sometimes enter in their sleep... apparently "magical" beasts and events are the influence of its dreams on the waking world.

dead_but_dreaming
2007-01-26, 01:34 AM
I'm really starting to like the Orb idea a lot, while the 50+ planes idea, though indeed cool, seems a bit too daunting and perhaps too similiar to standard cosmology.

@Gezina: Consider yourself hired! :smallsmile:

@shaka: Come on, don't say things like that. :smalltongue: This project is all about redefining fantasy. Monte Cook tried to do that with his Unearthed Arcana (no, not Arcana Unearthed) but I think he failed in many ways.

I have som additional thoughts on the channeler class, but I'll get to that later. For now: Race ideas (some "obvious" ones sprung into my mind):


The Strangers: Outsiders, coming from another Orb, or preferably from some other place altogether. Perhaps they live between the stars?
The Guests: A category of races that live on the Orb, but don't truly belong to it.
The Adopted: A template of sorts, appliable to other races indicating a special kinship with the Orb. Adopted ones are accepted by the living world.
Sired: A race spawned from the Orb in order to interact with the Guests. They do not retain all knowledge of the Orb since their mindsets are much 'smaller', but they share a special, very strong kinship with it.


These might also be categories of races.

Do you think we should have some kind of poll concerning which idea to pick? I mean, I like all ideas so far and they can all me made into something really special.

dead_but_dreaming
2007-01-26, 01:44 AM
Ideas so far:

Horror/Dark Magic
Neo-Planescape
The Orb
Living Planescape (Orb/Planescape)

I must say I sort of love them all :smallbiggrin: (please tell me if I forgot any idea).

Rierdrex
2007-01-26, 09:00 AM
I like the Orb a lot. Just thinking, to add a bit to the weirdness of the Orb, maybe dead organic matter could be absorbed by the Orb, sort of like a supplement to its ordinary magical diet?

Indon
2007-01-26, 09:06 AM
So, it would seem that if we're going to use one of the multi-planar options, we shouldn't be using the standard "This is an elemental plane, this is the plane of Cheese, etc." theme.

So the question is, can we work the planar system in a novel way? If we can't, then we probably scrap it.

The way I see it, planes have to have these features:
-Physically distinct. A wizard with the spell Teleport Anywhere In Universe can never travel to another plane.
-Metaphysically related. Planes in our particular campaign would be 'near' to each other in a way that defies, uh, stuff.

I can think of just one non-D&D-standard planar schema, though: Rather than physically themed universes, universes have nearly or completely identical physical laws. This allows distinctions to be made within the planes to be primarily cultural; so say you have one universe dominated by wizards, or another that possesses an empire of lawful goblins or another in which the soviets won the cold war.

As an example, say, that there are multiple Orbs, and rather than physical means to get from one to another, your only option would be planar travel; implying that all orbs are magically linked, and probably not even in the same universe.

dead_but_dreaming
2007-01-26, 09:08 AM
The channeler could be one of just a few generic classes (like Roderick suggested, there would be many specialized racial PrCs). A channeler could conect to the Orb or to some other source of cosmic power. I was thinking about "Space Odyssey"-style semi-sentient monoliths silently gliding through space and occasionally passing by the Orb. They could be any of the following:
Sources of power for channelers
"Relay stations" for the channeled power of different Orbs (in that case, they should be organic like the Orb itself I guess)
Something else

Perhaps physcial distance is not even really an issue when it comes to channeling the power of the Orb?

dead_but_dreaming
2007-01-26, 09:13 AM
Ok, thats it: I'm adding a poll. :smallsmile: Go ahead and let me now if you come up with another basic idea.

EDIT: Damn... ok, the poll can't be customized. If you got another idea or just love the Dark Magic thingie, I guess you'll just have to shout :smalltongue:

Roderick_BR
2007-01-26, 10:33 AM
I just checked a SRD for D20 Modern, and the classes there looks pretty good. 6 basic classes, just a bit weaker than the D&D's basic ones (no class with a d10 and full BAB, for example), but they have extra "abilities trees" along the Feats.
http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=d20/article/msrd
Use the basic classes for all, and the advanced make expecific for races.
Only classes that would break that basics would be wizards and psionics, if you use them. They would work perfectly as NPCs.

dead_but_dreaming
2007-01-26, 10:46 AM
I just checked a SRD for D20 Modern, and the classes there looks pretty good. 6 basic classes, just a bit weaker than the D&D's basic ones (no class with a d10 and full BAB, for example), but they have extra "abilities trees" along the Feats.
http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=d20/article/msrd
Use the basic classes for all, and the advanced make expecific for races.
Only classes that would break that basics would be wizards and psionics, if you use them. They would work perfectly as NPCs.
This has been done over and over again. Rich Burlews new world, which you can read about on this site uses Modern and the Urban Arcana suplements (it includes wizard and spellcasting classes). Also, extensive work to convert d20 Modern to fantasy has been done here (http://boards1.wizards.com/showthread.php?t=397683) and here (http://boards1.wizards.com/showthread.php?t=470915).

That doesn't mean we have to use it, of course, but I still think we should think outside the box :smallsmile:

Shadow of the Sun
2007-01-26, 10:48 AM
The Orb idea just makes me quiver with joy based on all the stuff a BBEG could do- he could damage a nerve for example, to wipe out all life on the orb apart from him and his minions with his specially set up fortress.

Icewalker
2007-01-26, 11:55 AM
I love the Orb idea, and the idea of spells that are not listed "level 3 spell: fireball" but multiple checks, such as conjuration and fire for Fireball, or some such thing. The idea of Orb having kin that are similar to other planes is ingenious I think. Also, the elves, or whatever you replace them with, living on the brain and communing with it could be really awesome. And it is just funny to think how everyone would be a parasite. heh.

The channelers could tap into the raw power of Orb and send out attacks of mental energy drawn from it's mind, and most of them could come from this race that built the city on it's brain, although that may be a little bit too much like psionics.

InaVegt
2007-01-26, 12:05 PM
I support the orb idea, and suggest we use generic classes, as well as racial classes.

Ideas for generic classes:

UA generic classes (warrior, expert and spellcaster)
Channeler (I suggest 3/4 BAB, special spellcasting system we work out, hit die and skills fit to balance)
Ideas for racial classes:

Elvish orbmage (spellcaster/channeler mix, name could be changed)


Other ideas:

give orb a language of his own, the channelers have rudimentary control of it (using it to give minor commands to orb), this would be a conlang we create on our own, we should make it sound and work pretty foreign. (this language was never meant to be spoken by men.)
Make metal very expensive, as well as restrict access to it. In exchange metal gibes special benefits over nonmetal alternatives (like bone)

dead_but_dreaming
2007-01-26, 12:36 PM
Gezina, I bascially agree with everything you're saying, but what is your standpoint concerning dumping the standard races and replacing them?

Shadow of the Sun
2007-01-26, 01:16 PM
The people living in the orb would not be parasitic- they do not directly harm the Orb, so it would be Commensalism (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commensalism)

Indon
2007-01-26, 01:16 PM
It strikes me that there are few places we can draw from for material for player races that D&D hasn't already included in a sourcebook, albeit perhaps under a different name.

dead_but_dreaming
2007-01-26, 01:51 PM
Indon: That's correct, but we can just as well create our own since balancing LA 0-races really isn't a big deal. If we adapt existing races, we still need to write all the fluff and that's the big part anyway.

InaVegt
2007-01-26, 04:55 PM
Gezina, I bascially agree with everything you're saying, but what is your standpoint concerning dumping the standard races and replacing them?

Could be interesting, I say we'd try it.

dead_but_dreaming
2007-01-27, 05:17 AM
So basically it seems were going to be doing the Orb-thing, with
*new races (eventually imported from different suplements),
*four generic classes (warrior, expert, mage, channeler)
*and several specialized racial classes.
*We need a race that lives in the mind of the Orb
*and one that digs through it searching for starmetal.
*Also, we might include a race of aliens/outsiders.
*There should be other Orbs,
*and they might be physically linked to the "main" one making accurate teleportation between them possible.
*We might change the magic system into a skill based one
*and channelers should be able to partially speak the language of the Orb (a skill, like truespeak?).

Have I forgotten anything? Now, perhaps you could PM me if you're interested in participating and state what you would like to do first (I could make the channeler prototype, for starters). I'll make a list of the people involved in the first post. We might need one or more additional design thread(s) though.

MeklorIlavator
2007-01-27, 09:31 PM
Well, here is my race. I think they might work as aliens, or mutants who have become "closer " to the orb. If someone suggests a role, I can write a back story. And they have been balanced in 2 separate forums.

Valinor
Flavor
<Insert Here>
Statistics
Valinor
Medium Humanoid (shapeshifter)
Ability mods: +2 Dex, +2 Int, -2 CHA , -2 STR
Special abilities:
Low light vision- see twice as far as normal in low light conditions.
Spell warped- Valinor receive a +1 bonus against mind effecting illusion due to their inner conflict. Valinor also receive a -1 penalty against the transmutation school because of the way they have been warped by it.
Weapon proficiency- Valinor chose 1 proficiency from the following list:


Rapier
Longbow
Shortbow
Kukri Kaslakian have a -10 penalty on diplomacy and bluff checks applied to every check but ones applying solely to other Kaslakian or Metallic dragons.
Vampiric regeneration- when dealing slashing or piercing damage with natural weapons attacks, Kaslakian receive a healing factor equal to the damage dealt. This ability only works against creatures that have discernible bodily fluids like blood. They gain back the damage as hit points at the start of their next turn, capping out at maximum damage.
Shapechange, Minor: a Kaslakian can, as a standard action, change into a hybrid form. It gains two claw attacks (1d6 each, slashing) and a bite attack (1d6, piercing). Their spell warped bonus and penalty increase each by 1 point. They gain a + 2 bonus to strength and dexterity, and a 2 penalty to Charisma and Intelligence. They gain Darkvision to 30 ft. They can remain in this form for five minutes. (1/day per five level max at 3/day )
Shapechange, Greater: a Kaslakian can as a standard action, change into a more powerful hybrid form. It gains two claw attacks (1d8 each, slashing) and one bite attack (1d8, piercing). Spell warped traits increases by two points. It gains + 4 to strength and Dexterity, + 2 to Con, -4 to Charisma and Intelligence. They gain Darkvision to 60 feet. Their size increases to large, with all the side effect that this entails (destroyed armor, bonuses and penalties). They gain a fly speed of 60feet, average maneuverability. Their land speed increases by one step. They gain a +2 to listen and spot checks. They can stay in this form for 1 round per hit die. After this period ends they are fatigued for a number of minutes equal to 5-1/4 con modifier. Bonuses for This ability replace those of the minor shapechange.(1/per day at 12 hit die )
Shapechange, Complete: If a Kaslakian would be reduced to 0 or less hit points or would be killed by massive damage, this ability activates as a free action (note, this ability does not activate if the body is destroyed as the disintegrate spell). The subconscious of the Kaslakian takes complete control of the body. This counts as if a new combatant entered combat, so re-roll initiative, using the new Ability stats. It gains two claw attacks (1d10 each, slashing) and a bite attack (1d10, piercing). It gains temporary hit points equal to its maximum+ 4*con modifier. Its spell warped bonus is now 5. It gains Darkvision 60 feet. It gains a flight speed of 80(good) and land speed increases one increment. It has +2 to any spot, listen, tumble, or balance checks it makes. It gains + 6 to Str and Dex, + 4 to Con, and 6 to Wis and Cha. Its Intelligence score is equal to 3. It is treated as in a Berserker Fury for all actions. It only uses its Natural weapons. It gains + 3 to will save, + 3 to Fort saves, and -6 to Reflex saves. It is treated as having improved initiative and improved grapple. Its healing factor is now at I.5 (heals I.5 health for every 1 point of damage) Its size changes to large. It has a tunnel vision, where it will attack1 person until it is dead/ unable to detect it. After it dispatches a foe, roll a D8 as you would for splash weapons to determine its new target. Roll until a target is within 60 feet. If it is an ally, it gets a will save, DC 30, using the unaltered stats of the player. If it succeeds, the rage immediately ends. The rage last for 3d6+con modifier rounds. After this term ends, the Kaslakian immediately falls unconscious for 1d4+1 rounds, After which he is Fatigued until he gets eight hours of sleep, no magical device affects this time, until which he cannot use any shapechange abilities. At the end of this rage, the Kaslakian loses all remaining temporary hit points. (1/week at fifth level)These abilities replace other previous ones gained from the using the shapechange special ablity.


LA+2

Icewalker
2007-01-28, 03:18 AM
I like the new race, but that Complete Shapechange seems kinda funky. Losing consciousness and going into a random rage that can kill their own allies? I dunno, as long as you have a choice to activate it, I think it's ok. LA+2 seems a little high, but LA+1 seems a little low, so I can't really say anything about that.

One way you could make metal more valuable could be by including some form of durability, so other materials, like certain types of plant matter (wood?) and bone and such could break when fighting someone with a metal weapon. Also, metal weapons could have a better chance to pierce armor, and metal armor would be extremely rare, and very hard to break through.

dead_but_dreaming
2007-01-28, 05:28 AM
I am well aware that I myself haven't posted any concrete stuff yet, but I still believe that the original enthusiasm on this thread seems to have waned (I'm obviously not referring to you, Meklor). I think perhaps that more concrete conceptual discussion is needed so that we have more to work with. Since it's fantasy, let's start with magic. I really liked the skill-based idea (as oposed to the skill based magic system in my sig :smallbiggrin:) but we should also specify:
1) What is magic on the Orb?
2) How does ot work, in-game and rules-wise?
I think there should be two major systems: one spell-like ability based warlock-like one and one skill-based one. Perhaps we should have one based on language, on communicating with the Orb (or should this be merged with the other system?). Should we somehow keep the Vancian system? In that case, we need to create many new spells. If so, who would like to start? Come on people, talk! :smallsmile:

dead_but_dreaming
2007-01-28, 05:31 AM
What is magic? Is it a force present in the entire universe or does it just emanate from the Orb? What can it do? I would like to go on regular cat girl-killing spree and create a magical system that is somehow possible to accept from a scientific viewpoint, what do you think?

InaVegt
2007-01-28, 05:45 AM
Well, we could always say magic comes from high energy no mass particles which can be shaped through proper training. Orb could attract those particles from the universe and use them for itself. Channelers extract magic from orb asking it for magic, while spellcasters gather magic from the universe itself.

Spellcasters: point system similar to psionics, representing the amount of magic gathered each night.

Channelers: Skill based, no limit on amount of magic used each day, individual effects are weaker than that of the spellcaster, while they might be able to create very powerfull effects with co-operation (Aid another)

Shazzbaa
2007-01-28, 11:54 AM
I'm going to keep an eye on this channeling system, I like the skill-based ideas that have been suggested thus far. ^^

But the idea of magic and channeling existing together is... not working in my brain. 0_o I had sort of thought of Channelers as replacing magic users?

dead_but_dreaming
2007-01-28, 11:57 AM
@Shazzbaa: Um, well... yeah. I guess no one considered pursuing that particular line of thought at all. :smalltongue:

dead_but_dreaming
2007-01-28, 12:05 PM
I think I'm going to start writing a prototype channeler tomorrow, so I'm gonna sum up the general idea here: The Channeler use skills for her "magic", and using these skills can be considered communicating with the Orb. So, her main class feature will be the relevant skills and lots of skill points to spend on them. The channeler skills work exactly like normal skills and several uses of different skills can interact with each other. I think I'm going to give her a bonus feat progression and invent some feats to go with it. The basic aim is to make her an equivalent of a generic caster class.

Tussy the Druid
2007-01-28, 01:55 PM
I like orbs. Orbs are usually shiny. And spherical.

MeklorIlavator
2007-01-28, 02:35 PM
On spellcasting- why not use a modified truenamer as the basis for spellcasting. Make the checks easier, and then the truenamer would be much more accessible. Also, the language could be the Orbs language, so they litterally ask the orb for help, which the orb does because it takes no energy to do something on that scale(I mean, its acid splash would probaly destroy a city).

On my race- the ability of complete shapechange is similar to that of the Frenzied Berserker, so maybe a concentration check to either not change or to resist going after an ally. Remember, this is only activated when they would die otherwise.
Their appearance(so far) is the following:

They look elven/human(I made them originally to be a mutate elven variant for my campaign) for the most part.
A major limb or a large percent of their body(around 15%) appears to be covered in a metallic substance.
During the shapechanges, the substance grows and covers more of their body, 50% for minor, 75% for major, and 100% for complete. The substance distorts their faetures, so they look utterly inhuman during the latter stage.

Fredderf
2007-01-28, 07:32 PM
I love the Orb idea. Really cool and new.
I will also watch this with interest. How will this magic system work? I would probably go with something that be done through science maybe? I you use the will of the creature and what not, psionics may be the way to go.
d20 modern seems to be a good system for this I think. Very generic classes and low magic.

Woot Spitum
2007-01-28, 09:56 PM
I like the idea of the world being a living organism in and of itself. I think that it would really be cool if the orb's physical features could be subtlely manipulated through mutation by its inhabitants allowing them to grow cities, crops, and even entirely new organisms from the orb itself.

dead_but_dreaming
2007-01-29, 07:07 AM
@ Woot: Yes! I'm thinking: Bone Singers (from W40K).
@Fredderf: I for myself, would like to avoid overt connections to SF. The basic idea with the setting is to redefine fantasy and just because it's "in space" it doesn't have to be science fiction. Therefore, I prefer to think of it as magic if anything and I'd like the classes to be D&D-esque just to make a point. :smallwink: However, this is just MO and I'm not sure everyone agrees with me on this.

Now: vector algebra and then class design. :smallsmile:

Shadow of the Sun
2007-01-29, 07:36 AM
Are not Bonesingers from 40K?

dead_but_dreaming
2007-01-29, 07:56 AM
Are not Bonesingers from 40K?

:smallredface:

MeklorIlavator
2007-01-31, 05:55 PM
Any ideas about flavor for my Hombrew, or are we not using it. Also, any other requests for homebrew, I will give it a shot.

dead_but_dreaming
2007-02-01, 10:16 AM
Sorry guys, things didn't exactly turn out as I thought they would. :smallfrown: A sudden flood of homework owerwhelmed me and I have to put any homebrewing plans on the shelf for at least a couple of days (that means: no channeler yet). But please, do post your own ideas if you have time and motivation. We need races (Meklor: I like your Valinor race and since we don't know what kind of world the Orb is yet, we might just as well make the Valinor a part of it - perhaps they could fill the "Sired" role as I suggested earlier?), writeups of civilizations, environment and more!

Mewtarthio
2007-02-05, 05:10 PM
I was thinking about "Space Odyssey"-style semi-sentient monoliths silently gliding through space and occasionally passing by the Orb. They could be any of the following:

Sources of power for channelers
"Relay stations" for the channeled power of different Orbs (in that case, they should be organic like the Orb itself I guess)
Something elsePerhaps physcial distance is not even really an issue when it comes to channeling the power of the Orb?

There's definately something interesting and mysterious about this idea. I can also see them being tied to mythology: The "Stranger" race and possibly the "Guest" race may believe that these monoliths collect their souls when they die and take them to the afterlife, while other races (particularly the "Sired") would believe that their souls merge with the Orb.

This suggests an interesting religious dichotomy for the "Guests": There could be two factions, one which wants to merge with the Orb, and one which wants to leave on the "monoliths." The former would spend more time trying to integrate with native Orbish society, while the latter would mantain a strong cultural independence, associating themselves with the "Strangers." Since neither of these fates appears aligned in any particular manner to an impartial outside observer, merging with the Orb and escaping on a monolith could both be seen as "Heaven" and "Hell" to different people. "Monlitheists" would fear being consumed by the Orb, a fate reserved to those who do not follow the proper standards of behaviour (there would likely be metaphysical beliefs about acts that attune your soul to either the Orb or the monoliths), and spend their lives attempting to escape to heaven on the monoliths. "Orbists" would long to be embraced by the Orb and pity the heretics who will be cast into the prison monoliths upon their deaths, their souls dragged off into the endless abyss of space.

Alternatively, the monoliths could be used as transportation between multiple Orbs. I could see mages (though probably not channelers) boarding the monoliths and fighting, either through violence or opposed skill checks or both, to steer the monolith to a particular Orb. If we go with "monoliths as religion," this would be seen as severely heretical to both sides, who believe this act prevents the souls of the damned/saved from reaching their eternal reward. Then again, the presence of other Orbs and the knowledge that the monoliths reach them rather than any afterlife may put a damper on these religions (unless this is not a well-known fact or the monoliths eventually travel "Beyond the Vagaries of Space and Time" or somesuch).


I like the idea of the world being a living organism in and of itself. I think that it would really be cool if the orb's physical features could be subtlely manipulated through mutation by its inhabitants allowing them to grow cities, crops, and even entirely new organisms from the orb itself.

I like this idea as well. I'm picturing organically-grown cities and the like (think Zerg only not so blatantly evil). Would make for a unique feel, no doubt.