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SilverClawShift
2007-06-07, 05:31 PM
For some time now (too long), me and my gaming group have been working on a complete world to take some of our adventures to. We (along with some others we've playtested with and shown off to)really enjoy the fledgling existance, though it's certainly far from complete.

Our DM is considered the main designer of this world. The central concept and most of the basic ideas are his, and he's also the best at finalizing the actual stats and functions, the mechanics. Me and the rest of the group are aiding the middle ground stuff, helping everything fall into place to make a fully formed and fully enjoyable

As a personal observation of mine (one that's shared by a lot of people), roleplayers in general and D&D players in specific seem to be aggressively critical of material. ANY material. Ever. Constructive criticsm is a good thing, but sometimes people can be downright disheartening for no good reason. Add that to the fact that no material is perfect, and that opinions vary wildly from one person to the next on every subject.

I've heard complaints that the CLERIC is UNDERpowered for crying out loud. This same person said that monks were overpowered and that if anyone played a bard in his games, he'd make a point of killing them specifically. Some people LIKE the way psionics used to play for crying out loud. And if you ask two people what they think of the warlock, you can get anything from "overpowered infinite spellcasting!" to "infinite useless abilities makes it worthless".

But I'm quickly getting off topic in my own topic :smallconfused:

The point I was getting at, is that questions of balance aside, the real test of any material is wether it's enjoyable or not. Every player, every DM, and every group is different, with different opinions and feelings and whatnot.
No material will ever appeal to EVERYONE. When something is made, the more important question is "Who likes it?" not "Who hates it?". Valid complaints still need to be taken into consideration, and constructive criticsm can lead to a better final product, but there's no use visciously attacking something (or taking such attacks seriously).

This keeps turning into a rant.

ANYWAY. This is the first forum I've seen that is actually polite enough to treat home-brewers with respect and a friendly atmosphere, while still noting problems, inconsistencies, and inaccuracies in the work they're critiquing.
As such, it's the first forum I actually feel kinda comfortable with the idea of showing off stuff to. Rather than spamming crap across the board, I'll confine my erratic musings to this thread. If that's one of those things that is considered impolite, I don't mean it to be offensive :smalleek:

Before I start laying stuff out and explaining the world itself, I should mention the way my group operates. We're a tad eccentric, and our notebook for the world looks like some unholy ancient tome of evil written in a dead language. Sections are upside down to differentiate them from everything else on the page, random sketches are filled with miscellaneous text, some pages are just full of 'keywords' that someone wrote down to remember something that inspired them when they didn't have time to detail everything (words like Armadillo, Livewire, and Glyph).
But one noteable thing about our workstyle is how we DON'T do things. We don't go through and detail and finalize everything right away. Stuff is intentionally left unfinished and open-ended so that it can be changed if needed. We're trying to create a world with some 'synergy', where everything feels like it fits together into a workable existance... a smooth play flow. Instead of creating an entire hand and moving on, we create the skeletal structure of everything and start layering flesh on top of it, trying to make sure nothing is redundant or conflicting. It's just how we're approaching things, but it's not a style that everyone can appreciate, so I thought I would mention it now.

Also, I have a very odd way of communicating. I tend to ramble, and sometimes I jump from one topic to another less than smoothly. I apologize for that in advance.

So... Moving on to the world, continued in the following posts.

SilverClawShift
2007-06-07, 05:32 PM
Our goal in creating The Dustlands world is to wind up with a full blown Players Handbook as well as a full DM Guide to the world, with additional material coming as needed. When I say "full blown", I mean that seriously.

The players hanbook should be including a complete list of new unique player races, a full spectrum of base classes unique to the world (but compatible with any other), Prcs, racial and class feats to let players take full advantage of the new options presented, and even a few new arms & armors.
The DMs guidebook will have information about the history and current state of the world, the tone and atmosphere intended to be created along with tips and suggestions for acheiving the desired effects, details of organizations and governments found in the world, creatures and monsters, plot hooks and adventure seeds, and maybe an adventure or two.
Some additional books are planned to expand on this content, but aren't in the spotlight until we're closer to completing the two central books.

As an aside, I should point out that when I say "Books", we DO intend to compile our work into actual pages, with artwork and such. But I don't necessarily mean actual books, so much as I mean 'books worth of material'. We plan on making PDFs of our material to spread around in the end though.
Aside over.

Now I'll be reserving a couple of posts for myself so this stays somewhat presentable. Then I'll actual get to the topic at hand, and start explaining what the dustlands are, and what you can find in them.

SilverClawShift
2007-06-07, 05:34 PM
RESERVED
For: What Are the Dustlands?
which means atmosphere, tone of material, and general world information.

******************

What are the Dustlands?

The goal in making the dustlands was to create a brand new world with a flavor and theme we felt deserved some special attention. Namely, the concept of a fantasy western. As such, the Dustlands are meant to be an answer to the question of, "What would happen if D&D turned into a western", with a lot of sidenotes and asteriks thrown into the explanation. It runs deeper than that.
You see, rather than just taking fantasy elements and plugging them into a western setting, we've asked ourselves "What MAKES a western?" and turned THAT answer into a fantasy world with magic and monsters. The theme of the wild west, that of isolation, independance, exploration, law versus chaos... taken from scratch and built from the ground (or sand) up into a full and unique setting for an adventure.

The Dustlands are literally a post-apocalyptic world. A place where armageddon has occured. Good and evil stood toe to toe, the devils fought the angels, the righteous were taken to the heavens and the wicked were cast into the pits, and the world ENDED. The planes sealed themselves off, forgetting forever that each other place existed, and the material plane was abandoned as a scarred battleground with no life.
At least, that's what was intended. In reality, there were tiny pockets of the material plane that were not truly razed. Slivers of life (and unlife) that had no real destination to go to, marginal societies forgotten and neglected. People who were neither righteous nor wicked. The misfits, the abandoned, the ones left behind in a world that no longer cared that they were even there. The Gods and Devils left them to their fate, comfortable in the divine knowledge that everything would be dead within a single generation, and that the material plane would be left as a tombstone, an empty testament to things that used to be, a monument that no one would ever see.

Somehow, someway, with desperate tenacity, the stragglers left over in this dead world eeked out an existance. Their survival continued onto the next generation... and the next... and the next. Isolated, fighting their plane just to exist, the stragglers became what they are.
And now, with societies reforming on this hostile world, the struggle for the basics of survival turning into viable ecosystems, the latest generations have begun to ask 'what else is out there?'. Breaking free of their self imposed and utterly necessary isolation, explorers are becoming founders, strugglers are becoming heros, and creatures who once claimed to be made in the image of gods are burning a trail across this dead world, screaming their names to powers who would disbeleive they even exist.

Welcome to the Dustlands.

Some notes I'm throwing out here in an unorganized fashion, because they're relevant to the tone of the world:

Guns don't exist here. At least not traditional firearms, like six shooters and rifles. We are creating an iconic ranged weapon for this world, which I'll explain more in the arms & armor section.
The world is not one big desert. There are numerous isolated areas that range from temperate zones found here on earth, to swamps and and frozen tundras, and even a few non-natural envioronments, such as the Bleak North, an area 'radioactive' with negative energy where a horrible undead mockery of a healthy ecosystem has twisted its way out of natures grasp.

SilverClawShift
2007-06-07, 05:36 PM
RESERVED
For: Races of the Dustlands
Origins, Places in the World, Relations Between Races, and Stats & Mechanics.

The current races of the dustlands. Some of these names are not necessarily pinned down, but for now they work fine. All of these races have much more detail behind them than will be initially listed here, this is just a fluff-list for now. I promise I'll actually get to the mechanics and more racial details at some point.

Human
- Subrace, Beltese Human
Loaman
Sliss
Wasteling (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=3103317&postcount=80)
- Half Wasteling (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=3105568&postcount=84)
Wriek
- Half Wriek
Folian

Human - You all know what a human is. In the Dustlands, the humans have three city-states of existance, isolated for prolonged periods and each with individual cultures. Upon realizing there were other human socities, they generally agreed to work together, but sometimes have conflicting goal.
Beltese Human - Humans from a society with a great emphasis on beauty and personal strength. The people of the Beltine city-state beleive that dragon blood runs through those of their society. (Note that Dragons are virtually non-existant in the dustlands, but do still exist). Beltese humans are regarded as humans, but have a few subtle differences. Half-beltese humans are just normal humans.
Loaman - Loaman are slow and sturdy wanderers, capable of surviving for prolonged periods without sustenance, and resistant to harsh terrains. Fit in line with a ranger/guide motif, Durable and cunning, but not the most agile creatures.
Sliss - Sliss are a 'snakefolk' race of savage barbarians, most commonly found in rocky badlands, where they use their natural cunning and speed to strike at victims from nooks and pits. Sliss who become accustomed to more 'human' civilizations still tend to be less than polite and brilliant, but their perceptive nature and quick reflexes makes them great dead-eyes.
Wriek - So named for the cry they often make when attacking, the Wriek are a monstrosity, humans given horrible form and demonic attributes, a remnant of armageddon that should not have existed THEN, much less still. Wriek are often called half-devils, though they are not literally such. Wrieks have dark leathery wings covered in tattered black feathers, but have limited capabilities for flight (they can develop their ability through training (read, levels and feats).
Half-Wriek - Half Wrieks are the rare sterile offspring of a human and wriek mating. they cannot fly, but vestigile shroud-like protrusions emit from their shoulder blades.
Folian - The Folian were originally simple mindless carnivorous plants, similar to venus flytraps or pitcher plants. Over time, their basic mechanisms for capturing food evolved vaguely more aggressive tactics. Gradually, the Folians began to be able to move towards their prey with greater and greater ability. When the world ended, most folians died out with everything else. The ones that survived were those capable of moving with greater efficiency to capture their prey. They have a waxy outer skin that retains moisture, a 'barky' structure along their back and extending down through their limbs, and cactus spines/leaves/pettles in various combinations, as well as milky white eyes which can be bioluminescent to attract smaller prey. They appear vaguely humanoid, a result of mimicking their prey and predators.
Folians ideal diet blood (absorbed through their spines, mouths, or roots), and humanoid blood is as good as any. Folians sturdy enough to survive in the desert often feed on the Sliss, and in return, the Sliss often hunt Folians to use as water sources.

As with ALL things in the dustlands, the list is about INCLUSIONS, not RESTRICTIONS. Players and DMs should feel free to pick any race they feel would be a good addition to their game. There's nothing preventing a player from being a gnome, an elf, or heck, even a warforged. They could limit their game to nothing but Dustland races, mix and match, or even take Dustland races over to other games (Wastelings in Eberron?).

That all said, the Races section of the books will list the PHB races, and give information about their place in the world, and how they interact with other races.

SilverClawShift
2007-06-07, 05:38 PM
RESERVED
For: Base Classes in the Dustlands
The status of PHB classes, brand spankin new classes, and how they all work together.

The Base classes of the dustlands are intended to augment existing classes. Both PHB classes and anything else a DM might wish to allow, and a player might wish to play. We're shooting for a full spectrum of base classes, enough options to make things interesting, and enough bases covered that every party roll could reasonably be filled with the Dustland classes. However, they're not intended as replacements to other base classes. Just additions.
A party in the dustlands could choose nothing but our base classes, nothing but PHB base classes, and any combination they wish.
Also, the core casters (wizard, sorcerer, cleric, and druid) are annoyingly powerful. But everyone knows that, I'll get into that later.

(also, as a side note, I'm not positive I like some of these names, but they serve their purpose for now).

Dustlands Base classes we definately want to exist
Concocter
Divine Leech (That's a working name, not a real name. It's meant to be changed)
Glyphcrafter (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=3112843&postcount=87)
Grifter
Guardian
Gunslinger (Not sure about the name)
Spellslinger
Totem Ascendant (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=3121290&postcount=92)

Dustlands classes we're currently considering, but aren't sure about yet.
Explorer
Preacher
Raindancer


PHB classes, and their place in the world.
Barbarian - Barbarians definately exist in the Dustlands. The Sliss and Wriek races are barbaric by default, and an isolated community of any race could degenerate into raging savages given time. As well, some people might simply feel the call of natural fury. No conflicts here. Barbarians with guns will be terrifying...
Bard - Bards have their place even in this savage land. They might serve as traveling entertainers, card sharks, or even 'reporters' who gather and catalogue information. As a recomended houserule, DMs hosting a Dustlands game should feel comfortable allowing lawful bards employed by the government for that very reason. We're toying with the idea of making a variant Bard based on the 'reporter' concept, one who loses their music and gains something else, but I don't see that going anywhere. Bards are very common in the city-state of Beltine.
Cleric - Clerics are less common here in the dustlands, and are more likely to follow a specific ideal (such as Goodness or Freedom) than a specific deity. Cleric players should get DM approval for chosen domain combinations, if they don't serve a deity. The vaguely unreligious nature of the Dustlands makes clerics feel a bit more like 'outcasts' when picking a class, but their selection doesn't have to be removed.
Druid - Druids are in pretty much the same vein as clerics. They don't really have a solid place in this world, but they aren't oddball enough to limit their selection. Freedom is a good thing.
Fighter - Fighter's are always there. There's no reason a fighter couldn't adopt the worlds 'gun' as their weapon of choice, and become a defacto gunslinger in their own right.
Monk - Monks feel akward in regular D&D, much less in the dustlands. The dustlands has two classes that can become unarmed fighters in their own right. You can still play a monk, but why would you? Personal choice I suppose. A monestary in the middle of nowhere is still always a cool idea though.
Paladin - Paladins definately have a place in the dustlands. The city of Beltine, which is heavy with bards and sorcerers, has a surprisingly strong respect for the nature and traditions of their paladins. Paladins make great legal enforcers, and can be a great addition to the flavor of the dustlands. The image of a paladin on a holy mount with a gleaming golden sixgun at their side is not an unpleasant one, to me.
Ranger - Rangers work wonderfully in the dustlands. Survivalists, trackers, guides, bounty hunters. The Loaman race has a strong Ranger vein running through it. Archery becomes Gunslinging if you want it to. Nothing wrong here at all.
Rogue - Rogues are everywhere, but in the Dustlands they have a sister class, the Grifter. While rogues more strongly represent the physical aspects of...roguery. The Grifters represent the social aspects of being a sneaky little thief. They work well together, they work well against each other... Rogues work. Card sharks are everywhere, rogues and bards can both be rambling gamblers along with the grifter.
Sorcerer - Pure casters... everyone's going to want to be one, but they sure are ridiculously strong. Such is life. Beltine, being a society that beleives they virtually all have dragon blood, has a lot of sorcerers and bards.
Wizard - Same as sorcerers. They exist, you'll find a lot of them (and a lot of necromancers) among the wasteling civilizations.

Dustland class summaries!
Concocter - Herbalists, Alchemists, Chemists... the fact of the matter is, they're all whipping up a batch of SOMETHING. Turning something into something else. mixing.... well you get the idea. The concocter is meant to be the mechanical benchmark for 'brewer' classes. Our intention is to create a fully playable 'caster' who focuses on making potions, oils, balms, powders, ect, ect, ect. We intend to leave the 'flavor' of the class slightly open ended, allowing the player to choose what exactly they are while using the classes mechanics to actually play. A witch making powders and poisons, a gnomeish chemist making acids and explosives... both can fit into the Concocters basic framework. Essentially, the Concocter is intended to be one of three new arcane caster systems featured in the Dustlands.
Maybe we'll add some feats, variants, or prestige classes for those concepts specifically, but the concocter at its core is a brewer. This class works great in other worlds too. We've played with 'alpha' edition concocters in eberron.
Divine Leech - When the world ended, and the planes were sealed, divine power still hung heavily in the air. Some scholars and sages say that Clerics, Paladins, and other divine casters aren't actually accessing their deities. That they are only channeling the remnants of that divine power in the same way they did when deities still answered our calls. The Divine Leech is a holy con man, tapping into that power with empty gestures and prayers, holy trinkets that are little more than steel toys to him.
Mechanically, this class isn't nailed down. But we're toying with giving him access to a handful of cleric domains, and letting him change them. Shifting allegiances and appearing as a cleric of anything he wants. This class would work in other campaign settings too, if the DM allowed someone to put on appearances and essentially leech off of deities. Infiltrating a church of an evil god by adopting their domains for the day? done and done.
Grifter - The grifter is a conman of the highest order, relying on his smooth talk and quick wits to stay in one peice. He is Diplomacy taken to horrifying levels for selfish purposes. To imagine a high level grifter, simply think of hannibal lector. While not useless in combat, the grifter is less a physically oriented class. They can affect the battlefield however, provided people around them start failing will saves.
Guardian - The Guardian is a defender. Sturdy, good saves, in combat is dedicated to survival and protection of others.
Gunslinger - The gunsligner is not simply a fighter, but is rather the classic image of an athletic 'cowboy' archetype. With a lot of physical skills and combat ability. Calling the class a "Gunslinger" doesn't really do him justice. The gunslinger class is meant to be a brash, reckless, quick witted fighter, always thinking on their toes and giving their all in every activity. Usually found one mile in the wrong direction, climbing shakily to their feet after trying to lasso a dragon...
Spellslinger - The spellslinger is the third of three new arcane caster systems. The spellslinger channels magic directly through their body (in playtesting he's gotten called the "Con based caster", but that's not entirely accurate). The fighter-without-a-weapon, the spellslinger uses his bare hands, arcane augmented strikes, temproary defensive boosts, and touch attacked. Class features include titles like "Livewire" and...and... (... I'm sorry, I'm petting my new wacom and crying happily).

SilverClawShift
2007-06-07, 05:40 PM
RESERVED
For: Prestige Classes
Brand new ways to break the balance of classes the designers worked to create!

Beltese Guard
Cardcaster
Death Totemist
Spellcourier
Stormrider
Trailblazer
Totemform Warrior

Beltese Guard - Not my personal favorite, the Beltese Guard is someone trained for a spot in the beltese militia, which teaches them some very limited and very specific arcane spellcasting, while advancing as a martial class.
Cardcaster - The Cardcaster is a glyphcrafter PRC intended to give Glyphcrafters an easier way to affect enemies and their environment. A Glyphcrafter can create scrolls, and can augment weapons and armor, but their ability to affect enemies DIRECTLY is very weak. It's hard to paint a glyph on someone while they're trying to shoot you in the face. In the same vein, it's hard to paint a glyph on a wall while someone is trying to bury a bowie knife in your shoulder.
Enter the Cardcaster. By expending a bit of extra effort, the cardcaster can pre-create glyphs that would normally affect terrain and enemies, and can do it in a way that will affect whatever the card hits once the glyph is activated (activation is a simple process). When a card made by a glyphcrafter strikes a wall, floor, enemy forhead, ect, the glyph takes effect as if it had been painted on them originally. I should note that sleight-of-hand is a class skill for cardcasters... :smallamused:
Chimeric Totemist - Many tribes and groups have more than one totem animal that represents them. Normally, a single individual will embody one of their tribes totems, or a totem that is unique to them personally. There are a few that seem to embody multiple totem spirits simultaneously, however. Perhaps an exceptional warrior or particularily wise chief will have traits of two, or even three of a tribes totems. Perhaps some individuals are just mixed up or particularily unique.
These people are chimeric totemists. The Chimeric Totemist is a five level class which continues to advance a player along the path of the Totem Ascendant. However, at each level, they can alter one of the totem traits gifted to them by their class to that of another totem animal. This change will only affect one class ability, changing it to one other animal. The Chimeric Totemist can do this up to five time, changing five class features, but can only have a maximum of 3 different totem animals.
Death Totemist - This class is mechanically similar to the Chimeric Totemist, allowing for the alterations of specific class features. But while the Chimeric totemist changes features to other animals, the Death Totemist instead replaces them with twisted abilities related to death, and undeath.
Death Totemists arise when their totem spirits are warped and twisted, wounded by the state of the world, feral and out of synch. They're usually some form of mercy-killing medicine man or those who tend to a tribes burial grounds. They are uncomfortable necessity embodied.
Spellcourier - Not really fleshed out as much as we'd like. The Spellcourier was originally intended to be a PRC for spellslingers, taking their ability to channel magic physically through their body, and turning them into arcane 'batteries' who could absorb and discharge full spells cast by other people. Expanding their rather brunt and general abilities with magical specifics.
I PERSONALLY don't feel it's original enough, and think we can do better than that. But our group is fond of the idea...
Stormrider - Originally intended for paladins, but has since evolved. The goal of this class is to obtain, and interact well in combat with, a 'dust devil' mount. This class literally rides around in a miniature tornado.
It seems a little silly to me? But the idea of a maniac in dark goggles riding a half-sentient tornado across an open plain, firing guns/throwing spears at those they're hunting... Well, it is pretty cool I guess :smalltongue:
Trailblazer - This class ALSO isn't fully fleshed out, conceptually, but fire and speed are definately in the classes future. We've toyed with the idea of making it a class that alters whatever mount they adopt, turning them into a scorched-hoofprint leaving flame-snorting faster version of themselves, until the Trailblazer cuts them loose and adopts a new mount.
Totemform Warrior - The Totem Ascendant takes on some mannerisms of their spirit animal, and begins to fight in a way that's fitting of their selected creature. They gain combat styles and abilities that reflect the totem they choose, and their class skill list gets a few additions unique to their selection. Perhaps they get a few physical changes, such as increased strength or a more graceful step. But that's all.
The Totemform Warrior begins to BODILY change into their totem animal, becoming a sort of... 'exalted' lycanthropic hybrid creature. While not literally lycanthropes, a quick glance at a werewolf, and a Wolf Totemform Warrior would take a moment to differentiate the two.


That's that for now.

SilverClawShift
2007-06-07, 05:43 PM
RESERVED
For: Feats, Spells, and New Magic Systems
Because our new caster base classes need new caster systems, and everyone loves feats and spells.

SilverClawShift
2007-06-07, 05:44 PM
RESERVED
For: Creatures & Monsters
And bears, oh my! Plus, mounts.

Now, monsters in the Dustlands aren't really being treated the way they are in D&D. In Standard D&D and related worlds, monsters are a background level of threat to any given environment. Wherever you are, there's something nasty waiting in a pit to drag you down and eat your face.

There are monsters in the dustlands, yes indeedy. It would be pretty ridiculous of us to create a campaign world where there's no monstrous forces.

But in the Dustlands, the greatest enemy to be found is those who are 'other' to you. What I mean is, the biggest threat level in the Dustlands is Sentient creatures like yourself, but with a different outlook (and the question of wether they have a stronger drive for survival than you do). Encounters in the Dustlands can be whatever a DM needs them to be, but the world definately leans more towards player-race villains than mowing down skeletons.

That said. Here's what you're up against when you gear up and start chasing the sunset.

We'll start with your and my favorite baddies to overcome, the good old Undead creatures.

Hangman
The Hangman is a rare occurence, but the threat of them is ever present. A Hangman 'sometimes' (read, whenever the DM feels like it) arises when a lawful evil creature is lawfully executed by hanging. There are those who even intentionally strive to create a Hangman, or even become one themselves (though hangmen retain only vestigial traces of their personality).
Despotic in nature, the Hangman seeks to destroy lawbreakers and chaotic individuals above all else, and will ignore lawful creatures unless they become an obstacle to the Hangmans current target. If a group or civilization is completely lawful in alignment, a Hangman who is present will simply wait for a law to be broken where it can observe, or seek out chaotic individuals elsewhere. There are some communities who know they have a Hangman present, and treat it as a boon to order and civility.
Visually, the hangman is a robed torso shreded at the waist, with a heavy black hood. They have no lower body, and float naturally. Their body is composed of tightly bundled rope black with blood and bile (b b b), though it's covered with the aforementioned robe. Their 'arms' are simply hanging ropes ending in nooses, and the hood of their robe is empty, though maintains its own shape.
-Have a very slow fly speed but ridiculous reach.
-can grapple up to two party members at reach, and a third if adjacent
-Once grappled, will begin to strangle their victims
-Will fight until destroyed, will not quit, but if they become too wounded, they will simply begin to float upwards, taking their grappled victims with them.
-It's worth noting that the Hangman is not incorporeal, and leaves a physical body. It's rumored that using rope from a hangman to hang a sentient creature will turn them into one, but no one is sure what happens if a chaotic individual is eecuted with a hangman rope (plot hook!)

Chain Mummy
A very bad, but descriptive, name. The Chain Mummy isn't just some random horrifying image though, they're tied to one of my personal favorite things about the dustlands, the Remnant Divinity, Carcerak the blind god. Also the deaf god, the mute god, the numb god, and the god who happens to not be able to smell anything.
Caracerak was despised by the gods when they still 'existed'. Lawful evil and despotic, Caracerak was even hated by other evil creatures. Hated so much that, when the world ended, he was bound and abandoned to become unraveled with the rest of reality (which turned out to not happen, thanks to the plucky survivors of our horrible world).
Now Carcerak is the last shred of the true divine, but there's not a darn thing he can do about it. Wrapped head to toe in chains, including pulled so tightly around his skull that they are embedded in his cracked frame, gagging and blinding him. Wether or not carcerak even has a physical form is something best left to scholarly debate.
Carcerak is an interesting fellow, and I'll explain more about him sometime in the Religion section, but bear in mind that he's pretty much useless as a divine power. His only interaction with the world is through "The Five", a group that acts as his unwilling sense (be mindfull, they aren't humans or anything like that, they're more like carcerak-ified outsiders).
But I'm talking about the god, not the monster.
How chain mummies came into being isn't something anyone can verify, but they are certainly linked to carcerak in some way.
Like that once-god, Chain Mummies are blind, deaf, and ect, ect, they have no senses, except for one. Like some horrible undead divine rattlesnack, Chain Mummies can 'taste' positive and negative energy around them. And they seek to snuff it out entirely.
Living or undead, plant or animal, good or evil. None of it matters to the chain mummy. If it's not inert, it is something to be destroyed. Chain Mummies are a 'terminator' monster, in the sense that they absolutely will not stop once they are on the trail of something, until they are destroyed, or their target is destroyed. It's assumed that they will go for 'stronger' examples of positive and negative energy first, the particularily vibrant living creatures or the undead who are simply swimming in negative energy... But a chain mummy will tear out blades of grass if they are the only living things in range. They are despicable destruction given physical form.
Chain Mummies have a trick though. They're pitiful tortured creatures, and they are aware of that. When two chain mummies are within range of each other, they will ignore all other creatures and seek to destroy each other, each one fighting their hardest, but 'hoping' (if they can hope) to lose.

Basically, it sucks to be a chain mummy :p
I'll explain more about carcerak sometime, but keep in mind that he's more plot-hook than an actual force of anything. He's certainly not a 'deity' the way anyone would think of one, and there's no Cult of Carcerak (heh, unless you WANT there to be one in your game ;))

Rotwood (template)
Rotwood is some of my favorite gaming material. it just oozes out of the pages and asks to be used somehow.
Rotwood is undead plant matter, but not in the combination of undeath and plantlife like a yellow musk creeper, or as some kind of blighted monstrosity. Rotwood is what we came up with when we sat down and looked at what a plant IS, and began asking what would undeath be like for a real plant...
A normal, healthy, human being needs food, comfort, water, ect. A human who has these things will grow, and thrive, and think and do. An undead human needs nothing, except maybe one substance they are incontrollably bound to. An undead human will do most of what a living human does, but not all of it. A mockery of the goal of life.
A normal healthy plant needs sunlight, nutrients, chemical source (carbon dioxide), and water. A plant that has these things will grow larger, thus continuing the circle of life.
An undead plant cuts out the middle man, and converts surrounding matter into its own body... at the cost of the surrounding matter. Rotwood plants are capable of surviving in the harshest terrain because of the simple fact that they need nothing BUT terrain to grow, leaving surrounding land (and waterbodies, and stone, and anything else they happen to touch) depleted and crumbling. They leech not only life out of the land, but the land itself until it is crumbling hollow dust incapable of supporting any life but the rotwood.
A Rotwood plant no longer behaves as a normal plant does. Normal plants grow upwards towards the sunlight, while their roots grow down in search of nutrients. Rotwood plants have no reason to grow in one direction anymore than another, and follow no predictable patterns of growth. They grow up, down, sideways, in any direction seemingly at random, splitting and twisting in on themselves until they make the most gnarled and evil tree look healthy and pristine by comparison.
If a branch of a rotwood tree grows too heavy (very likely, since they grow in no discernable pattern), it will snap off and begin growing where it lands. Forests infected with rotwood become alien 3-dimensional mazes of roots and branches, with nothing but unnatural wood and blackened mishapen leaves. They grow just as far underground as they do above, making them a horrifying blight on any landscape.
Burning a rotwood tree is incredibly bad, as the flakes of wood that are not utterly incinerated drift away on the wind and give rise to new rotwood infestations. Acid is the safest bet. Healing magic helps keep the rotwood at bay, but this world doesn't have enough positive energy left to destroy the trees on their own.
Rotwood winds up existing as more of a plot creature than anything else, as even an ugly tree that's sucking the life out of the land is still a tree. It should be pointed out in bold however, that we have a plant player race.

That's all for now.

SilverClawShift
2007-06-07, 05:47 PM
RESERVED
For: Arms & Armor
New ways to kill are always appreciated. Featuring an iconic weapon unique to the world.

I feel the need to point out right away, that the Dustlands do not have guns in any traditional sense, but smooth and easy ranged combat is going to be a feature of the dustlands.
Allow me to shout this though. SWORDS, ARMOR, and SHIELDS ARE NOT OBSOLETE in the dustlands. They are as viable and likely an option for a character as anything else, and can and will be seen in Dustlands games. The desert-heavy nature of the world means you'll see less full plates... it's a light-armor world to be sure, but full plates can still exist, and a loner wandering into town might be as likely to have a sword strapped to their back as any other weapon.

Spellshot Pistol (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=3203504&postcount=97)

SilverClawShift
2007-06-07, 05:48 PM
RESERVED
For: Religion in the Dustlands
Which really deserves its own section in a post-armageddon world, doesn't it?

SilverClawShift
2007-06-07, 07:59 PM
RESERVED
For: All the stuff I probably am forgetting.

Disease - The Whitelight Shakes (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=3098490&postcount=77)

***************************************

Feedback, negative and positive, is greatly appreciated! You can't please everyone, but there's no reason to avoid fixing problems, and more pairs of eyes can spot things easier.

Also, I'm completely open to the idea of having discussions about stuff in this world, and will share good insight with my group.

BarroomBard
2007-06-07, 11:11 PM
First off, I have to tell you, a western/fantasy world has also been an idea I've been kicking around in my mind for a while.

I have a few initial observations about your world, so bear with me.

First, the Folians: a fascinating idea for a race, and one that has quite a few possibilities. However, (and I think these are problems that were faced by WotC when they made the Warforged) there are inherent problems with a non-animal PC race, what with all the immunities and lack of a true physiology.

In the Wriek, you seem to have created an actual evil PC race.

Also, you say you will include the PHB races. Why, then, are only humans subject to the corrupting influences of the armageddon. Why aren't there half dwarf/half wastelings, or half elf/half wrieks? (I also think this is a problem with basic D&D, though)

Also, I have some questions.

How will the western/fantasy aspects be balanced? Would it be more likely to see, say, a conestoga wagon being ambushed by gnolls (western w/ fantasy influences) or knights sallying forth wearing chaps and ten gallon hats (fantasy w/ western influences)? I realize you are looking for a fusion, and these are over simplifications, but I don't imagine the world can be truly 50/50.

And as far as the weapons go, what will that look like? Is it a sword duel at high noon kinda thing, or will this 'distinct ranged weapon' you speak of take the form/role of a handgun in the world?

A final question of the apocalypse: How accepted is the armageddon? Are there some who believe it wasn't the actual final battle, seeing as how there are still people?

And finally, some suggestions/ musings from my own world:
I think a basically feudal society is the best fantasy equivalent to the kind of society you'd find in the west.

well apparently when I said some... i really meant one.

thehothead
2007-06-07, 11:52 PM
I believe it was the final battle between GOOD AND EVIL.
On that note, seeing as how you still have evil in the Wrieks, you should have a good equivelent. however, the remnant societies should hate the good MORE then the wrieks. Armegedon and abandonment should be expected by evil, but GOOD? and thus good is given the real blame.

SilverClawShift
2007-06-08, 08:51 AM
First, the Folians: a fascinating idea for a race, and one that has quite a few possibilities. However, (and I think these are problems that were faced by WotC when they made the Warforged) there are inherent problems with a non-animal PC race, what with all the immunities and lack of a true physiology.


Fully noted and planned for ahead of time, we anticipate the Folian race having an LA of +1, but we're shooting for no higher than that. I'll get into it more when I'm actually putting out the mechanics of the race.




In the Wriek, you seem to have created an actual evil PC race.


No more evil than tieflings are inherently bad, at this point anyway. A more detailed explenation of their 'society' would be good (Races of the Dustland book?), but as a culture they're borderline feral ala the Sliss. They're less 'evil' and more 'wild'. They're definately outcasts though, a Sliss or Wasteling player would have an easier time being accepted than a Wriek, in most areas.


On that note, seeing as how you still have evil in the Wrieks, you should have a good equivelent. however, the remnant societies should hate the good MORE then the wrieks. Armegedon and abandonment should be expected by evil, but GOOD? and thus good is given the real blame.


A final question of the apocalypse: How accepted is the armageddon? Are there some who believe it wasn't the actual final battle, seeing as how there are still people?

I'll need to flesh this out more (and when I say "I will" I probably mean "My DM will") in explaining the world, but there's going to be a rather important note that "Good Vs. Evil" is not the central focus in a place like the dustlands. There IS no such thing as good or evil in questions of raw survival, good and evil are concepts that spring up when you throw sentience into the mix. Now, there are still good people and creatures, and evil people and creatures, of course. But the dustlands greater focus is on issues of chaos vs order. The laws and rules of society trying to maintain a foothold in the face of hostile travelers strong enough to do whatever they want, in a world where absolutely no one is coming to help your struggling town.
Evil in a setting like this could manifest on either side of that line, with violent outlaws tearing through town and taking whatever they want, or with tyrannical sherrifs who know they can abuse their power without answering to a higher authority.

As for beleifs and understandings about the end of the world, bear in mind that a lot of people simply don't have a clue about anything other than the life they're trying to live. They're born, they learn how to make a living, they make children, and then they die and their children do the same.
The result is that most people, most societies and governments (fledgling or full) have no detailed clues about anything. The most intact governments (the city-state of Beltine being one) know that going back in their records, there's simply a place where the records don't keep going. They have nothing to go on other than the point in time where they started keeping records, and laws and warnings about staying to themselves and not going past certain geographical landmarks (which brings up another point on the law vs chaos scale... the fact that explorers beyond certain locations might be breaking very important laws in some socities).

I'll get into THIS part more in the 'Religion in the Dustlands' section, but it's important to point out that people and players in the Dustlands simply don't have any facts about deities, demons and devils, or what happens when they die. They simply don't know those things for a fact. Of course, many people still worship, preach, or fight for their ideals, and divine magic is still accessible to players.
How divine magic is viewed by the general public is skewed though. A lot of people (not the majority, but a good portion) beleive that the holy men of the cloth are nothing more than con-men, fleecing people into following them for whatever reason. People who take that view tend to beleive that divine magic is nothing but arcane magic masked with tricks and prettied up with a friendlier face. The fact that con-men, grifters, and rogues are a big problem in many areas serves to add to that fact, and one of our base classes is even going to leech divine energy from the universe as a matter of course.

I'm trying to stay on topic here and not dart around, but there's a lot of info to organize, and it's easy to get the wrong picture about this world without a lot of little facts and details.

ANYWAY. As for knowledge about the armageddon, that's part of the plot-hook that will drive a lot of governments/wealthy people to hire explorers to search and map out the world in greater detail, sifting through ruins and searching for traces of dead socities. At the time the Dustlands are supposed to currently be taking place, it's a world where people are coming to realize that something bad, something BIG happened a long time ago, and there are a lot of people who want to know just what that was.

I'll throw this into a spoiler tag to try to keep this post a manageable size... but the spoilers here are about one of the first realizations everyone had that something was wrong.


A few generations before the 'current' time of the dustlands, the three human cities (and one tiny elven society) first came into contact with each other. There was a lot of panic and shock from all sides that there was anyone else 'out there'. The elves had very strict rules about coming down from their isolated lifestyle, and the first who did it were flat out considered traitors and outcasts by many of the older elves. The humans had their rules too, but their curiosity was a lot more powerful, and the idea that there were other people out there to band together with appealed to strongly. (currently, the elves are less hostile isolationists, and elves who leave their land are welcome to return, but non-elves are simply not allowed).
The realization and celebration that they weren't alone turned into an even greater realization, that there might be MORE out there. Against a lot of complaints and objections, the first true explorers of the world set out west.

(Geographical side note: I'll need to upload the map our DM has of this world sometime, but there's a massive mountain range on the east which is largely considered the edge of the world. Knowing that the world is a sphere, understanding logically that there's something on the other side of that mountain range, and actually physically exploring in that direction are two different things. The mountain range peaks outside the atmosphere, ends in an almost sheer cliff face, and is nothing but ocean (as far as anyone can tell). Explorations heading eastward have met with massive losses and no real gains.
Those with long term interest in exploring the world, and knowledge that they are on a globe rather than a disc, figure if they head west long enough, they're eventually come back around...)

The explorers who went north/south/and west came upon a few sudden, and sickening realizations.
The first was that the sections of the world they occupied... the cities that they thought were everything, were absolutely tiny. They were facing a massive world that they had barely begun to chart out.
The second was that the world was a husk. The human cities (and one elven city) are in what could best be described as a temperate zone, a land that more closely resembles what you'd think of when putting together a generic D&D game. When they crossed the natural borders ('coming out of the valley', which is essentially what they're in... one huge valley) and looked out at the world they intended to chart, they saw nothing but grit, scorched stone, and a few struggling angry looking plants.

They headed west, very deliberately staying on an almost perfectly even course (so there was no chance they could get lost and not be able to return to their home lands). They passed a new natural landmarks and areas of terrain that had distinguishing characteristics, but nothing that was really worthy of stopping for. Until they came to the third sickening realization.
They passed through a rocky area, what originally looked like more natural terrain started to show vague, almost illusory signs of sentient craftwork. The illusion ended, however, when they found a small stone 'room', mostly buried in sand, but obviously the work of intelligent creatures. Working to unbury it, they discovered a metal door corroded by the force of centuries of sandstorms. Inside they found that the room was almost entirely empty, except for a single object standing in the middle. It was an almost perfectly kept stone statue, quite clearly of a female elf holding her hands to the sky.

Their discovery marked the end of their first exploration, as they returned to their homelands with the information. Almost immediately, several forces that had at first been strongly opposed to the exploration changed their tune, urging the creation of outposts and guides in the path the explorers had gone, and the creation of a base at the site of the statue.

The statue now resides in a Beltine museum of art, which makes some elves extremly uncomfortable.
The location the statue was discovered in has gradually turned into a very large city (think Tombstone Arizona back in the day, a little larger and more metropolitan, and a little more rowdy). The government buildings of that city are built around and over the stone room they discovered the statue in.
The string of outposts leading to that city is called "Devron's Trail" after the lead explorer of that group.
People now tend to refer to the temperate zone where the elves and humans came from as the "Cradle", reflecting its nature as a hospitable area ready to nurture life.

Cut to current times. A lot of people wonder why those who were strongly opposed to ANY exploration became so eager to build fortified government buildings around the first discovery in the new world.
A lot of people, especially elves, want to know more about the statue found and what it means.
And a lot of government officials would like to see the people asking those questions quietly executed.


Er. Anyway. Back to the post at hand.


Also, you say you will include the PHB races. Why, then, are only humans subject to the corrupting influences of the armageddon. Why aren't there half dwarf/half wastelings, or half elf/half wrieks? (I also think this is a problem with basic D&D, though)

We're not DIRECTLY including ALL of the PHB races. We're simply not ruling out their existance in any meaningful way. Like I said, if a DM wants to include (or a player wants to play) a Shifter, or a halfling, or a goliath, there's nothing stopping them. In fact it's encouraged.
Think of the quote for eberron. "If it exists in D&D, it exists in eberron".
The Dustlands are intended to have the same attitude. It's meant to be a world that can be built up into whatever you need it to be, just with specific thematic elements which can encourage a 'western' game.

There are no Dwarf or Gnome versions of the Wastelings because there's nothing sentient in the bleak north EXCEPT the wastelings. The bleak north is not a welcoming area. To most normal people, it's a violent disturbing place where rotting wolves pace in packs and the sky, land, and sea themselves seem simultaneously dark and pale, as if the life was being sucked out of them. Somehow the humans isolated in this area survived, but in the process, they basically stopped being truly human. They're still similar enough in basic ways to produce crossbreeds, but they are what they are.

As for half-elf/half-wrieks, or halfling half-wrieks, or whatever combination you want to exist, that's really something that's left to the DM and players. As you said, that's a problem with D&D more than any specific setting. "If all these races exist, and can make half-breeds..." no. "But..." no, it's too complicated. "So no half-elf/half-orcs?" not going there.
We could keep piling half-breeds and mish-moshes and twisted mishaps up until the book was nothing but a list of possible player mating habits. We've got other directions to go in though, so for simplicity sake, we're cutting it off there for the same reason the PHB gives you a half-elf, a half-orc, but no combination of the two. It's just too darn much mixing.

That said, if we ever made enough material for expansion books, half-wriek wastelings are something that would deserve a mention.


Also, I have some questions.

How will the western/fantasy aspects be balanced? Would it be more likely to see, say, a conestoga wagon being ambushed by gnolls (western w/ fantasy influences) or knights sallying forth wearing chaps and ten gallon hats (fantasy w/ western influences)? I realize you are looking for a fusion, and these are over simplifications, but I don't imagine the world can be truly 50/50.

How much the game plays as one aspect or another is, and always has been, up to the DM running the game. There's nothing stopping you from playing D&D as is as a western. In fact, my group has done a game that was just that (a small town in a desert under seige by a band of, of all things, elven bandits).

How much western flavor, versus fantasy flavor, you will see comes down to three factors. Location, DM, and Players. The location your game takes place in will have its influence. Playing in the temperate zones of the human cities, forests and city-state kingdoms, will lend more to traditional fantasy gameplay. Playing in lawless desert cities or small towns with a ruthless sheriff will lend itself to a stronger western theme.
But ultimately, the plot the DM throws at you, and the way you choose to handle it as a player, will have more to do with what you take away from the game than anything else. If you're a Sliss deadeye in a floor length duster and spurs, you're going to interpret the world around you through that character. If you're a human druid who's set out into the desert to try to find ways to coax life out of the sand, you're going to remember it as more of a fantasy.
And when the small town lawman rides his horse into a battle and pulls a Smite Evil on a bandit, you'll remember the paladin sheriff who was a little fantasy and a little western.

I think what I'm getting at, is that you can play a Samurai in regular D&D, and you can play a Knight in oriental adventures, if your DM lets you. Your name kind of sums it up, with the "Barroom Bard" thing. A bard playing a tin-y piano in the background and watching a barfight... So the real question of flavor fusion is "What are YOU going to do with the world?"


And as far as the weapons go, what will that look like? Is it a sword duel at high noon kinda thing, or will this 'distinct ranged weapon' you speak of take the form/role of a handgun in the world?

Same as the flavor fusion question, the answer here has more to do with you, the players, the DMs, and what you think works best for your game.
The iconic weapon we're working on is defiantely meant to be the six shooter of this world, but we're putting a lot of thought and work into it to make sure it fits seemlessly into things. It's not a gun, in the traditional sense. It doesn't trump swords and shields just by existing, and it's not such a powerful tool that players will have reason to choose it and only it.
But at the same time, part of the thrill of a western setting is the weapon holstered at your side, the quickdraws dueling in the street, the bar room fights turned into shoot outs.

Our goal (and I readily admit, it is a lofty one) is to create a ranged weapon with more ease of use... more seamless and smooth behavior... than a crossbow or traditional bow. Something that can be drawn and fired without a lot of jumping through hoops. But a weapon that's not so inherently useful or powerful that a good sharp blade or solid hammer suddenly becomes a relic of the past.
As with everything else in the Dustlands, you should feel as comfortable taking this weapon into a fantasy setting like eberron, as you should grabbing a greatsword and swinging away.

I guess I can't say all that and not actually give any info on the weapon itself, can I? I'll detail it better in the Arms & Armor section, but I suppose I need to explain what this weapon is.

The weapon is not based on physical mechanics. The weapon (...tenatively titled, an 'Arcanon', but I'm hesitant to actually name it that) functions on magic.
Physically it resembles a six shooter with no barrel. Instead it has a toothy rail for the barrel to slide down and lock into place. The barrel itself IS the ammunition...
The barrel is a specially crafted 'wand' charged with generic magical energy. The 'gun' itself is essentially a specially designed 'automatic UMD skill-check maker' which can only use the specially designed 'wands'. You slide the charged barrel down into the weapon and lock it into place, pull the trigger, and it pops off a little blip of magical force which deals bludgeoning damage.
Flavor wise, the weapon hits "Like a frighteningly strong fist", not a peircing ball of instant death. On a critical hit (a flat perfect shot) it hits more like a mule kick. On less acurate shots, the force bounces off and dissipates quickly, so a shield is still an effective device against the weapon, but even if you're armored, a straight shot can send you reeling (read, damage).
The weapon won't work in an anti-magic field, but the bludgeoning damage ignores spell resistance, and is basically treated as a mundane projectile for most effects. Monks can even 'catch' it like it was an arrow, causing it to poof harmlessly.
The weapon itself is extremly pricey, and ammo for it isn't cheap (but is reusable, so looting the body of a gunslinger is a good thing).
More expensive ammunition might deal elemental damage, but can be negated by spell resistance. Comparitively MUCH more expensive ammunition might even produce real spell effects (and when you buy a one-use barrel that fires a lightning bolt, and make a reference to unreal tournament, your DM can drop rocks on you and kill everyone ;)). Personally, I'm a fan of the image of a rogue sneaking up behind someone, sticking a gun to the back of their neck, and firing a sleep spell at the point-blank, but don't forget the massive cost with that custom ammunition.

Add in the fact that different cities, towns, and kingdoms will have different laws regarding weapons (you might have a sheriff expecting you to turn in your gun on entering a town, with it only being returned when you leave.... you might be breaking the law simply by carrying it visibly).

Now, we're not foolish. We know that you wouldn't just pick this weapon up and drop it in another campaign without thought. But it's really not going to be that powerful of a weapon, and with its balancing factors, it's not an automatic trump card to other weapons and fighting styles. It's just meant to be a flavorful addition to a fantasy western setting, where you're going to want to have at least one shootout at some point...
Personally, picturing a swordsman charging across a saloon, knocking shots away with a spin of the blade before running the shooter through, leaves me with a big grin. Opinions will vary greatly though...

So the better question is, what would you, as a DM or as a player, put in your characters hands when you start up a campaign? Maybe you'll have a party that opts entirely to be gunslingers, or maybe you'll have a party that thinks nothing beats a good keen blade. Ultimately, it's what you want to play.

And... uh. I'm sorry that this post is ridiculously long. Going to put up some info on the base classes next.

Attilargh
2007-06-08, 09:37 AM
Oh man, that's some awesome stuff right there. How big did you start with the setting? Was it just a little community somewhere from where you expanded out, or did your GM give you a huge file of background to wade through, completet with the latest Elven fashion accessories?


(and when you buy a one-use barrel that fires a lightning bolt, and make a reference to unreal tournament, your DM can drop rocks on you and kill everyone ;)) MULTI-KILL!

SilverClawShift
2007-06-08, 09:56 AM
The setting started as nothing but a skeletal framework of the concept. The "What if we mixed a fantasy and a western?" question. Then we decided on the nature of the world, and we went with a mad-maxy kind of "Hey this is a POST APOC western, not an 1800s western".

From that framework, we just started building up, adding elements and decided how they fit into the world. We knew we'd want a snake race, because come on. Western. A snake eyed gunslinger isn't optional, it's REQUIRED.
Knowing we needed a snake player race, we started asking what it was and what it did. Making them savages in rocky badlands worked for a number of reasons. Snakes laying on hot rocks is something that registers in peoples minds comfortably, because it's based in reality. Striking quickly from narrow cave systems and slinking between tight spaces in the stones seems like a human snake tactic.
It all just kept fleshing out from there. I think the first seed that grew into the idea of the Wasteling race was when one of our group said "Dead Man Walkin".
And so on, and so forth. It was a full fledged world from the start, it's just been getting fleshed in since then.

SilverClawShift
2007-06-08, 10:50 AM
Oh man, that's some awesome stuff right there.

Also.

OH MY GOD.

SOMEONE ACTUALLY LIKES IT :smallbiggrin:

SilverClawShift
2007-06-08, 12:45 PM
updated with class info.

BarroomBard
2007-06-08, 01:27 PM
Thanks. That long, rambling post really clarified some things, while remaining delightfully ambiguous :smallbiggrin:

From the description of the 'Arcanon', I would suggest moving away from having it be a hideously expensive thing. I see it as being, while not given to every PC on creation, it should at least be a viable option for 1st level characters. I like the concept of it as a device for using wands. Would the ammo be useful outside of the weapon? Mechanically, will it be based on the firearms of d20 Modern (2d4, 2d6 generally) or something else, more like a bow or crossbow?

Onto the classes: I really like the new classes you've created. They are at once very flavorful and at the same time very broad. I think most people create base classes as too constricting, so each character ends up the same. The concocter, especially, shows how a class can be created that still allows for remarkable variety.

I also like the glyphcrafter. It might have limited combat use, however, unless it has a cheaper version of scribe scroll or some such. Stopping in the middle of a battle to scribble on a piece of paper seems a dangerous thing to have to do.

The spellslinger gives me some pause, though. Maybe its the name (it kinda calls up an image of a magical gunfighter, not some mystic pugilist), or maybe because it seems like a better fit for some form of monk prc, but it seems like the setting doesn't fit well to TWO new unarmed figther classes.

And as for the monk: Kung Fu, anyone? :smallamused:

As a final note, please keep in mind that I really respect and appreciate the things you've created here. It's always good to see some real innovation from the players and DMs of the world.

SilverClawShift
2007-06-08, 04:06 PM
Thanks. That long, rambling post really clarified some things, while remaining delightfully ambiguous :smallbiggrin:

Yeah yeah yeah... I know... I have a tendency to just spew out word after word. I try to keep it in line... I try not to ramble incoherently. At least you can understand what I'm getting at.


From the description of the 'Arcanon', I would suggest moving away from having it be a hideously expensive thing. I see it as being, while not given to every PC on creation, it should at least be a viable option for 1st level characters. I like the concept of it as a device for using wands. Would the ammo be useful outside of the weapon? Mechanically, will it be based on the firearms of d20 Modern (2d4, 2d6 generally) or something else, more like a bow or crossbow?

Yeah, we've currently got the damage in a tossup between 1d6x3, and 2d4x2. I like the latter personally, but the former works too. It's the same damage as the shortbow. Needs to be noted that this weapon has the advantage of being fairly easy to operate one-handed...
Cost we've got listed as 500 gold currently, which seems fair to me. It's a little bit more expensive than a repeating crossbow, not as expensive as a good well made suit of armor. It's something a player could reasonably acquire while still in their first level, but it's still represents an investment for a character who wants to carry one. A DM might even let a full BAB class have it as part of their starting gear, which is on the high end of total starting value, but isn't unreasonable (especially in a western, where it's probably an 'ancestral' weapon :smalltongue: ).

Ammo cost is currently 1 gold for a stick of 8 shots, which seems fair compared to the arrow bundle cost of 1 gold per 20. It's a little more pricey, but it's an easier to use weapon. We don't have 'elemental' shots and increased damage shots pegged down on cost yet, but it's 'more' :smalltongue:
For actual spells being fired from the weapon, we're leaning towards spell level x caster level x60 gold. A scroll is the same formula at 25 gold, but this weapon doesn't need a spellcaster, a somatic component, or even a UMD check. It just fires. The additional cost seems fair, and might be jacked up, depending. So far it's worked in play. A scroll of a lightning bolt spell by a 5th level caster would be 375, a single shot for the gun would be 900. Pricey, but such easy access to magical power SHOULD be, I think.
Currently, we're toying with the idea that you can put more than one spell into a 'stick' of ammo, for additional cost (1.5x for a second, 2x for the third, ect), and the spells all have to be identical. I'm of the opinion that that's too devestating. Firing 4 lightning bolts (total of 20d6) on your turn is brutal, even if it DOES cost 6300 gold to do. Can max out at 40d6 electrical damage at level 10, costs 12600 gold to do one time.
I prefer the idea that spells are 'one per stick', requiring a reload between using them... but it needs to be tested a little more in long term play :smallbiggrin:


Onto the classes: I really like the new classes you've created. They are at once very flavorful and at the same time very broad. I think most people create base classes as too constricting, so each character ends up the same. The concocter, especially, shows how a class can be created that still allows for remarkable variety.

Thank you! I tend to agree, a base class should be a general concept with plenty of room for variation inside of it. We've had people complain that "Alchemist" and "Herbalist" should be different classes, and they're right, the two aren't truly related. But really, isolating those concepts into individual base classes is going to make an interesting READ, but not as interesting of a PLAY experience.
So we have a single class that 'makes stuff'. That's what they all do, when you come down to brass tacks. If you really want an 'herbalist' flavor, make/take a feat called "Herbalism Mastery" that gives a bonus to your healing concoctions, or some such...
Blah, rant.


I also like the glyphcrafter. It might have limited combat use, however, unless it has a cheaper version of scribe scroll or some such. Stopping in the middle of a battle to scribble on a piece of paper seems a dangerous thing to have to do.

The Glyphcrafter is one of my favorites, personally. I appreciate what you're saying about combat, but that's an example of me not having mentioned a detail or two here or there, which can contribute to the wrong image. Glyphcrafters can easily augment items via their magic, and most of their gear/scrolls/effects will be pre-made before heading into combat. But they don't get to create a massive stockpile of magic, nor are they getting crippled with XP costs for creating their stuff.

Which means I need to get to explaining myself, doesn't it?

Now, the concocter and glyphcrafter can actually be considered two sides of the same 'caster system', for one specific reason. Both classes cast spells not by waving their hands and saying the right words, but by making items (wether potions, powders, scrolls, augmented gear...) which carry the casting effect.
Sounds a little like the Artificer right? But we're going somewhere completely different with the classes, and brings me to a minor complaint with the Artificer. The artificer was an attempt (arguably a very successful attempt) to make an 'item based' spellcaster, which seems fair. It's a captivating concept to be sure, it's something people want to play. The problem is, creating magical items in D&D takes XP, which is arguably the single most important thing to a character after remaining hitpoints. Hell, THE most important, since a dead character loses XP when they're brought back to life. Not having enough XP to be brought back to life starts to become injurious. So I'll say it, XP is THAT most important thing to a character.
Removing a characters XP to create items when those items are essentially the reason for playing that class just doesn't sit well with me, but it's critical. It's there to prevent other casters from flooding the world/party with 'free' magical equipment, with no penalty other than financial cost. Giving the player a pool of extra XP (as the artificer does) to use for making items is putting a fresh coat of paint on the classes central problem and pretending it doesn't exist.

(note that I'm not saying the artificer isn't a blast (...no pun intended) to play. I'm just saying, that IS a problem and I won't pretend it isn't)

With the Concocter and Glyphcrafter, we're trying to create a brand new 'item based' class concept, for characters whose lifestyle revolves around what they make. The glyphs and 'brews' of the classes won't strip away the characters XP by default. Some powerful effects might, per use, but it's not what the class is built around. But that means we need a way to limit the sheer number of 'items' these classes can have in existance at any given time, or they can just flood the party/world with magical stuff.
So what's the solution?
Glyphs fade. Concoctions break down. Their magic isn't permanently potent, it needs to be used within a certain timeframe, or at least maintainted with another layer of paint or a mix and another pinch of preservative. Direct exposure to glyphs of living power (or fumes of potent potables) has a wearing effect on their creator. To a certain extent, they can shrug off the effects of such exposure. Past a certain point (read: past a certain number of exposures between resting periods), they begin to pay the price for having access to such power. Level drain, temporary premature aging, good old fashioned hitpoint loss, and XP costs. Making too much magic (or maintaining too much magic) starts to hurt.

So where does that leave the class? They have a level/primary stat dependant limit on just how much stuff they can produce in a given time period. The stuff they create starts to break down after that time period, and becomes useless. So they can carry their potions and scrolls and daggers with "Glyph of Horrible Burning" painted on the side... they can upkeep that gear and maintain those effects for free, and they can replace the stuff they use up they next day... but they can't go over their limit, or they start to pay the prices.
Sorcerers and Wizards have D4 hitpoints because that's the cost of being a student of the Art. All power comes with a cost. Divine casters cost is servitutde to a greater power. Arcane casters cost is bodily. And our casters have their price to pay too.
Oh, and the Concocter and Glyphcrafter can both create stuff that DOESN'T break down, but that costs XP as normal.

In game? It works wonderfully. You can have a witch with a sidepack just chock full of powerful potions, healing ointments, magical oils... even a glass vial or two that creates a 'cloudkill' when you smash it. But she can't just GIVE that stuff away, it won't last through the night without her mixing and stiring and checking it all. And she can't make extra, that many fumes would put her on a stretcher. When she finds herself in a bad situation, she can use her stuff, and whip up some more the next morning.
And if the party rogue is going on a solo mission and she REALLY needs to mix him some emergency healing potions, she can pay the XP cost to make her potions last until consumed, to help her ally.

I think we've come up with a good system for these classes... This post is also 3 times longer than I intended it to be, and I have more to reply to :-\


The spellslinger gives me some pause, though. Maybe its the name (it kinda calls up an image of a magical gunfighter, not some mystic pugilist), or maybe because it seems like a better fit for some form of monk prc, but it seems like the setting doesn't fit well to TWO new unarmed figther classes.

You hit the nail on the head. The spellslinger was originally intended to be a ranged spellcaster. The problem is, just making him a ranged spellcaster is nothing new, lots of spells have range. We originally designed him to be a CON based cousin to the warlock, a guy who's still got power as long as he's on his own two feet... but we realized we couldn't make the class compete with the warlock. No matter what we did, it turned into a rip off.

I don't think that the world is too small for two unarmed fighters. Especially when one's a foaming at the mouth wild animal, and the other is a cocky flame-wreathed-fists spellcaster. But I also see where you're coming from, and completely agree. We wanted a magical answer to the gunslinger, and came up with nothing good.

Maybe we should shelve the 'magical street fighter' concept and apply it somewhere else, and give the spellslinger another re-design. Maybe go the same vague direction as the concocter and the glyphcrafter? That would bring some unity to our three core casters... Perhaps the spellslinger has a limited number of options per day, but at his core can cast a few things freely (or imbue random items with raw magical force? Gambit springs to mind for obvious reasons o_O).

I'm not sure. Needs to be rethought. I'll ask our DM.


And as for the monk: Kung Fu, anyone? :smallamused:

... :-D And that's exactly why we try not to restrict options in the dustlands. Someone's gonna want to play it, sooner or later. Might as well leave it in for the one guy who wants to be a blind monk in a room full of gunfighters...


As a final note, please keep in mind that I really respect and appreciate the things you've created here. It's always good to see some real innovation from the players and DMs of the world.

I appreciate you taking the time to say that. It's easy to read comments the wrong way if you're not in the right frame of mind, and completely innocent critiques can come off sounding like an attack. On the opposite side of the coin, it's easy to point out flaws while forgetting to point out stuff you liked (I know I'm guilty of that).

So, yeah. Thanks :smallbiggrin:

BarroomBard
2007-06-08, 04:32 PM
After reading the expanded notes on glyphcrafter and concocter, I really want to play one :smallwink:

Also, it suggests a direction you can go with the spell slinger. Perhaps, you could give him the ability to imbue a limited pallet of spells to his Arcanon, or other weapon. Whereas the glyphcrafter can enhance the abilities of his weapons, the spellslinger actually uses his weapons as magical foci. For example, when a wizard spends his morning preparing spells, a spellslinger imbues his ammo with his own. And not only attack spells either. I can imagine a spellslinger walking up to a wounded townsperson, holding a gun to the poor NPC's head, and POW! Cure Light Wounds. :smallamused:

Alternately, the class could function by summoning "magic weapons". When the going gets tough, these guys snap their fingers and a gun or a sword pops right into their hands.

Or something else equally amusing.

SilverClawShift
2007-06-08, 04:42 PM
I also like the glyphcrafter. It might have limited combat use, however

I just realized I went through that whole section of my post WITHOUT ADDRESSING WHAT WAS MY FREAKING POINT.

I don't feel very intelligent right now.

Anyway, about the combat issue... Many of a glyphcrafters glyphs ARE combat oriented, usually functioning based on a specific number of hits (or hits absorbed).

For instance, A glyphcrafter might paint a "Glyph of Burning" on a friendly party members favorite dagger. The glyph lasts 24 hours before flaking away, or until used up, and costs 3 points out of the glyphcrafters 'total power absorable per day' what have you... mechanic... thingy.
The next 5 times that dagger strikes a living target (or a non-living target, or...whatever, whatever this particular glyph does) it sends a wave of fire rolling through their blood for 2d6 fire damage.

The glyphcrafter can manipulate the glyphs he creates, making them more powerful (and taking up more of his limit per day) or making them weaker to allow for more glyph tinted items, or making them one-use but more damaging... the possibilities are numerous.
So a Glyphcrafter and his knife throwing Rogue buddy can maintain a few dozen small, cheap, non-magical (maybe even non-masterwork) throwing knives, painted with symbols that blind the people they hit...

The glyphs aren't limited to offensive augmentations. Defensive ones, personal range ones painted on the body, and of course, the big elaborate one painted in a circle around the glyphcrafter that sends anyone failing a will save flying back 30 feet through the air for trying to touch the one who drew it...

"We don't let cripples in our bar"
Oh, it's not a walking cane.. it's my sleep-stick!
"What the heck's a sleep-stick?"
*BAM*
"milk...and......cookies.... *fallover*"

Just examples mind you. We're working on getting the balance down in a way that forces Glyphcrafters to be clever with what they have to work with...

SilverClawShift
2007-06-08, 04:48 PM
I can imagine a spellslinger walking up to a wounded townsperson, holding a gun to the poor NPC's head, and POW! Cure Light Wounds. :smallamused:

You read my mind. One thing we're trying to make sure of in the Dustlands, is that people have alternate ways of healing themselves, so not EVERY party has a cleric.
I like clerics. They're overpowered, but they're a fantastic class in terms of flavor and abilities.
But EVERY party HAS to have one. A bard can't cut it for a whole party, a paladin can't cut it for a whole party, ect...
The concocter makes a good healer. The Raindancer might be a healer, depending on the direction we take it...

Ah well. The other stuff you mentioned about the Spellslinger is good too. I'd like to bring it into line with the other two core casters... give magic in our world a little unity in mechanics. In fact, there's still a few places we can go with this...

We shall see.

I'll work on putting out a playable version of one of the classes soon, but remember they're still in "Alpha" edition, everything's subject to change and being tested meticulously.

Attilargh
2007-06-09, 08:23 AM
Grifter - The grifter is a conman of the highest order, relying on his smooth talk and quick wits to stay in one peice. He is Diplomacy taken to horrifying levels for selfish purposes. To imagine a high level grifter, simply think of hannibal lector. While not useless in combat, the grifter is less a physically oriented class. They can affect the battlefield however, provided people around them start failing will saves.
So he's kinda like a useful Bard-Rogue hybrid with Knight-like abilities? Rather cool, actually, and I really mean that. Just make sure you don't use the Diplomacy rules as written, as they're the so unbelievably easy to break.


Guardian - The Guardian is a defender. Sturdy, good saves, in combat is dedicated to survival and protection of others.
I really hope he's got some way of getting the enemy to stick on him, as otherwise he's just a character-shaped hole in the battlefield. On the other hand, that might bring him a bit too close to a Knight.


Also, it suggests a direction you can go with the spell slinger. Perhaps, you could give him the ability to imbue a limited pallet of spells to his Arcanon, or other weapon. Whereas the glyphcrafter can enhance the abilities of his weapons, the spellslinger actually uses his weapons as magical foci.
What's cooler than being cool? Gun Mages (http://www.privateerpress.com/docs/Gun_Mage_PrivateerPress8-11.pdf).

Personally, I like the class as presented. Maybe give him a few weapon proficiencies in addition to unarmed strikes to really set him aside from the Monk and give a bit more Western feel? (Yeah, so the Monk's got some profs as well. When was the last time you've seen him use 'em?) I'm not talking Greataxes or anything, but knives, punch daggers, hatchets and other Light weapons. Also, I love the psychic power Call Weaponry (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/psionic/powers/callWeaponry.htm), so I'm fully supporting BarroomBard's idea about the class summoning its own weapons.

Oh, and I too suggest renaming it, as the name is rather counter-intuitive. It suggests more of a "cowboy wizard", which could be a really neat Prestige Class.


As an aside, have you written anything concrete about psionics, beyond "sure, go ahead and use it"?


Now that you've got a brand new tablet for yourself, how soon can we expect some illustrations?

SilverClawShift
2007-06-09, 10:56 AM
Erk. I'm not much of an illustrator, but I was sketching some stuff.

http://img265.imageshack.us/img265/5386/wastespellip5.th.jpg (http://img265.imageshack.us/my.php?image=wastespellip5.jpg)



I really hope he's got some way of getting the enemy to stick on him, as otherwise he's just a character-shaped hole in the battlefield. On the other hand, that might bring him a bit too close to a Knight.


I'll get into him more later on. He's currently low priority, but we do have a lot of ideas to make him unique and useful.



What's cooler than being cool? Gun Mages.


Very cool. And it has some interesting ideas, but that's probably not quite the way we want to go for the spellslinger class.

As for the Spellslinger? A lot of good suggestions, maybe more than enough... maybe enough to make an extra class, as a matter of fact.
Consider the Spellslinger currently de-activated and undergoing an overhaul. We'll be sticking with that name in one fashion or another... "Arcane Cowboy" was an archetype we wanted to create from the beginning, the class just got away from us as a concept. I've allready thrown a few of these ideas at my DM, and we'll be discussing it today (Namely, turning the "Spellslinger" back into a ranged caster in line with our other core casters, rounding the system up to a nice total of three options to choose from for the first edition).

The idea of an arcane-fueled unarmed fist-fighter is being tucked away neatly for future reference (possibly as a variant of the spellslinger himself), as is the soul-knifian idea of a caster who calls up magical weaponry on the fly.



As an aside, have you written anything concrete about psionics, beyond "sure, go ahead and use it"?


Yes actually, but not for the Dustlands specifically. While Psionics aren't really covered by the open gaming license, we did create a psionic base class, a few PRCs, and a feat tree. It was for a little project we dubbed the Tome of Art & Insanity, and is what the glyphcrafter was originally created for.
The classes weren't very good, they were early work when we were all new to the game, but they did have some worthwhile concepts, I feel.
Base Class - Perceptivist: A CHA based psion (I know the name sounds more WIS based, but part of the point of the class was that wisdom was more of a hinderance to the Perceptivists source of power... namely, beleiving the world around him was changing to better suit his needs, which had more to do with personality than anything else). The basic of idea of the perceptivist was "That's just crazy enough to work".
Prestige Classes
- Mind Rager: A 'psionic' barbaric character whose fury manifested externally as a rampant destructive force, eventually turning into an an actual horrifying creature that rampaged around the character.
- Mindsmith: The concept and mentality of late 1800s insane asylums plugged into a world full of magic. A "Horrible Doctor" willing to 'carefully' edit a creatures brain, emotionally, psionically, and even physically. "It's for your own good" of course. Had the ability to invest themselves in a 'patients' well being, basically turning them into a thrall and altering their mind to produce usefull effects, like the removal of fear (or free will).
- Paranoist: "Everybody's coming to get me..." mildly psionic rogues who could invest their paranoid psychic energy into a deluxe sneak attack, and could inflict a little mental damage on people around them with their "Static Feedback" ability (and a lot of extra mental damage if the character in question was trying to read their mind...) Usually found in areas where mindflayers can be found, as a natural action-reaction relationship (especially because their abilities would be extra painful to mindflayers, who really WERE trying to read their minds).

It occurs to me that the Mindsmith would work well with our caster system, that of dedicating their energy to a number of patients and investing a certain amount of effort into keeping them drooling-but-still-handy slaves. But that's definately an all-evil class, even a well intentioned mindsmith would be a jerk.

ANYWAY

I'm now listing out our current batch of PRCs planned and under construction, and polishing up a playable version of the glyphcrafter (bear in mind that it's a WorkInProgress along with everything). Comin' soon.

Attilargh
2007-06-09, 11:41 AM
Very cool. And it has some interesting ideas, but that's probably not quite the way we want to go for the spellslinger class.
Actually, I meant that as an illustration that there already exists a character whose guns act as foci for their spells, so making another would probably not be very practical.

SilverClawShift
2007-06-09, 11:50 AM
Oh, good then. I don't like stepping on the toes of other material, I prefer to go in new directions, and my group agrees.

The Spellslinger still works best, conceptually, as a magical ranged fighter. Someone who could be standing in the streets at high noon and dueling with an actual gunfighter.

In my mind, at least.

Alator
2007-06-09, 11:57 AM
Really interesting.... I like this idea... :smallsmile:

and it actually reminded me a little about The Dark Tower series by Stephen King...

Attilargh
2007-06-09, 12:01 PM
That reminds me of a trick my friend pulled in a game of Star Wars some time ago: His Jedi took a sword, aimed it at a fleeing mook and threw it with Force straight through the mook's body, pinning him into a door. Goes without a mention he got a Dark Side Point for that one, but it was so cool I had to mention it.

And some stuff I forgot to mention in my last post: Psionic rules are very much a part of the OGL, at least if their inclusion into the SRD (http://www.d20srd.org/) is anything to go by.

SilverClawShift
2007-06-09, 12:14 PM
And some stuff I forgot to mention in my last post: Psionic rules are very much a part of the OGL, at least if their inclusion into the SRD (http://www.d20srd.org/) is anything to go by.

Hrm. Well maybe we'll ressurect our insanity folder and give it all a re-design with what we've learned since then :smallbiggrin:

Maybe :smallconfused:


it actually reminded me a little about The Dark Tower series by Stephen King...

Never read it personally, but my DM is a Stephen King fanboy... so he probably has.

RECENT UPDATES

"What are the Dustlands" reserved post updated with new info. 06-07-07
"Races of the Dustlands" reserved post updated with new info. 06-07-07
"Base Classes in the Dustlands" reserved post updated with new info. 06-08-07
"Prestige Classes in the Dustlands" reserved post updated with new info. 06-09-07

SilverClawShift
2007-06-09, 12:19 PM
Also, it'll be a decent length of time before I post the 0.1 version of the glyphcrafter, I might go out to lunch, and it still needs polishing.

And the glyph selection is limited (when we're playtesting, we tend to make up stuff and jot down notes about it, and then try to make sure it's fitting balanced with our level and the glyph level... But for actually listing a bunch of stuff out, we're a little shy of the '100' mark :-p)

Still, very enjoyable, and if you need it in a game 'omg right now' it's fairly easy to convert spell effects into their glyph cousins twice removed.

SurlySeraph
2007-06-10, 02:33 AM
Very cool. Very, very Dark Tower-y.

I really, really like the Glyphcrafter. The conception and the mechanics are great.

Even though I hate psionics, the Paranoist is a really awesome idea.

The arcane gun thingy sounds good.

Wastelings are just plain awesome. I can't wait to see how you stat them out.

Marek
2007-06-10, 10:44 AM
This class, the Rune Rhymer (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=40162&highlight=Rune) may help you with the glyphcrafter. It seems mechanically similar, two casters using a written somatic component, and so may provide some insight into finalizing it

SilverClawShift
2007-06-11, 10:28 PM
Me and my DM are hitting a few roadblocks in statting out the glyphcrafter. The first time it came out annoyingly weak (trying to avoid the "Wizard is God" problem), the second time it came out too powerful, and the third time it came out like a cheap artificer knock off.

But we're not giving up hope! We're gonna try to shoot for a "Party buffer and self-preservationist caster", hopefully it'll come out right.

thehothead
2007-06-15, 01:54 AM
Hitting roadblocks? Skip it and come back. Works every time.

DracoDei
2007-06-15, 07:16 PM
Stormrider - Originally intended for paladins, but has since evolved. The goal of this class is to obtain, and interact well in combat with, a 'dust devil' mount. This class literally rides around in a miniature tornado.
It seems a little silly to me? But the idea of a maniac in dark goggles riding a half-sentient tornado across an open plain, firing guns/throwing spears at those they're hunting... Well, it is pretty cool I guess :smalltongue:


Hey, if it is good enough for Pecos Bill, then I don't see anyone having MUCH room to complain given the setting...

Attilargh
2007-06-19, 05:54 AM
Oi now, don't let this fade into obscurity!

SilverClawShift
2007-06-20, 08:54 PM
Don't worry, I haven't forgotten this, and have it bookmarked. Things have been a tad bit busy around here, and no one bent on creating this has had as much time to work on it as they would like.

If I have time in the next day or so, I'll put up our list of monsters and creatures.

Fizban
2007-06-21, 03:59 AM
Stormrider - Originally intended for paladins, but has since evolved. The goal of this class is to obtain, and interact well in combat with, a 'dust devil' mount. This class literally rides around in a miniature tornado.
Ya know, they're actually got a mount for that in Sandstorm...

Matthew
2007-06-22, 06:22 PM
This sounds very reminiscent of Deadlands (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deadlands). Sounds interesting, though.

BRC
2007-06-22, 06:36 PM
Looks good from what Ive read so far, I think you could get some inspiration from the shadowrun shamatic totems for the totem ascendant in terms of personality and bonuses.

Note: if your going to release an "alpha" version of one of these classes, make it a glyphcaster and the cardcaster PrC, because I really want to play one, and could proably sucker my DM into letting me do it.

Saint George
2007-06-22, 10:29 PM
This thread is amazing. It is downright beautiful. Every single factor of world is derived of awesome and mixed together with more awesome. Totem Wielding Barbarians, potion packing witches, snake man gunslingers, dead men walking, religious con men.... I love it.

One of my favorites was the Divine Leech. I just love the idea of a weasel that comes rolling into town, promising salvation and performing a few (very convincing) tricks, collecting donations, and then leaving nothing but a dusty trail. Seems to me a like a Cleric/Bard hybrid. It takes a lot of Charisma to be a good preacher.

The only class I did not see that I think would fit is a sort of Medicine Man/Shaman sort of thing. The totemists seem to be a sort of animalistic fighter, but not really focusing on the magic side of the totem. Perhaps I just misread, but I think a class like this would fit really well. Don't forget to give the ability to do spirit walks!

The whole gun idea fits absolutely perfectly. Not overly powerful, yet still amazingly cool.

Before I start to ramble I am going to cut myself off with this. This is amazing, your ideas are extremely extremely cool and well thought out, your setting is great, and I wish I could play this right now. Right now.

Keep up the great work.

SilverClawShift
2007-06-29, 02:25 PM
Bumpity bumpity bop

To everyone who is excited abuot this, I'm sorry about the delays and random prolonged fading. I've had some stuff come up that's been keeping me busy, and haven't had a lot of time to dedicate to gaming. My DM has continued working on this a little, but not with the energy we have when we're together.

I haven't forgotten about this though, more content is still coming.

BarroomBard
2007-06-30, 08:34 PM
Yay for more updates!!

Oh... and bump.

BRC
2007-07-03, 11:04 AM
Shameless bumpage

SilverClawShift
2007-07-03, 10:04 PM
Awe, you guys don't have to bump this, I can find it if it's not on the main page.

RECENT UPDATES:
"Monsters in the Dustlands" reserved post updated with new info. 07-03-07

SilverClawShift
2007-07-04, 10:15 AM
Currently chatting with my DM about the Glyphcrafter, trying to work something out that isn't lame. :smalltongue:

SilverClawShift
2007-07-10, 11:09 AM
Just a bump to say that the project isn't dead, and the glyphcrafter is starting to shape up.

We still haven't nailed down the mechanism, mainly because there's multiple ways the glyphs can operate, and we have to account for all of them. Essentially, glyphcrafters are currently going to be able to create a 'network' of glyphs with a pair of caps based on total power level, and possibly indidividual glyph power level.
The created glyphs can then be 'managed' by the glyphcrafter, activating them in some fashion, or 'flaking' them entirely, freeing up his resources to go in new directions.

An basic example of the mechanic flavor we're working on is a 'compass' glyph. You have a 'north' glyph, and a sister 'tracking' glyph. The sister glyph rearranges its image so it always points at the 'north' glyph. Mutliple additional glyphs can be added to this link with a compartively low cost.
The existance of that glyph combo takes a toll on the glyphcrafters total ability to maintain glyphs, detracting from the amount of other things they can do. The Glyphcrafter can destroy the link, and free up their space for the next day, or leave it functional.
It's a handy glyph with a lot of creative uses you can apply to it. Tracking a person or object you've come into contact with once before is an obvious one. You could also leave a glyph trail in unfamiliar territory, leading to the exit if you get lost or sperated from the one with the map. How about keeping a low-cost linkup between party members, letting you know the direction they're in when you split up?

That's an example mind you. Like I said, the raw mechanics are still under construction, but that's essentially how all glyphs... terrain altering, buffing, and utility, are going to function. A chunk taken out of the max total of glyphs the class can maintain.

BarroomBard
2007-07-11, 01:10 AM
OOOOO!!

I love the monsters. The idea of a Rotwood Folian just sends creepy goosebumps up my spine. And the ability to have naturally occuring mazes that will actively seek to kill you? Yay!

The Chain mummy: dumb name, true, but nifty monster (although I wonder how one moves or kills if it is so tightly bound it can't even smell).

Hangman: can't have a western setting without some sort of noose related mayhem. And the thought that some towns might keep one as a sheriff just begs for fun.

Two questions: you explained the tracking glyph, but does the north glyph actually have a function? If it always shows north, why have a tracking glyph at all?

Second question: Where were you when WotC was looking for a new setting? I think dustlands could have given eberron a run for its money.

SilverClawShift
2007-07-11, 11:26 PM
I must not have explained the tracking glyph properly :smallwink:

The tracking glyph POINTS at the north glyph. The north glyph is a beacon that the tracking glyph guides you towards.

The main reason I brought that up wasn't to illustrate one of the Glyphcrafters powers, it was to illustrate how glyphs in general work. The glyph being in existance takes a toll on its creator (counts towards their maximum glyph limit), but the GLyphcrafter can kill the 'link' and cause both glyphs to flake away into nothingness, freeing up their glyphtotal for making new ones later.

The chain mummy isn't fully bound arms to the sides, ect, like a traditional mummy. But the chains are pulled so tight around its face... ect.

Also, I'm flattered that you think it could compare to eberron :smallredface:, but eberron was released before major work on this started.
And we still have a long way to go to make it all work the way we want it to.

Saint George
2007-07-12, 05:13 PM
Oh. My. God. How do you keep coming up with this awesome stuff? The idea of the chained god is absolutely brilliant. The undead plants are pretty dang creepy too.

Every post you make is absolutely full of win. Please make more.

Maldraugedhen
2007-07-12, 07:26 PM
There's a whole batch of potential conflicts and social problems that haven't been explored with a sentient creature being born sterile--and not only born sterile, but with the parents having full knowledge that their kid would BE sterile. For this reason, I am willing to wager that the half-wriek (and not the full wriek) will win Emo Class of the Setting, but could also produce some actual good roleplaying just from the choice of race.

Some very intriguing stuff. Don't have time right now to really do it justice, but you can bet I'm gonna hit this page up again...

SilverClawShift
2007-07-12, 07:55 PM
Oh. My. God. How do you keep coming up with this awesome stuff?

Well, it's not just me. It's my DMs setting for the most part, though the two of us work on it together more often than not. We also have input from our gaming group, though not to the same extent.

Thank you though. :smallsmile:


Some very intriguing stuff. Don't have time right now to really do it justice, but you can bet I'm gonna hit this page up again...

If you mean statting things out, be careful. Me and my DM have two notebooks filled to the brim with information about this world, and a lot of details and even some mechanics might be on the page, but not shown here. Anything you make might be going in a completely different direction from what we have planned.

Of course, you're free to do as you wish, and I wouldn't be uninterested in seeing other peoples take on some of this stuff. Just bear in mind that you might be opening up a divergent path on our slowly materializing world.

SilverClawShift
2007-07-12, 07:57 PM
but with the parents having full knowledge that their kid would BE sterile.

Heh, it's also worth mentioning that a half-wriek likely has ONE parent, and it's likely a non-wriek player race mother. The Wriek 'culture' can only be called that because they're sentient. Wrieks as a group tend to behave as wild beasts on a level that would make orcs look civilized.

Weirdlet
2007-07-13, 12:59 AM
There are times when serendipity becomes scary. Having just gotten a taste of the Drizzt comic books and done my usual strange thought-process to end up wanting to play some sort of Wild West drow, I stumble upon this.

The work you've put into this is amazing and I find I reeeeally want to buy the books, or illustrate them for my own amusement. You really make the images/impressions come through strongly- the wild plant'life' that makes the landscape turn against you, men who have lived among the dead so long that they seem closer to the grave than seems strictly natural. It's almost cinematic, if I'm using that word correctly- puts little cuts of movie in my mind.

May I scribble a few pictures?

SilverClawShift
2007-07-13, 09:06 AM
I'd be flattered!

And good news for anyone anticipating it. The alpha glyphcrafter is almost ready to show off! Mind you, we don't have many glyphs/spells for it yet, but the class itself is just about ready.

I'll be posting the flavor later today, with the mechanics following after.

SilverClawShift
2007-07-13, 09:31 AM
Okay, Glyphcrafter flavor is up. Me and the Dm are finishing up the mechanics, but that might take a while to get absolutely right. Still, it's almost ready.

"Base Classes in the Dustlands" reserved post updated with new info. 07-13-07

SilverClawShift
2007-07-13, 10:52 AM
Now that feels better!

Glyphcrafter mechanics, the Alpha version, are up for perusal!

Now, the class isn't finalized by any stretch of the imagination. Number may need to be tweaked, and there's a lot of dead levels that we want to put class featuers in... class features which are currently only sketched out.

There are a few things I really like about the class though. It plays off of our concept of Intelligence = Wizard, and Charisma = Sorcerer, while not being strictly tied to them in the same way.
A glyphcrafter who focuses on boosting their intelligence will gain day-to-day versatility. A glyphcrafter who focuses on their charisma will gain more 'coverage' by their effects, but won't have as many effects to choose from.

We did make a table for "Glyphs Known" versus "Glyphs per day", but it seemed overly busy. This solution comes across as more elegant, and works better (I feel, at least).

The DM wants to give a penalty to glyphs known/glyphs maintained for low stats, and I agree, but we're going to playtest the hell out of it today and make any tweaks we feel are needed.

We'll also be jotting down notes on glyphs as we create them in game.

"Base Classes in the Dustlands" reserved post updated with new info. 07-13-07

SilverClawShift
2007-07-13, 01:02 PM
Allright, Weirdlet Pmed me something, and I have to say.... you are one fantastic artist. I'll let you decide if you wanna post anything here though.

For now, here's two sketches of how we figure the dustland races look.

The wriek behind view

http://i186.photobucket.com/albums/x284/SilverClawShift/wriek.jpg

And an example of the folian facial structure

http://i186.photobucket.com/albums/x284/SilverClawShift/Folian.jpg

The folians have very slight builds at their 'naked' core. They're not strong by default. They survived as long as they did by evolving to look more friendly to potential prey, at least until the last second when their leafy covering springs back and they sink the spines into their food to get at the blood.

They don't HAVE to be killers, they can live off of animals just as other races do, but they are still carnivorous plants no matter how you slice it.

And they're full of water. Water in the dustlands is rare, expensive, and sometimes a matter of life or death.

They can drink people? People can drink them.

Weirdlet
2007-07-13, 02:33 PM
*scribblescribble*

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v453/Weirdlet/DustlandsHangman.jpg

BRC
2007-07-13, 04:02 PM
*scribblescribble*

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v453/Weirdlet/DustlandsHangman.jpg
Call the louvre

DracoDei
2007-07-13, 04:07 PM
Oh yeah! Very nice pic!

Saint George
2007-07-13, 05:36 PM
"I dub thee GUILTY"

Too cool for words.

BRC
2007-07-13, 06:25 PM
I Wonder what the LA On a hangman is, because I want to play one JUST to look like that, though playing almost the incarnation of law will be a 180 away from my usual scoundraly "Whats in it for me" characters

Weirdlet
2007-07-13, 08:12 PM
A random rider and a Wriek.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v453/Weirdlet/Dustlandsrider.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v453/Weirdlet/DustlandsWriek.jpg

DracoDei
2007-07-13, 10:54 PM
Not quite as cool as the Hangman. I think that in all three cases the sepia backgrounds add a lot to the feel.

Marek
2007-07-26, 10:01 PM
*Casts resurrection*

This thread is way too many kinds of awesome to allow to die. Any word on updates to the world, Silverclawshift?

SilverClawShift
2007-07-26, 11:16 PM
Sort of. I put the Glyphcrafter "Alpha 1" in the base class post on the first page, but I think note of that update got lost in the art flurry :smallsmile:

We've playtested it a few times, and it really seems to work well. It has a unique feel to the way it handles (which is what we were going for), and while powerful, certainly doesn't stand out when you're talking about wizards and clerics. It's a little lighter on the power, a little more party friendly, and still feels strong without making everyone else feel useless.
We're writing down and polishing the glyphs (we want plenty of options), and putting a lot of effort into making them usefull but not ridiculous. Depending on the glyphs we've leaned towards in playtesting, the glyphcrafter can be a really good party booster (with a few tricks up their sleeves for protecting themselves), or they can hoarde their power and become a powerhouse themselves. Either way works fun.
We also are working on the details surrounding surpressing/destroying/countering the glyphs themselves.

It's a lot of work to make it all presentable, considering it's basically a full specific magic system. If anyone wants solid mechanical examples of glyphs we've played with (and mind you, we're coming up with them on the fly and still trying to fine tune everything)

Basic Glyph
Glyph of Dimming - A basic level glyph that takes up 1 of the glyphcrafters total glyph potential, and is applied to a creature or object of medium size maximum. If put onto a wearable item or object, the item becomes difficult to see itself (you'd be unlikely to see it in moonlight), and the wearer gains +2 hide and move silent, and 10% concealment. If marked directly on a creature, the bonus increases to +4 hide and move silent, and 20% concealment, but obviously can't be transfered, and imposes a -2 penalty to Charisma based skill checks as it dillutes the bearers presence.
Doesn't stack with itself or other arcane magics, makes the creature harder to identify by scent, and has 'plot device' effects when a DM wants something to come from nowhere.

Glyph of Blinding - A basic level glyph that's put onto a weapon (even an improvised weapon). Whenever the weapon hits a creature successfully, it's blinded for three rounds, no saving throw. If the creature can't see it has no effect, it works 5 times before fading from existance, and the weilder of this weapon can 'suppress' the glyph if they want to save the uses for something in particular.
I don't like the glyphs 'running out', it's contrary to the idea of the glyphs being permanent until dismissed, but for now I don't have a better idea, so I'm going with the group on this one.

Advanced Glyph
Glyph Web - Not what it sounds like, the Glyph Web lets the glyphcrafter who uses it create 'travel points', which can teleport a creature with the appropriate key (another glyph, probably on an object, potentially on the skin) from one to another. You can make 4 keys. You can also create up to 4 locations, you have to have been there physically, and no glyph can toss you further than a 1/4 mile without another glyph as a relay.
This DOES mean that if you want to put a glyph at the entrance, and use it to teleport out of a dungeon, you have to stop and find the time to create a 'relay' where you're standing to use that relay as an exit. Such is the nature of glyph magic.
It's important to note that this glyph can stack with itself if the glyphcrafter desires, so they can create additional keys, further distances, and additional teleportation points.

Master Glyph
Mark of Grotesque Form - Is applied directly to a creature. The creature can "steal" a physical aspect of some other creature and apply it to themselves, gaining wings, physical strength, scales (armor), claws, appearance itself, or what have you, at the cost of weakening the creature they take it from.
The first few times we've tried to mess with it, we've generally agreed that it lets you take up to five 'features' (currently DM discretion, but we'll make solid rules for it) and gain them yourself. Can't change the way you look, the creature you took it from loses it as long as you have it (which is potentially permanent, depending on how long the glyphcrafer decides it's useful and is willing to give up their potential to have it), and the create has faint glyph-markings which can be used to find out what happened to it, and serve as a focal point for magic users trying to track down the person who did it.

I can't beleive I wrote that much, that was supposed to be a "Yeah, I'm still here" paragraph. And yes, I know the glyphs still need a lot of work, I warned ye all :smalltongue:

As for the Dustlands, my group and I all have other stuff going on a lot of the time, and when we get together, we still want time to game and have fun. But production is still underway! My DM and I were talking, as the Glyphs shape up, we're going to be interested in working on the Totem Warrior class and Wasteling race some more.

Happy Gaming everyone.

ThunderEagle
2007-07-28, 01:36 PM
I would be interested in seeing a preliminary gunslinger design, as the fluff fits in with a character I am making. (character depicted in avatar)

BarroomBard
2007-07-30, 02:23 AM
I really, REALLY want to play a glypcrafter! The Mark of Grotesque form, scares me quite a bit. One part of it confuses me though: if it doesn't affect your appearance, than in what way are you 'stealing' the features.

Web glyph: Awesome, awesome, awwwwe-sooooome. Excelent party glyph.

for the glyph of blinding, maybe instead of completely fading from existence, it simply becomes less effective the more its used, blinding fewer and fewer rounds, until it only has a 50% chance of blinding at all. Since the glyphs are painted onto a weapon, I think some chipping or flaking is inevitable.

SilverClawShift
2007-07-30, 12:27 PM
One part of it confuses me though: if it doesn't affect your appearance, than in what way are you 'stealing' the features.

In my usual rambling way, I glossed over that in a way that made is easy to misinterpret. Once you steal a feature, as long as you have it, 'that's just how you look now'. You can't activate and deactivate it at all.
So if you steal the strength of some troll or something, your muscles become bulgy and your form becomes larger and grotesque, and you have to change your appearance magically because "That's just the way you look" until you remove the glyph entirely

The Glyph of Grotesque Form (along with everything else) needs a lot of work. In my opinion, it fits in with what the glyphs are supposed to do, but not how they're supposed to do it. I'd like something a little more...concise in its behavior.
It's not a bad concept mind you, the glyphcrafters can warp reality just like anyone else, I'd just like it if it operated a little 'cleaner'.


Web glyph: Awesome, awesome, awwwwe-sooooome. Excelent party glyph.

:smallbiggrin: I listed that one specifically because it's one of my favorites. Our DM actually tossed us up against a glyphcrafter villain, who had an entire city blanketed in glyph webs. Him and his right hand were always a few steps ahead of us, because anytime they got away from us, they could hop around the city like crazy.


for the glyph of blinding, maybe instead of completely fading from existence, it simply becomes less effective the more its used, blinding fewer and fewer rounds, until it only has a 50% chance of blinding at all. Since the glyphs are painted onto a weapon, I think some chipping or flaking is inevitable.

That's basically the direction I want to take it. Scale down the power so it's balanced to be 'permanent'. Something that's fair as a chunk of the glyphcrafters total power level, but still useful to have.
It's just a question of balancing the numbers really.

Glad you like it :smallsmile:


I would be interested in seeing a preliminary gunslinger design, as the fluff fits in with a character I am making. (character depicted in avatar)

Well, I'll go on record to say that I don't like the name "Gunslinger", but the rest of the group does. "Cowboy" would be better, because the class is meant to be a sort of rough-and-tumble physically skilled type who happens to know how to fight.
"Cowboy" would also probably give the wrong image of the class, so we're at a loss for a better name than Gunslinger.

Righ now, it's a 1/1 BAB, with strong FORT and REF saves, 4 skill points per level, with a list of 'cowboy' skills (balance, climb, craft, escape artist, handle animal, jump, profession, ride, survival, swim, tumble, use rope at the moment).

It's probably going to focus on battlefield mobility and ranged combat, for the most part.

Marek
2007-07-30, 02:43 PM
How would the name "Desperado" work for the gunslinger class? Also, you mentioned that this class would focus on mobility and ranged combat. Will it be mechanically or flavorfully similar to the Scout class from Complete Adventurer, or go in a different direction from it?

SilverClawShift
2007-07-30, 11:29 PM
How would the name "Desperado" work for the gunslinger class?

That's what I suggested! But now dice, I was universally shot down on that one (no pun intended...).

Not because it doesn't work, but the group wants to save the 'desperado' name for a prestige class?... I don't agree, but that's part of operating in a group of people, sometimes something you think sounds good or not good is still what the group goes with.


Also, you mentioned that this class would focus on mobility and ranged combat. Will it be mechanically or flavorfully similar to the Scout class from Complete Adventurer, or go in a different direction from it?

If we DO focus on ranged combat, as ideally we would (it's just a ranged combat kinda world), we're thinking of coming up with something new, but Tome of Battle-Esque. Coming up with a list of universal "Trick Shots" of varying degrees of power, and giving the class access to a limited selection of them in various ways. In fact, doing that might inspire an additional base class or two (or become a limited feature for another base class) with different ways to access the trick shots.

If the trick shots were universal to 'ranged combat', then the class could reasonably be adapted to other worlds, as a trick shot with an arrow is still awesome.

Also, calling the feature something other than 'trick shots' would probably be a good idea.

Marek
2007-07-31, 10:54 AM
Personally, I think that Desperado would make a better name for the base class, because a Desperado is more of a jack-of-all trades, while another name could specialize it.

Here's a list of other names that may work:
Marauder
Highwayman
Drifter

Names other than trick shot:
Methodical Shot
Skill Shot

Marek
2007-08-05, 11:30 PM
*Sigh* I don't enjoy double posts, but as I said before, this thread is way too many kinds of awesome to let it go to waste. *Casts Resurrection*

Any additional thoughts and/or updates?

SilverClawShift
2007-08-07, 12:21 AM
Heh, don't worry, it hasn't been long enough to call the thread deceased, it's only been a few days.

Most of my gaming group has been busy these past few days, so we haven't done a lot of playing and testing. Me and my DM are working on some stuff though (specifically, the Gunslinger, Totem Ascendant, and the Wasteling race, as well as continuing to tune the glyphs up).

No real updates though, which is why I haven't bothered posting.

SilverClawShift
2007-08-26, 07:06 PM
Have a little something something to drop in here. Nothing big, just a disease, but it's part of the world, and new content that's actually finished, so here yas go.

The Whitelight Shakes

Sometimes you can get too much of a good thing...

Healing houses, temples, and hospitals the world over tend to the sick and wounded, nurturing them back to health one grueling day at a time. Mending bones, stitching flesh, and cooling fevers until their patients are able to stand under their own power once more. Many have questioned the refusal to simply embrace magical healing as the sole source of recovery. It's argued that even a team of novice healers could channel enough positive energy to return the most grieviously wounded to their full health in moments, with no cost in time or supplies. The urge to cling to the traditions of bandages and leeches is often regarded as some sort of stubborn or prideful urge among the pious, who are well known for regarding patience and dillegence as among the highest of virtues.
Sometimes however, it's simply best to wrap a wound and let nature take its course.

The Whitelight Shakes are one of the best kept secrets among healers and those who support them. They are a collection of symptoms associated with - of all things - overexposure to positive energy. When a living creature receives too much magical healing in too short of a time period, there is a risk that their homeostasis will be disrupted as surely as if they had been the target of negative energy or flames, and they will become a possible victim of the Whitelight Shakes.
A creature inflicted with the Whitelight Shakes may initially regard their symptoms as beneficial, a mark of their own physical integrity or some divine blessing. Even in later stages of the disease, a sufferer may regard themselves as being healthier than those around them, ignoring the malign symptoms beginning to manifest amongst the positive aspects until it is too late.

Infliction:
As with all aspects of the game, the DM has the final say on what does or does not constitute 'overexposure' to positive energy. As a guidline, being exposed to a number of curing or healing spells equal to (character level + 1d4) within the span of (character level x 2) rounds will all but guarantee coming down with the Whitelight Shakes (the level of the cure spells is less important than their sheer number, as rapid pulses of exposure to even small amounts of positive energy are more dangerous than one large blast of it).
A character who is overexposed does not receive a fortitude saving throw as with normal diseases, though they will receive saving throws to resist symptoms and shed themselves of the disease once it begins to manifest.

Incubation:
Initially the Whitelight Shakes has an incubation of 1d4 days. During that time, a character may notice that they feel unusually upbeat and energetic, but nothing more than that (no effect on statistics). Physically, they may begin to appear slightly flush.
After the incubation period, the first phase of the disease will be reached. The character must make a DC 14 fortitude saving throw or immediately suffer 1d2 Dexterity damage. This Dexterity damage cannot be healed or recovered in any way while a character is afflicted with Whitelight Shakes.
Each continueing day, the creature must make another saving throw with a +1 modifier (DC 15 the second day, DC 16 the third day, and so forth) or take an additional 1d2 Dexterity damage.
Those are the baseline symptoms. In addition to the Dexterity damage (which manifests, obviously, as shaking... nervous ticks and enthusiastic motion progressing to more and more debilitating motion) the creature will also begin to manifest symptoms from the following lists. Each time a creature with the Whitelight Shakes fails their saving throw against the disease, roll 1d4 and add an approrpriate symptom from the following two lists.

1 - Advance Blush (*)
2 - +1d4 Strength, an additional -1d2 Dexterity (**)
3 - Low Light Vision and Light Sensitivity(***)
4 - -1d2 Int
*The creature appears abnormally red (or whatever shade is appropriate for their race) as if they were unusually warm.
**This persists as long as the disease does, and stacks with other sources
***If a creature allready has low-light vision, they gain darkvision instead. If a creature allready has darkvision, this symptom has no affect other than Light Sensitivity

Once a creature manifests 2 symptoms from the list above (meaning they have failed at least two saving throws) they enter the secondary phase of the disease. A creature in the secondary phase of the disease must continue to make saving throws as before, but each day the DC increases by 2 instead of by 1. They also roll on the following table for symptoms

1 - Glowing Eyes, -4 to spot and search checks, and the loss of any vision beyond normal human vision)
2 - Hair becomes Golden white
3 - +2d4 Strength, -1d4 Dexterity
4 - Fast Healing 5
5 - -1d4 Int. Creature becomes delirious and unpredictable.
6 - Roll on the Lesser Symptoms table above. If the lesser symptoms have all been acquired, re-roll on this table.

A creature cannot receive the same symptom twice. If they would receive the same symptom twice, re-roll and apply another.
A creature who reaches 0 Dexterity is incapacitated by the disease, but continues to make saving throws and acquire symptoms normally. They are concious, but are unable to control their motions or communicate through their chattering teeth and erratic breath. If they are capable of communicating mentally, they may still do so.

Once a creature has manifested 5 symptoms, they enter the final stage of the disease. They begin to acquire bonus hitpoints above their maximum as long as the diseases persists (due to their fast healing if it is gained as a symptom, or simply above their normal healing from resting naturally). If the character attains twice their normal number of hitpoints, they simply explode in a brilliant flash, curing all nearby creatures (60 foot radius) as if they had received a restoration spell, but has a 1 in 4 chance of afflicting each creature with the Whitelight Shakes.

Removing the Disease:
The Whitelight Shakes cannot be healed magically. The nature of the disease means that any attempt to alter it via divine magic simply fails outright, or worsens the condition.
To be cured of the Whitelight Shakes, a creature must be brought to negative hitpoints. Each round a creature with the Whitelight Shakes has negative hitpoints, they may make a DC 18 fortitude saving throw to throw off the disease. If they are successful, they lose 1 symptom randomly and regain 1d2 Dexterity for each day that passes.
If they are being tended to by professionals (using bloodletting and similar methods to weaken, but monitor, the creatures condition), they may use the professionals Heal check instead of their own saving throw.

*************************************************

This originally came up when a party barbarian did the math, and said something about jumping off a cliff to catch up with the party. He figured he could survive the fall damage, and then the cleric could patch him right up with a few dozen low level cure spells, and then we could camp out for the night.

Our DM said "If you do it I'm giving your character radiation poisoning from the positive energy."

He liked the idea enough that he developed the Whitelight Shakes as a discouragement against Healbot abuse by the party. He also through us in an uncomfortable situation where we were trying to get a very important someone to a house of healing before the Whitelight Shakes killed them. We found them digging a dagger into their palm and mumbling incoherently, and we had to set up shifts of injuring them to keep their hitpoints at manageable levels.

Our DM is kind of a sadist towards us. Makes for good games though.

Weirdlet
2007-08-26, 11:38 PM
That- is genius. I love it.

SilverClawShift
2007-08-27, 12:49 PM
Glad it's liked :)

Our DM figures we shopuld never stop being utterly terrified of what he's going to do next.

*EDIT*

The "Miscellaneous" reserved post (post #11) updated to include the Whitelight Shakes, 08-27-07

SilverClawShift
2007-08-27, 03:58 PM
Whoooo. Got the current (and possibly final(!!!!)) version of the wastelings all typed up from my DMs notes on it. Here ya go!

Wasteling

Born of a human bloodline tainted for generation after generation with negative energy are a race that straddles the line between life and unlife. Barely alive, but not truly undead, the Wastelings are a testament to the ability of nature to adapt to any and all situations given enough time and a lack of options. While the constant drain of vitality sprawling back throughout their ancestry causes them a measure of frailty, overcoming that same obstacle has given them a racial sturdiness that none can dispute.

Personality:
Wastelings often come across as blase and detached from the world around them. Their entire race is blanketed in a dark shroud which stifles the spark of their lifeforce, and as a result they seem to project a universal sense of disinterest. In truth however, the Wasteling 'racial detachment' is in appearance only, they are an intensely curious race, especially when matters of mortality are in question. For example, a Wasteling may readily dissect a family member to discover what caused their death. Far from showing a lack of respect or sorrow, it is simply a reflection of their durability as a race, even in the face of tragedy.
Physical Description:
Wastelings often stand between 5 1/2 and 6 1/2 feet tall, with particular members of their race being exceptionally tall or short as personal uniqueness, just as with humans. They are typically only 80-130 pounds regardless of gender, with males slightly larger and heavier and females tending towards being smaller and lighter. Other races unfamiliar with the Wastelings may assume them to be ill or wounded humans, as they strongly resemble members of that race afflicted with a plague of some sort. They often appear boney and frail as if malnourished, however, individual wastelings may appear healthier than others, some even passing for human entirely. Even in those unique examples, there are still several tell-tale signs that they are in fact a wasteling.
Wastelings have thin limp hair which grows very slowly. Their eyes often either lack irises entirely, or have unusually large irises leaving little to no white exposed. Both their hair and eyes are usually in shades of gray ranging from black to white with no coloration whatsoever, though exceptions do exist.
A wasteling recovers from physical injury much more slowly -and less perfectly- than members of more living races. On the same hand, such injuries are much less debilitating than they would be to other races, and the muffling force which causes a wasteling to appear detached and unconcerned also provides them a mild physical numbness. A human with a deep slashing wound across the forearm will experience intense pain and require several weeks of clean bandages and careful attention to safely heal. A wasteling with the same wound may barely realize they have been injured, and simply pin the wound together with a metal needle, or ignore it entirely, knowing it has allready scarred. Wastelings tends towards one of two extremes when it comes to such physical injuries. They either tend to the wound with meticulous precision, stitching and binding it as perfectly as possible to preserve their appearance, or they may simply give the wound the bare minimum of physical care necessary. Wastelings who tend to themselves carefully usually appear much more human, but retain tell-tale signs of stitchwork and scarring. Wastelings who are careless are often much more violent in appearance, with horrible scars and possibly even exposed bones (which is socially acceptable in wasteling societies, and occasionally even considered attractive).
Relations:
Wastelings fit in very poorly with other races. Individually, they may get along fine with members of any race, assuming those races can get over the wastelings tendency to seem lacking in empathy and compassion. As a whole, they are rarely welcome in other societies, as they are a living reminder of the dead, and often leave other races feeling uncomfortable at best, and violent at worst. They may blend in with human civilizations, possibly even passing themselves off as human, but they rarely feel truly welcome with their distant ancestors.
Because of the wastelings perceived coldness, most other races naturally feel unwelcome in wasteling lands. In truth, they are readily accepted and treated as would any other member of that society... it is just that the wastelings treat other members of their society with the same -perceived- indifference.
Alignment:
Wastelings tend towards no alignment very strongly, not even neutrality. Despite their clinical detachment, they run the gamut from all extremes on the alignment scale, from lawful to chaotic, and good to evil. Wasteling civilizations would often be described as mildly lawful evil, due to the cold precision with which their laws are treated, but individual wastelings are no more naturally lawful or evil than humans are.
Wasteling Lands:
Wastelings in The Dustlands hail from the Bleak North, a hostile land seeped in naturally occurring negative energy. The area is actually a peninsula, choked off with a dense rotwood forest, and full of naturally occurring undead creatures. The water is black, the land is parched and lifeless, and the sky itself seems dim and unnatural. Nevertheless, the Wastelings feel at home here, moving among the undead as if they were brethren, feeding off of the unnatural land out of unconcerned necessity, and living their lives as they see fit.
Wastelings group themselves into cooperative kingdom/city-states. While they do not rely on each other for anything in particular, travel and communication flows freely from one city to the next, and laws are almost universal from one area to another. A strong exception is the city-kingdom of Ceverne, controlled by the Corvus Brotherhood, a group that believes undeath in any form is unnatural. This makes Ceverne unique -and unpopular- as it is the only wasteling civilization that forbids necromancy in any form. All other wasteling societies practice it freely, and readily welcome sentient undead among them.
Other races in wasteling lands will quickly come to the realization that the entire city/kingdom is one huge graveyard. Rather than collecting their dead in centralized locations, wastelings tend to place graves wherever seems fitting of the individual who has passed. As such, individual graves, coffins, and tombstones may be found anywhere and everywhere, indoors and out, and almost all are inscribed with a unique and beautiful -but macabre- poem pertaining to the one who as passed. This is true even in Ceverne, where the dead are blessed and honored -and often dismantled- in order to prevent their return from the grave. Despite their natural lack of charisma, some Wastelings do become Bards, often specializing in dirges, laments, and poetry related to funerary proceedings for that purpose.
Religion:
Wastelings tend towards no religion, especially in the religiously decimated world of The Dustlands. They pay great respect to their ancestors, regardless of differences or conflicts within their family, and even have strong respect for the ancestors of others (believing, accurately, that all their family trees lead back to the same general place). This respect is the closest thing Wasteling society usually has towards "worship", and it would not be unfair to say they place more faith into their ancestry and their continued existence than in any religion or ideal.
Language:
Wastelings have no unique language, tending to speak whatever language humans in their world spoke (Common, in the Dustlands). They do, however, sprinkle obscure necromantic terminology and archaic phrases related to death and dying into everyday speech, not out of any deliberate effort, but simply as a manner of course. As a result, any creature raised in a wasteling society can choose to speak in a way that other Wasteling-raised creatures will understand perfectly, but will befuddle and confuse any non-wasteling-raised. The other creatures often still understand what was said, but may miss key meanings and any subtleties in the discussion will be lost.
Names:
Wasteling names are often heavy with S, X, Z, E, and L sounds, with male names favoring L's, and female names favoring S's. They tend to be either strikingly abrupt (one or two syllables), or extremely long and elegant. Male names are often more abrupt, while female names are often longer. Wastelings only use single names.
Male Names: Wex, Lell, Less, Zel, Xerx, Xellerefelex
Female Names: Xezz, Xezzenel, Leselenex, Seeseeleenia
Family Names: While wastelings are only given (or only use) one name, often a family will incorporate an identical string of syllables into longer names to denote family ties. For instance, Xeleeseet and Lethleeseer are siblings, and each share the leesee string in their names. Wastelings who are believed to have important futures are often given the family string as their sole identifier, simply being named Leesee.
Adventures:
Wastelings often leave their homelands out of an almost scientific curiosity, seeking to understand more about themselves, the other races, and the differences that mark the wastelings as unique. In The Dustlands, Wastelings feel the same undeniable pull westward as all races do, searching out the secrets of their dead world, almost applying their fascination with individual death in a meta-fasion to the world itself.

Wasteling Racial Traits
: -2 Str, -2 Dex, +2 Con, -2 Cha. Wastelings seem leeched of their lifeforce, coming across as distant and weak which hides an underlying stability.
: Medium: As medium creatures, Wastelings receive no special bonuses or penalties due to their size.
: Wasteling base land speed is 20 feet, owing to their lack of zest and energy.
: Inert Biology: Wastelings receive a +4 racial bonus to saving throws made to resist disease or poison of any kind, magical or mundane. Wastelings may also go five times as long without food, water, or air as a normal human can before suffering any penalties or damage.
: Light Fortification: When a critical hit or sneak attack is scored on a wasteling, there is a 25% chance that the extra damage is negated and the attack is rolled normally.
: Damage Negation: Wastelings ignore the first two points of damage from any source, wether physical, elemental, or magical. This represents Their ability to ignore certain wounds entirely with no repercussions, and stacks with other sources of damage reduction such as a Barbarians class features.
: Negative Energy Resistance: Wastelings take only half damage from any source that deals negative energy damage, rounded down.
: Undead Empathy: The mindless undead regard wastelings as among their ranks, and will not attack them unless they are ordered to specifically, or are attacked by them first. Wastelings also receive a +2 bonus to Bluff, Diplomacy, or Sense Motive checks made against sentient undead creatures.
: Unresting: A wasteling, wether exposed to necromantic energy and undead sources or not, has a 10% chance of raising as a mindless undead creature the day after they have died. If there is a chance of them returning as an undead creature for another reason, there is instead no chance and they always return to unlife.
: Automatic Languages: Common. Bonus Languages: Any, except for secret languages such as Druidic.
: Favored Class: Wizard. A multiclass wasteling's wizard class does not count when determining wether she takes an experience point penalty for multiclassing. Wastelings are naturally studious and experimental, and often tend to dabble in necromancy at least partially.
A Wasteling from Ceverne may opt to make Paladin their favored class instead.


Playing a Wasteling:
Remember that despite their resemblance to the undead, Wastelings are nevertheless as alive as human or dwarf. If other races try to regard a Wasteling character as dead or undead, they should be calmly reminded that the character is, in fact, completely alive.
A Wasteling who dies poses a danger to an adventuring party they are traveling with. There is a 1 in 10 chance that you will return from the grave as a monster when one day passes, meaning there is a potential time limit on resurrection spells and similar concerns.
While your physical stats are lacking compared to other races of your size, your natural hardiness helps to make up for it in many situations. You have a 1 in 4 chance of turning a sneak attack or critical hit -a possibly life ending experience- into just another hit in an ongoing battle. That and the ability to ignore 2 points of damage from any source means that a dedicated Wasteling can overcome their weaknesses, and potentially contribute greatly in combat if they desire.

Adaptation:
If you are adapting Wastelings to other worlds, they should tend towards gloomy areas which are naturally foggy or heavy with rain, as their ties to negative energy make them feel more comfortable in such conditions than in more cheerful locals. Placing them underground, or in surface cave systems is also a viable alternative. Perhaps small tribes of Wastelings may spring up living near particularly notorious cemeteries or areas where strong necromancy has been practiced once too often. It's also not impossible for a single Wasteling to be born into an otherwise human society, either as the results of a necromantic experiment, or a fluke or magical energies. Such a wasteling may either be an NPC of noteworthy importance, or a player character wishing to be a Wasteling in another campaign setting.
In other worlds, Wastelings should tend towards worshipping deities of death or undeath, even if not evil, or continue their practice of ancestor worship.


**************************************

Dustlands Races reserved post updated to include Wastelings, 08-27-07

aaron_the_cow
2007-08-27, 05:11 PM
This is all realy good, but I ave one question...

you have a negativly radiated area, why not have a positivly radiated one? a god might have used that spot as a base, so infecting the lands with positive energy. it is a place that could infect you with the white shacles, or a place were positive energy waistlings are.
just a thought

SilverClawShift
2007-08-27, 05:33 PM
Just as with the Wrieks race, we're trying to avoid the mentality that "Every race, feat, class, ect has an exact opposite".

I don't mean that to be insulting, we just consider it something of a personal cop-out, 'doubling' the amount of content by providing twice as much of the exact same stuff.

That said, technically, every area that is NOT the Bleak North is technically a positively radiated area. In most areas, living creatures are normal and undead are abnormalities. In the bleak north, negative energy is the normal background energy.

Creating an area that 'pulsed' positive energy in the same way would... just basically be a lush garden where everything tasted, smelled, felt, looked, and sounded wonderful. The Bleak North doesn't actually cause hitpoint damage, so a reverse area wouldn't cause healing or anything like that. It would just be like saying "The sky is twice as blue here".

A positive energy wasteling is called a human :smallbiggrin:

I appreciate the input, don't get me wrong, we're just not trying to create a world of identical opposites.

SurlySeraph
2007-08-27, 10:06 PM
The Whitelight Shakes are awesome. Wastelings are double awesome, and I am very much going to steal them. Keep posting - your group is coming up with truly great stuff.

SilverClawShift
2007-08-27, 11:07 PM
Steal away, that's what it's made for :smallbiggrin:
Loot from, add in, the dustlands is a big ole d20 grab-bin. Always good to hear someone enjoys it as much as we do.

Typed up the half-wasteling race too. It's not quite as spectacular (half-breeds are hard to write up without saying "Just like their parents, just like their parents, just like their parents, jus..." ect ect) but is what we wanted them to be, and they fill their place in the world nicely. More importantly, they answer the question of "What happens when a character falls in love with a pale creepy princess?"

Without further stalling:

Half-Wastelings

Members of the Wasteling race are decidedly not human, at least, not human any longer. However, they are not so far removed from their progenitor that the two are incapable of mating, and indeed, breeding. The result of such a union is a half-wasteling -called a grayblood in some slang- one who falls somewhere between the human and the almost human, simultaneously becoming both and neither. A half-wasteling can only naturally arise between a human male and a wasteling female. A wasteling male cannot successfully breed with a human female unless aided by magic (in which case, the resulting offspring is a half-wasteling as normal). Naturally occurring half-wastelings are rare enough, those with a human mother are almost unheard of.
While most half-breeds suffer from their status, half-wastelings are among the few of mixed heritage to truly thrive as a result of their lineage. Fitting into both societies while owing no unbreakable allegiance to either, the unique half-wasteling finds themselves in an unusually pleasant situation. In human societies, they stand out as an exotic exception to the crowd, while staying clearly human enough to avoid inherent alienation or disdain. In wasteling societies, they are a vibrant spark which paradoxially manages to fit into that dreary world. While not all half-wastelings are automatically appreciative of their lot in life, they often find themselves in a situation they can attempt to make the best of... something most half-breeds would give a lot to share.
Half-wastelings are also capable of breeding true to members of either race, including, oddly enough, their own. A Half-wasteling who mates with a human will produce human children, one who mates with a wasteling will produce wasteling children, and one mates with another half-breed will continue to produce half-breeds. In fact, there is at least one fledgling community populated entirely by half-wastelings.

Personality:
Half-wastelings do no feel the same dark shroud covering their existance that their full wasteling parent does, and as a result they reveal a personality that burns fiercely, made stronger by its struggle to escape the bleak. Natural born charmers, half-wastelings often find themselves capable of seizing the attention of those nearby -wether wasteling, human, or otherwise- and captivating them with their subtle vibrance.
Physical Description:
Half-wastelings more strongly resemble their human parent, but there is an in-born elegance to their features; pale, flat, and wieldly. They are considered beautiful in the same way vampires often are, that of chilling perfection. They are heartier than their wasteling parentage, tending towards the same weights and sizes as humans, and they do no share the wasteling tendency to scar so readily. Occasionally their eyes share the wasteling iris traits (either lacking entirely or covering the entire eye), but they are more likely to have human eye colorations.
Relations:
Half-wastelings enjoy an almost universal acceptance among civilized races, including those of the Loaman tribes. They are readily accepted in both human and wasteling societies, fitting into whichever side of their ancestry they choose to adapt the most readily. Half-wastelings find themselves especially welcome in the city-state of Beltine, where they fit in so well as to be virtually indistinguishable from the core populace.
Alignment:
Half-wastelings, like both of their parent races, tend towards no alignment.
Wasteling Lands:
Half-wastelings have no true land, calling either of their parents civilization home... though there is a small community comprised entirely of half-breeds near the Wasteling homelands.
The Corvus Brotherhood in the wasteling land of Ceverne often makes an effort to contact half-wastelings and invite them to visit -and join- their city. Half-wastelings who manage to join the Corvus brotherhood often find themselves rapidly acquiring a fair measure of prestige, as their charisma lends itself both to leadership within the ranks, and as a boon to their inevitable confrontations against the undead. Such half-breeds often consider Ceverne their true home as a result.
Religion:
Half-wastelings do not share the natural inclination towards deep ancestral respect that full wastelings do, though those raised in wasteling societies are likely to feel similar stirrings of curiosity and reverence towards their fore-fathers. As with most races in the dustlands, half-wastelings put their faith in a guiding ideal, and follow that ideal as a general life course.
Language:
Half-wastelings have no language, and either speak normal common (if raised in a human society), or the necromantic tinted version (if raised in a wasteling society). The half-wasteling community near the Bleak North has a unique dialect and pacing pattern to their speech, often described as musical in quality, but is otherwise normal common.
Names:
Half-wastelings are usually given wasteling names; to mark their similarity in wasteling lands, or to mark their uniqueness in human lands. However, most half-wastelings are also given their human parents family name in addition to their wasteling name.
It is not unheard of for a half-wasteling to have a more traditional human name.
Adventures:
Half-wastelings are rare creatures in the dustlands, but they adventure for the same reasons their parents might. The lure of the unexplored wastes, the driving questions surrounding their desolation, the promise of new possibilities... all of these things push characters in the dustlands westward. Half-wastelings will also find themselves starting with more questions than members of many races, as they are almost inevitably contacted by the Corvus Brotherhood, which may also bring to them an awareness of the secretive Lock organization.


Half-Wasteling Racial Traits
: -2 Str, +2 Cha. Half-wastelings share the wasteling weakness, but their personalities are much stronger.
: Medium: As medium creatures, half-wastelings receive no special bonuses or penalties due to their size.
: Half-wasteling base land speed is 30 feet
: Resistant Biology: Half-wastelings receive a +2 racial bonus to saving throws made to resist disease or poison of any kind, magical or mundane. They may also hold their breath for twice as long as a human.
: Gray Blood: For any purpose related to race (including qualifying for feats and prestige classes), the half-wasteling is considered to be both a human, and a wasteling.
: Natural Charm: Half-wastelings add Bluff and Diplomacy to their class skill list of any class they take.
: Automatic Languages: Common. Bonus Languages: Any, except for secret languages such as Druidic.
: Favored Class: Grifter. A multiclass half-wasteling's grifter class does not count when determining wether she takes an experience point penalty for multiclassing. Half-wastelings have naturally strong personalities and often find themselves capable of manipulating others or holding their attention.
If you are adapting the half-wasteling race to another setting that does not include the Grifter base class, half-wastelings use the favored class of Bard instead.

Playing a Half-Wasteling:
You are an exceptional rarity even in a world where rarity is the norm. Unlike many, you have at least three places where you are probably more than welcome; the human civilizations, the wasteling civilizations, and the city of Ceverne. Despite being welcome, however, you have no inherant ties to any land that you have not forged for yourself. While the city of Ceverne will gladly welcome you into its ranks, you are not obligated to join them. The same is true of any human or wasteling lands.
Unless you have a human mother, your natural ability to grab attention is probably also a compulsion. While your wasteling mother may have loved you dearly, the natural cold and unresponsiveness of that race probably left you with a desire to have appreciation for you vocally re-affirmed.

Adaptation:
Half-wastelings can exist in any world Wastelings and humans can both be found. Read the adaptation entry for the Wasteling race for suggestions on including them in your world.

*EDIT*

Expanded and cleaned up the half-wasteling race entry a little. The wording was clunk and a few bits of info were missing.

SilverClawShift
2007-08-28, 11:50 AM
Okay, so a bonus picture. One of our group (the one who can actually draw, at least, compared to the rest of us) put this together.



http://i186.photobucket.com/albums/x284/SilverClawShift/Wasteling1.jpg
A Wasteling who cares about her appearance will tend to her injuries carefully, but the signs will always remain

Trying to talk my DM into making an account here, we'll see if I can get him to join up and post some stuff directly instead of me being a proxy :smalltongue:

SilverClawShift
2007-08-29, 09:50 AM
I'm making an effort to format all of this a little better for my own ease of editing and organization, so the next post is just going to be the glyphcrafter base class in a way that'll make it easier to hit and alter as needed.

SilverClawShift
2007-08-29, 09:51 AM
Glyphcrafter
There is great power to be found in even the simplest of images. The right patterns begin to form the framework of reality, reflecting universal truths that all of existance is based upon. The Glyphcrafter dedicates their life to understanding, and altering, the living patterns of reality in a way that suits them best. As their understanding of the magical nature of these glyphs develops, they begin to learn to create maintain ever greater effects.

Adventure: Glyphcrafters head out into the world for any number of reasons, including raw curiosity. They may be interested in searching for information about the arcane symbols they seek to master, they may be interesting in learning more about the broken world and its secret past, or they may simply feel more inspired living an active life.
Characteristics: A Glyphcrafter has a unique outlook on magic, the way it interacts with the world, and most importantly, the way they interact with it. Their creations are simultaneously permanent and transient, tenaciously clinging to existance until actively destroyed or dismissed. Because of the semi-permanent nature of their creations, most glyphcrafters choose to augment themselves and their allies with a number of usefull boons, knowing that their magic will not 'run out' at an inoportune time, or be dismissed by the simple wave of a mages hand.
The glyphs have many uses however, and given time a skilled crafter of those symbols can use them to tilt almost any situation into their favor.
Alignment: Glyphcrafters tend towards no alignment as a general rule. Their individual outlooks on life can be as varied as brushstrokes on canvas.
Good glyphcrafters can occasionally be found as protectors, warding against harm the people and places they have taken it upon themselves to protect. Lawful glyphcrafters can even occasionally be found under employment in jailhouses and insane asylums, augmenting security and reinforcing the cells of the most dangerous criminals.
Chaotic and Nuetral glyphcrafters alike have a strong tendency to treat their craft as a pure artform, selling or giving their services to whomever they feel inspired to. There are those who are extremly artistically inspired by large sums of gold.
Evil glyphcrafters usually use their strengths to further whatever plans they have in life. They are more likely to stay in one area, and weave a supportive network of glyphs to maintain an uperhand in any situation. Some particularily vile glyphcrafters have even become killers, seeking to use their victims flesh as canvas in some macabre "masterpeice".
Religion: While religion in the Dustlands is allready weakened concept, the Glyphcrafters especially tend to focus more on their works than on religious beleifs. There is nothing prohibiting a glyphcrafter from any form of worship or beleif, but there is no strong tendency towards any particular religion either.
Background: Glyphcrafters are often secretive of the details of their craft, and those who learn of the art usually do so through private contact with other glyphcrafters, or by finding intentionally vague reference material on the nature of living imagery. Some glyphcrafters learn what the proper formation of symbols can cause on their own, stumbling across some simple pattern at a young age, and learning to repeat the effect.
But learning of the glyphs is only the first step on the glyphcrafters path. Even those with proper tutors quickly learn that a skilled teacher can only show them how to avoid raw failure, not how to acheive true success. The end works may be the same among several glyphcrafters, but their individual creation is a personal and deeply introspective process. Each glyphcrafter must learn alone how to produce greater symbols, taking their past efforts and building upon them.
Because of this, it is never enough to simply look at a glyph and reproduce its physical form. The glyphs must be "birthed" into this world by a deliberate stroke, crafted by a skilled mind before they are given physical shape.
Races: Few races have any particular tendency towards the creation of glyphs. Humans can excel here as they can at all things, and Bletese humans in particular have an affinity for all things related to art and fine craft. Several Loaman and Sliss tribes have been known to take great care in painting decorative symbols on their protective artifacts and shields. The possibility that those symbols are more than just decorative cannot be neglected.
Wastelings often embrace the creation of glyphs to one degree or another, and those traveling in most wasteling societies will notice elaborate arcane symbols built into the local infrastructure.
Other Classes: Glyphcrafters can work well with any other class they find themselves traveling with. A durable companion who meets their fights head on will feel comforted by the powerful magical symbols painted on their armor and weaponry. The more utilitarian effects the glyphcrafter brings can be put to good use in getting any party out of ...or into... almost any situation.
Glyphcrafters traveling with arcane or divine spellcasters often find themselves discussing the difference between the various forms of magic. Both types of spellcasters consider the Glyphcrafter to be some form of kin... Arcane casters considering the glyphs to be a symbolic and muted way of accessing the power they weild, while Divine casters often consider the glyphs as proof of some natural order or divine guiding hand in the creation of the world. Both may be correct.
A Glyphcrafter will have little, if any, healing ability, and will feel much safer when traveling with comeone capable of mending physical wounds. However, while most glyphs are actively offensive or intentionally defensive, there are some which provide makeshift durability, helping a creature cling to life just long enough to get them to a real healer.
Role: A Glyphcrafters primary role is to act as a party "spellcaster", with an emphasis on utility and defensive effects. In a party that allready has a spellcaster, the glyphcrafter can still serve the party with defensive magic while the other spellcaster takes a more offensive role.
A Glyphcrafter who focuses on learning and using the proper combinations of glyphs can perform in any number of ways to benefit themselves or their party.
Starting Gold: 4x4 x 10 (average: 100)
Starting Age: As a Wizard

Adaptation: A glyph by any other name... would still be a symbol of raw universal power. Nordic cultures and dwarves who know of glyphs might refer to them as Runes, considering them divine symbols created by their gods and carving them into stone and steel instead of painting them onto surfaces. Elves might regard the glyphs as an alternate form of magic. Both arcane magic and the creation of glyphs are often refered to as an artform, so it's not unreasonable for a race to consider them different faces of the same coin.
Or the flavor here may be left untouched. Any game world with magic of any kind might have GLyphcrafters, and there is nothing limiting their inclusion in any other world.

{table=head]Level|Base Attack Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special|Basic|Advanced|Master

1st|
+1|
+0|
+0|
+2|Glyphcraft, Basic Glyphs|3|-|-

2nd|
+1|
+0|
+0|
+3|-|5|-|-

3rd|
+2|
+1|
+1|
+3|-|6|-|-

4th|
+2|
+1|
+1|
+4|-|-|-|-

5th|
+3|
+1|
+1|
+4|-|7|-|-

6th|
+3|
+2|
+2|
+5|-|-|-|-

7th|
+4|
+2|
+2|
+5|-|8|-|-

8th|
+4|
+2|
+2|
+6|Advanced Glyphs|-|1|-

9th|
+5|
+3|
+3|
+6|-|-|-|-

10th|
+5|
+3|
+3|
+7|-|9|-|-

11th|
+6/+1|
+3|
+3|
+7|-|-|2|-

12th|
+6/+1|
+4|
+4|
+8|-|-|-|-

13th|
+7/+2|
+4|
+4|
+8|-|10|-|-

14th|
+7/+2|
+4|
+4|
+9|-|-|3|-

15th|
+8/+3|
+5|
+5|
+9|Master Glyphs|-|-|1

16th|
+8/+3|
+5|
+5|
+10|-|-|-|-

17th|
+9/+4|
+5|
+5|
+10|-|-|4|-

18th|
+9/+4|
+6|
+6|
+11|-|-|-|-

19th|
+10/+5|
+6|
+6|
+11|-|-|-|2

20th|
+10/+5|
+6|
+6|
+12|-|-|5|-[/table]

GAME RULE INFORMATION
Glyphcrafters have the following game statistics.
Abilities: Intelligence and Charisma are both useful to a Glyphcaster, but are not as important as they are for other spellcasters, as the creation of glyphs is not limited by any stat. High Intelligence allows a glyphcrafter to learn additional glyphs beyond those granted by their class progression. Intelligence is also the key stat for many of the Glyphcrafters skills. A high Charisma allows a glyphcrafter to maintain more glyphs then they would be able to otherwise, as the more forceful the personality of a glyphs creator is, the more tenacious the glyph is.
High Constituion and Dexterity both help a glyphcrafter survive longer if they find themselves in direct combat.
Alignment: Any.
Hit Die: 6

Class Skills
The Glyphcrafters class skills (and the key ability modifier for each skill) are Appraise (Int), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Decipher Script (Int), Forgery (Int), Knowledge (arcana) (Int), Profession (Wis)
Skill Points at 1st Level: (2 + Int modifier) x4.
Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 2 + Int modifier.

CLASS FEATURES
All of the following are class features of the Glyphcrafter
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Glyphcrafters are proficient with all simple weapons. They are not proficient with any armor or shields, but do not suffer any penalties to creating glyphs if they wear such items.

Glyphcraft: Glyphcraft is the raw understanding of the nature of the glyphs, and the knowledge needed to form them into the proper shapes and patterns to bring them their power. Once a glyph is created, it remains in effect until actively dismissed or destroyed. In this sense, a glyph is "Permanent". However, a glyph being in existance strains its creator, and there is a limit to how many glyphs a glyphcrafter can have in existance at any one time.
The table above represents, before bonuses gained by having a high modifier in relevant stats, how many Glyphs a glyphcrafter can learn, create, and maintain. At level one, a Glyphcrafter can learn 3 different glyphs, from the list of glyphs available. They can also create and maintain three different glyphs. It's worth pointing out that the glyphs known and glyphs made are not inseperably linked, and there is nothing prohibiting them from simply creating 3 copies of one glyph.
Additional Glyphs are learned based on the glyphcrafters intelligence. A Glyphcrafter learns 1 additional Basic glyph for each point of intelligence modifier (+1 for 12, +2 for 14, +4 for 18, ect). They learn 1 additional Advanced glyph for each two points of their intelligence modifier (+1 for 14, +2 for 18, +3 for 22, ect). They learn 1 additional Master glyph for each three points of their intelligence modifier (+1 for 16, +2 for 22, +3 for 28, ect). Temporary boosts to intelligence, and boosts created by removeable items, do not cause a glyphcrafter to learn additional glyphs, but inhereant bonuses to their stat do.
Additional Glyphs can be created and maintained based on the glyphcrafters charisma. Following the same formula as for learning extra glyphs, the glyphcrafter can maintain one extra basic glyph per point of intelligence modifier, one extra advanced glyph per two points, and one extra master glyph per three points.
Glyphs take varying amounts of time to create. Some can reasonably be created in combat, but most will be prepared by a glyphcrafter prior to engaging in battle.
(MISSING MATERIAL) we still need to work on how Glyphs interact with magic, attempts to physical remove them (which they resist) and
IMPORTANT NOTE: The glyphcrafter can only create a number of glyphs each day based on that table. If they destroy a glyph, they can create a new one, but they can't create more glyphs per day than their limit. No switching glyphs wildly in between combat.

Basic Glyphcraft: Basic glyphs create subtle, but valuable effects. Some of them interact with people and objects, but for the most part, they interact in ways with the terrain and surrounding areas, create wards, passages, guides and the like.

Advanced Glyphcraft: The Second tier of glyphcrafting power, Advanced Glyphcraft represents when the crafter begins to be able to form more complex patterns or even combine other glyphs into the same image. Advanced Glyphcraft creates a very noticeable and strong magical effect, bending the local rules of reality in various ways. Advanced glyphs might teleport between each other, animate objects (or corpses), bind someone to service, or even cause two creatures to trade minds while the glyph is in effect.

Master Glyphcraft: Master Glyphcraft represents the ability to create Glyphs so elaborate and complicated that lower level glyphcrafters cannot even envision them. A Master Glyph represents a localized re-write of the basic fundamentals of reality. A Master Glyph creates an extremly powerful effect, such as blanketing a large area of terrain in certain effects (altering gravity, hiding entire buildings, or creating a large area of perpetual darkness), warping an indidivudal in grotesque but presumably beneficial ways (widlly changing their physical form, giving them ethereal propertes, or even warding against permanent death), or even gaining a measure of sentience in their own right.

MMad
2007-08-29, 09:33 PM
This is the coolest thread ever. :)

SilverClawShift
2007-08-30, 05:04 PM
This is the coolest thread ever. :)

:smallredface:

Well thank you. I don't think the material is quite THAT good, but I'm extremly fond of it too.

GimliFett
2007-08-30, 05:06 PM
At first glance, I like the Glyphcrafter quite a bit. I'll have to look a little deeper at the mechanics, though. At the least it's a very neat idea, along with much of the material introduced in this thread.

SilverClawShift
2007-08-30, 06:10 PM
Allrighty, I wasn't really planning on posting this one until we had it worked out, but I figure there's no harm in early versions. Just be aware that things are subject to refinement and change :).

Also, two points.

A word about power level: The totem ascendant (next post) is certainly more powerful than a fighter or barbarian. We're aware of that. The glyphcrafter and totem ascendant (and every other class we have) is designed with the mentality of trying to find some kind of friendly middle ground for class balance. Similar to how Tome of Battle is a scaled up fighter collection, and Tome of Magic is a scaled down caster collection...
The Dustlands is sort of going to echo that sentiment, but with an exception. Since we're not making supplements, but rather a brand new campaign setting, with a brand new (and full) list of player races and classes, we're starting from the ground up, building off of what's allready known to work and not work, and trying to make casters, warriors, skillmonkeys and healers who all play in the same league as realistically as possible. It means a glyphcrafter gets overshadows by a wizard, and a totem ascendant makes a barbarian whimper and pout, but the end result is INTENDED to deliver a full set of classes that play together like old friends.

Point two is... "At a glance" on the totem ascendant. I know, it looks crazy busy when you skim it. Really though, it breaks down pretty easily. Every totem ascendant follows the same basic path of when they get what, but at level 1 they pick their spirit animal and everything they get is from that animals list. Like how there are a hundered cleric domains, but you still only pick two. Well there's a wall of text for the totem ascendant, but the end result is "You just pick one animal and get all that stuff".

So on to the class post: Totem Ascendant Alpha :smallbiggrin:

SilverClawShift
2007-08-30, 06:13 PM
Totem Ascendant

Inside every sentient creature is a quiet conflict between instinct and intelligence, nature and civilization. Even among barbaric and savage cultures, the pull of a central culture almost always trumps the wild frenzy of basic animal behavior. But nature does not simply abandon the sentient in favor of her more bestial children, even those who pride themselves on being educated and civilized have at least one weak tie to the natural world... in the form of their totem animal.
Each creature that gains sentience -either naturally or through magical blessing- also has a totem beast, their guardian spirit who influences their savage side even when that side is neglected or ignored entirely. Which totem animal a person attains is not determined by some intentional force or pattern, but simply occurs naturally as sure as the creature breaths and blinks, and it can never be changed. It is worth noting however that tribal cultures who worship or attribute their group success to specific totem animals almost always share common totem guardians among their tribe.
The Totem Ascendant embraces their spirit animal, favoring it, trusting the instincts of that wild force in balance with -or even greater than- their intelligence and cunning. As they ascend, their nature becomes less and less like that of their race, and more like that of their totem animal. They move like their totem, they fight like their totem, they think like their totem and they feel an undeniable kinship. While a Totem Ascendant does not truly become the creature they call upon for their base nature, the influence can never be ignored.

Adventure: Totem Ascendants more often than not come in at least two distinct varieties, and both often set out into the world with unique mindsets, and for unique purposes. Most are tribal warriors who are considered examplars of their tribes totems, great warriors who embody the principals their group beleives are most fitting for continued survival. Such warriors often later become warchiefs of their tribes, and are often beleived to be destined to lead their tribe to greatness.
Other Totem Ascendants are those who have drifted further and further away from the path of nature, who some way or another come to feel their spirit animal calling out to them, pulling them to revel in, and to trust, their instincts. Such unique individuals often have unique spirit totems, and usually feel compelled to drift away from civilization for great lengths of time, learning more about their own nature and reveling in the wild thrills of danger and victory. It's also not immpossible for a totem ascendant to stay amongst civilization even as they explore their own nature, finding ways to work their instinct amongs the civilized world, rather than against it. For example, an individual with the Wolf as their totem animal may feel compelled to protect the weaker of their 'pack', becoming officers of the law or guardians of the streets, and prowling quietly amongst the alleys and shadows.
Characteristics: Totem Ascendants vary not only from which animal hides in their soul, but also from individual to individual among the same animal. However, almost all totem ascendants share certain behaviors and characteristics. They are almost universally physically capable in one respect or another, and all are capable of holding their own in physical combat, fighting with the natural fury of a wild animal for whom survival is at constant stake. They are all prone to occasional bouts of quiet introspection, but are otherwise varied individuals.
Alignment: Totem Ascendants may be of any alignment, but in general have a pull towards chaotic and neutral trends. Wild instinct knows no alignment restriction, and whatever becomes the most prudent course of action for survival is often the action a totem ascendant will be inclined to take.
Religion: Even in worlds where religion is prevalent, totem ascendants are more likely to revere nature or deities of the wild above others. There is nothing forcing a totem ascendant to revere nature beyond their OWN nature, however, just as there is nothing stopping them from any sort of -or lack of- religious beleif.
Background: Totem Ascendants come from a wide variety of possible backgrounds, as the pull of their totem animal is almost universally unique to them. Even in tribes with multiple totem ascendants who all share the same totem animals, they do not usually form any organizations or share any of their personal introspection on the subject. Totem Ascendants almost always come into their nature completely independently.
An exception is the notorious Sliss tribe Sel`sar, which follows the Wolf as their sole totem animal. They teach their young in the ways of wolfish behavior, and any who do not successfully ascend to wolf totem behavior are expelled from the tribe (or killed outright). They are the only Sliss group in the Dustlands which is known to let nos-Sliss races join their 'pack', so long as they suscribe to the ideals of the Wolf totem.
Races: All sentient creature -including magically awakened animals- have a spirit animal from the moment or their birth (or of their awakening in the case of magically sentient beasts). This animal may or may not seem logical to anyone other than that individual, and it can never be altered through any known magics, including reincarnation. This all means that any race may have an individual who is a totem ascendant for one reason or another, and no one race is pre-diposed towards the class. Tribal cultures often have totem ascendants among their ranks, but tribal cultures can be of any race.
Other Classes: Totem Ascendants see a natural kinship with other classes dedicated to the wilderness, even those rare totem ascendants who feel more at home in civilized populations. Barbarians, Druids, and Rangers are all more likely to receive a smile and nod than not. They will have more natural respect for anyone capable of physical combat, but do not neglect the potential raw power of those who weild arcane and divine magics. They are less likely to respect bards, rogues, and other classes that focus more on skill than on some form of power, but individuals vary wildly, and which spirit animal a totem ascendant has kinship with will likely influence their worldview. A Rat totem ascendant might feel more at home with rogues and thieves, and even multiclass in that direction themselves.
Role: A Totem Ascendant is a warrior, one way or another. Even those ascendants who have peacefull or traditionally timid totem animals will feel the instinct of survival inspiring them to physical prowess. They are also more inclined towards using their bare hands as they fight, opting for natural savageness over tempered steel. As such, they serve their adventuring party best when engaging or distracting other foes in melee combat.
Starting Gold: 2d4 x 10 (average: 50)
Starting Age: As a Barbarian

Adaptation: Nothing inherent in the mechanics or flavor of the Totem Ascendant base class limits it to use in The Dustlands campaign setting. A warrior who embraces their spirit animal as a guiding force in their lives is a staple of myth and legend, both in history and in modern entertainment. The likelihood of such a warrior arising in another campaign world seems not only likely, but inevitable, and can be a welcome inclusion into other games.

{table=head]Level|Base Attack Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special

1st|
+1|
+2|
Sp|
Sp|Totem Animal, Wild Empathy, Wild Fighter

2nd|
+2|
+3|
Sp|
Sp|Step of the Beast, Wildfight: lesser

3rd|
+3|
+3|
Sp|
Sp|Totem Boon

4th|
+4|
+4|
Sp|
Sp|Wildfight: lesser

5th|
+5|
+4|
Sp|
Sp|Beastial Drift

6th|
+6/+1|
+5|
Sp|
Sp|Wildfight: lesser

7th|
+7/+2|
+5|
Sp|
Sp|Totem Boon

8th|
+8/+3|
+6|
Sp|
Sp|Wildfight: lesser

9th|
+9/+4|
+6|
Sp|
Sp|Kinship

10th|
+10/+5|
+7|
Sp|
Sp|Wildfight: lesser

11th|
+11/+6/+1|
+7|
Sp|
Sp|Beastial Drift

12th|
+12/+7/+2|
+8|
Sp|
Sp|Wildfight: greater

13th|
+13/+8/+3|
+8|
Sp|
Sp|Totem Boon

14th|
+14/+9/+4|
+9|
Sp|
Sp|Wildfight: ferocious

15th|
+15/+10/+5|
+9|
Sp|
Sp|Shadowkin

16th|
+16/+11/+6/+1|
+10|
Sp|
Sp|Wildfight: greater

17th|
+17/+12/+7/+2|
+10|
Sp|
Sp|Totem Boon

18th|
+18/+13/+8/+3|
+11|
Sp|
Sp|Wildfight: greater

19th|
+19/+14/+9/+4|
+11|
Sp|
Sp|Beastial Drift

20th|
+20/+15/+10/+5|
+12|
Sp|
Sp|Wildfight: ferocious[/table]

GAME RULE INFORMATION
Totem Ascendants have the following game statistics.
Abilities: Constitution and Strength are a totem ascendants primary stats. Strength grants them additional power to strike and injure their foes, while Contitution boosts their durability and makes each injury they sustain less likely to end their fight. A decent Dexterity helps them protect themselves when engaging their foes or prey. A good Intelligence will provide more skill points with which to explore the bonus skills granted by their particular totem animal. Wisdom also assissts many of the skills gained by the totem ascendant.
Alignment: Any.
Hit Die: 10

CLASS SKILLS
The Totem Ascendants class skills (and the key ability modifier for each skill) are Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Jump (Str), Knowledge (nature) (Int), and Survival (Wis). A Totem Ascendant also adds a number of class skills to their list based on which animal they select as their totem spirit.
Skill Points at 1st Level: (2 + Int modifier) x4.
Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 2 + Int modifier.

CLASS FEATURES
All of the following are class features of the Totem Ascendant
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Totem Ascendants are not proficient with weapons. They are proficient in light and medium armor, and with shields (but not tower shields), but do not suffer any penalties if they become proficient with and use heavy armor and shields.
Totem Animal: At first level, all Totem Ascendants must select a single totem animal. This animal is their spiritual beast, the aspect of nature that resides in them wether they realized it or not. Once selected, the totem animal can never be changed, not even by reincarnation, or a wish or miracle spell. Which totem animal the ascendant selects will determine most their class features, including enhanced saving throws and expanded skill lists.
Wild Empathy: Totem Ascendants may communicate with animals of their totem type as if they had the Wild Empathy class feature of Rangers. This ability only works on animals matching the ascendants totem animal. This functions just as a diplomacy check made to influence a person, where the ascendant may roll a d20 and add their totem ascendant level and their charisma modifier to the check. If the totem ascendant has levels in ranger, those levels stack for dealing with their totem animal only (for instance, a 3rd level ranger 2nd level totem ascendant counts as a 3rd level ranger for wild empathy checks, but a 5th level totem ascendant when dealing with their totem animal).
The totem ascendant and target animal must be aware of each other, and must be able to observe each other for approximately one minute to use this ability, though at DM discretion the use can apply faster or slower.
Wild Fighter: A Totem Ascendant chooses to fight without manufactured weapons more often than not. Their instinctual cunning and willing savageness makes them successful unarmed combatants above and beyond what most warriors could accomplish with the same limitation. At first level, they receive Improved Unarmed Strike as a bonus feat. Their attacks also count as manufactured and natural weapons for the purposes of spells and effects which enhance weapons, and they threaten squares as if they had a melee weapon.
Totem ascendants do no receive penalties of any kind for using manufactured weapons, but their Strike of the wild class features usually only function when fighting unarmed.
Step of the Beast: At second level, all totem ascendants receive an enhanced method of movement related to the totem animal they have selected. This method of movement varies from animal to animal, but is always beneficial to the totem ascendant.
Wildfight: Starting at 2nd level, and every even numbered level thereafter, the totem ascendant may choose from a list of special combat abilities learned by ascendants of their totem animal. These are often increases in melee ability which rely on unarmed combat to be properly utilized, but will sometimes grant alternate methods of attack or distraction, or abilities which are otherwise useful on the field of battle. At levels 2, 4, 6, 8, and 10, the totem ascendant may choose from the list of lesser Wildfight abilities. At levels 12, 16, and 18, they may choose from the list of greater Wildfight abilities. At level 14 and 20, the totem ascendant may choose from the list of ferocious wildfight abilities (the most powerful and vicious of totem ascendant capabilities).
Regardless of which Wildfight abilities are selected, all totem ascendants unarmed strikes count as magic beginning at 4th level for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction.
Totem Boon: At level 3, and at each level indicated thereafter, the totem ascendant gains a boon, a spiritual gift that brings them close to their totem animal. A Totem Boon is a pre-defined benefit dependant on the totem animal selected, and is more a mark of ability than a physical alteration (for instance, Dragon totem ascendants gain sorcerous spellcasting levels, while Snake totem ascendants gain 1d4 sneak attack progression).
Beastial Drift: At level 5, and again at levels 11 and 19, the totem ascendant becomes slightly more like a physical embodiment of their totem animal. These drifts affect the totem ascendants physical form, granting them some unique ability related to their totem. Beastial drifts may be selected from a list presented with each specific totem animal.
Kinship: At level 9, a totem ascendant developes an overwhelming kinship with their totem animal, gaining +4 to wild empathy checks made to influence their totem animals behavior.
Shadowkin: At 15th level, the totem ascendants shadow takes on the shape of their totem animal. This ability can be turned off at will, but almost all totem ascendants consider it a mark of immense honor, and will display their shadow proudly.
Totem Lord: At level 20, the totem ascendant becomes an exemplar of their totem creature, representing that aspect of nature wherever they go. They receive a +10 bonus to wild empathy checks made to influence their totem animal.

TOTEM ADAPTATION: Not every animal can be a unique individual totem, and most don't need to be. Some totem animals could reasonably apply to other animals just as readily. For example, a player could select Coyote as their totem animal, and use the mechanics and progression presented for the Fox totem animal. Mechanically, the class remains the same, it is only the name and specific creature that have changed. Other possible examples could be using Dog instead of Wolf, or Crocodile instead of Alligator.

CREATING NEW TOTEMS: A player or DM may, at some point, desire a totem ascendant character of an animal type not fully formed into a playable totem. To create a new totem animal, look first at the other totem animals presented, and use them as a base for comparing levels of power and featured styles. Each totem animal has a minimum number of abilities which must be created. All totem animals need one Step of the Beast ability, affecting movement. They need a minimum number of wildfight abilities (5 lesser, 3 greater, and 2 ferocious), as well as planning to include at least 4 totem boons, 3 beastial drifts, and their totem lord ability.
Sometimes, different animals will share similar traits or features. In such cases, feel free to re-use appropriate abilities between totems, as that will create a baseline comparison for power, as well as helping deperate totems feel as if they are still part of the same class.

**********************************************
Snake Totem

-Snake
Snake totem ascendants are often thought of as evil, though they need not be. They are naturally devious and cunning though, favoring deception and trickery, and often making blindingly fast strikes when their opponents least expect it. They are highly skilled compared to other totem ascendants, and rely on their nimbleness and tendency to manipulate situations into their favor over brute strength. Nevertheless, they are still terrifyingly capable warriors.

Saving Throws: Reflex save becomes strong, Will save remains poor
Additional Class Skills: Bluff (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Hide (Dex), Move Silently (Dex), Open Lock (Dex), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Tumble (Dex), Use Rope (Dex)

Step of the Beast: A Snake totem ascendant can always move over difficult terrain, obstacles, or squeeze through small spaces as if they were moving normally (treating each square as 1 square, rather than 2 as normal). They may also run or charge across difficult terrain.
Totem Boon: Each time the Snake ascendant gains a Totem Boon, they gain a 1d6 sneak attack. This boon stacks with other sources that grant sneak attacks (such as a rogues class feature).
Beastial Drift
- Venomous (Ex): You gain a 1d6 bite attack you can make in addition to your normal unarmed attacks. You also gain a venom you can use during your bite attack. This venom does 1d6 and 1d6 damage to a physical stat of your choice, Str, Dex, or Con (You can change which stat this venom effects after each 24 hour period, but once selected, you cannot produce a different type of venom for 24 hours). This venom is a poison with a Fort save DC of 15 + 1/2 your totem ascendant level + your CON modifier. This can only be used once per day. This drift may be selected multiple times, adding an additional does of venom each day, and increasing the save DC to resist it by +4.
- Tastesense (Ex): You can detect certain creatures (any other than Construct or Elemental) as if you had blindsense out to 30 feet. You know that they are nearby, and what type of creature they are (abberation, undead, humanoid, animal, ect), but do not gain the ability to pinpoint the square they are in.
- Snakeskin (Ex): You gain a +1 bonus to your natural armor, fortitude saves, and the save DC of any totem ascendant class abilities. This drift may be selected multiple times, and the effects stack.
- Coiled Muscles (Ex): You gain a +2 bonus to Dexterity. This bonus is applied to you base Dexterity, stacks with any other sources, and cannot be removed. This ability may be selected multiple times.

Wildfight, Lesser: At 2nd, 4th, 6th, 8th, and 10th level, a snake totem ascendant may select an ability from the list below. Once selected, this ability cannot be changed. Regardless of which Wildfight abilities are selected, all totem ascendants unarmed strikes count as magic beginning at 4th level for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction.
- Strike of the Snake (Ex): Your unarmed strike becomes rapid, peircing, and precise, as if your hands were the maws of deadly snakes. Your unarmed strikes now deal 1d8 peircing and bludgeoning damage, with a critical range of of 18-20 x2.
- Constrictor Fighter (Ex): The negative aspects of grappling now no longer apply to you when fighting unarmed. You maintain your dexterity bonus to AC while in a grapple, and still threaten squares within your reach.
- Quick Strike (Ex): As a swift action, you may move up to 20 feet and make a single attack at a -2 penalty against a single creature. The creature attacked is considered flat-footed, and is denied their dexterity bonus to AC against this attack. You must move at least 10 feet for this ability to work, and once you have used it, you may not use it again for 5 rounds.
- Sickening Strike (Ex): As a free action, you can prepare your next unarmed strike to attack a pressure point or other weak spot on a creature you target. If your next attack deals 1 point of damage, it also forces the target to make a fortitude saving throw (DC 10 + 1/2 your totem ascendant class level + your Dexterity modifier). If they fail this saving throw, they are inflicted with 1d4 damage to a physical stat of your choice (Strength, Dexterity, or Constitution) as if they were poisoned. Creatures immune to poison are not affected by this attack. Once you have used this ability, you cannot use it again for 5 rounds.
- Precise Blow (Ex): You must have selected the Strike of the Snake wildfight ability to select Precise Blow. As a free action, you can add your Dexterity modifier as peircing damage to your unarmed attacks for a single round. Once you have used this ability, you cannot use it again for 5 rounds.
- Without Warning (Ex): You must have selected the Strike of the Snake wildfight ability to select Without Warning. You gain a +1d6 sneak attack. This stacks with all other sources of sneak attack (including snake Totem Boons and rogue class progression). This ability may not be selected multiple times.

Wildfight, Greater: At 12th, 16th, and 18th level, a snake totem ascendant may select an ability from the list below. Once selected, this ability cannot be changed.
- Greater Sickening Strike (Ex): You must have selected the Sickening Strike wildfight ability to select Greater Sickening Strike. Your Sickening Strike ability now deals 2d4 damage to the physical ability score of your choice, instead of 1d4. Otherwise, this ability functions exactly the same.
- Greater Quick Strike (Ex): You must have selected the Quick Strike wildfight ability to select Greater Quick Strike. The range of your Quick Strike increases to 40 feet, and you no longer suffer the -2 penalty towards its use.
- Greater Strike of the Snake (Ex): You must have selected the Strike of the Snake wildfight ability to select Greater Strike of the Snake. Your unarmed strike becomes even more devestatingly precise, dealing 1d12 peircing and bludgeoning, with a critical range of 17-20x2.
- Additional Without Warning (Ex): You must have selected the Without Warning ability to select Additional Without Warning. You gain another +1d6 sneak attack die, totalling 2d6 extra sneak attack. This stacks with all other sources of sneak attack (including snake Totem Boons and rogue class progression). This ability may not be selected multiple times.
- Copperhead (Su): As a free action, you can cause your unarmed strike to to count as any material you are physically in contact with for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction. This ability stays active as long as you are in contact with said material, but once activated, you cannot change the material for 5 rounds.

Wildfight, Ferocious: At 14th and 20th level, a snake totem ascendant may select an ability from the list below. Once selected, this ability cannot be changed.
- Lash Out (Ex): You must have selected the Greater Quick Strike wildfight ability to select Lash Out. The range of your Quick Strike increases to 60 feet, and you may now also use this ability against adjacent creatures (without having to travel 10 feet to use the ability). You may still wait 5 rounds after using this ability to activate it again.
- Crippling Sneak Attack (Ex): You may trade in your sneak attack dice to cause ability score damage on a successfull sneak attack, dealing 1 point of ability damage per 1d6 sneak attack sacrificed. You must declare that you are using this ability prior to making a successfull sneak attack, and must determine in advance how many sneak attack die to sacrifice (for instance, a totem ascendant with 4d6 sneak attack could sacrifice 3 of those dice, causing their sneak attack to deal 1d6 extra physical damage, and 3 Strength damage on a successfull sneak). Once you have used this ability, you cannot use it again for 5 rounds.
- Destructive Sneak Attack (Ex): You can prepare to deal a sneak attack in such a way that it ignores a creatures immunity to such an attack. Before attempting to make a sneak attack against a regularily immune creature, you must declare that you are using this ability. If you make a successfull sneak attack, you deal half of your normal sneak attack damage against that target, regardless of any immunities of fortification against such an attack. This ability can even function against undead creatures and constructs, by dealing physical damage to their inherant structure, rather than targeting the traditional weak spots on living creatures. Once you have used this ability, you cannot use it again for 5 rounds.

**********************************************
Bat Totem

-Bat
The Bat totem ascendant is a shady noctornual creature, appreciative of the grace and instinct of the blind-fighting bats. They tend to be skirmishers, prefering fighting in the dark and on the move, striking several foes in one pass and leaving bleeding wounds in their wake.

Saving Throws: Reflex saves become strong, Will saves remain poor.
Additional Class Skills: Hide (Dex), Knowledge (dungeoneering) (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex)

Step of the Beast: At 2nd level, Bat totem ascendants gain a +4 bonus to all jump and climb checks, and can remain clinging to surfaces off the ground for several hours with no additional checks (a number of hours equal to their totem ascendant level before they finally tire and begin requiring checks to avoid slipping). In addition, if a Bat totem ascendant gains the ability to fly from some other source (such as a spell or other class ability), their flight speed increases by 10 feet, and their maneuvarability category increases by one (to a maximum of perfect).

Totem Boon: At each level indicated, in areas of shadowy illumination you gain +2 to your armor class and reflex saving throws.

Beastial Drift: At levels 5, 11, and 19, the Bat totem ascendant may select a beastial drift from the below list.
- Echolocation (Ex): As long as you are not silenced or deafend, you gain blindsight out to 20 feet. This ability may be selected multiple times, increasing your blindsight by 20 feet each time. You also gain a +4 bonus to listen checks each time you select this drift.
- Distracting Echo (Ex): In shadowy illumination, attacks made on you suffer a 20% miss chance if you have moved more than 20 feet on your last turn. This ability may only be selected if you have the Echolocation ability.
- Disorienting Echo (Ex): In shadowy illumination, attacks made on you suffer a 50% miss chance if you have moved more than 20 feet on your last turn. This ability may only be selected if you have Distracting Echo.
- Light Bones (Ex): Your body structure becomes naturally lighter, despite remaining as sturdy as always. You weigh 3/4 as much, and all falling damage you take is made as if the fall was 20 feet shorter.
- Hollow Bones (Ex): Your bone structure alters further, becoming even lighter than before. You now weigh 1/2 as much as your original weight, and all falling damage you take is made as if the fall was 50 feet shorter. This ability may only be selected if you have Light Bones.

Wildfight, Lesser: At 2nd, 4th, 6th, 8th, and 10th level, a Bat totem ascendant may select an ability from the list below. Once selected, this ability cannot be changed. Regardless of which Wildfight abilities are selected, all totem ascendants unarmed strikes count as magic beginning at 4th level for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction.
- Claws of the Bat (Ex): Your unarmed strike leaves painful slicing injuries, as if your hands concealed razor sharp claws. Your unarmed strikes now deal 1d10 slashing damage, with a critical range of of 19-20 x2.
- Bleeding Wound (Ex): Whenever you succesfully deal damage with an unarmed strike, you leave a painful slash that continues to bleed. A living creature damaged by your unarmed strike continues to lose 1d6 hit points per round thereafter, until they receive a cure spell or some other healing magic, or the bleeding is stopped with a Heal check (DC 10 + 1/2 your Totem Ascendant class level). Multiple wounds do not result in cumulative bleeding loss. You must have the Claws of the Bat ability to select Bleeding Wound.
- Naseuating Injury (Ex): You must have the Bleeding Wound ability to select Naseuating Injury. Whenever a living creature receives a bleeding wound from you, they injury causes an overwhelming sickening feeling. Any creature who is suffering from one of your bleeding wounds receives a -2 penalty to all attack rolls, skill checks, and armor class until the bleeding is stopped. As with the bleeding wound itself, these effects are never cumulative on the same creature.
- Vanishing Attack (Ex): A Vanishing attack is a full round action. You move up to your base move rate, and then make a single attack at your full attack bonus against a single creature. If this attack successfully does damage, you may then move your base move rate again, and then make a Hide check to dissapear into the shadows.
- Dashing Strike (Ex): As a full round action, you may move up to twice your base move rate (60 feet for a creature with a 30 foot move rate), making a single unarmed attack at a -2 penalty to each creature you pass adjacent to. Once you have made a Dashing Strike, you may not do so again for 5 rounds.
- Swarm Strike (Su): As a free action, you may select a single target to be the subject of a Swarm Strike. If you successfully damage them with your unarmed attack on your turn, they must make a Will save (DC 15 + 1/2 your totem ascendant class levels) or be considered grappled for 1 round as their mind is assaulted with thousands of bat spirit shadows. You are not grappled after performing a Swarm Strike. Once you have used this ability, you may not use it again for 5 rounds.

Wildfight, Greater: At 12th, 16th, and 18th level, a Bat totem ascendant may select an ability from the list below. Once selected, this ability cannot be changed.
- Improved Bleeding Wound (Ex): You must have the Bleeding Wound ability to select Improved Bleeding Wound. The bleeding wounds you leave after injuring a living creature now cause 3d6 damage per round until healed, instead of 1d6 damage as normal. In addition, the Heal check to stop the bleeding is now a DC 15 + 1/2 your Totem Ascendant class level.
- Glidestrike (Ex): As a full round action, you make a Jump check as if you were running full out, leaping a distance equal to your jump check result and attacking each creature you pass over with a single unarmed attack at a -4 penalty. Once you have made a Glidestrike, you may do so again for 5 rounds.
- Disorienting Screech (Ex): You produce an echoing pulse that forces every living creature that is not deafened to make a Will save (DC 15 + 1/2 your Totem Ascendant class level) or suffer a 50% miss chance to their attacks for 1 round. Once you have used this ability, you may not do so again for 5 rounds.
- Darkening Strike (Su): You may call upon your Bat totem spirit to flutter throughout the vision of your enemy, lessening their ability to use their sight. As a free action, you may select a single target to be the subject of a Darkening Strike. If you successfully damage them with your unarmed attack on your turn, they must make a Will save (DC 15 + 1/2 your totem ascendant class levels) or have their vision dim as if they were in an area of shadowy illumination, regardless of brighter lighting conditions. A Darkening Strike can be removed with a Remove Curse, Restoration, or Break Enchantment spell, but is otherwise permanent.
Only one creature can be the target of a Darkening Strike at a time. You can dismiss this effect at any time by calling the Bat spirit back to you.

Wildfight, Ferocious: At 14th and 20th level, a Bat totem ascendant may select an ability from the list below. Once selected, this ability cannot be changed.
- Gutting Wound (Ex): You must have the Improved Bleeding Wound ability to select Gutting Wound. Whenever you successfully deal damage with your unarmed strike against a living creature, the wound causes 2 points of Constitution damage, in addition to continueing to bleed normally. As with bleeding wounds, the Constitution damage caused by a Gutting Wound is not cumulative.
- Flightstrike (Ex): You must have Glidestrike to select Swarming Glide. Your Glidestrike now covers a distance of twice your jump check, and you do not suffer the -4 penalty to the attacks made on creatures you pass over. You still may not use this ability for 5 rounds after each use.
- Rabid Wound (Su): By calling on your Bat totem spirit, you may select a single creature to be the target of an injury debilitating to both their body and their mind. As a free action, select a single living creature as a target for your Rabid Wound. If you successfully damage that creature with your unarmed attack on this turn, they must succeed on a Will save (DC 15 + 1/2 your totem ascendant class level) or succumb to a blinding psychosis as the bat spirit clouds their mind. On their turn, they attack the nearest creature in a frenzied rage, stopping at nothing in an effort to destroy all nearby creatures. They can resist these effects for one turn by making the same will save, but they are not cured of the Rabid Wound. Only a Restoration spell (or stronger divine effect) can remove the bat spirit clouding their mind.
Only one creature can be the target of a Rabid Wound at a time. You can dismiss this effect at any time by calling the Bat spirit back to you.

**********************************************
Dragon Totem

-Dragon
The Dragon totem ascendant is a rare being, gifted with the spiritual guardian of the mighty dragon. Almost always a mark of greatness, Dragon ascendants are often foretold from birth as being able to bring prosperity to their allies and woe to their enemies. Many tribal cultures will herald the birth or acceptance of a Dragon ascendant into their ranks proudly, regardless of their normal totems... many other tribes do still rigidly insist that deviance from their spirit guardians is unacceptable.
In addition to the ability to cast very select few spells, the Dragon totem ascendant also has the options of terrifying their foes on the battlefield, increasing their strength charisma and natural armor, or improving their senses far beyond what most humans dream is capable.
Charisma can be substantially more important for a Dragon ascendant than for other totems.

Saving Throws: Will saves becomes strong, Reflex saves remain poor.
Additional Class Skills: Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (arcana) (Int), Spellcraft (Int)

Wild Empathy: Totem Ascendants who select the Dragon as their totem do not receive the Wild Empathy feature as other totem ascendants do, but instead apply the Kinship and Totem Lord bonuses to Wild Empathy to all Bluff, Diplomacy, Intimidate, and Sense Motive checks made against dragons.
Step of the Beast: At 2nd level, Dragon totem ascendants add +10 feet to their movement rate at 2nd level. If they can fly at any point due to some spell or ability, they add +10 feet to their flight speed as well.
Totem Boon: Each time the totem ascendant gains a totem boon, they gain +1 level sorcerer spellcasting. If the character cannot cast sorcerer spells, this boon grants them the ability, meaning a 17th level Dragon totem ascendant casts spells as a 4th level sorcerer. If a Dragon ascendant multiclasses as a sorcerer, their boon levels stack with their sorcerer levels to determine total sorcerer spellcasting ability.
Beastial Drift: At levels 5, 11, and 19, the Dragon totem ascendant may select a beastial drift from the below list.
- Strength of the Wyrm: You gain a +2 bonus to Strength. This bonus is applied to you base Strength, stacks with any other sources, and cannot be removed. This ability may be selected multiple times.
- Heart of the Wyrm: You gain a +2 bonus to Charisma. This bonus is applied to you base Charisma, stacks with any other sources, and cannot be removed. This ability may be selected multiple times.
- Scaleskin (Ex): You gain +2 natural armor as your skin toughens and forms into scales. This bonus stacks with itself, and can be selected multiple times.
- Wyrms Breath (Su): You gain a breath attack, able to deal 2d6 damage of any elemental type. Once you use this ability, you cannot use it again for 5 rounds. You must also wait for 1 hour in between uses to change the elemental type of your breath weapon. You may select this ability multiple times, adding 2d6 damage to the breath weapon each time. The delays in between uses and changes does not change.
- Draconic Senses (Ex): The totem ascendant gains the ability to see twice as well as a human in shadowy illumination, and gains darkvision out to 30 feet.
- Improved Draconic Senses (Ex): This ability can only be selected if you allready have the "Draconic Senses" Beastial Drift. The totem ascendant may now see 4 times as well as a human in shadowy illumination, and gains darkvision out to 60 ft and Blindsense out to 30 ft.

Wildfight, Lesser: At 2nd, 4th, 6th, 8th, and 10th level, a Dragon totem ascendant may select an ability from the list below. Once selected, this ability cannot be changed. Regardless of which Wildfight abilities are selected, all totem ascendants unarmed strikes count as magic beginning at 4th level for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction.
- Claws of the Dragon (Ex): Your unarmed strike becomes focused, feirce, and brutal, as if you were striking with the claws of a mighty dragon. Your unarmed strikes now deals 2d6 slashing and bludgeoning damage, with a critical multiplier of x3.
- Wyrms Presence (Ex): You must have the Claws of the Dragon Wildfight ability to select Wyrms Presence. The force of your presence and personality on the field of battle becomes just as dangerous as the strength of your blows. Your enemies are forced to defend themselves not only against your physical attacks, but the feircness with which you make them. You add your charisma bonus to your unarmed strike when fighting sentient opponents (any creature with an INT of 3 or greater and free will).
- Furious Assault (Ex): As a standard action, you open up on a screaming raging attack against a single creature. if this attack deals a single point of damage, the creature is forced to make a will save (DC 10 + 1/2 your totem ascendant class levels, + your charisma modifier) or become terrified that you will continue attacking them. A creature who fails this will save becomes shaken. If they are allready shaken, they instead become frightened. If they are allready frightened, they instead become panicked, fleeing from you at any cost. This effect lasts until they are no longer engaged in combat with you (the end of the encounter), but you retain a +4 bonus on Intimidate checks against them for 24 hours. Once you have used a furious assault, you cannot use it again for 5 rounds. If a creature succeeds in a will save against your Furious Assault, they are unaffected by it for 24 hours (but existing fear effects caused by it remain).
- Strike of the Wyrms Breath (Su): As a free action, you channel magical energy into your unarmed strike, wreathing it in power. You add your charisma modifier as bonus damage to your unarmed attack for one round. This bonus damage is any elemental type (acid, cold, electricity, fire, or sonic). once you use this ability, you cannot use it again for 5 rounds.
- Wyrms Reaching Blow (Su): As a free action, you call upon your spirit totem to aid you in your fight, granting you the spiritual reach of the mighty dragon. For the remainder of the round, you may make a single attack at your highest attack bonus against any foe within 60 feet, lashing out at them spiritually as if striking them physically with your unarmed attack. This ability still counts as an unarmed attack. Once you use this ability, you cannot do so again for 5 rounds.

Wildfight, Greater: At 12th, 16th, and 18th level, a Dragon totem ascendant may select an ability from the list below. Once selected, this ability cannot be changed.
- Greater Claws of the Dragon (Ex): You must have the Claws of the Dragon lesser Wildfight ability to select this. Your unarmed strike becomes even more focused, feirce, and brutal. Your unarmed strikes now deals 3d6 slashing and bludgeoning damage, with a critical multiplier of x3.
- Terrifying Roar (Ex): As a swift action, you let loose a terrifying yell which forces those in a 30 foot radius around you to make a will save (DC 10 + 1/2 your totem ascendant class levels, + your charisma modifier) or become shaken. If they are allready shaken, they instead become frightened. If they are allready frightened, they instead become panicked. This effect lasts until they are no longer engaged in combat with you (the end of the encounter), but you retain a +4 bonus on Intimidate checks against them for 24 hours. The effects of a Terrifying Roar stack with the effects of a Furious Assault. Once you have used a terrifying roar, you cannot use it again for 5 rounds. If a creature succeeds in a will save against your Terrifying Roar, they are unaffected by it for 24 hours (but existing fear effects caused by it remain).
- Greater Strike of the Wyrms Breath (Su): You must have the Strike of the Wyrms Breath lesser Wildfight ability to select this. Your Strike of the Wyrms Breath ability now adds double your charisma modifier to the elemental damage caused by your unarmed attacks. In addition, this ability now lasts for two rounds instead of one. You must still wait for 5 rounds after using this ability to activate it again.

Wildfight, Ferocious: At 14th and 20th level, a dragon totem ascendant may select an ability from the list below. Once selected, this ability cannot be changed.
- Group Attack (Ex): Like a dragon, you can lash out at many foes at once. As a full round action, you can make a single attack at your highest attack bonus towards every foe you could hit with your unarmed strike. This ability stacks with all other wildfight abilities you may posess, including Wyrms Reaching Blow and Strike of the Wyrms Breath. Once you use this ability, you cannot do so again for 5 rounds.
- Draconic Aura (Ex): As a free action, you exude an air of dragonly might. All creatures within a 30 foot radius of you must make a will save (DC 10 + 1/2 your totem ascendant class levels, + your charisma modifier) or become shaken. If they are allready shaken, they instead become frightened. If they are allready frightened, they instead become panicked. This effect lasts until they are no longer engaged in combat with you (the end of the encounter), but you retain a +4 bonus on Intimidate checks against them for 24 hours. The effects of a Draconic Aura stack with a Terrifying Roar or a Furious Assault. This aura only lasts for one round, and after activating it, you cannot activate it again for 5 rounds. If a creature succeeds in a will save against your Draconic Aura, they are unaffected by it for 24 hours (but existing fear effects caused by it remain).

SilverClawShift
2007-08-30, 06:25 PM
Observations from the design and development standpoint:

- There is a dead level at 12 that we want to plug with something. Probably something inconsequential to power level (like Shadow of the Kin, a flavorful and impacting feature that really doesn't actually DO anything....keep the power level status steady).
- We would like more options for the totems presented.
You get 4 lesser strikes and 4 greater strikes, and 2 beastial drifts.
We'd like at least 6 options in each strike category, and 4 in each drift category, meaning you can NOT pick at least two of them... grab the ones you want only.
- I'm aware there are only two totem animals to choose from currently :smalltongue:
- There is a substantial oddness in the way 'powers' are distributed throughout the day. We're not sure if this is entirely acceptable or not. Initial playtesting hasn't revealed it as a problem, but each power has its own set amount you can use it. Mostly "Once every 4 rounds" and "Once per encounter". There's a single feature (the snake venom beastial drift) which is useable once per day. That one's unavoidable, otherwise, we're going to try to stick with setting things up to be used once every 4 rounds, or once per encounter, with a healthy blend in each totem.
That'll mean you can pick a few abilities that you can use semi-regularily, and a few you can use as the one-shot ace up your sleeve.

- On an unrelated note, we're trying (trying very very hard at that) to avoid using dragons much in the dustlands. We're aware that the game is Dungeons & Dragons, but it's too easy to sprinkle elongated lizard faces over everything and call it flavor.
The city of Beltine has draconic flavoring and ties. We're trying to pin the draconic attitude down and let it stew in Beltine. Dragons are almost extinct in the Dustlands, and we don't want everything to be "Dragon Dragon Dragon" like would be easy to do.

That said, we're including a Dragon totem for two reasons.
1. It's too hard to resist, and someone will just brew one up if we don't have it there by default anyway. Plus it's just fun.
2. The Dragon totem is going to be the oddball totem, with its oddball sister, the Phoenix totem. We felt we couldn't skip out and not have the Phoenix be a totem animal, and if we're including one magical creature, we might as well tuck the magic creatures away and list them under "Rare Magical Totems"

So there you go :).

Feedback of any kind is of course welcome, as always, but bear in mind everything here is Made By Committee, and the head honcho calling the final shots doesn't post here yet.

Hope it's at least fun to read, at the bare minimum :)

SilverClawShift
2007-09-06, 10:42 AM
It's that good, huh? :smalltongue:

SilverClawShift
2007-09-06, 10:37 PM
Geography Cliffnotes

We have a spiffy little Atlas of our world forming up nicely, admittedly in the very beginning stages. I thought I'd take the time to post it, and maybe give a little more information on the geography of this world.

http://i186.photobucket.com/albums/x284/SilverClawShift/Atlas_001.jpg

There. That's the known, mapped, and charted land to date in the Dustlands. Actually, that's a tiny bit more than is known, the edge bleeds a little, and the current 'up to date' copy of the world map is illegal (for reasons I'll get into when I talk about one of the major cities and the governments concerned with it).

I think it's important to point out, looking at this map, that travel here is not something to take lightly.
Travel is dangerous and foreboding in a LIVING world such as Faerun.
Travel in the dustlands is russian roulette.
Messengers, Postmen, Guides, and Travel Guards are considered among the bravest (and most suicidal) people in the world here. To travel from The Cradle of the World to the hillside city of Beltine (the gray blur in the middle, and the jagged peaks in the top-right, respectively) is intensly dangerous. To travel from the wasteling lands (the gray pointy thing up top) straight to Silverbolt City (the tiny star beneath it) is borderline suicide.

The green squiggle, and the gray blur next to it, represent the last time you'd consider yourself in "living" terrain. Everything east of that is a natural world. Forrests, possibly a jungle or two, swamplands and plains. A natural, albeit unhealthy and struggling, world.
Everything west of the gray blur? Dessicated. Hostile. Desert. It's one big angry no-mans land full of stuff that will freaking kill you, and freaking eat you, no kidding.
It's also not a small place. We'll get into easy size comparisons, but as a quickie mention, the gray pointy thing (wasteling lands)? That's divided into chunks each give or take the size of Wyoming in the USA. So it's not something you just set out walking through.

Onto the meat.

http://i186.photobucket.com/albums/x284/SilverClawShift/Atlas_002.jpg

The Hillside City-State of Beltine, and the Edge of the World.

Beltine - Sometimes called the City of Light and Shade, the city of beltine is one of the three human nations that managed to survive the apocolypse (or formed in desperation afterwards, depending on how you slice it). Of the three, Beltine is the most 'friendly' and easy-going land, with the most lax laws and optimistic governmental policies.
They are also the nation that originally endorsed explorers heading west of Nellewauk (roughly translated to Nevergate, which will be detailed further). While even Beltine was politically split into two sides concerning the departure, they did ultimately side with the explorers bent on discovering more about their dying world.

There are still those to this day who regret ever finding out what lay westward.

Beltines own myths, legends, and history books say that they used to share their land with great and noble dragons, and most Beltese humans are brought up 'knowing' for a fact that they are dragon blooded to one degree or another. Their hair and eye color often takes on vivid shades reminiscent of dragon colors (blue, green, red, white, black, silver, gold, ect) but the hair and eyes are not always of the same shades.
There exist organizations who beleive certain colors represent a stronger trace of a specific type of dragon blood, and attribute a level of prestige to it. Certain clubs exist for specific manifestations of color, and there exist many (good-natured) stereotypes related to colors and mix-matches similar to a beleif in zodiac signs.

The Edge of the World - A massive mountain range that sprawls the entire eastern coast, the Edge of the World is commonly refered to as such, because it is utterly immpossible to traverse through mundane means. At every point along its length, there exists a stretch that peirces through the planets atmosphere, leaving the area devoid of breathable air of any kind.
Explorers crossing it through magical means will find nothing but a sheer cliff face dropping into a bleak and lifeless ocean on the other side. How far the ocean extends in that direction is unknown.

http://i186.photobucket.com/albums/x284/SilverClawShift/Atlas_003.jpg

Nellewauk & the Cradle of the World, Explorers Marks, Silverbolt City, and the Line in the Sand

Nellewauk - Named by one of the three surviving human civilizations, Nellewauk (translates roughly to Nevergate) is the one geographical area explicitly mention in all three civilizations historical records and verbal histories, with vague but unyeilding warnings against ever traveling through the 'gate'.
When Devron -the first explorer to set west intent on crossing Nellewauk- first started seeking official support and approval for his travel, he received negative reactions from all three human societies (which were then only first begginning to accept that they were not alone in the world). Finally, Beltine, though split politically on the subject, gave him moral and financial support. He set out with good supplies with good supplies, and an eager team.
Past Nellewauk, they discovered what is now refered to as the Cradle of the World.

Cradle of the World - The Cradle is a strange discomforting gray grassland, where color seems muted and noise does not carry. No one feature in the cradle is so odd as to be considered unnatural, but it inspires a collective discomfort in those who travel through it, despite being free of predators and capable of supporting life. When heading west, the Cradle is the final area that would be considered a healthy and natural world. It is ridged by the Bandde Plateau, beyond which the concept of a natural ecosystem and stable world begin to break down.

Explorers Marks - The Bendda Hills, and the Bandde Plateau were named for two brothers who were part of the original exploration party. The Bendda Hills are a rolling terrain alternating between plains and forrests. The Bandde Plateau is a steep cliff face on both sides coming sheer on either its northernmost or southernmost sides with the salt-water river which acts as a divider between desert and life. On the other side of the Bandde Plateau, there is nothing but bleakness. Sand, stone, and dust.
It's said that when the exploring party initially crested Bandde Plateau and viewed the nothingess beyond, they camped for two days in emotionless silence before continuing their trek.
Devrons Trail marks the original, the primary path taken through the endless desert.
Along the way, it was discovered that the Sliss and Folian races existed on both sides of the Bandde plateau, but the incredibly sparse and feral tribes in the great desert lands could barely be called sentient. The Wrieks and Loaman races were also first discovered living in the rockiest terrains and in surface cave system.
The Wrieks, Sliss, and Folians in these areas seemed to feed primarily on each other, existing in some macabre orgy of cannibalism and tribal warfare.
The Loamans were much more peaceful, but still capable of defending themelves, and meeting the first of them was a great releif to the now exhausted and embittered exploration party. It's said that without the Loamans aid in finding water sources and attempts at guiding, the party would never have made it back.

Devrons trail also marks the first point of futility in attempting to apply the rules of the natural world to the existance of the Dustland. It was agreed by the party to head directly west, regardless of landmarks, so that they would know they could always head directly back simply by going east.
THeir efforts at heading directly west failed. The sun seemed to wobble from hour to hour and day to day, the stars seemed inconsistant and trecherous, and all efforts at using magnetic compasses found them drifting unevenly from yard to yard. While they never were turned too far from their intentional direction, the shaky nature of the trail marks how difficult following a single direction can be in the Dustlands.

Silverbolt City - The city is actually two landmarks in one.

When Devron and his team set out on their trail, they saw nothing but feral savagery and bleak emptiness. The land was hostile, the only living creatures were hostile, and the only landscape was jagged stone.
In the area that is now Silverbolt City, Devron and crew were caught in a hideous sandstorm that threatened to bury them alive. Forced to keep moving against the sand or be lost under it forever, the team stumbled, linked together and blind, for an unknown length of time. As the sandstorm died down, they examined their area, and a monumental discovery was made. There was a small hut, perfectly square and surrounded by three concentric half-circles (facing west, the third and last of which was worn to almost nothingness by the sand). The stone hut was perfectly seemless (aside from a single door with stone hinges) and seemed almost natural as opposed to hand-made.
Inside the stone hut were two things. A small stone slab in the ground that the team could not move, and a statue that, despite being weathered and aged, quite clearly showed a beautiful human female holding her hands to the sky in prayer.
The team miraculously managed to cart the statue back with them through the wastes, and once back in the Cradle of the World, their discovery was quickly taken to Beltine amongst an uproar of political unrest.
There was something out there afterall.
The statue is considered by many to be an elaborate hoax, though any who see it in person question how even a skilled trickster could produce such obvious aging and weathering in such a short time. It now resides in the Beltine museum of art and history, and is guarded very carefully.

Once news of the discovery spread, the political face of the three human civilizations changed wildly. Leaders and advisors who previously had intense isolationist attitudes suddenly made miraculous changes in their statements. Silverbolt City, a joint effort by all three civilizations, was founded and devloped seemingly overnight, despite the dangers and difficulties. But the small stone hut disocvered by Devron cannot be found.
There are many who claim -in hushed tones of course- that the sudden willingness to go against all previous wisdom on the subject is some manner of conspiracy. They claim that the stone hut was intentionally concealed, and the placement of the statue in a museum, instead of an academic lab of some kind, is intended to cover up some unknown truth...or untruth.

Silverbolt City is now a metropolis of many faces. In some areas, law seems powerless to control the rowdy criminal behavior. In other areas, strict curfews are enforced and no one (outside the law-men themselves) is allowed to carry a weapon of any kind in public. Members of many race can be found there in one place or another, and danger can be omnipresent.

The Line in the Sand - a naturally occuring rocky trench marks the end of legal civilization. Not only do all governments currently refuse to enforce any law or attempt any further exploration beyond the line, many governments explicitly OUTLAW crossing the line at all. Any such persons found on the wrong side of the line will be declared high criminals, and in some locations, executed on sight.

SilverClawShift
2007-09-06, 11:14 PM
Continued

http://i186.photobucket.com/albums/x284/SilverClawShift/Atlas_004.jpg

The Bleak North, home of the Wastelings

The Bleak North - So named because negative energy bleeds through in this area, radiating it due to some strange planar damage which occured during armageddon. Everything in the bleak north seems more lifeless and bland... colors seem gray, sound seems muffled, the sky itself seems dim and bleak. And almost nothing is alive.
Undeath is the theme most common to the bleak north. The animals and even the plants thrive in the most unnatural ways. Anything alive that dies in the bleak north is likely to get up and continue its behavior in a grotesque mockery of instinct and the cycle of life.

Rotwood Forest - If any area could be said to best sum up the Bleak North, it is the Rotwood Forest. It is composed entirely of Rotwood templated plant life (mostly trees, though some strong stalks of grass grow haphazardly, and mishapen and ever wilting flowers continue their macabre bloom). The forest chokes the only passage through to the penninsula that is the wasteling home land, turning any effort to leave or enter into a possible gamble of life or death.
Rotwood plants aren't stopped by water, either. The forest continue past the border of the land, growing in a dark and twisted maze of interconnecting plantlife well into the Black Sea.
The Rotwood Forest is a cancer on the allready dying world of the Dustlands. Given time, it will consume anything and everything the world has to offer, choking it, and growing until all that is left, is the rot.

The Black Sea - Skeletal sharks glide silently through the gray-black waters, feeding on zombified fish and other now-rotting marine life. There have even been rumors of vampiric dolphins... though how such creatures came to be, even in the bleak north, is disturbing to think about.

Devrons Tease - The almost-trail of Devrons Tease, where land threatens to touch land like two desperate hands reaching for each other. So named for the fabled explorer Devron, the last of his excurssions into the unknown. Devron and a crew of eager explorers set out into the black sea with the intention of sailing the relatively short distance between land masses, hoping to find a shortcut which would bypass most of the bleak north.
It was the last Devron was ever heard from. The idea that that powerful adventurer is now rotting below the black sea is not nearly as terrifying as the possibility that he is doing more than just rotting...

Wasteling Homelands - Marked in gray, a fitting color, the wasteling homelands are the only area of the bleak north that one can hope to consistently find living creatures. Of course, those living creatures comfortably ride undead mounts and feel no aversion to the rotting monstrosities that shamble among them... but for explorers greeted with nothing but the moans of unliving creatures crying out through rotting vocal chords, even the dispassionate wastelings can be a warm and welcome sight.

Ceverne - The only wasteling nation that forbids necromancy and considers undeath an unnatural state, Ceverne is also the least popular. Though not outright struggled against, the heart of the Wasteling homelands shares an uneasy relationship with the surrounding territory.

http://i186.photobucket.com/albums/x284/SilverClawShift/Atlas_005.jpg

Ah, and finally, the Lighthouse.

The Lighthouse - In the middle of a sea so salty its waters are lethal, rests a tiny forgotten island which would GENEROUSLY be described as a rocky outcrop. On this tiny island rest an ancient rotting lighthouse, reinforced haphazardly and held together by unseen magics. In this makeshift tower resides, the lich

The lich is, quite possibly, the only 'living' thing to have existed pre-armageddon. Who he once was and what he once did is lost to the sands of time however, buried in an unknowable history. You see, the lich is insane, even by lich standards. So insane, that he can not even rightly be considered evil anymore. No, at this point, the centuries and millenia of silence (and guilt?) have driven the once sadistic creature into state of mind no other creature might even attempt to understand.
If you had to describe the lich's alignment... you might try Chaotic-Chaotic. Or Neutral-Psychotic.
The lich (he no longer remembers anything resembling a name or title) has spent the last several centuries creating bizarre... 'constructs', more accurately described as a blend between a physical elemental and a golem. Using whatever he had laying around, the lich made these creations ranging from diminutive to tiny, and set them out in random directions, observing the world through their unseeing eyes, desperately hoping to find something, anything else with even a glimmer of sentience or thought... at this point, even a creature driven by instinct would be welcome company to the lich.
If one somehow encountered the lich (and we do plan to construct a real adventure including him), joining him in his residence would be an 'experience' to say the least. He will ramble endlessly, nonsensically, in every language he knows, barely hearing anything said to him as his knowledge and secrets come spilling out happily to his delightful guests. No amount of rudeness, hostility, or even attacks will disuade him from his behavior. If his guests are even capable of inflicting lasting harm on him, he will simply combat them in an effort to subdue them, prattling on the entire time.
Through meeting him, though, one might have a chance of learning some splintered fragments of the truth surrounding the secrets of this dying world... the truth of the armageddon... and perhaps even a measure of guilt the lich feels for what occured.
It's even possible that the lich is somewhat responsible.

The lich will not let you leave.

The constructs he creates are made primarily of glass and saltwater -the glass made from the sands of the seabed- as he otherwise lacks renewable construction materials.
The fortunate thing for any adventurer stumbling across on of his constructs? The salt is expelled by his creation over time, leaving glass containers of pristine drinkable water... a valuable commodity in a barren desert.
But the lich also knows now, that he's not the last remaining creature in the universe. And he wants company.

*********************

And if anyone happens to want the (unfinished) atlas in full size, I'm sure I can get it and upload it for ya.

SilverClawShift
2007-09-16, 09:06 PM
Spellshot Pistol

http://i186.photobucket.com/albums/x284/SilverClawShift/SpellshotPistol.jpg

Cost: 450 gp
Damage: (varies)
Critical: (varies)
Range Increment: 30 ft.
Weight: 2 lb.
Damage Type: (varies)

Simultaneously elegant and complex, the Spellshot Pistol is an utterly unique exotic weapon. Rather than firing mundane physical rounds, the Spellshot Pistol uses specially prepared "wands" of ammunition. Once the wand is created and locked into place, the spellshot pistol automatically drains a charge from it, producing a simple (usually) blast of magical energy. The pistol itself is only a channel for the magical energies to drain through, and as a result, the weapon itself has less to do with the resulting blast than the ammunition that is placed into it. Common wands (called Stackrounds) create a blunt pulse of energy which survivors often relate to a solid kick from a strong mule. Other wands may produce weaker or more powerful effects, and often cost significantly more.
A single spellshot pistol can be reloaded as a swift action, even if both hands are occupied. Because of the weapons compact and graceful nature, it can be used in close combat without penalty (unlike many other ranged weapons).
Unlike with a more mundane firearm, an indrect shot will dissipate the magical energy harmlessly, deflecting outwards in all directions with a light pressure. This weapon will not tear through armor and wound flesh casually, it must be used properly to inflict damage.

Ammunition
A "wand" of ammunition most be specially designed and created for use in Spellshot pistols. It can not safely be used outside of the weapon, though there have been claims that they can be rigged to create a small but powerful explosion in a pinch.
Spellshot ammunition is usually made by an arcane caster, but is very easy to make in comparison to a scroll or similar item. Mass production of spellshot ammo is much more realistic. It should also be noted that non-spellcasters have been known to learn tricks necessary to create the relatively simple ammunition without actually learning any magic themselves. (this will be represented by a feat).
************************************************** ***********
Stackround Ammo
Damage: 2d4
Critical: x3
Damage Type: Bludgeoning
Pricing: 1 gp, 6 shots per stick
************************************************** ***********
Cursebreaker Ammo
Damage: 1d4
Critical: x3
Damage Type: Peircing
Special: Cursebreak Ammo counts as silver for overcoming damage reduction. Cursebreaker Ammo also ignores the normal miss chance for striking an incorporeal creature such as a ghost, but does not ignore miss chances from physical or mundane sources.
Pricing: 2gp, 6 shots per stick
************************************************** ***********
Mercyreach Ammo
Damage: 2d6
Critical: x2
Damage Type: Bludgeoning
Special: Mercyreach Ammo does not deal lethal damage.
Pricing: 2gp, 6 shots per stick

Spell Rounds
Spell Rounds are sticks of ammunition for the Spellshot pistol specifically designed to cast a single spell. They are created in the same manner as spell scrolls, but the formula for creation (and therefor purchase price) is much more expensive.
Spell rounds are usually very visually different from normal rounds, often being made partially of glass (which does not survive the firing), and are frequently covered in arcane markings. They may or may not be labeled, and some spellcasters have been shown to be capable of creating mundane-looking ammunition which hide spectacularily powerful spells.
You can create a one-shot stick of ammo that fires off a specific magical spell for -Spell Level x Caster Level x 75 gold- plus XP cost as if scribing a scroll. You must be able to cast the spell during the creation of the ammo, must provide any material components or spell focus items, and must provide any XP cost in casting the spell beyond that which creating the spell round would normally take. Creating a spell round takes 1 day per 1000 gp of the base item price.
************************************************** ***********
Lightning Bolt Round
Special: A Lightning Bolt Round produces an effect identical to the Lightning Bolt spell, caster level 5th. A lightning bolt round must overcome spell resistance normally, and behaves in all respects as if it were cast from a scroll
Default creation for a wizard: 1125gp, 15 XP, 1 day
Market Pricing: 2250gp, 1 shot per stick

Incomplete Notes on Special Weapon Qualities:
Ghost Charge - The Spellshot Pistol can draw and store a single round from a stick of ammunition, and fire it normally, even if the weapon is unloaded.
Silver Rail - The Spellshot Pistol amplifies all ammunition fired through it in a very specific fashion. Any (non-spell) ammo fired from a Silver Rail pistol counts as silver for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction.

************************************************** **************
What?
a.k.a. Balance concerns.
Yes, having a spellshot pistol does mean that you can cast a spell without any real effort, and no failure chance, provided you spend enough cash.
That said, it's a LOT of cash.
If you're a spellcaster, you're better off making scrolls. If you're a non-spellcaster, you're better off befriending (or hiring) a spellcaster. So why bother? Flavor reasons mostly.
Regardless of their ridiculous price, we wanted to ensure that one-shot spell rounds existed in the world, and could be created and used. A 5d6 lightning bolt is all but guaranteed to kill your average human being, and the idea of a hitman striking from a rooftop with a lightning round is just downright groovy.
A DM could opt to drop the occasional spell-stick for his gunslinging players. These could be anything, from one-shot one-kill disintegrate rounds created for no other reason than to assassinate someone, to fireball rounds created for crowd control. A rogue infiltrating would probably grin at the prospect of pressing a gun into the base of someones neck and firing a sleep spell. It's even possible that healing rounds would be created for emergency uses by towns or adventurers. You can't always carry a cleric with you, but a bone-white wand with a golden leaf design that is your healing ace-in-the-hole?

Why?
The Spellshot Pistol is a creation for my groups fledgling campaign world, The Dustlands. The brutally short pitch is that the Dustlands is a fantasy western, a world like faerun that came to a sudden apocalyptic halt, and then went from there. It's a bitter, largely wasteland location with a western-expanionist mentality. A myth-and-legend version of cowboys and indians. It's also meant to be a D20 world that's 100% compatible with base D&D (similar to eberron, if it exists in one world, it can exist in the other).
So what does that all mean? Well, we needed a weapon. A western flavored weapon for a world where magic is stronger than lead. Knowing the weapon would essentially be an iconic representation of what the world was all about, we had a long list of criteria we felt we needed to meet in its creation.
It had to be useful. There needed to be a reason to want to pick up and fire one of these.
It couldn't automatically replace swords and armor. The weapon shouldn't render a good solid sword and stout shield useless.
It had to be adaptable. An arrow against a great wyrm is not a fantastic combat option. This weapon has to have a purpose, even when you're face to face with an angry demon and a pack of ticked off werewolves.

I think we succeeded. The Spellshot Pistol is a nifty little ranged weapon, that a martial fighter, or a deadeyed gunslinger, would be happy to pick up and fire. At the same time, it doesn't make a katana weilding blade master cower in fear. Both mechanically and flavor-wise, a sword fighter could go toe to toe with a gunslinger and still hope to win the fighter. Dropping a spellshot pistol into a different fantasy setting won't wildly upset the power balance, it will simply be another option (admittedly, an exotic one, but not so fascinatingly powerful that it renders its world moot).
And, it's scaleable. There's no reason a DM couldn't give a player access to more powerful ammo for more dangerous worlds.

As far as the Dustlands themselves, the euipment section is going to include a more detailed write-up about the way the weapon interacts with the world, but the important part is that it fills every role it's needed for, including blending in with mainstream D&D.
It's recomended that, despite the cost, DMs hosting a Dustlands game allow players who intend to use pistols in some capacity have a simple spellshot pistol as part of their starting gear. Otherwise, it's more of a financial investment, requiring a substantial amount of gold to obtain (and MAINtain).
It's one area where a sharp blade, and the spellshot pistol, vary greatly. A sword could realistically be obtained by anyone with a fair bit of effort. A commoner might not be able to get much more than a plain shortsword, but almost anyone is going to be able to buy, steal, find, or inherit at least some kind of blade. Most blades could also serve multiple purposes, such as cooking or butchering.
A spellshot pistol? It costs almost as much as a solid suit of armor, and the only thing it can realistically be used for is combat. That means that, when you see someone who has one holstered at their side, you know something. You know they took the effort and money to get, keep, and carry one of these things.
Even in a world where everyone carries a knife or shortsword, the message of the spellshot is loud and clear. "I'll try to kill you, if it comes to that."

Anything Else?
Yeah, actually. The world this weapon was made for is very much a work in progress. So I'll note that we have preliminary concepts for "Rifled" spellshot weapons, as well as incorporation of our base caster systems for use with this ammunition (glyph covered ammo anyone?).
We're also working on the rules for using wand-sticks as, essentially, TNT. You can't have a western without high-explosives. Heck, High-explosives make everything better :smallbiggrin:



I feel like I'm forgetting to mention stuff, but ah well. Any questions, comments, and considerations are more than welcome.

Disclaimer: I did not draw this picture, and I am not the sole designer of this weapon. It's a group effort, though mostly the effort of one person in particular (who is not me).

SilverClawShift
2007-09-29, 06:34 PM
Planar Bleeding

The war of Armageddon had many effects on the world of the Dustlands. Races were driven to extinction, planets were picked clean, entire planes of existance were shattered into nothingness.
When the champions -the survivors of the apocalypse who somehow remained standing- entered the 'after' beyond all that which is known and unknowable, all of reality was destined to fade away to nothingness behind them. The stragglers, the bleak, those unworthy of damnation or salvation, were left in a husk of reality, cursed to non-existance.
Somehow, splintered fragments of existance, shards of reality, stubbornly refused to vanish. The few beings remaining in those dessicated worlds carried on, fighting against inevitability, and remarkably managed to do what nothing should have been able to. They continued to exist.

But the universe is not a healthy one. It could almost be called an undead realm, the very physical makeups continuing to shamble and shuffle even as the life force behind it was rent out and discarded.
Among the myriad of problems reality now faces (the utter lack of divine guidance being the least of which), the multi-purpose bonds between the planes were likewise wounded. Those strands which simultaneously connected, seperated, and allowed passage between different facets of reality have cracked and split. Now, in some locations, the planes literally bleed, the forces of each mingling and producing alien effects.

The most noteable examples of this planar blood in the main Dustlands setting, is in the Bleak North. A section of land that pulses and oozes with negative energy.
The effects of the Bleak North are well known, even if the causes behind the force are not. The Wasteling race, the naturally occuring undead ecosystem dominating any living creatures, and the notorious Rotwood Forrest... a vast gnarled and mangled maze of branches seeming to grow from each other in all directions, into and out of the ground, miles into the sky, and even beginning to creep out into the horrible black waters of the undead seas.

But many wonder, why does such a place manage to even exist?

****************************************

The Remnant Divinity, Carcerack

When all factors are taken into considerations, many would be amazed at how powerless the deities actually are. Fate is a very heavy force, heavier on those who know the future than on those who are shrouded in the details of unpredictable choice. Destiny can cripple the mightiest warrior, or unravel the cunningest plan, and it can be argued that the more powerful a force of the cosmos is, the more beholden to fate and destiny they are.
Mortals, for better or for worse, have only vague ideas about what will happen. It is freedom, and it is simultaneously a blessing and a curse.
The deities, however, are crippled by their own knowledge of what was, what is, and what will be. When the outcome of each war and battle is written across the stars, and the details of your destruction were known before your creation, your every thought and action becomes little more but a cog in a great machine.
At no time is unerring force of destiny more stronger, than during that grand finale to all that is or was. The outcome of Armageddon was known before the universe began to take shape. Its battles were simply a formality.

And in the world of the dustlands, Evil was fated to win.

Pre-Armageddon, there was a Lawful Evil deity known as Carcerack, Tyrant of the tyrannical, the unforgiving judge, a paragon of ruthless manipulative hatred. It was Carcerack who was fated to win the final war, and to determine the nature of... whatever was meant to come afterwards.
Carcerack was simply too powerful to lose. Too vile and cunning to find anything less than the perfect path to victory, and too evil and merciless to be be held back from his attacks. Carcerack would win this fight, and ALL would despair.
It was during Carceracks battle with the forces of chaos that the first threads of reality began to fray and unravel. The Chaotic Neutral deity known only as "Lady Luck", the primal force in opposition to law, was destined from the start of existance to be felled by Carceracks hatred. And when he vanquished her, all of her forces would die with her, leaving nothing but cold hard law. It was to be the final turning point in the war, and an event which could not be avoided by either side.
But the Lady took a gamble, and true to her name, lucked out.
The details of her victory are lost, but it is known that she rallied all the divine forces left in the universe to strike at carcerack in the instance she was to be felled. It was those forces Carcerack found, rather than the figurehead of chance. It was those forces that warred with him at the grand crossroad of destiny.
They could not destroy carcerack, his power ran deeper than all of theirs combined. So they did the only thing they possibly could. They contained Carcerack. Imprisoned in chains of unbreakable divine metals, Carcerack was rendered blind, deaf, numb, and helpless.
Reality shudders when destiny is defeated, but all had succeeded at what was truly immpossible. They had bested the one who was meant to win the war of armageddon.
The rest of the battle played out, much much differently than fated, and all those who remained traveled into the 'after' beyond existance itself. They left Carcerack to rot in his prison, confident that he would fade from reality with the rest of the universe...and those stragglers who remained in it, hidden away in the farest corners.

It is unknown how Carcerack lashed out in his state. It may even be unknown to Carcerack himself. Perhaps his hatred grew stronger than any containing force could hope to control, perhaps the evil machinations inherant to his nature found some loophole in his current state. Or perhaps destiny is stronger than any would like to admit.
However he did it, the Tyrant struck in the last moments of the universe, snaring three creatures (two celestials, and a mortal champion), binding them in the same metal he found himself encased in. The three creatures (The mortal Perecept, and the celestials Augan and Audaz) were each left with a single sense (vision, touch, and hearing) through which their master now experiences the world. The unbreakable chains of his prison wrenched open the path between this reality and the next, leaving a slim, almost non-existant fracture between the worlds.

Through that hairline crack, Perecept watches the next world with hatred. Along the chains of his prison, Augan caresses the seemless bindings in search of escape. And through the bleeding planes Audaz sits silently, and listens to the world of the mortals.

Carcerack can do nothing. But he waits. He waits, and he waits.

******************************

Those few who know the shaded secrets of the past have many beleifs about what occured. The most common beleif is that it was the will of the survivors who anchored this existance, bracing it against destruction. The stragglers and misfits who crawled out of the reaches to re-forge life from a lifeless world have not only demanded, but TAKEN their existance away from the ether.

Some scholars have a much more disturbing theory. There are those who beleive that Carcerack is the sole lifeline of this world. The crippled god, the powerless power, and the sole link between this world and the next. The idea that his endless hatred, and his desire for macabre justice, is all that keeps this world alive is a terrifying one indeed.

It is known that the unbreakable chains of Carceracks prison also serve as new ties between different planes of existance. In places, these ties have weakened or warped the world around them. Such it is in the bleak north.

*****************************

Coming up sometime in the future: Details about Rotwood for use in the dustlands (and other worlds), the Folian player race, and Rotwood templates for folian creatures and player characters :).

SurlySeraph
2007-09-29, 09:13 PM
Wow, I missed a bunch of updates on this...

I like the notes on travel being a really, really bad idea. It makes perfect sense given the setting, and it helps remind you that in a post-apocalyptic world, everything is supposed to be dangerous. The history is all pretty interesting and well thought-out, and I like the idea of The Line in the Sand being a no-go zone. How is it enforced, if at all? Did the explorers put some kind of spell to mark anyone who tries to cross the line?
The Bleak North is, as I expected, completely and totally made out of awesome. The rotwood growing into the sea is a nice touch, showing how unstoppable it is. The undead ecosystem is creepy and pretty cool - Wasteling Druids could be pretty interesting to play, seeing "normal" animals as disturbing and unnatural. And vampiric dolphins... wow.
The lich is very disturbing. Too few stories with liches consider what spending thousands of years alone would do to someone's mind. Are you going to stat him out, or just have him be a "If you attack him, you lose" character?
Are you going to go into more detail on Perecept, Augan, and Audaz? A campaign against Carcerak cultists, with one of them as BBEG, would work well (and I like how "Carcerak" is derived from the Latin word for "prison.")

Saint George
2007-09-30, 01:58 PM
I feel like I am just repeating myself over and over. "Wow"

"Awesome!"

"Great!"

But really, this is already hands down my favorite homebrew on this board. I get giddy when I see it pop up from time to time. All of the ideas are just pefect. Every inkling you give gets my mind racing with ideas and gives the urge to try to run a Dustlands campaign. If this were a book, I would buy it.

Keep up the amazing work!


PS: Oh, I will definately use the Whitelight Shakes. Damn cocky healers.


Edit: Just a random thought. In regards to the Whitelight Shakes would it be possible for the disease to be removed by say a vampires energy drain attack? Or some sort of other level draining power?

SilverClawShift
2007-10-01, 10:10 PM
I feel like I am just repeating myself over and over. "Wow"

"Awesome!"

"Great!"
But really, this is already hands down my favorite homebrew on this board.


:smallredface:

Really, I can't even think of a reply. Thank you. I'm just glad to be able to lend a hand in it, and to show it off to other before we compile and release a formal PDF.


Edit: Just a random thought. In regards to the Whitelight Shakes would it be possible for the disease to be removed by say a vampires energy drain attack? Or some sort of other level draining power?

That would make a lot of sense. I'm sure my DM would rule off the cuff "Oh, yeah" on that one. I'll bring it up the next time I talk to him.

SilverClawShift
2007-10-01, 11:38 PM
I like the idea of The Line in the Sand being a no-go zone. How is it enforced, if at all? Did the explorers put some kind of spell to mark anyone who tries to cross the line?

THAT is another post or three. The hints of conspiracy among the few surviving civilizations, the presence and continued survival of the peaceful loaman tribes in an area full of nothing but psychotic cannibals (that make "the hills have eyes" look like the brady bunch), the statue and the missing stone hut (which each hold a few secrets still), and the line in the sand...

It's all about an organization that most of the dustlands doesn't even know exists. In most fantasy settings, "Secret" organization means "they do things without telling you". Everyone's still heard of them though.
Not this one.

The Lock Brotherhood (alternatively, the Lock Organization, or the Lock Agency depending on which chapter you're talking to) is a secret group that laughs at secret groups. In fact, it's kind of an internal problem.
Individually, they're normal people who happen to be working towards a shared goal, and with shared resources.
But as a group? The lock brotherhood is scizophrenic. They're an organization that keeps secrets and is in perpetual conflict WITH ITSELF. The fact that all their internal inconsistencies cause so many problems for them, and that STILL no one knows they exist, is a testament to how skilled, cunning, or ruthless they are (depending, again, on which section you encounter).

Spoilers for a setting that isn't even done? We are planning on making official modules/adventures for it. It's not a big deal, but I hate to ruin a noteable twist without at least saying it's a spoiler.

A lot of the things that aren't known in the Dustlands, aren't known because the lock agency doesn't WANT anyone to know them. Like, say, that statue devron and co. found in the desert? It has something hidden in its base. A rather simple magical rod.

A rod that has a single charge of Stone to Flesh.

They know that. But they figure there's no reason YOU need to know that.

So, it may seem like I'm not answering the question, but I am. The Line in the Sand is there. They don't want you crossing it. Are you insta-busted just for stepping over the line? That's up to your DM. It's definately something that you should be thinking twice about though. Outlaw status isn't something to take lightly in a world where the paladin/sherrif might have a bullet of Disintegration.

Really... the lock need a lot more info posted about them before you can figure you know what they're all about.


The lich is very disturbing. Too few stories with liches consider what spending thousands of years alone would do to someone's mind. Are you going to stat him out, or just have him be a "If you attack him, you lose" character?

Yeah, The lich is certainly a little tragic and uncomfortable of a character. He's just...so....lonely.
It's a little unique, and probably not fitting with what some people imagine liches to be. But don't take lightly what a few thousands years of global and planar silence will do to a person... no matter how dead that person is.
Personally, I like the idea that he's become so far gone that you can't even fairly call him evil anymore. He's like a vestige. Good and evil just can't apply to someone like that at this point.

As for statting him out, that's mostly up to our DM, but we've talked about it. He might actually be a glyphcrafter lich. Which would have interesting implications. Might even be a new lich-like template for him. But I can't say, the head honcho might make him an evoker wizard lich for all I know.

I DO know that the lich pretty much won't kill you if he has any other option. He'd gladly fight to save peoples lives at this point. Not out of altruism, he just doesn't want to see anyone stop talking when they might have something worth hearing. And after a few millenia of silence "I like bread" is something worth hearing.

I know he's high-level concern. Hell, you need to be high level to reach him, the ocean around his 'tower' is fatal. As for wether high-level means "High level can get away" or actually being able to destroy him, is another question entirely.


Are you going to go into more detail on Perecept, Augan, and Audaz? A campaign against Carcerak cultists, with one of them as BBEG, would work well (and I like how "Carcerak" is derived from the Latin word for "prison.")

Oh yeah, plenty. There's also the unmentioned fact that there was supposed to be a forth being snagged, but somehow managed to escape. Ouvercne was meant to be Carceracks voice. She's free of him, but stuck in this world. And Carcerack is stuck without a herald. It would have likely been a much different history, if Carcerack could communicate with the world.

Officially, there's no Cult of Carcerack, but you can of course make one for your game. That's because officially, only crazy high level scholars of the lock agency have even heard the name "Carcerack", much less know details about him.
That said, information bleeds. Even secret information. The idea that lock-agents gone rogue might be trying to worship carcerack for some reason? Very possible. It's even possible that, say, they'd be posing as a sheriff. A very lawful evil sherriff. With a lot of chains, and very small prison cells.

The big leak for Carcerack getting into the game world though? Well, heh, I guess I'm gonna get derailed to talk about the pre-armageddon pantheon.

The pantheon in this world has a few oddball deities, but a lot of them are going to be 'common folklory' type beings. For instance, you allready know that the Chaotic Neutral deity was called only Lady Luck. She was one of the three "Ladies". Blind Lady Justice (Lawful Neutral) and Lady Liberty (Neutral Good)). Neutral Evil is Old Man Winter (seriously). The other three seasons were lesser (but unique) celestial under him, the most powerful of which was Autumn (who was actually a lesser deity, the only one so far). We don't have the whole pantheon nailed out to a T yet, but True Neutral was a deity called reflect.
We're going to stat out the pantheon in two ways. One way as real deities, for if you would like to play pre-armageddon games (or for use in 'alternate' worlds that still tie to the dustlands a little...).
Mind you, a pre-armageddon game in the dustlands would be a teensy bit silly, because it would basically be Faerun with spellshot pistols. But you know, whatever, it's your table :smallbiggrin:

The second way we're going to stat out the deities? The way they're intended to be used in this world?

Well. Let's just say that the Binder base class needs a little lovin' :smallamused:
So they're going to be contactable vestiges in this world. What is the "after" the deities all went to? Tough to really say, but even if it's not the place vestiges come from, the deities can still be called AS vestiges here in the Dustlands.

This makes Binders an interesting source of information in this world. They can actually, in a very limited sense, contact the missing deities. One deity for each vestige level.

And... Carcerack. This isn't a healthy world. Clerics don't talk to god here. Binders do. And a high level binder will find themselves being able to touch Carceracks essence. Even summoned, Carcerack still cannot communicate. But he can be bound. And he can INFLUENCE those who make pacts with him.
Boom. Carcerack is now touching the world. :smallamused:

Where does it go from there? That's up to you the players, and the DM. But it probably isn't gonna be healthy... :smallbiggrin:

Marek
2007-10-02, 01:08 AM
This article is made of pure, unadulterated WIN.

On another note, I was reading this while a war movie was being shown on tv and I began thinking of a siege weapon that could probably never work: The Spellshot Gatling Cannon. Basically four specially made spellshot barrels that are fused together, with somebody sitting in the middle directing the fire. Think WWII era anti-aircraft (I believe) guns. Ammo would be in the form of multiple-shot sticks, 8-shots per round (each barrel has it's own ammunition), and there are always at least two barrels firing, so you can imagine the devastation. Would probably set the price of this around 50,000 gps due to the time and effort needed to make the cannon, and even then make it a pain to lug around and the ammo hard to come by (300 gps a stick) Probably it'll be too prohibitively expensive for a group to lug around, but as a siege weapon for warring city-states, it oculd become an invaluable asset to either defenders or a means to take out fortified positions.

SilverClawShift
2007-10-24, 05:55 AM
Not to just bump this with no new content, I just wanted to give it an explenation.

Right now, my group is waist deep in a horror campaign that's taking all of our gaming time. When we finish this in a week or so, we'll be back to giving the dustlands a little more attention.

Manticorkscrew
2007-11-03, 09:06 PM
It's that good, huh? :smalltongue:

It's brilliant. I'll have to try out the mechanics first, but I really like the fluff.

mostlyharmful
2007-11-04, 07:53 PM
The Wastlings in particular rock, just perfect for any world with a big negative energy soaked area. or society that focused on necromancy. Or a gods curse, good stuff.

Eldmor
2007-11-06, 08:11 PM
This..... is so amazing. When this is released in completion, I will recruit people to play it in seconds. It will likely take less time than that to get a full party. A truly original idea that isn't afraid to just go with things.
Not to needle but, will there be a 4.0 version?

shaddy_24
2007-11-09, 10:57 PM
This is simply brilliant. I have no better words to describe this. I would love to see the finished version of this world and if I can provide any help to this (besides pictures) I will. This world will be something to be remembered.

loopy
2007-11-10, 12:33 AM
Heh, it's also worth mentioning that a half-wriek likely has ONE parent, and it's likely a non-wriek player race mother. The Wriek 'culture' can only be called that because they're sentient. Wrieks as a group tend to behave as wild beasts on a level that would make orcs look civilized.

Now are you reminding me of the Reavers from Firefly/Serenity, albeit not entirely human, and still sentient. Awesome campaign setting, and a thank you to whoever linked the Gun Mage earlier.

I'm going to try and get my DM to allow me to use that or the spellshot pistol for my next character.

SilverClawShift
2007-11-10, 04:32 PM
It's brilliant. I'll have to try out the mechanics first, but I really like the fluff.

Thanks :smallredface:

Mechanically, it very much needs work. The concepts are down, and show off what the class is meant to do, but it all needs to be cleaned up (both the wording and the raw numbers behind them) and then expanded upon into new animals.
Basically it just needs to be polished, and heavily. It's got great potential, but it's definately under-worked.

The first thing that needs to be done is to standardize when and how abilities can be used. There are simply too many different mechanics for the class to keep track of.
It's going to be updated so that only three mechanics exist for the class abilities.
- At Will
- Once used, cannot be used again for 5 rounds.
- Once per day.
Every class ability for the totem ascendant needs to fall into one of those three. That'll simplyify things greatly, I think.

Totem strike needs to be removed, and a similar mechanic for making your strikes magical needs to be included in the class 'strikes' list for player convenience.
Strike of the Wild (lesser and greater) needs to be re-examined. Our DM has some good ideas on how to clean it all up.
Totem Boons will probably be bumped up to 5 total, at levels 3, 7, 11, 15, and 19.
Totem Lord needs to provide a special capstone for each totem animal.

Still, it has a lot of potential. We'll actually probably be working on it soon, because we're in a city campaign, and one of our group said he wanted to be a Bat Totem Ascendant (The DM said if he even utters the phrase "I'm Batman", in character or out, the character will die a sudden and excruciating death, and he'll also be kicked in the shins).


The Wastlings in particular rock, just perfect for any world with a big negative energy soaked area. or society that focused on necromancy. Or a gods curse, good stuff.

The wastelings do indeed rock. They're great in the dustlands, they're great in faerun, they're great in eberron. They're just a really solid player race that our table actually uses with some regularity now that they're made.

On our to-do list is a wasteling racial paragon class, a wasteling only prestige class that lets them further examine their ties to undeath along specific themed lines (ghost, vampire, ghoul, zombie), and wasteling racial feats to exaggerate their wasteling-ish nature.
Mind you, our to-do list is pretty darned big.


Not to needle but, will there be a 4.0 version?

Ah. That's the big question lately isn't it?

We have no freaking clue. We're waiting for 4.0 to come out, so we can check the books before we even decide if we're going to migrate, or become the next generation of old-timers who just don't understand why people use the new mechanics.

We like 3.0 (or 3.5, whatever) We have tons of 3.5 books. We collect and organize 3.5 homebrew for our own uses. Our campaign setting has been designed for 3.5 D&D and eberron and D20 and what have you.

We don't know if we'll even be PLAYING 4.0, much less homebrewing for it. If we move over, and there's reason and room to make new content, then sure. But likely, we'll be continuing our slow-but-steady climb towards compiling and releasing the dustlands as it allready exists, in 3.5.

But who knows, it might be easily converted too. Only time will tell.


This is simply brilliant. I have no better words to describe this. I would love to see the finished version of this world and if I can provide any help to this (besides pictures) I will. This world will be something to be remembered.

Thanks :smallsmile:

Unfortunately it probably won't be fully complete and ready for quite some time. It's a lot of content and all. But it's nice to know people enjoy it, and we'll certainly keep working on it. Someday, god willing, it'll be compiled into an honest-to-god book/pdf.


and a thank you to whoever linked the Gun Mage earlier.

I'm going to try and get my DM to allow me to use that or the spellshot pistol for my next character.

:smallbiggrin: :smallbiggrin: :smallbiggrin:

SilverClawShift
2007-11-10, 09:00 PM
Nature adapts. It's what it does, and has always done. The Folians are a prime example of natures constant drive to feed, breed, and thrive, under even the harshest of circumstances. While explicit details of folian history are unknown, most everyone -folians included- agree on the general concept. Once a species of carnivorous plants, the Folians -either due to necessity or expediancy- developed greater and greater ways of observing, luring, and attacking their prey in search of their primary food source, blood. Eventually, they developed the ability to uproot themselves entirely.
Now they exist as a verdant mockery of other humanoid races (who, not coincedentally, serve as their primary food source).

Personality:
Ultimately the Folian are a sentient race of unique individuals, with as wide a spectrum of outlooks and beleifs as any other race. Underneath that blanket truth, however, the folians have a general tendency towards brutality. Their viciousness comes not out of any sort of racial rage or fury, but out of simple primal hunger for the blood of other creatures. Meat, blood, organs, and bone comprise the entireity of the folian diet (excluding fresh water and sunshine), and any race that universally carniverous can't help but see a meal anytime they see something small enough to swallow (this includes fingers, eyes, chunks of flesh that could potentially be carved or torn away, bodily fluids, and the organs underneath it all). Folians seem paradoxal, calmly passionate, ready to stand motionless for hours, or even days, only to suddenly strike in an orgy of ruthless violence and insatiable bloodlust. They generally prefer not to be indoors or underground, as a folian away from direct sunlight for a month will begin to starve to death just as if they had not eaten physical food. They are not unwilling to descend into caves or enter buildings, but are quick to panic if they beleive they are trapped in such circumstances.
Physical Description:
Folians, more than anything, resemble a humanoid flower/flytrap comprised entirely of leafy greens and thin strips of wood, bark, and sturdy fibrous material similar to cactus skin. Their torso is a small hollow hourglass, where they digest their meals. Larger chunks are caught in the top half and coated in a powerful acid. Liquid, smaller bits, and the sludge that results from the chunks caught up top filter down to the second, where they are slowly digested.
Due to their leafy appearance, they seem much more massive than they actually are. While limbs may appear broad and full from one angle, other angles reveal them to be as thin as regular leaves. However, their physical structure (including each of their limbs) is supported by a 'skeleton' of wooden material, and the fluid system of tubes which allows them to move. Their leg-limbs are usually concealed underneath heavy leaflike material, but underneath, it appears similar to a tangled mess of roots which brush rapidly in various directions to acheive movement.
"Wild" folians tend to be very bushy, appearing more like natural vegetation than anything. More 'civilized' folians will regularily prune and groom themselves, using the other races tendency towards being manipulated by certain appearances to personal advantage.
As a folian ages, it becomes heavier, bulkier, and more wooden. Eventually, a folian will become more tree-like than leaf-like, at which point they will enter another stage of life. Their roots grow down into whatever terrain they stood on, and they cease most physical activity, becoming dormant (but still alive). At this stage, a folian requires far less food, capable of sustaining themselves with insects and any small animals that get to close (or foolishly nest on the folian itself). Most folians look forward to their eventual asendance into a wise 'tree', and some are even tended to by active folians with food, blood, and fresh water.
Relations:
Folians get along very poorly with other races, for a variety of very good reasons (not the least of which being that folians EAT other races to survive). Most creatures have a difficult time experiencing empathy towards a plant, and the folian lack of facial expressions and unnatural body language means that most other races have a difficult time 'reading' or understanding a folian creature. That lack of connection means most folians do not find themselves welcome amongs the various humanoid races, though exceptions always apply.
Compounding this problem is the folian tendency towards bloodthirstiness, quite literally at that. A folian will gladly cut away an opponents limb and let the blood flow freely into their mouth with no hesitation or squeemishness. Those who look past the troubles folians have relating to other races will find a friend as true as any other. But even a human who looks past their racial differences and befriends a folian character will be faced, repeatedly, with the cold hard fact that folians like drinking human blood.
What most races don't fully realize is that the folian outlook towards other races (the Sliss race in particular), is with equal discomfort. In the dustlands, fresh water is a very important material. Battles are waged over water rights, and sources of fresh water or guarded heavily and coveted intensly. Many folians have been cornered, captured, or killed by humans and humanoids who were searching for fresh water, as the folian body is riddled with hollow areas coursing with the purest, cleanest water. The sliss race in particular is notorious for capturing live folians and using them as living canteens. Each story of a folian feasting on a lost wanderer has an equal counterpart in folian society, of a folian who was peirced and drained by some parched explorer.
Despite the animosity between the races, many folians do attempt to enter human (and humanoid) societies for a variety of reasons. Other races occasionally find specific folians very asthetically interesting, and desire to have them around as idle companions. Some wealthy (and eccentric) individuals have made deals with folians, providing them a steady supply of food and fresh water in exchange for hanging around and improving their homes visual appeal. Other folians simply prefer to escape the savage cycles of life in the dustlands, favoring the savage cycles of city-life in the dustlands...
Alignment:
Folians tend towards chaotic and neutral alignments in a vague fashion. An individual of their race can be of any alignment, with any view of the world, but most of them (especially in the dustlands) are pragmatic rule-breakers, ready to do whatever they need to for a meal and their own saftey.
Folian Lands:
Folians officially have no land or kingdom. They move, either alone or in packs, towards wherever easy prey is. They prefer wooded areas, swamps, or areas dense with vegetation, but a folian who knows with enough fresh water can shed their leaves, revealing their waxy exterior that can fair the desert sun better than many other races. There they can often find creatures weakened by sun, sand, and hunger... easy meals to share with the vultures.
What few races other than folians are aware of, is the Folian Graveyards. When folians feel their bodies beginning to stiffen and solidify, they will seek out areas where other folians have come to rest. Some prefer to head out to where they can be alone, but many group together naturally in small forrests of still living folians; motionless, but intelligent, wise, and content. When these areas are known, ambulatory folians often stay nearby, bringing fresh water and small animals into the fields of their elders and protecting them quietly. The folian graveyards, for the most part, resemble natural forrests. But you will occasionally see plantlife that is still more folian than tree, or you may catch a glimpse of a pair of leaves wrapping quietly around a small bird and hiding it away in their form.
Religion:
Folians who have a religion tend towards worshipping the ideals of nature itself over any specific deity. Those who do select a deity almost universally choose one of the wild.
Language:
Folian language is aromatic in nature. They release subtle scents and odors which serve to both attract insects for meals, and to communicate general ideas to each other. General ideas are usually more than enough for basic communication, but if necessary, folians can produce audible noises by rushing air through their leaves. They have very deliberate control over the sounds they make, physically capable of speaking any language they learn. Any language they speak, however, always has the distant sound of wind rustling through treetops, and it is always painfully obvious that a folian is doing the speaking.
Names:
Folians do not normally give each other names, but identify each other by coming up with distinct (to them) scents. Every folian is actually both genders, capable of creating 'seeds' with any other member of their race, so the concept of male or female names (and personalities) is largely lost on them.
Folians interacting with other races often pick a name for the sake of others, choosing another races name seemingly at random. This name means nothing to them but an identifier for their allies to call them by.
Adventures:
A folian might adventure for any reason, including sheer raw hunger. Interestingly, many folians regularily engage in combat, adventure, and otherwise put themselves at risk because they fear aging to the point that they become immobile. While most folians see it as an honor and an ascendancy, some see it as a potential nightmare from which there will be no escape other than starvation. They head out into the world with reckless abandon, living their life fully prepared to die in some spectacular way.

Folian Racial Traits
: -2 Str, -2 Dex, +2 Wis
: Medium: As medium creatures, Folians receive no special bonuses or penalties due to their size.
: Plant Type: Folians are considered Plants for the purposes of spells and effects, with one exception. Folians do not have an immunity to critical hits. A Folian creature has centralized body structure with exploitable weak points, and despite being plants they are subject to sneak attacks and critical hits as normal humanoids.
: Plant Traits: Low-light vision, Immunity to all mind-affecting effects, poison, sleep effects, paralysis, polymorph, and stunning. Plants breathe and eat, but do not sleep.
: Fire Vulnerability: Folians take half again as much damage from any source of damage caused by heat and flame.
: Slight Build: The leafy and frail nature of a folian creature forces it to be treated as if it were one size category smaller in several instances. Anytime a folian is subject to a size modifier or special size modifier for an opposed check (such as grapple checks, bull rush attempts, and trip attacks), the folian is treated as one size gategory smaller if doing so would be detrimental to them. A folian is considered one size category smaller when determining wether special attacks based on size affect them (such as being swallowed whole). A folian weilds weapons as if they were one size category smaller. This traits stacks with powers, abilities, or spells that change the folians size category. Folians still retain the space and reach of a creature their actual size.
: Leafy Frame: Folians receive a +4 bonus to hide checks in areas with naturally occuring vegetation, such as forrests or grasslands. They also receive a +4 bonus against any non-folian creature making a sense motive check towards them.
: Bioluminescent: A folian can produce a soft glow from the leafier portions of their bodies. This glow casts dim light out to 20 feet, but gives the folian -10 penalties to Hide checks. This ability functions for one hour per use, and cannot be ended prematurely. This ability can be used any number of times, including remaining active all day.
Folians can willingly coat small objects in their bioluminescent fluids. This causes such objects to cast a similar glow for 10 minutes. Folians are only capable of coating an object twice per hour, and must have used the Bioluminescent ability prior to doing so.
: Plant Lifespan: Folians do not experience aging the same way other creatures do. Once they bloom to maturity, they go up an age category every 30 years. At each age category, they receive a cumulative +1 to Strength, Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma, but a cumulative -3 penalty to Dexterity as they become bulkier and more wooden, and less leafy and fibrous. When a folians dexterity reaches 0, it ceases being ambulatory and grows its roots into whatever spot it stands, continuing to thrive as long as it gains some manner of nourishment while becoming more and more tree-like with each passing year. A folian who goes through 4 age category increases also experiences a natural growth into the next largest size category.
: Automatic Languages: Common, Folian. Bonus Languages: Sylvan, Terran, and languages spoken by geographically close creatures.
: Favored Class: Ranger. A multiclass Folians's ranger class does not count when determining wether it takes an experience point penalty for multiclassing. Folians are almost universally at home in the wilderness, and use their appearance and basic nature to great end when near other platlife.

Playing a Folian:
Folian characters are, one way or another, looking for blood. Wether they swallow rats whole, purchase lots of fresh meat and cattle, or simply decimate their enemies and consume them for nourishment, one of a folians chief concerns is what's for lunch.
Beyond that, a folian might be interested in anything. Violence for violence's sake, intelligence for intelligence's sake, or art for art's sake. Folians are often blunt about what interests them, prefering to save their deception for whatever they've decided is their next meal.

Adaptation:
Folians can spring up in any world that has plantlife (and probably a lot that don't). Wether they've naturally evolved, or been cobbled together by an insane druid tampering with things she shouldn't have. Maybe a wizardly experiment produced a 'genesis seed', spawning the first of a race which can throw their seeds into the soil and dissapear into the wilderness, springing up no matter how many times the locals thought they destroyed them all. Short of burning the forrest to ashes and salting the earth, once the folians exist, they're liable to stay around.
Using the folian race in other campaign worlds can be painless and quick, wether for a DM interested in a new monstrous force attacking a town, or for a player with a special kind of character in mind.

http://i186.photobucket.com/albums/x284/SilverClawShift/Folian1.jpg

SilverClawShift
2007-11-10, 09:04 PM
So there's the folians anyway. Not my favorite race by a longshot, but they certainly have an interesting thing going on. They make really interesting rogues, ultimately, and the fact that they stand out like a sore thumb in a city environment can be a blessing and a curse.

They make for darn interesting warlocks.

Also, I might as well do it before someone else does.
*clears her throat*
Ahem.
"feeeeeeed me seymour. feed me all night loooong.
cause if you feed me seymour, i can grow up, big, and stroooong.

Copacetic
2007-11-10, 11:19 PM
I'm stunned. This setting is the win. GO your, yor group and the DM

Also, I would probally drool If you are planning on statting out a spellshot rifle.:smallamused:

SurlySeraph
2007-11-11, 12:09 PM
Hmm. Given the description of their poor relations with the other races, I would have expected that you'd give Folians a Charisma penalty. Also, given their carnivorous nature, would it make sense to give them a bite attack?

Overall, I like them, though.

SilverClawShift
2007-11-11, 03:11 PM
Well, poor relations with other races does not necessarily translate to a weaker personality, or lack of charismatic ability. It's more of a learned trait than anything ingrained.
As for the bite attack, it didn't seem to really fit. They're not biters, unless you count swallowing tiny creatures alive. They don't even really have teeth, they just happen to shove flesh they tear off down their maw.

Glad you like them though. I think they could be better, but some of our group is really fond of them.

SilverClawShift
2007-11-11, 04:44 PM
Good news! the totem ascendant has been updated to reflect our current version of the class, and more totem animals will theoretically be on the way (a bat totem is likely specifically because one of our group wants to play one, so there ya go).

The fluff is the same, but the wording is cleaned up, and the mechanics are much much tighter and much more uniform. On the power curve, it should be somewhere below Tome of Battle stuff but above basic melee stuff, so I think we've done fairly well at tightening it up and making it playably entertaining for all :smallsmile: .

loopy
2007-11-13, 08:31 AM
Damn you and your intriguing ideas to the endless wastes!

A couple of questions about your new improved (*drools*) totem ascendant class.

1) I seem to remember you saying these classes were slightly stronger than the average, or was I hallucinating again?
2) Are you planning to add any additional totems, or:
3) Would you like to open it up slightly to your fans to make their own? I personally would like to see potential totems for animals like the wolf, the bear, the eagle, and the rat in the future, just off the top of my head.

Of course... not rushing you or anything, brilliance takes time. I just get the feeling that I'll be running a Dustlands game or inspired character soon.

P.S. I joined the forums because of that horror campaign your brilliant DM ran, and now I find this Campaign world. Your group never ceases to amaze.

SilverClawShift
2007-11-13, 12:08 PM
Thanks for your interest :)



1) I seem to remember you saying these classes were slightly stronger than the average, or was I hallucinating again?

The totem ascendant I would peg as being less powerful than a full caster, tome of battle classes, and less ADAPTABLE than a binder - But more powerful than a fighter or barbarian, probably low-center of the power curve. Certainly nothing you'd ban for power concerns, in any event.

At least, that's what we're going for. Our goal with the class is to create an unarmed fighter who actually is usefull at what they do (fighting) without the need for cheesy feat combos. Solving the "I hit it with my sword....again" problem with fighters being mechanically uninteresting without turning them into casters.

So each totem animal winds up giving the ascendant 'gimmicks'. Things they can use that... well, give them something to do. Abilities to affect more than just adjacent squares by smacking them with a metal stick. The same idea went into creating the Tome of Battle, but i think the results we've come up with would more accurately be described as a mixture of tome of battle and tome of magic.



2) Are you planning to add any additional totems, or:
3) Would you like to open it up slightly to your fans to make their own? I personally would like to see potential totems for animals like the wolf, the bear, the eagle, and the rat in the future, just off the top of my head.

Oh yes indeed. In fact, we have a whole list of animals that would potentially make good totems. Traditional totem animals, western flavored animals, ect... Just at a glance at the 'concept list'

Alligator, Armadillo, Bear, Bull, Great Cat, Chameleon, Eagle, Fox, Horse, Mantis, Owl, Rat, Raven, Spider, Scorpion, Toad, Turtle, Wasp, Wolf.... Kangaroo, Cheetah, Cockroach.
We also plan on making a seperate list of 'aquatic' totems at some point (Dolphin, Shark, Pirahna, Squid), in case someone would want to use the totem ascendant in a seafarers campaign of some kind.

The list is huge, and mind you, we don't necessarily plan on making totems for every single thing on the list.... it's just where we skim through to get ideas at the moment.
We plan on making at least a dozen total, but there's a lot more potential than that. The totem ascendants totem is basically like a clerics domains. There's always room to add another domain, there's always room to create a new totem. In fact, we encourage the idea of making new totems.
A single animal type might have room for more than one variation on totems. If you want your totem animal to be a king cobra, you could use the snake totem, but if you really wanted to, you could create a new cobra totem as well. Similarily, there's supposed to be a 'Great Cat' totem, but we listed cheetah seperately for a reason... a cheetah totem could be markedly different from a generic cat totem.



Of course... not rushing you or anything, brilliance takes time. I just get the feeling that I'll be running a Dustlands game or inspired character soon.

P.S. I joined the forums because of that horror campaign your brilliant DM ran, and now I find this Campaign world. Your group never ceases to amaze.

Sadly, the dustlands have been in production for a long time. When we don't like something, we're willing to re-do it. Since our DM is a major perfectionist (and we're not exactly sloppy as a group), stuff takes time. Especially because we work around our gaming sessions as well.

I appreciate the accolades :smallsmile:. And I love hearing that people might be using dustlands concepts or themes.... that's why we're working on it after all. To play with. :smallsmile:

SilverClawShift
2007-11-13, 06:37 PM
Random update post. I'm excited. very very excited. Was just talking with the DM and the biggest advocate of the Folian race, and I convinced them it needed to be re-done with two little words.

"Desert Flower"

That's all it took, they agree that the concept of the race strayed too far from what we originally came up with them for, and the fluff (and some mechanics) are getting mondo re-working. Which makes me happy, cause finished or not, I don't like the way they came out.

Copacetic
2007-11-13, 07:09 PM
Glad you're happy about "Desert flower"

Also, Dustworlds has got my imagination juices flowing...:smallamused:

SilverClawShift
2007-11-13, 09:19 PM
New Poison, for use in the dustlands (or anywhere, really)

Parchpowder

Living creatures almost universally require fresh clean water to continue a healthy comfortable existance. While exceptions exist, and there are several creatures who can get by on very small portions of water, most humanoids require a minimum of one gallon per day to avoid the effects of dehydration.
There are several ways to die in a world as trecherous as the dustlands. Violent scavengers and roving outlaws pepper the landscape, and all manner of vicious creatures lurk beneath every rock and sand dune. But for all the brutality the dustlands offers, one of the most common -and the most utterly horrific- causes of death is that of dehydration.
The thirst. After nothing more than a few days, the maddening effects of constant thirst will break down even the strongest of minds, turning them into raving lunatics willing to kill without warning for even a drop of moisture.
While civilized creatures deride the wild tribes who roam the sands... blood drinkers and cannibals... most realize deep down that anyone experiencing that nauseous shaking insanity, no matter how rational or moral, will gladly slit another creatures throat for a drink when their life is hours from turning to dust.

Dehydration is a horrible way to go.

But no matter how vicious or cruel a method of death is, there are those who are willing to use it to their advantage. Assassins regularily subject their victims to sickening slow deaths by poison... and killers in the dustlands are no exception.
Parchpowder is among the most horrible of poisons concocted by those horrible minds which create such things. Rather than causing weakening effects by injuring the consitution, strength, or dexterity of those effected, Parchpowder is an alchemical substance which causes a subtle destructive effect targeting any moisture whatsoever. Once inside a living body (usually via inhalation, though sometimes it is mixed into a paste and applied by injury), Parchpowder will begin slowly uncreating any moisture it comes into contact with. The effects are slow, but brutal.

USE OF PARCHPOWDER
The victim must make a Fortitude saving throw (DC 21) or instantly become dehydrated. While dehydrated, the victim experiences fatigue (they receive -2 to Strength and Dexterity, and become unable to run or charge).
The effects of fatigue cannot be healed until the creature successfully becomes rehydrated, a process which takes a minimum of 24 hours of dedicated healing (via the heal skill, long term care), and twice the amount of fresh clean water normally required by their environment (dependant on heat and the creatures constitution score, usually 2 gallons minimum).
Each day, a creature must make an additional saving throw against the poison, the DC increasing by 2 each day (DC 23 the second day, DC 25 the third day, and so forth). If they fail their saving throw, they once again become dehydrated and fatigued.
If a creature failing a saving throw against the poison was still fatigued due to neglect, improper care, or lack of fresh water, they become exhausted instead (receiving -6 to Strength and Dexterity, and halving their movement speed). Once again, the effects of exhaustion cannot be removed while the creature is still dehydrated. Rehydrating the creature still requires only 24 hours of long-term healing care, but requires 4 times as much water as before.
If a creature failing a saving throw against the poison is still exhausted due to the above conditions, they instead die outright as their nervous system collapses and their tissues lose any moisture that remained within them, crumbling to dust at the slightest touch.

A creature afflicted with Parchpowder who is receiving proper long-term healing and plenty of water can use the healers Heal Skill Check in place of their own fortitude saving throw.
A Neutralize Poison spell will not cure Parchpowder, but an afflicted creature who passes their saving throw (even if using a healers Healing check instead) and becomes rehydrated can be cured through the application of a Create Water spell.

When a victim is no longer suffering from Parchpowder, they no longer require saving throws each day. However, they effects of the dehydration persist until they are rehydrated, as listed above.

Parchpowder that is not healed, or that does not kill its victim, only lasts for a number of days dependant on its potency. After that period of time, the Parchpowder is overwhelmed by the fluid it is saturated in and breaks down harmlessly. Parchpowder always has the same fortitude save DC (though rumors abound of more powerful versions), but cheap Parchpowder only lasts for a day or two, while the longer a dose of Parchpowder lasts, the more expensive it becomes.
A one day dose of Parchpowder costs 200 gold. Any dose that lasts longer than one day costs twice as much as the previous most potent dose did. So a two day dose costs 400 gold, a three day dose costs 800 gold, a four day dose costs 1600 gold, and so on, and so on.
One and two day doses are never fatal by themselves. They may become fatal in dangerous terrain, but a healthy creature with enough water can survive the effects of one or two days of Parchpowder even without medical care. In fact, weaker doses of Parchpowder are occasionally used as interrogation tools by less scrupulous law enforcement, and are legal to carry as a means of self defense even in cities that do not allow citizens to carry weaponry.
A three day (or longer) dose of Parchpowder is potentially fatal, even to a healthy creature with plenty of water, and is considered illegal in any location that prohibits ready access to weaponry.

RECOVERING PARCHPOWDER
If a creature afflicted with Parchpowder dies, the remaining Parchpowder can be extracted from their corpse. This dose of Parchpowder has remaining potency equivalent to the number of days of potency it had left when the afflicted creature died (for example, a human is afflicted with a 7 day dose of Parchpowder, and dies after 3 days of suffering. The dose of Parchpowder extracted from his corpse is a 4 day dose). Parchpowder extracted from a corpse is visibly distinguishable, having a rusty red color instead of Parchpowders normal bone-white shade. The DC of 're-used' parch powder is 2 less (an initial fortitude save DC of 19 instead of 21), and has a market value of half of an unused dose of Parchpowder.

****************************

No real good story behind this one. We were talking about poisons and diseases, and one of our players said "What about a poison that dehydrates you instead of regular poison effects?"

And thus, Parchpowder was born.

SurlySeraph
2007-11-13, 11:05 PM
Sounds good, if very sadistic. How much does Parchpowder cost per dose, and how is it made?

Saint George
2007-11-14, 10:45 PM
Maybe it is just my hangover talking, but there should be some sort of doubling effect if you mix Parchpowder with booze. Urk.

You know my standard feelings about the The Dustlands that I include in every post, so I will keep them brief. Amazing, best homebrew ever, can I come live with you, etc.

In regards to the Folian race I was unsure what you meant when you said it was missing something until I reread it a couple times. As compared to the other races it does seem to be lacking that ...flair? The Wastelings are just downright amazing and the Folian doesn't really seem to live up to that kind of coolitude. I mean, plant men are pretty cool but there was definately something lacking.

Desert Flower makes all sorts of lovely ideas dance in my head. Pollen attacks, different color flowers doing different things (Stay away from the yellow ones!), etc etc.

Also, seeing as the Folians are a desert plant and the only cool desert plant is the cactus, perhaps the Folians could be outfitted with spines? Nothing super powerful, but definately a painful experience if you try to grapple one.

Can't wait for the refitted race! :smallbiggrin:

SilverClawShift
2007-11-17, 01:43 PM
A one day dose of Parchpowder costs 200 gold. Any dose that lasts longer than one day costs twice as much as the previous most potent dose did. So a two day dose costs 400 gold, a three day dose costs 800 gold, a four day dose costs 1600 gold, and so on, and so on.

:smallsmile:


In regards to the Folian race I was unsure what you meant when you said it was missing something until I reread it a couple times. As compared to the other races it does seem to be lacking that ...flair? The Wastelings are just downright amazing and the Folian doesn't really seem to live up to that kind of coolitude. I mean, plant men are pretty cool but there was definately something lacking.

Flair. That's the word I'm looking for. Flair. They don't seem to hit the flow the world generates properly, and end up coming across as an akward race as a result.

The race as it stands is actually interesting (but still needing a re-work) for another world. It's a little too much venus-flytrappy though. Personally, I'm not sure we can even make the Folians work in the dustlands, but they're not my favorite race so i'm trying not to be biased about them.

So far, we've come up with a few changes and are planning a total re-write.

The race has lost the slight-build trait and just become small sized. Some of us were worried it would make them seem too 'silly', small plant creatures running around, but that's almost a problem with small races in general (halflings and gnomes, no matter how serious, have the "I'm 3 feet tall" thing to overcome).
Making them small makes them fit in more with the desert landscape. Shrubs, short dry grasses, cactuses.... there are forms of plantlife that thrive in the desert. But most of them are smallish (cactuses excluded, and we're resisting the urge to make them straight up humanoid cactuses to avoid that degree of goofiness :smallconfused: ). If the folians are 2 or 3 feet tall, they become able to blend into existing plantlife and gain a natural degree of camoflouge.
And that's really what we want them to be. They're supposed to feel like serious ambushers. You step too close to that leafy catcus that looks like every other leafy cactus, and suddenly you've got two needles stuck in you. One pumping in a poison, and one sucking out blood.
(Speaking of which, we're keeping the blood-sucker aspect. Moisture is pretty much the most sought after thing in the dustlands afterall, so the folians are going to hang onto the "we drink you, you drink us' thing. They're walking canteens of fresh water, like cactuses, but they're thirsty too.)

Changing their look to reflect it all.

Giving them a little more of a society as ambushers, changing their favored class to rogue as a result.

I dunno. Everyone seems to like them a lot more than me, but that's an inherant part of a group project I suppose.

littlechicory
2007-11-17, 02:20 PM
I'm loving what I've read so far. Out of curiosity, how far along are you guys on the Concoctor class? I've been wanting to play something like that for a while, and the non-XP-wasting system you're using for that and the Glyphcrafter sounds interesting.

BarroomBard
2007-11-17, 04:46 PM
I have to say, the Folians are at least one of the most intriguing races as a concept I've seen in a while. The wastelings are awesome, no doubt, but if you think about it, they're pretty much the Forsaken from WoW. The folians, though, have the virtue of being almost entirely original. Cactus spines seems more like a racial feat thing, than an actual feature. When reading the description of these bloodthirsty bushes, I almost thought that a Folian barbarian would be too delicious to pass up. Also the thought that people would pay them as a kind of living topiary is just fun.

Reading the description for Parchpowder, a monster invaded my head. DnD already has a monster designed to eat metal, an adverturer's bread and butter. But a monster that lives in the desert and is, when you get right down to the basics, made of pure dehydration, scares the dungeon-crawling bejeesus out of me. Especially if it was weak against water, so to defeat it you were faced with the choice: fight it and face a horrible death by having all your moisture sucked out of you, or throw your canteen at it, and run the risk of dying of thirst anyway.

Hyozo
2007-11-18, 07:34 PM
It's sort of disappointing that Wastelings get a bonus to constitution and a penalty to charisma. Their fluff fits rather well with that of a Dread Necromancer, but Dread Necromancers depend on charisma and eventually lose their constitution score altogether. I'm sure that would not stop them theoretically, but I'm slightly disappointed that something which works perfectly fluffwise works so badly crunchwise.

Also, I was wondering if their damage negation is treated as DR 2/-, mainly because I want to know if it would stack with DR (as sepparate DRs don't stack), and if Blood Component and other feats or class abilities that cause damage to the user would ignore it as they do to DR.

littlechicory
2007-11-24, 03:40 PM
Perhaps, for the Folians, you can look at the Needlefolk from the Monster Manual 2? I know it's completely different from your concept of the Folians (needlefolk seem more pine-based, you're looking for a cactus-y creature), but the idea of plant people has been tried by WotC and might be a good reference.

Otherwise, the MM2 kinda sucks.

SilverClawShift
2007-11-24, 05:41 PM
I thought I replied to this thread... must've gotten lost in the sands of the internet.


I'm loving what I've read so far. Out of curiosity, how far along are you guys on the Concoctor class? I've been wanting to play something like that for a while, and the non-XP-wasting system you're using for that and the Glyphcrafter sounds interesting.

Unfortunately, the Concocter isn't too far along (and the glyphcrafter needs a bit of re-working). The basic idea of the concocter is still intact, someone who makes potions and powders and such without using up their precious XP for their core class ability. The main hurdle is determining exactly what limiting factor they have on their creations, to prevent them from flooding the world with potions. Letting them make a limited number of potions would basically just mean they were spellcasters with glass vials instead of books.
We might end up making their creations rely on some other limited but renewable resource, one that doesn't force them to lag behind their allies or use an 'xp reserve' like the artificer, which doesn't solve the problem so much as gloss over it.
It's not a simple problem though.
There's also the fact that we don't want a class that just 'makes potions' like a sorcerer who casts spells through brewing. A concocter should be able to produce some mundane potions like other spellcaster classes with the appropriate feat, but we want the class to have unique abilities and creations.... not just a regular caster with a pouch and a bunch of glass vials. Potions that wind up producing high level effects, grenade-like weapons that produce area effects like clouds of poison or even good old fashioned explosions.

On the more positive side of production, we have come up with an idea that i really like... 'catalysts'. As a class feature, concocters learn to make catalysts... additional sub-potions which have no effect on their own, but alter a potion or other concoction they're applied to. Catalysts could produce unique effects, or be more straightforward by acting as 'metamagic' for potions.
Examples of metamagic catalysts: A healing potion might be mixed with a 'maximize' catalyst, causing it to heal the maximum amount possible. A potion of shield might have an 'extend' catalyst poured into it before imbibing, making it last twice as long.
Examples of other catalysts: A 'suspension' catalyst might allow you to mix two potions together, allowing you to slam down two (or even three) buffs in one gulp. A "reversing" catalyst might cause a potion to have the opposite effect, turning a healing potion into an inflict spell, or turning a potion of bull's strength into a potion of "girly man". A "contact" catalyst might turn a potion into something that works when you splash it in someones face... letting you buff someone as a swift action or using your potion of 'inflict moderate wounds' on some unsuspecting chump.

Lotta potential with that class. Hell, we should make catalysts for potions available to other casters anyway in some fashion, catalysts are freaking sweet.


I have to say, the Folians are at least one of the most intriguing races as a concept I've seen in a while.

Much appreciated :smallsmile:


The wastelings are awesome, no doubt, but if you think about it, they're pretty much the Forsaken from WoW.

I've never actually played WoW, and i'm not sure who in my group is a closet WoW junkie, but fair enough.


The folians, though, have the virtue of being almost entirely original. Cactus spines seems more like a racial feat thing, than an actual feature. When reading the description of these bloodthirsty bushes, I almost thought that a Folian barbarian would be too delicious to pass up. Also the thought that people would pay them as a kind of living topiary is just fun.

Yeah, there's definately certain aspects of the folians that aren't changing. They are blood-suckers, no matter how you slice it, and that's not going away (little shop of horror allusions or not). They're still meant to be at least marginally visually appealing, they are elegant plantlife, humanoid-ish or not.

They're definately going to have racial feats. The aforementioned Cactus spines, Ironwood Bark, Pheremones, changes to size, stuff like that.


But a monster that lives in the desert and is, when you get right down to the basics, made of pure dehydration, scares the dungeon-crawling bejeesus out of me.

Unfortunately, I think that the Sandstorm book has a lot of such creatures (the dustblight comes to mind). Obviously, the Dustlands and Sandstorm go well together :smallwink:


Also, I was wondering if their damage negation is treated as DR 2/-, mainly because I want to know if it would stack with DR (as sepparate DRs don't stack), and if Blood Component and other feats or class abilities that cause damage to the user would ignore it as they do to DR.

The damage reduction is meant to stack with anything. Essentially, anything that gets through a wastelings other damage reductions or resistances is dropped by 2 before it's applied to their hitpoints.


Otherwise, the MM2 kinda sucks.[/S]

It sure does, doesn't it? Raggamoffyns are pretty cool though.

Manticorkscrew
2007-11-24, 05:50 PM
I didn't like the idea of the Folians at first, when I thought they were going to be silly little humanoid cacti. But the idea of sentients blood-sucking ambush plants with no real human characteristics kinda appeals.

The only problem I can see is working out how a Folian would ever join an adventuring party. And how would you roleplay as one?

Drago
2007-11-26, 10:56 PM
This setting is amazing, it has far more flavour than most.

The Folians defiantly lack the flair that rest of the Dustlands have and,seem a little out of place . They would fit quite well into a jungle or tropical setting. However the revisions you mentioned your group is looking over seem to make them fit better style wise, since man eating plants plus post-apocalyptic settings always go well.

ErrantX
2008-02-16, 02:35 PM
*attempts a little forum necromancy*

First off, I'd like to say that I dig this campaign setting idea. It reminds me a lot of Stephen King's 'The Dark Tower' series in that it's definitely a world that's moved on. Kudos.

Are you and your group still working on the campaign world these days or has it fallen to the wayside?

-X

littlechicory
2008-02-17, 03:58 PM
*assists ErrantX on his little threadomancy attempt, giving him a +2 bonus*

FlyMolo
2008-02-17, 04:45 PM
*assists ErrantX on his little threadomancy attempt, giving him a +2 bonus*You have to make an attack roll against AC 10 first.

Regardless, what exactly do the Folians look like? More cactusy and succulent, or more woody and bushlike?

But regardless, this is an amazing setting. Well done, all.

SurlySeraph
2008-02-17, 06:44 PM
This is massive threadomancy, but I think it's a thread worth resurrecting. I just sent SilverClawShift a PM asking if her group is still working on the Dustlands.

Szilard
2008-02-17, 07:00 PM
This looks kind of cool, I only read maybe the first 6-10 posts, butI'll read it through all the way eventually.

littlechicory
2008-02-18, 02:21 PM
You have to make an attack roll against AC 10 first.


*rolls* Six, add attack bonus of 5... yeah. Barely.

SilverClawShift
2008-02-18, 03:50 PM
The Dustlands have not been abandoned. I repeat, The Dustlands have not been abandoned :smallsmile:

Unfortunately, we haven't had a WHOLE heap of time to dedicate to it. When we get together, we're more likely to spend that special time gaming than creating.

We have touched up the glyphcrafter (there's now a fourth tier of glyphs, essentially the beginners glyphs, so we can make the original Tier 1 more powerful and diverse without risking overpowering the class at early levels.).

We continue to refine and touch up our stuff the best we can, and add any new good ideas to our notes. So don't expect this project to die, but we're probably not going to have many rapid fire updates either.

(And does it count as thread necromancy in the homebrew forum? I thought this was the one forum where it was logical and reasonable to bump old threads?)

Falconer
2008-02-18, 10:28 PM
Since I don't play D&D, I can hardly contribute much in this post, but let me say that this = awesome. If i ever get around to playing D&D, I'll have to try this out.

A very minor fluff-y idea regarding the Wastelings:perhaps they're colourblind? probably a detail that's more for the individual DM to decide, but just a thought that seems to add a bit to their flavor.

SilverClawShift
2008-02-26, 11:49 AM
Sawbones
"Now you just grab onto somethin' and get ready. You're gonna feel a lot better tommorrow, but this damn well might sting a bit..."
Andretta Hodge - Town Doctor and professional Sawbones

Mending bones, stitching flesh, cooling fevers... all the responsibility of the healers. But who the healers are can vary from location to location. In the Dustlands, there is no divine promise, no guarantee of a God watching over you and imparting a healing touch into your hands in exchange for a few prayers. Not all healers in this world feel comfortable putting the lives of their allies in the hands of a question mark.
The Sawbones are healers of science, rather than faith. Through tested, varifiable, and repeatable techniques, a Sawbones learns to keep a body movin through this harsh world for one more day. But healing is not the only thing a Sawbones knows how to do, not here in the Dustlands.
A Sawbones isn't just a doctor. They're the college graduate, and likely the only one in town with any kind of formal edjucation. As such they find themselves the one being approached any time a sharp mind and a wealth of knowledge is needed on any subject.
A Sawbones doesn't just patch up your injury and send you back out. They also solve the problem that caused it.

Adventure: A Sawbones might wind up on an adventure for any number of reasons. Many Sawbones find themselves getting roped into trouble as a result of being the only one in town who might know how to stop it. As they most likely entered their class as a desire to aid others, they can't help but feel obligated to step out into the fields and take a glance at the situation no one else can seem to handle. Wether or not their education and intellect is enough to see them through that situation is another matter entirely.
Some Sawbones might also be accompanying existing adventuring parties out of duty to heal and protect, for cold hard currency, or out of intellectual curiosity. As alumni of higher edjucation, a Sawbones might even be less interested in healing, and more interested in furthering the causes of science or education themselves, acting as archaeologists or field explorers.
Characteristics: A Sawbones is almost always exceptionally intelligent, knowledgeable, and cunning. Their studies have lent them not only understanding of the world around them, but also how to manipulate and control it to one degree or another. They can cast arcane spells through their intelligence, much as a Wizard can, but they do not reach the incredibly peaks of arcane power known for high level mages.
But a Sawbones is not necessarily a studious bookworm. Some have braved the dangers of field exploration, while others have spent their free time honing their body in addition to their mind. Almost all Sawbones pick up some knowledge of formal combat during their education (such as fencing lessons), learning the ins and outs of at least one or two weapons and how to handle them. While they're rarely able to impress rank and file warriors, a Sawbones can't be dismissed from combat due to a pair of reading glasses and a pocket journal.
Sawbones often also come across as a bit eccentric. Their passion for science leads to frequent experimentation, sometimes with bizarre (but often beneficial) results.
Alignment: Sawbones are rarely evil, and frequently lawful. They have no alignment restrictions, but the paths of healers and edjucators are rarely tread by those with vicious intent, just as the paths of formal edjucation and scientific study are rarely completed by those who cannot abide by rules.
Religion: Sawbones are rarely particularily pious individuals. In the Dustlands, a characters religious beleifs has no impact on their character beyond personal information, but even in worlds where clerics speak with deities, a Sawbones is more likely to be concerned with their learnings than the teachings of any church.
Some Sawbones are devout individuals, and more than a few have taken up the mantle of "healer" as a desire to do good and right in the world as their religion dictates. It is simply the details of how they do good that vary from divine healers.
Background: A Sawbones personal history can be as varied as that of any other, but almost all realized they had a knack for book learning and a desire to understand more about the world around them. Wether they persued their education as part of a formal collegiate experience, or simply spent their time pouring over educational material and medical journals was up to the individual, and the circumstances they were in.
Races: Any sentient race could potentially become a Sawbones, but those with evil tendencies are less likely to adopt the mantle of healer than those with more neutral or virtuous intentions. Humans often become Sawbones due to their inquisitive natures and desire to further their own society. Wastelings are often drawn to becoming Sawbones out of cold neutral curiosity. Other races who adapt to civilization can become Sawbones, but rarely bother to.
Other Classes: Sawbones operate well with almost any other class, capable of boosting the performance of their party members through precision application of arcane energies. They rarely work in groups with divine healers, not out of any passionate objection, but simply due to the redudancy (which they might view as illogical). However, there is nothing stopping a Sawbones and a Cleric from operating side by side, and times of danger often call for as much healing power as can realistically be mustered.
Role: The Sawbones is an intelligent, knowledgeable, and skilled arcanist. In a pinch, they can probably survive a fight, though they are less likely to truly WIN a fight so much as to emerge it in one peice. A Sawbones can fill the role of a slightly less potent healer, while contributing to the party in other ways.
Starting Gold: 4x4 x 10 (average: 100)
Starting Age: As a Wizard

Adaptation: Sawbones are designed thematically for a western world, where a small town might need a single sheriff, a single blacksmith, and a single healer. But there is nothing inherently tying the Sawbones class to the Dustlands, as they are in essence an explorer (wether through study or adventure) with a pocket journal of what they have discovered. Such a character could fit into any world, and the talents the Sawbones brings can be a welcome addition to any party.

20 LEVEL SPELLCASTING BASE CLASS
{table=head]Level|Base Attack<br>Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special|0lvl|1st|2nd|3rd|4th|5th|6th

1st|
+0|
+0|
+0|
+2|Spellcasting|4|2

2nd|
+1|
+0|
+0|
+3|Cross Study (1), Field Journal|4|3|

3rd|
+2|
+1|
+1|
+3|Brew Potion|5|3|2|

4th|
+3|
+1|
+1|
+4|Cross Study (2)|5|4|3|

5th|
+3|
+1|
+1|
+4|- |5|4|3|

6th|
+4|
+2|
+2|
+5|Bedside Manor|6|4|3|2|

7th|
+5|
+2|
+2|
+5|Cross Study (3)|6|5|4|3|

8th|
+6/+1|
+2|
+2|
+6|- |6|5|4|3|

9th|
+6/+1|
+3|
+3|
+6|Spell Tonic|6|5|4|4|2|

10th|
+7/+2|
+3|
+3|
+7|Cross Study (4)|6|6|5|4|3|

11th|
+8/+3|
+3|
+3|
+7|- |6|6|5|5|3|

12th|
+9/+4|
+4|
+4|
+8|- |6|6|5|5|4|2|

13th|
+9/+4|
+4|
+4|
+8|Cross Study (5)|6|7|6|5|4|3|

14th|
+10/+5|
+4|
+4|
+9|- |6|7|6|6|5|3|2|

15th|
+11/+6/+1|
+5|
+5|
+9|- |6|7|6|6|5|4|3|

16th|
+12/+7/+2|
+5|
+5|
+10|- |6|8|7|6|6|4|3|

17th|
+12/+7/+2|
+5|
+5|
+10|Cross Study (6)|6|8|7|7|6|5|4|

18th|
+13/+8/+3|
+6|
+6|
+11|- |6|8|7|7|6|5|4|

19th|
+14/+9/+4|
+6|
+6|
+11|- |6|9|8|7|7|6|5|

20th|
+15/+10/+5|
+6|
+6|
+12|- |6|9|8|8|7|6|6| [/table]

GAME RULE INFORMATION
Sawbones have the following game statistics.
Abilities: Intelligence is the key ability of the Sawbones class. Their arcane spellcasting is tied to it, as are many of their class abilities. High intelligence also allows a Sawbones to pick up more skills, which can allow them to fill in for secondary roles if needed. Sawbones also benefit greatly from high Dexterity and Constitution, both of which can help to keep them alive in field exploration, either by avoiding injury in the first place, or toughing it out long enough to patch up later. Strength is not particularily important, but can help a Sawbones carry useful supplies or items they may have discovered. Sawbones have no inherent need for Charisma or Wisdom.
Alignment: Any.
Hit Die: 6

CLASS SKILLS
The Sawbones class skills (and the key ability modifier for each skill) are Appraise (Int), Autohypnosis (Wis), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Decipher Script (Int), Disable Device (Int), Forgery (Int), Gather Information (Cha), Heal (Wis), Knowledge (all, taken individually) (Int), Profession (Wis), Search (Int), Speak Language (learned individually) (None), Spellcraft (Int)
Skill Points at 1st Level: (6 + Int modifier) x4.
Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 6 + Int modifier.

CLASS FEATURES
All of the following are class features of the Sawbones

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Sawbones are proficient with all simple weapons. In addition, they may select one Martial or Exotic weapon to gain proficiency with. They are not proficient with any armor or shields, and suffer from arcane spellcasting failure if they do wear any type of armor.
Spellcasting: A Sawbones can cast arcane spells, using his Intelligence to prepare them from a spellbook in a manner identical to a wizard. A Sawbones must have a spell copied into his spellbook to prepare and cast it. The spells that a Sawbones is capable of learning or copying from other sources are found in the Sawbones spell list (below). Sawbones can only learn spells from this list (or from their Cross-Study class ability).
A Sawbones begins at first level knowing all 0 level spells on their list, and two 1st level spells, plus one 1st level spell per INT modifier (for example, a first level Sawbones wth 16 INT would know five 1st level spells; two by default, and three more for their INT modifier).
At each level, a Sawbones learns a single additional spell from their spell list, and scribes that spell into a spellbook for free. This spell may only be of up to the highest level spell a Sawbones is capable of casting (though they can choose to learn lower level spells if they desire).
Cross Study: A Sawbones can decipher, study, and eventually learn to prepare and cast a spell not found on his spell list through the use of his Cross Study ability. At 2nd level (and every indicated level thereafter), a Sawbones with access to a spellbook, scroll, or other magical writing not found on his spell list can attempt to decipher and copy a single spell into his spellbook. The Spellcraft DCs and time required to do so are identitical to a wizard attempting to scribe a spell from another wizards spellbook, but the gold spent in doing so is twice the normal cost.
Once a spell has been copies into a spellbook by the Sawbones, he is capable of preparing, casting, or copying that spell normally. Other Sawbones cannot automatically learn a spell thusly copied by another sawbones without also using their Cross Study ability.
If a spell being copied by a Sawbones is found on more than one spell list, use the highest level the spell belongs to, regardless of the source the Sawbones is learning it from. A Sawbones must be able to cast spells of the appropriate level to learn a spell via Cross Study.
Field Journal: A Sawbones knows how important their spellbook really is. Without it, their arcane casting is completely shut down until they can prepare a new one. To that end, beginning at 2nd level, sawbones become adept at scribing copies of their spells into field journals.
Copying a spell into a field journal is a unique process from copying a spell into an official spellbook. It takes 1/4 the same amount of time, and 1/8 the same amount of gold as an official copy. But the results are not identical to a real spellbook.
A Field Journal is only useable by the Sawbones who created it. Now other sawbones or prepared caster can even begin to decipher the shorthands, quick notes, and seemingly random scribbles that a Sawbones themselves knew they could decipher. As a result, a Field Journal is completely worthless to anyone other than the Sawbones themselves, with no gold value or spell transfering capable whatsoever. Field Journals are usually scribed before entering potentially dangerous areas, so that a Sawbones official spellbook is not damaged or lost.
Preparing spells from a field journal takes twice as long, even for the Sawbones who created it.
Brew Potion: At 3rd level, a Sawbones gains Brew Potion as a bonus feat.
Bedside Manor: Proper bedrest is important to the recovery of health. Beginning at 6th level, any creatures who the Sawbones attends to while preparing to sleep recovers hitpoints and ability damage twice as fast as they would otherwise.
Spell Tonic: At 9th level, a Sawbones learns how to remove the specific effects from the magical energies of a potion. Through a process which takes 1 hour, and costs (20 x spell level) gold, a Sawbones can transform an existing potion into a spell tonic.
A spell tonic can be consumed by any character capable of casting spells in order to restore a spell slot of the appropriate level (for instance, a 2nd level spell tonic would give a spellcaster a 2nd level spell slot back). If the character that consumes a spell tonic is a spontaneous caster, they simply recover their lost spell slot normally. If the character is a prepared caster, they recover the spell slot, but must take the time to prepare a spell for casting as normal.
A spell tonic can never give a spellcaster more spell slots than their maximum.


Sawbones Spell List
0th: Arcane Mark, Cure Minor Wounds, Detect Poison, Detect Magic, Mage Hand, Read Magic
1st: Cure Light Wounds, Deathwatch, Erase, Expeditious Retreat, Sanctuary, Sleep, Unseen Servant
2nd: Arcane Lock, Cure Moderate Wounds, Delay Poison, False Life, Gentle Repose, Magic Mouth, Remove Paralysis, Restoration (Lesser), Status
3rd: Bear’s Endurance, Bull’s Strength, Cure Serious Wounds, Cure Minor Wounds (Mass), Remove Curse, Remove Disease, Speak with Dead
4th: Cure Critical Wounds, Cure Light Wounds (Mass), Death Ward, Neutralize Poison, Restoration, Secret Page, Sepia Snake Sigil
5th: Cure Moderate Wounds (Mass), Heal, Locate Creature, Raise Dead, Secure Shelter
6th: Cure Serious Wounds (Mass), Regenerate, Restoration (Greater), Resurrection

SilverClawShift
2008-02-26, 11:53 AM
The Sawbones Base Class... Designed mainly because we're getting tired of WIS based healers in every single party. There's the Archivist, another INT based healer, but we wanted to go in a bit of a different direction, both for the class, and for the Dustlands themselves.

The Sawbones isn't 100% finished. It's close, and it's certainly playable, but we think we need to edge the power level up just a teensy tiny bit (with a capstone ability and a higher level ability or two). We also want to make some custom spells for the class to add to the spell list a little.

Also, please note, Bedside Manor is not a mispelling, but a lame (and intentional) pun.

I think that's all. Feels like I'm forgetting something...

Also, I put the Bat Totem in with the totem ascendant like I promised I was going to a century ago.

*EDIT*

Wow, so I realized what I was forgetting. I forgot to put the classes spells per day in the table. That's a pretty big oversight for a spellcasting class :smalltongue:

Now at a glance, it may seem to get a lot of spell slots, and for the most part it does. But it is for a reason. The class has a limited spell list (especially for a prepared caster), and it's meant to be able to compete with a full cleric for raw healing output.

As for the standing spell list: It gets some cleric spells at the same spell level a cleric would, until 5th and 6th level, when it starts getting some of them a level early. Since it's a partial caster, it's still actually casting those spells LATER than a real cleric would have, so do note when they attain 5th and 6th level spellcasting, and keep that in mind.
It also gets some Wiz/Sorc spells, but obviously a heavily truncated list, and starting at level 3 it actually gets most of them a spell level later than a wizard or sorcerer would.

We think we provided and interesting mixture of spells that would be useful for a "Doctor" character, and with the Cross Study ability, anything an individual character truly craves on their caster list can still be picked up through personal study.

*Edit 2*

Also, abilities that are being considered given to the class are Spontaneous conversion to cast cure spells, the ability to memorize a few spells for preperation even without a spellbook or field journal, and possibly some type of 'grafting' class ability that would let them do a little bit of mad-science.

Needs more playtesting though.

Szilard
2008-02-26, 08:08 PM
I read it but skimmed throough the stats, I like how they are practiced doctors, and not someone that religous.

SurlySeraph
2008-02-27, 07:30 PM
The Sawbones spell list probably should be expanded for them to be fully balanced. They can definitely do more than just heal, what with their BAB and skills, but they're a bit on the weak side.

SilverClawShift
2008-03-25, 08:46 PM
The Sawbones spell list probably should be expanded for them to be fully balanced. They can definitely do more than just heal, what with their BAB and skills, but they're a bit on the weak side.

I agree they're a little weak, but there's a reason we haven't expanded their class spell list. As far as spellcasting goes, they get access to their spells a little sooner than Bards do, and off the top of my head, they actually get MORE spells than a bard does as well (which runs contrary to the wizard/sorcerer pattern of INT versus CHA based casting, but oh well).

Their actual spell list is flat, completely agreed. It's meant to be. It's formed entirely of spells that are either healing, useful to healers, or study-related in some way or another. A very "Doctor" list. However, it's flat with a "but" attached. They have the cross-study ability, which they can use to pick up spells from any category of magic, and they can do it for each and every spell level they get (6th level included). If they want to pick up Summon Monster IV, Stoneskin, and Word of Recall, they're free to. If they want to learn Greater Heroism, Shadow Evocation, and Polymorph, they can. Ect, ect. They have options, just not unlimited ones.
Even a small measure of total customizeability can be dangerous when it comes to magic. And that's not even taking splatbooks into consideration.

So I fully agree that we need to pump up the classes power a little, but we'd really rather do it by giving them some more class features at higher levels, not more chances to bend over every non-spellcaster.

Also, using the ability to make spell-tonics and cross-studying, they can turn a cure potion you find into a prepared fireball. :smallsmile: Or whatever else they need. Spell tonics are the shiz-nit.

Lappy9000
2008-04-22, 09:37 PM
Lessee if that multiclass into Threadomancer paid off...

*Flash of light*

:smallcool:

Yeah, I'm in it a bit late, but I really like the look of this Home-brew world. I am totally stealing the whitelight shakes, sheer brilliance

gokol
2008-04-22, 11:42 PM
It's truely brilliant.

Samakain
2008-04-22, 11:57 PM
I've recently read over some of the stuff contained within this lovely thread.

Brillant Concept, great ideas, it sadens me the last post by the creator was over a year ago :( Keep at it, this could work really really well. Strike a cord with Fallout fans that for sure.

Three cheers for you, i'll read the rest of it now :P

Hyozo
2008-04-23, 07:10 AM
I've recently read over some of the stuff contained within this lovely thread.

Brillant Concept, great ideas, it sadens me the last post by the creator was over a year ago :( Keep at it, this could work really really well. Strike a cord with Fallout fans that for sure.

Three cheers for you, i'll read the rest of it now :P

No, it definitely was not. (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=3988336&postcount=140)

Szilard
2008-04-23, 08:38 AM
I've recently read over some of the stuff contained within this lovely thread.

Brillant Concept, great ideas, it sadens me the last post by the creator was over a year ago :( Keep at it, this could work really really well. Strike a cord with Fallout fans that for sure.

Three cheers for you, i'll read the rest of it now :P

It was last month I believe.

littlechicory
2008-04-23, 12:46 PM
Brillant Concept, great ideas, it sadens me the last post by the creator was over a year ago :( Keep at it, this could work really really well. Strike a cord with Fallout fans that for sure.

The spelling alone prevents me from taking you seriously, as well as the blatant lie that SilverClawShift has been gone for a year. The Dustlands haven't even existed for a year have they?.

SilverClawShift
2008-04-23, 02:42 PM
The Dustlands haven't even existed for a year have they?.

Technically they've existed in one form or another for around 2 and a half years. Stuff gets added, cut, re-added, modified, strip-mined for other things... it's a lengthy tuning process.

Not to mention, we spend a lot of time gaming instead of creating. I think I've said this before, but the Dustlands would probably be done if we didn't actually PLAY the game.
Of course, if we didn't play, we wouldn't work on it in the first place. So Cest la vie.

Sorry about the lack of updates, everyone. Even when we tune previous content, I don't necessarily have the time to type, format, and post it. And we're currently waist deep in a haunted house, so we're not doing much with the world at the moment.

As always though, I will put stuff here, sometime or another :smallsmile:

Hyozo
2008-04-23, 02:43 PM
Reading through this setting, I've noticed what may be somewhat problematic in practice.


: Plant Lifespan: Folians do not experience aging the same way other creatures do. Once they bloom to maturity, they go up an age category every 30 years. At each age category, they receive a cumulative +1 to Strength, Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma, but a cumulative -3 penalty to Dexterity as they become bulkier and more wooden, and less leafy and fibrous. When a folians dexterity reaches 0, it ceases being ambulatory and grows its roots into whatever spot it stands, continuing to thrive as long as it gains some manner of nourishment while becoming more and more tree-like with each passing year. A folian who goes through 4 age category increases also experiences a natural growth into the next largest size category.

Now inevitably people are going to make Folian druids. It makes perfect sense both mechanically (wisdom bonus) and in roleplaying terms (Respect for nature is only one step beyond filial piety for a plant race). Eventually, one of these druids is going to reach level 15, where they gain:


Timeless Body (Ex)

After attaining 15th level, a druid no longer takes ability score penalties for aging and cannot be magically aged. Any penalties she may have already incurred, however, remain in place.

Bonuses still accrue, and the druid still dies of old age when her time is up.

Normally, this ability is little more than fluff, but with plant lifespan it means that, if the folian stays alive long enough, it will gain the mental bonuses and the bonuses every 30 years, grow up a size category every 120, and, since there is no maximum age, never die of natural causes. This Folian druid will last either until somebody manages to kill it or until, several centuries and millions of consumed sentient life forms later, it becomes too large for the planet to support.

Of course, none of these problems will actually come up in play unless the rest of the party is made up of Elves, Elans and Warforged, but it is worth considdering.

<insert joke involving Little Shop of Horrors here>

SurlySeraph
2008-04-23, 03:41 PM
@^: No sane DM would let the players do that, and wouldn't a massive ancient Folian of doom be a great BBEP*?

*Big Bad Evil Plant.

Hyozo
2008-04-23, 09:29 PM
The problem is that there is nothing wrong with the plant lifespan trait unless the player has timeless body, and there is nothing wrong with timeless body unless the player has plant lifespan. When the two are combined, however, it is dificult to see how an alternative non-broken ruling could be made.

As for having one of those guys as a BBEP, that certainly does sound interresting.

Lappy9000
2008-04-24, 08:39 AM
Hmm...I really like the Sawbones class but I'm not quite sure that they'd fit very well into my campaign world. I love the idea of an arcane healer, but I'd feel inclined to give them Repair Damage spells from Eberron before using them in my campaign (I have two living construct base races) but I don't think that meshes well with the fluff. I'm aiming to get one more base class (not artificer) to total it out to twelve core classes and twelve core races.

I dunno, on second thought, in a world where a particularly powerful wizard faction has attemped to turned death (including undeath and deathlessness) into a rigid and defined science, a sawbones may in fact work very well (I'd still keep clerics and druids, though).


Once a spell has been copies into a spellbook by the Sawbones

Oh, and just one minor typo.

blackspeeker
2008-06-09, 05:48 PM
I wanted to say thank you so much for all the ideas you've posted in here SilverClawShift, your groups creation of the whitelight shakes brought me the greatest experience I ever had in a game involving a characters death the first time I gfained those five extra hitpoints I knew something was up, then I started hacking away at myself and then my party joined in, sadly for some reason they got distracted from keeping me alive by something then I exploded, greatest moment ever, I wish I could better convey the joy your group has brought to my gaming table, but I'm not that eloquent. I just wanted to thank you and your group for all the interesting things you've created, and please keep up the good work, I want my DM to throw more misfortune my way in the future.

Levyathyn
2008-06-09, 06:38 PM
I love it. Kind of reminds me of that old show, Thundarr the Barbarian. Post-apocalypse heavy fantasy. I'm already getting ideas.

Andras
2008-06-12, 09:25 PM
The problem is that there is nothing wrong with the plant lifespan trait unless the player has timeless body, and there is nothing wrong with timeless body unless the player has plant lifespan. When the two are combined, however, it is dificult to see how an alternative non-broken ruling could be made.

The easiest way would be to put one sentence into the Folian description setting some sort of size cap. Eventually, it'll plateau out, if only from lack of nourishment.

BarroomBard
2008-07-01, 03:21 PM
In addition, shouldn't the folians gain DR as it becomes more wooden?

Revlid
2008-07-07, 01:57 PM
I am truly enamored with this setting. The feel, a sort of Wild West/High Fantasy/Fallout hybrid, is gotten across really well, and all the different aspects of the world seem rather well thought out - the new classes are clearly aimed for internal balance, the parchpowder (although reminding me of a terrible Jackie Chan movie) is fresh and interesting, as is the spellshot pistol. Each of the new races are well presented, although I am a tad skeptical of the Folians as they are now, and the Dread Necromancer/Wasteling mechanical problem as noted above concerns me somewhat.

All in all, a fantastic job!

However, I hope to god that you avoid certain imagery with the new (http://content.answers.com/main/content/wp/en/thumb/0/08/200px-Cactuar.png) small-size (http://dogasu.bulbagarden.net/popular_pkmn/sabonea.gif) Folians (http://www.siliconera.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2007/09/mushroom_men-cactus-mutantes-sm.jpg).

Vavaara
2008-07-08, 02:25 PM
Spell-shot pistols give me a warm, fuzzy feeling inside. If that last sentence has left you in doubt, I love this campaign setting.

merfolkotpt
2009-03-28, 09:57 PM
Sorry to necro this, but like others I am wondering if there is any development still going on. I love the idea of the concocter and I wanted to know if that class will ever be fully explored.

IcarusWings
2009-04-02, 06:19 AM
Also sorry to necro but I think this idea is awesome and should be viewed by more people...

Love the spellshot

Merlin

DracoDei
2009-04-02, 12:32 PM
I think just making the negative effects that the folians get count as "natural growth" rather than "aging" would be a good work-around.

As for Dread Necromancer Wastlings... you COULD kludge it fairly easily by saying that their Charisma counts as two points higher for purposes of that classes abilities, and that this goes up to 4 points higher when and if they lose their constitution score due to the effects of that class. The first part is almost certainly balanced, the second part MIGHT be overpowered, but I doubt it. Or put the second bonus on some other stat if Dread Necros have any sort of MAD going on.

Waspinator
2009-04-07, 01:14 AM
About spellshot pistols: did that feat for crafting the ammo and/or the pistols ever surface?

rty275@comcast.
2009-07-03, 01:19 AM
my apoligies to necro this (i think) but this is roleplaying gold! i encourage you to read this one and all


(P.S. what kind of glyphs do the glyphcasters have?)

Gnifle
2009-07-03, 04:26 AM
I just stumble across this thread and have bookmarked it for a more thorough read. Iíve toyed with an idea like this myself, but never gotten it further then discussion with one of my friends.
You wrote about a PDF version of a playerís guide and a dm guide, how did this pan out? Do you have a dedicated website?
I donít hope that you have completely abandoned the idea, because itís too great to be thrashed!

Coidzor
2009-07-03, 09:29 AM
Druid - Druids are in pretty much the same vein as clerics. They don't really have a solid place in this world, but they aren't oddball enough to limit their selection. Freedom is a good thing.

...:smallconfused: In this world, abandoned by the gods, the religion with the least amount of angst associated with it would be the druids, who are focused on helping nature, and I don't see it as too much of a stretch for them to extent that to helping the people continue to survive.

I can even see the gleaner (http://www.giantitp.com/articles/gk7uKJeF296jRcx1NJw.html)being tweaked for this setting due to the fact that the people haven't forgotten or abandoned the techniques that had to be adopted in order to survive. And using magic to reclaim the land and coax sustenance from it... Definitely seems to fit with the theme.

Apologies if this has been brought up before ad nauseum. Just seemed to make sense to say it.

horus42
2009-07-03, 11:56 AM
Wow. All I have to say is wow. This is amazing. It's like a cake made of win with a glaze of awesomesauce on top. To be honest, I've never been very interested in playing D&D (I've always been more of a WoD fan myself). But after reading this, I can say that I'm very interested. In other words :smallbiggrin: This makes me happy.

SilverClawShift
2009-07-03, 12:57 PM
my apoligies to necro this (i think) but this is roleplaying gold! i encourage you to read this one and all


(P.S. what kind of glyphs do the glyphcasters have?)

I don't think the normal necromancy rules apply to the homebrew forum. If they do, there has to be some kind of laxness in their application due to the nature of the board :smalltongue:

And the Glyphcrafter is hovering around an alpha stage. We have reached some conclusions about it though. The Glyphs are changing a little. They're going to have a smaller, subtler effect constantly, but you'll be able to expend said effect for a briefer, stronger effect.

So you might have a glyph that causes a weapon to be treated as +1 as long as it's applied, but be able to expend the glyph in a flash to give you five rounds of a +5 flaming weapon that knocks opponents clear across the ring or causes the earth to open up and swallow them into shallow graves or something.

Still needs work.


You wrote about a PDF version of a player’s guide and a dm guide, how did this pan out? Do you have a dedicated website?
I don’t hope that you have completely abandoned the idea, because it’s too great to be thrashed!

Oh heck no! We have more totem animals for the totem ascendant, we've got more work done on the Spellslinger (they've turned into a type of Soulbow/invoker so far), we've got some finalizations on how the Rain Dancer works (Their 'spells' are all area of effect things that build up over the course of three rounds for good battlefield control).
We've also worked on finalizing the spellshot pistol. There's not a lot more that needs to be done with it. Formalize some rules for ammo creation, and maybe make a few feat chains for things like trick-shots, and we'll be good on that front.

We're still working on it, the problem is we really only work on it between campaigns, and I don't necessarily snatch all the info from my DM to type up and post here. I have more time with it being summer, I'm not working AND attending class anymore, but still.

Sorry to post a bunch of stuff and get everyones hopes up, then to just vanish for a while, but real life does have to come first.


...:smallconfused: In this world, abandoned by the gods, the religion with the least amount of angst associated with it would be the druids

The problem is, the land is mostly dust, and civilizations literally collapsed in on themselves. POCKETS of life survived, and they're starting to branch out and re-establish contact (we're going to re-draw the map to isolate the pockets of life a little more, BTW).
It's not that druids can't or don't exist in the dustlands. The problem is there's no population to sustain an order of druids. Any druidic orders broke down and fell apart when the rest of the world did.

Which means any druids, gleaners, or the like in the current Dustlands are probably the first or second generation of their order. There's no long standing traditions or solid place for them, it's just a desperate effort to call life out of dust in a universe that's still literally eating itself to continue existing.

They can be here. If you want to play a druid PC or NPC, there's no reason not to. It's just that druids aren't a strong part of the 'myth' of the land.


In other words :smallbiggrin: This makes me happy.

I'm glad :smallsmile:

People should enjoy their leisure time to its fullest.

*EDIT*

And seriously, I mentioned it once, but disregard the folians as they stand. We really want some kind of plant race, but they're not working right no matter what we do to them :smalltongue:

DracoDei
2009-07-03, 03:57 PM
If you are talking about the whole "Timeless Body" problem, I proposed a solution to that. I mention this only because I am not sure it was in this thread, so you might have missed it. Basically the DEX penalties are stated NOT to be aging penalties, since they are part of natural development. Thus, Timeless Body wouldn't stop them any more then it would stop a child prodegy of a dragon with a bunch of levels in druid from going through puberty when (s)he hit that age.

SilverClawShift
2009-07-03, 10:50 PM
Honestly, I'm not too worried about someone finding a loophole in new mechanics that lets them do "X" where "X" is destroy/recreate the universe, live forever, or break planets with their eyebrows.

D&D allready has plenty of those, and it's the responsibility of any reasonable DM to say "Hah, that's clever. But suddenly reality itself melts away, and you awake to realize you are just another hairless androgynous blob hooked into some kind of machine. An angry metallic monstrosity grabs you by the face and says "FINDING A GLITCH DOES NOT GIVE YOU CONTROL" before slamming your head down and re-wiring you into the system. When reality comes back, you realize you are now a very small dog. maybe, if you are a fiercly LOYAL dog, they'll make you human again."

No, the problem with the Folians is that they feel clunky, from a flavor perspective. They don't really mesh well into the world. Their conception at our table was "Wow, even the FLOWERS had to learn to be ruthless". We want them to make Audrey II (http://boobtubedude.com/index.php/2008/11/11/recaps/fringe-recap-episode-17/) look like a potted fern.
Instead they feel kind of silly and all over the place.

We're not giving up on the Folians as a race, but anything included in the dustlands for them will definately be Folians 2.0

Owrtho
2009-07-04, 05:44 AM
Just a thought, but maybe part of the issue with the folians is that they assume a (vaguely) humanoid shape. While it is a nice boost to mankind's ego and makes it somewhat more simple for the purpose of them being able to use everything people can, it isn't exactly what would seem the most efficient form for a ruthless blood drinking mobile plant. They might fit in better if they had a more realistic plant like form. An example might be a crawling mass of brush or the like. Also you could get around the issue of armor not being made for them by just giving them an ability that does something like letting them entangle it in their vines to use it and then make it so they can be disarmed of it though there would be a penalty to those trying to disarm them of it (the ability to disarm the armor might not be needed but could be used for balance if the more plantlike form prompted any other benefits out of realism).

Anyways, I read through a bit of this the past few days and as a whole the setting seems quite interesting. You and your group keep up the good work.

Owrtho

Waspinator
2009-07-04, 03:29 PM
Humanoid form is certainly not a requirement for intelligence and it would help make them feel a little less cheesy to drop it. Humanoid plants seem a little Star Trek-y and like something you have a guy in a rubber suit stand in for.

SilverClawShift
2009-07-21, 11:37 AM
You know what? nevermind.

DracoDei
2009-07-21, 05:17 PM
Do they have to worry about Arcane Spell Failure? If so, they need something to get around that for light armor. If not... a large mithril shield is much more dependable and less slowing than the Ice shield, and only worse if you are channeling cold at the moment...

Do their Ice Shield and Icy Armor (names may be wrong) have armor-check penalty, max. Dex, or arcane spell failure chances? They should allow the special enchantments of the light armor worn (such as Fortification) stack onto them, but not the AC bonuses... even so, +1 Chain shirt is equal to the base version of ice armor if the ice armor has Max. Dex. (since these guys end up with a lot of Dex) which probably means it shouldn't, but either way you need to state explicitly. In any case it is going to mess up their full attack, which since they don't do as much damage per shot as a warlock, they are going to need I think.

Zeta Kai
2009-07-21, 10:15 PM
I don't think the normal necromancy rules apply to the homebrew forum. If they do, there has to be some kind of laxness in their application due to the nature of the board :smalltongue:

According to the mods (specifically Roland SJ), the normal threadomancy rules do apply to the Homebrew forum. Don't tempt fate, lest your thread be locked. I'd hate to lose this setting because it was locked before its time.

Lappy9000
2009-07-22, 01:22 PM
You know what? nevermind.What?! Noes! :smalleek:

I just got the time to work on critiquing the Spellslinger :smallfrown:

GreatWyrmGold
2009-08-02, 06:53 AM
You know what? nevermind.

Aw...I never got to see it...it sounded so AWESOME...

merfolkotpt
2009-10-07, 04:21 PM
So excited to see some new posts from the OP, hope that you didn't get upset with that last post. I am anxiously awaiting more news. Honestly, for me the coolest things so far are the wastelings and all the classes, even without wastelings as a race i would say this is a great D&D setting. Totally awesome.