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    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Wyntonian's Avatar

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    Apr 2011
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    Default Welcome to Patria!

    The Land of Patria

    Note: This is sorta like a dress rehearsal for when I post this for-realsies. I'll do that eventually, once I get some loose ends tied up.

    Message and Intent:
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    As I've worked on this world for the last seven months, I've learned that everyone, including myself, makes the world they want to play in. And honestly, that's good enough for me. I want to make a world that has some meaning, mostly focused on how perception defines reality to some degree, and how the black and white morality idealized in D&D is, frankly, bullspit.

    However, I don't want to make a world that straitlaces a DM into running only a certain, individual style of game, and is utterly incompatible with others. Every world is defined by the types of stories that can be told in it. Eberron does Noir, Intrigue and Politics excellently, Faerun has Epic Adventures in High Magical Fantasy, Dark Sun has gritty struggles for survival and Middle Earth has some of the best underdog morality stories ever told. You could run a game oriented around art theft in any of these, but the best game is going to be one that fits the setting like a mountain bike to a trail, not rollerblades on a black diamond ski run.

    So, I've created a world that actualizes my ideals of rich diversity of culture and "feel", subtly overarching but mutable meanings, and the ability to run a game from "Badass McDungeoncrawl: We Try to Kill the Green Guys Again to "Morality Play 3: Return of the Morality Play"


    Inspirations:
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    S.M. Stirling's Dies the Fire and series.
    Orson Scott Card's Tales of Alvin Maker
    History, as taught by half a dozen excellent teachers
    The Renegade Magic series,
    The Mistborn series
    Patrick Rothfuss's Name of the Wind
    Lord of the Rings (Duh)
    Enough other titles to fill this entire post.


    Geographical Overview
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    The Vallheim

    The Clans
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    Elk: The Chiefs of Elk Clan have a strong tendency towards leadership. Brenyn the Protector, King of Vallheim, is the Chief of Elk Clan, as was his grandfather, Bjarni the Strong. The clan is fairly well-respected as a whole, and the people are fairly well-off compared to others. Their favored weapon is the Greatsword.

    Wolf:The Chiefs of Wolf Clan are usually strong, loyal supporters of the King, although they rarely take the role themselves. Their people tend towards hunting and the outdoors, and are frequently wilderness guides. They are led by Soren Ostvekson, Chancellor of Vallheim. (Essentially a Vice President). His grandfather was Bjarni's first and most loyal follower when he reunited the clans of the Vallheim. Their favored weapon is the Battleaxe.

    Bear: The Chiefs of Bear Clan tend towards generalship, but are rarely deeply involved in politics beyond that regarding war. Their people likewise are frequently soldiers, mercenaries, and guards of towns and caravans, and have a reputation of being honest but fearsome warriors. They are led by Sigurd Marensdottir, who is the Host-Lady of the Vallheim, (Head Commander), as well as Brenyn's closest military adviser. Their favored weapon is the Greataxe.

    Hawk: The Chiefs of Hawk Clan tend to focus more on what is happening outside the borders of Vallheim than who's arguing with who within. Their people include some of the best spies that Vallheim has, and are distributed from the Greywash to the furthest outpost of the Dotze Affariata. Their chief is Adrian Gunnarson, Brenyn's Spymaster. Their favored weapon is the Light Crossbow.

    Beaver: The Chiefs of Beaver Clan are a stark contrast to the Hawk Chiefs. Their focus is solely on building and maintaining the Vallheim lands, which is what they do best. Their people are frequently builders and architects, and they are responsible for the majority of the construction that goes on in Vallheim, and as they would put it, all of the good stuff. Their Chief is Lief Rolfson, who is very minor player in Vallheim politics. His role as Interior Consul is essentially to take care of the little stuff in the Kingdom, roads, buildings, fortifications, etc. Their favored weapons are the Handaxe and Throwing Axe.

    Horse: The Chiefs of Horse Clan are somewhat minor compared to the immense political clout of the Elk, but they hold an important role none the less. As one could expect from their name, they are, almost exclusively, the cavalry and horse breeders of Vallheim. Their people are skilled in working with animals of all types, and are considered the elite cavalry of the region, despite their lack of competition. Their chief is Alric Rangvaldson, who is Sigurd Marensdottir's second in command and Horse-Lord of the Vallheim. Technically, this is not a hereditary position, but nobody but a Horse Chief has ever held it. Their favored weapon is the Lance.

    Dove: The Chiefs of Dove Clan tend to work to undo the damage that Bear Clan does, in their opinion. They and their people work as mediators, healers and medics throughout Vallheim. They are responsible for the health of the Kingdom, and frequently work as medics when the time comes for war. They are led by Annika Ragnasdottir, who serves Brenyn as a close confidant informally, although she has no official position in government aside from Clan Chief. Their favored weapon is the Dagger.

    Owl:The Chiefs of Owl Clan are easily the most respected Chiefs, after those of Elk. Their Clan is famous for their role as teachers, historians and scribes, and have the highest literacy rate in Vallheim. One of their most important responsibilities, however, is to teach prospective students about magic, although this is done on a very small scale, almost always one teacher to one student. Their Chief is Lared Vilmarson, who is Battle-Sage of the Vallheim. He is responsible for applying whatever limited use of magic is possible to warfare as well as being a historian and councilor. Their favored weapon is the Rapier.

    Raven: The Chiefs of Raven Clan are not generally considered among the powerful Vallheim Chiefs. However, they do have a surprising level of influence. Their Clan, while they do not fight, heal or build, creates. Their people are the artists, musicians, troubadours, bards and messengers of the Vallheim. They also provide battlefield communication to the armies of Vallheim. They are led by Brynhild Hjorasdottir, who is the Wight-Speaker of the Vallheim. (Somewhat of a religious leader, it is her responsibility to speak to the Land- and Hall-Wights to ask their support of the King, as well as ask them questions on behalf of the Vallheim). Their favored weapon is the Short Sword

    Boar: The Chiefs of Boar Clan are little-loved by their colleagues, mostly because of their role in government. They are the Judge of the Vallheim, and appoint people to subordinate positions throughout the Kingdom. They have a tendency to take their role somewhat seriously, and have been known to occasionally exercise their authority to their gain, whether or not it supports the Vallheim. Their people are the police, lawyers, judges and sheriffs of the Vallheim. Their Chief is Ragnar Hinrikson, Judge of the Vallheim. (Essentially a one-man Supreme Court.) Their favored weapon is the Whip.

    Fox: The Chiefs of Fox Clan have a level of unwilling respect from the other Chiefs. Their clan is primarily made up of traders, merchants and caravaneers, both domestically and internationally. They have a somewhat gypsylike reputation. When someone's daughter comes up pregnant without a known father? Probably that Fox caravan from last month. However, without them, most people's standard of living would decrease sharply, as well as their supplies of little fancy things. They are led by Henreik Hollson, Trade Consul to Brenyn. Their favored weapon is the Quarterstaff.




    Cosmology
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    The only planes present in this setting are the Prime Material, and the Spirit Realm superimposed across, under, through and in it. It's impossible for mortal magic to physically transport someone through the Veil between the worlds, but the most powerful magics can send ones spirit through long enough to bring another back. This is commonly called resurrection.

    The Spirit Realm houses the spirits of the dead, each of whom perceive it in a subtly different way. An eternally faithful servant of the Radiant Lord of Soleh might see himself eternally bathed in holy light, while and Animistic Goliath hunter might be participating in an endless hunt, killing his totem Bear each night for it to be reborn the next. It is also home to Vestiges and other spirits, which can be called back across the Veil to form a pact with a binder, or in the case of an elemental spirit to serve a mage, or in the case of a spirit of a former great warrior to take control of his body, guided back for a second chance to defend his home by a benevolent spirit-guide (necromancer)

    The Fey have the Hedge, a similar concept, but one that is possible for mortals to access. Points of entry are normally disguised as a natural feature, like a pond that transports anyone who drowns at the bottom to a Fey Court. The Hedge is only accessible through Fey magic. No mortal magic can create points of entry. It is not a true third plane, but it does defy normal three-dimensional geometry. Rather than truly breaking through spacetime, they instead twist it in knots.

    There are no other planes, period. This includes elemental planes, Astral, Ethereal, and all alignment-based and other planes not explicitly mentioned here. No, not even that one.


    Language:

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    There are, for most human character's purposes, five languages.

    Tala is spoken in the Vallheim, and shares themes with our world's Scandinavian languages, such as Norwegian, Icelandic and others.

    Konuska is spoken in Soleh, and shares themes with the Slavic/Eastern European/Turkic languages. If you want to make a character name, try a mash-up of Maltese, Polish and Russian. It should work. There is also an Old Tongue used in ceremonies of Tuhan Sky-Father.

    Kotoba is generally spoken in Sunshan, but there's a substantial difference between that of the nobility and that of the peasant-slaves (Locally known as Torei). Please note which form you learned, as they're distinctive but mutually intelligible. Think Scotland and the Deep South.

    Fiatara is spoken throughout the Twelve Cities of the Dotze Affariata, but there's some regional accents. Nothing to keep people from understanding each other.

    Trader's Pidgin is a mash-up of various languages, with the grammatical structure of Fiatara, as the Dotze Affariata merchant ships do the most traveling. Most everyone learns it, especially those close to the seaboard. Even inland, there's usually at least a couple people per village that can get by using it.

    There's a couple gutter-languages used in the Dotze Affariata slums, collectively known as Thieves Cant, and there's Hua, spoken by most monks in Sunshan and used as a low-security sort of code to keep things out of the hands of the nobles.

    Other languages include the ceremonial Old Tongue of the Solerian Church (Vārdi), Gol-Ta, the Goliath language, Siarad, a simplified form of the incredibly complex Fey Tongue that some people learn to better communicate with the Fey, and Folura, a remnant of the language of the Human Empire that crossed the ocean from the East 2000 years ago.


    Not Completed.

    Gameplay:


    Races:
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    Humans:
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    Hailing from the lands far to the east, humans came to Patria approximately 2000 years ago, as an empire fleeing a threat that has been lost to time. After the massacre of the First People and their flight across the Fogbound River, humans have been the dominant, most numerous and most powerful force in Patria, a role which they have been only too happy to accept.

    Social Role:
    Humans are by far the dominant race of Patria. They make up the power structure and the vast majority of the population of the four nations, as well as the Lightwood Rangers. They range from peasant-slaves in Sunshan to eunuch-priests in Soleh to pirate captains of the Sunshani and Dotze Affariata coastlines to every king, queen or prince of the four nations.

    In-game stats:
    Humans are identical to those described in the Player's Handbook.


    Shifters:
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    Sometimes, a child of a Therianthropic parent and an unafflicted parent results in a child who is not truly cursed (Or blessed, as some say), nor are they entirely unaffected. These children frequently live to pass on a touch of wildness in their blood, a legacy of a parent not entirely human. Thus are Shifters born.

    Social Role: Shifters generally fit mostly seamlessly into normal human society. In Soleh, Therianthropes are particularly reviled, so a child known to be a descendant of one may be shunned, exiled or killed. Elsewhere, though, they are generally indistinguishable from "normal" humans.

    In-Game Stats:
    Same as in Monster Manual III, with dinosaur-based forms from other sources unavailable.


    Gnomes:

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    The Gnomes came to the land of Patria long before the humans, and had a separate but friendly relationship with the first people. They bond easily with animals, and usually travel in nomadic bands of 8-30 in canoe-type boats while in swamps and with light carts pulled by goats or wolflike dogs while on land. They are usually 2'9" to 3'6", and have some innate magical powers.

    Social Role:
    While gnomes are accepted as normal people in the Vallheim, they are enslaved in every other country. They are used as miners and rowers in the Dotze Affariata, and also as plantation workers in Sunshan. In Soleh they are used as farm workers in the arable eastern parts and as servants of the church across the nation.

    In-Game Stats:
    Same as the Player's Handbook, with the following exceptions:

    *Weapon Familiarity instead allows gnomes to treat Tridents as simple weapons.

    *The spell-like ability Speak with Animals has no limitation on the sort of animal with which the character can communicate.


    Dwarves:
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    Dwarves have lived in Patria longer than anyone can remember, and they like it where they are, thank you very much. They have a constant, disorganized war going on with the Goliaths for control of the forested mountains of the West, but it is unlikely to be resolved any time soon. They generally live in small, extended family units of 5-25, and clear enough land to raise some pigs and goats, grow a garden and have room for a couple small buildings (generally sturdy and semi-subterranean log cabins). They may have passing relationships with human traders, or give a lost hunter shelter for the night, but they fervently resist any sort of attempt to "civilize" them, or offer them entrance and citizenship into any nation. They speak Dwarven, but one or two per group may know a couple words of Trader's Pidgin.

    Social Role: Dwarves are small-scale subsistence farmers, hunters and gatherers. They shun religion, magic those who practice either, thank you very much. They refuse to shelter, and frequently attack, missionaries or those who practice any sort of magic. As such, they have made themselves enemies of the church of Soleh by virtue of many of their missionaries having spear-related "accidents". Dwarves just don't hold with that sort of nonsense. No sir.

    In-Game Stats:
    As the Player's Handbook, but with references to "Stone" or "Metal" changed to "wood" or "trees", as appropriate. Dwarves are good with woodworking, but sorry Tolkein, they aren't master miners and smiths.

    Furthermore, their attack bonus against orcs instead applies to Goliaths.

    Lastly, their Weapon Familiarity ability instead allows them to 1. Treat spears
    as 1-handed simple weapons, and 2. Treat Atl-Atls as martial weapons.


    Goliaths:

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    Goliaths have lived in Patria for at least as long as the dwarves. This is only as estimate, however, as both races claim to have been there first. They inhabit the same mountain range as the dwarves. The live in nomadic groups similar to those described in Races of Stone, and worship the pantheon of gods described therein.

    Social Role:
    Goliath society is divorced from that of the human nations, and only intersects in war. Goliaths frequently attack human settlements or caravans, for as many different motivations as humans would have for the same acts. Frequently, though, it is so that the surviving members of the raiding party can return home with gifts and tools for their family and tribe, and more prestige than they know what to do with. They do not hold grudges for rare inter-tribal conflicts, and do not quite understand why humans usually try to kill them on sight. While humans consider them murderous beasts, they generally view humans as illogical, small, weak creatures divorced from the land and unable to keep their emotions in check. Their culture will be described in greater detail later.

    In-Game Stats:
    As Races of Stone.


    Changelings:
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    Every once in a great while a human child is taken by the Fey. Sometimes it is as payment of a debt, sometimes as a "blessing" for the child, other times it is just plain mean-spirited doucebaggery. Regardless, as the child grows up in a Fey court, they become steadily more and more fey-like, in body and mind. Eventually, the child is released, sent out on a mission from the court, or sometimes escapes. Prolonged exposure to the fey throughout their childhood has changed them into something not quite human.

    Social Role: Changelings are frequently able to blend in with human society with relative ease. They frequently seem slightly odd, as one could expect after spending their lives with a familiar but alien race. If discovered, they frequently face persecution, fear and, in some cases, a lynch mob. They often find themselves in the service of a rich noble family or powerful merchant, as their powers of illusion and disguise frequently come in handy to such people.

    In-Game Stats:

    Shapechanger Subtype: Changelings are humanoids with the shapechanger subtype.
    Medium: As Medium creatures, changelings have no special bonuses or penalties due to their size.
    Changeling base land speed is 30 feet.

    +2 racial bonus on saving throws against sleep and charm effects: Changelings have slippery, fey-influenced minds.

    +2 racial bonus on Bluff, Intimidate, and Sense Motive checks: Changelings are inherently skilled in deception and intimidation, and though they cannot
    actually detect thoughts as doppelgangers can, they can intuitively read body language and attitude with surprising accuracy.

    Changelings gain one bonus language.

    • Minor Change Shape (Su): Changelings have the supernatural ability to alter their appearance as though using a disguise self spell that affects their
    bodies but not their possessions. This ability is not an illusory effect, but a minor physical alteration of a changeling’s facial features, skin color and texture, and size, within the limits described for the spell. A changeling can use this ability at will, and the alteration lasts until she changes shape again. A changeling reverts to her natural form when killed. A true seeing spell reveals her natural form. When using this ability to create a disguise, a changeling receives a +10 circumstance bonus on Disguise checks. Using this
    ability is a full-round action.


    Half-Giants:
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    The land north of the Vallheim is populated by both fey and Giants. Once in a rare while, a child is born with both the powerful blood of the giants and the spirit of a human. These children, half-giants, are virtually indistinguishable from their full-blooded human counterparts, aside from their massive size. They do, however, combine the mental capacity of the more noble varieties of giants with the willpower of humans, providing them with great potential for mental

    Social Role: As contact between humans and giants is rare, and it is generally peaceful (barring attacks by evil giants, which are usually kept in check by their more peaceful counterparts and rarely reach the coasts of Patria, Half-Giants are frequently a product of two parents of mixed ancestry. They but rarely come across any sort of segregation or racism. They are by far most common in the Vallheim, and become less common further south.

    In-Game Stats:

    As SRD, but with Heat Acclimated replaced with the following:

    Cold Acclimated: Half-giants have a +2 racial bonus on saving throws against all cold spells and effects. Half-giants are accustomed to enduring low temperatures.


    Feytouched:
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    The Fey are a potent and wild force in Patria. They are somehow both familiar to humans, often manifesting with great physical beauty and charm, and utterly alien, with plans that humans frequently cannot fathom and a tendency to forget how fragile humans are. Occasionally, a human, seduced by the beauty and charm of the fey, participates in the conception of a half-fey child. This child, and their descendants, have a touch of the wild magic of the fey about them. In other cases, a child is blessed by a fairy of beneficial or malicious intent, resulting in a feytouched child. They are frequently either stunningly attractive or hideously ugly, but they are always charismatic, charming and otherworldly.

    Social Role: Feytouched are physically indistinguishable from any other beautiful or ugly human. In spite of their natural charisma, they rarely hold high positions in government, as their fey nature makes them tend to look down on too much personal responsibility.

    In-Game Stats:
    +2 Charisma, -2 Wisdom.
    Medium: As Medium creatures, Feytouched have no special bonuses or penalties due to their size.
    Feytouched base land speed is 30 feet.
    Fey Affinity: Feytouched have a +2 racial bonus to all charisma-based checks involving fey.
    Inhuman Mind: Feytouched gain a +4 racial bonus on saving throws against mind-affecting spells and effects.
    Fey Blood: For all effects related to race, a feytouched may choose whether to be considered a Fey or Humanoid.
    Charm Person: A feytouched can cast Charm Person 1/day, with a DC of 10 + their charisma modifier, and a caster level equal to their hit dice.




    Base Classes:
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    Approved Base Classes (without changes): Bard, Barbarian, Ranger, Rogue, Monk, Mage, Mageborn, Fighter, Swordsage, Crusader, Warblade, Scout, Warlock, Spirit Shaman, Psychic Warrior, Psion, Wilder, Ardent, Artificer.

    Suggested Fixes:
    For Fighter: Jirku's Fix, Warblade

    Reasoning: Jirku's fix encompasses many archetypes of "The Badass with a Sword", is relatively balanced and still plays like a fighter.

    For Rogue: The Daring Outlaw

    Reasoning: Gives the acrobatic, precise and talented skillmonkey type a much-needed boost. Plus, it's just fun.

    For Monk: Arguskos's fix or T.G. Oskar's.

    Reasoning: You want some reasoning for needing to fix the freaking monk? Seriously? Well, these are good fixes, and take it in slightly different directions. As they apply to the Sunshani monasteries, I'd recommend Arguskos for the Unending Way, and Oskar for the Phoenix and for the Grey Palm.

    Permanent Changes to Classes:

    Druids get the bard's casting progression, using their own list, less the 7-9 level spells.

    Rangers get an animal companion of their full ranger level, not ranger level -4.

    Approved Homebrew Base Classes:
    The following classes have been approved for use in this setting because of an appropriate magic level, flavor and overall fit.

    Kensei of Five Rings

    This is a powerful lil' guy. Save him for elite Sunshani Samurai, or some pretty high-powered campaigns as a PC. He's also pretty close to idiot-proof. Not a bad choice for a new player who doesn't mind a little complexity.

    The Brawler

    A non-monk unarmed face-beater. It's a pretty fun class to play, with a couple tricks up its sleeves. Just a decent, balanced, Seraphi Homebrew (TM) Class.

    The Knight

    I really have an appreciation for the stand-there-and-take it badass archetype. I also appreciate a good lockdown build. I also think mundane melee needs to be thrown a couple bones. Wait, what's this? Hey NeoSeraphi! What's up? A class? For the Whitelist? Great! I love how it manages to be both a solid lockdown/AoO focused class while staying true to its archetype. What? It's more or less SAD? Yipee and Mazeltov, everybody!

    Fighter Remix

    Mentioned above, this is a jolly good remake of a class that really did need it. Well done, too. Covers a lot of bases with its various archetypes, and can do any PC type from the Valorous Solerian Knight to Encouraging Troop Captain to Calm and Deadly Samurai.

    Daring Outlaw

    I really like the included changes to precision damage, it does both rogue and swashbuckler better than either the rogue or swashbuckler and it manages to keep the feel of both more or less intact, without just mashing them together. That's good work.

    Warrior-Poet

    This guy... Imagine a swashbuckler (the archetype, not the rather mediocre class) as a martial initiator, then add in the insufferable charm of the Dashing Swashbuckler prestige class from OoTS. Boom. Yeah. It's good.

    Truenamer

    This is far and away the best truenamer fix I've ever seen. I love the concept behind the original, but this guy just blows him out of the water, in terms of efficacy, ease of use and general awesomeness. I truly enjoyed my contributions to the playtesting of this class. Plus, the other two included classes are pure sex.

    The Giver

    You know how sometimes you find two great flavors that taste great together? I found that with this class. It's a combination of my favorite childhood book and some stellar work by an accomplished homebrewer. The class itself is a medium-powered buff/debuff type, with possibly the richest flavor I've ever seen in a class. It also fits the setting like a glove. Good work, right here.

    Knight-Paladin

    This is some pretty stellar 'brew. It does what both the knight and paladin were intended to do, and does more than just gestalt two struggling classes. The class synergy, the balance, everything just works.

    Plague Doctor

    Ok... So, this isn't a fix of an existing class, or a plug in a much-needed hole. It's just a really fun, interesting, flavorful class that works in the setting, and is acceptably balanced. That's all I can ask for.

    Stormwatcher

    After playing alongside one of these, I can honestly say that I like this class. It's a role that everyone likes to have in their party, namely healing and control, and has a bit of utility to go with it. It fits power-wise with the casters of this world, and the flavor is a decent mesh too.

    Moonblessed

    This class is incredibly reminiscent of a warlock, but less "aaagh, I'm emo and I sold my soul to the devil". I really do like it, from its slightly altered invocations, to the increased number of skill points. Not a huge step off the path, but a positive small one.

    The Archer

    So, I really like archery. I teach it to small children on occasion, and I'm a pretty ok shot. But, it absolutely sucks in core. Like, worse than melee. So, this class helps fix that. It's no tier 2, but it's solid, flexible and does its job better than any class can. Except for maybe a cleric. But we don't have clerics in this world, do we?

    Sagittarius

    It's a luck-based archery class with limited spell-like abilities. It fits the setting, I like it, and that's really all there is to say about that.


    Martial Disciplines:
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    Placid Lake is a pretty solid discipline from the Age of Warriors project. I like the fluff about balance and stillness, and it's pretty solidly balanced too. Appropriate.

    The Dancing Leaf discipline is the first one that I ever really looked at, and it's good work. It incorporates the whole agile, dodge/parry/lunge/riposte style really well, whether for a ninja or a swashbuckling rapscallion.

    Have you ever played a badass drill-sergeant type and realized that the good-guy swag you got from White Raven just wasn't doing it for you? Try Scarlet Bravura. All the support/buffing goodness of White Raven, plus a badass factor of OVER 9000! Slight overstatement, but still. Giving people extra actions, or dropping your own AC to 0 and voluntarily failing saving throws for a round to make all your allies into combat monsters? Not much contest there.

    Fool's Grip is fun, a rough-and-tumble discipline that uses improvised weapons. Somewhat of an opportunistic, Krav Maga-esque style, throwing sand, kicking them in the jewels and slitting their throat with a broken bottle. It's a bit of a contrast to Diamond Mind.

    If you're like me, the whole concept of a dual-wielding discipline being a savage, animalistic and raw style of fighting seems rather... disappointing. The Scarlet Rose discipline is for those of us who are more Musashi than Conan. I really like this one, it encompasses a much-needed area of combat really well.

    Really, I can't say anything truly fanboyish about Ocean Tempest. It's a solid discipline, fluffy and crunchy in good measure, and evicts a curious mental image of the fighting style it represents. I imagine it being something like a Troy fight scene with Achilles leaping around, thrusting, twirling away and shattering another person's shield with his spear. Or maybe Bruce Lee, "Be water, my friend". Well looky there. Guess I did have something fanboyish to say.

    One little beef I have with the original Book of Nine Swords is part of its name. Swords. Not "Nine ways to kill people, regardless of the sort of weapon you happen to be using" but specifically swords. So, Cthonic Serpent is a discipline that helps remedy that, with spiky chains and flails and pretty much everything else that is both flexible and deadly. I like it.

    Fools Grip is a decent dirty fighting discipline, but it focuses more on hitting someone over the head with a bottle than Oncoming Storm, which is more the graceful, skilled and completely dishonorable form of combat you'd use if you really knew your way around a fight and didn't care about honor, fairness or the unspoken rules of war. Or you just really, really liked winning. Good work right here.

    So, I like being a battle-mad berserker type, you like being a crazy "once more unto the breach" brass-balled badass, and that guy over there likes being the first - and only - one over the wall. What should we do? Use Army of One. It works for all of these. Hell, the first stance gives you a bonus for each enemy you threaten. Yeah. I know. Badass.

    If you want to represent a King's elegant fencing style, I'd recommend Jade Throne. It represents the dueling aspect of combat, and it does so very well. be aware that it overlaps a bit with Iron Heart, but focuses a bit more on grace and mobility than IRON....HEART.....SUUUUUUURRRRRRGEing. Good for nobility or fencer types.

    So, remember that rant I had for Cthonic Serpent? Here's part of my response to it. Solar Wind rocks the whole "I'm over here, you're over there, and you're still dead" realm of combat, also known as shooting and throwing crap at people until you kill them. There's a little supernaturalness to it, so if you're one of those "Get your magic out of my combat" types, you might want to look elsewhere.

    Remember, when you first looked through the DMG and saw the Dwarven Defender? If you were like me, you though it was the most badass stand there and take it sort of PrC ever. Then you actually played D&D. And changed your mind. This is another one of those non-sword based disciplines, this one based on shields, that is frankly how the Dwarven Defender should have been made in the first place. Enjoy the Iron Tortoise, and tell those gobliny basserds to say hi to your shield for me.

    So, if Tiger Claw isn't really your thing, and Scarlet Rose seems too refined, try Thrashing Dragon. It really does act like Tiger Claw, but is sufficiently different that a character could have both disciplines and not feel doubled up on anything. It encompasses the brutality of knife fights really well, while maintaining its own unique style. I'd recommend switching the key skill from Acrobatics to Jump, if you're not using condensed skills.



    Prestige Classes:

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    These are all homebrew classes from this very forum, and are alphabetized. [ToB] tags mean that the class incorporates Tome of Battle mechanics, [ToM] means Tome of Magic. [Caster]s are some sort of caster, [Psi] do psionics, [Combat] are beatsticks of various sorts, [Skills] are skillmonkey types, [Buffs] do buffs, whether it's bardic music or whatever, [Invoking] is, yes, invocations and [Incarnum] uses incarnum. [<3] Means I really like it, for whatever reason. No tags means you better look at it yourself. Pretty simple.

    Apostate Sword [ToB] Non-combatant

    Auran Traveler [Combat] [Skills] Monk-based

    Awenydd [Caster] [Buffs] Divination-based Bard/Druid theurge.

    Blind Warrior [Combat] [ToB] Blind Martial Initiator

    Bloodmist Dancer [ToB] [Skilled] Swordsage/Ninja

    Bow Minstrel
    [Combat] [Caster] [Buffs] Bard Archer

    Child of Petriel [Caster] Wildshape-focused Druid

    Chorister [Caster] [Buffs] Divine Bard

    Dashing Swordsman [Combat] See: Elan

    Disciple of Wu Xing [Combat] Elemental Monk

    Dreamweaver [Caster] Sleep-based Druid

    Ecopathic Savant
    [Caster] [Psi] Psion/Druid

    Goodwife [Caster] [Buffs] Nice old lady. Not really for players. Related Link. Good for cool NPC's

    Master of the Five [Caster] Elemental Summoner

    Monk of the Five Palms [Combat] [<3] Monk-based

    Redeemer of Regrets [Caster] Good-aligned Necromancer

    River Warden [Skills] [Debuffs] Precision Damage and Water.

    Rootdrinker
    [Caster] Plant-focused Druid

    Sant-Kavi [Caster] [Buffer] Bard/Divine proselytizer

    Scion of the Storm [Caster] [Debuffer] What is says on the tin. Storm-based caster.

    Shaman [Caster] Interesting caster class based off His Dark Materials series.

    Sieđkona of the Iron Bands [ToM] Binder of Immortal Fae Lords

    Sleight Shifter [Caster] [Skills] Rogue/Wildshape Sneak

    Spirit Manifester [Caster] [Buffer] [Debuffs] Spirit Shaman whose spirit can influence material things thusly.

    Spirit of the Land
    [Caster] [Buffs] Spirit Guide becomes Land Spirit.

    Storyteller [Caster] [Buffs] Storyteller Bard

    Martial Dabbler [ToB] [Combat] ToB class that advances 1 other progression.

    Twilight Guide [Not really sure...] Guide for departed spirits.

    Unholy Eye of Balor
    [Invoking] [Incarnum] Channeler of ancient fey gods.

    Unseelie Chancellor [Caster] [Invoking] Druid/Warlock Theurge

    Wanderer [Combat] Movement-focused warrior

    War Drummer [Caster] [Buffs] Bard/Marshal

    Black Wolf Ascendant | White Wolf Ascendent [Melee] Monk-based warrior

    Wildrunner [Combat] Movement-focused Skirmisher

    Witcher [ToB] [Invocation] Monster Hunter using ToB and Eldritch Blasts.



    Here's the OP, if you're interested.

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    Hey, as I said, I am a complete newbling, and i'd like to give world building a shot. I've never DM'd, or for that matter played a D&D style game. I have a strong grasp of the rules and concepts involved, but I essentially lack experience. Anyhoo, I would like help creating a lowish-magic, middle-low fantasy world, with easily believable mechanics and setting. What this means...

    *NO magic trains. abso-f***ing-lutely not. Or steam-powered airships. Or elemental wind-powered sailboats.

    * No, the world is not ruled by magic dragon ponies, or even a Magocracy. It is ruled by regular old people/elves/dwarves/whatever, or simply not ruled at all. I.E, no kingdoms of evil black dragons and their lizardfolk servants.

    *I am definitely not a fan of the default/vanilla D&D deity/objective morality system. Morality is essentially subjective, so a "magic circle against Evil" should really only force people who consider themselves evil to be repulsed by being forced to see the actions of their crimes.....or something. Gods are essentially unknowable, so clerics function more like sorcerers (who still prepare their spells the same way, use divine lists, etc), or through great personal effort to attain skills that seem somewhat magical.

    *I would definitely like to use some nonhuman fantasy races, but not the whole goddamn list provided by the book. A half-orc character... probably not as a player.

    *This will NOT be a hack-and-slash. I'm not looking for tales of courtly intrigue and diplomatic maneuverings, but i'd like some moral decisions and multiple options. Does the party join the angry townsfolk to avenge the missing child, or do they go talk to the orc tribe to find out if they were involved, or look for her themselves? Peacemaking should be difficult, but as rewarding as just going in guns blazing.

    Now that I have that figured out... how do I start? Any suggestions or questions to help get them creative juices flowing would be appreciated, and if some great naming guru or ascended master of creating worlds wants to help, I will love you forever. Like I love puppies. not like that.
    Last edited by Wyntonian; 2012-05-09 at 07:31 PM.

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    Default Re: A complete N00bz first try at world-building...

    I think you might want to approach world from a different angle. Simply starting with will not be in the world will not get you very far. You should approach world building from its core concepts - how will it differentiate itself from other worlds? Low magic / tech is only a piece of this.

    Given what you listed, it seems like morality / divinity are the best ways to expand upon your world. How does this system of subjective morality affect your world compared to other systems. What do you mean by gods being "unknowable"? What are the differences between clerics and sorcerers? How does magic work in a world with non-traditional gods? If you can build upon concepts like these and organically flesh out the elements of the world, it will have a far more organic and logical feel to it.

    Now, if this may be too abstract to translate into the concepts you want: low magic, low tech, non-exotic raical makeup. If you think this is the case, you may want to take the 'world' out of world building and simply focus on a smaller area. Build out a town/area in a generic setting (Greyhawk, FR) that has some of the elements you like. Localizing the issue allows you to focus on decisions that will directly affect players and gets to the heart of the moral decision / multiple options approach that you were thinking about.
    -Aez

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    Default Re: A complete N00bz first try at world-building...

    yeah, definitely don't focus on the negatives. I would first start with imaginging what kinda place you want most to play around in. Is there an all-time favourite movie, tv series, book series that you love to death? What is one thing that really grabbed you in that (those)? Can you take that idea and mash it up with something else you like? Mixing it with an opposite or something that challenges that?

    From there, you can decide what you would have fun doing, and then the consequences of the choices you adhere to.

    Alternatively, I highly recommend this site for a thorough set of world-building questions, courtesy of the sci-fi writers of america: http://www.sfwa.org/2009/08/fantasy-...ing-questions/

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    Default Re: A complete N00bz first try at world-building...

    What sort of culture is there surrounding the area where they'll be playing? What is the geography like, and the resources? Does anyone have a monopoly of something? If this is almost pre-feudal, that changes a lot of things as well.

    Judging by what you seem to be wanting to focus on, are different power centers. Main players for each ideology or interest group, how they interact and how the interpersonal relationships are. What's the social structure of a small society? Look into Dogs in the Vineyard to see how they explain hierarchy. How many people go off to be adventurers? Are there ANY sort of magical power centers, if so, where?

    Races: What purpose do they serve? I recommend cutting liberally. If you can't make sense of how a race fits into your world, or how they'd survive... Cut it. Even if it's dwarfs or elves.

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    Default Re: A complete N00bz first try at world-building...

    You might also be interested in The New World series of articles.
    Thinking about getting started with D&D 3.5 or Pathfinder? I'm always happy to answer questions and help a new player!

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    Default Re: A complete N00bz first try at world-building...

    Quote Originally Posted by Savannah View Post
    You might also be interested in The New World series of articles.
    Definitely, those are good.

    Also, Wyntonian, you said, (sorry, I haven't figured out multiple quoting yet):

    "This will NOT be a hack-and-slash. I'm not looking for tales of courtly intrigue and diplomatic maneuverings, but i'd like some moral decisions and multiple options. Does the party join the angry townsfolk to avenge the missing child, or do they go talk to the orc tribe to find out if they were involved, or look for her themselves? Peacemaking should be difficult, but as rewarding as just going in guns blazing. "
    You're looking for politics, then, I gather? A map or lists of countries (or both) might help.

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    Default Re: A complete N00bz first try at world-building...

    Thanks Everyone,

    I gave 1infinte's idea a try and came up looking at a map of Orson Scott Card's alternate history world from the Tales of Alvin Maker. It's pretty much colonial 'Murica, with a few twists and a much more complex political geography. I have a vague idea of using just the geography and political boundaries from that to create some of the physical and social features. As I have just rolled a critical fail at finding the map online, here's a summary of what it's going to be like.

    Background

    Essentially, and I haven't quite hashed this bit out yet, there was once much larger empire, long enough ago that the history is not very well-recorded. When this empire fell apart (why? ideas would be nice here), the following nations were formed out of the wreckage, and have expanded and fluctuated since.



    The First Country

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    Imagine the eastern half of the United States, from the Atlantic Coast to the Mississippi. Along the northern parts of the coast and extending inland a ways, covering the modern political boundaries of Maine, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, and bits of upstate New York is one nation, whose name I have not yet decided. (master nomenclaturists, please help) I'm tending towards it being a somewhat rugged, almost backwoods kingdom, or perhaps a confederacy of feudal lords, with some Norse-salted naming of places, people, etc. This will almost definitely be run by Humans, with a language closely related to that of the second country.


    The Second Country

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    A bit south of that, taking up everything from New York in the North, to West Virginia in the West, to Virginia in the South, is a country that I feel ought to be a theocracy of some sort. I'm VERY open to suggestions on what their belief system should be like. I'm leaning towards a well-meaning system that tries too hard to be pure, IE has witch hunts, bans all magical use as ungodly, hunts down and kills magic users (which are fairly rare, but still), but does so mostly to please their god, or at least the priesthood (and what's the difference, really?) However, they are not horrible people, somewhere between LN and LG to use the standard system of alignments.


    The Third Country

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    This nation is mostly the Carolinas, and I have thought about it the least. I'm tempted to make them the bad guys, or at least oppressive, but I don't want to fall into the "Evil Empire" cliche-trap. I'm thinking about having them be very top-heavy, in the sense that they have a large, wealthy upper/ruling class and a poor, neglected peasantry. Maybe have them somewhat over-used to ruling and complacent, with a growing resentment and possible rebellion bubbling up beneath them...


    The Fourth Country

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    This is not so much a country as a political unit. Somewhat spread out between the borders of Mississippi, Alabama and the Florida Panhandle are about a dozen or so loosely-allied city-states, much like Renaissance Italy, with a Spanish-themed language and naming that matches. I plan to have the swamps inhabited predominantly by the Gnomes, who are so far the only nonhuman race I've mentioned. They are clan-organized, semi-nomadic and live predominantly in boats, and have a level of trade with the fourth country, who regard them as somewhat below their interest, although the luxury materials they trade are not. They have almost no political structure, beyond the clan or tribal level, although they do have a yearly meeting of elders (not that the fourth-country people know or care) A good portion of them speak the Common language of this continent, but so differently from a person of the first country it may almost take a translator to help them communicate.


    The Not-Really-A-Country

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    The Appalachian Mountains (which will be renamed) are home to two distinct and somewhat separate groups: the Dwarven Clans to the north, and the Urgal Tribes to the south. Yes, I did just shamelessly jack the concept of Urgals from Christopher Paolini's books, but I'm pretty sure it's not trademarked, and they were my favorite part of the book anyway. If you have no idea what the heck I'm talking about, they're orcs with horns. Anyway, the two groups have a strong mutual dislike, and are in a state of almost-war, essentially a prolonged series of raids upon one another. The Dwarves (as well as most of the Human nations) view the Urgals as murderous beasts, while the Urgals consider the Dwarves to be a bunch of cowardly, short, bald murderers. I'm trying to break away from the Tolkeinish idea of Dwarves, so not they are both completely bald and live predominantly above-ground. Neither group has much contact with the human nations, it is known that they exist and the dwarven councils of Clan chiefs occasionally share gifts with Human potentates as signs of goodwill, but that's about the extent of their contact. Dwarven trademen and crafters are uncommon but not exactly rare in human lands, usually as exiles who became itinerant traders/craftsmen/mercenaries or the children of such, so much of what the humans know is told to them by political exiles, and is somewhat distorted.



    This is all I got for now, more to come. As you can see, i desperately need help naming places and hashing out details. Thanks for everything.
    Last edited by Wyntonian; 2011-04-03 at 02:32 PM.

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    Default Re: A complete N00bz first try at world-building...

    If you can't find a map, you can always just rip one off of Wikipedia and custom edit it. Paint is OK, but I recommend a program called SketchBook, as it, in my opinion, a bit more customizable and usable.

    As to the background of the world, here's a suggestion.

    A list of many of the various different ways that empires can get split up, assuming one empire changed into multiple entities, along with a historical example if possible:

    EXTERNAL MEANS
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    1. Invasion.
    1.a. Invasion with rebels. Rebel parties can be unified or split up, according to any other means on this list. (Do I even need an example here?)
    1.b. Invasion foothold. The invasion is not complete. (British invasion of France, 100 Year's War)
    1.c. Invasion with issues. The invading army is split into multiple groups for any number of reasons (Spanish/Mercenary armies invading the Netherlands. Reason of issue: pay for the troops)
    1.d. Invasion by dissent. Invading country uses spies to pit the country against itself and spur inner rebellion and dissent using the Internal Means list. (Jacobite wars. The Jacobites (English/Scottish Dissenters) were funded by the French to fight the English)
    2. Pact/Diplomacy
    2.a. War Lost Divide. The losing country of a war is forced to divide itself into various parts. (Germany post WWII, East and West)
    2.b. UN Peer Pressure. A group of allies tell you to give them land. (Not sure this has happened, but I'm not omniscient)
    2.c. "Too Much for One Man." Voluntary agreement to share/divide power with an ally. Could mix with certain Internal Means elements.
    2.d. Sale. Buying some other country's land from 'em. (Louisiana Purchase)
    3. Other. I'm sure there are some more, and I'll update the list if need be.


    INTERNAL MEANS
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    1. Inheritance
    1.a. "Don't Divide the Kingdom!" A king divides his land up between his children and/or generals (Alexander the Great divided his land three ways between his generals.
    1.b. Backstabber. A sib creates his own kingdom-breakaway. (Example: Practically. Every. Reign. Of. France.)
    2. Intrigue
    2.a. Political enemies. (Our very own Hinjo V Kubota)
    2.b. Political split. Secession, more or less (The obvious American Civil War)
    2.c. Rebellion (general or specific, concentrated or wide-spread. Your people hate you, and they fight you. (French Revolution)
    3. Other.


    Those should spark your mind a bit, I hope. :D.

    As to names, which ones have names, and which need 'em? I'd love to help with that, if you need it.

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    Default Re: A complete N00bz first try at world-building...

    As for naming, well, i'm still calling things "first country", "second country", etc. The countries themselves need names first and foremost, from the language groups/themes I have outlined (norse for first kingdom, kinda undefined for 2-3, which should change, and spanishy for the fourth.) I also need to determine the nature and history of the original empire that broke apart, although i already know why they never crossed the Mississippi. Any naming/ language advice would help, and please suggest this thread to any other good world-builders you know.

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    Default Re: A complete N00bz first try at world-building...

    1. Vulsutyr, Volundyr, Volund, Amontyr...
    2/3. More info, perhaps?
    4. Marcela (Marcelan), El-Nataro, Visel (Latin for Power, more or less...)

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    Default Re: A complete N00bz first try at world-building...

    Quote Originally Posted by Wyntonian View Post
    Essentially, and I haven't quite hashed this bit out yet, there was once much larger empire, long enough ago that the history is not very well-recorded. When this empire fell apart (why? ideas would be nice here), the following nations were formed out of the wreckage, and have expanded and fluctuated since.
    Empires fall for various reasons. Rome fell because it got too damned big to support it self. Pepin III divided his Empire between his two sons (thus beginning the reign of Charlemagne).

    If the Emperor dies with out an heir then the various noble houses will fight to put their own heir on the throne. (Read "The One Kingdom" by Sean Russell, or "A Game of Thrones" by George RR Martin)

    You can also look at the Five Dynasties, 10 Kingdoms era of China.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sith_Happens View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Mutazoia View Post
    "Why do you think they call them animal 'COMPANIONS'..."?

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    I think I'll go with Vallheim for the first country, but those other ideas will probably become cities. I like Marcela, but I think it will change to Marcelena. Right now my main focus is finishing up the magic system and deciding on language themes for countries 2/3, as well as a real-life analog language for each of the Dwarves and Urgals.

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    Default Re: A complete N00bz first try at world-building...

    Quote Originally Posted by Mutazoia View Post
    Empires fall for various reasons. Rome fell because it got too damned big to support it self. Pepin III divided his Empire between his two sons (thus beginning the reign of Charlemagne).

    If the Emperor dies with out an heir then the various noble houses will fight to put their own heir on the throne. (Read "The One Kingdom" by Sean Russell, or "A Game of Thrones" by George RR Martin)

    You can also look at the Five Dynasties, 10 Kingdoms era of China.
    A couple other suggestions for falls of empire.

    Civil unrest. Perhaps the empire was too focused on maintaining trade routes and military might to keep its people happy. A civil uprising while the military is focused at the borders could strike the empire's heart, causing its death.

    Disaster. An earthquake or some such (magic is a good choice here) weakens the tendons of the empirical body, causing it to slowly tear apart.

    Infirm leadership. Most empires are focused around the leadership of one particular person. If that person falters, so does the empire. Rome was an exception, but one could look at the short-lived Third Reich. Some historians believe that if it were not for Hitler's growing mental and physical illnesses, he would not have made the mistake of antagonizing the Soviets before Germany could handle them.

    Many of these combine with one another, especially when, as Motazoia said, the empire is too large. A senile Emporer would be slow to react to a disaster, causing the now displaced citizens to turn their rage against their leader and storm the palace while the military is campaigning against outlanders.

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    Default Re: A complete N00bz first try at world-building...

    For names of countries or regions, look up historic names of areas. Let's take Andalusia for example. To some, it may appear to be a generic fantasy-esque name. But to most who either like history or search based the word, they will find that it refers to a region of Spain named during the Moorish occupation of the Iberian penninsula.

    Another option is to summarize the mood or some fundamental assumption about an area in one word then find a translation for that word in another language. Look up infinitive forms, past tense, everything, and you might find something you like.

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    Default Re: A complete N00bz first try at world-building...

    I think now would be a good time to show what I have planned for all the land west of the Mississippi. I decided that, in the immemorial past, the original empire (name? theme?) did come from a separate land, probably for a totally normal reason (not running from dragons, not coming through portals.) There was, however, an indigenous population, with a deep tie to the land, which the newcomers lacked somewhat (these people might have been halflings? I'd rather avoid elves. or maybe just other humans).

    Despite plentiful opportunities and request for peace by the First People, the newcomers slaughtered themselves a space to live, rather than assimilate or negotiate for land. The First People were not truly a single nation, but they were slowly forced as a whole, over a period of around fifty years, back over the Appalachians as the insatiable appetite of the newcomers grew with their population.

    Eventually, under the direction of a council of the Elders and a vibrant and charismatic War Chief, the First People decided to make a last stand against the assembled army of what had become the Empire. However, the night before the battle, the Elders of all the tribes convened in secret and decided, in the interest of peace and the preservation of their national conscience, that the battle was not to be fought. The tribes collectively burned their weapons and marched unarmed onto the plain of battle before the banks of the mighty Mississippi, men, women, and children, before dawn. As the Imperial Army advanced, the entire population stood surrounding their War Chief, with the Elders at the front. The army opened fire and charged after a short time, but the First People simply stood and died. Eventually, sickened by killing defenseless and unresisting women and children, the Army retreated and reformed. The Elders had all fallen in the first charge without landing so much as a blow, but as the Army watched, their blood flowed not into, but over the ground, until the Mississippi ran red. The War Chief stood above his dead and dying people, with only a small portion remaining, and proclaimed that any person who followed them over the river would not return. He and his remaining people walked across the river borne by the blood of their sister and brothers, and as the Army watched, a single, long, tall ridge grew on the far side, between them and their victims.
    Since then, few person of Imperial blood has been able to cross the river, and those that could never returned from the far side of the ridge. The river remains an impassible boundary preventing any contact between the two peoples.

    Sorry about the Wall of Text. Maybe that should have been the border... at least it's somewhat interesting.
    Last edited by Wyntonian; 2011-04-05 at 10:28 PM.

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    Default Re: A complete N00bz first try at world-building...

    I used Google Translator to come up with a name of your lost empire.

    I translated, "Forgotten", as this former nation existed in what you called the immemorial past, from English to Malay and came up with "Dilupakan."

    That's just an example of what I was discussing. It's a very easy way to come up with names for places or things that don't sound like language you would typically encounter.

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    Default Re: A complete N00bz first try at world-building...

    I tend to make names by starting at some nigh-random location and extrapolating from there on. For instance, with Walufar I wanted to leave the impression that while the word 'Necromancy' is the same there as it is in normal D&D, in Walufar, the root for the word is derived from the name of Nekru, the first necromancer, who founded a nation that his son (re)named after dear old dad (Nekrer). From there, I decided that other nations with similar languages likewise had an er/ur/mar (and so on) suffix. Just like that, all I had to do was stick a couple of syllables in front, which themselves could have a different meaning or use, and have names for 1/3 of the human-ruled nations. With another set of nations, I wanted to place 'standard fantasy good guy' names on their lands no matter if the rulers there were nice people, sort of OK or complete and utter bastards.

    In short, mash some syllables together or come up with a kunning idea until you find some words which sound nice and imply character when you pronounce them and then go off on a tangent.
    Last edited by Icedaemon; 2011-04-06 at 10:54 AM.
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    Indeed, here is the recruitment thread for the first run.
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    Default Re: A complete N00bz first try at world-building...

    You might want to answer these questions soon:
    How many races are you going to have? (also if you have elfs which kind)
    Will your political units be race specific? (Elf kingdom, dwarf mountan fortress ect)


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    Quote Originally Posted by Wyntonian View Post
    Despite plentiful opportunities and request for peace by the First People, the newcomers slaughtered themselves a space to live, rather than assimilate or negotiate for land. The First People were not truly a single nation, but they were slowly forced as a whole, over a period of around fifty years, back over the Appalachians as the insatiable appetite of the newcomers grew with their population.
    I like the rest of the story, I just note that this is VEEEERY similar to the real world's perception of the early days of America, and you're already using the map. I love that bit at the river, but you may want to mask it a bit more...

    As to names, those are all suggestions, just to help you along.
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    *snip* ...Hands down the funniest class critique ever... *snip*
    I cannot tell you the number of times I laughed while reading this.

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    Default Re: A complete N00bz first try at world-building...

    Mask as in make it more unlike early colonial history? Yeah, that's a good idea, i'll be story boarding that one for a while.

    For Blackjack

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    yes, Blackjack, I already said that I plan on having four races, with the possible addition of one other. These are Humans (dominant in the Eastern kingdoms, as well as in the southern cities), the Gnomes (who live almost exclusively around the swamps and dense forest of the Deep South), the Dwarves (who kick it in the Appalachians) and Urgals (Orcs with horns, also in the Appalachians). These people pretty much have their own political systems, and there's not a lot of racial diversity within each one


    I have already described the political units in an earlier post, but now I've decided to finally get my act together and go on a naming rant, so here it is.

    Vallheim

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    First Country is now known as Vallheim, with a capital of Murenholm, where they are ruled by their current King, Brenyn the Protector. His Grandfather Bjarni the Strong reunited the Eleven Clans that make up the Vallheim Kingdom after a period of civil war. Brenyn is now aided and counciled by the chiefs of the other ten clans. I''ll detail the clans, what they're about and their leaders in a separate post.



    The Second Country

    I'm still working on these guys, their government system and political structure are hard to separate, so what I decide about their religion will affect everything else, so I want to do it right. If anyone has a homebrew religion that would be appropriate or a real-life analog they would like to suggest, that'd be great and it would help me keep working on these guys. As it is, I'm a little stuck.



    Sunshan

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    The third country is now Sunshan, with the capital of Tojishu. They are lead by a large, extremely wealthy upper class, but their head of state is Queen Amamesu. However, most of the nobility is too busy being rich and powerful to actually use their power, so most of the decisions are made by the people hired to manage the nobility's estates. As the government drinks itself into a stupor and the peasantry starves, monasteries, which were previously only for those children given to the organization at a young age, have begun expanding and gaining worshipers, mostly people who wish to enjoy the tax-exempt status of a monk, although most leaders are sure to screen out those are only interested in the title. Also, a couple of the more disillusioned monasteries are known breeding grounds of assassins, monks and warriors who work against the government.



    Fourth Country
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    The fourth country is now collectively known as the Dotze Affariata, a group of twelve city-states, four major and eight minor. The major ones are Vallverda, Llanca, Mareis and Marcelena. Vallverda is the largest of the twelve, and is a major agricultural center that produces most of the food of the Affariata. Llanca is situated on the Ozark plateau, and has the most contact with the Urgal tribes. They are militarily the strongest, with better-trained and equipped troops than any other, although they are slightly outnumbered by Vallverda. Mareis is set where the Mississippi meets the Gulf of Mexico (both will be renamed), and has one of the only navies, as well as the strongest, in the land (I still haven't named the land as a whole), as well as the largest trade fleet. Marcelena is, culturally, the leader of the Affariata. They host several universities in everything from language to music, as well as the great halls where the traders and representatives of the Affariata meet and debate.


    Current Priorities:

    *The religion(s) of the land, particularly that of the Second Country.
    *what to call the land so I can stop calling it "The Land"
    *MOAR NAMES
    Last edited by Wyntonian; 2011-04-06 at 10:41 PM.

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    Default Re: A complete N00bz first try at world-building...

    As to religion: Sikhism. Every Sikh who every lived was so kick-ass, it's not even right. True story. But anyway, they're a standard-ish Muslim-esque religion, but even more warlike. Their religion is tied to their politics, as well as their style of warfare. I'll see if I can get a few links up...
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    Quote Originally Posted by TravelLog View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by SamBurke View Post
    *snip* ...Hands down the funniest class critique ever... *snip*
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    Default Re: A complete N00bz first try at world-building...

    I would like to point out, as a person who got a BA in History oh so long ago...history can be very confusing - there are gaps, sometimes there are lies, sometimes there are just parts of it that nobody agrees on. Your history/time line, in other words, does not have to be written in stone. Everybody, NPCs anyway, will have their own idea about it, they will use the parts they wish, and forget the others. The same 'facts' will generate different view points - just look at some of the threads on here - so make sure to have fun with it!

    I would also suggest maybe reading up a tad on the Middle Ages - they had some very interesting ideas on how to collect taxs, what was proper to eat (unborn rabbits - not having been born - were not alive and therefore are not meat - so you can eat them on meatless Friday), and so on.

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    Default Re: A complete N00bz first try at world-building...

    Quote Originally Posted by Valley View Post
    I would like to point out, as a person who got a BA in History oh so long ago...history can be very confusing - there are gaps, sometimes there are lies, sometimes there are just parts of it that nobody agrees on. Your history/time line, in other words, does not have to be written in stone. Everybody, NPCs anyway, will have their own idea about it, they will use the parts they wish, and forget the others. The same 'facts' will generate different view points - just look at some of the threads on here - so make sure to have fun with it!

    I would also suggest maybe reading up a tad on the Middle Ages - they had some very interesting ideas on how to collect taxs, what was proper to eat (unborn rabbits - not having been born - were not alive and therefore are not meat - so you can eat them on meatless Friday), and so on.

    Thank you for the disturbing factoid Valley. I can't wait for that one to pop up next time I play Trivial Pursuit.

    Anyway, Valley brings up some great points. History may be subjective. Perhaps what is taught or is a understood at a societal level is, in fact, wrong. That always makes for an interesting story, to answer, "What actually happened here?"

    But just to set a baseline, I argue that at least establishing that history, no matter how flawed within the world, is necessary to develop a story based upon it. Even if this entire history turns out to be a fabrication by the powers that be within your world, having it is essential because this is what your players in-character knowledge will be based upon.

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    Default Re: A complete N00bz first try at world-building...

    @polity, definitely. There needs to be a base of "generally believed." For example, we're absolutely sure there was an American Civil War (or whatever name you choose to call it). This is an established fact, with over a million pictures having been taken of it.

    @valley, gotta use those facts. I like the idea of various POVs on a subject/point in time.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TravelLog View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by SamBurke View Post
    *snip* ...Hands down the funniest class critique ever... *snip*
    I cannot tell you the number of times I laughed while reading this.

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    Default Re: A complete N00bz first try at world-building...

    I think The Elder Scrolls is a successful example of building subjective lore. Most of the world's history is 'established' through books and accounts, a lot of which being written from different viewpoints with unreliable narrators (not unlike actual historical records), some of which outright contradicting each other, so while you can glean a lot about what's happened, a lot is still left open to interpretation. 'Good' and 'evil' are generally left up in the air.
    Last edited by Talvereaux; 2011-04-08 at 02:31 PM.

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    Default Re: A complete N00bz first try at world-building...

    I really have appreciated how much people have responded to this thread, it has helped me go from entirely clueless newb to entirely clueless newb with a pretty good idea about where to go. Thanks, guys.

    @Sam, i must agree that Sikhism takes badass to a level that few religions can, but I'm not sure how well it fits in with my idea of the second country. The ideas about subjective interpretation of history are also great, but i'm not quite to that point yet.


    In the religion, I'm looking for something focused greatly on percieved purity within people and is especially violent/disapproving towards those with differing views, but is not a major religion today. Just to avoid pissing people off, homebrewed or fictional religions are best.

    I've also decided to re-edit my historical monologue about the first empire. The First people, i have decided, assimilated with the newcoming people of the empire and taught them about magic, which in my campaign world is very limited and natural (no wizards, clerics heal and are casters. I'll do a post about that with the adjusted spell lists and errything). After a period of time in which the groups communicated and were friendly, the Religious Organization of the Empire decided that magic was the work of the Devil, and because the First People knew so much about it, they were devils themselves. This lead to the campaign that I did that massive post about, ending with the people leaving to cross the Mississippi, leaving a wall of shimmering air behind them, like a heatless haze, obscuring the far bank.

    I'm working on spell lists now, expect the cleric/whatever one by thursday.

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    Default Re: A complete N00bz first try at world-building...

    So, for a religion, you want Pharisees (to imagine a 1st Century Pharisee, take a lawyer. Then, you add a min/maxer with EVERY rule book every written. Then you add one of the Spanish Inquisitors. And now you have a Pharisee) or something like them, then?
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    Default Re: A complete N00bz first try at world-building...

    Norse/norman words etc here. That might help in naming your faux-scandinavian kingdom.

    Edit: Oops, looks like you're sorted on that front. Well good luck .
    Last edited by Mayhem; 2011-04-09 at 11:21 PM.

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    Default Re: A complete N00bz first try at world-building...

    So, for a religion, you want Pharisees (to imagine a 1st Century Pharisee, take a lawyer. Then, you add a min/maxer with EVERY rule book every written. Then you add one of the Spanish Inquisitors. And now you have a Pharisee) or something like them, then?
    I'm not entirely sure what you mean by this...

    and thanks, mayhem. that's a pretty cool page, I'll use that when I detail the Vallheimers.

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    Default Re: A complete N00bz first try at world-building...

    Quote Originally Posted by Valley View Post
    I would like to point out, as a person who got a BA in History oh so long ago...history can be very confusing - there are gaps, sometimes there are lies, sometimes there are just parts of it that nobody agrees on. Your history/time line, in other words, does not have to be written in stone.
    Moreover even the events for which the time is very well known are going to have dramatically different interpretations, as well as a whole bunch of different names.
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