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  1. - Top - End - #601
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    Default Re: A complete N00bz first try at world-building...

    So I already knew she was cool... (She turned me on to video gaming with her old NES) but this... Her husband would have been PISSED if he'd found out. He was the type of guy that thinks that the best way to "cure" homosexuality was to pray really, really hard. He tried to get me to be "born again" at age four. He'd probably have had a heart attack if he'd found out.

    Still, this is pretty cool. I'm pretty sure the phonetic->runic transposition of my name references Odin twice, and with the runes around it, it's apparently rather meaningful? There's a page from a couple days after I was born that has a lot of notes on it. Something about Nauthiz, which I think means something like "obstacles leading to innovation" and "productive introversion" being supported by Isa, which strengthens the runes around it, all lying in support of Ansuz, which is Odin and all that he represents.

    Sorry to go off on a tangent like this, and I'll return to your regularly scheduled worldbuilding soonsies.
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  2. - Top - End - #602
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    Default Re: A complete N00bz first try at world-building...

    Quote Originally Posted by Wyntonian View Post
    So I already knew she was cool... (She turned me on to video gaming with her old NES) but this... Her husband would have been PISSED if he'd found out. He was the type of guy that thinks that the best way to "cure" homosexuality was to pray really, really hard. He tried to get me to be "born again" at age four. He'd probably have had a heart attack if he'd found out.

    Still, this is pretty cool. I'm pretty sure the phonetic->runic transposition of my name references Odin twice, and with the runes around it, it's apparently rather meaningful? There's a page from a couple days after I was born that has a lot of notes on it. Something about Nauthiz, which I think means something like "obstacles leading to innovation" and "productive introversion" being supported by Isa, which strengthens the runes around it, all lying in support of Ansuz, which is Odin and all that he represents.

    Sorry to go off on a tangent like this, and I'll return to your regularly scheduled worldbuilding soonsies.
    Ok, first, there are actually worse ways to "cure" homosexuality. But that's about the worse of the civilized ways. And your grandmother is sounding more and more awesome.

    Your rune-name thing sounds cool too. Not sure I follow it all.

  3. - Top - End - #603
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eldest View Post
    Ok, first, there are actually worse ways to "cure" homosexuality. But that's about the worse of the civilized ways. And your grandmother is sounding more and more awesome.

    Your rune-name thing sounds cool too. Not sure I follow it all.
    Yeah, he's the sort of guy who would have tried the less civilized ways if he could have gotten away with it. He was a regular donor to Jerry Falwell. If you're curious, look it up.

    Any once I acutally understand it, I'll try to explain. . I can't do the runes from here, but I'll continue it tonight.
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  4. - Top - End - #604
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    So, let's look at some of the littler cities of the Dotze Affariata. These all have on average about half the population of the greater ones. They technically have all the voting power in the Reunio of the big guys, but in reality the generally follow the decisions of the nearest powerful city.

    The small city of Panta is on another fork of the Fogbound river. It is generally used as a base from whence slavers can travel upriver and then strike inland into the marshes and light forests, hunting gnomes to capture and sell into slavery. It contains several whorehouses, inns and other such services of the sort a bunch of slavers would enjoy. It also has some business transporting rare furs and other goods only found in the marshlands south to the ocean.
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  5. - Top - End - #605
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    Default Re: A complete N00bz first try at world-building...

    Quote Originally Posted by Wyntonian View Post
    So, let's look at some of the littler cities of the Dotze Affariata. These all have on average about half the population of the greater ones.
    That makes me think of a great article I read while building one of my earlier worlds. Medieval Demographics Made Easy is something that I find myself returning to all the time. It's got a really good amount of information, but I get the impression that the Dotze Affariata is more in line with the Renaissance, so populations might be different.

    In an attempt to find info on Renaissance demographics, I found this article. It doesn't say anything at all about population totals, but it makes for a very interesting read nontheless. Who knew Romeo and Juliet was basically the first spaghetti western? And with British Spaghetti!

    Although, now that I think of it, Renaissance Italy with subtle hints of the Wild West is a really cool idea.
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  6. - Top - End - #606
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    That's a really worthwhile article, thanks! I'm not going to completely sacrifice Rule of Cool for historical accuracy, in the rare instances where they're mutually exclusive (seriously, 27.3 million people per university? But I want to have colleges of Alchemy and Navigation and Dueling and Divinity and and and...), but I will certainly keep those ideas in mind. Also, Renaissance+Wild West is about the best description of the Dotze Affariata I've heard yet. Add in the West African political schema of the 1600s in the swamps and we're about golden.
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    On the course of his journeys the Lost Emperor, Tiber Gaios Asteri, came to the realization that his knowledge of his new dominion was insignificant compared to his understanding of the land he came from. So, by walking across the Fairy Trails that would later become the King's Roads, he came to the dominion of Lady Luettu, Keeper of the Great Library where all that was ever known is recorded. She met him at the door beside her champion, the great owl who sees all that occurs in the hearts of men, and told him the toll to pass into the Library was the crown he wore across the seas. He gave it without a word, and entered the library where he learned of his new kingdom, of magic, of many songs of power, and of the many courts of the Fey Lords.

    I would like to expand on the story of Tiber Gaios Asteri/The Raven King. There's a lot of potential there, and it really speaks to me.

    This is something I showed Zap as an example of how easy it is to come up with little stories and such. I pretty much refluffed Odin and the Well of Knowledge where he gave up his eye to drink. I plan to add more little vignettes over time.

    So.... Dotze Affariata sub-factions, is it? Those, Rune feats and Phrases.

    Oh, idea. What about a +1 template/1 level PrC that gives a character a bonus runic feat each level? Otherwise you'd get a maximum of 8 Runes and nothing else, and that only if you're human. This way you can get up to 19 of the 24.

    Alternatively, a 10-level PrC that really focuses on making these worthwhile. Extending duration, giving more uses per day, advances Phrases... I'll think about that.
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  8. - Top - End - #608
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    Default Re: A complete N00bz first try at world-building...

    Quote Originally Posted by Wyntonian View Post
    On the course of his journeys the Lost Emperor, Tiber Gaios Asteri, came to the realization that his knowledge of his new dominion was insignificant compared to his understanding of the land he came from. So, by walking across the Fairy Trails that would later become the King's Roads, he came to the dominion of Lady Luettu, Keeper of the Great Library where all that was ever known is recorded. She met him at the door beside her champion, the great owl who sees all that occurs in the hearts of men, and told him the toll to pass into the Library was the crown he wore across the seas. He gave it without a word, and entered the library where he learned of his new kingdom, of magic, of many songs of power, and of the many courts of the Fey Lords.

    I would like to expand on the story of Tiber Gaios Asteri/The Raven King. There's a lot of potential there, and it really speaks to me.

    This is something I showed Zap as an example of how easy it is to come up with little stories and such. I pretty much refluffed Odin and the Well of Knowledge where he gave up his eye to drink. I plan to add more little vignettes over time.

    So.... Dotze Affariata sub-factions, is it? Those, Rune feats and Phrases.

    Oh, idea. What about a +1 template/1 level PrC that gives a character a bonus runic feat each level? Otherwise you'd get a maximum of 8 Runes and nothing else, and that only if you're human. This way you can get up to 19 of the 24.

    Alternatively, a 10-level PrC that really focuses on making these worthwhile. Extending duration, giving more uses per day, advances Phrases... I'll think about that.
    I think (as I said before) that you probably want to power up the Rune Feats, if you are sticking with the benchmark you had before.

    An example of what I'm thinking of, which may be overpowered as opposed to underpowered.

    OTHALA (Retreat) [Rune]
    Prerequisites
    Two other [Rune] feat
    Benefit
    You may, as an immediate action, transport yourself to a location within [5 times the number of rune feats you have] feet. You must have Line of Sight and Line of Effect to this location, but you do not provoke Attacks of Opportunity from this movement. To active this abillity, you must use two Rune Points.
    In addition, add two Rune Points to your Rune Pool.

  9. - Top - End - #609
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eldest View Post
    I think (as I said before) that you probably want to power up the Rune Feats, if you are sticking with the benchmark you had before.

    An example of what I'm thinking of, which may be overpowered as opposed to underpowered.

    OTHALA (Retreat) [Rune]
    Prerequisites
    Two other [Rune] feat
    Benefit
    You may, as an immediate action, transport yourself to a location within [5 times the number of rune feats you have] feet. You must have Line of Sight and Line of Effect to this location, but you do not provoke Attacks of Opportunity from this movement. To active this abillity, you must use two Rune Points.
    In addition, add two Rune Points to your Rune Pool.
    Well, this is kinda hard to balance.

    These feats give more than just the listed effect. Taken together, they scale quadratically as each new feat makes each previous feat last longer, be more effective and be usable more frequently. Aslo, if you get Rune A, you get one power. Get A and B and you get A, B, and AB. A, B and C nets you A, B, C, AB, AC, BC and ABC.

    1->4->7 is a pretty decent rate of increase, and ABC would be the kind of ability you'd feel ok sinking three feats for.

    So, yeah, I think I'll make Othala a 2-rune Phrase.
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  10. - Top - End - #610
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    Fehu

    Meaning: Social Success, Financial Income, Possessions

    Base Effect: +1/Rune Level to social skills (Gather Information, Diplomacy, Intimidate, Bluff) for 1 minute/Rune Level.

    Uruz

    Meaning: Physical Strength, Speed and Potency, Action

    Base Effect: +2/Rune Level to grapple checks for 1 minute/Rune Level.

    Thurisaz

    Meaning: Reactive Force, Conflict

    Base Effect: +2/Rune Level to melee attack rolls for 1 minute/Rune Level

    Ansuz

    Meaning: Understanding, Communication, Truth

    Base Effect: +1/Rune Level to all knowledge checks for 1 Minute/Rune Level. You can also make Knowledge checks untrained during the duration of this effect.

    Raidho

    Meaning: Travel, Rhythm, Dance of Life.

    Base Effect: +5 feet/ Rune Level to movement speed for 1 min/Rune level.

    Kenaz

    Meaning: Vision, Knowledge, Revelation

    Base Effect: Use Detect Magic at-will as a caster of your Rune Level.

    Gebo

    Meaning: Gifts, Balances, Exchanges

    Base Effect: Each enemy that damages you in melee combat takes 1 damage/Rune level. This effect lasts 2 rounds/Rune level. This cannot be blocked by Damage Reduction or other similar traits, although it reacts normally to Regeneration.

    Wunjo

    Meaning: Joy, Comfort, Harmony

    Base Effect: +1/Rune level on a single Will save. This is an immediate action. You must declare your use of this ability before rolling.

    Hagalaz

    Meaning: Destructive Power of Nature, Controlled Fury.

    Base Effect: +1 to melee damage rolls for 1 minute/level.

    Nauthiz

    Meaning: Delay, Restriction, Resistance

    Base Effect: A touched enemy takes -1/Rune level to melee attack rolls for 1 round/rune levels.

    Isa

    Meaning: Clarity, Coldness, Frustration

    Base Effect: +1/Rune Level to Touch AC for 1 Minute/Rune Level. This cannot make your Touch AC higher than your regular AC.

    Eihwaz

    Meaning: Reliability, Endurance, Oak Trees.

    Base Effect: +1/Rune level on a single Fortitude save. This is an immediate action. You must declare your use of this ability before rolling.

    More to come. I'm trying to keep all these together. Almost half done,then onto Phrases.
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  11. - Top - End - #611
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    Default Re: A complete N00bz first try at world-building...

    So I'm coming in a little late on these rune feats. They seem pretty clearly inspired by elder futhark, so does that mean that they come from Vallheim? How does one "acquire" them? Engraving on weapons? Tattooing?
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    Default Re: A complete N00bz first try at world-building...

    Quote Originally Posted by Zap Dynamic View Post
    So I'm coming in a little late on these rune feats. They seem pretty clearly inspired by elder futhark, so does that mean that they come from Vallheim? How does one "acquire" them? Engraving on weapons? Tattooing?
    Well, when you get a [Rune] Feat, you have understood a rune in its symbolic sense to such a degree that you can "scribe" it, which takes a move action and gives a bonus.

    I've been thinking about an adaption based on the I Ching, which I'm honestly more familiar with, for Sunshani culture, or some smoke-based divination thing for the Solerians. The Affariata would be harder to make a "skin" for, but I'm not sure they need one.

    Also possible are weapon enchantments, tattoos and maybe a magic item, like a bag of rune-inscribed tablets, that gives use of one random feat per day.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wyntonian View Post
    Well, when you get a [Rune] Feat, you have understood a rune in its symbolic sense to such a degree that you can "scribe" it, which takes a move action and gives a bonus.
    Do you scribe it in a particular way, or is that left more or less up to the player? For instance, is it necessary that I draw it in the sand or on paper, or could I trace the shape in the air so long as I take a move action to do it?
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  14. - Top - End - #614
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zap Dynamic View Post
    Do you scribe it in a particular way, or is that left more or less up to the player? For instance, is it necessary that I draw it in the sand or on paper, or could I trace the shape in the air so long as I take a move action to do it?
    Up to you. Props for making it fancy, I guess, but you could theoretically hold still and make the shape with your tongue.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wyntonian View Post
    Up to you. Props for making it fancy, I guess, but you could theoretically hold still and make the shape with your tongue.
    My knee-jerk reaction is to say something about how a loose interpretation makes these abilities strictly better than a spell, what with metamagic feats etc.

    The OSR junkie in me thinks that circumventing metamagic feats is A-OK, though. Viva la creativity!
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    My knee-jerk reaction is to say something about how a loose interpretation makes these abilities strictly better than a spell, what with metamagic feats etc.

    The OSR junkie in me thinks that circumventing metamagic feats is A-OK, though. Viva la creativity!
    Not sure what OSR means, but if you're spending a feat for an effect, it better be worthwhile.

    Also, it doesn't give you much incentive to be better at grappling or tripping or hitting things if you can't move.
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  17. - Top - End - #617
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    OSR is the Old School Renaissance movement in gaming. In a gist, it's intention is to help foster the love of the rules-light, off-the-cuff days of the beginnings of tabletop RPGs. I'm hooked.
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    Oh, that's cool! Good find. Jeez, Zap's just full of good stuff.

    But yeah, metamagic can suck it.
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    Can I quote you on that?
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    Oh, sure, sure. Egosiqquotes are a rare and valuable commodity.
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    A thought... do we want a university of some sort in most major cities of the Affariata, or should we have little trade school things for navigation and naval stuff in the port cities and have a University (Capital U) in some other city? I'm reading the sequel to Name of the Wind, and it has a University that makes Hogwarts look like... well... a playpen full of balls for children who eat paste.

    Or we just have a school of magic/artifice and call it a day.

    Let's go with that.

    Oh, god. Reading this book makes me want to play an artificer. I think I'll make a houserule that says if you do an excellent job of explaining how something you made like a magical item works, you can skip the exp costs.

    Yeah, the main character made something that does pretty much a Protection from Arrows effect. How does it work? Not "A wizard did it".

    A series of runes on the device makes a sympathetic link with any fast-moving piece of steel or iron within about 20 feet of the device. In theory, this should stop the arrow through the kinetic binding. If it's bound to something stationary, it would need to overcome that item's inertia to keep moving forward. However, considering that the link is only about 1/3 effective, you'd still end up 2/3 stuck with an arrow. So, the steel to which the arrow is bound is the spring of a bear trap, so rather than just absorb the impact, it triggers and actively forces it back with the force of the trap going off. Eight springs are in a circle, so it can take more than one hit from more than one direction. Furthermore, once one spring is triggered, the whole device rotates loosely so that another will be brought into line. It can be reset with a lever inserted into the bottom.

    If a player came to me with this, I'd pretty much give it to them with a smile on my face. I wish people playing the game did it more like this. Keep your +1 swords, give me Glamdring.

    This turned into somewhat of a blog post. I apologize.
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    Default Re: A complete N00bz first try at world-building...

    Quote Originally Posted by Wyntonian View Post
    A thought... do we want a university of some sort in most major cities of the Affariata, or should we have little trade school things for navigation and naval stuff in the port cities and have a University (Capital U) in some other city? I'm reading the sequel to Name of the Wind, and it has a University that makes Hogwarts look like... well... a playpen full of balls for children who eat paste.

    Or we just have a school of magic/artifice and call it a day.

    Let's go with that.

    Oh, god. Reading this book makes me want to play an artificer. I think I'll make a houserule that says if you do an excellent job of explaining how something you made like a magical item works, you can skip the exp costs.

    Yeah, the main character made something that does pretty much a Protection from Arrows effect. How does it work? Not "A wizard did it".

    A series of runes on the device makes a sympathetic link with any fast-moving piece of steel or iron within about 20 feet of the device. In theory, this should stop the arrow through the kinetic binding. If it's bound to something stationary, it would need to overcome that item's inertia to keep moving forward. However, considering that the link is only about 1/3 effective, you'd still end up 2/3 stuck with an arrow. So, the steel to which the arrow is bound is the spring of a bear trap, so rather than just absorb the impact, it triggers and actively forces it back with the force of the trap going off. Eight springs are in a circle, so it can take more than one hit from more than one direction. Furthermore, once one spring is triggered, the whole device rotates loosely so that another will be brought into line. It can be reset with a lever inserted into the bottom.

    If a player came to me with this, I'd pretty much give it to them with a smile on my face. I wish people playing the game did it more like this. Keep your +1 swords, give me Glamdring.

    This turned into somewhat of a blog post. I apologize.
    I have yet to read the sequel. This just put it (much) higher on my to-do list.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eldest View Post
    I have yet to read the sequel. This just put it (much) higher on my to-do list.
    Freaking. Do. It. He is truly the best worldbuilder writing today. He's a maestro author, and I'm somewhat of a connisseur/future lit teacher. Yeah. It's great. I read 1000 pages in two days, it was so good.

    I kinda want to do something about the martial arts of Patria. I might end up doing style feats like you see in OA, but Iunno. I feel like a short description is sufficient for now.

    Going North-South, as usual.

    Jotunhund is a Northern Vallheim grappling style taught mostly informally. It focuses on hard locks, throws and pins. There is little refinement or philosophy, but enough trickery to let a smaller wrestler flip a larger one. The majority of competition is informal village wrestling bouts. It's frequently studied by Boar Clan guards and other who wish to be able to disable their opponents with a minimum (or maximum) of injury. For real-world similarities, look towards Judo and Greco-Roman 'Rasslin.

    Telu is a calmer, more centered style. It is generally taught alongside runic divination and philosophy, and the majority of training takes place with slow-motion forms that look almost like dancing. At full speed it is a whirl of hands and feet with impeccable balance and calmness. It is not a traditional warrior's style, and is generally taught at temples and to members of Raven Clan. Real-world analogy is like the most refined Tai Chi with influences of the southern forms of Kung Fu, like Nanquan and Wing Chun.

    Fotur is a more practical martial art of the Vallheim, primarily taught in the South. It is the style of the Warrior, not the Priest or the Farmer. The south was both the site of many battles of the Civil War and the border with Soleh, and as such, has bred a brutal and effective style of martial arts. It incorporates weapons to a higher degree than the other Vallheimer arts, as well as traces of Solerian boxing. If a warrior is in training for the Army or some such, they learn Fotur. For real-world examples, look to Krav Maga, with a taste of northern Kung Fu for some sexyness.

    The perpetually mounted Piloti of Western Soleh teach Jazda, rare in that it is a martial art meant to be practiced as easily from horseback as it is on foot. It is primarily based on throws, wristlocks, punches and other attacks one can make while astride a horse. Competitions include two brave, drunk or stupid men racing off at a gallop trying to throw the other one off. Good times. There's really no real-world analogy, but their unmounted fights look like a couple of cowboys going at it, all roundhouse punches and grabbing someone by the collar and tossing them. The weapon-based styles don't really go by any specific name.

    The sunburnt priests of Soleh (there's a lot of them), with their grey robes, are frequently students of Sveti. It appears, on the surface, to be a simple school of boxing, but it is slightly more complex than that. It is often combined with prayer and meditation, making it as deep and interesting as any Sunshani style. Strikes vary from open hand to closed fist, and specific patterns are often referred to by a corresponding Chapter and Verse of the holy book which the lazy-ass Wyntonian needs to get around to naming and explaining the tenets of. Lazy punk. The weapon-based styles are taught separately, in general. Most non-soldier priests, those not trained specifically for combat, do not learn more than the basics of Sveti, and frequently pass over the weapon styles altogether.

    I'll be honest, every freaking monastery in Sunshan teaches their own styles. For your general reference, the Grey Palm does something you could confuse with Ninjitsu (the old styles), the Unending Road is something like the older styles of Karate with a trace of British staff forms, and the Phoenix is big enough to do whatever the hell they feel like. For those of you who've read Wise Man's Fear, I'd draw similarities between the fighting styles of the Adem and the Phoenix.

    The Dotze Affariata, whether we look at the gutter-dwelling thieves, the priests of the Good God or the nobility, is not big on unarmed combat, but there are schools, often taught by foreigners, where one can learn most any style of martial arts found in Patria.

    The Goliaths are said to have their own styles of unarmed fighting, but few humans have ever learned it. *Coughcoughplothookcough*

    The gnome slaves of Patria are almost universally banned from practicing any martial arts, for fear that it would aid them in a rebellion. However, they are usually allowed to perform their curious dances, where a small group of clapping, stomping, singing gnomes stand in a circle while two dancers twirl, leap and kick in the center. But, they couldn't possibly be practicing fighting. Who ever heard of fighting being put to music?

    Yeah, that's about it. I felt like this could add something to the richness of the world. Watching Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon didn't help.
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  24. - Top - End - #624
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    Remember how I promised Affariata sub-factions, way back when? I'm doing them now. Now, these won't be the things that make each city unique, that'll be done individually, like I already did for the Big Four.

    The nobility, also known as the Elect, was granted Divine Right to rule by the Nameless Prophet of the Good God eight hundred years ago. Before his ascension, he wrote the Analects of the Good God, which include the following passage.

    The Path of the Elect of the Good God is not the Path of freedom.
    The First son of the Elect shall be he who is Elect after his father, and shall carry on the will of the Good God.
    The Second son of the Elect shall be he who carries the sword in defense of the Children of the Good God.
    The Third son of the Elect shall be he who studies the will of the Good God and shares that which he learns.
    The Fourth son of the Elect shall be he who makes music and things of beauty for their own sake.
    The Fifth son of the Elect shall be he who studies the motion of the heavens, the sciences and medicine for the benefit of his brothers.
    The Sixth son of the Elect shall be he who studies the history of Patria, from the time of Tiber Gaios Asteri to the time of his father's childhood.
    The Seventh son of the Elect shall be he who voyages into the unknown to bring back glory and riches to his father and brothers.


    Those chosen as the Elect by the Nameless Prophet, who were without exception members of the richest merchant families of the Dotze Affariata, are now the noble families. They are still powerful economic forces, such as the Prince of Maregio owning the largest fleet of merchant vessels in Patria, the Doge of Llanca commanding vast mercenary armies and extensive forges, etc.

    There is a noble family in each city, consisting of the central family and a plethora of minor nobles, siblings, and the breadth of cousins only 800 years of reproduction can create.

    Most cities have moderately powerful guilds for most professions, artifice, pottery, weaving, lamplighting, glassblowing, metalworking, healers, jewelers, etc. These guild range from utterly clean to despicably corrupt, depending on the profession and the city. They rarely allow members of their profession to do business in their city without tithing to the local guild.

    Most cities have a school of some description, whether it's alchemy or navigation. These colleges are frequently situated a mile or two out of town, to keep their students insulated from the distractions of town. The schools frequently supply goods of various sorts to their towns, as well as the services of graduates, like navigators in Maregio and alchemical products and various bits of artifice in Llanca.

    As one could expect from big concentrations of wealth, the Dotze Affariata has a pretty serious issue with organized crime. Guilds of thieves offer safe houses and protection from the Elect-run city guard and police forces in return for a cut of any profits. Some, like the guild in Maregio, have grown rather powerful and influential in city politics, while others, like in Llanca, are hunted like rabbits and struggling to stay afloat.

    The priesthood in the Dotze Affariata is nowhere near as powerful as say, that of Soleh. Priests are usually third sons of Elect, but non-nobles can serve the church in absentia of an Elect priest, like in rural farming villages or the poorest parts of any given town. There is surprisingly little corruption within the church, which is also the most active humanitarian force in the Affariata. Non-Elect priests frequently wear brown robes, a contrast to the grey robes of the lower-ranking Solerians, whereas higher-ranked Elect priests wear red robes. In Soleh, a noble-priest (one who would serve as ruler of a fief, the equivalent rank of an Elect-born third son) would wear a bright yellow robe when serving in their ecclesiastical capacity. A little irrelevant, but eh.


    Ok, I think that's about all I got for now. Any questions on this or the Martial Arts?
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  25. - Top - End - #625
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    Default Re: A complete N00bz first try at world-building...

    I've run into a bit of an issue with the rune feats. Namely, I'd like to keep the effects of the runes reasonably close to their meanings, if only to honor Gramma Jean (the aforementioned grandmother).

    However, I have a hard time attaching 3.5-compatible, combat or skill-oriented bonuses to a rune (Perthro) that means, according to her journal, "Uncertainty, mysteries, hidden abilities, and all thing feminine, such as fertility, menstruation and birth." I suppose I could make it a concealment bonus, going off the "uncertainty and mysteries" thing, but this example is one of the easier ones. I'm not even looking at the one about conformity, the sense of self and the subconscious....

    Ok, let's get the basic ones done so I can get into the Phrases.

    Perthro

    Meaning: Uncertainty, Mysteries, Femininity

    Effect: 5% concealment per rune level for 1 min/rune level. (max 50%)

    Algiz

    Meaning: Protection, A Shield, Divine Connections

    Effect: DR 1/- per rune level for 1 min/ rune level.

    Note:This could have been a flat AC bonus, but if it was Armor or Shield, it wouldn't stack. Plus, DR is harder to come by, generally, and is therefore more fun.

    Sowilo

    Meaning: The Sun, Health, Life Force

    Effect: 5 Temporary hit points per rune level. (Do these need a duration? Help me out.)

    Almost done! 2/3, anyway.
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  26. - Top - End - #626
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    Default Re: A complete N00bz first try at world-building...

    I've decided on how I plan to handle languages in my games, which I'll propose as a "approved houserule" sort of thing, kinda like the approved homebrew.

    At each level up, a character gains a number of "language points" equal to their intelligence modifier (minimum 1).

    Note that I put level ups wherever I feel it appropriate, and the DMG can go put their "13.3 encounters" in their pipe and smoke it. You don't get better at a language from hitting Goliaths and bandits with a stick, not in my games.

    Anyway, a character can spend points in any language they've had recent contact with. This can be like Vail and Moon spending points in Fiatara while living in a mercenary camp surrounded by native speakers, or Vail teaching Moon some rudimentary Tala around the campfire.

    One point in a language constitutes some rudimentary competence, enough to get a meal at an inn, find a outhouse, that sort of thing. Nothing fancy, and you still sound like a foreigner. Your most commonly-spoken phrase will probably be "I'm sorry, I don't understand. More slowly, please."

    Two points is a little more competent. You can generally get the gist of what people are saying, you can begin to appreciate music in the language, you can try to tell a story, that sort of thing. You're still clearly not a native speaker, but you can get your point across.

    Three points is "foreigners fluent". You can use a variety of verb tenses, you have a moderately extensive vocabulary. This is where most people stop, able to communicate clearly and effectively enough to explain most concepts one can imagine, even if they occasionally need to "talk around" something. At this point, your accent is minimal enough that it doesn't interfere with your being understood.

    Four points is speaking like a native. You understand subtle wordplay, you get the jokes, and it takes a sense motive check to realize that you aren't a native speaker.

    A first-level character has one language of their choice automatically maxxed out, as well as 2x Int Mod language points to spend. So, our 1st level character with 18 int can start fluent in three languages.


    Note that I saw something like this several months ago, and I'm kinda reinventing the wheel because I can't find it. Mad R3SPEKT to whoever originally did this.

    What do you think? For those of you in my games, I'm willing to let you Retcon your characters to use this system.
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  27. - Top - End - #627
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    Default Re: A complete N00bz first try at world-building...

    I like it! It's pretty similar to a system I had cooked up for a setting a few years ago, except I used skill points. I think you're onto something with the introduction of new "language points" though.

    Although, now that I think about it, maybe it's not perfect yet. At every step of development, you want to ask yourself "am I complicating things too much?" I like the idea of varying degrees of mastery with a language, but it may not be necessary to have 4 levels. Because language in tabletop is almost entirely about roleplay, you may not have such a problem, but it's worth keeping in mind all the same.
    Last edited by Zap Dynamic; 2012-03-30 at 01:55 PM.
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  28. - Top - End - #628
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    Default Re: A complete N00bz first try at world-building...

    Well, I felt like having 4 levels, and a cost of 4 points to reach it, meshes well with the average span of intelligence modifiers one would find in an adventuring party. You have your high-int wizardy types, who have "speaks many languages" as part of their job description. You have your canny, also high-int skillmonkeys who've picked up a smattering of a half-dozen languages (about level 2 in six or eight languages).

    Then you have Gerd, with an intelligence of six, who would take four levels (enough to make him a rather remarkable person) to learn just one other language.

    I could see how level 2 and 3 might get blurred, but that just means that if Moon speaks level 2 Fiatara and Vail speaks level 3, he's less likely to be remembered as "that one foreigner". I get that it might be overcomplicating things to have them be separate, but I think it would be worse to make it any easier to pick up native-speaker fluency in a foreign language or to have it be anything but a 1:1 scale for advancement.

    Yeah, it's not perfect. But honestly, I can't think what would make it all that much better.
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  29. - Top - End - #629
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    Default Re: A complete N00bz first try at world-building...

    With an explanation like that, it seems like you've got things well in hand. I hadn't taken the time to really dig into the mechanic, but it's clear that you have. Good work!
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  30. - Top - End - #630
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    Default Re: A complete N00bz first try at world-building...

    Thanks! I did give this some thought, and I think it turned out ok.

    I might make an exception for Torei and Kotoba, as they're so incredibly similar. Maybe automatic ranks in that language equal to the other -1? So, a native speaker of Torei would be competent in Kotoba, but would have an accent and might miss some subtle wordplay, but could become as skilled as any noble with a little effort, like an Irishman learning to blend in with my relatives in Arkasas. How does that sound?
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