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    Default Lands of the Barbarian Kings

    Some people may remember my last attempt of creating a setting, but the whole thing kept heading into directions I didn't want to end up. So I think it's time to go back all the way to square one and start with a new blank slate, this time hopefully heeding all those pieces of advice I've gathered since. This time I also try not to bother too much with custom classes, spellcasting systems and the like, and instead stick to the Pathfinder core rules as much as possible.

    - Base Concept
    - Tribes, Clans, and Villages
    - Classes and Equipment
    - Gods, Spirits, and Demons
    - Tribes of the Barbarian Lands - Wood Elves, Humans, and Kaas
    - Kaas racial features
    - Gnomes
    - Bestiary
    - Magic Basics and Blood Magic
    - Vandren (human tribe)
    - Spell Tattoos
    - History - Overview


    The Base Concept

    With steampunk, magitech, and renaissance settings being all the rage these days, I go entirely into the opposite direction. Lands of the Barbarian Kings is a wilderness setting following the Points of Light concept. In a way, old pulp stories are a major inspiration, but without the pulp. That is there will be lots of ruins in the deserts and jungles to explore, with voodoo cults, eldritch abominations, snake people, barbarians, shamans, and giant lizards. Oh, and volcanoes! I love volcanoes! However, I want to avoid loincloth and greatsword characters who rescue nude women chained to the tops of pyramids and such. Or think of Dark Sun with a more healthier environment and without some of the wonkier things. I've never read Robert Howard, but I think the people who were inspired by him, where those who also inspired me with this setting.
    The Lands of the Barbarian Kings are the eastern coastal region of a large continent, ranging from subarctic environments in the north (think Iceland or Finland) to subtropic in the south (think India and Thailand). The region also includes many larger and smaller islands near the coast (like Indonesia). And they are, of course, inhabited by barbarians. While there are some nomadic tribes, most clans are centered on a primary town build around the keep of the chieftain. Actual cities with real walls are extremely rare and famous throughout the whole world. Many settlements are in fact build around the ruins of even older civilizations, and most keeps and castles have changed hands many times in the past.
    Unlike most similar settings, the Lands of the Barbarian Kings are not just the home to human barbarians. There are also wild elves, lizardfolk, and some reinterpretation of orcs, each roughly equally common in the region. The role of Player Characters is intended to be clan warriors who keep the areas near their settlements safe from monsters and raiders, or set out to find solutions for more serious threats that endanger the clan. Typical adventure work, one might say, but the PCs are not outsiders who exist outside social norms, but rather members of their communities, like the other 30 or so percent who also know how to fight. Like warriors in a viking village. And as they rise in level, they become members of the warrior elite and eventually possibly the champions of their clan or even lesser chieftains.
    Working with the Pathfinder rules, this setting will be for 1st to 10th level characters, instead of going all the way to 20th (or beyond). In my experience campaigns very rarely reach 10th levels, and this setting is not intended for fast level advancement, so I won't bother with something like E6 rules or such. That said, most magic is capped at 5th level, there are just too few people around who know 6th level magic to make scrolls and items replicating those spells easily available.

    Inspirations
    Conan, the Barbarian
    Princess Mononoke
    The 13th Warrior
    Seven Samurai
    Shadow of the Colossus
    Dragon Age
    Warcraft 3 (Orcs and Night Elves)

    An art gallery of images that capture the style of the setting.

    Tribes, Clans, and Villages

    The concept of tribes is notoriously complicated, and almost everyone who uses the term tends to mean something different. Many antropologists even favor not using the term at all, since it only causes confusion.
    But since this is a fantasy world about tribal societies and people expect the term to show up, I will make my own difinition that should come pretty close to what most people associate with it and that I will consistently use everywhere here.

    Race: The most basic separation of people is race (in the sense of species). Though it's very obvious and actually the cause for most major differences between people, it doesn't have a very strong meaning for the people of the Lands of the Barbarian Kings. What race a person is is usually not very important. Members of a friendly clan of a different race are much more wellcome and tolerated than members of a hostile clan of the same race. The exception are lizardfolk, who being non-mamalian, stand out significantly from all the other races.
    Tribe: I use the term tribe pretty much the same way as ethnic group. Mythology withstanding, the most basic, and most practical way to define an ethnic group is by language. The people of a tribe all speak the same first language, but also have similar names and customs. Loyalty to the tribe is rather weak. There is some kind of kinship among the people of a tribe, but it has very few actual meaning in everyday life. The tribe may be the first place to look for allies and trade partners, but there are no tribal leaders or any form of formal alegiance to the tribe. Tribes usually range from 100,000 to 1,000,000 individuals.
    Clans: Clans are one of the most important forms of organization in the Lands of the Barbarian Kings. Members of a clan all trace their lineage back to one shared ancestor who originally founded the clan. However in practice, association with the clan plays a much greater role than blood relationship. Most clans actually believe that they were founded by a mighty warrior in the distant past, who left his old clan with his family and his followers, which might already have been easily 100 people or more. In some cases, the founder is believed to have been a spirit or dragon, or other type of magical being, who adopted a group of humanoids. Marrying into a clan or being adopted into one is usually treated just the same as being born into it, and for legal cases is just the same. The leader of a clan is called a chieftain and the most powerful among them are the legendary Barbarian Kings. Clans usually range from a few thousand individuals to several tens of thousands.
    Villages: The village is primary form of settlement in the Lands of the Barbarian Kings. The people living in a village are usually all from the same clan. Others are visitors or guests, but people who become permanent members of a village have to be adopted into the clan. The warriors of a village are lead by a sub-chief, but government of the village usually lies in the hand of the village elders. Villages usually consist of a few hundred people.
    In addition to villages, there are also many towns. Towns are usually located around the keeps of clan chiefs and are more open to strangers than villages. Towns frequently allow foreigners to live among the clanspeople and run shops or workshops.
    Families Generally, a family is understood as all people under the authority of a patriarch or matriarch, which includes slaves and servants. Usually all members of a family live in a single household (which might actually be a large farm with several buildings), but in some cases some members of the family live in a different place while still being part of the household (such as hunters or charcoal makers). In most tribes, the patriarch or matriarch is the sole legal representative of the family and all complaints against family members have to be made to the head of the family. Land, livestock, and buildings are always owned by the family. Personal belongings are usually limited to what a person can carry (like clothes, weapons, tools, or toys).
    Families can be as small as 6 or 8 people, but sometimes even include several dozens of persons.
    Last edited by Yora; 2012-06-20 at 07:46 AM.

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    Default Re: [PF] Lands of the Barbarian Kings

    The Crunch (Classes and Equipment)

    An important part in creating a world is to decide what kinds of warriors and spellcasters inhabit the world, and what types of weapons and armor they use. Like so often, less is more
    The following is based on the Pathfinder SRD.

    Character Classes

    Barbarian: The most obvious class. Like fighters, barbarians are among the elite warriors of most races. They are usually the strongest and toughest warriors of their clans. Barbarians usually spend more time outside the villages than other characters (except rangers) and often found their own groups that are somewhat seperate from the other warriors. Though they are usually not shamans, they often call to the spirits to lend them strength and courage and sometimes even seem to become possessed in battle.
    Fighter: Most veteran warriors are fighters. Most of them are trained as fighters from a young age and as nothing else. While most warriors are also hunters or sentries, fighters are full time soldiers.
    Fighters do not gain proficiency with heavy armor or tower shields at 1st level.
    Oracle: I think oracles are the perfect class to represent shamans. With more spells and skill points, and a lower Fortitude save, they are more spellcasters than warriors. I also like the idea of having arcane and divine magic not being very different, and as a divine sorcerer, the oracle does just that. Oracles are the primary wise men and women of their villages. As shamans, it is their role to communicate between the villagers and the local spirits, and they also serve as healers and diviners. Apprentice oracles often set out with groups of warriors, when it's expected that their quest will lead them to encounter spirits, which is usually the case.
    Oracles can have access to the Flame, Heavens, Nature, Stone, Waves, and Wind mysteries.
    Ranger: Rangers are the first line of defense that every village has. Many of them spend more time outside the village than in it and are on the lookout for signs of dangerous beasts or intruders. When other sentries notice something suspicous, they usually inform the rangers, who will investigate and possibly organize a hunt in the case of threats to the village. It's not uncommon for other warriors to have spend some time with the rangers and learned some of their skills.
    Since magic is the exclusive domain of oracles and sorcerers, all rangers have the Skirmisher archetype and no access to spells.
    Rogue: Rogues are less frequent in the Lands of the Barbarian Kings than in other settings, but still relatively common. Most rogues are not actual warriors, or multiclass characters who expend their abilities with skill in stealth. Many rogues are trappers or spies, or a found among brigands preying on the few major roads.
    Rogues are not proficient in the hand crossbow and rapier. Since magic is exclusive to oracles and sorcerers, rogues can not take the Minor Magic and Major Magic Rogue Talents.
    Sorcerer: Not as common as oracles, sorcerers are the second spellcasting class in the Lands of the Barbarian kings. While oracles usually have strong connections with spirits and act as mediators between spirits and mortals, sorcerers are generally independent and their own masters. Some make their homes at the edges of villages, but others live alone in the wilderness just as often. Though sorcerers often deal with spirits, their interaction is completely restricted to simple deals. Each side gets what they want and then they part ways, there is no desire for any lasting bonds or just general goodwill.
    Sorcerers generally have the Fey or Elements bloodline. Those who learn dark magic from demons switch to the Abyssal bloodline and lose their former bond to nature and the elements.
    Commoner & Expert: The majority of people are commoners, with craftsmen and other specialists often being experts. They are usually considered noncombatants and only engange in fighting to defend themselves.
    Warrior:Warriors make up the bulk of all people with combat training. They are the guards of the villages and the sentries who patrol the surrounding area for any possible threats. Warriors usually stay close to the village and are almost never send to deal with monsters or to travel to other villages, those tasks are the domain of barbarians, fighters, and rangers. In some clans, almost all adult men are warriors, but in other it's only as much as 30% of the adults, with men and women in almost equal numbers.
    Warriors are not proficient with heavy armor and martial weapons. Most carry spears and wear light armor, with many learning to use bows with a feat.
    (Druids:) I do like to keep druids out of the game, but they would certainly fit the setting very well. A shapeshifting prestige class for oracles would be quite neat, I guess.

    Alignment
    While I don't think alignment is inherently flawed and it does enhance some kinds of campaigns, I think it's not a good idea for all games. Since I want moral ambiguity a major aspect of the Lands of the Barbarian Kings, the setting won't use any alignment. Alignment works well in settings, in which there are forces of Good and Evil at work, but for this setting, I want there only to be spirits and demons, who don't care for mortal notions of right or wrong. Players are supposed to see NPCs not as allies and enemies, but more as people who are useful, or standing in the way. For now. Making deals with the devil and chosing lesser evils is expected of the PCs, as is turning against former allies when the situation changes.
    In practice, this works as if all mortal creatures have Neutral alignment. Outsiders and fey have the (demon) and (spirit) subtypes, and spells like detect chaos or protection from evil become detect demons or protection from spirits, but otherwise work exactly the same way.

    Equipment
    The equipment of most warriors consists of spears and bows, as well as nonmetalic armor.

    All simple weapons are available, except for crossbows. In exchange shortbows (but not composite shortbows) are treated as simple weapons.

    Martial weapons are restricted to light and medium swords (straight and curved) and axes, halberd, glaive, greatclub, scyth, and bows.

    Available exotic weapons are bolas, boomerang, falchata, net, and shuriken.

    Armor is restricted to light and medium armor. Shields are limited to light wooden shield and heavy wooden shield.

    Spells
    I think to really fit the campaigns, some changes have to be made to the spell lists.
    - Spells that detect, protect against, or are targeted at specific alignments instead target creatures with the (demon) and (spirit) subtypes. In all other regards, all other creatures are treated as having Neutral alignment.
    - No spells or items that create extradminesional spaces.
    - No spells that interact with the ethereal plane.
    - No spells with the [force] descriptor.
    - (Conjuration (healing) spells change to necromancy.)
    Last edited by Yora; 2011-09-02 at 01:03 PM.
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    Default Re: [PF] Lands of the Barbarian Kings

    Interesting. Sad to see the E6 setting go but something is better than nothing at all.

    A note on Rangers, there is an alternative to the Skirmisher Archetype that will take away spellcasting: Trapper. I think Rangers should have a choice between the two, honestly. Also remind people that they can pick up multiple Archetypes, as long as they don't change the same class features, as otherwise you may get people freaking out about being locked into an Archetype and not want to play Rangers.

    As for equipment and weapons, you may want to have a look at Ultimate Combat for Primitive Arms and Armor, as it provides some handy rules for non-iron and steel weaponry, as well as new weapons that are appropriate for a Bronze Age or earlier setting, which seems likely in this setting. It also has some handy guidelines for what material works with available armors, so it's something to consider. There's also a couple feats that key off primitive arms and armor that aren't all "Let's screw the players over!" in execution.

    Them's my 2 coppers. Take as you will.
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    Default Re: [PF] Lands of the Barbarian Kings

    The idea is pretty much the same with my last setting attempt. But everything I had so far was already connected to other things, to the point that I couldn't get it all untangled again and keep the parts that I want and get rid of those where I drifted off.
    You just can't create a civilization, remove half of it's traits, and continue from there. You always keep turning back to what you had alrady done.
    This is an attempt to start with a clean slate and this time re-using only those things I really want.

    The Ultimate books didn't sound very good, and I would like to limit rules creep as much as possible. And there will already be quite a bit of homebrew crunch. But I might give the equipment section a closer look, those should easily be adaptable while ignoring the rest.
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    Default Re: [PF] Lands of the Barbarian Kings

    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    The Ultimate books didn't sound very good, and I would like to limit rules creep as much as possible. And there will already be quite a bit of homebrew crunch. But I might give the equipment section a closer look, those should easily be adaptable while ignoring the rest.
    I haven't read Ultimate Magic, I just picked up Trapper from the SRD when I was looking at archetypes and whether Skirmisher still allowed the choice of other archetypes. As for taking from splat books what you want and ignore the rest, fine by me. Some bits are less well written than others.
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    Default Re: [PF] Lands of the Barbarian Kings

    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    The Ultimate books didn't sound very good, and I would like to limit rules creep as much as possible. And there will already be quite a bit of homebrew crunch. But I might give the equipment section a closer look, those should easily be adaptable while ignoring the rest.
    Ultimate Combat gives melee nice things, if you're willing to give a feat to Improved Unarmed Strike. Chargers can now ignore difficult terrain, if in dragon style. You can now deflect melee attacks if you have a hand free, while in crane style. You can switch between any style feats you have as a swift action.

    Plus, it's in the process of being put on the SRD.
    Last edited by Jade Dragon; 2011-09-01 at 08:18 PM.

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    Default Re: [PF] Lands of the Barbarian Kings

    Gods, spirits, and demons


    This part is basically a rewrite of a similar section I did for the Ancient Lands setting. People who knew the old setting might not find anything really new here, but I hope this is a more condensed and coherent version of the subject.

    The Planes

    The Lands of the Barbarian Kings have a rather simple cosmology. There are only four planes, the Mortal Realm, the Spiritworld, the Realm of Shadows, and the Void, a single outer plane.
    The Mortal Realm: The Mortal Realm is the material plane of the setting. It basically follows all the standard assumptions of such planes.
    The Spiritworld: The Spiritworld is a mirror of the Mortal Realm and the place where the spirits of all things live. Almost everything that exists in the world of mortals also exists in the world of spirits, though it may not all look exactly the same. Humanoids and animals are an exception, as their spirits exist within their own bodies in the Mortal Realm. Buildings, roads, and manufactured objects also have no direct equivalent, and the wood, stone, or metal they are made of still are in their original state as trees or mountains in the spiritworld.
    The Spiritworld is highly hostile to humanoids, as the forces of nature exist in much purer and more powerful forms. Storms are much more violent and during summer, the midday sun can burn skin and ignite paper when standing out in the open for too long. Unprepared mortals usually freeze to death in the nights or drown in the rushing rivers, if they are not eaten by wild beasts first.
    The Shadowrealm: The Shadowrealm is pretty much a mystery to everyone. Like the Spiritworld, it mirrors the landscape of the Mortal Realm, but everything seems to be made out of shadows, and there are barely any creatures in the entire plane. Some spells allow to travel great distances in a short time by passing through the Shadowrealm, but otherwise there seems to be almost nothing of interest there. To nobodies suprise, there are countless stories of ghosts, spectres, and more horrible things wandering the shadows and preying on lost travelers.
    The Void: Outside the closely interconected realms of mortals, spirits, and shadow lies an infinite expanse of nothingness. The Void is the astral plane, far realm, and outer plane of the Lands of the Barbarian Kings. Though pretty much empty of anything, the void if full of countless demiplanes, many the domains of demon lords, but a much larger number unclaimed islands of reality in a sea of nothingness. A few of these domains are rather hospitable to humanoids, but almost every imaginable form of environment can be found somewhere in the demiplanes of the Void.

    Spirits

    Spirits are found pretty much everywhere and their intelligence and power ranges from almost godlike beings to as small and insignificant as ants. As spirits have some control over the environment and can influence the growth of plants and the behavior of animals, they play a very major role in the daily life of the humanoid people. Almost anything you do could potentially anger a spirit and draw its wrath, but having the spirits watching out for you can bring enormous benefits and advantages. Dealing with the spirits is one of the primary roles of oracles. They are learned in the taboos and offerings, that keep the villages on the spirits good sides, and are responsible for ensuring the spirits protection and blessings of the fields and herds. Religion in the Lands of the Barbarian Kings most often revolves around maintaning a good relationship with the local spirits. While in many places the spirits are feared and given offerings to distract them from harming people, it's not uncommon that powerful spirts are revered as guardians and protectors and consulted for guidance and other blessings.
    Most spirts lack any physical form and only inhabit the tree, hill, or meadow they belong to. Others have permanent physical forms and are not bound to any locations, and a few can even switch between physical and imaterial form as they desire. The most powerful of such spirits are called demigods. Demigods are similar to nymphs or treants, but much more powerful and often have the ability to command any spirit or animal within their domains, which can be dozens of miles across.
    Dealing with spirits is always dangerous. Most spirits don't have much experience with mortals and a poor understanding what things could harm humanoids and what would benefit them. Since they are often easily offended, encounters with spirits are highly unpredictable. Even a well meaning spirit who enjoys the company of mortals may accidentally harm or kill a person, so almost everyone tries to keep any encounters with spirits as short as possible, and get away quickly without angering the spirit.
    Spirits all have the (spirit) subtype, which gives them resistance 10 against cold, electricity, and fire, and DR 5/cold iron or higher.

    Gods

    Though most people primarily worship the spirits of the land, there are some deities known to the people of the Lands of the Barbarian Kings. The gods are basically spirits, but their power by far exceeds that of any demigod. They are the spirits of the Sun, the Moon, and the Oceans, and many also include the spirits of the Earth, the Sky, and the Night among them. These spirits are so vast that they are impossible to directly be reached, even by the most powerful oracles. The gods can't be bothered to care for the fate of a single village or even an entire tribe and they offer no direct boons to any mortals.
    However, worship of the gods does exist. Such cults are often much more philosophical than those who serve spirits, and don't hope for the direct intervention of the gods. While the gods don't speak to mortals (or even though lesser spirits), they worshippers believe that one can still experience the divine power by concentrating on the places where it is the most focused, as the sun, the moon, or the earth. Through this, they gain the ability to see the world more clearly and gain an understanding of the meaning of things.

    Demons

    Demons resemble spirits, but are at home in the Void. In many ways, demons are even more dangerous and unpredictable, but they also pose the additional threat of corruption. Since the void exists outside the other three planes, demons have no place in them and their mere presence taints and currupts everything near them. Not all demons are outright hostile to humans or even wish them any harm, but regardles of their intention, their presence and mere influence poses a danger to all creatures of the other realms.
    Like spirits, true demons are usually imaterial beings without bodies or shapes, but many of the demiplanes of the Void are inhabited by lesser demons, many of which have originally be created from mortal creatures altered by thousands of years of demonic corruption.
    True demons and lesser demons all have the (demon) subtype.
    Last edited by Yora; 2011-09-02 at 08:14 AM.
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    Default Re: [PF] Lands of the Barbarian Kings

    Witch and druid would be great for this. Why don't you like tier 1s?

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    Default Re: [PF] Lands of the Barbarian Kings

    Quote Originally Posted by Swiftmongoose View Post
    Witch and druid would be great for this. Why don't you like tier 1s?
    Yora already mentioned Druid earlier. Overly magicky for their taste in this particular setting. It's his/her choice what s/he wants to include and I could see druid and witch being a bit more of a specialized magical tradition. They're something of an evolution, as opposed to something a bit more spontaneous and natural occurring like the Oracle and Sorcerer are.
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    Default Re: [PF] Lands of the Barbarian Kings

    Quote Originally Posted by Cieyrin View Post
    Yora already mentioned Druid earlier. Overly magicky for their taste in this particular setting. It's his/her choice what s/he wants to include and I could see druid and witch being a bit more of a specialized magical tradition. They're something of an evolution, as opposed to something a bit more spontaneous and natural occurring like the Oracle and Sorcerer are.
    Yora never mentioned anything about "magicky". She (I'll just go with gender based on avatar) just said that she likes to keep them out of the game (read: not setting), even though their flavor would fit the setting.

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    Default Re: [PF] Lands of the Barbarian Kings

    You can refer to me as male here, no problem with that.
    Some ambiguity is nice, but this is one of the points where it gets impractical.

    My actual reason is, that sorcerer and oracle are both spontaneous casters. I don't like spell slots, but I think it's too much effort to make a full conversion of druids and wizards to augmentable spell point spells.
    With sorcerers and oracles, you can use all spells straight from the books and add spells from other books without any additional work, while still having fixed sets of known spells and the ability to chose your spells as you need them.
    Witches are of course just perfect for such settings, but they don't seem to be that much different from fey bloodline sorcerers and most hexes don't appear to do anything that can't also be done with spells.
    About druids I am just uncertain. Keeping all spellcasting spontaneous is one thing, but not having the by far most powerful out of the box class in the game is also nice. Maybe a Beast Mystery for oracles, that emulates wild shape could work well. The nature priest role should be filled quite well by Nature mystery oracles.
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    Default Re: [PF] Lands of the Barbarian Kings

    Tribes of the Barbarian Lands

    I think I have it now figured out who is actually gonna live in the Lands of the Barbarian Kings. As mentioned earlier, in this setting a tribe is an ethnic group that usually shares a common language and many customs and traditions. I think the basic geography I had in mind for the Ancient Lands setting works just fine as it is, so I just keep using it.

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    The area is fairly big, and traveling all the way from the northern mountains to the southern jungles would likely be a journey of months. The area between the Main Coast, Southern Coast, and Islands will be the primary focus of the setting where most people live. The rest is even more of a frontier region and would be considered wilderness in most other settings.
    As you can see, I have not yet come up with any names for the tribes.

    Wood Elf Tribes


    Northern Forest Elves: The elves living in the northern and eastern parts of the main forest near the coast are the largest elven tribe, and in fact one of the largest tribes in all of the Barbarian Lands. They could be called "Standard Wood Elves".
    Island Elves: The elves of the islands are closely related to the eastern forest elves and only somewhat smaller in numbers. Because of their homeland, the Island Elves are known as great sailors and frequently visit the southern coasts of the mainland, but they are not very fond of mainlanders coming to their islands. The elves of the islands have one of the oldest histories and often make their homes around ancient monumental temples that predate their own civilization. Their society is very much dominated by priests and many of the clan chiefs are high level oracles of Nature or Waves.
    Blond Elves:Living to the south of the Northern Forest Elves, the blond elves are easily recognizable by their unusual haircolors like blond and red, combined with a deep tanned skin darker than most wood elves. The blond elves have quite good realtionships with the humans that live in the same area, and there are also some blond elves who have made their homes on some of the islands closer to the mainland.
    Western Forest Elves: The elves living in the Deep Forest region are not very closely related to the elves of the eastern forest and are a distinctively seperate people. They are relatively small in number and spread over a rather large area and elves of other tribes consider them more savage then the people inhabiting the coast and islands. The elves of the western forest have a reputation to be good with many kinds of darker magic, and there are always stories of them kidnapping lone travelers who make the mistake of traveling that deep into the wilderness for blood sacrifices.

    Human Tribes


    Blackhair Tribe: Though by far the largest human tribes in the Barbarian Lands, these black haired barbarians are rather new arrivals in the region. Originally from the wide open plains far to the west, in the heart of the continent, these clans have settled along the coastal lands of the Main Coast and Southern Coast regions. They are easily recognizable by their raven black hair and rather broad build, compared to other humans or elves. Though newcommers, the Blackhairs are not at all shy to demand a place among the powers of the region and have in fact become the probably most influential human group in all of the Barbarian Lands.
    Islands Barbarians: One of the native human tribes in the Barbarian Lands, these clans have been living on the southern islands for thousands of years. Though having more than half the number of people of the blackhairs, they have never played any major roles in the politics of the other tribes. They are among the more savage people of the Barbarian Lands and mostly live in villages lead by a chief and a shaman, with few individuals who controll larger groups of warriors and no real kings. They usually don't get in trouble with the wood elves living on the northern islands, but constantly clash with neighboring tribes of lizardfolk and dark elves.
    Ice Hunters: From what is known, the Ice Coast has always been home to a small population of humans that fight both the harsh weather and the giants and ogres from the mountains. They don't seem to be related to any of the other human people of the Barbarian Lands and look clearly different with their light brown hair and blue and grey eyes. Very few people ever have any wish to travel to the Ice Coast, but those who find themselves in that harsh lands all have to rely on the Ice Hunters to surive there.

    Kaas Tribes


    The kaas are one of the truly original races of the Lands of the Barbarian Kings. At least as original as you can get when it is most easily described as a blend of Shifters and Goliaths. Kaas are strong humanoids usually standing over 2 meters tall with short brown fur and long dark manes. Their faces have some passing resemblance to bears or big cats, but they are not directly related to either. As natives to the Northern Mountains region, kaas are well known as excelent climbers and very strong warriors.

    Inner Plains Tribe: The largest tribe of the kaas makes its home on the plains between the Northern Mountains and the large main forest of the Barbarian Lands, but their clans are also found in the surrounding hills and forests.
    Mountain Tribe: The mountain tribe are true mountain people. The are the largest and toughest among the kaas and the only real contenders for their mountain homes are giants and ogres. Though quite numberous, they are spread all over the mountain ranges and make their homes in inaccesible valeys and gorges, which makes them rather isolated from the other kaas tribes.
    Outer Plains Tribe: These clans are much fewer in number than the other tribes, and live out in the wide open plains that are usually not considered part of the Lands of the Barbarian Kings. They are true nomads with no permanent settlements and only a few ancient temples which the clans regularly visit on their travels.
    Forest Tribe: In many ways hardly even considered a tribe, some clans make their homes in the northern parts of the Deep Forest region Though few in number, the location of their villages actually makes them some of the kaas clans that have to most contact with people from the central and southern lands.

    Gnome and Dark Elf clans follow later.
    Please share your impressions.
    Last edited by Yora; 2011-12-09 at 09:02 AM.
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    Default Re: [PF] Lands of the Barbarian Kings

    I succesfully set up a Barbaripedia, since I have done that before and had the unused webspace lying around.

    Not much to see there yet, but when I have something set fixed, it will be included there. Things I want your oppinions on will be posted here and transfered when finalized.
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    Default Re: [PF] Lands of the Barbarian Kings

    Good initial details on the local tribes, though I'd like to see mechanics on the Kaas and Lizardmen. Are they standard PF Lizardmen or will Poisondusk, Blackscale and other variants be making appearances?
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    Default Re: [PF] Lands of the Barbarian Kings

    Lizardfolk will be standard lizardfolk, but I have to take a closer look how I want to handle LA with them, since it's pathfinder.
    Stats for Kaas and Gnomes will be up later tonight (it's night here).

    Poison dusk and blackscale are really just normal lizardfolk with small or large size, and would be easy to do, but I'm unsure if I want such tiny ones and ogre-sized lizardfolk.
    Last edited by Yora; 2011-09-04 at 02:56 PM.
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    Default Re: [PF] Lands of the Barbarian Kings

    To replace the druid, you could use a Shape-shifting Ranger class with access to ranger spells and perhaps Druid BAB (3/4), proficiencies, and restrictions on metal. You could houserule out any spells you didn't want, and have something similar to a druid without powerful spells or overpowered class abilities.

    Also keep in mind if there is any one thing (feat, class feature, spell), you can suggest for a DM to not allow it in this setting.

    I am eagerly anticipating the gnomes. I love gnomes!
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    Default Re: [PF] Lands of the Barbarian Kings

    My gnomes are hardcore!

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    Default Re: [PF] Lands of the Barbarian Kings

    Might I suggest something? It seems to me that the Summoner could work quite well in a low magic setting. You can re-fluff them as almost anything, and their Summons makes quite a lot of sense as a Spirit. Just an idea.

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    Default Re: [PF] Lands of the Barbarian Kings

    Summoner is a Cha-caster?!

    Oh yeah, this is definately getting used.

    Love the concept since that little girl in Jade Empire. I once considered implementing binders, but coming up with a big batch of fey vestiges seemed like a lot of work.
    Thanks a lot for mentioning it.
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    Default Re: [PF] Lands of the Barbarian Kings

    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    Summoner is a Cha-caster?!

    Oh yeah, this is definately getting used.

    Love the concept since that little girl in Jade Empire. I once considered implementing binders, but coming up with a big batch of fey vestiges seemed like a lot of work.
    Thanks a lot for mentioning it.
    No problem. I just enjoy watching a cool project coming together, and I'm glad my simple suggestion was of use.

    Now write some more so I can use this to run a campaign.

    EDIT: Oh yes, another suggestion. Seeing as how you are making a clear divide between martial and spellcasting classes, you may wish to give them different Experience Progressions, such as making martial characters medium and spellcasters slow, in order to make up for the imbalance in power.
    Last edited by Curious; 2011-09-04 at 05:05 PM.

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    Default Re: [PF] Lands of the Barbarian Kings

    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    Summoner is a Cha-caster?!

    Oh yeah, this is definately getting used.

    Love the concept since that little girl in Jade Empire. I once considered implementing binders, but coming up with a big batch of fey vestiges seemed like a lot of work.
    Thanks a lot for mentioning it.
    There's only one fey vestige I can think of off-hand, Desharis, whose associated with civilization, anyways, so Summoner is probably the better bet, anyways. Fun class, too, if you include Archetypes like Synthesist and Master Summoner. The rest aren't that good, though (Broodmaster, I'm looking at you in disappointment ).
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    Default Re: [PF] Lands of the Barbarian Kings

    I think most archetypes are actually very disappointing. Skirmisher is pretty cool, since I wanted rangers to lose spells anyway.

    Master Summoner sounds like spamming the battlefield with creatures, which I imagine could slow down the game significantly, but Synthesist sounds fun.
    Last edited by Yora; 2011-09-04 at 05:11 PM.
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    Default Re: [PF] Lands of the Barbarian Kings

    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    My gnomes are hardcore!

    -snip-
    Isn't that picture in the 4e MM2? 4e has good artwork. The half-orcs look good, and in the 4e Dark Sun Creature Compendium (or whatever it's called) there's the braxats, which have way better artwork in that and 4e Dark Sun Campaign Setting than in the 3.5 MM2. Although the picture you use for the kaas is also 4e, and that and the artwork for the human race entry isn't so good IMO.

    And can I make the kaas? I'm thinking they actually have some shifter traits, minus shifting and plus powerful build, although not straight shifter plus that, just similar. I sorta want to make the gnomes too.
    Last edited by Jade Dragon; 2011-09-04 at 06:45 PM.

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    Default Re: [PF] Lands of the Barbarian Kings

    Unfortunately, no.

    I've been developing them for quite some time already, and they are one of the things that I like best so far.

    Kaas - racial features

    The Kaas are a race of tall humanoids who have lived in the northern regions of the Barbarian Lands since ancient times. Standing about 7 feet tall and at almost twice the weight of average humans, they are the largest and most powerful of the humanoid races, rivaled only by a few lizardfolk clans in the jungles far to the south.
    In addition to their size, kaas stand out from other races by their more animal-like features, as short brown fur that coveres their entire bodies, and faces that have some resemblance to bears or lions, and almost all kaas sport thick dark manes. They don't have any claws and though loking ferocious, their long teeth don't make for effective weapons. Instead they favor punches and kicks when fighting unarmed, which often hit with bone crushing force.
    Though kaas mature early compared to most other humanoid races, they can live to become quite older to humans and often reach 80 years or more before old age finally claims them. Given the strength of their limbs and hands and the mountainous regions of their homelands, kaas are excelent climbers. They rarely slip or lose their hold and can cling to small cracks in the rock with a single hand until they find somewhere to place their feet and continue climbing.

    • +2 Strength, +2 Constitution, -2 Intelligence.
    • Medium: Kaas are Medium creatures and have no bonuses or penalties due to their size.
    • Normal Speed: Kaas have a base speed of 30 feet.
    • Low-Light Vision: Kaas can see twice as far as humans in conditions of dim light.
    • Fearless: Kaas receive a +2 racial bonus on all saving throws against fear.
    • Intimidating: Kaas receive a +2 racial bonus on Intimidate skill checks due to their fearsome nature.
    • Sure-Footed: Kaas receive a +2 racial bonus on Acrobatics and Climb skill checks.


    More details about their culture and society follow later, but will likely be something central asian themed (without horses).
    There's actually a lot of inspirations for them, which all seem different interpretations of the same basic theme. Goliaths and Shifters are two, but there are also the Orcs from Warcraft and the webcomic Dominic Deegan, Ferai from the PS2 game Primal, and Cathar from the Knights of the Old Republic setting.
    Last edited by Yora; 2011-09-05 at 06:57 AM.
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    Default Re: [PF] Lands of the Barbarian Kings

    I would see better move the COS bonus to DEX, since they are excellent climbers and got a bonus to acrobatics.

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    Default Re: [PF] Lands of the Barbarian Kings

    Climb is Streangth based. And giving them a Dex boost would mean a second bonus to Acrobatic checks. However, while good at jumping and balancing, I don't see them as quick and agile. The bonus to Acrobatics gives them a bonus at the things they are actually good at, but a Dex-bonus would improve that even more and also add bonuses to many things they are not supposed to be good at.
    I think it's just fine that way, except that Str and Con with an Int penalty are really really nice to have for melee warriors.

    Having made myself more familiar with the Summoner class, I am now uncertain if the would really fit that well. Apparently the class plays like having a magical warrior creature at your side all the time and letting it do all the fighting for you, making it effectively an additional party member. And having a spirit or demon live side by side with humanoid people would be a bit problematic, since PCs are supposed to be vey well integrated into their clans. I think summoners might contradict one important aspect I had planned for the setting.
    Last edited by Yora; 2011-09-05 at 07:55 AM.
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    Default Re: [PF] Lands of the Barbarian Kings

    I didn't think about it, and I was imagining them more agile than strong. :)

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    Default Re: [PF] Lands of the Barbarian Kings

    More goliath than shifter in this regard.
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    Default Re: [PF] Lands of the Barbarian Kings

    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    I think it's just fine that way, except that Str and Con with an Int penalty are really really nice to have for melee warriors.
    And that's the only thing they really got going for them, besides Low-Light Vision. I mean, compare them to the PF Half-Giant, who get Powerful Build and a Psi-like ability, as well as a bonus feat. The Kaas feel...kinda on the weak side. Let's have a look at the Half-Orc, who is the Warrior Race Guy of the PF races. Choose a stat boost, darkvision, orc ferocity, intimidate bonus, free weapon proficiencies. Closer but I think the Kaas are still a bit lacking. They need something unique to them to make 'em stand out. When you said a mix of Goliath and Shifter, I expected Powerful Build or Shifting to come over and they got neither. If you want 'em to be more in tune stat wise, you could shift Con to Wis and they'd be more shifter that way in their naturally being in-tune with the world. Especially since, other than potentially humans, there isn't a +Wis race in the campaign, so having a choice is always a good idea.

    Having made myself more familiar with the Summoner class, I am now uncertain if the would really fit that well. Apparently the class plays like having a magical warrior creature at your side all the time and letting it do all the fighting for you, making it effectively an additional party member. And having a spirit or demon live side by side with humanoid people would be a bit problematic, since PCs are supposed to be vey well integrated into their clans. I think summoners might contradict one important aspect I had planned for the setting.
    The Eidolon is about as extensive as animal companions are, though more flexible in their strength. Without it, a Summoner is like an underpowered Bard. As for fitting in, my personal view is to have the Eidolon and his summons be calling ancestors back to the present for a short time to aid their descendants, with his Eidolon being the strongest spirit in his repertoire and personal guardian. Where the Oracles commune with the spirits, Summoners call them forth and bind them to do tasks for them. Perhaps they aren't part of every tribe and a profession that is viewed in conflict to the core beliefs.
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    Default Re: [PF] Lands of the Barbarian Kings

    Quote Originally Posted by Cieyrin View Post
    I expected Powerful Build or Shifting to come over and they got neither.
    Wait.

    *reads stats fully*

    You left out Powerful Build!?

    Anyway, can I still make the gnomes?

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