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  1. - Top - End - #271
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    Default Re: Lands of the Barbarian Kings

    I assumed it all makes a lot more sense in my head.
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    Default Re: Lands of the Barbarian Kings

    Probably, yes. All this "north of the serpent mountains" stuff gets confusing pretty fast.
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    Default Re: Lands of the Barbarian Kings

    Here you go:
    Spoiler
    Show


    Now all the shapes and sizes don't really match what I want to and it's quite ugly, but you get the picture.
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    Default Re: Lands of the Barbarian Kings

    Aha! Now everything begins to make sense! Good job.
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    Default Re: Lands of the Barbarian Kings

    As you may have noticed from some hints, I am a big Dragon Age fan. I also like the Daelkyr and Quori of Eberron a lot and the Quori are really very similar to demons in Dragon Age. There are also a lot of things I like about vampires, but this fictional creature is loaded with a huge amount of baggage that is heavily associated with the modern era much more than the middle ages or antiquity.
    So i decided not to have vampires at all, since that blood drinking and light-aversion stuff aren't really the parts that are interesting about them. Instead I want the immortal monster in human shape with superhuman strength and superior intelligence. Which reminds me of the Inspired in Eberron. And then there's the Abominations from Dragon Age, like Uldreth and Flemeth.
    So I want to have a creature that's an Inspired Vampire-Abomination. It's mortals, usually sorcerers, who become possessed by powerful demons and their minds merging into a new personalty. They are very strong, very smart, and virtually immortal, but retain the appearance of normal people. I also like the idea from dragon age, that there's no way to get a demon out of a mortal body once it has completely transformed it. As long as its just remote mind control, you can try to convince the demon to stop controlling the person, but even with all the magic in the world, you can't reverse possession. Just not happening.

    Now I think they would make great villains, but again. What to call them? Since they are explicitly not vampires, that name is out. Inspired doesn't make sense in this case, and just calling them Abominations seems cheap. Any ideas?


    Also, what do you think of "physical magic"? Some kind of substance that contains magical energy which can be used by spellcasters? Dragon Age has Lyrium, which is pretty much crystalized mana. I think it's a neat idea, especially as a component in the creation of magic items. I have no idea how it can be used in normal spellcasting yet, but I think it's a very flaworful concept.
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    4e has something like that, they call it residuum,and it is basically solid magic, light pink, glows faintly, comes as large crystals that can be crushed easily into powder. It is used as a ritual component (4e version of longcast spells) so instead of finding 500g of black pearls, just use 500g of residuum etc. etc.. I think it would be neat to see some other uses tho.

    I think you get it from disenchanting things
    Last edited by Exalaber; 2012-02-27 at 08:48 AM.

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    If anyone here as an account at ENWorld, there is now an LBK user group. Would be great for people to join, even if you don't post anything and it only make the group appear more popular to other visitors.
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    Default Re: Lands of the Barbarian Kings

    Possible name for the Inspired-Vampires: Thralls.

    If you want to stay away from Old English/Norse words, apparently the Finnish word for slave is "orja". Might be worth playing around with the sounds.

    Although, you may wish to call them something that refers to the possessing demon rather than the host.
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    Default Re: Lands of the Barbarian Kings

    Thrall seems to imply a kind of servant, while my idea is more about demons being incarnated into a mortal form. The new being has the memories of the mortal, but the emotions and personalty of the demon. For the few decades or centuries that the demon remains in this body, this is it's life, with the timeless existance in the Void being almost forgotten and rarely given much thought.

    But I agree that thrall is a great word that I really have to use somewhere in a similar context. Maybe for the cultist of acient underworld spirits. Those are a little more deranged than demon-cultists anyway.
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  10. - Top - End - #280
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    Default Re: Lands of the Barbarian Kings

    Possible names:
    Body Thieves
    The Devoid (they are no longer in the void, so devoid of the void, or looking at it from the other side, they are suddenly devoid of human emotions.)

  11. - Top - End - #281
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    Default Re: Lands of the Barbarian Kings

    These are a list of names I came up with for vampire after a quick wikipedia search
    revenant
    lamia (greek)
    draugr (norse)
    Mora or Morana (croatia)
    kuzlac/kozlak (croatia)
    pijavica (slavic)
    izcacus (hungary)
    dhampirs (roma)
    Aluka (hebrew)
    Baobhan sith (scottish)
    Lhiannan Shee (isle of man)
    Dearg-due (gaelic)

    since they are from the void, you may want non-european names.
    impundulu (africa)
    ramanga (madagascar)
    asanbosam (africa)
    Patasola (columbia)
    Soucouyant (trinidad)
    Mapuche (chile)
    Bhūta (asia)
    Prét (asia)
    Nukekubi (japan)
    mandurugo (philipines)
    Penanggalan (malaysia)
    Jiang Shi (china)

    Also there is this
    Last edited by Exalaber; 2012-02-27 at 05:13 PM.

  12. - Top - End - #282
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    Uh, thanks! I'll be looking into this later.
    But for now:

    The Underworld


    The Underworld is an otherworldly realm deep below the earth. Technically part of the Spiritworld, it is significantly different in many ways. It is an underground realm of endless caverns and tunnels in which the concepts direction lose most meaning and time seems to have slowed to a halt.

    Since the earliest days of the universe, the World of Mortals has gone through many great changes and the Spiritworld has always followed it accordingly and so did the spirits of the land. But in the Underworld, conditions have remained the same for eons since the dawn of time and its creatures of spirits still resemble those of times that have long since gone by in the surface world.

    Underworld Traits
    The Underworld has the following traits:

    • Objective Directional Gravity: Gravity in the Underworld seems to resemble gravity in the World of Mortals of the Spiritworld, but the direction of "down" can vary depending on location. In some places every wall is a floor and objects and creatures will fall towards the nearest surface. In other tunnels, the direction of the floor can spiral along the walls and in some cavern there appears to be no gravity at all. Areas of high or low gravity are also not uncommon.
    • Erratic Time: Like in the Spiritworld, it is impossible to tell how much time has passed in the World of Mortals during a visit in the Underworld, though the discrepancy is usually only a few months at the most with returning days or a few weeks later or earlier than expected being the most common case. At all times, creatures that follow other creatures from one world to another will always arrive after the people they were following.
    • Self-Contained: While the Underworld is connected to the World of Mortals and the Spiritworld through natural portals in deep caves, it is impossible to reach these worlds by simply digging "up". While believed to be finite in size, the Underworld has not top or bottom.
    • Alterable Morphic: Objects can be manipulated just like in the World of Mortals.
    • Earth-Dominant.
    • Impeded Magic: Priests and shamans find it difficult to cast their spells unless they are thralls of the Ancients.


    Underworld Links
    The most reliable way to reach the Underworld is to use natural portals that can be found in some of the oldest and deepest underground caverns of the World of Mortals. It is very difficult to notice the gradual changes as one passes between the worlds, as it is usually to quiet and dark to spot the passage through the Shadow World. The oldest of the portals are very stable and always connect the same two points of the two worlds for eternities. Occasionally temporary portals appear, which are even more deadly than those that strand people in the Spiritworld, but they only appear in very deep caves where very few people would ever venture.

    The best way to find a passage to the underworld is to hire the services of goblin scouts and hunters. As native inhabitants of the large caves beneath the surface world, they usually know all permanent portals within several days travel of their villages and also know how to avoid getting lost through temporary ones. Another options is to request help from thralls of the Ancients, but only the most desperate would ever trust their lives to these madmen.

    Underworld Inhabitants
    The Underworld is a truly inhospitable place to creatures from the World of Mortals. While the greatest danger is thirst and starvation, there are also many predators that stalk the lightless tunnels, which are so foreign and alien that they defy description. The most well known creatures of the Underworld are grimlocks, brutish grey skinned humanoids that are instantly recognizable by their complete lack of eyes. Most grimlocks are savage and brutal, and attack any strangers as soon as they become aware of their presence, but for creatures of these lightless wastelands they are not particularly strong and can be negotiated with to some extend. More rare, but much more dangerous, are the aboleths giant fishlike creatures that inhabit the flooded sections of the Underworld. Beings of extreme intelligence, they sometimes make their way to the world of mortals to abduct humanoids to transform them into aquatic creatures and take back to their cities as slaves. Another creature of the Underworld is the doppelganger, a gaunt humanoid shapeshifter that can assume the appearance of any humanoid creature it desires. While nobody expects to meet other people from the mortal world down in the Underworld, they rarely find opportunities to trick humanoid travelers, but they are known to have traveled to the surface lands and mingle with the population.

    However probably the most feared denizens of the Underworld are the spirits of the realm, known as the Ancients. The Ancients resemble demigods of the Spiritworld in many respect, but they utterly alien and terrifying. Most are massive in size, dwarfing even the largest dragons or titans, and spend the eternity slumbering in gargantuan caves that can take days to cross for humanoids. Some madmen from the surface world have taken to worship these ancient spirits and while they usually stay far away from civilization some fear that they may be an even greater threat than warlocks and the demons they worship.

    Interestingly, there have been no reports of anyone ever seeing any traces of elementals, which are very common in caves in the Spiritworld.

    Underworld Features
    In many respects the Underworld resembles a gargantuan and seemingly infinite system of caves and tunnels. Visitors can travel for days without seeing any signs of life and large sections are completely filled with water or lava. Caves can vary greatly in size or form, with many passages being to small for most humanoid creatures and leading to unknown destinations. Tunnels are collapsing all the time in completely unpredictable ways, sealing existing passages and creating new ones sometimes dozens of miles away. Travelers who have returned from the Underworld have reported of encountering mostly a barren wasteland devoid of water or any signs of life, but also having come upon caves filled with giant glowing crystals and entire abandoned cities carved into the rock.

    http://barbaripedia.eu/index.php?title=Underworld
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    Shadow World
    The Shadow World is a dark realm on the border of the World of Mortals and the Spiritworld. It is completely without color with a perfectly black sky overhead, and while there is very few light found in the Shadow World, there is never a total darkness even inside of caves. In many respects the Shadow World is an echo of the worlds of mortals and spirits and creatures who accidentally stumble into it often do not notice the change instantly and only become aware of it when light keeps fading to a much greater degree than a thick cloud would cause. Once fully inside the Shadow World, everything in the environment appears to have turned to shades of grey, with creatures from other worlds and their clothing appearing in heavily faded and bleached colors. As one enters the Shadow World, surroundings appear familiar at first, but become increasingly different the further one travels from the point of entry. Some people believe that the landscape of the Shadow World is not actually real, but an illusion or mirage that plays tricks to the perception of creatures from other worlds.

    All travel between the World of Mortals and the Spiritworld, and by extension the Underworld, briefly passes through the Shadow World. Usually it is barely noticeable with only a short darkening of the sky as the only indicator of the passing. It is, however, possible to completely enter the Shadow World itself, where one finds an almost empty and lifeless realm that appears to be stretching into infinity. Some creatures, among them many incorporeal undead spirits, make the space between the worlds their home and are the greatest threat to travelers who are trapped within the Shadow World or have traveled there on purpose.

    Shadow Traits
    The Shadow World has the following traits:
    • Normal Gravity.
    • Normal Time.
    • Infinite Size.
    • Magically Morphic: The material of the Shadow World can easily be manipulated and shaped by certain magic spells.
    • Enhanced Magic: Shadow spells are more powerful.
    • Impeded Magic: Light and fire spells are less powerful.


    Shadow Links
    Portals to the Shadow World can be found in any places where shadows and darkness are dominant, but thankfully they appear to be quite rare and there is usually no risk of accidentally wandering into the Shadow World inside ones own basement. Places where portals can be found are usually very old and see very few visitors, though it is unclear how these aspects are connected to the presence of portals.

    The most reliably way to reach the Shadow World is the use of certain magic spells that can open temporary portals in almost any area of sufficient darkness.

    Shadow Inhabitants
    The Shadow World is a barren and almost empty place, but there are still some creatures that call it their home. Being the space between the worlds of mortals and spirits, the Shadow World is the haunt of most incorporeal undead creatures, like ghost, shadows, and wraiths. There have also been some reports of spirits of the Shadow itself, but very few is known about them.

    In addition, the Shadow World is also the chosen home of the dark shie, groups of shie who have turned their backs on the Spiritworld and have sequestered themselves into the eternal darkness. While not exactly evil, they are even more rude and uncaring of mortal life than most spirits.

    Features of the Shadow World
    The Shadow World doesn't have much physical substance and instead appears to made up entirely made from nothing but solid shadows. The landscape of the Shadow World resembles that of the World of Mortals, but everything is made from the same grey, cool, and light material. Some plants bear fruit, but those offer no sustenance to travelers from other worlds and starvation is one of the greatest dangers.

    http://barbaripedia.eu/index.php?title=Shadow_World

    [New] The Void
    Last edited by Yora; 2012-02-28 at 08:18 AM.
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  14. - Top - End - #284
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    Well, aren't you a tough audience...

    But to be fair, the last posts were mostly supparies and updates on stuff I've already presented months ago. Since I actually am the most creative and have the best idea while being in the middle of writing things, the next updates will be rather short but describe everything I've decided so far on any of the humanoid tribes. The Vandren and Kashakin were already quite developed when I wrote them up, while the others are far less so yet, so it's not nearly as much to read. But it's stuff I havn't shared with you before, so I think it might be quite interesting to you. And during the process I will also get new ideas to connect everything. But if you have any ideas, or even just oppinions on what you like and would want to see expanded on, or what you think odd and would like to see clarified or improved, please do tell me.

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    Default Re: Lands of the Barbarian Kings

    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    Well, aren't you a tough audience...
    I quite liked the Underworld post (being the Eldritch Horror fanboy I am...), just didn't have any relevant comments really.

    Nice to start seeing some cultural distinction between the tribes, now.
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    Default Re: Lands of the Barbarian Kings

    I am somewhat narcistic. Showing appreciation for me is relevant comments.

    [New] Tribe
    [New] Zarakai
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    Default Re: Lands of the Barbarian Kings

    I like the ideas in that are being presented, and I think that your English is very good, but I suggest that some of the word choice is a little confusing and may require a little bit of editing for people who speak English as a first language, and especially for people who speak English as a second language, but don't have German as a first. example, the uses of few.

    Other than that, the I really love the world that is taking shape here, can't wait to use it in my own games, and I hope that I have not offended you in any way, it is not my intention.

  18. - Top - End - #288
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    I will definately go recruit some proofreaders once the whole thing is getting into its final shape. But now while I delete and add sentences all the time (which are not listed on the recent changes on the front page), I think it's kind of useless to deal with that now. However, once the bulk of primary information is standing, I'll allow other people to make accounts and be able to correct any errors I made.
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    Here's a first sample NPC, mostly to show the NPC-page format. What do you think of it? Looks good, or other ideas how to structure it?

    Hyordis
    Hyordis (half-fiend hf Bbn1/Soc7?) is a Surri shaman of the Frozen Lands, a powerful warlock, and the ruler of Ken Hemin.

    Appearance and Background
    Hyordis is a Surri woman in her early forties and of strong and imposing stature. She wears her thick brown hair past her shoulders and has strikingly bright blue eyes, even for the people of the Frozen Lands. Not being one for pleasantries, she has a stern and grim gaze and speaks only in few words, but with a strong and determined voice. Hyordis began her magical training not as a shaman, but as a witch, growing up on the edge of the clans society and became a powerful spellcaster by calling on the more dangerous and less trustworthy spirits of the Frozen Lands for help and greater power. As a grown woman, she managed to find a way into the chieftains household and rose in station at a steady pace, becoming one of his most valuable and trusted advisers. When the shaman of the chieftains village died, she succeeded him in place of one of his apprentices, and many believe that she was responsible for his death. As the clans head shaman, her power increased greatly and within a year she became the ruler of Ken Hemin, an ancient fortress on the lower slopes of the Frost Mountains and it soon became apparent that she was now the true leader of the clan. It is a commonly known secret that Hyordis is a warlock and she and her growing number of apprentices use dark sorcery gained from demonic patrons. While feared by all members of the clan, she has also gained a large number of loyal followers among the warriors and sub-chiefs and has the chieftain at her beck and call.

    Goals and Motivations

    Hyordis' long-term goals are a mystery even to her closest circle of followers, but those who known are quite certain that it is not the power within the tribe or the region that she is really after. In Ken Hemin, she and her apprentices spend most of their time sequestered in the inner temple, which is closed off from anyone else.

    Allegiances
    "Hyordis' Disciples"
    "Hyordis' Clan"

    Abilities
    Hyordis is a very powerful witch and warlock, but also very strong and tough for a woman who has not trained all her life as a warrior. In combat she uses dark sorcery and demonic energy to quickly dispatch her enemies.

    http://barbaripedia.eu/index.php?title=Hyordis
    Last edited by Yora; 2012-03-03 at 06:30 PM.
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    Interesting. Might I suggest giving her a nickname or title to distinguish her from other women named Hjördís Hyordis?
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    That's the problem with societies that don't have surnames. As you probably know.

    I havn't yet figured out how to name clans, that should provide a lot of help at distinguishing people.
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    A new idea I am pondering:

    I played Thief again, and I really love the Pagans. However, druidic cults really wouldn't be anything special or unusual in the Barbarian Lands and in fact be the most common religion everywhere. But this could be combined with the cults of the Ancients, which also happen to use blood magic. Which in turn got me thinking of the Daedra from Elder Scrolls.
    So the idea would be to make the Ancients less tentacley and more really alien-minded chaos-spirits. Or rather, in the spirit of subjective morality and uncertainty, the truth is somewhere in between this, with orthodox druids regarding them as eldritch abominations that corrupt nature and reverse the creation of the physical world, while the ancient cultists see them as older and wiser spirits. When the cultists are in contact with their gods, they see them as kind and caring spirits that protect their folowers, since their true forms are "not meant for mortal eyes".
    In history, you have it all the times that gods of the past become demons of later religions.

    [New] Cults of the Ancients
    Last edited by Yora; 2012-03-05 at 08:14 PM.
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    Default Re: Lands of the Barbarian Kings

    Hmmm. As a tentacle-lover (no, not like that), I'd object to cutting the Lovecraftyness out entirely... What if you have both? Some of the ancients can be eldritch tentacle-horrors as you originally planned, some are more daedric. It would even make sense - if the ancients are the spirits of previous worlds, maybe there are even different kinds - age categories, if you will - within the ancient-classification. I'd presume the oldest ones are the most alien, with the younger ones gradually becoming more like the spirits of the world today. Did that make sense to you?

    On a totally different note, I found myself re-reading the barbaripedia entry on gnomes, and realised I don't fully understand your description of gnomish humour (which I remember you saying was pretty much German humour). Any chance you could help me get into it by sharing a gnomish joke or two?
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    Default Re: Lands of the Barbarian Kings

    Oh, there will still be plenty of tentacles. I love aboleths, krakens, and deep ones, or all the crazy of the Dealkyr. Grimlocks are the descendants of very old cults of the ancients that became twisted by living in the underword. And I plan to have something like the Geth from Mass Effect. A race of telepathic humanoid amphibians, or something like that. Like tadpole formians.
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    Excellent, I can stop worrying then
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    More on Magic

    Last night I was playing Mass Effect 2 again (I expect Me3 to arrive tomorrow or saturday, so don't hold your breath for updates next week ) and there were a number of scenes that were pretty much a psion fighting a psychic warrior. And I think it's so much cooler than old men in dresses throwing magic missiles and turning each other into toads.

    Now, I've written about the mechanics of magic before, but still have not fully decided what magic actually can and can not do. Fluff comes first and how to represent it in specific rules is a later step. The wizard archetype has already been scrapped in favor of more sorcerer-like mages. Which means mages that are not neccessarily scholars and spend their time with books and scrolls, and in turn are more ordinary people. With magic powers.

    I like magic that is quite "physical" and relies extensively on manipulating people and the environment. Avatar also has lots of cool scenes with people basically punching each other with magic. A bit too kung fu for me, but I love the idea much more than people facing each other and basically fighting by reciting poetry at each other. When focusing magic too much on physical strength and combat, there's the threat of magic becoming too common and every warrior wanting to have it, so finding a good balance is important.

    What magic can not do:
    - Seeing the future (though communing with spirits to learn what's been going on so far and making good guesses about what's happening next still works).
    - Manipulate time (but super-speed is possible)
    - Bringing back the dead after the spirit has departed the body (which is about a week).
    - Teleportation (though you can take shortcuts through the shadow world, where distances are shorter).
    - No extradimensional spaces (bag of holding, rope trick, magnificent mansion)
    - Create force barriers (which includes such D&D classics like shield and wall of force)
    - Create matter (but shaping matter is fine)

    What magic can do:
    - Create fire and lightning.
    - Dampening weapon and elemental damage.
    - Improve strength and speed.
    - Restore health and drain life energy.
    - Shapechanging.
    - Crude telekinesis (great weight and size, but poor accuracy)
    - Mind control
    - Telepathy (talking to both people and spirits)

    What do you think? Do you think it would be a good idea to make combat magic basically mages throwing things at each other and pushing each other over ledges. It feels more naturally evolved to me than saying magic words and something pops out of nothing. But there's a risk of magic becoming too mundane at which point warriors would ask themselves why they don't learn to get super strength, leap over buildings, and smash walls with their fist. The Jedi and the Witchers are cool, but I'd like magic to be confined to a small and rather exclusive group.
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  27. - Top - End - #297
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: Lands of the Barbarian Kings

    What about conjuration? You cannot bring things into being, but can you summon them from elsewhere, as in you have your special pot of water at home, and every time you use make water, it pulls from the stream that you sank it in or something like that, or is that covered by the no teleportation?

  28. - Top - End - #298
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    Yora's Avatar

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    Default Re: Lands of the Barbarian Kings

    I think conjuration would work best with spirits that don't have actual bodies and are either incorporeal or take something else for a body, like hsort-lived zombies or elementals.

    All your post here are in this thread. Do I know you from another forum?
    Last edited by Yora; 2012-03-08 at 10:29 AM.
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  29. - Top - End - #299
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    Steckie's Avatar

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    Default Re: Lands of the Barbarian Kings

    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    What do you think? Do you think it would be a good idea to make combat magic basically mages throwing things at each other and pushing each other over ledges. It feels more naturally evolved to me than saying magic words and something pops out of nothing. But there's a risk of magic becoming too mundane at which point warriors would ask themselves why they don't learn to get super strength, leap over buildings, and smash walls with their fist. The Jedi and the Witchers are cool, but I'd like magic to be confined to a small and rather exclusive group.
    I always assumed that in your setting magic isn't something you learn, but something you are born with. Or given by a spirit.
    Like being a redhead, or being tall or short.

    And yes, i like your idea about how magic should work.
    But what does it mean for the magic users. Do they only use their body to cast or are there still spells where they need to use their voice.
    For instance copying the sound of a bear to shapechange into one, or blowing into the air to make a gust of wind.

    I like the fact that battles between magic users become much more active, but i fear they might become a bit ...quiet if they only use their body to use magic.

  30. - Top - End - #300
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    Yora's Avatar

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    Default Re: Lands of the Barbarian Kings

    The concept of spells is based on a laymans understanding of chi peppered with a large dose of magic: Use your own energy to start an evalance of energy in your surroundings, which becomes the spell. And to release the energy with a real kick behind it, the body needs to be into it as well. Which is not only muscle movement, but also very importantly breath. In Japanese, there's the term "kiai". The reason why asian martial artists are shouting at each other all the time. Don't strik with just your hand, strike also with your arm, shoulder, back, and legs, to have every part contributing to the force of the impact. Which also includes the lungs. Verbal components are certainly important, but they would probably be quite short and not very complex.
    Which is for spells with physical effects. For purely mental effects, the casting would be more like a meditation.

    Here's another idea to throw around:

    Regardless of specific spells or spell schools, there are five spheres of spells, serving as classifications and guidelines of what spells can do:
    Creation: Spells that boost the targets life force, providing strength, health, speed, and the ability to change shape. (cure wounds, haste, polymorph)
    Entropy: Drains the targets life force, causing it to lose strength, and speed, be paralyzed, or vulnerable. (hold person, blindness)
    Mind: Spells that deal with thoughts and perception, like detecting or hiding things, or controlling other peoples thoughts. (charm person, detect thoughts, fear)
    Spirit: Spells that deal with the summoning and controlling of spirits, and raw magical energy as counter-magic. (summon spirit, dispel magic)
    Elements: Spells that directly utilize and control air, earth, fire, and water. (burning hands, lightning bolt, cone of cold)

    Single, very powerful attacks, would probably fall under Elements as earth or air, as compared to general increases to strength from Creation.
    So far I don't see what mechanical effect this classification would have, but I think it makes a nice tool in deciding what spells are appropriate for a LBK campaign or not.
    Last edited by Yora; 2012-03-08 at 01:20 PM.
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