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  1. - Top - End - #31
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    Default Re: [PF] Lands of the Barbarian Kings

    I think there is some merrit to the concept, but it would be such a special power, that I think it should be restricted to only a tiny handful of NPCs. And in that case the spirit would be the one hogging the spotlight, which makes having a specialized character class rather unneccessary.
    A spirit doesn't need a mortal to guide it, and humanoids shouldn't be able to hold a spirit on a leash. Oracles don't command the spirits, they merely make humble suggestions and ask for favors.

    I think this might become more clear when I flesh out oracles and spirits more.


    Since I'm doing an inside out approach, you have to get to specific places and people pretty early once the frame is set, and for that you need names.
    So what I'm doing now is the most nerdiest thing that people ever did, and come up with fictional language.
    However, since I only need names, all I really need are phonologies. For that, my first step is to come up with the alphabet for each race. Using roman letters for ease of use, but when c and y only appear in elven names, I think this should have a pretty nice effect of creating consistency and complex cultures. As the basis, I use the sounds of Japanese, as they all also appear in my native German and include really no sounds that would be unusual to almost any language (except that dreadful R). Native english speakers would probably still pronounce everything different from what I intended, but the rest of the world should be able to read it.

    For personal names, I'm going to start with a big load of finnish and japanese names, that don't sound particularly finnish or japanese.

    Any suggestions regarding this subject?
    Last edited by Yora; 2011-09-05 at 12:22 PM.
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  2. - Top - End - #32
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    Default Re: [PF] Lands of the Barbarian Kings

    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    I think there is some merrit to the concept, but it would be such a special power, that I think it should be restricted to only a tiny handful of NPCs. And in that case the spirit would be the one hogging the spotlight, which makes having a specialized character class rather unneccessary.
    I still say the get Powerful Build.

    So can I make the gnomes?

    And I just thought of something!

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  3. - Top - End - #33
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    Default Re: [PF] Lands of the Barbarian Kings

    Quote Originally Posted by Swiftmongoose View Post
    I still say the get Powerful Build.
    Yora was talking about Summoners, not the Kaas, at least as far as I can tell...
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  4. - Top - End - #34
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    Default Re: [PF] Lands of the Barbarian Kings

    Indeed. I see what you meant about the kaas, but I'm also the kind of person who thinks 3.5e half-elves are okay.
    I think races as they are in PF are bloated enough. There's such a huge amount of minor bonuses and extras, that in my oppinion don't make much of a difference.

    Since I'm a bit of a control fream with minor OCD, I am hesitant to hand away the fleshing out of an intire race which I already have plans for.
    But you certainly can write one of the gnomish tribes. With lots of open space and isolated people, adding new tribes shouldn't be a problem at all. Let me just wrap up the racial traits I've so far for them, and you're free to go to start with your idea of barbarian gnomes.
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  5. - Top - End - #35
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    Default Re: [PF] Lands of the Barbarian Kings

    With dwarves who are all the same on one side, and 3 feet tall comic relief characters on the other, I want to approach the small people somewhat differently. As D&D gnomes are about halfway between dwarves and halflings, and even have some elven touches, gnomes are the starting point for this race and where it gets the name from.

    Gnomes
    Gnomes are short humanoids roughly resembling humans in stature, but standing only about 3 1/2 feet tall. They have round faces with large noses and skin of an earthen tan, which maes them clearly distinguishable from human children. Almost all gnomes have dark brown hair with males growing short beards. Eyes are usually green or brown, with some occasional cases of dark grey.
    Despite their small stature, gnomes are among the longest living races of the Barbarian Lands and can live for well over 200 years.

    Most gnome villages are located in forests, and often found in landscapes dominated by rugged hills. Villages can often be hard to spot, as most of their buildings are burried. Stables, barns, and many workshops are usually located at the surface with easy access to the fields and herds (mostly sheep and goats), while most living quarters and storerroms are located in the extensive basements. Most villages have underground tunnels that connect the various homes without any need to go outside during night or winter at all. Often there are also large community halls underground, so that in winter only hunters and herders are the only people who ever set a foot outside during winter.

    Well aware that all other races are physically much more powerful than them, gnomes usually avoid direct confrontation. When in a tight situation, they will often feign to let themselves be bullied into service by others, with no intention to complying with any such commands once they are out of sight. Quite often gnome villages will just hand over anything that raiders demand and then follow them quitly to attack them when they are asleep and take back their things. Given that people rarely consider gnomes as dangerous, they can get away with it suprisingly often. Most gnomes will not show any false bravado, but rather retreat and then strike back when they have the advantage.
    In combat, gnomes fight dirty. Not in a charming or an adorable way, but in a seriously deadly one. They won't survive any fair fight, but they are not going to let others push them around. They will pull every dirty trick that would be to their advantage.

    • +2 Constitution, +2 Wisdom, -2 Strength
    • Small: Gnomes are Small creatures and gain a +1 size bonus to their AC, a +1 size bonus on attack rolls, a 1 penalty to their Combat Maneuver Bonus (CMB) and Combat Maneuver Defense (CMD), and a +4 size bonus on Stealth checks.
    • Slow Speed: Gnomes have a base speed of 20 feet.
    • Low-Light Vision: Gnomes can see twice as far as humans in conditions of dim light.
    • Defensive Training: Gnomes get a +4 dodge bonus to AC against monsters of the giant subtype.
    • Hardy: Gnomes receive a +2 racial bonus on saving throws against poison, spells, and spell-like abilities.
    • Keen Senses: Gnomes receive a +2 racial bonus on Perception skill checks.
    • Obsessive: Gnomes receive a +2 racial bonus on a Craft or Profession skill of their choice.

    *Gnomes lose their magical traits, but gain dwarven resistances instead. Since there are no exotic gnomish weapons in the setting, Weapon Familiarity does not apply.
    Last edited by Yora; 2011-09-05 at 02:23 PM.
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  6. - Top - End - #36
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    Default Re: [PF] Lands of the Barbarian Kings

    The way it stands currently, you're completely missing any Int or Wis based class options in this setting. This just seems jarring, as every other base stat has a class that they could be considered a primary stat for.

    With the way it's built right now, Int is only useful for skill points, limited bonuses, and Combat Expertise, so aside from fighters getting 13 int for CE and skill monkeys getting a +1 or +2 bonus for extra skill points, there's nothing that can use it. In the (rare, since this setting seems to be low magic) case that an Int based magic item drops, the knowledge monkey is the only one that could make any use of it at all, and that use is very, very small.

    Wisdom is in a little better position as it provides a bonus to will saves, making a Wis bonus of use to classes with low will saves.

    This is especially worrying to Elves and Dwarves if you hope to include them in your setting, as the mental score classes they're most suited for from a game play standpoint are completely unavailable.

    The Wis direction can be taken care of by rebuilding Oracles with Wis in mind instead of Cha since they're supposed to be the "wise men" of their respective villages or by working druids into the setting since you're on the fence about them.

    Int is a bit trickier. I understand why you don't want to add Wizards, but why not Alchemists or Witches? Alchemists could be fluffed as witch doctors, taking natural chemicals from the world and working them into magic-like effects, whereas witches gain power from a patron, such as a spirit or a demon. (Clarity edit: The similarities in niche are there between them and sorcerers, but the flavor is quite a bit different in play.)


    Edit: I actually looked back through and saw Kaas, and noticed that they break one of the suggestions put forth that races have one physical ability bonus and one mental ability bonus. This could make them the best tanks and mediocre at best with pretty much everything else.

    ('nother Edit: As an aside, Bride of Lucifer is my wallpaper and has been for several months. kudos on the awesome avatar.)

    ((and yes, I love edits. I hate double posting. >.>))
    Last edited by Ilorin Lorati; 2011-09-05 at 04:27 PM.

  7. - Top - End - #37
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    Default Re: [PF] Lands of the Barbarian Kings

    While true, these issues actually don't bother me much.

    With this setting I have an idea for a world first and the RPG system with which it is played is only of secondary concern. I picked pathfinder because I'm familiar with d20 and pathfinder is both free and popular.

    That elves have a racial bonus to Intelligence, and there is no class that gets a huge boost from high intelligence is not a problem in my eyes. My idea is not to provide a background where people can let their character builds roam free, but to develop a multi-faceted fantasy world.
    I can see how people like to play the game by coming up with interesting character builds and squuezing any tiny bonus out that can help them in combat, but that's just not how we play the campaigns that I run. This setting is going to be relatively independent of any RPG-system, I just look at what kinds of characters and magic I want to have in the world and then search for options in the pathfinder game to represent these things.

    I played half-elf barbarian/sorcerers in 3.0. If the mechanics of the game favor certain builds simply doesn't interest me when comming up with character concepts.
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  8. - Top - End - #38
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    Default Re: [PF] Lands of the Barbarian Kings

    I was just pointing out discrepancies. Good luck with it all. :)

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    Default Re: [PF] Lands of the Barbarian Kings

    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    Since I'm doing an inside out approach, you have to get to specific places and people pretty early once the frame is set, and for that you need names.
    So what I'm doing now is the most nerdiest thing that people ever did, and come up with fictional language.

    [...]

    Any suggestions regarding this subject?
    About Kaas' language, if you imagine them as snarling and growling when they speak, you can use it for their names. An extensive use of "R", "WL" and similar sounds could be a good approach.

    For other races/tribes, you can choose some unique flavour for each of them (like coastal tribes using words that sound similar to the sound of the sea).

    A note about places' names: if you don't want to create an entire new language (or bits of it) like Tolkien did for the Lord of the Rings, you can use an approach simlar to George Martin's Song of fire and ice, naming places in "common language" (King's Landing, the Wall, etc)

  10. - Top - End - #40
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    Default Re: [PF] Lands of the Barbarian Kings

    I once did a list of common words that appear in place names. When you take a closer look, people all over the world and througout all of history have not been very creative with naming places. A couple of words for geographical features, and a few adjectives, and you're ready to come up with Greefields, Whitefords, and Fairviews in any language you have.

    Though I don't think I still have that file.
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  11. - Top - End - #41
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    Default Re: [PF] Lands of the Barbarian Kings

    Barbarian Kings - Bestiary

    I post this here because it's something I think I have pretty much finalized by now:

    I have noticed that many of my favorite fantasy games actually have only a quite small number of monsters in them, way short of two or more Monster Manuals or bestiaries. And thinking of my native europe, there have never really been that many large predators. Wolves, bears, and boars, wolverines in some parts, and if you really have to possibly badgers. But that's it, everything else is about the size of a mans arm. So I decided to go for a more limited monster list for the Barbrian Kings setting, and to my suprise, it's actually pretty limited.

    Humanoids
    Even when going just with the pure necessities, this is still quite a long list.
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    • Elves
    • Gnomes
    • Humans
    • Kaas
    • "Kobolds" (I don't have yet a name for these Fox-monkey-goblins)
    • Lizardfolk

    • Giants
    • Ogre
    • Harpy (think "savage raptorans")
    • Merfolk
    • Lagura (your common primitive "fish-people")
    • Sahuagin

    Beasts
    This category primarily consists of the fictional wildlife.
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    • Ankheg
    • Basilisk
    • Dragonhawk (giant lizard-bird)
    • Frost Worm
    • Griffon
    • Hippogriff
    • Owlbear
    • Purple Worm
    • Remorhaz
    • Sea Serpent
    • Worg
    • Wyvern
    • The ultimate giant beetle hive (Resistance is futile!)

    • Assassin Vine
    • Yellow Musk Creeper
    • Shambling Mound

    There will also be plenty of ordinary animals native to Eurasia, and giant vermin and giant reptiles.

    Spirits
    This category is all creatures from the spiritworld. They all have the (spirit) subtype and DR/cold iron and cold, electricity, and fire resistance 10.
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    • Awakened Celestial Dire Animals
    • Dragons (black, bronze, copper, green, red, silver, white, up to "ancient" category)
    • Drider (CR +2 template)
    • Elementals (including ice, lava, mud, and smoke)
    • Forest Giant (large forest humanoids)
    • Genies (Djinn, Efreet, Marid, Shaitan)
    • Kitsune ("were-fox sorcerers")
    • Lamia
    • Minotaur
    • Naga (snake people)
    • Nymph (cast spells as oracles and are for all natural features, not just lakes)
    • Oni
    • Planetouched (aasimar and elementals)
    • Rakshasa
    • Shee (Human-like immortals)
    • Treant
    • Winter Wolf
    • Wisp (tiny incorporeal flying light)
    • Wood Troll (plant hobgoblins)

    Demons
    This category is all creatures from the Void.
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    True Demons are completely incorporeal and immortal. Ranked from highest to lowest:
    • Pride Demon (superiority, hybris)
    • Dominance Demon (control, enslavement)
    • Sloth Demon (curruption, apathy)
    • Desire Demon (excitement, amuesement)
    • Vanity Demon (entitelment, luxury)
    • Hunger Demon (greed, envy)
    • Rage Demon (destruction, wrath)

    Lesser demons are creations of true demons or originally mortal creatures altered by the Void. (CR 1 - 12)
    • Babau
    • Barghest
    • Dretch
    • Erinyes
    • Hamatula
    • Hellcat
    • Hell Hound
    • Hezrou
    • Howler
    • Imp
    • Petitioner (The fate of demon cultists)
    • Succubus
    • Tiefling

    Undead
    All the types of undead.
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    • Abomination (corpse possesed by true demon, similar to lich)
    • Ghost
    • Ghoul (humanoid who died from Taint)
    • Lich (given the levels of NPCs, very rare!)
    • Shadow
    • Skeleton
    • Wight (corpse possessed by weak demon)
    • Wraith
    • Zombie

    While I took plenty from other peoples ideas, it wasn't af if those hadn't done the same.
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  12. - Top - End - #42
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    Default Re: [PF] Lands of the Barbarian Kings

    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    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.
    Maybe algamate the more supernatural type rangers(Beast Master, Spirit Ranger, Shapeshifter) and animal shamans into a new druid class with bard style progression?

    Edit;
    Actually looking closer at it, adopting the animal shaman stuff into the oracles curses as a type of bestial bond with an animal spirit could be an easy way around this... could also use the spirit bond from the Spirit ranger for one of the mysteries...
    Last edited by Othniel Edden; 2011-09-06 at 01:41 PM.

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    Default Re: [PF] Lands of the Barbarian Kings

    If you don't want Summoner's to be capable of summoning a special spirit from level 1, you could pretty easily turn them into a prestige class for Sorcerors. Off the top of my head, Eidolon's begin with 4 or 5 hit dice, and they progress at a 1 hit die, 2 hit die, per level scheme, and the Summoner progresses casting. Toss in a few of the class features like life link, and its good.

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    Default Re: [PF] Lands of the Barbarian Kings

    My reason is, for both druids and summoners, that I don't really see that the setting actually needs those classes. There are currently no roles in my concpet, that would be filled much better by these clases than by oracles and sorcerers. At this point, including these classes would be including them for their own sake. Something I really want to avoid, because when you start with it, there's a huge amount of other things, that could be made to fit. And my experience is that just adding everything you think would be cool to a setting, is one of the primary reasons that make you lose focus on those aspects you really want to concentrate on.
    My personal approach, as opposed to lots of D&D settings and I believe Golarion as well, is a minimalistic one. Put only into the setting what you really need and do that well. Trying to create all inclusive settings has never worked out well for me.
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    Default Re: [PF] Lands of the Barbarian Kings

    You could add Dryads to the Spirits, I think they fit well in the setting.


    Are you thinking to add foreign presence in you setting?
    Something like an outpost from another continent, colonists, a trading post, pirate, or a village of a shipwreck survivors?
    The islands on the east could be a good spot to add this.
    This could also help you justify the introduction of "uncommon" features: classes, materials, items...
    Last edited by B!shop; 2011-09-07 at 06:12 AM.

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    Default Re: [PF] Lands of the Barbarian Kings

    Quote Originally Posted by B!shop View Post
    This could also help you justify the introduction of "uncommon" features: classes, materials, items...
    No, that's the point. I don't want to have anything in the setting for that I would have to find a justification. If I add any mechanics to the setting, it's because the world as envisioned requires such a mechanic.
    For example, you have a cavemen campaign, and you could hypothetically add gunpowder weapons. You could come up with some logical explaination why there are guns in the stone age, but would you want to do that? Usually not.
    I could also find reasons why to have clockwork golems, or airships, or teleportation networks. But I don't want them, they are just not neccessary for what I have in mind and would only distract from the things I want the setting to be about.
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    Default Re: [PF] Lands of the Barbarian Kings

    I can understand what you are saying Yora, but I think a little context would help. Are you creating this world for your own use, or do you plan to have other DM's running campaigns in this world. FOr personal use, players should have to justify anything out of the ordinary, and you should have final say. If other people will use it, DM's will want more customization options so that every party isn't just Sorcerer, Oracle, Ranger, Barbarian. Even if they have customization options, classes as they are in PF still tend to rely on similar class features and mechanics unless you seriously support archetypes. Plus, many high-powered gamers will be disappointed by their options (just to put that out there).

    Putting this on the forums as you have seems to indicate that you want other people running your setting, so I believe most of the posters (including myself) have been running under that assumption.
    I have returned, and plan on focusing on world-building. Issues are being dealt with.

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    Default Re: [PF] Lands of the Barbarian Kings

    I think Yora is on the right track here. It's much easier as a DM to allow other things players want to use rather than having to tell a player that they cannot use something that they expected to be included in the setting. Also: I believe it was mentioned up front that the setting was supposed to fall largely in the tier 4 area, another thing I think is smart, because it's often easier to up the power of NPC's than it is to lower their power while keeping all the flavour in tact (at least in my experience).

    Edit: Hideous post from phone; I'll try to remember to clean it up later.
    Last edited by KoboldCleric; 2011-09-07 at 12:48 PM.

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    Default Re: [PF] Lands of the Barbarian Kings

    I want to some day compile all the details about the setting into one big document to turn it into a campaign setting book that is free for everyone who wants to use it. And from many replies I've got so far, there are quite some people who would love to see what I make of it.
    But primarily, this should be the setting to run my own campaigns here. If others want to run a game in a world like mine, they are certainly wellcome. But this is not supposed to be something that appeals to an audience as large as possible.

    I see the point that many people will favor settings that are open to all the option the rules system offers. But personally, I believe this is a mistake. the result of this is, that every system becomes very generic. It's different places and different people, but at the core, the vast majority of d20 settings seem to be just another d20 setting. Which doesn't have to be bad. I like Star Wars and absolutely love the "Knights of the Old Republic Setting", which the same universe, but with very different people and places. But I also absolutely hate the "New Jedi Order" setting, which is also the same universe with it's own characters and places.
    But in my oppinion, this is usually too short sighted. Do I want to make another Pathifinder setting, or do I want a completely new and unique fantasy universe that can be the setting for an rpg campaign? I chose the later one and now just need a rules system to run that campaign with. Let's assume Pathfinder as a default, because I know the rules and it's popular. But every other system that can represent warriors, shamans, and witches would work as well.
    You can run a Lord of the Rings campaign playing with the 3.5e rules. You can run a Ghost in the Shell campaign playing with the Star Wars Saga rules. You can play a Mass Effect campaign playing with GURPS. But none of these fictional universes were made to include all the classes and special abilities that these rules systems offer. This is what I am doing here. And it's been done before. For example the Midnight setting is a setting for 3.5e, but it also has no problem in proclaiming, "there are no spellcasting classes except channeler, and rangers get replaced bil Wilders". And it's a really really great setting, not despite, but because it does some things drastically different, by completely changing how magic works. If some day someone releases a new RPG that would work much better for this world, I would probably switch.

    If at some point some groups decide they want to play in this setting, but also want to include druids, they can be included just like that, nothing is stopping them. But the setting as I write it is the default state.
    Last edited by Yora; 2011-09-08 at 07:57 AM.
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  20. - Top - End - #50
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    Default Re: [PF] Lands of the Barbarian Kings

    Note: I've compiled a lit of about 300 finnish, baltic, hungarian, japanese, and maori names and grouped them according to races. I think this should get me a rather nice consistency in NPC names without using names that are easily recognized by most people. It's amazing how to regions from opposite sides of the earth have so very similar names. ^^

    Basic Magic and Blood Magic

    To understand what magic can do and what it can't, it is helpful to understand what magic is supposed to be and how it is supposed to work. Limiting spellcasters to Charisma-based spontaneous casters makes it a lot easier to come up with a consistent system.

    The basis for magic in the Lands of the Barbarian Kings is quite similar to asian concepts of chi, but also draws from elements of european and african magic. A very good compariosn would also be the Force from Star Wars.
    The basic assumption of magic is, that all physical and chemical processes are based on energy. Or in this case, life energy. Animals have a very strong concentration of energy, which allows them to move, and rocks have very low concentrations, so they seem to do nothing. But life energy is present in everything in nature. Fire is a release of energy, as is punching someone in the face. Normally, creatures can effect life energy only indirectly. An example would be to use the hands to move stones, the stones create sparks, the sparks ignite leaves, and so on. Affecting the energy directly without physically handling object is magic.
    The first step in learning magic is to feel the energy within and outside oneself. Most warriors or athletes have learned this ability to a limited degree to put all their inner reserves of energy into a jump or a punch. But they are still limited to the energy that is part of their own body. Through meditation, oracles and sorcerers learn expend their sixth sense to a much greater scale. Spellcaster also learn to manipulate the energies within things, which can have dramatic effects of the things themselves: Turning air into fire, shaping solid rock, clouding the minds of people, or make plants grow at highly accelerated spead. But to manipulate the energy in an object, a spellcaster has to give it a "push" in the form of a wave or blast of his own personal life energy. Because of this, spellcasters can only cast a certain number of spells per day, once that ammount is passed, they just can't expell more energies from their own forms. However, all spellcasters learn do draw miniscule amounts of energy from their environment while they sleep, not only bringing their personal energy level back to their normal state, but also storing huge amounts of excess energy, which is their primary fuel for their spells. The amounts of life energy required for a spell is rather low though, so even several dozens of exhausted sorcerers resting at the same place wouldn't put a noticeable strain on the nearby plants and wildlife, just as their breathing doesn't deprive the environment of air.

    A healing spell is a strong infusion of almost pure life energy into a body, with just a minor alteration that turns the raw energy into highly accelerated healing. There is no Positive Energy plane or something like that.

    Corruption, negative energy, and Taint

    In this setting, Taint and negative energy are very closely intertwined. Basically, negative energy is the same thing as positive energy, but has been corrupted and twisted. A primary source of this corruption is demonic taint. All demons, regardless of their intentions, have a corrupting influence on the natural world. Wherever demons or demonic artifacts are, they immediately start to corrupt everything near them, which is called the Taint. In high concentrations, taint causes everything to die or mutate. When the taint is very high, even the bodies of the dead continue to suck up negative energy and become zombies and skeletons. Even more unfortunate ones don't exactly die and immediately turn into ghouls. Highly tainted souls can not merge with the pure life force of the environment, and unable to die become wraiths. The tainting influence of demons is rather low though, and it takes moths or years of immediate demonic presence to taint a place to the point where it creates undead.
    In this system, positive and negative energy are not opposing forces or one the opposite of the other. For gameplay purposes, they continue to work exactly as usually.

    Blood Magic


    In what is generally understood as traditional magic, spellcasters gather a pool of excess energy which they use to power their spells. However, this is not the original way that mortal spellcasters first discovered magic. As natural energy is what makes animals and humanoids alive, they possess one of the greatest concentrations of energy in everything that exist. And nowhere in the body is the life force so highly concentrated and pure as in the blood. The loss of blood can drain the strongest warriors and beasts of their energy within seconds and will kill them within a few minutes. The energy in the blood is what eneables the warrior and the athlete to push themselves beyond their ordinary limits. From pushing even way farther beyond, the first humanoids discovered the basic principles of magic before spellcasters learned to gather and storne excess energy to fuel their spells.
    Since then, blood magic has become very uncommon and pretty much forgotten in many places. Using the energy of ones own blood or the blood of others is not particularly evil and contrary to popular oppinion in no way linked to taint. However, it is extremely painful and draining for all participants, and in many cases highly gruesome and bloody. Only in a small number of relatively isolated villages is blood magic openly accepted and in many places it's even outlawed under severe penalties. Today, almost all blood mages can cast spells in the traditional way and even do so most of the time. However, many find the ability to draw on additional sources of spell energy highly useful.

    I have not yet decided how to integrate blood magic into the rules, but currently I am thinking of a feat that allows spontaneous application of metamagic feats at the expense of Constitution damage instead of higher spell slots and increased casting time. And there will also be a couple of secret blood spells that can only be cast by blood mages.
    Last edited by Yora; 2011-09-08 at 01:33 PM.
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  21. - Top - End - #51
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    Default Re: [PF] Lands of the Barbarian Kings

    I like a lot your idea of blood magic.
    It may have influenced the traditions of the tribes (all, some or just one).
    Maybe there's still the custom of animal sacrifice for blessing, celebrations or divination spells (like in the roman empire), a custom which most of the tribes forgot the origin.
    For the mechanics I agree with you, replaceing level increase o spellcasting time with blood is a good idea. Maybe the blood type or its origin can change the effect of the spell enhancement.
    You can also decide that metamagic feats effects are blood magic only, and casters who want to use them need to know blood magic.


    Also if you want, I'd like to help in the development of the fluff details for the setting: locations, tribes, and whatever you could use.
    Of course you decide what to use and what to discard, after all it is your world.

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    Default Re: [PF] Lands of the Barbarian Kings

    I think limiting metamagic to Blood is a bit extreme, personally. Much like Overchannel, I'd probably reinstitute Ability Burn so Oracles aren't just healing the damage afterward so they can meta more. Bringing Overchannel over would also be pretty damn neat.
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  23. - Top - End - #53
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    Default Re: [PF] Lands of the Barbarian Kings

    Of course, ability burn is a given. Also appropriate, as there's nothing with the body, the blood mage is simply draining its life force. It's not like poison or regular exhaution or something like that.
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    Default Re: [PF] Lands of the Barbarian Kings

    With the basic framework pretty much set, I now start to get into making rough sketches for the people that inhabit the setting, so when it gets to the details of specific places and people, there will be a good consistency in their cultures.

    On another note, I am using "historic time" instead of "fantasy time". From the Neolithic, when there was first something that could be regarded as civilization, to the present day, it has been just 10,000 years. Giving an approximate Bronze Age level to the Barbarian Lands, this shrinks down to under 7,000 years. Before that, we're talking about cavemen. Since short timeframes could get a bit silly with extremely long living people, live expectations are quite shorter than in D&D/PF. Elves can hypothetically live 300 years in rare cases and gnomes over 200, but all other races are more along what we have in the modern world. If they don't die from plague or get eaten by a bear. Which happens a lot.

    The Vandren


    The Vandren are the tribe I've earlier reffered to as Blackhairs. They are the largest human tribe and one of the native people of the region I want to start with.

    History
    The Vandren are a wild collection of human clans whose original homelands lie in the southern parts of the Great Plains that lie beyond the western borders of the Barbarian Lands. 600 years ago elven explorers discovered a human town near the gap between the Border Mountains and the southern jungles (see the maps here), whose people were on very good terms with the plains traveling merchants, and the town soon became a major trade hub for rare goods between the Barbarian Lands and the Great Plains. Very early elven merchants started to hire human mercenaries to guard the caravans with good back to the coastal regions where the elven lands are mostly located. As the humans faught well alongside elven warriors, some elven lords employed entire human units in their armies and with service in elven pay became highly regarded with the mercenaries, entire clans migrated to the Inner Sea to pledge allegiance to elven warlords. The greatest migration occured 400 to 300 years ago, when a large number of clans traveled through the large valley that seperates the southern jungles from the rest of the Barbarian Lands to found new homes in the Southern Coast region, that was sparesely inhabited at that time, even in compairison with the rest of the Barbarian Lands. Though originating mostly from three human tribes in the Great Plains, there was a high frequency of clans merging and splitting up during the migrations, and they are now collectively known as the Vandren, regardless of their tribal affiliation in the plains. Another group of humans had migrated into the Barbarian Lands a few centuries earlier and settled in the Northlands, but they are a completely different people.
    Today, only a very small number of Vandren are vasals of elven lords with the vast majority being completely independend clans. There are several larger Vandren towns, most of them in locations that had been along important roads of earlier people, as indicated by the large ruins that have been incorporated into the current settlements. Mostly however, Vandren settlements are small farming villages, clustered together according to clan affiliation. In recent generations, a couple of chiefs have become quite powerful and earned the honor of being counted among the Barbarian Kings.

    Physical Appearance
    Vandren are of average height and built for humans, but the most distinguishable features that sets them apart from other human tribes is their straight raven black hair. Except for very dark brown, other hair colors are virtually unknown among Vandren. Eye colors are mostly brown or blue.

    Culture
    The majority of Vandren live in small village of a few dozens of families, that consists of a few hundred individuals in total. A family consists of all members of a household, regardless of their blood relationship to each other. The head of the family is the patriarch or matriarch, who is the sole owner of all the families land and animals and the legal representative of all members of the family. Usually, the position of patriarch or matriarch gets passed on to the eldest child of the former head of the family, but if none are eligible, the position is transfered to his or hers siblings or nephews and nieces. If no other preference is given by the passing head of the family, the position gets to the person who is related most closely to the last or any former heads of the family. Though many families are headed by matriarchs, younger sons are often prefered over their older sisters, particularly in families with strong warrior traditions.
    More important for social status than gender is being part of the clans warriors or the general population. Though they are relatively few in number, women can become warriors and usually have a higher status than men who are not. Vandren warriors are known for their leather trousers, which are usually made from brown or sand colored leather. While the wearing of these trousers is not forbidden to non-warriors, most warriors would never allow to be seen without them. If they wear only a single piece of clothing, it will be these trousers, everything else is considered highly inappropriate.

    Slaves
    Like most people in the Barbarian Lands except most wood elves, the Vendren keep slaves, which make up over a third of their population. There are two types of slaves known in Vendren society. Serfs belong to the chief of the clan and often have their own houses or even entire farms, and support the keep or castle of the chief. Thralls are slaves that are kept by individual families, but there is usually no more than three to five of them per family. Like serfs, thralls nominally belong to the chief, but have been given to individual families as rewards or payment. As individual Vandren have very few personal belongings and are entirely dependent on the head of the family for food and shelter, life for most thralls is not very different than for freemen. Usually it is prefered that serfs volunteer to become thralls in smaller families, as these families can not afford to be bothering with troublesome slaves. Thralls that make too much trouble can be returned to the chief as serfs, where they will probably be assigned to the most unpleasant and dangerous tasks. Generally, the life of a thrall is very similar to that of a farmhand, except that the only way to leave the families service is to become a serf again, which most slaves prefer to avoid.
    Thralls may not be killed or tortured, which is still considered a crime, even when done by their keepers. However, a family can claim only much smaller reperations for an attack on a thrall than for one against a freeman.
    Slaves are not allowed to wear their hair long. Some family heads allow their thralls to wear their hair as long as to the shoulders, but every slave cought with longer hair will get his head shaved and may get a beating by their masters. However, it is not uncommon for freemen to have short hair, especially when they think that it is out of the question that anyone could mistake them for slaves, which applies mostly to veteran warriors.

    Vandren Names
    Vandren usually have only a single given name. Members of large and powerful families, such as those of sub-chiefs are also known by the name of their family, but smaller families usally carry no name. Outstanding individuals often carry epithets that refer to famous deeds or other distinguishing characteristics.
    Female names: Anna, Anya, Eleka, Elena, Ella, Gema, Hanna, Iona, Katriona, Kora, Mara, Maren, Mari, Mira, Netta, Nora, Ronya, Sana, Tanya, Valdis, Vilte, Yana, Yanina, Yeneka.
    Male names: Akiva, Anto, Aras, Digod, Donat, Elek, Halva, Haren, Kenan, Kinon, Kota, Linas, Meran, Nial, Niko, Pavo, Tama, Tarik, Tonis, Varik, Veiko, Yanis, Yuho.
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  25. - Top - End - #55
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    Default Re: [PF] Lands of the Barbarian Kings

    I like this entry, as I feel the context works. There would definitely be a reason why they left the plains, but it might also be good to leave it open so that a DM could make up what they wanted, and it would be a major quest. Also, I'd include some family or clan names, because otherwise naming might get silly.

    Also, looking back at the Kaas, maybe you could give them Orcish Ferocity (refluffled to Kass Ferocity) Basically he can stay up an extra round if knocked below 0 hp as if disabled, which would fit their style from what I can tell, but wouldn't be a big boost. Also, you are aware that PF intentionally had their races with the +2 to two specific stats have one mental and one physical. Just checking that you want to break from the norm.

    And it would be nice if you could let Sorc's cast from Wis and Oracles cast from Cha to allow more versatility in the spell casting classes, but I know you want it your way and that's fine.

    Last thing: Since it is your setting, maybe have a note with some of the more out-there ideas of what you hope to accomplish. That would help the conversation focus on helping you achieve what you want instead of us throwing out what we feel should be in the setting.
    Last edited by Omeganaut; 2011-09-11 at 03:15 PM.
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    Default Re: [PF] Lands of the Barbarian Kings

    Ferocity would work, but it seems to me like an almost useless ability. In my experience, characters very rarely fall under 1 hp and that window of 10 hp becomes really small very soon after the very first levels. I believe it's something that maybe gets written on the sheet at character creation, and gets instantly forgotten. If anyone even remembers to put it on the sheet.
    The idea is a cool one, but in practive it seems like just additional irrelevant baggage.

    Wisdom-Sorcerer is an idea I think I have to spend some thoughts on. Might really have its merrits. However, oracles already are Cha-based.

    What kind of out-there aspects are you thinking about? I think I don't actually want any drastically unusual elements in the setting. The main idea is to have a prehistoric setting with a good consistency. Fantastic elements yes, but a world about ordinary people, not about epic heroes changing the fate of the world every two months. The starting point was "what if we have a generic fantasy world, but 4,000 years earlier in the timeline, when the forests were not all cleared yet, elves and dwarves were doing well, and dragons and giants were still really major players in regional events?" The second thing is that this setting should not be just the modern world with swords and magic. I want cultures that are internally consistent, but don't just coppy modern western values. Oracles as shamans and slaves are both important parts of that. Many fantasy settings have evil slavers who raze villages and send everyone to die in the mines, but that's not really how slavery works. The ordinary well meaning people who employ slaves to work on their farms without laughing manically from delight over the slaves suffering are something you usually never get.
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  27. - Top - End - #57
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    Default Re: [PF] Lands of the Barbarian Kings

    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    Ferocity would work, but it seems to me like an almost useless ability. In my experience, characters very rarely fall under 1 hp and that window of 10 hp becomes really small very soon after the very first levels.
    Changed in Pathfinder: now you don't die until you reach negative hp equal to your constitution score.

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    Default Re: [PF] Lands of the Barbarian Kings

    By out there, I meant departing from the core rules, where the rule-makers try to be more inclusive rather than building based on the theme of the place.

    I was mistaken about the Oracle. I was just thinking some casters (without book learning, which logically = Int) drew power from inner peace, and others from their force of personality, both divine and arcane. I just felt that having Wis and Cha based casters could help make more diversity, rather than i guess all casters being faces for the party (due to the fact that other classes would probably let Cha be a dump stat).
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    Default Re: [PF] Lands of the Barbarian Kings

    The Empyral Bloodline lets a sorcerer key off wisdom instead of Charisma.

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    Default Re: [PF] Lands of the Barbarian Kings

    Since I am again in the middle of a lot of work, only a short update this time:

    Spell Tattoos

    Spell tattoos come in two types, permanent tattoos and temporary paint runes.

    Painted runes work exactly like potions, but can be activated with a mental command as a move action. This benefit is mitigated by the fact that once drawn, a rune can not be sold or given to other people. The target of the rune is always the wearer.

    Permanent tattoos are a type of permanent magic items. They function exactly like worn items and take up item slots. A character with a spell tattoo can not suppress the tattoo to benefit from other items that would occupy the same item slot. Tattoos usually occupy the head, neck, torso, shoulders, and finger slots. A tattoo can not occupy the armor and eyes slots.
    Tattoos can only be removed by magic that would destroy other magic items. Damaging the skin does not destroy the tattoo, and all tattoos are restored when a dead character is ressurrected, except when the body was severely enough destroy that it could not be raised with a raise dead spell (however the time limit of raise dead is not a factor in this case). Magic tattoos can be expanded and improved like other magic items with the same additional costs for adding abilities to existing magic items.
    Magic tattoos can not be stolen or sundered, but can also not be sold or removed without destroying them. To calculate the price for creating tattoos, calculate the cost just as if for normal magic items and multiply the final value by .75.

    Natural Attack Tattoos
    Spellcasters with the natural weapon spell can create special tattoos on the hands and feet that turn them into natural weapons that deal damage as gauntlets do. Once such tattoos are created, they can be enhanced just like gauntlets.
    Both hands and feet count as seperate natural weapons that must be enchanted seperately.
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