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  1. - Top - End - #61
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    Default Re: [PF] Lands of the Barbarian Kings

    Hmm, I'd recommend there be some expensive spell or another to allow starting from scratch, something with a long casting time so you don't have a combat usage situation. Otherwise, I can only think of Disjunction removing stuff, as Dispel Magic and its bigger brother only suppress magic items, not destroy. Probably be in the 4th-5th level power bracket, I'd gander, when meta spells start rearing their head.
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    Default Re: [PF] Lands of the Barbarian Kings

    Spells would be too powerful. It'd be like a spell that permanently removes feats. Maybe rather something along the line of un-crafting.
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  3. - Top - End - #63
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    Default Re: [PF] Lands of the Barbarian Kings

    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    Spells would be too powerful. It'd be like a spell that permanently removes feats. Maybe rather something along the line of un-crafting.
    Hence why I said expensive, time consuming spell, making more of a ritual than anything. And spells/powers that mess with feats already exist (Psychic Reformation/Shun/Embrace the Dark Chaos). Make it a feat, incantation, whatever you feel like, it's just nice to have options open, y'know?
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  4. - Top - End - #64
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    Default Re: [PF] Lands of the Barbarian Kings

    As a fellow compulsive world-builder, I'm a big fan of your work. Sorry to see the other world go by the wayside (I would've loved more about the Kidari--perhaps a refluffing?) but this one is off to a good start. I enjoy especially your stance against 'rules creep' and love of conceptually simple worlds drawn with an eye for complex societies.

    I know that others mentioned the Ultimate Combat book, but allow me to suggest you check out especially the Fragile condition for primitive weapons. It gives a chance of the weapon breaking (on a critical fail) and really changes the feel of combat. Also, I love the spell tattoos! I plan to implement them at some point in the future, once I see how the kinks work out here. Did you consider giving Oracles the Druid spell list? That would effectively allow a shapeshifter, and the spells would fit the theme quite well.

    Also, will you be continuing your work with E6? I hope more people start working on and posting ideas about that variant.
    Last edited by Anathemata; 2011-10-02 at 09:02 AM.
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  5. - Top - End - #65
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    Default Re: [PF] Lands of the Barbarian Kings

    I think Barbarian Kings is more of a second attempt at Ancient Lands, but this time with a stronger focus on the themes I really wanted to capture from the very beginning. With Ancient Lands, I somehow started to throw in all kind of stuff that didn't really belong to the core concept. With Barbarian Kings, I went back to the point where I think I was still spot on and start again from there.

    One major point is that with Ancient Lands, I pretty much ended up with creating a new d20 game that is customized for the setting, but I think I really want to go through all that work. The rules system is not a very important thing for me when I run a campaign and I want the setting to be able to stand on its own without a specific RPG system to back it up. So now I write things as I think they should be, and then give it a second thought on how to represent that with the Pathfinder rules.
    E6 is a very interesting idea, but I think it's not really neccessary for what I have in mind. In the 12 years or so that I have been running campaigns, only two have ever passed 8th level, one was one of my very first and the other was a mid-to-high-level premade adventure. So I never have the problem of PCs reaching the ceiling of individual power that I have in mind for a heroic fantasy campaign so E6 never really becomes relevant for the players. And if I want to limit the power of the NPCs that inhabit the world, I can simply say "No character has ever gained enough XP to reach 11th level" and that's it. If I run a dozen campaigns and maybe in one I'll ever end up with 6th level characters that have 2 Epic Feats, I don't think it's worth to go through all the effort of comming up with ways to have the pccasional 5th level spell or powerful magic item in the world.

    Now that I have a huge load of work off my shoulders, I'll soon be posting new stuff here. I've actually started on developing some ideas over the weekend.
    Last edited by Yora; 2011-10-03 at 05:27 AM.
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  6. - Top - End - #66
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    Default Re: [PF] Lands of the Barbarian Kings

    As you see this is not keeping going, but not because I didn't work on the setting, but rather because I'm stuck.

    I think what makes a setting fascinating instead of just some generic fantasy world is a strong narrative. Even if there is no world-spanning main plot, a world really starts to feel alive when it's history becomes a story.

    Since moral ambiguity and different views of things are a central point of the setting, the history will be what the people tell, not what the author states what actually happens. This leaves a lot of interpretation who is right and who is wrong and also keeps the mystery from beeing sucked from the setting, as everyone knows what things are facts and what are false rumors.

    People use narratives to explain almost everything related to history or society. Usually changes to a country or a continent are the result of millions of people interacting over decades or centuries, but once everything is done, it is all reduced to a handful of important events and the work of a small group of influential figures. "Because there was A, the people did B. And then X can forward and started C to do D to Y. And because of that, today there is E and F." Every time we explain a behavior, we order things by putting them into a single continous chain of events, even when in reality, a huge number of influencing factors get ignored. But that's how human brains make sense of the world.
    To make a setting come alive, you need such a narrative with important events and famous people, and in this regard I'm kind of stuck. However, I've already a very rough overall timeline of events in mind. Maybe some of you get ideas from this that might inspire me to further develop the setting.

    Overview of the Barbarian Lands History
    This is the interpretation that has the widest concensus among the historians, priests, and storytellers of the Barbarian Lands. The major discrepancies usually lie more in the details.

    The Primordial Age
    The Primordial Age is the era of the world from which virtually nothing is known. It was a time in which even the current kinds of spirits did not exist, or did not yet have the capacities to make sense of their world and share their knowledge with others. A few sages believe that during this era, the Inner Worlds (Mortal, Spirit, and Shadow) were not yet completely seperate from the Void and demons could pass much more easily between them. But as the walls between the worlds solidified, some demons found that they could no longer return to the Void and had become trapped. And just like the Inner Worlds took solid shape, so did the demons, which became the Elder Aberrations. As true demons, they are completely immortal and time has no meaning for them, so they are still believed to exist, hidden in the depths of the earth, where conditions are still very similar to what they had been millions of years ago.

    The Age of Spirits
    Several thousands of years ago, beings from the spiritworld, primarily shee, naga, and oni, began to create castles and cities in the world of mortals. Their civilizations had existed in the Spiritworld for a very long time at that point, and nobody really knows why they started to settle the Mortal World. In some places, the fey people bagan to capture primitive and save lizardfolk and elves, and educated them to become useful slaves and servants in their palaces. Both wood elves and dark elves agree that the elven slaves were almost entirely wood elves with basically none or only a very few dark elves ever serving the spirits, but for entirely different reasons. For the dark elves, it is a source of pride, that their civilizations have never been under the rule of other creatures, while the wood elves regard it as a sign that the dark elves are truly savage and never recieved the knowledge of the fey, but rather stole everything from other races or salvaged it from ancient ruins.

    But about 4,000 years ago, the shee increasingly abandoned their dwellings in the Mortal World and returned to the Spiritworld, and also the numbers of naga experienced a significant decline, though they are still around in considerable numbers. There is a huge number of theories around, why the fey people abandoned their cities in the Mortal World, but almost every sage agrees, that they are just pure speculation. As the shee and naga made great use of magic in the construction of their castles, there are still hundreds if not thousands of ancient ruins, that are still remarkedly preserved, and probably an even larger numbers of collapsed basements and broken walls covered by the forests and jungles, or hidden under the sea.

    When the fey people left, they mostly just abandoned their mortal servants and left them behind to their own fates.

    The Age of Dawn
    For about the next two thousand years, no major civilizations existed in the Barbarian Lands. The elven and many lizardfolk servants returned to the wilderness and spread out among the other savage clans. Even without ever having had access to the most advanced technologies and magic of their spirit masters, a few isolated groups maintained the basic knowledge of working metal, agriculture, and magic. While a lot of it is assumed to have been lost early in the Age of Dawn, much had been preserved by the lorekeepers and been handed down through the generations.

    There are not many reports or stories about the Dawn Age, and what little is known are mostly legends with few actual clues that would validate their truth. However, in the last centuries of the Age of Dawn, agriculture started to become widespread throughout all the Barbarian Lands, laying the foundations for the first true humanoid civilizations.

    The Age of Clans
    Civilization in the Barbarian Lands made a big leap forward 2,000 years ago by many of the humanoid people adapting the basics of farming. Instead of hunting and forraging for food in small family groups of a few dozen individuals, people now started to permanently settle down and started to band together in alliances of several thousands of people. The leaders of these alliances became the first clan chieftains and later the ancestors of the clans. The oldest clans arose among the elves and some time later among the gnomes, with clans of Kaas following several centuries later. The lizardfolk never developed clans and instead formed much larger kingdoms based around the ancient cities abandoned by the naga.

    There are lots of stories from the age of clans, a great number telling about the ancestors of the clans and how they gathered nomadic bands under their rule and claimed the lands of their clan. Unsuprisingly, every clan tells quite different stories about which chieftain defeated another in battle or in duels, and how high the ransoms were, that were paid by defeated enemies.

    The Age of Clans lasted over a thousand years, and were dominated by fierce competition over rare resources like ore mines and fertile farmland. By controlling these valuable resources, a chieftain could attract more warriors to his banner and forge the most beneficial alliances, so competetion was frequent and violent, but generally limited to small scale displays of power. The period came slowly to an end with advances in agriculture and transportation. Goods could now be traded much more easily over longer distances, and farmers leanred to grow much more food even on ground of average quality, so controlling specific mines or valleys became much less vital to the chieftains to maintain strong armies and feed their people.
    Instead, their attention switched to much more valuable goods, as well as improving the size and defenses of their home villages. With food and bronze in ready supply and extra wealth to spend there was a virtual gold rush on quality iron and steel, as well as silver and more exotic luxuries. However, these things were scare in the lands of the elven clans and came mostly from far away places. As a result, long distance trade experienced a massive boom over the course of just a few (admitedly elven) generations. However, with huge areas of wilderness between lands of the clans and the gnomish mines in the north, and human traders in the Southeast, the chieftains required a lot of guards to protect the caravans and defend their more and more complex and advanced castles. While a few kaas were employed by some elven chieftains, the primary source of mercenaries were the human nomads of the plains in the East.

    The Age of Kings
    With the widespread appearance of fortified towns and the arrival of humans, the Barbarian Lands experienced a new period of great change. Everyone wanted to have a share of the highly profitable trade of goods from the North and the East and for about two centuries there was almost constant warfare among the clans to settle control over trade alliances, roads, and strategic harbours. But eventually control changed hands less and less frequently and things finally started to settle down a bit and return to normality some 500 years ago. While many chieftains had lost much in the strugle for wealth and power and others were just fortunate to keep control over most of their clans possessions, a few fortunate ones saw a huge boost in the power and influence of their clans, with many smaller clans becoming their vasals. These chieftains became known as the Barbarian Kings.

    As the war and fighting decreased, so did the need for mercenaries, and instead of returning to the plains, most of the mercenaries, many of which had been born in the Barbarian Lands, permanently settled down on the coasts of the Inner Sea. Some forming their own independent principalities, while others became vasals to elven kings. Since then, humans have become one of the important races of the Barbarian Lands, with the barbarians of the Northern Sea and the Islands of the Inner Sea, who had lived hidden in the wilderness for thousands of years, also beginning to play a biger role and seeing increased contact with other people.


    ---


    This is the basic framework that I already have. I think one way to continue from here would be creating stories for a few major chieftains and mercenary leaders and see if I kind of can weave them together into a single main story. But to create a narrative how we got here, I think it's also important where "here" is, or I end up with something completely generic.
    If anyone has ideas, please share.

    Edit: Turns out this approach works actually really great. I've been going through all my favorite novels, movies, and games and already have a list of 40 characters who would make great blueprints for the personalties of major NPCs.
    Who would have thought that General Grievous from Star Wars and the Ship Master from Halo would make great Lizardfolk Kings.
    If you can think of any characters you think would make great chieftains or warlords in a world of copeting barbarian tribes, please share.
    Last edited by Yora; 2011-10-11 at 04:51 PM.
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  7. - Top - End - #67
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    Default Re: [PF] Lands of the Barbarian Kings

    I think that the biggest problem with fantasy history is that most are actual chains of events set in a fixed pattern, at least, as regarded by the inhabitants of the world. I say your history should be an oral history, told by a storyteller and not necessarily told the same way twice. While you would need one definite narrative to derive from, it shouldn't be complete, and it should focus on some events and ignore others. Only a historian would be concerned with how events influenced each other, and from you setting description such historians would be rare. In fact, I'm in favor of letting individual DM's decide the details for themselves so that the can personalize the adventurers and story arcs. What is important, especially since you want to run this setting for your own use, is to establish major events for each tribe, mythical and real, and weave those together into a story. I'd look at how J.R.R. Tolkein works his history into his books (not including the books meant to be real histories of the events), as it is important background information, but it is not necessarily complete by any means. I'd also look at the Old Testament (not religiously, but as a historical document of the formation and development of Israel), as this would be a great idea of the form such a history would take.

    TL; DR Tell your history like the storyteller of each tribe would tell it, as that would improve how real your world feels.
    Last edited by Omeganaut; 2011-10-11 at 07:53 PM.
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  8. - Top - End - #68
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    Default Re: [PF] Lands of the Barbarian Kings

    Area and Population

    The Age old pain in the lower back with coming up with the right numbers for distances and the number of people in a fictional world. It's not only science fiction writers, who constantly get ti completely wrong.

    I think when it comes to the aspect of time, I already have a pretty good baseline. From the development of agriculture to the present, it has been roughly 10,000 years. Given that the Barbarian Lands setting is in an early Iron Age stage, it would be about 1,000 BC, shortening the timespan to 7,000 years. Given that a great deal of eisting technology has been rediscovered from fey ruins, a time of 4,000 years since the slaves of the fey were released into the wilds seems a good timeframe.

    Regarding distances and the area we're talking about here, I think about 1,800 miles or 3,000 km from north to south is a good starting point, and since I like maps in standard page format, that ends up with 2,400 miles or 4,000 km east to west. On Earth, that would be an area that could include Helsinki in the very North and Athens in the very South, Anchorage and San Francisco, or Sapporo and Hong Kong. That allows for a very nice range in climates from sub-arctic in the very North to just shy of tropic in the South. Make the planet a bit smaller than Earth and add some air and ocean currents, and you have a physically plausible climate.
    In total, this makes an area of 12 million square kilometers. Say 2/5th will be water, for a total of 7,2 million square kilometers of mainland and islands. That is a bit smaller than Australia and about 70% the size of Europe (including western Russia).

    Earths population in 1,000 BC is estimated at 50 million, so as one center of civilization on the world, I think 10 million is a good number for the major humanoid population of the Barbarian Lands. Giants, and fey, and merfolk, and such are not included in that number. Even with an avarage of about 10,000 individuals per clan, that's still enough for 1,000 clans. A pretty good number I guess.

    The idea is that pretty much all civilization is bunched into only 10% of the land, with the rest being completely uninhabited. If you think there's some flaw in these numbers, please tell. And do so before I did to much work based on them.


    NPC Levels
    The Lands of the Barbarian Kings are intended to be a low-level to low mid-level setting. To put this into perspective and to give myself a guideline for setting the level of NPCs, I've written this list of character levels and what the levels are implying.

    CR 1/4: Characters of this strength are always noncombatants. Most are children and young adults or domestic servants who lack any experience in hard or difficult work. These characters are almost always 1st level commoners.
    CR 1/3: These characters are people who have started the very beginning of their training as warriors or craftsmen, or untrained laborers who are used to hard work. Characters of this level are 1st level experts and warriors, or 2nd level commoners.
    CR 1/2: Characters of this level are warriors and craftsmen who have completed their training, as well as warriors and spellcasters who have mastered the basics of their advanced training but lack any actual experience. Most player characters start at this level and set out into the real world to put the things they learned to the test. Commoners rarely advance beyond this point without without taking up another class.
    CR 1: At this level characters have real experience of battle under they belt and begin to advance beyond the simple basics of combat, magic, and craftsmanship. Most of them are veteran warriors and skilled craftsmen.
    CR 2: When characters reach this level, they start to really stand out of the crowds. Warriors of this strength are usually given minor positions of leadership, craftsmen can call themselves masters of their trade, and a some spellcasters start to settle down to increase their magical knowledge on their own or take over small shrines.
    CR 3-4: Only very few characters who are not warriors or spellcasters ever reach this level of strength and power. Warriors with this much experience have proven their prowess again and again and are famous among their fellow clansmen. They are the ones who sit at the tables and fires of chieftains and command great respect by the people of their clans and visitors who know their place. Shamans are treated as full equals among their higher ranking peers and witches gain the reputation that their magic can do the things they claim to offer for payment.
    CR 5-6: Characters who have reached this level of experience are no longer just veterans, but become true leaders among their kind. Most sub-chiefs are of at least this level and their deeds are the ones that will still be told by coming generations. Shamans of this level are often the head priest of entire clans and have several apprentices and assistants under their leadership.
    CR 7-8: When a character reaches this level of power and skill, he can rightfully consider himself among the heroes of his people. They are the ones who slay powerful beasts and magical monsters and have the spirits and elements at their call. Many are the champions of their clans, tasked by their chieftains to deal with the most dangerous threats and delicate situations that can not be trusted to anyone else.
    CR 9: This is the level of great leaders and truly outstanding individuals. They are the chieftains, warlords, and generals, who lead the armies into the major battles that shape the course of history.
    CR 10: Characters at this level are the stuff of legend. They have slain beasts that could kill a hundred experienced warriors and faced off against horrors that normal people couldn't even imagine. There are only a very few dozens of individuals alive at any time, who can claim to possess this level of skill and power.
    CR 11: Only a very small handful of people of any generation ever becomes so powerful that they reach this level. They represent the absolute limit of what mortals have ever reached in martial skill and magical power.
    Last edited by Yora; 2011-10-21 at 01:12 PM.
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  9. - Top - End - #69
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    Monsters

    Fey Giant

    As very few people know the name by which these spirits refer to themselves and they are usually not very talktive, they are mostly simply called fey giants. Fey giants are tall humanoids standing up to 10 feet tall and appear like muscular elves with pale green skin. Most make their homes deep inside the oldest forest and are almost never found in lands settled by humanoids, but they are not very hostile to solitary intruders when compared to other fey. Despite their size they are very capable at hiding themselves and leave no signs of their passing at all.
    Many fey giants live alone or in very small families, but they always keep very close relationships with the other fey giants living nearby and cooperate very well together when danger threatens their lands. Though they spend much of their time alone wandering the forests and hills, anyone who is stopped by a fey giant is usually dealing with four to six of them, with most keeping their distance and watching, not revealing themselves when not needed.

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    Fey Giant - CR 7
    XP 3,200
    Large humanoid (giant, spirit)
    Init +5; Senses low-light vision; Perception +11
    ---
    AC 20, touch 14, flat-footed 15 (+3 armor, +5 Dex, +4 natural, -1 size)
    hp 67 (9d8+27)
    Fort +9, Ref +8, Will +7
    Defensive Abilities rock catching; DR 5/cold iron; Resist cold 10, electricity 10, fire 10; SR 12
    ---
    Speed 40 ft.
    Melee spear +10/+5 (2d6+7/19-20)
    Melee 2 slams +10 (1d6+5)
    Ranged mwk composite longbow +11/+6 (2d6+5/x3)
    Space 10 ft.; Reach 10 ft.
    Special Attacks smite 1/day (+1 to attack and damage rolls)
    Spell-Like Abilities (CL 7th; concentration +8):
    Constant - pass without trace, speak with animals
    3/day - charm animal (DC 12), quench, tree shape
    1/day - enlarge person (self only), spike growth
    ---
    Abilities Str 20, Dex 21, Con 17, Int 14, Wis 15, Cha 12
    Base Atk +6; CMB +12; CMD 27
    Feats Deadly Aim, Iron Will, Point-Blank Shot, Precise Shot, Stealthy
    Skills Acrobatics +8 (+12 jump), Climb +14, Escape Artists +7, Knowledge (nature) +8, Perception +11, Profession (farmer) +8, Stealth +9 (+13 in forests), Survival +8; Racial Modifiers +4 Stealth in forests
    Languages -
    Gear leather armor, spear, masterwork composite longbow

    I noticed that wood giants are already pretty much what I wanted to get, so I just added a modified celestial template to make them survive the Spiritworld.


    Mountain Troll

    Mountain trolls are larger cousins of ogres. Their thik hides are the color of rock and they mostly lack any form of hair. They spend most of the day in caves and only come outside at night, which makes them sensitive to bright light. Though they can speak, they rarely do so, especially to strangers.
    Like giants, mountain trolls are excelent rock throwers.

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    Mountain Troll - CR 5
    XP 1,600
    Large humanoid (giant)
    Init -1; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +5
    ---
    AC 16, touch 8, flat-footed 16 (-1 Dex, +8 natural, -1 size)
    hp 51 (6d8+24)
    Fort +7, Ref +0, Will +1
    Weakness light sensitivity
    ---
    Speed 40 ft.
    Melee greatclub +11 (2d8+10)
    Melee 2 slams +11 (1d6+7)
    Ranged rock +4 (1d8+10)
    Space 10 ft.; Reach 10 ft.
    Special Attacks rock throwing (80 ft.)
    ---
    Abilities Str 25, Dex 8, Con 17, Int 6, Wis 10, Cha 7
    Base Atk +4; CMB +11; CMD 20
    Feats Power Attack, Toughness
    Skills Climb +16, Perception +5, Survival +5; Racial Modifiers +4 Climb
    Languages -
    ---
    Gear greatclub


    Reaver


    Reavers are a race of powerful humanoids from the spiritworld that look like a cross between an ogre, a wolf, and a lion with large horns. They are among the more socialable of the creatures of the spiritworld along with the shee and the naga, but have never created any grand civilizations and live mostly in small clans. What temples and strongholds they have are mostly ruins abandoned by other people or crudely decorated caves.
    Reavers are not outright evil creatures like many demons, but they are truly savage and fighting and carnage. Despite their wild nature, their leaders are usually the smartest of the group and not just the strongest and their shamans can be suprisingly adapt at magic. Even their greatest leaders can very rarely outsmart capable commanders of the humanoid races, but they are not foolish and are suprisingly difficult to lure into traps and ambushes.
    To people who can survive the powerful forces of nature in the spiritworld, reavers are usually the greatest threat, but when bands of them can make it to the world of mortals, they can wreck serious havoc on settled areas. The best way to deal with them is usually to let them break some doors and punch the constable in the face, and allow them to ransack through foodstores and appease them with some cheap jewelry. Usually they get bored quickly and start searching for a new target, while enjoying their victory. However, when they decide to set up camp, they can be really difficult to get rid off. Eventually they'll leave, but not before having plundered the food stores of all surrounding villages.

    Spoiler
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    Ravager - CR 5
    XP 1,600
    Large monstrous humanoid (spirit)
    Init +0; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +10
    ---
    AC 14, touch 9, flat-footed 14 (+5 armor, -1 size)
    hp 45 (6d10+12)
    Fort +6, Ref +5, Will +5
    DR 5/cold iron; Resist cold 10, electricity 10, fire 10; SR 10
    ---
    Speed 30 ft.
    Melee greataxe +9/+4 (3d6+6/x3) and gore +4 (1d6+4)
    Space 10 ft.; Reach 10 ft.
    Special Attacks powerful charge (gore +11, 2d6+6)
    ---
    Abilities Str 19, Dex 10, Con 15, Int 7, Wis 10, Cha 8
    Base Atk +6; CMB +11; CMD 21
    Feats Great Fortitude, Improved Bull Rush, Power Attack
    Skills Intimidate +5, Perception +10, Stealth +2, Survival +10; Racial Modifiers +4 Perception, +4 Survival
    Languages -
    Gear greataxe

    This pretty much made itself. It's a minotaur with the spirit template and the natural cunning ability removed.


    Wood Troll

    Wood trolls are large spirits standing over ten feet tall and despite their gaunt appearance are even stronger than ogres. The skin of wood trolls is mottled green and brown and covered in moss-like skin in many places that makes them very hard to spot in forests.
    They are a lot smarter than they look like and often end up leading small bands of ogres and reavers, but are thankfully rather rare.

    Spoiler
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    Wood Troll - CR 6
    XP 2,400
    Large monstrous humanoid (spirit)
    Init +1; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +11
    ---
    AC 18, touch 10, flat-footed 16 (+1 Dex, +8 natural, -1 size)
    hp 63 (6d10+30)
    Fort +9, Ref +6, Will +4
    DR 5/cold iron, Resist cold 10, electricity 10, fire 10, SR 11
    ---
    Speed 40 ft.
    Melee 2 claws +12 (1d6+6)
    Space 10 ft.; Reach 10 ft.
    Special Attacks rend (2 claws, 1d6+9)
    ---
    Abilities Str 25, Dex 12, Con 19, Int 10, Wis 14, Cha 11
    Base Atk +6; CMB +13; CMD 24
    Feats Power Attack, Toughness
    Skills Climb +16, Perception +11, Stealth +10 (+16 in forests), Survival +11; Racial Modifiers +6 Stealth in forest
    Languages -
    ---
    Rend (Ex) When a wood troll hits a target with both claw attacks in one round, it can automatically rend and deal an additional 1d6+9 points of damage.

    The only thing I'm not quite happy about is the lack of special abilities. I'd like to have them have some basic supernatural powers, but have no real idea what would work great.
    Last edited by Yora; 2011-10-31 at 09:21 AM.
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    Default Re: [PF] Lands of the Barbarian Kings

    Shee

    Together with the naga, oni, and reavers, the shee are one of the major races of the spiritworld. The shee are tall humanoids standing over 7 feet tall and have a passing resamblance to tall and athletic elves. Their exact appearance varies widely, with all kinds of skin, hair, and eye colors that are often not found in mortal humanoids. About one in three shee has a pair of wings, which miracolously allows them to fly even though they can't generate enough lift by themselves. Small horns of goats and deers are less common.

    Though much more numerous than genies, their mortal offspring (aasimars) are less common than sylphs (air genasi) and oreads (earth genasi) in the barbarian lands.

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    Shee - CR 4
    XP 1,200
    Medium outsider (spirit)
    Init +6; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +11
    ---
    AC 18, touch 13, flat-footed 15 (+4 armor, +2 Dex, +1 dodge, +1 natural)
    hp 39 (6d10+6)
    Fort +6, Ref +7, Will +4
    DR 5/cold iron, Resist cold 10, electricity 10, fire 10, SR 9
    ---
    Speed 30 ft., fly 20 ft. (perfect); 20 ft.
    Melee scimitar +8/+3 (1d6+3/18–20)
    Ranged composite longbow +8/+3 (1d8+2/×3)
    Spell-Like Abilities (CL 8th)
    3/day—invisibility (self only), plane shift (willing targets to spiritworld only), speak with animals
    ---
    Abilities Str 14, Dex 15, Con 13, Int 14, Wis 15, Cha 14
    Base Atk +6; CMB +9; CMD 22
    Feats Combat Reflexes, Dodge, Improved Initiative(B), Mobility
    Skills Appraise +11, Craft (any one—usually weaponsmith) +11, Fly +14, Perception +11, Ride +6, Sense Motive +11, Spellcraft +11, Stealth +6
    Languages -
    Gear composite longbow, chain shirt, scimitar

    I just realized that a jann genie is very close to what I have in mind for the shee. So I added the modified celestial creature template for spirit creatures and removed some of the spell-like abilities, which should keep the CR where I want it.


    Nymph

    Nymphs are among the most powerful spirits of nature and regarded in many places as minor deities. They are the local spirits of many prominent natural features, like ancients trees, large rocks, and lakes. These natural features are actually the nymphs actual bodies, their physical forms are more akin to avatars.

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    Nymph - CR 8
    XP 4,800
    Medium outsider (spirit)
    Init +5; Senses low-light vision; Perception +14
    Aura blinding beauty (30 ft., DC 21)
    ---
    AC 23, touch 23, flat-footed 17 (+7 deflectiom, +5 Dex, +1 Dodge)
    hp 76 (8d10+32)
    Fort +17, Ref +18, Will +16
    DR 10/cold iron; Resist cold 10, electricity 10, fire 10; SR 17
    ---
    Speed 30 ft., swim 20 ft.
    Melee cold iron dagger +14 (1d4/19-20)
    Special Attacks stunning glance
    Spell-Like Abilities (CL 8th):
    1/day - dimension door
    Spells Known (CL 7th; concentration +14):
    3rd (6/day) - dispel magic, water breathing
    2nd (8/day) - barkskin, lesser restoration, summon monster II
    1st (8/day) - charm animal, cure light wounds, endure elements, obscuring mist, remove fear
    0 (at will) - create water, detect magic, detect poison, guidance, light, purify food and drink, stabilize
    ---
    Abilities Str 10, Dex 21, Con 18, Int 16, Wis 17, Cha 25
    Base Atk +8; CMB +13; CMD 31
    Feats Agile Maneuvers, Combat Casting, Dodge, Weapon Finesse
    Skills Diplomacy +18, Escape Artist +16, Handle Animal +15, Heal +11, Knowledge (nature) +14, Perception +14, Sense Motive +14, Stealth +16, Swim +19
    Languages -
    SQ inspiration, unearthly grace, wild empathy +21
    Gear cold iron dagger
    ---
    Blinding Beauty (Su) This ability affects all humanoids within 30 feet of a nymph. Those who look directly at a nymph must succeed on a DC 21 Fortitude save or be blinded permanently. A nymph can suppress or resume this ability as a free action. The save DC is Charisma-based.
    Inspiration (Su) A nymph can choose an intelligent creature to inspire and serve as a muse by giving that creature some token of her affection (typically a lock of her hair). As long as the nymph retains her favor for this creature and as long as the creature carries the nymph's token, the creature gains a +4 insight bonus on all Will saving throws, Craft checks, and Perform checks. A bard who has a nymph for a muse in this way can use his bardic performance for an additional number of rounds per day equal to his nymph muse's Charisma modifier. The nymph retains a link to her token and its carrier as if she had cast a status spell on the carrier. The nymph can end this effect at any time as a free action. A single nymph may only inspire one creature at a time in this manner.
    Nature Meld (Su) A nymph can meld with any tree, rock, or body of water similar to how the spell meld into stone functions. She can remain melded as long as she wishes.
    Spells (Su) A nymph casts spells as a 7th-level oracle. An oracle can learn any spells that are bonus spells of the flame, nature, stone, waves, and wind mysteries.
    Stunning Glance (Su) As a standard action, a nymph can stun a creature within 30 feet with a look. The target must succeed on a DC 21 Fortitude save or be stunned for 2d4 rounds. The save DC is Charisma-based.
    Unearthly Grace (Su) A nymph adds her Charisma modifier as a racial bonus on all her saving throws, and as a deflection bonus to her Armor Class.
    Wild Empathy (Su) This works like the ranger's wild empathy class feature, except the nymph has a +6 racial bonus on the check. The nymph's effective ranger level is equal to her HD for determining her total modifer to the check.


    Spirit Templates
    The following are the (spirit) subtype, the spirit creature template, and the half-spirit template, as well as the spiritfolk, a spiritworld planetouched. These completely replace all celestial templates.

    Spirit Subtype
    All creatures that are native to the spiritworld have the (spirit) subtype. These creatures are affected by the detect spirits and protection from spirits spells, are affected by weapons with the spirit-bane enchantment, and are facored enemies of rangers who have selected spirits as a favored enemy.
    Creatures with the (spirit) subtype gain the following traits, unless they already have a more powerful version of the same trait.

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    • Low-light vision
    • Resistance to cold 10, electricity 10, and fire 10
    • +4 racial bonus on saves against poison.
    • DR 5/cold iron


    Spirit Creature Template
    The Spirit Creature template is usually added to animals that live in the spiritworld.

    Spoiler
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    • Low-light vision
    • Resistance to cold, electricity, and fire. (5 if 1-4 HD, 10 if 5-10 HD, 15 if 11+ HD)
    • +4 racial bonus on saves against poison.
    • DR x/cold iron (5 if 5-10 HD, 10 if 11+ HD)
    • SR 5+CR
    • CR+1


    Half-Spirit Template
    Half-Spirit creatures are the offspring of spirits and mortal creatures, as well as individuals who have been permanently affected by very strong spirit magic.

    Spoiler
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    • CR: HD 5 or less, as base creature + 1; HD 6–10, as base creature + 2; HD 11 or more, as base creature + 3.
    • Type: The creature's type changes to outsider (spirit). Do not recalculate HD, BAB, or saves.
    • Natural Armor improves by +1
    • Low-light vision
    • +4 racial bonus on saves against poison.
    • Resistance to cold 10, electricity 10, and fire 10.
    • DR 5/cold iron (if 11 HD or less), DR 10/cold iron (if 12 HD or more).
    • SR 11+CR
    • Spell-like abilities: A half-spirit with an Int or Wis score of 8 or higher has a cumulative number of spell-like abilities set by its HD. Unless otherwise noted, an ability is usable 1/day. CL equals the creature's HD (or the CL of the base creature's spell-like abilities, whichever is higher).
      HD - Abilities
      1–2 - Speak with animals 3/day
      3-6 - Enlarge person or reduce person 2/day in any combination
      7-8 - Invisibility (self only) 3/day
      9-14 - Create food and water 1/day
      15-16 - Plane shift (spiritworld only) 1/day
    • CR: HD 4 or less, as base creature + 1; HD 5 to 10, as base creature + 2; HD 11 or more, as base creature + 3.


    Spiritfolk Race
    Spiritfolk are the distant descendants of spirit and humanoids. Most spiritfolk are descended from the shee, but in the Barbarian Lands they are actually less frequent than oreads and sylphs, who are descendants of djinn and shaitan genies. Most spiritfolk come from human clans and their bloodlines go back to the time before their migration into the Barbarian Lands.

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    • +2 Charisma, +2 Wisdom.
    • Normal Speed: Spiritfolk have a base speed of 30 feet.
    • Low-light vision.
    • Skilled: Spiritfolk have a +2 racial bonus on Diplomacy and Perception checks.
    • Spell-Like Ability: Spiritfolk can use daylight once per day as a spell-like ability (caster level equals the spirifolk's class level).
    • Spirit Resistance: Spiritfolk have cold resistance 5, electricity resistance 5, and fire resistance 5.
    Last edited by Yora; 2011-11-11 at 03:19 PM.
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    Default Re: [PF] Lands of the Barbarian Kings

    Armor

    After doing quite some extensive research on ancient armor, I think I have now come up with a rather good idea what types and the distribution of armor would be appropriate or at least plausible for the Barbarian Lands setting.
    I looked up some weight numbers for different types of armor, and the weight numbers don't seem so far off (chain shirt 26 pounds, chainmail 35-60 pounds, samurai armor (splint armor) 65 pounds).

    Fur and Leather Clothing (Padded Armor)

    • Price: 5 gp
    • AC bonus: +1
    • Max. Dex to AC: +8
    • Armor Check Penalty: -0
    • Arcane Spell Failure: 5%
    • Speed: 30 ft./20 ft.
    • Weight: 10 lb.


    This type is not actually considered armor, but rather consists of all kind of coats and jackets made from thick leather and furs that is often worn outside in colder regions.
    Cold Weather Outfits (+5 circumstance bonus on Fortitude saving throws against exposure to cold weather) that are used in the Barbarian Lands also fall under this category. It doesn't protect well against weapons or attacks by large animals, but it's still a large step upward from naked skin.

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    Leather Armor

    • Price: 10 gp
    • AC bonus: +2
    • Max. Dex to AC: +6
    • Armor Check Penalty: -0
    • Arcane Spell Failure: 10%
    • Speed: 30 ft./20 ft.
    • Weight: 15 lb.


    Leather Armor is the most commonly found type of armor in the Barbarian Lands and made and used by pretty much all humanoid races. It primarily consists of a breastplate of heavy and often hardened leather, as well as greaves for the lower legs. Vambraces for the lower arms are less common. In temperate and cold climates, the armor is often worn over a jacket and trousers made from regular leather used in clothing, sometimes with a skirt of thicker leather for added protection of the upper legs.

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    Heavy Leather Armor (Studded Leather)

    • Price: 25 gp
    • AC bonus: +3
    • Max. Dex to AC: +5
    • Armor Check Penalty: -1
    • Arcane Spell Failure: 15%
    • Speed: 30 ft./20 ft.
    • Weight: 20 lb.


    Less common than regular leather armor is heavy or reinforced leather armor. It is similar in construction, but heavily reinforced with additional plates of thick leather or even small metal plates that are rivited or sewn to the main parts of the armor. Since it requires more and thicker leather, it's quite a bit more expensive than normal leather armor and not as common, but still very popular among people who simply can't afford chainmail but do not want all the weight and encumbrance of hide armor.

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    Chain Shirt

    • Price: 100 gp
    • AC bonus: +4
    • Max. Dex to AC: +4
    • Armor Check Penalty: -2
    • Arcane Spell Failure: 20%
    • Speed: 30 ft./20 ft.
    • Weight: 25 lb.


    Chain shirts are among the most expensive and most sought after types of armor in the Barbarian Lands. Made from thousands of rings and generally made from iron, they are both expensive and very time consuming to make, which makes them rather rare. Since it's completely made from iron, a single chain shirt can last for many decades and often gets handed down through many generations and owing one usually indicates some degree of wealth or outstanding accomplishment that were handsomely rewarded with this armor.
    Since the creation of chainmail requires advanced ironwrking skill, most chainmail is made by gnomes and elves and chain shirts large enough to fit kaas are rather rare. Most are made from recycled gnomish and elven armor.

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    Hide Armor

    • Price: 15 gp
    • AC bonus: +4
    • Max. Dex to AC: +4
    • Armor Check Penalty: -3
    • Arcane Spell Failure: 20%
    • Speed: 20 ft./15 ft.
    • Weight: 25 lb.


    Hide armor is the most basic and simple to make kind of armor that is found in the Barbarian Lands and therefore extremely common. It is mayed by sewing together several layers of thick leather and pelts, which makes it rather heavy and cumbersome. It is often reinforced with pieces of bone and more rarely other materials for added protection. Though it requires a lot of material, it's very easy to make and therefore very common in clans that live in remote areas and sustain themselves mostly by hunting.

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    Scale Armor (Scale Mail

    • Price: 50 gp
    • AC bonus: +5
    • Max. Dex to AC: +3
    • Armor Check Penalty: -4
    • Arcane Spell Failure: 25%
    • Speed: 20 ft./15 ft.
    • Weight: 30 lb.


    Since it requires not a great deal of skill and experience from an armor smith and can be made from relatively low grade metals, scale armor is the most commonly found type of metalic armor. It consists of several hundred metal scales about the size of an arrowhead that are sewn to a leather or cloth jacket in an overlapping fashion. Smaller scales are often used for upper arms and legs. Boots with greaves made of metal plates protect the lower legs. Since it is made from many small pieces, it's not a big problem if a few scales break or come lose and it is easily repaired. Many suits of scale armor are made from bronze, as it is much easier to work, but steel scales are also not uncommon, particularly for the more expensive ones. All of this makes scale armor considerably cheaper than chain shirts, but it is still quite expensive for most ordinary warriors. It is usually worn by senior veterans and the chieftains closest and most trusted warriors.

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    Chainmail Armor (Chainmail)

    • Price: 150 gp
    • AC bonus: +6
    • Max. Dex to AC: +2
    • Armor Check Penalty: -5
    • Arcane Spell Failure: 30%
    • Speed: 20 ft./15 ft.
    • Weight: 40 lb.


    Chainmail armor is essentially nothing but a larger form of the basic chain shirt. It usually covers the wearers entire arms and legs with chainmail, which makes it a bit more expensive and also puts considerable extra weight on the arms and legs, which reduces mobility and tires the wearer faster than other types of armor. It is often fitted with several leather strips and belts that make the material lie closer to the body and help to distribute the weight. Alternatively, the lower body is protected by a split chain skirt that hangs relatively lose.
    Still, it is relatively easy to make for a good iron smith, so it enjoys a relatively high popularity. Most chain armor is made and worn by elves and it is commonly seen as an elven type or armor.

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    Breastplate

    • Price: 200 gp
    • AC bonus: +6
    • Max. Dex to AC: +3
    • Armor Check Penalty: -4
    • Arcane Spell Failure: 25%
    • Speed: 20 ft./15 ft.
    • Weight: 30 lb.


    Breastplate is generally considered to be one, if not the best and most advanced type of armor that is reasonably available in the Barbarian Lands. The main part of the armor is the large breastplate that is usually made of bronze, but often also of steel, and it often comes with matching greaves and gauntlets for the lower legs and hands. The upper arms and legs are protected either by scales or chainmail and the armor combines the best traits of many other forms of armor. It considerably lighter and flexible than any heavier types of armor and even easier to wear than full body chainmail armor.
    Breastplates are rare and usually worn only by chieftains and great heroes.

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    Splint Armor (Splint Mail)

    • Price: 200 gp
    • AC bonus: +7
    • Max. Dex to AC: +0
    • Armor Check Penalty: -7
    • Arcane Spell Failure: 40%
    • Speed: 20 ft./15 ft. (tripple run speed)
    • Weight: 45 lb.


    Splint armor is made from a large number of smaller metal plates that are larger than those of scale armor and each tightly tied to each other to form a relatively regid cuiras that protects the wearers torso and upper legs. Since it is not as flexible as scale armor, it absorbs more of the energy of a blow which improves the protection for the wearer. Arms and legs are protected by long and narrow metal stripes that are fastened to a soft leather backing. Like scale armor, splint armor can be made from both bronze and steel, but bronze is far more common.
    Splint armor is not very difficult to make, but requires a lot of metal so it is still rather expensive. It's the heaviest type of armor found anywhere in the Barbarian Lands, but protects the wearer better than almost anything else. It is most common among humans and kaas, while most elves find it too heavy and cumbersome to consider.

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    Banded Armor (Banded Mail)

    • Price: 250 gp
    • AC bonus: +7
    • Max. Dex to AC: +1
    • Armor Check Penalty: -6
    • Arcane Spell Failure: 35%
    • Speed: 20 ft./15 ft. (tripple run speed)
    • Weight: 35 lb.


    Banded armor is considered to be the ultimate armor. It consists of a steel breastplate but also covers the arms and legs with smaller plates that either mostly or entirely cover all of the limbs. Because of its construction it is both lighter and more flexible than splint armor, but very few armorsmith in the Barbarian Lands can make it, most of which are gnomes.
    Banded armor is never mass produced but always made for a single individual who is usually both rich and famous. Each suit of banded armor is unique and usually gets passed down in a family for many generations.

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    Last edited by Yora; 2011-11-10 at 07:23 AM.
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    Default Re: [PF] Lands of the Barbarian Kings

    So you're cutting off armor development at pre-plate, eh? Makes sense, as plate is pretty advanced technology, honestly. I like that you combine Cold Weather Clothing and Padded, that just makes sense.

    Is the local technology level at Iron Age, I'm taking, so not bothering with Bronze and other such materials for arms and armor?
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    Default Re: [PF] Lands of the Barbarian Kings

    Plate is pretty advanced stuff, but I didn't want to leave heavy armor out completely, so banded armor as the maximum it is.

    Chainmail apparently was never made of bronze since bronze just doesn't perform well as rings of that size and does not like being bended and twisted.
    Since bronze armor isn't really much different from steel armor in PF, I think it's not worth bothering for seperate stats for the materials.
    But one could of course use the stats for bronze armor for scale armor and breastplate. But I think it's simpler to just say that in that case, bronze armor is regular and steel armor masterwork.
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    Default Re: [PF] Lands of the Barbarian Kings

    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    But one could of course use the stats for bronze armor for scale armor and breastplate. But I think it's simpler to just say that in that case, bronze armor is regular and steel armor masterwork.
    Makes sense to me and gives a bit more credence to masterworking other than "We just made it better!"
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    Default Re: [PF] Lands of the Barbarian Kings

    I really like what you have done with the armor, it not only makes sense, but it seems to balance from my perspective, especially with the state of the world. As for weapons, think about what saying steel weapons are masterwork means. Magical weapons then, by definition, have to be steel or equivalent. Is this what you want, or do you want to make exceptions? Just for you to consider.
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    Default Re: [PF] Lands of the Barbarian Kings

    I wouldn't go that far. I'd say using steel is one good way in making masterwork equipment, but it's neither neccessary, nor enough.
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    Default Re: [PF] Lands of the Barbarian Kings

    If you looked in here yesterday, you might have seen that I posted something that I've taken down again.
    Which is because now I have an idea, how to make it even better!

    The current issue I am working on is establishing the major powers. Since it's supposed to be a tribal society of relatively isolated clans with nothing resembling modern nation states and even wanting to avoid ancient city states, since that always gets you ending up with highly advanced bureaucracies, my current solution is to completely ignore the idea of governments and instead approach it entirely by using organizations. Other settings have many quasi-government organizations, like the Zhentarim, the Dunedain, the Mandalorians, Cerberus, and so on, that don't actually define themselves by the territory they govern, but by the people who are members of their organzation. I think this is an approach that should do very well for the Barbarian Lands. Each chieftain is nominally a sovereign ruler over his people, but in many regions there are organizations of shamans, sorcerers, or warriors, whose call for assistance you simply do not refuse. Since the lands settled and patrolled by the clans are very small and seperated by huge areas of wilderness, it is effectively impossible to seal any borders, except for a few strategic mountain passes. As a result, clans in a given area can be aligned to many different organizations and the areas associated with an organization are often not continous and instead usually consists of a heartland, where they have pretty much complete power, plus a large number individual colonies and outpost, where anyone travelling in the name of the organization can find shelter and assistance.

    Usually, it is only a small fraction of a clan, who are actually members of the organization, like the local shamans and their assistance, or the clans full-time warriors. Even when no member of a community is actually a member of an organization, the villages and towns are often associated with one and the word of an associate usually carries great weight with the elders and sub-chiefs.

    One major advantage of this aproach is, that I can continue working on it without having a finalized map or being completely sure which group has how much actual influence and resources in a given area. Representatives of an organization can show up pretty much anywhere and towns and strongholds can be affiliated with whatever organization fits best for an adventure, without having to bother too much about which factions territory we are currently in.
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    Default Re: [PF] Lands of the Barbarian Kings

    I think that having organizations rather than specific countries would work really well. However, I would advise you not forgo a map (As you have said you want to run this setting yourself). I'd give each organization a headquarters for their operations, and depending on what kind of organization it is, some bases in other places to locate their influence. You may have to separate political organizations from other types, as there will be political groups trying to establish power over large areas, and those will be shunned or killed on sight elsewhere. Careful not to make things too ambiguous, or your players will lose touch with the geography and will just be worried about the locale they are currently in and the location of their next quest.
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    Default Re: [PF] Lands of the Barbarian Kings

    I already have a pretty good idea of the geography, but I always get bogged up in trying to move every mountain and river in perfect position in relation to each other. The basic geography exists, but with this approach I can first think more carefully about which groups I want to have and what kind of places I want under their control, and then decide on the exact shape of coastlines and mountain ranges to accomodate it.
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    Default Re: [PF] Lands of the Barbarian Kings

    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    I already have a pretty good idea of the geography, but I always get bogged up in trying to move every mountain and river in perfect position in relation to each other. The basic geography exists, but with this approach I can first think more carefully about which groups I want to have and what kind of places I want under their control, and then decide on the exact shape of coastlines and mountain ranges to accomodate it.
    You could always randomize the world map and build from there, which can be just as rewarding without agonizing over placement as much. Not unless you want mortal or immortal intervention to change the landscape, for which if you have a base world to take from before modifying it, will typically end in less headaches.
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    Default Re: [PF] Lands of the Barbarian Kings

    Now I think my problem with the map come from trying to merge two conflicting concepts for the landscape. I had a geography in mind that I tried to get on paper in a way that looks good, but now thinking back on it, I have no idea why I thought that would be a good stage to place the people and locations I want to incorporate.
    It's that "loosing sight of the original goal" in favor of generic stuff that sounds cool all over again.

    I guess it's back to going through my basic concept material again before I get back into adding specifics to the world.
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    Default Re: [PF] Lands of the Barbarian Kings

    The Ancients

    In addition to the spirits of nature and the demons of the void, there is also a third type of supernatural beings. In many way, these Ancients are very similar to spirits and are also at home in the spiritworld.
    As all spirits are manifestations of the natural world, they are not eternal and can either diminish in power and disappear, or change as the environment around them does. The Ancient are spirits from a bygone era in the distant past, when the world was an entirely different place than it is now. Some great spirits, like the gods and the spirits of the mountains and the seas, have survived throughout the ages, either being uneffected by the changes in the world below them, or by adapting to them. However, in the deepest parts of the world, miles below the surface lands and in the deepest trenches of the sea, things have changed not by much and in these places the spirits of past ages still survive. These places are often called the Underworld and it is a region in which the borders between the worlds of mortals and spirits become all but meaningless.
    While the spirits of the surface world are enigmatic and potentially dangerous, the Ancients of the deeps are outright alien and destructive. Similar to demons, the natural world of the surface lands is completely alien to their very nature. Thankfully, there is very few incentive for the Ancients to turn their gaze up to the world of mortal races and they have remained hidden in the Underworld since long before the first civilizations of the fey people. However, knowledge about these beings is not completely unknown among the mortal races. Occasional creatures from the depths, like aboleths and krakens, make their way to the surface world and through them knowledge of the underworld has spread throughout the Barbarian Lands. Sorcerers and shamans who attempt to make contact with the Ancients are even more rare than the warlocks who make pacts with demons, but in a few remote places, there exist small cults that worship the Ancients as gods.
    These cults are not all evil or murderous cannibals, but the lore kept by their priests seems nothing short of completely insane to almost any outsider who happens to catch just a glimps of it. Like demons, the Ancient ones can not exist in the worlds of mortals and spirits, but they also lack the demons ability to possess mortal creatures. As such, they do not pose a direct threat to the world high above them, but their currupting influence on their disciples makes these mortal servants highly dangerous.

    I love Tharizdun, Khyber, and the Daelkyrr, so this will be my approach to something similar. Since dark elves also live a lot on the surface, there is not much need for a traditional underdark. Instead this will be only the very top level for up to a mile below the surface at the most. This has the added side effect that I don't have to worry about the question, how the deeper caves are not all completely flooded, since the Underworld works pretty much as a different plane with its own screwed up physics.
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    Default Re: [PF] Lands of the Barbarian Kings

    I've think I finally got over a major obstacle, so I'll write it down before it eludes me again. I wonder if I'll still like it tomorrow.

    The Seven Cities

    In the Lands of the Barbarian Kings, there are seven settlements that can rightfully call themselves cities. However, it is not only their size that makes them stand out from the numerous smaller towns, but they also have an important and unique role in the culture and society of the clans. These cities are the hubs of trade, learning, and diplomacy. Much more than the residence of the local lord, they are the gathering places and neutral ground for the chieftains and their people, where clans come together to trade and forge alliances, but also where many festering feuds make the transition to outright war. Even more so than the towns along the major trade roads, the cities have a large transient population, which stay for only a few weeks or months, until they return to their clans or find employment in the service of a new lord. In addition the the permanent buildings, there are often large camping grounds outside the city walls, where duing the summer months dozens or even hundreds of tents house the chiefs who have come to negotiate new alliances and trade agreements.
    For PCs from the clans, the cities are never a place to regain strength and lay back between exploits. When their paths lead them to a city, it is usually as part of a delegation for vital (and often secret) negotiations, to request assistance from the cities sages in grave matters that seem unsolvable, to find new allies (or hired assassins), or to aquire rare items that can not be found elsewhere. Whatever brings the warriors of the clans to a city, it is usually something that involves very high stakes and requires a considerable degree of secrecy. For PCs, cities are not home bases, but, despite all their riches and liveliness, some of the most dangerous dungoens they will ever enter. It is not so much the cutthroats in the dark allies and cunning thieves tricking strangers out of their gold, but more the old sages and captains of the guard, who might also have their hands in whatever business that brings the PCs to the city in the first place.
    For most people of the Barbarian Lands, cities are gathering places between clans, and centers of trade and stories. Most people living in the cities are in some way or another connected to these. Inns, taverns, blacksmiths, alchemists, weapon merchants, caravan guides, backers, butchers, and grocers make up most of the cities businessess. Cities in the Barbarian Lands lack an urban middle and upper class. Instead there are the noble families of the clan to which the site belongs, and a small handful of wealthy merchants, which more often than not are one and the same. For everyone else, life in the city is not much different than in all the smaller towns found among almost all clans.

    The Lizardfolk City
    Population: 21,000 (98% lizardfolk, 1% dark elves)

    By many assumed to be the largest city in all of the Barbarian Lands, this city rises from the jungles of the southern lands. It sits on both shores of a major river, that connects it to the open sea and takes about three days of floating downstream by barge. While the cities king only rules over the clans in the area immediately surrounding the city itself, it is the primary center of power for all lizardfolk people. The city is where all meetings between major chiefs take place and one of the few lizardfolk settlements where merchants from other races are wellcome to trade.
    The city itself is ancient, having been build by naga thousands of years ago. It had been one of the major centres of lizardfolk civilization since the earliest days and the site of many of their greatest and richest temples.

    The City under the Mountain
    Population: 19,000 (70% dark elves, 25% goblins, 3% ogres)

    This dark elven city sits in a set of massive caverns several hundreds of meters below the surface. A wide road has been cut through the rock for several miles, gradually increasing in elevation and winding its way along the paths of ancient natural caves, it finally reaches a large gate at the base of the mountain after almost a full day of travel with loaded carts. However, few roads lead to the gate and despite its size, the city is one that sees the least visitors from outside. Even though it's the only city primarily inhabited by dark elves, its one of the largest of the Barbarian Lands. The city is remarkable in that is is home to families of no less than 5 different clans, three of which almost exclusively live within the city. In addition to the dark elves, there are also tens of thousands of goblins and ogres working in the mines or on fields both underground and on the surface.
    The city itself consists of three major caverns, but the visible buildings make up only about half of the living and working space of the population, as constructions often reach deep in the ground and walls below and behind the buildings (and occasionally even above). In addition to the tunnel leading to the surface, there are many underground passages extending throughout the mountains and beyond, some are being known for connecting the Underworld. If someone ever has a reason to travel to the Underworld, the City under the Mountain is usually a good starting point where one can become familiar with the underground environment and find the right supplies for the job.

    The Treetop City
    Population: 18,000 (96% wood elves, 2% humans, 1% half-elves)

    Located roughly in the very heart of the Barbarian Lands, this city is probably the largest settlement most people will ever see. It is located within a forest of massive trees believed to be well over 1000 years old, which are large enough to support small wooden huts between their branches, 30 meters and more above the forest floor. Many of the homes have small hearths protected by slabs of stone or iron, but most workshops that require large fires are located on the forest floor. With the branches of the trees and the added platform, few sunlight reaches the ground, making it relatively dark and also a quite damp place. All major paths are laid out with wooden planks, to prevent the ground from turning entirely into a muddy bog.

    Island Port
    Population: 16,000 (84% wood elves, 12% humans, 2% half-elves, 1% dark elves)

    Even though it's the only city not located on the mainland, its location among many of the major sea routes makes it the largest seaport in all of the Barbarian Lands. Originally a wood elven settlement, it has since then gained a considerable nonelven population as well as probably the largest gathering of half-elves anywhere in the world. This city is the port that every true sailor should have seen at least once and because of its prominent location most who travel the open seas actually get to. Every journey to the outer islands pretty much begins with a visit to this port where one can find guides and a ship that can transport one to ones final destination.
    Even though it's primarily an elven city, human and kaas sailors say that it rivals the most raunchiest ports of their own people. The people of the city are people of the sea first and wood elves second and they manage to be quite easily recognizable anywhere they set foot on the mainland.

    Crystal Caverns
    Population: 15,000 (72% humans, 16% gnomes, 4% wood elves, 2% oreads)

    Of any cities in the Barbarian Lands, the Crystal Caverns are probably by far the strangest and most unusual. The city consists of a series of large caves in a cliff that borders the open sea and its harbor is actually located inside some of these caves. In addition, there are several smaller caves deeper inside where most of the cities homes and workshops are located. As they lie very close to the surface, many caves are partially open to the sky, which provides the city with daylight and air. Still it rarely gets brighter than twilight except for a short time during noon and particularly the craftsmen quarters are known for their perpetual stench that only gets bearable after a couple of weeks.
    The most courious feature about the caves are their large deposits of mineral, many form veins that are over a meter across and can stretch for hundreds of meters. Those who catch the daylight from the open caves tend to reflect it on their insides and transport it deeper into the caves like complex sets of mirrors. However the heart of the city is a series of smaller caves that house five crystals of massive size. These crystal each hold an ancient and powerful spirit, who serve as the cities protectors and guardians, and are for all effects the gods of the city. Only few people know that the spirits are actually demons who took possession of the crystals as a means to exist in the world of mortals while at the same time containing their currupting influence. The demons had made a pact with sorcerers and shamans hundreds of years ago to hunt down evil sorcerers and warlocks who would spread the taint of their demonic masters throughout the world of the humanoid people. The warlocks the spirits of the crystals were originally fighting are long dead, yet they decided to not return to the void, but remain bound to the crystals for the time being, to protect the land from other demons who would not share their concern for the wellbeing of mortal creatures. The shamans who tend to them are all well learned about demons and include many experienced demon hunters, which is a fact that is usually kept hidden from the larger population.

    City of the Northlands
    Population: 13,000 (68% wood elves, 20% humans, 8% gnomes, 3% half-elves, 1% kaas)

    This city is relatively small, and the only one found throughout all of the northlands. The city is located on the shore of a large lake, which connects to many of the rivers that serve as major trade routes for the Northlands. It is build around an ancient fey citadel whose original purpose has since long been lost to time. Compared to the other cities, it's considered fairly backwater and far less exiting and dangerous than other places. The city is most important as a staging point for caravans transporting shipments of rare timber, metals, and furs, but also is home to a astonishingly extensive community of scholars, The city is primarily elven and the human inhabitants are mostly either envoys to the elven clans, or actually in the employment of elven masters.

    Great Gnome Fortress
    Population: 12,000 (94% gnomes, 3% humans, 2% oreads)

    Many people say that the only thing unusual about this gnomish citadel is its size. Home to more than 10,000 gnomes, it is by far the largest settlement of gnomes anywhere. On the outside, the fortress appears as a heavily fortified keep, which is actuall only the gate leading into the city proper itself. Only a ten minute walk from passing the outer gates leads a visitor the the first of the citadels main halls. The first hall, like most of the cities halls, is actually a large cave whose walls are almost entirely packed with the entrances and balkony of gnome homes, each hall housing between 200 and 300 such homes. The cities main business is steel, but it also produces very high quality brass. Though the city doesn't produce it's own gold and silver, there are also a number of silver- and goldsmiths, of which many produce fine ornaments for weapon and armor. It is widely accepted that the only place where one can get decent banded armor for a 6 foot tall warrior is this gnomish citadel.
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    Default Re: [PF] Lands of the Barbarian Kings

    Looks really good. Keep up the creative explosion and great things will happen for you!
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    Default Re: [PF] Lands of the Barbarian Kings

    I actually like all the small hooks in these, on which I already see lots of opportunities to expand on.

    I've not been a fan of settlement statistics in D&D, and by making everything a lot more complex PF isn't really improving on that. But some baseline for certain things seem a good idea, so I came up with these base stats for settlements.

    Village
    Population 100+
    Base Value 500 gp; Purchase Limit 2,500 gp; Spellcasting 1st
    Minor Items 1d6

    Town
    Population 1,000+
    Base Value 2,000 gp; Purchase Limit 10,000 gp; Spellcasting 3rd
    Minor Items 3d4; Medium Items 1d6

    City
    Population 10,000+
    Base Value 8,000 gp; Purchase Limit 50,000 gp; Spellcasting 5th
    Minor Items 4d4; Medium Items 3d4; Major Items 1d6
    As basis I used the PF stats for villages, large towns, and large cities. Base Value (the maximum price for items generally available with a 75% chance) and Purchase Limit (the maximum amount for which the PCs can sell a type of good) are taken directly from these settlement stats. Magic items (the number of special items currently for sale in the settlement) is taken from settlements one size category lower and spellcasting (the highest level for which a spellcaster can be hired) is from two size categories lower.

    With these limits, +1 weapons are not usually in store in a town and +2 weapons are not usually for sale in a city. I like the idea of rolling for magic items available every time the PCs return to the place after some time has passed, since towns and cities see a lot of traffic and stuff would be bought by other people, as well as new stuff being sold to the merchants.

    What do you think of these numbers. Looking good or maybe still too high?
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    Default Re: [PF] Lands of the Barbarian Kings

    I'd make another size category below village, and maybe make village bigger. I could definitely see established settlements smaller that 100 people. Other than that, it seems good for what you are going for!
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    Default Re: [PF] Lands of the Barbarian Kings

    Many settlements would be smaller than 100 people, but I think those are too small to have any economy above subsidence farming. There wouldn't be any shops or inns where you could spend money, and the farmers wouldn't want to buy any of the treasures the PCs could have found.
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    Default Re: [PF] Lands of the Barbarian Kings

    See, if people are gathering in groups of over 20, there will be non-sustenance focused workers there. Even if it is woodcutting, or pottery, or brewing, there will be at least one person with something to sell. And while the villagers will be more picky about what they can buy, there will be some things they would be willing to spend on, like pelts, meat, or cheap weapons to protect themselves against whatever might attack. You'd have to rely on players interested in the RP rather than power gamers, but it would add more realism to the setting. Then again, even villages of up to about 200 people would probably not want trade goods.
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    Default Re: [PF] Lands of the Barbarian Kings

    Here's my academic education talking. With the major cities established, I think it's time to revisit ethnic groups again, and my personal vew of them is that they are primarily based on language. Forget about mythical ancestors, genetic relationship, or shared customs, it really usually comes down to people sharing the same language. If they talk like you, they are of your people, if they talk different, they are not. So I think it's a good idea to first establish which languages are spoken where, and then get to all the smaller details like actual culture.
    I've also decided that there is no Common. There's two or three languages that are used by many merchants and traders in a region to communicate with each other, but it's not a language that every person in the world knows from birth. Most characters should speak two or three languages, or even more if they travel a lot.

    Starting with the standard languages that would be appropriate for the setting:
    Abyssal (demons and other chaotic evil outsiders)
    Aquan (aquatic creatures, water-based creatures)
    Auran (flying creatures, air-based creatures)
    Draconic (dragons, reptilian humanoids)
    Elven (elves, half-elves)
    Giant (cyclopses, ettins, giants, ogres, trolls)
    Gnome (gnomes)
    Goblin (bugbears, goblins, hobgoblins)
    Ignan (fire-based creatures)
    Sylvan (centaurs, fey creatures, plant creatures, unicorns)
    Terran (earth-based creatures)

    With sylvan and four elemental languages, I think there's enough variety for the spirits. So no need for more there.
    Abyssal as a single language for demons may seem a bit unusual, but after all, they don't "talk" in their natural form and environment, so it could be treated as vocalized form of their telepathy or something like that. Works for me.
    I think just having Giant and Goblin is making things too easy, but since players won't talk with them that often to begin with, I think it might be best to just leave it that way for convenience.
    Draconic is no problem at all, I'll leave it as it is.
    Also, the Naga should have their own language.

    Which leaves us with the languages of the humanoid races:
    With humans, I have three distinct cultures in mind: The main population living on the mainland that recently arrived in a large migration (Vandren), the arctic people (Northmen language), and the savages of the islands (Islanders language). The later two are okay as they are, since they are small people and live next to many other races. But since the Vandren are made up of several tribes that mixed during the migration, I wonder if I should give them three distinct languages.

    For lizardfolk, I think three languages is a good choice. One spoken in the Lizardfolk city (City Lizardfolk), one in the deeper and more remote parts of the jungle (Jungle Lizardfolk), and one on the islands (Island Lizardfolk).

    For the wood elves, I think I want to make it easy and make it four languages. One spoken in the North (Northern Wood Elf) and one spoken in the warmer lands in the south (Southern Wood Elf). I plan for small populations of wood elves in the wilderness to the west of the major civilized regions and a distinct language for them might not be out of place as well (Western Wood Elf). Which leaves the elves living on the island and as a people of sailors, I think they are culturally so different from the others, that they should have their own language as well (Island Wood Elf)

    Dark Elves should have different languages and again, the categories seem to come quite naturally from what I have planned for their culture. Coastal Dark Elf for those who live in the jungles near the coast, where they have contact with lizardfolk, wood elves, and humans, and Highland Dark Elf for those who live in the hills and mountains further south and are more isolated. Then I would also like to have some more "traditional" dark elves living further north and being the people who inhabit the major dark elf city, so their language is simply Northern Dark Elf.

    A single gnome language would be too simple, considereing how wide I want to spread them over the barbarian lands. But they are also not very numerous, so two languages it it. I'd say Mountain Gnome for the minners and smiths living in the north, and Forest Gnome for those living in more southern areas with more farming and woodcrafting.

    I am still not completely sure how I want to handle the kaas. So I say for now let there be Kaas Language and elaborate on that once I have more on their culture and where they live.

    So for now, this leaves us with a quite extensive list of languages.
    • Abyssal
    • Auran
    • Aquan
    • City Lizardfolk
    • Coastal Dark Elf
    • Draconic
    • Forest Gnome
    • Giant
    • Goblin
    • Highland Dark Elf
    • Ignan
    • Island Lizardfolk
    • Island Wood Elf
    • Islander Human
    • Jungle Lizardfolk
    • (Kaas)
    • Mountain Gnome
    • Naga
    • Northern Dark Elf
    • Northern Wood Elf
    • Northmen Human
    • Southern Wood Elf
    • Sylvan
    • Terran
    • Vandren
    • Western Wood Elf


    That's close to 30 languages for a rather medium sized setting. Which is quite a lot, but translators should play a relatively major parts in many adventures that lead the characters to foreign lands. And since most are regional languages, the number encountered in any campaign is probably more like 10.
    Looks good to me, but again share your thoughts.
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    Default Re: [PF] Lands of the Barbarian Kings

    I'd say maybe include some kind of mechanic for understanding languages in similar language trees, at least for the PC race languages. If they do come from common roots, and considering your time frame and the amount of contact the different groups get because of the free travel across most of the land, I see no reason why languages with the same root would vary so much as to become indecipherable to others. For an example, look at the Romance languages. You can't really communicate difficult ideas, but simple commands can be expressed in a way that another would understand. I'd say it could be an intelligence check, paired with another intelligence check from the person attempting to understand, to reach a set DC like 20 for the most basic, and growing from there for each level of complexity in the command.
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