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  1. - Top - End - #241
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    Default Re: Lands of the Barbarian Kings

    Yeah, I think it's not really that important. Compared to other classic settings, the geography is already highly realistic.

    And while the speed is just horrifying slow, naming comes along nicely. I have almost all of the major geographical features done with mostly only settlements left. And coming up with names made me also get lots of ideas for additional details. I expect a lot of updates for the next week.

    [New] Dragonspire Mountains
    [New] Frozen Lands
    [New] Frozen Sea
    [New] Nendaren Forest
    I have to find out how to display the last 10 changes on the front page. Can't be terribly difficult to do, if you get the code from somewhere.

    Edit: Well, that was easy.
    The main page now displayes the last 10 changes that were not marked as minor changes (with no actual change of the content). I also made a first backup. Phew...
    Last edited by Yora; 2012-02-12 at 06:36 AM.
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  2. - Top - End - #242
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    Default Re: Lands of the Barbarian Kings

    What's in a name?

    Things are going great, and I think this actually has real potential to become an online published campaign setting that could become quite popular. I am really quite happy with what I've heard about the 5th Edition of D&D so far, as the designers have indicated at many times, that they want to make something that can recreate a more old-school style of play. That is playing with less rules and smaller numbers, while paying more attention to the lower-levels or "heroic tier", which make up the majority of fantasy stories that are not high-level D&D or Exalted. Or as the under 30s among us may be familiar with as the concept of E6, on which the first draft of this setting was based. And to be honest, if I had thought that there would be an audience for it, I would have made the entire setting based on AD&D 2nd Edition rules. But since I really didn't want 4th Edition, and 3.5e was incredibly bloated, I stuck with Pathfinder as the basic system. But frankly, I don't really like it much either.

    Now D&D 5th Edition will be quite a significant audience, and here I am, working on my setting for a year already. It may be a bit of a gamble, but I am quite confident that the system can easily be customized using the modularity of rules that is planned to be a perfect fit for the setting and third-party support seems to be highly encouraged after the troubles with 4th Edition. And I am not doing this commercially anyway and don't intend to make any profits with it, so why not? I think if I play my cards right and have a bit of luck, I can make this a quite successfull campaign setting for 5th Edition. Since there will be an open playtest of the rules, I will be able to plan ahead so custom races and specializations can be ready to go one or two days after the final release after a few last minute tweaks. And depending on the timetable it may even be ready to play during the open playtest period. Since I put the Barbaripedia link in my signature on Enworld, the main page got over 300 views in just two weeks, during which I didn't really made any major updates (though googles cataloging bots may be involved to some degree). So yeah, some focused advertising - maybe with participation by fans - and the setting might get a good degree of public exposure. If people think it's good and word gets around, it could become the first setting for D&D 5th Edition. Which would be quite cool.

    An advantage is, that there appear to be not really that many settings like this one. Dark Sun would be the direct competitor, but it's a desert setting and maybe a bit too quirky for many people. 18th-19th century fantasy seems to be all the rage these years with Eberron, Golarion, and Forgotten Realms. But when I look at the kind of Fantasy I want, there's Conan the Barbarian, and that's pretty much it. If there actually is no market for it, than it's just the setting for my own campaigns, so what. But I think the concept is also quite old school with more focus on pre-modern society and technology, ancient ruins, a dangerous wilderness, and terrifying monsters that are actually part of the daily life and not just quirky boss fights. And back in the 80s, the Golden Age of D&D, Sword and Sorcery was the defining style of Fantasy. Most was goofy and low-quality, but it was still cool. And with a game that will quite likely be marketed to appeal to old-school fans (they didn't re-release the AD&D 1st Edition core rulebooks right now on accident), an old-school setting might be getting some attention.

    I never wanted to be a professional artist and actually have become a huge fan of free and open amatuer art, so I don't think I have to reach any benchmarks for it not to be a failure. If just two or three other people run a campaign in my setting, that would already be a big success. Yes, lots of people dream of becoming famous writers and almost everyone of them sucks. But it's not a delusion of grandeur when failure is calculated as an option. This isn't for the money, this is for the fun. The main reason I want to make the setting come out big is to see if I can do it. And the conditions seem so favorable right now, that I just want to give it a try. And who knows, I might be in for a suprise.
    But the the big matter at hand: The first draft was called "Ancient Lands" because I somewhere read that the founder of amazon.com chose the name so it would appear at the top of alphabetical lists. Lands of the Barbarian Kings was chosen as a reminder for myself what the setting is really about, as the big problem with Ancient Lands was that it just kept running away into directions where I didn't really want it to and became increasingly generic. However "Lands of the Barbarian Kings" is a bit clunky as names go. "Barbarian Lands" is too bland. So I serious consider comming up with something more snappy and memorable. Adjective-noun is a huge classic with Greyhawk, Dragonlance, Ravenloft, Blackmoore, Planescape, Dark Sun, Forgotten Realms, Blue Rose, and so on and on and on. But I think making the name too short would make it less memorable. Two words would be perfect, but something evocative. Barbarian Lands doesn't cut it. Now this isn't something that needs to be solved right now. But I think "Lands of the Barbarian Kings" isn't very marketable. However, that's just my oppinion. You might think that it's a great name that really stands out from the masses. LBK would even make a passable initialism. But yeah. What is it that you think about naming the Barbarian Lands in regard of making it widely recognizable?
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  3. - Top - End - #243
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    Default Re: Lands of the Barbarian Kings

    I feel that the name for the setting should be something that makes a lot of sense. I'd suggest figuring out what the Humans call the area, the whole continent, the whole world, or even the whole universe. When you have that, you will have a better idea of what the setting is, and possibly the name. Then you can start looking for the most catchy adaptation of that. Although, Stone Coast doesn't seem too bad.
    I have returned, and plan on focusing on world-building. Issues are being dealt with.

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  4. - Top - End - #244
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    Default Re: Lands of the Barbarian Kings

    I think it should be something, that gives people a hint of what they can expect, and it should be something that is connected to the content. Forgotten Realms is quite generic and has no reference to anything in the setting. I think of the popular settings, Dark Sun has it probably done best. Dark tells you it's gritty, and Sun implies something about deserts.

    [New] Frost Mountains
    [New] Korm Ran'hen
    [New] Shenna'hir Forest
    [New] Snowpeak Hills
    [New] Witchfens
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  5. - Top - End - #245
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    Default Re: Lands of the Barbarian Kings

    I saw this picture in an article.

    Spoiler
    Show


    I think the idea of magic writing in tattoos is really cool. I mentioned permanent magic items as tattoos some pages back, but I think making mundane ones very common is a really cool idea. Something to customize characters and NPCs
    Spriggan's Den - Thoughts on RPGs and some of my personal creations.
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  6. - Top - End - #246
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    Default Re: Lands of the Barbarian Kings

    Question for you, Yora...

    You did an excellent job of rewriting the armour list to fit a lower tech level setting... What about the adventuring gear list? There are several items on it which I'm not sure whether to include in my own setting or not, or whether I should bump the price on them up due to rarity. Stuff like spyglasses, steel mirrors, alchemical items etc. Any thoughts on the matter?
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  7. - Top - End - #247
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    Default Re: Lands of the Barbarian Kings

    Actually, no.

    Or rather, not until now. I think it's an excelent idea. Relatively easy to do with just a little research (curse you, 95% fictional studded leather and splint armor!), and also lazy to write, since you don't really need much fancy fluff and each item is done in two or three sentences. Does not strain my attention span.
    But I think it gets a quite substential payout. Expect more to hear about this later this week.
    Spriggan's Den - Thoughts on RPGs and some of my personal creations.
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  8. - Top - End - #248
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    Default Re: Lands of the Barbarian Kings

    Quick and easy to do? I suppose that depends on which equipment list you base it on. The complete Pathfinder one is... relatively extensive.
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  9. - Top - End - #249
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    Default Re: Lands of the Barbarian Kings

    I've been going through lists of items that would actually have a place in the setting, but there's pretty much nothing worth mentioning. Thieves tools perhaps. Anything you have in mind, what's available and should get some additional information?
    Last edited by Yora; 2012-02-17 at 06:06 AM.
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    Default Re: Lands of the Barbarian Kings

    I was thinking availability rather than extra descriptions. I did mention spyglasses, mirrors and alchemical items but glancing at the 3.5 list I could add paper, lanterns, magnifying glass and hourglass to that.

    Looking at wikipedia, it appears glassblowing is quite an ancient art so I suppose most of these should be no problem in an iron age setting...

    Slight tangent: How will you deal with holy symbols? Do oracles even need them by default?
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  11. - Top - End - #251
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    Default Re: Lands of the Barbarian Kings

    Since by default, there are divine foci, I said all devine spellcasters should have them. But what the item actually is doesn't really matter that much, just something of major symbolic relevance. Like a piece of wood from a tree whose spirit is the shamans patron, or a carved stone from the spirits mountain.

    But okay, let's adress availability:

    Acid: An alchemical creation.
    Alchemists Fire: An alchemical substance.
    Alchemists Lab: Basic ingredients and glass containers used in alchemy.
    Antitoxin: An alchemical creation.
    Artisans Tools: A set of wood and bronze tools.
    Bedroll: Furs and wool blankets.
    Bell: Made of bronze.
    Block and Tackle
    Bottle, glass: Quite expensive.
    Caltrops: Made of iron.
    Candle
    Cauldron: Both bronze and iron.
    Chain: Made of steel and quite expensive.
    Chalk
    Crowbar: Made of iron.
    Flint and Steel / Fire Stones: Since steel is not commonly available, the less effective method of flint and pyrite is more commonly used.
    Grapling hook
    Holy Symbol, simple
    Holy Symbol, expensive
    Ink
    Healers Kit: Bandages and basic healing herbs.
    Ladder
    Lamp, oil
    Lock (simple, average, good): Ratehr rare and expensive.
    Manacles: Made of steel and therefore expensive.
    Mirror, Bronze: Not nearly as clear and reflective as silver and glass, but does the job.
    Papyrus: Rough paper made from various plants.
    Parchment: Thin animal skins used for writing.
    Rope, hemp
    Rope, silk: Very expensive.
    Saddle (pack, riding)
    Scroll case
    Skis
    Smokestick: Alchemical item.
    Tents: Made of skins, more rarely of canvas.
    Thunderstone: Alchemical item.
    Thieves Tools
    Torch
    Vial, glass
    Waterskin

    Cart
    Keelboat
    Longship
    Sailing Ship
    Sledge
    Wagon

    I think that's quite comprehensive. Anything you think is missing?
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  12. - Top - End - #252
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    Default Re: Lands of the Barbarian Kings

    This is exactly what I was thinking!

    Why would you say silk rope is expensive, though? You said you wanted LotBK to have some asian elements, and I could see, say, the wood elves keeping silk farms easily fitting in.
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    Default Re: Lands of the Barbarian Kings

    From what I understand, silk production is very labor intensive and you'd probably have to do it at quite considerable scale to make the finished material relatively affordable. While it's a local product, it's still a luxury good.
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    Default Re: Lands of the Barbarian Kings

    Fair enough.
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    Default Re: Lands of the Barbarian Kings

    After a week of binge playing Mass Effect, I am now back to working on the setting.

    I got some nice comments on a German forum, where I mentioned I am working on a setting, and two people have shown great interest. Which really makes me think this could become something quite successful.
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    Default Re: Lands of the Barbarian Kings

    I was wondering how the fae are going to work, I think that this guy's idea for elves would work well in this setting as applied to say the shee, or naga

    Edit: after considering it, I think it would be a good idea to drop the whole super weapon thing
    Last edited by Exalaber; 2012-02-20 at 08:54 AM.

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    Default Re: Lands of the Barbarian Kings

    Thanks, I'll take a closer look at this later.

    [Update] Renamed Frozen Sea to Sea of Ice. Sounded a bit stupid right next to the Frozen Lands and the Frost Mountains.
    [New] Storm Peaks
    [New] River Kaidis
    [New] Kaidis Valley
    [New] Cloud Peaks
    [New] Troll Hills
    [New] Kam Baran pass
    [New] Spider Wood

    I need only two more names, then I can also write up the descriptions for 12 more features that are already named. After that, the great naming offensive is mostly done and I have this huge obstacle out of the way.
    Important names that are still missing:
    - Plains where the kaas live.
    - Southern Jungles
    - Islands of the Tameshin elves.
    - Islands of Lizardfolk and Amakari humans in the Inner Sea
    - Solitary mountains near the center of the great Shenna'hir forest, that are the least explored and most mystical part of the northern lands.
    - The coast of volcanic cliffs, in which the crystal caves city is located.
    Last edited by Yora; 2012-02-20 at 11:04 AM.
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  18. - Top - End - #258
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    Default Re: Lands of the Barbarian Kings

    I cheated a bit and put a placeholder for the land of kaas that I'll replace later. With so much already done, this now becomes an option.

    [New] White Sea
    [New] Black Mountains
    [New] Korm Enkad
    [New] Great Plains
    [New] Border Hills
    [New] Mahiri Jungles
    [New] Wyvernpeak Mountains
    [New] Western Lands
    [New] Serpent Mountains
    [Update] Black Dragon

    Right now, I am more advanced with this setting that I've ever been before with other drafts of the concept. This is really exciting and I can't wait to give a first serious try at creating major settlements with important people.
    Last edited by Yora; 2012-02-20 at 07:35 PM.
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  19. - Top - End - #259
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    Default Re: Lands of the Barbarian Kings

    What makes a good setting?

    Today I have another question for you people, which you might be able to help me with. Now that the framework is standing, I need to start detailing things, like settlements, NPCs, dungeons, current politics, and past history. To me, this is what actually makes or breaks a setting and something that should be approached with some thoughts and considerations.

    The best way to do something well is to immitate those who did it best. I have several campaign setting books from all kinds of games at hand and a good general idea about what things interest people and would need to be adressed. Now what I want to know from you is which campaign setting books and boxes you liked the most. Which ones made you really exited about exploring the worlds further and playing characters in them?
    The old Forgotten Realms Grey Box is frequently praised a lot, and I think I am starting to see why. It is actually the shortest of the FRCSs (though 4th Ed. might even undercut that) with the least amount of detail, which many people actually seem to regard as a major advantage. The lesson to be learned from it is, that people enjoy having their imagination teased and being inspired to explore them further, instead of having everything spelled out and explained.

    But what other settings made you really exited to play them, and if you could name it, what was it that made you do so?
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    Time in the Barbarian Lands

    In the world of the Lands of the Barbarian Kings, a year lasts for 353 days that are divided into elven months of 32 days each. The current calender, that is in use with almost all of the people of the Barbarian Lands, was originally created by elves and is believed to have been in use for thousands of years. Each month begins in the night when the primary moon is completely dark, with the sevenths month lasting for 33 days to compensate for the slight differences between the lunar month and the calender months. The winter solstice also falls in the night of a new moon, which is the beginning of every new year. Similarly, the summer solstice, which falls on the 17th day of the 7th month, lies between two nights of a full moon. There are also three smaller moons in the sky, but they are generally not used in everyday timekeeping and only of importance for the timing of certain rituals performed by priests.

    Timekeeping
    With the first and last night of every month falling on the night of the new moon, keeping track of the months is very easy. Each month is usually divided into four weeks of 8 days, with many rituals to the spirits being performed on the 1st, 8th, 17th, and 25th day. An exception being the 7th months, when the fourth weekly rites of the month are performed on the 26th. The days of the week or month are not labeled in most cultures, and dates are usually simply given as the 19th day of the 4th month or something similar.

    During the day, the most important times are sunrise, noon, and sunset, which slight differ based on terrain, but given the distances that people can travel during a day this usually isn't a source of any complications. Many shrines and temples divide the day into 24 hours of equal length and have charts that show the exact time of sunrise, noon, and sunset based on the temples location. However, very few people have any need to be able to tell the specific time and it is much more common to simply agree on visiting or meeting someone during the morning or before noon.

    Personal Age
    There are several ways by which people count the age of a person.

    The most commonly used system, which is used by the elven people, is to count the number of summer solstices a person has seen. The summer solstice is a major holiday for most people and serves as the "birthday" for all elves. Children that are born on the day of the summer solstice are counted as being one year old, while those born after sunset have to wait for a full year until their first summer solstice.

    A similar system is used by the lizardfolk, who count a persons age based on the winter solstices that a person has lived through. This system is also used by most gnomes, though some Hayoren use the elven system.

    A third and rarely used system is to count the proper birthdays of a person. This system is most popular with the Vandren, who have used it for countless generations before their migration to the Barbarian Lands.

    http://barbaripedia.eu/index.php?tit...arbarian_Lands


    I know, I have to add a counting of the years at some point, but it's a lot easier to work with dates as "years before present" and then later convert the numbers to start on a specific year, than to try to figure things out with both positive and negative numbers.

    [New] Humans
    Last edited by Yora; 2012-02-21 at 05:37 PM.
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    Default Re: Lands of the Barbarian Kings

    [Update] Bronze Dragon
    [New] Weapons
    [Update] Green Dragon

    Weapons

    Bronze, Steel, and other Metals

    The primary materials from which weapons are made are bronze and steel. However, more exotic materials are sometimes used as well.

    Bronze is an alloy most commonly made from nine parts copper and one part tin, though sometimes other materials are used in place of or in addition to tin. Bronze is by far the most commonly used metal in the making of tools, appliances, weapons, and armor, and used by all the humanoid races of the Barbarian Lands. While copper and tin are not easy to come by in many places and often need to be transported from far away places, the making of bronze is relatively easy and can be done in small fires that don't require large forges or foundries. When heated up, bronze becomes liquid and can be poured into casts made of clay, stone, or even sand. Once the material has cooled off, it can then be polished, sharpened, or engraved to give it its final form and look. Even in remote villages, where copper and tin are not available, blacksmiths can melt down old or broken bronze items and cast them into new objects without need for much specialized equipment. While much harder than copper or pure iron, bronze is still a relatively weak material, which means that bronze blades need to be sharpened often and need to be relatively thick to prevent them from breaking. It is however a perfect material for knives and farming tools, and extensively used to make pots, plates, cups, and even polished mirrors. In many places, ax blades, short swords, spear tips, and arrowheads are primarily made from bronze as it is a relatively cheap and widely available material that does the job well. Unlike iron, bronze does not rust and only creates a bluish green layer that can easily be cleaned off without destroying the object. Even bronze objects that have been lying at the bottom of a river for decades can still be made to be usable again.

    Like bronze, steel is an alloy made from iron. Iron is usually found in rocks known as iron ore, from which the iron first needs to be extracted by smelting before it can be worked as a metal. As iron becomes increasingly brittle and likely to break when it mixes with the carbon from a charcoal fire, it requires a much more complex and difficult way to be turned into a high quality material than bronze. It is a very work-intensive process that requires special foundries, which are found only in a few places of the Barbarian Lands and far beyond the capabilities of most blacksmiths. The secrets of smelting iron and making steel has been known to the Komkaren gnomes for a very long time, but has been shared with other races only in the last few centuries. Steel ingots and finished weapons and armor of the best quality still come from the smiths of the Border Hills to this very day. Unlike bronze, steel is not molten into a liquid and poured into casts, but worked by heating it until it becomes soft enough to hammer into shape on an anvil. Compared to bronze, it is both more unlikely to either bend or break, which allows smiths to turn it into blades that are both longer and sharper and don't need to be sharpened as often as bronze blades. It can also be turned into very small rings that can be made into chainmail. While many blacksmiths can work with steel and in some cases repair steel items, steel weapons and armor usually come from the forges of specialists weapon and armor smiths that are found only in few places, and are very expensive.

    Adamantine is an extremely rare and difficult to work metal from the Underworld. Only a small number of weaponsmiths know how to work it, but blades made from the black metal are almost unbreakable and stay extremely sharp.

    Melee Weapons
    Axes

    Battleaxe: Unlike hatchets or the axes of woodsmen, battleaxes have very thin blades that can cut much deeper through armor and flesh before getting stuck. Because of this, they are often made from steel, but bronze battleaxes are also very common.
    Greataxe: A greataxe is very similar to a battleaxe, but has a much larger handle made to be wielded in both hands. Their heads are only slightly larger and heavier than those of battleaxes, but combined with the much greater power of a two handed strike and the leverage of the long handle they can deal tremendous damage even against armored enemies.
    Hatchet: A hatchet is a small ax that is mostly used as a tool. However, it also makes a decent weapon and can be thrown for some distances by a skilled wielder.

    Clubs and Maces
    Club: A club is a single piece of sturdy wood, about the length of a mans arm, usually thicker and heavier near the end than at the handle. While very simple in construction, a club can still cause great damage and kill a man.
    Greatclub: A greatclub is similar to a club, but used in a two-handed fashion and can be as long as its wielder is tall. Many greatclubs have heavy metal bands around the top or are hollowed out and given a core from iron or even lead, which provide them with a massive punch that can shatter the bones of even an armored man.
    Mace: A mace is pretty much a club made from metal. Iron maces exist, but bronze does the job perfectly well and is a lot less expensive.
    Morningstar: Morningstars are similar to maces, but are also fitted with metal spikes on the head, which makes them even more lethal and also menacing looking.

    Spears & Polearms
    Glaive: The glaive is a weapon very similar to a spear, but has a single edged blade more like a large knife than the two-edged dagger-shaped blade of a spear. While they can be used for stabbing, glaives are mostly used for slashing, which they can do with great force dealing very grave injuries. Being more difficult in construction and more expensive than spears, glaives are relatively rare with simple clan warriors, but almost as popular as spears with nobles and their elite warriors. Some people think that a glaive gives a warriors a greater appearance of respect, than a simple spear does.
    Halberd: Halberds are similar to spears in length, but combine the tip of a spear with the head of an ax. The ax head makes them much more effective for slashing attacks, but also makes the entire weapon slightly more unwieldy and cumbersome.
    Scythe: Scythes that are used for war and combat are very different from the farming tools, but have a shared origin. Like a farming scythe, a scythe made for battle has a long blade that slightly curves inward, which distinguishes it from a glaive, which has a blade that curves outward. Scythes are primarily chopping weapons that can easily sunder shields or cleave right through a mans arm. Regarded as slightly unwieldy by many, they are extremely efficient and dangerous weapons.
    Spear: The spear is probably the most widely used weapon among warriors throughout all of the Barbarian Lands. Made from a long wooden handle with a dagger-shaped metal blade at the end, it is relatively easy to make but an extremely dangerous and effective weapon. Being quite light and usually wielded in both hands, the spear is a very fast and agile weapon, that can be used both for thrusting and to a limited extend for slashing. Since a thrust focuses all the strength of both of the wielders arms, as well as the momentum of his entire body on a single point, the tip of a steel spear can even penetrate through armor and completely penetrate a man, dealing a wound that is almost certainly lethal. In addition, it has a reach much greater than most other weapons which makes it difficult for attackers to get close enough to an enemy who is wielding a spear. The spear is both a weapon of the lowest clan hunter and powerful chieftains and kings and clearly the most commonly used weapon in the Barbarian Lands.
    Staff: The staff is a simple wooden pole about as long as a man is high. Like a spear, it can be used with great speed and agility when held in both hands and impacts even harder than a club, which makes it a weapon that is often underestimated by those not accustomed to it.

    Swords & Blades
    Broadsword: A broadsword is a weapon similar to a short sword, but with a longer blade ranging from three to four feet in overall length. Unlike short swords, broadswords are almost always made of steel, as bronze breaks too easily when made into blades of this size. Broadswords are relatively rare weapons most commonly used by elves.
    Dagger: Daggers are small blades similar to knives, but are straight and have to edges on either side. Daggers are made for stabbing more than cutting and are purely designed for combat.
    Falcata: A falcata is a sword somewhat longer than a short sword but considerable heavier and thicker. It has a single edge on the inside of the blades curve, similar to a kukri, and a thick back which makes it similar to a large cleaver. In many aspects, it's a weapon that combines aspects of both swords and axes. Not very good for thrusting, falcatas make extremely good chopping weapons that can cut through shields and armor and sever limbs. Falcatas are used by lizardfolk and kaas, and to a lesser extend humans, while elves prefer the straight, two-edged broadswords.
    Knives: A knife is a simple blade ranging in size from the length of a mans hand and to that of a lower arm. While one can stab quite effectively with a knife, it is mainly made for cutting and has a single slightly curved blade. While one of the smallest and most unassuming of all weapons, many warriors have a great respect for it and know that it is the one type of weapon that has probably killed more people than any other weapons combined. Since it is such a useful tool that is needed for all kinds of tasks ever day, almost anyone can carry a knife on an unseen place on the body, and because of its small size and the speed at which it can be used, it can appear at any time without warning. Yet even a blade as small as a finger can kill a powerful warrior with a single thrust to the neck or the chest, and even a child can kill with it, when it is not detected in time. Because of the short reach, fighting with a knife requires a person to get extremely close to his opponent at which the fight turns into a viscous brawl in which there is no time to demand a surrender. A fight with knives is always a fight to the death. Drawing a knife in anger is treated as a grave misdemeanor in most clans, as it can turn a minor argument into a deadly fight in the blink of an eye.
    Kukri: A kukri is a curved knife that is both commonly used by the people of the Mahiri Jungles and the Emerald Sea, but also used in an almost identical version by the kaas. Like a sickle, the blade is slightly curved inward and it can be used very similar to a hatchet and makes a great all-purpose tool.
    Longsword: Longswords (or bastard swords) are larger versions of the broadsword which require to be wielded in both hands. With the secondary hand having only a lose grip on the hilt, these weapons are surprisingly fast but also have much larger reach than other swords. Longswords are extremely rare and expensive, requiring the highest quality steel and are used almost entirely by elven chieftains and sub-chiefs.
    Scimitar: The scimitar is a curved blade similar in length to the broadsword, but lighter and with a curved single edge. Like broadswords, scimitars are mostly used by elves and by far outrank broadswords as the preferred blade of dark elves.
    Sickle: Sickles are farming tools that can be used as weapons to some degree. Not designed for combat, they are difficult to use, but can still deal grievous wounds when no other weapon is available.
    Short Sword: Short swords are the most commonly used type of swords in the Barbarian Lands. The are about two feet in length and most commonly made of bronze. While not commonly used as primary weapons, many warriors carry one in addition to a spear or other larger weapons like bows.

    Ranged Weapons
    Bows
    Longbow: Longbows are specialized bows made for warfare. Even then strung, they usually reach beyond the wielders head when standing next to his feet. Since it is more difficult to find single pieces of wood that are suitable for a bow of this size, they are more expensive than shorter bows and also not so good for using them in forests or other places where things can get in the way. However, they have far longer reach and strike their target harder at long distances when in the hand of a trained warrior. Like the glaive, the longbow is regarded as a symbol of high ranking warriors.
    Short Bow: The most commonly used type of bow used in the Barbarian Lands is the short bow, or simply the bow as most people refer to it. Short bows reach in height from a mans feet to about up to his chest, which makes it more practical for hunting in the forest and the larger longbows.

    Thrown Weapons
    Boomerang: The boomerang is a thrown weapon used by lizardfolk and has also been adopted by some dark elf clans. It's basically a piece of heavy wood shaped to fly over great distances when thrown. It is not a particularly lethal weapon, but can in some cases break bones or stun a target for a few moments, which provides time to close up to them and deal with them in melee combat.
    Dart: Darts are usually made of small pointed iron rods, shaped like oversized square nails. They are not primarily used to injure or kill an enemy, but are thrown at a pursuers face as a distraction when trying to escape. Sometimes they are also coated in poison, which does not need to penetrate deep into the body to cause harm.
    Javelin: A javelin is a small spear made for throwing. It's not very useful as a melee weapon but can fly longer distances than ordinary spears with greater accuracy. Many warriors carry three or four javelins with them in addition to their spear.
    Sling: A sling is an extremely simple weapon, that requires great skill and training from the user. Aiming at a target is quite difficult, but a stone or lead ball thrown by a sling can easily shatter bones and even penetrate skin.
    Last edited by Yora; 2012-02-22 at 07:43 PM.
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    Default Re: Lands of the Barbarian Kings

    Your weapon line-up is simple yet covers all the important bases. I like it! Keep up the good work!
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    Default Re: Lands of the Barbarian Kings

    Very nice stuff on the weapons. I especially like the added detail on the metallurgy tech and how/when/why different metals are used in this setting.

    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    Like bronze, steel is an alloy made from iron.
    I don't think this is quite what you meant to say. Your English is quite good, but this sentence construction implies that bronze is an alloy made from iron, which as you have stated above it is not. Just leave off the first two words ("Like bronze") and it would be fine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Omeganaut View Post
    Your weapon line-up is simple yet covers all the important bases. I like it! Keep up the good work!
    I agree. Are you going to vary the prices from the book, to reflect the difference of metal availability and skill of various races in crafting certain items? Also, did you decide that Masterwork = Steel in this setting? It would make the most sense to me, honestly, since bronze seems the standard and steel would have the advantage over them, which would be represented by being masterwork. Though, on the other hand, I don't see a reason bronze weapons couldn't be magic, either, so there is that conundrum...
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    Default Re: Lands of the Barbarian Kings

    Like bronze, steel is not a pure material, but an alloy made from iron.
    This should work.

    One solution would be to have all steel weapons always be masterwork, with bronze items coming both in common and masterwork versions. However, long swords really only work when made from steel. I think prices may be slightly adjusted to plus or minus 50% for items that are either very common or very rare. Bows would be cheaper, while one and two-handed swords, chainmail, heavy armor, glass, and silk would be more expensive.
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    I've been doing some researching and discussing with people about what makes a campaign setting enjoyable to a wider audience in the last days. And we made some very interesting discoveries that I really hadn't been thinking about before. Until here it has been mostly theoretical work, but now it get more and more to adressing the details, so it's time to really give some thought on what to select for detailed description.
    Just a week ago someone made a 600+ pages pdf of a homebrew setting, yet some of the most praised books from AD&D times are only 60 pages. I want people to get hooked on LBK (as I am calling it for now ) but I'm only some guy writing stuff in his free time at home. So chosing the right way to reach an audience is important.

    However, those are people who might potentially like my work and take a look at it, while you already are giving me your attention. And I believe addressing your core audience is always a better idea than to ignore them to reach out for new customers instead. So before I jump all in, I'd like to share with you what I think I learned the last days, and how I intend to apply it to the setting. If you think it's great, then I'll know I'm on the right track. If you think it sucks, I have to rethink some things before making the final descisions.

    So here are the lesons I've taken from talking to other people:
    • Many players don't like to read background information: Even if the GM tells them to before the campaign starts. Therefore, players need to be able to create characters without knowing almost anything about the world. The very basics about their characters race and class, and some fundamental things about the setting have to suffice and it mustn't be more than one page of text in all.
      I think LBK is in a rather good position with this, as the world is full of people who have no formal education in geography and history, really only know their own remote village, and each settlement has their own little shrine to appease the local spirit of the land, and knowledge of the gods or the religion of other settlements is optional even for divine spellcasters. If you want to play a priest of a major faith who is also a member of a great cities nobility, you have to do some reading. But to play an elf druid, you only need to know what an elf is, and what a druid is.
    • People need easy access to the world: The Barbaripedia is a great thing, but wikis only work for people who are already familiar with the majority of the setting. Putting everything into a 600 pages document is way too long and you can't expect anyone to read the entire thing to be able to decide if the setting is for them or not.
    • Too much detail feels restrictive: Many people want to know as much as they can about a world, but at the same time many GMs and even players feel constrained by settings that dictate which people do what things, where everything is, and what happens in what places. People want settings that allow them to have their own stories take place there, without being told what they can and can't doo.
    • The amount of details doesn't matter that much: While many people complain about too detailed settings, it seems to me that the amount of available information actially doesn't really matter. If it's 200 or 600 pages of information, the important thing is only that it doesn't limit groups to what happens in their game. If there's a description for 2 or 8 taverns in a city doesn't matter, as long as the information given doesn't make the places static and GMs need to break canon to introduce their own ideas.
    • People want settings to set the stage, not to direct the action: What lots of people said is, that they want to read about the environment in which characters and NPCs live, and the ways how society works. But they want to make it their own campaign, being free to decide what happens and what their characters find and encounter.


    What I take from all this is that people want to be given an idea for a world, with hooks for adventures and samples for locations and people. But they still want to make it their own campaign, where they decide what happens and what they discover. They don't want anyone to give them direction how things should be done in their game.
    I can certainly live with that. When I started writing settings, I did it for a planned online game in which I and some of my friends would be the GMs for a 30-50 people sandbox game, and also play PCs ourselves. But that's a multi-GM campaign we were working on, not a setting for GMs to use in their personal campaigns. As GMs, we had to have a shared knowledge about all the places and people, so they would be consistend between constantly changing GMs and parties. But that's not what most people seem to want from a campaign setting for their own game. Consistency between campaigns is not needed, and not desired. Making it your own world is what most GMs seem to want, and they are usually the ones who have the final word on a campaigns setting. If you can do so without ignoring or breaking parts of the canon and avoid players complaining for changing established facts, that's even much better.
    This does not change how I want to design the world, but certainly has a great impact on the form of presentation.

    As one person said, they want a setting like a coloring book. Getting the clearly defined outlines, but filling out the spaces themselves. Which I indent to put in the practice as follows:
    Descriptions for all major things will be brief and open ended. I define what forests there are, which mountain ranges, what major rivers and major cities. And I will also describe the basic traits of these places, like what kind of environment they are and what kind of people and creatures live there.
    These places will then be partially flashed out by examples. If an area has 10 towns, I will make detailed descriptions for only two or three of them, brief descriptions for three or four more, and leave the rest completely undefined. Or if a city is run by 12 lords, I'll describe 2 in detail, 4 in passing, and the other ones not at all. That way every GM has what he might want: Want to have something all prepared and well described? Visit the well described village and use the highly detailed lord as an NPC. Like the idea, but want to give it your own touch? Take the losely described ones and flash out the details yourself. Don't like any of the given examples? Make up your own and use the well defined examples as guidelines to how things work in these cases. The added bonus is, that you can play in campaigns by diferent DMs and you don't end up with conflicting creations. One GM creates a few lords and anothe creates a few others, but since they don't need to remove any canonical lords, nobody is saying that the ones from the one game don't also exist in the other game. They just don't make an appearance.

    My actual plan for the comming year is this: I will make a 60-80 page introductory pdf that serves as an introduction and starting point for new GMs and players. Explaining the environment and society of the world, and providing basic descriptions for all the major points of interest and some personalities and power groups. That will be all you need to run an LBK game. If you want to have more detail on certain things, ore more examples for characters and locations, there is the Barbaripedia, where much more information can be found. However, the Barbaripedia material will be written in a way, that it doesn't force itself to override things that GMs have created based on the pdf. If the pdf has a brief description of a dungeon that says nobody knows what created it, then the Barbaripedia page will not have information on who created it. Instead there will be more details on the creatures that inhabit the dungeon, aditional legends people tell about it, and so on. Things that encourage GMs to use them, but can also be ignored without being broken.

    Now this is what I have in mind for the following months. If you see possible weak spots or just reassure me that it's a good plan, please share your thoughts with me. After all, this includes a list. You like commenting on lists, don't you?
    Last edited by Yora; 2012-02-23 at 04:33 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yora, just above
    Descriptions for all major things will be brief and open ended. I define what forests there are, which mountain ranges, what major rivers and major cities. And I will also describe the basic traits of these places, like what kind of environment they are and what kind of people and creatures live there.
    These places will then be partially flashed out by examples. If an area has 10 towns, I will make detailed descriptions for only two or three of them, brief descriptions for three or four more, and leave the rest completely undefined. Or if a city is run by 12 lords, I'll describe 2 in detail, 4 in passing, and the other ones not at all. That way every GM has what he might want: Want to have something all prepared and well described? Visit the well described village and use the highly detailed lord as an NPC. Like the idea, but want to give it your own touch? Take the losely described ones and flash out the details yourself. Don't like any of the given examples? Make up your own and use the well defined examples as guidelines to how things work in these cases. The added bonus is, that you can play in campaigns by diferent DMs and you don't end up with conflicting creations. One GM creates a few lords and anothe creates a few others, but since they don't need to remove any canonical lords, nobody is saying that the ones from the one game don't also exist in the other game. They just don't make an appearance.
    I just want to offer my opinion on some of the specifics here. You should detail the large-scale geography, but take care not to get into extreme detail in many places to allow GM's to fill in the gaps. Likewise, detail the largest cities, and perhaps a few small towns in which a GM who didn't want to create his own area could start with, but allow potential users plenty of available options for creating their own. In other words, give a possible starting point for the first few adventures, put some bigger hooks around the world, define the major points, powers, and politics, and let other gamers define the rest as they go. Once the adventure gets going, players will tend towards certain places or NPC's or quests or factions or some combination that will allow the DM to plan out further action to suit the party and build on what has already happened. In other words, I say you have to do even less than it seemed you were proposing, to allow other users of this setting to build their own unique locales and adventures.
    I have returned, and plan on focusing on world-building. Issues are being dealt with.

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    Default Re: Lands of the Barbarian Kings

    For the beginning, a basic outline with a few starting points certainly is the best thing to aim for. But I actually like creating detailed places and also reading about them in other peoples settings. I think the important thing is, that you don't do it in such a way that GMs need to incorporate it and have no room left for their own ideas.
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    The latest updates:

    [New] Mekkari Plains
    [New] Inner Sea
    [New] Nazraja Islands
    [New] Burning Islands
    [New] Emerald Sea
    [New] Asharrai Ocean
    [New] Tameran Ocean
    [New] Mherian Islands

    And with this not only are all major geographical features named, the Barbaripedia also now has more than 100 pages.
    Last edited by Yora; 2012-02-26 at 03:05 PM.
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    Default Re: Lands of the Barbarian Kings

    Great! What we need now is a map with all the names marked in.
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