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    Default The Blackwood Campaign Setting | Folklore. Action. Dice. | PEACH

    The Blackwood
    Campaign Setting

    Folklore. Action. Dice.
    A Zap Dynamic Creation.

    Setting Wiki (WIP)
    Current Game:
    IC Thread | OOC Thread | Dice Thread


    Once upon a time...
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    The Blackwood was a vast forest that had been planted in the bones of the earth. It rose and fell in countless hills up into the Heights, the tallest mountains in the world. Its border was stark, and outsiders did not tempt it. Inside, humans had scraped out a life for countless generations, but did not know civilization until the reign of the Elder King. Wisdom and prosperity were his scepter and sword, though not all would heed him. Some still clung to the old ways, and worshipped the elves in the Blackwood’s darkest depths. There was not war between them, but never could there be peace.

    The Elder King and his family had always lived in seclusion at Heavenly Meadow Palace. The edicts that came down the river from that nigh-mythical ground were full of justice, and clever minds discovered great secrets held within. These words guided the people of the Blackwood on a thousand-year trail of history. They were the heralds of a golden age in the heart of the wilderness.

    But those edicts ceased nearly fifteen years ago. An ancient power has stirred since that fateful day, and gloom has fallen on the Wood. Much of the nobility has fallen to corruption, many of the beleaguered folk of the Wood have turned into lawless bandits, and there are rumors that the malicious powers of the elves are waxing strong once more.

    The Council at Sky Pillar, an august body of knights, has called upon their fellows to join with the errant heroes and vigilantes that live on the fringe of society. Only through the alliance of all the virtuous men and women of the Blackwood will the common folk find deliverance, though the road will be long and treacherous.




    Welcome to the Blackwood Campaign Setting! This setting combines European folk tales with the high-flying action of Chinese wuxia. This Old School Renaissance-inspired setting was designed for play with Warrior, Rogue, & Mage, but could be easily adapted for play in any system.

    Players will want to look through this guide and pick out entries that interest them. A comprehensive knowledge of the setting will help you on your adventures, but is by no means necessary.

    Gamemasters require familiarity with the whole guide to effectively run a campaign in the Blackwood. This setting is designed with plenty of areas for GMs to add their own material; the Player’s Guide is an effective tool for flavoring your own scenes, encounters, and quests.

    Overgrown ruins and crafty spirits wait just beyond the safety of the village wall… Onward!




    <Under Construction--Contents & Rules>




    Thanks: Amaril, JustPlayItLoud, Landis963, Pokonic, sdream, Trellan, Tsa'Bakr, unosarta, Wyntonian, and anyone else who's given feedback for (or played in) this setting.

    Special thanks to Eldest, who's been with me since the beginning!


    Past Adventures in the Blackwood

    2012-13: Tales of the Blackwood | IC | OOC
    Last edited by Zap Dynamic; 2014-03-31 at 02:47 PM.
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    <Under Construction--Regions & Characters>
    Last edited by Zap Dynamic; 2014-02-18 at 04:21 PM.
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    <Under Construction--Magic, Spells, Weapon Mastery>
    Last edited by Zap Dynamic; 2014-02-18 at 04:22 PM.
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    <Under Construction--Bestiary and Treasure>
    Last edited by Zap Dynamic; 2014-02-18 at 04:23 PM.
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    Last edited by Zap Dynamic; 2014-02-27 at 08:14 PM.
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    This is VERY intresting you know?

    I'll follow this project with great interest :)

    For the "Bureaucrat" role, there are a variety of "Noble" class from various sources that might be what you're looking for, or the Marshal from Miniature's Handbook, or again a class wich I don't remember the name from Dragonlance Campaign setting.

    See ya and great work :)

    P.S.
    The simplified class and the simplified races links don't work :P
    Last edited by Zaknir; 2012-02-15 at 09:51 AM.

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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Zaknir View Post
    This is VERY intresting you know?

    I'll follow this project with great interest :)
    Thanks!

    For the "Bureaucrat" role, there are a variety of "Noble" class from various sources that might be what you're looking for, or the Marshal from Miniature's Handbook, or again a class wich I don't remember the name from Dragonlance Campaign setting.
    I guess I should have been a little more clear on what I was looking for. In the Game of Thrones tabletop game, there's a class who's job it is to get all the money, have all the contacts, and pull the strings behind the scenes while the sword guys do their swording and the tracker guys do their tracking. It makes me think of a "party" of adventurers that can still work as a team even while separated by hundreds of miles. It also makes me think of campaigns that involve, like, maybe one combat per character level. It's terribly exciting stuff.

    That said, I think I might end up making the class myself or putting out a request in the homebrew section. I glanced at E6 stuff today, and it seems pretty cool, but I need to look more closely to figure out if it's feasible.

    P.S.
    The simplified class and the simplified races links don't work :P
    Hmmm... The links have worked for me on two different computers, now. I'll fix them when I get home just to be certain.

    In other news, I've put up blurbs under the Geography section, reworked the Cosmology section, and moved the Factions to the "And Its People" post for the sake of space in "The Realm" post. Huzzah!
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Zap Dynamic View Post
    Thanks!
    I guess I should have been a little more clear on what I was looking for. In the Game of Thrones tabletop game, there's a class who's job it is to get all the money, have all the contacts, and pull the strings behind the scenes while the sword guys do their swording and the tracker guys do their tracking. It makes me think of a "party" of adventurers that can still work as a team even while separated by hundreds of miles. It also makes me think of campaigns that involve, like, maybe one combat per character level. It's terribly exciting stuff.
    You know...it REALLY sounds like the Bard concept, but with MONEY instead of SPELLS

    Maybe you could create a custom class that works as the bard but when it would take spells, instead gain the "Favour" class ability of the Noble (Dragonlance).

    BTW
    Is this a 3.5 project or Pathfinder project?

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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    I like this idea, and I wish I had seen it earlier. Btw, Savannah's trying something sorta similar, with her setting Badger's Hollow. I would link it, but apparently I don't have a link.

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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Zaknir View Post
    Maybe you could create a custom class that works as the bard but when it would take spells, instead gain the "Favour" class ability of the Noble (Dragonlance).
    I like it! It's extremely similar to the class in GoT.

    BTW
    Is this a 3.5 project or Pathfinder project?
    After reading through most of the classes on Gnorman's E6 Compendium, I think that's going to be the way to go. If the E6 Handbook knows what it's talking about, then E6 characters can handle up to 12th-ish level threats. That's right on track with the kind of demographic I hope to create. The whole of the Blackwood is home to a little more than 1 million people, and the largest city only has 11,000 or so. With that in mind, I think its only fair to design a setting such that the PCs can become the most powerful mortals around.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldest
    I like this idea, and I wish I had seen it earlier. Btw, Savannah's trying something sorta similar, with her setting Badger's Hollow. I would link it, but apparently I don't have a link.
    No worries! This has only been posted for, like, three days anyway. Badger's Hollow seems eerily similar to what I have in mind. I swear I didn't steal anything!

    In other news, I added another section (or two... can't remember) to the Parallels post. I'm about to add some stuff to the Crunch section, as well as hammer out some info about the races in the People post. If I'm feeling crazy, I may even throw up the info I have about the cities... at least their populations.
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    All right, so I definitely did do all of those things I said I might do. In particular, take a look at the whole "Half Elf" thing in the Races section. It's admittedly pretty weird. Thoughts?
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Zap Dynamic View Post
    After reading through most of the classes on Gnorman's E6 Compendium, I think that's going to be the way to go. If the E6 Handbook knows what it's talking about, then E6 characters can handle up to 12th-ish level threats. That's right on track with the kind of demographic I hope to create. The whole of the Blackwood is home to a little more than 1 million people, and the largest city only has 11,000 or so. With that in mind, I think its only fair to design a setting such that the PCs can become the most powerful mortals around.
    *looks at sig*
    It's spreading...
    MWAHAHAHA!!!

    Anyway, when I am much less tired I shall look through your stuff in earnest. And PEACH. And help.

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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    While I have many (good) things to say about this setting, one sticks foremost in my mind.

    WHO MADE YOUR MAP???
    Guess who's good at avatars? Thormag. That's who.

    A Campaign Setting more than a year in the making, Patria!

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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Wyntonian View Post
    While I have many (good) things to say about this setting, one sticks foremost in my mind.

    WHO MADE YOUR MAP???
    I did! I've already made some minor adjustments, and I'm working on a fancier, "painted" style now.

    I've been mapping with photoshop for a few years now, but I've only just started getting good. Here's a link to my deviantArt profile.
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    Ooh, I like it! Will need to read it in more detail when it's not 2:30 am, though
    Thinking about getting started with D&D 3.5 or Pathfinder? I'm always happy to answer questions and help a new player!

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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    Because I feel bad just demaning map-related answers, I do hereby solemnly swear I'll look over this setting a little more thoroughly some time today. I'll PM you about linking them, too.
    Guess who's good at avatars? Thormag. That's who.

    A Campaign Setting more than a year in the making, Patria!

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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    Wowza! Now that I've got so many people interested in taking a look, I guess I should let everyone know that there's very little flavor text at this point. The italicized bit before the picture in the OP and the history section are the only things that are even vague attempts at flavor thus far, but I intend to make everything taste delicious eventually.

    Also, I've got rough drafts for each of the faction "racial modifiers." I think I'll put those up now.
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    Factions

    Each of these is prone to change, and they will definitely be expanded to include more flavor later on. Before I dive in, here's the format of the stat blocks. As a reminder, right now character pick two of these at character creation instead of picking a race. Everyone is otherwise a human, and this reflects the circles in which a character travels.

    Title
    Size: How widespread the faction is. Small factions have contacts in two locations, Medium have contacts in 4 locations, and Large factions have contacts in 6 locations.
    Ability: Each faction grants a +2 bonus to one ability score.
    Skill: Each faction also adds one skill to your list of class skills. These are all Pathfinder skills, because Pathfinder's skills are better.
    Contacts: Each location has contacts in a number of different locations, according to its size. There may be a mechanic to look for a contact in an atypical place, probably involving a d% roll.
    Skills Available: In addition to providing contacts, each faction also grants access to (and eventually discounts at) various professionals. These professionals can grant Knowledge, Influence, or Skills.
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    Riverfolk
    Size: Large
    Ability: +2 Cha
    Skill: Appraise
    Contacts: Freeport, Three Rivers, Span, Grey Folly, Grand Delving, Sentry Grove
    Skills Available: Appraise, Craft (Jewelry, Armorcraft), Diplomacy, Disable Device, Disguise, Escape Artist, Intimidate, Knowledge (Engineering, History, Local, Nobility, Religion), Linguistics, Perform, Profession (Sailor, Trader, Noble, Etc.), Sense Motive, Swim

    Woodfolk
    Size: Large
    Ability: +2 Wis
    Skill: Survival
    Contacts: The Stag and Dragon, High Hall, Grey Folly, Sentry Grove, Span, Three Rivers
    Skills Available: Climb, Craft (Fur, Bowmaking, Etc.), Diplomacy, Handle Animal, Heal, Intimidate, Knowledge (Arcana, Geography, Local), Perception, Ride, Stealth, Survival

    Elder King
    Size: Large
    Ability: +2 Wis
    Skill: Knowledge (History)
    Contacts: Elder Gate, Grand Delving, Three Rivers, Grey Folly, Span, Sentry Grove
    Skills Available: Appraise, Craft (Silversmith, Calligraphy, Art, etc.), Diplomacy, Knowledge (Arcana, Engineering, History, Nobility, Religion), Spellcraft, Use Magic Device

    Cerai
    Size: Medium
    Ability: +2 Cha
    Skill: Knowledge (Nobility)
    Contacts: Freeport, The Stag and Dragon, Three Rivers, Span
    Skills Available: Appraise, Bluff, Diplomacy, Disguise, Knowledge (Geography, Religion), Linguistics, Sense Motive, Sleight of Hand

    Koss
    Size: Small
    Ability: +2 Con
    Skill: Intimidate
    Contacts: Winter, Three Rivers
    Skills Available: Climb, Craft (Armormaking, Weaponmaking, Sculpting, etc.), Intimidate, Knowledge (Engineering, History), Linguistics

    Sentinels
    Size: Medium
    Ability: +2 Str
    Skill: Diplomacy
    Contacts: Elder Kingdom, Stag and Dragon, Sky Pillar, High Hall
    Skills Available: Acrobatics, Diplomacy, Escape Artist, Heal, Intimidate, Knowledge (Geography, History), Profession (Sentinel), Ride, Sense Motive, Survival

    Hunters
    Size: Medium
    Ability: +2 Dex
    Skill: Perception
    Contacts: High Hall, Grey Folly, Stag and Dragon, Spearwood
    Skills Available: Acrobatics, Climb, Craft (Bowmaking, Trapmaking, Furs), Diplomacy, Disable Device, Escape Artist, Handle Animal, Heal, Knowledge (Geography, Local, Nature, The Planes), Perception, Profession (Hunter), Sleight of Hand, Stealth, Survival

    Spearwood Brotherhood
    Size: Small
    Ability: +2 Dex
    Skill: Handle Animal
    Contacts: Stag and Dragon, Sentry Grove
    Skills Available: Acrobatics, Climb, Craft (Spears), Escape Artist, Fly, Handle Animal, Heal, Intimidate, Knowledge (Arcana, Geography, Nature, The Planes), Linguistics, Perception, Ride, Sense Motive, Sleight of Hand, Spellcraft, Stealth, Survival, Use Magic Device

    Kobolds
    Size: Medium
    Ability: +2 Int
    Skill: Knowledge (Planes)
    Contacts: Grand Delving, Elder Gate, Three Rivers, Freeport
    Skills Available: Appraise, Craft (Any), Disable Device, Disguise, Escape Artist, Heal, Knowledge (All), Linguistics, Profession (Scholar, Craftsman), Spellcraft, Use Magic Device

    Brigands
    Size: Medium
    Ability: +2 Any
    Skill: Survival
    Contacts: Three Rivers, Span, The Bracken, Stag and Dragon
    Skills Available: Acrobatics, Appraise, Bluff, Climb, Diplomacy, Disable Device, Disguise, Escape Artist, Intimidate, Knowledge (Geography, Nature), Perception, Sense Motive, Sleight of Hand, Stealth, Survival, Swim

    Unified
    Size: Medium
    Ability: +2 Cha
    Skill: Knowledge (Religion)
    Contacts: Freeport, Three Rivers, Stag and Dragon, Span
    Skills Available: Appraise, Diplomacy, Heal, Knowledge (Arcana, History, Religon, The Planes), Linguistics, Profession (Clergy), Spellcraft, Use Magic Device
    Last edited by Zap Dynamic; 2012-02-18 at 01:42 PM.
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    Would you be able to stack two of the same ability scores, because that may get out of hand. What if you had each faction offer two ability scores, but you have to chose one, and you can't have two +2s to the same score?

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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    I had planned on that being the case. I wasn't sure how that would affect things in the E6 world... My thinking was that a character with an additional +4 to an ability score is choosing specialization over generalization, which tends to balance itself out. For instance, a sorcerer with a +4 to Cha (especially over the course of the first 6 levels) is going to have a harder time than a sorcerer who only has a +2 to Cha, but a +2 to Con as well. Also, that's something that each DM could keep track of and deal with on a case-by-case basis. Maybe it could be resolved if I just include a note saying as much?
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    About Giantkin and the like: It could be that you can simply state that "All Trolls are Different" is a actual cosmic rule. One Ginny Greenteeth (Annis Hag) eats small childeren who wander up to her lair, and her late husband Garon (a Two-headed troll) lurked in a nearby hollow and hunted down deer before he was slain. There childeren include a two-headed giant, a stony man with rock-hard skin, and a girl who has strange powers over nature that occasinaly plays with childeren near her home when mama is'nt looking ( a half-fey human child with levels in Druid).

    They are realy varing fey that have too many ties to the natural world, and are happier in a stone hut ( or under a dich, or in a cave, or inside a hill, ect), and have a bit more pratical sence then 'bolds or elves. A few have little reason not to "adopt" a child if there parents are not nearby, and such childeren have a much greater chance at developing raging or magical abilites, even if there "parents" have none.
    Well, one time at Bard camp...
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    I like the thoughts about Trolls, and they're sort of in line with the way I've been thinking about them.

    Originally, the Forest was the last place where magic still existed. It had the ability to warp things that lived under its eaves, and for humans that meant corruption. In the original setting, humans were minorly anti-magic: one human alone wasn't enough for it to be noticeable; a band of them could stave off the forest's effects, and an entire town could actually create a sort of bubble of protection. If you wandered too far out into the wood, however, you risked being transformed into a Troll.

    Much of that has changed, but I still picture Trolls being (at least descended from) twisted humans. They're generally large, hideously ugly, and pretty stupid. That said, there's a lot of room for these Trolls to look pretty different from each other. Maybe one just looks large and deformed, while another might look like some creature made of wood and moss.

    I also agree with the idea that Trolls aren't necessarily evil. There may be places in the wild where Trolls and humans live together in a kind of uneasy peace. Although trolls are naturally cruel, they're also notoriously stupid, and can be easily tricked into helping someone out. They can also speak, though they may or may not speak your particular language.


    While I'm posting, I want to start cataloging different ways that magic is expressed in fairy tales. Right off the bat, I can think of the witches cauldron (whether it's poison or potions), the enchanted sword (or any enchanted object or person, for that matter... Excalibur and Sleeping Beauty come to mind), the prophesy (sights and revelations in general), the illusion (ghosts seem to do this a lot), locomotion/teleporting/phasing (how else do the fairies get to fairyland?), and truenaming (Rumplestiltskin being the most obvious example).

    Out of all these, I think I'm comfortable including all of them in the setting except truenaming. My reasoning is this: there's very little danger of power creep when your magic is about brewing potions, enchanting people and things, pronouncing prophecies, and creating illusions. Being able to jump around willy-nilly (whether that be balancing on bamboo or teleporting from one realm to the next) is in some serious grey area, but truenaming just seems... really powerful. I suppose it could be limited like Rumplestiltskin implies (you can make an Elf go away if you know its true name, but you're not about to do anything grander), but I don't know. Does anyone have a thought on this?
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    On trolls: I would have them be a combo of the following: Well, trolls, Giants and Giantkin, Hags, Ogres, Treants, and finaly any sort of unseelie fey one could think of.



    Dont have truenaming per say. but hand out stuff like "The beast of Beri road can be pushed back be the sound of a birds death-cry" as rewards and such, not by any sort of class ability. The information about the local magical tree and the hunting down of the troll who knows the password could be a adventure unto itself.
    Last edited by Pokonic; 2012-02-20 at 03:22 PM.
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Pokonic View Post
    On trolls: I would have them be a combo of the following: Well, trolls, Giants and Giantkin, Hags, Ogres, Treants, and finaly any sort of unseelie fey one could think of.



    Dont have truenaming per say. but hand out stuff like "The beast of Beri road can be pushed back be the sound of a birds death-cry" as rewards and such, not by any sort of class ability. The information about the local magical tree and the hunting down of the troll who knows the password could be a adventure unto itself.
    I dig it all except the unseelie thing. I don't really like that distinction amongst fey (at least, not for this setting), and I'd rather avoid it.

    On a related note, I JUST edited the Parallels post to include a lot more droning, and I address that very point!

    Like I've said, I'm still really concerned about the nature of half-elves, and would love some feedback on it.
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Zap Dynamic View Post
    I dig it all except the unseelie thing. I don't really like that distinction amongst fey (at least, not for this setting), and I'd rather avoid it.

    On a related note, I JUST edited the Parallels post to include a lot more droning, and I address that very point!

    Like I've said, I'm still really concerned about the nature of half-elves, and would love some feedback on it.
    1. Naw, I mean like evil fey that would not fit in with the currant elven realm you currantly had.


    2. Half-Elves seem fine. Seems to me like there could be half-fey in the woodland communities due the the occasinal fling with some Troll with polymorph abilites and that half-elven are pretty much exclusive to the high nobility, yes?
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    While I've got time, I'm going to undertake the massive job of classifying all of the classes in Gnorman's E6 Compendium.

    Key:
    Green is Gravy. This is a class I'm approving for PCs. They would make fine NPCs too.
    Blue is a Bossibility. This is a class that would make for a good NPC, but should be taken with a big grain of salt for PCs.
    Red is Rawful. For one reason or another, it just doesn't work.

    Combat Classes
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    Brawler: The Classic Unarmed Combatant. It doesn't really fit the German Folklore side of things, but it does really fit the wuxia side of things. Overall, it's fine for a PC to be a Brawler, but it really ought to be rare.
    • Breathstealer: Sure.
    • Bruiser: A Dhalsim hand? Sorry, but no. Too wacky.
    • Cenobite: Everything but the teleportation is fine with me.
    • Martial Artist: Mmm, bread and butter. I like Martial Initiators a lot, and this is pretty typical Wuxia fair.
    • Ravager: I can picture characters that make use of this, but I feel it would make a much better Troll than anything.


    Gladiator: The Classic Melee Striker. A-OK in my book. Kind of a weird name for the class as a whole, but no biggie.
    • Brute: Eh. Raging doesn't really mesh with the setting, but whatever. Would be more appropriate as a bandit than anything.
    • Kensei: Mmmmm, flavor. Initiator and a Fearless Knight? Sound like Prince Charming material.
    • Master-At-Arms: He is better than you at hitting things. Nothing wrong with that.
    • Pit Fighter: There's no place for the "pit fighter" flavor of this class, but mechanically he's just fine.
    • Vindicator: This guy would make a fine Spearwood Brother. Would also make a decent Sentinel. Would also make a decent Hunter.


    The Hunter: The Classic Ranged Striker. Right on par.
    • Beastmaster: What a cool Hunter you would make.
    • Deadeye: What a cool Hunter you would make.
    • Peltast: What a cool Spearwood Brother you would make!
    • Sniper: What a cool Hunter you would make.
    • Stalker: What a cool Hunter you would make.


    The Sentinel: The Classic Melee Tank. Right on. A lot of these would suit a person from Koss very well.
    • Bastion: "Big Awesome Armored Guy" is pretty much the stereotypical view of Kossians in the Blackwood.
    • Gallant: Lots of potential for heroic self-sacrifices here. Bonus: you can survive them!
    • Juggernaut: I love the idea of pushing people around, I just think it would work better for a Troll than a human. Use sparingly.
    • Landsknecht: What a cool rendition of the Brick Wall. Bonus: It has a German name! Would make a good Spearwood Brother.
    • Praetorian: As a soldier that works best with a unit, this is a good Kossian. Would also make a fine Sentinel.


    The Zealot: The Classic Melee Buffer. Just dandy.
    • Avenger: An Initiator, and one tough mutha.
    • Cavalier: There really isn't space for combat on horseback in the Blackwood. Too many trees. Use sparingly.
    • Initiate: Not my favorite take on the "holy warrior." I'd prefer them to be able to turn at the cost of melee power, or vice versa. Ultimately not a big deal, but use sparingly.
    • Reaver: Nothing wrong with this class, but would make a much better villain, whether it's a bandit, an evil baron, or a Troll.
    • Templar: The Magekiller. This is much more in line with what I consider to be a "devout warrior."



    Skilled Classes
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    The Engineer: The Alchemical/Mechanical Caster is a cool role, but is exactly wrong for this setting. The Sawbones archetype comes close, but still no.
    The Noble: The Charismatic Moneybags--often behind the scenes--is exactly who needs to be amongst the Riverfolk. Booyah.
    • Dilettante: A dedicated generalist. I wouldn't want to play it, but I think it's fine.
    • Duelist: I picture a lot of the well-to-do in the larger cities (and almost ALL of the well-to-do from Cerai) to be Duelists.
    • Patrician: The Forceful Diplomat is a very interesting character option. It reminds me of Tyrion from ASoIaF.
    • Tyrant: Obviously, this guy would make a great villain whether he's a bandit king or a corrupt politician with a retinue of guards. Except in rare circumstances, minions and henchmen should be humans.
    • Warchief: I'm glad to see the "Charismatic Combat Buffer" as a meager combatant. Lots of interesting potential here.


    The Poet: The Artistic Buffer, with an interesting healer twist. I like it!
    • Banshee: I like this archetype a lot--especially when I think about those sonic attacks coming from instruments--and it's right on the edge of the kind of magic I think is appropriate in this setting.
    • Bravado: Ah, the two-handed, mobile warrior. Nothing wrong here.
    • Doomsinger: This is very cool. I picture the twin instrumentalists from Kung Fu Hustle. That last ability is really skirting the edge, but I'll allow it.
    • Skald: Maybe a little wild for my taste, but I like it. Would make a good brigand, backwoods dude, or pagan.
    • Trickster: Not a lot in the way of flavor here. As far as I'm concerned, that puts more fun in the hands of the player!


    The Sage: The Knowledgeable Buffer. Generally very cool; specifically very sketchy.
    • Caller: I haven't read much about vestiges, but it seems very close to the way I imagine divine magic working in my campaign.
    • Didact: Long story short, I need to read more about the mechanics behind this. Flavor-wise, it doesn't fit. Truenaming might be a thing in this setting, but it's not that powerful.
    • Occultist: Again, not crazy about this one. A little too high-magic. Could work in certain circumstances, but probably not.
    • Polyglot: Eh. It's a little too "evocationy" for my taste. The second ability is cool, though. Better as a villain than a PC.
    • Tactician: Super sweet. THIS is the kind of mechanic that I think should represent a bookworm that knows the weaknesses of all the magical beasts.


    The Scoundrel: The Roguelike. Welcome to Freeport, Herr Schmidt.
    • Cutthroat: Another Initiator, and an assassin. Ninja?
    • Phantom: A sneaky devil whose magic is very cleverly represented. I'm totally down.
    • Silencer: As assassiny as this looks, I actually think it would make a better witch. Your call.
    • Thief-Acrobat: This is the rogue who's so nimble as to be almost supernatural. Right on par with wuxia.
    • Umbral Scion: This really skirts a line. I need to do more reading on shadow magic to decide how I feel. Could be awesome; could be just on the wrong side of things.


    Magic Classes:
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    Black Mage: The Dark Magic User. I wasn't expecting to like this, but it's not half bad for the setting. Most all of these would obviously be better as villains than good guys.
    • Demonologist: Really cool stuff. That first ability would have to be reworked in light of the Ritual Magic I'm planning on implementing, but it could still halve the casting time or something.
    • Hexer: Debilitators are fine in my book!
    • Necromancer: Definitely better as an NPC villain than a PC. Use sparingly.
    • Pestilent: I love the disease-spreading stuff. I don't like the rest. Use sparingly.
    • Zoid Cultist: In the proto-setting? Oh yes. In this one? Nah.


    Blue Mage: The Bufferish/Seer Type. This guy is among the most appropriate from the magic classes.
    • Chronomancer: On the one hand, he could wreak exactly the kind of havoc that Elves are known for. On the other hand, I don't picture "time magic" as part of this setting. Use sparingly.
    • Hyperborean: The magic is a little too "visible" for my tastes. I also don't think the "cold" theme really fits, but it's your call. Use sparingly.
    • Mountebank: A charmer? okay!
    • Wayfarer: I'd like to reflavor the teleporting as Wuxia flying, but other than that it's just fine.
    • Weaver: An illusionist? Okay!


    Green Mage: The Druidlike. As appropriate as it is for the setting, this is really the realm of the NPCs, not the PCs.
    • Chloromancer: Fine and dandy for an Elf or Half Elf. Use sparingly otherwise.
    • Elementalist: My one concession. The air stuff screams Wuxia, though I'm not into the elemental companion at all. Most likely found amongst the Spearwood Brotherhood.
    • Ophidian: Ugh, it's just fine... then you get to the dinosaur thing. Use sparingly, and discourage dinosaurs altogether.
    • Subterranean: Would be fine for a Kobold, but those aren't PCs. Use sparingly, if at all.
    • Wildling: Lycanthropes are more than welcome to use this. Otherwise it's just not the right fit.


    Red Mage: The Gish. Very, very unlikely stuff here.
    • Chaos Child: I could see this being some crazy Elf, but in no other situation would I approve this.
    • Crimson Disciple: I've alluded to dragons once thus far, and I haven't decided if they really exist. Sorry, but no.
    • Magesmith: I like the magical smith thing a lot. I'm sure there's one of these guys somewhere in the Blackwood, but probably just the one.
    • Pyromancer: No fire dudes. Way too visible, and we don't have Smoky the Bear anyways.
    • Sand Shaper: This ain't no desert!


    White Mage: The Healer. THIS is the way the devout warrior should be handled.
    • Champion: Like I said, this is who the devout warrior should be.
    • Exorcist: I like it a lot. I've been toying around with how/if to include outsiders.
    • Healer: I think how much I like this guy depends on the individual player. Toning down the "activity" of the magic is key.
    • Mystic: It's hard to be an angel in training when there are probably not any actual angels.
    • Oracle: Oh my goodness yes.



    Psionic Classes
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    I will say right now that I'm really torn about these. I don't think they're appropriate at all, but a lot of people associate them with Wuxia type stuff. In this case, Blue means more "I'm on the fence," than "I'm okay with this...but just for NPCs." One thing is for certain: no crystals. Look forward to reskinning that stuff.
    The Aspirant: The Psychic Warrior.
    • Animus: Magic is too visible.
    • Atavist: Would make a nice template for a Troll.
    • Pugilist: This might be the more appropriate of all the unarmed warrior archetypes.
    • Tempest: Mobile warrior with fancy moves. That's all right.
    • Warden: The magic is too visible.

    The Empath: The Mind-er. This could be a cool zen-type character, except for the telepathy thing. All the cherry blossoms are perfect, blah blah.
    • Abhorrent: Subtle magic, fear-based effects. This guy could make a very good pagan or cultist or something.
    • Mentalist: Another charmer? OK!
    • Precognitive: Another seer? I'm into it.
    • Superegoist: A... mind...melder? All right.
    • Walker: Hmm... a dreamwalker? I'd like the idea better if they walked through the Land of the Dead or something, but they can do that through their dreams easy enough. DMs: it's in your hands.

    The Esoteric: The Psionic Cleric. I think I'm okay with most of what's going on here.
    • Anchorite: Healer-type. I dig it.
    • Apostate: I'd like it better if the magic were more subtle. Reskinning might fix this.
    • Demiurge: An interesting class. I don't like the ectoplasmic stuff, but that's what reskinning is for.
    • Sympathetic: Another interesting option. Might make for a nice Aikido-type warrior.
    • Transcendant: Kind of a psychic tank? I'm okay with that.


    The Kinetic: The Mind Do-er. Not a lot here.
    • Architect: I don't like constructs in this setting.
    • Energetic: Magic is WAY too visible.
    • Gravitic: Magic is still too visible.
    • Telephasm: The magic might not be too "visible," but it's not appropriate for the setting.
    • Transmigrant: I'm okay with this except for the teleportation thing. Needs to be reskinned.


    The Subliminal: The Mind Sneak. I don't have much of a problem with this one.
    • Deadmind: Flavor-wise, there is no room for telepathy in this world. Mechanically, I could see it.
    • Operative: That crowning ability to starting to get very Elf-like. Otherwise, a very nice archetype.
    • Razor: I don't know what a "metaphysical weapon" is, but this is tentatively okay. If it's like a Soul Blade or whatever, then no.
    • Trueshot: I don't like the visibility of the magic, and it would be easier to play a hunter than to reskin it.
    • Untouchable: Fairy tales and folklore both seem to be full of lucky rogues.



    As you can tell, this is not necessarily a low-magic setting. I'd like to think of it more as an "invisible magic" setting.
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Pokonic View Post
    2. Half-Elves seem fine. Seems to me like there could be half-fey in the woodland communities due the the occasinal fling with some Troll with polymorph abilites and that half-elven are pretty much exclusive to the high nobility, yes?

    That could be the way it works. I don't know how I like the idea of Trolls and humans interbreeding. Trolls (as I picture them) are too big for it either way, and humans would find it repulsive at best.

    As far as the prevalence of Half-Elves is concerned, it would be a big. deal. if you knew a Half-Elf. There may be more instances where Elves (or even Trolls... I haven't decided if they can reproduce at all) pull a changeling on someone, though it's more likely that the Changeling will be of the "swapped log" variety.
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    The more I read about this, the more I think our settings should be linked. Same world, different continents? Not particularly aware of each other?

    I could see a "well, you're kings of Patria/The Blackwood, how about you set sail for that mythical land across the sea?" sort of end-game campaign.

    There's just so much that's shared that I can't really see us not taking advantage of it.
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)



    I like that idea. A lot.
    For Gnorman's classes (they're spreading, MWAHAHAHA!!!), I notice a few of them are marked as "maybe, for a troll". Could you just add that as a racial requirement in your setting, for those particular archetypes.
    Last edited by Eldest; 2012-02-20 at 08:16 PM.

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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Wyntonian View Post
    The more I read about this, the more I think our settings should be linked. Same world, different continents? Not particularly aware of each other?

    I could see a "well, you're kings of Patria/The Blackwood, how about you set sail for that mythical land across the sea?" sort of end-game campaign.

    There's just so much that's shared that I can't really see us not taking advantage of it.
    Dealio. Since the cultures have been separated by 2000 or so years (and maybe as many miles) it would be easy to say that they're on the same planet.

    More and more, my plan is to flesh out what's left of this continent. I'm thinking about probably 3-4 more cultures. It will be awhile, but I think this is a good deal.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldest
    For Gnorman's classes (they're spreading, MWAHAHAHA!!!), I notice a few of them are marked as "maybe, for a troll". Could you just add that as a racial requirement in your setting, for those particular archetypes.
    They're spreading because they're awesome! I liked all of them, but some just didn't fit the setting well enough. As for the racial requirement, it would be an easy thing to do, but that note was more for the DMs that run campaigns in the setting. I'm a big fan of reskinning/repurposing monsters and races/classes for whatever I need, and I could see rolling up a human with insane strength bonuses, terrible intelligence, and a few levels in those classes and dubbing that a "troll."
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