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  1. - Top - End - #301
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    Mind if I add a link to this setting in my sig? I like it.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldest View Post
    Mind if I add a link to this setting in my sig? I like it.
    I'd love that! Thanks!
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    A view of the night sky of Genara
    (spoiler'd for size, but linked in the title)
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    This will feature into a lot of the myths of the people of Genara is various ways. I also think it's a nice way to cement the "mythical landscape" I want to espouse.
    Last edited by Zap Dynamic; 2012-08-02 at 07:59 PM.
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  4. - Top - End - #304
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Zap Dynamic View Post
    A view of the night sky of Genara
    (spoiler'd for size, but linked in the title)
    Spoiler
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    This will feature into a lot of the myths of the people of Genara is various ways. I also think it's a nice way to cement the "mythical landscape" I want to espouse.
    Where'd you find that shot? It's beautiful.
    Quote Originally Posted by Zap Dynamic View Post
    I want to create a world that is full of possibility, and one of the best ways to handle it is by creating a bunch of stories that haven't yet been finished.
    In my posts, smilies generally correspond to my expression at the time. As an example, means "huh?" and "Hmm..". Also, "Landis" is fine.

    Quote Originally Posted by ImpSyndrome View Post
    I'm stealing the phrase "mental slap" to use on occasion. That's just too awesome.
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  5. - Top - End - #305
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Landis963 View Post
    Where'd you find that shot? It's beautiful.
    I'm pretty sure I was searching for a HD picture of a nebula to use as my desktop background (found it!). You should check out his gallery, if you haven't already. He paints tons of these.
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  6. - Top - End - #306
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Zap Dynamic View Post
    I'm pretty sure I was searching for a HD picture of a nebula to use as my desktop background (found it!). You should check out his gallery, if you haven't already. He paints tons of these.
    I just came from his gallery. Wow those were phenomenal. In a stroke of hubris, I asked if he would paint Therinos' night sky for me (That's the world linked in my sig, don't remember if you've seen it), and given him my e-mail.
    Quote Originally Posted by Zap Dynamic View Post
    I want to create a world that is full of possibility, and one of the best ways to handle it is by creating a bunch of stories that haven't yet been finished.
    In my posts, smilies generally correspond to my expression at the time. As an example, means "huh?" and "Hmm..". Also, "Landis" is fine.

    Quote Originally Posted by ImpSyndrome View Post
    I'm stealing the phrase "mental slap" to use on occasion. That's just too awesome.
    Current cookie total: 14

  7. - Top - End - #307
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Landis963 View Post
    I just came from his gallery. Wow those were phenomenal. In a stroke of hubris, I asked if he would paint Therinos' night sky for me (That's the world linked in my sig, don't remember if you've seen it), and given him my e-mail.
    Go for it! I just yanked one I liked.

    Was browsing YouTube. Got a great idea:
    When the Kareid Empire collapsed, its people scattered to the winds of the Central Sea. Many regressed culturally--some as much as a century behind--and very few managed to hold on to all of the wonders of their former lives. Today, the Seafolk are a wide and varied people, with a host of traditions, customs, and laws.

    There is a culture, the Olagan, who are considered barbarians by all but the most base of peoples. They disappeared into the vastness of the Central Sea, and have only recently been discovered by merchants and sailors. They do not even worship the Blue Man, but rather Toprak, the Earth Spirit.

    Combat among the Olagan is divided into two phases. In the first phase, each force simultaneously uses verbal and physical magic to transform themselves into demons and attempt to terrify the other army. In the second phase, they have completed their Voyun (War Dance), and physical combat begins.
    I picture creating a class that technically progresses in two separate characters at once (with different mechanics and hit points). You play both of them, but the Demon Dance Dude can only be played against other Olagani who consent to do the same. That way, you get two wildly different playstyles in one character, and it circumvents power creep because the ability to gish perfectly (awesome) is tempered by the stipulation that you can only use both when you're evenly matched (less awesome).

    Thoughts?

    Another Idea
    In the Petty Kingdoms, the Elder Futhark is going to play a pretty big role. Their magic system will be based off of the runes, and I just had an idea for Norse Bindrunes. They're basically spells woven from the meanings of 2-3 different runes, arranged artistically in relationship to one another.

    I think it would be cool for characters from the Petty Kingdoms to have the ability to forgo progressing at advancement, if instead they select a rune or bindrune to apply to their possessions as carvings or bodies as tattoos. Upon the next advancement, after a trial used to contemplate the meaning of the runes, the character unlocks an ability that is just as good (perhaps a little better) than 2 level gains otherwise.
    Basically, I think it gives players the option to really control what course they would like their character to take. Bindrunes can explain just about any goal (from 'I want my sword to be on fire' to 'I seek wisdom in all that I do'), and can help the DM figure out what to do with the character. They could be a very cool way for characters from the Petty Kindgoms to explain the nature of gaining power over time.

    Thoughts?
    Last edited by Zap Dynamic; 2012-08-04 at 12:04 AM.
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    Dude. Demon hakas. Holy balls. I approve.

    I'd give you a hand with that class if you'd like. Maybe use the Giant's "Totally-not-Marvel-Hero" class for a basis? That introduces an alter ego type thing that you could use for the demonic form.

    Bindrunes are another Wyntonian Stamp of Approval winner. I'm finishing mine up as well. Again, lemme know if you want a hand.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zap Dynamic View Post
    In the Petty Kingdoms, the Elder Futhark is going to play a pretty big role. Their magic system will be based off of the runes, and I just had an idea for Norse Bindrunes. They're basically spells woven from the meanings of 2-3 different runes, arranged artistically in relationship to one another.

    Basically, I think it gives players the option to really control what course they would like their character to take. Bindrunes can explain just about any goal (from 'I want my sword to be on fire' to 'I seek wisdom in all that I do'), and can help the DM figure out what to do with the character. They could be a very cool way for characters from the Petty Kindgoms to explain the nature of gaining power over time.

    Thoughts?
    It's been a while since I've played 7th Sea, but this sounds exactly like how they work in that game, and it's awesome. Please do expand on this idea.
    Last edited by Dsurion; 2012-08-04 at 03:46 AM.

  10. - Top - End - #310
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Wyntonian View Post
    I'd give you a hand with that class if you'd like. Maybe use the Giant's "Totally-not-Marvel-Hero" class for a basis? That introduces an alter ego type thing that you could use for the demonic form.
    Do you have a link to it? I've searched around, and I can't seem to find it anywhere.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dsurion View Post
    It's been a while since I've played 7th Sea, but this sounds exactly like how they work in that game, and it's awesome. Please do expand on this idea.
    Sure! It'll be good to get this stuff written down for the day that I get around to fleshing out the Petty Kingdoms anyway.

    First of all, I want to play things loose throughout this entire process. I don't really care for "rules" at the table, but I am a huge fan of "GM Rulings." I don't intend to give every rune a specific bonus, but instead I just want to provide a sentence or three for each rune that explains the idea behind it. From there, GMs and players can decide what the runes mean in this situation, and how they should be applied in a way that's balanced with what they're doing. It requires a lot of agency and responsibility on the part of the table, but it also opens the door for wildly creative gaming.

    Here's an example of what I'm thinking.

    Spoiler
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    This bindrune is made up of three different runes:
    - Uruz - This rune lies withing Freya's Aett (name will need to be changed for the in-world pantheon), the first series of runes in the Elder Futhark. Runes within this aett have to do with love, happiness, life, and the personal enjoyment of those things. This rune in particular symbolizes the Aurochs, the wild bull of ancient Europe. It points toward untamed potential, primal strength, speed, energy, and health.
    - Algiz - This rune lies within Heimdall's Aett (name will need to be changed for the in-world pantheon), the second series of runes in the Elder Futhark. Runes within this aett have to do with achievement, power, and success. This rune in particular is Heimdall's rune, the god who guards the bifrost bridge to and from Asgard, the realm of the gods. He warns all those to come or go with caution on their journey. To that end, the rune symbolizes protection, warning, support, offense and defense, and caution.
    - Mannaz - This rune lies within Tyr's Aett (name will need to be changed for the in-world pantheon), the third and final series of runes in the Elder Futhark. Runes within this aett have to do with justice, understanding, and spiritual achievement. This rune in particular is the symbol for humanity, and can refer to the individual self, the community, friends or enemies, and the social order. It is a rune that implies everything to do with humanity and our interactions together.

    Together, I personally tranliterate them as "At every step, remember that you walk alongside others," but they could have a different connotation to another person. If a player were to create this bindrune, they could tattoo it on their character's skin, etch it into a piece of armor or a weapon, or chisel it into a token of some kind. The player and the GM would decide what that means OOC--it could be something like "I want my player to be a benevolent diplomatic powerhouse"--and then the GM can tailor that character's part in the adventure to those needs.

    Is that clear? I've been contemplating this particular bindrune for months now, so I feel like I explained everything, but I'm drawing from a deep well. Does my explanation of the bindrune itself (as well as the concept in game terms) add up? Does it seem like this would be a fun mechanic to add to a tabletop game, that provides room for creativity without painting strokes that are too broad?
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  11. - Top - End - #311
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Zap Dynamic View Post
    Do you have a link to it? I've searched around, and I can't seem to find it anywhere.
    Here you go. And some feats.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldest View Post
    Thanks! In the early stages of brainstorming about the Petty Kingdoms, I had an idea to pay homage to DBZ, since that was my first exposure to Japanese culture (and also because I had just read about Cuchulainn). I might flesh that out now, with this thing in mind!
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    Span, The City of Duels
    Span, situated on the Great Falls between Three Rivers and Freeport on the Way, is a vital city and a necessary point of portage between the upper and lower courses of the Way. Goods have passed through this city for centuries, and they must change so many hands in the process that security is of chief concern for the city's leaders.

    From ancient times, the leadership of the city has been made up of the greatest warriors within its walls. In the beginning, leadership changed frequently, but in time bloodlines came to be established, and most titles of nobility are currently hereditary.

    Matters of honor and politics are both settled in duels as often as delegation, so the leaders of organizations and powerful families must either be formidable warriors, or have them in their pay. Duels are most often fought in one of the many fighting arenas in the city, though they may be fought anywhere at any time with consent from all sides. By ancient tradition, duels are always fought to death or surrender. Deaths are not terribly common, for surrender offers a future despite its accompanying shame. Combatants fight unarmed more often than not, and armed duels are almost inevitably to the bitter end.

    The lower classes have a similar system, one ruled by schools of fighting and mercenary units that can be virtuous and just, or little more than petty gangs. In this world, young men join these groups, exchanging service and dedication for security for themselves and their families. Those without protection are the lowest of the low, and they are constantly beset by gangs and bandits.

    The other most common profession in Span is working for the trade guilds. Every guild that deals on the way has an outpost in this city to see to the traffic of its goods, and this work requires a tedious amount of bookkeeping and oversight.
    Last edited by Zap Dynamic; 2012-08-12 at 04:22 PM.
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    I've been thinking about the iconics from the different regions, and I think I've settled on the one from the Blackwood. Behold!...

    Lennid of the Blackwood
    Huntsman, Duelist, and Mercenary
    Lennid is a man who's everyday garb consists of sturdy trousers and gloves, heavy boots, and a stout gambeson of quilted leather. He is rarely clean, though he is not often filthy. His dark hair is pulled back into an unceremonious ponytail, and a few light scars can be seen on his face, pale from a lifetime spent beneath the boughs of the Blackwood. He wears a sword on his back, a long blade that sways gently in the flame-style of smithing. It is double-edged, and deft enough for one hand, though it can also accommodate two. The guard curls down into a single quillion to protect the knuckles on one side. It is a well used, well cared for weapon.

    The dueling arenas of Span are always abuzz with news of this reclusive man, whose skills with a sword are touted as the greatest in the Blackwood. For all his ability, he renounces himself as a swordsman, claiming to be nothing more than a simple hunter from the forest. He competes rarely, and is often abroad, pursuing unknown errands for those who can pay him with good enough coin.

    No one knows the truth of his past, though there are rumors in plenty. All tales agree that he has nigh supernatural skill, though some hint that he is deeply in touch with the magical world. One particular tale relates that he may have magic in his very blood. It talks of his birth, and how like any good parents, his mother prayed to the ancestors that he be kept safe from all harm, and his father prayed that he be content with the life of a huntsman, the only life he could offer.

    It says that his father was a man who was left on a doorstep as a babe, and knew nothing of his heritage. Further, it claims that his father's father was an elf in disguise, and that this sinister grandfather turned the prayers into a kind of curse: Lennid would forever yearn for the life of a simple huntsman, but would be doomed to be an invincible swordsman.

    What is certain is that he speaks of duels with unbelievable creatures in the depths of the forest. To his closest confidants, he says that elves and spirits are ever nipping at his heels, eager to waste their skill in combat against him. Some offer him wisdom and guidance, though all of them give their lives to attempt to defeat him. Though he yearns for it to be elsewise, such constant predation would throw woodfolk and riverfolk alike into the most terrible danger, so he lives on the fringes of both worlds, a half-stranger everywhere he turns.

    ---

    Whaddaya think? I tried to combine Grimm-style forest life with high-flying wuxia swordplay, and through in the magical stuff that seems to mess with everyone in fairy tales. I also tried to leave it mysterious enough that it could be used in a variety of settings. Because all of his character information and adventures are related as rumors, it's up to the GM to decide if they are true (which might be a more light-hearted fantasy adventure) or false (which might be a gritty deconstruction of the setting). It encourages the players to fill in the details for themselves, which is what I'm all about.
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    Elder Kingship
    For as long as man has lived in the Blackwood, there has ever been an Elder King. His line is unbroken back to the very first of his kind. The Elder King marries a woman of the Blackwood, and they have always had but one son. The son grows strong and wise, and come to be the very likeness of his father in every way. At that time, the Elder King dies, and the Queen passes not long after. The son is crowned, and rules in the manner of his father for ten years.

    Whereupon ten years has passed, the Elder King takes a wife, and they reign together until their passing many years later. They too have a son, and the cycle continues as it has for almost two thousand years.
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    Hey! So I was moseying around today, and saw a street sign with the name "Briarcliff" on it. "Awesome!" I thought, "that would make for a cool village name in the Blackwood!"

    Then it hit me.

    1) I would love to make a random table for generating village names.
    2) I read a blog post a few months ago (I'd link it but I'm at work and can't waste time searching) basically describing this process. The author said that you should take 10 words that describe your setting (for example, "Paradise," "Sand," and "Spire" might be appropriate additions to an arabian word list) and use them to create place names, artifacts, etc.

    Here's what I'd like:
    For all of you still following this project (thanks!), could you submit a few words that you think capture the mood of the setting? That would be loverly.

    P.S. - A few weeks ago, I mentioned that I downloaded a new RPG called Microscope. It's a fractal, GM-less RPG whose goal is to basically crowd-source a timeline for a fictional place. I've played it twice now, and I. am. hooked! It's really, really cool. I'd love to run an online game in the system to help flesh out the timeline for parts of this setting, so you should check it out!
    Last edited by Zap Dynamic; 2012-08-20 at 10:58 AM.
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    Shady, Mossy, Hollow, Creek, Brook, Folly. Folly better have a possessive name on it, so Mikail's Folly could work.

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

    One of my favorite towns in Oregon is called Bend. Because. The road. Bends. Yeah. You don't need to get fancy with it.

    Falls, view, glen, river, bend.

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

    The trouble with this is (depending on the word list you're using) you're going to get a lot of combinations that sound like they could easily belong to a nursing home or ironically-named sanitarium.

    e.g. Shady Acres, Meadow View, River Glen, Pine Creek, Wandering Willows, etc.

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

    Thanks for the submissions! They'll be a big help, and they're a neat window into how people perceive the place.

    Time for a Photo dump! I'm here today posting some pictures of people and places from various parts of the world. Yeehaw!

    Blackwood
    A young hunter, armed for close-quarters trouble:
    Spoiler
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    In particular, I like the flowing, voluminous look of the outfit. It's very much in keeping with the stuff I see wuxia people wearing.

    A ship approaching on a section of the Way:
    Spoiler
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    Koss
    One of the Kossian nobility in Summer Dress:
    Spoiler
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    There are very few nobles in Koss, because there are only a few thousand people in the realm. This could very well be royalty.

    A Winter Guru in ceremonial dress:
    Spoiler
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    I love the fantasy take on tibetan-esque clothing. Love. it.

    The High Hall of Winter, in all its splendor and glory:
    Spoiler
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    Sploosh.


    Cerai
    A Cerian knight from the northern provinces:
    Spoiler
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    This is definitely in keeping with the European knightly traditon, but I like its exotic details.

    One of the great cities of the northern provinces:
    Spoiler
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    Cerian caravan guards from the southern provinces, not far from the capital of Aduna:
    Spoiler
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    I guess I've never said this anywhere, but I picture the stereotypical Cerian to be dark-skinned. Skin tone will change because they are a people spread out over a vast area (and a people that's all about assimilating welcoming other cultures), but there a lot of very dark-skinned folk among them.

    One of the cities near the Gamar Waste:
    Spoiler
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    Vindland: The Petty Kingdoms
    Typical dress of the upper classes:
    Spoiler
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    Historically speaking, there are a ton of parallels between Norse and Japanese culture. But I can't find actual drawings of a decent mashup to save my life.

    The foggy, rocky southern shores of Vindland:
    Spoiler
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    Vindland is about as big as Cerai--which takes up most of the continent of Genara--so this is definitely not the only climate you're going to find up there.


    Karei: The Realms of the Central Sea
    A young Kareid woman:
    Spoiler
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    Well... youngish. This is most likely a view of the ritual time of solitude that comes before a Kareid dyes their skin, signifying them as a full adult.

    A view of a mostly clear night sky over the Central Sea:
    Spoiler
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    Purdy.



    On a side note, I've been thinking about starting a new thread called "Zap's Workshop" or something, where I can hash out ideas for all the settings. It seems a little strange to be posting so many non-Blackwood ideas here. Thoughts?
    Last edited by Zap Dynamic; 2012-08-21 at 03:40 PM.
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    I just did a little organizing on my DeviantArt account for the benefit of these settings! Follow the links below to check out favorites folders devoted to each of the five regions I've been working on:

    The Blackwood

    The Heights of Koss

    The Unified of Cerai


    The Petty Kingdoms of Vindland

    The Kareid of the Central Sea

    Enjoy, and please let me know what you think!
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  22. - Top - End - #322
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    As a professional courtesy, I feel like I should tell you that I have every intention of yoinking the living hell out of ALL OF THAT.

    Seriously, it's great stuff. The fruit of a solid visualization and endless patience, I suspect.
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  23. - Top - End - #323
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Wyntonian View Post
    As a professional courtesy, I feel like I should tell you that I have every intention of yoinking the living hell out of ALL OF THAT.
    Yoink away! It's not mine anyway!

    Edit:

    Until I can find a better image (you'd be shocked at how few there are!), here is the visualization for the Wild Hunt in my setting.
    Last edited by Zap Dynamic; 2012-08-22 at 09:24 AM.
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    I never watched him while we was on the air, but the remixes that PBS Digital Studios have been coming out with have shown me the Bob Ross light.

    These are exactly my views on worldbuilding.

    Enjoy, everybody!
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  25. - Top - End - #325
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Zap Dynamic View Post
    I never watched him while we was on the air, but the remixes that PBS Digital Studios have been coming out with have shown me the Bob Ross light.

    These are exactly my views on worldbuilding.

    Enjoy, everybody!
    I've seen that, but I never thought to apply it to worldbuilding...

    If you'll excuse me, I'm going to go find freedom on this canvas forum.
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  26. - Top - End - #326
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    I thought about posting this in the homebrew section but it seems a waste to start a thread just to ask a question.

    I know there are a few homebrewed classes out there where one player controls two melee characters that work together. What/where are they?! I've seen two or three in the months that I've been on the board, but I can't remember what they were called, and I don't want to waste time searching for guesses in the slowest search engine on any forum ever.
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    Here's one.


    Also a Tolkien quote, fruit of a slow day at the office.

    "We have come from God, and inevitably the myths woven by us, though they contain error, will also reflect a splintered fragment of the true light, the eternal truth that is with God. Indeed only by myth-making, only by becoming 'sub-creator' and inventing stories, can Man aspire to the state of perfection that he knew before the Fall. Our myths may be misguided, but they steer however shakily towards the true harbour, while materialistic 'progress' leads only to a yawning abyss and the Iron Crown of the power of evil."

    So, as writers and worldbuilders, we're punching Satan. IN THE FACE.
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  28. - Top - End - #328
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    Thanks! That's the exact class I was looking for! I'm really bummed that Circle hasn't been active lately; he was a cool fella!

    Thanks also for the Tolkien quote. I think you'd be a fool to consider yourself a Mythopoeian without taking a page from the Grandfather himself.

    Speaking of mythopoeia, I've been jotting down notes about the various pantheons of gods for awhile now. The Blackwood has no gods--only ancestor spirits and magical/mythological creatures--but the other regions have pantheons that are all inspired by their real-life counterpart cultures in one way or another. I've finally got short blurbs for the pantheon from the Petty Kingdoms, and I'd like to share those here to get some feedback! In particular, across all of the pantheons I seem to be gravitating toward a theme of "the old beings were supplanted by the new, and now the old beings are beyond evil."

    Gods of Vindland

    The deities of the Petty Kingdoms have a wealth of stories relating their deeds, their feuds with one another, and the prophecy concerning their demise. Though they form alliances with each other--some even share familial bonds--it would be foolish to think of them as a unified pantheon. They range from exemplars of the human condition to personified forces of nature, and none of them could be considered to be truly cooperative or altruistic.

    Vald, God of War and Truth ("Power")
    The Highest King, Lord of Storms
    Spoiler
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    His name is power, and his hands are the fury of the storm. He sits on the Highest Seat, which rests at the top of Jorthond (“Earth Breath”), the tallest mountain in the Petty Kingdoms. From there, he gathers tidings of the world from his Ravenmen, and listens to the wisdom of Foldormr, the earth serpent. Many are the tales that recount his rise to power and the sacrifices he has made, and no figure in all of the north is so respected for their deeds.
    Vald teaches that the will is the highest good in this life. A man must live and die for his will, but he must learn service first, so that his will cannot lead him astray. It is Vald alone that can lead thanes through the Path of Ice, and he alone can ordain them into the Shining Path. It is said that at the End of Days, Vald will do battle against Foldormr; he will lay the serpent low, but he will drown in the venom of its fangs.


    Skina, Goddess of Magic and the Night (“Shine”)
    The Mother
    Spoiler
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    She dwells in the upper air. The stars are her children, and it was she who passed down the secrets of the runes to mortal man. The Northern Lights are the great train of her gown. Their presence is a warning to Ice Giants to avoid those men that she holds dear, and the Lights increase the power of runes. It is known that in the End of Days, Skina will come into the midst, and the light of her arrival will wake the Kraken from its slumber. they will do battle with one another, and each will slay the other.


    Flaerd, God of Trickery (“Deceit”)
    The Liar, Father of Ice Giants
    Spoiler
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    The father of all Ice Giants, Flaerd is a deceiver amongst the gods. It is said that he can change form at will, and that he taught all the ways of civilization to man so the struggle of man vs. Ice Giants would be longer and bloodier. His voice accompanies thanes on the Path of Ice; his was the voice that spurred them on toward greatness, but so too does he tempt them to dishonor and ruin. At the End of the Days, Flaerd is fated to do battle with Rond, and they will die upon each other’s swords.


    Rond, Guardian God (“Shield”)
    The Judge, The First Thane
    Spoiler
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    Shieldbearer to Vald himself, Rond is also the judge of the gods. His eyes see and his ears hear all things, even unto the End of Days. Only he can pass judgement, and charges with caution all those who pass his post. His flesh is pure white, and his armor and raiment are of shining gold. As a god of devotion and loyalty, thanes of the Path of the Ox hold Rond as their highest exemplar. He will do battle with Flaerd at the End of Days and will end his life, but only at the cost of his own.


    Vinna, God of Labor (“Work”)
    The Tireless, The Craftsman
    Spoiler
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    A craftsmen of the gods whose hammer is the purest expression of his craft, Rond creates weapons, tools, and all goods for the gods and their servants. Only Vald himself can boast a greater knowledge of the runes and their use. He teaches that labor is the surest path to honor, and is worshipped most often by the common man. When Vedr’s wind blows at the End of Days they will blow away Vinna’s memories, but he will be the only thing to survive into the next age. With no recollection of the world before, he will bend to his forge and create the new world.


    Dauth, Goddess of Death (“Death”)
    The Queen of Tombs
    Spoiler
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    A mysterious, vengeful god whose arms reign over death itself, Dauth is nevertheless worshipped by most Vindlanders. Dauth allows humans to keep their possessions after death, but she demands that they be buried beneath the earth. Thralls are often buried with their masters, and important families often share an ancestral tomb. The soul departs onto the afterlife, but Dauth inhabits the bodies of these devotees until the End of Days, guarding the riches of those who pay her homage. The greatest thanes are cremated, and Dauth does not claim their souls.


    Foldormr, Earth Serpent (“World Serpent”)
    The Beast, Wrack
    Spoiler
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    You have the feeling of great transportation. When once you gazed up into the knowing blackness of a deep cave, you now feel as though you lay among the very basest of the earth’s bones. There is a presence, wise and scheming, beside you in this place of hyperreality. You are shaken to your core as every fiber of the presence stands, pensive and manipulating. This is Foldormr, the dragon, and this is its realm. Here, where the roots of the earth scrape against its own soul, the world seems to be on the heavy with the crushing weight of knowledge. The atmosphere is so overwhelming that it is difficult to think or speak clearly. Foldormr is known to be the wisest of all things, though it is a schemer. They say that Vindland is but a piece of its outstretched body, and the mountain winds are its breath. Vald is ever locked in a battle of wits with Foldormr to keep the beast from awakening, and through Foldormr he learns much wisdom. It is said that at the End of Days, Foldormr will rise, dragging down the high places into the sea. It will make battle with Vald and will drown the god in its venom, but it will be dealt a mortal blow in the effort.


    Vedr, Sky Eagle (“Wind”)
    The North Wind, Ruin
    Spoiler
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    You have the feeling of great transportation. When once you stood at the windswept peak of a mountain, you now feel as though you dwell at the outer limits of the sky. There is a presence, proud and rousing, beside you in this hyperreality. You are shaken to your core as every fiber of the presence stands, pensive and full of disdain. This is Vedr, and this is its realm. It dwells beyond the airy reaches of Skina and her retinue, and there is no beast so proud of its power. Here at the outer limits of the sky itself, the world seems to be on the verge of a mighty dawn. The atmosphere is so overwhelming that it is difficult to think or speak clearly. They say Vedr stretches his wings and causes the winds of the world, and that at the End of Days he will stir from his perch, and will topple every tree and burst even the mightiest hall.


    Kraken, Sea Beast
    The Eye, Madness
    Spoiler
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    You have the feeling of great transportation. When once you looked out and saw nothing but the fathomless sea, you now feel as though you gaze deep into the night-black abyss. There is a presence, mad and stirring, beside you in this place of hyperreality. You are shaken to your core as every fiber of the presence stands, pensive and terrifying. This is Kraken, harbinger of insanity and dweller in the deep, and this its realm. Here at the greatest depths of the sea itself, the world seems to be on the brink of a terrible revelation. The atmosphere is so overwhelming that it is difficult to think or speak clearly. They say that --in the End of Days--the Kraken will be awakened from its lidless sleep by the dancing colors of Skina’s veil. Its waves will rise to dash all ships and drown the world. They say that it will do battle with Skina on that day, and they will slay each other.


    There you have it! There are lesser deities and spirits alongside these (the Norns being an excellent example), but these are the major players. What do you think? I tried to capture a sense that--even though some of these are basically "good" or "evil"--their relationship with one another isn't black and white. Vald keeps Foldormr as a prisoner to safeguard the world, but he also recognizes the value of the beasts' wisdom... that sort of thing.
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  29. - Top - End - #329
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldest View Post
    Shady, Mossy, Hollow, Creek, Brook, Folly. Folly better have a possessive name on it, so Mikail's Folly could work.
    Quote Originally Posted by Wyntonian View Post
    Falls, view, glen, river, bend.

    Riverbend, Shadyview, etc.
    Adding a few: Overlook, Point, Rest, Redoubt, Hall, Oak, Pine, Evergreen, Meadow, Flowers
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    I want to create a rudimentary system of different potions, including a simple list of ingredients to make them.

    Since I'm still developing and playtesting for the Blackwood, I'll start there.

    I'd like to have two different tiers of potions: "basic" potions that are not that powerful, and "advanced" potions that are more powerful, but are more limited in use.

    In keeping with the low magic feel of the Blackwood, I think I'll make these potions an exceptional example of a mundane category of things. I'm pretty set on the advanced potions being represented as tea, whereas the basic potions might be exceptional batches of alcohol: mead, ale, and wine. I know mead is a kind of wine, but when I think about medieval alcohol, those are the three "iconic" choices that come to mind. It also helps to limit them: Tea must be enjoyed hot, so its preparation takes time and has a limited window of activation. Alcohol, on the other hand, can be preserved and enjoyed longer, though it comes with a negative effect as well.

    In keeping with the simplicity of WRM, I'm going to represent these potions as spells. It keeps me from introducing a new mechanic, it lets me take advantage of a mechanic I already enjoy, and it enforces the idea that someone capable of crafting magical things requires a high Mage score. In this light, I'm thinking about Tea being represented by a slightly-modified ritual: it takes time to prepare, but does something pretty amazing. Alcohol will be a normal magic implement (with a bonus), "bottled" so others might have a single use of the potion (so they'll probably have a negative to balance).

    So here's what I've got at the moment:

    Tea
    Spoiler
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    Juniper Tea
    Folks of River and Wood alike revere the ageless strength of the Juniper tree. Common folk think themselves lucky to settle near one of the trees, and nobles often cultivate miniature versions in their gardens. Everyone enjoys a steaming cup of tea brewed from its berries, but those skilled enough in its preparation can unlock more than mere taste or smell. Rather, they can brew a tea so fortifying that it is rumored to mend wounds with amazing speed.
    Circle 2nd (5 mins; open to enhancement)
    Mana 2
    DL 7
    Effect Drinking this tea after learned preparation causes accelerated healing. So long as the drinker imbibes while the tea is hot, she will be healed of all wounds in hours, not days. The brewer should roll a d6, indicating the number of hours it will take to be fully healed. The Herbalism skill reduces this result by 2 hours (to a minimum of 1).
    Ingredients Juniper berries, Silverleaf (Herbalism DL 9 to secure all of them immediately).

    Elfwand Tea
    To sit in a chair and to mingle with friends or one's own thoughts is a dream that many hold dear. To do so with a cup of Elfwand tea is all the better, for no other brew is so adept at calming the body and awakening the mind. There are whispers that in the hands of a great master, this blend of forest flowers and honey can send the minds of drinkers across wide dales of time and space.
    Circle 4th (1 hour brew)
    Mana 8
    DL13
    Effect Once imbibed, Elfwand Tea sends up to six drinkers into a deep trance. Soon after, they are transported to supernatural place of their choosing. Each pot of tea must be brewed by someone who has been to the supernatural location before, and they must brew with that location in mind.
    Ingredients Elfwand, Snowcrisp, Maiden's Love, Honey (Herbalism DL of 13 to secure all of them immediately).


    Alcohol (I'd love to find a more period-appropriate title than "Alcohol." What about spirits? Liquor? I don't really know what people called it back then.
    Spoiler
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    High Hall Mead
    The old adage "there is strength in ale," makes it a natural choice for warriors in the Blackwood. However, High Hall Mead is known far and wide to bolster one's vigor to great heights. Upon drinking, players have their Warrior attribute increased by 2 for five minutes, though their Rogue and Mage attributes are each decreased by 1 for 10 minutes.
    Price 25 sp

    Ten Sons Ale
    They may say that bards owe their honeyed tongues to the sweetness of mead, but the fields of Freeport are famous for turning out a beer that makes even the wariest Blackwoodsman as charming and nimble as the craftiest River captain. Upon drinking, players have their Rogue attribute increased by 2 for five minutes, though their Warrior and Mage attributes are each decreased by 1 for 10 minutes.
    Price 25 sp

    Elder Wine
    A drink with as much variety as the leaves of the forest, common folk say that there is wisdom in wine. Truer words are not often spoken, and no where does it more more truth than in the plum wine of the Elder Valley. For those who can afford it, this brew opens the senses and focused one's mind. Upon drinking, players have their Mage attribute raised by 2 for five minutes, though their Warrior and Rogue attributes are each decreased by 1 for 10 minutes.
    Price 25 sp


    Does this seem balanced, but interesting enough that you'd like to try it? Does anyone have any suggestions for additional entries?

    I know I want to add some kind of "drunk-out" mechanic for the alcohol. Maybe something like this (over a 10-minute period):
    Drink #1: +2/-1/-1
    Drink #2: +3/-2/-1
    Drink #3: -1/-2/-2

    Thoughts about all of this?
    Last edited by Zap Dynamic; 2012-09-02 at 01:39 AM.
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