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  1. - Top - End - #361
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldest View Post
    Where'd you find this? I tried to go through the url but deviantart is weird about that.
    I found it over in the gallery of a guy named WhoDrewThis. He's got some really, really cool stuff there!

    Fair warning: his gallery is not entirely SFW.
    Last edited by Zap Dynamic; 2012-10-01 at 09:00 AM.
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  2. - Top - End - #362
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    More thoughts on Vindlander Armor

    Photo dump! A lot of them are pretty big. Be warned.
    13th Century Knight
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    I like the tiny shields as spaulders. That rings true with my image of broad, flat samurai shoulder armor.


    14th Century Knight (both of these first images come from the blog Getting Medieval. I found them via google search, and have no idea if they originated in this blog.)
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    This is the historical equivalent of the time period I'm shooting for in the setting. This would be the upper extremes of armor coverage.


    16th Century Samurai (Found this on a forum, no idea of its origins.)
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    I like the cleaner look of this armor compared to older examples. I'm willing to overlook the anachronism.


    11th and 12th Century Varagian Guard (aka Turkish Vikings) (found on this blog, but that doesn't seem like the image's source...)
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    This is the closest I'm going to get to an historical example of vikings wearing lamellar. To be honest, it's not a bad look, but I'd like to shoot for something a little more unique.


    Then there's all this concept art from Massive Black for Lord of the Rings Online. There is a lot of very cool stuff here that's very close to what I'm picturing. In particular, old Grimbold here might as well be ripped from my imagination, and any one of these fellas could easily be a representation of Sentinels in the Blackwood.

    Finally, Mad Matt's Armory (which I discovered today) has some pretty cool stuff about the history of armor in the 14th century.

    As far as combining all of this stuff in concerned, I'm going to be sketching out a few things over the next several days. I'll be sure to let you guys know what I come up with, but it looks like it's going to be something along the lines of lacquered lamellar cuirasses and spaulders, scale cuisses, and plate helmets. Or something like that.

    I wrote that this morning. Since then, I've decided that the image of Grimbold up there is the best I'm likely to find. The helmet might need clarification, but that's what Vindlander armor looks like!
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  3. - Top - End - #363
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    Do you imagine Grimbold's cuirass would lace under an arm and down his side like the samurai's Do? I love all those images by the way. I think maybe I should start doing a similar unit for Patria.
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  4. - Top - End - #364
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    I like the samurai-disassembled picture, it makes the armor make sense to me. I'd had difficulty figuring it out before.

  5. - Top - End - #365
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Wyntonian View Post
    Do you imagine Grimbold's cuirass would lace under an arm and down his side like the samurai's Do?
    I think so! I suppose it could be either way, but I like the side-loading better.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wyntonian View Post
    I love all those images by the way. I think maybe I should start doing a similar unit for Patria.
    Thanks! I'm a visual person, so I'm always trying to picture things in my head. DeviantArt is basically a flea market for inspiration, so I'm on there most of the time. Whenever I find an image that fits, I be sure to save it!

    Speaking of...

    Vinlander Ripple Steel blades are all artifacts (no, not like that...<.<). They are made using a process that was lost in the last Cold Wind, and are wielded by only the most accomplished warriors.

    In addition to being incredibly sharp, durable blades, these swords have a special quality. Ripple Steel is all waves of black on grey when facing normal foes, but in the presence of Ice Giants, the blade shines pure white. It is at these times that Ripple Steel is most deadly, weighing practically nothing in the wielder's hand, and cleaving even the toughest of materials.


    Inspired by this.
    I didn't realize it until just now, but the "weightless, super sharp light blade" thing is sort of familiar.

    My thinking was that glowing wouldn't have been enough of an advantage to the people of the last age, and having something that was lighter in the hand and sharper would be the only way to face the Ice Giants. Why did they not defeat the Ice Giants in the last Cold Wind, bringing to end thousands of years of struggle? Maybe they discovered the technology too late, and never made enough for it to make a difference. Maybe they were too difficult to make, and only a few had been produced. Maybe there was a deeper flaw, perhaps in themselves, that lead to their destruction.

    Considering that I want the Petty Kingdoms to begin with adventures, then eventually pan out into squad-based combat and culminate in continental war, I think that this would be a good question to answer during the course of a campaign. It the method of forging Ripple Steel could be a quest reward midway through the campaign, and could turn the tide to unify the Petty Kingdoms and make ready for the Cold Wind.
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  6. - Top - End - #366
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    THE FORUMS ARE BACK!

    I've been taking a lot of notes about stuff during the downtime, but I don't have a whole awful lot to report at the moment.

    One of the things I can post is that I've been starting to think about how to codify the combat skills of the Petty Kingdoms. I've been reading about Stav a lot, and I like what I've been reading. I don't particularly care if it's genuinely from the middle ages; it will be a good enough model to build off of while I'm laying out culture and such.

    Initial thoughts:
    • Martial training in the Petty Kingdoms is closely tied to their runic alphabet.
    • It is likewise closely tied with their social classes.
    • The Cold Wind affects everyone, so all classes are expected to learn the basics of a weapon.
      • Slaves in the society are may own no property. The first tier of martial training teaches one how to wield one's own body in defense. It is related to the element of earth, and the key tenet of this tier is obedience.
      • Commoners are members of a versatile class, and they are represented by an axe, which is both a weapon and a tool. This tier of combat is as mutable as water, and the key tenet at this stage is responsibility.
      • Warriors leave the free world of the commoners behind them, and need a symbol of their devotion to the ways of war and death. This tier of combat focuses on the sword. It is characterized by fire, and the key tenet at this stage is discipline.
      • Earls are warriors who have started down the path of leadership. Beyond combat, they must also think of government; they must learn the ways of non-violence to balance themselves. The weapon in this tier is the staff, a symbol of authority that can chastise without killing. The element associated with this tier is ice, and the key tenet here is wisdom.
      • Finally, Kings are the epitome of what a Vindlander should be. Their word is law, and no man can stand againt their prowess. The spear--a weapon of authority and power--is the focus of this tier. The element representing this stage is air, and the tenet here is willpower.


    It's important to note that these tiers are not strictly bound to the classes that they represent. The class correlation is useful for the purposes of training, but anyone (except slaves) are permitted to use any weapon they choose. It's also worth mentioning that there is no value judgement connected to these tiers; kings and earls run the kingdoms, but they would be impotent without slaves and commoners to work the land and warriors to protect it. With the right training, an unarmed warrior can be just as deadly as any other.
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  7. - Top - End - #367
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    I was watching The Rumble in the Air-Conditioned Auditorium tonight, and Jon Stewart made a comment about putting the "ethic of service and patriotism" (or something like that) found in the U.S. military into the healthcare system as an analogy for social medicine. Politics aside, I think the ethic he's talking about is a wonderful sentiment.

    I made the connection between that ethic with the feeling I'm trying to evoke for the Petty Kingdoms. The society is highly-structured during the Blackwood setting, with images like blacksmiths and housewives with a special devotion to their work. I think the "patriotic, civic-minded" attitude would be appropriate in the society of the Petty Kingdoms, so I'll try to find some way to work that in.
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  8. - Top - End - #368
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Zap Dynamic View Post
    The society is highly-structured during the Blackwood setting, with images like blacksmiths and housewives with a special devotion to their work. I think the "patriotic, civic-minded" attitude would be appropriate in the society of the Petty Kingdoms, so I'll try to find some way to work that in.
    I'm getting a couple vibes here.

    One, republican motherhood. Do your duty, raise your kids right for AMERICA!

    Two, the WWII rationing and similar programs. You know,

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    This sort of thing.

    Hammer those nails.... for THE PETTY KINGDOMS!

    Herd those sheep for GREAT JUSTICE!
    Last edited by Wyntonian; 2012-10-08 at 09:47 AM.
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  9. - Top - End - #369
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Wyntonian View Post
    Hammer those nails.... for THE PETTY KINGDOMS!

    Herd those sheep for GREAT JUSTICE!
    ^This^, plus everything else you said. Corn-fed beef. Yadda yadda.
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  10. - Top - End - #370
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Zap Dynamic View Post
    ^This^, plus everything else you said. Corn-fed beef. Yadda yadda.
    YOU TOO can sure your leige right! First off, stop reading!
    Well, one time at Bard camp...
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Pokonic View Post
    YOU TOO can sure your leige right! First off, stop reading!
    Haha, that's right! Service etc.!

    I've been thinking about codifying two short-ish adventures and putting them in with the setting information in this new thread I've been talking about.

    The major elements of the Blackwood are a wild, untamed (and untameable) forest full of magic, and a bustling system of river cities. The more I read about wuxia, the more I think that these cities need to be mired in corruption. For whatever reason, the reign of the Elder King has been silent for the past few decades, leaving the cities to fend mostly for themselves. Since they lack the wisdom of the Elder King, the cities have fallen on dark times.

    The first adventure will begin in a village, involve a lot of hexcrawling, and will culminate in an adventure into a haunted castle. This will be much more like a fairy tale than wuxia.

    The second adventure will begin in a city, and will probably be the adventure I'm running the party through now. There will be a mystery to solve with a grand backdrop (the tournament), and the political odds will be stacked against our heroes and their allies. This will be much more like wuxia than a fairy tale.

    Of course, it goes without saying that both adventures will incorporate elements of both!
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  12. - Top - End - #372
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    New intro text!

    The Blackwood--Folklore. Action. Dice.
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    The Elder King ruled the Blackwood in peace and prosperity for more than a thousand years. His wisdom drove the danger of the Wood back into its own depths. Sunlight poured through its leafy canopy like its streams and rivers poured down into crystal lakes at the feet of its wooded peaks. His subjects knew little of hardship or suffering, and the wide world knew better than to test its borders.

    Then the Elder King disappeared, and many years passed. The land forgot his wisdom, and the kingdom lost its virtuous guidance. The Blackwood awakened from its slumber, and dark things began to prowl its shaded ways once again. The lands were no longer safe, the Elder Kingdom fractured and crumbled, and many castles, villages, and outposts fell to bandit raid and pagan devilry. Rumors of elves could be heard in the wood, and all the mischief and sorrow they brought. The injustice of corruption could be felt along the river, and cityfolk fell on equally harsh times. Bandits prowled the trade ways, and magical cabals crouched in the shadows.

    But even in these dark times, the Blackwood was not without hope. Heroes could still be found, though many had cast aside the ways of the Elder King long before. These men and women used the memory of better days to stand against the villainy of this land of lakes and rivers, this forest of peaks and valleys, and looked with hope to the return of their liege, the Elder King.


    Thoughts? It's kind of a late-game curve ball, but I think this is the right combination of folklore, wuxia, and old school gaming to accomplish exactly what I want. I just want to make sure that the description makes for a good hook, while clinging to the very skimpiest "skirt method."

    Magic
    Way back in the OP, I talked about magic either being the product of a work of faith, or the result of sorcery. I think that's still the case, but in the Blackwood I have a more specific way of putting it.

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    To gain magic by works of faith in the Blackwood is to receive assistance from the ancestors. The souls of those who have gone before are full of wisdom and power, and they can bestow great gifts upon those who prove themselves devoted and deserving. It is necessary to lead a virtuous life, whether that be a strict moral code or simply a heart that is full to bursting. The Scholars that tend to the Halls of the Classics are the guardians of the ancestors' knowledge, and they know how best to please them. The Sentinels keep safe the old ways of chivalry, though they are not the only ones to hold the secret to supernatural martial skill.

    One can also gain magic by works of faith in the Blackwood by adhering to the faith of the Unified. Their god sits in the sun, and marshals the loving service of gods from a wide retinue of absorbed religions. Prayer is the way to beseech his aid, and he rewards those who live lives of true faith. The Friars of the Celebrations of Unity know all the parables of the Great God, Mareal Turi, and they usher the world into His Light.

    But it is possible too to gain magic through sorcery. The Classicists made record of many esoteric magical skills, and the land is dotted with ruins left in the Elder King's absence. Some of these contain those ancient tomes, and can teach much to those brave and skillful enough to reach them. These incantations and recipes are sometimes recovered by the Scholars, though other times they fall into the hands of foul sorcerers and witches.

    The darkest magic of the Blackwood is to be found amongst the pagans. These primitive tribes hold to the old ways, striking deals with powerful, malignant elves, and gaining power through dark rituals. Only through pact and sacrifice can this magic be gained, though it is some of the most powerful of all.


    Going back through those two bits, I notice quite a few juicy dichotomies. There's the virtue of the Elder Kingdom struggling to be remembered in the new rush of corruption that's gripping the cities and spreading to the villages. There's the ancient tradition of the Elder Kingdom encountering opposition from the newly-approaching Unified faith. There's the civility of the cities and villages against the sorcery and barbarism of the pagans and bandits. Finally, there's the peaceful life of the Elder Kingdom striving against the rising wave of malignant elven magic that's wrapping the land in darkness.

    That's political, religious, societal, and magical brands of conflict right there. Could I cram in any more?
    Last edited by Zap Dynamic; 2012-10-10 at 11:18 PM.
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  13. - Top - End - #373
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    I had some cool thoughts about Cerai that I was going to right down, but then I had this idea just now.

    So the iconic I'm developing for the Blackwood is turning into much more than an iconic. I was wondering if there was a something that might make a good metaphor for his character, and I stumbled on something that might be brilliant.

    Fair Beauty Forlorn
    There is a village near the eastern wood that sees caravan traffic nearly every day.
    Lonely merchants and guards pass their idle hours and speak to each other of their homes.

    And there's a maiden in this trading village, and she works as tavern mistress to the caravans.
    They say "Brida, fetch another round." She serves them ale and wine.

    The traders say "Brida, you're a fair beauty, what a good wife you would be."
    "Yea, your eyes could steal the hunter from his roam."

    Brida wears a braided chain, made of finest silver from The Elder Kingdom,
    a brooch, that bears the name of the man that Brida loves.

    He came on a summer's day, bringing salvation from far away.
    But he made it clear he couldn't stay, no village was his home.

    The hunter said "Brida, you're a fair beauty, what a good wife you would be."
    "But my life, my love, and my lady is the Wood."

    Yea, Brida used to watch his eyes when he told his hunting tales.
    She could feel the forests' heavy eaves, she saw its ancient beauty.
    But he was ever a man of his word, dear ancestors, he was an honest man.
    And Brida does her best to understand.

    At night, when the fires have been doused, Brida walks down silent paths,
    And loves a hunter who's not around. She still can hear him say,

    She hears him say, "Brida, you're a fair beauty, what a good wife you would be,
    But my life, my love, and my lady is the Wood."

    "Brida, you're a fair beauty, what a good wife you would be,
    but my life, my lover, my lady is the Wood."

    ----

    I had resisted the idea of the character having a romantic relationship for the longest time, but I'm such a fan of this song that I think I need to reconsider. It can be molded perfectly into a Blackwood narrative.
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  14. - Top - End - #374
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Zap Dynamic View Post
    I had some cool thoughts about Cerai that I was going to right down, but then I had this idea just now.

    So the iconic I'm developing for the Blackwood is turning into much more than an iconic. I was wondering if there was a something that might make a good metaphor for his character, and I stumbled on something that might be brilliant.

    *snip*
    I had resisted the idea of the character having a romantic relationship for the longest time, but I'm such a fan of this song that I think I need to reconsider. It can be molded perfectly into a Blackwood narrative.
    Is Brida the iconic, or the hunter she loves?
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    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.
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    I guess the hunter.

    By the way, are both of the iconics male?

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Landis963 View Post
    Is Brida the iconic, or the hunter she loves?
    The hunter! Sorry about the confusion. I felt like describing him from the perspective of an important person in his life would be really interesting.

    His name is Lennid, and he's cursed to love the Wood and the hunter's way, but is doomed to take up the sword instead. He's reclusive and grumpy, but always seems to stumble into situations that are appropriately iconic as a side effect of his curse. I suppose that makes him a Strider-esque ranger as far as loadout and skillset are concerned?

    To give everyone another idea of how I picture magic working in the setting, the braided chain that Brida wears is actually a magic item that affects Lennid. He probably found it in a ruin somewhere, and it called to him. He gave it to her, and the love she bears for him gave it the power to protect him. It might be described mechanically as a bonus to Defense. I like the idea of a player giving a voice to multiple people as she tells story of her character; I think it's an awesome, unorthodox way to go about RP, and I endorse it 100%.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldest View Post
    By the way, are both of the iconics male?
    As of right now, there's one iconic set in stone. I've got a ton of them bouncing around in my head, though, and I plan on splitting it pretty evenly between men and women. In particular, I think the Classicist will be a woman. I haven't done any serious thinking on the iconics outside the Blackwood, but I feel like it's important for them to grab as many perspectives as possible.
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  17. - Top - End - #377
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    Well, lookit all this clothing from the 1300s! Pretty cool stuff. I hadn't imagined that cloaks could be so intricate for the time period. I now have that much more information when it comes to describing scenes.
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  18. - Top - End - #378
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    If anyone here hasn't seen Arjun: The Warrior Prince, you should definitely check it out (it's on Netflix instant queue!). If you like Indian culture, great animation, or really good fight scenes, I think you'll get a kick out of it. After watching this video, I've decided that Kareid martial arts will draw huge influence from Indian martial arts; the core tenets of their fighting (considering how much time they spend aboard a ship) are balance, grace, and flexibility. If you watch the duel about 9 minutes away from the end of the movie, you'll get an idea of what I'm talking about.

    While I'm talking about the Kareid, I've decided that the weapon most closely tied to their culture is their cutlass, a weapon that looks like a Greek kopis with a less severe curve. Like Olwë of Alqualondë's blade seen here (toward the middle of the image).

    Also:

    I've been thinking about the plight of the Petty Kingdoms recently. First: how are they "kingdoms" if they've got a High King who rules over everything? Short answer: he died almost 200 years ago, and his charisma just doesn't last that long. In the current time, old royal bloodlines are starting to remember their old power, and many are plotting to win independence. Is this a good thing? For RP, yes it is!

    Second: the Sjaring age (when the Vindlanders came to Genara for the first time, raiding villages and cities and taking the bounty back to their homeland) was all about finding more advanced cultures, taking their stuff by force, and using that stuff to advance the technology of the Petty Kingdoms. How do the people of Vindland integrate all this new culture and technology while still holding onto their heritage?

    Longer answer: the Eddas! When a certain group of people saw that the old ways were being lost in all this foreign knowledge, they decided to do something about it. They were the first to decipher the ancient text of the runestones, and they put the knowledge and tales they gleaned from these stones to music. They wander the land, spreading the history of the Petty Kingdoms and imparting the core tenets of their culture. During the time of the setting, the Eddas are major players in the world, and their word regarding culture and conduct are absolute. They insist that there is a Vindlander solution to every problem, even though that often means putting a familiar twist on foreign knowledge and craft.
    Last edited by Zap Dynamic; 2012-10-26 at 10:17 AM.
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    First of all, I finally (after three years) finished my anthology of original Robert E. Howard Conan tales. 16 novellas full of pulpy goodness. At the beginning of the anthology is Howard's essay, The Hyborian Age, which I consider to be a must-read for any worldbuilder. It might be a little bland, but it's a fascinating look at the level of historical detail that can go into a setting. I plan on doing something similar for my own setting, but I want to read it a few more times to get a better idea of his approach.

    Second, I created a WRM monster, and I'd love some feedback from you guys!

    Ghost
    Spoiler
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    This sickly green, wispy human form wanders the halls aimlessly, with a mouth that is forever agape. A wave of terror washes over you as its eyes meet yours.
    Attributes: Warrior 1, Rogue 5, Mage 4
    HP: 7, Mana: 8
    Defense: 7
    Skills: Lore, Thaumaturgy, and Thievery
    Talents: Spell Mastery (Haunting Presence)
    Trappings: With a DL 7 Alchemy check, the ghost contains a special ingredient. Roll 1d6: 1-2=Hate, 3-4=Scream, 5-6=Spectral Wisps
    Spells: Haunting Presence (2nd), Invisibility (3rd)

    Ghosts are angry spirits that feed on fear, and plague the sites of ruined castles and places of violence and pain. Ghosts are unable to inflict harm on the living, but typically the fear they illicit in their victims can prove to be their undoing against more corporeal foes. Ghosts often follow in the retinue of a Revenant, a more powerful kind of ghost that can influence mortals directly.

    You'll notice in the Trappings section that I provided the possibility for "special ingredients." This is a teaser of a crafting system I'd like to implement, inspired by (har har) Once Upon a Time. The way they make use of insubstantial ingredients is my first adult exposure to that idea, and I'm really digging it.

    This monsters makes use of two spells, one of which I created especially for the creature (inspired by haunted house documentaries):
    Haunting Presence
    Spoiler
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    "Did you hear that?" the mercenary whispered, waving his torch down a night-black hallway. The air seemed to have frozen, and every hair on his neck stood out like a dagger. "Last time I ever--" The sound just behind his ear elicited a scream from his lungs, and every fiber in him jerked away from the nothingness behind him.
    Circle 2nd
    Mana 2
    DL 7
    Effect Every time a ghost makes itself known (either by making a noise, becoming visible, or some other method), characters must pass a DL 9 check with either their Warrior or Mage attribute (whichever is higher). Failure causes the character to become afraid, and suffer a -1 penalty on his highest attribute for 5 minutes. This effect can stack, and ghosts often use these as strafing attacks to wear a party down. Each level of enhancement increases the penalty by -1.

    Thoughts? I picture a ghost hampering a party as they explore a ruin, adding a healthy dose of worry into the dismal atmosphere.
    Last edited by Zap Dynamic; 2012-10-30 at 12:35 AM.
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    That thing is evil. EVIL.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldest View Post
    That thing is evil. EVIL.
    That's the goal! In all honesty, I wanted to create a creature that was focused solely on debuffing for other creatures. In this case, the ghost has a pretty miserable Defense, and its HP are nothing to write home about either. Do you think he's too powerful? It would be pretty easy to tone him down a little bit.

    I imagine that ghosts are invisible as often as possible, and according to the Invisibility spell (found in From the Imperial Library), anyone trying to hit the invisible creature will suffer a -6 penalty UNLESS there are circumstances to minimize or eliminate that penalty. I think it's something to leave up to the individual tables, but for myself I plan on that penalty being reduced to -3 (or lower) whenever the ghost uses Haunting Presence.

    To sum up my thinking about the ghost, a character with either Warrior or Mage at 6 (which isn't all that rare) will have a 50/50 chance of being scared by the creature. Anyone with a decent mage score and the Awareness skill will have about the same chance of spotting the creature, so I wouldn't imagine that anyone would find themselves with more than a -2 modifier as a result of the ghost all that often. Plus, a ghost wouldn't want to use the ability too frequently, otherwise they'd get caught and killed...again.

    The main reason why I didn't include Rogue in the Haunting Presence language is because the handbook specifically says that someone with a high Warrior attribute is fearless, and I figured someone with high Mage could reason the strange happenings away.
    Last edited by Zap Dynamic; 2012-10-30 at 04:24 PM.
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    Pet peeve: courage is not the absence of fear, but the overcoming of it. Seriously. Not having fear is inhuman.

  23. - Top - End - #383
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldest View Post
    Pet peeve: courage is not the absence of fear, but the overcoming of it. Seriously. Not having fear is inhuman.
    I agree! ...I think. Are you just making a statement, or pointing at something from my post?
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Zap Dynamic View Post
    the handbook specifically says that someone with a high Warrior attribute is fearless
    That was why I brought it up.

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

    Oh! Yeah, I guess you could look at it either way, though. The official language is:
    A character with a high rank in Warrior is the born fighter: strong, tough,fearless.
    "Gritty" might be too strong, but that feels like a nice, pulpy description. I think there's plenty of room there for someone who conquers their fears, rather than simply not being affected.
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    So lately, my thoughts on Genara as a world have been getting more and more stylistic. I think the world is going to be pretty limited...maybe a rough disk with a diameter of roughly 3000 miles. Outside of this range is the infinite: neither ocean, nor desert, nor frozen wastes knows an end. The world is rounded identical to the Earth (with the exception that it's flat, so it would look more like a round shield than a sphere) for the sake of convenience. The sun travels over the south (hence why it's hot down there and days are longer) and the moon travels over the north (hence why it's cold, and nights are longer).

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

    So I woke up this morning to some really cool news! Gnorman (of the E6 Compendium fame) nominated The Blackwood to be counted amongst the GitP Homebrew Hall of Fame! I think it's a really cool idea, and I plan to nominate a couple of projects later this evening. You should check it out!
    Last edited by Zap Dynamic; 2012-11-01 at 10:25 AM.
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    In preparation for the new thread I'm going to make (and considering I have nothing better to do today), I'm posting all of the random tables I've made for the setting! I'd love some feedback: do they seem to work?

    Table 1 - Location Generation (I use this for hexmap generation and random encounters)
    Spoiler
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    {table=head] d12 | Village (Refer to Table 1a) | d12 | City (Refer to Table 1b) | d12 | Wilderness (Refer to Table 1c)
    1 | Building | 1 | Major Building | 1 | Terrain Feature
    2 | Figure | 2 | Major Figure | 2 | Ruin
    3 | Building | 3 | Building | 3 | Terrain Feature
    4 | Foes | 4 | Foes | 4 | Foes
    5 | Landmark/Monument | 5 | Landmark/Monument | 5 | Animal
    6 | Figure | 6 | Figure | 6 | Ruin
    7 | Major Building | 7 | Major Building | 7 | Active Settlement
    8 | Nothing | 8 | Nothing | 8 | Foes
    9 | Roll Three Times | 9 | Roll Three Times | 9 | Helpful
    10 | Major Figure | 10 | Major Figure | 10 | Foes
    11 | Building | 11 | Building | 11 | Terrain Feature
    12 | Roll Twice | 12 | Roll Twice | 12 | Roll Twice
    [/table]


    Table 1a - Village Generation (This is almost entirely for generation, not for encounters)
    Spoiler
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    {table=head] d12 | Building | d12 | Figure | d12 | Foes
    1 | Inn | 1 | Wise Woman | 1 | Bandit
    2 | Market | 2 | Retired Sentinel | 2 | Legendary Boar
    3 | Village Green | 3 | Retired Adventurer | 3 | Bandits
    4 | Tavern | 4 | Wise Woman | 4 | Cultists
    5 | Village Green | 5 | Storyteller | 5 | Bandits
    6 | Tavern | 6 | Caravan | 6 | Legendary Bear
    7 | Church | 7 | Wise Woman | 7 | Bandits
    8 | No Wall | 8 | Retired Adventurer | 8 | Cultists
    9 | Ruin | 9 | Elderfolk | 9 | Elves
    10 | Tavern | 10 | Wise Woman | 10 | Legendary Wolf
    11 | Inn | 11 | Storyteller | 11 | Bandits
    12 | Roll Twice | 12 | Roll Twice | 12 | Roll Twice
    [/table]
    {table=head] d12 | Major Building | d12 | Major Figure | d12 | Landmark
    1 | Stone Wall | 1 | Active Sentinel | 1 | Nearby Land Feature
    2 | School | 2 | Great Hunter | 2 | Ruin
    3 | Watchtower | 3 | Witch | 3 | Nearby Land Feature
    4 | Ancient Ward | 4 | Classicist | 4 | Ruin
    5 | Stone Wall | 5 | Witch | 5 | Nearby Land Feature
    6 | Watchtower | 6 | Great Hunter | 6 | Ruin
    7 | Stone Wall | 7 | Witch | 7 | Nearby Land Feature
    8 | Ancient Wall | 8 | Corrupt Council | 8 | Ruin
    9 | Stone Wall | 9 | Elf in Disguise | 9 | Legendary Site
    10 | Watchtower | 10 | Sorcerer | 10 | Ruin
    11 | Stone Wall | 11 | Wise Council | 11 | Nearby Land Feature
    12 | Roll Twice | 12 | Roll Twice | 12 | Roll Twice
    [/table]


    Table 1b - City Generation (This is used mostly for generation, not random encounters)
    Spoiler
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    {table=head] d12 | Building | d12 | Figure | d12 | Foes
    1 | Inn | 1 | Retired Adventurer | 1 | Bandit
    2 | Market | 2 | Retired Sentinel | 2 | Witch
    3 | Village Green | 3 | Great Hunter | 3 | Curse
    4 | Brothel | 4 | Retired Adventurer | 4 | 1d4 Bandits
    5 | Village Green | 5 | Caravan | 5 | 1d4 Cultists
    6 | Tavern | 6 | Corrupt Noble | 6 | Wicked Guard Captain
    7 | Church | 7 | Retired Adventurer | 7 | 1d6 Bandits
    8 | Tavern | 8 | Great Hunter | 8 | 1d6 Cultists
    9 | Ruin | 9 | Elderfolk | 9 | Elves
    10 | Tavern | 10 | Witch | 10 | 1d10 Bandits
    11 | Inn | 11 | Wise Noble | 11 | Corrupt Noble
    12 | Roll Twice | 12 | Roll Twice | 12 | Roll Twice
    [/table]
    {table=head] d12 | Major Building | d12 | Major Figure | d12 | Landmark
    1 | Temple of Classics | 1 | Active Sentinel | 1 | Nearby Land Feature
    2 | Prison | 2 | Major Noble | 2 | Ruin
    3 | Great Market | 3 | Active Sentinel | 3 | Nearby Land Feature
    4 | Cathedral | 4 | Major Witch | 4 | Ruin
    5 | Many Walls | 5 | Active Sentinel | 5 | Nearby Land Feature
    6 | Temple of Classics | 6 | One of the Nine Swords | 6 | Ruin
    7 | Great Market | 7 | Active Sentinel | 7 | Nearby Land Feature
    8 | Black Market | 8 | Major Noble | 8 | Ruin
    9 | Cathedral | 9 | Elf in Disguise | 9 | Legendary Site
    10 | Temple of Classics | 10 | Major Sorcerer | 10 | Ruin
    11 | Many Walls | 11 | Active Sentinel | 11 | Nearby Land Feature
    12 | Roll Twice | 12 | Roll Twice | 12 | Roll Twice
    [/table]



    Table 1c - Wilderness Generation (This is used for generation and random encounters)
    Spoiler
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    {table=head] d12 | Terrain Feature | d12 | Ruins | d12 | Animal | d12 | Elves | d12 | Features
    1 | Waterfall | 1 | Outpost/Fort | 1 | Squirrel | 1 | Caller | 1 | Metallic Hair/Fur
    2 | Lake | 2 | Cottage | 2 | Bear | 2 | 1d4 Moss People | 2 | Smaller than normal
    3 | Potion Components (Herbalism) | 3 | Mine/Cave | 3 | Bird (King Pheasant) | 3 | Caller | 3 | Larger than normal
    4 | Thicket | 4 | Village | 4 | Boar | 4 | Hollowback | 4 | Gemlike eyes
    5 | Cave | 5 | Campsite | 5 | 1d6 Wolves | 5 | 1d8 Imps | 5 | Strange Hair/Fur Color
    6 | Hill/Ridgeline | 6 | Castle | 6 | 1d4 Aurochs | 6 | Helpful | 6 | Dark Eyes
    7 | Animal Grove | 7 | Watchtower | 7 | Rabbit | 7 | Hollowback | 7 | Strange eye color
    8 | Canyon/Depression | 8 | Cottage | 8 | Bird | 8 | Caller | 8 | Mean
    9 | Helpful Grove | 9 | Haunted Castle | 9 | Magical Animal (See Features) | 9 | 1d4 Troupers | 9 | Kind
    10 | Spell Components (Thaumaturgy) | 10 | Campsite | 10 | Fox | 10 | White Woman | 10 | Singsong
    11 | River | 11 | Cottage | 11 | 1d6 Deer (1d4: 1-2=Male, 3-4=Female | 11 | 2d10 Imps | 11 | Floating
    12 | Roll Twice | 12 | Roll Twice | 12 | Roll Twice | 12 | Roll Twice | 12 | Roll Twice
    [/table]
    {table=head] d12 | Helpful | d12 | Active Settlement | d12 | Foes | d12 | Night
    1 | Clue (Minor) | 1 | Campsite | 1 | Elf | 1 | Nothing
    2 | Animal Omen | 2 | 1d10 Bandits | 2 | Troll | 2 | 1d4 Elves
    3 | Plant Omen | 3 | Village | 3 | Bandit | 3 | Troll
    4 | Hunter | 4 | Campsite | 4 | 1d4 Bandits | 4 | 1d4 Bandits
    5 | Clue (Moderate) | 5 | 1d3 Hunters | 5 | 1d4 Ghosts | 5 | Werewolf
    6 | Caravan | 6 | 1d6 Trolls | 6 | Boar | 6 | Nightmare
    7 | 1d4 Hunters | 7 | Campsite | 7 | 1d8 Bandits | 7 | 2d6 Bandits
    8 | Treasure Trove | 8 | Village | 8 | 1d4 Trolls | 8 | Animal
    9 | Object of search (in the wrong place) | 9 | Elf Settlement | 9 | 1d4 Elves | 9 | The Wild Hunt
    10 | 1d4 Sentinels | 10 | Campsite | 10 | 1d6 Wolves | 10 | Elf
    11 | Clue (Major) | 11 | 1d4 Sentinels | 11 | 1d4/2 Trolls | 11 | Animal
    12 | Roll Twice | 12 | Roll Twice | 12 | Roll Twice | 12 | Roll Twice
    [/table]


    Table 2 - Encounters (Travel [City] and Travel [Wilderness] refer to tables 1b and 1c, respectively.)
    Spoiler
    Show
    {table=head] d12 | Sleep | d12 | Travel (City) | d12 | Travel (Wilderness)
    1 | Good | 1 | Building | 1 | Terrain Feature
    2 | Neutral | 2 | Figure | 2 | Ruin
    3 | Bad | 3 | Nothing | 3 | Nothing
    4 | Neutral | 4 | Major Building | 4 | Foes
    5 | Good | 5 | Building | 5 | Animal
    6 | Neutral | 6 | Nothing | 6 | Nothing
    7 | Bad | 7 | Building | 7 | Nothing
    8 | Neutral | 8 | Foes | 8 | Foes
    9 | Roll Three Times | 9 | Helpful | 9 | Helpful
    10 | Neutral | 10 | Foes | 10 | Foes
    11 | Bad | 11 | Figure | 11 | Terrain Feature
    12 | Roll Twice | 12 | Roll Twice | 12 | Roll Twice
    [/table]


    Table 2a - Sleep (These are simply descriptions of dreams. The details are GM fiat. "Slept like a rock," "dreamless," and "uncomfortable" are all dreamless sleep.)
    Spoiler
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    {table=head] d12 | Good | d12 | Neutral | d12 | Bad
    1 | Slept like a rock | 1 | Dreamless | 1 | Uncomfortable
    2 | Victory | 2 | Flying | 2 | Defeat
    3 | Fond memory | 3 | Dreamless | 3 | Uncomfortable
    4 | Slept like a rock | 4 | Historical Deja Vu | 4 | Suffering
    5 | Fond memory | 5 | Dreamless | 5 | Uncomfortable
    6 | Slept like a rock | 6 | Flying | 6 | Death
    7 | Fond memory | 7 | Dreamless | 7 | Uncomfortable
    8 | Boon | 8 | Clue | 8 | Doom
    9 | Significant Boon | 9 | Significant Clue | 9 | Significant Doom
    10 | Boon | 10 | Clue | 10 | Doom
    11 | Contented | 11 | Dreamless | 11 | Nightmare
    12 | Roll Twice | 12 | Roll Twice | 12 | Roll Twice
    [/table]


    Table 3 - Weather ("Fate" gives the GM a chance to orchestrate certain moments more closely for cinematic effect)
    Spoiler
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    {table=head] d12 | Weather | d12 | Common | d12 | Uncommon
    1 | Common | 1 | Clear | 1 | Fog
    2 | Common | 2 | Overcast | 2 | Rain
    3 | Common | 3 | Clear | 3 | Heat Wave
    4 | Common | 4 | Windy | 4 | Fog
    5 | Common | 5 | Clear | 5 | Rain
    6 | Common | 6 | Overcast | 6 | Windy
    7 | Uncommon | 7 | Clear | 7 | Fog
    8 | Uncommon | 8 | Warmer | 8 | Rain
    9 | Uncommon | 9 | Clear | 9 | Cold Snap
    10 | Uncommon | 10 | Overcast | 10 | Fog
    11 | Rare | 11 | Clear | 11 | Rain
    12 | Rare | 12 | Cooler | 12 | Rain
    [/table]
    {table=head] d12 | Rare | d12 | Intensity | Moment | Fate
    1 | Storm | 1 | Light (1d4 hours) | Small | Determined by the dice
    2 | Pea Soup Fog | 2 | Light (1d6 hours) | Large | Dice ~1
    3 | Storm | 3 | Light (1d4 hours) | Huge | Dice ~2
    4 | Heavy Storm | 4 | Moderate (1d4 days) | Epic | Dice ~3
    5 | Storm | 5 | Moderate (1d10 hours)
    6 | Pea Soup Fog | 6 | Moderate (1d4 days)
    7 | Storm | 7 | Moderate (1d10 hours)
    8 | Heavy Fog | 8 | Heavy (1d4 days)
    9 | Tempest | 9 | Heavy (1d6 days)
    10 | Storm | 10 | Change
    11 | Pea Soup Fog | 11 | Change
    12 | Storm | 12 | Change
    [/table]
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    Over the next [insert time here], I will be filling this post with the various creatures I've designed for the Blackwood in the Warrior, Rogue, & Mage realm of mechanics. After this post is finished, I will be making a post with all the spells I've created (I don't think it's any more than I've already posted here). By that time, I will only be a boatload of fluff text away from a final draft for the setting!

    The Blackwood Bestiary

    Imp
    A filthy creature no taller than a goat emerges from a hole in the earth. It holds a sharpened bone in its hand, and a wild, murderous look is in its white eyes.
    Spoiler
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    Attributes Warrior 2, Rogue 4, Mage 7
    HP 4, Mana 14
    Defense 7
    Skills Daggers, Thievery, Thaumaturgy
    Talents Elf (+3 Mage)
    Trappings Bone Knife (1d6-2), Dingy Rags, Savagery (with DL 7 Alchemy check)

    Imps are foul subterranean elves. They dwell in packs (10-60 individuals), and are mindlessly savage creatures. When threatened (and anything could be a threat), they swarm their aggressor without thought to personal safety. A DL 9 Lore check reveals that holding an Imp by the nose for 1d4 rounds will make it subservient (if hostile) enough to lead you to its treasure horde. This effect disappears when an imp is captured by any other means.


    Hollowback
    A comely maid emerges into the clearing, eyelashes batting and hands held coyly behind her back. For just a moment, a flash of color beneath her skirts reveals an animal tail. When she turns, her back is a hollow shell, and inside her body is made of wood.
    Spoiler
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    Attributes Warrior 10, Rogue 2, Mage 4
    HP 16, Mana 8
    Defense 10
    Skills Unarmed, Lore, Herbalism
    Talents Elf (+3 Mage), Massive Attack (add Warrior to damage 1/combat)

    Hollowbacks are elves that take the form of young women with hollow, wooden backs and animal tails. They are never seen with other Hollowbacks. They are known for incredible feats of strength, and for their flirtatious attitudes. If you favor them, they may help you complete a task. However, they are highly self-conscious, and will react to perceived (or imagined) slights or insults with murderous rage.


    Caller
    Before you is a small creature with an amicable appearance. It says exactly what you want to hear, and promises exactly what you want if only you would take it by the hand.
    Spoiler
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    Attributes Warrior 2, Rogue 5, Mage 6
    HP 6, Mana 12
    Defense 8
    Skills Lore, Thaumaturgy, Alchemy
    Talents Elf (+3 Mage)
    Trappings Caller's Foot (+1 Rogue), With a DL 8 Thaumaturgy check, Callers contain the special ingredient "Guile."
    Spells Disguise (2nd), Use Moongate (4th)

    Callers are diminutive elves that hold almost total mastery over their appearance. They are almost always alone. They will provide anything you desire, but you must take them by the hand and follow them to it. They inevitably lead to an elven feast...where you are the main course. A DL 9 Lore check reveals that a Caller's feet are magical, and can be kept as powerful trinkets.


    Troll
    A huge form crashes through the trees. Every part of this beast is bulbous and ugly except for two tiny, twinkling eyes. It hefts a gigantic club, and lets loose with a guttural bellow.
    Spoiler
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    Attributes Warrior 10, Rogue 0, Mage 0
    HP 16, Mana 2
    Defense 15 (9 base +6 Tough Hide)
    Skills Athletics, Blunt, Unarmed
    Talents Exceptional Attribute (Warrior)
    Trappings Troll Tooth (+1 Warrior), Club (2d6, 2-Handed), Tough Hide (+6 defense, -5 penalty)

    Trolls are hulking piles of flesh and hair, typically found alone are in pairs. Though intelligent enough for speech, they are monumentally stupid, and are unlikely to discern between someone threatening them, and someone merely being nearby. Because of this, they are seen as quick to anger. Trolls always keep treasure hordes in their homes. A DL 13 Lore check will reveal that Trolls are dumb enough to find the Woman in the Woods.


    Ghost
    This sickly green, wispy human form wanders the halls aimlessly, its mouth forever agape. A wave of terror washes over you as its dead eyes meet yours.
    Spoiler
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    Attributes: Warrior 1, Rogue 5, Mage 4
    HP: 7, Mana: 8
    Defense: 7
    Skills: Lore, Thaumaturgy, and Thievery
    Talents: Spell Mastery (Haunting Presence)
    Trappings: With a DL 7 Alchemy check, the ghost contains a special ingredient. Roll 1d6: 1-2=Hate, 3-4=Scream, 5-6=Spectral Wisps
    Spells: Haunting Presence (2nd), Invisibility (3rd)

    Ghosts are angry spirits that feed on fear, and plague the sites of ruined castles and places of violence and pain. Ghosts are unable to inflict harm on the living, but typically the fear they illicit in their victims can prove to be their undoing against more corporeal foes. Ghosts often follow in the retinue of a Revenant, a more powerful kind of ghost that can influence mortals directly.


    That's all for now! As always, I'd love any kind of feedback. Does it seem like there's a spectrum of power so far? Where would you place the creatures along that spectrum?

    (Template for later)
    Spoiler
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    Template
    Description
    Spoiler
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    Attributes Warrior , Rogue , Mage
    HP , Mana
    Defense
    Skills
    Talents
    Trappings
    Spells

    [What are they? How many at a time? When do they get aggressive? Anything special about them?]
    Last edited by Zap Dynamic; 2012-11-08 at 05:42 PM.
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    New opening flavor text!

    The Blackwood Campaign Setting
    Folklore. Action. Dice.

    It was a time of legends, in the year when Sir Eichart returned from his pilgrimage of the Blackwood. He rested his weary feet in Sky Pillar, where the lords of every knightly order were assembled to learn the wisdom he found on his journey.

    "The land is in discord," he said from beside the seat of the venerable Master Agnes, so all could hear. "The throne of the Elder King has been silent for 10 years. Without guidance, the people cannot cope with bandits, mysterious plagues, and beasts out of the deep wilds. The nobility is lost in corruption, the pagans of old stir in the woods, and strangers from distant lands test our resolve." He paused, allowing the scribes in attendance to copy his words. "Any one of these paths could lead to ruin."

    "We must each consult our ancestors, and act on that innermost guidance. Even as an assembly of orders, we cannot spread our influence far enough to protect our people. We must mingle with those errant fighters who brave the Wood even still. If there is a hope for our people and our culture, it lies in the wilderness. And if it is to be found, we must heed the tales, and seek the places of woodland magic and the wisdom of old."

    It needs work. Consider this a rough draft.
    Last edited by Zap Dynamic; 2013-01-02 at 06:16 PM.
    Avatar by the wonderful and talented Ceika!
    Running: The Blackwood | IC | OOC | Dice
    Playing: EMPIRE! | Raaneka, The Painted Lands

    My DeviantArt.

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