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  1. - Top - End - #31
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    For the Didact, you'll want to require Truenaming checks to be made at 15+(1.5 * CR). I'm running a game at the moment where the Didact has stacked his Truenaming bonus to +18 at level 6, meaning he nearly succeeds automatically against creatures of a CR equivalent to his level. And he didn't even take advantage a few more optimizations.

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

    There may be a hidden post here. Now, would you be opposed to having a semi-mythical Witch? The idea originally came from a comic series called Fable, which I suggest you look as it has a very good take on different fairy tales. An example would be Prince Charming has been divorced three times and lives off what he can get out of various women.

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

    As for the issue of troll-on-humie mateing, it could be mostly a Hag thing. As in, "Mortal wanders in one of the darker glades of the woods, finds a cute girl, has a minor fling, and then wakes up a few days later without recolection of the past few days" if the hag is of the sort who does not eat her mortal compainons. A little more than a year later, a baby girl with strange disposition is found on the doorstep of a elderly couple who leaves little loafs of bread for the animals, and the resulting lass is later found to have a natural nack at magic that makes every recruter for miles try to get her into The Elder Kingdom as the next big thing. Or something.

    Alternetivly, while most Trolls are born that way, some humans naturaly come to enjoy the darkish primal energy they tend to have, and as such eventualy come to be the stuff of fairy-tales. Presumably, these troll-acendents could come in a way as a prestige class that has them slowly becomeing more monster-like as its life goes on, picking from several tables for powers as it levels up. Strangly, half-trolls or those with trollish blood usualy never go on such a path, perhapes because they are already somewhat inbued with the energy that makes a troll a troll and has little ability or reason to make the sudden changes that make up a troll acendents clime.

    Neverless, there are both half-trolls and those who become trolls, and of course pure trolls themselves. Of course, there are also those fey who have fallen so far, like the ever-feared Firbolg, that seem to be weakened elves who seem to unable to retreat to there lands, and are twisted by it. Then again, there are those that have been noted to simply be more lucid and legendary than others that seem to be more in line with true, malevolent fey. These horrors are more than mear hags and ogres, and the fables about them are few and terrible, and all point to some seething pit in the realm of the fey, where even there amoral kin fear to dwell apon for too long. Those "Formorins" are, rather than simply treating humans with a sence of whimsy, treat them like toys. And, much like a angry toddler, they like to smash and break there toys. Neverless, they are still elves, nothing more, but are perhapes more like a troll than what could live up to what could be called the standered for such a varied race.
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldest View Post
    There may be a hidden post here. Now, would you be opposed to having a semi-mythical Witch?
    What do you mean by "semi-mythical"? Like, a figure who "they say" lives out in the woods, but there's never been any evidence? That's right on par!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pokonic
    As for the issue of troll-on-humie mateing, it could be mostly a Hag thing. As in, "Mortal wanders in one of the darker glades of the woods, finds a cute girl, has a minor fling, and then wakes up a few days later without recolection of the past few days" if the hag is of the sort who does not eat her mortal compainons. A little more than a year later, a baby girl with strange disposition is found on the doorstep of a elderly couple who leaves little loafs of bread for the animals, and the resulting lass is later found to have a natural nack at magic that makes every recruter for miles try to get her into The Elder Kingdom as the next big thing. Or something.

    Alternetivly, while most Trolls are born that way, some humans naturaly come to enjoy the darkish primal energy they tend to have, and as such eventualy come to be the stuff of fairy-tales. Presumably, these troll-acendents could come in a way as a prestige class that has them slowly becomeing more monster-like as its life goes on, picking from several tables for powers as it levels up. Strangly, half-trolls or those with trollish blood usualy never go on such a path, perhapes because they are already somewhat inbued with the energy that makes a troll a troll and has little ability or reason to make the sudden changes that make up a troll acendents clime.

    Neverless, there are both half-trolls and those who become trolls, and of course pure trolls themselves. Of course, there are also those fey who have fallen so far, like the ever-feared Firbolg, that seem to be weakened elves who seem to unable to retreat to there lands, and are twisted by it. Then again, there are those that have been noted to simply be more lucid and legendary than others that seem to be more in line with true, malevolent fey. These horrors are more than mear hags and ogres, and the fables about them are few and terrible, and all point to some seething pit in the realm of the fey, where even there amoral kin fear to dwell apon for too long. Those "Formorins" are, rather than simply treating humans with a sence of whimsy, treat them like toys. And, much like a angry toddler, they like to smash and break there toys. Neverless, they are still elves, nothing more, but are perhapes more like a troll than what could live up to what could be called the standered for such a varied race.


    This shows a lot of good creativity! And there's actually something like the Hag stuff already present in the world with the Huldras and Maras (they're in the "female creatures" section of that link, just a little ways down the page). In a nutshell, Huldras are dryad/nymph figures that tempt men into the woods for sex. If the guys don't please the Huldra, she might kill them. I could see this being one of the ways that Half-Elves are born. Maras, on the other hand, are born of human women who undergo a strange ritual (you really should read it, but I won't get into it here). All girls born by the woman after this ritual become female werewolves, which is another sort of Half-Elf origin... albeit without the Elf part.

    I'm still not sold on Trolls being sexually compatible with humans. The more I think about it, the more I think they ought to be a completely separate, older race, instead of being another variation of the Elves.

    Another problem I'm running into is that I'm restricting myself to Germanic mythology, which means I can't use firbolgs, hags, ogres, or formorins.

    ----

    While I'm posting, check this out! We got a pretty cool tip of the hat from one of the very guys who inspired me to make this setting! By golly!

    He presents an interesting solution to a problem that I hadn't even put into words yet. In my attempts to get to the roots of folklore etc., I've been really loath to include planes, and when I have I've been really loath to call them "planes." I also didn't really want to use terms like "coexistent." I made a compromise because that's the common parlance amongst players today, but I don't think I need to do that. There's no problem with saying "The Land of the Dead is somewhere else," rather than saying "The Land of the Dead is another plane." The characters in the setting don't think in those terms, so why should I present the information to players in those terms?

    He's also made me start to rethink The Wild Hunt. In Germanic myth, the Hunt is often said to carry people off to the land of the dead, but it doesn't often say where it comes from. In fact, sometimes the leader of the Hunt is a god like Odin, and sometimes (not in Germanic myth, but still) its actually a fey king of some kind.

    Maybe instead of the Wild Hunt being a strictly "Dead" thing, it is instead a third entity. It's "wild." It's made up of Elves and The Dead, and it goes where it pleases. Hmm...

    Thanks, KORPG!
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  5. - Top - End - #35
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Zap Dynamic View Post
    While I'm posting, check this out! We got a pretty cool tip of the hat from one of the very guys who inspired me to make this setting! By golly!

    Thanks, KORPG!
    You're quite welcome. To be honest, I find the setting very rich in good inspirational material.

    That and I honestly couldn't help myself in taking my own stab at an overlay of a thematic "elsewhere."

  6. - Top - End - #36
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    This shows a lot of good creativity!
    Why, thank you!

    This shows a lot of good creativity! And there's actually something like the Hag stuff already present in the world with the Huldras and Maras (they're in the "female creatures" section of that link, just a little ways down the page). In a nutshell, Huldras are dryad/nymph figures that tempt men into the woods for sex. If the guys don't please the Huldra, she might kill them. I could see this being one of the ways that Half-Elves are born. Maras, on the other hand, are born of human women who undergo a strange ritual (you really should read it, but I won't get into it here). All girls born by the woman after this ritual become female werewolves, which is another sort of Half-Elf origin... albeit without the Elf part.
    Ah, sounds well, sound. If you ever have any issues finding fey to fit in with the world, I suggest scrounging up on Dicefreak's stuff. Always good to bing on there older stuff. Also,Werefolk: I think that its obvius that the DnD modal is usless in discribing classical accounts of wiches and such transforming others or themselves into animal shapes, so that could be addressed.

    I'm still not sold on Trolls being sexually compatible with humans. The more I think about it, the more I think they ought to be a completely separate, older race, instead of being another variation of the Elves.
    Well, crikey, I would not think Dragons are compatable with humans, but apparently Polymorph is the name of the game. Anyway, still would like to have the occasinal forest adoptie turn out to have something primal in there blood. Perhapes your general female fey gives away her most normal-looking offspring as part of old, magical deals with woodland folk? Think of the PC's surpise when they learn that the local foundlings real father is not some staggering archfey, but rather Glomgug the Horse-Eater.

    Also, with non-germen creatures: Its a big map, and other peoples have other tales. Just because they dont show up in that area does not mean that Baba Yaga does not haunt the stories of the Koss and such. Other regions have such exclusive Troll-kinds as well.

    There's no problem with saying "The Land of the Dead is somewhere else," rather than saying "The Land of the Dead is another plane." The characters in the setting don't think in those terms, so why should I present the information to players in those terms?
    Well, some tales have heros going to the Lands Of The Dead to rescue maidens and such. In all, you should not have to conform to standered DnD logic, considering no one in this setting thinks "Hey, if I get that Amulent of Plot Cheese, I could go anywere!" Sometimes the Fairyland is just Fairyland.

    Also, Wild Hunt= Displaced Elves and the spirits of the worthy woodland-folk who appease the fey in general. Presumably, unworthy souls are turned into there rabid hounds.

    Also, wiches are ether fey-blooded are trollish adopties who learned from mama well.
    Well, one time at Bard camp...
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  7. - Top - End - #37
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Zap Dynamic View Post
    What do you mean by "semi-mythical"? Like, a figure who "they say" lives out in the woods, but there's never been any evidence? That's right on par!
    I actually meant one Witch. As in, there are many myths and legends about a Witch in various forests and places, but really it's one witch in many places. Who's very, very strong.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eldest View Post
    I actually meant one Witch. As in, there are many myths and legends about a Witch in various forests and places, but really it's one witch in many places. Who's very, very strong.
    Sounds like Baba Yaga to me.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldest View Post
    I actually meant one Witch. As in, there are many myths and legends about a Witch in various forests and places, but really it's one witch in many places. Who's very, very strong.
    Shove her up north and give her a very special hut, and call her the final NPC the party will ever meet.
    Well, one time at Bard camp...
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldest View Post
    I actually meant one Witch. As in, there are many myths and legends about a Witch in various forests and places, but really it's one witch in many places. Who's very, very strong.
    I don't have anything like that in the setting right now, but it's a cool possibility. Just to make sure I'm understanding you correctly, you're not precluding the possibility of other witches? In other words, it's okay if every village has a witch (they won't all have their own witch, but for the sake of argument), but there are still a handful of tales that tell of these really powerful witches. The stories all point to different places, but all of those places are inhabited simultaneously by just one witch? One that is free to ignore the laws of physics?
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    Not necessarily simultaneously. Teleport would work just fine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zap Dynamic View Post
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Zap Dynamic View Post
    I don't have anything like that in the setting right now, but it's a cool possibility. Just to make sure I'm understanding you correctly, you're not precluding the possibility of other witches? In other words, it's okay if every village has a witch (they won't all have their own witch, but for the sake of argument), but there are still a handful of tales that tell of these really powerful witches. The stories all point to different places, but all of those places are inhabited simultaneously by just one witch? One that is free to ignore the laws of physics?
    Yes. Exactly it. Not teleportation, or at least not really teleportation, actual bilocation. And the One True Witch would take offense at any others claiming the title, as they are mere novices in the mysteries of the true art.
    I'd suggest making her an Epic challange, if you statted her out, and maybe having her be one of the corrupted First People from Wyn's setting, if you have the settings coincide.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Zap Dynamic View Post
    I don't have anything like that in the setting right now, but it's a cool possibility. Just to make sure I'm understanding you correctly, you're not precluding the possibility of other witches? In other words, it's okay if every village has a witch (they won't all have their own witch, but for the sake of argument), but there are still a handful of tales that tell of these really powerful witches. The stories all point to different places, but all of those places are inhabited simultaneously by just one witch? One that is free to ignore the laws of physics?
    I may be missing something, but why bother to codify it for now?
    Is there some inherent benefit to drawing limitations on your creation at this stage or would it make more sense to simply let this feature evolve naturally?

    Basically, why declare it and take the mystery away when you have the opportunity to make it something akin to the flood legend?

    Simply state that there are legends and tales of a powerful, iconic witch spoken in hushed tones in every town in every culture. Though the tales are all similar, whether they all speak of a single entity or not is never quite clear. At times the old Crone is beneficial, at others she is vengeful and malicious. But all hearth-stories agree that she is a powerful being whose knowledge of magic far exceeds even that of the fey.

    Something like that.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by korpg View Post
    I may be missing something, but why bother to codify it for now?
    Is there some inherent benefit to drawing limitations on your creation at this stage or would it make more sense to simply let this feature evolve naturally?

    Basically, why declare it and take the mystery away when you have the opportunity to make it something akin to the flood legend?

    Simply state that there are legends and tales of a powerful, iconic witch spoken in hushed tones in every town in every culture. Though the tales are all similar, whether they all speak of a single entity or not is never quite clear. At times the old Crone is beneficial, at others she is vengeful and malicious. But all hearth-stories agree that she is a powerful being whose knowledge of magic far exceeds even that of the fey.

    Something like that.
    It's always nice when you know where you're going, and the details don't have to be made absolute now.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by korpg View Post
    I may be missing something, but why bother to codify it for now?
    Is there some inherent benefit to drawing limitations on your creation at this stage or would it make more sense to simply let this feature evolve naturally?

    Basically, why declare it and take the mystery away when you have the opportunity to make it something akin to the flood legend?

    Simply state that there are legends and tales of a powerful, iconic witch spoken in hushed tones in every town in every culture. Though the tales are all similar, whether they all speak of a single entity or not is never quite clear. At times the old Crone is beneficial, at others she is vengeful and malicious. But all hearth-stories agree that she is a powerful being whose knowledge of magic far exceeds even that of the fey.

    Something like that.
    I agree, and this is another way to cleave to the ideal of Vagueness that I mentioned in the opening posts. From the perspective of the creator of this world, I like the idea of leaving a heavy dose of mystery in the setting. It may seem like laziness because I'm not troubling myself to hammer out all of the mechanics behind something, but really that's exactly the way that myth and fairy tale goes. By purposefully leaving out details, I'm keeping the setting closer in touch with its inspiration.

    Similarly, it gives the GMs a lot of agency when it comes to running a game, and it helps to enforce the mystery for the players. At a table where people switch out GMing, there might be one GM who decides that all of these witch legends point to the same bilocational figure, while another decides that they're all siblings, and yet another decides that they're entirely fictional. Even if the same group of players plays through each of these scenarios, it will be a new experience for them every time, thanks to the inherent "gray area" in the presentation of the material.

    I'm going to be reworking a lot of the fluff on this stuff over the next several days. My intention is to eliminate the set-in-stone mechanical fact of the description, and elaborate on the fuzzy possibility of the flavor-text. As an example, I've got this idea to give every monstrous "race" at least three different templates. Take the Huldra, for example: I'll supply stats that are exactly like the Nymph, exactly like the Dryad, and (I think) there are stats for an actual Huldra floating around here somewhere. GMs can choose to use just one of them, alternate every time, or whatever they'd like. Players may come to expect certain things about the creatures, but there's still room for surprise, and I think surprise is an important thing to foster in this game.
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Zap Dynamic View Post
    I agree, and this is another way to cleave to the ideal of Vagueness that I mentioned in the opening posts. From the perspective of the creator of this world, I like the idea of leaving a heavy dose of mystery in the setting. It may seem like laziness because I'm not troubling myself to hammer out all of the mechanics behind something, but really that's exactly the way that myth and fairy tale goes. By purposefully leaving out details, I'm keeping the setting closer in touch with its inspiration.

    Similarly, it gives the GMs a lot of agency when it comes to running a game, and it helps to enforce the mystery for the players. At a table where people switch out GMing, there might be one GM who decides that all of these witch legends point to the same bilocational figure, while another decides that they're all siblings, and yet another decides that they're entirely fictional. Even if the same group of players plays through each of these scenarios, it will be a new experience for them every time, thanks to the inherent "gray area" in the presentation of the material.

    I'm going to be reworking a lot of the fluff on this stuff over the next several days. My intention is to eliminate the set-in-stone mechanical fact of the description, and elaborate on the fuzzy possibility of the flavor-text.
    Since one of your design desires is to introduce that mystery, I think removal of mechanics for a variety of things is a great way to go about it.

    Always remember that as soon as you add stats to something/someone, many players will see those stats as a challenge to be overcome.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by korpg View Post
    Always remember that as soon as you add stats to something/someone, many players will see those stats as a challenge to be overcome.
    Who says the PCs need to know about the stats? If this ever gets into a campaign, he could frame it like Miko's curbstomp of the Order all the way back in No Cure For The Paladin Blues - perfectly legal according to the rules, but without going into any detail. If he's lucky, they might even consider the Wicked Witch of the Woods just an insurmountable plot device.
    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.
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    Landis, I don't follow that. Could you link to the strip you're talking about?
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    Sure. Pertinent OoTS comic here and relevant Giant comments here.

    Assume for the sake of argument that our hypothetical PC group never got to see the level of detail given in the second link.
    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.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ImpSyndrome View Post
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    Thanks for the links, Landis. I understand where you're coming from now. You asked "Who says the PCs need to know about the stats?" I think the point is that if there are stats available to be read in this thread, then that creates the situation where the players will view things as challenges.

    There are pros and cons to keeping all mechanical/crunchy/stat-related things out of this setting handbook. On the one hand, leaving all statistical information out of the book will deepen that sense of mystery for the players. On the other hand, if I don't publish stats or much mechanical goodness, then the chances of anyone else running a campaign in this world are slim to none. Personally, I don't think people often use other people's settings anyway, so maybe that's not such a big deal.

    As for my own approach, I think that what I'm going to do is to start converting the stuff into fluffy things, hiding all but the essential mechanics (classes, factions, etc.) offline for a while. I want to put together and run an Adventure Path in this world, and after I've lead players through that, I'll publish all the "behind the scenes" stuff, so other people can play it on their own, if they'd like.

    I've already started the process of making everything fluffier. In the OPs, I'm slowly changing everything to "in character" writing (check the Races section for the first example). I've also started a blog, where I will be posting repurposed and/or original folklore that's designed to provide a backdrop for the setting. As of now, I've got a list of 19 tales to write up, and the first one is already finished and posted: The Riverman and the Woodsman, a twist on the fable of the town mouse and country mouse.
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  21. - Top - End - #51
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    I've completed a second story! This is all about the Wild Hunt. How does everyone feel about this amount of information for these stories? As I'm writing them, I'm trying to give very vague hints about how the mechanics might be handled in these situations (if mechanics are relevant), as well as supply a few plot hooks.

    I've also started collecting these stories in a spoiler called "Tales" in the "And its People" post on the first page. The next story will be a cautionary tale about encountering Hollowbacks!
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    I enjoy the stories, and they do very well to set the tone. The reason I haven't posted often is that A) I have been really busy, and haven't had time to read all your stuff yet, and B) I am unable to help a lot with the setting. You seem to have it very well in hand.

  23. - Top - End - #53
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    Would I be incorrect in thinking that
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    the old woman that cursed Eckhart is the theorized Wicked Witch of the Woods?
    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.
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    That's exactly right! She's got her own story coming up sometime soon.

    My plan is to take the clues needed to do great things (like reach the Land of the Dead) and sprinkle them throughout several different tales. Theoretically, each tale would comprise a plot arc.

    I've also been persuaded by a friend to turn the story of Eckhart into a epic. I think it's a great idea, but I'm trying to decide if I should write it and use it as a tale, or run a campaign based on the storyline, THEN write it. If I write it beforehand, it will basically be a manual for how to get to the Land of the Dead and back, and I'm not sure I like the idea of that being readily available all in one location.
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  25. - Top - End - #55
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    Thoughts on Magic:

    I've been thinking about magic and its relationship to this setting.

    On the one hand, I think that I would be a fool to say that this setting is "nonmagical." Clearly, there's magic all up in this. On the other hand, I want to keep it very Low Magic. I don't want people running around performing miracles and hurtling fireballs willy-nilly, because that just doesn't happen in fairy tales (at least not from the protagonists' side), and a lot of the decisions I've made so far have reflected that. Using E6 has placed a very real cap on the kinds of power that can be accessed and mastered, and beyond that I've gone so far as to limit classes that I think are "too evocation-y."

    I thought about removing magic classes as PC options entirely, but I stopped myself. It may be the case that there are no real magic users as protagonists in fairy tales, but likewise there are very rarely fairy tales that involve an entire party going pursuing a goal. Of course, there are exceptions. The Golden Bird is a good example of at least two people (the boy and the magical fox) trying to accomplish something together, and I would entertain the idea of a party that looks similar. Maybe the "fox" in this case is really a human spellcaster who was polymorphed as a curse or something, but retains all of the ability scores/class features he had in life.

    That said, I still want to be open to the idea of a regular old spellcaster in the party. I want to make a few things clear, though:
    • That spellcaster will be 1:100,000. People will think he's a freak or a demon worshipper, especially as he grows more powerful.
    • In light of the first point, the spellcaster would do well to find a way to to remain useful to the party while in "public." Using the fullness of his abilities in a haunted castle is one thing, but he's going to have to find a way to remain relevant back at the village without getting lynched.
    • The spell progression charts may be abolished. I really like the idea of spellcasters being able to cast whatever spell they want whenever they want to, so long as they find the spell somewhere and have the material components. Are you a 1st-level caster? You can cast a 9th level spell, but you're going to have to learn the spell somehow (quest to find it written down somewhere), and also find the materials required (likely another quest).


    I don't consider this to be a detriment to the spellcaster. Like I said, if they learn a 9th level spell and they have enough components, they could cast it all day every day for all I care. Also, I see this as an opportunity for the party to create their own quests, so to speak. "Oh," they say. "We could bring down the evil Lord with [spell x], but we don't have the materials." Perfect opportunity for a quest! Handled the right way, such a quest could be seamlessly blended into the plot arc, so it seems like this is the most logical course of action. I like that idea.

    On another note, the more I read about them, the more I like the idea of Binders and Vestiges. That fits in perfectly with an idea I have for "pagan magic," but tweak it just a little bit and it looks almost exactly how I envision "Oath Magic" working.

    In my mind, you can get magical power a few different ways in this setting:
    • Deal with the Elves (HUGE double-edged sword potential here)
    • Commune with ancient spirits (highly frowned-upon by organized religion)
    • Dedicate yourself to a "focus of magic."


    In the first case, you'd find an Elf, make a deal with them, and they would perform whatever magic you require. In the second case, you could be communing with the spirit of an ancient wizard, some demon, or even nature itself. This is probably the most broad of the three in terms of flavor.

    In the third case, you choose some extant thing and draw power from that. For instance, I imagine that somewhere in Grand Delving, there's an order of magic users that are utterly devoted to the Elder King, and actually draw their magical power from that devotion. It's something like the "latent power in the blood of Kings" trope considered a little more broadly. There are other ways you could access this sort of power, though I can't think of any off the top of my head.

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

    If you're interested in using binders, I refluffed a bunch of homebrewed vestiges from the WotC boards for Patria, and aside from little things ("this guy was a Vallheim warrior", "This was a gambler from the Dotze Affariata"), most of them are at about the right magic-level for the Blackwood, too. Feel free to steal them, if they fit.
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    I would suggest that instead of saying this setting is low magic, say the magic is low visibility. So there are still mages, and powerful ones at that, but the magic is subtle. This is basically a way of rephrasing what you have already decided on.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Wyntonian View Post
    If you're interested in using binders, I refluffed a bunch of homebrewed vestiges from the WotC boards for Patria, and aside from little things ("this guy was a Vallheim warrior", "This was a gambler from the Dotze Affariata"), most of them are at about the right magic-level for the Blackwood, too. Feel free to steal them, if they fit.
    I like what I'm reading, but I don't have access to ToM right now. What's the nature of a Binder's spell progression? In other words, if I only allow characters to get up to 6th level, will they only be able to access 3rd level Vestiges? Of course, I'm willing to let them attempt to bind anything they want and know about (passing the DC is another matter), I'm just curious what kind of limits we're talking about.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldest
    I would suggest that instead of saying this setting is low magic, say the magic is low visibility. So there are still mages, and powerful ones at that, but the magic is subtle. This is basically a way of rephrasing what you have already decided on.
    That makes a lot of sense. The world definitely has a lot of magic, but there's only very rarely a whizz-bang effect.

    Here's my idea as it's developing: there is no shortage of "conjurers of cheap tricks" in the cities, and there are a few very powerful casters in the world (maybe 1...sometimes 2 for each class), and not much of a middle ground. Figures like the Witch in the Woods will be one of those very powerful casters, and your average backwoods healer/witch is an example of the former.
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  29. - Top - End - #59
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    Aaand, I finished another tale! This is a little long, but it contains all you ever wanted to know about Hollowbacks! Coincidentally, this is one of my favorite creatures from Germanic folklore thus far.
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    Huh. So, was the baby a half-elf, troll-something, or mearly a strong ,healthy human boy?
    Well, one time at Bard camp...
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