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  1. - Top - End - #91
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    Like I said, I drew heavily from an extant Grimm tale for High Hall, so I can't say much regarding why the characters acted that way.

    For my money, people kept testing the boy because they hadn't heard of the death of the Priest, or if they had they didn't see a connection with a boy who wasn't afraid of anything. Likewise, the lord was probably amazed that the boy was surviving, and probably didn't stop to think that he could use this to his advantage, since he only gained a chest of treasure, and gave away a castle and a daughter in the bargain. In my experience, the people that populate these tales aren't much in the way of investigative thinking. They're very simple stories designed to entertain or pass along a lesson, and the supporting characters don't seem to matter much.
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  2. - Top - End - #92
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Zap Dynamic View Post
    In my experience, the people that populate these tales aren't much in the way of investigative thinking. They're very simple stories designed to entertain or pass along a lesson, and the supporting characters don't seem to matter much.
    It does make for amusing "fractured fairy tale" fodder though.
    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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  3. - Top - End - #93
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    A quick glance over this looks good. It's a great basis to start with. Most importantly, you focused on what was important rather than meaningless details.

  4. - Top - End - #94
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    A quick glance over your Endhaven project (specifically, the metaphysics section) has me thoroughly mesmerized. Well done!
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  5. - Top - End - #95
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    While I'm thinking about it.

    I've been looking at the information I've put on the site already, and compared that with the information that I have yet you put online. There is enough stuff here for people to create characters and get started, and I can easily add more tales as we play. Basically, what I'm saying is that I'm ready to run a campaign in this setting.

    ...if I weren't already taking part in three campaigns.

    I want to run a quest in this baby, and I have a lot of ideas right now, but I need a little more time to make sure it's something I can commit to. That said, is anyone interested in playing?
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  6. - Top - End - #96
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    *Looks at the five games I'm playing now*
    Yes.

  7. - Top - End - #97
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    Yes, by Saturday I'll be in six games. I'm still going to apply
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  8. - Top - End - #98
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    Simplified Weapons Table

    Instead of the standard 3.5 weapons table (which I find to be very limiting in its attempt to create variety) this setting will use something much simpler.

    {table=head]Weapon Classification|Damage|Examples
    Unarmed|1d4|Fists
    Light|1d6|Arrow, Bolt, Club, Dagger, Short Sword, Sling Stone, Staff
    Medium|1d8|Axe, Hammer, Long Sword, Mace, Spear
    Heavy|1d10|Heavy Sword, Pole Arm
    {colsp=3}*Any class may fight unarmed.
    {colsp=3}*Magic users are restricted to Light weapons.
    {colsp=3}*Dex-focused characters are restricted to Light and Medium weapons.
    {colsp=3}*Heavy weapons require two hands to use and prohibit the use of a shield.[/table]

    This list of examples is by no means definitive. The sky is the limit in terms of describing the gear your character possesses, although the setting will obviously lend itself better to certain kinds of weapon (not much call for a scimitar this far from the desert, etc.).


    ----
    As written, what do you guys think of this system? I'm considering adding a list of properties (i.e. Trip, Reach, Keen, etc.), and allowing each weapon to begin with 1 property.

    Thoughts?
    Last edited by Zap Dynamic; 2012-03-07 at 02:53 PM.
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  9. - Top - End - #99
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    "Heavy weapons require two hands and the use of a shield"?

    Are there going to be triskelions in this setting?
    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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  10. - Top - End - #100
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    Whoops! They prohibit the use of a shield. Ker-fixed.

    .::EDIT::.
    I'm strongly considering taking out the "Dex characters are restricted to light and medium weapons" thing.
    Last edited by Zap Dynamic; 2012-03-07 at 02:55 PM.
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  11. - Top - End - #101
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    This is an ok idea if you're going for simple, but I'm not sure why you'd choose this over the standard 3.5 weapon system. The only thing it really adds is simplicity, and it does so by reducing support and options.

    If your fighter has Weapon Finesse, he suddenly can't use a polearm? He is a "Dex-focused character" at that point, but I don't get why a feat should take away your options. Also, if a paladin takes a couple levels of sorceror (sorcadin gish-style), why is he limited to light weapons? As a magic-user, "*Magic users are restricted to Light weapons."

    This is an ok houserule for beginners who don't really care about the numbers, but it kinda falls apart once you get into it. I would recommend that for your worldbuilding project you focus on adding things into the world, new playable classes, monsters and fluff, and choosing what you want to put in rather than trying to take a significant part of the system out. Leave that to the DM's to decide.

    Of course, if you're making this world solely for your own use, do what you want. If you have slightly bigger dreams, however, leave your personal rules and the actual world separate.
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  12. - Top - End - #102
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    As the author of the simplified chart I should probably speak up a bit.

    That weapon chart comes from my simplified redesign of D&D.

    The primary reason such issues weren't present in the discussion on how I would go about redoing D&D was due to a prior removal of feats and multiclassing.
    Last edited by korpg; 2012-03-07 at 04:24 PM. Reason: making things clearer

  13. - Top - End - #103
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Wyntonian View Post
    Good Advice.
    That's one of the main reasons why I'm considering taking the "dex based characters..." bit out. It detracts from the options a player has.

    As far as the caster restriction, that wouldn't apply to multiclass characters, but it wasn't explicitly stated so I see where you're coming from.

    I disagree with you as regards putting things in vs. taking things out. Especially because I imagine this setting being a small part of a larger world, I think it's necessary to pare down what's available to players and GMs. In the same sense that a Yeti would be out of place in a desert, so too would it be weird to see certain races, classes, monsters, and even mechanics in this setting. One of the major challenges I've faced as a player that started playing around the advent of 3.5 is that it took a long time for me to understand that certain things are appropriate in certain situations in this game. I think there's too much stuff in this game to make for a really interesting, focused story, and one of the major goals I have for this project is to streamline the whole shebang.

    That said, I see your point. At each step of the way, I need to be careful to separate what is critical for the setting and what I merely prefer as a GM.
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  14. - Top - End - #104
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    In the same sense that a Yeti would be out of place in a desert, so too would it be weird to see certain races, classes, monsters, and even mechanics in this setting.
    Well, yeah, I agree on the surface anyway.

    However, the yeti-in-a-desert thing is a thematic disconnect that, as world-builder, it's your job to discourage/eliminate. Races, likewise. I don't have raptorans, catfolk or elves in Patria. Thematic disconnect.

    The point where these things fall apart isn't "Well, a yeti is too powerful..." or "Eh, that +2 to Illusion DC's that Gnomes have just doesn't do it for me..." It's the in-world visible things. If you look at the yeti as a statblock, take away all the thematic references and just see a CR, AC and the like, does it work in a desert?

    Well, yeah. There's nothing wrong with it's stats. Those are in-world invisible.

    Classes kinda fit this too. From an in-world standpoint, they're somewhat hard to detect. It's not easy to tell whether the screaming dude with an axe is a Fighter, Ranger, OA Samurai, Barbarian, Sorcadin Gish, Duskblade... If you just look at what a class can do, you'll find it's kinda hard to ban classes flat-out.

    For example, I had a hard time with Psions, most because of the fluff. Come on, making stuff out of crystals and extoplasm? Really? Please. Then, I looked harder at what they actuall do as a class.

    "Oh... elemental blasting? That's ok. Messing with people's minds? Fine. Making a monster-type thing with a form not determined in any way beyond the picture that accompanies it? Sure, sure, call it a totem animal."

    I closed off a couple powers (mostly time-screwing things and the Astral Traveler line) and called it good.

    The mechanics, the power point system, the augmentations, the chassis, all were fine. It was the fluff I had an issue with and the fluff that I changed.

    What about mechanics?

    These, by very definition, don't exist in your world. Nobody sees a sword and goes, "ah, yes, a 1d8 slashing medium-class weapon!". No character has ever rolled a nat 1. They may have failed spectacularly, but this whole dice concept is foreign to them. As a builder of fluff, primarily, and the mechanics that support it, it makes little sense for you to, in that capacity, limit what goes on behind the scenes. Mechanics and fluff should support each other, but still be distinct.

    So across all this, what did I take out of Patria?

    Primarily thematic sticking points. Races that didn't work, powers that were out of place, abilities that didn't mesh.

    What stayed?

    The opportunities for characters to customize their characters as they see fit, barring any fluff-based square pegs in round holes.

    I see your point that being streamlined is good, but honestly, if someone's looking for a streamlined system, 3.5 isn't the best choice.

    [/rant]

    Sorry if I seem kinda combative, but with important things like this that really influence gameplay it's important to put them to a test to make sure they're the right choice.
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  15. - Top - End - #105
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Wyntonian View Post
    Excellent Points
    Hard to find much there to argue with.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Wyntonian View Post
    Good stuff.
    You make a very good argument, to the point that I'm going to change most (if not all) of the stuff I've added (contacts, reputation, etc.) from "Mechanics of the World" to "Recommended Features." At the end of the day, the most important element of a game is to have fun. To that end, each table should add and subtract the parts of the engine that they enjoy or detest, and I'll be sure to include that note when I put up the final draft of this setting.

    To a certain extent, I look at this project as building a game in addition to building a setting. Like you implied, 3.5 isn't a perfect system, and I've been thinking about ways to improve it for a while now. However, that's not the goal of a setting, and I thank you for reminding me!

    The only issue I take with your argument is one that lies pretty close to the heart of the Old vs. New debate. Namely, in my mind, the system that would best accompany this setting is something simple and streamlined. The most important goal of that system is to take the task of creativity and possibility from the range of mechanical options available, and put it back into the hands of the player.

    My dream for this setting (one that I put on the back burner pretty early on) was to find/create no more than six flavorless classes: a tank, a striker, a buffer, a controller, etc. If need be, each would have a melee and a ranged variant, and--beyond their mechanics--each would be a blank slate onto which the player could project whatever character they wanted. For example, the tank could be a big, hulking armored brute just as easily as he could be a tiny, dodgy gnome who taunts his enemies into attacking him. The controller could be an all-powerful wizard slinging spells like the madman he is, or some kind of zen-calm Aikido master, descending onto his enemies like a waterfall.

    In my opinion, a rules-light, simple system that features a few barebones elements that can be flavored as-desired is a good system, particularly for this setting. That's not the way everyone thinks, though, and I'm okay with that. In the future, I'll be working hard to include what's best for the setting, and to suggest (but not demand) what's best for my own tastes.
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  17. - Top - End - #107
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    I say work toward your vision of a setting and how it should feel both thematically as well as mechanically, then either

    • take a rules-light system that's close and generate your own rule additions
    • take something with more rules and pare it down to meet your needs.


    Wile personally I agree that 3.5 might be a bit heavy for a system like this, then again, my D&D redesign is likely too light as well.

    Instead of marrying yourself to one focus or another, take what you like from each (and anything else) and mold it to fit the theme, setting and scenario.
    Last edited by korpg; 2012-03-07 at 10:50 PM.

  18. - Top - End - #108
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    I'm just glad I could help.

    There's some rule of rational debate that says for a hypothesis to be treated as operable that one must try to disprove through the channels most likely to succeed or some such. So, when you have good idea/hypotheses, please consider it not a "lolusuck" but a "This is a good idea, let's make sure it works in the face of questioning" sort of thing when I go all socratic on it.

    Best part? You can use 3.5 still. Easily. Patria and 3.5 go hand in hand, because I knew from the beginning that that's what I wanted to be using, but you can use FATE, freeform, GURPS, any of the dozens of homebrewed systems, a simplified 3.5, whatever you want for one game, and play a different system for the next.
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  19. - Top - End - #109
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    I just wanted to pop in and say how much I really enjoy following this setting. I might like to run something like it with Warrior, Rogue and Mage, if I can pitch it to my group.

  20. - Top - End - #110
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Dsurion View Post
    I just wanted to pop in and say how much I really enjoy following this setting. I might like to run something like it with Warrior, Rogue and Mage, if I can pitch it to my group.
    At first glance, this looks like a really cool system! Here's a link for those of you not in-the-know:

    Warrior, Rogue, and Mage

    The best part thus far? It's free!

    I'm excited to see how it handles "boiling things down." At the heart of these RPGs, you're either a fighter, a sneaker, a thinker, or something in between, and I have a suspicion that creating characters that can mix and match between these is a system worth trying out. Plus, I think these rules-light systems are ideal for PbP games.

    I'm going to have to download these tonight and read them over. If it looks good, I may end up running my own game with this system. Couldn't wait. I just read through it, and I love it. It needs a tiny bit of tweaking, but this is probably the system I'll run. Yeehaw!

    Thanks, Dsurion!
    Last edited by Zap Dynamic; 2012-03-08 at 10:42 AM.
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  21. - Top - End - #111
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    A new story is up!

    The Winter and Summer Kings is basically the founding story of the Two Kingdoms in the mountainous land of Koss. Together with the excerpts from The Song of Unity, this is all the information that will exist about the lands outside of the Blackwood. I wouldn't even have included them, but both factions have a presence in the Wood, so it was necessary to give them a little background.

    This tale basically lays out the way their government works, and it does so by telling the story of how it came to exist. I picture the Two Kingdoms being a cross between Switzerland (with their international neutrality), Rome (with their military prowess), and a dash of Shangri-La's seclusion.

    While I'm posting, I wanted to let everyone know that I've begun the work of revising the original posts. They're not turning into final drafts just yet, but they're getting closer. So far I've cleaned up parts of the "Crunch" section, and also a tiny bit of the "And Its People" section.
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  22. - Top - End - #112
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    Bah! I meant to bring a list of suggested names to work so I could upload it over lunch, but I forgot.

    At any rate, I'm dangerously close to being finished with this for now. There are plenty of Tales that I could write, but they're not really necessary to get a game going, so I'm not going to include them just now. I'll be spending this week cleaning up the OPs and deciding whether or not I want to add another game to my plate. Who knows!

    In other news, I've decided that I don't need Silverheart trees in the setting. They were cool and relevant once upon a time, but after spending a few weeks really digging my heels into the setting and not even thinking about them once, I realize that they're pretty unnecessary. If there needs to be some kind of valuable resource that foreigners are trying to get from the Blackwood (and I don't know that there needs to be), it could very easily be all the golden birds and frogs and other animals that seem to crop up in the Grimm Tales.
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  23. - Top - End - #113
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    I'm pretty sure one of the signs of the End Times is the day I find a physical scale that I'm happy with. I've decided to halve the play space of the Blackwood. I'll update the map accordingly, but instead of the scale bar reading "0 to 50" miles, it should be "0 to 25."

    The fact of the matter is, there's plenty of space in this setting, and I don't need it. At first I wanted the Forest Road to be a 4-day journey for most people, and I've recently realized that most of the people in this setting wouldn't have a horse. With that in mind, the scale might as well be cut in half.

    I'm really OK with this decision, and here's why. It's about 25 miles between the Stag and Dragon Inn and High Hall. According to Pathfinder movement tables, a creature with a speed of 30 feet can walk 24 miles in a day. Coincidentally, it's also about 24 miles from the town where I grew up and the town I went to college. Thinking about that real-world space, there are a truly insane amount of stories that could be tucked away in a region that size. Considering that it's about 4 real-world miles from Riften to Markarth, It would be completely reasonable to say that people living in the forest might never see the Way or any of its cities, which is something that I'm pretty passionate about.
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  24. - Top - End - #114
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Zap Dynamic View Post
    In other news, I've decided that I don't need Silverheart trees in the setting. They were cool and relevant once upon a time, but after spending a few weeks really digging my heels into the setting and not even thinking about them once, I realize that they're pretty unnecessary. If there needs to be some kind of valuable resource that foreigners are trying to get from the Blackwood (and I don't know that there needs to be), it could very easily be all the golden birds and frogs and other animals that seem to crop up in the Grimm Tales.
    Can I borrow them? They'd be perfect (with a touch of tweaking) for part of my campaign world. (thread to appear on Thursday).
    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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  25. - Top - End - #115
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    Sure! Go right ahead. After my current projects (a fair amount of time after my current projects, I'd imagine) I want to make a world that's inspired by myth in the sense that this is inspired by folklore. I may even make my own myths! Who knows!
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  26. - Top - End - #116
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Zap Dynamic View Post
    I may even make my own myths! Who knows!
    DO IT! It's so much fun! I plan to write up some fairy tales and such for Patria, and Byzantine is helping out with Vallheim Clan Origin stories! It's not hard, either. Just look for stories of truly memetic badasses and refluff it, put it in context, whatever.

    Example: On the course of his journeys the Lost Emperor, Tiber Gaios Asteri, came to the realization that his knowledge of his new dominion was insignificant compared to his understanding of the land he came from. So, by walking across the Fairy Trails that would later become the King's Roads he came to the dominion of Lady Luettu, Keeper of the Great Library where all that was ever known is recorded. She met him at the door beside her champion, the great owl who sees all that occurs in the hearts of men, and told him the toll to pass into the Library was the crown he wore across the seas. He gave it without a word, and entered the library where he learned of his new kingdom, of magic, of many songs of power, and of the many courts of the Fey Lords.

    I took the existing Tiber Gaios Asteri story and tacked on a refluffed version of Odin and his travel to the Well of Knowledge, changed from giving up an eye to giving up a crown, and called it good.

    Seriously, this stuff is pretty easy. If you're creative enough to make a whole world, you can do some stories.
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  27. - Top - End - #117
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    Oh man, it has been ages since I have posted on GitP.

    So, I noticed that you included the Storysinger in one of the earlier posts and was then intrigued by this thread. I don't know how the class would really fit in an E6 campaign, but it's cool that you included it.

    This setting seems really interesting, and I was wondering if you wouldn't mind if I wrote a short story based on it. It wouldn't be something I would be expecting you to include, just something personal for me. I love Grimm inspired fairy tales, and I love the idea of writing one. I would just be using names that appear in the setting. Feel free to tell me no, though...
    Last edited by unosarta; 2012-03-13 at 10:12 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lix Lorn View Post
    NOTHING is simple. NO EXCEPTIONS. No, not even that.

  28. - Top - End - #118
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    Go right ahead! I don't know if you're writing on a blog or whatever, if you could just mention at some point that you're using stuff from this, that would be great! I'd also love to read whatever you come up with.

    As far as the Storysinger is concerned, it was something I noticed very early on this process (before discovering E6 and, after that, Warrior, Rogue, and Mage). It has since fallen to the wayside, but I remember wondering at one point if it would be all that overpowered to just allow the first 6 levels of a few PrCs to be used as base classes. It's a thought, at any rate.

    Editing Update: I'm making good progress on the content for the OPs. I have a long list of bullet points right now, and I'm trying to decide if it will be better to expand those into full-on text, or if it's all right to leave them as-is. I've got five posts in the original group to work with, and this is what I've got so far:

    1. The Blackwood (A "For Characters" section)
    2. The Blackwood for Players
      • Wood Tales
      • River Tales
    3. The Blackwood for GMs


    That's three-to-five posts right there. I don't think I'll have enough text to separate them all, though, so I will probably end up using only the first three posts.

    One of the best things about this revision is that I'm coming to understand the world a lot better. I'm further segregating Riverfolk and Woodfolk (they still interact, but they're much more like two separate nations now), I'm cutting a lot of the needless baggage (Silverheart trees, some of the foreign details), and a few other things. In short, I think this is turning into a mean, lean setting, and I couldn't be happier!
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  29. - Top - End - #119
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    Normally I just post stuff right in the threads. I don't really have a blog (tumblr doesn't really count).

    I would love to try to rework the levels into a more story oriented version of the bard, and make it E6 viable, if that would be okay with you.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lix Lorn View Post
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  30. - Top - End - #120
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    Default Re: The Blackwood - A Folkloric "Mini" Setting (WIP, PEACH)

    That would be fine! Officially, this setting isn't dependent on a system, but I've built it with lower-power systems like E6 in mind. It would be pretty easy to tack anything from that realm onto this.
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