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    Post I know what I want...but help! - Collective World-Building

    First, I want to say I've been designing my own campaign setting for about 2 years, which is the longest I've ever stuck with a project like that. I keep switching up what I want, how stuff works, where everything is, who is who, the gods, magic, the cosmology...it's gotten insane

    So I'm making myself put Eldria (my world) to the side, although I have no intention of dropping a project that big, and creating a semi basic campaign setting with everything I feel like I really want to have to play in a world. Then fleshing it out will be a cooperative process, I guess. Haven't tried collective world-building before, but here goes!

    A quick overview of my guidelines...
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    Classes: I like base classes. A lot. So pretty much anything that isn't psionic can go for this world. There's always an obscure niche any class can fill. Except...no monks. Ever. Stupid class.

    Prestige Classes: I hate PrCs more then I like base classes. But they're too central to the rules for me to kick off the table, so they have to stay...still not liking them though.

    Races: I like humans, elves, dwarves, and gnomes. I want some sort of big meaty race to be involved (half-orcs are stupid. Something else) but it can't have LA (nobody suggest the goliath!). Mostly, I like to keep races to a few culturally unique races, then have monsters be all wild and stupid. I do like sub-races though...and drow should play a big role in this world because they are awesome. If anyone knows of a drow variant with no LA that'd be appreciated...I want players to be able to play them at 1st level.


    Beyond this, I want to see how things play out before I add more guidelines. I don't want to shut anything down and miss a great idea!
    Last edited by Empedocles; 2012-04-02 at 12:30 PM.
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    Default Re: I know what I want...but help! - Collective World-Building

    There's a 0 LA Drow variant here.

    Ability Score Adjustments: +2 Dexterity, -2 Constitution, +2 Intelligence.

    Size: Drow are Medium size.

    Speed: Drow base land speed is 30 feet.

    Proficiencies: A drow is proficient with the hand crossbow, rapier, and short sword.

    Dancing Lights (Sp): A drow may use dancing lights (caster level equals drow's character level) once per day.

    Darkvision (Ex): A drow has darkvision to a 60-foot range.

    Immunities (Ex): A drow is immune to magic sleep effects.

    Light Blindness (Ex): Abrupt exposure to bright light (such as sunlight or a daylight spell) blinds a drow for 1 round. On subsequent rounds, he is dazzled as long as he remains in the affected area.

    Skill Bonuses: A drow has a +2 racial bonus on Listen, Search, and Spot checks. Furthermore, a drow who merely passes within 5 feet of a secret or concealed door is entitled to a Search check to notice it as if he were actively looking for it.

    Automatic Languages: Common, Elven, Undercommon. Bonus Languages: Abyssal, Aquan, Draconic, Drow Sign Language, Gnome, Goblin.

    Favored Class: Wizard (male) or cleric (female). A multiclass drow's wizard or cleric class (male or female, respectively) does not count when determining whether an experience point penalty applies.
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    Default Re: I know what I want...but help! - Collective World-Building

    What system you want to use for the setting?
    3.x? PF? Something else?

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    Default Re: I know what I want...but help! - Collective World-Building

    Oh sorry! that was stupid I'm using 3x. And thanks for the drow! I'd like that to be used in this setting
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    Default Re: I know what I want...but help! - Collective World-Building

    How about... a world that's brand new? Like.... the gods made it like 50 years ago. That could create some really interesting positions as the peoples know all of history, no hidden lore, no great ancient powers, but somethings still haven't settled out yet. Like elementals wandering the land, and the rules of magic still being flexible. Base classes would be obvious, but most PrCs wouldn't exist yet, because the complex kind of training and skill sets wouldn't have been developed yet.

    Just my first idea for world building.

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    Post Re: I know what I want...but help! - Collective World-Building

    Hey I like that! and races would b just getting 2 no each other, so that would also set up a lot of racial divisions and newly forming cities...lets go with that!
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    Default Re: I know what I want...but help! - Collective World-Building

    If you're going with a young world, then wizards will likely be quite rare, clerics quite common, and sorcerers would either be common or almost non-existent.

    Wizards are likely rare because arcane magic through study is probably still in it's infancy, so only a few of each race (or perhaps only one race) would have the knowledge and time to perfect it to any degree. Drow, Elves, and Gnomes are good choices if wizards are limited to a single race, simply because they live a long time and thus have more time to devote to it. Any wizard in a campaign world 50 years old, though, would have to be 40+ years old for this to really apply.

    Clerics are probably pretty common because it's easy to see the work of gods in everyday life. It's very natural for people to devote themselves to one god when they can see the god's effect directly, and so clerics (and paladins) would probably be pretty common. Though, like wizards, you may decide to limit clerics to a single race, perhaps humans, and rule that that particular race is simply more 'in-tune' with the gods in general.

    Sorcerers are a bit odd, as their magic is innate rather than studied, so they'd either be really common (lots of free-range magic in the young world that gets infused into children) or really rare (innate magic is a mark of being touched be a god or demon, perhaps).

    I haven't really given a great deal if thought to druids and rangers, though my initial gut reaction is that they'd be rare, too, though rationalizing it is taking me some time, so I'll think on it some more and come back later.

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    Post Re: I know what I want...but help! - Collective World-Building

    I agree with wizards being very rare, and I think sorcerers should be rare also. As for druids and rangers...I'd go with common. Much of the world would still be very wild and untamed, and cities would just be emerging.
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    Default Re: I know what I want...but help! - Collective World-Building

    Oh, right, duh, silly me. No huge cities. >_< Remembering that, then I agree that druids and rangers would be quite common.

    Though I would change how druidic functions as a language, since it would take more than 50 years to create a secret language and teach it to every druid. Perhaps instead make it something like a blend of all other languages, so that a non-druid would need to speak 3 or 4 different languages to understand even smatterings of it? And need 6 or 7 (celestial/abyssal/infernal required?) to understand enough to get the full gist of what's being said? (They obviously can't speak it without being taught, as blending the languages would have to be taught.)

    I realize that this in effect makes druids essentially the creators of language in general, but given how young the world is and how common druids are, it's not terribly far-fetched. I would keep the limitation that druids can't teach non-druids druidic, perhaps with the reasoning that it's a language granted by the gods, and teaching an 'unworthy' person is heresy.

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    Post Re: I know what I want...but help! - Collective World-Building

    Cool! I like it. This also gives more complex language some new power, if it's really only the druids who know it and keep it hidden in groves on scrolls...so how about, instead of having druidic being a hodgepodge of languages created by the druids, it's the original human/sentient language, and the other languages (except maybe Celestial and Infernal) are all just watered down versions of druidic.
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    Default Re: I know what I want...but help! - Collective World-Building

    hmm I enjoy world building. Actually rolling up characters and making this stuff is more fun than actually playing the game IMO.
    Regarding the meaty race. Would you mind if I gave a shot at a homebrewed LA+0 tank-type race for you?
    If it is cool, any sort of look or species subtype you'd be after? Retile? Mammal? Bird? A fish.... o.O oooh soo many ideas..
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    Default Re: I know what I want...but help! - Collective World-Building

    So are helping you build a world, here? Cool, then.

    I think the planes and gods would be rather interesting: all of them are *relatively* new, and so there'd need to be a lot of settling in.

    Further, the earth itself would be balancing out and settling into patterns (depending on if they were created with instincts or not), as would societies. If Druids are the teachers of all language, then, at first, there would be only one society: language makes culture, and culture makes a country. Racism may be the key point of division at this time, or perhaps placement of natural features (oceans, rivers, mountains, forests, etc, etc), which could mark "tribes."
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    Post Re: I know what I want...but help! - Collective World-Building

    Quote Originally Posted by Gaiyamato View Post
    hmm I enjoy world building. Actually rolling up characters and making this stuff is more fun than actually playing the game IMO.
    Regarding the meaty race. Would you mind if I gave a shot at a homebrewed LA+0 tank-type race for you?
    If it is cool, any sort of look or species subtype you'd be after? Retile? Mammal? Bird? A fish.... o.O oooh soo many ideas..
    Alright, leaving it up to you as to where you want to go with this. My first thought was a reptile, but then bird looked cool...Just be creative

    Quote Originally Posted by SamBurke View Post
    So are helping you build a world, here? Cool, then.

    I think the planes and gods would be rather interesting: all of them are *relatively* new, and so there'd need to be a lot of settling in.

    Further, the earth itself would be balancing out and settling into patterns (depending on if they were created with instincts or not), as would societies. If Druids are the teachers of all language, then, at first, there would be only one society: language makes culture, and culture makes a country. Racism may be the key point of division at this time, or perhaps placement of natural features (oceans, rivers, mountains, forests, etc, etc), which could mark "tribes."
    Racism should be a big issue, since that opens up so many roleplaying opportunities and can make the PCs really hate even good aligned NPCs. Not thinking that natural barriers should be as big of a divider, but it obviously needs to be one to some extent...
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    Post Re: I know what I want...but help! - Collective World-Building

    Quote Originally Posted by Zale View Post
    There's a 0 LA Drow variant here.
    By the way, I'm deciding here and now this is the official drow for this campaign world.
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    Default Re: I know what I want...but help! - Collective World-Building

    oooh I know just what I'll do.
    I'll get onto it over the next day or two.
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    Post Re: I know what I want...but help! - Collective World-Building

    Quote Originally Posted by Gaiyamato View Post
    oooh I know just what I'll do.
    I'll get onto it over the next day or two.
    Sweet Can't wait to see what you create! As a side note though, would it be possible for you to find a vague image of whatever you're going for when it's ready. I like to have visuals for my races, although I do realize it's difficult.
    Last edited by Empedocles; 2012-03-31 at 11:17 PM.
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    Default Re: I know what I want...but help! - Collective World-Building

    No worries.
    I'll try and find an image.
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    Default Re: I know what I want...but help! - Collective World-Building

    Give this a look and tell me what you think.

    I still have a lot to do though.
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    Post Re: I know what I want...but help! - Collective World-Building

    Quote Originally Posted by Gaiyamato View Post
    Give this a look and tell me what you think.

    I still have a lot to do though.
    Nice.

    My biggest concerns is the ability adjustments. -2 to two abilities does not balance out with a +4 and a +2. In fact, it's generally accepted that a +4 bonus is worth a little more then two +2 ability adjustments (getting this from Green Ronin's Advanced Player's Manual, which is an incredible supplement). I'd suggest adding a penalty to charisma.

    I'm a little confused on the RHD. Are they mandatory? Because if they are, it makes it so that you still can't take this race at level 1 (if your DM is strict), which is something I'd like to be able to do.

    That being said, this is definitely the tanky mean race I want for my campaign. Not sure about the name's spelling - I like the way it's said, but could the spelling be changed to something like Vehkranchek? - but I love the incarnum theme and the class looks like it has a ton of potential. The feats are amazing, and the courtblade thing is pretty brilliant. I think you should make it so that the courtblade is considered a martial weapon for all v'k'kraan'ck.

    Just had an idea for the name. How about most people call them something ignorant and derogatory like birdmen or flutterers, and in their own tongue they're called v'k'kraan'ck. This would reinforce the issues of racism in this world. Tell me what you think

    EDIT: giving the v'k'kraan'ck a penalty to constitution makes them less, well, tanky. How about changing the ability score adjustments to +4 Strength, -2 Charisma, -2 Dexterity. Instead of a general +2 to intelligence (which I think you put in there since they're an incarnum associated race) how about giving them some incarnum boosting powers? It's not as unbalancing as a +4 strength and +2 intelligence, but has a similar mechanical effect.
    Last edited by Empedocles; 2012-04-01 at 10:43 AM.
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    Post Re: I know what I want...but help! - Collective World-Building

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    Default Re: I know what I want...but help! - Collective World-Building

    Racial Hit dice are mandatory. However I made them as a Savage species-like progression so players can take them at level 1. If you look the special class replaces the RHD as well so if they take the class for them they do not need to take the RHD. The RHD are pretty good RHD.

    They are alignment restricted and restricted by the Maneuvers choices as well (though pretty good restrictions I'll admit).
    But I was concerned about them being to powerful for LA +0.

    Maybe another drawback? like the Orc's sunlight issue...

    The nick-name idea is a good one. I'll add that into the description later.
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    Post Re: I know what I want...but help! - Collective World-Building

    The sunlight issue, in my opinion, isn't a very helpful balancer because a lot of people ignore it since it makes roleplaying very difficult. I think that if you'd be willing to get rid of the -2 to intelligence, that'd be the easiest thing to do.
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    Default Re: I know what I want...but help! - Collective World-Building

    If you look I put up the ancient one template and the only good aligned V'k'kraan'ck in existence.

    I was not thinking the daylight thing specifically. I thought perhaps something like needing to consume vast volumes of food and water instead. It would increase the cost of campaigning, though not significantly at higher levels, and it would give a good fluff reason for these guys to be a nasty scourge on the world. Aside from the Necrocarnates etc. lol.
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    Post Re: I know what I want...but help! - Collective World-Building

    Oooooooh that's a good idea. They're like massive, ass kicking vultures. ME LIKE!

    In my opinion, the ability score adjustments are still just too good for LA 0. How about adding the +2 intelligence at the 2nd level of the RHD? Also, very minor nitpicky thing: if a medium courtblade does 2d8, a small one should do 2d6 or 1d12, not 1d10.

    Besides that, I'm beginning to work out how these guys fit in to the New World (as I'm creatively calling it).
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    Default Re: I know what I want...but help! - Collective World-Building

    A few misc. notes that I've decided are important:

    All rangers have the wild shape variant instead of combat styles. This just makes sense to me.

    Using spellshaping instead of wizards Just trying to keep all classes around Tier 3.

    I feel like there's room for primordial, savage bards here.
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    Default Re: I know what I want...but help! - Collective World-Building

    I based the weapon damage from the chart in the DMG is all.

    +2 int on the second level sounds good.
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    Post Re: I know what I want...but help! - Collective World-Building

    I actually think that based on the feats, which largely are intelligence reliant (Int. bonus for saves and such) maybe it'd be better to have +2 Strength and Intelligence, then increase Strength to +4 at the 2nd level of RHD. Your call though.
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    Default Re: I know what I want...but help! - Collective World-Building

    I had been thinking about that myself.
    Maybe even just making it +2 str and never giving +4 str.
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    Post Re: I know what I want...but help! - Collective World-Building

    Quote Originally Posted by Gaiyamato View Post
    I had been thinking about that myself.
    Maybe even just making it +2 str and never giving +4 str.
    If you've ever played a Dragonlance minotaur (which I doubt but yeah, I like Dragonlance) it has a +4 strength and no LA...at low levels, with Power Attack and levels in barbarian there's pretty much nothing it can't kill in 1 hit. Considering that the v'k'kraan'ck also has a weapon that can deal 2d8 and maneuvers as soon as they take levels in v'k'kraan'ck Master (which most will) I could see these guys dealing some big damage early on. It wouldn't be so bad past level 5 though...

    +2 strength, +2 intelligence, -2 Constitution, -2 dexterity seems balanced to me, but making the strength +4 at level 2 doesn't sound broken either. Totally whatever you feel like. At this point, the v'k'kraan'cks are a given for my world and are COMPLETELY REPLACING orcs (whom I hate).
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    Default Re: I know what I want...but help! - Collective World-Building

    Hmm. The New World idea is interesting, but some stuff needs to be pinned down. The Gods seem as good a place to start as any. Are there multiple of them? What are they like? Did they create the different races in unison, or is it a case of one god or group of gods creating humans, another elves, a third dwarves and so on?

    Then the big one, how involved are they? Because if it's just a case of create sentient races and leave, even if they drop off a common language, you're a lot long than fifty years from starting to build cities. Hell, you're a long way away from agriculture, and while a stone age hunter/gatherer setting sounds interesting, it doesn't look like that's what you're after.

    So you need some way to uplift the sentient races, which comes back to the Gods. In this case I'd advise for racial pantheons, perhaps with some higher non-anthropomorphic or many-formed Principle from which the Gods derive if you want to raise the possibility of cross-species religion (alternatively, this could worship of Gods and Goddesses manifest in physical characteristics of the surroundings. So the Dwarves living in a mountain and Elves in the valley below would each have their own patron racial gods, but they would worship the same Mountain God). So perhaps the Dwarf Gods descended to Earth to teach Mining and Metal-crafting, while the Elf Gods focused on Plant and Animal Husbandry and the Gnome Gods stressed magic and mercantilism (or whatever it is gnomes are into, I'm not sure).

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