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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Sodalite's Avatar

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    Default Raw and unworked game system and setting idea. WIP & PEACH

    For a couple of years, I've had a personal setting run in my head. I've added and subtracted things since that beginning, as well as worked out a small portion of the mechanics, but I lack skill in recording any of these things, so I figured I'd post what I've written here, answer any questions, of which I hope there will be many, and then putting those answers down as well. Also, I apologize for the excessive and unnecessary use of brackets, curly braces and capitalization.

    Spoilered for length, I suppose.
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    Choose one or no Soul merit. Those merits are [Cosmic Mutation], [Essential Cache] and [Soulful Aura].

    If you chose [Soulful Aura] or to not have a Soul merit, choose whether you want one, multiple, or no [{Element} Manifestation] merits.

    If you chose [Soulful Aura] or to not have a Soul merit, choose what [Age] your soul is.

    Choose which culture you were born into. Options include [Bahltaar, Far], [Bahltaar, Near], [Carver, Bloom-towner], [Carver, Cityfolk], [Footer, Gold], [Footer, Green], [Footer, Red], [Footer, Two-color], and [Islander].


    Determine the levels of your abilities at birth. The abilities are [Acumen], [Comprehension], [Dexterity], [Presence], [Fortitude], [Strength] and [Willpower].

    Choose your birth-merits. Options include [Apt {Power}], [Fortunate], [Gifted {Ability}], [Inheritance], [Talented {Skill}] and [True Passion].

    Choose your birth-demerits. You may choose any birth-merit and reverse it effect, except [Inheritance], in which case you simply choose a disadvantageous inheritance.

    Apply changes which have occurred through-out your life up until the beginning of play.

    What happened after your birth? What skills were you trained in, and what ideas were you introduced to? Did you remain where you were born, or did move about your culture, or even into other cultures? Have you been cursed, blessed or marked in other ways? How have your experiences changed you? What have you invested your faith in, if anything? If you have a true passion, how have followed it through your life?

    Now is the time to write down your characters life, especially things of mechanical relevance, such as having lost a limb, or having been, or even still being an apprentice.

    After that, you and the other players you're with can decide on how all of you met up, and then begin the game from there.



    SOUL AGE

    The [Age] of your soul most dramatically effects the Powers you have, as well your ability to withstand their use. As the soul is redirected to a new body over and over again, the channels through which essences run are carved deeper and deeper into it, letting them flow faster and stronger. However, this ease-of-flow is just as much a disadvantage, as it makes resisting essential effects much harder as well.

    Subtract your [Age] in percentage points from the percentage of successful dice versus total dice rolled when the goal is Resistance, the roll is resisting an essential effect, and that effect is either includes you, or someone who you're targeting. Cosmic mutations and essential caches always emerge in a single incarnation, and so are always treated as being of [Age] zero.



    CULTURES

    The Bahlta were once a highly populous civilization, inhabiting almost the entire surface of Far. An elite few lived on gigantic, moving fortresses, living lives of luxury, served on by unliving bodies animated by intricate ceremonies. However, their excessive use powerful ceremonies opened themselves to infiltration by extra-cosmic sources, especially those which disturbed the careful essence flow which powered much of their of their civilization. One major event, often dubbed the Sundering of the Bahlta by their historians, drove the Bahlta in many directions.

    The low, poor or unwanted Bahlta fell upon the living mountains of Far, saved from the now wholly arid surface by the mountains' water-rich flesh.
    The elite, though, escaped through a more drastic measure. Through ceremonies of extreme complexity, they transformed their walking fortresses in to flying ones! This plan was less effective than they had hoped, even with as low as their estimations were, and many of these flying fortresses crashed to the surface, becoming huge wreckages looming over the desolate landscape, full of eerie lifeless bodies, still moving but now without any thought. Even out of those which did take to the skies, there was yet one more side-effect of the ceremony they used to transform their homes.

    More than half of the fortresses disappeared from sight soon after launching into the sky. Each one had accidentally passed through an area so warped by their manipulation of essence as to act as a gateway to the skies of Near.
    When those Bahlta who were sent to Near looked beneath the dense storms they now found below them, they saw islands floating a massive ocean, alive in a way fascinatingly similar to the living mountains of their home Far. Perhaps more amazing, they found a people alike to them on these living islands, living short and simple lives, but using some sort of power they had never even discovered!

    These islanders, as the Bahlta came to call them, were in fact a cousin species to theirs, so close, in fact, they eventually developed some level of relations with one another, although those relations were often limited to the Bahlta demanding the Islanders to teach them of the new world they had found themselves in, as well as their strange ability to draw on resources which the Bahlta themselves had never considered. The islanders often obliged, knowing when they were dealing with beings which at least felt they could threaten them, but carefully hid their most sacred tradition, their Living Tradition, away from the Bahlta.

    Meanwhile, away on Far, the Bahlta who fell developed into multiple, prosperous city-states, each carved into a living mountain. With in these city-states, two organizations vie for control over the Carver, so called because of how carve their homes out of the mountain, population.
    There is the Practice, ceremonialists who venerate the Bahlta from before their sundering, and their masterful use of essence. Against the Practice are the Artisans, master craftspeople devoted to the use of essence-machines rather than ceremonies, and who strive for the creation of True Art. Though the Practice holds religious power over many people, the machines made by the Artisans are often more efficient and longer-lasting than the effects of the Practice's ceremonies. Between these two groups lies the Heretics, who tired of all the politicking and now wait in the shadowed corners of the city-states, performing any ceremonies and crafting whatever machines their employers commission them to.

    Others, though, felt they could never survive holed up inside of the mountains, and so set out to live on the sands of the deserts of Far. They found the desert's sands were often found in three different colors, red sands to the north, green to south, and a band of golden sand lying between them. These people who set out on foot, and so came to be called Footers, settled into a nomadic life style, often traveling from one mountain to another, but rarely traversing sands besides their own. Some born into the gold sand, though, have parents from one of the two neighboring colors, and often ridiculed for the mixed ancestry. These two-colors are also often more enduring than their parents, partially because of their hybrid nature, but also because of what they must often endure in their childhood.

    When the light of the ascendants, men and women who ascended to the heavens with their incredible achievements, or of the few flying fortresses left on Far, gathers together around a living mountain, it will bloom, presenting the only flowers most Carvers will ever see. Small 'Bloom-towns' often spring up around blooms on the surface of the living mountains, buying water and food from the city-folk on the inside, and selling the valuable flowers, nectar, and fruit of the living mountains in return.

    The people who grow up in these bloom-town develop in a very different culture from those on the inside. For example, many bloom-towners only experience the rivalry between their local Practicant and Apprentice to the Art, rather than sweeping political machinations of the organizations for which those two people work.

    The power which the Bahlta of Near were so amazed with is an ability similar to ceremonies, which they called binding. Where ceremonies manipulate essence to directly effect the world, binding spins the essence into a physical form, used once with great care and skill, and which then evaporates back into it's natural flow. Bahlta, being so fascinated but also unfamiliar with the Living Tradition and the process of returning bound essence to its flow, experimented with binding, and created nearly permanent bounds, warped creations which directed further essence to flow into them, rather than allowing the bound essence to evaporate. This act, though in some ways caused by the islanders keeping the living tradition secret, drove the Bahlta of Near and the islanders apart.

    Eventually, the Bahlta of Near created a massive array of bounds, found what seemed to be their ancestral home of Far in the sky of Near, and began relaying messages through the void between the two worlds. When the Far Bahlta received the signals, they were astonished, and soon began learning from the signals how create such an array for themselves. Eventually, the Bahlta of Far constructed a massive ship, alike to their flying fortresses, but designed to withstand the rigors of the vacuum. It has launched, but has yet to reach Near.

    Besides that, the information eventually trickled down, and became known to the Carvers and Footers. The Practice felt it was irreverent to use something so new and so unrelated to their Bahlta ancestors, and the Artisans felt that the creation of such crude essence-material was a corruption of their own work, but the Heretics saw in binding a whole new market, something unique to them which may even move them out the dark and into a new spotlight. Some heretics even call themselves Esotericists, and advertise their knowledge of skills which the Practice and the Artisans rejected.

    The islanders, through all of this have remained mostly unaware, content to live the lives they'd made for themselves on their islands, keeping at least the surface of their world clean and balanced with their Living Tradition. Some, though rare, are struck by wanderlust, agree to join a some Bahlta on their way ascent back to their flying home. Many never come back, sometimes because they are enslaved, but other times because they are fascinated by the world they see from above clouds, and especially of the world they hear of when signals from Far are received.



    ABILITIES

    When deciding the birth-levels of your abilities, each one begins at level 10. Choose two to serve as your strongest abilities. Abilities besides these two cannot be raised to a level equal to or higher than the lowest of the two, though either of the two may raised without limit in relation to one another. You may your abilities by a total of 80 levels for free, after which increasing them requires the sacrifice of one merit, plus one for every doubling of it's original level. When an ability is called for a roll, add the ability's level in percentage points to the percentage of successful dice versus total dice rolled.



    Note, a lot of my ideas were stolen from White Wolf's Exalted, especially Mutators, who correspond to Devil-Tigers, and the general use of the essence as a semi-material which is manipulated.


    COSMIC MUTATION

    Those who possess [Cosmic Mutation] are often called Mutators. The origin of their power lies in the strange warping which occurred during the sundering. The extra-cosmic powers at play did more than just warp space and time, it also played havoc with the structures of the souls of some of those who survived. More specifically, it flatly destroyed them, and in each one's place was a nascent universe. While persons without a soul, such as those possessed of the [Essential Cache] merit, are relatively ordinary, where as having an alien universe replace it holds a much greater effect. The mutator's body becomes significantly more alien, molding itself partially under the laws governing it's internal [Cosm].

    The presence of the [Cosm] rather than a soul, and therefore the lack of any 'grooves' for essence to run through means that a Mutator cannot perform ceremonies, bind essence or gain benefits from [True Passion] beyond an extra die when rolling with a goal which is relevant to it. In return, however, may make a special roll with the goal of Imposition, representing them imposing a useful portion of their [Cosm] on themselves, others, or the immediate environment. Such a roll adds the Mutator's [Cosm] level, multiplied by ten, to the percentage of successful dice versus total dice rolled. When the level of a Mutator's [Cosm] reaches ten, a rare event, they begin phasing out of the universe, their own internal one being forced out due it's now relatively massive size.

    The [Cosm] itself is two things. Firstly, it describes the inner world of the Mutator, it's environment, it's physics and so on. Secondly, it's level describes it's 'physical' size, though it is expanding in a direction not visible to the eye. Thirdly, it's level is equally a measure of the Mutator's ability to control the first, as well as their aptitude at imposing it on the outer world.

    Mutators are limited to those who have been exposed to that extracosmic power, however, this is not limited to those who were at the sundering. Since that time, multiple smaller warping have occured everywhere from the deserts of Far to under the seas of Near. Rarely, these smaller warping will warp a nearby person into a mutator, or more rarely, radically alter the [Cosm] of one who is already a Mutator.

    These mutators, given that they do not hold the decades of knowledge and practice which the survivors of the sundering did and still do, are far less able to protect themselves from the hatred of the many organizations, persecuted by many of the Practice, the Artisans and those who practice the Living Tradition. Only the Heretics in their pragmatism, the Bahlta in their eternal curiosity accept and the Footers in their ignorance of the metaphysical consequences of possessing a [Cosm] accept them at all, and even they are not wholly immune to xenophobia.



    ESSENTIAL CACHE

    A kin to the Mutators, those possessed of the [Essential Cache] merit have no soul. Called Cachers, they do not, however, have some alien cosmos with in them. They simply lack a soul, and such lack leaves with an awfully handy space to store essence. While their lack of a soul makes them equally incapable of performing ceremonies and whatnot, that same emptiness, their 'essential cache' allows them take in raw essence, found in [Fonts], then project it out.

    Projecting essence works the same ways using a manifesting an element, but taking in essence requires a roll with the goal Absorption. You can try to take in an oncoming essential attack, but you must subtract the attackers roll in percentage points from your own. As has been stated earlier, being a Cacher has little effect on ones physical appearance, but a quirk in the way their [Essential Cache] functions means they may detect being which would otherwise be obscured by essence, such as a cloaked assassin, or even the true forms of the Ascendants, if they managed to approach one, by rolling with the goal of Absorption. Should a Cacher ever attain the conditions which prompt ascendance, they instead become a hole in the world, their [Essential Cache] subsuming their physical body and growing so vacuous as to begin pulling on the physical elements of the universe as well as raw elements.

    Despite being slightly more common than Mutators, Cachers are not as well known of or as hated as Mutators, possibly because their power is so similar to a simplistic [{Element} Manifestation], and isn't actively imposing an alien world on this one. The Practice doesn't their appearance as a client, but their inability is off-putting to them. The Artisans treat Cachers as they treat [{Element} Manifestation], with some respect, as long as they respect their art. The Living Tradition, though, ostracizes Cachers, since their inability to bind essence means they cannot perform the necessary maintenance of the essence flows which all islanders must otherwise do.



    SOULFUL AURA

    Those who possess the [Soulful Aura] merit are often called Emanators. The origin of their power lies in the way souls grow, especially theirs. Ordinarily, souls expand as they grow and experience more, but this expanding occurs in a direction which cannot be seen by the eye, similar to the Mutators [Cosm]. However, an Emanator is exceptional in this sense, since their souls do expand in visible dimensions.

    While only being an Emanator alone is not especially useful, in combination with other powers or skills, it's ability to touch others with your soul becomes more useful. If the Emanator is the target of any essential effect, ranging from the manifestation of an element to being subject of a ceremony, the Emanator may choose to share those effects with anyone within their soul, splitting the effect evenly between everyone. Uses for this vary from forcing an enemy to target one of their own to sharing the effect of beneficial ceremony with your own allies. Redistributing essential effects like this requires a roll with the goal of Conduction, which receives a bonus equal to you [Age] in percentile points.

    Emanators are fairly well respected among the various peoples. While the power itself doesn't earn any respect or disrespect from the organizations, individual Emanators have a tendency to fall into 'lineages', retaining some of the honor of the previous possessors of that specific soul. This is especially easy to track with Emanators, since their souls can be seen traveling from one person to another. These lineages often hold some power, though not as much as the major organizations, and can sway many people to their side should they join together on a single issue.

    In specific, the Practice is rivals with the Lineages, but not to such a degree that they try to exterminate them, especially the impossibility of such a task. The Artisans are amicable with the Lineages, and some of the greatest Artisans were also Emanators. The Living Tradition as well is friendly with the Lineages since they greatly increase the person's ability to function without removing any capability.



    ELEMENT MANIFESTATION

    Ordinarily, the complex essential machinery which underlie the world remains separate from the system by which souls are reincarnated. However, this separation is not absolute, and it is not uncommon for simplistic essence-machines to become embedded in a currently unincarnated soul. These embedded machinery still function, to a degree, and in fact are controlled by the possessor of the soul they are embedded in.
    Possibly due to their near omnipresence, essence-machines which do thinks such as impact the movements of sand or water are the most common, followed by other common phenomena like the evaporation of water and wind currents. Rarer events, such as the blooming of the Living Mountains or the refraction of Sunlight are prized, frequently have greater capabilities than the origin of their mechanism would suggest, and sometimes require [Fonts] of raw essence to function.

    Despite their control over their machines, Manifestors, as they're called, do not possess the perfect understanding of the universe required to use them flawlessly, and the use of them requires a roll with the goal of Manifestation, with a bonus equal to your [Age] in percentage points.

    Manifestors are ubiquitous in all societies, and are as accepted as things like the performing of ceremonies, the crafting of art or the binding of essence. The Practice, Artisans and Living Tradition all pay them as much respect as
    ordinary persons, the latter because they are just as useful to the Living Tradition as others, and the former two almost wholly because the Footers who act as some of the only merchants between city-states are nearly all Manifestors, and disrespecting them enough could spell the end for that entire city-state. The Bahlta, Near and Far, are also almost completely Manifestors, and those who aren't are often relegated to being servants, or at best an ambassador to the islanders.



    ORIGIN OF THE BAHLTA

    Ages ago, on otherwise ordinary living island, an extraordinary species was evolving. The island was dying, and the harshening environment was pushing all the creatures upon to the extreme, but one species of arboreal creature would be pushed farther.

    Falling from the crumbling flora of their environment, their once weak legs grew to carry them along the ground. Running now, rather brachiating away from their enemies, their backs straightened upwards, slower but farther seeing. Their now straight backs freeing their hands, they grew to use them, wielding axes, shovels, buckets, spears and more. Their minds grew to see patterns, to learn from their parents, to know enemy from friend and to notice the useful among the useless. When their island was in its final death throes, slowly sinking beneath the water, they had already struck out on crude boats, knowing then what fate they had escaped.

    Independently, many of the groups discovered new living islands to settle down on. Each one of those settlements then went on to expand, becoming large clans, and many those went on to discover the essential nature of the mechanics of their world, inventing a basal form of essence manipulation, an antecendant of both binding and ceremonies. Over yet more time, many of these clans developed such essence manipulation, and their mutual tugging on the essence of their world allowed them notice each other, and eventually they fully contacted each other.

    Together, these clans grew into a single civilization, the precursors to the modern Bahlta. Now large and powerful, few peopled when an island died, their population expanding into every corner of their world that they could find. History repeats itself, though, and the Sundering of the Bahlta was one instance. This organization of clans was prolific in its use of essence manipulation, but like the Bahlta after them, this overuse lead to warps in space, connecting places on Near and Far. Unlike the sundering of the Bahlta, though, Mutators were not created, and whole living islands, and even portions of the ocean beneath them were brought to the otherwise lifeless Far.

    The living islands took new root, and so eventually grew into the living mountains, the flora and fauna which once lived on them moving out and populating this new world. Much knowledge was lost when this first sundering happened, even on Near, the remaining clans degenerated into smaller, more self-sufficient societies, never allowing such a thing to happen again, creating what their descendants the islanders call the Living
    Tradition, since they believed it was the only way they could continue to live.

    Meanwhile, their kin on Far, now with access to a whole new world of essence, began recreating their original society, but now with stone and metal, resources unavailable on their water-covered home-world. This group, these new settlers of Far, became the Bahlta, and their ignorance of what they wrought on their home-world set them up to fall again, leading to the Sundering and their rediscovery of their cousins.



    VOYAGE OF THE VOID-SPANNER

    The one star has winked seven times since the launch of the Void-Spanner. Before then it had winked 20 times and change during it's construction. Armored by walls made of the strongest stone and fibers, carrying a population of two dozen, as well the richest soil and healthiest seeds to grow food for them. A lake's worth of water, as well.

    Ten of those winks of construction were also spent imbuing the Void-Spanner with various essence-machines. Machines to bring air, machines to maintain the structures, machines to keep it on course, machines for contacting Near and Far and machines for many other needs of the voyagers.

    Of the crew there were twelve men and twelve women. Each one was chosen for their proficiency in skills critical to their missions success, as well as their extensive knowledge of the cultures of Near. Unfortunately, there was something which none of them were prepared for.

    Over the seven winks during which the Void-Spanner has been launched, it has been infested with warps in space and the absurd creatures which have spilled through them. So far, seven have died, and given that of those no soul has left their bodies, it has been assumed that they are all Mutators. This is true, though there is more to their situation. The warping of the internal essence of the ship, and the complete void outside it, has caused the space inside the ship to begin closing in on itself, trapping them in their collective inner world.

    When any of their signals managed to get through the warping around the, the receivers on either end are always horrified by the images and sounds which have made their way there.



    CEREMONIES & THE PRACTICE

    To the begin the process of performing a ceremony, you must first roll with the goal of Collection, bringing together all the various resources required to perform it. If relevant, add the number of merits you have invested in things such as [Fonts] or [Stock], multiplied by five, in percentage points. If you possess the [Apprentice {Practicant}] merit, or its derivatives, then double the percentage after the roll, representing significant help from the Practice, in return for a large cut of the profits you make on the endeavor. Next, gather everyone who will participate in the ceremony. Each participant rolls with the goal of Shaping, subject to a bonus equal to [Age], averaging every result, then checking what the result is. Ceremony effects can have a wide range of effect, from gaining temporary merits to permanently transmuting an item. It has its costs though, and the Practice can't cover every debt.

    The Practice is currently the most powerful organization effecting the lives of Carvers, though its power is limited beyond their population. Within the city-states, one resolute and demand from the Practice is often enough to end one tyrants reign or begin another's. After the Carvers, their nearest sibling the Bloom-towners are also often swayed by their local Practicant, though other locals can overpower them if such an opinion was somehow reached, such as through a disagreement between the Practicant and Apprentice of the Art. Next then, are the Bahlta of Far, who, while possessed of their own independant ceremonial traditions, are at peace with the Practice, and accept when one of their own converts for religious reasons. Farthest are the Bahlta of Near and the Islanders themselves, neither of whom have made significant contact with the Practice, and so they hold no sway over them. The Bahlta of Near especially find the Practice almost disturbing, since the time which they worship is still in living memory.



    BINDING, THE ESOTERICISTS, AND THE LIVING TRADITION

    To begin a binding, one must first roll with the goal of Concentration, in order to attain the prerequisite focus. If you have the [Apprentice {Esotericist}] or any of its derivatives, roll an extra die. Once you have attained focus, you may roll with the goal of Shaping, subject to bonus equal to [Age]. If you possess the merit[Apprentice {Traditionalist}] or its derivatives, you may attempt destroy a bind by rolling with the goal of Recycling. If the bind was created by a Traditionalist, you may recycle it without a roll.

    The Esotericists a sub-group of the Heretics, known for advertising their use of binds. With in the Heretics, they are as accepted as any other commisionee, the fundamental pragmatism of the organization overcoming any xenophobia individual members may hold. In the city-states as a whole, they are somewhat less accepted as the already suspicious Heretics, the largely unindentifiable nature of binds to many of the inhabitants of the city-states only adds to their mystery, and thus also adds to the fear of them.

    The Bahlta of Near and Far are minimally aware of the Esotericist or the Heretics in general, but fully punish of their own who are found to be secretly conspiring with any outside organization. The very few Islanders who know of the Esotericists can be understated as holding great disdain for such a corruption of their techniques.

    The Living Tradition itself is unknown to non-Islanders, and to Islanders is considered their most important responsibility, since their civilization cannot survive without binds, and their world cannot survive if they do not recycle them.



    ACUMEN

    Acumen here is used to refer to the ability to make judgements. Acumen is often called on for goals such as Perception, Evasion, and Communication.

    Higher levels represent taking in more information, doing so more accurately and efficiently, and deciding how to act based on that information quickly. Examples of persons with high Acumen include the Hierophants of the Practice and the pathfinders of the Footers, both relying on Acumen, though for different uses.

    Low or non-existent Acumen represents dependance on not only external stimuli, but also external decision making processes. Examples of beings with low Acumen include most unliving servants aboard the Bahlta's flying fortresses, and many of the tiny creatures spawned from the warps in space-time, both being blind to the world around them, and either not making decisions, or deciding with no discernible method or reason.



    COMPREHENSION

    Comprehension is your breadth of knowledge, and your ability to add to it. Comprehension is often called on for goals such as Memory, Shaping, and Conception

    Higher level of Comprehension represent having a strong grasp of what you've experienced, a greater ability to draw on reserves of ideas and imagination, and remembering memories which might have been lost, either through age, essential tampering, or the fog of dreaming. Examples of persons with especially high Comprehension include dreaming-binders and the librarians of the Bahlta book-vaults. The former utilize their Comprehension to performs unpracticed bindings, or even new-ones on the spot, while the latter use their Comprehension to store large amounts of information to dispense later.

    Low or non-existent levels of Comprehension represent equally low or non-existent levels of memory, or at least memory formation. Trauma which causes Retrograde amnesia would apply a severe penalty to Comprehension, and Anterograde amnesia would simply cause the person to have effectively no Comprehension at all, excluding memories from before the trauma. Few things besides those afflicted with Anterograde amnesia or similar conditions will have zero comprehension, since that implies a total lack of memory beyond, at most, several seconds into the past.



    APT POWER

    In many cases, powers such as [Cosmic Mutation], [Essential Cache], [Soulful Aura], and [{Element} Manifestation] are unintuitive, and require years of practice to come to grips with. Those with the [Apt {Power}] birth-merit are no such cases. Given the appropriate merit, you roll an additional bie on all rolls involved in the use of the power, and may double the percentage of the roll by sacrificing use of the extra die for a number days equal to the original percentage rolled.

    If taken as a demerit, you use one less die on rolls related to that power, which you must possess in order to take this as a demerit, and have the percentage of that roll halved once every number of days equal to the original percentage of the halved roll.



    FORTUNATE

    There are two options when you take this birth-merit. The first option allows you to choose up to two merits worth of equipment or circumstantial bonuses to rolls. These equipment or circumstantial bonuses are explicitly not derived work you or your forebearers. Perhaps your born under an auspicious omen, or were around at the right time and the right place to land yourself some useful gear, but whatever the reason, your only involvement is taking advantage of the opportunity. The second option allows you reroll any individual dice in a roll which are not succesful, as ong the roll is unmodified by skill merits, such as [Apprentice {Organization}] or its derivatives.

    If taken as a demerit, you either take an equivalent penalty on rolls where your faulty eqipment or malevolent circumstances would cause such penalties, or you must reroll all succesful dice which are part of roll which is not modified by skill merits.


    Thanks to everyone to everyone who responds, and even the ones who just come to look.

    Edit: I'm reminded to mention, it's unlikely that I've left something out because I'm planning on putting in later. All these updates are coming now because I've only just started writing them. Hell, I've been bouncing this idea around for two years, but I wrote most of this text only a couple of weeks ago. My point is, though, that if there's something missing, or if something's confusing, I implore to ask about it, since if you don't I may never get around to writing the answer!
    Last edited by Sodalite; 2012-04-18 at 10:32 PM. Reason: Content Addition

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    PirateCaptain

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    Default Re: Raw and unworked game system and setting idea. WIP & PEACH

    I like the general concept you've got going here (although there isn't enough for me to guess the genre), but some of the mechanics put down are a little confusingly written.

    For example, when talking about Soul Merits, you say "If you didn't pick X or Y, then choose if you want one, multiple or no Z." Generally, people find positives easier to grasp than negatives (see: Thac0), so perhaps use less didn't's and more did's. Beyond that there aren't enough numbers yet for me to get a feel for the setting and the mention of percentile dice made my head hurt (not a math guy).

    Other than that, I look forward to reading more about this idea. Keep at it!
    Quote Originally Posted by Zap Dynamic View Post
    Ninjadeadbeard just ninja'd my post. How apt.
    Ninjadeadbeard's Extended Homebrew

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Sodalite's Avatar

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    Default Re: Raw and unworked game system and setting idea. WIP & PEACH

    I'll get right to changing the second thing. About dice, it's my incompetence at describing mechanics getting in the way. What you do is you roll one d6 for every ability you're using, plus one or two if you're using a skill or some such, and you count how many come up greater than or equal to the difficulty of the roll, then divide that by the number of dice you rolled. Technically it's a fraction, but I change it to a percentage so that way rolls using different numbers of dice still has the same base. From there, lists of results for goals like Resistance or Striking are forthcoming, but results would very depending on percentage, trending towards the goal being partially or completely achieved at higher percentages.
    Last edited by Sodalite; 2012-04-12 at 09:10 PM.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Raw and unworked game system and setting idea. WIP & PEACH

    Quote Originally Posted by Sodalite View Post
    I'll get right to changing the second thing. About dice, it's my incompetence at describing mechanics getting in the way. What you do is you roll one d6 for every ability you're using, plus one or two if you're using a skill or some such, and you count how many come up greater than or equal to the difficulty of the roll, then divide that by the number of dice you rolled. Technically it's a fraction, but I change it to a percentage so that way rolls using different numbers of dice still has the same base. From there, lists of results for goals like Resistance or Striking are forthcoming, but results would very depending on percentage, trending towards the goal being partially or completely achieved at higher percentages.
    Alright...I'm more a visual person with numbers, but I sorta get what your doing there. I'll add more once you have more up. Til then, good so far.
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    Default Re: Raw and unworked game system and setting idea. WIP & PEACH

    I've added some more, focusing on [Cosmic Mutation]. I especially want to avoid them being too Mary Sue-ish, since they've been my own favorite power since I've started working on this.

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    Default Re: Raw and unworked game system and setting idea. WIP & PEACH

    Mutants are a lot like Sorcerers then, an Aberation made flesh. Cool so far. If the other types get a similar level of detail and development, you should be fine.
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    Default Re: Raw and unworked game system and setting idea. WIP & PEACH

    Sorcerers? I hadn't thought so, but I suppose that's just me. Besides that, I posted some stuff about Cachers! It's a tad smaller, but I hope it's enough.

    Edit: Not to imply anything, Ninjadeadbeard, but would anyone else like to comment anything?
    Last edited by Sodalite; 2012-04-12 at 11:32 PM.

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    Default Re: Raw and unworked game system and setting idea. WIP & PEACH

    A bump for a new update! Here's some information on Emanators and the [Soulful Aura] merit.

    Edit: I've now added information on [{Element} Manifestation] and the Manifestors!

    Double Edit: It also seems like I've failed in my attempt to not focus on the Mutators. If there's anything that I've mentioned for Mutators but not for the other powers, please tell me.

    Triple Edit: One more update, now on the origins of the Bahlta and their islander cousins. One question, could someone suggest to me a better name than islanders to me?
    Last edited by Sodalite; 2012-04-13 at 09:18 PM.

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    Default Re: Raw and unworked game system and setting idea. WIP & PEACH

    Essential Cache - Walking, talking Black Holes, is what I'm getting from these guys. Basically, Darth Nihlus. So, a really cool concept, sort of a Anti-Magic class (seeing through illusions and absorbing attacks).

    Soulful Aura - Natural Buffers and De-Buffers. This reads a lot like the Bastion Track from Legend. In that game, the Bastion track basically said "Any buff on you is automatically granted to all allies in range". This feels really similar, and usually the Buff Caster is an important niche to fill.

    Elemental Manifestation - A little less clear on what this is. A person who's soul is partly reincarnated with some natural phenomena? Seems like a good Elemental Blaster type person. You know, adds the [Sand] descriptor to an attack to increase damage, or the [Water] descriptor to bypass damage resistance (if water can dig the Grand Canyon, magic water can cut through armor).

    Origin of the Bahlta - Eerily similar to the backstory on the Land in the Thomas Covenant series (seriously worth a read).
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    Basically a group of people learn how to harness the power of the Earth, known as Earthpower, and create a nearly-perfect paradise civilization. Then the resident BBEG Lord Foul (the Devil) shows up and basically causes the Lords of the Land to despair to a point where the Highlord decides that nuking the Land is worth it if he can kill Foul (he failed), thus rendering the once beautiful Land a desolate wasteland for a thousand years until more people come in and fix the place up, swearing an oath of Peace never to despair and cause such destruction again.
    It's a good, solid backstory.

    Islander Name - The... Pagado? The Hawathaii. The Panapalasians. I'm not sure what naming convention you're using, but I hope these help.
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    Default Re: Raw and unworked game system and setting idea. WIP & PEACH

    First recommendation: Paragraph breaks. The cultures section, especially, I am skimming over because I'm not planning on reading the giant chunk of text all at once.

    This seems to be far more a setting than a system at this stage; almost everything you're writing up has to do with the hows and whys the setting world works, as opposed to how the player or character interacts with it. That isn't a problem, but if you're wondering why you aren't getting much feedback, it could be because people just don't have much to say about the concepts you've put forward.
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    A big thanks to PrinceAquilaDei for the gryphon avatar!
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    Default Re: Raw and unworked game system and setting idea. WIP & PEACH

    Huh, never heard of that series. I'd use the common idiom, but given you say that it's a good book series, I doubt myself and the author are comparable. Aside from that, the people here have mouth, jaw, and throat shapes more suited towards round sounds and have difficulty with highly closed vowels like long-e or long-u. The proto-language also had a strong tendency to cluster approximate and glottal consonants, such as in Bahlta. The name itself basically means far-people, but I want to avoid the trope where indigenous societies always call themselves 'The People', which would leave them as just the Bahl.

    Aside from naming, those were all the things I was trying to get across with those powers, which is good! The next thing I will be working on is detailing the voyage of the ship Void-Spanner, the vehicle designed to cross the gap between Near and Far, then after that, I'll work on the general cosmology of the setting.

    Edit: I apologize for not noticing your post beforehand. I'll get to fixing the paragraphs right now! Also, I suppose it wouldn't have been that unreasonable to have posted this in the Worldbuilding section, but I'm not sure I have standing to request that this be moved.
    Last edited by Sodalite; 2012-04-13 at 11:08 PM.

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    Default Re: Raw and unworked game system and setting idea. WIP & PEACH

    Just trying to look over it from the point of view of building a character, I came up with the following decision tree:
    Spoiler
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    • Soul Merit
      • Cosmic Mutation
        • Mutator
        • Soul Age is 0
      • Essential Cache
        • Cacher
        • Soul Age is 0
      • Soulful Aura
        • Emanator
        • Choose Soul Age
        • Element Manifestations
          • Yes
            • Manifestor
            • Choose Element(s)
          • No
    • No Soul Merit
      • Choose Soul Age
      • Element Manifestations
        • Yes
          • Manifestor
          • Choose Element(s)
        • No
          • Ordinary Person

    Is that basically how it works? If so, I assume there is some sort of trade off for choosing soulful aura or there's no reason not to choose it over having no Soul Merit
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    Baldric Sea Campaign Setting (work in progress)
    later version of the Sea Dog base class from it

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    Default Re: Raw and unworked game system and setting idea. WIP & PEACH

    The benefit of being ordinary is that you have spare merits that you spend on things besides powers. Admittedly small, but unless you focus on taking on essence effects, or really try to capitalize on your lineage, being an Emanator shouldn't be too much of an advantage.

    Edit: The begining of writer's block! Further updates will probably be significantly slower as I think over my ideas more.
    Last edited by Sodalite; 2012-04-14 at 01:21 PM.

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    Default Re: Raw and unworked game system and setting idea. WIP & PEACH

    Voyage of the Void-Spanner is up. It feels like it's lower quality than most of the others, and it was a lot harder to write, so I think I'll skip on general cosmology for now. I will try to finish stuff on the power-like skills, such as ceremonies and binding.

    Edit: After more than a day, I've finished ceremonies. I should be done with binding late tomorrow or early Wednesday.
    Last edited by Sodalite; 2012-04-16 at 08:12 PM.

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    Default Re: Raw and unworked game system and setting idea. WIP & PEACH

    Argh, a triple post hurts me, but I'm bumping for a new and very short section on Binding, and that I'll be trying to get something out on the specific ability descriptions, plus descriptions for the birth-merits by around this time tomorrow, or at the latest Thursday.

    Edit: Semi-detailed descriptions of the Acumen and Comprehension abilities are now up! Five abilities and six birth-merits left.
    Last edited by Sodalite; 2012-04-18 at 10:35 PM.

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