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  1. - Top - End - #31
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    Default Re: Ancient Lands - Sword & Sorcery Campaign Setting, Take 3

    Depends. Somewhere I have a long list of names for NPC which is compiled from all over the place, about 350. Mostly names that you can't immediately pinpoint to a specific country unless you are familiar with the local names. It's not supposed to be an English or German setting, and not a Chinese or Japanese either.
    Last edited by Yora; 2012-11-19 at 07:30 AM.
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    Ancient Lands - PF/d20 Sword & Sorcery campaign setting

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    Default Re: Ancient Lands - Sword & Sorcery Campaign Setting, Take 3

    Main Factions

    Looking at my favorite setting, one thing that really makes them great are the longstanding grudges and hostilities between major groups within the greater population. When two peeople of opposing factions meet, you can instantly see trouble brewing and have to account for keeping their grudges from endangering the common goals. Even more so than alliances, old hostilities really provide grit and color to a setting.

    Thinking about it in the context of the Ancient Lands, I've come up with seven main ideological factions that exist paralel to the politics between individual clans. Even within a faction individual clans can get into war with each other and do so all the time. But if you have to groups from opposing factions, than there's a fight waiting to happen.

    Druids
    Pretty much the mainstream faction and by far the largest. The only thing that makes them a single group is their shared stance towards the other factions, which is hostile to pretty much everyone.
    Druids adher to the belief that civilization is vulnerable to natural disasters, monsters, and bandits, but can endure with the cooperation of the spirits of the surrounding land. If the spirits turn against the villages and strongholds, their existance is doomed and they will surely fall to calamity within short time. But if the land and its spirits are treated respectfully and corruption by demons and the ancients is contained and repelled, civilization can flurish, providing safe sustenance and harmony for the community.
    The vast majority of clans and villages follow this ideology and place their trust into the good work of the druids who maintain the favor of the spirits for their communities.

    Druids are usually either treated as members of the Highborn or Hermit class, depending on how deeply they are integrated into the clans society. Acolytes, guards, and servants either rise to at least Clansman status when they become members of the shrines, or are also treated as Hermits like the druids.

    Shadow Druids
    The shadow druids can be reagarded as a faction within the druid indeology, but their views differ greatly in some aspects. They share their opposition of demons and ancients and the people who serve them and are constantly fighting their corruption, but they mostly regard the idea of sustainable civilization as futile. With the aid of the spirits, villages and towns can be errected and grow to great wealth, but all will sooner or later fall victim to one calamaty or another and perish, and the shadow druids expect it to be sooner rather than later. The larger a settlement becomes the more vulnerable does it become to plagues and famines, as it increasingly relies on other settlements for certain goods or services critical to their survival. The shadow druids are not outright hostile to large and highly civilized communities, but they regard them as foolish ideas that only put their people in uneccessary danger. Instead they promote small semi-nomadic camps that survive or perish only by the results of their own actions without their fate being tied to that of a larger society that becomes more vulnerable and fragile as it grows. If one group or village perishes, the damage is only limited to them without dragging everyone else with them.
    While the shadow druids rarely attack towns and villages, they are usually relucatant to assist with any crisis that threatens their survival. Large villages shouldn't have been build in the first place and they won't lift a finger to drag the inevitible out for another generation or two. However, this quiet contempt can often be the seed for personal grudges and hostilities between their camps and other communities that don't really have anything to do with conflicting believes and ideologies.

    Shadow druids are usually either Hermits or Outcasts, depending on how good their relationship to nearby settlements is.

    Cults of the Ancients
    The cults of the ancients are usually small and local communities that are both low in numbers and individual size. Their members agree with the shadow druids that entrusting their survival to the goodwill of spirits is foolish and doomed to fail and they are usually found in isolated villages far removed from the rest of civilization. Instead, they have turned their attention to other powers and found their new masters in the Ancients. The ancients are spirits from the beginning of the world, when the border between the Material Worlds and the Void were still not fully formed and spirits could pass between the realms freely. The Ancients are the spirits of environments very different from the way the world appears today and predate the spirits of mountains, forests, rivers, and even oceans by eons, which only came into being when these features of the land were created. But deep within the earth and below the bottom of the sea, the world is still pretty much the same as it had been in the beginning and in these hidden depths the spirits have been unchanged throughout all the eons. Eventually, mountains, forests, and rivers will disappear and be replaced by new landscapes, but the caverns deep beneath the earth and the seas will always be the same and their spirits are the only ones that are truly immortal. In worshipping the Ancients, their followers hope to find a path that lets the humanoid races join the ranks of the eternal creatures that will endure until the very end of time.
    The downside is, that the Ancients in the Underworld are beings from a world that is now alien to the world that has evolved on the surface and as such carry with them the currupting Taint that is also spread by demons. Most cultists are aware of the dangerous effects on their health and their minds and take measures to limit direct exposure, but in the long term they view it as the source of their transformation into eternal creatures unbound by the changing laws of the surface world. This puts them at odds with the druids and shadow druids, who regard the Taint as a poison that destroys the surface world of mortal beings and the spiritworld and will hasten the decay of the universe before it eventually vanishes back into the Void from which it once was created. They also tend to use blood magic, which makes them even less welcome in most reputable places. And even most of the irreputable as well.

    Cultists of the ancients either stay hidden within larger communities practicng their rites in secret, or live in small remote communities, whose members are treated as Outcasts by all other clans and villages.

    Sorcerers
    The sorcerers are wizards who have devoted their studies to the Void and utilizing its magical energies. As these energies are not part of the natural world, they spread the Taint and cause curruption both to the land and its creatures. As such, they are opposed by druids and shadow druids, but the more responsible and careful ones also often clash with warlocks.
    While individual sorcerers and small cabals can be found anywhere, they have the most influence in a group of wood elven clans, in which they constitute the aristocracy. In these clans, sorcerers are highly respected wizards and hold great political power. Ordinary people from these clans usually don't stand out as exceptional to other clans, but sorcerers are viewed with great mistrust and even outright hostility in places where the influence of druids is exceptionally strong.

    Individual sorcerers either practice their studies in secrets or are Outcasts. In the clans were sorcerers are respected, they are almost always Highborn.

    Warlocks
    While sorcerers regard their studies of the Void and its magial properties as dangerous work that needs to be done with proper care and saveguards to limit the spread of Taint, warlocks have no such reservations and reach out directly to demons to make pacts for vast magical powers. The curruption they cause is usually substential which makes even many sorcerers appaled at such careless dustruction and naturally draws the hostility of both druids and shadow druids. Some make pacts with demons merely as a shortcut to great magical power, but within their ranks exist many cults that hope to achieve true immortality by transforming themselves into demons that will continue to exist in the endless eternity of the Void long after the material world has come to an end.
    Warlocks often work alone or in very small groups of just two to five people, but are very often well connected among each other, forming a large network that covers almost all of the Ancient Lands. If discovered, warlocks can expect to be hunted down and killed, but occasionally some amass enough power and allies in secret that they have become too strong to be easily opposed when they chose to reveal themselves. These warlocks are often powerful warlords with large armies that can cause great damage and trouble for many decades or even centuries before they are brought down.

    As wizards and rarely druids, most warlocks belong to the highborn class. A few who practice their research in remote isolation are Outcasts, but might deploy deception to be regarded as Hermits.

    Warrior Orders
    The warrior orders could be ragarded as a larger movement that has its origin in the bands of human mercenaries in the wars that formed the great elven powers. While they do not oppose druids and their teachings in general, most of the warrior orders follow an ideology that emphasises complete reliance on ones own ability and ones brothers and sisters in arms. Most won't go out of their way to antagonize the spirits, but they do not ordinarily plea with them for aid and assistance. This does at times lead into heated arguments with overzealous druids which on occasion can turn sour and grow into greater conflicts, but usually these warriors apply their believes only to the actual members of their orders and don't expect any commoners to live up to their standards. Some of the orders have become very large and powerful, rivialing the greater and more influential clans, with their leaders also serving as lords over great strongholds and the surrounding lands and villages. Because the orders consist entirely of warriors, they are even more likely than other chieftains to go to war and seek conquest, but just as often individual companies fight as mercenaries in the wars between other clans, just as their founders did.
    The warriors have no real stake in the conflicts bewtween druids and those who worship the ancients or use demonic magic, but their companies often mean trouble for any place they are comming through and especially for the places they are heading to. Proud of their prowress, they are likely to treat any opposition or resistance as a challenge and very few people wish to get into a war with them.

    While individual orders and companies can vary greatly, about 4 out of 10 warriors are humans, 3 elves, and 2 kaas, with only small numbers of lizardfolk, trolls, gnomes, and nezumi found among their ranks and only in some rare companies. Members of the Warrior orders are often Freemen, with the highest ranking leaders being Highborn and everyone else living on their territory being Lowborn.

    Naga
    The Naga are the remnants of the great naga empires that once dominanted most of the southern jungles. They greatly resemble the Sorcerer clans but form a distinctly separate faction that is often opposed to them. The actual members of the faction are most of the naga that still live in the mortal world, but under their command are numerous large clans of lizardfolk and fish people. They are opposed by druids and shadow druids for the same reasons sorcerers are, and their goal often come into conflict with those of warlocks. Within their territory, they are also always hunting for any cults of tha Ancients, in fear of rebellions that have access to magic that can oppose their own sorcerous powers. Outside of the jungles controlled by the naga, their agents rarely make their presence known and act in secret, mostly to steal magical lore from sorcerers and warlocks or that has been hidden away by druids.
    Last edited by Yora; 2012-11-26 at 05:08 PM.
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    Ancient Lands - PF/d20 Sword & Sorcery campaign setting

  3. - Top - End - #33
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    Default Re: Ancient Lands - Sword & Sorcery Campaign Setting, Take 3

    Reputation
    This isn't neccessarily the finished system but an idea I am working on. In a setting where social status and clan allegiance is important, I think Reputation is worth being made part of the rules.

    The Reputation score is based Class Levels and modified by the Background and Charisma modifier. In addition, characters can gain a +1 bonus every time they perform a great deed that becomes well known at the GMs discretion. I think roughly one deed per characer level should be a good rule of thumb.

    {table=head]Lvl.|Druid/Fighter|Barbarian/Wizard|Ranger/Rogue
    1st|1|0|0
    2nd|1|1|0
    3rd|2|1|1
    4th|2|1|1
    5th|3|2|1
    6th|3|2|2
    7th|4|3|2
    8th|4|3|2
    9th|5|3|3
    10th|5|4|3[/table]

    Highborn +3
    Hermit +2
    Clansman +1
    Freeman +0
    Lowborn -1
    Outcast -2

    A famous general could easily have a Reputation score of 18 to 20. [Fighter 9 (+5), Highborn (+3), Charisma 14 (+2), nine deeds (+9)]
    For a well known local witch, it could be 9 to 11. [Wizard 5 (+2), Hermit (+2), Charisma 12 (+1), five deeds (+5)]

    Big question is what real effects the Reputation does. Here's one starting idea:
    {table]0|Unknown
    1-2|Known in the village
    3-5|Known locally
    6-9|Known among the clan
    10-14|Known throughout the kingdom or tribe
    15-20|Known throughout the world
    21+|Legendary figure[/table]
    People will most likely not recognize a characters face if they never met him and the higher up it goes they might not even known the name. But within the Elk Clan, pretty much everyone will know what it means when someone is introduced as the leader of the villages on Eagle Lake or the witch who lives on the Pine Island. (Reputation 6-9).

    I also like followers and the Reputation score can easily be also the Leadership score. I intend followers to be mostly servants and assistants that either stay home or guard the camp and the horses while the PCs go into dungeons. Maybe even guard prisoners and tend to wounded, stuff like that.
    D&D 3rd Edition has tables for that, but in another d20 game I saw the alternative of just picking followers whose combined class levels can be as high as the Reputation score while none can be of a higher level than half the Reputation score. Also limiting maximum level of any follower to 2 levels below the PCs level as in Leadership also seems fine. Classless 1 HD servants could be treated as having half a level. Unlike henchmen, these followers want to help and are not just in it for the payment. They won't be bribed to betray the PC, but might be blackmailed, and they don't leave as soon as they don't get their wage, but within the setting servants would probably not get much but food and housing anyway.
    Average PC level in an Ancient Lands game should probably 3rd to 7th. That would be Reputation scores ranging from 5 to 15. A generic clansman 3rd level fighter would have a basic Reputation score of 6.
    Since the level range is only from 1st to 10th, I guess having the minimum level for followers at 4th. At 4th level, warriors are experienced veterans who sit on the big table in the castle. These are powerful enough to have their own crew instead of being croonies to other warriors.
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    Ancient Lands - PF/d20 Sword & Sorcery campaign setting

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    Default Re: Ancient Lands - Sword & Sorcery Campaign Setting, Take 3

    I am thinking of using level based defense bonuses to AC and armor as being purely a form of damage reduction.

    I expect characters to get into fights without their armor quite often, be it when the village is suddenly attacked by raiders, assassins get inside the great hall, or their camp gets attacked. Characters of higher level should be able to last longer in such fights than characters of lower level, but this is already covered by hit points. I think a good way to approach hit points is not to treat successful attack rolls as a single hit, but rather just as a check if one is wearing the enemy down to any degree within that six second timeframe. How many hits are landed and what kinds of specific injuries they cause is completely ignored in that.

    Almost all d20 games that have defense bonuses have them available only when not wearing any armor. But wearing armor would always make you better protected than not wearing armor, even if it's the most crappy armor. And there is nobody that fast and dexterous that being unarmored would actually be safer than wearing armor. However, one could change the rules further and replace the AC bonus from armor with Damage Reduction and always keep the defense bonus to AC.

    {table=head]Armor|Type|Damage Reduction|max. Reduction
    Fabric|Light|2|2
    Chain Shirt|Light|3|2
    Hide|Medium|2|1
    Scale Armor|Medium|3|1
    Lamellar Breastplate|Medium|4|1
    Chainmail|Heavy|3|0
    Lamellar Armor|Heavy|4|0[/table]

    Fabric and Hide reduces damage by 2 points.
    Chain and Scale reduces damage by 3 points.
    Lamellar reduces damage by 4 points.
    Light armor can reduce damage only to a minimum of 2 (and has no effect if the damage roll is a 1).
    Medium armor can reduce damage to a minimum of 1.
    Heavy armor can completely negate damage (and therefore also all secondary effects of the attack).

    This may not look like much, but character level goes only up to 10th and most of the common monsters in 5th Edition only deal an average of 5 to 8 damage.

    Small shields give a +2 bonus to AC, large shields a +3 bonus. That makes shields really, really good, being better than the Dexterity bonus to AC most characters will have. Just as it should be realistically.

    {table=head]Lvl.|Barbarian/Fighter|Ranger/Rogue|Druid/Wizard
    1st|+0|+0|+0
    2nd|+1|+0|+0
    3rd|+1|+1|+0
    4th|+2|+1|+1
    5th|+2|+1|+1
    6th|+3|+2|+1
    7th|+3|+2|+1
    8th|+4|+2|+2
    9th|+4|+3|+2
    10th|+5|+3|+2[/table]

    Adjusting the numbers will be a case of playtesting once the 5th Edition rules get closer to being finalized. But what do you think of the idea in general? Is it worth the trouble of adding setting-specific combat and equipment rules, or do you think the gain from it is too marginal to bother with it?
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    Ancient Lands - PF/d20 Sword & Sorcery campaign setting

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    Default Re: Ancient Lands - Sword & Sorcery Campaign Setting, Take 3

    If I can jump in from a new viewpoint, Yora -


    What kind of stories actually get told (played out) in Ancient Lands?

    What are the "iconic" Ancient Lands adventures?


    I'm guessing "Local Monster Needs Slaying" is on the list, but is "Holy Relic Stolen, Needs Retrieving" on there? Is it expected that the players will have to quell war within their clan or halt the advance of the Northland Elf war machine?

    It's worth thinking about.
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    Default Re: Ancient Lands - Sword & Sorcery Campaign Setting, Take 3

    Sure, that's actually the kind of question I always ask when other people start with a setting idea and asking for first oppinions. I probably forgott about this because I've been working on it on some times and already had gone into it in one of the older threads.
    But instead of copy-pasting it, I think I'll write up something new in the next couple of days. Thanks for the reminder.
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    Default Re: Ancient Lands - Sword & Sorcery Campaign Setting, Take 3

    The Role of PCs
    While players are almost entirely free to come up with any type of character they can imagine and fits within the parameters set for the campaign by the GM, the Ancient Lands are created with certain assumptions of the characters position and role within the world in mind.
    Even though the Ancient Lands are not a particularly hostile environment, a major overarching theme is survival and securing the safety of the community. Society in the Ancient Lands is mostly tribal, with most people living in relatively small villages that have to rely on themselves for safety and protection as help from the chiefs stronghold or allied settlements can often be several days away, if a messanger can be send at all. With a world that is mostly unsettled wilderness and few urban centers where mercenaries would find short and well paying work, most dangerous tasks fall to the warriors, leaders, and wise people of the villages, which make for the best backgrounds for player characters. Wandering adventurers are rare and the search for treasures too unreliant to make any kind of living from it. Player characters do not need to be confined to their home village, as each clans consists of dozens or even hundreds of such settlements that all fall under the rule of the chief and looking out for each other as good as they can. Not only would player characters work for the good and safety of their own village, but often their help will also be required by neighboring villages that are in danger, or serve their chief to fight the enemies of the clan on the outside as well as the inside.

    Defende the village against wild beasts: While the animals of the wild rarely come close to humanoid settlements, every so often dagerous beasts emerge from deep within the great forests and jungles, stalking the outlying farms at night and preying on lifestock or attacking hunters or woodcutters. With the more dangerous monsters it usually falls to the warriors to hunt down these creatures and make it safe to leave the pallisades around the village again.
    Fight of marauders and bandits: Be it warriors from enemy clans or outcasts who have banded together and survive by raiding outlying villages, attacks from other humanoids can often be as dangerous to a village as the most ferocious monsters. While small gangs of bandits are easy enough to dispatch, one first had to find them out in the wilds, and larger groups of marauders often require the combined effort of warriors from several villages to drive them out of the area.
    Preserve the villages food and water: Though there are few deserts in the Ancient Lands, food and water is not always plenty, especially in the winter months. Everything that makes the rivers poluted or dry up, or causes the crops to fail and the herds to fall to disease poses a greater threat to the survival of the entire village than almost any monster or invading army. With only a few miles around the villages being relatively safe, finding the cause for such calamities and setting things right again is a task that requires the knowledge and experience of the villages shamans and warriors.
    Placate the spirits: Every settlement in the Ancient Lands requires the aid and protection of the spirits of the land to prosper and survive. Against the will of the spirits, no land can be settled without being harrased by wild beasts, and the ground will not allow any crops to grow. Maintaining the goodwill of the spirits is a constant task for the shamans of the clans, but the spirits are always unpredictable and often make demands or take offense at things that hard for the people to understand. Shamans often set out on quests to fulfill the will of the spirit and restore the harmony between the village and the spiritworld, and more often than not they require the assistance of strong and skilled warriors.
    Fighting the enemy from the inside: Bandits, monsters, and ill tempered spirits are constant dangers that put the survival of the villages and entire clans at great risk. But in addition to the dangers of the wild and the wrath of the spiritwold, doom and destruction can also come from inside the protective pallisades as well. While few people ever encounter them knowlingly, warlocks and cults of tha Ancients can take root anywhere and the corruption spread by their tainted powers can be more terrible and destructive than a raging dragon. Many of the best protected and secure strongholds have fallen to demons or the undead and any hint at the practive of tainted magic is a matter of serious concern for any chief or village elder that requires immediate investigations.
    Securing the magic of the past: Long before the earliest humanoid settlements, fey people created mighty castles and strongholds in the wilds of the mortal world, where they ruled over the savage humanoids for countless generations. While long abandoned and mostly crumbled into rubble overgrown by vines, countless ancient ruins lie hidden within the unexplored wilds and sometimes even just under the castles and temples of the humanoid peoples. In rare cases they include chambers and hallways that had been untouched for hundreds of generations and still hold great magical wonders from ancient times. The value of such artifacts can not be measured in gold or jewels and every clan will go to great length to secure them and gain whatever magical knowledge from it that they can, to strengthen their position over the other clans. Unknown ruins are discovered only rarely, but every time will rush to secure any mystical treasures before word of the discovery gets around. But even so, many of the known ruins have never been explored in full, as they often contain dangers that have led many brave warriors to their doom.
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    Default Re: Ancient Lands - Sword & Sorcery Campaign Setting, Take 3

    Character Archetypes

    In the Ancient Lands, Backgrounds are covered by the characters social status. Specialties take the form of Archetypes. These are suggestions how to make a character quickly and can be modified to suit personal ideas.

    Clan Warrior
    Clan warriors are the protectors of the clan and professional soldiers. They have learned to fight from a young age and their role in the clan is entirely to fight of any attackers that threaten the clans people and to fight for the chief during wars against other clans. Many clan warriors live in the stronghold of the chief or local sub-chief, though many are also quite wealthy and own small farms that are worked by their servants.
    Classes: Fighter, Ranger
    Background: Highborn, Clansmen
    Skills: Climb, Handle Animal, Intimidate, Knowledge (warfare), Ride, Survival
    Feats: -
    Equipment: Hide or Scale armor; small shield, spear or battleaxe, dagger, shortbow or three javelins.

    Clan Hunter
    Though they are quite skilled in the use of weapons, the hunters of the clan spend most of their time in the wilderness hunting for food and pelts and are used to guard the village and the leader only in times of great trouble. When it has to be they also done armor and follow the warriors into battle, but most lack much experience in going to war.
    Classes: Ranger, Rogue
    Background: Clansmen
    Skills: Climb, Handle Animal, Knowledge (nature), Listen, Sneak, Spot, Survival, Track
    Feats: -
    Equipment: Fabric armor, spear, dagger, shortbow.

    Clan Shaman
    The clan shamans are the druids that serve as protectors of the village and messengers of the local spirit to the people of the clan. They are of very high status and highly respected, but usually live slighly removed from the rest of society. Except for the smallest and most remote villages, most settlements have a number of shamans and several apprentices, which serve the head shaman both within the shrine and on missions to far away places.
    Classes: Druid
    Background: Highborn, Clansmen
    Skills: Heal, Knowledge (arcana, forbidden lore, nature, religion), Persuade, Sense Motive, Survival,
    Feats: -
    Equipment: Fabric armor, club or staff, sling, dagger.

    Scout
    Scouts are professional trackers who are not only skilled in hunting down their target, but also in keeping themselves hidden and spying at enemy camps and setting up ambushes. They are found among both the warriors of the clans as well as mercenary armies.
    Classes: Ranger, Rogue
    Background: Clansmen, Freemen, Handle Animal
    Skills: Balance, Climb, Heal, Knowledge (dungeoneering, nature), Listen, Ride, Search, Sneak, Spot, Survival, Swim, Track
    Feats: -
    Equipment: Fabric armor, short sword, dagger, shortbow.

    Sentinel
    Sentinels are warriors found mostly among elves, who engage their enemies from a distance or hiding, and preferably both. They are skilled both in stealth and archery and often serve as the first line of elven defense. They keep watch for any intruders and either drive enemies away before they reach the elven villages or slow them down and weaken them before they are engaged by the clans warriors.
    Classes: Fighter, Ranger
    Background: Clansmen, Freemen
    Skills: Climb, Knowledge (warfare), Listen, Sneak, Survival
    Feats: -
    Equipment: Fabric armor, short sword or handaxe, longbow.

    Berserker
    Berserkers are strong warriors who possess a powerful battle rage that makes them the most feared and dangerous warriors on the battlefield. They usually form their own small groups among the warriors of the clan and there is often only a couple of them throughout the lands of any clan. While some of the larger villages have their own small groups of berserkers, most serve directly under a chief or sub-chief.
    Classes: Barbarian
    Background: Clansmen
    Skills: Intimidate, Knowledge (warfare), Survival
    Feats: -
    Equipment: Hide or scale armor, small shield and battleaxe or greataxe.

    Mercenary
    In addition to the warriors of the clans there are also many small armies of mercenaries who sell their services to chiefs and other lords who need additional warriors in their battles against their enemies. While most mercenaries are part of large companies, sometimes they leave the group over disagreements with the commander or a company falls apart after having sustained too heavy losses. Usually they try to join a new company as soon as possible, but in the meantime they are sometimes able to get temporary jobs as bodyguards. While mercenaries are rarely trusted by most people, some may catch the attention of a chief and may be offered to join his clan. Since war is their only source of income, mercenaries are often extremely well trained and have very good equipment and in many cases are considerably superior to most clan warriors. Those who don't have a hard time finding work and are often not much better than brigands and bandits.
    Classes: Barbarian, Fighter, Ranger
    Background: Freemen, Outcasts
    Skills: Handle Animal, Intimidate, Knowledge (warfare), Ride
    Feats: -
    Equipment: Scale armor, small shield, spear, battleaxe.

    Thief
    In the small villages of the clans, criminals have a very hard time as they are easily identified and there are very few places to hide from the authorities. However in the larger towns where lots of travelers come to trade, it's much easier oto steal from strangers and evade the guards. Most thieves are lowly criminals who survive on stealing both coins and other things they need to live. Some are wandering from village to village, posing as travelers who only stay for a short time and are gone before their stealing is detected. While they are dispised by almost anyone, there are occasionally cases when people can make use of the skills of someone who knows how to stay hidden and get into places they are not supposed to be.
    Classes: Rogue
    Background: Freemen, Lowborn, Outcasts
    Skills: Balance, Bluff, Climb, Disable Device, Escape Artist, Listen, Persuade, Search, Sense Motive, Sleight of Hand, Sneak, Spot
    Feats: -
    Equipment: Dagger, thieves tools.

    Agent
    Among the followers of chiefs and other lords, there are usually a few people who know how to solve problems that are plaguing the clan without causing great commotions and conflicts with other clans. While some highly delicate matters are worth the hiring of an experienced mercenary, most of these agents come from the highborn families that are most close to the chief and have his full trust. While their position is usually an inofficial one, they are the people the chief turns to when he needs criminals captured and traitors exposed.
    Classes: Rogue
    Background: Highborn, Freemen
    Skills: Bluff, Disable Device, Disguise, Gather Rumors, Intimidate, Knowledge (heraldry, history), Listen, Persuade, Search, Sense Motive, Sneak, Spot, Track
    Feats: -
    Equipment: Fabric armor or chain shirt, short sword, shortbow, thieves tools.

    Witch
    Witches usually live at the very edge of society or isolated in the wilds. They know many secrets of magic and the wilderness and people sometimes seek them out in matters that are beyond what the shamans can do. People usually come to them with things that are unaccepted at best or outright illegal at worst, which does not help the witches reputation. While they are generally feared even more than shamans, not all witches are treated as evil and are sometimes honored as magical protectors of outlying settlements that are far away from their shaman.
    Classes: Wizard
    Background: Clansmen, Freemen, Hermits, Outcasts
    Skills: Heal, Knowledge (arcana, nature), Survival
    Feats: -
    Equipment: Staff, dagger, sling, ritual tome.

    Sorcerer
    Sorcerers are scholars of magic who have devoted their studies to the energies and beings of the Void. Even the most careful and honorable of them are usually mistrusted for their dealings with demons as more than one of them has fallen to demonic possession and caused great death and destruction. Many sorcerers practice their magic in remote hideouts but in some places they are part of the nobility, living in grand manors and possessing great wealth.
    Classes: Wizard
    Background: Highborn, Outcasts
    Skills: Knowledge (arcana, forbidden lore, sciences), Persuade
    Feats: -
    Equipment: Staff, dagger, ritual tome.

    Hermit Druid
    Sharing the secrets of the druidic magic with the shamans, these hermits have isolated themselves from their clans and live in remote groves, seeking the closeness of the powers of nature and its spirits. Though highly respected in most places, they have only limited contact with other villages and leave their homes only for specific reasons.
    Classes: Druid
    Background: Hermit
    Skills: Handle Animal, Heal, Knowledge (arcana, forbidden lore, nature), Survival
    Feats: -
    Equipment: Staff, dagger, sling.

    Hermit Warrior
    Throughout all of the Ancient Lands exist a couple of old warrior traditions that combine the abilities of the body with the powers of magic. Most of them live in small retreats away from other people where they train with older masters and younger novices, but many take up wandering the land and visiting civilization on their own and occasionally end up among the followers of chiefs, where they can attain positions of great status.
    Classes: Fighter/Wizard
    Background: Hermit
    Skills: Balance, Knowledge (warfare), Listen, Tumble
    Feats: -
    Equipment: Fabric armor; spear, scimitar, or longsword.
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    Ancient Lands - PF/d20 Sword & Sorcery campaign setting

  9. - Top - End - #39
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    Default Re: Ancient Lands - Sword & Sorcery Campaign Setting, Take 3

    Creatures of the Ancient Lands

    After many many revisions, I think I have the list of creatures in the setting pretty much nailed down at roughly 120, which is about half a Monster Manual.
    Homebrew creatures are in italics.

    Humanoids
    Spoiler
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    Elf: Elves come in both wood elves and dark elves, but they have identical stats except that dark elves trade low-light vision for darkvision and light blindness.
    Fish People: A race of 1,50m to 1,60m tall humanoid fish that can breath air but can surive out of water only for a few hours. Most are bands of savages that live in coastal waters far from civilized settlements, but they can also survive in the great depths of the oceans and flooded caves that connect to the sea.
    Giant, Hill: Hill giants are of roughly human proportions but stand up to 3 meters high and tend to have very lean builds. Their skin and hair is of sand or dust colored brown and most dress in hides and leather and fight with bronze tipped spears or enormous bows.
    Giant, Mountain: Mountain giants stand significantly higher than hill giants and can grow to height of up to 3,80m. They are more muscular in build than hill giant and more resemble stong humans and their skin leans more towards grey shades and males often have long beards. Mountain giants are among the few people that make use of great amounts of iron and often wear scale armor and carry steel axes and iron banded clubs.
    Gnome: Gnomes in the Ancient Lands combine characteristics of dwarves, gnomes, and halflings. Except for their slightly bigger heads, they are of about human proportions and stand between 1m and 1,20m high wenn fully grown. They have round faces and big round noses that makes them look very different from human children.
    Goblin: Goblins are the only true subteranean humanoids in the Ancient Lands. They can be as tall as 1m but also significantly smaller and are all of a very thin build with flat faces and large eyes and ears and black hair. They are rarely seen on the surface, especially during daytime, but they are sometimes hired as guides by people who explore deep caverns or seek to find entrances to the underworld.
    Harpie: Harpies are wing and feathered humanoids that are of roughly elven stature but rarely taller than 1,50m. They have three claws on the joints of their wings that are just as agile as human fingers and their feet are those of large birds of prey. Harpies live in forested mountains in warm and temperate climate and have a very simple culture that doesn't use many tools and many are relatively simple minded when compared to humans.
    Human: Humans have all the standard abilities. (Unless they stay as they are in the D&D current playtest rules, in which case they would instead be much more similar to 3rd Edition.)
    Kaas: Kaas are tall and strong humanoids that stand about 2m tall and are covered in short brown fur. Their faces have some resemblance to wolves and lions and the hair on their heads is a thick mane of darker brown color. Their limbs are exceptionally strong and they are great climbers even on extremely difficult terrain.
    Lizardfolk: Lizardfolk tend to stand somewhat taller than humans and are significantly heavier. Most have green scales and often markings of brown or black along their backs. They can hold their breath for a very long time and are excelent swimmers, but are not truly aquatic creatures and always make their homes on dry land. While not as smart as most other humanoid people, their culture is very old and can easily compare to humans and kaas.
    Troll: Trolls are very strong and powerful humanoids that stand about 2,5m tall but are much more muscular than humans or even kaas. They have grey skin and flat faces with small eyes and noses but big jaws with small fangs. Trolls are the least intelligent of the humanoid races but people are often suprised that many of them can speak perfectly well and often in several languages. They sometimes wear simple armor made from hides and scavanged scale armor, but usually their thick skin is enough to protect them against most arrows and fangs and their massive strength usually ends any fight very quickly.


    Beasts
    Spoiler
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    Bear Dog: These animals resemble extremely powerfully build lions with heads that mix attributes of both bears and dogs, but they are larger than any of these creatures. While being one of the largest and strongest animals in the Ancient Lands, they are solitary with does put them at a real disadvantage against other predators like wolves, hyenas, or humanoids in a fight.
    Bear Men: These creatures resemble both grey bears and heavily muscled humans, but they are not very intelligent and rarely use any weapons more complicated than clubs. While they can speak, they rarely know any other language than their own.
    Bull Hyena: This that lives in the open lands north of the southern jungles is very similar to a hyena but of the size of a very large auroch. Unlike hyenas, they are mostly solitary like tigers. While not as fast as most of their prey, they can keep a relatively high pace for a few minutes, which is often enough to tire their prey down and catch up with it.
    Bunyip: A bunyip is a very large and furred seal with long and very sharp teeth that often terrorizes the northern coasts of the Ancient Lands, attacking both sea and land creatures and even preying on humans, elves, and kaas when the opportunity presents itself.
    Carrion Crawler
    Dragon, Black
    Dragon, Bronze
    Dragon, Green
    Dragon, Red
    Dragon, Silver
    Dragonhawk: Dragonhawks are large feathered flying reptiles with orange, brown, and green feathers. They resemble giant birds of prey in many respects and a big enough to carry light riders. They are found mostly in the south of the Ancient Lands and do reasonably well in somewhat cooler climates, but require very great care to survive in winter conditions.
    Giant Beetle
    Giant Centipede
    Giant Ferret Hound: These massive animals resemble a cross between a ferret and a fast hunting dog and reach sizes and weight significantly above any warhorse. Relatively rare, they are at home in the forested hills of temperate climates, but can be trained as beasts of war. Though extremely expensive and requiring significant amounts of meat as part of their diet, they are highly prized and can even carry their handler on their back.
    Giant Lizard, Pack: These large monitor lizards have been bred to be quite docile and for wide backs that can carry great loads. While slower than mules or donkeys, they are often used by lizardfolk and dark elves as they do much better in the hot and humid environment and are better suited for the terrain.
    Giant Lizard, Riding: These reptiles have long necks and and tails and run entirely on their hindlegs, and are often used as riding animals in the southern jungles. Being predators they are not easy to keep, but this also makes them very valuable beasts of war that pose a serious danger to enemies by themselves.
    Giant Snake
    Giant Spider
    Giant Squid
    Giant Turtle: These large turtles are relatively slow but have strong spiky shells and very sharp and powerful beaks that make fighting them directly quite dangerous.
    Giant Wolverine: These animals look like wolverines the size of bears and are found in the mountains of the northlands.
    Hippogriff
    Owlbear
    Sabre Cat: These oversized mountain lions have very long fangs that cause incredible damage and kill most creatures instantly.
    Shrieker: Shriekers are small monkey-like creatures that have some degree of intelligence but are not smart enough to speak and don't use any kinds of tools except for sticks and stones they find lying around. They somewhat resemble lanky baboons and have bluish-grey fur and dark manes, but their faces are very flat and don't resemble monkeys at all. When angered they scream a lot and often attack quite visciously in large groups.
    Worg
    Wyvern


    Spirits
    Spoiler
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    Air Elemental
    Beastfolk:Several races of shapeshifters that can shift between humanoid and animal form. In rare cases people from the mortal world can be found worthy and gain an animal spirit that grants them the power to shapeshift.
    Briar Beast: Large plant creatures with bodies that somewhat resemble a cross of a lion and a buffalo. Their bodies appear to be made of twisted thorny vines and even though they have sharp wooden fangs in their maws, they gain their nutrients from the soil and do not feed on beasts and humanoids they slay. Briar beasts are often the guardians of the groves of very powerful spirits and demigods.
    Earth Elemental
    Fey Giant: 3m tall humanoids with pale green skin that live in the spiritworld and have great control over plants and animals.
    Fire Elemental
    Hybsil:Centaur-like creatures with the lower bodies and antlers of deer.
    Lamia: Humanoids with the upper bodies of humans and lower bodies of lions. Many of them are powerful wizards.
    Naga, Lesser:Lesser naga have the upper bodies of humanoids but the heads and tails of snakes. They have many castles in the southern jungles and often rule over large clans of lizardfolk. While most live on land, many can stay under water indefinately.
    Naga, Gereater:Giant snakes with many magical powers. They are rare in the mortal world but can be found in the spiritworld where some of them have the power of demigods.
    Nightshade: A plant creature of somewhat elf-like stature that is extremely stealthy and has both natural poisonous attacks and attacks with poisoned arrows.
    Nymph: Includes naiads, dryads, and oreads in a mostly unified format with equal power.
    Oni
    Pixie
    Rakshasa
    Raptor Man: Vaguely humanoid bird spirits that are knows as excelent archers that prey on all kinds of dangerous beast and sometimes attack mortals.
    Reaver: Large bestial humanoids with long manes and horns, the fangs of lions, and large claws on their hand. They travel in warbands of a few dozen individuals and sometimes make it to the mortal world to plunder and seek battle. (Use minotaur stats.)
    Shambling Mound
    Shie:Very tall elf-like humanoids that possess great strength and magical powers. Like the naga they have many great castles, but almost all of those in the mortal world have long been abandoned.
    Spriggan: Genderless humanoids seemingly made from wood and leaves that never talk in any way but have control over plants and animals.
    Spirit Animal:Very large and intelligent forms of wild animals that often have the ability to talk in many humanoid languages.
    Treant
    Water Elemental
    Winter Wolf
    Wisp: A small semi-sentient sprite in the form of a small globe of light. Often serve more powerful spirits as lookouts.
    Yeth Hound: Large dogs with slender builds that hunt other fey creatures during the night and are never seen during daylight.


    Ancients
    Spoiler
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    Aboleth
    Doppelganger
    Derro
    Drider: Driders seem to be somehow related to dark elves and they sometimes do work together, but nobody can really say where they originally come from.
    Grimlock: Grimlocks might possibly the descandants of humans or elves who have been trapped in the underworld thousands of years ago, or the even originally have been cultists that have been changed by their gods to survive the harsh environment.
    Hive Swarms: These creatures look like spiky beetles and have the size of wolves. Unlike normal giant bettles they live in huge swarms of thousands of individuals and the tunnels of their hives can go on for miles. They mostly live deep in the underworld, but ocasionally hives are found just below the surface in remote mountains and jungles.
    Insect Man: These creatures are of humanoid stature but taller than humans and elves, and have strong resemblance to insects. Since they have no facial expressions they are very hard to read and only very rarely communicate in the languages of other races. They are almost never seen on the surface and explorers in the underworld usually make a wide circle around their strongholds.
    Kraken:Some believe that the kraken are ancient creatures that have endured the eons almost unchanged.
    Ooze Man: An intelligent ooze that can shapeshift into a humanoid guise.
    Skum
    Umber Hulk


    Demons
    Spoiler
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    Dread Beast: The corpse of a predatory animal possessed by a demon.
    Dread Warrior: The corpse of a humanoid possesed by a demon.
    Erinyes
    Hell Hound
    Imp
    Succubus
    Void Horror: A living humanoid body whose soul has been devoured by a demon and that has been horribly twisted and mutated.
    Void Soul: A living humanoid whose soul has merged with a demon, retaining all the memories of both the person and the demon and a personalty made from the merged two beings. Many are warlocks who volunteered to give their bodies as a host for the demon for a few centuries in return of becoming immortal as part of the demons spirit.
    Fire Demon: Molten rock shrouded in flames possesed by a demon.
    Ice Demon: A floating chunk of ice possesed by a demon that attacks with cold magic.
    Iron Demon: An old suit of armor possesed by a demon.
    Shadow Demon: Semi-solid shadows possesed by a demon.
    Rock Demon: An animated pile of rocks possessed by a demon.


    Undead
    Spoiler
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    Ghost
    Ghoul
    Shadow: When a person corrupted by Taint dies but the spirit does not turn into a wraith, the tainted energies (negative energy) may separate from the life force (positive energy) and continue its existance as a shadow.
    Skeleton
    Specter: Specters are the spirits of the dead that have been cursed by tainted magic. Unlike ghost they are almost mindless and feral, attacking until destroyed and then reappearing the next night.
    Wight: While they are also called the undead, wights have never actually died and risen again. Instead they are the remains of humanoids who have been throughly corrupted by taint. The process is mostly gradual until at some point there simply isn't any life left in them and they have no more need to breath or eath. Yet they never die and simply continue moving and thinking. Many wights are sorcerers and warlocks who have become entirely corrupted by their work and most others are their former servants who were also exposed to the Taint for many years. Since they never died and their spirit left the body, wights have all the memories of their former life. To create more wights under their command, their victims need to be near dead and exposed to strong Taint for a full day. If they are moved away the process might be reversible or at last stoped with magic, and if they die during the process they might only become animated as zombies or simply remain as corpses if the taint is not strong enough.
    Wraith: Wraith are souls that have become entirely corrupted by Taint and linger on after the body has been killed. Exactly what makes a person become a wight or a wraith is barely understood, but wraiths are significantly more rare and also more dangerous.
    Zombie


    Plants & Constructs
    Spoiler
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    Wood Golem
    Ice Golem
    Bone Golem
    Clay Golem
    Stone Golem
    Obsidian Golem
    Fungus People
    Swamp Strangler: A vaguely human shaped creature made from vines that lives in swamps and kills people either by strangling or drowning.
    Zombie Mold: A type of mold found in some swamps that grows inside corpses and replaces the brain and digestive system. The bodies then wander through the swamp to pick up fresh corpses to sustain new colonies as they rarely last longer than a few weeks before the rot makes them fall appart.
    Last edited by Yora; 2013-01-07 at 11:40 AM.
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    Ancient Lands - PF/d20 Sword & Sorcery campaign setting

  10. - Top - End - #40
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    Default Re: Ancient Lands - Sword & Sorcery Campaign Setting, Take 3

    I'm back, this time with spells.

    Instead of the usual spell lists for every class, I think I prefer to go with several spell list from which every spellcaster selects a few to which he has access.

    Creation Spells: Creation spells are closely tied to life energy and they bolster the health and resilience of living creatures, and also include light spells and the summoning of spirits.
    Elemental Spells: Elemental spells affect the four elements, including fire and ice spells but also flight and levitation as well as spells that shape earth and stone.
    Entropy Spells: Entropy spells are opposed to Creation spells and drain the life energy of living beings, making them weak and more vulnerable to magic and injuries.
    Spirit Spells: Spirit spells deal with the immaterial like tricking and manipulating the minds of others and interfering with magic itself.
    Blood Spells: Blood spells manipulate the magical energy that is found within the bodies of living creatures, combining elements of both Creation and Entropy spells. Blood spells are not usually accessible to most spellcasters until they learn the secrets of blood magic.
    Fel Spells: Fel spells are powered by the demonic energies of the Void and have to power to summon and control demons, but also to use the demonic taint as a weapon. Only sorcerers and warlocks who use Fel energy can cast Fel spells.

    I think a good start is to have spellcasters start with access to two of these Spheres. More can be learned later with feats. I think of either making Creation spells only available to divine spellcasters and Elemental spells only available to arcane spellcasters, or making Creation mandatory for divine casters and elemental spells mandatory for arcane casters, with only the second sphere being free to chose from all the other spheres (if requirements for Blood and Fel are met).

    The 5th Edition spell list is still short, but it should provide an idea of what to expect:

    Creation
    Spoiler
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    0 - Cure Minor Wounds
    0 - Light
    0 - Mage Hand (Summon)
    0 - Resistance
    1 - Bless
    1 - Cure Light Wounds
    1 - Divine Favor
    1 - Shield of Faith
    2 - Aid
    2 - Cure Moderate Wounds
    2 - Lesser Restoration
    2 - Phantasmal Force (Summon)
    2 - Spider Climb
    2 - Web
    2 - Spiritual Weapon (Summon)
    3 - Cure Serious Wounds
    3 - Daylight
    3 - Haste
    3 - Prayer
    3 - Water Breathing
    4 - Cure Critical Wounds
    4 - Divine Power
    5 - Cure Wounds, Mass
    5 - Raise Dead


    Elemental
    Spoiler
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    0 - Ray of Frost
    0 - Shocking Grasp
    1 - Burning Hands
    1 - Create Water
    1 - Feather Fall
    1 - Thunderwave
    2 - Levitate
    2 - Melf's Acid Arrow
    2 - Scorching Ray
    3 - Fireball
    3 - Fly
    3 - Lightning Bolt
    4 - Ice Storm
    4 - Stoneskin
    4 - Wall of Fire
    5 - Cone of Cold
    5 - Flame Strike


    Entropy
    Spoiler
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    0 - Chill Touch
    1 - Cause Fear
    1 - Inflict Light Wounds
    1 - Sleep
    2 - Darkness
    2 - Hold Person
    2 - Inflict Moderate Wounds
    2 - Silence
    3 - Hold Person
    3 - Inflict Serious Wounds
    3 - Stinking Cloud
    4 - Inflict Critical Wounds
    5 - Cloudkill
    5 - Hold Monster


    Spirit
    Spoiler
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    0 - Guidance
    0 - Lance of Faith
    0 - Mage Armor
    0 - Minor Illusion
    1 - Charm Person
    1 - Command
    1 - Detect Magic
    1 - Detect Undead
    1 - Disguise Self
    1 - Identify
    1 - Magic Missile
    1 - Protection from Evil
    1 - Sanctuary
    1 - Shield
    2 - Augury
    2 - Invisibility
    3 - Dispel Magic
    4 - Death Ward
    4 - Dimension Door
    4 - Divination
    5 - Commune
    5 - Dispel Evil
    5 - Dominate Person


    Blood Magic
    Spoiler
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    2 - Cure Light Wounds
    2 - Hold Person
    3 - Cure Moderate Wounds
    3 - Speak with Dead
    4 - Cure Serious Wounds
    4 - Polymorph
    5 - Hold Monster


    Fel Magic
    Spoiler
    Show
    1 - Inflict Light Wounds
    2 - Inflict Moderate Wounds
    3 - Inflict Serious Wounds
    4 - Inflict Critical Wounds
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    Ancient Lands - PF/d20 Sword & Sorcery campaign setting

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    Default Re: Ancient Lands - Sword & Sorcery Campaign Setting, Take 3

    To make the setting look less like standard England and Scandinavia, even with elves, goblins, and dragons, I assembled some list of wild animals that are found in the Ancient Lands based on the pacific coast and islands of Asia.
    There still is no fixed map, but a basic geographic layout of what environments there will be. The region consists primarily of a great mixed forest in the north and a tropical jungle in the south, which are both separated by a central mountain range the size of the Alps. To the East lies the ocean and to the West there is a large steppe in the center of the continent. Then in the very North, north of the temperate forest, is a small strip of sub-arctic coast like Scandinavia, and several large islands off the coast of the jungles similar to Malaysia and Indonesia.

    The Far North (cold forest, mountains, and coast)
    Spoiler
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    Predators:
    Brown Bear
    Polar Bear
    Dire Bear
    Fox
    Wolf
    Dire Wolf
    Lynx
    Puma
    Dire Lion (sabretooth cat)
    Rat
    Dire Rat
    Bat
    Badger
    Dire Badger
    Weasel
    Dire Weasel
    Snake, Viper
    Wolverine
    Dire Wolverine

    Aquatic:
    Orca
    Baleen Whale
    Cachalot Whale
    Medium Squid
    Huge Squid
    Seal
    Leopard Seal
    Walrus

    Birds:
    Hawk
    Eagle
    Large Eagle
    Owl
    Medium Owl
    Large Owl
    Crow
    Giant Crow
    Pheasant

    Herbivores:
    Hedgehog
    Wild Goat
    Mountain Goat
    Yak
    Reindeer
    Elk

    Monsters:
    Giant Spider
    Owlbear
    Wyvern
    Bunyip (Dire sea lion)
    Beardog


    Northern Forests (temperate forest, hills, and coast)
    Spoiler
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    Predators:
    Black Bear
    Brown Bear
    Dire Bear
    Fox
    Wild Dog
    Wolf
    Dire Wolf
    Cat
    Lynx
    Puma
    Dire Lion (sabretooth cat)
    Rat
    Dire Rat
    Bat
    Badger
    Dire Badger
    Weasel
    Dire Weasel
    Monkey
    Wild Boar
    Dire Boar
    Lizard
    Monitor Lizard
    Snake, Viper
    Snake, Constrictor
    Snake, Giant
    Wolverine
    Dire Wolverine
    Otter
    Giant Otter
    Pangolin
    Tanuki (Asian raccoon)

    Aquatic:
    Dolphin
    Orca
    Baleen Whale
    Medium Squid
    Seal
    Plesiosaurus
    Mosasaurus
    Giant Eel
    Turtle
    Giant Turtle

    Birds:
    Hawk
    Eagle
    Large Eagle
    Owl
    Medium Owl
    Large Owl
    Crow
    Giant Crow
    Crane
    Songbird
    Pheasant

    Herbivores:
    Porcupine
    Hedgehog
    Donkey
    Pony
    Horse
    Sheep
    Wild Goat
    Mountain Goat
    Deer
    Elk

    Monsters:
    Giant Spider
    Giant Beetle
    Giant Centipede
    Owlbear
    Wyvern
    Bunyip
    Beardog
    Shriker (Weasel-monkeys)
    Hippogriff
    Dragonhawk
    Carrion Crawler


    Central Mountain Range (temperate mountains)
    Spoiler
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    Predators:
    Brown Bear
    Dire Bear
    Fox
    Wild Dog
    Wolf
    Dire Wolf
    Cat
    Lynx
    Puma
    Leopard
    Dire Lion
    Rat
    Dire Rat
    Bat
    Badger
    Dire Badger
    Weasel
    Dire Weasel
    Monkey
    Lizard
    Snake, Viper
    Wolverine
    Dire Wolverine
    Tanuki

    Birds:
    Hawk
    Eagle
    Large Eagle
    Owl
    Medium Owl
    Large Owl
    Crow
    Giant Crow
    Vulture
    Songbird

    Herbivores:
    Porcupine
    Pangolin
    Wild Goat
    Mountain Goat
    Deer

    Monsters:
    Giant Spider
    Giant Beetle
    Giant Centipede
    Owlbear
    Wyvern
    Beardog
    Hippogriff
    Dragonhawk
    Carrion Crawler


    Southern Jungles (warm forests, hills, and coasts)
    Spoiler
    Show
    Predators:
    Black Bear
    Wild Dog
    Jackal
    Cat
    Puma
    Leopard
    Tiger
    Dire Lion
    Hyena
    Dire Hyena
    Rat
    Dire Rat
    Bat
    Badger
    Dire Badger
    Weasel
    Dire Weasel
    Monkey
    Baboon
    Dire Baboon
    Wild Boar
    Dire Boar
    Lizard
    Monitor Lizard
    Large Monitor Lizard
    Snake, Viper
    Snake, Constrictor
    Snake, Giant
    Deinonychus
    Velociraptor
    Otter
    Giant Otter
    Pangolin
    Tanuki

    Aquatic:
    Large Crocodile
    Huge Crocodile
    Dolphin
    Orca
    Baleen Whale
    Medium Squid
    Huge Squid
    Medium Shark
    Large Shark
    Seal
    Plesiosaurus
    Mosasaurus
    Giant Eel
    Turtle
    Giant Turtle

    Birds:
    Hawk
    Eagle
    Large Eagle
    Crow
    Giant Crow
    Vulture
    Crane
    Parrot
    Songbird

    Herbivores:
    Porcupine
    Wild Goat
    Antelope
    Deer
    Tapir

    Monsters:
    Giant Spider
    Giant Beetle
    Giant Centipede
    Owlbear
    Wyvern
    Shriker
    Hippogriff
    Dragonhawk
    Carrion Crawler


    Islands (temperate and warm forest, hills, and coast)
    Spoiler
    Show
    Predators:
    Black Bear
    Fox
    Wild Dog
    Cat
    Puma
    Leopard
    Tiger
    Rat
    Dire Rat
    Bat
    Badger
    Dire Badger
    Weasel
    Dire Weasel
    Monkey
    Baboon
    Dire Baboon
    Wild Boar
    Dire Boar
    Lizard
    Monitor Lizard
    Large Monitor Lizard
    Snake, Viper
    Snake, Constrictor
    Snake, Giant
    Deinonychus
    Velociraptor
    Otter
    Giant Otter
    Pangolin
    Tanuki

    Aquatic:
    Large Crocodile
    Huge Crocodile
    Dolphin
    Orca
    Baleen Whale
    Medium Squid
    Huge Squid
    Medium Shark
    Large Shark
    Seal
    Plesiosaurus
    Mosasaurus
    Giant Eel
    Turtle
    Giant Turtle

    Birds:
    Hawk
    Eagle
    Large Eagle
    Crow
    Giant Crow
    Crane
    Parrot
    Songbird

    Herbivores:
    Porcupine
    Deer
    Tapir

    Monsters:
    Giant Spider
    Giant Beetle
    Giant Centipede
    Owlbear
    Wyvern
    Hippogriff
    Dragonhawk


    Western Steppe (temperate to warm plains and hills)
    Spoiler
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    Predators:
    Black Bear
    Brown Bear
    Dire Bear
    Fox
    Wild Dog
    Wolf
    Jackal
    Dire Wolf
    Lynx
    Puma
    Leopard
    Dire Lion
    Hyena
    Dire Hyena
    Rat
    Dire Rat
    Bat
    Badger
    Dire Badger
    Wild Boar
    Dire Boar
    Lizard
    Monitor Lizard
    Large Monitor Lizard
    Snake, Viper
    Pangolin

    Birds:
    Hawk
    Eagle
    Large Eagle
    Owl
    Medium Owl
    Large Owl
    Crow
    Giant Crow
    Vulture
    Pheasant

    Herbivores:
    Porcupine
    Donkey
    Pony
    Horse
    Sheep
    Wild Goat
    Cattle
    Antelope

    Monsters:
    Giant Spider
    Giant Beetle
    Giant Centipede
    Wyvern
    Beardog
    Dragonhawk


    Any ideas for additions are highly welcome.
    Last edited by Yora; 2013-01-12 at 12:17 PM.
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  12. - Top - End - #42
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    Default Re: Ancient Lands - Sword & Sorcery Campaign Setting, Take 3

    Minor update. I've come up with a distribution how common characters with class levels are in the Ancient Lands.

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    In the region covered by the Ancient Lands, there are about 20,000,000 individuals of the five major races elves, lizardfolk, human, kaas, and gnomes, including children and other noncombatants.

    95% of all people are classless, level 0, 1st level commoners, or whatever else the specific system in question is calling them.

    The other 5%, which includes all PCs, range from 1st to 10th level with roughly the number of individuals of a given level being one third the number of the people of one level below it.
    This results in:

    600,000 1st level characters
    200,000 2nd level characters
    70,000 3rd level characters
    23,000 4th level characters
    8,000 5th level characters
    3,000 6th level characters
    1,000 7th level characters
    300 8th level characters
    100 9th level characters
    30 10th level charcters

    And this can be expanded to also include some 11th (10), 12th (3), and 13th (1) level "epic" NPCs with exceptional powers.


    Since it's a setting leaning towards barbarian warriors, all warriors are at least 1st level fighters and not just some guys who have been given a spear, a shield, and two weeks of training. Those are people who have trained for it half of their lives before becomming adults. They don't just know the theory but are professionals who are well trained by people who have seen considerable combat themselves. So even the average guy at the pallisade at night does have at least 1 class level.

    1st level Player Characters are assumed to such people who have proven themselves in a handful of skirmishes and know the real deal, but just havn't accomplished any great deeds on their own so far. (Rogue and spellcaster characters are assumed to be similary experienced.) Compared to all the children, farmhands, and servants in a settlement, it is no suprise that 1st level PCs belong to the top 5% of the toughest and most powerful people. In an average village of 60 houses and 400 people there are 250 adults of which 230 are farmers and craftsmen, 18 such warriors, scouts, and apprentice shamans, and 2 older veterans who lead the warriors.

    At 3rd level PCs and NPCs have made names for themselves, have performed deeds, and gained status among the other warriors, as well as being people that are approched by villagers when there is trouble.
    In an average village there are 2 or 3 such people. In larger towns and the castles of chieftains, there may be up to 30 or 40 of them, who are the honored warriors who eat in the chiefs hall, lead patrols, or are posted at the main gates of the town or the castle.
    Most freelance specialists are also of 3rd or 4th level, like mercenaries or assassins, but also shamans in charge of most shrines and small temples. They are people who make most common warriors wait for two or three of their friends to arrive before starting a fight with them.

    At 5th level, characters usually have gained positions of great respect and authority. They are the warriors and mages that ordinary people don't want to fight with because they would be hopelessly outmatched. Out in the country they are usually responsible for the safety and defense of several villages and the people to which messengers from endangered villages will come for help. In the castles of chiefs they are often his personal advisors and companions in battle, and command their own bands of men. In smaller clans, the most powerful warriors might be only 6th or 5th level.
    5th level characters can begin to gain followers who will stay with them even when silver runs out and food gets short and any other servants leave and hired swords stop caring about their contracts.
    Ordinary adventuring campaigns reach up to and include these levels.

    At 7th level characters are real heroes and belong to the top tier of warriors, shamans, and mages. They are the movers and shakers of the Ancient Lands, as there is a mere 2,000 of them in the region. They are the generals, champions, high priests, and archmages.
    If Player Characters reach these levels, they can be expected to have their own keeps and rub shoulders with kings and chiefs, as well as having their own bands of warriors and retainers. If they still do work for hire, they are among the best that can be found in all of the Ancient Lands and called upon for tasks that affect the fate of entire clans and dynasties.

    Characters of 9th level and beyond are very rare with only about 200 of them being presently in the Ancient Lands. If PCs reach these levels it's no longer about defending their home and working contracts for pay. At these levels, they are living legends known throughout the lands and with the power to dictate the fate of the entire region. Only very few clans have even a single warrior of such power among their own, and a large portion of such characters are mages and shamans that either live in reclusion or have large armies at their bidding.

    Characters of 11th level and higher are unique and bordering on immortal. Skill and experience is not enough to gain such incredible power and it is out of reach of Player Characters. As there is only 14 of them, I intend to fully stat out at least half of them. These would be the Manshoons, Vols, and Flemeths of the setting. But even under 3rd Ed./PF rules 12th level wizards are far from undefeatable by determined foes of lower levels.
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    Default Re: Ancient Lands - Sword & Sorcery Campaign Setting, Take 3

    Hello,

    I won't be of a big help here, but I wanted to write how much I like this setting ! The low-tech-low-adventuring theme is amazing for me, I dislike when adventurers can do supernatural things and a Sword and Sorcery like this one is perfect because it doesn't permit it.

    I didn't read it entirely, only the big lines and the first post, but if I can think of something to help you out, I will tell you.

    Amazing job.
    I'm from Quebec ! Pardon my mistakes, English is not my first language.

  14. - Top - End - #44
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    Default Re: Ancient Lands - Sword & Sorcery Campaign Setting, Take 3

    I've been spending some more thought on organizations in the Ancient Land and I think the solution that works best is to stick with the main ideologies I described at the top of this page.
    Individual factions are relatively small and local, but there won't be any major world-spanning organizations with contacts and agents in every major town. I plan to write up a good collection of these specific groups that are active within areas that I will describe in detail, as well as guidelines for other GMs to create their own groups for their games.

    An additional type of group are Mage Covens. They are groups of often six to thirty mages of different levels that band together for mutual assistance in their magical work by pooling together and sharing their resources and individual knowledge. They don't really have any common ideologies and if they are one of the major factions within one area, their concerns and the reason for their involvement in the campaign are usually something local.

    Also, the 5th Edition barbarian will be presented on a convention this weekend and probably be in the next playtest package a week later. I'm exited to see what interesting hooks the class will have to add more flavor to the setting.
    Last edited by Yora; 2013-01-22 at 10:24 AM.
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    Default Re: Ancient Lands - Sword & Sorcery Campaign Setting, Take 3

    I started to stat up some average settlements and clans and noticed that my original estimates for the commonality of class levels were rather low and so I doubled the numbers and now it better.

    However the first step is establishing what kind of important NPCs would be found in a village or town to begin with. I got some basics covered, but I'm very much open to further suggestions.

    Chief: Every clan is lead by a single chief. Usually chiefs are succeeded by one of their sons or daughters who have shown themselves to be a capable military and political leader, but chosing a brother, nephew, or cousin is also not uncommon if no suitable child is present. Since most chiefs also have a ceremonial role as the direct descendant of the clans founder, new chiefs have to be related to at least one previous chief. As most chiefs have been raised to be able successors to the clans leadership and given positions of leadership at an early age, chiefs are usually Fighters of 6th level or higher, but some are mages instead.
    Sub-Chief: Most towns and strongholds are not lead by a commoner but rather by a veteran warrior of high standing within the clan. Town leaders are usually the heads of the established leading family while castle leaders are most commonly selected by the clan chief and can be removed from their post at any time. Most clans have about one to two dozen subchiefs, depending on the size of the clans territory and population. Sub-Chiefs are usually Fighters or Barbarians of 5th to 7th level, but in towns they might also be rogues or mages of any level, as they are selected by family politics.
    Pinces and Princesses: As chiefs and most sub-chiefs are usually succeeded by their children or their siblings children, these are often raised to be able leaders of the clan from an early age. Given the best training as warriors and being introduced to lead others early on, many master combat and leadership at relatively young ages and are given important positions in the chiefs courts. While most rank below champions and marshals, it is not uncommon that they speak and travel on behalf of the chief, even if they are unlikely to ever gain that position themselves. Princess and Princesses are often Fighters, Ranger, or Rogues of 4th to 6th level and some of them are Mages as well.
    Village Elder: Villages are usually led by one of the older farmers who has gained the most respect by his fellow villagers. Most such elders are classless commoners who have training in the Skills Persuade/Diplomacy, Sense Motive, and Knowledge (local).
    Champion: The champion is an advisor, battle companion, and the bodyguard of the chief. Given the importance and status of the chief, the champion will often speak and act in his stead if great danger is expected. Sending the champion instead of negotiating with enemies in person is not considered a sign of weakness or cowardice for the chief, but usually sends a clear message of distrusting the other side. Champions are usually the most powerful warriors of their clan and tend to be Fighters and Barbarians of 8th to 10th level.
    Marshal: Since the duties of chiefs and sub-chiefs often consist mostly of political matters, the leading, training, and maintainance of their troops are usually taken care of by a senior warrior whose only duty is the security of the castle or town. These marshals have almost complete power when it comes to commanding the warriors and taking care of crime and can only be overruled by their lords themselves. They can often be rather troublesome in their single-minded persuit of their duties, but are often the most loyal and trustworthy lieutenants of a lord. Marshals are almost always Fighters and at least of 6th level.
    Warrior Leader: Most villages have a number of warriors but no standing guard or watch. Many of them own farms and often work in the fields and with the herds themselves, but their high social status allows them to have others do most work for them and they often spend considerable time keeping watch over the surrounding lands and the entrances to the village. While under the command of the chiefs and sub-chiefs during war, village warriors do not have much of a formal hierarchy, but usually one of them is recognized as their semi-official leader of a rank equal to the village elder. Most of the time this leader is the most powerful and experienced warrior of the village and a Fighter or Barbarian of 3rd or 4th level.
    Chief Hunter: While most villages have no exact distinctions between different professions and both warriors and farmers often go hunting for rabbits or deer, there is usually a small group of people who could be called proffessional hunters. They spend most of their time in the wilds hunting not only for food but also pelts and and less common animals. Since they know the wilderness surrounding the village very well and are expert trackers, they often provide first warnings about strangers and dangerous creatures comming into the vicinity of the village and search for missing people and the like. In times of war or great danger, hunters normally join the other warriors to combine their strength. As with the warriors, there is usually one of them who is recognized as a kind of leader and the first to whom people turn when they require the hunters skills or knowledge. These chief hunters are mostly Rangers of 2nd to 5th level.
    Shaman: Almost every village of meaningful size has at least one shaman who is responsible for maintaining the relationships with the spirits of the surrounding lands. On remote farmsteads, this role usually falls to the heads of the family, even if they have no real shamanistic training. Shamans are Priests of usually at least 3rd level and commonly have training in the Heal and Knowledge (spirits) skills. Often, the shaman is one of the characters with the highest class levels within a settlement.
    Apprentice Shaman: Since the services of a shaman are vital to the survival of any village, town, and stronghold, they usually have a number of apprentices who assist them and can take over in case of the shamans abscence or death. Apprentice Shamans are usually Priests of 1st or 2nd level, but it is not uncommon for older and more powerful shamans to have apprentices of 3rd and 4th level, even though their power exceeds that of many young village shamans.
    Healer: While most shamans are skilled healers in their own right and possess healing magic as well, their other duties as advisers, diviners, and mediators to the spirits often lead to lesser injuries and diseases being tended to by specialist healers. Healers are usually classless commoners with training in the Heal, Knowledge (nature), and Craft (Herbalism) skills.
    Witch: Unlike shamans, witches do not use magic to preserve the continued wellbeing and safety of the settlement, but are rather consulted for specific individual and personal requests. Mostly the make alchemical potions or create amulets that do not depend on the blessing of a particular spirit. Often they are visited by people who don't want to bother the shamans or would prefer to keep their requests a secret, which gives most witches a doubious reputation and makes them especially mistrusted by shamans. Witches are usually Mages of 2nd to 5th level, but some are much more powerful and often keep the true extend of their magical power secret.
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    Default Re: Ancient Lands - Sword & Sorcery Campaign Setting, Take 3

    Sample Clans and Settlements

    Large Clan
    Population: ~300,000
    Warriors: ~20,000

    Large clans are the major powers of the Ancient Lands. There are only one or two dozen of them and their chiefs are unchallenged in their claims to call themselves kings and queens. In addition to their own considerable forces, they are usually allied with many of the sorrounding smaller clans, which often are efectively vassals of the more powerful king.
    Because of their power and wealth, the castles of kings are usually very large and are either surrounded by a large town or even a city, or have one very close by.
    King: Fighter 8
    Champion: Fighter 9
    General: Fighter 8 (leader of the clans armies in war and chief military advisor)
    Heir: Fighter 5
    Great Shaman: Priest 9 (priest of the clans ancestor and patron spirits)

    Medium Clan
    Population: ~100,000
    Warriors: ~7,000

    The average size of a clan is around a hundred thousand people, of which most are farmers living in villages and another major portion are warriors of some kind merchants and craftsmen of special goods are rare and mostly found in towns and castles. While villages usually defend themseves or can call on aid from neighboring settlements, chiefs can gather several thousands of warriors, but this leaves large parts of their land weakly protected and most of the man have important other duties at their homes, so this is a relatively rare event. In times of war, clans often band together to form alliances against a common foe and create greater armies than they could individually.

    Chief: Fighter 7
    Champion: Barbarian 8
    General: Fighter 7
    Heir: Fighter 5
    Great Shaman: Priest 7


    Small Clan
    Population: ~30,000
    Warriors: ~2,000

    At the lower end of the scale, smaller clans range in the low tens of thousands of people. Since they can only field some hundreds of warriors into battle, their political power is usually very limited and they have just enough military strength to defend their own independence. As a result, they are mostly found at the fringes of settled regions or vassals of more powerful clans.

    Chief: Fighter 6
    Champion: Barbarian 7
    General: Fighter 6
    Heir: Fighter 4
    Great Shaman: Priest 6

    Large Town
    Population: ~6,000
    Warriors: ~250

    Large towns are most commonly found surrounding or next to the castles of chiefs and sub-chiefs. The townsfolk are mostly craftsmen, merchants, and their servants and families. Most warriors in a town belong to the lords private troops and either live in the castle or small homes in the town. They get paid by the lord and don't live by what their family produce on their farms, as village warriors would.
    Large Towns are relatively rare and there are often only one to three in the lands of a clan, or even none at all.

    Sub-Chief: Fighter 5
    Heir: Fighter 4
    Shaman: Priest 5
    Castellan: Commoner (chief administrator of the town)
    Marshal: Fighter 6 (leader of the warriors)
    Constable: Fighter 4 (leader of the town watch)

    Small Town
    Population: ~3,000
    Warriors: ~150

    Most towns are of smaller size and have grown out of prosperous villages. Such towns are usually surrounded by farms that come right up to the towns pallisade. While most small towns are the residence of the local sub-chief, some are governed mostly like oversized villages.

    Sub-Chief: Fighter 5
    Heir: Fighter 4
    Shaman: Priest 4
    Castellan: Commoner
    Marshal: Fighter 5
    Constable: Fighter 3

    Fort
    Population: ~400
    Warriors: ~150

    Forts are castles build at strategic locations that primarily serve to guard the clans lands and secure the surrounding area. They often have several villages nearby that benefit from the additional security and provide the forts warriors with most of their supplies.
    Since they are vital to the defense of the clans lands, forts have a much higher number of warriors for the size of their population, who are often of higher level than in a village of similar size.

    Lead Warrior: Fighter 6
    Lieutenant: Ranger 5
    Castellan: Commoner
    Shaman: Priest 3

    Keep
    Population: ~80
    Warriors: ~40

    Keeps are smaller than forts and have the purpose to guard specific places, like important bridges, passes, and roads. Their purpose is purely military and they almost always lack any of the amnities provided by forts and castles. Half of it's inhabitants are warriors with the rest being cooks, stableboys, smiths, and whoever else is needed to cover the base neccessities.

    Lead Warrior: Fighter 5
    Sergeant: Barbarian 4
    Shaman: Fighter/Priest 3


    Large Village
    Population: ~800
    Warriors: ~50

    Large villages consist mostly of farms, but often offer an in and two or three traders as well, where travelers can find supplies rarely available in smaller settlements.

    Villag Elder: Commoner
    Lead Warrior: Fighter 5
    Shaman: Priest 4
    Chief Hunter: Ranger 3
    Witch: Mage 4

    Average Village
    Population: ~500
    Warriors: ~40

    Most villages consist of a few dozen farms scattered around a central square that usually houses the local shrine, a tavern, a blacksmith, and possibly a trader.

    Villag Elder: Commoner
    Lead Warrior: Fighter 4
    Shaman: Priest 3
    Chief Hunter: Ranger 2
    Witch: Mage 3

    Small Village
    Population: ~200
    Warriors: ~20

    Small villages conist of only one or two dozen farms and houses and usually have only a small shrine and maybe a simple warrior hall, but nothing else of much interest. Quite often these villages focus on producing specific rare goods, like fishing, lumber, or mining, and trade with larger settlements for other things they need. In such cases there is usually a blacksmith who makes and repairs tools, but they rarely make armor or more complex weapons than spears and knives.

    Villag Elder: Commoner
    Lead Warrior: Fighter 3
    Shaman: Priest 2



    As always, feedback is highly appreachiated and maybe even more so this time. With characters of 8th or 9th level being so incredibly rare, you could also think of it as an E6 setting. Do you think the levels for NPCs are appropriate? Wandering adventurers of 4th level would be professional mercenaries while the warriors of the villages would only have been in two or three skirmishes with bandits and not hardened warriors of many battles.
    At the same time, what do you think of the high level NPCs like chiefs and marshals? In this setting, military rank is based on prowess as a warrior and warriors mostly run the show together with spellcasters, so it would make sense that the leaders are also among the strongest warriors of the clan.
    Please share your thoughts and impressions.
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    Default Re: Ancient Lands - Sword & Sorcery Campaign Setting, Take 3

    Clan Wars

    While the Bronze and Iron Ages mostly evokes thoughts about mediteranean city states and middle-eastern empires, this is mostly due to the fact that these early urban societies created pretty much all the writing that has survived from that era. But they are far from representative for the people living outside the great cities. While most people in the Ancient Lands use lots of bronze and often have access to iron weapons and some armor, the cultures are much more tribal and so are their approaches to warfare. A lot of this is actually based on the early middle ages, but for the parts of Europe that were not part of the Roman Empire there shouldn't actually be much of a difference, even with a 2,000 year gap taken into account.

    Warriors
    Warriors are simply people who have some training and experience with fighting and have their own weapons and shields, and occasionally armor. Every village has warriors, who are usually the strongest and bravest men and the occasional particularly fierce women. However, they mostly pursue other professions like farmers, hunters, or craftsmen, and take up arms only when the village is in danger or their chief assembles an army. They are very much like a militia in that regard.
    Warriors are usually clansmen or sometimes freemen and mostly Fighters, Ranger, or even Rogues of 1st to 3rd level.

    Soldiers
    Why generally called warriors as well, these people have fighting as their main and often only profession. They are the personal permanent guards of the chiefs and sub-chiefs and depend entirely on their lord for their livelihood. Their lord provides them with food and lodging for them and their families, as well as maintaining their weapons and armor. While soldiers have great prestige, they are also much more depending on their lord and would have to find shelter with relatives if they were to lose their positions.
    Soldiers are mostly clansmen and highborn and tend to be Barbarians and Fighters of 2nd to 5th level.

    Mercenaries
    Mercenaries are similar to soldiers in many respect, but don't owe allegiance to a particular lord and instead offer their services to whoever hires them. Since their wages have to support them even for the times when there are no battles for them to fight they are very expensive, but they do provide their own weapons and armor and don't need to be housed and fed all your round, and they often have more experience than most soldiers.
    Mercenaries are either freemen or outlaws, and most are Fighters of 2nd to 5th level, with smaller numbers of Barbarians and Rangers in their ranks.

    War Strategies
    Wars of conquest are rare in the Ancient Lands. Unclaimed land is available to anyone who wished to settle it and claim its resources, and the vast stretches of empty wilderness make it difficult to rule large realms in which it can take weeks before help can arrive in times of raids or uprisings. If a chief gains control over another clan, it is usually through weaker chiefs pledging their allegiance and submitting to his authority in exchange for permanent protection of the clans people from other hostile clans.
    Most warfare is a form of extremely agressive negotiations. Usually, war is preceeded by long political conflicts over valuable resources on the border between the clans territories, military disputues, or compensations for real or imagined offenses. If no diplomatic agreement can be reached over longer amounts of time, chiefs may send raiding parties to attack the other clans lands, causing damage until their opponent gives in and surrdenders to the attackers demands. Raids can consist of the plunder or destruction of valuable goods or food stores, destruction of bridges, forts, and ports, or even the taking of slaves and valuable hostages. The longer the defending chief refuses to give in, the more damage his lands and people will suffer and the greater the demands of the attackers will be before they stop their attacks.
    However, such raids are not without danger for the attackers as well. Being inside enemy territory always includes the risk of running into enemy warriors attempting to chase the attackers out, or falling victim to traps and ambushes by the enranged villagers. If raiding parties are lost, this can mean a significant loss in bragaining power for the attacking chief, especially when highborn warriors are taken captive and held as hostages. In the worst case, the defenders might gather together an army and go on the offense themselves, attacking a clan that has lost an important part of its military strength. More often than not, clans are allied with several other clans and while most chiefs will come to the aid of an ally who has come under attack, they are much less willing to be drawn into wars their allies started in the first place.

    Raids are usually done by soldiers, accompanied by twice as many additional forces of warriors and mercenaries. Warriors that take part in raids are often from many different villages to leave them not too underdefended in case they come under attack themselves. Villages under attack are usually defended only by their own warriors, especially when the attackers have the suprise. If raids continue for a long enough time, the defending clan will gather an army of their own and attept to find and destroy the attacking raiders. Usually, raiders will try to avoid such open battles if possible, but if they remain victorious it can instantly end the war since the defenders will be almost helpless against any further raids.

    To protect against enemy war parties, clans often have fortified keeps or forts in strategic locations. Since the success of raids depends to a great deal on suprise and the avoidance of defending troops, war parties can ill afford to enter hostile territory while there are still enemy warriors sitting in their back and knowing of their presence. If they can get reinforcements or warn nearby settlements, the attackers are at much greater risk of being ambushed or having their path blocked when they need to retreat back to their own clans lands. However taking a keep or fort is very difficult and often requires a long siege, for which the well supplied defenders are much better prepared than raiding parties that need to stay mobile.

    Most chiefs are reluctant to have large numbers of their soldiers being outside the clans territory and the warriors are needed at their homes to work the field and protect their own villages, so wars tend to be relatively short. In some cases it can be a valid tactic to hold out until the attackers have to give up their attack instead of giving in to their demands. However, this still tends to hurt the defenders more than the attackers and they will need a better plan if the attackers return in the next year.



    When it comes to these things, I'm just an amateur historian. So if anyone sees any glaring flaws or has additional suggestions, comments are always welcome.
    Last edited by Yora; 2013-01-31 at 04:35 PM.
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    Default Re: Ancient Lands - Sword & Sorcery Campaign Setting, Take 3

    Sub-Settings

    This is still very much work in progress, but I want to outline roughly what I'm am planning to do in the comming updates. Once again it has come to the point where things get specific and the focus shifts on individual settlements and power groups. Taking hints from other settings I quite like, I notices that in most cases settings consists of several quite clearly defined regions that tend to have their very own distinctive style. In the Forgotten Realms, the North is almost like a complete setting in it's own right and possibly larger than the whole Dark Sun setting in terms of content. Sourrounded by natural borders on all sides, it's quite isolated with almost all the actors being local and all the major things that happen being local affairs. Then and now you have foreigners who either settled down in the region or are on the hunt for some magic item, but most of the time it's actually completely irrelevant who these people are in their homelands and what's going on there. Recently I played Skyrim and there it's pretty much the same thing. There is a larger world out there, but unless you dig deep into all the books and other games, it mostly serves as decorative details to people and items that are currently right here and dealing with things right here and now. If they want to send a legendary object back to their homeland when it's found, you still don't need to know anything that land and why people there care for the object.
    Since the Ancient Lands focus on the things going on between small clans and not between large countries, I think this is an approach that would work very well for the setting as well. Basically what I plan is to have three "playable" main regions that work like sub-settings, and leave the rest of the setting only roughly outlined and possibly presented as in-universe history books. Similar to how in a Star Wars or Mass Effect games, you have an entire galaxy, but only a handful of planets can actually be visited. Campaigns can still include travel to distant lands, but those would be one of the other two sub-settings that are fully detailed. When the setting one days is in a publishable form, GMs could come up with places and people for the other parts that are only briefly outlined themselves, or I might possibly one day decide to pick up one of these pointers and write up a full fourth sub-setting. But for now, I want to keep it to three fully described sections, which not only makes it easier for me in the creative department, but also cuts down the workload significantly, so there can be a playable "final" version much sooner.

    Northern Sub-Artic Region
    I'm almost certain I'll be calling this one completely unimagitively "Northlands". It has the climate and landscape of Scandinavia or Canada, and is inhabited by wood elves, gnomes, the kaas, and small human clans of reindeer-herders and seal-hunters.
    The North (Forgotten Realms), Skyrim (Elder Scrolls), Mirkwood (Middle-Earth)

    Central Warm to Temperate Region
    This region will have a climate like southern France and northern Italy, or the warmer parts of China and Japan. It's mostly a huge forest of giant trees and some larger islands off the coast, and the focus will likely be on small port cities inhabited by wood elves and human clans that have arrived from the west a couple of generations ago.
    Here I am still not 100% decided on the themes and tone of the sub-setting. But I do have something in mind about sorcerer and warlock societies, and somewhat political plots related to powerful magic.
    Ashenvale (Warcraft), Chondath (Forgotten Realms), Knights of the Old Republic

    Southern Jungle Region
    The jungles of the south are massive, bis this sub-setting will focus on a much smaller section next to the coast, where most of the activity is going on. It's where the homelands of the dark elves and the lizardfolk come meet and also where the ancient naga still have considerable influence. In addition, the nearby islands are also inhabited by roughly polynesian humans. This is all about Snake cults, temple cities, and evil priest-kings, taking ideas from both ancient India and South America.
    Chult (Forgotten Realms), Xen'drik (Eberron), Island of Dread (Greyhawk)

    Since the whole idea is to have these three sections to be actively interconnected and have power groups from one section have their fingers in things inside the other, and good and merchants travel between them, I will be developing all three sections simultaneously side by side. Finishing one up before starting with the others would mostly defeat the purpose of having a continent-sized map to begin with and not just a single country.
    As I mentioned I am only really set on a few specific locations I really want to include, and most else is still pretty much open. If you have suggestions for elements that might fit into any of the three sections, like giving certain creatures a greater role to play, or specific customs that make the cultures more unique, all feedback is highly appreciated as always.
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    Default Re: Ancient Lands - Sword & Sorcery Campaign Setting, Take 3

    What about for the southern area, having a roughly greece-like equivilant, of farmers and island-dwellers, but before they've united or become city-states. They can be flavored with 'polynesian' culture, minoan culture, and the islanders can be kinda phoenician...

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    Default Re: Ancient Lands - Sword & Sorcery Campaign Setting, Take 3

    I think that's what I'm going to do with the coastal parts of the central region. There it actually fits quite well, since I want to make that the place where the larger and more sophisticated towns are located.
    The south will be "Green Hell", with monsoons, insects, snakes, and tigers. But now that I think of it, I like the idea of some swamps around the city states, where naga and lizardfolk can hide to gain a foothold and find local thralls to spy on the elven mages.
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    Default Re: Ancient Lands - Sword & Sorcery Campaign Setting, Take 3

    How about a city-state near one of the swamps, where they've built the city like a maze, around an actual labyrinth (one that was maybe there from some even earlier civilization.) They send in sacrafice, and worship the great beast that is trapped inside. Meanwhile, troglodytes live in the swampy caves under the city, pushing ever closer to the center of the maze. They're those amphibian-reptile-mammal kind of trog, and the lizardfolk partly make a point of sticking near the town so they can make war on their subterranean cousins and foil their plans. The scattered but powerful naga serve as power brokers between these three (four?) factions, each snake's head filled with its own nefarious goals...

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    Default Re: Ancient Lands - Sword & Sorcery Campaign Setting, Take 3

    People worshipping the aberration-spirits of the underworld was always planned to be a major thing in the setting. Building a whole major town around such a cult does indeed sound like a really fascinating idea.
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    Default Re: Ancient Lands - Sword & Sorcery Campaign Setting, Take 3

    Plans for Outsiders and Resistances

    Outsider (demon)
    Senses darkvision 60 ft.
    DR 5/silver or magic (weak); 5/silver (moderate); 10/silver and magic (strong)
    Immune poison, polymorph
    Resist acid 10, cold 10, fire 10
    SR 5+HD (low); 10+HD (high)

    Magical Beast/Monstrous Humanoid (demon)
    Senses darkvision 60 ft.
    DR none; 5/silver or magic
    Resist acid 5, cold 5, fire 5, +4 vs. poison
    SR none; 5+HD (low)

    Since demons in the material world always possess a body that is not their own and warp it, polymorph doesn't work on them. In the void, the bodies are only manifestations of the spirits, so it doesn't work either.
    Magical Beasts and Monstrous Humanoids with the demon subtype are the descandants of creatures taken to the Void, which have manged to adapt. As they have real bodies, they can be polymorphed.
    Lightning is kind of "raw energy", so I leave that as the one energy that still hurts them with full force.

    ---

    Outsider (spirit)
    Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision
    DR 5/cold iron or magic (weak); 5/cold iron (moderate); 10/cold iron and magic (strong)
    Immune mind-affecting, petrification, polymorph
    Resist cold 10, electricity 10, fire 10
    SR 5+HD (low); 10+HD (high)

    Magical Beast/Monstrous Humanoid (spirit)
    Senses low-light vision
    DR none; 5/cold iron or magic
    Resist cold 5, electricity 5, fire 5, +4 vs. enchantment
    SR none; 5+HD (low)

    Spirits have energy resistance that allows them to handle the extreme weather of the Spiritworld very well. Also, they can not be petrified and polymorphed. In addition, they are also immune to almost all mind-affecting effects. Mortal magic can not mess with the mind of a spirit and only a few creatures of the Spiritworld have such abilities, like the baying of yeth hounds that can even cause spirits to panic.
    Magical beasts and monstrous humanoids with the spirit subtype are native creatures of the Spiritworld, but still mortal. They include oni, shie, naga, winter wolves, and so on.

    ---

    Any creature that has a change shape ability ignores its own immunity to polymorph effects.

    Now I am thinking that demons might have use for a third immunity, but I am also not entirely sure if giving complete immunity to all mind-affecting effects might be a bit too much. It certainly has nice flavor, with spirits seeing through every spell or magic items that make a person seem more trustworthy or likeable immediately and not being impressed by them at all. But that also means immunity to all fear and morale effects.
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    Default Re: Ancient Lands - Sword & Sorcery Campaign Setting, Take 3

    I am currently working on the demons, but since the crunch is based on the fluff, and the fluff directly linked to the setting, I'll be doing those here.

    --

    Void Domains and Mindscapes

    As previously described, demons are a kind of spirit that are native to the Void, a dimension outside the universe that has neither time nor space. It's all just energy and thoughts. I originally thought about making characters travel there physically as to the Astral Plane, but now I think making mind travel the default variant is a more practical and effective way to do it.
    In the Void, minds can come into contact with each other and interact, both demons and mortal minds. But since mortals minds can't comprehend being without a body in a place that has no time or space, they create a virtual reality. Like turning a text adventure game into point and click adventure game. So when mortals send their minds to the void, they will find an environment that is mostly similar to their own world, and appear in their own forms. Since in the Ancient Lands even inanimate objects are filled with life energy, the equipment you are wearing also affects what equipment your Void-body will have. So statistics and combat mechanics are all completely unchanged. Also, the demons will appear as corporeal beings as well and when they try to force their minds on those of mortal visitors, the mortal minds makes the mental struggle appear just like a fight between corporeal creatures.
    There isn't any real distance in the Void, but minds are either in contact with each other, or they are not. All the minds that are currently in contact with each other form a single Mindscape, which pretty much is the same as a Dreamscape from Manual of the Planes and Heroes of Horror. This mindscape appears to mortal minds as some kind of landscape as familiar to them, but the most powerful mind in the mindscape defines the "tone" of the environment. Which usually is the a very powerful demon of the two or three highest ranks. If characters enter the Void and are not immediately joined by demons, the mindscape would be pretty much identical to their homeland, because that's what's normal for them. If they are part of a mindscape dominated by a greater demon, or his "Domain", it's landscape will appear as something that seems fitting to the demons personalty. Which can easily be completely alien and horrific. However, strong demons also have the ability to influence almost any aspect of their domain, depending on how strong their dominance is. A truly powerful demon could simply make doorways disappear and pits with fire open in the ground, but for that their mind would have to completely dominate the minds of all other demons and minds in the mindscape. So there are no hard rules for this aspect. It's left to the GM if the dominant demon can alter specific details of the mindscape, or this is limited to changes in colors and decorations, as the demons mood changes.

    Since usually the characters leave their bodies safely behind in the material world, they can not truly be harmed in the Void. All items with charges can be used and will count as used during the mind travel, but the real counterparts do never lose any charges that way.
    Casting spells and using spell-like abilities works normal in the Void, but any Spell Points and daily uses are actually spend and do not return when the character returns to the body.
    Also, characters can not really be injured in a mindscape, since their bodies are just visual representations of themselves. But what actually happens is that demonic minds are doing terrible things to their minds, so when they return to their bodies, any mind injury will have real affect on their minds.
    When characters return to their bodies, all the hit point damage they have taken gets devided by their character level. This number is then evenly split and converted into Wisdom and Charisma damage. (As always, round up if it's an uneven number.) This can potentially cause characters to fall into a coma when their minds return, since their Wisdom or Charisma scores might be reduced to 0. Unlike normal ability damage, this damage can push an ability score into the negatives. Only when both scores have been returned to at least 1 by natural or magical healing, does the character awake, and will most likely still require a couple of days to come fully back to normal. Since it's based on hit points, magical characters are acually more at dangers than warriors, but a good explaination for this would be that having magic powers makes them more susceptible to demonic damage and that characters with very strong physique tend to have a more "stable" life energy that isn't as much damaged by disturbances from demon minds.
    When a character dies in a dreamscape, they immideately return to their body and take 1 negative level.

    Demons
    In theory demons could appear in any imaginable form in a Void mindscape. But for practical reasons, I still would like to have some kind of default form. Here input from you is really highly welcome:

    Demons only know the Void and are pretty much immortal and have no beginning or end. They only can be mentally shredded to being completely powerless, but will eventually reform themselves, with some of their memories and personalty remaining and others changed. But everything from the material worlds is completely new to them and incredibly exiting. Most demons never come into any contact with the material worlds, but those who do often want to experience what material existance means.
    Demons fall into seven categories, defined by their instinctive reaction to being confronted with mortal minds or in rare cases possessing a body in the mortal world. As a starting point, I imagine something like the Quori, but with seven distinct forms that somehow reflect their personalties. Number of legs, tails, and horns, as well as scales, hides, or fur, all don't really matter and can be different for each individuum, but all demons of a type still have the same stat block.

    Wrath Demons are the most basic demons and the first and only thing they crave is cause destruction. The simple act of ending something or turning one thing into something else is everything that's on their mind. They are not very smart and very rarely have any other ideas what to do with something than to simply destroy it. They virtually possess no creativity at all. Wrath Demons are simple frontline brawlers. (Wrath Demons are medium size and CR 4.)
    Hunger Demons are a small bit more sophisticated. They don't just want to destroy, but to consume. Usually by eating. They are fascinated by the idea of adding something to themselves. Since they have to find things first before they can consume them, I think one interesting theme for hunger demons would be as hunters and trackers. They get both scent and tracking, and Survival, Stealth, and Perception as major skills, and their main attack should be a bite. (Hunger Demons are medium size and CR 6.)
    Greed Demons resemble hunger demons in many aspect, but instead of consuming everything, they rather want to have their cake than eating it, and they compulsory desire to hoard things. I think they could have a kind of thief theme, using both stealth and climbing to get to their objects of interest, and also have very high scores in both Bluff and Intimidate to get whatever they want in whatever way neccessary. (Greed Demons are medium size and CR 8.)
    Desire Demons are a major step up from Greed Demons, in that they just don't want to hoard things, but fully understand that everything is always only of any value if you actually get to use it. Desire demons crave exitement and pleasures and they form actual long-term plans with more concrete goals. They are not especially strong offensively, but highly charismatic and skilled in getting people to serve them. Some smarter and more charismatic desire demons have their own domains in the void or arrangements with mortal mages interested in the Void and demonic powers. (Desire Demons are medium size and CR 10.)
    Sloth Demons belong to the more powerful demons and their cravings are much more defined than those of the lesser ones. Sloth demons take enjoyment in all kinds of corruption and subversion, prefering to keep a low profile and manipulate others to do most of the work. While they seem gloomy and lazy, they are as skilled as manipulation as desire demons and even though they seem rather slow, they are extremely tough and can take huge amounts of punishment. They also have many magical powers. (Sloth Demons are large size and CR 12.)
    Dominance Demons are not satisfied with simply manipulating but instead compulsory need to to exert complete control and have ultimate authority. They are tyrants and almost always have large numbers of lesser demons under their control. Dominance demons are extremely intelligent. I think Dominance Demons might have a better, more shorter and snappier name. Maybe someone with English as a first language has a good idea for that. (Dominance Demons are large size and CR 14.)
    Pride Demons are the most powerful demons and without exception every single one of them has delusions of being a god. They are not satisfied by having both mortal and demonic slaves that obey out of feer, but only truly desire to be worshipped. (Pride Demons are huge size and CR 16.)
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    Default Re: Ancient Lands - Sword & Sorcery Campaign Setting, Take 3

    Dominance... some possibilities: Mastery Demon, Sovereign Demon,Supremacy Demon, Primacy Demon, Glory Demon, Ascendency Demon.

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    Default Re: Ancient Lands - Sword & Sorcery Campaign Setting, Take 3

    An early draft on the classic creatures from the fiend folio. They even got their stats in Pathfinder, which are quite close to the original version. Interestingly, they never got any actual backstory or anything elaborate regarding goals and behavior, but they still seem to have a couple of big fans, since even the very basic concept is quite intriguing.

    Dark Ones
    Like grimlocks, derros, cave giants, and skums, the Dark Ones are a race of humanoid creatures at home in the Underworld. As it appears, they seem to consist of two distinct types of beings, the small Dark Creepers that are about the height and weight of gnomes, and much taller Dark Stalkers, that have a much closer semblance to elves. What makes the dark ones stand apart from these other Underworld people, is their much more sophisticated culture that shows almost nothing of the savagery displayed by the other races, and even exceeds that of goblins quite considerably.
    Dark ones are comperatively few in numbers copared to the other Underworld races, even considering that the primeval depths are mostly a barren wasteland of rock. They also have the ability to see perfectly even in total darkness and are very silent, traits that provided them with the name by which they are known to surface people. Accodringly, of the few people who ever journeyed deeper into the Underworld and returned back to the surface, most never saw any signs of them and even in cases where other Underworld races were willing to talk to the visitors, they never could direct them to any dark folk villages.
    Most that is known about the dark folk comes from what the dark ones have been telling themselves, when they chose to reveal themselves to strangers in their underground homelands. All dark creepers and dark stalkers that have been reported were wearing tight fitting outfits of black leather, cloth wraps, and cloaks, that also covered most of their faces. Since they are all rather thin and rarely show themselves openly to strangers, its usually impossible to even discern their gender, even their faint whispering voices giving not much of an indication. Dark creepers are almost always encountered in groups, but it is quite possible that they show themselves only when outnumbering any outsiders they spot. However, dark stalkers are usually seen alone and never in groups greater than two or three. Stories that tell about encounters with mixed groups of dark ones all match in their description that the dark stalkers always seem to be in charge and the dark creepers never showed any traces of hesitation or disobedience. Bickering and arguing amongst their own kind doesn't seem to be uncommon, though.
    There are not many first hand accounts of encounters with the dark ones, but a great number of them appear to have been non-hostile or at least not having ended in bloodshed, which is quite rare in the Underworld. However, there is also the possibility that the dark ones rarely fail in killing those they decide to attack. Since they live in total darkness, dark ones are very uncomfortable around bright lights. They do use fire for cooking and metalworking, but it's usually covered or shielded, and they often use their darkness powers to surround it with a dark haze that reduces the light to a barely visible glow that comeplete disappears after just a few meters of distance. People usually smell the smoke of a dark folk campfire before they get close enought to see it.
    Since some dark ones speak some languages from the surface and their clothing and weapons are quite similar to those made by other humanoid races, it seems highly likely that they were originally surface people and have been living in the Underworld only since relatively recently. Except for their uncanny sneaking ability and their ability to create magical darkness, the dark ones seem to be by far the most normal appearing creatures ever found in the Underworld and they are clearly none of the local monsters or creations of the Ancients that have ruled over the endless tunnels since the beginning of time. The most likely source of their origin seems to be that they were once gnomes and either elves or humans that journeyed into the Underworld and never made it back to the surface. Since they have been living there for at least several centuries and have been seen in widely apart places (as much as such a thing can be said in the Underworld), the original people must have been quite numerous. Most people who know of the dark ones believe that they once were a cult that worshipped one of the Ancients many centuries ago, and set out on a journey to find their terrible master. And given the darkness powers they now posses, it seems likely that they were successful.

    As NPCs
    Spoiler
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    The dark ones are not outright hostile to anyone they encounter in the Underworld. They usually avoid showing themselves to other creatures travelling through the dark tunnels, but ambush grimlocks, cave giants, and skum if there appears to be a chance they might find clues leading to a dark folk village. Preferedly, such intruders are killed in places where anyone who might come looking for them, won't have any leads which area the dark ones are protecting. Travelers from the surface can usually be told apart easily by their equipment and behavior and the dark ones tend to be much friendlier to anyone who is not in league with their Underworld enemies. If a group of travelers from the surface is indeed causing trouble for the dark ones, they are confident of being able to deal with just four or six people who barely know anything about survival in the Underworld.
    While they usually don't mention it in any first encounters or warnings to leave an area, the worship of their dark master is a central aspect in the culture and society of the dark ones. The attributes they give to this ancient spirit don't match any of the Ancients known on the surface, so their original cult must have been fairly isolated or have died out on the surface long ago.


    I think there is still room for some additional details, but overall there should be much more info on how to interact with the dark ones than about their background and how they live, since that is something PCs never learn and even if they do, they would know it applies only to one specific village and not neccessarily to the race as a whole.
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    Default Re: Ancient Lands - Sword & Sorcery Campaign Setting, Take 3

    I am currently in the middle of moving to a new city and starting university again, so any posts and updates have been rather spotty in recent weeks and probably will continue to be so until early to mid-may. But the whole thing is still very much alive, though currently more hibernating than kicking.

    That said, there is one issue that has been troubling me for weeks now and so I am turning to you again to get some helpful advice, or even just some slight nudges into the right direction.
    The question basically is To Jedi or not Jedi?
    Magic in the world is pretty much Chi-based. A mage trains his body and mind to become aware of the energies that are in everything and power all processes, and by using his own energy he can manipulate his body and mind, and those of others by affecting their energy as well. The Jedi from Star Wars and the Elemental Benders from Avatar seem to be the closest well-known examples of similar mechanics of magic. Biotics from Mass Effect also have many similarities to that. And these characters are very strongly physically oriented. They don't just cast spells, they much more enhance their physical combat abilities. And I think it kind of would make sense to have such characters in the Ancient Lands as well. And I really do love such characters.
    But I am not entirely sure if they would really be right for the world. The idea of having arcane and devine spellcasters be primarily scholars who use nature magic to heal, curse, and enhance their perception, seems really quite attractive. And most importantly, it's a world in which barbarians, fighters, and rangers are supposed to be the heroic warriors. If you have magical warriors, wouldn't you expect those to fill out the complete Top Ten of most important people in the world?

    I think it is a considerable problem. As I see it, there are basically two options. Finding an explaination why the magical warriors do not outclass the common warriors, or scrapping them entirely and comming up with an explaination why magic doesn't synergize welll with physical combat.
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    Default Re: Ancient Lands - Sword & Sorcery Campaign Setting, Take 3

    This is getting better and better. I especially like the demons, the dark ones and the archetypes.

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    Default Re: Ancient Lands - Sword & Sorcery Campaign Setting, Take 3

    Here's an idea I had sitting on the train for the who knows how many time this week. (Moving to a different city sucks.)

    There often is a justified complaint or it's at least pointed out, that in lots of settings, the world doesn't change at all for the tens of thousands of years their history is spanning.
    Now the Ancient Lands are intended to cover a much shorter length of time and being set in a rather early point in the evolution of civilization and technology, but there is still some differentiation that can be made when comming up with historic events, artifacts, and ruins.
    I think it pretty much comes down to four phases of cultural development:
    - The time when humanoids first started to use salvaged equipment from abandoned fey ruins and former slaves of the fey spread the knowledge of technologies they have been tought.
    - Then there is the period in which these individual family groups evolve into a more universal civilization and culture of large clans.
    - Third is the phase in which these clans form larger alliances, fight for valuable natural resources, and small kingdoms are founded.
    - The last phase is the current one, in which the kingdoms have become relatively stable and trade throughout the whole region is really setting off.

    The next list is listing what technologies and forms of society are first showing up in each period. So when I'll later get to write up legends of ancient and more recent heroes, and landmarks of historic significance are created, these are a guideline of what things can make an appearance in each of these phases.

    • Dawn Age: (Neolithic)
      Weapons: Dagger, spear, club, bow, sling
      Armor: Hide armor, leather scale, wooden shields
      Materials: Copper, silver, wood, bone, obsidian
      Transportation: Raft/rowboat, cart, pony
      Engineering: Roundhouses
      Magic: Blood Magic (later mostly discontinued)
    • Age of Clans: (Early Bronze Age)
      Weapons: Composite bow, short sword, mace, greatclub, rhomphaia
      Armor: Fabric armor, scale armor
      Materials: Bronze, gold
      Transportation: Horse, mule, saddle, wagon, sailing ship
      Engineering: Wooden castles, longhouses
      Symbols: Thrones, coins
    • Age of Conquest: (Main Bronze Age)
      Weapons: Falcata, kukri, scimitar, halberd
      Armor: Chainmail, chain shirt, metal shields, helms
      Materials: Wrought iron (also fragile Cold Iron)
      Transportation: Longship
      Engineering: Stone castles
      Magic: Sorcery (demon magic)
      Symbols: Crowns, banners
    • Age of Kingdoms: (Early Iron Age)
      Weapons: Longsword, glaive
      Armor: Lamellar armor
      Materials: Steel
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    Default Re: Ancient Lands - Sword & Sorcery Campaign Setting, Take 3

    I'm a huge advocate of time actually passing in campaign settings, so it's cool to see it implemented here! I think the early days of civilization's progress are not only really cool to watch, but also pretty easy to implement. Not only do you make it clear what kind of adventures are appropriate in your setting, you also do a nice, concise job of showing the material and cultural essence of each era, which will be invaluable for any GM or player.

    Have you read much by the Lord Dunsany? He's a British writer from the early 20th century, and was a huge inspiration on Tolkien, Lovecraft, and a bunch of others. I haven't read much of his stuff, but he has a tendency to write things about very old times that I think you might enjoy. In particular, there's a story in his book A Dreamer's Palace called "The Sword and the Idol" that's a really cool stone age fantasy story. You can find the book here at Project Gutenberg if you're interested in giving it a read.
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    Playing: EMPIRE! | Raaneka, The Painted Lands

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    I'm a worldbuilder.

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