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    Default Please ask questions about my setting (Updated 10/7)

    Technology Level:

    18th Century Magitek

    Tropes I want to include:

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    Wooden Ships and Iron Men

    Regency England

    Darker and Edgier/Bloodier and Gorier/Grimmification (I prefer to get a bit more graphic than 3.5/Pathfinder generally assumes. I am not writing dark fantasy or horror here, as I don't want that pessimistic a campaign setting, but I do take in some dark fantasy and horror elements.)

    Anachronism Stew (This is austensibly an 18th century setting, but it is magitek, and if I find a theme from another century I like (looking at you, 19th and 20th centuries), I will include it. This is high magic fantasy, so I say screw period accuracy.)

    Values Dissonance (I prefer cultural disagreements over a concrete alignment system.)

    Tropes I want to avoid:

    Evil Overlord

    Black and White Morality

    Death is Cheap

    Iconic Creatures:

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    Werewolves: Animals can be born with sorcerous blood. They cannot utilize it consciously, however. To become a werewolf (or other werecreature) you must hunt and kill one with nothing but a stone knife, skin it, and wear the hide. This will give you some traits of the animal (depending on the animal, it can be things like strength, speed, endurance, durability, cunning, stealth, and so on) and it's sorcerous bloodline.

    Vampires: In real life mythology, they come in more breeds than you can imagine, and they don't all fight the same. Going against a Filipino vamp is nothing like fighting Dracula. I have done the same for my campaign setting. There are a lot of different types with very different stats, weaknesses, and special abilities, most (but not all) based off of real life vampire myths.

    Zombies: A zombie is defined in my world as an unintellegent reanimated corpse. This corpse can be completely dead, or braindead but still with a pulse. When a necromancer creates a zombie, they choose the attributes it should have. This means that, depending on who created it, a zombie can be slow or fast, easy or hard to kill, infectious or non-infectious, and so on. There are almost as many types as there are necromancers. Add in some types of zombie that don't even need a necromancer, and things get even more diverse.


    Other:

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    Spells: Nothing above 3rd level. You will be compensated with a new metamagic system.

    BAB and armor: Both nixed. It's a guns everywhere setting, and I don't see the need to replace armor just to keep BAB, which I view as needless extra math.

    Magic items: Weak ones are common, but anything stronger (including a +1 weapon) is very rare. I want such things to be legendary. Magic is common in the world (it is magitek), but a powerful enchantment is very hard to do.

    Damage and healing: Fewer hitpoints, and a dice based description system so that you can hear exactly what you did to your foe. Healing magic is present, but in large amounts will make you sick. Resurrection magic ALWAYS brings back a damaged soul, not a whole one. On the other hand, brain death takes a good 5-10 minutes after hitting -Constitution hit points (which is when your heart stops), and the soul does not depart the body until the brain has died, so healing magic can bring you back if you haven't hit brain death yet.


    Countries: (I use real world countries as a way to show examples of what my countries look like. Think of it like how Ferelden is rather British in Dragon Age. This is not a complete list, and only covers two continents at the moment.)

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    Korvallis: Take New England. Mix in many Gothic things, a German speaking population, and a long history of having to deal with magical misbehavior.

    Markkheim: The Vikings got to Canada first, and they never left.

    First Nation Confederacy: Extending from Washington and Oregon to the Great Lakes, this is a nation ruled by a coalition of native tribes and nations. It is 75% American Indian, with the rest being mostly Tribal Celts, viewed as primitive and backwards by the more mainstream British and sent to settle Confederate lands to get them out of British hair, where they eventually allied with the natives against the British.

    Corpais: Culturally, geographically, and geologically inspired by Brazil, Corpais is a nation recently lifted out of poverty by the policies of a coup installed tyrant. Now a rich country trying to settle wether to stay with the fascist ways that lifted it out of poverty or move into a new era of democracy.


    Races:

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    I use humans, who are divided into numerous races. The largest is the Magni, who are like normal people. Then there are Merfolk, who dominate the underwater world.

    Angels and Demons were the rulers of humans thousands of years ago, but lost the powers that gave them this dominance long ago after the Overpower (It's kind of like a collection of deities, but different in that it exists to write the rules of the world and tweak them if absolutely necessary, not to interfere in day to day events. It has only gotten involved in the world a few times in written history.) decided they should not be trusted with such power. Each belongs to an Animistic or Elemental lineage (the same is true of beings that make up the Overpower), with lineage effecting physical apperance. Some examples of Angels and Demons would be Catfolk, Kitsune, and Nezumi under the Animistic lineage and Oriads, Slyphs, and Tritons under the Elemental lineage.

    Those three are the worldwide races of human. Due to their worldwide status, it is incredibly difficult to generalize them, as there are hundreds of different ethnic groups. There are also numerous races that are native to specific regions of the world, not the world as a whole. These races, do to their smaller numbers and homelands, tend to have unified cultures.

    The Elves are native to Scandinavia, the British Isles, and Northwestern Europe. They are a people insatiably curious about the natural world, preferring to live in small villages inside wild eras they can explore, and are known for pulling off amazing feats of alchemy and herbalism using what is available in the wilds. They tend to be semi-nomadic, having two or three homes, usually a few hundred miles or more apart, and switching between them throught the year, as they like living in permanent structures but also like a wide variety in their surroundings. They are also skilled sailors and ship builders, and were the first pioneers of European exploration of the Americas.

    Dark Elves are elves who bred with African and Indigenous American slaves during the era of Spanish and Portuguese colonialism in the Americas. Elves, do to their wilderness lifestyle, are both hardy and disease resistant. These traits are highly desired in slaves, so the Spanish and Portuguese paid elves to come and breed with their slaves. The resulting childrenlooked like brown skinned elves, and were bred together, creating an entire race of slaves that were prized for their endurance and resistance to illness. Now most (but not all) of the countries involved have banned slavery, but they remain a poor underclass. They are generally an urban people, as they moved into the cities looking for jobs after being freed. The exception to this is those unfortunate souls who live in countries where they are still held in the bonds of slavery. They are mostly found in Latin America and the Caribbean.

    Dwarves are a people best known for their skill at building things. This manifests most obviously in their homes, which are built in architectually difficult areas such as underground, in the sides of cliffs, in treetops, in giant city-ships, and so on. They are also good at building weapons and tools, and make a fair amount of money selling them. They are native to Scandinavia, and are almost never seen outside there.

    Skinwalkers are a race of people who can assume animal shapes, and are native to North America. They mostly assimilate with the local magni, serving as either respected shamans or warriors or as distrusted rogues.

    The worldwide races are set in stone, but I am not oppossed to adding more regional races. I think I could use some more. It should also be noted that I do not give any race a predilection towards good or evil. All races are equally capable of both.


    Primary sources of inspiration:

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    Pirates of the Caribbean

    Master and Commander

    The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

    Magic: The Gathering (a lot of the art on my cards gives me ideas)

    Victorian Horror (Dracula, Frankenstein)

    Early Colonial Witch Hunts

    Zombie books and movies


    Could I get some questions about this setting? They help me think of details I haven't considered yet. I do have some more stuff to include (more tropes, more assorted stuff under other, and some important races and nations of the setting), but I have to wait until later, as I'm just about out of time for the moment.

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    Default Re: Please ask questions about my setting.

    How do they deal with the problems of sewage?

    How often are things like Gust of Wind used to propel ships?

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    Default Re: Please ask questions about my setting.

    Quote Originally Posted by Amechra View Post
    How do they deal with the problems of sewage?
    Depends on the country. In richer countries, most people (aside from the poorest of the poor or the isolated rural) have homes hooked up to a late Roman-style sewage system, with the poor or rural using an outhouse over a pit or a chamber pot that is to be emptied into a latrine. In poorer countries, the outhouse or chamber pot is the norm, and most empty waste into a latrine, not the street.

    How often are things like Gust of Wind used to propel ships?
    High speed courier services exist that will use this magic to transport goods or people quickly if one has enough coin, while governments use such magic for essential traffic and during naval combat. Outside the heat of battle or time sensitive matters, the normal winds are relied upon.

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    Default Re: Please ask questions about my setting (Updated 10/7)

    I'm just curious about what sort of wilderness/city ratio you're looking for. Is it more of a points of light, tiny frontier towns idea? Or a massive city with creatures lurking in some sort of undercity?
    So we're fighting this lizardman...

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    Default Re: Please ask questions about my setting (Updated 10/7)

    Quote Originally Posted by Vonwalt View Post
    I'm just curious about what sort of wilderness/city ratio you're looking for. Is it more of a points of light, tiny frontier towns idea? Or a massive city with creatures lurking in some sort of undercity?
    I use a 50/50 Urban/Rural ratio. Due to magitek, urbanization is becoming increasingly commonplace, but there are still a lot of people who live in smaller, more isolated towns. Both themes are equally represented. It just depends on where in the world you are.

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    Default Re: Please ask questions about my setting (Updated 10/7)

    Races added.

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    Default Re: Please ask questions about my setting (Updated 10/7)

    The trait system determines class skills instead of your class.

    The trait system is composed four trait groups, with everyone having one of each: ethnic background, childhood events, hobbies/interests, physical. Each adds a small bonus and three class skills chosen from a pool of five.

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    Default Re: Please ask questions about my setting (Updated 10/7)

    From Paizo.com:

    Quote Originally Posted by Kelsey MacAilbert
    Quote Originally Posted by Ragnarok Aeon
    Your setting sounds fun and interesting and I like how you are using traits to determine skills. As far as the angels and demons go, are they playable races? and how do they react to certain spells (spells like dismissal, spells that target "humanoid", etc) are they just treated like outsider(native)?
    Angels and Demons are playable races. In game terms, they operate just like Aasimar and Tieflings, and are native outsiders.

    The role of Angels and Demons (I place Devils and Daemons in this group) as presented in the Bestiaries is assumed by Demigods that the Overpower cannot strip of power or exile. The stats are the same, except the little cannon fodder creatures aren't around, just the bigger guys.

    Also, have you thought about what kind of campaigns you would be running? Even in a single setting, the campaigns can range from exploring a new unsettled continent and setting up a colony to tracking down a mad scientist in the city.
    I want to be able to run high seas adventure, darker sea tales, swashbucking adventure, crime drama, ghost tales, monster hunting, war, political intrigue, and exploration of new lands.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kelsey MacAilbert
    Quote Originally Posted by Ragnarok Aeon
    Are there airships?
    Yes.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kelsey MacAilbert
    Quote Originally Posted by Indagare
    You might want to consider if there's any Lovecraft here, if you're going the darker and edgier route. It could also explain the merfolk.
    I do want to borrow some dark stuff from Lovecraft. I'm not making full blown Lovecraftian horror, but I can take a few things.

    You might want to consider what sort of magitek you want to exist on a day to day basis. The 18th century was also the industrial revolution and this could also lead to things like in Eberron.
    Eberron is a feel I'm getting pretty close to.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kelsey MacAilbert
    Quote Originally Posted by Indagare
    Quote Originally Posted by Kelsey MacAilbert
    I do want to borrow some dark stuff from Lovecraft. I'm not making full blown Lovecraftian horror, but I can take a few things.
    Okay. The weird stuff from Lovecraft could be true here too. There were a number of stories that dealt with devolution of some kind, not to mention the idea that the Elders/Old Ones/etc weren't good or evil, simply too alien for humans to understand.
    I'll do some looking.

    Eberron is a feel I'm getting pretty close to.
    Okay. You may want to consider whether conquests or other things happened as they did on our world. There are already major differences and if the Native American tribes fared better, some things might not have happened. Colonization, for instance, would be very different if its at the suffrage of natives who have the wherewithal to enforce their wills on settlers.
    European colonialism still happened, but it was a harder fought and bloodier period than the real thing. The natives had more resistance to disease, so they fared better, but they were at a disadvantage in weapons and magical knowledge. The Confederacy relied heavily on knowledge gained from whites, economic and technological support from rivals of the mainstream Celts [British], and tribal Celtic spellcasting in order to come out victorious. The Aztecs, Maya, and California tribes, as well as most New England tribes, came out of the fighting with a partial victory in that they didn't get annihilated or assimilated, but didn't throw out the colonizers.

    Also, Asia got in on colonizing America. They weren't as successful as Europe, but the west coast is very noticably Asian in a great many areas.

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    Default Re: Please ask questions about my setting (Updated 10/7)

    This seems quite interesting, and I love the thread idea, as well.

    Do the skinwalkers need to wear actual skins to change shape? It seems strange if they don't but werewolves do.
    Are any of my tables still broken?



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    Default Re: Please ask questions about my setting (Updated 10/7)

    What do people go to war over in this setting?

    What are some of the values held by the different people of this setting?

    What kind of past did the peoples of this setting have? How do they conceive of their place in history?

    What's precious in this setting?
    I don't expect you to agree with what I say, but at least defend to the death my right to say it!

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    Default Re: Please ask questions about my setting (Updated 10/7)

    Quote Originally Posted by Lyndworm View Post
    This seems quite interesting, and I love the thread idea, as well.

    Do the skinwalkers need to wear actual skins to change shape? It seems strange if they don't but werewolves do.
    They do, but they don't have to hunt down and kill the creature, nor does it have to be of sorcerous bent.

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    Default Re: Please ask questions about my setting (Updated 10/7)

    Quote Originally Posted by Vitruviansquid View Post
    What do people go to war over in this setting?
    Same things we do.

    What are some of the values held by the different people of this setting?
    This will take some time to answer. I will later.

    What kind of past did the peoples of this setting have? How do they conceive of their place in history?
    This will also take some time to answer.

    What's precious in this setting?
    Magic and the spell components to use it.

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    Default Re: Please ask questions about my setting (Updated 10/7)

    Now that I think about it, the two questions I held off on are different for each race and nation. I'll go through and answer them on an individual basis. Which are you most interested in?

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    Default Re: Please ask questions about my setting (Updated 10/7)

    You say that you want to have a high Values Dissonance level and a comparativley fuzzy sense of right and wrong. Does that go all the way to to the top or is it more like there's a fixed right/wrong but a lot of cultural differences and gray areas?

    Is it possible to use the magitek to create automatons or other artificial life?

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    Default Re: Please ask questions about my setting (Updated 10/7)

    Quote Originally Posted by ReaderAt2046 View Post
    You say that you want to have a high Values Dissonance level and a comparativley fuzzy sense of right and wrong. Does that go all the way to to the top or is it more like there's a fixed right/wrong but a lot of cultural differences and gray areas?
    I leave right and wrong up to individual cultures. There is no alignment system and the Overpower is generally neutral, so there is nothing to inforce a fixed definition of right/wrong, even if most cultures do share things like murder and theft being considered bad.

    Is it possible to use the magitek to create automatons or other artificial life?
    You can create an atomaton, but you cannot give it intelligence. It'll only ever know or do what it has been told, and will not be able to learn or try new things. As a result, they make good (but very non-cost effective) menial laborers, but poor soldiers (they cannot adapt their tactics or react to an opponent's actions, and every movement is jerky and preplanned).

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    Default Re: Please ask questions about my setting (Updated 10/7)

    Update:

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    I need some help with my Pathfinder rules overhaul (Iím starting with Pathfinder, and house ruling it so heavily that it is barely recognizable) and campaign setting. I have an idea of what I want to do and how I want it to play, but it needs to be fleshed out more and Iím kind of burned out at the moment.

    First off, I want to use a technology level loosely based off of the 18th century. Firearms have become the main weapon to carry, with swords, knives, axes, and other melee weapons being secondary weapons and armor being nonexistent. Firearms are smoothbores loaded with spherical rounds alchemically fused to a solid propellant, opening from the breech and loading fairly quickly. Artillery breech loads as well, but with separate round and charge.

    Sailing ships rule the seas, using bound air elementals if the captain has the money and wind and current if the captain does not. Air elementals allow the existence of airships, which lack the durability or carrying capacity of ocean ships but have the advantage of being able to go almost anywhere, and generally a bit quicker. Railroads powered by lightning elementals dominate long distance land transportation, lightning elemental powered streetcars dominate transportation within large cities, and draft animals dominate transportation elsewhere.

    One of the biggest rules adjustments I want to make is with magic. In my world, the ability to use magic is an inborn talent. If you are born with this talent, you can understand the glyphs used to write down magic and the invocations and rituals used to cast it. If you are not born with this talent, you will never be able to understand these things, no matter how long you look or listen to them. It will make no sense what so ever, and you wonít understand why it doesnít make sense. Youíll be able to see what the spell does, but never how it was done. Having the talent does not give you the ability to use magic. What it does do is give you the ability to understand the makings of magic, which is a requirement for anyone wanting to learn to use it. The talent usually manifests between 6-7 years old and the start of puberty, though it has been known to manifest later on in life (but never earlier).

    Do to the fact that people without the talent are unable comprehend how magic is done, there is a sizeable faction of people who fear it and itís users greatly and are suspicious as to how they get their power. Accusations of pacts with infernal powers and the like are not uncommon from these sorts of individuals. This attitude is by no means universal, and whether it is the majority attitude depends on the region, but any spellcaster should be wary of the risk of witch hunts and lynching, because these things do happen.

    Magic itself is rather different. There is no divine magic (do to a lack of involved gods and goddesses), and divine spells not directly related to religion are folded into arcane magic. Healing spells are Necromancy, not Conjuration, as the magics of death and life are intertwined together rather tightly. Healing magic makes you feel euphoric at first, but if you have a lot in a short time to start to get lightheadedness and nausea, with symptoms getting steadily worse the more healing you receive up until you pass out and die. Healing magic isnít a bad thing, itís just that too much of any medicine can hurt you. Resurrection magic ALWAYS brings back a damaged soul, not a whole one, as people are not meant to return from the abyss once they pass on. On the other hand, brain death takes a good 5-10 minutes after hitting -Constitution hit points (which is when your heart stops), and the soul does not depart the body until the brain has died, so healing magic can bring you back with soul intact if you haven't hit brain death yet.

    Weak magic items are common, but anything stronger (including a +1 weapon) is very rare. I want such things to be legendary, so I degree that a powerful enchantment of an item is very hard to pull off.

    The difference between the Wizard and the Sorcerer is that the Wizard, who gains the talent necessary to learn how to use magic from the same place a Sorcerer gains magic, doesnít put much focus on their bloodline, and a Sorcerer does. The Witch class no longer exists, and itís features are folded into many other spellcasting classes as class options.

    Spells are cast off of a spell point system, and spells above third level donít exist. Metamagic is easier to apply, requiring nothing other than the expenditure of some extra spell points. You donít even need a feat. However, Mages (including Wizards, Alchemists, some Bards, and some Magi) must specialize in one spell school (gaining bonuses in this school), and ban another school. Sorcerers (including Sorcerers and some Bards and Magi) donít have to ban any spells, but they gain bloodline special abilities instead of a specialized school.

    If you take damage while casting a spell, you lose the spell.

    Base attack bonus isnít used, and neither is the accumulation of hit dice, skill points, or magic items with level. I see this as something that only leads to bigger numbers at higher levels, and I donít see the need for bigger numbers. When you level up, you learn more, learning new tricks with the skills you already know or new skills, and doing the same with weapons, spells, and everything else. You gain versatility and knowledge with level, not out and out power. This means that, while a higher level character still has the advantage over a lower level character, it isnít as pronounced as in true Pathfinder, and a lower level character is most definitely a threat worth considering to a high leveled one.

    The Barbarian, Cavalier, and Ranger classes no longer exist, and their abilities are folded into the Fighter as class options. Some Ranger abilities are folded into the Rogue as class options. Sneak attack is a class option for the Rogue, not something they automatically receive. Archetypes are retained by this rule system, and I personally like them very much.

    I use humans, who are divided into numerous races. The largest is the Magni, who are like normal people. Then there are Merfolk, who dominate the underwater world.

    Angels and Demons were the rulers of humans thousands of years ago, but lost the powers that gave them this dominance long ago after the Overpower (It's kind of like a collection of deities, but different in that it exists to write the rules of the world and tweak them if absolutely necessary, not to interfere in day to day events. It has only gotten directly involved in the world a few times in written history, and it raises no Clerics or Paladins.) decided they should not be trusted with such power. Each belongs to an Animistic or Elemental lineage (the same is true of beings that make up the Overpower), with lineage effecting physical appearance. Some examples of Angels and Demons would be Catfolk, Kitsune, and Nezumi under the Animistic lineage and Oriads, Slyphs, and Tritons under the Elemental lineage.

    Those three are the worldwide races of human. Due to their worldwide status, it is incredibly difficult to generalize them, as there are hundreds of different ethnic groups. There are also numerous races that are native to specific regions of the world, not the world as a whole. These races, do to their smaller numbers and homelands, tend to have unified cultures.

    The Elves are native to the northern woodlands and seas. They are a people insatiably curious about the natural world, preferring to live in small villages inside wild eras they can explore, and are known for pulling off amazing feats of alchemy and herbalism using what is available in the wilds. They tend to be semi-nomadic, having two or three homes, usually a few hundred miles or more apart, and switching between them through the year, as they like living in permanent structures but also like a wide variety in their surroundings. They are also skilled sailors and ship builders, and were the first pioneers of overseas colonization.

    Dark Elves are elves who bred with dark skinned Magni slaves during the colonial era . Elves, do to their wilderness lifestyle, are both hardy and disease resistant. These traits are highly desired in slaves, so elven slave owners bred with their own slaves or were hired to do so by Magni slave owners. The resulting childrenlooked like brown skinned elves, and were bred together, creating an entire race of slaves that were prized for their endurance and resistance to illness. Now most (but not all) of the countries involved have banned slavery, but they remain a poor underclass. They are generally an urban people, as they moved into the cities looking for jobs after being freed. The exception to this is those unfortunate souls who live in countries where they are still held in the bonds of slavery. They are mostly found near the equator in places where imported slaves were once common.

    Dwarves are a people best known for their skill at building things. This manifests most obviously in their homes, which are built in architectually difficult areas such as underground, in the sides of cliffs, in treetops, in giant city-ships, and so on. They are also good at building weapons and tools, and make a fair amount of money selling them. They are native to the northern mountains. (This race is still under construction. When finished, it will look like a mash-up of Dwarven and Gnomish ideas.)

    Skinwalkers are a race of people who can assume animal shapes, and are native to the western lands. They mostly assimilate with the local Magni, serving as either respected shamans or warriors or as distrusted rogues. (Under construction.)

    The worldwide races are set in stone, but I am not opposed to adding more regional races. I think I could use some more. It should also be noted that I do not give any race a predilection towards good or evil. All races are equally capable of both.

    With this setting, I want to be able to run games based around high seas adventure, darker sea tales, swashbucking adventure, crime drama, ghost tales, monster hunting, war, exploration of new lands, and political intrigue.

    The trait system determines class skills instead of your class.

    The trait system is composed of four trait groups, with everyone having one of each: ethnic background, childhood events, hobbies/interests, physical. Each adds a small bonus and three class skills chosen from a pool of five.

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