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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    EvilClericGuy

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    Default Concentric circles: Necrothieism [PEACH]

    NB: I am about ready to declare this done for now. Any perspectives, incites or anything that you think would make it better would be most welcome

    This idea came out of this thread: http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showt...=257643&page=3

    The basic concept is for a kind atypical undead empire. One ruled by an antitheistic magocracy, built on the ideals of secular humanism (think flat earth atheists). It is not meant to be a utopia.

    In this setting it is assumed that good and evil do have objective verifiable existence, the gods take an active role in the affairs of men and that morality is a cultural set of subjective values influenced by but not dependent on alignment.

    IE: Vampires are always evil by nature but that does not mean that they are immoral or amoral. They can be kind and benevolent but that does not make them any less evil.

    Concentric circles refers to a larger setting that I am working on and I envisage this as one corner of this; however there is absolutely no reason why you shouldn't pull apart, adapt or or reuse any or all of this work for your own use.

    Its necromancy, but not as we know it
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    The undead manifesto

    If one where to reject and renounce the gods, alignment, divinely revealed morality and all other outsiders then necromancy would be a vital tool in the arsenal.

    It grants a society control of its moralities control over their own afterlife. Broken free from the tyranny of the alignment system men are free to decide for themselves what is right or wrong, free to decide their own destinies. The long term goal is first the liberation of the mundane from outside influence and then the storming of the golden gates and the cleansing of the deepest pits; casting all outsiders to the shadows of the beyond.

    I envisage a society where a part of the soul is bound to an artifact (be it a building, monument, weapon, jewel or warforged golem armor). This binds the rest of the spirit to this world, forcing the person into a cycle of reincarnation centered on their artifact/phalactry. During each life the soul is rebound to the artifact (or to another) making the object more powerful. Perhaps in the long run the object awakens and the (or an) individual is completely bound within. I imagine that for large objects like ships, fortresses or cities many people can be bound in and of them.

    "This place ...this place is sacred. Everyone who loved it, everyone who lived it, who died for it, who shed blood sweat and tears for it has left a part of themselves here. It is our ancestors legacy to us, our legacy to the future. Tread carefully stranger, for you are treading on our souls."



    Liches

    These immortal beings occupy an exalted position in necrotheistic society. Over the centuries they gradually retire from the hurly burly of daily life and the cut and thrust of mainstream politics.

    The council of grey lords is the circle of the liches. They are the repositors of history and arcane learning, councilors to the senate and the lanstrad, finally and most importantly they are the supreme judiciary.

    In their role as the judiciary they:

    Act as governmental oversight, investigating corruption and vetting senators and governmental appointments.

    Rule on the constitutionality of laws and decrees.

    Act as the final court of appeal.

    Appoint judges, councilors and inquisitors.

    One of the curious things about Necrotheistic liches is their treatment of phylacteries. These are usually built into an undead construct, which acts as its guardian.


    Reincarnation for the masses; the messy way

    Citizens have at least part of their souls bound to the material culture of the city. For example an journeyman sculptor works on his masterpiece. Upon completion he has a peace of his spirit bound within it when he donates his work to the city in exchange for his official and civic recognition as a master sculptor

    They then reincarnate as new people upon death (the messy way, not the magic revive character way). Memories, personality and experiences would be more or less lost ...but it might be possible to get flashes of what you where through dreams or when in contact with an artifact that holds a proportion of your soul.

    Important ideas, memories, skills and experiences are directly recorded and preserved in archives (some of which may be open to the public, others available by special permission and still others sealed as most secret).

    Bobs bargain crypt; for a new life at affordable prices

    The non-citizens have their souls tied to their own mortal remains. This is the entry level of the reincarnation system. To have better would require that you are deemed to have contributed more, earned better in this life for your next.

    The soul of a serf is bound to their village. Unless they leave and are bound elsewhere or something terrible happens they will be reborn in their home village. Upon death necromancers ritually remove the brain, prepare it in unguents. The community ceremonially cremate the organ in the village square and scatter the ashes in the center of the village (usually a pleasant communal green).

    In payment for their services the necromancers take possession of the body. This provides the state with a steady supply of postmortem reagents, bones and skeletons. This also covers covers the "patriotic duty" of the surfs; they are exempt from taxation or conscription (but they are still free to volunteer for military service if they so wish).

    Uplifting

    If you were willing to undergo one of the "rituals of personal ascension", if it where felt that you had earned it, if you had an "elder" willing to sponsor and if you managed to pass an interview and vetting procedure you would be made a into some kind of sentient undead as befits your role and status.

    The vampire clans maintain the absolute right to "adopt" or to refuse any willing mortal into their number for any or no reason. Such matters require the consent of the given clan elder. All disputes, grievances and general petitions are dealt with by the nocturnal lanstrad; the council of clan elders.

    Necromancers of course maintain the right to "exceed the pinnacle of their craft" by attaining lichedom. While this will help them with any political aspiration they might have they do not automatically gain political or administrative office, they need to be appointed in the case of the latter or a popular mandate in the case of the former.


    Necrothiestic socioeconomics.
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    Just because there is a surfeit of the living dead and skeletal legions it doesn't mean that money doesn't matter, that things just pay for themselves. Even in the land of the dead money speaks all languages.

    Social structure

    There is a vampiric aristocracy forming an officer /landowner class together with a "priesthood"/civil service formed of necromancers and liches.

    Necropolitan society benefits from a good sized mortal citizen class of landowners, craftsmen, merchants, mages and tradesmen. These men and women have a social and economic importance well above their obvious weight as they and they alone posses the right to vote. Beneath these are large non-citizen class of registered aliens, tenet farmers and/or slaves. Non-citizens are required to hand over their bodies after their done using them (relic tax) in lei of wealth or income based taxes.

    The state of necrotheism

    Necrotheism started out in an isolated city state and grew from there. (Whether it manifests itself as a phernonina from a distant land, the relics of a lost past, a fractious alliance of city states, a small nation, a patchwork of elector states or as a full blown unitary empire would be very much up to the DM. )

    The necrotheistic state is a nation under siege, its goal is universal dominion. It must expend or die and thus it is to be expected that it become affilted by the "disease of bigness". As a result they tend to fluctuate between two or more of these scenarios.

    If was a "necropolitan empire" that was destroyed a few thousand years ago there are a number of embattled vestiges in isolated or defensible locations. It are haunted ruins, SEIAC ancient strategic reserves and a lot of lost artifacts that all sides want to recover (one set to destroy the other to reclaim).

    The necrotheist where one of the first great human empires. They cleared the way, opened up huge tracts of uncharted wilderness, slew the tarrasque, dragons and a host of other assorted mega fauna that plagued the area. Their enlightened aproch to the mystic pioneered much of the arcane thought that had languished in superstition for ages past.

    Then they where brought down. Maybe a vast barbarian host overwhelmed the frontiers, maybe infighting tore them apart in civil war, maybe some profit has lead a religions revolution in the heartlands. Perhaps the religious scouring had forces the disparate tribal gods to coalesces into a new harsher, more powerful pantheon; one that called down blight after cataclysm to destroy the old empire. Perhaps it was all of these things, but it was the end of the beginning and the beginning of a new era.

    Now the lands are a patchwork resurgent wilderness and petty and rude kingdoms, the best of them little more than pretenders to lost imperial glory. The landscape first tamed by immortal hands and then assailed by the forces of "nature" are studded and crisscrossed with abandoned palaces, haunted ruins, esoteric monuments, tumble down aqueducts and walls, arrow strait and level road gone to seed; the knowings of their makings lost beyond all mortal ken.

    In the harshest, most forlorn or forgotten corners of what was once the old empire lay the embattled remnants of its once vast Majesty. These fortress citadels where once little more than provincial towns, their size swelled by the hordes of wild eyed refugees and their walls, streets and vaults enriched by what little could be saved from the great burning of civilization.

    Efficiencies in the menial labor market

    The basic economic principle is to use undead and slave labor for public services, this lowers the pressure on the public purse. As well as this the state engages in the rental or sell of these laborer to raise revenues. The state then passes on the savings with lower taxes which combined with a surfeit of cheap unskilled labor in turn stimulates economic prosperity.

    Control talismans allow mundanes to command undead. They are used to assists with or perform a variety of basic tasks as well as for combat.
    These control artifact are rented out to people/businesses by registered necromancers. They control no more that a score of undead and have a serial number stamped into each talisman. This is a major source of revenue for the state and the low taxes that this (amongst other things) allow are thought to be good for the economy.

    Limited charge summon/control device are sold to adventurers as well as rechargeable version issued to military NCO's, public works officers, watchmen and village elders. These devices are also alert the relevant authorities when used (thus serving as an alarm system).


    Agriculture

    The countryside surrounding a necrotic city is dominated by a complex system of vampire aristocratic landowners and tenet subsistence farmers.

    An extended family of serfs will have a leasehold on a given plot of farmland. This plot will provide enough sustenance for them to live on but no where near enough to make a descant living. To provide income families are forced to find additional work. This often entails family members moving away to find work and send money home(usually the case where a family grows too large for their plot to sustain them), the occasional or full time work on the big estates or picking up a trade for work in the local or regional community.

    As part of their feudal obligations serfs are required to provide blood to their vampiric overlords at least once a year as well as work to bring in the annual harvest (for which they receive a small but welcome wage and the right for their village to exchange or buy foodstuffs from the estate at a discounted rate).

    The estates employ a small workforce of mortal staff and skeletal laborers, they supplement this by hiring local or traveling tradesmen on an as needed basis, taking on freelance necromancers to help with big projects or the local serfs particularly with events like the lambing.

    The primary source of income for the aristocracy is the sale of agricultural products but they supplement this with the exploitation of natural resources such as timber, ore or stone. They also maintain a stranglehold on the production of wine, beer and flour as well as the rearing and produce of heard stock such as cattle, sheep and horse.


    Crime and punishment

    The civil system

    The judiciary relies on the inquisitorial system. The judge acts to appoint three inquisitors; living, unliving and living dead. The judge determiners guilt and decides punishment.

    Rural justice

    In the shires crime is investigated and prosecuted by a noble appointed serif. The local lord or his or her representative acts as judge. Justice is all about maintaining order; as such collective responsibility and collective punishment is the order of the day.

    Most interpersonal disputes are sorted out with violent brawls in the case of the peasantry or honor duels in the case of the nobility. These can escalate into self perpetuating feuds. Local authorities only intervene when it either damages or threatens their interests or spirals out of all control.

    The penal system

    The civil penal system is about providing the victim restitution (either in the form of satisfaction or as compensation) or making a public example of the convict. It has a very high conviction rate, usually leaves the victim and the public feeling that justice has been served and allows people to feel safe to walk the streets; that the innocent might be punished or the guilty might go free is neither here nor there.

    The range of penalties include:

    -Court orders (typically cease and desists)
    -Public chastisements (censure, humiliation or corporal punishments)
    -Fines (often in the form of compensation)
    -Enslavement (Limited term, life or perpetual)
    -Death
    -Exile/Excommunication

    The death sentence varies situationally. It is usually carried out by public stoning on humans, decapitation on vampires and burning on other forms of undead.

    Mages guild

    This venerable institution is not the monolithic establishment its name implies, instead it is a grass roots collective operating out of a number of local chapter houses.

    The guild maintains libraries and offers a variety of services including legal advice, magical consultation, boarding houses, work contracts, wholesale magical surpluses as well as collective representation. The guild is the main point of contact between the authorities and the magical community.

    Cities

    Naming conventions

    The convention is to name cities after virtues, qualities or ideals. The first city was called Enlightenment (AKA enlightened provenience), the old capitol Majesty, Serenity was the mages guild headquarters and Endeavor the chief port.

    Now Endeavor is under twenty foot of water, there is a perfectly circular and deep lake where Serenity used to be, majesty is a blackened ruin and Enlightenment is lost without a trace.

    Modern cities have names of a more martial aspect. Defiance, Fortitude, Resolution, Endurance and Beauty (a hold over from the old days).

    Layout

    Necrotheistic cities tend to follow a circular street layout of wide orbital and radial thoroughfares and a network of much narrower side streets and alleys. The civic center is always an open plaza or park surrounded by administrative and civic buildings. This hosts the main and slave markets almost every day.

    Rather that rearing walls they favor stone or timber faced ramparts. Built for indestructibility rather than insurmountability, these are formidable obstacles by any measure.

    Beyond the walls grow large and largely lawless slums of dark winding alleys and abutting low buildings.

    Archetexture

    One of the defining features of their buildings are their unusual pyramids. These are wide circular stepped mounds. They have homes, shops and businesses carved into their sides from the base on up every level. Atop sits a small domed building.

    Another feature dominating the skyline are the thin towers that almost seem to defy the ground.

    The ministry of Public works

    This is responsible for the construction, upkeep and maintenance of civic facilities, institutions and public amenities. It also maintain two joint commissions with other ministries.

    The MoPW (Colloquially: the Mohpou) uses contracts with the local guilds for piece work and skilled work. For unskilled work they use large numbers of skeletal constructs as well as slave labor; this helps keep down costs.

    The construct commission

    This is maintained by the MoPW and the mages guild. Its primary purpose is to register and regulate the creation, storage and rental of undead constructs as well as the training and registration of "animation specialists" and the monitoring and enforcement of reanimation quotas. It is one of the states primary sources of revenue and as such the mass production of permanent undead constructs is a jealously guarded monopoly.

    It works closely with the legionary procurement commission and the nocturnal landstrad to fill "recruitment" quotas. This also helps prevent an over abundance of undead labor causing an economic downturn. To this end many skeletons are stockpiled in strategic reserves, this means that necromancers can continually get guarantied work even in years of low demand. This is important as it prevents a skills gap later down the line as well as alleviating the problem of necromancers turning to criminal enterprises by providing honest work during recessions. It also provides a ready source of additional military "bone power".

    The slavery commission

    This board is a joint enterprise between the ministry of public works and the ministry of justice. It is responsible for the registration, sales, manumission and enforcing minimum standards for slaves, it also is the licensing authority
    for the general slave trade.

    The criminal justice system is one of the primary sources of slaves. Other slaves taken as prisoners of war, particularly lean years usually cause serf villages to sell extraneous members of the community (often decided by a vote, lots or elders decree), some desperate people willingly sell themselves and still others are born into the existing slave stock.

    The military
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    The military is divided into the militia, the legion and the core.

    The legion

    These are the primary standing armies of the necrotheistic empire. The backbone of the legion is formed of skeletal heavy infantry, augmented with various auxiliary units, siege golems and an enlarged command section.

    The big advantages of mindless dead soldiers are that they do not need to be fed or payed, they will always obey orders, they are tireless and will fight all night and all day, if you don't need them at any point you can forget about them for centuries at a time and best of all no one is waiting for them back at home and no one will morn them if they fall.

    The biggest disadvantage is that they are of course mindless, they will do whatever they are ordered to do regardless of weather or not it is appropriate, they will never take the initiative and they will never retreat when left to their own devices.

    They get around this by using mortal NCO's, These men are enlisted from the militia or drawn from surf or metic volunteers (for which they are guaranteed citizenship in exchange for an extended period of service). The provide the insight, the initiative and the intelligence necessary to make the legion an effective fighting force.

    Commissioned officers are drawn from the vampiric aristocracy, usually from the "younger sons" who seek independent means and personal glory outside of their clan. The longevity of vampires combined with their resistance to certain forms of magic and natural affinity for necromancy makes them a perfect fit for legionary command.

    The militia

    "...profane? You might say that ...me; I believe that everyone who has been through here, for whom this place embodies their hopes and dreams leave a little bit of themselves behind. Their spirits are in the walls, the floors, in the very stones. It is a temple; not to your false gods but a temple to the very soul of the people. Whilst our walls stand we will never truly die, and it will stand while there is still breath in my body. It is my honor and privilege to guard this city and you should think very long and hard before disrespecting it ...foreigner."


    The militia is a defensive force comprised mainly of part time soldiers and commanded by a small core of professional soldiers mostly drawn from retired legionnaires.

    Every adult male citizen is expected to spend a period in the militia. They are given basic training on drill, formation and a variety of simple to use weapons (the best example of these are the crossbows which are virtually synonymous with militia men).

    The core

    "We own the night": Unattributed

    These are organizations of full time specialists. These include the logistics core, the engineering core, the magic core, the intelligence core, the siege core and the dark core.

    The dark core is comprised of high optimization adventurers. It is used for special forces operations, wet work and as a secret police force.


    Vampires
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    In necrotheism

    Vampires are an important part of necrotheistic society, without them it would not have expanded or endured as well as it did.

    The problem was that is was always a philosophy of the city, beyond lay a countryside full of superstitious peasants apt to reach for comfortable beliefs in hard times and an entrenched nobility fearful of loosing what they had.

    The vampires where able to convert a significant number of noble clans by offering the promise of eternal life; eternal rule. The justifiably rewound abilities for the nocturnal ones to manipulate, charm, dominate and read mortals where put to good use in the subjugation of the rural population.

    Thus is was that the city of Enlightenment was able to shore up its hold on its small unruly hinterland and extend its territory considerably. The sanguine conclave that created the arrangement was one of the pivotal moments in early necrotic history.

    Sustanance

    Negative heart

    Rather than an a normal soul vampires posses a font of negative energy within them centered. This is caged within a standing positive energy field inside their hearts.

    They absorb ambient positive energy, this is then carried to their negative font by their blood. The energy is annihilated within the heart releasing "vital energy" or Qi, this allows the the volition to move, to think and to wield magic; it is what gives them their unlife.

    If cut off from or deprived positive energy the negative energy in their heart builds up, gradually eroding their semblance to humanity and eventually overwhelming them.

    Blood:

    Whilst they produce their own "Qi" they need to draw on the Qi of sentient beings because they lack some essential spiritual element and need to supplement this from their diet in the same way we need vitamins.

    The quickest and most efficient way to do this is to open someones veins and drink the life energy that spills out with the blood. They can do it through touch alone but it takes an awful lot longer and most people will sense that something potentially harmful is being done to them.

    If they don't feed will result in a diminished connection to the negative plane. This will drastically weaken them, reducing them to a comatose state if left for long enough.

    Common Abilities

    Hunters thirst

    This is a rage like ability of X use per night. It gives boosted movement speed and damage, it represents the predatory abilities of a vampire during the hunt.

    Paralytic bite

    Their bites have the ability to paralyses their victims, allowing them to feed comparatively safely.

    Predatory senses

    The get night vision and a better sense of smell.

    Hypnotic eyes

    A weak suggestion/confusion ability.

    Enslave mortal

    By injecting their blood into a mortal victim a vampire can over the course of a few nights enslave them, turning them into a human familiar.

    Daylight

    Daylight is not good for vampires but far from instantly fatal. They can get away with the hood/robes outfit but they wont be particularly comfortable under the mid day sun. The main problem is the fact that their eyes are very light sensitive though heat exhaustion is also a factor. Magic darkness and bad weather help considerably but they still have to be careful.

    The positive energy in daylight is simply far too much and too pure for their systems to handle. Their absorption systems all but shut down to protect them, shutting off most of their abilities and making them weaker.

    For vampire sunlight is an addictive narcotic with long term health implications. The can handle it and even enjoy it to a certain extend but it all about moderation. "Daywalkers" are self destructive junkies; "Kin don't let kin do days". Given enough exposure daywalkers develop a complete resistance to sunlight, however this "burns off" most of their abilities including their immortality.

    Reproduction

    Children of the blood

    The siring of new vampires can not be done alone. It requires the cooperation of two vampires working in consort. The best results come from experienced vampires with a great deal of attunement with each other. When two vampires that are closely linked by blood attempt to sire a new vampire the results are rarely ever stable.

    The process involved drinking the blood of the initiate, transmuting it within themselves and re injecting it. This is done progressively over the course of three to five nights. The most delicate stage is when the victims heart stops; the animus of the soul must be contained, caged within the heart and reignited as a font of darkness.

    The process is risky and can have varied results, some of them can be deliberately inflicted. The victim may:
    • *die outright
      *bound as a spirit
      *Rise as a zombie
      *Rise as an unstable undead abomination
      *Rise as a Ghoul familiar
      *Remain alive and become a dhampire
      *Become sired as a new vampire


    Children of the loins

    Most vampire are fertile but will struggle to conceive without assistance, particularly amongst their own kind. Vampires may conceive human children; about one in seven of which will become dhampires, however they may only carry dhampires to term themselves.

    Variants

    A vampire may have one of three affinities and one of three natures. Alternately they may be pure blood vampires.

    Pure blood

    Wild-Affinity

    These vampires gain wild shape instead of hunters thirst. They can call and charm animals and may posses an animal familiar.

    Wild vampires are particularly vulnerable to silver

    Mortal-Affinity

    They are the best at blending into the crowed, they are charismatic and gain improved abilities to suggest, manipulate and dominate people.

    Vampires with a mortal affinity do not have reflections and are afraid of mirrors.

    Death-Affinity

    These vampires have the closest connection with the dead and spirits. They are better necromancers and may commune with spirits.

    They are vunerable to salt.

    Dark nature

    They tend to be brooding, pessimistic and cynical. Their shadows are particularly dark.

    They possess the ability to manipulate darkness and shadow. They are very good at hiding, they are particularly vulnerable to sunlight.

    Void nature

    The most ethereal and otherworldly of vampires. They are slight and almost insubstantial.

    They gain the ability to become ethereal and to levitate. They are vulnerable to running water.

    Cold nature

    The most callous and unfeeling of vampires; they are pale, cold to the touch
    and misty breathed.

    Cold natured vampires have the ability to lower the temperature, control ice and mist. They are particularly vulnerable to fire.

    Micalanious

    Wanders

    A newly sired vampire will usually spend many decades amongst their blood clan. About a third will never leave their blood kin and spend the remainder of their unnatural lives there.

    For one reason or another many vampires leave the embrace of their new families. They wander between territories and wilderness for centuries, few ever able to settle down for more than a decade in any given community. Many end their days dying alone, some wander for all eternity or become hermits but most will eventually be adopted by an existing clan or settle down with a partner to try to form a new clan.

    Character

    Vampires have addictive tenancies. Be it blood, sex, power, daylight, danger, violence, alcohol, narcotics, travel, adventure, food, gambling... a vampire will usually find themselves at least one serious vice.

    They also have obsessive tendencies. This is the trait that allows them to focus on a goal for centuries, to plan for events lifetime away. The downside of this is that it causes them to become fixated on trivial little details, to moon over a particular victim or to nurse a grudge beyond all reason.

    Ghouls

    These are the poor flesh eating relation of vampires.

    Dhampires

    These guys are mostley human ...mostly. They are a bit stronger than human, stronger than vampires in daylight. They can also become full vampires unless they are the result of a burn out.


    Necromancy FQA
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    Thinking about how necromancy actually works. It is probably quite important for this setting to work properly so I intend to spend some time going into depth about it. Any help and ideas would be appreciated

    Jane_smiths idea about the necromancy being the interaction of positive and negative energy is quite appealing but I want to re-gig to better suit my use for it.

    positive and negative energy

    Positive energy in this setting represents energy and stasis, it is raw potential. It is more closely aligned with the (in this setting) absent forces of law than those of good. Negative energy is representative of the entropy and change; it is the darkest heat sink imaginable. It is more closely modeled on the absent forces of chaos than those of evil.

    [paraphrase] If necromancy was purely negative energy it would simply destroy the corpse, if it where positive it would heal/revive it. It must their fore be a complex admixture of positive and negative; used because it is more efficient than positive energy alone[/paraphrase]

    I put it that large amounts of pure positive energy are as immiscible to life as negative energy. Negative energy dissipates, diminishes and drains, positive energy energizes, evaporates and immolates. Both conventional healing and necromancy use small amounts of both types, the difference being that healing uses more positive than negative and necromancy uses more negative than positive.

    The anatomy of the soul

    Animus

    The animus is the only part of the soul that I have any strong conception of, it is a swirling orb of positive and negative energy. It acts kind of like a spiritual heat engine and its linked to stamina and life force; some call it elan others vitality and still others chakara. The animus expends energy when you work, concentrate or use magic. When you sleep your physical, mental and emotional turmoil are stilled; this allows the animus to settle into the smooth lamina swirls of energy required for it to recharge properly.

    Death causes the animus to unbind, releasing its bound energy in a spiritual and mystical shock wave (the one of the primary reason for human sacrifice). After death their is a vestigial animus that slowly fades from existence.

    Logos

    This is the seat of memory. It is effectively a static field of your memories, skills and experiences, thus it grows over the period of your life. The Logos acts as a reservoir and capacitor for the mental energies used to manipulate the arcane. The logos is closely linked to the senses.

    Nadir

    This is the part of you that is actually you. The part that does the thinking and the feeling, the part that does the watching. It is the inner core of your being and its what separates people from animals or constructs. It is very ephemeral and hard to pin down but it is thought to be comprised of three spheres (though this is a controversial model); one given over to thought, one to feeling and last one is only very loosely understood.

    The natural fate of the soul

    1)upon death the standing wave of the animus blows out its current reservoir.
    2)The soul is expelled from the material plains by the force of the death shock.
    3) The soul is usualy weighted either positvley or negatively. This causes them to be drawn towards either the positive or negative energy plains.
    4) The spiraling souls are dragged beyond the event horizon of these plains. Nobody knows what happens after that but the general consensus is that the soul is destroyed or consumed somehow.

    a) The gods, daemons and assorted others claim souls on their long voyage through the astral sea.
    b) It is easier for them to find and hold onto the souls of their alignment (as good and evil repel each other but good attracts good and evil attracts evil).
    c) Divine beings can find the souls of worshipers very quickly as the act of worship is kind of like a distress beacon. The strength of faith and worship is directly proportionate to the strength of the beacon.

    How animate dead works

    Necromancers take the vestigial animus and rekindle it. They transmute it into a source or font of negative energy and contain it in a cage of positive energy. This then reacts with ambient positive energy to create the vital energy needed to give the creature its volition.

    How turn undead works

    If good and evil are objective variable cosmic forces then it follows that spells can be good and evil and that the results may contaminated by this. By this formula undead might be 7 parts negative, two parts positive to one part evil (evil because they contain the cosmic residue of the evil used in their creation and not because they are broadly negative beings).

    The basic concept is that good and evil repel each other and attract like. It follows that any creature with "evil" as an essential part of its make up and life processes will be repelled by a strong source of "good".

    In this model it also follows that if an undead creature was created without the use of evil then turn undead will do precisely jack.

    If attempting to interfere or extinguish the negative energy using positive then it should be noted that a large infusion of positive energy can cause an unstable runaway reaction, this can have unintended consequences. It should also be noted that undead are drawn to strong sources of negative energy.


    Necrotheism FAQ
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    Social inequity?

    Some people will always be at the bottom. This is the reason why I acknowledge the existence of surfs, of slaves and metics is a highly likely possibility in this kind of society. Plus people need more than bread and circuses. They need something that theirs, something to work for.

    As part of the social control system I think some kind of hideously twisted variant of the American dream could be the answer. "work hard In school kids and if you want it bad enough you to could become an abominable blasphemy in the sight of all that's holy!"

    Crime and punishment?

    As the point of the culture is to create an artificial cycle of rebirth the strongest penalty would be excommunication from this. The phrase "Gods take you!" springs to mind.

    An atypical crime would be trafficking with outsiders (being a cleric/paladin/favored soul/diabolist or warlock).

    Religious unrest?

    I think that this society would be subject to a level of paranoia and public witch hunts for priests and laymen. It might be somewhere between the anti-Catholic sentiment of Tudor England, the McArthiest red scare and the persecution of early Christians.

    Undead immigration?

    Had not thought about immigration of the undead. It would have to be sentient free roaming dead with no ties to the gods or independent necromancers. Wouldn't imagine that their are enough of them to cause a problem by I do like the concept of a "corpus ghoul auxilia".

    Isn’t this still Evil?

    Doesn't matter if it’s good or evil in this case. On the alignment system such a societal would fall off of the axis, sit in the middle or oscillate widely from one side to the other. Trying to be a Neizchien ubermenchen society does that. Why should they define or limit themselves to the cosmic accursed alignment system? This would make them a very tempting target for both the red and blue teams (as well as the purple, orange and maroon teams)

    I rather think that the cosmic forces of good, evil and/or blancmange would go to great length to eradicate such a society whatever its alignment is or is not. Its just good business to stamp out threats.

    Free your mind, free your soul!

    So necromancy isn't actualy evil then?

    I imagine that the forces of "evil" created the necromantic lexicon as a kind of negative healing lore as opposed to the divine healing used by the forces of "good", therefore the first generation of spell would have been evil and quite possibly traps. However this society has taken necromancy away from its roots and developed it in ways that the original authors would not have considered or approved off. They could do this because the forces of evil do not have proprietary control over negative energy, despite what it would like everyone to think. Proto-necromancy was undeniable evil, modern theocratic-necromancy is no more evil then any other form of magic.

    Civic spirit

    The necropolis is a sort of genius locci, its chock full of spirits and awakened or sub sentient artifacts. If these formed a subsentient gasalt could the necropolis be used as a source for semi divine/ urban primal spell casting? would it be a viable partner for some sort of urban pact warlock?

    The next big question is can the entire city "awaken" as a sentient gasalt entity and what would that mean for the society? It has been suggested that this would become some sort of artificial civic god.

    Utopia?

    I think that a local utopia can exist at least partially but only in opposition to another force. The blitz spirit is a shared fear of the other, of loosing what one has; a sense that if you don't pull together and get along you are going to get hammered.

    That is why my necrothieists need the enmity of beings like the gods. Without the threat of an all pervading and eternal opponent it would eventually fall apart. If they did not have gods they would probably be forced to create them.

    Dystopia?
    What about constantly subverting your ideas and presumptions of both. A society which on the surface looks pretty evil but when you get to know it better it "seems" to be actually not too bad in principle. On closer examination however there is trouble in "paradise" only the locals are too obsessed with towing the party line to see it. Not a bad metaphor for the practical application of communism/democracy.


    TBD
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    Necrotheism:
    Vampirism details
    Mages guild
    Historical details

    General concentric:
    Gods and daemons (particularly daemons)
    Positive/Negative day/night weirdness


    Acknowledgements
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    I would like to particularly thank Jane_Smith and Kelb_Panthera for their impute, advice and support.

    Thanks to all the guys who helped me flesh out the vampires
    Last edited by Blightedmarsh; 2012-10-21 at 09:43 AM. Reason: Additions

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    Default Re: Concentric circles: Necrothieism

    Don't forget the whole reason why gods would have went ape**** against necromancy in the first place - it encompasses both healing and death magic in this theory, as per ADND/2.0/etc - the school over life and death, the gods domains.

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    Default Re: Concentric circles: Necrothieism

    That and the fact that they don't like and want to exterminate the gods.

    The question is do the gods not like them because they use necromancy or do they not like necromancy because they used it against them?

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    Default Re: Concentric circles: Necrothieism

    You called the necrotheists atheists in the op just now. I think that may not be the appropriate word. Especially given the name you've given the people themselves.

    Atheists don't believe there are gods. Is this the case? If not, Antitheist would be more appropriate, since it would roughly mean "against the gods." Necrotheist would roughly mean "Death is god." Though the latin kinda breaks down well before this point since necromancy roughly means "talking to the dead."

    Sorry for being overly pendantic.
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    Default Re: Concentric circles: Necrothieism

    Anethmatheists. Made up word basically meaning that they acknowledge that the gods exist and hate them for it.

    The want to be atheists because then they would know that there are no gods left to hate.

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    Antitheists?
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    Default Re: Concentric circles: Necrothieism

    That'll do. Has a certain wring to it and is snappier that "god haters"

    I also like the Idea that they where initially driven by a form of enlightened humanism but they are now primarily motivated by anger and bitterness towards the gods and devils of the world.

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    Default Re: Concentric circles: Necrothieism

    You might wanna check out my Bastion class for this setting of yours. Everything from the fluff of the ritual to the binding of a portion of your soul into the armour makes for a nice little synergy. It almost belongs in a setting like this....weird huh?!
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    Default Re: Concentric circles: Necrothieism

    A few fluff adjustments to make it fit better but yes it would synergize quite nicely. I like the purpose mechanic, that looks good. It reminds me a little of a cyborg undead Valkyrie concept I was playing around with.

    1) Your don't so much absorb your amour as summon it from somewhere else.
    2) Its not so much your amour as armor that you have custodianship of and have attuned to. Its likely very much older than you and persists after your death.
    3) The capstone ability allows you to become the awakened amour/construct if you die whilst wearing it.

    The alternative take on the concept is that it would be a suit of amour and not a in of itself class. The difference is that it absorbs a lot of the XP you gain whilst wearing it (simulating it siphoning off part of the growth of your soul), leveling up almost like some sort of warforged cohort or companion.

    Could do with a pure melee weapon version to complement it, where the purpose is similar to a favored enemy (destroy rather than protect).

    *************

    "...Worker? You might say that ...me; I believe that everyone who has been through hear, for whom this place embodies their hopes and dreams leave a little bit of themselves behind. Their spirits are in the wall, the floors, in the very stones. It is a temple; not to your false gods but a temple to the very soul of the people. Whilst this place stands we will never truly die, and it will stand while there is breath in my body. It is my honor and privilege to tend to this place and you should think very long and hard before disrespecting it ...foreigner."
    Last edited by Blightedmarsh; 2012-10-10 at 11:30 AM.

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    Default Re: Concentric circles: Necrothieism

    Quote Originally Posted by Blightedmarsh View Post
    A few fluff adjustments to make it fit better but yes it would synergize quite nicely. I like the purpose mechanic, that looks good. It reminds me a little of a cyborg undead Valkyrie concept I was playing around with.

    1) Your don't so much absorb your amour as summon it from somewhere else.
    2) Its not so much your amour as armor that you have custodianship of and have attuned to. Its likely very much older than you and persists after your death.
    3) The capstone ability allows you to become the awakened amour/construct if you die whilst wearing it.
    Aye, sounds all good to me. I like number 3 especially!

    Quote Originally Posted by Blightedmarsh View Post
    The alternative take on the concept is that it would be a suit of amour and not a in of itself class. The difference is that it absorbs a lot of the XP you gain whilst wearing it (simulating it siphoning off part of the growth of your soul), leveling up almost like some sort of warforged cohort or companion.
    In fairness, that's gonna manifest as fluff more than anything, but I see where you're coming from. I toyed with a sort of 'machine mind' set of options for it, might do that yet...unsure as to whether it slots into the concept as presented though...

    Quote Originally Posted by Blightedmarsh View Post
    Could do with a pure melee weapon version to complement it, where the purpose is similar to a favored enemy (destroy rather than protect).
    Now THAT is an interesting idea...more to the point, it's a full ACF. I may well have to get to work on that!

    *************
    Quote Originally Posted by Blightedmarsh View Post

    "...Worker? You might say that ...me; I believe that everyone who has been through hear, for whom this place embodies their hopes and dreams leave a little bit of themselves behind. Their spirits are in the wall, the floors, in the very stones. It is a temple; not to your false gods but a temple to the very soul of the people. Whilst this place stands we will never truly die, and it will stand while there is breath in my body. It is my honor and privilege to tend to this place and you should think very long and hard before disrespecting it ...foreigner."
    Nice quote, mind if I edit/pinch that for the class...?

    With regards to the FAQ section in your post...

    If I'm interpreting what you're saying correctly, then the idea of necromancy and undead is only considered evil because of the associations created by the various religions of the world, and the assumption of an alignment restriction on a primal energy (which has always seemed completely off-piste to me too!). Therefore, in a culture which disdains gods and dogmatic principle, using scientific understanding and the 'soul' of their people as their divine guidance instead, the proliferation of undead people throughout society would be more akin to elders and priests than any sort of unholy creature. They're quite the opposite, and I like this.

    You may wanna check this out, it's possibly a wee bit overpowered, but would be a MASSIVE boon to a world like this one.

    Your 'Strange Thought' isn't so strange at all, it makes perfect sense actually. You may want to look at the Kalashtar in RoE, they have a racial awareness (almost like a psionic substrate) which may be a good source of inspiration for this 'Gestalt Socio-Entity'.

    As far as Utopia/Dystopia, reality is in the eyes of my Beholder
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    Last edited by Veklim; 2012-10-10 at 04:00 PM.
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    Default Re: Concentric circles: Necrothieism

    Nice quote, mind if I edit/pinch that for the class...?
    Fill your boots mate. I wouldn't have posted it if I wasn't happy for people to use it.

    If I'm interpreting what you're saying correctly, then the idea of necromancy and undead is only considered evil because of the associations created by the various religions of the world, and the assumption of an alignment restriction on a primal energy (which has always seemed completely off-piste to me too!). Therefore, in a culture which disdains gods and dogmatic principle, using scientific understanding and the 'soul' of their people as their divine guidance instead, the proliferation of undead people throughout society would be more akin to elders and priests than any sort of unholy creature. They're quite the opposite, and I like this.
    Your are quite correct in most of what you are saying. They follow their own sociological and moral construct interdependent of the alignment system, one that rejects the concept of holy (and thus unholy). I would say spiritual guidance instead of "divine"; that might well be a taboo word in this context.

    I imagine that the forces of "evil" created the necromantic lexicon as a kind of negative healing lore as opposed to the divine healing used by the forces of "good", therefore the first generation of spell would have been evil and quite possibly traps. However this society has taken necromancy away from its roots and developed it in ways that the original authors would not have considered or approved off. They could do this because the forces of evil do not have proprietary control over negative energy, despite what it would like everyone to think.

    Its kind of like the story of Prometheus stealing fire from the gods. It may lead to a fable/myth of "the one benevolent good" who gave them the hidden secrets of necromancy and was destroyed for it but it may not "jive with the vibe", perhaps the tale of the terrible fate of a mortal messiah as a warning about not letting the gods get their hands on your soul would be a better fit?.

    Corpse PrC.

    Whilst you might see the occasional one I think that a construct equivalent class would be a much better fit. People who die in this culture are reborn, becoming undead would be a great personal sacrifice -you are giving up your life for the betterment of the people, as such citizens seeking or volunteering for undeath would shoot for a "higher class" of undead. Having said that I can well imagine that a valued serf (say a warden, village elder or serif) could be made into a "corpse" upon death by his vampire lords, particularly if they couldn't or where unwilling to afford one of the more expensive rituals.

    I can see a great use for this idea in recycling one of my older concepts. Basically you take one of these "corpses", you lather it in various spell, implanted talismans and enchantments(possibly including a permanent gentle repose), then you (for example) crucify it somewhere as part of a large magical array. Uses might be as a kind of necrotic decanter of endless water as part of a public sanitation or field irrigation system or as part of a beacon network or massive ghost fence.
    Last edited by Blightedmarsh; 2012-10-11 at 01:59 AM.
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    Default Re: Concentric circles: Necrothieism

    Quote Originally Posted by Blightedmarsh View Post
    Fill your boots mate. I wouldn't have posted it if I wasn't happy for people to use it.



    They follow their own sociological and moral construct interdependent of the alignment system. I imagine that the forces of "evil" created the necromantic lexicon as a kind of negative healing lore as opposed to the divine healing used by the forces of "good", therefore the first generation of spell would have been evil and quite possibly traps. However this society has taken necromancy away from its roots and developed it in ways that the original authors would not have considered or approved off. Its kind of like the story of prometheius stealing fire from the gods (It may lead to a fable/myth of "the one benevolent good" who gave them the hidden secrets of necromancy and was destroyed for it but it may not jive with the vibe).
    The amount of jiving I'd see with this would vary depending on what the gods are in your setting. If they're bound entirely to their portfolio or precept then it wouldn't make much sense unless there was a god of "giving humans knowledge" or something. If they're simply mortals with huge power then they are individuals capable of doing this and the necrocracy would be against the pantheon's institution rather than gods as a race as it were.
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    Default Re: Concentric circles: Necrothieism

    The gods in this setting tend to view mortals as vessels for their portfolios. So the goddess of motherhood would view all mortals as prospective or active parents. The idea of a man (or worse a woman) who didn't like or want children would be viewed as an aberration, one who couldn't have children as a sadly afflicted. If such a person came to her direct attention then it would irritate her no end and if left to her own devices she would probably set out to "correct" the situation until either she got her way or the unfortunate mortal brakes.

    The gods view us as existing to serve, facilitate and worship them. Our happiness, our achievements and our sufferings our not a reflection of our efforts, ideals or failings but the result of their actions. They might help us because it gives them the satisfaction of our worship and the pride of a job well done; not because we need it. At best they might care about us in general in the same way you do about a pastime, they might care about a "special" mortal in the same way you do as a pet.
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    Default Re: Concentric circles: Necrothieism

    Quote Originally Posted by Blightedmarsh View Post
    The gods in this setting tend to view mortals as vessels for their portfolios. So the goddess of motherhood would view all mortals as prospective or active parents. The idea of a man (or worse a woman) who didn't like or want children would be viewed as an aberration, one who couldn't have children as a sadly afflicted. If such a person came to her direct attention then it would irritate her no end and if left to her own devices she would probably set out to "correct" the situation until either she got her way or the unfortunate mortal brakes.

    The gods view us as existing to serve, facilitate and worship them. Our happiness, our achievements and our sufferings our not a reflection of our efforts, ideals or failings but the result of their actions. They might help us because it gives them the satisfaction of our worship and the pride of a job well done; not because we need it. At best they might care about us in general in the same way you do about a pastime, they might care about a "special" mortal in the same way you do as a pet.
    But is that an inherent part of godliness or is that a result of their past experiences. IE would an ascended mortal who wasn't around the rest of the pantheon automatically start behaving that way because he was a god or is it a learned trait.
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    Default Re: Concentric circles: Necrothieism

    A god that is effectively an ascendant meme would be like this right from the get go. An ascendant mortal -particularly at first- would be much better than this, far more humane, but possibly in the worst sense of the word. Given time however they would become very distant from their mortal roots; the portfolio is always there in the back of their minds like a constant dull itch and they have got to learn a way to cope with it or it will drive them mad.

    Embalming tools (AKA Necrotheistic plot hooks/quests)
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    1) The missionary

    The quite old man isn't like other missionaries, instead of fiery rhetoric and roaring crowed he uses logical discourse in smokey backrooms. Recently graves have been disturbed and their have been mutterings of profane practices and the restless dead.

    He looks surprisingly spritely for a man of his obvious age as he bears down on your party. Turns out he wants to hire you as bodyguards for his mission; something about teaching some local how its supposed to be done.

    2) The philosopher

    Renowned mage and philosopher Ash-Anh-Teq has gathered quite a following in the local intelligentsia and magical community with his theories on the soul and the divine; dark roomers have always plagued him however.

    His recent arrest by the temple inquisition for blasphemy and "Unnatural magics" has caused the already strained tensions between the religious and arcane authorities to escalate to record levels. This city is a powder keg waiting for a spark.

    3) The relic

    Party is hired to retrieve a stolen relic, the only complication is that there is a three way tussle to retrieve it.

    4) The lost necropolis

    A group of adventurers is exploring an ancient haunted ruin for their gods, to release the souls bound there. Turns out the city was a necropolis, its people slaughtered at the gods orders and the souls are very happy where they are thank you very much.

    5) The merchantman

    The "Breath of life" is the newest arrival in the harbor, this pale vessel comes from distant lands as evidenced by its exotic goods and the strange lilt of its crew. The bosun is surprisingly pale and hasn't been seen outside. Of the captain there has been is no sign at all.

    The local "guild" has tipped you off that they are carrying some very exotic and valuable cargo just innocently lying around waiting for someone to pick it up and give it a good home. It might be worth a look.

    6) The cause

    The time has come, for too long have we tolerated those godless heathens and their vile magics. The call to arms has been put out to destroy the necrothiests once and for all. "In the name of the gods, so shall it be!"

    ***************

    Odd thought "The chancellors throne"

    The leader of a necrotic conclave has a special seat called the "throne". The throne has osmoticaly absorbed a lot of the souls of its occupants over the years. It allows its user to access the wisdom, insights and knowledge of their predecessors for a price. It slowly drains the vigor, the vitality out of the chairman and if they ever leave office then they lose the aspect of themselves that made them qualified for the office in the first place. This is why the chairman of any given conclave is always mortal.

    ************************************************** *****

    The mechanics of necromancy
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    Thinking about how necromancy actually works. It is probably quite important for this setting to work properly so I intend to spend some time going into depth about it. Any help and ideas would be apreciated

    Jane_smiths idea about the necromancy being the interaction of positive and negative energy is quite appealing but I want to re-gig to better suit my use for it.

    positive and negative energy

    Positive energy in this setting represents energy and stasis, it is raw potential. It is more closely aligned with the (in this setting) absent forces of law than those of good. Negative energy is representative of the entropy and change; it is the darkest heat sink imaginable. It is more closely modeled on the absent forces of chaos than those of evil.

    [paraphrase] If necromancy was purely negative energy it would simply destroy the corpse, if it where positive it would heal/revive it. It must their fore be a complex admixture of positive and negative; used because it is more efficient than positive energy alone[/paraphrase]

    I put it that large amounts of pure positive energy are as immiscible to life as negative energy. Negative energy dissipates, diminishes and drains, positive energy energizes, evaporates and immolates. Both conventional healing and necromancy use small amounts of both types, the difference being that healing uses more positive than negative and necromancy uses more negative than positive.

    The anatomy of the soul

    Animus

    The animus is the only part of the soul that I have any strong conception of, it is a swirling orb of positive and negative energy. It acts kind of like a spiritual heat engine and its linked to stamina and life force; some call it elan others vitality and still others chakara. The animus expends energy when you work, concentrate or use magic. When you sleep your physical, mental and emotional turmoil are stilled; this allows the animus to settle into the smooth lamina swirls of energy required for it to recharge properly.

    Death causes the animus to unbind, releasing its bound energy in a spiritual and mystical shock wave (the one of the primary reason for human sacrifice). After death their is a vestigial animus that slowly fades from existence.

    Logos

    This is the seat of memory. It is effectively a static field of your memories, skills and experiences, thus it grows over the period of your life. The Logos acts as a reservoir and capacitor for the mental energies used to manipulate the arcane. The logos is closely linked to the senses.

    Nadir

    This is the part of you that is actually you. The part that does the thinking and the feeling, the part that does the watching. It is the inner core of your being and its what separates people from animals or constructs. It is very ephemeral and hard to pin down but it is thought to be comprised of three spheres (though this is a controversial model); one given over to thought, one to feeling and last one is only very loosely understood.

    The natural fate of the soul

    1)upon death the standing wave of the animus blows out its current reservoir.
    2)The soul is expelled from the material plains by the force of the death shock.
    3) The soul is usualy weighted either positvley or negatively. This causes them to be drawn towards either the positive or negative energy plains.
    4) The spiraling souls are dragged beyond the event horizon of these plains. Nobody knows what happens after that but the general consensus is that the soul is destroyed or consumed somehow.

    a) The gods, daemons and assorted others claim souls on their long voyage through the astral sea.
    b) It is easier for them to find and hold onto the souls of their alignment (as good and evil repel each other but good attracts good and evil attracts evil).
    c) Divine beings can find the souls of worshipers very quickly as the act of worship is kind of like a distress beacon. The strength of faith and worship is directly proportionate to the strength of the beacon.

    How animate dead works

    Necromancers take the vestigial animus and rekindle it. They transmute it into a source or font of negative energy and contain it in a cage of positive energy. This then reacts with ambient positive energy to create the vital energy needed to give the creature its volition.

    How turn undead works

    If good and evil are objective variable cosmic forces then it follows that spells can be good and evil and that the results may contaminated by this. By this formula undead might be 7 parts negative, two parts positive to one part evil (evil because they contain the cosmic residue of the evil used in their creation and not because they are broadly negative beings).

    The basic concept is that good and evil repel each other and attract like. It follows that any creature with "evil" as an essential part of its make up and life processes will be repelled by a strong source of "good".

    In this model it also follows that if an undead creature was created without the use of evil then turn undead will do precisely jack.

    If attempting to interfere or extinguish the negative energy using positive then it should be noted that a large infusion of positive energy can cause an unstable runaway reaction, this can have unintended consequences. It should also be noted that undead are drawn to strong sources of negative energy.


    The Concentric circle cosmos
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    NB The following will probably be farmed out to a concentric hub thread, until then it can live here.

    This cosmos is dominated by the prime axis and the great wheal.

    The Prime Axis

    There are 3 major spheres, three major over plains of the of the prime axis. These are the positive energy plain, the negative energy plain and between these the fulcrum. Interconnecting these are the essential elemental axis; three pillars that are embedded in both the positive and negative planes as well as thrust through though the center of the wilds spheres. Laying between and around these spheres is the swirling elemental maelstrom.

    The great duality

    Some call them the font and the well, eternal light and the ultimate dark, the annihilator and the devourer. The energy exchange between positive and negative planes is one of the prime underpinnings of the cosmos. Without this there would be nothing but a great dark empty void.

    the pillars of the world

    These three axis are the essential elemental vectors. Without them reality would collapse and there would be no higher elements.

    These are composed of the six essential elements. 3 negative and three positive forming three opposing pairs, these are:
    + <---> -
    Mass <---> Void
    Light <---> Dark
    Heat <---> Cold

    The elemental maelstrom

    This large region lies between the positive and negative plains. It is a swirling maelstrom of elemental plains driven by the vast currents of conducting energy.

    The elemental planes themselves are caused by the various conflicts and combinations of the essential planes. These planes are unstable, they collide, combine and transmute into new more complex elements. This is the gradual process of evolution that combined with accretion eventually created the prime material planes at the eye of the storm.

    The great wheel

    This is a disk of stable planes ejected from the maelstrom. They drift serenely in orbit around the cosmos. It is the home of the god and their divine hosts as well as the fiend legions.


    The golden havens

    Above, below and intermingled with the great wheel lie the celestial halls. These otherworldly planes are the physical embodiments of the gods power, its life force.

    Within its heaven a god is all seeing and wields its maximum power. It may have one or more avatar within its celestial hall, whilst killing one or more of them will harm the god to kill it with violence you must kill that very plane itself.

    The souls of dead worshipers -particularly the souls of more exalted individuals- can end up here, otherwise those post mortal celebrants are located on one of the one or more planes that a god claims for their eternal reward

    The dark heavens

    These are the bodies of dead gods. Sometimes they are occupied by fiends, sometimes they are claimed by other gods (who value them as neutral meeting points). There faded halls may be the haunt of the sad remnants of their former inhabitants, they may be abandoned or beset with other things.
    Last edited by Blightedmarsh; 2012-10-13 at 07:47 AM.
    My Home brew setting:

    Concentric circles
    Necrotheism

    Quote Originally Posted by JusticeZero View Post
    How very Machiavellian, professor Doom.
    Clever, effective, and anyone who agrees with it is a grade A global supervillain.

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    EvilClericGuy

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    Default Re: Concentric circles: Necrothieism [WIP]

    Necrothiestic socioeconomics.
    Spoiler
    Show

    Just because there is a surfeit of the living dead and skeletal legions it doesn't mean that money doesn't matter, that things just pay for themselves. Even in the land of the dead money speaks all languages.

    The basic economic principle is to use undead and slave labor for public services, this lowers the pressure on the public purse. As well as this the state engages in the rental or sell of these laborer to raise revenues. The state then passes on the savings with lower taxes which combined with a surfeit of cheap unskilled labor in turn stimulates economic prosperity.

    Agriculture

    The countryside surrounding a necrotic city is dominated by a complex system of vampire aristocratic landowners and tenet subsistence farmers.

    An extended family of serfs will have a leasehold on a given plot of farmland. This plot will provide enough sustenance for them to live on but no where near enough to make a descant living. To provide income families are forced to find additional work. This often entails family members moving away to find work and send money home(usually the case where a family grows too large for their plot to sustain them), the occasional or full time work on the big estates or picking up a trade for work in the local or regional community.

    As part of their feudal obligations serfs are required to provide blood to their vampiric overlords at least once a year as well as work to bring in the annual harvest (for which they receive a small but welcome wage and the right for their village to exchange or buy foodstuffs from the estate at a discounted rate).

    The soul of a serf is bound to their village. Unless they leave and are bound elsewhere or something terrible happens they will be reborn in their home village. Upon death necromancers ritually remove the brain, prepare it in unguents. The community ceremonially cremate the organ in the village square and scatter the ashes in the center of the village (usually a pleasant communal green).

    In payment for their services the necromancers take possession of the body. This provides the state with a steady supply of postmortem reagents, bones and skeletons. This also covers covers the "patriotic duty" of the surfs; they are exempt from taxation or conscription (but they are still free to volunteer for military service if they so wish).

    The estates employ a small workforce of mortal staff and skeletal laborers, they supplement this by hiring local or traveling tradesmen on an as needed basis, taking on freelance necromancers to help with big projects or the local serfs particularly with events like the lambing.

    The primary source of income for the aristocracy is the sale of agricultural products but they supplement this with the exploitation of natural resources such as timber, ore or stone. They also maintain a stranglehold on the production of wine, beer and flour as well as the rearing and produce of heard stock such as cattle, sheep and horse.

    The ministry of Public works

    This is responsible for the construction, upkeep and maintenance of civic facilities, institutions and public amenities. It also maintain two joint commissions with other ministries.

    The MoPW (Colloquially: the Mohpou) uses contracts with the local guilds for piece work and skilled work. For unskilled work they use large numbers of skeletal constructs as well as slave labor; this helps keep down costs.

    The construct commission

    This is maintained by the MoPW and the mages guild. Its primary purpose is to register and regulate the creation, storage and rental of undead constructs as well as the training and registration of "animation specialists" and the monitoring and enforcement of reanimation quotas. It is one of the states primary sources of revenue and as such the mass production of permanent undead constructs is a jealously guarded monopoly.

    It works closely with the legionary procurement commission and the nocturnal landstrad to fill "recruitment" quotas. This also helps prevent an over abundance of undead labor causing an economic downturn. To this end many skeletons are stockpiled in strategic reserves, this means that necromancers can continually get guarantied work even in years of low demand. This is important as it prevents a skills gap later down the line as well as alleviating the problem of necromancers turning to criminal enterprises by providing honest work during recessions. It also provides a ready source of additional military "bone power".

    The slavery commission

    This board is a joint enterprise between the ministry of public works and the ministry of justice. It is responsible for the registration, sales, manumission and enforcing minimum standards for slaves, it also is the licensing authority
    for the general slave trade.

    The criminal justice system is one of the primary sources of slaves. Other slaves taken as prisoners of war, particularly lean years usually cause serf villages to sell extraneous members of the community (often decided by a vote, lots or elders decree), some desperate people willingly sell themselves and still others are born into the existing slave stock.

    The military
    Spoiler
    Show

    The military is divided into the militia, the legion and the core.

    The legion

    These are the primary standing armies of the necrotheistic empire. The backbone of the legion is formed of skeletal heavy infantry, augmented with various auxiliary units, siege golems and an enlarged command section.

    The big advantages of mindless dead soldiers are that they do not need to be fed or payed, they will always obey orders, they are tireless and will fight all night and all day, if you don't need them at any point you can forget about them for centuries at a time and best of all no one is waiting for them back at home and no one will morn them if they fall.

    The biggest disadvantage is that they are of course mindless, they will do whatever they are ordered to do regardless of weather or not it is appropriate, they will never take the initiative and they will never retreat when left to their own devices.

    They get around this by using mortal NCO's, These men are enlisted from the militia or drawn from surf or metic volunteers (for which they are guaranteed citizenship in exchange for an extended period of service). The provide the insight, the initiative and the intelligence necessary to make the legion an effective fighting force.

    Commissioned officers are drawn from the vampiric aristocracy, usually from the "younger sons" who seek independent means and personal glory outside of their clan. The longevity of vampires combined with their resistance to certain forms of magic and natural affinity for necromancy makes them a perfect fit for legionary command.

    The militia

    The militia is a defensive force comprised mainly of part time soldiers and commanded by a small core of professional soldiers mostly drawn from retired legionnaires.

    Every adult male citizen is expected to spend a period in the militia. They are given basic training on drill, formation and a variety of simple to use weapons (the best example of these are the crossbows which are virtually synonymous with militia men).

    The core

    These are organizations of full time specialists. These include the logistics core, the engineering core, the magic core, the intelligence core, the siege core and the dark core.

    The dark core is comprised of high optimization adventurers. It is used for special forces operations, wet work and as a secret police force.


    The plains of Fulcrum[{under construction}
    Spoiler
    Show

    This is the prime setting for the concentric circles setting. Fulcrum is comprised of the realms and the wilds spread across five concentric planar spheres.

    The wilds

    "These lands lie beyond the hills we know"

    The wilds have a fully plastic and fluid geography. The horizon acts as a kind of black box, you do not know what may or may not lie beyond it until you are over it. Paradoxically it is unlikely to be the same vista the next time you past (making it near impossible for you to pass the same horizon twice without divine assistance). Add to that the fact that distance and duration are entirely subjective it make mapping literally impossible; wild atlases are a Cartesian nightmare that require both mystic sight and near insanity to appreciate.

    The wilds are known as the natural home of the fae as well as a host of exotic flora and fauna not found in more mundane regions. These include a host of mega fauna such as migratory dragons, tarrasque, ettin, collosi and adult titans.

    willderlands

    Wilderlands are the frontiers, they are the middle state between realms and the wilds. More pliant than plastic the wilderlands are difficult to navigate for the uninitiated. One of the more unstable elements of the wilderlands are the ruins relics and monuments of ancient lost realms. These are fully capable of wandering around the landscape or dispersing into the aetherspace for centuries at a time.

    Wilderlands are host to isolated villages, small (usually) independent frontier towns as well as more nomadic tribes. Wilderlands are the favored haunts of Kiamera manbeast tribes as well as other beings both more human and less.

    The realms

    To put it flippantly these are the places where mortals [not fae] live. A realm is geographically pretty stable and home to at least one a nation of people who define themselves as one.

    Realms follow the fichers and to a (certain extent) the revers mass ficher principle. The land and nature of a realm is affected by its ruler and the people are shaped by land. For example a realm with an insane king will be subject to greater levels of random or unpredictable events. A hard and harsh realm will shape its people into a hard and hash people.

    Naturally occurring realms may be as small as city or as large as a kingdom. Smaller realms do exist but they require divine or magical assistance to be sustained or come into existence at that size. They are normally fringed by a band of wilderland though they may abut other realms or even wilds.

    Realms that overextend have difficulties holding themselves together. Realms that collapse often disintegrate into craton linked sub-realms, revert back to wilderland or even to wildspace.

    Cratons

    A craton is a shared semi-stable region of three or more realms, often containing a considerable amount of wilderland. One of the defining characteristics of a craton is that its realms define themselves as of that region. Examples of cratons include multi-realm empires such as Xui'Sha or realms with a shared culture such as the lands of the former necrotheistic empire.

    A special case is the bi-realm. These are formed of two realms that define themselves in relationship to each other, they usualy have an adversarial or antagonistic relationship though symbiotic realms are not uncommon. Bi-realms are highly stable and can endure for millenia. Bi-realms most often
    emerge from the brake up of larger cratons and form the core of emergent cratons.

    N.b. A craton or tectonic shield is a geological term for a large peace of ancient stable continental crust. Cratons include baltica and siberia. If you can think of a better colloquial name for this don't hesitate to say.
    the spheres

    Aethosphere

    This sphere starts at the base of the high clouds and extends upwards from there. It is warmer, thicker, richer and far deeper than atmosphere of that height as any real right to be.

    The aethosphere plays host to the tops of the tallest mountains, flying fortresses, levitating mountains, cloudscapes, skyscraping towers and bable trees. Indigenous fauna include air whales, gas floaters, dragons, harpies, furies and other winged humanoids.

    By the very nature of the plane advanced magitec is an absolute esential to day to day existence. One would imagine that this would leed to the domination of magoracies, this is not the case. The wizards and artificers of this sphere have a tendency to be aligned with one or more of the various competing inter-realm magical industrial combines. Actual leadership of the realms is dominated by the noble clans; be it in duchies, principalities or the oligarchic republics (although having said that these clans have a far higher instance than average of potential sorcerers).

    One of the most distinctive phenomena of the aethosphere are the skyships. These craft use magic to levitate and propel them through the air. They are often used by merchants and explorers as well as sky pirates and the various aerial navies. The sight of two fleets of airships hammering seven shaded of snot out of each other is one of the most awe inspiring things in the world and as strong a reminder as can be not to cross mages. Skyships cannot fly bellow the clouds, the ability of the magic keeping them alofts to resist the pull of the earth become progressively weaker the lower they go until it becomes too much and the ship "flounders".

    Examples of military magitec include aetherial pulse jets, magistorm Gatlings, ark lightning projectors, S.G.R.S (spirit guided rocket systems), Golem auto loaders and bastion class sky knights. Examples of such tec on the surface are usually limited to badly damaged salvaged from crashed airships or as the "fallout" of aerial warfare.

    Terrasphere

    This is the second sphere of fulcrum. Its residence believe that it is most important of the planes; it does for example have the largest number of realms and 7 out of the top ten largest stable realms, surprisingly it is (by volume) the smallest of the five spheres, it is also the least spherical. It Extends only a few hundred meters below ground and scant kilometers above sea level. The terrosphere covers only the large landmasses, inland seas and the oceans within sight of the coast. It is broken up into several large semi-stable continental clusters.

    Bathysphere

    These are the shifting open oceans of fulcrum. It plays host to mysterious storm wracked islands, floating lands, icebergs, horrors from the deep, under sea civilizations (both living and lost) and nations under sail.

    Lithosphere

    This is the sphere of stone. It stats below the frost line and proceeds down past the crush depth to the ferrosphere. It is a wild place of caves, grottos and vaults. It has its parched deserts and its underground rivers, lakes and seas. The vast cavern networks are constantly shifting and are not always mutually accessible, sometime forcing people to the surface to make progress.

    N.B This is obviously an underdark stand in with the realms/wilds mechanics built in.

    Ferrosphere

    This is the innermost and most hostile sphere of fulcrum. It is composed of a infernal sea of extreme pressure liquid metal encased in solid rock. It is illuminated (if this can be said to be the right word) from its center by the convergence of the three essential pillars, the flux of positive and negative energy grants the ferrosphere its 36 hour "day"/"night" cycle.

    Iffrites are the dominant power of the ferrosphere. Their civilization clings to the deep furrows and ridges of the edge of their world, heavily concentrated on the margins of the stone highlands and the deep basins filled with nickle cobalt oceans or along the antediluvian plains of vast liquid metal river systems.

    Like all live in the ferrosphere they posses a silicon based biology with a complex system of metallic ichor and bio plasma. They live in fear of the terrors of the deep core; most particularly the dreaded iron drakes. Aside from certain elemental plains the Iffrite can not survive outside of the ferrosphere without extensive xenoforming. This transmutation allows them to endure the "extreme cold and low pressure" of the "lesser planes"; this is a permanent exile however as they would never survive the return home.
    Last edited by Blightedmarsh; 2012-10-14 at 10:46 AM. Reason: Additions to plains
    My Home brew setting:

    Concentric circles
    Necrotheism

    Quote Originally Posted by JusticeZero View Post
    How very Machiavellian, professor Doom.
    Clever, effective, and anyone who agrees with it is a grade A global supervillain.

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: Concentric circles: Necrothieism [WIP PEACH]

    Good work, I like this setting quite a bit :)

  18. - Top - End - #18
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    EvilClericGuy

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    Default Re: Concentric circles: Necrothieism [WIP PEACH]

    Thanks, and its not done yet.

    Notes: the cosmological information in the OP has indeed gone walkabout to make room for more necrotheism. I will repose it in a linked hub thread though most of it can be found though the page.

    Liches
    Spoiler
    Show

    These immortal beings occupy an exalted position in necrotheistic society. Over the centuries they gradually retire from the hurlyburly of daily life and the cut and thrust of mainstream politics.

    The council of grey lords is the circle of the liches. They are the repositors of history and arcane learning, councilors to the senate and the lanstrad, finally and most importantly they are the supreme judiciary.

    In their role as the judiciary they:

    Act as governmental oversight, investigating corruption and vetting senators and governmental appointments.

    Rule on the constitutionality of laws and decrees.

    Act as the final court of appeal.

    Appoint judges, councilors and inquisitors.

    One of the curious things about Necrotheistic liches is their treatment of phylacteries. These are usually built into an undead construct, which acts as its guardian.

    Crime and punishment
    Spoiler
    Show

    The civil system

    The judiciary relies on the inquisitorial system. The judge acts to appoint three inquisitors; living, unliving and living dead. The judge determiners guilt and decides punishment.

    Rural justice

    In the shires crime is investigated and prosecuted by a noble appointed serif. The local lord or his or her representative acts as judge. Justice is all about maintaining order; as such collective responsibility and collective punishment is the order of the day.

    Most interpersonal disputes are sorted out with violent brawls in the case of the peasantry or honor duels in the case of the nobility. These can escalate into self perpetuating feuds. Local authorities only intervene when it either damages or threatens their interests or spirals out of all control.

    The penal system

    The civil penal system is about providing the victim restitution (either in the form of satisfaction or as compensation) or making a public example of the convict. It has a very high conviction rate, usually leaves the victim and the public feeling that justice has been served and allows people to feel safe to walk the streets; that the innocent might be punished or the guilty might go free is neither here nor there.

    The range of penalties include:

    -Court orders (typically cease and desists)
    -Public chastisements (censure, humiliation or corporal punishments)
    -Fines (often in the form of compensation)
    -Enslavement (Limited term, life or perpetual)
    -Death
    -Exile/Excommunication

    The death sentence varies situationally. It is usually carried out by public stoning on humans, decapitation on vampires and burning on other forms of undead.

    Mages guild
    Spoiler
    Show

    This venerable institution is not the monolithic establishment its name implies, instead it is a grass roots collective operating out of a number of local chapter houses.

    The guild maintains libraries and offers a variety of services including legal advice, magical consultation, boarding houses, work contracts, wholesale magical surpluses as well as collective representation. The guild is the main point of contact between the authorities and the magical community.

    Cities
    Spoiler
    Show

    Naming conventions

    The convention is to name cities after virtues, qualities or ideals. The first city was called Enlightenment (AKA enlightened provenience), the old capitol Majesty, Serenity was the mages guild headquarters and Endeavor the chief port.

    Now Endeavor is under twenty foot of water, there is a perfectly circular and deep lake where Serenity used to be, majesty is a blackened ruin and Enlightenment is lost without a trace.

    Modern cities have names of a more martial aspect. Defiance, Fortitude, Resolution, Endurance and Beauty (a hold over from the old days).

    Layout

    Necrotheistic cities tend to follow a circular street layout of wide orbital and radial thoroughfares and a network of much narrower side streets and alleys. The civic center is always an open plaza or park surrounded by administrative and civic buildings. This hosts the main and slave markets almost every day.

    Rather that rearing walls they favor stone or timber faced ramparts. Built for indestructibility rather than insurmountability, these are formidable obstacles by any measure.

    Beyond the walls grow large and largely lawless slums of dark winding alleys and abutting low buildings.

    Archetexture

    One of the defining features of their buildings are their unusual pyramids. These are wide circular stepped mounds. They have homes, shops and businesses carved into their sides from the base on up every level. Atop sits a small domed building.

    Another feature dominating the skyline are the thin towers that almost seem to defy the ground.


    And now the generic cosmology stuff I removed from the OP for space for this lot

    The Concentric circle cosmos
    Spoiler
    Show


    This cosmos is dominated by the prime axis and the great wheal.

    The Prime Axis

    There are 3 major spheres, three major over plains of the of the prime axis. These are the positive energy plain, the negative energy plain and between these the fulcrum. Interconnecting these are the essential elemental axis; three pillars that are embedded in both the positive and negative planes as well as thrust through though the center of the wilds spheres. Laying between and around these spheres is the swirling elemental maelstrom.

    The great duality

    Some call them the font and the well, eternal light and the ultimate dark, the annihilator and the devourer. The energy exchange between positive and negative planes is one of the prime underpinnings of the cosmos. Without this there would be nothing but a great dark empty void.

    the pillars of the world

    These three axis are the essential elemental vectors. Without them reality would collapse and there would be no higher elements.

    These are composed of the six essential elements. 3 negative and three positive forming three opposing pairs, these are:
    + <---> -
    Mass <---> Void
    Light <---> Dark
    Heat <---> Cold

    The elemental maelstrom

    This large region lies between the positive and negative plains. It is a swirling maelstrom of elemental plains driven by the vast currents of conducting energy.

    The elemental planes themselves are caused by the various conflicts and combinations of the essential planes. These planes are unstable, they collide, combine and transmute into new more complex elements. This is the gradual process of evolution that combined with accretion eventually created the prime material planes at the eye of the storm.

    The great wheel

    This is a disk of stable planes ejected from the maelstrom. They drift serenely in orbit around the cosmos. It is the home of the god and their divine hosts as well as the fiend legions.


    The golden havens

    Above, below and intermingled with the great wheel lie the celestial halls. These otherworldly planes are the physical embodiments of the gods power, its life force.

    Within its heaven a god is all seeing and wields its maximum power. It may have one or more avatar within its celestial hall, whilst killing one or more of them will harm the god to kill it with violence you must kill that very plane itself.

    The souls of dead worshipers -particularly the souls of more exalted individuals- can end up here, otherwise those post mortal celebrants are located on one of the one or more planes that a god claims for their eternal reward

    The dark heavens

    These are the bodies of dead gods. Sometimes they are occupied by fiends, sometimes they are claimed by other gods (who value them as neutral meeting points). There faded halls may be the haunt of the sad remnants of their former inhabitants, they may be abandoned or beset with other things.


    The plains of Fulcrum
    Spoiler
    Show

    This is the prime setting for the concentric circles setting. Fulcrum is comprised of the realms and the wilds spread across five concentric planar spheres.

    The wilds

    "lands lie beyond the hills we know"

    The wilds have a fully plastic and fluid geography. The horizon acts as a kind of black box, you do not know what may or may not lie beyond it until you are over it. Paradoxically it is unlikely to be the same vista the next time you past (making it near impossible for you to pass the same horizon twice without divine assistance). Add to that the fact that distance and duration are entirely subjective it make mapping literally impossible; wild atlases are a Cartesian nightmare that require both mystic sight and near insanity to appreciate.

    The wilds are known as the natural home of the fae as well as a host of exotic flora and fauna not found in more mundane regions. These include a host of mega fauna such as migratory dragons, tarrasque, ettin, collosi and adult titans.

    willderlands

    Wilderlands are the frontiers, they are the middle state between realms and the wilds. More pliant than plastic the wilderlands are difficult to navigate for the uninitiated. One of the more unstable elements of the wilderlands are the ruins relics and monuments of ancient lost realms. These are fully capable of wandering around the landscape or dispersing into the aetherspace for centuries at a time.

    Wilderlands are host to isolated villages, small (usually) independent frontier towns as well as more nomadic tribes. Wilderlands are the favored haunts of Kiamera manbeast tribes as well as other beings both more human and less.

    The realms

    To put it flippantly these are the places where mortals [not fae] live. A realm is geographically pretty stable and home to at least one a nation of people who define themselves as one.

    Realms follow the fichers and to a (certain extent) the revers mass ficher principle. The land and nature of a realm is affected by its ruler and the people are shaped by land. For example a realm with an insane king will be subject to greater levels of random or unpredictable events. A hard and harsh realm will shape its people into a hard and hash people.

    Naturally occurring realms may be as small as city or as large as a kingdom. Smaller realms do exist but they require divine or magical assistance to be sustained or come into existence at that size. They are normally fringed by a band of wilderland though they may abut other realms or even wilds.

    Realms that overextend have difficulties holding themselves together. Realms that collapse often disintegrate into craton linked sub-realms, revert back to wilderland or even to wildspace.

    Cratons

    A craton is a shared semi-stable region of three or more realms, often containing a considerable amount of wilderland. One of the defining characteristics of a craton is that its realms define themselves as of that region. Examples of cratons include multi-realm empires such as Xui'Sha or realms with a shared culture such as the lands of the former necrotheistic empire.

    A special case is the bi-realm. These are formed of two realms that define themselves in relationship to each other, they usualy have an adversarial or antagonistic relationship though symbiotic realms are not uncommon. Bi-realms are highly stable and can endure for millenia. Bi-realms most often
    emerge from the brake up of larger cratons and form the core of emergent cratons.

    the spheres

    Aethosphere

    This sphere starts at the base of the high clouds and extends upwards from there. It is warmer, thicker, richer and far deeper than atmosphere of that height as any real right to be.

    The aethosphere plays host to the tops of the tallest mountains, flying fortresses, levitating mountains, cloudscapes, skyscraping towers and bable trees. Indigenous fauna include air whales, gas floaters, dragons, harpies, furies and other winged humanoids.

    By the very nature of the plane advanced magitec is an absolute esential to day to day existence. One would imagine that this would leed to the domination of magoracies, this is not the case. The wizards and artificers of this sphere have a tendency to be aligned with one or more of the various competing inter-realm magical industrial combines. Actual leadership of the realms is dominated by the noble clans; be it in duchies, principalities or the oligarchic republics (although having said that these clans have a far higher instance than average of potential sorcerers).

    One of the most distinctive phenomena of the aethosphere are the skyships. These craft use magic to levitate and propel them through the air. They are often used by merchants and explorers as well as sky pirates and the various aerial navies. The sight of two fleets of airships hammering seven shaded of snot out of each other is one of the most awe inspiring things in the world and as strong a reminder as can be not to cross mages. Skyships cannot fly bellow the clouds, the ability of the magic keeping them alofts to resist the pull of the earth become progressively weaker the lower they go until it becomes too much and the ship "flounders".

    Examples of military magitec include aetherial pulse jets, magistorm Gatlings, ark lightning projectors, S.G.R.S (spirit guided rocket systems), Golem auto loaders and bastion class sky knights. Examples of such tec on the surface are usually limited to badly damaged salvaged from crashed airships or as the "fallout" of aerial warfare.

    Terrasphere

    This is the second sphere of fulcrum. Its residence believe that it is most important of the planes; it does for example have the largest number of realms and 7 out of the top ten largest stable realms, surprisingly it is (by volume) the smallest of the five spheres, it is also the least spherical. It Extends only a few hundred meters below ground and scant kilometers above sea level. The terrosphere covers only the large landmasses, inland seas and the oceans within sight of the coast. It is broken up into several large semi-stable continental clusters.

    Bathysphere

    These are the shifting open oceans of fulcrum. It plays host to mysterious storm wracked islands, floating lands, icebergs, horrors from the deep, under sea civilizations (both living and lost) and nations under sail.

    Lithosphere

    This is the sphere of stone. It stats below the frost line and proceeds down past the crush depth to the ferrosphere. It is a wild place of caves, grottos and vaults. It has its parched deserts and its underground rivers, lakes and seas. The vast cavern networks are constantly shifting and are not always mutually accessible, sometime forcing people to the surface to make progress.

    N.B This is obviously an underdark stand in with the realms/wilds mechanics built in.

    Ferrosphere

    This is the innermost and most hostile sphere of fulcrum. It is composed of a infernal sea of extreme pressure liquid metal encased in solid rock. It is illuminated (if this can be said to be the right word) from its center by the convergence of the three essential pillars, the flux of positive and negative energy grants the ferrosphere its 36 hour "day"/"night" cycle.

    Iffrites are the dominant power of the ferrosphere. Their civilization clings to the deep furrows and ridges of the edge of their world, heavily concentrated on the margins of the stone highlands and the deep basins filled with nickle cobalt oceans or along the antediluvian plains of vast liquid metal river systems.

    Like all live in the ferrosphere they posses a silicon based biology with a complex system of metallic ichor and bio plasma. They live in fear of the terrors of the deep core; most particularly the dreaded iron drakes. Aside from certain elemental plains the Iffrite can not survive outside of the ferrosphere without extensive xenoforming. This transmutation allows them to endure the "extreme cold and low pressure" of the "lesser planes"; this is a permanent exile however as they would never survive the return home.

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    What is good and evil anyway?

    I like the idea of the forces of good and evil being opposed by cultural and political differences, but not opposite.

    So good uses positive energy and evil uses negative. These are opposed and cancel each other out. There is nothing inherently evil or good about them, they are merely tools.

    The forces of good favor actions certain actions, they also approve of actions that favor themselves. In this they are no different than the forces of evil. Alignment is connected to morality by opposition and cultural convention only. Necromancy is evil because the forces of evil have a proprietary interest over it

    Both sides wish to control the mortal world for their own ends, they both desire souls. All sides in their interminable war shamelessly commit and expect their followers to commit horrific acts against the other; they take pride in this and umbrage to those who object.

    what are the gods like?

    The gods in this setting tend to view mortals as vessels for their portfolios. So the goddess of motherhood would view all mortals as prospective or active parents. The idea of a man (or worse a woman) who didn't like or want children would be viewed as an aberration, one who couldn't have children as a sadly afflicted. If such a person came to her direct attention then it would irritate her no end and if left to her own devices she would probably set out to "correct" the situation until either she got her way or the unfortunate mortal brakes.

    The gods view us as existing to serve, facilitate and worship them. Our happiness, our achievements and our sufferings our not a reflection of our efforts, ideals or failings but the result of their actions. They might help us because it gives them the satisfaction of our worship and the pride of a job well done; not because we need it. At best they might care about us in general in the same way you do about a pastime, they might care about a "special" mortal in the same way you do as a pet.

    A god that is effectively an ascendant meme would be like this right from the get go. An ascendant mortal -particularly at first- would be much better than this, far more humane, but possibly in the worst sense of the word. Given time however they would become very distant from their mortal roots; the portfolio is always there in the back of their minds like a constant dull itch and they have got to learn a way to cope with it or it will drive them mad.

    How would you describe the world of fulcrum?

    Take one reasonably standard high fantasy RPG world.
    Take sledgehammer to the fabric of time and space
    Scatter the bite sized peaces of space time in a broth of elderich fae wilds
    Bring to boil and allow to simmer
    Season with insane troll logic to taste.

    Got a lot of ideas from the landover series by terry brooks.

    What is a craton anyway?

    A craton or tectonic shield is a geological term for a large peace of ancient stable continental crust. Cratons include baltica and siberia. If you can think of a better colloquial name for this don't hesitate to say.

    Last edited by Blightedmarsh; 2012-10-20 at 12:50 PM.
    My Home brew setting:

    Concentric circles
    Necrotheism

    Quote Originally Posted by JusticeZero View Post
    How very Machiavellian, professor Doom.
    Clever, effective, and anyone who agrees with it is a grade A global supervillain.

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    Default Re: Concentric circles: Necrothieism [PEACH]

    I find this incredibly interesting. A part of me is trying to figure out how to run the darn thing and coming up a little blank. While D&D and pathfinder work for foriegners, sooner or later a player will want to come from there.

    Help?
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    EvilClericGuy

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    Default Re: Concentric circles: Necrothieism [PEACH]

    I find this incredibly interesting. A part of me is trying to figure out how to run the darn thing and coming up a little blank. While D&D and pathfinder work for foriegners, sooner or later a player will want to come from there.

    Help?
    Thank you.

    I am currently working on a l larger concentric circle setting and this idea came to me whilst posting on Undead evil. It was too delicious to abandon so I rerigged both it and my setting to better fit. Its more of a faction write up then a complete world at the moment. What you could do is alter it a bit to fit in with yours or others work.

    I am noodling around and writing up race stuff for this setting here if its of any use to you.

    I am also working on an updated and expanded cosmology, I will post this in its current state here if you particularly want it.

    Alternatively for your perusal some of the foreigners I was conceiving when I wrote this (they are not particularly fully fleshed out right now but it is a start:

    Elves/Fae:

    Mad bad and dangerous to know. Their are numerous topics on Fae, I was thinking fae based of the classical blood drenched folk tales rather than anything by Tolkeen

    I envisage that elves at least around the former necrotheistic empire where once a major power that clashed with the early empire in the same way that Carthage clashed with Rome, and like Carthage they where destroyed. Now there are some very bitter elven remnants out there general stirring up trouble and looking to take back some of what they lost.

    The Southern theocracy

    They where once a persecuted religious movement in the days of the old empire. With the chaos of the fall they where able to seize much of the imperial heartlands including the founding city. They believe that the universe itself is a vast incomprehensible Cthulian god. The believe that the souls of mortals are fragments of the divinity of this god and that instead of being obliterated souls that fade or are consumed by the duality are returned to merge the great god. They are currently divided on whether the other gods are servants of the universal god, whether they are enemies of the real god or weather they are worthy of worship in their own right or not.

    The Allied lands

    This is the name of a fractious association of small republics, city state, duchies and principalities. They worship a shared pantheon with each state having its own patron deity that it worships above but not to the exclusion of the other gods. It is a land where loyalty to the nation is not a well trafficked concept; instead people are loyal to individual persons, to organizations like guilds, knightly or religious orders, mercenary or merchant companies and so on and so forth.

    The allied part of the name is deceptive. It has never been at peace since its formation. In theory the lands send representatives to a biannual conclave to decide on the greater matters, announce joint initiative and resolve disputes. In reality the conclave is a vicious hive of political and literal backstabbing, a place of plotting and secret deals; lies, misinformation and roomer are the order of the day.

    The llans

    These are territories ruled over by the settled barbarian tribes. They straddle the outlying areas and frontiers of the old empires. These are a wild almost lawless place where a mans rights are determined by the weight of his sword arm. These lands are divided up into areas ruled over by tribal confederacies and clanns. They are poorly developed and vicious feuds and border raids are daily realities here.

    People worship gods, dragons, titans, trolls, devils, fiends and Alfar in any which way but loose.Power is power and the world is a dangerous place for mortals they will worships anything with power to share really; they don't discriminate.

    Fiends

    I imaging that fiends are devils (good), daemons (evil) and elementals (dijjin: neutral). They make pacts, grant wishes and claim souls. They are strongly aligned with vices, virtues, strong emotions and pleasures. The souls that they claim are brought to their home plains and they either torment, enslave or enshrined them in early paradises; the energy they extract from the soul is used to empower them and sustain their home plane. Given enough time most souls will merge with the plain; strengthening it. A small minority of strong willed individuals are changed into yet more fiends. Djjin are a little different, they collect and enslave souls but they don't need them to sustain their home plains as they reside in the young energetic planes of the elemental maelstrom.
    Last edited by Blightedmarsh; 2012-10-25 at 11:12 AM.
    My Home brew setting:

    Concentric circles
    Necrotheism

    Quote Originally Posted by JusticeZero View Post
    How very Machiavellian, professor Doom.
    Clever, effective, and anyone who agrees with it is a grade A global supervillain.

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    Default Re: Concentric circles: Necrothieism

    Some very neat ideas. I like it.

    Question:
    The original post says that in the setting "it is assumed that good and evil do have objective verifiable existence", yet shortly thereafter you say that in the land of the necrotheists "men are free to decide for themselves what is right or wrong". If moral values are objectively demonstrable, then a man seeking to decide for himself what is right or wrong is like a man who seeks to decide for himself what 2+2 is, isn't he?
    Some sort of necessarily illogical rebel?

    Also, if I were to abhor the gods because they want to punish/reward me in an afterlife based on my deeds, instead seeking to take control of my own "afterlife" through necromancy so that they have no power over me anymore and thus cannot "bully" me into being a nice person, then wouldn't I feel similarly about worldly authority who seeks to punish me for my deeds? What makes the lich judge fit to decide over my fate based on my actions, but not the divine judge? Or to phrase it differently: Why are the necrotheists willing to conform to the rules of the undead state instead of their own if they aren't even willing to conform to the objectively given rules of the cosmos?




    Quote Originally Posted by Kelb_Panthera View Post
    Sorry for being overly pendantic.
    My note below is pedantic too, but I hope you appreciate it instead of being annoyed by it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kelb_Panthera View Post
    Antitheist would be more appropriate, since it would roughly mean "against the gods." Necrotheist would roughly mean "Death is god." Though the latin kinda breaks down well before this point since necromancy roughly means "talking to the dead."
    None of the involved words is Latin at all.
    Last edited by Tingel; 2012-11-01 at 04:17 PM.

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    EvilClericGuy

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    Default Re: Concentric circles: Necrothieism

    Quote Originally Posted by Tingel View Post
    Some very neat ideas. I like it.

    Question:
    The original post says that in the setting "it is assumed that good and evil do have objective verifiable existence", yet shortly thereafter you say that in the land of the necrotheists "men are free to decide for themselves what is right or wrong". If moral values are objectively demonstrable, then a man seeking to decide for himself what is right or wrong is like a man who seeks to decide for himself what 2+2 is, isn't he?
    Some sort of necessarily illogical rebel?

    An exert from the revamped and enlarged cosmology I am working on in the background.

    What is good and evil all about anyway

    That good and evil exist is an undeniable fact, that they are opposed is also undeniable, they attract like and repel the other. What this actually means is debatable at best. Philosophers, scholars, sages and scientists have long investigated the nature of good and evil. For every verified fact about the nature of good and evil there are a thousand hypothesis, base assumptions, ”self-evident” truths and outright fallacies. All that can be said with and degree of certainty is that good tends to deal with things as they might be and evil tends to deal with matters as they are.

    Scattered though out the astral sea are fonts of both good and evil. These appear like liquid spheres of a sickly sweet radiant honey or a shimmering dark mercurial substance. These fonts are not an unlimited resource, eventually they run dry. New fonts are found to replace old ones and it is theorized that there is a finite amount of pure good or evil in the universe at any one time. These substances (ambrosia and ichor magna) are highly prized by divine, celestial and mortal beings alike. They are used in a huge variety of application; in spells, rituals, enchanting, genesis, potions and poisons, mutagens and reproduction.

    Good an evil exist and may or may not actually equate to wickedness and righteousness; no one knows for certain. Morality in of itself is for most practical purposes subjective but the gods are having non of that; our way is the only way (never mind that "our way" is often inconstant, contradictory, inflexible and morally questionable).

    Nercotheists were people who saw the contradictions, questioned the moral values of the divine mandate, doubted their version of the truth and were dubious of the intent of the gods. Finding no satisfactory answers (and the gods move in mysterious is not a satisfactory answer) they rejected the divine covenants as invalid and the gods as suspect.

    Now they use both good and evil purely as a resource, they decide for themselves what is or is not moral on its own merits without consulting scripture. In theory it was supposed to be spiritual anarchism but as with all things the burgeoning new state has replaced the gods.

    Also, if I were to abhor the gods because they want to punish/reward me in an afterlife based on my deeds, instead seeking to take control of my own "afterlife" through necromancy so that they have no power over me anymore and thus cannot "bully" me into being a nice person, then wouldn't I feel similarly about worldly authority who seeks to punish me for my deeds? What makes the lich judge fit to decide over my fate based on my actions, but not the divine judge? Or to phrase it differently: Why are the necrotheists willing to conform to the rules of the undead state instead of their own if they aren't even willing to conform to the objectively given rules of the cosmos?
    And that is a very good question.

    Part of it is because:

    Legalism: That liche is answerable to an elected (and mostly alive) body and has to operate by known rules and procedures, not fiat.

    Aspiration: Because those undead are us and we might become them, particularly over the course of multiple incarnations.

    Reverence: People don't stop needing spiritual satisfaction just because the gods are forbidden. Some of that awe has been transferred to the undead; thus is very plausible in a society with a preference for ancestor reverence and/or physical gods.

    Compulsion: It is a contradiction, a source of underling tension. Social, economic, legal and physical pressures may be employed to suppress opposition and it may not always work. The empire was brought down because of internal strife and this may well have been one of the major causative factors involved.
    My Home brew setting:

    Concentric circles
    Necrotheism

    Quote Originally Posted by JusticeZero View Post
    How very Machiavellian, professor Doom.
    Clever, effective, and anyone who agrees with it is a grade A global supervillain.

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    Default Re: Concentric circles: Necrothieism [PEACH]

    Just my little input:
    Instead of having vampires have some sort of addicting vice, maybe give them a strong preference to one of the deadly sins? It gives a nice amount of roleplay since they are a bit more general than being a vampire with alcoholism.
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    EvilClericGuy

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    Default Re: Concentric circles: Necrothieism [PEACH]

    As it stands it is a compulsion to be compulsive anbout something; anything. You could easily play it as character with a predilection for one of the seven deadly sins in general, or even take one of the heavenly virtues and turn it into a vice (OCD, meddlesome, masochism and so on and so forth).
    My Home brew setting:

    Concentric circles
    Necrotheism

    Quote Originally Posted by JusticeZero View Post
    How very Machiavellian, professor Doom.
    Clever, effective, and anyone who agrees with it is a grade A global supervillain.

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