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  1. - Top - End - #301
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Steckie's Avatar

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    Default Re: Crossroads II: I'm on a Mammoth.

    The baby has been keeping me very busy, so posting and research time has been drastically lessened. Things should improve in a couple of weeks, depending on how quickly he changes his feeding pattern.

    Bakari

    Title
    The Caesar-thing sounds like a good idea.
    It means we'll need a cathing name for Genghixandra. Something that is short enough to work as a title and sounds a bit badass. Oh, and something that has roots in Amazonian language.... Probably very difficult to find something like that.

    Tawantinsuyu

    Motherships
    Yeah, i figured that might be a bit much. Let's just keep it simple and mundane.

    These motherships are towed by the reed boats, so i assume they're going to be relatively slow. Slower than European ships obviously.
    So Tawantinsuyu does need to make sure their coast is covered pretty well by the motherships, if not then the Europeans will just slip ships past them using their speed, ignoring the motherships completely.
    To make the motherships competitive i propose that we make them very resilient to cannonfire. If european ships fire their cannons at a mothership, it will make a little hole in the pumice or reeds, it will go straight through without schrapnel being thrown around by the impact. And the hole in the ship isn't much of a problem either, the mothership wont sink. Motherships never sink, they can only be broken into pieces and dispersed.

    Question: are the motherships able to go as far north as the Triple Alliance or even some Fusang harbors?

    Llama's
    Using magic seems a bit cheap indeed.
    Hmm, we could use yaks imported from Tibet, via Fusang. They're mountain animals that can be ridden. And they're non-European, so they are more likely to be imported by Tawantinsuyu.
    I don't know how fast yaks are or if they are suited for combat or not, it's just a random thought.

    Government
    Been reading up on their government and it seems like they had some sort of communism-esque thing going on. Any plans on how to make this happen in the setting?
    Last edited by Steckie; 2014-06-30 at 03:28 PM.

  2. - Top - End - #302
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    Admiral Squish's Avatar

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    Default Re: Crossroads II: I'm on a Mammoth.

    Babies can be quite troublesome, from what I hear. But I am certainly glad it's all working out over there.

    Bakari

    Title
    I'll definitely have to get into the research for this one.

    Tawantinsuyu

    Motherships
    I wouldn't say they'd necessarily be slow. It depends on how many reed boats they support, what kind of pull they could provide, and how much resistance the island itself provides. With the really buoyant pumice, it should sit relatively high in the water, so that decreases the resistance a bit. On the other hand... they're not exactly hydrodynamic in shape. As to how much pull the ships can give, just a little bit of extra sail on each ship would exponentially increase the total pull on the island. (Oh, it just occurred to me, the reed ships shouldn't be towing from the back, the anchor lines should attach to the mast above and below the sail, to reduce the stresses on the ship itself). As to how many ships, it depends on the size of the island. If we're talking about a standard village-sized isle, I could imagine a dozen or so boats attached. If we scale up a bit more, we could have two dozen or more.

    Now, in combat, I definitely agree they would be hard to damage. They wouldn't sink, they would break up, in most cases, though they could have 'slow death' situations, where the cannon fire destroys the fresh water supply, or smashes the alchemy stockpile, and makes them unable to continue fighting, or leaves them with no way to survive long enough to replenish. Cannon fire on the island itself would be a bad situation, though. If the island has any measure of control over the engagement, the enemy ship wouldn't get close enough. It works much like an aircraft carrier, with the small, fast boats launching to engage potential threats well before they can get close enough to threaten the main island.

    Llamas
    I suppose I may be a bit too focused on acid-spitting war-llamas. It's a somewhat silly idea, I suppose...
    Ehh, I don't think yaks would do it. They're more about cold mountains, snow-caps, and I don't think the Andes get that much snow (need to look into that). Besides, they wouldn't give the speed advantage that was offered by horses. They would be good for carrying or towing really heavy stuff, but I don't know how that would work over the stairs and bridges.

    Government
    Oh, yes, it seems there were a lot of communist-esque things going on in Tawantinsuyu. The state provided clothing, emergency supplies, security, and access to agricultural and infrastructural benefits, in exchange for taxes of food, labor, and military service.
    Now, sources differ on how well it actually worked out for everyone. The records we have are post-conquest, so they're a bit unreliable. If memory serves, one of the big sources was written by a member of the royal family, after education in Spain for most of his adult life. He claimed that the system worked very well, and that nobody went hungry in the empire, which seems a bit unlikely, but it's possible it was quite effective.
    I'm not sure what you mean about how I would 'make it happen in the setting'. It's simply how it works in the country, much like other nations are depicted.

    Haudenosaunee (Ganonsyoni)
    Well, since we're mostly on the details of the south american region at the moment, perhaps now would be a good time to bring up the Haudenosaunee and how they interact with the other natives and the colonies.
    I thought Haudenosaunee was their self-name, but it seems they called themselves the Ganonsyoni.

    Beaver Wars:
    Historically, post-contact, the Ganonsyoni became dependent upon the trade with the English, and eventually ended up fighting a series of war known as the beaver wars. The exact reasoning of these wars is debated, some saying it was so they could secure the lucrative fur trade, others saying it was an example of a 'mourning war', where the tribe would go to war to take slaves and captives to replenish their numbers after a significant loss, usually after a famine, but in this case, after the loss of life from smallpox and other diseases.
    By the end of it, though, they controlled a pretty significant area, as illustrated by this map:
    Beaver Wars Expansion
    But, afterward, they signed treaties that relinquished their claim to significant chunks of that land to England (though the English actually had no presence there), and then lost bits of land off their easern side to the expanding colonies. Another helpful map:
    Shrinkage

    So, I'm not sure exactly what they would hold by setting time. It's complicated by questions of how affected each group was by diseases, how their populations held up, whether the English were powerful enough at the time to take the Michigan region from the Ganonsyoni, and the level of influence other larger entities have in the region.
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  3. - Top - End - #303
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    Steckie's Avatar

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    Default Re: Crossroads II: I'm on a Mammoth.

    Sidenote: in about half an hour Belgium is going to play the USA on the world cup football (that's soccer for you silly Americans).
    No offense, but i hope we kick you out of Brazil like the Amazonians did with the Portuguese. Without the genocide and killing and general nastiness that is

    Tawantinsuyu

    Government
    What i meant with 'make it happen in the setting' is how are we going to put the communistic angle into a game system that has been designed with capitalism in mind?
    In every RPG i know there is a loot system where players find pretty stuff and either keep it or sell it to use the money to buy other pretty stuff. And with leveling up comes more money, the wealth by level system.

    How would a loot system work in a communist nation? If the Inca sends the players to a tomb to clear it out, will they be allowed to keep the loot? Is there a market system available to buy weapons and other equipment or does the Inca (and his representatives) need to assign the items to the players?
    I know this depends on the type of communism, but a system where everything in the nation is owned by the Inca and borrowed out to the population would work roughly the same.

    Haudenosaunee (Ganonsyoni)

    Depends on a few things, how are their contacts with the Tuniit? And the Cree?
    And did the medicine disease spread to them in time to protect them against the plagues a bit? If their population is high enough they might be able to more easily hold on to that territory.
    Does Dutch territory border that of the Ganonsyoni? This could have a big effect, they could play the Dutch against the English to keep settlers away from their border.
    Oh, and if they're supported by the Vespuccian Freemasons, would that have a big effect? Don't know how powerfull the Freemasons were between 1600 and 1750 in America.

    Either way i prefer to give them a decent chunk of territory, they're an interesting group to have around. They are in a way partly responsible for the American democratic system.

  4. - Top - End - #304
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    GnomeWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Crossroads II: I'm on a Mammoth.

    An idea for a communsit state could be that you get a credit for the loot you bring back that is taken by the State in recognition of your good work. Or you lie and hide it.

  5. - Top - End - #305
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    Default Re: Crossroads II: I'm on a Mammoth.

    I was listening to NPR the other day, and there was an interview with Terry Gross where she was talking to a guy who studied the demographic of seafood in america. Apparently, the east coast (especially from the Long Island Sound to the Chesapeke Bay) had a substantial amount of oyster reefs, which collapsed in the 19th century. I could go into why they aren't around any more, but I think the important point is to point out that there used to be a TON of them in these areas, and while a minor detail, would have a great flair and possible influnce on them.
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  6. - Top - End - #306
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    Imp

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    Default Re: Crossroads II: I'm on a Mammoth.

    This may seem a little out of place, but how did Erik the Red interact with the natives in Vinland?

  7. - Top - End - #307
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    GnomeWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Crossroads II: I'm on a Mammoth.

    My understanding is that it was his sons Liefr and Thorvaldr, and his daughter Freydis that did the interactions, and in Freydis and Thorvald's case that was killing a whole bunch of natives, while Liefr just wintered in the area and headed back to Greenland. Erik the Red established Greenland.

  8. - Top - End - #308
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    Admiral Squish's Avatar

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    Default Re: Crossroads II: I'm on a Mammoth.

    Sorry it's been so long since I replied, thread, It was a crazy week. Had to go help dad move all week, then I had to bake all day, then it was the fourth... Then I got distracted with this dire staff thing, which I'm debating about including in the setting. Mostly because I just wanna be able to play a sasquatch wielding most of a tree.

    Tawantinsuyu

    Communism
    I think calling it 'communism' may be a bit misleading. It wasn't Marxist in nature, it had some similarities to a communist government, but it's more like convergent evolution than divergent.
    The government didn't own everything as far as I can tell. They didn't do much intra-empire trading, as far as I can tell, but they did have bartering within communities. The government also had somewhat more formalized control over specialists and craftsmen, like metallurgists and weavers, which led to the government controlling stuff like clothing, metal tools, and such.
    In-game, it probably wouldn't affect the players very much. The government would likely treat adventurers much like it does specialized craftsmen, dispatching them around to do things for the good of the empire. Maybe they would have to turn in loot to the government, but maybe they would have allowances for equipment, or maybe they just take everything then redistribute the gear to where it could be doing the most good, giving the adventurers new gear to replace what they took in preparation for their next task.

    Haudenosaunee (Ganonsyoni)

    Foreign Relations
    this one's a pretty complicated question. I think at the time of European contact, they wouldn't have had much dealing with any other major groups, their confederacy being largely surrounded by other small tribes, not full-sized nations. After contact, they would have begun expanding, capturing most of the great lakes region from local unaffiliated tribes. I think the Cahokian League would be somewhat annoyed at them, having taken the area they were trying to court (A water trade route out to the sea and the Columbian colonies would be very profitable). Bordering no less than three other major nations, there would be some serious tension on the territory. France would want to get their food in the door and get access to all those lovely lakes for trading. The Tuniit are always semi-passively expanding.

    Disease
    The Ganonsyoni are west of the Appalachians, so they would probably have been exposed to the medicine plagues. They would have had some serious losses, certainly, as they have close enough contact with the Europeans to catch some stuff before the full waves of medicine plague come through. Something like 25% losses, perhaps?

    Democracy
    Oh, most definitely, they were a big influence. There was even a congressional resolution acknowledging their contribution to the foundation of american democracy. Representative government, checks and balances, freedom of speech, all came from them and their neighbors.

    Oysters
    Now this is a cool detail! It's not gonna be a huge thing, obviously, but it definitely could be a very nice, flavorful tweak, having oyster-carts around on the streets of new Amsterdam. The oyster beds would be fine in this time frame, so that's definitely getting included in the setting.

    Vinland
    I don't know much of anything about Erik the Red, honestly. Time for research!
    So, I would imagine things to play out in a very similar way to the history. Erik is exiled, explores the coast of greenland, advertises for a wave of settlement, and set up the two colonies, which manage to survive until the 1400s. Then when the colonies fall apart the survivors blend with the tuniit (culture) inhabitants of the land and eventually, we get the Vinlandrs.

    Jade
    This occurred to me while I was looking into the classic monsters, and a jade monster showed up on the list. What kind of properties would jade have as a material? Maybe it's particularly conducive to being animated into constructs?
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  9. - Top - End - #309
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    Kobold

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    Default Re: Crossroads II: I'm on a Mammoth.

    I've skimmed through this thread quite a bit, but I've got a number of thoughts and questions about the setting that I figured I should put down, since I've been considering building a pathfinder book with similar ideas (though I would have focused more on the initial colonization period, making it something akin to how Kingmaker worked).

    While highly involved, some of the stuff you're doing seems to be really quite extensive for a campaign setting. Totally overhauling the classes and tweaking the races. This just seems excessive to me as it'd make the book a bit harder to use, as the more elements a GM or player can use the more likely it is they'll run the module.

    I noticed you've decided not to use most of the traditional pathfinder races, instead focusing on the new races of the new world, and at the same time removing most of the old pathfinder races. While I can see your point, the decision to make it so this is very much an American Colonization + Magic type setting, that it might work better if you actually allowed their use, tweaking the races to roll them back toward their mythical starts. Then you could incorporate additional elements, like the flight of various European magical races to the new world attempting to escape the church and human persecution.

    It's also similar to how many of the earliest colonies were founded by persecuted religious groups. If you take the mythical races for each region and have them move along with where the historical source of colonists were then you can have really quite interesting and different things going on.

    The Pennsylvania Dutch's Germanic settlers might include kobolds, germanic and norse style dwarves, and elves.

    The English and Scottish settlers might include elves, gnomes, goblins, half-elves, and hobgoblins considering traditional British lore and the role of the fey in their folklore. Also, I'd reverse the name order of hobgoblin and goblin as the hobgoblin is traditionally smaller then the normal goblin. If you include the Orkney and Shetland Isles, you actually end up adding Trow (Drow) to the list of possible immigrant races.

    The Irish settlers might include sidhe/sith (halflings), and a plethora of fey.

    I mentioned rolling back the fantasy to the baseline myths, so I'll make a couple examples...

    Kobold traditionally in Germany, the kobold is something of a catch all term like faerie in England. However, there is a tendency for them to be associated with mining and dragons, as local myths refer to them occasionally as something like a flame drake. A nearly identical mythical race comes from England where they are known as 'Blue caps' after the blue candle lights that hang from their mining caps. In a lot of ways kobolds are fine the way they are, though you might want to give them a re-paint and make them more human like in appearance, but that's completely up to you. I think Pathfinder and DnD played up the more mischievous and 'evil' elements of the myth, so I'd move their alignment toward neutral, but alignment is a fickle thing. Alternate racial traits would be a good way to expand their variability to make it so they match the myths.

    Filling a Pennsylvania mine with them would work fine to my mind.

    Dwarves traditional German and Norse myths are fairly consistent with Tolkien's portrayal of the Dwarves. While I don't doubt they'd face persecution, I'd also think that like the vikings themselves they'd be a group that could be converted to Christianity. They'd probably be much rarer then in traditional fantasy settings, as their home isn't among the major sources of colonists.

    Elves are such a huge part of European folklore that just dropping them seems a bit like a mistake, however not all Elves fall in line with the Norse description. Again, I have to say that using alternate racial traits seems to fit the situation so you can have your short more fey like elves and the taller nordic version as well. Maybe their type should be tweaked to fey, as in most of the European myths they seem rather closely associated with the Seelie Court and other fey and fey like creatures. If you want to go the traditional route, you could have it so the Elves have created a new Alfheim in the Appalachians, where time itself is distorted by their magic... Lets just say wandering there could have you pulling a Rip Van Winkle.

    Gnomes the name gnome is an 18th Century invention, however... a small person with a mischievous nature and rather wild magic sounds a lot like many of the European myths of fey. Giving them alternate racial traits for things like flight or a smaller size would be one way to solidify them as a sort of faerie and still let everyday pathfinder players pick up the module and run with it.

    Goblins short, evil looking fey that tend to be the most mischievous and evil members of the group. If you wanted a race to represent the absolute worst of the colonists, this race would do it. They are prone to violence, trickery, and deceit... Alternate racial traits could be a good way to make them more varied, as Goblins are prone to have an absolutely enormous number of varieties and permutations.

    Half-Elves if there are elves... there will be half-elves. Not much to comment here except I think you could crank up persecution on them up to eleven.

    Halflings most people are surprised to learn Tolkien didn't write in a vacuum, and while the Orc is definitely a creation of his, the creature he names as the Hobbit are not really his creation. The Aos Si or Sidhe, also known as the people of the mounds is the traditional Irish version of the faerie. Their typical description is shockingly similar to the Hobbit, and if you read their background you realize there are multiple references to them living on the other side of the sea. Perhaps having a colony of their own in the New World that predates Columbus?

    Alternate racial traits could be expanded to make it so characters can build some of the other versions of these people. A medium sized version would be required for some examples like the Banshee.

    Drow first off, the actual Drow myth or Trow from the Shetland and Orkney Isles of Scotland is radically different from the myth - BUT - in terms of mechanics they would function largely the same. The mythical Trow of the Shetlands are short creatures with oily black hair and pale complexion that patrol the isles at night. They love music and supposedly abducted musicians. Basically, I'd think you could take the typical Drow mechanics, polarize their appearance (pale skin and black hair) and maybe make some alternate racial traits for smaller size, and they'd be useable.

    In terms of campaign use, you could run a Spanish Armada scenario where survivors of the Spanish Armada end up in the Orkneys and are abducted by them for example, or even just having one or two among the crew of English ships, perhaps working as ship entertainers with fiddles.

    Okay... that's what I had to say on the races, whew...

    Now for the more mechanical bits of this setting - aka High Level Problems. In most Pathfinder campaigns the role of the higher-level foes is held by Outsiders and Dragons for the most part (with occasionally high level characters), but in this setting how much do we have in the way of Outsiders and Dragons? I really hope you're planning to make a lot of use of Native American creature folklore for new monsters. Pukwudgies are a good thing to challenge 5-7 level party, if you tweak them to match the native american folklore (which makes them really nasty), this is my personal stats for the Pukwudgie.

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    Pukwudgie CR 7
    A merging of an emaciated man and a porcupine, this sinister creature reeks of death and decay.
    Pukwudgie
    XP 3,200

    CE small monstrous humanoid (shapechanger)
    Init +3; Senses darkvision 60-ft.; Perception +13
    DEFENSE
    AC 20, touch 16, flat-footed 15 (+4 Dex, +1 dodge, +4 natural, +1 size)
    hp 86 (9d10+36)
    Fort +9, Ref +10, Will +10
    Immune poison
    OFFENSE
    Speed 30 ft.
    Melee 2 claws +14 (1d4+2 plus poison)
    Special Attacks sneak attack +3d6, spawn undead
    Spell-Like Abilities (CL 10th; concentration +14)
    Constant – deathwatch, detect good, detect magic
    At Will – command undead (DC 16); produce flame
    3/day – animate dead, death knell (DC 16), invisibility, ray of enfeeblement (DC 15), scare (DC 16)
    1/day – nondetection (DC 17)
    STATISTICS
    Str 14, Dex 18, Con 19, Int 15, Wis 14, Cha 19
    Base Atk +9; CMB +10; CMD 25
    Feats Dodge, Great Fortitude, Iron Will, Mobility, Weapon Finesse
    Skills Buff +10, Heal +10, Knowledge (arcane) +11, Knowledge (religion) +11, Perception +13, Spellcraft +11, Stealth +16
    Languages Abyssal, Common, Draconic
    SQ change shape (porcupine, beast shape II)
    SPECIAL ABILITIES
    Spawn Undead (Su)
    Any creature slain by a pukwudgie rises in 24 hours as a Tei-Pai-Wanka. Undead created by this ability are not immediately under the control of the pukwudgie, but they receive a -4 penalty on saves against a pukwudgie’s control undead spell-like ability.
    Poison (Su)
    Quill – injury; save Fort DC 18; frequency 1/round for 6 rounds; effect 1d3 Con damage; cure 2 consecutive saves. The save DC is Constitution-based.
    Quills (Ex)
    Any creature attacking a pukwudgie with light or one-handed melee weapons, natural weapons, or an unarmed strike takes 1d4 points of piercing damage. A creature that grapples a pukwudgie takes 2d4 points of piercing damage. Anyone who takes damage from these quills is also exposed to the pukwudgie’s poison.
    ECOLOGY
    Environment temperate forests, hills, or mountains
    Organization solitary, pair, cult (3-10), warband (11-16 warriors with Tei-Pai-Wanka companions), or tribe (17+ plus 100% noncombatants; 1 veteran warrior per 20 adults; 1 or 2 shaman; 1 chieftain; and 10-40 Tei-Pai-Wankas or other Undead Creatures.
    Treasure standard (coins replaced by trade goods)


    Tei-Pai-Wanka are similar in abilities to the Will-o-Wisp, though they deal fire damage and appear more like a flame then a glowing orb.

    Still... I do have a concern about higher level enemies, as Native American myths state rather clearly that Dragons are all but extinct in the Americas, as they were hunted down and defeated by Thunderbirds, leaving behind trace populations and creatures like the Horned Serpent. What do we use to challenge a part of level 15-20 characters? Well... considering the vast swatch of abilities they purportedly have in Native American myths... I just answered my own question.

    The Thunderbird is one of the most powerful creatures in Native American myths, capable of causing earthquakes, storms, taking human form, and living in groups. Imagine a band of Colonists fighting against a serious of native attacks, and when they march on the village one of the women walks out before them spreads her arms out, transforms into Thunderbird, and proceeds to call down lightning, thunder, and all sorts of spells on the party.

    I think, to do it right, you'd have to make it so Thunderbirds are built similarly to Dragons, with age categories and really powerful abilities. They might not have front claws, or tail slaps, but their talons, wings, and other attacks would make them comparable. I'd think they'd be more maneuverable then a dragon of the same size (they're actually birds after all) and in the unlike event a dragon fought one, I'd think it'd be one hell of a battle.

  10. - Top - End - #310
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    SuperDave's Avatar

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    Default Re: Crossroads II: I'm on a Mammoth.

    Sorry I've been silent for so long, folks. I've been focusing on the ol' homebrewing for a while, and haven't been as up-to-date on the main thread as I normally am. Good news is, I've got the Garden Pixie and the Sisiutl well under way (if not quite done yet), and I even had an idea for how rolling heads might work: they're pretty fast, but the fact that they're spinning all the time means they can't turn very quickly, so they'd basically move like flying creatures with "clumsy" maneuverability, only along the ground instead of through the air.

    Squish and I have been slowly plugging away at the Cultures List, and the Classic Monsters should be ready for inclusion very soon.

    Treants/Dryads
    I've actually had some ideas in this direction, which could be applied to either dryads or treants (though we probably don't need both in the setting, honestly):
    • Pitch-Pine - limbs are dripping with sticky sap, which acts as a natural tanglefoot bag. Also, if you set them on fire, they explode.
    • Devil tree (Triplaris americana) - has a symbiosis with swarms of fire ants (hence the name), which live just under its bark.
    • Palm tree - comes with a ranged coconut-attack. That's all I've got, really.
    • Honeysuckle - produces a delicious smell, which makes humanoids more susceptible to charm and suggestion.
    • Cottonwood - releases clouds of fluffy white seeds which are so thick they grant concealment, like a miniature snowstorm
    • Brazilwood - inch-long triangular thorns all over their bodies. Nasty.
    • Tumbleweed - not sure what to do with these guys, but they seems perfect for the setting.
    • Cypress - highly resistant to water (immune to warp wood, damage from water-based spells, parasites, fungus, and rot)

    I also remembered that I once came across some Cactus Dryads by our very own Bhu!

    God-Disguises
    I just bought and finished reading a copy of GURPS Aztecs, and I highly recommend that everyone check it out. It's incredibly detailed, very well written, and extremely relevant to the setting (especially the section on the secular and religious calendars, and how the interacted to form lucky and unlucky days for certain types of actions/professions).
    Anyway, the reason I bring this up is because in reading this book, I discovered a major facet of Aztec culture: the ixiptla, or "god-disguise".
    In Aztec religion, the gods were their roles, in a fairly literal sense. When one god took on the role of being the sun, he became a different god, and wore different regalia to match his new office. For example, the goddess of maize could easily take on the role of her daughter, the goddess of cornmeal, etc. An effigy or icon of a god was that god made real, and the same applied to human impersonators: captives were forced to wear the regalia of a god, perform that god's function until their next feast day, and be ceremonially sacrificed to that god. This regalia, or "ixiptla", imbued the wearer with the powers and authority of that god(dess), but at a terrible cost.
    We have GOT to stat up a few of these.

    Wombat of Doom: I haven't had a chance to check out The Paragon of Beard yet (like I said, I've been behind on the main thread), but I definitely will read it before I do any further work on the Lumberjack. Thanks for pointing me towards it!
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    Default Re: Crossroads II: I'm on a Mammoth.

    Hey people! So, I finally updated the first post with some classic monsters that are appropriate for the setting, and transplanted the list of completed/uncompleted monsters from the call to brew thread to the first posts. Also, as Superdave mentioned, we have been plugging away at the cultures, I ended up rewriting the Vinlandr culture and I'm almost done with the Mexica, Maya, and British ones.

    Setting Stuff
    First, lemme say we're glad you're interested in the setting, Stellar_Magic! Always glad to have new faces around here, and I can see you've got plenty of ideas!

    New Material
    I know the logic behind using as much of the old material as possible, trust me on that one. However, every change we've decided to make has been deemed necessary for the setting to function. In a world where no major military force uses melee weapons as their first choice, why would there be five different martial classes? Why would a divine spellcaster be trained to wear armor? The march of time isn't just additive, as new things arise, old things die out. Crossroads is set some 500 years ahead of the world of a traditional pathfinder setting, it only makes sense than so much would be different. While, yes, it might be a challenge to get into it, I think we shouldn't compromise the overall setting's unique nature to fit.

    Classic Races
    There are a couple of reasons that I decided to make all-new races for the setting.
    For one, I fell there's a plethora of Tolkien-esque fantasy stories and world out there, the traditional 'swords and sorcery' sort of world. What I really wanted to do with this setting was shed light on some pantheons of myth that have largely been ignored by the fantasy world. Native American myths, in particular, but Aztec, Inuit, Chinese, and some of the more traditional forms of European myth.
    For another, frankly, I always found the standard fantasy races to be boring. They're all just humans with a little extra stuff applied. Dwarves are short humans with beards. Elves are tall, pretty humans. Halflings are tiny humans. And so on. And mechanically, they're not particularly distinct from any other humanoid. They get a few bonuses here and there, but nothing that really changes the way you play the game. and I always felt that if you're going to play something other than human, then you should go big, and play something very different, both in mindset and mechanics.
    Thirdly, keeping the classic races would mean either the player options would be heavily unbalanced toward the Columbia region, or I'd have to make something like... what, 50-ish races, to keep things balanced across the board? This isn't just a game of american colonization, this is a setting of the new world, and every region is just as playable as any other, and making it so all the non-human options are from Europe just strikes me as highly eurocentric.

    However, I would like to point out some of the options you mention under kobolds, goblins, gnomes and halflings are already options, they're just found in the little folk race, rolled into options that cover other types of little folk.

    Monsters
    Oh, I don't think we're gonna have a problem filling out a sizable list of monsters for the players to use in this setting. Check out the Call to Brew thread to see some of the completed monsters and some of the ones we want to make still.
    I never saw anything about thunderbirds killing off dragons, which is odd, considering how much research I've done on this projects. The basic idea we had was we'd have three varieties of dragon, the winged 'classic' variety in Europe, the wingless type in Asia, and the completely legless varieties in the new world, also known as 'horned serpents'. They would be relatively rare in the new world, but then, dragons are pretty rare creatures wherever you go in the world. Oh, and the European dragons would be all but extinct at this point, due to dragonslayers and the church.

    Pukwudgie
    Thanks for the stats! I do like the change from the PF version, certainly. I think you covered all the bases, but I'll double-check the myths later. If you'd be so kind as to repost it into the Call to Brew thread, i'd be glad to give it a proper, detailed review.

    High Level Problems
    I don't think we're going to have much of a problem finding challenges for high-level characters to overcome, the call to brew thread already has a number of dragons, high-CR giants, and other epic or near-epic beasts, and the Spirit Beasts (which includes the thunderbirds) seem to be going well, though I do still have to finish those other two... Native american myth is full of larger-than-life monsters that would be suitable for high-level play. We've got our work cut out for us, but I think we can make it happen.

    Rolling Heads
    I do like the idea for their mobility. Though, I don't know if they would be able to get up to the kind of speeds where such movement-restrictions would be required, heads aren't exactly made for rolling, after all. Would they be their own monster, or some additional variety of flying head?

    Treants/Dryads
    I've had a bunch of thoughts about these guys while I was off laborin'. The basic idea I had was that the dryads are the females and the treant are the males (which would also be known as hamadryads), so they would have to be remade as fey. When they get together, they make a little incorporeal forest spirit that floats until it encounters a new tree. The little forest spirit then inhabits the tree, and eventually develops into a treant or dryad with aspects of that tree (though they're still all compatible). This would explain how a purely European myth-critter came to inhabit the new world and have representatives in all these different kinds of forests and such.
    I was initially concerned because as far as I can tell there was no such tree-creature in the mythology before Tolkien, but I think they're just such a cool idea that we can probably justify it. I'm still not sure if I'm going to make a base treant/dryad with simple templates to describe different varieties of tree or if I'm gonna go through and actually make completely independent monsters for each variety.

    God-Disguises
    Now that sounds like a pretty awesome idea. I think I'm gonna have to borrow that book and do a lot of research on my own, but I could definitely see such a thing existing in Aztatlan and the surrounding regions.
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    Default Re: Crossroads II: I'm on a Mammoth.

    Sorry for being so quiet lately, it's been really busy at work and at home.
    @Squish: left an idea for you in the subjective alignment thread.

    Races/Classes

    I agree with Admiral Squish completely.
    Especially on the part of the races. The classic races have become a bit boring, i've seen a lot of people using the classic races in new ways. Or removing some of the classic races. Even Rich Burlew did it for that new world thing he started but didn't finish (gaming section on the left side of this page), he chucked out most of the classic races.

    Ganonsyoni

    Are there Tuniit within the Ganonsyoni borders?
    If not, we'll need a reason why they aren't there. The Tuniit have spread all through Canada, and Ganonsyoni territory is just on the edge of that.
    Maybe there's a large population of little folk within Ganonsyoni borders and they dislike the big folk to the north?

    I don't think they would be on bad terms with the Cahokians. Quite the opposite really, i think Cahokia would be very actively courting them in the hopes of adding them to the League.
    How about this: they aren't being threatened on all sides, they're being courted on all sides because everybody wants to add their strength to theirs?
    Cahokia wants them to join the league in order to establish their trade on the Great Lakes.
    The Tuniit want to expand at all times, they're constantly trying to marry their men and women into the Ganonsyoni (possibly resisted by potential Little Folk)
    The French are doing the same, we established they're trying to outbreed the Tuniit right?
    The English are trying to make them into one of their Colonies, preferably peacefully (if the Dutch own Nieuw Amsterdam, that means it's the Twelve Colonies and not the Thirteen Colonies, right?)
    The Dutch are doing the same, the Ganonsyoni are their most likely way to expand Nieuw Nederland.
    The Church wants to convert them.
    And the Freemasons are trying to persuade the Ganonsyoni to support the growing desire for independance.

    All of this combined makes for a complicated web of spies, diplomats, priests, mound lords,.... all trying to persuade the Ganonsyoni to support them. The Hisatsinom and their valuable silk and trade routes are constantly threatened by 3 great powers that keep each other in balance. The Ganonsyoni have the opposite problem where too many different groups are trying to court them.

    Oh, and they're located on the shores of the Great Lakes, so we should look into the aquatic myths of the region to see if there's something fun there we can add to the Ganonsyoni.

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    Default Re: Crossroads II: I'm on a Mammoth.

    Ganonsyoni

    Tuniit
    I don't know... I suppose it depends largely on the speed of their expansion. They did initially start around the shores of Hudson bay, so they have some significant lands to spread across before they could get into the Ganonsyoni lands, or rather the lands they recently overtook. Plus, there's the natural barriers of lake Huron and lake Ontario to keep them from getting into onto Michigan.

    Competition
    It is definitely a new situation, which is always a good thing to have.
    I could really imagine this being a very complex, extremely interesting region, with lots of mixed cultures and interactions blending into one area. Everyone wants a piece of them, or even all of them, and it just leads to this huge tangle of cross-purposes, spies, counter-spies, diplomatic gestures...

    Great Lakes
    I gotta say, the lakes have a lot of potential for thematic elements. The lakes were enormous shipping routes in the real world, and I can only imagine they still would be in this setting. I thought the Mississippi or the Illinois rivers connected to the great lakes, but further search has seemed to indicate there is a (relatively narrow) split between the watersheds.
    The best comparison that comes to mind is the Mediterranean. The lakes would be thriving trade networks, with a distinct blending of cultures along the shores. Tuniit, Cahokian, French, Ganonsyoni, and a little bit of English. There would be plenty of drama about crossing the lakes, too. Lake monsters. Giant sturgeons. Swarms of blood-sucking black flies. Terrible storms and bitter, bitter winters.

    Handle Canoe
    So, this got brought up in the call to brew thread. Apparently there is a usage of the survival skill that dictates your ability to maneuver with a personal watercraft such as a canoe, kayak, or similar, the justification being that your knowledge of the currents and the water is more important than your ability to pull paddle through water.
    What do you think, should we merge the handle canoe uses into survival? On one hand, it would reduce the skill burden on many characters, as they wouldn't have to get two different skills. On the other, it could certainly be justified as its own skill.
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    Default Re: Crossroads II: I'm on a Mammoth.

    Quote Originally Posted by Admiral Squish View Post
    Ganonsyoni

    Tuniit
    I don't know... I suppose it depends largely on the speed of their expansion. They did initially start around the shores of Hudson bay, so they have some significant lands to spread across before they could get into the Ganonsyoni lands, or rather the lands they recently overtook. Plus, there's the natural barriers of lake Huron and lake Ontario to keep them from getting into onto Michigan.

    Competition
    It is definitely a new situation, which is always a good thing to have.
    I could really imagine this being a very complex, extremely interesting region, with lots of mixed cultures and interactions blending into one area. Everyone wants a piece of them, or even all of them, and it just leads to this huge tangle of cross-purposes, spies, counter-spies, diplomatic gestures...

    Great Lakes
    I gotta say, the lakes have a lot of potential for thematic elements. The lakes were enormous shipping routes in the real world, and I can only imagine they still would be in this setting. I thought the Mississippi or the Illinois rivers connected to the great lakes, but further search has seemed to indicate there is a (relatively narrow) split between the watersheds.
    The best comparison that comes to mind is the Mediterranean. The lakes would be thriving trade networks, with a distinct blending of cultures along the shores. Tuniit, Cahokian, French, Ganonsyoni, and a little bit of English. There would be plenty of drama about crossing the lakes, too. Lake monsters. Giant sturgeons. Swarms of blood-sucking black flies. Terrible storms and bitter, bitter winters.

    Handle Canoe
    So, this got brought up in the call to brew thread. Apparently there is a usage of the survival skill that dictates your ability to maneuver with a personal watercraft such as a canoe, kayak, or similar, the justification being that your knowledge of the currents and the water is more important than your ability to pull paddle through water.
    What do you think, should we merge the handle canoe uses into survival? On one hand, it would reduce the skill burden on many characters, as they wouldn't have to get two different skills. On the other, it could certainly be justified as its own skill.
    What if we murged water activities such as swimming and canoeing into a "Water Travel" or some better termed phrase.

    Then, in a situation, having skills in Survival would help you with navigating water, wood, whatever, and "water travel" helped you with moving in the water via strength.
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    Default Re: Crossroads II: I'm on a Mammoth.

    You know, that makes sense, surviving on the water is a whole different thing than surviving on land.
    Actually, this is part of what has always bothered me about the survival skill: the fact that you can use this skill in any terrain you might come across.
    A character that lived his life in the desert shouldn't be able to just walk into the swamp, roll a 15 on his survival and be able to provide food and water for himself.

    I like the idea of making a water based survival offshoot though. One question: would the inuit living on the ice fall under water or land?

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    Default Re: Crossroads II: I'm on a Mammoth.

    Skills

    Swim
    Hmm. This idea certainly has its advantages. It's strength-based, so that would remain the same, and the two concepts would be pretty related (paddling a canoe and swimming involve controlling similar forces, and if you're gonna canoe/kayak, you pretty much have to know how to swim). Still, though, knowing how to do one wouldn't necessarily let you do the other.

    Survival
    This is a different issue, but I'm willing to entertain the topic at the moment.
    I will admit, this always did seem a little weird to me, that a character who learned to survive in the forests would be just as adept out on the ice, or in the desert, or scavenge food and shelter in the city... Perhaps we could implement something using the ranger favored terrain types?

    Handle Canoe
    What if it's a feat? Like track, kind of, allowing you a new use of an existing skill. It would be a bonus feat for many of the native cultures, so it wouldn't be too much of a resource-drain. Perhaps without the feat you can propel the canoe in a basic fashion, but you need to have the feat to be able to perform maneuvers like going over falls and such. Or maybe it's like trapfinding, in that you can use the other skill to accomplish feats up to a certain point, but not above a certain DC.
    Also, we should probably move from 'handle canoe' to something more generic, considering this would work for any kind of personal watercraft, such a small raft, kayak, bull-boat, or other, similar craft.
    Finally, I would like to see a mechanic that modifies your speed based on either your str or the check result, since when I went canoeing on father's day, we were passing all the other boats on the river pretty easily.

    Profession
    While we're talking about skills, I figure I could bring up the topic of the profession skill. I think this skill should be more useful, and so I would like to propose a rule allowing you to substitute your ranks in profession for your ranks in other skills that would fall under the umbrella of your profession. So, for example, a professional blacksmith could use their profession ranks instead of craft ranks when forging something out of iron, or in place of their appraise ranks to determine the value of something made of iron or steel. You would still apply the other modifiers of the original skill, so it would still be based on whatever ability the original skill was and any items/spells/things would apply to the original skill would work here.
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    Default Re: Crossroads II: I'm on a Mammoth.

    Skills

    Profession
    Why not go all the way and give every character one free rank in a profession skill at character creation?
    I think it makes sense for every person to be trained in some sort of profession. Even 'beggar' is a profession of sorts. Other than that your idea sounds good to me.

    Survival
    Using favored terrain sounds pretty good actually. Perhaps remove the 'water' terrain and put that under something that combines the handle Canoe, swim and survival water terrain skills.

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    Default Re: Crossroads II: I'm on a Mammoth.

    Skills

    Profession
    I don't know about a free rank. It makes sense for more civilized, urban dwellers, but I don't think most Inuit characters would have a profession in the sense of the skill, beyond 'hunter', and hunter may be a bit too inclusive for the proposed substitution rules.

    Survival
    Which reminds me, I'm going to have to isolate that favored terrain stuff from ranger, since ranger's not an option anymore.
    I don't think that water survival, swim, and paddling would all be under the same umbrella. I could see the argument for swim/paddling, but survival on the water seems like it would have a different ability to base off, and something that helped you swim/paddle wouldn't make you more effective at surviving out there.
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    Default Re: Crossroads II: I'm on a Mammoth.

    If we were trying to make a reality-simulator, I would say that handling a canoe would definitely deserve its own skill. But we're not trying to make a reality-simulator, we're making a game that's designed to be easy and fun to play. As much as I like the mechanics of the Handle Canoe skill, I guess it really would just amount to a skill-tax on players. Debihuman's right, it would really be great if we could roll that into an existing skill. The question is, which one?

    While canoeing and swimming are both based on strength, and involve movement through water, I feel like they're very different skills. One involves complete submersion in a body of water, and using all of the limbs to propel oneself through (and sometimes into) bodies of water. The other involves using only the arms, while sitting down in a watertight craft, to propel said craft along the surface of the water and around obstacles.

    Survival seems like the best option at the moment, but the problem is it's based on Wisdom and not Strength, which is definitely an important part of canoeing. So this kind of makes Survival a bad candidate for canoeing (unless we make navigation based on Survival, and movement based on Strength checks, but that just requires twice the rolls and twice the opportunity for failure).

    Making it a feat is just sidestepping the issue. There still needs to be a mechanic for using the ability, which must involve a chance of failure (in order to be realistic), which requires a skill to base it off, which leaves us right back where we started, only now the player has been forced to pay a feat-tax in order to use said skill in the first place.

    Profession is a reasonable candidate, but again, that's Wis-based, and doesn't offer any reward for strong characters.

    This is a tough one. We can't use Handle Canoe in the setting because it's third-party, but it seems to be the only skill that really captures the feel of canoeing and is based off physical attributes. Maybe we could just create our own skill, with its own separate mechanics and a different name?


    (Unrelated: I kind of like Steckie's suggestion that everyone gets a free Profession rank at character-creation. Would this rank then result in the +3 Trained bonus? Because that would mean that every character starts with +4 in one Profession, rather than +1.)

    Edit: I guess, if I had to pick, that Swim would be a reasonable replacement, since it's strength-dependent, and both swimming and handling a canoe would require first-hand experience with the physics of water. Problem is, not everybody who can canoe is good at swimming: I heard somewhere that the men who owned the voyageur companies specifically recruited men who couldn't swim, so that if the canoe overturned, they would be forced to grab a floating bundle of furs and not abandon their goods by swimming to safety.
    Last edited by SuperDave; 2014-07-17 at 04:38 PM.
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    Default Re: Crossroads II: I'm on a Mammoth.

    Quote Originally Posted by SuperDave View Post
    If we were trying to make a reality-simulator, I would say that handling a canoe would definitely deserve its own skill. But we're not trying to make a reality-simulator, we're making a game that's designed to be easy and fun to play. As much as I like the mechanics of the Handle Canoe skill, I guess it really would just amount to a skill-tax on players. Debihuman's right, it would really be great if we could roll that into an existing skill. The question is, which one?

    While canoeing and swimming are both based on strength, and involve movement through water, I feel like they're very different skills. One involves complete submersion in a body of water, and using all of the limbs to propel oneself through (and sometimes into) bodies of water. The other involves using only the arms, while sitting down in a watertight craft, to propel said craft along the surface of the water and around obstacles.

    Survival seems like the best option at the moment, but the problem is it's based on Wisdom and not Strength, which is definitely an important part of canoeing. So this kind of makes Survival a bad candidate for canoeing (unless we make navigation based on Survival, and movement based on Strength checks, but that just requires twice the rolls and twice the opportunity for failure).

    Making it a feat is just sidestepping the issue. There still needs to be a mechanic for using the ability, which must involve a chance of failure (in order to be realistic), which requires a skill to base it off, which leaves us right back where we started, only now the player has been forced to pay a feat-tax in order to use said skill in the first place.

    Profession is a reasonable candidate, but again, that's Wis-based, and doesn't offer any reward for strong characters.

    This is a tough one. We can't use Handle Canoe in the setting because it's third-party, but it seems to be the only skill that really captures the feel of canoeing and is based off physical attributes. Maybe we could just create our own skill, with its own separate mechanics and a different name?


    (Unrelated: I kind of like Steckie's suggestion that everyone gets a free Profession rank at character-creation. Would this rank then result in the +3 Trained bonus? Because that would mean that every character starts with +4 in one Profession, rather than +1.)

    Edit: I guess, if I had to pick, that Swim would be a reasonable replacement, since it's strength-dependent, and both swimming and handling a canoe would require first-hand experience with the physics of water. Problem is, not everybody who can canoe is good at swimming: I heard somewhere that the men who owned the voyageur companies specifically recruited men who couldn't swim, so that if the canoe overturned, they would be forced to grab a floating bundle of furs and not abandon their goods by swimming to safety.
    Ooooo....what about ride?
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    Default Re: Crossroads II: I'm on a Mammoth.

    Travel skill

    Ride could work, but that's Dex based. And most of the skill is aimed at ways to guide your mount.
    Maybe remove ride, climb, swim and handle Canoe and replace them with a 'travel' skill?
    Travel overland would cover ride and climb. It would also allow you to guide your mount, ride a cart or wagon, climb a mount, scale a building,....
    Travel aquatic would cover swim and handle Canoe. It would also allow you to move over ice, use skis, dive underwater (hold your breath?), surf,....
    It's probably a bad idea, but i'm just throwing around some stuff to think about.

    Profession

    I would give the +3 trained bonus. I'd say every character gets a free rank in profession so they get to use it as a trained skill. If they want the +3 trained bonus they need to manually put a skill point in it. If that makes any sense?
    This is to simulate that every person has a profession, but the ones that put some work in it get better at it.
    @ Squish: in your inuit example there's a wide range of professions they could choose from.
    Canoemaker, hunter, fisherman, spearmaker, netweaver, Ivory carver, cook, tanner, toolsmith,..... Every person of the tribe would have something they're better at than the other people. They do the thing they do best and trade with the others or just share whatever is needed. That's what a profession is.

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    Default Re: Crossroads II: I'm on a Mammoth.

    Skills

    Swim
    I think swim with a feat is probably our most valid option, since they both feature strength and involve water movement. I specify that we have a feat because the two skill aren't inherently linked. Being able to swim does not necessarily mean you know how to paddle a canoe, and many cultures would never have no experience with paddling. Granted, there is a bit of a gap where to be good at paddling a canoe you are by extension good with swimming, but I think that's a plausible enough leap to make.

    Survival
    Survival really is more of a mental skill in my mind, and while paddling a canoe in unusual water does require a bit of know-how, I think it more requires physical strength and toughness than anything. I know I would have been seriously sore had I been in worse shape prior to my recent canoe outing.
    I do still support the idea of breaking up survival into multiple sub-skills based on the terrain type.

    Ride
    I don't think ride really works, either. Ride is about communicating with the critter, maintaining your balance, and reflexes.

    Profession
    Regarding free profession ranks, I'm still not sold. Could we just say profession is always considered a class skill and not give away ranks, making things complicated with the whole class skill bonus?
    Those are professions that one in an arctic area might have, but most people wouldn't be using those as a profession. Inuit households aren't close enough to one-another to be able to trade like that on a regular basis, each household has to be entirely independent of its neighbors, for the most part. There may be some limited trade a few times a year, but for the most part there's little contact.

    Travel
    I think this may be a bit of an over-reach, these skills are not all inherently related. Knowing how to ride a horse and climb a wall are very distinct skill sets, and would likely require different abilities to base off. If we were to snowball them together like that, then it would, at the minimum, have to be multiple sub-skills.
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  23. - Top - End - #323
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    Default Re: Crossroads II: I'm on a Mammoth.

    I dunno, folks. As much as I don't want to unnecessarily expand the skill list, I'm starting to think the Handle Canoe might be the only workable option here.
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    Default Re: Crossroads II: I'm on a Mammoth.

    Quote Originally Posted by SuperDave View Post
    I dunno, folks. As much as I don't want to unnecessarily expand the skill list, I'm starting to think the Handle Canoe might be the only workable option here.
    I really don't think so. I think we could quite neatly handle the whole issue with a feat that lets you use swim in a new way, like track does with survival.
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  25. - Top - End - #325
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    Default Re: Crossroads II: I'm on a Mammoth.

    Quote Originally Posted by Admiral Squish View Post
    I really don't think so. I think we could quite neatly handle the whole issue with a feat that lets you use swim in a new way, like track does with survival.
    I think this would work best, because really, does anyone want to be the person who tells a player that they need to invest in both Handle Canoe and in Profession:Sailor if they want to do well at controlling a bloody riverboat?
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  26. - Top - End - #326
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    Default Re: Crossroads II: I'm on a Mammoth.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pokonic View Post
    I think this would work best, because really, does anyone want to be the person who tells a player that they need to invest in both Handle Canoe and in Profession:Sailor if they want to do well at controlling a bloody riverboat?
    Yeah, that would be somewhat unreasonable. Pretty much why I was pushin' for it.

    So, in the end, we need to make the feat that adds the extra use to swim, add in the rule about the profession ranks substitution, and modify the survival skill to break it up into terrain types.
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  27. - Top - End - #327
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    Default Re: Crossroads II: I'm on a Mammoth.

    Well, it's been pretty quiet of late, so I'll take the hint and say we've got a basic grasp on what the colonies in north and south america look like and how they interact.

    So, we've addressed the basic details of Columbia, the Cahokian League, Fusang, Tuniitaq, and Aztatlan. I think our next step should be to hash out details of the independent groups of north america in a bit more detail, then turn our attention worldwide briefly to figure out what's going on back home in the rest of the continents. After that, we start the 'finishing' process for each area in turn.

    So, step one would be to figure out who we need to talk about now.

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    Hisatsinom
    We did get some pretty good work done on these guys before, but their area was pretty dramatically expanded after we stopped talking about them in the map. I think we could definitely get back into them.

    Ecology
    Here's something that I just learned in a recent documentary, in the time the Anasazi groups flourished, the are actually had some significant tree cover, pine and junioper for the most part. It's believed that a combination of climate changes and over-harvesting wiped the local forests out, devastated farmlands, and created many of the gullies and valleys of the region (the lack of trees allowed soil to erode and the increased river flow carved the valleys). The question is, does the southwest region avoid this fate and retain its trees in this timeline, possibly with the help of druidic magic to physically regrow the forests, or through supernatural guidance that causes the people to develop a more sustainable tree-harvesting practice. Or are the trees gone and the people develop some new way to feed their sizable population?

    Spain
    Another important point. Spain may never have conquered aztatlan, but they could have gone around them to the north and into the southwest region (likely moving inland along the rio grande, which was not under Aztec control at the time). If they had done so, they could well have made contact with the great plains tribes and the Hisatsinom. How they interacted could have serious repercussions into the future.

    Ganonsyoni
    We were still discussing these guys, but the conversation seemed to have been dropped when the discussion of skills arose.

    Culture
    Considering how recently the Ganonsyoni took over the great lakes region, I'm not sure how their culture and their people would interact with the original inhabitants. Would Ganonsyoni individuals be seen as brutal conquerors? Would they be accepted? Integrated? Would they be outsiders, rare individuals leading villages, or would the Ganonsyoni people have moved over in large numbers, creating their own villages and settlements? Maybe they would just be blended into the great lakes melting pot.

    Theme
    I think the fact that we have all these groups trying to get a foothold in the region, in combination with the confederated nature of their government, would allow us to focus the region's theme on intrigue and diplomacy. There would be spies and counter-spies, diplomats and ambassadors, from all different regions, all trying to gain the favor of the Ganonsyoni and simultaneously trying to get leverage on their hosts, and sabotage their competitor's attempts. It's certainly not the usual kind of setting for such play, and it would also have plenty of more traditional adventure, too, with vast stretches of wilderness that could play host to any number of enormous, terrifying monsters and beasts.

    Plateau
    This region is much less consolidated than the empires. They likely wouldn't even recognize their neighbors as allies, but I don't think there was significant warfare between the groups, either. I think, for the most part, they were mostly just nomads who rarely interacted with one-another, but there's not a great deal of information to be found. Which does allow us a bit of latitude in describing them.

    The Rockies
    This culture group is perfectly situated to deal with the Rockies. It was generally agreed upon that we would make the Rockies very dangerous, full of powerful monsters and dangerous hazards. However... we haven't really done much to make that happen in a concrete way. Thus, I propose we take the plateau culture and extend them down the main thrust of the Rockies, and use their details to describe the environment of the rocky mountains. My original thought was to make these people into something akin to the borderlanders from wheel of time, a group of very warlike, and competitive, but ultimately united group that stands against a greater threat. In this case, they would be sort of the gatekeepers of the Rockies, keeping the big beasts from descending the mountains to the lowlands where the could run amok in defenseless regions. However, that sort of dedication would require a great deal of unification, not only among themselves, but between them and the lowland groups they would be protecting. Alternately, I think we could have them be tough-as-nails nomads. They live entirely in the mountains, where few other tribes dare to go, and they regularly tangle with monsters and other hazards of the regions. For the most part, they don't interact with anyone, and the culture stresses self-reliance, but they do sometimes form escort parties that protect small groups and merchants through the mountains, for appropriate compensation. The plateau region they currently hold would be a sort of comparatively safe zone, in that it lacks the monsters and hazards, but it's a desert, so there's little in the way of food.
    I think I will have to do a lot more research on these guys before we do anything on them, though.

    Nova Rossi
    Another colonial power, but nowhere near so expansive as some of their neighbors. This area would really only be the west coast of Alaska, most of the Aleutian islands. The Russians might have a presence inland, mostly with trappers and fur-traders, but for the most part they would only really control the coastline area. The Russians would probably be mostly adversarial with the natives, who would be very thin at the time of first colonization. I will have to do more research on Russia's politics and history, certainly, but I think they wouldn't have so huge a settlement as the other colonial powers, as the vast majority of russia's cultural centers were in the west, with the east being very sparse. With the fur trade, there might be some development, but they would be starting at a much lower level of infrastructure than their competition.

    Theme
    I haven't really been able to pin down a theme for this region, honestly. The idea of prison colony's been pretty much shut down, since they do have all of siberia to work with, but I would still like to have Russian necromancers exist somewhere in the region. Perhaps it's something of a less-wholesome version of the magical exoduses elsewhere, like, there was a thriving necromancy/dark magic underground society, and the Russian authorities are finally able to crack down on them, sending them fleeing to the new world. I do think this would be a very rugged region, though, so it would probably be very... harsh. Lots of grizzled, humorless colonists fighting natives and the weather to squeeze water from a stone, or in this case, money from Alaska.

    Mesoamerican
    This is a really complex region, but I think we should try to unravel the tangle a bit. This is a land of warring neighbors, intense rivalries, culture, and civilization, based in small city-states. Think ancient Greece. I would really like to try and paint a new image of the area in the minds of the players, to change their preconceptions into a more accurate vision, but to do that, we're gonna have to get into the research and really understand all these different areas.
    Last edited by Admiral Squish; 2014-07-26 at 06:44 PM.
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  28. - Top - End - #328
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    Default Re: Crossroads II: I'm on a Mammoth.

    Here's an addition to the swim skill, and the feat that allows you to make more difficult checks. My computer's out at the shop, so I may make a couple such workspace posts.

    Spoiler: Canoeing
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    Canoeing
    You can use swim checks to propel a canoe or other personal watercraft, such as a kayak, bull-boat, or small raft. While the basic use of a canoe is easily enough understood, it takes a certain amount of experience or training to maneuver one through more challenging situations. A character without the canoe mastery feat automatically fails any canoeing check with a DC greater than 20. Maneuvering a canoe downstream over a calm river requires no check, and it moves at the speed of the river's current. Stronger characters can propel their canes faster than the current though, increasing the canoe's speed by 5 ft per point of strength modifier. If a canoe has multiple paddlers, use the strongest character's strength modifier.

    Task DC
    Maneuver Canoe 10
    Traverse Deep Lakes 10
    Reverse Direction 15
    Right Canoe 15
    Perform 90-degree turn 20
    Traverse Low (<10 ft) Falls 20
    Traverse High (11-20 ft) Falls 30
    Traverse Perilous (21-30 ft) Falls 40
    Heavy Cargo +2
    Slow Rapids +5
    Strong Winds +5
    Swift Rapids +10
    Close Waterfall +10
    Dangerous Rapids +15

    Maneuver Canoe: Moving over the river in most situations requires no checks. However, moving through rapids, or shallow water, or avoiding a hazard, requires the canoeist to make a maneuver canoe check. This DC is modified by conditions such as a heavy load, rapids, strong winds, the presence of a waterfall, or similar. This is a full-round action. Failing such a check may end

    Traverse Deep Lakes: Deep lakes — lakes with a maximum depth of 50 feet or more — are not always as easy to cross as a slow-flowing, calm river. Deepwater lakes can have hidden currents that can take a canoe, and winds often gust over the surface of the water, creating whitecaps. One check represents up to an hour of travel, however if any other action of any type is made during that hour, another check to traverse deep lakes must be made following that action.

    Reverse Direction: Reversing direction is a difficult maneuver even in the best of conditions. The maneuver consists of first bringing the canoe to a relative stop, then working the canoe back in the other direction. The maneuver is a full-round action. If this maneuver fails, the canoe overturns, some or all cargo is spilled, and all passengers are sent into the water.

    Right Canoe: A canoe that has overturned (whether completely upside down or on its side and swamped with water) can quickly become a deadly situation. Righting an overturned canoe is not easy, but can be done. This maneuver is full-round action.

    Perform 90-Degree Turn: Like reversing direction, performing a 90 degree turn is an extremely difficult maneuver. Usually, this involves swinging the canoe crossways against either the current or the wind. Performing this maneuver is a full-round action. If this maneuver fails, the canoe overturns, some or all cargo is spilled, and all passengers are sent into the water.

    Traverse Low (<10 ft.) Falls: Some skilled canoeists are able to steer a canoe over a waterfall in such a way that the canoe does not overturn at the bottom, and no cargo is spilled. Performing this maneuver is a full-round action.

    If the maneuver fails, the canoe overturns, some or all cargo is spilled, and all passengers are sent into the water. Even if the maneuver succeeds, passengers (except the character performing the skill check) must succeed at a DC 10 Strength or Dexterity check to keep from being thrown out.

    Traverse High (11 ft. to 20 ft.) Falls: Even more difficult than falls of 10 feet or less are those waterfalls between 11 feet and 20 feet high. Performing this maneuver is a full-round action.

    If the maneuver fails, the canoe overturns, some or all cargo is spilled, and all passengers are sent into the water. Even if the maneuver succeeds, passengers (except the character performing the skill check) must succeed at a DC 15 Strength or Dexterity check to keep from being thrown out.

    Traverse Perilous (21 ft. to 30 ft.) falls: The most experienced and skilled of all canoeists are able to guide their canoes in relative safety over waterfalls between 21 feet high and 30 feet high. Performing this maneuver is a full-round action.

    If the maneuver fails, the canoe overturns, some or all cargo is spilled, and all passengers are sent into the water. Even if the maneuver succeeds, passengers (except the character performing the skill check) must succeed at a DC 20 Strength or Dexterity check to keep from being thrown out.

    Waterfalls of 31 feet or more in height cannot be safely maneuvered over.

    Heavy Load: In rapids and shallow water, the DC of a check is increased by +2 for every 100 pounds (cargo and passengers combined) in the canoe. If shallows are too low to cross, some passengers may need to get out of the canoe and wade alongside it in order for the canoe to make it.

    Slow Rapids: Shallow rapids are those with few protruding rocks and not much whitewater. Attempting to maneuver a canoe in such rapids increases the DC by +5.

    Strong Winds: Strong winds can make it more challenging to maneuver a canoe, and may even turn over a canoe that is unprepared. Attempting to maneuver a canoe in such winds increases the DC by +5.

    Swift Rapids: Swift, deep rapids are those rapids with some protruding rocks and at least a small amount of whitewater. Attempting to maneuver a canoe in such rapids increases the DC by +10.

    Close Waterfall: The pull of a waterfall is very hard to resist, and can spell disaster to an unprepared canoeist. Attempting to maneuver a canoe within 50 feet of the top of a waterfall increases the DC by +10. This DC increase does not apply if the maneuver in question is traversing the waterfall.

    Dangerous Rapids: Dangerous whitewater rapids are one of the most difficult conditions for a canoeist to maneuver through. Dangerous rapids are those rapids with many large boulders or rocks protruding from the water and more whitewater than other types of rapids. Attempting to maneuver a canoe in such rapids increases the DC by +15.


    Action: Varies, as detailed above. Generally, getting in and out of a canoe is a move action.


    Canoe Mastery
    You are experienced in maneuvering or operating a canoe, and can accomplish more challenging feats than an untrained canoeist.
    Benefits: You no longer automatically fail canoeing checks with a DC greater than 20.



    Spoiler: Profession
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    Special: One's profession covers a range of widely-varied, but somewhat specific skills. When making a skill check that directly relates to a task that would be part of your profession's normal operations, you can substitute your ranks in that skill with your ranks in the profession skill. Such a check still uses the original skill's modifiers and base ability, just substituting the profession ranks for the skill's normal ranks. For example. A character with ranks in profession (sailor) would be able to use their profession ranks in place of their ranks in climb, if they were using it to climb the rigging of a ship. They would still apply any racial modifiers to climb or any item bonuses that would apply, and would still use their strength modifier for the check.


    Spoiler: Survival
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    Survival
    You are skilled at surviving in the wilderness, able to navigate, feed, and protect yourself against the hazards of the wild. Well-trained characters can even follow tracks. Much like craft or profession, survival is actually multiple more specific skills, each sub-skill indicating a specific sort of environment you are skilled at surviving in. Select one of the following terrain types.


    Cold (ice, glaciers, snow, and tundra)
    Desert (sand and wastelands)
    Forest (coniferous and deciduous)
    Jungle
    Mountain (including hills)
    Plains
    Planes (pick one, other than Material Plane)
    Swamp
    Underground (caves and dungeons)
    Urban (buildings, streets, and sewers)
    Water (above and below the surface)



    Last edited by Admiral Squish; 2014-07-27 at 01:49 AM.
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  29. - Top - End - #329
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    Default Re: Crossroads II: I'm on a Mammoth.

    First of all, let me thank you on behalf of all the lazy DMs for your expansive monster list.

    Also (I may have skimmed the background posts so this may be irrelevant), have you put much thought into the planar cosmology? I'm looking to find a place to use my fluff mastery, so I could help you there. I can help with the monsters, planes, tribes, cults, etc., but politics and other "city" stuff I can't do in D&D. I have the overwhelming urge to stay big in my evil schemes. I'm not Kubota over here or anything.

  30. - Top - End - #330
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    Default Re: Crossroads II: I'm on a Mammoth.

    Quote Originally Posted by ... View Post
    First of all, let me thank you on behalf of all the lazy DMs for your expansive monster list.

    Also (I may have skimmed the background posts so this may be irrelevant), have you put much thought into the planar cosmology? I'm looking to find a place to use my fluff mastery, so I could help you there. I can help with the monsters, planes, tribes, cults, etc., but politics and other "city" stuff I can't do in D&D. I have the overwhelming urge to stay big in my evil schemes. I'm not Kubota over here or anything.
    Planar cosmology. Effectively, there is one plane other than the material, the spirit world. It's a reflection of the world, shaped by the conscious and unconscious thoughts of all living creatures, in particular humans. Everywhere on the material world has a spiritual parallel, but there are many places on the spirit world that don't exist on the material. Entire countries that don't exist. Two or more entirely different places can exist int he same spot of the spirit world, the one you arrive at being determined by how and when you reach said spot. There may be entire vast countries that have no earthly parallel. Anywhere that people believe to be an actual place exists in this place. Every mythological being inhabits this spirit realm at once, made real by the continued belief of those of the material world. Creatures that die or astrally project their souls come here. Technically speaking, there could be an infinite number of place, or just one more, but it's impossible to tell. You see, when you 'pass on' from the spirit world, you move to another plane. But the journey is one-way, and the barrier between them is impenetrable to all but the most powerful deities, and they rarely, if ever, elaborate on the true nature of the 'Great Beyond', if it's even one place. for the most part, the spirit world is populated by shadow folk, semi-real humanoid outsiders created by human beliefs about their own groups and others, from stereotypes and tales and their own opinions of themselves. They live lives parallel to the humans they were born from beliefs about, but they have some strange aspects to them, such as all written languages being written mirrored. Also, there are ancestor spirits, the souls of the dead who refused to move on and took up a permanent residence on the spirit world. Sometimes they deform and transmute as they grow older and forgotten, but some have held onto their human forms for hundreds, even thousands of years.

    Whew! Big infodump there.

    If you want to help with monsters, check out the Call To Brew thread, where we accept public submissions in exchange for crediting people in the book when it finally comes out.

    And if you want to help with tribes and cultures, just look up a post or two, we're about to get started on discussing various non-empire-aligned groups in the north american continent, and we'd love to have some more voices contributing.

    And you can thank my brother for that comprehensive list o' monsters, it's like 90% his work. I'm sure he appreciates the kudos.
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