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  1. - Top - End - #91
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    Default Re: Crossroads II: I'm on a Mammoth.

    Originally Posted by BRC
    That could explain why New Amsterdam is still Dutch.

    Fears of Spanish aggression cause the English and the Dutch to sign a non-aggression (and perhaps even Mutual Defense) pact in the New World.
    I like this in theory, but it would have been a tough political sell on both sides, since there were three Anglo-Dutch wars fought in the late 1600s which had bitter repercussions. If the Spanish were enough of a threat, however, pragmatism and nose-holding would have overcome lingering hatreds.

    Originally Posted by BRC
    In the Real World, the French and Indian war cost the English greatly, requiring them to take out massive loans from the Dutch.
    How far into this period is the Crossroads timeline? I had the impression the "present day" of Crossroads was set at 1750, which would be a little too early for the Seven Years' War.

    Speaking of which, there's another point to be made about the Dutch and the English. If the Dutch retain unbroken control of Manhattan and the New Netherland colony, then the extension of their trading partnership with the Iroquois allows the latter to remain much stronger than they would have been historically, after the English displaced the Dutch. Continuing the Dutch presence gives the Iroquois Confederacy a much firmer position--and a better-armed cadre of warriors--than they otherwise would have had.

    Originally Posted by BRC
    Or, here's another idea....
    Possible, but these events would be too complex to assume everything would work out quite in that way. Also, a period of English control would have broken some of the more freethinking aspects of the New Netherland colony, which might not readily return.

    To me, it seems simpler and easier for the Dutch to have retained control of New Netherland throughout.

    Originally Posted by BRC
    In terms of Spanish holdings, I think we can give them an expanded hold in La Florida up to Charleston, with eyes on the Columbian colonies, and their profitable Tobacco fields, to the north. This means giving the Spanish two of the 13 colonies. However, I don't want to wipe out the English presence in the region.
    This sounds good, but I would suggest a pocket of Spanish control around the Chesapeake, which is being pressured by Columbian expansion.

    It depends on whether the Spanish were able to beat the English to the Chesapeake in the late 1580s. If they did, then the Jamestown settlement never would have happened--and Jamestown is key, because it gives the English a presence in the southern Mid-Atlantic which they otherwise wouldn't have had. No Jamestown, no southern Virginia colony, and the Spanish are able to control shipping in and out of the Chesapeake, which as the Bahia de Santa Maria remains their pond. They would also have a presence in the barrier islands of the Outer Banks, and Pamlico and Albemarle Sounds to landward.

    Further south of this, the English might still have planted Charleston, which would be on the northern border of Spanish La Florida, and would give the English a foothold along the southern Atlantic coast, probably reaching up to modern Cape Fear or so. Thus the Spanish Chesapeake would be feeling squeezed from the English presence from both the north and south--but the Spanish have twin fortresses on Cape Henry and Cape Charles, and they won't be dislodged too easily.

  2. - Top - End - #92
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    Default Re: Crossroads II: I'm on a Mammoth.

    Quote Originally Posted by Palanan View Post
    I like this in theory, but it would have been a tough political sell on both sides, since there were three Anglo-Dutch wars fought in the late 1600s which had bitter repercussions. If the Spanish were enough of a threat, however, pragmatism and nose-holding would have overcome lingering hatreds.



    How far into this period is the Crossroads timeline? I had the impression the "present day" of Crossroads was set at 1750, which would be a little too early for the Seven Years' War.
    My thought was that this was a pre-emptive alliance. Not in response to any particular war, but in the hopes that the English could get the Dutch to bankroll an inevitable future war in Columbia.
    Speaking of which, there's another point to be made about the Dutch and the English. If the Dutch retain unbroken control of Manhattan and the New Netherland colony, then the extension of their trading partnership with the Iroquois allows the latter to remain much stronger than they would have been historically, after the English displaced the Dutch. Continuing the Dutch presence gives the Iroquois Confederacy a much firmer position--and a better-armed cadre of warriors--than they otherwise would have had.
    if we want to make the Iroqouis bigger players in Columbia, this could be a good idea.

    Possible, but these events would be too complex to assume everything would work out quite in that way. Also, a period of English control would have broken some of the more freethinking aspects of the New Netherland colony, which might not readily return.

    To me, it seems simpler and easier for the Dutch to have retained control of New Netherland throughout.
    How so?
    We've already laid the groundwork for a stronger Spanish presence in La Florida, why not have that lead to an escalation of Queen Anne's War.

    Sure, handing over New York would have been a big deal, but if the English were desperate enough they might have done it.

    Also, having New Netherlands only recently (well, thirty years ago) be returned to Dutch control means change and social upheaval, which make a more interesting setting.
    This sounds good, but I would suggest a pocket of Spanish control around the Chesapeake, which is being pressured by Columbian expansion.

    It depends on whether the Spanish were able to beat the English to the Chesapeake in the late 1580s. If they did, then the Jamestown settlement never would have happened--and Jamestown is key, because it gives the English a presence in the southern Mid-Atlantic which they otherwise wouldn't have had. No Jamestown, no southern Virginia colony, and the Spanish are able to control shipping in and out of the Chesapeake, which as the Bahia de Santa Maria remains their pond. They would also have a presence in the barrier islands of the Outer Banks, and Pamlico and Albemarle Sounds to landward.

    Further south of this, the English might still have planted Charleston, which would be on the northern border of Spanish La Florida, and would give the English a foothold along the southern Atlantic coast, probably reaching up to modern Cape Fear or so. Thus the Spanish Chesapeake would be feeling squeezed from the English presence from both the north and south--but the Spanish have twin fortresses on Cape Henry and Cape Charles, and they won't be dislodged too easily.
    Eh, the Chesapeake is pretty far north.

    Let's not scramble the part of the world the average (American) player is going to be most familiar with too much by undoing Jamestown and Boston. I would prefer to keep the various holdings contiguous.
    Last edited by BRC; 2014-05-14 at 02:27 PM.
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  3. - Top - End - #93
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    Default Re: Crossroads II: I'm on a Mammoth.

    Columbian nations

    Here's what i propose:

    Portugal: i agree with Palanan, we could probably go without Portugal.
    France: their business is more in Tuniitaq and Nouveau Orléans, i'd say their most Southern posession near the East Coast is Acadia. And some holdings on the St Lawrence river
    Sweden: the peninsula where the mouth of the Delaware river is (whatever it's called) seems like a good spot for them. I'd really like to keep Sweden in the setting if we can find a way to fit them in.
    Papal States: i'd say the Papal States are a good candidate to gobble up some of the territory that historically belonged to the English. Why not give them both Carolinas and parts of Georgia.
    Spain: their borders go a bit north until they meet the Papal State colonies. The border is roughly around Charleston like BRC said. I'd put Atlanta in Papal territory.
    Netherlands: Nieuw Amsterdam and surrounding area's.
    England: Anything north of Nieuw Amsterdam until they border the French. And more territory inland than the Dutch i suppose.

    Edit:
    One more thing about the Papal States: it's probably best not to give them the whole of Italy, that would disturb the political balance a lot. Especially northern Italy.
    Here's what i propose: when the French and Aragonese king fight over the Kingdom of Naples in the 1490's, the Pope intervenes. Ferdinand 2 of Aragon is the one that sends out Columbus. And he desperatly needs spellcasters because he wants to colonise the islands they just discovered and somehow the magic users in this new continent are very powerfull. And there's a LOT of them.
    The pope sends many of his spellcasters and in return he fights the French until the French king gives up his claim on the throne of Naples. The French king only agrees if the pope will rule the kingdom of Naples and not Ferdinand. They both hate to give Naples to the other one more than they hate giving it to the pope, so they both reluctantly agree.

    Bolstered by the new territory and population the Papal States becomes more powerfull in the following years.
    Eventually they take over large parts of Italy. They annex several city states: Urbino, Siena, Tuscany, Pisa, Modena, Ferrara, Mantua and some of the smaller ones. Milan, Genua, Savoy and Venice are able to remain independant. Although Genua loses Corsica.
    The Papal States later purchases Sardinia and Sicily from Spain in return for spellcasters, Spain needs them to fight the Triple Alliance in several wars.

    Hisatsinom
    History

    The question is why would they join the Cahokian League? They benefit a lot more from being on the point between three powerfull nations. There's a lot of trade flowing through their territory. They are city living people while the people on the plains are horse riding nomads. Cahokia itself is too far away for them (they're closer to Fusang).
    There could be other reasons as well. Religion perhaps.

    Spiders

    How about a species of spiders native to the pueblo people area?
    Or sacred spiders, so the silk is sacred as well. Nobody is allowed to trade the silk, it would be a grave offense.

    Wind

    But....but....Storm Chasers.
    Alright i understand your worries and you're right. Tornado chasing would have been awesome.
    Last edited by Steckie; 2014-05-14 at 03:23 PM.

  4. - Top - End - #94
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    Default Re: Crossroads II: I'm on a Mammoth.

    Okeydoke, let me preface this by saying that I love what you fellows are doing here. I'm impressed with your level of detail and enthralled with how you've managed to bring this all together. I've been watching from the sidelines for a while now, but this is the first time I've felt like I had anything constructive to add.


    On Giants in Historical America:
    Back here on the second page, there was mention of generalizing the Tuunitaq giants/giant-descended, as these sorts or myths are found all over the Americas, and, indeed, all over the world (Europe has a lot of great giant stories, especially the Norse, but Africa and Asia have their fair share). If giants are to be included in the setting at all, then I support this idea. It only makes sense for there to be multiple varieties of giants, just as there are multiple varieties of human (through the absolutely brilliant addition of cultures) and even multiple varieties of the little folk!

    Virtually every American mythology that survives today has some mention of a giant somewhere, as you'd probably expect. There's no consensus in regards to appearance or behavior: some are fair and some are twisted, some are brutes and some are tricksters, some are helpful and some are harmful. A few seem to be specific individuals while others are specified as being from a whole race of giants. Unfortunately, information on aboriginal cultures is hard to come by: so much has been lost. I'm afraid I couldn't find much more of any relevance.

    Spoiler: My findings, for those who care
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    • The Aztec have the Quinametzin, a race of builders (sometimes equated with the Toltec) who came before and founded great cities, including Tenochtitlan. They were punished/killed because they didn't show proper respect to the gods.
    • The Cherokee have Nunhyunuwi, an individual and man-eater, sometimes said to be made of/from stone.
    • The Coos supposedly have Gedegwsets, though I learned not much else. I could find no specific mention of a race or individual by that name. I found tales of "big/tall men" who had underground homes and made bone knives. They were feared by the Cs,oos, who eventually drove them into the ocean on two rafts; one floated North and the other South, never to be seen again.
    • The Iroquois have Dehotgohsgayeh, an individual with an ugly, split face: one half is black and the other red. He lives in the darkness of the earth and forests and only leaves at night. Despite his appearance, this giant is cheerful and protects humans from danger.
    • The Kwakwaka'wakw have Dzoo-Noo-Qua, a giantess who lived deep in the forest, kept children as slaves, and ate them when she got hungry. Interestingly, she was invisible because she hid her soul under the floorboards, and was only killed when a stray arrow pierced it by accident.
    • The Navajo have Yeitso, an evil, nearly invulnerable giant who was slain by the hero Twins of Navajo lore. His blood made a landmark as it poured from his body, and he wore either flint armor or stone knives for clothing.
    • The Malaseet have Kiwahkw, a race of giants who were once corpses and have been brought to life by witches. They would speak with humans before eating them, and became more powerful after eating two humans. They were defeated by a hero (Glooscap) who made the waters rise and turned the giants into fish.
    • The Netslik have Inugpasugssuk (as you probably know), a popular folk hero who adopted a human son. The two went on many an adventure, often including oth giants (who were not usually as kind as Inugpasugssuk).
    • The Paiute have the Si-Te-Cah (probably the best-known American giants), tall, red-haired cannibals who lived on rafts in a lake so that the Paiute could not get to them. While at war, the last remaining giants hid in a cave and refused to exit. The Paiute stacked brysh at the entrance and burned the giants alive, wiping them out. This may have been inspired by the memory of a competing tribe of humans, and is allegedly evidenced by 6'6 tall, red-haired mummies found in a cave in 1911; further excavation in 1924 is said to have uncovered human remains showing signs of cannibalism.
    • The Pequot have Chahnameed, an amusing and inappropriate protagonist with a habit of tricking people for fun and profit (his name translates to "Big Eater;" he earned this after cheating his way through an eating contest).


    I'm sure that there are many other examples, but this shows a deep legend over a wide area. I tried to weed out the more god-like giants, and those that are commonly compared to bigfoot/sasquatch.


    On the Knights of Malta:
    In general, I like the feel of the Catholic church in this setting. That said, I love the addition of the alt-history Knights Hospitaller; without them, I'm afraid the church will seem to be a very dark, almost malevolent force in the New World. It's important, I think, for each organization to be sympathetic and the Knights go a long way towards that.

    I like the idea of a Maltese falcon companion for the Knights, so I humbly point you towards the Knight of the Raven (Expedition to Castle Ravenloft, p200). It's a Paladin-oriented PrC that's pretty heavily geared for fighting the undead, but also receives a "Raven Harrier" and 9/10 divine casting. It's very similar to having a Celestial raven as a familiar, but it gains special abilities that allow it to debuff enemies, channel (not share or deliver, channel) spells, and the Knight can see through its eyes at high level.

    I should note that I'm only casually familiar with Pathfinder, so please ignore the last paragraph if it's unhelpful.


    On the Grand Canyon Hisatsinom:
    I've been fascinated with cliff-dwelling Hisatsinom from the moment I learned of them, oh so long ago. I heartily approve of their inclusion, I like the idea of the spider-silk suspension bridges, and I, too, prefer spider swarms to giant spiders. I adore the connection to Grandmother Spider that this brings to mind, and (since she put the stars in the sky), it only makes sense for the Hisatsinom to admire the stars. However, I did not bring this up solely to congratulate you on your good taste.

    In doing a little research, I've found that the ancient Pueblo actually lived startlingly close to the Grand canyon. There are Hisatsinom-style granaries built into Nankoweap Canyon! (Nankoweap is a side-canyon of the Grand Canyon). According to the National Park Service, there are around 2,000 known ancestral Pueblo sites within Grand Canyon National Park boundaries. As far as I can tell, no peoples ever lived inside the Grand Canyon proper, but I, for one, was surprised to learn how many congregated around it.

    I also agree with Steckie in that the Hisatsinom have little reason to join Cahokia. Their lifestyles are completely different, and so, too, might be their goals. If Ongtupqa City is running strong by the time the Hisatsinom make contact with Cahokia, I don't see much reason for them to consider more than a token alliance.

    I realize that this is only reiteration and wonderment, but I wanted to mention my support while it was relevant.
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  5. - Top - End - #95
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    Default Re: Crossroads II: I'm on a Mammoth.

    I don't want to overcomplicate the political map of Columbia. I think the English, Spanish, and Dutch are enough players for the region without adding in random Swedish and papal colonies unless we have a really good reason for them to be there.
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  6. - Top - End - #96
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    Default Re: Crossroads II: I'm on a Mammoth.

    I agree that there should not be Papal colonies on the mainland, and I think we should keep most of the Atlantic Coast in British hands, just so players will be able to connect with the colonies. New Sweden was an actual colony, thought we could keep the "British taking it over" thing from real life. New Amsterdam being the only non-British colony there would be good though.

    As for Spain, just give them up into central Georgia at most. After all, they fought a devestating war against the Aztecs, and are still focused on defending their holdings in Panama from frequent attacks.

    France should have Haiti, and Rome should have much of Italy with only a few island colonies in the Carribean. Most of the Carribean should be under Spanish control.

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

    Sorry I haven't answered for a bit.

    Regarding the colonies:

    I agree with the notions that we shouldn't have any colonies in north america except for the big five (England, France, Spain, Portugal and the Netherlands). New Sweden was a thing yeah, but it was underfunded, practically died out twice and was swallowed up by the dutch somewhere between 1650 and 1670.

    The papal state is even less likely. Especially since it would have to be incredibly recent, considering the treaty of tordesadillas (and if the pope isn't upholding an agreement a previous pope established then they're really undermining themselves).

  8. - Top - End - #98
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    Default Re: Crossroads II: I'm on a Mammoth.

    Ok so I guess no Portugal (cause the Brasilia colony was forced into the sea) or Sweden or the Papal States on the mainland, just France in the North, Spain in the South (plus New Orleans) and the English in between, with only New Amsterdam city in Dutch hands. England could have taken the land around NAC from the Dutch, but been unable to take the city proper, for whatever reason.

    Spain has most of the Carribean, but the British have Bermuda, the French have Haiti, and Rome has a few small islands in the east. We need some Papal colonies for the KoM, and with a stronger Church in this alt-history, it is probable that they would have a few islands.

    I think we could have one small island be under Portugese control, but with most of their attention towards their colonies in Africa and Asia. It might be nice to give them a small presence. Maybe one or a few of the islands off the northern coast of Brasilia, cause they're small and inconsequential, for the most part.

    Oh, and Spain also has Panama, right? Though that falls more under Aztlan than Columbia.

    Sound good?

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

    I wonder if we could throw Germany into the mix in the Pennsylvania region, and possibly have Philadelphia. There was a massive amount of Germans that emigrated to the area around 1683, and Palatines in 1723, so there's a large group in the region. What if instead of settling, they began carving out a new country for themselves?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pennsylvania_Dutch
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  10. - Top - End - #100
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    Default Re: Crossroads II: I'm on a Mammoth.

    Well they wouldn't be a German colony, as Germany is still a bunch of states that are, in a way, still recovering from the Thirty Years' War (if that happened in this). Maybe we could have the start of an independence movement of farmers, but that wouldn't get far, at least without PC help ;)

    If the PA Dutch tried to revolt, it would probably end up like the Boers- they'd be defeated by the British and driven west into the Appalachain Mountains. Though I'd leave that as a plot hook for the players to get involved with: PA farmers complaining about their treatment by the British, with some wanting to head west and some wanting to fight.

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

    If we really want the Papal State involved in Columbia, I had an idea where the Knights have taken over Charleston after it was almost leveled during Queen Anne's War when a group of Scarred Monks and Merlinic Wizards, both unused to the more powerful magic of the New World, unleashed powerful magic, angering some Embermice in the process (Causing them to Swarm).

    Since the city is at the border of English and Spanish territories, the Knights captured it to stop the two sides fighting over it.

    Although personally I think it would be better to have the Knights with isolated Forts and Enclaves, rather than holding territory. (Holding territory means Politics, and the Knights try to hold themselves above that)
    Maybe there's a Hospitallier Enclave on Rhode Island (History of religious tolerance would make them more likely than their puritan neighbors to allow a bunch of heavily armed Catholics to set up shop).

    Hrmmm

    Hospitallier Enclaves
    The Enclaves of the Knights of Malta are scattered around Europe, and European colonies in the new world, with some existing as small, isolated forts in Tunnitaq or the Cahokian League.
    . The Enclaves are considered extraterritorial, usually purchased or leased from the local governments.
    The Enclaves serve as barracks and training grounds and listening posts. Depending on the size of the Enclave, there can be as few as three Knights in residence (Although, sometimes tragedy strikes isolated wilderness Enclaves, meaning that a single Knight may be in residence until more can be sent). Their main purpose is to provide food, shelter, support, and intelligence to any Knights traveling the world, as well as using trained Messenger Falcons to keep the rest of the order informed about local events.

    While the traditional image of an Enclave is a keep,fortress or Castle, they vary in form and size, especially in the New World. While some larger Enclaves are forts, others could be mistaken for simple farms or inns if one did not notice the Cross of St. John flying proudly over the house. Others are small villages built around a central keep, with civillians living under the Knight's rule and protection.

    While most of the larger Enclaves have walls, it is rare to see a fortified Enclave equipped with Cannons. Out in the wilderness, where opprotunistic raids from local natives are a threat you may see cannons, same with areas where the Knights have enough influence with the local government (or solidly Knight-controlled islands in the Caribbean). However, mounting cannons in the walls is usually seen as too provocative a move, and so Knightly enclaves in places like Havanna go without anything bigger than a musket.
    Last edited by BRC; 2014-05-15 at 11:42 AM.
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  12. - Top - End - #102
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    Default Re: Crossroads II: I'm on a Mammoth.

    Just a general question of sorts, how well do you think this world would play with E6?
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    Default Re: Crossroads II: I'm on a Mammoth.

    Hospitaller Enclaves

    They kinda sound like the 'Pathfinder Lodges' from Golarion.
    And i'd like the Knights to be limited to their islands and their reputation. Meaning they are only safe on their Island fortresses and in place where they are protected by their reputation.
    Besides, maintaining all those enclaves seems awfully expensive for a military order.

    Columbian nations

    Alright, so the consensus is that Sweden and the Papal State are out of mainland Vespuccia. What we have left is:
    Spain: Florida and up the coast to Charleston (wich needs a new name).
    France: North part of the coast, mostly historical stuff and mostly in the Tuniitaq area. I'd give them Newfoundland as well (historically it's English) to compensate for the smaller Louisiana.
    Netherlands: I'd give them a bit more than just Nieuw Amsterdam. They need room to farm etc. And if they're a player on the east coast i'd like them to be able to reach the Appalachians. That brings them into contact with the 'wild' parts of the continent.
    English: Everything else.

    Question: The Appalachians. Are they owned or claimed by somebody? Or are they a wild area? Or perhaps even extremely dangerous and difficult to cross? Perhaps a few safe mountain passes manned by the Knights Hospitaller?

    Hisatsinom

    I've been looking into the Grand Canyon and i fear it's going to be difficult to create a city there. Especially one with the spider silk bridges crossing the canyon.

    But i may have an alternative.
    First a little bit of explanation. Spiders are going to be very important in Hisatsinom culture and religion. Historically Spider Grandmother (or Spider Woman, but we shouldn't use that name, it resembles a certain comicbook hero) was very important in Hopi religion.
    Combine this with the spider silk and you'll soon get a culture that loves spiders. And spider art and things like that. It's nice to have a good spider 'godess', the Drow and Lolth are overused.

    So why not have a special species of spiders live in the Grand Canyon area. Either animals or magical beasts.
    The Hisatsinom farm the silk of these spiders, but they can't go live in the Grand Canyon for fear of disturbing the spiders. This would both upset their godess and could cut into the profits they get from selling the ropes.
    So they leave the canyon alone save for a few holy sites and temporary villages for the silk farmers.
    The capital of the Hisatsinom City States is on another spot. The Nexus of the local Spiral. The city founded by the combined city states on a special place.

    The place i found is apparently one of the most photographed places of the Colorado River. It's a little bit south of Lake Powell.
    The name is Horseshoe Bend.
    What i've tried to find is a place that i could roughly shape like a spider. A city resembling a giant spider would quickly become the religious center, especially if it's already politically important.
    Here's a rough sketch of what i have in mind. Plus, it's a picture of Horseshoe Bend so you get an idea of what i'm talking about.
    Spoiler
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  14. - Top - End - #104
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    Default Re: Crossroads II: I'm on a Mammoth.

    "enclaves" may be the wrong word, but I could see Knight Lodges or Outposts being scattered around. Leaning less towards Fortresses, and more towards a house or farm.

    Outpost probably works best, harkening back to their old days guarding pilgrims in the holy land.
    Roughly the size of a small farm (and may very well include a field or two to grow crops on), they would have a small Armory, a Falcon Roost, a house, maybe a small chapel. A few Knights, either too old for regular service or novices who keep an ear to the ground and lend aid to any Knights passing through, using Falcons to keep the rest of the order informed.

    In Cities it would just be a house, with a chapel and armory. Someplace for traveling Knights to stop in and receive Aid.

    A traveling Knight trying to get back to New Malta from Boston, for example, could stop in at the Outpost for assistance. The Knight at the outpost would be keeping an eye on the harbor, and local link activity, and so could introduce the Knight to a ship captain heading that way.

    Or, a Knight trying to retrieve some relic from a bandit that had gone to ground in the Appalachian mountains could stop by a Lodge, where the resident Knights would lend them food and survival equipment, put them in touch with local guides, pass on any relevant news, ect.
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  15. - Top - End - #105
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    I like the lodge idea, but we should keep them small, and not too common. Have one in each major city, and then a few scattered around the wilderness, with no more than fifty in Vespuccia (would that work? Maybe 75-100? But that's a lot of knights, on a newly-settled continent).

    I think the Appalachain Mts should be wilderness, as even today they aren't really that populated of developed.

    I guess the Dutch should have land around the city for farming, but it wouldn't be realistic for them to extend to the Iriquois Confederacy, because they would separate the British colonies, and there is no way Britain would tolerate that.

    For Newfoundland, the French can have it, just say they got there first.

    I really like the new Hinatsinom city location, and the picture you provided really helps in visualizing.

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    Firstly, welcome to the thread, Lyndworm! Thanks for all your kind words, I'm really glad you've enjoyed what you've seen of the thread so far, and I hope you'll stick around!

    Columbia:
    *whistle* Whew, this seems to have started quite a bit of debate! I'll go nation-by-nation.

    Spain
    I think people are accrediting too much power to Spain here. Spain was a huge power in the real world timeline, but a massive amount of their wealth came from plunder grained from the Aztecs, Mayans, and Incas, in addition to the silver they pulled out of the ground and their Caribbean plantations. In this world, they were pretty wealthy when they came over, but then there was the disastrous Aztatlan affair, a long, bloody, expensive war with the natives, getting kicked out of South Vespuccia...
    After all this, the Spanish are nowhere NEAR as rich in this setting as they are in the real world history. I think they would hold most of the caribbean, at least all the largest islands (Cuba, Haiti/Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Puerto Rico) and a scattering of the smaller ones, Florida, and MAYBE a little north, but I don't think they would have the money to finance a fleet large enough to secure a really significant portion of the eastern seaboard. Their only major income source in the new world is their plantations, and the Fusang trade through panama.

    England
    England... Well, without doing the research, I think we could say they end up holding most of their real-world holdings, but if there's other groups to add to the eastern seaboard, this would be the group to take it from.

    France
    The hard part about France is that the period maps claim massive swaths of the new world as french, when they really didn't have all that much in actual control. In this world, I'm thinking we could have them control the shore north of Maine, up until they run into Vinland, then inland along the St Lawrence, lake Ontario, and possibly into lake Erie up to Detroit.

    Portugal
    I think we could have a few islands near south Vespuccia under Portuguese control, but they would be largely neglected, both by their own crown and by the other European powers. Without the continent, they don't do much good, after all. I think they would either end up refocusing on trading down Africa's coast or they would have a real rage-on to reclaim the continent from the forces that drove them out.

    Netherlands
    I like the New Amsterdam proposed, but I'm just not certain how much else they would possess. I think we could have them keep New Amsterdam and a couple of mainland town up the Hudson. Maybe they lost some of the more inland lands like Albany, but they should have enough land to be able to supply themselves with food for the city and have something inland enough to depart from if they want to trade with the Iroquois or the Cahokians.

    Sweden
    I think we could safely drop these guys. They only had that one little area, after all. Even though they don't officially hold territory anymore, that wouldn't mean the swedish aren't going to be trading or settling in the new world. I mean, they don't normally evacuate all the citizens of an area if the land is traded over peacefully.

    Papal State
    I'll agree the papal state probably shouldn't hold any main-land Vespuccia. However, I will say they probably would hold most/all of Italy. I mean, in the map I found they had most of northern Italy in 1700, and with the help of the Knights of Malta and a great deal more wealth, they probably could have spread far enough south to control the entire thing.

    Now, a little more generally:
    South Vespuccia
    Still holding off on getting too deep into the discussion of this one, but I will direct your attention to the first posts, which give you the basic vision I have for the continent. The main point to take away is, there was initially settlement of the eastern/norther coasts by Portugal and Spain, but they were booted out of the continent by biomancers, and it's now more-or-less unapproachable. Nobody has settlements anymore, nobody has colonies anymore, nobody has any presence there at all, or at least none they can reach/contact.

    Supernatural Aspects
    An important thing to keep in mind is the supernatural aspects of the new world. There's more at play than just the usual military and monetary forces. Mystical power plays a role, too. While divine magic remains just as powerful all around the world, arcane magic is more powerful in the new world. Not massively, but significantly. This would likely give Europe, with their merlinic wizards, a bit more of an edge. While other new world colonies would probably have the same rules regarding magic as they do in the mainland, the fact it's much less densely-populated and more dangerous would likely make rules about turning in/executing arcane casters a bit less... strictly enforced.

    Appalacians
    The Appalachians are an issue. I think we have the super-dangerous impassable mountain thing covered with the heaven-touching mountains, but these peaks would be a great place for the Cahokian league to establish a line in the sand regarding the expansion of European colonies and European military. While traders and travelers can cross, settlers who try to settle the far side of the peaks are driven out or killed, and any military force that crosses the line will inspire both a violent response and a painful trade sanction.

    Disease
    I think since we're talking about the colonies, we should solidify what we discussed about the foreign diseases. The loss of native populations was a huge part of what made the new world settle-able in the first place, after all. The colonies wouldn't have done that well if there were 10 times the natives already there. a lot of the first colonies were founded on places where European diseases wiped out villages.

    The basic plan is this:
    When the Chinese landed, they brought their versions of the old world plagues with them. They swept through native populations, entirely wiping out many tribes. In a panic, healers sent out a call for help all across the continent and gathered healers from all different groups together. As one, they performed an enormous ritual that created a temporary plague barrier across the continental divide. The barrier made it impossible for anyone infected with the disease to cross. The healers then went through everything east of the barrier and magically fortified them against the diseases the Chinese brought. Once they fortified everyone east of the barrier, the healers dropped it and went into the infested areas to try to reduce the losses wherever they could. So when the Europeans arrived and brought new plagues, they knew what to do. They established a new plague-wall at the Appalachians, and began immunizing once more. Then, again, they went through the infected area and tried to minimize the damage. Overall, the central area is as resistant to imported diseases as Europeans and Chinese are, and maintains a historical level of population, but there were heavy losses on both ends. In the west, it was more intense, something like 80%. In the east, thanks to resistances from the first wave, losses were lower than they could have been, but still devastating, something like 50%.

    Hisatsinom
    History
    Well, the Cahokian league doesn't really present itself as a conquering force or even as attempting to gain any kind of control, they just offer special trading privileges at first, in exchange for non-aggression against their other member tribes. Then they start to insinuate themselves into the politics, encouraging the tribes to make certain decisions rather than other ones, nudging them into the direction they desire. The initial hook looks very nice, it's only after you agree to it that they start to push for more and more control. In the Hisatsinom's case, if their main income is from trade, then special trading rates would be even more beneficial.

    Spiders
    Hmm... a special breed of spiders, you say? I like...
    They would have to be a communal species, whether mundane or magical in nature. Normally spiders are independent, and not usually prone to living in large numbers, something that was a bit of a challenge to justify with the swarm idea. Probably wouldn't be swarm creatures, like ants, but they would live in close proximity and work together for some things. They would probably work together to spin together silk from a handful of them into cables strong enough to span the canyons, then build regular webs between these larger lines.
    If we're going mundane, there's no reason for them to be particularly large, though they might be slightly bigger than normal spiders to allow them to carry all their silk. If we're going for magical, I'm thinking more like tarantula-sized. They would be friendly toward humans, and likely regarded much like cats, as pest-control and largely independent, but occasionally friendly.
    Hmm... We could even combine the two. We could have drone-like spinners that are mindless and just make the webs, and larger 'king' spiders that are magical and friendly toward humans, with the ability to command the spinners. The kind of critters that could be suitable as familiars.

    Wind
    Well, we can still have the wind-wall defense monoliths. I just don't think it's practical to say there would be 17th-level spellcaster available to play storm-chaser. Though... If there WAS something to be harvested out of tornadoes, what would it be? It's entirely possible they wouldn't be guiding the storms, but they still might have reason to go find them.
    I would say, though, tornado alley is pretty far off. It's, like, the eastern part of texas and a bit north, IIRC.

    Ongtupqa
    Interesting location! I quite like it, though I think there would be some changes. Keep in mind, the top of the wall is 1000 feet up above the river,
    The outer edge would probably be entirely residential, with poor folk on the ground in freestanding pueblo buildings, possibly tending small farms along the riverside, where the most fertile soil would be. Above them, in the outer wall, there would be the residences of craftsmen and other middle-class folk. And above them, larger wall-homes for spellcasters, priests, the rich, and the powerful.
    The inner hub would be the 'dwontown'. On the ground stretched around the arc, it'd be docks, traders, and warehouses. You then go up the hub wall, where you have the marketplace and the city center, where the people gather for various things like religious ceremonies, performances, and shopping. Then above that, on top of the hub, you have the government center, where the chief and his family live, where the priests gather for private religious ceremonies, and where the visiting chiefs stay, while they're in town.
    All the bridges sprout off the main platform. You have two that go out to the forts at the corners, two straight across from each other that connect the main road, two that go out to the upper-class levels, and two that go out to the middle-class level. None of them go down to the ground level. You can go up and down levels via elevators, either mundane ones with spider-silk pulleys and weights, or levitate-powered ones.

    There would be some significant earth-moving involved in the construction of the city, but I think it's certainly plausible. No more labor would be involved than the building of the cahokian mounds, though.

    Knights of Malta
    Oooh, thanks for the suggestion of Knight of the Raven! I'll definitely have to check that out. Even if we can't use it, we can probably reverse-engineer some details for it to work better.

    Enclaves/Lodges:
    I like the idea here, but I'm not certain if it would work. Traditionally, the knights of malta were supported almost entirely by the donations of various countries, and I don't think they're going to be granting them little slabs of land that would be common enough for them to really be useful for knights roaming the countryside. In the real world they had to resort to semi-legal piracy in order to keep the order funded. The papal state will help the issue, but they wouldn't be wealthy at this point, so they couldn't buy the land, either. Honestly, the order was almost purely naval at the time of the papal state takeover, with very little land presence. I could imagine the knights roaming from church to church while escorting the faithful overland, but I don't think they would have their own lodges. Perhaps new world churches might make some allowances for them, like keeping a chest of weapons and supplies for the knights.

    Races
    Yilong
    You know, now that I look at them again, they could use something more before they get posted. As it stands they're just humans with a little extra bonus and a few elemental abilities. Kinda boring. I really like the feat thing I've done so far, but the basic chassis could use something extra.

    Giants
    Trust me, I am FULLY aware of how difficult it is to find information on native american myths and legends.
    That's a really nice list, though! I'm not even sure if we have all of those on the list o' monsters to make.
    But yes, giants can certainly be found all over, I came upon a number of them while I was making trollkin. I like the idea of generalizing them, personally. There's a lot of potential for interesting stories there.
    Maybe I should re-evaluate some of the trollkin options, too, while I'm at it. Titan, for example, would be better suited as a giant. Or maybe I'll combine the two... I don't particularly know. I'll have to think on it.

    E6
    Probably pretty well, honestly. I mean, a lot of NPCs would end up being epic, but it's doable.
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  17. - Top - End - #107
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    Default Re: Crossroads II: I'm on a Mammoth.

    Whew...this thread moves so fast it's almost overwhelming to keep up.



    Originally Posted by Aux-Ash
    I agree with the notions that we shouldn't have any colonies in north america except for the big five (England, France, Spain, Portugal and the Netherlands).
    I would argue against Portugal having any colonies on the Vespuccian mainland. They'll be strongly focused on their trade with Africa, the Indian subcontinent and the Far East. At best, they might have a few islands around Labrador, and they would probably send fishing fleets to the Grand Banks, since the Portuguese and the British were sharing the Newfoundland fishery since the late 1490s at least.

    Otherwise, I just don't see room for them, and establishing a colony in the face of so much competition wouldn't make much sense.

    Originally Posted by Sir Augusta
    For Newfoundland, the French can have it, just say they got there first.
    The shade of John Cabot shakes his fist at you.

    Originally Posted by Steckie
    Spain: Florida and up the coast to Charleston ([which] needs a new name).
    Originally Posted by Sir Augusta
    As for Spain, just give them up into central Georgia at most.
    I agree that Charleston would work better as a British holding. The Spanish tried colonizing the area around Parris Island twice, and both colonies ultimately failed, so they would likely step back from that region and hold the line a little south. I can see Charleston as marking the edge of an uneasy border, the last southern outpost of British control before the Spanish territory of La Florida begins.

    Which leads me to....



    The Spanish in the Chesapeake

    In actual history, the Spanish had a significant interest in the Chesapeake from the mid-1500s at least, and I think there's a case to be made for their continued presence there.

    Pedro Menéndez de Avilés, a commander of the escort for the Spanish Indies fleet, led the first Spanish exploration of the Chesapeake in 1561. A second mission under Captain Pedro de Coronas made a brief reconnaissance in 1566, and in 1570 a small Jesuit mission was founded near modern Yorktown, to be slaughtered by Indians in early 1571. Menéndez himself, now adelantado of La Florida, made a follow-up visit to the site of the mission in 1572 and exacted revenge for the Jesuits. By this time the Chesapeake was well known to the Spanish, and if not yet settled they certainly viewed it with proprietary concern.

    In 1585 Pedro Menéndez Marqués, nephew of Menéndez de Avilés and now adelantado himself, learned that the English were planning to establish a settlement in the vicinity of the Chesapeake. Menéndez Marqués immediately sent a ship to locate the English colony, which had in fact been sited on Roanoke Island. Following heavy setbacks from a raid by Sir Francis Drake--who pillaged the town of Santa Elena for supplies for the Roanoke colony--Menéndez Marqués personally led a reconnaissance to the Chesapeake in 1587, believing this to be where the English had settled. A second mission was dispatched in 1588, making a thorough search of the interior estuaries as far north as the mouth of the Susquehanna.

    By this time the Roanoke colony had failed, but the Spanish were deeply concerned that the English had been attempting settlement in the region, and Menéndez Marqués drew up plans to destroy any English settlements on the Chesapeake, and to establish a garrison of three hundred men to secure the entrance to the bay--permanently forestalling any future attempts at English colonization.

    But in 1588, with the utter destruction of the Armada, Spanish confidence was badly damaged, maritime supplies and funding were scarce, and Menéndez Marqués was reassigned to protecting the silver fleet from Havana. The English victory over the Armada had the indirect effect of preventing that Spanish garrison from being established, leaving the way open for the Jamestown fleet nine years later.

    What I'm Suggesting

    If, as I gather, the Spanish Armada never sailed in the Crossroads timeline, then it's very likely that Menéndez Marqués would have carried through with his plans to establish a garrison at the mouth of the Chesapeake. It was too important strategically for him not to: a modest cost of men, but with a powerful and far-reaching impact. News of that garrison would have soon reached England, and the Susan Constant--a tubby merchant ship, no match for an armed Spanish packet--would never have dared make the voyage knowing the Spanish were waiting across the ocean. The garrison would have served its intended purpose; English efforts at colonization would have been discouraged, and the lower Chesapeake would have remained under Spanish control.

    Moreover, if the Armada never sailed, the English would never have experienced the overwhelming surge of power and confidence following their improbable victory. Without the Armada, it's more likely that England would have remained trapped in a financial and emotional funk, unwilling to invest in the mad optimism of colonial ventures. The Susan Constant and her fleet wouldn't have sailed, Jamestown wouldn't have been founded, and the English presence in the Mid-Atlantic would have grown more slowly without its foothold in southern Virginia.

    Charleston would still have been founded in 1670, as a British colony, and its growth on the northern border of La Florida would sever any land route the Spanish might have established up to the Chesapeake; but by that point the Spanish fortifications would have become too entrenched for easy removal. I can see them surviving as the result of an uneasy detente, in part because the English are unwilling to expend the resources that would be required to dislodge the Spanish.

  18. - Top - End - #108
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    The Knights
    I think the Knight Lodges add some interesting gameplay potential, and having people spread around, reporting back to the Order, could go a long way toward making the Knights more influential in the new world.
    And as we have it now, the Lodges are basically just small farms in the countryside, Cabins in the wilderness, or houses in the cities, hardly an unaffordable expense for anybody with a navy. The "armory" in most lodges is just a heavy, locked chest with some muskets, blades, powder and shot.

    Also, each Lodge need not contain a proper Knight. The Order has many members who are not Knights (It's not like their ships are entirely crewed by Knights).

    In fact, many of the Lodges Could be run by Volunteers, rather than proper members of the Order. A Farmer who volunteers his home to house traveling knights, his barn to store a few weapons. He keeps the Falcons, passes on messages, and paints the cross of St. John on his walls.
    While the Knights may be a largely naval power, I don't want to keep them entirely isolated to the sea. There's a lot of great potential with them, too much to waste by forcing everybody to jump through hoops to give them a reason to be running around inland.
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  19. - Top - End - #109
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    PaladinGuy

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

    I think we should keep the Chesapeake under British control, for the following reason: the Spanish don't need their armada to be defeated to be weakened. In this world, the Spanish not only don't have massive amounts of gold and silver from the South and Central American colonies, but they have fought a series of protracted, devestating wars, and should be consolidating their holdings in the Carribean as opposed to venturing far north to further anger a strong rival/enemy (Britain).

    And as someone said earlier, we don't want to mess with the British too much, because this is the most familiar area to many players not well-versed in history. No to Jamestown but yes to Charleston doesn't make a whole lot of sense, either, as if the British were strong enought to settle and hold Charleston (near the Spanish), they'd easily be able to overtake a medium sized garrison far from Spanish territory.

    And there's the issue of resupply; how (and why) are the Spanish going to go through all the trouble of passing the British fleet at Charleston to periodically resupply a small base that isn't guarding any of their colonies. I understand the strategy of asset-denial, but this seems far-fetched.
    Last edited by Sir Augusta; 2014-05-16 at 09:46 AM.

  20. - Top - End - #110
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    Default Re: Crossroads II: I'm on a Mammoth.

    Columbia

    I agree with not letting the Spanish have Chesapeake.

    Cahokian fortresses at several Appalachian mountain passes sound pretty good, they would want to control any trade coming or going from those mountain passes.

    Disease

    That barrier sounds pretty powerfull. A bit too powerfull.
    Creating a barrier like that around an infected city would effectively quarantine it. Magic like that would have done wonders with the Black Death. And with any other huge outbreak of disease.
    Why not make it a bit more mundane: the Heaven Touching Mountains are so difficult to traverse that the diseases barely even spread beyond it. Whole tribes died out on the west coast, but because the death toll was so high and the mountains that hard to travel the diseases had no way to travel east.

    However, those diseases could travel south and southeast. And they did. The Hisatsinom and surrounding tribes got hit badly, but they also had good healers among them. Their cities are densely populated and thus a good breeding ground for diseases and the cities are also connected by a good trade network. (Historically they apparently built huge roads, we can have them continue that)
    Their healers quickly realised the trouble they were getting into, so they turned that disadvantage into an advantage. Their healers came together in [Horseshoe Bend City] and started using their collective knowledge to battle the diseases.
    They did very good for themselves. While the death toll on the west coast was around 80%, in the Hisatsinom cities it ranged at about 25-30%. It was still a very rough time, but they survived.
    After that, the knowledge of battling those diseases spread through the trade networks south into the Triple Alliance, east into the Cahokian League and north into Tuniitaq. Sadly the knowledge didn't spread fast enough to save the people on the east coast. Once the Europeans arrived they got hit badly by the diseases. Less so than the west coast because some knowledge started to spread, but still pretty hard. Probably between 60 and 70%.

    Hisatsinom healers are still renowned for their skill. They probably have a society of healers and a huge hospital in their capitol. They may even be in contact with the Knights Hospitaller to exchange knowledge.

    Hisatsinom

    History
    I'd say their main income comes from trading spider silk. Cahokia needs to trade with them to get high quality ropes. And the Hisatsinom aren't blind, they've most likely heard about what happened with the tribes of the Great Plains. They're powerfull enough to make deals with Cahokia on their own terms.

    Spiders
    I like your take on the spiders. Drone like mundane spiders and the larger magical ones could sound like a lot of fun.

    Ongtupqa
    Glad you like the city. The city layout isn't set in stone, we can still shift a lot around.
    If only we could find an artist to make a picture of this city, it's a very scenic place and might make for some great artwork.

    We might need to change the name though. Ongtupqa is the Hopi word for the Grand Canyon, but this place isn't in there.
    We could name the spiders Ongtupqa, they could share that name with the Canyon itself.
    The city on the new location could have a name that has something to do with spiders translated into Hopi.
    Grandmother Spider's Nest?
    The Web Below? (the web above being the stars)

    One other thing i just realised: we could have a Vespuccian version of the Silk Road!
    And Fusangese traders competing with the Hisatsinom over who has the best silk: the spiders or the larvae.

    The Knights

    I've been looking into the Knights a bit more, and i think we can make this enclave idea work. I would like to propose a few changes to make them a bit more historical though. Historically the Knights had the Langues.
    Basically the Knights were organised by language and origin (the French word langue means language or tongue, not the tongue in your mouth).
    There were 8 langue 1. Provence (part of modern France) 2. France 3. Auvergne (another part of modern France) 4. Italy 5. Aragon (part of modern Spain) 6. Allemagne (modern Germany) 7. England 8. Castille (Portugal)

    Quote Originally Posted by Wikipedia
    By the early fourteenth century, when the order moved to Rhodes, the knights were organised into eight groups or langues, based on language and origin. The head of each langue was known as a Pilier or bailiff. The Piliers, together with the Knights Grand Cross, the Bishop, the bailiffs of the Convents and the prior of the Conventual Church, sat on the Grand Council of the order. Each Pilier also had specific responsibilities within the order; that of France was the Hospitaller, that of Italy was the Admiral.
    We can keep most of that stuff, just change it a bit to represent the new situation. The pope took over their job in the Old World, but they now have the New World Christians to protect. They reorganise themselves and their langues a bit. Each Langue has a 'Pillier' Leading them. And each Langue has several 'Auberges' that are like the enclaves you described. The French word auberge means inn or tavern.

    The new Langues are:
    1. France (French, Breton), main Auberge in Nouveau Orléans.
    2. England (English, Welsh), main Auberge in ?????? probably on the east coast
    3. Spain (Spanish, Basque), main Auberge in Cuba?
    4. Portugal (Portugese) main Auberge on one of their islands, they're the smallest Langue
    5. The Netherlands (Dutch) main Auberge in Nieuw Amsterdam
    6. Papal State (Latin, Italian) main Auberge on one of their islands.
    7. Germany/Scandinavia (German, Norse, Swedish, Finnish) no single nation, this represents a large area from wich few Knights come. Main Auberge in what was previously Nya Sverige
    8. Native (Cahokian, Nahuatl, Tuniit language whatever the name is,.....) this represents the newly converted natives they will probably attract. Main Auberge in ???? no idea on this one.

    Each Langue has several more Auberges, both big and small.

    Edit: A few fun facts about the Knights:
    - They used blackened armour because it doesn't rust that fast, especially at sea. Salt water makes stuff rust faster.
    - The Knights had a tradition that if they died they would deed over their body to be dissected to advance medical knowledge. They are Hospitallers, even in death.
    - Their combat uniform is black with a white Maltese Cross on the chest.
    - All Knights were supposed to be literate and they studied philosophy, science and art.
    - There are several protestant copycat orders.
    Last edited by Steckie; 2014-05-16 at 02:22 PM.

  21. - Top - End - #111
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    PaladinGuy

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

    The English Lange could be Jamestown or Charleston. Probably Jamestown, as it's older, and nearer to the center of the British colonies. At first I thought Boston, but they're close to New Amsterdam, which is the Dutch Lange.

    Should there be a Lange up in New France (Quebec)? That could be the French Lange, while New Orleans could be the Lange for Christianized natives, as the city is a blend of Euro and Native culture.

    The German Lange could be Philadelphia PA.

  22. - Top - End - #112
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    Default Re: Crossroads II: I'm on a Mammoth.

    I would put the English Lange in Rhode Island. While they consider themselves above such divisions, they ARE a catholic organization, and so would be less than welcome in the more puritan colonies.

    I would put the French Lange in Haiti or New France, with the Native one in New Orleans.
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  23. - Top - End - #113
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    Default Re: Crossroads II: I'm on a Mammoth.

    Just to clarify: the Langues are not a place.
    You can compare them roughly to the political parties that form the government of the Knights.

    The Auberges are the actual locations (the enclaves).
    Historically the Auberges were only built only on Malta. But in Vespuccia they have a much larger area to cover, so i assumed they would spread out a bit more. All 8 Langues have an Auberge on St Croix, the main Island of the Knights. They also have a larger Auberge that sits in an area important to that specific Langue, this would probably be their headquarters and that's why i tried giving them a location.
    Then there are the various other Auberges spread throughout Vespuccia. They range from cabins in the wood manned by supporters of the Knights to fortified locations manned by several Knights.

    I'm working on their ruling council, but first my kids need to do some performance at their school. I'll try to post something later today.

  24. - Top - End - #114
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    Default Re: Crossroads II: I'm on a Mammoth.

    Ok , sorry for the name confusion.

    But by the "the Knights are folk to choose a Catholic-friendly place" logic, Maryland would be a great place to set up (I can't believe I didn't think of this before). It is an English colony for Catholics.

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

    Here's what i've got for the government of the Knights. I think i based most of it on historical and contemporary politics of the Knights. I've got a lot of stuff from Order of Malta homepage.

    The Sovereign Council of the Order of St John:

    Spoiler: 8 Pilliers
    Show
    Pillier means 'pillar' in French so they represent the basis of the order. The Pillier of each Langue is elected for a 5 year period wich they spend living in Saint Croix. The Pilliers are the representatives of their Langue.

    Spoiler: Grand Commander of the Order
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    His duties include: spreading the principles of the Faith, supervising Priories and Subpriories, compiling reports on visits to be sent to the Holy See on the state and life of the Order, and seeing to the religious aspects of the activities of Knights.

    Spoiler: Grand Chancellor of the Order
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    He is responsible for the foreign policy and the diplomatic missions of the Order.

    Spoiler: Grand Hospitaller of the Order
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    He is responsible for the hospitals of the Order and the charitable and humanitarian actions. He also ensures that Christian principles of care and human dignity are respected.

    Spoiler: Receiver of the Common Treasure
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    He directs the administration of the finances and the property of the Order. Basically he's the treasurer

    Spoiler: Grand Master of the Order
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    The leader of the order who also has the title of Cardinal and Reichsfürst (Prince of the Holy Roman Empire)
    Together with the Sovereign Council he leads the order and takes all the final decisions. The other council members advise him.
    He is elected for life from among the Knights.


    This makes for a government of 13 people who all reside on Saint Croix, the Island fortress of the Knights.

    Outside of Saint Croix each Langue governs itself within the boundaries of their constitution and the Knight's code. Each Langue is governed by a Bailiff, elected at the same time as the Pillier and for a 5 year period as well.

    The Knights of the order are men of noble birth. They take three vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. These are the First Class Knights, called Knights of Justice. There are about 500 Knights of Justice.
    Common men aren't allowed to become Knights, but they are allowed to become lay members of the Order. These are the Second Class Knights, called Knights of Obedience. There are about 3000 Knights of Obedience.


    Oh, and one other thing i found out about: around Saint Croix: there are two Bioluminescent bays around Saint Croix.
    I'd love to do something interesting with that but i can't seem to think of anything fun. Anybody got any ideas perhaps?
    Last edited by Steckie; 2014-05-17 at 03:51 PM.

  26. - Top - End - #116
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    Default Re: Crossroads II: I'm on a Mammoth.

    Have the knights totally moved to the New World, or are they still working in europe, with the new world order setting up a parallel governing structure on St. Croix
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  27. - Top - End - #117
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    Default Re: Crossroads II: I'm on a Mammoth.

    I'd have them move entirely.
    The Ottoman Empire has been on decline since the 1680's or perhaps even a bit earlier. They've been stagnating since the early 1600's.
    I also assume that the great hunting of magical creatures is just about coming to an end somewhere in the 17th century. So protecting people against those creatures isn't needed that much anymore.
    In Vespuccia there is a lot to do for them. Many magical creatures, many christians to protect. If the pope asks them to go, they might even jump at the opportunity. And i bet the inquisition would be more than happy to see them leave the Old World.

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

    Sorry for the doublepost, but while the subject of diseases has been brought up i'd like to add a few ideas.

    Diseases are serious business in the world anno 1750. Especially in Vespuccia where European diseases killed a huge portion of the population. Unfortunatly Pathfinder (and any other RPG i know of for that matter) doesn't really do the damage these diseases did any justice.
    Maybe we can change some of these things.

    First, I'd like to start with changing the heal skill a bit. The main problem in my eyes is that it's a skill you can use untrained. While technically possible to help somebody when you're not trained in it, it's more likely you're going to cause more damage. I've followed a first aid course and very often untrained people have caused a lot of damage while they were trying to help.
    So let's make it a skill you can only use when trained. And to take it a step further: let's make it into a knowledge skill.
    Perhaps 'Knowledge: Afflictions and Anatomy' or something like that. That way it can't be used untrained, but the local bard could use his bardic knowledge and maybe find out some more about the disease or poison or whatever the problem might be. And this way we can go around the bad reputation the heal skill has.

    Second, nobody ever takes the heal skill. Not when you've got a cleric on hand who can cast cure spells. And spells like Remove disease, neutralize poison, restoration,.... All a lot more usefull than the heal skill.
    Remove disease spells are available at pretty low levels, wich doesn't really reflect the terrible effect they had on the civilizations we have in Vespuccia.
    Let's make remove disease and neutralise poison into 7th or 8th or maybe even 9th level spells. Remove curse can stay as it is, those are usually caused by humans and should be easier to be removed by humans.
    If those spells are a lot higher level, that would force people to use the heal skill to get rid of poison and diseases. We could add some sort of pouch with common herbs to treat diseases. Kind of like a spell component pouch for treating diseases.

    Third, maybe we could add an infection chance to the game.
    Want to help a town struck by an epidemic? Sure, but there's a chance you'll get infected. In fact visiting a town not struck by an epidemic might already get you infected. As will contact with some animals. Or plants. Or maybe an airborne disease. You can get infected anywhere. On the other hand running around with a disease shouldn't always be terrible. A common cold can be annoying, but wont hinder you much in combat.
    Players could perhaps get a base immunity score? That score then goes higher or lower depending on ability scores, feats, spells, traits,...
    I don't know if this is doable, i'm not that good with mechanics.
    Oh, and i think this should be something optional. Not everybody will like to play with something like this.

    To help with this i've started to think about some spells that might make the whole thing fit together a bit better:
    Spoiler: spells
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    Quarantine Person:
    You can quarantine one person for every 4 caster levels up to a maximum of 5.If this person has a disease, he will no longer be able to spread this disease to other persons.
    Reasoning: a small safety measure so people can avoid diseases but even at higher character levels one person can't protect his whole party.

    Spread disease:
    The opposite of quarantine person. You can spread a disease from one person you have touched to another. You must touch both these people within 10 minutes of casting the spell. The person you touched second will receive one random disease carried by the person first touched.
    Reasoning: evil characters will probably want some fun with diseases.

    Suppress symptoms:
    You can remove any symptom or other negative effects from a disease for 24 hours. After that the symptoms will return (or maybe even get worse?)
    Casting this spell will add 2 days to the time you carry that disease. You can cast this spell for a maximum of three days and will then suffer from the disease for 6 days + the days you still had left before casting the spell.
    Reasoning: sometimes you don't want to fight that one boss while your meatshield has less strength and constitution.

  29. - Top - End - #119
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    Default Re: Crossroads II: I'm on a Mammoth.

    Originally Posted by Steckie
    Remove disease spells are available at pretty low levels, [which] doesn't really reflect the terrible effect they had on the civilizations we have in Vespuccia.

    Let's make remove disease and neutralise poison into 7th or 8th or maybe even 9th level spells.... If those spells are a lot higher level, that would force people to use the heal skill to get rid of poison and diseases.
    Agreed on general terms. In my last campaign I threw in a blend of diseases, and it was frustrating and disappointing just how trivial they can become, even by fourth or fifth level.

    I wouldn't make Remove Disease quite that high-level, but as a fifth- or sixth-level spell it should still be high enough to warrant a strong early investment in the Heal skill.

    As for Neutralize Poison, I think there's a good case to be made for that to be a lower-level spell. Disease outbreaks are sporadic and unpredictable, but canebrake rattlesnakes and deadly mushrooms will be an almost daily threat for many people, and it only makes sense that more magical effort would be spent on counteracting poison.

    Originally Posted by Steckie
    Third, maybe we could add an infection chance to the game.... Or maybe an airborne disease. You can get infected anywhere.
    Interesting in theory, but this could easily balloon into a detailed subsystem, so the question is whether you want to spend the design effort on something a lot of players and GMs might pass over.

    For my part, I like the idea of adding more severe consequences to diseases in Vespuccia, both for the more historical feel (awful though it is) and for the additional in-game challenge.

    As for how the disease is transmitted, I would stay with human-to-human contact to reduce the permutations involved. A disease transmitted from animals (zoonosis, plural zoonoses) can be incredibly deadly--just read the first chapters of The Coming Plague for examples of modern outbreaks--and, in game terms, represents a large number of additional threats that have to be managed by the GM, and which could easily derail a campaign.

    Also, you mentioned plants, but I can't think of any plants offhand which are vectors for serious disease. Typically a disease will have a reservoir in compatible hosts, either a human or mammal population, sometimes with a secondary host or vector from the invertebrate world. Again, modeling these in detail would involve a new subsystem, and a LOT of extra work for the GM.

    I like the idea, but I would focus on a handful of human diseases and strengthen the mechanics to make them more of a lingering and pernicious threat. And keep in mind that if the characters are moving from, say, Philadelphia to Iroquoia and later Cahokia, they themselves may become vectors of disease, with all the moral freight that may bear.

    Originally Posted by Steckie
    In fact visiting a town not struck by an epidemic might already get you infected.
    The syntax in this sentence is a little odd, in particular the use of "might already," so I'm not at all sure what's meant here.

    Originally Posted by Steckie
    To help with this i've started to think about some spells that might make the whole thing fit together a bit better....
    Suppress Symptoms looks the most useful, both in the context of Vespuccian societies and for characters wanting to power on.

    Not sure how Quarantine Person is meant to work, since a quarantine is just a physical isolation on medical grounds. If the intention here is to prevent an infected person from passing the disease along, you might want to rename the spell Suppress Infection or Negate Transmission.

    As for giving characters a magical means to spread disease...I'd treat that option cautiously, especially in the context of an alternate North America. When I ran the disease scenario in my last campaign, it didn't take long before one of the players was trying to work out a way to weaponize his character's infection. Given the circumstances of 1750s Vespuccia, that kind of player wouldn't think twice about spreading a plague to take down Cahokia and install his character as emperor or whatever, and I don't know if that's the sort of campaign you want the disease mechanics to encourage.

  30. - Top - End - #120
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    Default Re: Crossroads II: I'm on a Mammoth.

    I think we actually discussed this already.
    I forget eactly what we decided. We raised the level of Remove Disease, and we decided that, while it would cure somebody, it would NOT grant them any resistance to further infection.

    So, while Remove Disease could be used to keep a few elites going during a plague, or to control a small infection, it could not be used against an epidemic.
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