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  1. - Top - End - #211
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    GnomeWizardGuy

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

    Calbria perhaps?

    As for the Biomancers, how about that they can be a PC that is uncommon outside the tropics, since they manipulate growing plants, and those plants grow faster in the tropics then elsewhere. They can go other places but they have a greater difficult with using their abilities.

  2. - Top - End - #212
    Troll in the Playground
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    Default Re: Crossroads II: I'm on a Mammoth.

    Originally Posted by Admiral Squish
    I think that discussing south america is very important at this point, as technically speaking, they are part of Columbia, and Portugal and Spain's fate depend heavily on their income from south america.
    Indeed, yes. Now that we've clarified the Portuguese colonies in the southeast are alive and well, everything changes in South America.

    It also means, for a start, that Portugal may well eclipse Spain in terms of wealth and global reach, since they'll have their African enterprise and their lucrative Eastern trade, as well as the colonies in Brazil.

    Originally Posted by Admiral Squish
    ...but with a campaign setting, saying 'oh, you can't go there' is just laziness.
    Also, that's the surest possible way to make sure your players immediately charge in that direction.



    Originally Posted by Admiral Squish
    ...and makes a concerted effort to expand the terra preta areas before his death, allowing amazonian forces to reach into other forests....
    Keep in mind that terra pretas only develop slowly, over generations, so unless the Biomancer Boss has access to an epic-level Create Terra Preta spell, this won't work too well.

    Originally Posted by Admiral Squish
    ...maybe even expanding the forest itself until the two forests merge?
    Climate and terrain, which are fundamental to vegetation type, are working hard against you here. The reason why the southern arc of the Amazon doesn't reach any further than it does is because the landscape becomes higher and steeper, and further to the south the Cerrado is simply too dry to support lowlands rainforest. The Mata Atlântica is (or was) a tropical rainforest because it receives moisture from the trades as well as some orographic rainfall.

    Also bear in mind that the central Amazon is incredibly flat. You can travel five hundred miles westward and barely rise a hundred feet in elevation. Major tributaries like the Rio Madeira have a tremendous volume that's coming down from the Andes, but sometimes the smaller blackwater rivers are just creeping along.

    Originally Posted by Admiral Squish
    Or perhaps the natives of the atlantic forest follow the example of the amazonian tribes and launch a less-successful revolt of their own....
    This is probably your best bet if you really want this to happen, but then there's the question of how the natives in the Mata Atlântica are even aware of what's going on in the Amazon. The Cerrado is colossal, and not lightly or easily traveled--especially not for people who are at home in rainforest habitat. Unless there's some form of magical communication, I wouldn't expect these two sets of native peoples to have much knowledge of each other.

    Originally Posted by Steckie
    Maybe we should just give a different name to the Southern continent. Name it after the guy that discovered Brazil, Pedro Álvares Cabral or something.
    This would certainly help keep the continents distinct, and avoids any confusion between "South Vespuccia" and "southern Vespuccia." If we use a Portuguese name, it will also signal Portugal's strong interest in this part of the world.

    Cabral himself initially thought he'd landed on a large island--and late medieval maps showed a variety of fictional islands in that approximate area--so he chose the name Ilha de Vera Cruz, "Island of the True Cross." By 1519 the region was appearing on maps as "Terra Brasilis" or even "Mundus Novus Brazil," and if the Portuguese are the primary European power on the continent, it's likely it'll become known generally as Brasil, or perhaps Grande Brasil.

  3. - Top - End - #213
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    GnomeWizardGuy

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

    Personally I would be tempted to name it Hy-Brasil, but that's more of an Irish myth than Poutuagese. Unless of course that is the same Island Cabral thought he had found with a slightly different name.

  4. - Top - End - #214
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    Default Re: Crossroads II: I'm on a Mammoth.

    Huli Jing
    Unfortunately, the Huli Jing are scheduled to be removed once I get another option up as running. As much as I really enjoy the race, and how cool I think them to be, they would, at the very least, require a full rewriting in order to make them line up with the jing myths. This was actually discussed some time ago, I've just been reluctant to follow through because... well, they're just so cool! Essentially, I created them as a distinct race of fox anthros with the power to turn into foxes and a handful of illusion powers, basing them off what the huli jing did in the myths. Only later did I find out how the huli jing come about, and it comes from a completely different direction than I thought. The huli jings of the myth are actually created from foxes once they reach a certain age/spiritual power, gaining sentience, speech, and the ability to take on human form, plus more magic power later on. At best, I would need to entirely write the huli jing over to make them jive, and if I do that, it seems like it would be artificial of me to say you can play them but no other varieties of jing. At worst, they need to be scrapped entirely and made into monsters instead.

    Touched
    Well, part of the idea for the expansion was to spread it out so that there are options for player characters that are influenced by all the different categories of spirits. Hunt, Herd, Wood, Ancestor, Air, Earth, Fire, Water, Chaos, Evil, Good and Law. If I keep the spirits of hunt and herd on the list, I can't honestly think what I would give them if not the abilities from spirit-born. Anyways, part of the new thing would be stripping out the columbia-centric nature of the race and making it so you can have one of these guys from anywhere, influenced by any kind of spirit you want, either through their bloodline or through being exposed to their powers when young.
    I'm also debating if I would be dropping more earthly influences or adding more, expanding the choices to Abberations, Dragons, Fey and Undead.

    South Vespuccia
    Firstly, those maps are awesome, and perfectly timed for our purposes. We have a map of what it normally looked like at the rebellion and a map of what it would normally look like at the current day.

    Tawantinsuyu
    • Holdings The entire Andes chain, and the west coast.
    • Real World In the real world, Pizarro made three expeditions to south america, the first two unsuccessful, though he found evidence of gold and silver on the second one, and was denied permission to launch a third by the governor. He had to appeal to the king directly to get permission. On the third mission, he was much more successful, and he captured the inka, ransomed him for a room full of gold, executed him, then finally entered Cuzco and completed his conquest. He then co-opted the milpa system to use the citizens of the empire as slave labor in gold and silver mines with simply spectacular death rates.
    • This World In this world, we could easily say that Pizarro had his first, very unsuccessful mission (his partner lost an eye to an arrow), and then was simply denied permission to go back, particularly after the fiasco in Aztatlan. Now, this isn't a permanent solution, as eventually, somebody would go down there and find gold and start the process over, just later down the road. I think we could prevent this, however, by having reports of the bizarre contact with the Spaniards filter down through the empire and eventually reach the diviners, who look into it and see the potential disaster coming. So, the Inka moves to protect their empire from further attacks, developing the 'welcoming committee' system to deal with landing forces, and creating a tightly-controlled trading post to hopefully satisfy the foreigners who crave their gold.
      Then we have two problems: One, once they get the trading post going, the spaniards know there's valuables to be found in the Tawantinsuyu, and while trading might satisfy them temporarily, they would eventually want ALL OF IT, and launch a conquest. Second is disease, which the Tawantinsuyu would have no immunity to, and which would spread into the empire as the trade goods did, as evidenced by the infamous smallpox blankets.
      I'm honestly not sure how to resolve those two in a way that leaves the empire intact, which seems important for the setting to stay awesome. I considered the idea that they might convert at this point to a full deathless leadership option. The commoners would remain human and vulnerable to the disease, but with the deathless council already there, it could be that they converted all the officials they could get to in time into deathless. This would allow them to maintain a strong governmental system, despite the massive death toll. I briefly entertained the idea of converting all the citizenry to deathless, but that poses a buttload of problems all its own. Still, even with the central government intact, without a stable population they can't muster the militia forces that would be necessary to repel the all-but-inevitable Spanish invasion.
    • Details
      All former Inka are made into deathless, who serve as a council to the current Inka, who is a normal human. The mortal Inka is technically the head of the government, but more often than not he is manipulated or puppeted by the council.
      The government is also advised at various levels by astonomer-diviners, who use their study of the stars to focus their divination abilities and predict future events or see distant things. Not sure if these guys should be deathless too.
      Tawantinsuyu is connected by a strong link spiral, which follows the spine of the andes for the most part. The diviners are able to predict the links with great accuracy, which allows them to use it very efficiently to move people and information around the empire with great speed. They can't warp to any point in the empire, but they can get pretty close, since their holdings are so narrow.


    Spain
    • Holdings Most of the north coast of the continent, east of panama and west of the amazon. Rio De La Plata?
    • Real World The first actual attempt at settlement was in Rio de la Plata, south of where the Portuguese were. That one died. They tried making Buenos Aires in 1536, that one was chased out by natives in five years. They did have another one further up the river called Asuncion, from which they later resettled the Buenos Aires area, which actually lasted this time. In 1537-1543, they entered highland Colombia and established New Grenada, which was part of the Viceroyalty of Peru.
    • This World If the conquest of Tawantinsuyu never happened, there's no Viceroyalty of Peru. I don't think this would much change the way it went, though, in the north. They subjugate the natives, set up New Grenada, which becomes its own thing rather than part of a separate thing. Probably doesn't go quite so far south, though, without a conquered peru to back up against. I am curious about the fate of Rio de la plata though. 1541 would be well into the aztatlan conflict and with nothing much coming from Peru, they might well decide to throw up their hands regarding Buenos Aires' loss, not having the resources at the time to spend on rebuilding it again after it gets evacuated. Asuncion survived though... perhaps without support from the sea they eventually disappear as well.
      This really does change the tone of things. New Granada would be their biggest successful conquest in the new world, and they would definitely do their damnedest to milk it for every last dollar they could. Especially considering this was the source of the El Dorado legend. They would be able to mine for gold and emeralds, and, this being some of their largest land holdings, they could use it for agricultural products, too, like cotton, maize, cocoa, potatoes (which become a big deal in europe pretty quick), and apparently, the natives also produced salt, which was pretty valuable throughout history.
    • Details
      I really want El Dorado to be a real thing somewhere in the highlands. The natives keep it a secret, and send the Spaniards running in circles, directing their expeditions in all sorts of different ways, usually toward their enemies or into very dangerous terrain.
      This might well be the source of potatoes in the rest of the world, which dramatically changed the face of agriculture in much of Europe.


    Portugal
    • Holdings Formerly: Entire coastline of modern Brazil. Currently: The point and southern coastline of Brazil, including the Atlantic forest.
    • Real World In the real world, colonization started with captaincy colonies in 1534, of which only two survived, thanks to native resistance. Initially, they aggressively harvested brazilwood to sell as a dye back home, but as permanent colonies were set up, they started farming sugarcane, the labor demands of the crop being met with native, then african slaves. They also captured and sold native slaves in large numbers. Their holdings spread all through the amazon and much of the interior of the continent.
    • This World History remains much the same until 1630-50, at which point we have the amazonian rebellion. The Portuguese lose control of all their amazonian holdings, almost everyone dies. Brazilwood, sugarcane, and slave trade all take major hits from this, but they retain their southern holdings and continue to profit from them. They launch a few unsuccessful attempts to retake the amazon, but are always repelled at the shoreline or the mouth of the river. Eventually, they more-or-less give up the attempt and refocus their resources on their current holdings. Native resistance continues to increase as the slavers get more aggressive and the plantations clear more and more land. The southern coast of brazil is somewhat less accessible to european ships, apparently, so that would also hurt the bottom line. Oh, apparently, the bandeirantes discovered gold in southern brazil, which led to a brazilian gold rush in the 1700s. So, Portugal is still making some very good money off their colonies.
    • Details
      I still would like to do something with brazilwood. Perhaps in addition to being a valuable dye, it also has alchemical properties that let it be easily converted to alchemist's fire, or an addition of brazilwood extract makes alchemist's fire more potent? Perhaps the natives know how to use this?


    Amazonas
    • Holdings The amazon rainforest ecoregion, somewhat extending into the northern forests beyond the amazon.
    • Real World In the real world, the Portuguese dominated the area. They used it for sugarcane harvesting and regularly sent expeditions into the forest for native slaves and to search for mineral wealth as the native populations fell.
    • This World In this world, the portugese held the amazon river delta and a bit up the river, going further and further up it. Many natives fought them but found their efforts ineffective. Eventually, around 1610, a powerful druid went up and down the amazon river, gathering spell-casters from all along the river for a great effort to destroy the foreigners. They went into the heart of the amazon and went to work for the next 40 years, developing living plant creatures they could control and set against the foreigners, and various plant-based weapons. The druid was killed by a bandeirante expedition just a few years before the plan was ready to go. His relatively young but highly talented son (ghengixander) took over the project though charismatic leadership, and led the floramancer forces against the Portuguese in 1550. His attacks were swift, unexpected, brutal, and bloody. All in all, a total genocide of all Portuguese presence in the forest took three years. Ghengixander and his floramancers became the de-facto leaders of Amazonas. Throughout his life, he established a unified government, ruling through the floramancer generals who joined his father in the first place, Established an official language (spoken as a second language by most), created a training system to develop young magical talents into floramancer officials, and expanded the Amazonas political borders to match the edges of the forest. His government was very isolationist, allowing no contact with the foreigners, ensuring that any who attempted to enter the rainforest never made it back out, and shunning foreign technologies. When he passed away in 1680, the floramancer generals squabbled over who would take his seat, a violent, but relatively short clash, that ended when the generals agreed to hold seperate territories, divided by rivers and limited by the edges of the forest. Each general took a sizable portion of the whole empire, each independent state's borders outlined by the edges of the forest and separated by various rivers. Now each state has its own unique political setup and policies, though most maintain Ghengixander's policy against foreign influence.
    • Details
      Between 5-10 distinct states, any more than that will get needlessly complex.
      Plant-based military monsters. The creations are mostly mindless, obeying anyone who can speak with plants. Veggie warriors, regenerating shock troops, treelike living siege, and possibly some kind of sense-sharing vine?
      Should floramancer be a prestige class or a base class in its own right?


    Netherlands
    • Holdings Formerly: Just north of the eastern tip of south america, a small section north of the amazon. Currently: small section on the north coast.
    • Real World The Dutch held a large portion of the south part of the amazon from 1630 until 1649, when they got kicked out by the portugese, officially giving back control of the area in 1654. They had land in modern-day Guyana that traded hands back and forth between the English and the Dutch several times. They also held a section of Chile, but abandoned it within 2 years. In 1667, they traded their north american colonies for their sugar plantations in modern-day Suriname, then sold them to the dutch west india company in 1683.
    • This World Well, this is a bit of a tangled mess, but I'll try to sort it out. The dutch held the amazon territories until they lost in 1649. Once booted, many eventually returned to Guyana and Suriname holdings. The next year, the amazonian rebellion took place, and the portugese in the amazon got genocided. The dutch more or less thanked their luck and doubled-down on Guyana and Suriname, though they kept a wary eye on Ghengixander and his forces. Thankfully, they never quite reached the northern coast in their political expansion, but the dutch still keep a larger-than-usual military force in their colonies. Eventually conflicts with the british, the french, and the natives became too costly to deal with, and they sold their whole north coast area to the dutch west india company and the crown refocused on New Amsterdam. The company now runs the colonies with a single-minded profit focus.
    • Details
      The dutch west india company controls the south american holdings now, but the colonies are still full of dutch people.
      These colonies are within the span of rainforest on the maps I find, perhaps one of the floramancer generals should make a move to expand into it?


    Patagonia
    • Holdings Cerrado, Gran Chaco, Pampas, and Patagonian Steppe. Does NOT include the Andes.
    • Real World Initial contact with the groups of the Patagonia region was relatively passive. Then the Spanish settled Rio de la Plata and their inland settlement whose name escapes me. Buenos Aires was abandoned due to native resistance, but was eventually resettled. The Spanish connected these settlements to their Peru territories east-to-west across this region. They spread disease as they usually did, and may have exploited the natives, but I can't find much evidence that they did much active enslavement/massacre-ing.
    • This World If we have the Spanish with no holdings in Peru, and they abandon the Rio de la Plata after they got kicked out by natives, then this area ends up more or less untouched. Maybe the Portuguese might take the pampas after losing the amazon, but moving too much further inland doesn't make much sense. Outside the pampas, the soil is unsuitable for growing any of the European cash crops, and the native populations aren't dense enough, particularly at this point, to make slave-hunting a valid economic tactic. Sheep farming would work, but who would import wool from inland south america when you can get it SO much cheaper locally? Cattle farming happens now, but in 1750, you can't export meat fast enough for it to be good when it arrives. I think, overall, it would likely end up closely resembling the north american great plains.
    • Details
      Patagon giants, twice as tall as men, were described by the europeans first making contact (It's believed they just exaggerated the 6'6" natives). We have giantkin. This seems like it could be pretty awesome.
      There's a lot of potential for exotic animals here. Rhea, guanaco, and such. We could have some south american megafauna lingering here, like ground sloths.


    Name
    Well, I refer to it as 'Brasilia' in the first post. We could easily enough use 'Cabralia', or 'Terra/Mundus Novus/Grande Brasil'.
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  5. - Top - End - #215
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    Default Re: Crossroads II: I'm on a Mammoth.

    Quote Originally Posted by Admiral Squish View Post
    Huli Jing
    Unfortunately, the Huli Jing are scheduled to be removed once I get another option up as running. As much as I really enjoy the race, and how cool I think them to be, they would, at the very least, require a full rewriting in order to make them line up with the jing myths. This was actually discussed some time ago, I've just been reluctant to follow through because... well, they're just so cool! Essentially, I created them as a distinct race of fox anthros with the power to turn into foxes and a handful of illusion powers, basing them off what the huli jing did in the myths. Only later did I find out how the huli jing come about, and it comes from a completely different direction than I thought. The huli jings of the myth are actually created from foxes once they reach a certain age/spiritual power, gaining sentience, speech, and the ability to take on human form, plus more magic power later on. At best, I would need to entirely write the huli jing over to make them jive, and if I do that, it seems like it would be artificial of me to say you can play them but no other varieties of jing. At worst, they need to be scrapped entirely and made into monsters instead.

    I have to contest the reason for dropping them as a distinct species; while it's a common running theme regarding eastern mythical animals to simply be exceptional individuals of that species that obtained mystical power due to age, like the Japanese Nekomata, there's a wide variety of ambiguity in the myths regarding them, just like any other mythical creature. Because it's unlikely that there would be anyone around who would have lived to a thousand years to see a small animal suddenly become a minor magical nuisance, I would chalk up the entire aspect of them as a in-universe widespread misunderstanding spread by the fox-folk themselves, for the sake of keeping themselves being seen as powerful and mysterious to humanity in general.

    As for the other kinds of Jing, for the most part, they tend to be obscure entities that one would be hard pressed in finding stuff about even in sources dedicated to Chinese legends, simply because they are quite obscure and don't tend to feature in folktales, or appear in them, for that matter.
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  6. - Top - End - #216
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    GnomeWizardGuy

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

    Should floramancer be a prestige class or a base class in its own right?
    Perhaps a Prestige class. I am thinking of an option I had for a cleric in 1E to become basically a desert Druid if I chose to take the Druid path at 9th (36 lvl progression, not 20). Maybe in order to become a floramancer, have a Druid have to find a patron kingdom/general to initiate him into the ranks of the floramancer, forswearing all previous loyalties and ties.

  7. - Top - End - #217
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    Default Re: Crossroads II: I'm on a Mammoth.

    Tawantinsuyu

    Territory
    The territory you give them is the whole Andes. The Andes goes all the way south to the tip of Patagonia. Maybe even Tierra Del Fuego?
    This means Tawantinsuyu probably controls the Southern passage. I seem to remember them having ships 20-30 meters long made from woven reeds.
    They probably can't expand northward anymore because of the Spanish presence, but what about eastward over the Andes?

    Valuables and immunity
    Why not let Pizarro attempt his conquest of Tawantinsuyu?
    He doesn't succeed in any of his attempts and on the third expedition he and his men are captured. Pizarro and his men are kept alive and questioned. The Tawantinsuyu Diviners are able to determine that they are the source of the disease that started the civil war years earlier and that the cure might lie within them.
    So they study the Spaniards and eventually succeed in somehow finding a way to either end the epidemics or make the death toll a lot smaller.

    But Pizarro is smart enough and eventually he and several of his men betray Spain and start trading technology for their lives and freedom. They are even given women.
    (Maybe it's the mixed Spanish-Native blood of their children that holds the secret to resisting disease? Same could happen in the Amazon where the biomancers have used the mixed Portuguese-Native blood to resist diseases only to turn around and start a genocide because they are impure)

    This would make Tawantinsuyu a technologically advanced, densely populated and rich nation. There is most likely a sizable catholic minority. And there may even be descendants of Pizarro running around.

    Deathless
    I'm not a fan of using the Deathless again as an important part of the government for a Native nation. The Amiqui are already very important in the Triple Alliance. Having a second kind of deathless doing the same thing would feel like lazyness.
    I seem to remember the Tawantinsuyu people keeping the mummies of previous rulers around and their families 'translated' their opinions from the spiritual to the normal world.
    Why not keep it like that? The families of the previous Inkas have very powerfull Speak with dead spells available and use it to communicate with them beyond the Spirit World. They can hear everything those previous Inkas say, but it's very difficult to interpret and that's where the families come in. They might occasionally interpret something purposely wrong if it serves them, but overall they listen to the advice.
    If the mummy gets destroyed, they don't have a focus point for their speak with death spells and they can't contact that Inka anymore. Basically, he died again.

    Amazonia

    History
    Sounds decent overall.
    5-10 successor states seems a bit much though, i think 5 would be about maximum but i prefer 4 or so. The empires of both Genghis and Alexander split in 4 states if i remember my historical atlas well. And 4 generals would seem like a decent number to support him, any more and you'll have infinite squabbling while discussing tactics.

    Quilombo
    Would the Biomancers target Quilombos as well? Or would the escaped slaves that make the population be forced to flee or be killed as well?
    If so, what happens with the survivors when they reach safer land?
    Option 1: the survivors mix with the Portuguese. Probably wont work since the remaining part of Portuguese Brazil still uses slaves and would just enslave them again.
    Option 2: they get killed, and their cities are dungeons to explore.
    Option 3: they are spared by the Biomancers but deported south, out of Amazonia. Maybe into the Cerrado? Or even Gran Chaco or the Pampas? There they mix with the natives and form something new.

  8. - Top - End - #218
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    Default Re: Crossroads II: I'm on a Mammoth.

    I haven't seen much yet, but I'd just like to say that this is incredibly awesome.

  9. - Top - End - #219
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    Default Re: Crossroads II: I'm on a Mammoth.

    Quote Originally Posted by Admiral Squish View Post
    Tawantinsuyu
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    Holdings The entire Andes chain, and the west coast.
    Real World In the real world, Pizarro made three expeditions to south america, the first two unsuccessful, though he found evidence of gold and silver on the second one, and was denied permission to launch a third by the governor. He had to appeal to the king directly to get permission. On the third mission, he was much more successful, and he captured the inka, ransomed him for a room full of gold, executed him, then finally entered Cuzco and completed his conquest. He then co-opted the milpa system to use the citizens of the empire as slave labor in gold and silver mines with simply spectacular death rates.
    This World In this world, we could easily say that Pizarro had his first, very unsuccessful mission (his partner lost an eye to an arrow), and then was simply denied permission to go back, particularly after the fiasco in Aztatlan. Now, this isn't a permanent solution, as eventually, somebody would go down there and find gold and start the process over, just later down the road. I think we could prevent this, however, by having reports of the bizarre contact with the Spaniards filter down through the empire and eventually reach the diviners, who look into it and see the potential disaster coming. So, the Inka moves to protect their empire from further attacks, developing the 'welcoming committee' system to deal with landing forces, and creating a tightly-controlled trading post to hopefully satisfy the foreigners who crave their gold.
    Then we have two problems: One, once they get the trading post going, the spaniards know there's valuables to be found in the Tawantinsuyu, and while trading might satisfy them temporarily, they would eventually want ALL OF IT, and launch a conquest. Second is disease, which the Tawantinsuyu would have no immunity to, and which would spread into the empire as the trade goods did, as evidenced by the infamous smallpox blankets.
    I'm honestly not sure how to resolve those two in a way that leaves the empire intact, which seems important for the setting to stay awesome. I considered the idea that they might convert at this point to a full deathless leadership option. The commoners would remain human and vulnerable to the disease, but with the deathless council already there, it could be that they converted all the officials they could get to in time into deathless. This would allow them to maintain a strong governmental system, despite the massive death toll. I briefly entertained the idea of converting all the citizenry to deathless, but that poses a buttload of problems all its own. Still, even with the central government intact, without a stable population they can't muster the militia forces that would be necessary to repel the all-but-inevitable Spanish invasion.
    When I did the timeline for Aztatlan I went with the rule that no native kingdom remains unaffected by the arrival of the Europeans. The triple alliance was shaken to it's core, completely changed it's internal politics and to a degree one could argue that Aztatlan is not so much the triple alliance as a successor kingdom that conquered the TA from within. The TA was a city-state oligarchy where Tenochnitlan was the first-among-peers, Aztatlan is an empire with an entrenched multi-state military bureacracy running the state. And even then, it lost some of it's territories (and conquered some others). It went through two civil wars, it was hid by horrible epidemics (they still lost proably something akin to 20% or more of their population, but in a more manageable way than IRL) and it had to completely reinvent itself.

    The state of the Mexica barely survived, and though it's a regional power, chances are that the first modern 18th century war against a european power will probably break it.

    I'd argue that the same should apply to all New World States. Think India or China in terms of power. Powerful enough to make the Europeans prefer to play by their rules, but should the 18th century states really focus on it they would probably win. The trick isn't that they can't, the trick is that they don't see the point.

    Ie. they get more out of trade (for now) than they would by conquest.

    And remember... the firepower of a single ship-of-the-line is a terrifying thing. And those are easy to move to where you need them. And no native kingdom has them... or anything close to their equal.

    Spoiler
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    Details
    All former Inka are made into deathless, who serve as a council to the current Inka, who is a normal human. The mortal Inka is technically the head of the government, but more often than not he is manipulated or puppeted by the council.
    The government is also advised at various levels by astonomer-diviners, who use their study of the stars to focus their divination abilities and predict future events or see distant things. Not sure if these guys should be deathless too.
    Tawantinsuyu is connected by a strong link spiral, which follows the spine of the andes for the most part. The diviners are able to predict the links with great accuracy, which allows them to use it very efficiently to move people and information around the empire with great speed. They can't warp to any point in the empire, but they can get pretty close, since their holdings are so narrow.[/list]
    I think the Inca should have no deathless. There's no reason the practise would spread there on it's own. The Mexica and the Maya share much cultural connection and thus it makes sense that they (and the Mixtecs, Zapotecs and P'urepacha) would adopt the practise. But in order for the practise to spread to Peru it'd have to cross: Ecuador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Coastal Colombia, Inner Colombia, Upper Colombia and then across a sparse border. Each of those has their own cultures and their own climates.

    I do like the idea of an empire run by Diviners (who sometimes gets things wrong of course; we're all humans) and I do like they having their own Link Spiral (and of course they've mapped a good portion of it). But I don't think they should have deathless. They're not mesoamerican.

    Spain
    Spoiler
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    Holdings Most of the north coast of the continent, east of panama and west of the amazon. Rio De La Plata?
    Real World The first actual attempt at settlement was in Rio de la Plata, south of where the Portuguese were. That one died. They tried making Buenos Aires in 1536, that one was chased out by natives in five years. They did have another one further up the river called Asuncion, from which they later resettled the Buenos Aires area, which actually lasted this time. In 1537-1543, they entered highland Colombia and established New Grenada, which was part of the Viceroyalty of Peru.
    This World If the conquest of Tawantinsuyu never happened, there's no Viceroyalty of Peru. I don't think this would much change the way it went, though, in the north. They subjugate the natives, set up New Grenada, which becomes its own thing rather than part of a separate thing. Probably doesn't go quite so far south, though, without a conquered peru to back up against. I am curious about the fate of Rio de la plata though. 1541 would be well into the aztatlan conflict and with nothing much coming from Peru, they might well decide to throw up their hands regarding Buenos Aires' loss, not having the resources at the time to spend on rebuilding it again after it gets evacuated. Asuncion survived though... perhaps without support from the sea they eventually disappear as well.
    This really does change the tone of things. New Granada would be their biggest successful conquest in the new world, and they would definitely do their damnedest to milk it for every last dollar they could. Especially considering this was the source of the El Dorado legend. They would be able to mine for gold and emeralds, and, this being some of their largest land holdings, they could use it for agricultural products, too, like cotton, maize, cocoa, potatoes (which become a big deal in europe pretty quick), and apparently, the natives also produced salt, which was pretty valuable throughout history.
    The people that colonised Rio de la Plata had little to do with Castilla del Oro (panama) and the Viceroyalties of New Spain, New Grenada and Guatemala. So I don't see any reasons rio de la plata would be affected other than the blowback from the failed conquests and the loss of interest by the spanish state. 1541 Spain isn't so much busy in mesoamerica as they are in Europe, they need to stop the french and ottomans after all. But they're still interested in round Cape Horn to get ships that way to the Phillipines... they'll need a harbour and Rio de la Plata and Asuncion are excellent ones.

    Also, in my timeline I did suggest that New Grenada is indeed a thing. It's a vassal state attached to Castilla del Oro and essentially run by the bankers. The coast is spanish (the natives sadly did not survive their arrival, much like they didn't in Panama) but the highlands are allied states. When the homeland couldn't provide troops, the bankers in panama looked there and simply allied with the local kingdoms (plus you can trade cheap goods for gold there. Score!).
    I named those regiments: "Los regimientos del El Dorado" btw

    Details
    I really want El Dorado to be a real thing somewhere in the highlands. The natives keep it a secret, and send the Spaniards running in circles, directing their expeditions in all sorts of different ways, usually toward their enemies or into very dangerous terrain.
    This might well be the source of potatoes in the rest of the world, which dramatically changed the face of agriculture in much of Europe.[/list]
    Let's keep it a legend. Not even most natives know where it is, or even if it actually exists. Let's not ruin good plothooks. The Spanish believe it exists, but the bankers like their deal with the highland kingdoms and won't risk that for flimsy legends (besides... we all know what happens to Spaniards looking for cities/empire of gold: They die.)

    Portugal
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    Holdings Formerly: Entire coastline of modern Brazil. Currently: The point and southern coastline of Brazil, including the Atlantic forest.
    Real World In the real world, colonization started with captaincy colonies in 1534, of which only two survived, thanks to native resistance. Initially, they aggressively harvested brazilwood to sell as a dye back home, but as permanent colonies were set up, they started farming sugarcane, the labor demands of the crop being met with native, then african slaves. They also captured and sold native slaves in large numbers. Their holdings spread all through the amazon and much of the interior of the continent.
    This World History remains much the same until 1630-50, at which point we have the amazonian rebellion. The Portuguese lose control of all their amazonian holdings, almost everyone dies. Brazilwood, sugarcane, and slave trade all take major hits from this, but they retain their southern holdings and continue to profit from them. They launch a few unsuccessful attempts to retake the amazon, but are always repelled at the shoreline or the mouth of the river. Eventually, they more-or-less give up the attempt and refocus their resources on their current holdings. Native resistance continues to increase as the slavers get more aggressive and the plantations clear more and more land. The southern coast of brazil is somewhat less accessible to european ships, apparently, so that would also hurt the bottom line. Oh, apparently, the bandeirantes discovered gold in southern brazil, which led to a brazilian gold rush in the 1700s. So, Portugal is still making some very good money off their colonies.
    Details
    I still would like to do something with brazilwood. Perhaps in addition to being a valuable dye, it also has alchemical properties that let it be easily converted to alchemist's fire, or an addition of brazilwood extract makes alchemist's fire more potent? Perhaps the natives know how to use this?
    I like this, this sounds far more feasible and should allow us to keep Columbia somewhat on track.

    Brazilwood having interesting properties sounds decent too. I'm supporting that idea. Note that it also grows in Belize, which is a maya kingdom in Vespuccia.

    Amazonas
    Spoiler
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    Holdings The amazon rainforest ecoregion, somewhat extending into the northern forests beyond the amazon.
    Real World In the real world, the Portuguese dominated the area. They used it for sugarcane harvesting and regularly sent expeditions into the forest for native slaves and to search for mineral wealth as the native populations fell.
    This World In this world, the portugese held the amazon river delta and a bit up the river, going further and further up it. Many natives fought them but found their efforts ineffective. Eventually, around 1610, a powerful druid went up and down the amazon river, gathering spell-casters from all along the river for a great effort to destroy the foreigners. They went into the heart of the amazon and went to work for the next 40 years, developing living plant creatures they could control and set against the foreigners, and various plant-based weapons. The druid was killed by a bandeirante expedition just a few years before the plan was ready to go. His relatively young but highly talented son (ghengixander) took over the project though charismatic leadership, and led the floramancer forces against the Portuguese in 1550. His attacks were swift, unexpected, brutal, and bloody. All in all, a total genocide of all Portuguese presence in the forest took three years. Ghengixander and his floramancers became the de-facto leaders of Amazonas. Throughout his life, he established a unified government, ruling through the floramancer generals who joined his father in the first place, Established an official language (spoken as a second language by most), created a training system to develop young magical talents into floramancer officials, and expanded the Amazonas political borders to match the edges of the forest. His government was very isolationist, allowing no contact with the foreigners, ensuring that any who attempted to enter the rainforest never made it back out, and shunning foreign technologies. When he passed away in 1680, the floramancer generals squabbled over who would take his seat, a violent, but relatively short clash, that ended when the generals agreed to hold seperate territories, divided by rivers and limited by the edges of the forest. Each general took a sizable portion of the whole empire, each independent state's borders outlined by the edges of the forest and separated by various rivers. Now each state has its own unique political setup and policies, though most maintain Ghengixander's policy against foreign influence.
    Details
    Between 5-10 distinct states, any more than that will get needlessly complex.
    Plant-based military monsters. The creations are mostly mindless, obeying anyone who can speak with plants. Veggie warriors, regenerating shock troops, treelike living siege, and possibly some kind of sense-sharing vine?
    Should floramancer be a prestige class or a base class in its own right?
    I'm still a bit iffy about the whole idea, but this works for me. 5-10 successor states actually sounds quite plausible too. It's amazingly difficult terrain in there and few shared cultures in there after all.

    Netherlands
    Spoiler
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    Holdings Formerly: Just north of the eastern tip of south america, a small section north of the amazon. Currently: small section on the north coast.
    Real World The Dutch held a large portion of the south part of the amazon from 1630 until 1649, when they got kicked out by the portugese, officially giving back control of the area in 1654. They had land in modern-day Guyana that traded hands back and forth between the English and the Dutch several times. They also held a section of Chile, but abandoned it within 2 years. In 1667, they traded their north american colonies for their sugar plantations in modern-day Suriname, then sold them to the dutch west india company in 1683.
    This World Well, this is a bit of a tangled mess, but I'll try to sort it out. The dutch held the amazon territories until they lost in 1649. Once booted, many eventually returned to Guyana and Suriname holdings. The next year, the amazonian rebellion took place, and the portugese in the amazon got genocided. The dutch more or less thanked their luck and doubled-down on Guyana and Suriname, though they kept a wary eye on Ghengixander and his forces. Thankfully, they never quite reached the northern coast in their political expansion, but the dutch still keep a larger-than-usual military force in their colonies. Eventually conflicts with the british, the french, and the natives became too costly to deal with, and they sold their whole north coast area to the dutch west india company and the crown refocused on New Amsterdam. The company now runs the colonies with a single-minded profit focus.
    Details
    The dutch west india company controls the south american holdings now, but the colonies are still full of dutch people.
    These colonies are within the span of rainforest on the maps I find, perhaps one of the floramancer generals should make a move to expand into it?
    Sounds plausible.

    Patagonia
    Spoiler
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    Holdings Cerrado, Gran Chaco, Pampas, and Patagonian Steppe. Does NOT include the Andes.
    Real World Initial contact with the groups of the Patagonia region was relatively passive. Then the Spanish settled Rio de la Plata and their inland settlement whose name escapes me. Buenos Aires was abandoned due to native resistance, but was eventually resettled. The Spanish connected these settlements to their Peru territories east-to-west across this region. They spread disease as they usually did, and may have exploited the natives, but I can't find much evidence that they did much active enslavement/massacre-ing.
    This World If we have the Spanish with no holdings in Peru, and they abandon the Rio de la Plata after they got kicked out by natives, then this area ends up more or less untouched. Maybe the Portuguese might take the pampas after losing the amazon, but moving too much further inland doesn't make much sense. Outside the pampas, the soil is unsuitable for growing any of the European cash crops, and the native populations aren't dense enough, particularly at this point, to make slave-hunting a valid economic tactic. Sheep farming would work, but who would import wool from inland south america when you can get it SO much cheaper locally? Cattle farming happens now, but in 1750, you can't export meat fast enough for it to be good when it arrives. I think, overall, it would likely end up closely resembling the north american great plains.
    Details
    Patagon giants, twice as tall as men, were described by the europeans first making contact (It's believed they just exaggerated the 6'6" natives). We have giantkin. This seems like it could be pretty awesome.
    There's a lot of potential for exotic animals here. Rhea, guanaco, and such. We could have some south american megafauna lingering here, like ground sloths.
    That works for me.

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

    Personally, I imagine Mythic places like El Dorado or the Fountain of Youth to be in deep underground caverns, accessible only by Link. People who want to get there need to use the legends to locate the one obscure link spot that occasionally connects there.
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    Default Re: Crossroads II: I'm on a Mammoth.

    Glad you popped your head in, mindflayerbard, we're glad to have ya!

    Huli Jing
    Hmm... I suppose it could be made to work. And they ARE a pretty cool race. I really would hate to get rid of them and have to fill the shoes of something quite that awesome. And I suppose it would fit with the general feeling around huli jing to have them spread myths about how they come to be.
    I'll have to think on it a bit more, but I think I will likely end up keeping them.

    Twantinsuyu

    Territory
    I did indeed give them the whole andes. Historically they held a good 75% of them anyways, I figure with the advantages of a heavily mapped and useful link system, magic, and divination, and the guidance of those who've lived for many lifetimes, they could probably expand north and south just a bit further and take it all. Plus, it does kinda make it easier to divvy up the landscape, I will admit. I'd say they could expand northways enough be about level with the end of panama.
    They did have reed ships for trading, but I don't think they would be suitable to carry or mount cannons to try and fight a sea engagement.

    Conquest
    That just sounds like a rehashing of Aztatlan's events, honestly. Conquest fails, prisoners are interrogated for their technological (and in this case biological) secrets. I think it's more interesting if Pizarro never gets the chance to try again, and the Twantinsuyu are ready for them when further groups arrive.

    As for being unchanged, I don't think anyone ends up unchanged. Time marches on, and new trade goods The proposed take on it takes the nation from their historical identity with a bit of magic to a deathless-run empire with new access to European tech, which will obviously shape the way the society operates.

    And finally, while I understand the advantages of naval power, I don't think that European powers would be able to wipe out many of these native empires if they just 'got serious'. They're as much as 20x more populous as normal in this timeline, with a significant magical advantage, a rapidly-growing understanding of European technological advantages, and a significantly more united front (as smaller, non-allied groups have a higher death rate from diseases). Spain in Aztatlan would be akin to America in Vietnam, a long, extremely bloody slog through enemy territory that would eventually end with the crown giving up, or being unable to continue. Spain might be able to take the shorelines, but they would never be able to completely subdue the empire.

    Immunity
    I could imagine half-breed children holding the secrets of immunity, though, for both the Amazonas and Twantinsuyu. I'm not sure if that would be a fast enough solution to save them, though.

    Deathless
    I think if anyone is gonna have deathless, it's GOT to be the Twantinsuyu. The dead inka were mummified, and treated as though alive, and even had a voice in the leadership (through their descendants, yes, but still). They even kept all the palaces they had in life, new Inka had to make their own. They are absolutely perfect for a deathless conversion. If somebody has to lose 'em, I'd say it should be Aztatlan.
    Also, whose to say it didn't arise independently? Both areas did have separately-forming great civilizations, if you can independently figure out things like roads and taxes, why not deathless magic?

    Woven Words
    Here's another thing: There is a suspicion that the Twantinsuyu used a system of knotted rope as a sort of written language, though it didn't survive the conquest and no examples survived to the present day. Should we have this?

    Incest
    Another concern: the inkas were rapidly becoming increasingly incestuous as time went on trying to preserve the bloodline of the first inka. At the time of contact, if I remember correctly, the only acceptable bride for an inka was a sister. This poses problems going forward, another 200 years of this would definitely leave the inka pretty much incapable of rule, as evidenced by some of the problems from inbred European nobles.

    Amazonas

    Successor States
    Okay, how about we settle on 5? That's a pretty good number, I think.

    Quilombo
    You know, I'm not sure. They could be seen as part of the foreigners, as they are distinct from the natives. On the other hand, they could well be seen as equally victims of the foreigners. I suppose it's a bit of a toss-up.
    Side note: the ones in the amazon would be referred to as 'mocambos'. Quilombo wasn't used until 1670.

    Floramancer
    Hmm. Alright, I could see that. Probably a prc for druid, which has specific political connotations beyond just the variety of magic it performs.

    Spain

    Rio de la Plata
    I don't know, they did hold panama at the time, getting around cape horn seems like it would be the long way by comparison. Anyways, if they did hold on to the Rio de la Plata settlements, it wouldn't change all that much, they would be able to farm the pampas a bit, but they would probably get better yields out of their Caribbean holdings. It'd be a relatively small, isolated area under their control.

    New Grenada
    I just can't imagine that Spain would be willing to give up ANYTHING in trade for gold they consider to be rightfully theirs in the first place. The treaty signed over that portion of land to them, in their minds they own it, they just haven't dealt with the pest problem yet. Besides that, Spain was highly religious, and allying peacefully with heathens would be a major no-no. I think they have every motivation in the world to go all full conquistador on the natives, and honestly, they've been stripped of every other major victory so far, letting them take the native states would be the only one we allow them here.

    El Dorado
    I don't know, there was an actual city the myths were based on, where the people of the state would bring offerings of gold and the leader would be covered in gold dust to ritually wash it off in a sacred pool. I think it would be easy enough to make it be a real thing, and if the people didn't know where it was, how would the city get all the gold? I think it could be moved somewhere nice and secluded (though not underground, that just seems silly to me), and the natives protect it by pointing the spaniards elsewhere.

    Portugal

    Brazilwood
    The alchemist's fire idea was just a suggestion, but if we wanna go that way, we certainly could. Does anyone else have ideas for what its special properties would be?
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    Default Re: Crossroads II: I'm on a Mammoth.

    Fine. Well can we at least have the Fountain of Youth in an underground cave accessible only by obscure link?

    I mean, once you get down there you don't have long to get back before the link closes and you have to wait for it to open again. But hey, you've got the fountain of youth right there!
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    Default Re: Crossroads II: I'm on a Mammoth.

    I could see the fountain of youth being underground, certainly. Perhaps it ran to the surface at one point but it was diverted underground by something like an earthquake? I mean, if it was underground forever, how would anyone know about it?
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    Default Re: Crossroads II: I'm on a Mammoth.

    Quote Originally Posted by Admiral Squish View Post
    I could see the fountain of youth being underground, certainly. Perhaps it ran to the surface at one point but it was diverted underground by something like an earthquake? I mean, if it was underground forever, how would anyone know about it?
    Somebody found a link site and said "Hey, I wonder where this goes!"
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    Default Re: Crossroads II: I'm on a Mammoth.

    Quote Originally Posted by BRC View Post
    Somebody found a link site and said "Hey, I wonder where this goes!"
    There are so many ways that could go wrong without preparation.

    You starve to death, because there's water, but no food.
    You age yourself out of existance as you need water to survive every three days, but a handful of water de-ages you more than three days.
    You get murdered by the eternally-young underground society that jealously guards its water.

    I think having it have been on the surface at some point would be wisest. Then some enterprising individual determines that it's possible it was diverted somewhere, and bam.
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    Default Re: Crossroads II: I'm on a Mammoth.

    OK, this has absolutely nothing to do with all that's being discussed about South Vespuccia (awesome work on all the research, everyone!), but KungFuLobster just made an awesome suggestion for a Fusang race:

    Houziren, Descendants of the Monkey King

    And we're not talking Spirit-Born monkey folk, either. These would be the descendants of his earthly children, the ones he "planted" all over China before he ascended to godhood.

    Doesn't that sound awesome!? Whaddaya say, guys?
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    Default Re: Crossroads II: I'm on a Mammoth.

    Twantinsuyu

    Territory
    Are we talking southward into Tierra Del Fuego or not that far?

    Conquest
    Hmm, that does seem kinda similar to Aztatlan.

    How about having the conquest actually succeed? I seem to remember the Spanish setting up puppet kings for a while. Maybe one of those puppet kings is eventually able to lead a rebellion against the Spanish and the Natives that allied with the Spanish.
    And then we have the diseases hit them really hard, but not hard enough for the Spanish to be able to defeat them. Only after they find the cure in the mixed race blood are they able to start a recovery. They are barely able to hold the line against the Spanish, but their divination, knowledge of the Link Spirals, knowledge of road systems and experience in the mountains gives them the edge.

    Only after their population starts to recover a bit are they able to start taking more territory and even throwing the Spanish back out of their mountains.
    Maybe they even take in Native tribes fleeing into the mountains when Genghixander starts his genocide. They would desperatly need to grow their population and that's a way to remove some of the incest problems you talked about. The Inka being desperate enough to marry a foreign woman because he needs to make a treaty with the new Natives coming into Twantinsuyu.

    Or is this a bit too similar to the Aztatlan civil war?

    Deathless
    I'd limit the Deathless to one of the major cultures. They should be distinct and players should be able to see a clear difference between them.
    Twantinsuyu makes more sense, that's true. But then what about Aztatlan?

    Ships
    European cannons and ships are superior, yes. But a fleet of very quick reed ships swarming around one large European ship could do a lot of damage. A European fleet might do the trick though, unless the coast is firmly in the hands of Twantinsuyu and they don't have a safe harbor anywhere closeby.

    Quilombo

    I'd very much like to do something more interesting with them than just collateral damage in the genocide.
    I'm actually quite fond of Genghixander deporting them but not wanting to kill them. Makes him not a complete jerk. He just wants to free his land of those evil Portuguese invaders, the ones they forced to live there can live. Just not in his territory, he wants pure Amazonians.

    Hmm, maybe if you like my idea of Native tribes fleeing Genghixander into Twantinsuy, how about he drives the former slaves there as well? That would beef up their population a bit and a sizable African population living there and fighting against the Spanish might be interesting. It would also make Twantinsuyu the promised land for any escaped slave.
    Last edited by Steckie; 2014-06-05 at 03:28 PM.

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

    For the Inka, how about one descendant out of each generation is chosen as Speaker, and communes with all the ancestors. They are sworn celibate and are entirely devoted in ensuring that the will of the ancestors is carried out and that the mummified bodies are protected. The palaces are prepared such that if the temple is destroyed, or the mummy is destroyed, the Speaker is driven insane and eventually dies. The Speaker chooses the next Speaker from amongst the younger parts of the family.

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

    Giantkin

    Took me long enough, but I've finally posted the giantkin! I think I've done a pretty good job, though I suppose the people's response will be able to answer that one. Tuniit are the frostkin, if that needed clarification.

    Houziren
    Oooh... Now that sounds pretty awesome too! Ooh, what if they're not from humans, but from the monkeys of flower fruit mountain? A unique culture of sentient, civilized monkeys with the blood of Sun Wukong, the Great Sage, Equal of Heaven. Maybe they have prehensile tails, or martial arts abilities.
    I'm kinda tempted to see if it can be made into various uplifted animals related to martial arts animal styles, but I think that probably wouldn't be wise.

    On the other hand, we do have Sasquatches already, I would be somewhat concerned they would be too similar, at least in appearance, if not in actual mechanics and function.

    Tiwantinsuyu

    Holdings
    You know, I don't know, I didn't really look that far down.
    The empire's maximum extent in the real world was about halfway down chile, where the map goes from desert to forest. I would say we could probably extend them all the way south along the contiguous mountains, stopping once they get to the ones separated by ocean.

    Conquest
    Hmm. I definitely like it. I'm just not certain for some reason.
    I suppose in some ways whatever we do is going to resemble the Aztec events, since it is Spanish conquistadors and a strong native empire.

    Okay, let's try it this way. The empire manages to avoid the civil war issue with the two rulers, thanks to the council of former inka (either through the speak with dead thing or them being deathless) and the help of the diviners. Atahualpa is declared inka, because he was the favored son, more popular with the people, and because the diviners predicted war if he were denied the throne. Pizarro is denied permission for expedition #3, but forges the papers necessary and musters a force anyways, knowing that if he fails, thing will end VERY badly. He marches down and makes good headway, helped by disease and the usual shock-and-awe issues the conquistadors exploited, but progress is slower than the historical version thanks to a more united front.

    Things are looking bad for the empire as Pizarro makes his way down the Andes. The turning point is at the meeting between Pizarro and Atahualpa. The night before the meeting and the slaughter, the royal diviner discovers the planned attack at the meeting, and, looking further, reveals to the inka the true scope of their past actions. Atahualpa decides to follow the advice he was given some time ago, and orders his men to trap them in the building they were sleeping in and set it on fire. Only a handful survive the fire, being taken as prisoners, along with the Spanish horses (which become a status symbol for the inka until they all eventually die from not being fed and cared for properly). The native allies lose morale with the Spaniards gone, and since many of them are already sick, they are overcome by the might of Atahualpa's 30,000-strong forces. Over the next few years, the prisoners are brain-picked for information, both through old-fashioned interrogation and magical probes, with diviners using them as magical focuses to learn more about the Spanish.

    They don't manage to figure out how to stop the plague, though, and much of the northern empire is in disarray, both from the failed rebellion and the death tolls of the plagues. The Spanish don't follow up on Pizarro's expedition for many years, because he went off against permission and even forged documents, assuming he just died. In the intervening time, the inka are ravaged by plague. They already were using bronze, so I don't think that stepping up to iron/steel should be that much of a challenge. Thus, they manage to replicate Spanish firearms and cannons from recovered examples, and determine how to make gunpowder from the Spanish captives, which allows the reduced military force to re-subjugate the northern reaches of the empire and fortify against further invasions from the north. By the time more Spanish arrive, they find the empire looking strong in the north. It's a false front put on to discourage further attempts, but it works. The empire uses its diviners to predict where landings will occur and move forces around to make it look like they're strong all over.

    In the next hundred years, to about 1650, the empire's population numbers recover, albeit slowly, but now with a resistance to the diseases of the foreigners (most of them). The total population is still like 50-75% of pre-contact, but they're filling out again. The empire is slowly getting back to it's original state, even moving to expand north and south into the yet-unclaimed mountains with their new guns and cannons. The amazon rebellion happens, though it doesn't particularly affect them. I like the idea of the Inka of the time welcoming escaped Africans, but I don't know he would have a chance to. I mean, if they ran away from Portuguese settlements, they would still most likely be in the eastern portions of the forest, and that's quite a trip overland, and then up the mountains, too.

    Deathless
    I definitely think the tiwantinsuyu should have deathless. Aztatlan... Maybe they're just undead?
    I also like the idea of expanding the deathless' role during the plague, using deathless to create stable points in the system that can't be easily knocked out by disease or other sudden deaths. Maybe a few squadrons of deathless soldiers to serve as the honor guard of the inka and the former inka. Maybe governors or other high-ranking officials. I have a vague idea for creating a paired system, with deathless leaders supplemented by mortal ones. The deathless one communicates the will of the empire, the mortal one communicates the needs of the people.

    Ships
    Ehh... Maneuverability helps, but without weapons that can make a dent in the hull of the enemy ship, it's just a swarm of gnats. I feel like reverse-engineering a Spanish ship would be extremely difficult, especially with the relative rarity of wood in the tiwantinsuyu empire.

    Quilombo
    Yeah, I think that making ghengixander kick them out rather than murder them is for the best, but where can they go? I mean, moving them across the entire amazon to tiwantinsuyu seems challenging to say the least. You can't just send 'em right back to the Portuguese or the Spanish. They can't really stay. Maybe they just load 'em onto a few surviving Portuguese ships and send 'em packing, to let them figure out where to go?
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  20. - Top - End - #230
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    Default Re: Crossroads II: I'm on a Mammoth.

    Could they be fringe settlements of those who are ex-slaves on the outskirts that serve as outposts of the Amazon? They serve as a secondary buffer to any incursion, since the Amazonians are deeper into the rain-forest.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mith View Post
    Could they be fringe settlements of those who are ex-slaves on the outskirts that serve as outposts of the Amazon? They serve as a secondary buffer to any incursion, since the Amazonians are deeper into the rain-forest.
    Hmmm, They have the veggies for the buffer zone, though...
    OOH! What if they send them north into the non-amazon areas of the rainforest, the stuff just south of the dutch-held shoreline? They're independent, free, and not in the amazonas area. Of course, the dutch might be trying to recapture them, but I'm certain the Africans aren't gonna make it easy.
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  22. - Top - End - #232
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    Tawantinsuyu

    Conquest
    The more i think about it the better a conquest of the whole empire or of parts of the empire looks to me.
    For one it would make the Spanish seem a bit more dangerous. What we have in the game now is the Spanish failing to capture Aztatlan and making several other failed attempts. And De Soto's attack on Cahokia that also got defeated. And now an attack on Tawantinsuyu that got defeated.
    If they manage to capture part of the empire and are only defeated after a major war they (and the conquistadores) have a much more dangerous reputation.
    Second, the looting, pillaging and whatever nasty stuff the Spanish did in Cuzco would become a very important for Tawantinsuyu and would motivate the empire to expand again and drive the Spanish out of their land.
    Especially if some of the mummies got burned and were thus forever lost for Tawantinsuyu.
    Third, if the Spanish had a taste of the riches of Tawantinsuyu, they would become very motivated to conquer it, but as they are already on unfriendly terms with the Triple Alliance they don't have much room to maneuver. I can imagine a Mutual defense agreement between them and Tawantinsuyu, with reed boats trying to slip past Spanish ships to deliver messages back and forth. Nothing too elaborate, but by 1750 they should at least know about each other.
    Fourth, having everything hinge on the diviners warning Atahualpa the night before the attack is kinda like saying these guys couldn't have survived without magic.
    Fifth, a Spanish conquest, even if it lasts only a few months to a few years, would give Tawantinsuyu an influx of technology wich they can supplement with captured Spaniards filling in the gaps.

    If we go for the (partial) conquest i would place it at the 1536 rebellion of Manco Inca Yupanqui and the siege of Cuzco. Maybe the Chachapoya support Manco Inca instead of the Spanish? Maybe Tawantinsuyu just does a better job fighting?
    There's only about 700-1200 Spaniards present, they mostly use Native troops to do the fighting for them. Manco Inca Yupanqui has several 10000's of men. Maybe more than 100000 and some say even 200000.
    Take away part of those native troops and the Spanish will probably get overwhelmed.

    Another option would be that Túpac Huallpa who historically died from smallpox was saved by a remove disease spell and that he started the revolution with Manco Inca Yupanqui supporting him. That would give us a divergence point from real history. He could be a much more diplomatic ruler and take away a lot of the Spanish support not by fighting their native allies but by convincing them at the negotiation table.

    Quilombo

    What if Genghixander captures the inhabitants of the Quilombos and any African slave he can find and sells them to Tawantinsuyu? In Tawantinsuyu they would just be free men and women (the Inca's didn't have slavery i think) and would be used to replace the population that got killed in the epidemics.
    The Afrinca's would probably be very gratefull loyal subjects. A lot of them would probably marry Native men and women.

    And Genghixander suddenly has a large amount of funds that he can use to build his empire. If he throws the Portuguese out of Amazonia, he can trade with the Dutch or the Spanish for any supplies he needs to build infrastructure or cities or whatever.
    Selling (former) slaves will help him tremendously.

  23. - Top - End - #233
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    While the Deathless fit the Inca better, we would have to redo a bunch of Aztec stuff if we made them Inca-exclusive.

    Perhaps the Aztecs have the more active warrior/priest/advisor variety, while the Incas get the more powerful "Powerful Mages Who can see the future" variety.
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    Default Re: Crossroads II: I'm on a Mammoth.

    I like that idea, BRC!

    Also, I came up with a fluff reason for the use of Pyramids, although it may clash with established mechanics.

    The Aztecs believed that mountains and high places brought one closer to the gods. What if in Crossroads, divination has a hard time going past mountain ranges? It mirrors the fact that mountain ranges are a huge barrier to pass, so that no one really knows what is on the other side. However, if one does a divination on a mountain (or a symbolic mountain-temple), the divination gains a range bonus that makes it easier to attempt to pierce the mountain barrier. Maybe expand this idea to also cover difficulty in divination to underground areas and pass the horizon of the ocean.


    Thoughts?

    Also, in the case of Links, since they are so high powered, they can bypass these barriers.

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    Sasquatch
    I decided to give these guys a bit of an update while I was thinking about them last night. I bumped the strength up another notch, makming them physically the strongest race in the setting, and added a terrain-specific stealth/movement bonus that really makes 'em feel more bigfoot-ish.

    Giantkin
    I also rewrote how the heritage aspect of the giantkin works, so that's probably worth checking out!

    Map
    so, I added in the great basin and the haudenosaunee. Turns out they took over a pretty big chunk 'o land right up there in 1650-1710.
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    Tiwantinsuyu (I can actually spell that right without looking now!)

    Conquest
    Hmm.
    This really is a tough one.

    Does anyone else wanna weigh in on the options?

    Deathless
    I don't think we'd have to redo all that much of the aztec stuff to remove the amiqui. IIRC, it's just re-attributing a few discoveries/actions and removing some references elsewhere.

    I suppose how far the deathless thing goes is up to the thread. We could just have it be the former inka. Or we could have it be in various high-powered political positions. Or we could go further and add a deathless honor guard, or deathless star-watchers. (side note, star-watchers sounds like a great name for a tiwantinsuyu diviner PRC.)

    De Soto
    A side note: De Soto was present for this whole dealie in tiwantinsuyu. We should probably make a not that he stays behind to later allow him to be crushed into paste at cahokia.

    Quilombo
    As I said before, moving large populations of ex-slaves in a secure fashion all the way across the thousands of miles of amazon and then up the mountains to an empire that the amazonians likely have very little contact with in the first place seems like quite a challenge. Would the tiwantinsuyu even have anything that the amazonians want/need? Well, maybe mineral goods, like bronze, iron, and gunpowder, but they're probably doing pretty good with the whole floramancy stuff. (another side note: Amazonians with cahokian ironwood would be crazy-unstoppable)

    Pyramids
    Hmm... I don't know if it would be an elevation thing, but I definitely like the idea of pyramids and similar structures being architecturally powerful somehow. Maybe standing at the top of a pyramid channels ambient magic to you, making spell-casting more powerful?
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    Default Re: Crossroads II: I'm on a Mammoth.

    Quote Originally Posted by Admiral Squish View Post
    Tiwantinsuyu (I can actually spell that right without looking now!)
    Uhm, don't you mean Tawantinsuyu

    Conquest
    I'd love to hear the opinion of some other people as well.

    Deathless
    Probably best not to go into deathless honor guards, that's too much honor for mere soldiers.
    How about the former Inka's become deathless and they are allowed to choose a number of arcanists to serve them beyond death.

    Sidenote: Chinchorro mummies are mummies found in northern Chile and southern Peru. The oldest known mummies here are from 5000 BC. These mummies predate the Egyptian ones by centuries.
    Maybe there are a few of these mummies remaining as deathless Chinchorro somewhere in the Andes?

    Naming
    Question: the Inca empire called itself Tawantinsuyu. What did the inhabitants call themselves? And do we need to research the names of the people they conquered so we can get the cultural groups correct?

    Quilombo

    Well where are those ex-slaves going to go then?
    We established Genghixander probably doesn't want to kill them. But he seems like the kind of guy that doesn't want to have them around either.
    Whatever direction he's going to send them to, they have to face a huge walk across unknown terrain. They need to be guarded constantly or they may escape.
    If he sells them, he might break even.
    He doesn't even need to take actual goods in return for those ex-slaves. He could sell them for divinations, wich would be very usefull in his war. Advice from a Deathless on how best to set up his empire is valuable as well.

    If not he'll need to either drive them north, out of the rainforest. Or south into the Cerrado.

  27. - Top - End - #237
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    Default Re: Crossroads II: I'm on a Mammoth.

    Quote Originally Posted by Steckie View Post
    Uhm, don't you mean Tawantinsuyu

    Nertz.

    Tawantinsuyu

    Conquest
    Vague idea: what if the empire breaks up into several states through the course of historical events?

    Deathless
    Hmm... What if it's a subversion of a natural process? With natural mummification, the body retains some very minimal spark of life. Not very much at all, but enough that the mummy can twitch or maybe speak a word or two every decade, possibly maintain some of its senses. When they use a nonmagical mummification processes, the spark is preserved better, allowing the mummy to move more and speak with greater frequency as the techniques become more and more advanced (though you can't get to full wandering mummy levels without magic). Then once magic gets involved, you can get the mummy to walk, or hold full conversations. Deathless are just a specific magical technique developed by the priests, which preserves the positive energy enough to fully preserve the fallen's mind and keep their soul in place.

    This kinda changes the definition of deathless and undead. A deathless is a preservation of the being's positive energy, and binds the soul to the body in perpetuity. Undead have lost the original soul, no matter how intelligent they are, they're a body that's been infused with negative energy through natural or magical processes, which sort of creates a negative version of the original soul in the case of intelligent undead.

    Naming
    More research to be done!

    Quilombo
    That's really the problem, I just don't know
    I see three options.

    North into French Guiana/Suriname/Guyana.
    Pros: Close to where they would be originally, still in the rainforest
    Cons:Close to europeans who may want to recapture them.

    West to Tawantinsuyu
    Pros: Could be interesting to integrate into tawantinsuyu, beneficial to ghengixander
    Cons: VERY long, difficult journey, uncertain contact.

    Nowhere (kill/integrate)
    Pros: Neatly handles their existence, (integrate) could be interesting fusion, (kill) would be simple
    Cons: (integrate) might be an odd departure from anti-european stance of ghengixander, (kill) might be too much.

    Martial Artist
    Yes, I'm doing more rewrites, because apparently I'm a masochist.

    The martial artist base is pretty solid, but I don't like the way the martial schools work. I been talking to a martial artist friend about it, and I'm working on a new system for it. There'll be a set of general techniques that everyone can learn, and then the schools. Anyone can learn the basic abilities in a school, and get the associated benefit the school provides, but you need a certain number of techniques in that school to get the advanced techniques, and a certain number of advanced techniques to get the next level. The abilities will be designed such that they scale well, so you can be a powerful character even if you never go beyond the basic techniques, but there are rewards for spcilaization, too.

    The idea being you can be a master of one who devotedly follows the teaching of the one school, or you can be a dabbler who picks from many different sources. I also want to separate the schools from the base class a bit, so we can make as many or as few schools as we want.

    I suspect it's going to end up looking like TOB, no matter how I do it, but that's probably because we're both working toward the same goals.
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  28. - Top - End - #238
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    Default Re: Crossroads II: I'm on a Mammoth.

    Just read through the Sasquatch race. Beautiful. Is there any expected time for an on-the-forum playtest? I'd love to join one when the time comes...
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    Default Re: Crossroads II: I'm on a Mammoth.

    No set time, yet, unfortunately, but we are definitely working toward it. I think we can probably run one once we have most of the base classes and a least a full empire's cultures finished.
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  30. - Top - End - #240
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    Default Re: Crossroads II: I'm on a Mammoth.

    Originally Posted by Admiral Squish
    Cons: (integrate) might be an odd departure from anti-european stance of ghengixander....
    And how are the escaped slaves Europeans?

    Integration or at least tolerance would be my call. The quilombos (as I call them in general) won't ever be that populous and won't present any kind of threat. The escaped slaves won't be bringing cannons, won't be making war, and in general will probably step as lightly as they can.

    Also, since they're Africans and socially invisible, they represent an opportunity to send spies and infiltrators back into the Portuguese colonies. Most of them will know Portuguese as well as their native languages, and some of them might pick up local Amazonian languages. They'd certainly make it plain they're not really with the white boys, and as native-born inhabitants of equatorial rainforest they'd have far more in common with the native Amazonians than the Portuguese colonists.

    They're not a threat, and they could be useful, and they're definitely not Europeans, so I wouldn't see a need for them to be deported or destroyed.

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