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  1. - Top - End - #241
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    Default Re: Crossroads II: I'm on a Mammoth.

    Tawantinsuyu

    Conquest
    I've actually thought about breaking up the empire as well, but there are a few problems with that approach.
    First of all, it would take the iconic Inca Empire out of the game. Together with the Aztecs and the Maya these guys are probably the most well known pre-columbian nation. If you are able to publish a second book that details South America, Tawantinsuyu will probably become one of the signature empires of the setting.
    Second, Tawantinsuyu fracturing would mean a massive Spanish victory.
    Remember, the only reason the Spanish were able to conquer the Inca empire was because they played various factions in the empire against the government. Just like Cortez did in Mexico, the Spanish used native allies to dismantle the Incas.
    If you fracture Tawantinsuyu in the setting, you're practically giving the whole area to the Spanish.

    I'm still in favor of a short conquest by the Spanish followed by a desperate struggle to keep them out of the mountains while people are dying from European diseases.

    Deathless
    I've had a thought about these guys as well.
    What if we create a third kind of dead people brought back? I'll call these guys 'mummies' as a working name.
    Historically the Inca's had something called a 'Capacocha Ceremony', where children between the age of 4 and 16 were sacrificed (usually on top of a mountain). This is where all those frozen mummies on the top of mountains come from.
    We can do the same thing with dead Tawantinsuyu emperors (the Inca). The body of the Inca gets prepared after death to make sure the body doesn't decay for centuries. Then several children get sacrificed to bring back the life of the Inca so he can continue advising the nation.
    And the Inca chooses several of his most trusted advisors/soldiers/arcanists/........ to help him with his duties. The living Inca is the ones who rules the nation but the mummies (and their family who still serve them) are like powerfull nobles.

    In fact, maybe these child sacrifices are specifically bred to eventually get sacrificed.
    Kinda like the whole 'Savior Sibling' thing where parents get a second child to get organs/blood/whatever for their first fatally ill child.
    During life these children are treated like high nobles as well, trained in various arts and crafts, combat, tactics, science,... But when they are needed to create a new mummy, they are brought to the top of a mountain and sacrificed.

    To put it in game terms:
    Undead are dead people brought back into a mockery of life by negative energy.
    (These are your standard undead with the undead template)
    Deathless are dead people brought back to a body in what is basically biological stasis by positive energy.
    (These are the Mexica version where people die and then the priests pray to the sun to send him or her back to serve the empire. These have the Deathless template)
    Mummies are dead people brought back to a body that needs contant maintenance by one or several willing sacrifices.
    (These are the Tawantinsuyu version that are brought back through the Capacocha Ceremony. They have the Mummy template)

    Quilombo

    North and West are their options, yes.
    And south into the Cerrado is a possibility as well, it's a large tropical savanna south of Amazonia.
    There's just one thing, sending a whole group of African slaves into a large savanna is just so..... stereotypical. I know Africa has a huge amount of ecosystems other than the savanna's, but the typical image people have of Africa is often those savanna's. Or the Sahara.
    It could be interesting, but it's just too stereotypical for a settig that does it's best to step away from those idea's.

    North to French Guyana could work but it's very close to the rainforest. There are lowlands there with rainforests that are easily reachable by Genghixander. Why would he throw them out of Amazonia but into an area that is probably on his 'to do list'. After all, the French and the Dutch are pretty similar to the Portuguese in their eyes.

    West over the mountains is the most logical choice. Difficult? Absolutely, but so are the other routes.
    And i still think Genghixander selling the Africans to Tawantinsuyu could work. Cotton, divinations, minerals, knowledge,.... They may not be able to offer much but anything he can get for them is better than nothing.

    Integrating them would be an odd thing for Ghengixander, who comes off as a bit racist at this point. Maybe the Africans are usefull to him, but he's got his plant-abominations to kill the Europeans. I don't think he needs Africans to infiltrate Portuguese colonies, he would just send his plants and get it over with. If he needs information he can use birds, or people camouflaged in living plant-suits.
    In my eyes Genghixander doesn't want to kill the Africans because they're not European, but they aren't Amazonian either. They may even be European-tainted in his eyes.

  2. - Top - End - #242
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    Default Re: Crossroads II: I'm on a Mammoth.

    Quilombos/Refugees
    I think that there's a way for Genghixander to spin this so that everyone benefits (except the Portuguese, of course): use 'em a buffer against future invasions. (My idea is similar to what Mith and Palanan suggested, just more detailed).
    The Portuguese imported so many slaves to work their plantations that in many areas, blacks outnumbered whites 8 to 1. The whites lived in constant fear of slave-revolts; it dominated their lives and their minds; they were ALWAYS cognizant of how badly outnumbered they would be if the slaves just got their act together, and they were TERRIFIED that it would happen to them (and sometimes, it did).
    Genghixander sees that the foreigners are divided into two factions: slaves and masters. He decides to exploit this weakness, by turning slaves (and ex-slaves) against their masters, using them as spies and infiltrators and supplying them with weapons (both magic and mundane), coordinating his raids with the leaders of the Underground to sow maximum confusion and paranoia among the Portuguese.
    Working from within and without simultaneously, Genghixander hollows out the Portugeuse resistance forces, and drives them back into the sea. Then, in a great display of "generosity" towards his new allies, Genghixander gives them what he never wanted anyway, and awards the slaves the coastal holdings of their former masters ("forty acres and a mule", if you will). The newly-emancipated Africans stream out of the qilombos and into the newly-empty farmlands. The ex-slaves now have a stake in keeping the Portuguese from gaining a foothold on the coast, and will absorb the brunt of any invasion the Portuguese might stage, buying the Amazonas valuable time to prepare their plant-weapons. As an added bonus, with most of the qilombos empty, the jungles are now almost entirely free of foreign influence, just like Genghixander always wanted. Only now, he's got a fancy new "fence" of capoeira-practicing ex-slaves around his lands.

    Houziren
    I originally thought they'd be the Monkey King's human descendants, but over the centuries, his genes would be so diluted by interbreeding with regular humans that the Houziren would look no different from anyone else, so I think having them be actual sentient monkey-folk is better. That way, they're separate populations, and can't interbreed.
    Don't worry about them being too much like Sasquatches, though. The Sasu-Quache are ape-like and heavy, designed for strength and secrecy. The Houziren are monkey-like and light-footed, designed for dexterity and ANYTHING but secrecy.
    The Houziren would be constantly in motion, insatiably curious, and posess a complete and utter disregard for politeness and good manners, but would be prone to low INT scores and a lack of impulse-control. I get the feeling they'd be a blast to play.
    Actually, I kinda want to design these myself. Can I claim them for homebrewing?

    Tawantinsuyu Map
    I actually can't see the new map at all. All I'm getting is a broken image icon. When I expand the spoiler for the new map of North Vespuccia, it doesn't even have the broken icon, it's just empty. Is that happening to anyone else?

    Deathless
    Quote Originally Posted by Admiral Squish
    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.
    Agreed and seconded. Despite all the work we did on fitting them into Aztatlan, they really do fit much better in Tawantinsuyu. But we can recycle most of our work, and let the Spirit Fields be Mesoamerica's schtick. BRC's suggestion that "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" would also work nicely, methinks.

    Huli Jing
    They're DEFINITELY too cool not to use, and I would be really sad to see them go. And asides from tanuki/badgers, I really haven't heard very much about any other kind of intelligent animals in Asian folktales, except maybe dragons. Maybe the others are out there, but the huli jing are the only ones which are playable because they're the only ones who get along with humans in large numbers?

    Fountain of Youth
    Also too cool not to use. We could write a whole series of adventure-modules centered around the search for it. The same goes for El Dorado.

    Martial Artist Rewrite
    Um, you might wanna talk to KungFuLobster about that. That class is kind of his baby, and he'll definitely want some input on the final version.

    Miscellaneous
    "Amazonians with cahokian ironwood would be crazy-unstoppable"


    Quote Originally Posted by Mith
    "What if in Crossroads, divination has a hard time going past mountain ranges?"
    Meh, makes sense. It'd certainly help history move in the direction we want it to.

    Chinchorro mummies
    Oh my goodness yes. YES WE MUST MAKE THIS HAPPEN. If you thought mummy-rot was scary, just imagine what these guys could do!

    Quote Originally Posted by Admiral Squish View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by AtlanteanTroll View Post
    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...
    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.
    We REALLY need to get to work on the background skills and feats of different Cultures. I feel like it's the one thing that's holding us back from playtesting. I've got coworkers who are already eager to help us playtest; Sasquatches may prove to be the player-favorites for this setting, if the interest I've gotten so far is any indicator.
    My Homebrew Projects

    Crossroads: The New World - Tribes, colonists, trade confederacies, and empires both new and old collide in an alt-history North America, circa 1750 A.D. (On the road to publication!)

  3. - Top - End - #243
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    Default Re: Crossroads II: I'm on a Mammoth.

    Originally Posted by SuperDave
    I actually can't see the new map [of Tawantinsuyu] at all.... Is that happening to anyone else?
    Do you mean the map of the Great Basin and the Haudenosaunee? That one's totally blank for myself as well.

    Originally Posted by SuperDave
    Working from within and without simultaneously, Genghixander hollows out the Portugeuse resistance forces, and drives them back into the sea. Then, in a great display of "generosity" towards his new allies, Genghixander gives them what he never wanted anyway, and awards the slaves the coastal holdings of their former masters....
    Overall I think this is an interesting and more strategic approach, and it has a pragmatic, politically-realist feel. However...are we talking about the Portuguese holdings around the mouths of the Amazon, or is this back to the main body of Portuguese colonial possession in the southeast?

    Originally Posted by SuperDave
    ...with most of the q[u]ilombos empty, the jungles are now almost entirely free of foreign influence....
    Fact is, even with the quilombos jam-packed, the lowlands Amazonian rainforest would still be almost entirely free of foreign influence. I can't emphasize enough that the quilombos aren't the seventeenth-century equivalent of suburban sprawl; these are tiny, minuscule pinpoints in what, at this time, is an immense and virtually unbroken landscape of dense green canopy. The quilombeiros will be living a very small-scale subsistence lifestyle, hand-to-mouth and supplemented with whatever fish and game they can snare. They will not be having a major impact--they couldn't if they tried. They are too few, too thinly scattered, too deeply swallowed by the vast reaches of the Amazon.

    The only place where they will be having a disproportionate impact is in the mind of your "Genghixander" fellow. You may already have taken this into account, but I want to underscore that the quilombos themselves will be trivial in their impact.

    Otherwise I think the approach of driving out the Portuguese--assuming this is set where I think it is--and allowing the quilombeiros to take over the fazendas is interesting and worth pursuing. The one thing I'll point out is that the economy of the region will obviously change, because the quilombeiros won't be using slave labor to perpetuate the sugarcane plantations; they'll essentially be recreating their quilombos--the one society they know really works for them--in a coastal environment.

    However, the danger then becomes slave-raiding by Portuguese and other European privateers, exactly the same as they would be doing on the coast of Africa. Either Genghiwhatsis will have to protect the ex-quilombeiros somehow, or they'll need to find a way to defend themselves.

    Originally Posted by SuperDave
    ...buying the Amazonas valuable time....
    As an editorial note, calling the native tribes "Amazonas" is okay for a shorthand discussion here, but when it comes time to write the actual descriptive text I'd strongly suggest avoiding this term. Amazonas is the name of a modern Brazilian state, and it only covers a portion of what Brazil describes as "Amazonia Legal," and only the Brazilian territory at that, leaving out large areas of Peru, Venezuela, Colombia and Bolivia, among others. "Amazonas" is a modern administrative name, and as such wouldn't be appropriate for the Crossroads time.

    And someone may have noted this already, but "Amazon" itself is a European term, and not in ten thousand Great Cycles will Genghiwhatsis be using that to refer to his realm. I'm not sure if there's any single native term that would begin to cover it, since many Amazonian tribes only had a very limited geographic awareness, and no real sense of a broader kinship of peoples within the Amazon basin.

    If you haven't covered this already, I'd suggest naming the realm of Genghiwhatsis as "Gengiwhatsis," since many chiefdoms take their name from the chief himself (or herself) and vice versa, and if he comes from a similar cultural background there's no reason he wouldn't extrapolate his name on a continental scale. If he's as unbalanced and obsessed as I'm sensing, it would be a perfect touch of megalomania, as well as neatly in line with native cultural norms.

    Originally Posted by SuperDave
    ...capoeira-practicing ex-slaves....
    While this certainly sounds badass, the fact is that capoeira isn't unstoppable kung fu; it's more dance and art than krav maga. If the former quilombeiros are used as a buffer force, their physical presence will provide most of the stopping power, rather than their supposed martial-arts acumen.

    A better question, which I've been meaning to ask for a while, is what sorts of magic are used in Western Equatorial Africa, and whether the quilombeiros will have preserved any of that power and lore? If everyone from Cahokia to the Amazonian tribes has powerful spellcasters, why not the West African peoples as well? And what, in turn, does that do for the slaves, the quilombeiros and the post-quilombeiros?

  4. - Top - End - #244
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    GnomeWizardGuy

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

    A better question, which I've been meaning to ask for a while, is what sorts of magic are used in Western Equatorial Africa, and whether the quilombeiros will have preserved any of that power and lore? If everyone from Cahokia to the Amazonian tribes has powerful spellcasters, why not the West African peoples as well? And what, in turn, does that do for the slaves, the quilombeiros and the post-quilombeiros?
    All I can recall of African magic is that voodoo is heavily based on African culture. Perhaps it is similar to shamanism?

    As for what to do with the magic the slaves possess, maybe in order to be an effective shaman, one has to have a strong sense of self, since you have to know who you are when calling on the spirits for aid, and having the will to direct them. The European brutality to their slaves greatly diminished the power of any potential shamans, since they were usually broken in spirit to rebel, or use the magic of their people. In the quilomberios, the shamans started to rise again, as the people started developing a strong identity, making the revolt much easier. This helps in the defense of the new territories after the revolution is complete.

    As for Gehigixander, I think he views the ex-slaves as better than the Europeans, and although the two parties may not exactly be on the best terms (minimal trade and such), I feel that there is a mutual defense pact between the two nations, since although each one o them are strong, it is obvious from the revolution that together they are stronger.

  5. - Top - End - #245
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    Default Re: Crossroads II: I'm on a Mammoth.

    Originally Posted by Mith
    In the [quilombos], the shamans started to rise again, as the people started developing a strong identity....
    I was indeed thinking that magical abilities, which would be lessened somehow in the slaves, might slowly return in the quilombo communities. I don't think self-identity is the way to approach it, however, since that touches on some extremely difficult real-world issues with slavery--issues best avoided altogether.

    A better approach might be for the Portuguese to have "magehounds," or whatever the term might be (field inquisitors?) to sniff out magical talent in arriving slaves, and either suppress or eliminate them as policy and profit suggest. This would be another instrument of terror to hold over the slaves, since the slavemasters would naturally want to encourage paranoia and mistrust among slaves, and what better way to do that than encourage informers?

    So the slightest expression of magical talent would be dangerous in the extreme, and even whispers of lore best left unspoken; but once slaves begin escaping and finding their way to the quilombos, those few who had some knowledge would be free to share, to instruct, to experiment and build on what they recalled--and really, in this context, we should expect a few adventurers striking out from the quilombos, braving the dangers of a vast new wilderness.

    And in this context, any magical abilities dependent on bloodlines would clearly be favored, since there would be several generations in the quilombos for abilities to manifest, perhaps alongside whatever scraps of recollected lore could be compiled or rediscovered. I wouldn't ever see the quilombos as magical powerhouses, but I'd expect after some years that latent abilities would manifest, and an oral tradition of mage-lore would be reestablished.

    Also bear in mind that whatever the continental-scale trends and motions, there will always be individual contacts between quilombeiros and local tribes in their immediate area--often hostile, sometimes amiable--and it's likely that on occasion, a local Amazonian shaman might take a liking to a promising young quilombeiro, and teach him some of the native Amazonian magic. And it's also possible that in some rare cases, an exceptional quilombeiro might be able to develop a fusion of African and Amazonian traditions--essentially a cultural theurge, if you will.

  6. - Top - End - #246
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    Default Re: Crossroads II: I'm on a Mammoth.

    Quilombo

    A buffer state could work for attacks from the sea, but there are still Portuguese on the Southern coast of Brazil who will want to capture the coast.
    Let's say the buffer got set up around 1650 with the support of Genghixander. During his reign he will probably support them military and help them keep the Portuguese out. The Quilombero's need time to set up a government, army, navy, economy,....
    Genghixander will probably want them to have a strong unified government so he wont allow them to start a democracy. Maybe he chooses an African escaped slave that became a Floramancer as one of his generals and uses him to rally the Quilombero's and slaves they capture under his banner. After that it's a small step to set up that African Floramancer as the ruler of the buffer. Maybe marry one of his daughters to him to Ensure his continued support.

    But, one day Genghixander is going to die (1570-1580 maybe?). And within a year or two his generals will have ripped the empire apart and divided it among themselves while squabbling or fighting over borders.
    This would mean that the buffer is suddenly without support. It is in fact ruled by one of the generals squabbling over borders and is now threatened not only from the coast, the north and the south but from the jungle as well.
    I propose that after the empire fractures they are able to take some land from one of the generals that border the buffer, expanding their rule further inland and giving them a better base on wich to build power.
    This would leave them surrounded by enemies on all sides, so they're going to need to make peace on one border. I doubt the Portuguese, Dutch or French would want to make peace with former slaves so their best bet is making peace with the Amazonian successor states. They could make a deal where they will remain neutral in wars between the successor states and continue their task of guarding the buffer against European incursions.
    Side effect would be them becoming the de facto meeting ground for diplomacy between the successor states.


    Questions:
    1) The African slaves shipped to Brazil, were they mostly Muslim or other religions? We need to know this before we can decide on what kind of magic the buffer uses.
    2) How are the relations of the buffer with the French and Dutch in 1750? The buffer probably still have a lot of Sugar plantations and they need to sell that Sugar somehewhere.
    3)I also see these guys taking over several Portuguese ships and using them to attack ships transporting slaves. They will then capture those ships, free the slaves and absorb them into their nation. That way they could probably increase their population quickly. How would that effect their relations with the European nations other than Portugal?

    Magehounds
    I like the idea. Maybe we can even take it a step further and make these actual hounds?
    A hound that can sniff out magic is something people would be very interested in breeding. And they would make an awesome animal companion.

    Tawantinsuyu

    Nobody wants to share their thoughts about choosing between either a short conquest and revolutionary war or a rebuffing of the original invasion?

  7. - Top - End - #247
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    GnomeWizardGuy

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

    I would say in terms of the Inka, a repulsion of the original invasion would be too repetitive, so a short conquest followed by a revolution would be a better idea.

  8. - Top - End - #248
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    GnomeWizardGuy

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

    Will the Europeans want to trade with the Freeman's State to obtain Sugar, since that would require them to recognize the state and admit defeat in a way. If that is the case, I am wondering how the new nation is going to develop economically, unless it has the resources to be self-sustaining (which I doubt.)

  9. - Top - End - #249
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    Default Re: Crossroads II: I'm on a Mammoth.

    Originally Posted by Steckie
    The [quilombeiros] need time to set up a government, army, navy, economy,....
    I doubt if the quilombeiros will have the population, the resources or the interest to do much of any of this. More than likely they would re-create their quilombos nearer to the coast, and would end up with a scattering of small settlements much as they had in Africa. Remember that the quilombos themselves are the ex-slaves' attempt to recreate their old lives and culture in a new land. There's no reason they'd change that if they had to move somewhere else with the same general habitat.

    They certainly will not be recreating any form of European settlement, since that's both culturally alien to them as well as a deeply hateful memory.

    Originally Posted by Steckie
    Genghixander will probably want them to have a strong unified government so he wont allow them to start a democracy.
    At this point in history, even alternate history, that would be the last thing any of these cultures would be thinking about.

    Originally Posted by Steckie
    Maybe he chooses an African escaped slave that became a Floramancer as one of his generals and uses him to rally the Quilombero's and slaves they capture under his banner.... Maybe marry one of his daughters to him to Ensure his continued support.
    Again, I'm not sure if this is the way to go, because these new coastal quilombos probably won't have enough of a population, or real cohesion, to treat them as a single unified state--and thus no reason for Gengiwhatsis to marry off a daughter, which probably wouldn't be his first inclination anyways. (He's been described a little earlier as not exactly the accepting and tolerant type. His daughter goes to a studly biomancer warrior who is very, very in with Gengiwhatsis.)

    In general it's better to think of the coastal quilombos as more of a cultural zone than any sort of state. They'll probably each have a chief, a headman, a small council of elders or some other form of very local, very small-scale government. They'll be in touch with each other, probably practice some form of clan exogamy, and will probably have occasional tiffs and small-scale power struggles, but bear in mind they'll be scattered across a large area and they're limited to foot travel.

    Originally Posted by Steckie
    Let's say the buffer got set up around 1650 with the support of Genghixander.

    Originally Posted by Steckie
    But, one day Genghixander is going to die (1570-1580 maybe?).
    ...I assume you mean 1670-1680?

    Originally Posted by Steckie
    This would mean that the buffer is suddenly without support. It is in fact ruled by one of the generals squabbling over borders and is now threatened not only from the coast, the north and the south but from the jungle as well.... They could make a deal where they will remain neutral in wars between the successor states and continue their task of guarding the buffer against European incursions.
    Sadly, I think it's far more likely that they'd simply be swallowed up or picked off individually. They will be living a precarious existence no matter what, deeply vulnerable to everything you've mentioned. They won't be populous or unified enough to be any sort of formal state capable of making alliances, and so their utility as even minor geopolitical players will be close to nil.

    Their last, best hope (so to speak) will have to come from within--whatever power that remembered lore and resurgent bloodlines can offer them. Since they're not a major force in the region, they're also not a major threat; I seriously doubt that any of the successor generals will pay them much attention when there are all the other successor generals to conquer. If they keep a very low profile, and spend their magical efforts on deflecting the European slave-raiders (perhaps by pretending to be biomancers themselves; hey, if it works!) then many of the coastal quilombos might be able to hang on.

    Any way you slice it, though, these people are in for a long, rough ride.

    Originally Posted by Steckie
    1) The African slaves shipped to Brazil, were they mostly Muslim or other religions?
    I don't think any of them were Muslim at that point--or hardly any to speak of. Look at Brazil today: practices like candomblé and umbanda derived from the indigenous belief systems of the West African peoples, mixed in part with European traditions. There would have been a variety of those belief systems brought over with the African captives, which in game context would be the baseline structures for any African magical lore.

    Originally Posted by Steckie
    2) How are the relations of the buffer with the French and Dutch in 1750?
    Where is this buffer supposed to be located again? I have a hard time understanding where much of this is meant to take place--and I've spent a lot of professional time looking at maps of Brazil.

    Originally Posted by Steckie
    3)I also see these guys taking over several Portuguese ships and using them to attack ships transporting slaves. They will then capture those ships, free the slaves and absorb them into their nation. That way they could probably increase their population quickly. How would that effect their relations with the European nations other than Portugal?
    I really can't imagine the coastal quilombos would be doing this. These people aren't mariners; their ancestors were hunters and agriculturalists when they were stolen from Africa, and their entire uprooted existence in Brazil has been completely terrestrial, apart from whatever rafts or canoes they built in the quilombos.

    Keep in mind that whether in 1650, 1750, or 1850, a warship represents the most complex and sophisticated machine its culture can produce. There is a reason most good captains first went to sea when they were ten or twelve--it takes decades of experience, day in and day out, to become knowledgeable enough about the ships themselves, about managing their crews, and about the countless moods of the ocean to be able to navigate, maneuver and fight a ship effectively. You don't just jump aboard, spin the wheel and win the day. You don't.

    It's not impossible that an exceptional quilombeiro might have been taken in a slave raid, learned the seafaring trade and eventually become qualified to command. But it's close to impossible that the coastal quilombos as a whole would be able to mount an effective, coherent naval strategy, much less supply the trained and professional manpower required to carry it out.

    Also, keep in mind that even for a highly professional captain and crew, intercepting another ship at sea is incredibly difficult without a tremendous amount of luck. Remember the cat-and-mouse between Jack Aubrey and the captain of the Acheron in Master and Commander? That was only possible because they were both running along the coast, they were both superlative sea captains, and they both had detailed charts. You need a Naval Hydrographic Office, backed by the Admiralty and the infrastructure of a global maritime empire, to provide you with those charts, as well as the countless other resources required to deploy an effective naval force.

    The quilombos have none of that--and moreover, there's no compelling reason for them to risk everything angering much more powerful states on behalf of people they've never met. They want to live quietly and stay out of everyone's way--not provoke a final confrontation.

    Originally Posted by Mith
    Will the Europeans want to trade with the Freeman's State to obtain Sugar, since that would require them to recognize the state and admit defeat in a way. If that is the case, I am wondering how the new nation is going to develop economically, unless it has the resources to be self-sustaining (which I doubt.)
    And just to reiterate, I don't think the coastal quilombos will be numerous or organized enough to be treated as a state.

    Also, please keep in mind that no quilombos anywhere are going to be producing sugar, because sugarcane plantations are labor-intensive and fueled by slavery. The quilombos, moreover, are populated entirely by 1) ex-slaves with horrid memories of this experience, and 2) their children who have been raised on bitter tales of those horrid memories.

    No one in any quilombo will be working on a sugarcane plantation. They will not be producing sugar.

    .
    Last edited by Palanan; 2014-06-11 at 03:27 PM.

  10. - Top - End - #250
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    GnomeWizardGuy

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

    Fair enough. I was going on the idea of 1) an actual state, not a tribal break down, and 2) What I know of the area in terms of generating an economy for the state. If those are highly unlikely to happen, then it'll make sense that they resort to the isolated villages. The question is then, how long until the European powers are either back in place, or at least recaptured and shipped of all the freed slaves to other places? The idea of a state would be to establish something that would be a reason for there to not be Europeans in the area.

  11. - Top - End - #251
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    Default Re: Crossroads II: I'm on a Mammoth.

    Man, every time I think I get the post ready, turns out there's another three posts to respond to. Still, conversation's awesome.

    Quilombos

    Population
    I think that if the figures are correct and we turn the slaves against their former masters, the buffer state would have plenty of population. The loss of the Portuguese and casualties would likely only be like 1/3 the total population of the region. In the coming 100 years they could easily beef that up back to pre-loss levels.
    So, yes, while the quilombos wouldn't have the numbers to create this state, the former slaves certainly would, which is really where the bulk of them are gonna be coming from.

    'Statehood'
    I think we could easily make the freeman state a possibility. Perhaps ghengixander, or one of his generals, allies with one of the jungle-dwelling quilombos to get an insider's perspective on the upcoming attack. The quilombos guy proves his worth by explaining the relationship between the white guys and the black guys to the amazonians in detail, and then suggesting the slaves could be turned on their masters. He's not quite a general, but he's very close to one of them. The revolt goes down, and in recognition, he's sort of appointed as head of the freeman area. When his general-buddy dies, he takes over, and in the squabbling, he sets up the freeman state along the shore of the amazon region.
    I could imagine the freeman state striking a neutrality agreement, leveraging their position on the shore and the mouth of the river to indicate they're too important to the survival of all the other nations to get targeted in the inter-general wars.

    Agriculture
    The freeman state would definitely not be getting back into the sugar business, and I seriously doubt any of the European groups would be willing to trade with the rebelled slaves.
    I suspect, out of necessity, the freeman state would have to use the old farms again, as the game would likely be very scarce in colonized areas. They would likely demolish the old owner's houses and would run them in a more co-op fashion than before, certainly. I suspect a common insult to a freeman who acts too bossy would be to compare them to the Portuguese.
    I think that, if they were at some point part of the main empire, they would likely have a number of floramancers, which could also use these fields to grow plant monsters. Perhaps they could even be working to convert them to terra preta.

    Culture
    I think we would be looking at traditional african cultures mixing here, rather than muslim ones. Perhaps a few muslim groups might show up, but I think the majority of them would be more traditional groups. I don't know which ones off the top of my head, but I shall endeavor to find out.
    I do think, however, that by 1750 the freeman state would be mixed enough that it would be treated as its own culture.

    Magic
    I do think that existing magic in the freeman state would favor bloodline or non-memetic magic, such as warlocks and shamans, more than learned magic like priests and wizards. Though, I suspect druids would become pretty common with the influence of the amazon, and that priests and wizards would become increasingly common, though they would still be the minority, as time passed.

    Capoeira
    I am aware it's not a great combat art, but I think it's just too cool not to do something with. Maybe it's a bardic martial art sort of thing? Like, they dance as the performance, and they can use unarmed strikes as part of the dance, without using extra actions?

    The Ocean
    This one does propose a challenge. The Portuguese do have pretty big ships. Still, I think it's easily enough remedied. I don't think it's reasonable to give the freeman state some magic way to be invulnerable to ocean-based attack.
    However, I propose that they would be able to modify the remaining Portuguese ships with the help of their floramancers, and possibly even reproduce them. At first, they would just use the floramancers to patch up parts of the ships that were broken, the floramancers warping the wood back together around breaks, or urging the fibers in the sails to reconnect. But I suspect as their understanding of the ships grew, they would be able to make modifications or improvements, replacing the wood of the hulls with livewood, allowing it to repair itself naturally, incorporating plant-weapons into the arsenal (My mental image is a seed-pod that anchors itself to the hull and drives creepers into the wood, eventually shattering huge sections of the hull, or even just spreads creepers all over the surface, growing until it's cocooned the entire ship in regenerating vines, making it impossible to use the cannons, adjust the sails, or even open and close doors), or even replacing significant portions of the crew with plant-dudes. Maybe these bio-ships could even be grown, over many years, like a floating fruit.

    Of course, this could be another one of those awesome-but-impractical ideas.

    Magehounds
    I could certainly imagine there being some sort of dog breed that was bred to be able to detect magic. It just sounds cool to me.

    Amazonia
    A brief note: What if the general states set up a 'buffer state' as previously suggested, just not one made of africans? They agree to treat the outer borders of the various nations as neutral ground and supply floramancers and plant-monsters to the border guard.

    Tawantinsuyu

    Many-States
    Okay, good points, there. The shattered empire is out, though that name sounds really cool now that I say it.

    Lasting War?
    What if the empire were still at war? That would be a big change from anything we've done so far.
    So, the spanish take over, and tawantinsuyu was ravaged by disease. The deathless went into hiding to escape the torch of the spaniards. Then like 50-100 years ago, they re-emerge and remind the people of the great stuff that they had under the empire, and start a huge rebellion. The spanish are thoroughly entrenched now, and the war rages all the way until the setting start.

    Rebellion
    My concern with the rebellion is that giving the spanish control over tawantinsuyu for a length of time would allow them to take all the gold and precious metals/gems. Even if they never got aztatlan, the flood of money from tawantinsuyu would be a significant boon to the spanish empire.
    The longer the spanish hold the empire, the less likely tawantinsuyu is gonna be able to throw the spanish out, as the spanish will continually drain their native manpower, first through disease, then through forcing service in the highly-lethal silver mines, while simultaneously increasing the wealth the empire can devote to maintaining control.

    Deathless/mummies
    I don't think we should have a distinction between the deathless and the mummies. If we say mummies are sustained by human sacrifice, that means that the only possible mummies are those in still-functioning societies. What about Egyptian mummies?
    I think the idea of mummification preserving the soul in the body, or at least making the body possible to be repossessed by the soul, makes the most sense in my mind. This also explains why all the deathless we've mentioned thus far are mummy-like.

    I think there's certainly cause for the ex-inka and powerful spellcasters to be the only mummified individuals, I'd like to expand it a bit further, but if it is the will of the thread, I can restrain myself.

    Map
    Really? Huh. Here, tryin' again.
    And it's not a map of tawantinsuyu, it's a revision of the first map, with bigger labels, the haudenosaunee and the great basin added in.
    Spoiler
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    Races

    Huli Jing
    Alright, alright, I'll keep the huli jing. I like 'em as much as everyone else does, I just wanted to stay loyal to the myths. But I suppose there are ways to justify their existence.

    Houziren
    Yeah, plus, I can't help but think that we already have plenty of human+something races. It'd be cool to have some more non-human races involved in the setting.
    I'd be glad to let you come up with 'em. I could see them existing alongside the huli jing, or, if that's too much, we could just make them a monster with an 'as characters' entry.

    Sasquatches
    You know, I figured they should be popular, but the commentary is pretty sparse when it comes to them, for some reason.

    Cultures
    I think we shouldn't try to crank out the skills and feats without writing the full entries. From what I've found, you learn a lot of interesting traits from the culture as you go into the research necessary to come up with the full details, stuff you wouldn't have thought up before.
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  12. - Top - End - #252
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    Steckie's Avatar

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

    Quilombo

    Population
    I was thinking along the same lines as Admiral Squish: the people living in Quilombo's are the basis for the buffer state, but the vast majority of the population comes from slaves freed during the revolution.

    Statehood
    I think they would absolutely form a state, out of necessity and because these people came from states/kingdoms/empires themselves. Well, a lot of them at least. Sub-saharan Africa has had a lot of big powerfull nations controlling huge territories, so there are more than enough examples on wich they can base their state.
    Just look up a few of these: Empire of Kongo, Empire of Mali, Empire of Kanem-Bornu, Ashanti Empire, Songhai Empire, Oyo, Benin, Dahomey,....
    They're a different kind of empires than European ones, but they were powerfull enough to control a large swath of land.

    Agriculture
    Wouldn't they start taking over the Amazonian type of farming? Cultivating the rainforest instead of creating Eurasian or African style farms.
    People pick up new things very quickly when they're hungry.

    Culture
    For culture we'll need to look at the place where those slaves originally came from. And for Brazil that would be mostly these:
    Bantu people from the area around Angola and parts of Congo. (the majority of Brazilian slaves is of this origin)
    Shona people from the area around Zimbabwe and Mozambique. They're Bantu as well. (second largest group)
    Yoruba people and Fon people from western Africa.
    That's the majority, there are a lot of other ethnic groups present as well, but i don't think we can take every group into account.

    Fun fact: apparently a lot of Muslim Africans (from either west africa or Mozambique and Zimbabwe) were better educated then their Portuguese masters. These Muslims could read and write Arabic but were forced to work for illiterate Portuguese slavers. Look up the Malê Revolt from 1835 for a bit more information.
    These muslim slaves where a minority though, the Bantu's are by far a majority.

    Ocean
    Difficult as it may be to start learning to sail a ship properly, once you are forced to live on a coast and live in constant fear of your enemies sailing to you and capturing you again you start to learn very quickly.
    Maybe first generation Freemen wouldn't learn it very easily, they haven't grown up in the area. But i think their children would be very quick to learn whatever they can about the coastal area. And how to sail a boat. And eventually how to sail those bigger boats.

    Besides, freed slaves or not if they have money they can pay people to teach them. There are more than enough pirates around that don't mind escaped slaves and would be happy to teach them what they know for a fee.

    Tawantinsuyu

    Lasting war
    What people are these deathless going to teach about the past exactly?
    Most Tawantinsuyu people are going to be dead by then. Or enslaved and spread around the Spanish colonies. There wouldn't be a lot of people left to teach about how good it was before the Spanish came.
    And a lot of cultural things that got destroyed histroically would get the same treatment in this scenarion.
    Woven words? Burned.
    Religion? Mostly gone.
    Deathless? Most of them burned as undead.
    Divination? Diviners burned as witches or something like that.

    It wouldn't be Tawantinsuyu re-emerging and fighting the Spanish. It would be a revolt of natives who survived the Spanish but are very much influenced by them. Maybe they found a few Deathless, but i doubt that's enough to bring a rebirth of Tawantinsuyu culture and tradition.

    Rebellion
    If they control Tawantinsuyu for 3-6 years they wouldn't have the chance to take it all and get much of the population killed.
    Besides, an influx of gold, gems and other valuables wouldn't be bad for the setting. The Spanish already missed out on the Aztec gold that boosted their economy historically. An influx of Tawantinsuyu gold and silver for 3-6 years would help them hold on to their power a bit more.
    The way it is now they are pretty weak compared to historical Spain.

    We could do some sort of combination between the rebellion and forever war though.
    What if Tawantinsuyu is able to throw out the Spanish, but not out of all their territory? Let's say the Spanish are able to hold the territory in current Colombia, Ecuador and northern Peru. Tawantinsuyu throws them out of the rest of the territory and is barely able to hold the line. But around 1720, when their population has recovered, their economy is booming again and they have adopted several new technologies, a new Inka takes the reign and declares a reconquest of their former holdings.
    By the time 1750 comes around Tawantinsuyu has recaptured the areas in Peru and Ecuador and is fighting their way into Colombia. The Spanish are doing whatever they can to hold it, if they can't hold that area the road is open for Tawantinsuyu to try and take Panama. Wich would be a complete disaster for them.

    It would also make the Spanish the most likely to get kicked out of the New World eventually.

    Deathless/Mummies
    I actually meant a willing sacrifice is needed to bring them back.
    After that they just need 'maintenance' of their mummified bodies. Egyptian mummies could still be around if they did the same thing.
    Last edited by Steckie; 2014-06-12 at 07:29 AM.

  13. - Top - End - #253
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    GnomeWizardGuy

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

    Capoeira
    I am aware it's not a great combat art, but I think it's just too cool not to do something with. Maybe it's a bardic martial art sort of thing? Like, they dance as the performance, and they can use unarmed strikes as part of the dance, without using extra actions?
    That's a good idea. So there would be no Instrument then, or will it be the Berimbu? Although you would likely have to have magical ones that could play themselves, since it would be kinda difficult to play this while performing Capoeira.

  14. - Top - End - #254
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    SuperDave's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Palanan View Post
    in some rare cases, an exceptional quilombeiro might be able to develop a fusion of African and Amazonian traditions--essentially a cultural theurge, if you will.
    I agree; most of the magic practiced in the Freedmen's State would likely be a fusion of African and Amazonian techniques. Especially if Ghenghixander was supplying them with magical weaponry and training to help them drive out the Porgugeuse.

    Quote Originally Posted by Palanan View Post
    I don't think any of them were Muslim at that point--or hardly any to speak of. Look at Brazil today: practices like candomblé and umbanda derived from the indigenous belief systems of the West African peoples, mixed in part with European traditions. There would have been a variety of those belief systems brought over with the African captives, which in game context would be the baseline structures for any African magical lore.
    Well, I'm not sure if Roots is a good indicator of how most slaves lived before being captured, but in that book, Kunta Kinte grows up in a devoutly Muslim community, which has been heavily Islamicized since at least the days of his great-grandfather, whom Kunta is named after. So I get the feeling, based on that one book, that Western Africa was pretty heavily Muslim by the time of the Freemen's Revolt. (Though admittedly, Roots begins in the spring of 1750, which is well after the revolution we're discussing here).
    By the way, if you've never read Alex Hayley's novel Roots, I strongly urge you to check it out. It's on the list of inspirational materials for this setting, it's honestly one of the best novels I've ever read in my life (and I have read many, many novels), and I believe that every child in America should be required to read it in order to graduate high school. It's that good.

    Quote Originally Posted by Steckie View Post
    How are the relations of the buffer with the French and Dutch in 1750? The buffer probably still have a lot of Sugar plantations and they need to sell that Sugar somehewhere.
    As distasteful as those who grew up on the plantations might find it, sugar would be pretty much the only commodity that the newborn (pseudo?)state would be able to produce on an industrial scale (at least, in the beginning). And farming for yourself is very different from farming for a master, even if it's the same crop. While it definitely wouldn't be the monolithic centerpiece of their economy like it had been before (too many painful memories), sugar production would still probably be a big money-maker for the freemen. Plus, producing sugar allows you to make rum, which is a very popular and lucrative trade item. (But they would probably get out of the sugar business as soon as they could possibly manage it.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Steckie View Post
    Magehounds
    I like the idea. Maybe we can even take it a step further and make these actual hounds? A hound that can sniff out magic is something people would be very interested in breeding. And they would make an awesome animal companion.
    Actually, there is a breed of dog called the Fila Brasileiro, or the Brazilian Mastiff, which used to be known as "the slave-catching dog" . They're large, highly aggressive, and have very strong hunting instincts, so they would make an excellent candidate for being bred into magehounds.

    Quote Originally Posted by Steckie View Post
    Tawantinsuyu
    Nobody wants to share their thoughts about choosing between either a short conquest and revolutionary war or a rebuffing of the original invasion?
    I kind of like your most recent suggestion: a long-term partial Spanish occupation, followed by an aggressive Reconquista (oh, the irony!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Palanan View Post
    Sadly, I think it's far more likely that they'd simply be swallowed up or picked off individually.
    True, that's probably what would happen, realistically. But what's this setting for, if not making history a little more equitable, and a lot more awesome? I'm sure we can find some way to make the Freemen's State stick... Hmmmm....

    Quote Originally Posted by Palanan View Post
    If they keep a very low profile, and spend their magical efforts on deflecting the European slave-raiders (perhaps by pretending to be biomancers themselves; hey, if it works!) then many of the coastal quilombos might be able to hang on.
    This seems like the safest strategy, in my view. They won't even have numbers on their side against the Amazonians, if the plagues didn't ravage the Natives like they did in our world. They're completely surrounded by hostile Europeans to the north, their former masters to the south, with the sea at their backs, and they're working with allies who just demonstrated that they're capable of genocide. If I were in their situation, I'd be playing it safe too.

    Quote Originally Posted by Palanan View Post
    Any way you slice it, though, these people are in for a long, rough ride.
    Boy, you can say that again.

    Quote Originally Posted by Admiral Squish View Post
    'Statehood'
    I think we could easily make the freeman state a possibility. Perhaps ghengixander, or one of his generals, allies with one of the jungle-dwelling quilombos to get an insider's perspective on the upcoming attack. The quilombos guy proves his worth by explaining the relationship between the white guys and the black guys to the amazonians in detail, and then suggesting the slaves could be turned on their masters. He's not quite a general, but he's very close to one of them. The revolt goes down, and in recognition, he's sort of appointed as head of the freeman area. When his general-buddy dies, he takes over, and in the squabbling, he sets up the freeman state along the shore of the amazon region.
    I could imagine the freeman state striking a neutrality agreement, leveraging their position on the shore and the mouth of the river to indicate they're too important to the survival of all the other nations to get targeted in the inter-general wars.

    Quote Originally Posted by Admiral Squish View Post
    Capoeira
    Maybe it's a bardic martial art sort of thing? Like, they dance as the performance, and they can use unarmed strikes as part of the dance, without using extra actions?
    Oooh, I like that! Adding martial arts to music gives the Bard class a whole new dimension!

    Quote Originally Posted by Admiral Squish View Post
    bio-ships
    As awesome as the idea is, I think it's more appropriate for a high-fantasy setting than this one. But if you're willing to explain how these creepers wouldn't just turn the ships into very expensive driftwood, I'm all ears.

    Quote Originally Posted by Admiral Squish View Post
    Map
    Looks great! I can hardly find fault with it! (But again, I kind of want Aztatlan to be in the midst of war with the Maya, because that would be AWESOME.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Admiral Squish View Post
    Huli Jing
    Alright, alright, I'll keep the huli jing. I like 'em as much as everyone else does, I just wanted to stay loyal to the myths. But I suppose there are ways to justify their existence.
    Woohoo! The fox-folk are back!

    Quote Originally Posted by Admiral Squish View Post
    Houziren
    Yeah, plus, I can't help but think that we already have plenty of human+something races. It'd be cool to have some more non-human races involved in the setting.
    I'd be glad to let you come up with 'em. I could see them existing alongside the huli jing, or, if that's too much, we could just make them a monster with an 'as characters' entry.
    KungFuLobster and I were talking about 'em yesterday. I was thinking they'd be a +2 Dex, +2 Str, -2 Wis, -2 Cha race, with the extra penalty to Cha making up for the fact that they'd have prehensile tails and feet, which would basically give them three or four attacks per round at first level.
    As far as their physical appearance goes, as well as how they move, I want 'em to look and act a bit like a certain animated TV spot for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
    Beyond that, though, I'm pretty stumped about where to go next. So it looks like I'm going to have to binge on The Forbidden Kingdom and A Chinese Odyssey. Oh, darn.

    Quote Originally Posted by Admiral Squish View Post
    Cultures
    I think we shouldn't try to crank out the skills and feats without writing the full entries. From what I've found, you learn a lot of interesting traits from the culture as you go into the research necessary to come up with the full details, stuff you wouldn't have thought up before.
    Well, I guess that's a better and more respectful approach. I'm just chomping at the bit to start playtesting!!!




    So today was a little slow at work (shh, don't tell anyone!), so I took it upon myself to complete the "Classic Monsters" section that's been missing from the first post.

    Spoiler: Classic Monsters
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    Classic Monsters
    A list of official Pathfinder monsters suitable for Crossroads: The New World campaigns. Please note that if a given monster isn't on this list, it doesn't mean that it can't or shouldn't be used in a Crossroads campaign, just that it may require an explanation, or a complete refluffing.

    Columbia
    • Afnac
    • Agogwe
    • Angel
    • Ant Swarm, Fire
    • Assassin Bug
    • Atomie
    • Baobhan Sith
    • Barghest
    • Basilisk
    • Bogeyman
    • Boggart
    • Brownie
    • Chickcharney
    • Church Grim
    • Clockwork
    • Cooshee (Cu Sidhe)
    • Daemon
    • Demon
    • Devil
    • Erlking (Erlkönig)
    • Gallows Tree
    • Gargoyle
    • Giant Flytrap
    • Goblin
    • Golem
    • Graymalkin
    • Gremlin
    • Grig
    • Grimm
    • Grindylow
    • Hell Hound
    • Homunculus
    • Huggermugger
    • Jack-o'-Lantern
    • Kelpie
    • Kobold (Cobold/Knocker)
    • Korred
    • Larabay
    • Leanan Sidhe
    • Leprechaun
    • Living Topiary
    • Mandragora (Mandrake)
    • Manitou
    • Mimic
    • Mothman
    • Nightmare
    • Nixie
    • Nuckalavee
    • Nymph
    • Phoenix
    • Phooka
    • Pixie
    • Pukwudgie
    • Rat King
    • Redcap
    • Sargassum Fiend
    • Sasquatch (Skunk Ape)
    • Scarecrow
    • Sea Serpent
    • Selkie
    • Ship in a Bottle
    • Sinspawn
    • Soucouyant
    • Soulbound Doll
    • Spriggan
    • Sprite
    • Tiefling
    • Tooth Fairy
    • Undine
    • Unicorn
    • Vampire
    • Vampire Rose
    • Will-o'-Wisp
    • Witch Tree
    • Zombie, Juju




    Tuniitaq, Vinland, Mammutcha & Novorassi
    • Adlet
    • Ahklut
    • Baba Yaga
    • Baykok
    • Dragonship
    • Draugr
    • Drider (Aasrivak)
    • Ijiraq
    • Qallupilluk
    • Selkie
    • Sleipnir
    • Slorath
    • Tish Pukh
    • Tupilaq
    • Valkyrie
    • Wendigo
    • Wikkawak
    • Yeti




    Aztatlan & Mayalatolli
    • Ahuizotl
    • Ant Swarm, Fire
    • Assassin Bug
    • Chaneque
    • Chupacabra
    • Couatl
    • Larabay
    • Lizardfolk
    • Redcap (invasive species)
    • Tabaxi (jaguar-men)
    • Tzitzimitl
    • Xtabay



    Cahokian League & Haudenosaunee
    • Ant Swarm, Fire
    • Ant Swarm, Velvet
    • Assassin Bug
    • Baykok
    • Dragonfly, Giant
    • Gillmen (Thetis Lake Monster)
    • Hodag
    • Jackalope
    • Jiangshi (invasive species)
    • Manitou
    • Monstrous Crayfish
    • Mothman
    • Pukwudgie
    • Sasquatch (Skunk Ape)
    • Thunderbird
    • Tsathar (Loveland Frogman)
    • Waterstrider, Giant
    • Waterstrider Swarm
    • Wendigo


    Fusang
    • Ant Swarm, Velvet
    • Assassin Bug
    • Clam, Giant
    • Dragon, Imperial (Lung)
    • Dragon Turtle
    • Foo Creature, Template
    • Foo Dog
    • Foo Lion
    • Jade Colossus
    • Jiangshi
    • Kirin
    • Taotieh
    • Terra-cotta Soldier
    • Yaoguai


    Hisatsinom
    • Ant Swarm, Velvet
    • Assassin Bug
    • Dragonfly, Giant
    • Jackalope
    • Scorpion, Giant
    • Scorpionfolk


    South Vespuccia
    • Agogwe
    • Ant Swarm, Fire
    • Assassin Bug
    • Botfly Swarm
    • Chonchon
    • Chonchon Swarm


    Universal (i.e., found in many regions, or native to the Spirit World)
    • Beheaded
    • Bumblebee Swarm
    • Cave Cricket
    • Centipede
    • Deep Singer Whale
    • Devilfish
    • Dryad
    • Eidolon
    • Elemental
    • Ghost
    • Giant, various types
    • Jellyfish
    • Kraken
    • Lycanthrope (or "Loup-Garou")
    • Merfolk
    • Mosquito Swarm
    • Psychopomp
    • Tick Swarm
    • Treant
    • Yellowjacket Swarm


    My Homebrew Projects

    Crossroads: The New World - Tribes, colonists, trade confederacies, and empires both new and old collide in an alt-history North America, circa 1750 A.D. (On the road to publication!)

  15. - Top - End - #255
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    Lord_Burch's Avatar

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

    Quote Originally Posted by SuperDave View Post
    Well, I'm not sure if Roots is a good indicator of how most slaves lived before being captured, but in that book, Kunta Kinte grows up in a devoutly Muslim community, which has been heavily Islamicized since at least the days of his great-grandfather, whom Kunta is named after. So I get the feeling, based on that one book, that Western Africa was pretty heavily Muslim by the time of the Freemen's Revolt. (Though admittedly, Roots begins in the spring of 1750, which is well after the revolution we're discussing here).
    By the way, if you've never read Alex Hayley's novel Roots, I strongly urge you to check it out. It's on the list of inspirational materials for this setting, it's honestly one of the best novels I've ever read in my life (and I have read many, many novels), and I believe that every child in America should be required to read it in order to graduate high school. It's that good.
    Yes, West Africa was Islamacized starting in about the 9th century AD, introduced through the gold-salt trade with the northern African Mediterranean coast, which itself had been absorbed by the Muslim caliphate in 750 AD. To answer your question, most if not all West Africans would be Muslim by-the 1600s? I can't remember what dates you're dealing with, but any time after the fourteenth century, most West Africans would be Muslim, although local traditions may have been mixed in.
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    Default Re: Crossroads II: I'm on a Mammoth.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord_Burch View Post
    Yes, West Africa was Islamacized starting in about the 9th century AD, introduced through the gold-salt trade with the northern African Mediterranean coast, which itself had been absorbed by the Muslim caliphate in 750 AD. To answer your question, most if not all West Africans would be Muslim by-the 1600s? I can't remember what dates you're dealing with, but any time after the fourteenth century, most West Africans would be Muslim, although local traditions may have been mixed in.
    This is true.
    The Bantu slaves taken from Kongo and Angola wont be Muslim. The slaves from Zimbabwe and Mozambique are a bit more spread out. People taken from around the shores might be Muslim, it spread into that area through trade between Arabian states and Zanzibar. The people taken from area's deeper into the continent will have traditional African beliefs.
    Basically, most of the former slaves in the Buffer are going to mostly be Bantu's with traditional beliefs with traditional magic. The second group are west africans who posess knowledge of Arabian Muslim magic and writing (remember, a lot of west african slaves could read and write arabic). Muslims were pretty big on science during the middle ages.
    Add to that knowledge, magic and a bit of culture from the Amazonians and you have a very interesting mix.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by SuperDave View Post
    As distasteful as those who grew up on the plantations might find it, sugar would be pretty much the only commodity that the newborn (pseudo?)state would be able to produce on an industrial scale (at least, in the beginning). And farming for yourself is very different from farming for a master, even if it's the same crop. While it definitely wouldn't be the monolithic centerpiece of their economy like it had been before (too many painful memories), sugar production would still probably be a big money-maker for the freemen. Plus, producing sugar allows you to make rum, which is a very popular and lucrative trade item. (But they would probably get out of the sugar business as soon as they could possibly manage it.)
    Well, Palanan, I've been thinking about what I said about the sugar plantations, and I take it back. Since you're our resident South Vespuccia consultant, and you feel that the ex-slaves wouldn't willingly go back to the sugar plantations, then we should probably take your word for it. I guess we'll just need to find a different way for the Freemen to support themselves. Is there any other crop they might be comfortable growing? Yams, maybe? I'm just concerned that without a major cash crop which they can quickly start producing and selling to Europeans, the other European powers would have a good financial incentive to invade and re-enslave them; if the slaves can quickly start producing something the Europeans need, then invading them would jeopardize the flow of said commodity.

    I suppose they could start harvesting brazilwood from the jungles, and turning it into stringed instruments and other luxury items, but that might lead to deforestation, which would bring the wrath of the floramancers. So they're kind of limited to the areas that the Portuguese cleared and settled already (at least at first). And unless they've got an exceptionally strong leader who's able to prevent widescale looting and destruction of property, most of the Portuguese infrastructure is going to be destroyed during the revolution.

    Wait, I just had an idea. The ex-slaves need a cash-crop to sell; they're allied with people who are great at making things grow. They can just ask the floramancers for help with their crops. This would also mean that Europeans now have a reason not to invade the Freemen's State, because as soon as they take over, the floramancers stop growing the crops, and suddenly people back home are going hungry. They're forced to do business with the Freemen, or shoot themselves in the foot. Why didn't I think if this before?!

    Edit: I just learned that brazilwood trees have inch-long triangular thorns all up and down their trunks and branches. That would make for one nasty treant or dryad!

    I've actually been wondering about New World treants and dryads lately, besides just the colossal redwood/sequoia treants. Would maple treants have a syrup attack that works like a tanglefoot bag? Would mangrove treants have the aquatic subtype? Would knotty-pine treants be harder to cut down?




    So I was thinking about that "Po Buan-Yan" character I mentioned the other day, and wondered if anyone had ever created a Lumberjack class. And it looks like they have.

    It's more silly than serious, I think, but given the fact that lumber will be such a huge deal in Fusang, I feel that the Lumberjack might be worth including in Crossroads. We could always just modify and re-purpose the class to suit our own needs.

    Does anyone else think it should be added to the list of classes?

    Edit: Upon further reviewing the class, I feel like I could do better. We could do better. There wasn't even any reference The Lumberjack Song until I added it, and Johnny Cash's The Frozen Logger isn't even brought up. It contains zero references to whiskey, flannel, yelling "TIIIIIMMM-BERRRRR!", or even flapjacks. I've already got a bunch of ideas; can I claim this class, too?




    Oh, I just had a random idea for a Fusang plot hook: the players are called upon to find and kill a coven of sparkling, sunlight-immune jiang-shi who are terrorizing residents of the Olympic Peninsula.

    Edit: OK, it turns out that Pathfinder jiang-shi are already immune to sunlight, they're just not fond of it, and being seen clearly means people can easily tell they're a walking corpse. So maybe a holy man tried to exorcise the jiang-shi but wasn't able to destroy them, so he cursed them to sparkle (and be angsty about it) forever.
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    Default Re: Crossroads II: I'm on a Mammoth.

    Huh, actually i agreed with you on the Sugar thing.
    If your economy is going down the drain because you've just fought a big indepence war and have just started a new country, you're in for an even rougher ride. They're going to need cash to stay independant.
    Bad memories or not, they're going to need that Sugar. Working on a plantation as a free man is indeed different then working as a slave. And if it helps support the freedom of you and your family you're going to be a bit more motivated. These people need to adapt or they're going to get killed or enslaved again.
    Then need that trade, when trade ends, empires end as well.

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    Quilombos

    Trade
    I don't think that the freeman state would trade with anyone, other than the Amazonians.
    Firstly, they would probably be against it. They were kidnapped and brutally oppressed by the Europeans. I'm certain most of them would have been held by Portuguese, but I suspect they would likely have a few that were held by all the other local European powers.
    Secondly, the Europeans would be against it. First, because that would mean they would have to recognize the freeman state as it's own entity, which would mean admitting openly that they were defeated by slaves and kicked out of their rightfully-claimed land. Second, because they would have to recognize the slaves as people. This was a time when slaves were considered as less than human, an inferior species that the 'benevolent' Europeans were aiding by providing them food and clothes and lodging and a regular task. I could easily imagine most, if not all, trading attempts with European powers ending with the europeans trying to recapture the slaves and take their goods for free.
    Thirdly, why would they trade for it? The Portuguese, Dutch, and French still have plenty of sugar plantations, and the Portuguese have a new gold rush to keep them occupied, why would they bother to pay good money for what they can produce freely with slave labor? Treating the workers fairly would likely result in higher prices, making it make even less sense economically.
    And Fourth, I seriously doubt Ghengixander would be cool with it. I imagine him as being fully isolationist, and if the freeman state is part of the empire, then they would have to cooperate with his policies or face serious consequences. Maybe they might be able to start once he was dead, but by then they would likely have to have set themselves up a self-sustaining agricultural base.

    I do believe the freeman state could provide the amazon with some European products that they learned to create, though, like iron tools, or rum, or just plain sugar. Everyone loves sugar.

    Agriculture
    I think amazonian floramancy could likely improve the yields of their crops, particularly if we make some way to create or expedite the creation of terra preta, but I don't think it would outweigh the economic burden of paying their labor properly. I don't think they would be a major economic force, they would be farming to support themselves, using a combination of Amazonian, African, and European techniques, taking what works and discarding the rest. They wouldn't be able to use the amazonian techniques very well, as the colonists cleared a significant swath of forest, which would be where the freeman state would be set up. They might able to encourage the forest to surround the area once again over the coming 100 years, but at least at first they would be required to use European farming techniques simply because that's the most efficient sort at using open land.

    Culture
    I gotta say, these guys look like an interesting fusion of cultures. A bit of amazonian culture and magic, a bit of Muslim education and possibly writing (not sure how writing would be regarded in the amazonian cultures), traditional African cultures, and slave influences, all in one. They're probably unique enough to be their own culture, in the south american book.

    Ocean
    Oooh, I got it: Their initial position was relatively weak and vulnerable from the sea. There likely weren't many who knew anything about ships. With the floramancy they were able to keep the foreigners from gaining a foothold on the shores, but they regularly took a pounding from cannon fire. Then they got an unlikely variety of savior: Pirates. The freeman state is well-positioned to intercept shipments heading home from the north coast colonies and from the Portuguese in the south. And since they're not claimed by anyone, they're legally protected a bit. So, pirates start striking deals with the freeman coastal colonies, they get to use their ports as semi-permanent harbors, and they'll discourage the Europeans from sailing nearby waters (the continued production of rum might also be helpful here). Likely, this wouldn't be a popular idea with Ghengixander, but it's a choice between these pirates and losing the shoreline. Over time, the pirates recruit sailors from the freeman state, and the freemen learn about the ships, how to sail them and how to fix/make them. By the end of the age of piracy, the freemen are operating ships of their own, equipped with stolen or captured gear and navigating by charts written in Arabic.

    Regarding the creepers, the breaking creepers would leave the ship as driftwood, being slightly more efficient than cannonballs for the task, as each one deals damage over time. The entangling creepers would just wrap the boat and make it impossible to move or operate in any real way. Can't adjust the sails, or the rudder, or open the doors, or do much of anything. The floramancers would likely be able to kill the creepers with some anti-plant magic, leaving you with a perfectly intact ship ready to be put to service for their own purposes. (I was thinking the creepers would have regeneration overcome by fire or antiplant magic, so you could try to get rid of them the old-fashioned way, but you risk burning your ship)

    Tawantinsuyu

    Rebellion+War
    This I like. Having an active conflict would make it that much more interesting in my mind.
    I think it's definitely fitting, and it poses some interesting possibilities.
    so, they hold all of the empire for 3-5 years, then there's a rebellion and they drive them out of the majority of the empire. How do they keep them from coming back once the diseases work their way through them? I think we would probably use the divination-to-position troops idea would probably work, though I suspect the Spanish would be coming for 'em hard. We could also have the empire expand south during the post-rebellion time, getting those southern reaches of the Andes to give them a bit more in the way of numbers. I think the time-frame works out pretty well, too, it would take about that long for the native populations to regrow to a sufficient degree to start making such progress.
    We should also discuss how much things have changed and what tech they would have available by the time they started to push back. Have they adopted european ships? I don't think they had significant lumber, so that may be a challenge. Firearms? Gunpowder? Telescopes? Would horses have replaced llamas, or would llamas still be around?

    Deathless
    Hmm... I like it, but I think it wouldn't work for Tawantinsuyu mummies. The historical mummies were of wildly different social classes, even dead newborns were mummified sometimes. I don't think anyone's sacrificing anyone to make a mummy-baby.

    Houziren
    They do have prehensile tails and feet, but the tail's not really dexterous enough to wield weapons, and you really do need to have at at least some limbs on the ground to fight properly. I don't think they would be able to use them for extra attacks, really. I might suggest a feat or something that lets them jump to use all four limbs in combat.
    But you do it however you think it should be, I'll do my very best to stay out of it.

    Monsters

    Magehounds
    I think we could easily make them be a unique breed of dog. After all, having a mage-sniffing dog would be extremely helpful to the inquisition, or anyone trying to prevent their slaves from using magic. Or really anyone trying to regulate magic in any way.

    Classic Monsters
    Very cool list, bro. I'll have to go over it to make sure they're all monsters that would have made it over, and that they don't have any objectionable abilities, but I'll be sure to add it into the first post soon.

    Treants/dryads
    You know, you have a point, I think we could definitely have many new varieties of treants and dryads for the setting, it would certainly add some cool variety to the setting. Oooh, what about bamboo? OOH! Or those devil trees! The ones with fire ant colonies living in their thorns?

    Lumberjack
    I don't think it's worth being its own class, honestly. Lumberjack's a profession, not an adventuring class of its own. A brute could easily be used to represent any kind of physical laborer (that is one of the options I'm working on), or if you want to focus on the living out in the wild, maybe hunter would be better.
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    Default Re: Crossroads II: I'm on a Mammoth.

    Lumberjack would be a perfectly reasonable NPC class, though, like a physical-focused Expert.
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    Default Re: Crossroads II: I'm on a Mammoth.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pokonic View Post
    Lumberjack would be a perfectly reasonable NPC class, though, like a physical-focused Expert.
    Maybe some sort of laborer NPC class, but I still think lumberjack is too narrow a focus.
    Even if it would let you play this guy.
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    Default Re: Crossroads II: I'm on a Mammoth.

    Quilombo

    Trade
    They can trade with the pirates you described. They will most likely need a source of funds since they aren't already well established like the Amazonians. Or familiar with European knowledge and techniques left behind by the Portuguese.
    Running a nation costs a lot of money, trade could give them that. I don't see any other place they can get a decent income. The Amazonians can supply them with various goods, but if they want something more technological they'll need to trade with the Europeans. Or the Pirates smuggling it into Freeman state.

    Culture
    I suggest they adopt Muslim writing completely and maybe even spread it through Amazonia. Although with the moist and warm climate it would be difficult to use paper i think...
    One thing though: the Bantu people are ethnically similar, but they speak a lot of different languages. And have a lot of different religions as well i think, but i'm not sure on that. And historically a lot of people from Africa south of the Sahel were converted to Christianity.
    So i can see a majority of these Bantu former slaves convert to Islam. And i can also see them start to use Arabic as a common language between them since all these people have a different linguistic background.
    Maybe they don't practice the Sunni or Shiite form of Islam, but something a bit different with influences from Amazonian or Bantu religions. For example, these former slaves wont be able to do the Hajj. They can't really cross the ocean to go to Mecca.

    Oh, and going further with the islamic angle: they can trade with the Ottomans Empire. Or the Barbary Pirates. That would give them a market to send their Sugar to. And they could get various items and knowledge from those nations.

    Now all of this would make them even more hated by the various European nations, but i think they are already pretty unpopular

    Pirates
    Sounds good.
    One thing: having a lot of safe harbors would probably extend the Age of Piracy a bit. And would increase the power of pirates a bit.

    Tawantinsuyu

    Divination
    While i like the importance of divination in Tawantinsuyu (fits historically as well), i think we should be carefull that we don't make divination the solution for every problem they have.
    While a bit of divination is good, being able to predict battles is going to make them a bit overpowered. If you can predict a battle you've almost won that battle. It would give you the chance to choose the terrain, lay traps and ambushes and make sure you are never ambushed yourself.
    So let's be carefull with this.

    Rebellion and War
    How about this: Túpac Huallpa (historically died 1533 from smallpox) was set up by the Spanish as a puppet king. In 1533 he contracted smallpox but was saved by a Spanish priest who knew the disease and was able to cast remove disease on him. (Point of divergence from history)
    The Spanish took Tawantinsuyu in 1532 and immediatly started shipping gold to Spain. In 1534 Túpac Huallpa orders Rumiñawi and his army to abandon Quito and come to the south with his army in secret. He is to avoid Spanish troups at all cost.
    With his help Túpac Huallpa starts a revolution against the Spanish, effectively giving up the northern part of his empire so he can retake the rest.
    Túpac Huallpa and Rumiñawi kick the Spanish out with relative ease. But after that more and more people suddenly start dying from European diseases.
    The Tawantinsuyu armies are decimated, the population decreses immensely and the Inca is barely able to hold the nation together. He succeeds only because Rumiñawi is there to help him.
    The Spanish, having been pushed back north, make several new attempts at taking the empire but Tawantinsuyu is able to hold them out. Albeit barely.

    Around 1650 (after the Treatey of the Pyrenees) the Spanish start showing more and more signs of weakness. The pressure on the Tawantinsuyu border decreases to almost zero and the border becomes relatively safe. Without pressure on that border Tawantinsuyu, wich had already been recovering from the war and the diseases, starts to regain much of it's former power. The population grows quickly and they expand southward. They keep an eye on the north, but a war of agression against the Spanish is probably not their best choice now.

    Around 1725 they start putting presssure on their northern border and find that it is not defended as well as it used to be. In 1730 this pressure has increased into a full scale invasion of former Tawantinsuyu territory. The Spanish are scramblin to muster enough forces to keep Tawantinsuyu out of the colonies. They are forced to give up a lot of mountainous territory, the Tawantinsuyu are just better at fighting a war in the mountains.

    It is now 1750 and Tawantinsuyu has thrown the Spanish out of even more territory, they're coming closer and closer to Panama and the Carribean coast. The Spanish can't let this happen, it would destroy their power in the New World.

    Ships
    I've had a thought about Tawantinsuyu ships. It may be a bit much, but i'll post it anyway.
    Tawantinsuyu had those reed boats with cotton sails, they sailed the coasts as well. I don't know how far away from the coast they went.
    There's also the Uru people, they make big reed islands that float around on lake Titicaca. These islands vary much in size but a lot of them house several families.

    So let's combine that: How about Tawantinsuyu invented the aircraft carrier for reed boats?
    They build huge floating islands, load cannons and supplies on them and send them out with 20-30 reed boats that use the floating Island as a home base to resupply. The Uru people use just reed, but to make these floating islands larger we can have them use magic.
    There are naturally occuring Pumice rafts. Pumice floats, so Tawantinsuyu treats that pumice so that it doesn't suck up any water and stays afloat. Then they use that pumice to increase the buoyancy of the floating islands.

    The floating islands are very slow, but they are armed to the teeth and very difficult to capture. And the 20-30 reed boats protecting it make it even more difficult. We could make those reed boats very fast, but give them a small range. They can't go far from the Island without needing to resupply food and water. And they can't take on a big ship on their own. They need to swarm it from all sides (preferably with cannon support from the floating Island) to be able to take it down. A fleet would be able to defeat a floating Island, but Tawantinsuyu can deploy the floating islands in fleets as well. This would make for a more even battle.

    It would give Tawantinsuyu a navy and would allow us to do something completely different for them.

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    I like the idea of the Island Navy. It would be interesting if that over the years, certain islands grow and grow as they are built upon and grow form the natural environment that would build around such a structure.

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

    Qilombos
    Quote Originally Posted by Admiral Squish View Post
    an unlikely variety of savior: Pirates
    LOVE IT!

    Quote Originally Posted by Admiral Squish View Post
    Regarding the creepers, the breaking creepers would leave the ship as driftwood,
    Aaaaah, I thought you meant that the Amazonians would use these seeds to repurpose European ships, not to destroy them! This makes so much more sense now.
    Tawantinsuyu

    Quote Originally Posted by Admiral Squish View Post
    Rebellion+War
    This I like. Having an active conflict would make it that much more interesting in my mind.
    Oh, definitely. I feel like we've been working hard to maintain equilibrium in the setting, but realistically there would be several wars going at once, in different parts of the continent.

    Quote Originally Posted by Admiral Squish View Post
    so, they hold all of the empire for 3-5 years, then there's a rebellion and they drive them out of the majority of the empire. How do they keep them from coming back once the diseases work their way through them? I think we would probably use the divination-to-position troops idea would probably work, though I suspect the Spanish would be coming for 'em hard. We could also have the empire expand south during the post-rebellion time, getting those southern reaches of the Andes to give them a bit more in the way of numbers. I think the time-frame works out pretty well, too, it would take about that long for the native populations to regrow to a sufficient degree to start making such progress.
    Sounds like a good timeline to me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Admiral Squish View Post
    We should also discuss how much things have changed and what tech they would have available by the time they started to push back. Have they adopted european ships? I don't think they had significant lumber, so that may be a challenge. Firearms? Gunpowder? Telescopes? Would horses have replaced llamas, or would llamas still be around?
    • Ships: I feel like it makes more sense to adapt their own reed-boats, aided by the floating islands Steckie mentioned (which is an awesome idea, by the way!)
    • Firearms/Gunpowder: Hmm, this would require a lot of advanced tech and infrastructure, but without it they'd basically be unable to resist the Spaniards with anything but sheer numbers, so they'd really need to get their hands on some guns. The question is, how? As you mentioned, they don't have much in the way of wood.
    • Telescopes: I'm pretty sure they had mirrors, so... maybe? More likely they'd just pay top dollar for old telescopes from from Fusangese and European captains. In a land of mountains, with panoramas that extend for miles, spyglasses would be too valuable for the Inka to pass up.
    • Llamas: There's no way that llamas would not still be the dominant form of pack-animal. Llamas are at home in the mountains. More importantly, they're willing to cross rope-bridges and walk down stairs head-first, which horses are decidedly not willing to do.


    Quote Originally Posted by Admiral Squish View Post
    Houziren
    They do have prehensile tails and feet, but the tail's not really dexterous enough to wield weapons, and you really do need to have at at least some limbs on the ground to fight properly. I don't think they would be able to use them for extra attacks, really. I might suggest a feat or something that lets them jump to use all four limbs in combat.
    Well, fair enough. I just had fantasies of an entire race that could fight with four swords at once like General Grievous. I'm actually planning on holding off on designing the Houziren until I've read/watched more of Journey to the West. I'm waiting for the reserved copy to arrive at my library.

    Quote Originally Posted by Admiral Squish View Post
    Lumberjack
    I don't think it's worth being its own class, honestly. Lumberjack's a profession, not an adventuring class of its own. A brute could easily be used to represent any kind of physical laborer (that is one of the options I'm working on), or if you want to focus on the living out in the wild, maybe hunter would be better.
    I wasn't thinking of making them laborers. They'd be basically like "Chuck Norris: The Class". They'd have abilities like gaining a beard attack, being immune to cold, being able to shout so loudly that they can actually countersong (but not actually make bardic music on their own, naturally). It might wind up being too silly for Crossroads, but I'm having fun with it!


    Quote Originally Posted by Steckie View Post
    How about Tawantinsuyu invented the aircraft carrier for reed boats? They build huge floating islands, load cannons and supplies on them and send them out with 20-30 reed boats that use the floating Island as a home base to resupply.
    Oh. My. Goodness. Gracious. This is the most epicly awesome idea ever and we need to make it happen right now!

    Side note: I just finished updating the equipment thread, and converting all the old tables to the new format. Right now, I'm trying to work out pricing for various furs, relative to beaver-pelts.
    Last edited by SuperDave; 2014-06-17 at 06:23 PM.
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    Default Re: Crossroads II: I'm on a Mammoth.

    I wasn't thinking of making them laborers. They'd be basically like "Chuck Norris: The Class". They'd have abilities like gaining a beard attack, being immune to cold, being able to shout so loudly that they can actually countersong (but not actually make bardic music on their own, naturally). It might wind up being too silly for Crossroads, but I'm having fun with it!
    This makes me think of the prestige class The Beard, where all the abilities were beard related.

  26. - Top - End - #266
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    Imp

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

    Some ideas(didn't read thread fully, so I apologize in advance for any old ideas.)
    Selkies in the arctic. Selkies are seal people who have a druidic tendency

  27. - Top - End - #267
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    Default Re: Crossroads II: I'm on a Mammoth.

    Quote Originally Posted by Admiral Squish View Post
    an unlikely variety of savior: Pirates.
    One Piece in this setting.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonprime View Post
    AT, I esteem you above all other men now.

  28. - Top - End - #268
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    Default Re: Crossroads II: I'm on a Mammoth.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mith View Post
    This makes me think of the prestige class The Beard, where all the abilities were beard related.
    There's also the Paragon of Beard (when a mustache is not enough).

    I still had that in my subscribed threads, because it's hilarious.
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  29. - Top - End - #269
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    Default Re: Crossroads II: I'm on a Mammoth.

    Well, I've been away for a few days, and there's a lot to catch up on.



    Originally Posted by Steckie
    I think [the quilombeiros] would absolutely form a state, out of necessity and because these people came from states/kingdoms/empires themselves.
    I can't agree with this logic; states develop for complex reasons, and their origins are rarely owing to "necessity" alone. Just because you're pushed off a cliff doesn't mean you suddenly grow wings.

    And as Lord of the Flies demonstrates, simply having an origin in a sophisticated state is no guarantee you'll be able to recreate anything like it in a new environment.

    Originally Posted by Steckie
    Difficult as it may be to start learning to sail a ship properly, once you are forced to live on a coast and live in constant fear of your enemies sailing to you and capturing you again you start to learn very quickly.
    Can you give a historical example? Because according to this logic, both Native American and African coastal populations should have become master mariners in short order, and yet they didn't.

    Originally Posted by SuperDave
    As awesome as the idea [of bio-ships] is, I think it's more appropriate for a high-fantasy setting than this one. But if you're willing to explain how these creepers wouldn't just turn the ships into very expensive driftwood, I'm all ears.
    I agree with the first sentence entirely, and I'm in the spirit of the second. There's a world of difference between growing a ship and somehow learning how to sail it--and not just tack upon tack, but sail it masterfully enough to win against the French, English and Dutch, whose ships are some of the fastest, strongest and most skillfully manned of any in the world at this time.

    Also, if I didn't mention this before, the Amazonian peoples--Genghiwhatsis and that crowd--really won't have much understanding of seagoing vessels, especially those with multiple decks and masts, acres of canvas and several miles of rigging. Large war canoes, probably; other rivercraft, certainly; but they won't have the centuries of accumulated seafaring experience that Europeans have earned. Even if Genghiwhatsis wanted to grow an organic copy of, say, a first-rate warship like Sovereign of the Seas, it would be about as functional as a decoration on a wedding cake.

    Originally Posted by Steckie
    The second group are west africans who posess knowledge of Arabian Muslim magic and writing (remember, a lot of west african slaves could read and write arabic).
    I'm not an expert on this aspect of the history, and I'll defer to solid historical reference, but I remain doubtful as to how much Muslim influence there would be. Everything I've read about candomblé, umbanda, and similar traditions has always emphasized the admixture of indigenous African religions with European colonial beliefs. I've never seen any mention of Islam as a factor. I'm open to the possibility, but not yet convinced.

    Originally Posted by SuperDave
    Well, Palanan, I've been thinking about what I said about the sugar plantations, and I take it back. Since you're our resident South Vespuccia consultant, and you feel that the ex-slaves wouldn't willingly go back to the sugar plantations, then we should probably take your word for it.
    Thanks.



    Originally Posted by SuperDave
    I'm just concerned that without a major cash crop which they can quickly start producing and selling to Europeans, the other European powers would have a good financial incentive to invade and re-enslave them; if the slaves can quickly start producing something the Europeans need, then invading them would jeopardize the flow of said commodity.
    I see where you're coming from, but I think a nascent state of ex-slaves, producing something Europeans need, would be the absolute, perfect, number-one reason for Europeans to invade and re-enslave them all. Skilled labor producing a valuable commodity? Foregone conclusion: total European control, and the ex-slaves are back under the lash. Why pay money when you can just seize control? I don't see how it could work out otherwise.

    I've been thinking some more about this, and I think the best defense of the ex-slaves (also known, at least to me, as the coastal quilombeiros) is to maintain a network of coastwatchers, perhaps using simple magic to help lookouts for each quilombo maintain a watch on the ocean. Whenever they spot sails headed their way, they give an alarm--probably drums, since long-distance drum-talking is something their elders would remember--and then clear out of their quilombos as fast as they can.

    It's not the most exciting or glorious way to survive--run every time you see a potential threat--but if potential slavers find nothing but empty villages, sooner or later they'll give up on the idea of easy coastal raids. Yes, they might organize for larger inland raiding parties--but then the quilombeiros will be on home turf, more or less, and they'll have time to prepare traps and ambushes.

    Slaving parties that come back empty-handed won't encourage ship-owners to waste valuable time and provisions putting in all along the coast, not when there's prize money to be had--and never underestimate the mad lure of prize-money, not in 1584 and not in 1750. And slaving parties that don't come back at all are even less profitable. It's not heroic, but in this situation I think a careful network of observers and a fast withdrawal would make for much better long-term survival.

    Originally Posted by SuperDave
    Would mangrove treants have the aquatic subtype?
    Well, mangroves are trees, and they need air to breathe, so probably not.

    However, mangroves are incredibly salt-resistant, so mangrove treants would be proof against any salt-magic that might be brought to bear.

    Originally Posted by SuperDave
    Would maple treants have a syrup attack that works like a tanglefoot bag?
    No. Just no. It takes gallons of fresh sap and hours of boiling to produce even a small bottle of maple syrup, so I'd pass on that concept.

    However, there are tropical trees that produce sticky gums and latex when they're injured or bitten, much as milkweed does but on a broader, stickier scale. A sticky-latex glob attack is certainly a possibility.

    And a latex dryad takes us places the forum just won't allow.

    Originally Posted by Steckie
    If your economy is going down the drain because you've just fought a big indepen[den]ce war and have just started a new country....
    Again, I would say a lot of these complications are coming into play because you're assuming this has to be a new nation with an established economy and all the trappings. As I've mentioned, I think it makes a lot more sense for these coastal quilombos to exist as a constellation of settlements in a general cultural zone--loosely affiliated, cooperating among themselves with the coastwatchers, but not formally bound into a single economic or administrative unit.

    Originally Posted by Admiral Squish
    Secondly, the Europeans would be against it. First, because that would mean they would have to recognize the freeman state as it's own entity, which would mean admitting openly that they were defeated by slaves and kicked out of their rightfully-claimed land.
    Yes, absolutely so.

    Originally Posted by Admiral Squish
    I do believe the freeman state could provide the amazon with some European products that they learned to create....
    Possibly, but they were just forcibly relocated by the Amazonians, and at this point they just want everyone to leave them the %#$@&!! alone.

    Originally Posted by Steckie
    Running a nation costs a lot of money, trade could give them that. I don't see any other place they can get a decent income.
    Again, there's an assumption here that they need to be a state, when I think it's simpler and more plausible for them to continue with subsistence agriculture. No need for cash crops, just self-sufficiency and barter among themselves.

    Originally Posted by Steckie
    They build huge floating islands, load cannons and supplies on them....
    Unless these are special lightweight bio-aerogel South Vespuccian cannons, this will be a problem. Just one cannon weighs several thousand pounds, and I'd have a hard time believing a scaled-up reed platform could hold too many of those.

    Also, all it takes is one irritated druid with some Amazonian river otters chewing at the lashings, and all those cannons will be at the bottom of the river.



    EDIT:

    Originally Posted by Steckie
    There are naturally occuring Pumice rafts. Pumice floats, so Tawantinsuyu treats that pumice so that it doesn't suck up any water and stays afloat. Then they use that pumice to increase the buoyancy of the floating islands.
    I'm not sure if pumice is really the best option for a buoyant material. I have a feeling this would be a lot of work for minimal added flotation.

    Also, where are they getting the pumice from? Are they skimming it off the ocean somehow? That would end up being way too much hassle.
    Last edited by Palanan; 2014-06-18 at 09:10 PM.

  30. - Top - End - #270
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    GnomeWizardGuy

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

    So I am now more and more against a formal Qulembarios state, so how about a middle form where there are village states, but they are all connected out of need for security. I suggest this since division can work when you are all too small to hit, but when you are collectively a big target, some unity is required. Maybe not a formal government, but maybe a central meeting point for all the people of the area.


    Do we want to develop a name for these people besides Ex-slaves? Maybe a Bantu word for "The Free" or "Freeman"?

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