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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Only Ruins: a Nation Game (Recruitment)

    Only Ruins

    "It is now the 1934th year of the world by the Auroran Count, the 1174th year since the gods arose, and by my count the 847th year since the first of the cataclysms. It is by the blessings of the dead ones that I have lived to see this day and it is by the curses of the dead ones that I have suffered to see this day.

    The grip of the Ascendant has finally began to loosen and the storms left in its wake have begun to weaken. Men have begun to walk the lands again, attempting to reclaim their former glories amongst the ruins as the insanities of the world rage around them. It is by my reckoning these ages of gods and cataclysms have finally given way to an age of man.

    A beginning from an end, to finally control our destinies and walk away from the ruins. We can always hope can't we. Hope is all we really have left in the end."

    Hello. For the past while now I've been mulling over and working on a narrative nation game, and a setting for it to take place in (both admittedly rooted in another game). After reaching a point I feel is acceptable enough, I've decided to post it and see if there was any interest in playing this. It would be a player driven roleplay and story for the most part between nations and the figures within them. Preferably for the long term.

    The rules as I've written for the running of things are not intended to bind players, but for those taking part to remain on a consistent level and for them to build around the struggles of living in the world as it is.

    The setting is a world at the end of it rope, its inhabitants left scrambling in its ruins after a divine apocalypse. Nearly a thousand years later still trying to rebuild amongst the chaos left in the wake of the gods.

    If you're interested (and would be willing to stick around for a bit) read on and let me know if you have any questions or suggestions


    Spoiler: General
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    - My word is law.

    - Use basic grammar. If no one can understand you then there is no point in posting.

    - Don't godmod, control other peoples characters, etc. It's impolite.

    - If things don't go your way try to stay civil. If this is to last it's better if everyone stays on good terms.

    - Posts should be a relatively decent length. As you'll be posting for a nation this shouldn't be a problem but aiming for a a paragraph or two atleast is a good idea.

    - You'll be expected to post weekly. If you don't post your nation will stagnate and begin to suffer hardships until it eventually falls apart. If something happens or you're unable to post, say something in the OOC thread or PM me and you'll suffer less of a set back.

    As well, if you're reading this but you don't expect to stick around or even bother to post past a week or two please don't apply. I've seen enough games fall apart because of that behaviour and I don't want this to be another.

    - Try to keep player knowledge and character knowledge separate.

    As the game progresses rules will likely be tweaked and changed based upon both the progress of nations and the desires of players.

    Spoiler: Nation Sheet
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    Nation Name: (What do your people call themselves?)

    Race: (Which sentient race is the majority within your nation? Is it composed of more than one?)

    Heritage: (Which civilization is yours is descended from most?)

    Territory: (Where has your nation settled? Give a description of the area and how its been settled. Has your nation focused upon holding a small area or a large one? Have you built a fortress or have you built a city? What is your capital like?)

    History: (How your nation came to be. How did those who came to form it survive over the centuries? Where did they come from? What were their struggles? Why are they the way they are now?)

    Values: (What do your people value in themselves? What is their social structure? What is their culture like?)

    Military: (How does your nations military function? Is it a militia? Is it's focus cavalry? Archers? The rage of a few?)

    Religion: (What is your nations faith? Do they worship the old gods? Something new? Their ancestors?)

    Focus: (What has the focus of your people been? Basic survival? Trade? Craftsmanship? Their military?)

    Secrets: (Which secrets have your people retained over others over the millenia? Gunpowder? Steam engines? Blast furnaces? Alchemical poisons? Or has your people perhaps learned to harness wild magic?)

    Artifacts: (Have you retained anything special over the millenia? Perhaps a few ancient weapons? Some tools? Something runed or genned? A ship?)

    Leader: (At the beginning of the Fifth Age a few individuals appeared showing certain qualities, appearing to some as immortals and demigods. Born with power beyond their kin- be it strength, or intellect, or a magic of some kind, or something else entirely. Perhaps they weren't born with it, perhaps it's something else about them. Maybe their claim to power is an artifact of some kind.

    Through their natures others have come to rally around them and forge order or take that of others for themselves to survive and thrive. Who leads your nation? Where did they come from? What makes them special?)

    Spoiler: The Ajivhan Khaganate (Example Sheet and NPC/GMPC faction)
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    Nation Name: The Ajivhan Khaganate

    Race: The majority of people within the Ajivhan Khaganate are Corvans. An odd hybrid blend of people descended from Ajivhan humans and Yish, Corvans are a lithe elven breed of tall humanish creatures with pitch black almond shaped eyes, tapered ears, and pale semi-scaled skin.

    Clans of 'regular' Humans, Krakari, and Luug can also be found amongst the Khaganate as well.

    Heritage: The Khaganate as a society is primarily descended from Sammah Ajivha Tahna and the Aetherial Collective.

    Territory: The Ajivhan Khaganate is spread across the South and the South West as a collection of nomadic groups. Their capital and stronghold is New Ajivha, an ancient fortress-like city once known as Onchesmos constructed of an unnaturally strong obsidian. New AJivha is for the most part surrounded by the altered and warped wilderness of Gangari's creations inherent to the Khaganate's territory.

    The influence and spread of the blackleaf trees, land rust, redpetal flowers, and spore of Andha is complete around them in their wilds, creating a nature that is strange and almost alien to those few lands that have yet to see these plants spread to them. It is these strange plants that have kept the lands of the Khaganate from turning insane with the wild magic within their lands and those surrounding theirs by apparently keeping the strange chaos of it in check, through one could suppose by their nature as a divine artifice.

    History: The origins of the Ajivhan Khaganate lies in the end of the great war and the first of the cataclysms. As the Ascendant came into the world and the order of the third age began to fail elements of the Aetherial Collective's silver legion retreated to the unoccupied city of Onchesmos, the once capital of Driders of Saranda. Over the years as the Legionaries attempted to wait out the storm refugees and militias both from their own side and from their various neighbours were taken in and absorbed, and as the decades and centuries went on the nascent Khanagate grew from this fortress slowly as it began to attempt to settle and absorb neighbouring tribes.

    The Khaganate grew and spread over the centuries until its tents and people could be seen across the South.

    The ascendancy of the most recent Khagan has led to a bit of a hiccup in the power balance of the Khaganate, leading to minor fractures with most Khans feeling little loyalty or fealty to what they see as an outsider or usurper, some even thinking him a ghoul.

    Values: The Khaganate is a culture built upon both guile and the bond of one's word, they value loyalty and bonds as much as they value cleverness and simply guile. Intelligence, wisdom, and quick minds tend to rise to power amongst the Khans, and shamans are a common sight in camps. The reputation of the Khaganate and the various Khans are mixed and dependent upon who one has been dealing with due to the general lack of direction coming from the Khagan, with most though of as wandering merchants or raiding parties.

    All Khans owe absolute loyalty to the Khagan, and though little is usually asked of them they are bound to act upon any commands they receive. The few times they're rallied being used to defend the little land they hold permanently or to halt the advance of aberrations into their territory.

    Military: The Khaganate's military is primarily cavalry based, for the most part an irregular militia resembling things such as hajduk or bashi-bazouk in the way they fight and for the most part carrying similar reputations. While bands are capable of organizing with eachother they tend not to do so for very long as Khans rarely are able to co-operate for long periods of time without outside necessity or direction from the Khagan.

    The Khagan's Janissaries are a disciplined and professional force armed and armoured with the finest wares the Khaganate can produce and are drilled in the use of firearms for the defence of the capital and are so armed with them.

    Religion: The Khaganate for the most part holds the faith of those who came before them, primarily worshiping Gangari and his scions. Small way shrines can be found across their territory and within New Ajivha a temple is maintained.

    Focus: The people of the Khaganate have as a people always focused upon survival, the fortification of their capital, the unity of culture, and the lives of their people. Threats are dealt with swiftly and bluntly, and cases where Khans have went rogue and turned on another have ended in clans being torched for the good of the whole.

    Secrets: The sages of New Ajivha have kept and maintained the secrets of gunpowder and firearms for themselves over the centuries. While the recipe and designs have changed and simplified over time, their firearms and other powder based weapons have remained effective in their Janissaries hands since the end of the third age.

    Artifacts: Being descended from the two most industrious people and for that matter a people who worked magics into every facet of their lives, the Khaganate and its people have large amounts of various runed tools with minor enchantments which they've maintained and used across the centuries as they were intended for their various mundane purposes.

    Spoiler: Leader: Sinan
    Show
    Sinan

    Sinan is a Wraith, a remnant of the Aetherial Collective's vanguard. A creature forged from a man into something better using the magics and sciences of the time. Resembling for the most part a human, Sinan is a tall man with olive coloured skin, black hair, eyes with silver irises, the silver spiral mark of Gangari on his back, and pointed predatory teeth like a vampire.

    Sinan's claim to fame and power is the simple act of having left Grand Ajivha, claiming to have been the commander of Gangari's Justiciar order inside the city when it fell and having escaped what he would claim to be an endless cycle of bloodshed between the thousands and thousands trapped within, unaware of the nature of their reality and resurrected ignorant of the time before their deaths and resurrections, becoming bound to the city.

    Him and his three remaining companions from the city having wandered the lands for years after escaping before travelling to the Khaganate, convincing the Khagan of his story, working his way into the Janissary guard, and then when he died making claim to the Khagan's power.

    Beyond the unnatural qualities of being a wraith he possesses a kinship with the aether, seemingly able to enter and exit it on a whim.


    If you're interested after reading all of that, you're free to post a sheet or interest. The timetable for this game has yet to be set, and for the moment I'm applying a wait and see policy.
    Last edited by Anti-Eagle; 2018-02-03 at 04:43 PM.
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  2. - Top - End - #2
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Accepted Nations

    Accepted Nations in order of submission:

    Quote Originally Posted by Viirin View Post
    Khaloric Swarm
    Quote Originally Posted by NineOfSpades View Post
    The Brujah
    Quote Originally Posted by The JoJo View Post
    The Grand Duchy of Xule
    Quote Originally Posted by Togo View Post
    Empire of the Basalt Throne
    Quote Originally Posted by Mabn View Post
    Silverplume Confederacy
    Quote Originally Posted by cybric View Post
    The Harconin Protectorate
    Quote Originally Posted by pfm1995 View Post
    The Navasti League
    Quote Originally Posted by PossiblyInsane View Post
    Corpus Verde
    Last edited by Anti-Eagle; 2017-04-21 at 03:11 PM.
    Ascendancy (Setting, Rules, Recruitment, Out-Of-Character, Game Thread, and a Mirror. Also, a Discord.)
    Avatar by Cuthalion

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Troll in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Only Ruins: a Nation Game

    I want to play this. Specifically I want to rule a race of Vampire Amazons (Vamazons?). Proud trible warrior-sisters who stalk the dark jungles. Strong sense of honor, they only drink the blood of those who they first defeat in fair combat. Men who enter their terriroty are slaughtered for food, or captured for slave labor. Women who show strength are bitten and welcomed into the tribe.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Only Ruins: a Nation Game

    Placing interest early. I probably won't be able to get a nation together for at least a week but I would love to join in.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Orc in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Only Ruins - a nation game

    I came from the previous game as Khalorean, God of Justice and Insects. Not necessary to say, but I wanted to. Shows my vested interest!

    Spoiler: Khaloric Swarm Nation Sheet
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    Nation Name: Khaloric Swarm

    Spoiler: Races of the Khaloric Swarm
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    Spoiler: Dustmoth
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    An offshoot species of the Rainbow Butterflies. After they started living underground, they lost their ability to fragment into their insect forms, and instead seem to balance the traits of a moth and the body of a human, though they aren't very tall (4.5 feet on average, gender doesn't affect size). They have mothlike antennae that look almost like oversized but elegant eyebrows and pitch black eyes. Their rainbow coloration has also been lost, and they now only bear shades of gray or brown, which doesn't change- whatever color/s a dustmoth is born with, they remain.
    In the Fourth Age, dustmoths kept underground passages they used exceptionally wide so they could ambush anyone who might discover their existence in large numbers. Possibly because of this tactic, they were able to keep their wings.

    Spoiler: Drider
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    Unlike the original drider created by Lysei, the ones recreated by Khalorean were beautiful by human standards (at least partially). Losing the third to eighth eyes and sharpening the vision of their first two, then turning them red with a rare chance of piercing blue, turning their chitinous human half into black or dark-grey elvish skin and similar facial features. The Khaloric drider had hair of various grayscale shades from pure white to a deep charcoal black. Why these drider promoted those with piercing blue eyes is subject to anyone's guess. These physical changes were likely the cause of human symbiotic city life with them in the Third Age.
    In the beginning of the Fifth Age, they came across the subterranean ruins of the first Khaloric temple and began to rebuild the city both above and below ground.

    Spoiler: Recombinant
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    Recombinants started as an original creation of Khalorean but since Dorian never had the ability to link in to the hive-mind, she knows nothing from them; only biological abilities which luckily makes genning an ability given to all intelligent castes. Like most insects, there is a clear caste structure, with the lower castes being instinctual creations and nothing more. Dorian has grown similar to drider, but with an entirely different coloration and small decorative biological quirks. Dead recombinants decay in a way that their bodies create a substance that xenoforms the landscape, though it only expands the width of the body's mass and grows no further, as long as nothing decays while touching it. Recombinants are immortal but develop mutations over time, often leading to severe issues if left unchecked. Even worse, all recombinants have a partial superstructure that makes all of them count in some ways as a single individual. It's no wonder they acquired genner essence to counteract this severe negative trait. The holy virus of a recombinant causes the essence of its target/s to become subjected to both the hive-mind and genning techniques of an aristocratic caste member, such as an Empress or Queen. Dorian is an Empress.

    Spoiler: Blatid
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    Blatid: A race of various castes of large insects that communicated telepathically. The few reports written about them, from their own psychic translators, have become confusing folk tales and jokes. Blatids all were easily identifiable by their long and telepathically sensitive antennae that ran the entire length of their bodies, though they seemed to pick up more than thoughts.
    Of what is known of their telepathy, they only thought in a combination of quickly flashed images, colors, and flavors.
    Brought to extinction in the Fourth Age.

    Spoiler: Arachnomorph
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    Arachnomorph: A species suited mostly to darkness, as it is blind to the visual light spectrum but able to see heat signatures and had a very weak echolocation. They appeared at the end of the Third Age as a creation of Khalorean, but for unknown reasons they had highly volatile acidic blood and the ability to smell or sense (information was once clear but is now fragmented at best) the species of other individuals. Highly aggressive, but would never attack their own brood- but since there were multiple broods, this was periodically quite an issue.
    They did not breed normally; they instead forced unfertilized embryos into the bodies of others, which would kill the host/parent as well as grant the offspring physiological adaptations- which is where they got the last half of their name (morph).
    Became extinct in the Fourth Age.



    Heritage: Recombinant, though their hive-mind is broken and history mostly lost, so they're making it up as they go for the most part, though galans have a lot of influence as well. Dustmoths and drider are zealous enablers to the recombinants.

    Territory: Mereton is our land, and the capitol itself is where the original Temple of Khalorean was built on top of and incorporating the ruins of the Temple of Drya. The Temple had a large underground catacomb system that was originally created by Khalorean for the purposes of visitation, but became something else as time went by. The city's walls still stand but the interior is mostly full of webbed ruins inhabited by drider. The catacombs are inhabited primarily by dustmoths. In other words, it is a mostly underground city both naturally and artificially heavily defended.

    History: The Khaloric Swarm was once sporadically created species by the God of Insects, and also a drider hive stolen from Lysei. They were each on their own pilgrimages to Mereton, but once there they barely had any time to civilize themselves before the Fourth Age began and they were mostly exterminated before they could impose the concepts of justice and tolerance. Most of the races broke off and went their separate ways for the sake of survival since it would be harder to complete genocide if they were in thousands of simultaneous hidden caches. The only one to have a living recombinant was in the least likely place to be searched- the Khaloric Temple's basement, at the bottom of a shallow well full of Auroran candy, hibernating for a thousand years. Once the larvae awoke, it ate the candy and grew, and once the other species learned of her existence, she immediately became the leader of the reborn Swarm by religious and diplomatic choice.

    Values: The dustmoths value passivity as they inherited it from their 'rainbow butterfly' ancestors, likely now extinct. Galans value objectivity as they always have, and fair judicial behaviors. The drider value intelligence and manipulative capacity, though not if it is injurious to society. Finally, the recombinants value their own stockpile of genning techniques and avenues for growth and advancement; though they also recognize the necessity and value of social variety. Through Dorian, all species recognize each other's values as an integral part of the whole.

    Military: Dustmoths primarily attack in swarms from ambush positions, using hit-and-run attacks from behind, but they prefer to avoid others instead. Galans use their fireball breath at range and their lava blood in melee, though they don't like fighting to begin with. Drider are ferocious in battle and use archery, swordsmanship, and cavalry shield-bash techniques since they are their own mount. Recombinants haven't developed a fighting style yet since there is only one of them... so far.

    Religion: The Khaloric Swarm has a colorful pantheon. They primarily worship Khalorean, with lesser worship given to Lysei and Sheogorath, and minor attention given to Drya.

    Focus: Basic survival, for the most part. When Dorian awoke and became able to speak, the new focus became the reconstruction of the Khaloric history and religion.

    Secrets: Dorian Cook has the power of genning, though it is the only technology any of the insects have anymore. Biologically though, the extinct whiptails, arachnomorphs, and blatid species were exterminated but Dorian contains their essence and can use it in genning.

    Artifacts: Harold, a humanoid burlap sack made by Khalorean himself still patrols the catacombs, and is the one who awoke Dorian to begin with. It is invulnerable in every way both possible and impossible, though it is only of average human intelligence. It is only made mobile if normal-sized insects inhabit the sack. If all bugs inside it die, he loses his mobility, intelligence, and memory.

    Leader: Dorian Cook is the name of the recombinant larvae that awoke and gained control over the sentient insectoid inhabitants of the Khaloric Temple and its outlying areas at the dawn of the Fifth Age. She has the ability of 'genning', as the essence of a genner was acquired at some point by one of her ancestors, which she inherited. She can use her inborn holy virus, or at least that is how it is known, to convert other living things into recombinants. She can also absorb the essence of an individual in order to gain their physical, magical, or intellectual capacity for genning experimentation and techniques. Infested individuals who become recombinants are naturally drawn to and in agreement with everything Dorian decides to do.
    Last edited by Viirin; 2016-11-22 at 12:55 AM.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Only Ruins: a Nation Game

    Consider me interested, I've started working on a sheet.

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    Default Re: Only Ruins: a Nation Game

    Spoiler: The Brujah
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    Nation Name: The Brujah

    Race: Brujah are exclusively female vampires. The actual race that their members belonged to is varied, with humans making up roughly eighty percent of the population. Former Corvans and Ray Das are about equally common, making up fifteen percent of the total population. The remainder is a fairly equal sampling of the other races that are susceptible to the vampires bite. Females who are not vampires do exist, but are not counted as sisters in any tribe. They are titled as ‘Daj’, which is a concept that loosely translates to ‘public property’, though that is only a rough approximation. Daj are typically women who have won the favor of a Matron, but either unwilling or unable to receive the vampire blessing. Daj are tattooed so as to mark their status, and though they are denied many of the rights of Tribe-sisters, they are treated well and can expect to receive food and shelter, and the freedom to travel between tribes at their leisure. Men within the Brujah are not citizens, but are somewhere between livestock and slaves. Numbers vary wildly, but it can usually be expected that an average tribe-sister has at least one slave to their name, with more important members of society sometimes having as many as thirty or more.

    Heritage: The Dead Republic is the most obvious source, though it is unwise to say such things in the presence of a Brujah if one does not wish to incite them to violence. Their own history is kept through a mix of aural traditions and highly symbolic artwork, making details of their past difficult to nail down. Most historians believe the tribes split off from the Dead republic sometime in the fourth age, though none have conclusively managed to pin down an exact date.

    Territory: The Brujah tribes are semi-migratory, but they have restricted themselves primarily to the North-eastern Jungles. Individual tribes move with the seasons, traveling throughout the region as they follow the beasts that they hunt. Proper settlements do exist, usually marking a holy place or a meeting ground where the hunting territories of three or more clans intersect. They build their structures in the treetops, forming sprawling networks of bridges, ladders and ropes that ensnare the canopy. Other settlements are much less solid, built as simple tents that can be easily packed up and moved to follow the migratory patterns of the herds.

    History: Before an examination of the history and heritage of the tribal nation of vampiresses known as the Brujah, there must first be a word of caution for those of a scholarly or academic inclination. As the Brujah do not keep written records, and as their civilizations earliest days occurred in the midst of the most recent cataclysm, verifiable documentation from first-hand sources is exceedingly limited. The knowledge that can be gathered must be woven from a patchwork of secondhand sources, with the numerous gaps filled in as best as one can through deductive reasoning.

    The origins of the Brujah are the hardest to pin down with certainty. Records recovered from the Dead Republic indicate that there was tension between the two factions of undead even dating back to the fourth age. The Brujah’s own accounts of that time period are steeped in myth, but resolutely insist that they came first and that the Dead Republic began as one of their tribes that was banished for breaking the taboo against magic. As this story conflicts with the more concrete documentation, the most commonly accepted narrative is that the Brujah began as members of the Republic, an extremely ideologically drivien minor faction within the republic that pushed an agenda of radical reform, but were unsuccessful and ultimately departed from the Republic sometime in the decades prior to the most recent cataclysm.

    At this point, the records of the Brujah vanish, as do much of the historical information that was lost due to the cataclysm at the beginning of the 5th and current age. It can be surmised that they lost a large percentage of their population during this period, with estimates ranging as high as 95% or more. Among the deceased were virtually the entirety of the oldest vampires, leaving the survivors to piece together their cultural values from the fragmented memories that had been passed on to them.

    It is at this point that the Brujah can be established to exist as an entirely independent state. Their earliest days were marked with extreme violence to a level so significant that for the first century of the 5th age, Brujah were not considered sentient by other races. Members of the tribe, when encountering any living being, appeared to enter a frenzied state, driven by predatory hunger to a degree such that rational thought was impossible. The Brujah oral history indicates that this period was a punishment inflicted upon them for some crime committed during the cataclysm, but either do not know what specifically caused it, or do not share that information with others.

    One explination to the sudden and drastic change in behavior is that the Brujah underwent a mutation during this period, which also explains the subtle differences in the way that the Brujah strain of vampirism presents itself. While most vampires do not require blood to feed, Brujah can draw sustenance from blood and experience near euphoric pleasure upon doing so. While their primary diet consists of meat, even today blood remains their favorite food source and will be the first part of an animal consumed. This bloodlust is also suspected to be connected to their heightened regenerative properties. While still vulnerable to silver, as are all other known species of vampire, the Brujah in particular are capable of healing far faster than their brethren, with some specimins being able to fully recover from decapitation in under sixty seconds.

    If, as the leading hypothesis insists, this mutation occurred during or shortly after the cataclysm, it would go a long way towards explaining the level of hostility and aggression displayed by the Brujah, a consequence of their sudden and imperative compulsion to consume blood.

    Internally, the Brujah managed to establish a power structure, with several different tribes attempting to seize control of the region, few managing to maintain any sort of dominance for more than a year before being killed and usurped. Eventually, order was established, not out of any philosophical or cultural shift, but rather because they were simply running out of food, and starvation forced them to adapt. The Major tribes of the time; The Bark-Face, the Stone-Teeth and the Skin-Walkers, allied with eachother and were able to essentially strong-arm the smaller tribes into joining with them, eventually forming the collection of sixty eight tribes that officially adopted their name as Brujah, and laying down the laws of their people which have remained virtually unchanged since then.

    Following unification, the Brujah have slowly expanded, increasing their land holdings and number of tribes. Two neighboring nations, The Jotan Kingdom and the Theocratic State Of the Blind-Father, felt threatened by the advancing Brujah and attempted to exterminate the vampires. They were swiftly conquered and consumed. Over the years, the Brujah have also eliminated several smaller nations, though they have refrained from outright warfare with other states, and showed themselves capable of diplomacy so long as their lands and customs are shown respect.

    Today, much of the general public remains wary of the Brujah. A cultural proclivity for secrecy, violence, and seemingly unprovoked abductions will do that. Most stories about them remain wild exaggurations, often times either outright fabrications or the result of some present misattributing a monster attack as the results of a Brujah raiding party. There is the beginnings of change on the horizon, the most recent High-Mother having just taken up the mantle, and has already expressed an interest in expanding their territory. Time will tell if her intent to do so will be backed by force, or through more civilized methods.

    Values: Brujah value strength and freedom in equal measure, though their concepts of freedom, property and ownership can be a bit confusing for an outsider. Brujah do not hunt sentient beings and take their blood, at least, not directly. To drink the blood of a creature, they believe, is a crime unless the owner of that blood has given you permission to do so. That said, they also believe that blood is like any other commodity, and its owner can buy, sell or trade it as they please. When Brujah raiding parties attack other settlements, they will usually offer those they capture a choice. They can either die, or offer their blood as payment for their lives. The latter option is equivalent to accepting slavery (Though technically the slaves are free to leave, so long as they do not take their blood with them). Having gained ownership, the Brujah are then free to feed to their contentment. Whether they exercise that right varies from tribe to tribe. Those closer to the borders of their lands are usually much more willing to drink the blood of other races, but the majority of the Tribes prefer to simply hunt wild game and drink their blood, finding the value of a living slave to be worth more than a single meal.

    It is also important to note that only men are made slaves. Women, with their ability to bear children, are therefore seen as the superior. They only take women captive if they are looking to convert them to vampires and induct them as sisters in the tribe.

    As a people, they live off the lands, hunting for game and foraging for the many exotic plants and materials they use in their lives. The Ghost marshes is a harsh place to call home, and there is a very low tolerance for those who cannot pull their own weight. Murder may still be forbidden, but killing in fair combat is not. This law technically extends to all beings, though in practice it is foolish to rely on that. When a raiding party decends upon a settlement to attack, its ‘fair’ in the sense that the attacked village had every opportunity to prepare to defend itself. On an individual level, arguments often turn violent, but actual killings are rare thanks to their regenerative properties. Ritualistic battle is reserved for matters of honor and status.

    The leadership of the tribe is an impenetrable mess of tribal laws, customs, and superstitions. At the large scale, its basics are simply enough to grasp, but each of the tribes have their own unique laws and traditions to uphold. The supreme leader of the Brujah holds the title of High-Mother. High-Mothers are ‘voted’ into power, though their length of terms vary wildly. The crones, a small group of respected vampires that have dedicated themselves to maintaining the religious practices of the Brujah, watch for omens and will announce when it is time for a new ‘election’ to be held. From all across the lands, each of the one hundred and seventy three tribes sends their leader to meet and decide a new High-Mother, in what is called a clanmoot. Under the solstice moon, any tribal cheiftess may declare their desire to take the position of High-Mother. Any such candidate, plus the current High-Mother, is then chained to a boulder. Each other chieftain present then draws a ceremonial dagger, and stabs one of the prospective High-Mothers, embedding the knife and leaving it in the wound. Candidates must not show any sign of pain, and must instead lay still as they are repeatedly stabled in the stomach. Those that survive without showing weakness are unchained, and fight barehanded until only one candidate remains, immediately taking the position of new High-Mother.
    Though brutal to the extreme, the system has its merits. Every tribe has equal representation, and as they have only a single knife, the injuries they inflict provide an excellent means of hindering candidates chances of winning the following fight. A leader must be strong, but a leader who does not have the hearts of the people is no leader at all. It also dissuades any prospective usurpers from gaining power. A hated tribe will seldom nominate themselves, for fear of being stabbed to death by their enemies as they cast their ‘votes’.

    The Brujah do not use magic, and indeed, completely distance themselves from it and those who partake of it. They have a tradition of the 'twice cursed' rule. Any object or person who has been touched by magic is cursed, and should be avoided at all costs. Any person or object that has not been tainted by magic, but has been touched by another enchanted object or spellcaster is similarly cursed. Only three layers deep does the taint of magic fade. This belief is simply cultural, they do not actually suffer any sort of negative reaction to arcane energies. That still doesn't stop them from cutting off a limb if they think it has been tainted, and letting their regeneration repair the injury rather than risk becoming cursed. One particular tribe, The Night-Eyes, is made up of vampires who have had direct contact with magic and are considered tainted. They live alone and do not directly interact with other tribes, but are employed as a sort of internal police force to deal with magical objects or threats, so that the taint of magic does not spread to others. Their's is a grim lot, jaded and bitter, and utterly unrelenting in their duty to exterminate all magic from the world.

    In place of magic, there are the crones, which are the living keepers of the Brujah heritage. As Vampires do not age, their name is somewhat misleading. Most crones appear as young women, beautiful and covered in ornate tattoos. They keep the arts of alchemy alive, drawing strength from the jungle and its many vibrant plants to craft their potions. They also perform divination, though whether these rituals accomplish anything actually magical, or are simply religeous ceremonies is a matter for scholars to debate. The Brujah believe the crones have power, so that's all that matters to them.

    Military: Strong and ferocious, the warriors of the Brujah are nightmares to behold. Virtually every member of their society is capable of fighting, and since they do not grow old, the longer a vampire survives, the more deadly a fighter they become. Raiding parties are common, striking from ambush to attack their prey in small, organized groups. Because they heal from wounds, the Brujah throw themselves into a frenzy when they fight, giving no thought to their own safty as they savage their enemies with bestial ferocity. Thankfully, for all their power, they do not employ much in the way of tactics. A Brujah does not fear their enemy, they do not run from them or show weakness. Though exceptionally crafty at setting up ambushes, a holdover from their approach to hunting wildlife, once the battle is engaged and the smell of blood fills the air, they devolve to simply hammering away at their enemy.

    The Brujah do not wear armor. This partially comes from their rapid healing, which protects them from injury far better than heavy plating. It also serves a practical purpose, as their lands are poor in metal and so they do not waste what little they have on such things. Simiarly, their weapons are primitive. Wooden spears tipped with the teeth or claws of predatory beasts, bows and stone-tipped arrows, blowguns armed with poison tipped darts. Their arsenal is simple, but it gets the job done.

    Religion: The Brujah worship a deity they simply call The Lady. As with their history, the origins of this deity are difficult to pin down. Outside scholars have noted some similarities between The Lady and the lost goddess Drya, given that both employ symbolism which heavily connects to nature. The Brujah believe that The Lady is the spirit of the moon, who gave birth to the world and watches over it. They build step-pyramids in her honor, where crones gather to partake in hallucinogenic elixirs that send them into a trance state where they babble mad ramblings that are later interpenetrated as messages from The Lady. They mark their calendar by eight holy days on the year, which link up to the Two Solstices, the Two Equinoxes, and the full moons that fall half-way between each of those days. They believe that when they die, they take with them all the blood they have consumed and give it to The Lady, who is maintained by the strength of that blood. If you please the lady with your offering, your spirit is blessed by her and returns to the world stronger than it was before. If you displease her, your spirit is cast down and you reincarnate as a lesser creature, such as a male.

    Focus: Brujah do not grow old, nor do they die, at least not under most circumstances. Therefore, basic survival is not really within their nature. Still, their day to day lives are dedicated to very basic pursuits. Life, they believe, is uncomplicated. It should be lived to enjoy the simple pleasures. The Lady made the world, and she made it a harsh place, so as to temper her daughters and make them strong. Therefore, they pursue means to better themselves while giving proper reverence to the world around them.

    Many may mistake the Brujah for savages. Certainly that is not a reputation that they have been labeled with unfairly. They hare honorable and honest people. They do not hide their feelings, and are blunt and direct in their dealings with outsiders, if perhaps a tad xenophobic at times. Their distate for men is legendary, but they are capable of keeping it in check when dealing with forign dignitaries. Don't believe the rumors that they'll chop off the heads of anyone who offends them, or that they break into houses at night to devour children. Treat a Brujah with respect, abide by their laws while in their lands, and you can expect them to (sometimes begrudgingly) respect you in return.

    Secrets: The Brujah have a modest with alchemy. Most alchemists think of poisons, which the Brujah do have though use infreuqently. It taints the blood of their prey and is a cowardly weapon. They have decent medicanal knowledge, though their healing and immunity to the effects of old age again limit the need for such things. Primarily, their use of alchemy is to create drugs which allow their spirits to connect to those of the world around them.

    The brujah have mastered the art of training dinosaurs, tremendous beasts native to their homeland. These wild monsters are difficult to capture, and even more difficult to train, but they Brujah's alchemic knowledge allows their spirits to commune with these terrible lizards and forge a bond strong enough to overcome the wild instincts of the dinosaurs.

    Artifacts: The Brujah have no artifacts.

    Leader: Kayla High-Mother, formerly Chief Kayla Bone-Knife, recently took the position of High-Mother, after having ripped the previous High-Mother in half during their clanmoot. Before being converted into a vampire, Kayla was human who found employment as a mercenary caravan guard, though she has since abandoned any claims to her old heritage and name. Physically, she appears to be in her mid to late twenties, though in actuality her age is nearly ten times that and she approaches her second century. Even when she was Human, Kayla displayed a unique gift which marked her as destined for greatness. For most warriors, an injury on the battlefield is a grave threat. Even if it does not kill them, it can end their career. A spear though the chest, a sword across the back, or a shattered knee: Any one of these could leave a soldier crippled and broken. But not Kayla. In the heat of battle, the closer she draws to death, the stronger she grows upon recovery, surpassing the limitations of mere flesh and sinew. For a human, such a trait would be formidable. For a Vampire, a Brujah, who recover from wounds that would instantly slay a lesser being, such a power has transformed her into a nightmare to be hold. There are scant few, perhaps a number so small that you could count it on one hand, which could hope to defeat her in battle. And to those that manage the feat, they had best be absolutely certain that they end her once and for all, because if she rises again, it’s unlikely they’ll be able to manage that feat a second time.

    Spoiler: Appearance
    Show


    Last edited by NineOfSpades; 2016-11-28 at 08:39 PM.

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    Default Re: Only Ruins: a Nation Game

    Definitely interested. I'm thinking something Corven, depending on the rules
    Last edited by Togo; 2016-11-22 at 02:32 PM.

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    Default Re: Only Ruins: a Nation Game

    Personally, I see the world as dangerous enough and if evil nations come to exist, then I'd remove my interest.

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    Default Re: Only Ruins: a Nation Game

    I want to point out the Brujah are not evil. They're more like...Vikings? Violent and loud, but with a heavy honor focus. Vikings as they appear in Skyrim. Except in the amazon.

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    Default Re: Only Ruins: a Nation Game

    Ok, have concept.

    One question -what's the scale on all this? Is the nation we're founding a few hundred people, or a few million, or somewhere in between?

    And what kind of tech level are we looking at? Are people in canoes and mud huts, or late medieval, where gunpowder exists but isn't comonly understood? Is there any magic beyond wild magic, and are there any monsters or strange creatures beyond the races listed?
    Last edited by Togo; 2016-11-22 at 04:25 PM.

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    Default Re: Only Ruins: a Nation Game

    Quote Originally Posted by NineOfSpades View Post
    snip
    I'm liking what I'm seeing so far.

    I'd point out that it would probably be easier to function in the jungles to the north east than the ghost marshes as I assume you're looking at. The combination of large amounts of Aberrations, high wild magic corruption, and the ruins within would probably deter settlers.

    As well, though this may sound odd with them being called vampires. They don't need to drink blood to function. If they're doing it for reasons outside that (before or after I've said this), or something's happened to them I'm fine with that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Togo View Post
    Ok, have concept.

    One question -what's the scale on all this? Is the nation we're founding a few hundred people, or a few million, or somewhere in between?

    And what kind of tech level are we looking at? Are people in canoes and mud huts, or late medieval, where gunpowder exists but isn't comonly understood? Is there any magic beyond wild magic, and are there any monsters or strange creatures beyond the races listed?
    I'd say something in the hundreds or thousands. I'm still nailing down how much people on average will have at start and populations units as an abstraction are vague and I haven't put a number to it yet.

    Depending upon how your nation has survived and functions it's probably something in the area of bronze age, iron age, or middle age levels of technology. Before everything went to hell an industrial age had begun and some of that may have stuck around either as part of your nation or as artifacts of the third age across the continent. Part of rebuilding is probably going to be relearning.

    Firearms and gunpowder were in use during the third age but for most the capability to manufacture or maintain them was lost over time as was the knowledge to produce them.

    Wild magic is the only one that's fully around right now outside of possibly malfunctioning artifacts (rune magic) and remnants of the third age (genners and water benders in the dead republic). The old magics started failing during the early fourth age and those capable of using the old magics began to die off, or were simply cut off from the source of their magic. There's also alchemy but there were few who understood the principles of it in the past and the few who remember its secrets are probably in the dead republic.

    Monsters and strange creatures are abound. There's likely more out there though with the state of the world and what I've written is with the assumption it'll be built upon over time by people.
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    Default Re: Only Ruins: a Nation Game

    Quote Originally Posted by Anti-Eagle View Post
    I'm liking what I'm seeing so far.

    I'd point out that it would probably be easier to function in the jungles to the north east than the ghost marshes as I assume you're looking at. The combination of large amounts of Aberrations, high wild magic corruption, and the ruins within would probably deter settlers.

    As well, though this may sound odd with them being called vampires. They don't need to drink blood to function. If they're doing it for reasons outside that (before or after I've said this), or something's happened to them I'm fine with that.
    North-east is fine, so long as its a jungle.

    I figured they didn't need to drink blood, but I imagined that drinking blood is a pleasurable experience that they would seek to partake in at least a few times a year. I also presume that it takes more to raise a vampire than just getting bitten, since if that were the case, mathematics would conspire to have them completely overrunning the planet within a few years as the population of immortal regenerating creatures grows exponentially. I just kind of mentally assumed that it was like 'you get bitten and fully drained of blood' or something.

    Added more parts to the Brujah sheet. I made their Secret the ability to tame dinosaurs as beasts of burden. I envisioned their homeland as having a bit of a 'lost world' feel to it. If you want something a bit more 'fantasy' than picture the creatures from the Monster Hunter games. Point is, whatever the big nasty beasts are, the Brujah have mastered how to train them. So while they might not have catapults or agriculture, they do have big scaly beasts at their beck and call.
    Last edited by NineOfSpades; 2016-11-22 at 06:09 PM.

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    Default Re: Only Ruins: a Nation Game

    posting interest, will work on a sheet soon. (first time I arrive on the first page of a nations game )
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    Ah, yes, trolls, the monsters that are such wusses their primary means of reproduction is being eaten by other creatures.
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    With all this talk of half dragon cohorts I may need to scrap riding a actual Dragon given how unoptimized it is.
    hey, order a gig here: https://www.fiverr.com/neriractor

    I would really appreciate it.

    homebrew:
    shadowdancer rework

    human ranger substitution levels

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    Default Re: Only Ruins: a Nation Game

    Also posting interest.

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    Default Re: Only Ruins: a Nation Game

    Interested

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    I am potentially interested, is there a map?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Novabomb View Post
    I am potentially interested, is there a map?
    There is a map.
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    Default Re: Only Ruins: a Nation Game

    Quote Originally Posted by NineOfSpades View Post
    I want to point out the Brujah are not evil. They're more like...Vikings? Violent and loud, but with a heavy honor focus. Vikings as they appear in Skyrim. Except in the amazon.
    Okay cool, cuz how I was reading it, I'm like:
    -randomly pillage people
    -either be killed (preferable) or become blood cattle
    -if you are a slave and try to be free then you have to be bled to death first

    I'm mostly Starcraft II's zerg after they aren't under Amon's control, but with a huge population of Dungeons & Dragons' drider that act more like Morrowind dunmer. The galans I created are mostly based on Phantom from Devil May Cry, the arachnomorphs are what the Aliens franchise had meant to do with xenomorphs, and the blatid are Mass Effect rachni. So, I guess I'd come off as potentially psychotically nightmarish too. Good thing they're all followers of the God of Justice, eh?

    Saying your vampazons (is that acceptable?) are like Skyrim nords, I guess you mostly keep to yourself and aren't a giant sexist slaver threat to everyone, and there's actually a lot of possibility of diplomacy. If your slavery works like the asari said theirs did in Mass Effect 2, and the vampires are effectively royalty, then that sounds like a really interesting concept. Did I understand it right?

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    Default Re: Only Ruins: a Nation Game

    I tried to build the vampazons up based on what made sense, given their abilities, and then inter meshed with a few layers of cultural outlooks. Vampires heal from most injuries and can't really die outside of specific circumstances. For most, losing a fight means getting killed. Take that away, and you get a culture with a skewed outlook on violence. They don't age, so if you want to move up in society you can't just wait for the person above you to retire. Hence, personal skill becomes the only means of elevating yourself: You have to be better than whoever is above you on the totem pole. Raiding other towns, ignoring their use as a food source, is still a necessity. Vampires don't breed, so the only way to expand their population is to convert others. The slavery part came from looking at the Spartans. If every citizen is expected to also be a warrior, then that leaves nobody left to do things like cleaning, cooking, or things like that. I didn't go full spartan, there are non-combatant members of the population, but they are a much smaller percentage than most. Even so, no slaves means the system collapses.

    Outlook wise, your pretty spot on. Any nation that shares a boarder with them is going to get raided at least a few times a year, and there is really not a whole lot to get around that. But there are ways to mitigate that. Putting up a fight about it would probably just provoke them to send an army rather than a hunting party. Diplomatic relations are totally possible. They're blunt and direct, so if they promise not to attack you, they won't attack you. I could certainly see an arrangement like 'We will send you X prisoners every year, do with them as you please'.

    Its been a long time since I played any mass effect and most of my memories of it are pretty vague. Slaves arn't abused or anything like that. If they are a good worker and follow orders, they can expect to get fed and clothed. The vamps are very...direct. A problematic slave is just going to be killed and eaten, rather than wasting time with torture. The Brujah are totally sexist, but they arn't just going to go around killing every man they see and kicking slaves for the hell of it.

    Put another way, if they see that a neighboring nation is ruled by a king, they'd be less likely to say 'We must overthrow the males and liberate our sisters!' and more likely to just shrug and go 'Wow, they put a man in charge? Guess those people are just stupid'.

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    Default Re: Only Ruins: a Nation Game

    My Empress wouldn't dislike you.

    Oh, and in case you wondered where the whiptails (Guild Wars) and adorabeetles (Elebug, Camp Lazlo) came from, now you know.

    Galans can't be vamped, and I wonder about drider. Huh.
    Last edited by Viirin; 2016-11-23 at 12:16 PM.

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    Default Re: Only Ruins: a Nation Game

    Here's my sheet, let me know what you think:

    Spoiler: The Grand Duchy of Xule
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    Nation Name: The Grand Duchy of Xule

    Race: 92% Human, 4% Halfling, 3% Krakari, 1% Other.

    Heritage: The majority human population of Xule is a mixed race, primarily descended from settlers from the former Auroran Archipelago and Ajivha. As a result most humans living in Xule have a golden to mid-brown complexion, with straight or frizzy dark hair. Culturally, the Auroran influence remains the strongest, though traditions derived from migrant groups can still occasionally be found, especially among the halfling and krakari minorities.

    Territory: The Grand Duchy occupies the entirety of the island of Xule, the easternmost of the Channel Islands. At the centre of the island stands the old city of Xule, once the second city of the Auroran Empire. Now its ancient wonders like the Colosseum and the Palace of Nations are crumbling due to disrepair, but the city itself remains an important trade hub. Encircling the city is a ring of a farmland, which provides the food required to maintain the bustling metropolis.

    History: Often described as the smallest nation on Earth, Xule's origins are said to date from the Third Age, when it was lifted from the sea by the god Cyth'Raul. The island was swiftly settled by Aurorans from the north-east, who built a thriving trade city by taking advantage of its natural position in the centre of the Channel sea. This wealth attracted migrants from across the world, rapidly swelling its population and prosperity yet further.

    The good times were not to last, however. When the Cataclysm hit, the city found itself in a dangerous new world as civilisation collapsed around it. A wave of refugees from the south as ethnic strife tore up Ajivha only added to internal tensions as the city lurched from government to government; a tentative democracy and a military dictatorship were trialled in quick succession, only to collapse within a few years. It was only with the appearance of a man who claimed to be the grandson of the last Auroran Emperor of the House of Verde that the tiny state found stability with a restored Auroran monarchy. The threats of larger neighbours with their own claims to the Imperial Crown rapidly led to the Emperor abandoning his Imperial title in favour of that of a grand duke, though the family has never formally renounced their claim.

    In the millennia since, the same dynasty has ruled over the Grand Duchy, with varying degrees of ability. Perhaps their greatest success is retaining their hold on the throne, while so many others have risen and fallen in that time. The various human ethnic groups have in time largely merged with each other, while lower birth rates and emigration have seen the non-human minorities in Xule drop from over thirty percent to their present day eight percent, along with the almost complete disappearance of the luug and drider communities.

    Values: In troubled times, the Xulian people have generally responded by emphasising tradition above all else. The Grand Duchy has a strict class-based society, with the nobles at the top, followed by freemen, serfs and a small number of slaves. It is also a patriarchal society, where only men may hold property, or inherit noble titles. Politically, the Grand Duchy is an absolute monarchy, inherited by strict male-only primogeniture. In practice though, the Grand Duke is obligated to take into account the views of the powerful lords who comprise the nobility.

    The other principle that Xule holds dear is free trade. To this day, as long as they respect the laws of the land, citizens from any nation may enter and leave freely, without a tariff or customs officer in sight.

    Military: Being too small to project any significant power, the military of the Grand Duchy is focused on the defence of the realm. A small professional force of sword-wielding city guards is the core of these defences, along with several divisions of longbow men. In times of national need, the state reserves the traditional Auroran right to call upon its ordinary subjects to take up arms and fight for the country.

    Religion: Offerings to Roe, or the Father, are a legal obligation for subjects of the Grand Duchy. Other than that, religion is a heterogeneous affair, with all manner of old gods and figures being worshipped as people wish. One notable example is Maximus, an 8th century Emperor of Aurora who is widely believed to have been apotheosised upon his death. A great exception to this religious freedom is that of Gangari though, who is generally held responsible for the fall of the world. To even speak his name aloud is an offence warranting the death penalty, for fear of awaking him again. If he must be referred to, he is known as the Cursed One, or the King of the Dead Isles.

    Focus: Preserving the old order has been the main historical focus of Xule, and in this it has been more successful than most regions of the former Auroran empire. This has come at a cost though, the serfs and slaves who comprise the majority of society have very little freedom, or chances to improve their prospects.

    Secrets: Little technology of value has been preserved in Xule, even the ancient wonders that once drew admirers from around the globe are crumbling due the techniques required to maintain them being lost. There is however a crypt in the Palace of Nations which is said to hold a secret weapon, to only be brought out if the survival of the Duchy itself is under threat.

    Artefacts: The pride of the Grand Duchy is a spear of lordship, said to have been given to the famous Emperor Maximus by the gods, or perhaps his grandson Aurelius according to some, as a symbol of his divine right to rule. The spear is kept securely locked away in the ducal palace and brought out in public only for the coronation of a new grand duke, along with a staff said to belong to Auroran founder Father Matthias.

    Leader: Some say that a curse was laid on the ruling House of Verde many centuries ago, so that they would only ever number a few. Many scoffed at this superstition, but even they were silenced when on returning from a state visit to the Khaloric Swarm, the ducal ship was struck by a terrible storm and sunk with no survivors. With the Grand Duke and his wife, mother and brothers wiped out, the Ducal Crown descended to his seven year old son Cosimo, his elder sister Valencia the only other surviving dynast. Now the two children must fend for themselves in a political system that does not take kindly to those who interfere in the established order...


    I can see our nations are going to get along swimmingly :-P
    Last edited by The JoJo; 2016-12-05 at 05:07 AM.

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    Default Re: Only Ruins: a Nation Game

    Actually, I kinda wanted to just throw pictures of what my guys look like out there so everyone knows why they're treated like they are by everyone else.

    Not all these races are actually part of my society, and some are extinct... and some aren't intelligent but since the aberrations seem to have some of everything that died, I'd expect to see all of this and more out there, at the very least.

    Drider
    Whiptail
    Arachnomorph
    Blatid
    Galan
    Adorabeetle
    Giant Ant
    Recombinant
    Rainbow Butterfly, butterfly form
    Rainbow Butterfly, human form
    Dustmoth

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    Default Re: Only Ruins: a Nation Game

    Quote Originally Posted by The JoJo View Post
    Here's my sheet, let me know what you think:

    I can see our nations are going to get along swimmingly :-P
    Hey, the Khaloric Swarm only ever had a home or even a Temple because you let Khalorean have it. I knew we'd get along from before the beginning!

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    Default Empire of the Basalt Throne

    We are not friends, not brothers, not family. But we are one people, united by a common cause. This land is devastated, our history is ashes, our old enminities are drying up and blowing away with ruins that they created. We can seek a new life. We can seek a new future. But we have to seek it together. Are you with me?

    Exerpt from Pronouncements from the Basalt Throne, Preface


    Of course we're with you. The only thing we have in common is that if each of us had stayed where we were, we were all going to fracking die.

    Attributed to Mirriam Vine


    A being's spirit is a many splendored beauty, and it is universal. Beneath the skin we all share a single affinity that touches on truth, on beauty, and on practical considerations. It is precisely this shared affinity that will allow us cooperate despite our differences, that will allow us to say that at some level we can understand eachother, that we share values and goals. For the one affinity that we all possess, that we all share, is the ability to lie.

    T'loko in 3rd Sermon, We Should Only eat Foreigners Now


    Nation Name: Empire of the Basalt Throne

    Race: Very mixed, principally Human, but also includes others including even non-humanoid creatures. There is a sizeable colony of Ravens of Gangari, who are considered citzens in their own right.

    Heritage: An Auroran sucessor state, the Confederation shares much of the structure and zeal of the old Auroran Empire, but are united by a very different set of beliefs.

    Territory: The capital is Valthee, a large port city at the base of a large river. The territory claimed spreads mainly upriver, including some fertile land, but also some heavily forested and wasteland areas. Some of the outlying areas are soaked in wild magic, and the resulting twisted ecology and monstrous mutations that arise are a consant issue.

    Spoiler: History
    Show
    The river mouth settlement of Valthee was a natural meeting place, for trade, for news, for mutual protection. The early years were a brutally enforced Pax, whereby laws were few, but all aggressors and troublemakers were killed out of hand. This led in turn to the dominion of Krago the Pirate King, a ruthless Krakari warlord who enfored his rules with summary executions. He kept a Sandcrawler as a pet on a chain, a savage creature that cracked the bones the executed before the crowd, to provoke the necessary fear.

    He was violently overthrown by popular revolt after he declared himself king, and the people feared he was going to set himself up as a feudal lord in the Meretonian style. Specifically he was overthrown by inviting those who had been dwelling outside the settlement, those who had been largely ignored, and not quite part of the community, including the non-human, the monstrous, and the nomadic.

    Then followed the famous 'Hundred Nights', in which discussions about what should replace Krago raged on. It proved almost impossible to settle on a single model that everyone would want to be part of. People gradually returned to normal life, trading, farming, rebuilding, taking care only that those who carried on the debates knew what they wanted. That structure, of informal discussions between various factional groups, eventually became permenant, and a settlement was reached at the end of the Hundred Nights with the crowning of King Tibalt the Occasional, who has ruled to the present day. In practice, however, many of disagreements carry on, and the various factions, while they cooperate, make no pretense at absorbing each other's ways.

    The first military challenge, a conflict with sea-raiders descended from the Raptor States, was initially met with chaos. as the dispirate factions of Valthee struggled to organise themselves. A hasty coalition of human factions, the Valthee Port Authority and nomadic herders, united with the Engineering Corps, a group tasked with rebuilding and construction, to form a nascent army. Outnumbered, and lacking the infrastructure for proper armour, they nonetheless beat back initial raiders and tried to land a small expeditionary force in enemy territory. Despite excellent maneoveres against the enemy, and the hasty construction of small catapults for use as artillery, they were in danger of being wiped out.

    Then the rest of the city arrived. Having finally rationalised the attackers as being the threat of another Krago, they established a broad coalition, converted a great timber raft into a leaky barge, loaded it with everyone who wanted to come, and made straight for the enemy capital. Under the cover of a light storm during the day, followed by an attack at night, they rammed their way through the enemy harbour defences and prompty sank in the harbour. However, what struggled free from the wrekage was inhuman, united in the face of common foe, and very very unhappy. They were led by hideous monsters, carefully cultivated and mutated over many years, that made Krago's old Sandcrawler look like an amusing affectation. With enemy army elsewhere, the town was sacked, and the dead were eaten.

    Meanwhile the expeditionary force, containing the more humanoid forces, now faced an enemy who could see their own homes burning behind them. The humanoids secretly a built the shells of new ships on the beach, and faked a landing of reinforcements, causing the enemy army to flee without a fight.

    The 'Empire' remains an uneasy confederation of those with incompatible ideas, lives and biologies.


    Spoiler: Values & Culture
    Show


    Come to us, breed with us, teach us what you know

    Second draft of the empire message of welcome, intended to attract immigrants and tourists. This version was eventually replaced with the blander Welcome to the Empire! despite the majority of those consulted being unable to find fault with the original text. Ak'Narim's suggestion of We Won't Kill You Without Reason. was rejected as making promises that in practice might be hard to keep.

    The Empire is based around several of the old Auroran structures, except where the Aurorans had castes, they have Factions. Each Faction represents, at base, a job that needs to be done, acting much like guilds in that respect, except that they also are responsbile for the biological mores and cultures of their members. The smaller factions band together with larger ones on a semi-feudal basis, and the larger the faction the more influence they have. The largest factions make decisions not only their own behalf, but on behalf of the Empire, forming an oligarchy.

    The king, sitting on the Basalt Throne wearing a great helm, makes pronouncements to the Empire and to other nations. He and his servants are considered a Faction in their own right, responsible for fashion, pagentry and public events. By tradition the King does not speak, reveal his face, or do much of anything, and having four or five people 'being king' is not unusual. As with all factions, internal organisation is strictly their own affair, and factions may not make decisions on Faction-internal matters.

    Factions range in size from the largest (Imperial Engineering Corps, Valthee Port Authory), to the smallest, (Thousand Temples, The Health), which may consist of two or three people.

    The values of the Empire are what unify the factions into a cohesive whole. First and foremost is the management of the enviroment. The land is the one thing that everyone shares, and those who have a large river quickly learn that what happens upstream does indeed effect downstream. The humans want new agricultural techniques, and grazing land, the Ravens want high perches and reinforcement for the high abandoned towers of previous ages. The sea-farers want wood from the forests, those at the edge of forest want hunting rights, forest-dwellers want minimum disruption, and almost everyone wants more mining. Resolving these competing interests is the primary job of Factions, and consumes most of their time. The basic principle is that there must be some land for every purpose. As a result, some areas of monster-infested wilderness are heavily protected, and slaying of any creature beyond designated food creatures, even dangerous ones trying to eat you, is strictly forbidden.

    Similarly, anyone can join the Empire. The ability to speak intelligebly, and anything beyond very basic reasoning, is not a requirement. Being useful is. As a result there are a small but growing number of residents in the Empire that are not even vaguely humanoid. Dangerous predators are trained, fed, and if necessary, relocated, rather than simply killed. They're seen as a valuable military asset.

    In addition, anyone can change Factions. This makes slavery impossible in practice, and while people may feel trapped by bonds of family, practicality and their saleable skills, they can still move factions if they can find one that will take them.

    Culturally the Empire is quite varied, but have a uniting interest in philosophy. Ideals are what being them together, Ideals were what they were founded on in the Hundred Nights, and Ideals are how they translate practical requirements into action without anyone getting hurt. As such, public debates are popular entertainment and philosophers are held in high regard. Most recently, there has been what is considered to be a renaissance in philosphical thought, based on the teachings of the philosopher T'loko, who preaches tolerance and cooperation based on mutual distrust and dislike (sic).

    As a result, common practice is to be open and honest about your unpalatable beliefs or customs. Telling somone that you find their people tasty, or horrific to look at, is a lot better than keeping quiet and letting them speculate. Polite behaviour is to make clear irreconciable differences up front and then quietly ignore or avoid mentioning them in future.

    Statements are often blunt to point of discomfort. Merchants may reassure people that 'we will extract profit from your ignorance less than the others would'. 'We would be arresed if we killed you' is basic information visitors benefit from knowing. Similarly, the popular greeting 'Hi, we're heavily armed' is intended as reassurance that they are ready to protect themselves and any guests, rather than a threat. As a result people from the Empire have a tragically developed a reputation for being undiplomatic, and those who can manage foreigners consistently well are prized.

    One result of this is a strange form of circumlocution that has grown up within the Empire. People use euphamisms extensively, and many labels make sense only in context. Hence 'Empire' to refer to a Confederation, 'King' to refer to a useful figurehead, and 'Empire of the Basalt Throne', the throne being the thing that supports the King, i.e. the Oligarchical structure of Factions. Border Patrollers are known as 'Spiritual Advisors', after an ancient Auroran belief that those who chose to dwell outside the borders of the state were somehow morally suspect. As such, the Empire can be confusing to outsiders.

    The way resources are allocated to Factions strongly encourages specialisation, leading to the Factions being increasingly interdependent. This leads to small numbers of very specialist military units. The Empire has some excellent warriors in the form of scouts, flying scouts, spies, elite fighters specilasing in particular types of foe, commandos, mystics from the Thousand Temples, and specially trained monsters and wild animals. However, the bulk of the forces are made up of bowmen and light cavelry, drawn from the hunters and herders, and the Imperial Engineers, who do public works and often end up as military engineers simply because they're already used to being mobalised in odd locations. Line infantry are often lacking, and the large elite class that traditionally supports large units of heavy cavelry simply doesn't exist. Heavy armour is rare, but mantlets or screens are very common.

    Thus the typical military set up is archers, light cavelry and animal handlers, screening by scouts, and backed up by mass field artillery. And somewhere between that and the enemy will be a few traps, and several ambushes or counterstike forces made of up small numbers of some very elite troops indeed.


    Spoiler: Religion
    Show
    Religion tends towards the polytheistic. Not being seen as a unifying force, it is largely left up to individuals. A theology is seen as something to avoid. The collected religions of the empire, referred to colloquially as the 'Thousand Temples' vary greatly in size. Grangari-worship is by far the most common, as being both well-known and fairly compatible with the culture of Empire. However, many citizens actively collect new or little-known gods, as they would new philosophies and ways to see the world, and smaller cults abound. Some of the smallest religions can't afford their own dedicated buildings, and share with similar faiths. Others can't afford a priesthood at all, and exist through members meeting in private homes and exchanging notes.

    While a great many old, eldrich and patently horrific deities are openly tolerated, as are religions that do not feature deities as such, open disdain for or apathy towards religion is regarded with some suspicion. Declaring that you support a particular set of faiths is seen as a mark of honour. Everyone is assumed to have some unpalatable opinions, so someone who, for example, will identify with a cult that drinks blood offerings every full moon and believes that shrimp are unholy, is seen as inherently more open and honest than someone who doesn't. The non-theist, by contrast, clearly has practices so foul and depraved, or so patently illogical, that they can't admit to them in public, and needs to be watched carefully. The Valtee Port Authority, after struggling against this tendency for a while, has now taken to hiring out mildly objectionable gods to visitors for a nominal fee. They maintian a large shelf of various obscure deities and fetishes, mainly from primative tribes, to which allegience can be claimed for the duration of your stay.


    Focus: Recent focus has been on developing a lasting political settlment, and boosting agriculture and trade. The Empire is now ready to expand, and appears keen to do so.

    Secrets: Engineering has been rediscovered to an extent unusual in the rest of the world, and a great deal of industrial development and public works are being done on a scale that other nations can't match. In addition the sheer variety of species included in the empire has led to the redevelopment of some obscure technologies, albiet on a very limited scale. What this does mean is that future developments may not be based on anything currently practiced in the wider world, but instead on something very much more alien.

    In addition, the understanding of enviromental engineering, controls and feedbacks is much more highly developed than in the rest of the continent. This also covers some techniques of the ancient genners in suiting creatures and plants to their envrioment, and vice versa, although the actual genner lore itself has largely been lost.

    Spoiler: Artifacts
    Show
    One closely guarded secret is the possession of a artefact known as The Cradle. This ancient mechanism was used by genners in ages past, and may have been behind the creation of some of the races and monsters often attributed to gods. This device is used for a number of purposes, to produce new variaties of crops and trees for growing food. It also gets used to develop exotic foods, based on some of the flora and founa found in wild magic zones, that contain the necessary amounts of wild magic and bizzarre nutrients necessary to keep exotic creatures from those areas alive.

    As well as plants it is also used to develop mutagens and substances that produce genetic alterations. This is used to modify some of the more irrational, stupid, or violent creatures to grant them more intelligence and patience, or to alter their diet. It is to also used develop smart but animalistic creatures into full sentience, and to provide some races and creatures with additional traits, or to radically change their size.

    Finally there are rumours of some very ancient creations that are entirely unable to procreate themselves, being created in ages past as one-off servitors or as limited batches of very longlived beings, never intended to out-live their creators. The power of the Cradle is supposedly being used to enable them to reproduce, and increase their numbers. These creatures are amongst the most loyally devoted to the survival and protection of the Cradle, and it represents a form of hope they can find nowhere else.


    Spoiler: Leader
    Show
    It's hard to pin down a leader in an Oligarchy.

    The person closest is Knarl, an engineer of apparently mixed Yish and Human heritage (something that is normally impossible). He has led the rediscovery of ancient techniques and the blending of sciences from different cultures. It is his social engineering, finding practical techniques for cooperation that really work, that has allowed the bizzarre mix of disperate Factions to form the Empire. His skill as a engineer is legend, and he spend much of his time fixing things and finding solutions, both physically and politically. Some even claim that his abilities bend reality itself, making the impossible possible, but this is typically dismissed as slander.

    If Knarl has a fault, it is that he tends to assume things will work. His approach to Empire building is to provide as much infrastructure and capabilities as possible, and assume that things will work out from there. The rest of the Empire generally proves him right, but it takes remarkable efforts and some dedicated individuals to fulfil his ever rising expectations of what is possible.

    Other notables include:

    T'Loko, this non-human philsopher provides much of the theoretical underpinning for the Empire, providing the principles and understanding that Knarl tends to ignore. His status is something that approaching a living saint, and his writings and teachings are widely disseminated and discussed.

    Mirriam Vale, human, and Harbourmaster for the Valthee Port Authority, running the Nations main port gives her effective authority over most trade and naval matters. She does her best to make foreigners welcome, her brusque manner and almost total lack of a sense of humour serving to disguise the usual misunderstandings. Her hobby is collecting anthropological stories and legends about foreign places, and the large collection of religious statuary (see religeon above) is hers.

    Ak'Narim, this Vishian scholar makes a deep study of genetic manipulation, and runs the Cradle (see artefacts)

    Canarius Stavondarus. Originally a human nomad, this skilled horseman and warrior has been drawn into the intracies of leadership through his superb diplomatic skills. He often acts as a negotiatior, particularly when things are going poorly.
    Last edited by Togo; 2016-11-26 at 10:42 AM.

  26. - Top - End - #26
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Sep 2015

    Default Re: Only Ruins: a Nation Game

    Actually, there is a bit too much lore, and content to your setting for me to build a nation in.
    I withdraw interest.
    Sounds like a setting that would be interesting to RP characters, as opposed to settlements though.

  27. - Top - End - #27
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

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    Default Re: Only Ruins: a Nation Game

    posting interest

  28. - Top - End - #28
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Viirin's Avatar

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    Default Re: Only Ruins: a Nation Game

    Quote Originally Posted by Novabomb View Post
    Actually, there is a bit too much lore, and content to your setting for me to build a nation in.
    I withdraw interest.
    Sounds like a setting that would be interesting to RP characters, as opposed to settlements though.
    Anti-Eagle and I didn't play the first game, but we played the second with Jojo. Jojo played the first one. Anyway, I felt the same way- I was invited to play and didn't know what to do- but Mythopiea was the name of game 2. In that you could be a god or a nation. I was a god, and I think the others did one or the other at different points, somehow.
    Anyway, I've played nation games since, and felt mostly the same way, so how I do it is this: Have a leader. Just use your land and people as you'd use one of your own appendages, and you'll be able to mostly just do whatever you want, roleplay-wise.

    You know, as long as you look at other players' sheets and characters and things and then make yourself at least mostly equal to them.

  29. - Top - End - #29
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Apr 2012

    Default Re: Only Ruins: a Nation Game

    posting interest, faction probably tommorrow

  30. - Top - End - #30
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Only Ruins: a Nation Game

    Fairly interested, reading through the setting now, and I'm wondering if there is anything in those southern deserts? I'm thinking of science/tech focused dwarves or trolls to be honest.

    Edit; Might go for a somewhat changed human race actually, that call themselves that.
    Last edited by Warmatt; 2016-11-24 at 07:23 PM.
    Summer Job has started, and eats a lot of time, particularly on weekends. Replies my be delayed.

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