The Order of the Stick: Utterly Dwarfed
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  1. - Top - End - #31
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    BlackDragon

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    Default Re: Reinventing the Wheel Yet Again

    @Pronounceable:
    I agree with what Dice says, that looks more CE, or at best CN.

    @Dice:
    Those Kung-fu guys could go either into Cannae (my TN Plane) in their own Region of WhupA***, or the Beastlands (my CN Plane) for the personal Challenges.

    Those fU monks could totally work as Exemplars of the Beastlands, along with the more powerful (Bipedal and/or) non-anthroporphic Talking Animals.
    Last edited by Great Dragon; 2019-07-18 at 09:42 AM.
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  2. - Top - End - #32
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Gideon Falcon's Avatar

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    Default Re: Reinventing the Wheel Yet Again

    Quote Originally Posted by Pronounceable View Post
    -snip-

    Devas are floating clumps of geometric shapes made of marble and gold, seemingly connected to each other with halos made of solid light. Their shapes are arrayed to vaguely resemble bodies with variable numbers of limbs and/or heads and all surfaces are covered in extremely fancy decorations; their parts bend and move in ways that are strange and unsettling to mortals. This look has nothing whatsoever to do with Hinduism devas who’re broadly in rather humanish with some extras camp, which was getting old already after being on both muses and devils. Which is why we Bayonetta now (minus the disgusting **** under the shiny façade bit).

    -snip-

    Another thing I’m gonna throw in for no reason other than I wanna is maths. Ok not just for want of a want, I need to make up those ranks somehow and can't steal DnD's (or Bayonetta's for that matter) unfitting names this time. Not to mention mythological names/classifications of devas or dumb transformers jokes just ain’t gonna cut it. Also muses had music and devils had contracts, so we’ve kinda established that lawful exemplars have a thing. And what better thing for beings of unity and order than mathematics? One keg of maths, coming up.

    -snip-

    Retroactively fitting maths into general deva look, those ornate decorations covering deva bodies are actually the mathematical proof of the particular solution that deva was formed of; it’s just etched/carved/gilded in Svargan that no being except devas can read or understand. And whenever a previously unknown solution to the Nave of Chaos is calculated correctly (anywhere, not just Svarga), a new deva(5) forms right there and the ultimate victory of “Law” approaches one step closer. Today’s devas have learned their lesson from the ancient War of Law and Chaos and are not looking for shortcuts to victory, they will do it properly or not at all.

    -snip-
    Dangit, this hits right next to what I was working on for my cosmology's version of Mechanus/LN place/Mathland, and develops it further than I had it- just as I was about to start a thread discussing said cosmology, too. Now I'm gonna be second-guessing myself on whether any developments I make are cribbing from you. Heck, and I had the plane being centered on Math from the start, too!
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  3. - Top - End - #33
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Millstone85's Avatar

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    Default Re: Reinventing the Wheel Yet Again

    I have also tried to reinvent the Wheel several times. The version of the Outer Planes currently on my mind looks like this:


    alternate link to the picture

    First, I would treat Arcadia and Acheron as peaceful and war-ridden regions of Mechanus. The plane reacts to peace by turning everything into life-size models of cities and countrysides, with metallic animals and trees. It reacts to war by creating an endless game of moving life-size battle mats. Either way, everyone is caught in the big machinery.

    I would get rid of Arborea, because I think the Feywild does its job better. Arvandor, home of the main elven pantheon, can move to Ysgard.

    I really like Bytopia for the image of two flat worlds serving as each other's skies. Also, while Dothion is a pastoral landscape with clement weather, Shurrock is an untamed wilderness with violent storms. Because of this:
    • I would get rid of both Elysium and the Beastlands, or treat them as alternate names for Dothion and Shurrock.
    • I would put Bytopia solidly in the Neutral Good spot, where Law and Chaos coexist in mutual goodwill. It might also get the title of Concordant Opposition.
    • I would make it so Celestia can be reached by going through Dothion's underdark (more of an underglow, actually) and Ysgard can similarly be reached from Shurrock.

    I would modify Ysgard so most of it is occupied by the branches of Yggdrasil, the Tree of Worlds, thus somewhat justifying the Y in the plane's name. Also, like Mount Celestia represents ascension toward a single shared ideal, the branches of Yggdrasil would represent the myriad aspirations of individuals. What's more, the roots of Yggdrasil would go through Bytopia and inside Mount Celestia, with gnomish and dwarven tunnels coursing along them. These roots would also take on the role of the twin mountains allowing passage between Dothion and Shurrock.

    On the evil side of the Wheel, I am only really interested in Baator (which, by the way, already exists as a cooler name for the Nine Hells) and the Abyss. But to fill the Neutral Evil spot, I would use the Blood Rift, a plane from third-edition Forgotten Realms. Its main features are the canyons dug by the Styx, aka the River of Blood, and major battlefields of the Blood War. So yes, it is a bloody place. Yugoloths live here, but they only accept mercenary work that is to be done on Baator and in the Abyss, so they can safely respawn on their home plane.

    I would adopt the fourth-edition notion that Baator looks like a planet, with Avernus as its surface. First, it makes Baator surprisingly bizarre among the rest of the Outer Planes. Secondly, I am really amused by the idea that the Styx arrives there as a cascade falling from a stormy hole in the sky (the Styx also reverse-fall back to it). Still in 4e fashion, I would portray the Abyss as a maelstrom above which demon lords maintain their realms.

    Finally, I would leave Limbo as it is.

  4. - Top - End - #34
    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Reinventing the Wheel Yet Again

    Sorry folks, still in the depths of the pit of procrastination made of notDraculascastleTM. But rest assured this thread will not be abandoned before the whole Wheel is done.
    Quote Originally Posted by various posts
    these xian aren't good enough
    Alright. They'll get gooder.
    Quote Originally Posted by Millstone85 View Post
    other neat stuff but Also, like Mount Celestia represents ascension toward a single shared ideal, the branches of Yggdrasil would represent the myriad aspirations of individuals.
    Goddamn it. That's muchos better CGland than Littleprinceia. Pandemonium as the first step of Abyss just got officially ousted as the best contribution of the thread.

    Incorporating that's gonna send a bunch of planes back to the oven but it might actually be worth it. Y'all know what, consider a whole lotta previously posted ideas null. We'll be getting a wholly revamped northeast quadrant. Once I can get out of this damn castle.
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  5. - Top - End - #35
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    BlackDragon

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    Default Re: Reinventing the Wheel Yet Again

    @Pronounceable: good luck with notDraculasCastle !
    I look forward to seeing how you change things, when you return.

    @Millstone85: Very interesting.

    Might you be interested in perusing the things that I have done, with changes to some of the typical Exemplars? Comments and suggestions welcome. While I wouldn't mind playing a character in your Cosmology (especially trying to figure it out IC) - I find my version (Aligned Planes with Demi-Planes within) good enough.

    I believe there's a link to my stuff around here somewhere.
    But, you can always PM me.
    My Knowledge, Understanding, and Opinion on things can be changed
    No offense is intended by anything I post.
    *Limited Playtest Group - I'm mostly Stuck in the White Room.
    *I am learning valuable things, here. So thanks, everyone!

  6. - Top - End - #36
    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Reinventing the Wheel Yet Again

    After a small bit of hiatus, and a very large bit of failing to get something good going with Yggdrassil as CGland, we’re finally back with something unrelated to the northeast quadrant of the Wheel. The best remedy for not getting somewhere is getting somewhere else.

    Therefore this post is aiming at 7 o’clock plane. Remember that it’s a swamp to represent corruption and the most fitting swampy/rotty/evily mythical place was Mayan XIBALBA. Then we put bolontiku as its examplars cos there was no other suitable Mayan critter names according to the totally waterproof academical research I did (on like first five pages of google). Regular DnD puts daemon conquered Gehenna here (which is kinda interesting) without any examplars of its own (which is pathetic). I’m gonna use that as an excuse to model our bolontiku somewhat after DnD daemons, in that they’ll be greedy mercenaries ready to turn on a dime that you still have to recruit for war lest they all join the enemy. Considering how beloved the -loths are, I feel we should have them and/or their equivalents in any sort of Great Wheel.

    Our keywords are greed and corruption. Simply slapping the default -loth merc mentality on our bolontiku is already enough to satisfy one and a half of these keywords. I know, what a coincidence. Since we’re the in the swamp level, imma pick “insect” for bolontiku’s theme (to the surprise of prolly nobody, -loths also had an insect thing going at their lower ranks). Bolontiku are many limbed insectile creatures covered in spikes and shells that vary in size and shape to a far greater extent than previously done lawful examplars. And there’s gonna be ranks and classifications cos they’re lawful, even if that lawfulness is corrupted and perverted by evil until it’s become a mockery of true law (that devils in particular despise).

    In order to become mercenaries that will actually be hired every once in a while, they took a page from their neighbors and learned to do everything by very detailed contracts (because who’d trust the mere word of a fiend?). The only thing bolontiku love more than making contracts and haggling to maximize their payment/work ratio is to break those contracts for even more gain. A bolontiku will never do random evil **** for giggles, every single evil **** they do will be with the aim of enriching/strengthening themselves first, and their kind a distant second. This makes them microscopically trustworthy if you can assure them the most lucrative path is to be loyal to you and bla bla bla. Y’all know this is all basic yugoloth stuff, I didn’t really need this paragraph but I already wrote it, so there.

    Anyway back to bolontiku metaphysiology. As expected, Xibalban examplers feed on greedy and corrupt **** they habitually do, which both explains and determines their traitorous mercenary mindset. Now I know I repeatedly stressed I dislike doing the obvious but sometimes the theme kinda ties your hands. What else am I gonna do here, make bolontiku corporate capitalists? That’s even more obvious. Also there’s no need to pretend we’re not reskinning the -loths so our lot is already set. Also also the more observant reader might’ve caught that these insectile fiends feed off of themselves instead of others of their kind, since obviously when greed is my design cornerstone I can’t have any sort of mutual dependence that detracts from bolontiku’s selfishness.

    Before we go further into these bolontiku, let’s all take a quick look at Xibalba. What’s that thing we see that’s absolutely unique to Mayan underworld? That’s right, the ballcourt! You ain’t gonna find a literal stadium in any other mythical otherworld place. So I MUST get ballgames/sports of some sort here in this Xibalba. This is actually great because **** sports. The “professional” kind, where millions of dollars get thrown around; the entirety of that mother****ery is money laundering for organized crime, big corporations, intelligence agencies and other evil scumbags of real world. So will be a perfect addition for our 7 o’clock plane.

    Stay tuned for the Cambions’ League*! Which will hopefully not be coming after yet another too long pause…
    *not actual title
    Founder of the Fanclub of the (Late) Chief of Cliffport Police Department (He shall live forever in our hearts)
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  7. - Top - End - #37
    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Reinventing the Wheel Yet Again

    After a pause just long enough, we’re picking up from where we left off: Game of Thorns. (told you ^ wasn’t the actual title)

    When a bolontiku acts particularly greedy and evil, he doesn’t just grow stronger; he grows thornier. As they’re big insectile shelled critters, the standard exemplar metaphorical feeding that increases their strength also manifests as tiny thorns growing all over their shells. They’ve made this physical indicator of malevolence into a game for fun and profit, cos what else were they gonna do?

    Taking a small cue from real mythology, these Xibalban exemplars divide themselves into six groups named after things posing most danger to visitors of their plane: Dark House, Mud House, Heavy House, Poison House, Rot House and Vermin House. A bolontiku isn’t inescably bound to his lot, joining or leaving a house is possible but costs thorns, the same ones they grow on their shells and the de facto money of Xibalba. Being a house’s member allows one to join in the Game of Thorns. Once every 36 turns of the Wheel, all bolontiku everywhere drop whatever they’re doing and return to Xibalba to have all their spikes shaved off and counted to prove just how bad they’ve been this last “season”. Then the 12 thorniest members of each house are all dumped in a hexagonal arena, the Grand Xibalban Court, for an extremely complicated ballgame that inevitably turns to killing all players of other teams (since bolontiku have no death penalty and will respawn just fine, this doesn’t particularly bother them). The winning house gets to keep half of all the thorns (to be distributed to its members according to their own individual house rankings), the other houses get lesser shares depending on their scores.
    (You might ask what they even do with these thorns. Eat em up, ofc. When a bolontiku eats a thorn, he grows a thorn. Simple maths.)

    But obviously this is the plane of greed and corruption. There’s all sorts of conflict always going on between houses outside the Game, as each house silently tries to poach the best growers of other houses with bribes and force while keeping their own in line with threats and promises; not to mention the constant buying/selling/trading of lesser members that are mostly attempts at swindling. A house’s score in the Game determines its wealth and prestige (so power) for the next 36 turns of the Wheel, which helps in the keeping and acquiring high scoring bolontiku. These big growers are aware of their value and will turn on a dime and jump ship for better payout whenever they can, only to jump ship again at the slightest provocation. Bolontiku might be creatures of Law, but they don’t have a stick up their mouth (the only suitable hole utilizable for such an idiom on their body) about it like them redskins next door and know to look out for number one. And also obviously every transaction is written down for posterity (or rather for manipulation and forgery). Obviously such trickery is routinely discovered and leads to overt battle between houses.

    In a twist that is not at all a twist, all the double dealings, cheats, coercions and blackmails that happen in the leadup to the Game of Thorns serve to strengthen all bolontiku that participate in such shenanigans above and beyond the regular evil and corrupt **** they do as traitorous mercenaries outside Xibalba.

    This crap should be reminiscent of “professional sports” where players are bought and sold like cattle (albeit for millions), star players do all sorts of harmful and/or illegal **** to improve their performance, teams being scummy and exploitative towards fans and players alike, die hard fans being ****lords in general and other everyday realworld scumbaggery and corruption.

    An astute reader might’ve noticed Heavy House mentioned above and wondering what the hell that is. It’s referring to Xibalba’s uniquely unpleasant gravity. The plane of Xibalba is a swamp (of corruption) covered in mud and filth and poison and what it really likes is to drag everything down to its level. Visitors will be literally brought low and be forced to crawl here; gravity doesn’t just naturally rapidly increase with height (becoming enough to crumple a human body to a pebble at about 3 meters above the ground), it also deliberately increases its hold on taller beings, flyers and levitators. Xibalba appears to despise the idea of anything being above its swamps (aka corruption), creatures that naturally float or fly will plummet to the ground and be utterly unable to take off again, and possibly drown in the mud if they’re too small/weak. Simply walking (aka waddling through the sticky mud and sharp thorny plants) in Xibalba is extremely tiring due to artificial heaviness it imposes, particularly for bipedal critters like humanoids, and sooner or later everyone will be crawling in the mud, where gravity is mild and relaxing and it’s so much easier to make some progress toward one’s destination. Just watch for the thousands of tiny venomous vermin and poisonous spikes and hidden patches of quicksand and sinkholes and slippery mud pits and and and and you get the point.

    Course this doesn’t bother the bolontiku, who all have many insectile limbs to easily crawl, a shell impervious to little vermin bites and plant spikes, are immune to terrible swamp poisons and diseases and don’t need air.

    Lastly the by now traditional nontraditional reproduction: When a bolontiku gets too thorny, its shell breaks from the weight of all those protrusions. If this happens, the bolontiku in question loses half of its essence and a new one forms with that essence. Among its other benefits, the Game of Thorns serves to help prevent this for the majority by regularly having every Xibalban exemplar shave. Not being a house member is also considered dangerous for this, as without the regular call to the Game, a bolontiku having a good time getting ever stronger being an evil ******* on some other plane can easily lose track of his thorns and suddenly go broke. The moral of the phenomenon, at least according to bolontiku, is that Greed itself is greedy and doesn’t want too much of it concentrated in one body.


    OK now that’s another exemplar race done. No human sacrifice going on here cos that’s Aztec. I might be wrong about that but whatevs, all evil exemplars are fiends and would be into human sacrifice anyway, no need to focus on that. We’re now at 7/12 exemplars written(ish), with entire northeast trio in flux. That quadrant is still not sitting right. I might have to give up on CGland Yggdrasil after all, as sky-sea-mountain holy trinity is winning out. Hell if I’m not gonna make the Tree about many aspirations tho.
    Other than that there’s 11 and 5 o’clocks left completely untouched. And after those it’ll be time for the cardinal planes.
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    CATNIP FOR THE CAT GOD! MILK FOR THE MILK BOWL!
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  8. - Top - End - #38
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Gideon Falcon's Avatar

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    Default Re: Reinventing the Wheel Yet Again

    Really enjoying this project, Pronounceable, and how you're tying the concepts of the planes into both the terrain, physics and biology of everything. I've got a similar project over in this thread, though I think I'm having even more trouble than you- the big thing is that I'm basing it more on concepts you could build a magic system out of instead of alignment, and some of them I don't know how to tweak the physics for in a suitable bizarre way. Obviously you're busy with your own project (and whatever life stuff gets in the way), but if you ever feel so inclined, I would love to see what you make of it.
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