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    Default World Building Exercise - Cataclysm of Green

    Premise: The premise of this thread is to provide an exercise in world building, in terms of building cultures, relations, organizations, etc. around a given set of rules and basic setting. The aim of this exercise is to create the framework for a single world, contributers are encouraged to make various suggestions and discuss the plausibly and attraction of those suggestions, however as the director of this exercise, I reserve the right to make a final decision on any topic to keep it moving.

    General Rules: The world will be built based on suggestions from various contributers which will be fully explored and developed through discussion or privately on the contributor's part. After which the suggestions will be combined and a vote shall determine which suggestion will be added to the project. The elements to be built will be outlined in the setting rules. All suggestions must be plausible within the limits of the setting basics such as the amount of magic, planar influences and already determined content. Be courteous and respect others views and contributions and ultimately, have fun!
    [hr]
    Cataclysm of Green
    Setting basics: The Cataclysm of Green (CoG) setting is based in a smallish world consisting of a single continent and possibly a number of islands. The terrain is not limited beyond real-world examples (no lava lakes, floating islands, etc.) except as follows. The world has had a long history, though a major cataclysm of unknown effects and origin halted the former civilization. This period before the cataclysm shall be referred to as pre-Green while the time afterwards is known as the Green. The current time is a few thousands of years after the cataclysm. In the pre-Green period, civilization had reached its height just before the cataclysm, embodied in a world-spanning empire of splendor. The empire grew to enormous proportions, enveloping 80% of the landmass in a single city. The cataclysm destroyed that civilization. The city has been reclaimed by a massive jungle, meshing an ancient urban landscape with that of a wild jungle. The survivors of the cataclysm were thrown back into a dark age, forgetting all knowledge and history, except what they could learn from the remaining structures. Thus, each race/group had to start over and their culture and society is influenced by the behemoth structures and wonders that surround them. Magic is live, but is more wild, there are few wizards and those few learn only from the ancient structures and artifacts.

    To be developed:
    • Each culture (does not have to be separated by race)
    • Special locations and the effects on the cultures (such as creating new ones)
    • Artifacts
    • Underdark or the equivalent
    • Wild areas
    • Civilized areas.
    • Prominent monsters and their responses to the civilization both old and new

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    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: World Building Exercise - Cataclysm of Green

    Cataclysm of Green
    Cities and Settlements
    Dwarves
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    Waves of sand had turned the day into night, shifting entire 300ft dunes miles away. But now all was quiet, the moon rose high in the sky and the sand once again rumbled, but this time from underneath. Suddenly as many as four dozen enormous beetles rose from under the sand, many harnessed to even larger domes made of beetle carapaces and glass. The colony rose out of the sand and just as suddenly settled down. Doors opened from the wagon-domes and short, stout men emerged, wrapped head-to-toe is coarse white cloth with goggles covering their eyes. They walked clumsily, though with unnatural ease of the sand, their large flat feet were perfect for walking over the shifting and loose sand. The some figures fed and cared for their beetle-beasts while small groups of dozen or so wondered off in a random direction, lead by a figure wielding a strange staff with a flaming tip. After wandering for awhile, the lead figure halted and slammed the staff, blunt-end first, into the sand, sending it flying and creating a great hole. The followers scampered down and filled many bags with the sand below as well as collecting a variety of strange buried artifacts they found.

    Personality: Dwarves are a gruff and slightly barbaric race of people. They are notoriously quiet and keep to themselves, choosing only to interact with others while trading. When amongst their own, they hold a strong allegiance to their clan, caring for the young and elderly as a group. These nomadic people are heavily devoted to their sacred beasts or burden, the glassbeetle who pull their homes and after death, donate their carapaces to the construction of new homes and their meat is served in memory of their servitude and reverence. The dwarves see no wrong in what many see as cannibalism, to them it is the ultimate sign of respect and service to one's clan, to feed the clan as their final act. Just as their beetles are consumed as their funeral, those who die an honorable death are consumed by the clan, the worst punishment of all is to be buried in the unforgiving sand, forever held to this world by its grip. This is the fate of the dishonorable.

    Physical Description: When outside in the sand, dwarves resemble short, fat humanoids clothed completely in a coarse white cloth and eyes covered with goggles. However, once inside the dwarves strip themselves of this outer covering, revealing thick, black hair on head, chin and lip. The dwarves never cut their hair, but rather keep their head-hair wrapped in a turban and beards worn like scarves. Their skin is light brown in color and eyes are usually dark and large. Though they do seem to be rather stout, they are usually well-muscled and built for endurance, perfect for wondering the desert for days without food or water. Few dwarves have any fat on them, their is just not enough food. It is not uncommon for a dwarven clan to go without food for up to three days.

    Relations: Dwarves keep to themselves, hardly even contacting other clans except to trade brides and goods. However, they have some contact with Gnorks near the border of the grasslands and jungle. Some times they trade, but just as often they fight. Many times neither side knows which it will be and with the Gnorks' short tempers and the Dwarves' stubborn nature, fights break out quite often.

    Religion: Dwarves do not have a deity in particular that they worship as a race, however, they do worship the winds and their ancestors, believing that they are living inside those who partook in the Releasing Feast. In addition to eating their dead, dwarves use the skeletons of their dead to fashion tools and heirlooms. Dwarven ritual implements are often carved out of thighbones, and skulls make a handy goblet. Fingerbones are carved into dice, and most dwarves have a belt knife made from the mandible of a glassbeetle. (The molted shells of glassbeetles may be melted down and sold, but the shell that the beetle died in must be used. Unused portions of bone and broken or worn out implements are disposed of during the Ritual of Releasing, during which the dwarves make a large bonfire (often the only fire of the year) to burn remains, have a feast, and remember the dead.

    Dwarven Lands: The dwarves live exclusively in the deserts, roaming the sands and dry earth endlessly. The dwarves claim only the deserts in general since their are nomadic in nature, they see no value in ownership of land. The see the sands and earth as worthless and unforgiving, just as the dwarves are. The only value lies in the worms, beetles, and precious minerals found throughout the deserts which drive them ever onward. The dwarves mine the sands and earth for a special sand to make the best glass and iron as well as ancient artifacts to trade to the eager Gnorks, though some are kept as trinkets or tools though most dwarves are ignorant of such technologies and magics.

    Dwarven Racial Traits:
    • Medium Humanoid
    • +2 Con, -2 Cha: Dwarves are have great endurance to survive the desert, but are stubborn, isolated and ignorant of inborn magic.
    • Base Land Speed: 20ft
    • Superior Low-Light Vision: A dwarf has excellent night vision and is able to see 4 times as far as normal humans in shadowy and dim light.
    • Stability: Dwarves have an excellent sense of balance and gain a +4 bonus on checks to avoid being Bull Rushed or Tripped while standing on the ground.
    • Flat Footed: A dwarf's feet are large and flat, making it easier to walk on the sand. A dwarf may ignore terrain penalties due to sand, loose rubble and other desert conditions.
    • Desert Miner: Dwarves spend their lives searching for glass and raw minerals and thus gain a +2 Racial bonus on Appraise checks for glass, sand and other raw minerals as well as Profession (Miner), Craft (Glass), and Survival checks.
    • Desert Endurance: A dwarf has lived his entire life in the scorching heat of the desert and gains a +4 Racial bonus on Fortitude saves to resist the effects of hot weather exposure and may ignore penalties due to heavy clothing such as light armor. Additionally, a dwarf may go 2 days + (Constitution score) hours before beginning to experience the ill effects of thirst and starvation.
    • Magical Resistance: Just as dwarves are ignorant of inborn magic, they are naturally more resistant to it. A dwarf gains a +2 Racial bonus on saves vs. spells and spell-like effects.
    • Favored Class: Barbarian


    Glassbeetles
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    Glassbeetle
    Size/Type: Large Vermin
    Hit Dice: 3d8+6 (19 hp)
    Initiative: +1
    Speed: 30 ft. / 10 ft. (Sandswim)
    Armor Class: 16 (-1 size, +1 Dex, +6 natural), touch 10, flat-footed 15
    Base Attack/Grapple: +2/+9
    Attack: Bite -1 melee (1d8+1)
    Full Attack: Bite -1 melee (1d8+1)
    Space/Reach: 10 ft./5 ft.
    Special Attacks:
    Special Qualities: Darkvision, Vermin traits
    Saves: Fort +5, Ref +4, Will +2
    Abilities: Str 16, Dex 13, Con 15, Int 2, Wis 12, Cha 6
    Skills: Listen +4, Spot +4
    Feats: Endurance, Improved Natural Attack(Bite)
    Environment: Desert
    Organization: Domesticated
    Challenge Rating: 1
    Advancement:
    Level Adjustment:

    War Glassbeetle
    Size/Type: Large Vermin
    Hit Dice: 4d8+12 (30 hp)
    Initiative: +1
    Speed: 30 ft. / 10 ft. (Sandswim)
    Armor Class: 17 (-1 size, +1 Dex, +7 natural), touch 10, flat-footed 16
    Base Attack/Grapple: +3/+11
    Attack: Bite +6 melee (1d8+4)
    Full Attack: Bite +6 melee (1d8+4)
    Space/Reach: 10 ft./5 ft.
    Special Attacks:
    Special Qualities: Darkvision, Vermin traits
    Saves: Fort +5, Ref +4, Will +2
    Abilities: Str 18, Dex 13, Con 17, Int 2, Wis 13, Cha 6
    Skills: Listen +5, Spot +4
    Feats: Endurance, Improved Natural Attack(Bite)
    Environment: Desert
    Organization: Domesticated
    Challenge Rating: 2
    Advancement:
    Level Adjustment:

    A glassbeetle is a large beetle, resembling a scarab, with a crystal clear outer shell made of glass. The inside of the shell is coated with a white membrane to reflect much of the desert heat. Glassbeetles are used as mounts and beasts of burden by the Desert Dwarves.

    A glassbeetle must ingest large amounts of sand to survive; the sand is used to grind the beetle's food, and its digestive system extracts silica to make it's glass shell. It is possible for a beetle to subsist on pulped food; however, without sand in its diet, it will die when next it molts. It will not be able to make a shell capable of sustaining its own weight.

    Molted glassbeetle shells are used by the dwarves in their various glassworks; the shell is glass of unsurpassed clarity. It is possible to tint a glassbeetle's shell by feeding it large quantities of certain mineral sands shortly before it molts; some of the resulting hues are impossible through mundane glasswork.


    Halflings
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    Saz stretched his arms into the sky, feeling the cool wind blow the sweat off his body. He stood for awhile feeling so free until a sticky tongue lapped his face. "Alright Clover, lets go home." Saz adjusted the saddle on the large lizard-dog and made sure his quarry was secure before climbing on and allowing Clover to take them home. With a happy bark, the tych jumped down from the high branch and glided down to a great tree hundreds of feet away. Immediately after landing she dashed down the great trunk, over branches and made a few more leaping glides. At last the hunter and his companion returned to their village high in the trees. The small man jumped down as the villagers gathered to unload the tych, gasping at the fine quality of the hunter's prey; hundreds of beautiful blood-berries picked from right under the nose of the vicious blood-flower.

    Personality: Halflings are a happy, carefree bunch. They are very social and enjoy the world around them. Though they live in isolated villages throughout the interior of the great forests, they regularly gather for great feasts of blood-berries, scarfruit, and other produce of the carnivorous plants that make up their world. Halfling society is very communal-based, though family is important. The leaders are selected for their social skills and intellect, though the brave hunters are more respected.

    Physical Description: Halflings are small folk, the largest growing to only 4 1/2 feet tall. They wear clothing woven from plant fibers and decorated with many leaves and flowers. Their skin is usually a dark brown to black with short, curly black hair and dark eyes. However, they normally decorate their faces with paints and dyes in a variety of mask-like designs which each hold different meaning.

    Relations: Halflings try to get along with others and do have good relationships with nearby human and gnork settlements, though they are constantly at war with the nesters. Due to infractions long since forgotten that occurred during the pre-Green years, the nesters have never forgiven the halflings and attack whenever able. While the nesters are merciless and savage in their war with the halflings, the halflings themselves are not entirely innocent. Many times their hunters raid nester settlements, slaughtering the women and children to "prevent future attacks" though it never works that way.

    Religion: Unlike most other groups, the halflings revere a number of gods and many are very religious. Village leaders are commonly priests to the nine gods: Tyif - the home, Ae - the light, Acg - the provider, Ajz - the healer, Vish - the protector, Ogi - the destroyer, Tcipf - the lover, Uhp - the luck-giver, Olck - the thief. No halfling chooses one god over another, rather they pray to whichever is more appropriate. Most prays are for blessings and thanks, though some are for appeasement, usually from Olck and Ogi. Halfling priests pray to each god once per day at a specific time as determined by their nature: Olck an hour before dawn, Vish at dawn, Ajz an hour after dawn, Tyif an hour before noon, Ae at noon, Acg at an hour after noon, Uhp an hour before dusk, Tcipf at dusk, and Ogi an hour after dusk. It is said that these times are when the god is listening and one cannot pray except at that time. However, hunters usually pray to Acg and Vish when they need to.

    Halfling Lands: Halflings live exclusively in the heart of the ancient city amongst the trees. They inhabit the upper regions of the trees with villages built amongst the branches. Walkways are constructed out of vines and stiffened leaves and houses are no more than roofs of leaves with thin paper-like walls for private areas, but are otherwise open. Because of their lifestyle, the halflings usually control large areas around their villages since their hunters must range very far to find sufficient food. Though halflings pick trees which can support small farms, the food produced within the village is only to supplement what the hunters bring in.

    Halfling Racial Traits:
    • Small Humanoid
    • +2 Dex, -2 Str: Halflings are very agile and dexterous, though their smaller frames make them proportionally weaker.
    • Base Land Speed: 20ft
    • Athletic: A halfling's life amongst the trees grants them a +4 racial bonus to Climb and Jump checks. Additionally, a halfling may use his dexterity modifier on Climb and Jump checks instead of his strength.
    • Innate Stealth: Due to a halflings innate stealth and perception they gain a +2 racial bonus to Move Silently and Listen checks.
    • Marksmen: Halflings are natural marksmen, the gain a +1 bonus on all ranged attack rolls.
    • Poison Resistance: Halflings frequently come into contact with various poisons, granting them a +4 racial bonus on all saves vs. poisons.
    • Poison Use: Halflings are used to dealing with poisons and are never at risk of accidentally poisoning themselves.
    • Favored Class: Rogue


    Ptychine
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    An average Ptychine is a little more than three feet tall at the shoulder, and its scaly skin is covered in green to brown spots on a slightly darker background.

    Ptychine
    Size/Type: Medium Magical Beast
    Hit Dice: 4d10+ ( hp)
    Initiative: +3
    Speed: 40 ft., Climb 40 ft. (8 squares)
    Armor Class: 16 (+3 Dex, +3 natural), touch 13, flat-footed 13
    Base Attack/Grapple: +4/+12
    Attack: Bite +8 melee (1d6+4)
    Full Attack: Bite +8 melee (1d6+4)
    Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft.
    Special Attacks: None
    Special Qualities: Darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision, Glide, Feather Fall at will
    Saves: Fort +5, Ref +9, Will +3
    Abilities: Str 18, Dex 16, Con 12, Int 3, Wis 14, Cha 10
    Skills: Climb +8, Hide +6, Move Silently +6, Swim +6
    Feats: Lightning Reflexes, Improved Grapple
    Environment: Jungle
    Organization: Solitary, pair (One Tych and a Halfling companion), bunch (5-12)
    Challenge Rating: 2
    Alignment: Neutral
    Advancement: 5-6 HD (Medium); 7-12 HD (Large)
    Level Adjustment: +1 (cohort)

    Combat
    Tychs typically avoid combat unless cornered. If there is no escape possible, they will usually attempt to start a grapple and roll of the side of a branch. While in mid-fall, they break the grapple and glide to safety, leaving there foes plunging toward the ground.

    Glide (Ex): By stretching the flap of skin between their limbs, Ptychines can glide short distances. They can glide 30 ft in a round, however, must launch themselves off of an elevated surface, and descend 10 feet for every 30 feet they glide.


    Gatelings
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    Personality: Gatelings are the most civilized of the goblin races. Each gateling enclave is a community of thirty to forty adult goblins with approximately the same number of children. The enclave itself is a series of huts located just inside an entrance to the undercity, with gardens and a few domesticated animals tended just outside. Most enclaves also maintain a compound much deeper into the undercity to which they can retreat if threatened. Gatelings maintain the goblins' ancient pact with the worgs; in general an enclave will be allied with a local worg pack, a member of which accompanies any gateling who heads into the undercity or across the surface.

    Gatelings style themselves as guides to the undercity, and they do know the local undercity rather well. Each enclave maintains a map, which is kept hidden, as it represents the enclave's livelihood. It is only brought out when new tunnels are to be added and to train a new guide. More experienced guides have the map memorized. A Gateling community so values its map, it would sooner destroy it than have it leave their hands, and they will go to war to retrieve it.

    Expeditions into uncharted territories carry vials of pungent, aromatic oils to mark their trail; in this way, a lost gateling's worg companion can find their way back, and a rescue party can follow to see what happened to the explorer. Enclaves maintain a garden of herbs to prepare these pungent oils; because the oils take a long time to fade, gatelings only make a few exploratory expeditions each year.

    Physical Description: a gateling appears as a goblin, but much better dressed. They wear leather shorts, shirts festooned with pockets, and well-made gloves. When outside the enclave, each gateling is always accompanied by a worg, and carries torches, rope, and some kind of weapon.

    Relations: Gatelings are quite civil, for goblins. The guides can all speak common, though peppered with some unique slang. Periodically, a guide will make a circuit of the nearby communities, just to remind them of the gatelings presence, and to show off the kind of treasures that can be found in the undercity in an attempt to drum up business. Gatelings take just about anything in trade, however, a new pungent herb for their oil garden is better currency than gold.

    Gatelings maintain an ancient grudge against halflings, dating back to before the Growth. The development of 'trychs put goblin worg-handlers out of business overnight. These days, a halfling who goes into the undercity with a gateling guide may never be heard from again.

    Religeon: Most gateling enclaves worship their own, unique gods. A few, however, have had contact with kobold fiefdoms, and chose to worship the sleeping dragons instead. These communities may establish trade with the kobolds, and serve as middlemen providing metal to the surface.

    Gateling Lands: Gateling enclaves lay claim to small patches of the surface outside of their enclaves, and to all of the undercity that they have explored. They do, however, make a point of not exploring parts of the undercity claimed by kobolds or other parties.

    Gateling Racial Traits:
    • Small Humanoid (Goblinoid)
    • -2 Strength, +2 Dexterity, -2 Charisma
    • Small Size: +1 bonus to Armor Class, +1 bonus on attack rolls, +4 bonus on Hide checks, -4 penalty on grapple checks, lifting and carrying limits ¾ those of Medium characters.
    • Base Land Speed: 30ft
    • Darkvision: 60 ft.
    • Undercity Guide: Gatelings have a +4 racial bonus on Move Silently and Ride checks.
    • Favored Class: Rogue



    Gnorks, Orcs, and Gnomes
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    Personality: Gnork societies organize into squads: an extended family group that tends to live together in it's own group of houses and care for its own patch of land. Four to fifteen squads will generally ally into a larger group known as a clan. The clan is ruled by a council of six individuals powerful in magic, combat, and knowledge, two leaders representing each: The Wars, the Wierds, and the Wise. Generally, the Wars will be orcish, the Wise gnomish, and the Wierds Gnorks or Gnomes. Membership on this ruling council is based on merit; when a leader dies, or a credible challenge is issued, a contest is held in front of the clan. The rules can vary, as long as the contest proves worthiness in the appropriate attribute and is agreeable to both participants. Generally, the Wars will hold a tourament or battle royale, the Wierds will put on a pyrotechnic show, and the Wise will predict one treasure to be found and one tragedy to befall the clan before years end (It's generally assumed that if you can fake these, you must be pretty wise anyway).

    Gnork society is agricultural. Gnomes tend to take care of much of the farming and upkeep of farm equipment and beasts of burden; Orcs perform heavy labor and keep up the clan's defenses, and Gnorks tend to be hunters (The occasional sorceror focuses on becoming a Wierd, instead)

    Physical Description (Gnome): Gnomes wear well-made, earth-toned clothing. Their best suit of clothes is usually heavily embroidered with blue and white thread. Most gnomes are well-tanned, with fair hair and light blue eyes. They are often engaged in farming, and most carry a belt or bandolier with a few tools on it.

    Physical Description (Orc): Orcs tend towards leather clothing, usually a leather vest (left open to display any scars they may have attained) and simple loincloth. Orcs who aren't currently working or are preparing for a fight often wear light armor instead. Their armor usually has a leering face painted on it in bright, garish colors.

    Physical Description (Gnork): Gnorks are a halfbreed race that sometimes results from the mixing of orc and gnome blood (as often as not, the offspring of such a pairing is a full orc or gnome). Their skin is usually a light green, and their ears are pointed. Their hair and eye color covers the regular human range. A Gnork stands about 4'6" to 5' tall, and resembles a well built human. Gnorks favor soft leather clothing, with an array of pockets.

    Relations: Gnorks are quite open to trade; and delight at the company of a friendly traveler. Unfamiliar stories will buy you room and board, and the right secret (whether how to make alchemists fire, the password to buy steel items from a kobold fief, where an old wizard lives, or even just an old book of recipes) can get you in the elder's good graces. Gnork communities don't have much to trade apart from leather, lumber, and food, but all of that is good quality. They'll take seeds, trinkets and currency in trade.

    Religeon: Three races, three councils, three gods.

    Adas, goddess of fertility and the harvest, is depicted as a pregnant woman sitting cross-legged. Gnorkish homes contain an altar to Adas (or a small brass idol if they can get one). An ear of corn is left to dry on the altar or in the lap of the idol for the whole year. Adas' festival is at harvest time; the whole clan gathers for a bonfire, and the corn is popped on the cob.

    Achoch, a guardian diety, is depicted as a one-eyed orcish warrior. A depiction of him is carved or painted on the doorframe (so that it is hidden when the door is shut) of each home; that he can examine anyone who might threaten the family. His festival is on the winter solstice. From dusk until dawn on the longest night of the year, the man of each house covers his left eye, and sits in the doorway of his home with a weapon across his knees. This is to give Achoch the night off, in thanks for his vigilance the rest of the year.

    Atavas, secret keeper, is depicted as a man with a quarterstaff. His face left blank. A relief of Atavas is carved into a tree beside each entrance to the clan's territory. Hunters rub the face of one of these effigies in prayer that he will show them the hiding place of their prey before a hunt; when returning from a successful hunt they make a tally-mark in blood on the tree. Atavas' festival is the spring solstice; every light in the village is extinguished from dusk till dawn, and guessing games are played.

    Gnork Lands: Gnorks live in cleared sections of rainforest or grassland. There is usually a river or network of streams running through the cleared area, and they have cleared dirt roads for easy travel between squads, and perhaps friendly neighbors.

    Gnome Racial Traits
    • Small Humanoid
    • Base Land Speed: 20ft
    • +2 Constitution, -2 Strength: Gnomes are hardy, but physically weak.
    • Low-light vision: Gnomes can see twice as far as normal in dim light. Low-light vision is color vision. A spellcaster with low-light vision can read a scroll as long as even the tiniest candle flame is next to her as a source of light.
    • Illusion Affinity: +2 racial bonus on saving throws against illusions. Add +1 to the Difficulty Class for all saving throws against illusion spells cast by gnomes. This adjustment stacks with those from similar effects, such as the Spell Focus feat.
    • Targeted training:+1 racial bonus on attack rolls against kobolds and goblinoids (including goblins, hobgoblins, and bugbears) and a +4 dodge bonus to Armor Class against creatures of the giant type (such as ogres, trolls, and hill giants). (I dunno about this one)
    • Keen Senses: +2 racial bonus on Listen and Craft: Alchemy checks.
    • Spell-Like Abilities: 1/day—speak with animals (burrowing mammal only, duration 1 minute). A gnome with a Charisma score of at least 10 also has the following spell-like abilities: 1/day—dancing lights, ghost sound, prestidigitation. Caster level 1st; save DC 10 + gnome’s Cha modifier + spell level.
    • Favored Class: Bard


    Gnork Racial Traits
    • Medium Humanoid
    • Base Land Speed: 30ft
    • +2 Str, +2 Dex, -4 Wis: Gnorks are tough and agile, but extremely short-tempered and often times irrational.
    • Darkvision: Gnorks have the ability to see in the dark despite the lack of any light. They have 60ft darkvision.
    • Athletic: Gnorks are very athletic and often climb, leap and dash through the jungles with ease. A gnork gains a +2 racial bonus to all Jump and Climb checks as well as a +4 bonus to Use Rope checks to swing across a gap.
    • Natural Magic: All gnorks are born with the innate ability to use wild magic. A gnork with a Charisma score of at least 10 also has the following spell-like abilities: Prestidigitation and Detect Magic each once per day per hit die. Additionally, a gnork Druid or Ranger may use his charisma score instead of wisdom for spellcasting.
    • Favored Class: Ranger


    Orc Racial Traits
    • Medium Humanoid
    • Base Land Speed: 30ft
    • +4 Strength, -2 Intelligence, -2 Wisdom, -2 Charisma: Orcs are strong, and that's about all they have going for them.
    • Darkvision: Orcs have the ability to see in the dark despite the lack of any light. They have 60ft darkvision.
    • Light Sensitivity: Orcs are dazzled in bright sunlight or within the radius of a daylight spell. (I think this should be removed for these orcs, what with living above-ground and all.)
    • Favored Class: Barbarian



    Kobolds
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    Worker Kobolds
    Personality They are generally fidgety and paranoid, always looking around thee area for something important or dangerous. They view craft and artifice as the best way to judge a peer, this had lead to walking into one of their dwellings without a guide both impossible and painful.
    Physical description They are generally between three and four feet tall, and have small dirty brown scales that blend in well with mud.
    Culture They spend almost all their time mining or digging new tunnels and it is not always clear which. All their free time is spent building or upgrading traps and fortifications in their homes. They generally live in communal dwellings full of small tunnels.
    Joining the Military is a good way to get ahead as if you do anything noticeable useful the Royals are likely to make you sole ternate of an area of land, meaning you can just take some of the surplus off those working under you. In the military they generally fight as ambushers or ranged support, using dex or con poisoned hand crossbows.
    Religion They reverently worship the local dragon as a "sleeping god" and view the Royals god-blooded stewards.
    Kobold Lands They generally live in the side tunnels and pathways of the kobold citadels, the ghettos if you will. The kobold empire covers thousand of miles underground and is almost all covered in tunnels such as the ones they live and work in.
    Kobold Worker Caste:
    Small Humanoid (dragonblood)
    -4 Str, +2 Dex, -2 Con
    Base Land Speed: 30ft
    Darkvision: 60ft
    Natural Armor +1
    Craft (trapmaking) always in-class
    Natural Weapons: 2 claws (1d3) & 1 bite (1d3).
    Automatic proficiency with Light & Heavy Picks.
    Weapon Familiarity: Greatpick is considered a Martial Weapon.
    Crafty: +4 Racial bonus on Craft(trapmaking), Profession(miner), and Search checks.
    Light Sensitivity: 1 to Attack rolls, Spot checks, and Search checks in bright light
    Warrior Caste
    Personality Generally aloof and honourable, They are loyal to a fault to their masters. They view the warriors in their Company as family. They talk as little as possible to non-kobolds.
    Physical description They are between five and a half and six in a half feet tall, They have dull green scales except for a large crest on there head, which is polished until it's reflective and tatted a colour denoting the warriors rank.
    Culture The colour of the warriors crest is the most important part of their body. It can be anywhere from simply polished green(trainee) to bright Green(foot soldier) to blue(an officer equivalent to a sergeant or captain) to bright yellow(commander) to purple(Head of that states military) to, through the use of a strange and mystical treatment by the Royals, Clear and filled with Prismatic colours(Royal honker guard). They live very much in a police state, with every infraction is punished.
    Religion see above
    Lands They live in massive citadels and complexes that dot the land and serve as strongpoint.
    Kobold Warrior Caste:
    Medium Humanoid (dragonblood)
    +2 Con, -2 Int
    Base Land Speed: 30ft
    Darkvision: 60ft
    Natural Armor +2
    Automatic proficiency Warrior kobolds are automatically proficient with Ramseur’s.
    Weapon Familiarity: The Awl pike is considered a Martial Weapon.
    War-like: +4 racial bonus to Intimidate and Knowledge (tactics) checks.
    Light Sensitivity: 1 to Attack rolls, Spot checks, and Search checks in bright light
    Royals
    Personality with a strong commanding presence, these kobolds are generally aloof and arrogant, although they are quite good at hiding it. They are quite intelligent and good at manipulating people, this may come from anyone not being able to read the surface thoughts of a dragon being killed, They are quite good a maintaining the illusion of godliness they project. The rare sorcerer is almost always actually likeable and adept at getting people who didn't know him a week ago to become friends.
    Physical description Between four and five feet tall, they have scales that are a dull version of their dragons, with sorcerers beings noticeably more vibrant.
    Culture They are at heart, a somewhat lopsided meritocracy, with the more powerful ones being able to pierce deeper into the dragons mind and thus having more power, and the sorcerers literally being able to call anyone who disagrees with them a demon in human flesh. Most don't as they're not idiots, but still....
    Religion see above
    Lands The dragonholds and most important fortresses are filled with arcane libraries and palaces where the Royals enjoy whatever comforts the wish as the most powerful and the prophets govern everything
    Kobold Royal Caste:
    Small Humanoid (dragonblood)
    -4 Str, +2 Dex, -2 Con, +2 Cha
    Base Land Speed: 30ft
    Darkvision: 60ft
    Magical Aptitude: +4 racial bonus on Spellcraft, Knowledge (arcana) and Use Magic Device checks.
    Light Sensitivity: 1 to Attack rolls, Spot checks, and Search checks in bright light
    Energy Breath: A royal kobold may use Acid Splash as a spell-like ability except with the element of their ancestral dragon at will but must wait 1d4+1 rounds betw
    each use.
    Kobold Society
    The kobolds control pretty much the entire sewer system and have branched off thousand of miles of tunnels from it. The Main roads are Sewers that have been dammed and massive roads where all the smaller tunnels branch off. The Areas are modeled in such a way so that anything not populated is sheer rock, depleted mines are turned into residences and collapsed tunnels are redug. The only thing you can tell the difference between is mines, suburbs, fortresses and “Dragonholds”. The Empire is ruled by The Royal cast from each Dragonhold, who in turn owe allegiance (paid in lip service) to the strongest, the protection for the world only know Prismatic dragon.


    Nesters
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    At your approach, the foliage of the tree shakes. You can see a dozen pairs of eyes staring at you from between the leaves, as apparently wordless chattering and shrieks drown out your thoughts. Then, the voices go silent. A single goblin descends the trunk of the tree, mounted on a huge, squirrel-like creature. It would be cute if not for the red eyes and fangs. The goblin is clad in a tattered loincloth with fur still on it, and clutching a stone-headed spear. "MUDFOOT!" It growls. "This is ourr trree. You leave now!" With these words, the shrieking resumes, and you are pelted with a few... objects.

    Personality: Nesters are savage and easily excited. They form into loose troupes, which are composed mainly of one family. Each troupe is lead by a dominant male; who maintains his position through posturing and successful leadership. A troupe of Nesters is often allied with a family of Tree Wolves, colloquially called Squolves (Squirrel-wolves). They are used as mounts for the leader and other dominant males. Pregnant and nursing women stay at home; the rest of the tribe must provide for itself during the troupe's daily foraging. Nesters believe that setting foot on the ground makes one permanently unclean; it is rare for a nester to approach nearer than 20 feet to the ground. One that does set foot on the ground is forever shunned by their troupe; most simply find another and never mention the incident. Nesters are scavengers and foragers; the troupe forages in a single group with only obviously pregnant females and new mothers left at home. They employ snare traps, but never hunt. A spear or arrow, or the body of prey that falls to earth cannot be retrieved, and thus hunting is more effort than it's worth. They do, however, set snares for the creatures that live in the canopy. Nesters live in aggregations of leaves and sticks that resemble a squirrel's nest, or occasionally in the upper floors of a very tall building.

    Physical Description: a Nester is physically very similar to a goblin. They tend to be clad in stitched-together, uncured pelts of small mammals or reptiles. Most foragers wield a weapon; stone knives and axes are common, as are hardwood spears. A metal weapon is a huge sign of status in Nester opinion.

    Relations: Nesters are very protective of their territory, and jealous of any choice trees in possession of their neighbors. Thus, the base state of a troupe of Nesters is a sort of low-grade warfare. A Nester caught alone by a rival troupe is likely to be killed, and a tree on the border between two territories may be the site of daily screaming matches. Nesters may be a little more articulate with non-nester invaders; if a member of the tribe knows common he may attempt to warn them off. On the rare occasions a Nester has something to trade and relations can be established, paying in currency is a wasteful proposition. A nester is just as happy with a shiny bit of glass as a gold coin . Good cloth or proper leather, metal weapons (or even flint suitable for making stone weapons), the carcass of a large animal, something impressively shiny, or the teeth of some large carnivore make effective trade goods.

    Religeon: Most troupes of nesters have no formalized religeon, and worship no god. They do have complex systems of superstitions, and the prohibition against touching the ground seems to be universal.

    Nester Lands: Nesters live in the canopies of rainforests, whether those that start at ground level, or the vertical ones that climb the sides of skyscrapers. Most nester territories are rich in fruit trees, of a mix of varieties such that something is always in fruit.

    Nester Racial Traits:
    • Small Humanoid (Goblinoid)
    • -2 Strength, +2 Dexterity, -2 Charisma: Nesters are puny, ugly, and abrasive.
    • Small Size: +1 bonus to Armor Class, +1 bonus on attack rolls, +4 bonus on Hide checks, -4 penalty on grapple checks, lifting and carrying limits ¾ those of Medium characters.
    • Base Land Speed: 30ft
    • Climb Speed: 20ft
    • Low-Light Vision: A nester can see twice as far as a human in starlight, moonlight, torchlight, and similar conditions of poor illumination. He retains the ability to distinguish color and detail under these conditions..
    • Treetop Dweller: A nester gains a +8 racial bonus to climb checks, and may always take 10 to climb. If it chooses an accelerated climb, it moves at double its climb speed and makes a single Climb check at a -5 penalty. It cannot run while climbing. It retains its Dexterity bonus to Armor Class (if any) while climbing, and opponents get no special bonus on their attacks against a climbing nester. Also, nesters add their Dexterity modifier to Climb checks instead of their Strength modifier.
    • Accomplished Leaper: A nester gains a +4 racial bonus on Jump checks
    • Favored Class: Barbarian



    Squolf
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    A typical squolf has brown or black fur, grows to 5 feet long and stands 3 feet tall at the shoulder. It weighs 200 pounds.

    Size/Type: Medium Magical Beast
    Hit Dice: 4d10+8 (30 hp)
    Initiative: +2
    Speed: 40ft, Climb 40ft (10 squares)
    Armor Class: 14 (+2 Dex, +2 natural), touch 12, flat-footed 12
    Base Attack/Grapple: +4/+7
    Attack: Bite +7 melee (1d6+4)
    Full Attack: Bite +7 melee (1d6+4)
    Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft.
    Special Attacks: Trip
    Special Qualities: Darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision, scent
    Saves: Fort +6, Ref +6, Will +3
    Abilities: Str 17, Dex 15, Con 15, Int 3, Wis 14, Cha 10
    Skills: Climb +11, Hide +4, Jump +6, Listen +5, Move Silently +4, Spot +5, Survival +2*
    Feats: Alertness, Track
    Environment: Jungle
    Organization: Solitary, pair, or pack (6-11)
    Challenge Rating: 2
    Alignment: Neutral
    Advancement: 5-6 HD (Medium); 7-12 HD (Large)
    Level Adjustment: +1 (cohort)
    Combat
    Mated pairs or packs work together to bring down large game, while lone squolfs usually chase down creatures smaller than themselves. Both often use hit-and-run tactics to exhaust their quarry. A pack usually circles a larger opponent, perching above and below their prey as well as on nearby limbs. Each squolf attacks in turn, biting and retreating, until the creature is exhausted, at which point the pack moves in for the kill. If they get impatient or heavily outnumber the opponent, squolfs attempt to throw their prey to the ground and a bloody end.

    Trip (Ex)
    A squolf that hits with a bite attack can attempt to trip the opponent (+3 check modifier) as a free action without making a touch attack or provoking an attack of opportunity. If the attempt fails, the opponent cannot react to trip the squolf.

    Skills
    A squolf has a +1 racial bonus on Listen, Move Silently, and Spot checks, a +2 racial bonus on Hide checks and a +8 racial bonus to Climb checks. Additionally, a squolf may always take 10 on climb checks even while threatened. *A squolf has a +4 racial bonus on Survival checks when tracking by scent.


    Greenspawn
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    A greenspawn appears much as it did when it was wholly animal. However, its skin turns a light green, as its blood is now saturated with chlorophyll. Its nails or claws are now bark, and its hair becomes feathery leaves or moss. Ungreen creatures may be more monstrous or plantlike at your discretion.

    A greenspawn is able to control ungreen creatures whose hit dice do not exceed its own, however, an uncontrolled ungreen creature always follows the commands of a greenspawn. A greenspawn may rebuke ungreen three times per day.

    Greenspawn do not accrue the physical penalties of aging, nor do they die of old age. A greenspawn that is killed makes a level check versus DC 25. If successful, the corpse bears fruit 1d10 days later. If one of these seeds germinate, the greenspawn grows anew over the course of 1d10 years. It will be a level lower than when it died, as though it were resurrected.

    A greenspawn is tied to the location where it was when the Growth happened. It may not move farther than 20xCHA feet from that spot.

    As long as it has an opportunity to take root, and at least 4 hours of sunlight in a day, a greenspawn does not need to eat. A greenspawn that only eats suffers no ill effects; though its foliage begins to look unhealthy.

    A greenspawn is treated as a plant, but does not gain the plant subtype. It does, however, gain low-light vision, immunity to poisons (even those specifically targeted at plants), and a 25% chance to shrug off critical hits, as Light Fortification

    A greenspawn is of one of the following types
    Ash: The creature gains +4 to wisdom. The creature secretes a sugary substance known as manna (occasionally from its skin, but its sap always hardens into it) which functions as a potion of cure light wounds or remove disease (the greenspawn's choice). If allowed to ferment for a decade, the manna liquefies and can function as a potion of lesser restoration.

    Flowering plant: the creature gains +4 to dex and +2 to charisma. Its bones become supple, giving it +4 to Escape Artist, but -2 to CON. The creature's hair, if it has any, becomes flowers of the appropriate type. Once per day, it may release a heady perfume, which functions as a Charm Person on creatures within a 20' radius. Alternatively, the creature may be a nightshade. Instead of perfume, it is able to bear fruit (a process taking 10 minutes) which contain a poison the DM deems appropriate.

    Flytrap: As flowering plant; however, instead of the perfume or poison berries ability, a Flytrap is able to open their mouth impossibly wide, revealing broad rows of green fangs. A flytrap gains a bite attack as a creature of 2 sizes greater, and gains the benefits of Improved Grap and Swallow Whole with this attack.

    Oak: The creature increases by one size category, and gains an additional +2 to STR and CON. Its skin becomes bark, giving +1 to natural armor, plus an additional point for every 3 hit dice. It gains two slam attacks.

    Rowan: The creature gains +4 to intelligence. The creature gains spell resistance 10+hit dice. It can use augury 3 times per day as a spell like ability.

    Willow: The creature gains +6 to dex. Like a willow, the creature grows back easily. It heals one point of lethal damage per hour. If it is killed and any of its limbs are planted in soil, no check is necessary to regrow, and the creature regrows in 1d2 years instead of 1d10.


    Ungreen
    Spoiler
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    An ungreen creature appears to be a corpse with plants growing through and on its body. Roots and stems enter and leave its flesh freely, and a spray of foliage often erupts from the eyes or mouth. The body is not entirely dead, however-- a closer inspection reveals that the flesh is puckered about the wounds caused by plant tendrils; and the body only dessicates, it does not rot.

    An ungreen creature changes to the plant subtype.

    Drop all hit dice from class levels; double the remaining hit dice and raise them to d12s.

    Its natural armor bonus increases as a zombie's

    Ungreen creatures do not use weapons unless under the control of a greenspawn; they instead use a slam attack

    An ungreen creature is unable to use any of the base creature's special attacks.

    An ungreen loses most special qualities of the base creature. It retains any extraordinary special qualities that improve its melee or ranged attacks.

    An ungreen gains reduction 5/slashing. While the body is still somewhat alive, it is primarily kept alive by the plants inhabiting it.

    Ungreen have poor reflexes and can perform only a single move action or attack action each round. An ungreen can move up to its speed and attack in the same round, but only if it attempts a charge. This does not apply while under the direct control of a greenspawn.

    Base save bonuses are Fort +1/3 HD, Ref +1/3 HD, and Will +½ HD + 2.

    An ungreen's Strength increases by +2, its Dexterity decreases by 2, it has no Constitution or Intelligence score, its Wisdom changes to 10, and its Charisma changes to 1.

    An ungreen has no skills.

    An ungreen loses all feats of the base creature and gains Toughness.

    An ungreen that is not killed regains 1 HP per month as scar tissue slowly forms and plant stems fill in missing tissue.

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    Default Re: World Building Exercise - Cataclysm of Green

    The underdark style area should be a massive network of abandoned sewers, subways, and other underground tunnels.
    GENERATION 12: The first time you see this, copy it into your sig and add 1 to the generation. social experiment.
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    Fogmere City
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    Brute
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    Default Re: World Building Exercise - Cataclysm of Green

    I might be repeating myself (from Cyclone's similar attempt, though this one is certainly a tad more fleshed out already), but...

    Orcs and gnomes. After the fall of a civilized world, it really does make sense.

    Why?

    Orcs
    • Aren't terribly bright
    • Like to hurt things
    • Are ok with people being expendable
    • Don't usually have much magic
    • Look for cheap and easy ways to make they and their tribe more powerful


    Gnomes
    • Are often terribly clever
    • Like explosions and flashy magic
    • Understand they might take some damage in the name of their inventions
    • Are magically gifted
    • Look for cheap and easy ways to make stuff


    After society fell, what did they do? They integrated. They banded together, the orcs providing protection for gnomes and gnomes providing stuff and (often very little) foresight ("Hey buddy...you probably shouldn't step on that glowing tile...<Orc steps on tile anyways>*BOOM*...told you so!").

    Given time, they might even have produced a successful hybrid. A Gnorn? Physically, fairly average if not a bit tougher and slightly faster than your baseline human. Mentally, very quick to take in a situation and produce a solution to whatever problems might be evident. Not as readily booksmart as a gnome, but a blending of fast reflexes, generations of infallable battlesense, and impressive creativity and analytical skills. Not too patient with others, though, I'd imagine.
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    Default Re: World Building Exercise - Cataclysm of Green

    Quote Originally Posted by Vadin View Post
    Gnorn?
    Surely they would be called Gnorks? Gnork is fun to say, and I imagine orcs and gnomes would agree .

    I can picture city centers of this megalopolis, with ranks of skyscrapers with the windows busted out. Each floor of these buildings has accumulated enough dirt over the centuries that they're now elevated bits of jungle. You'd get birds and gliding mammals that spend their whole lives flitting from skyscraper to skyscraper never seeing a carnivore... except owlbears or something. And perhaps a tribe of gnomes with ornithopters, or some sort of flying mount.

    There may even be humanoid civilizations trapped in the upper levels of such a tower, subsisting on the few plants and animals they can gather, and some sort of magical food generator that never went offline(after all, with 80% of the landmass covered in city, they need to eat somehow).

    In cities at or below the water table, a subway/sewer system would have been flooded for a very, very long time without pumps running. Perhaps a section of city where the streets have caved in, and locals paddle about the resulting canals... but nobody knows how deep the tunnels really go.

    I'm intrigued by the other 20% of the landmass. If the cities are pretty much overgrown by now, the other 20% should be pretty much virginal. There's probably some sort of desert, and maybe some really old growth rainforest and temperate forest. Going along with stereotype, either forest could be host to tribes of bronze-age elf tribes. Maybe even treetop halfling tribes; after all, they're agile and it's generally pretty safe.

    For the desert, I like the idea of a civilization of dwarves that "mines" the sands for pre-green technology, preserved by the dry environment. They're short and tough, so wouldn't be as affected by blowing sand and burning heat as the next guy... and I picture them wrapped in white from head to toe, with goggles.

    An undeveloped area (say, a tropical archipelago, where food is plentiful enough that the natives have some serious free time) with a cargo cult. Instead of boats, they build effigies of skyscrapers... their huts contain non-working "televisions" which they use as an altar... They've forgotten what the heck this stuff means, but it's just the way they do things now.

    In a situation like this, I can picture goblins (without their Worg allies. I can't see much place for them in a huge city... unless they were domesticated; Maybe they work with halflings now.) degenerating quite a bit. Maybe becoming more of a Homo Habilis type clever scavenger, hanging out on the fringes of civilization

    With worg allies, I could see them becoming nomads, in the mold of mongols, perhaps.

    Also, it might be interesting to run into a golem that was left running since the cataclysm. Perhaps it was digging a tunnel, and it's finally reached the player's area... and something from the sewers has been following it across the continent. Or perhaps they simply find one at the end of a tunnel somewhere, its arms worn down to stubs after it's shovel failed. Maybe its still running a pump keeping the local underground dry, and now that it's been removed for study, the rising water table is driving up all sorts of nastiness.

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    Default Re: World Building Exercise - Cataclysm of Green

    I've got a nice help for you.

    An Aztec/Maya modeled society seems like it might fit in pretty well here, as the jungle feels right for them. I'm working on an Aztec society for my campaign world, and already have a template, Bloodborn, which is basically an animated capillary system. Undead, but not inherently evil. Comes with a Shell when you make it, which is the remaining skeleton and skin, and makes a mindless shambling zombie-esque creature. These are used as manual labor, while Bloodborn are usually the religious workers: acolytes.

    If you don't like the magicy aspect to that, I can still give you the details of the general society once I finish making it.
    Quote of the [insert timeframe here]: (Week? Perhaps! Year? Also maybe.)
    "Those who have learned to walk on the threshold of the unknown worlds...may then with the fair white wings of Imagination hope to soar further into the unexplored amidst which we live."
    -Augusta Ada Lovelace

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    Default Re: World Building Exercise - Cataclysm of Green

    Ideas:

    The civilization was founded on cooperation between arcane and divine magics - let's say it was ruled by two leaders, a Consul Clericus and a Consul Arcanus - but things, as they often do, fell apart, and the Cataclysm is the result of a druidic "ultimate weapon" which was constructed just so's they could see the looks on the faces of those smarmy sorcerer bastards. They never meant to actually set the thing off.

    All of society has regressed, but the dragons have it worst. They were too closely tied into the flow of magic, and when the Cataclysm fundamentally changed the way magic worked, so too did the dragons change. Now they roam the endless rainforest as savage predators - Tyrannosaurs with fire breath, Pteranodons that spit acid, etc., etc.
    Evan Dittismith avatar courtesy of The Stoney One.

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    Default Re: World Building Exercise - Cataclysm of Green

    Quote Originally Posted by MagFlare View Post
    Ideas:

    The civilization was founded on cooperation between arcane and divine magics - let's say it was ruled by two leaders, a Consul Clericus and a Consul Arcanus - but things, as they often do, fell apart, and the Cataclysm is the result of a druidic "ultimate weapon" which was constructed just so's they could see the looks on the faces of those smarmy sorcerer bastards. They never meant to actually set the thing off.

    All of society has regressed, but the dragons have it worst. They were too closely tied into the flow of magic, and when the Cataclysm fundamentally changed the way magic worked, so too did the dragons change. Now they roam the endless rainforest as savage predators - Tyrannosaurs with fire breath, Pteranodons that spit acid, etc., etc.
    Hey that sounds pretty neat! I like that.

    Gnorks do sound like a plausibility, I could see that happening. And tsuuga, very good ideas there. The desert dwarves would definitely be outcast from the rest of the world, just because they know nothing of the deserts and the elevated jungles idea is really cool. Any other comments on those suggested ideas? Or counter-ideas?

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    Default Re: World Building Exercise - Cataclysm of Green

    tsuga...I believe you mentioned halflings and worgs?

    Let me, for a moment, expound upon this and see where I end up. Goblins, who do so love shiny things, had little to offer to society at first glance. They are outclassed in almost every way by halflings. What, then, could they bring to the table that was uniquely theirs? What could they do, in ancient times, that would have gotten them a foothold in the city when it truly was just a city? Worgs.

    Given time, reasonably similar physical situation (all the other kids (except the kobolds) would pick on them... ), and both races' natural curiosities, halflings would probably learn how to ride and domesticate these Worgs as well. However, I can't see the two races really cooperating much beyond that. What I can see is typical halfling business sense setting up a rival Worg rearing operation. Halflings would eventually drive goblins out of the business, and goblins would have to retreat to the sewers and ghettos to survive (who would hire them when they could get a halfling instead?).

    When the civilization falls, the halflings become fairly nomadic groups of limb leapers with Worg companions/mounts, typically in a 1:1 ration (a Worg per halfling).

    And what do the goblins do? They come back out of the underground. Sort of. Too terrified to completely abandon their now ancestral homes, but too angered to abandon the chance to strike at their now ancestral foes (the halflings), they live in-between the two worlds, acting as guides, guardians, guests both above and below ground. They make camps around and inside the entrances to tunnels and sewers, helping those who come by for reasonable fees (it was bad business that did in their ancestors, and they likely won't repeat that mistake). If halflings ever come by, though...they're helped, all right. They're led right into the most dangerous places deep in the sewers, far away from their precious limbs and land.

    Because of these treacherous and seemingly legit actions, the halflings haven't, and likely won't, realize whats going on. Some of them, so disillusioned with tales of how their forefathers made their fortunes on magic goods, Worgs, and banking, refuse to even consider that the art of Worg rearing might have even crossed the minds of such low-lives as Goblins.

    In short, Goblins live near or in Underdark entrances, are sneaky and treacherous, but great at concealing it, and halflings roam the trees and forest floor and are agile, clever, and usually accompanied by a Worg companion.
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    Default Re: World Building Exercise - Cataclysm of Green

    Admittedly, I must say that whenever I envision goblins, I see Jungle Goblins. This variant would make goblins significantly different from halflings and have an edge in the criminal world of the pre-Green megalopolis. Expert catburglars, climbing the skyscrapers to steal from the penthouses overlooking the city. Also, I find that this variant is more balanced than the normal goblins, making them on par with halflings. Just a suggestion to keep your mind open to variant races.

    Otherwise, that is a very good idea if we choose to stick with traditional goblins and halflings.

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    Default Re: World Building Exercise - Cataclysm of Green

    A Sound of Thunder. Not the short story, the movie. Don't step in the monkey-crocodiles. =P

    Architecture:
    The problem with (modern, conventional) buildings is that water doesn't flow into them, air doesn't circulate, and light doesn't penetrate. Moisture is only at ground level and basements, only areas with access to the exterior have circulation, and indoor areas are likely to be pitch black without sources of light. As such, plants do not grow in buildings and animals do not habitate in them. For the most part, your average skyscraper and apartment building is going to be empty. At least, for the first few years.

    Light Interiors:
    On ground-level, the exterior areas of larger buildings and the interiors of smaller buildings would have the typical overgrowth, so long as there is access to light and moisture. Depending on time progressed since the overgrowth, there would be different densities of growth. Initially (months), there would be vines and creeping plants and environment trash tracked in by wandering animals. Later (years), weeds would grow on mats of dead vines and environment trash. Eventually (decades-centuries), rudimentary soil would develop, for saplings and brush. By the time full-size trees arrive indoors (centuries-millenia), hard-wooded plants will have destroyed a building's foundation, pulverizing it into soil after it has been weakened by time, moisture and chemicals.

    On higher levels, the primary source of moisture will be condensation and precipitation, the primary source of light will be openings caused by weather damage, and larger plants aren't likely to appear since an entire ecosystem would have to develop based on what can be grown from rugs and wallpaper. Subterranean levels will probably be identical to your typical dungeon.

    Dark Interiors:
    The interior of larger buildings would probably resemble dungeons or caves, only that they're dry and dusty instead of moist and rocky. Minor creatures that live there are mainly pest species: rats and mice. Any creature that doesn't or can't forage outside the building (including spiders) will typically die off. Plants would be restricted to mold and pale vines. Anything else would only grow around moisture. Creatures of the underdark would love to live in building interiors, with the above provisions. From a building you have immediate access to the outside world when night-time falls. Most creatures would rather stay on the ground floor, giving anyone free reign of the upstairs levels. Basements provide a very underdarkian place to hold out, and could even provide access directly to the underground. Undead, of course, will stick it out almost anywhere, but as they prefer isolation, the upper levels of a skyscraper would provide an excellent place for someone worried about decomposition, not to mention that any Lich worth his salt should live in a penthouse.
    Belkar's Bad to the Bone.
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    Default Re: World Building Exercise - Cataclysm of Green

    Quote Originally Posted by Demented View Post
    Architecture:
    The problem with (modern, conventional) buildings is that water doesn't flow into them, air doesn't circulate, and light doesn't penetrate. Moisture is only at ground level and basements, only areas with access to the exterior have circulation, and indoor areas are likely to be pitch black without sources of light. As such, plants do not grow in buildings and animals do not habitate in them. For the most part, your average skyscraper and apartment building is going to be empty. At least, for the first few years.
    Actually, with windows broken (which they assuredly are) there would be air circulation and lots of water. Have you even heard of a cloud forest? I imagine that the upper portions of the skyscrapers would be very much like these real-world forests. Plant life would survive on the decay left in the buildings (did the cataclysm happen so fast that the residents died inside?) as well as the air-born nutrients and water. I've been to the Mounteverde cloud forest and seen plants that survive purely off the clouds high in the trees. The plants grow on the trees yes, but only to anchor there, all subsistence is gleaned from the air/clouds.

    Quote Originally Posted by Demented View Post
    Light Interiors:
    On ground-level, the exterior areas of larger buildings and the interiors of smaller buildings would have the typical overgrowth, so long as there is access to light and moisture. Depending on time progressed since the overgrowth, there would be different densities of growth. Initially (months), there would be vines and creeping plants and environment trash tracked in by wandering animals. Later (years), weeds would grow on mats of dead vines and environment trash. Eventually (decades-centuries), rudimentary soil would develop, for saplings and brush. By the time full-size trees arrive indoors (centuries-millenia), hard-wooded plants will have destroyed a building's foundation, pulverizing it into soil after it has been weakened by time, moisture and chemicals.
    Actually, a forest can reclaim land much, much faster than you say it does. The edges of the megalopolis would be completely reclaimed within 5 years or so, and over the course of a century the whole city would be reclaimed. After that point the jungle would build upon itself, stretching higher and into the darker regions. And our setting is based thousands of years after the cataclysm, more than enough time for the city to be completely overgrown.

    Quote Originally Posted by Demented View Post
    On higher levels, the primary source of moisture will be condensation and precipitation, the primary source of light will be openings caused by weather damage, and larger plants aren't likely to appear since an entire ecosystem would have to develop based on what can be grown from rugs and wallpaper. Subterranean levels will probably be identical to your typical dungeon.
    See my above point about cloud forests. Also, you overestimate the importance of light. Underneath the canopy of the jungle there is hardly any light, but still there is thick undergrowth. The plants don't need light as much as water which is abundant. However, in northern regions, this might not be the case.

    Quote Originally Posted by Demented View Post
    Dark Interiors:
    The interior of larger buildings would probably resemble dungeons or caves, only that they're dry and dusty instead of moist and rocky. Minor creatures that live there are mainly pest species: rats and mice. Any creature that doesn't or can't forage outside the building (including spiders) will typically die off. Plants would be restricted to mold and pale vines. Anything else would only grow around moisture. Creatures of the underdark would love to live in building interiors, with the above provisions. From a building you have immediate access to the outside world when night-time falls. Most creatures would rather stay on the ground floor, giving anyone free reign of the upstairs levels. Basements provide a very underdarkian place to hold out, and could even provide access directly to the underground. Undead, of course, will stick it out almost anywhere, but as they prefer isolation, the upper levels of a skyscraper would provide an excellent place for someone worried about decomposition, not to mention that any Lich worth his salt should live in a penthouse.
    This is a pretty good point (except I'd still argue the validity of cloud forest-like foliage in the upper regions). Also, it would most likely be wetter as you go up, not dryer.

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    Default Re: World Building Exercise - Cataclysm of Green

    Demented- all important things to remember when looking at how modern buildings would hold up in the campaign.

    Can it be assumed that such a continent spanning civilization would, as a matter of necessity, have lots of easily available magic items? Kind of like Forgotten Realms, if I remember correctly.

    The buildings, before the fall, would have had to have been lit on the interior levels. Now, which makes more sense: a very cheap one-time fee for a magical light that turns on with the sun on off a few hours after sunset or candles that need replacing or oil lanterns that need refilling all the time? Clearly, the magical lights. No fire hazard, no upkeep. Nice and simple.

    But would that mean the entire continent lights up for awhile after sunset? Not at all. Only the important buildings and skyscrapers. For your average person, a simple on-off magic light makes more sense. These more simple lights, however, would have long ago been scavenged. After all, those lights would be portable, no?

    Why wouldn't the 'scraper lights be gone? Tell me its easy to steal those big rectangular overhead lights with the plastic over them, and I'll tell you you're a liar. They're not all gone because they're part of the buildings. Taking one of them is about as easy as taking a part of the skyscraper ceiling.

    On water, it say it comes from the weather. How does the weather get inside? There are windows, right? Right, but...glass breaks. Easily. And it rains. And, as the city is more or less rain forest, it rains quite a lot.

    Also...its magic, which leads me to a few other random thoughts...

    Why have potted plants when I can make a magical plant put roots right into the stone the building is made from?

    Water jugs to keep refilling? Nah, endless decanters of water that keep a large-ish bowl of water full, and keeps the bowl and surrounding area free of harmful debris and the water clear of gunk do the job just fine.

    All of that would seem to solve the problem of skyscraper vegetation and light, keeping the surface world on the surface world (for now) and the underdark in the underdark.

    [EDIT] Tatatraus-Was typing this when you posted that! Very sneaky, sir...

    All excellent points, and, imo, cloud forests at the top and between buildings would really add a lot to the setting and provide some excellent opportunities.


    Also, Demented's mention of a Lich penthouse got me thinking...immortals and their ilk might be old enough, some of them, to remember The Growth (catchy name cataclysmic onset of the Green Age, eh?). Would their knowledge be sought? Dismissed as legend? Feared? After all this time, why wouldn't they have taken advantage of their knowledge to gain enough power to conquer the world? Has surviving The Growth done something to them to make that a bad idea? Are they afraid of opposing it? Crazy? Indifferent? Waiting? If so, for what? Or, perhaps oddest of all, did it make them a part of it? Did they survive because of their immortality? And how many people died? 50%? Probably not enough. 75%? A lot, but is it enough to leave very small bands of survivors alone throughout the world? 90%, but with small clusters of people and places left completely alone? Lots of questions that may need answers.
    Last edited by Vadin; 2008-02-21 at 08:32 PM.
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    Default Re: World Building Exercise - Cataclysm of Green

    I love the ideas of Jungle Goblins. I always use them, whever possible.

    I really like this idea. It brings up vivid images. Maybe you could have it so that the past was technology, and the present is magic. It's been done before, but that just proves its effective.
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    Default Re: World Building Exercise - Cataclysm of Green

    Quote Originally Posted by Vadin View Post
    Lots of questions that may need answers.
    So, answer them. This setting belongs to its contributers, if you think of a question, answer it. Some one might dispute, or it might be agreed upon and become canon.

    @ Gwyn_ap_Nud: Hm...that's an interesting idea, maybe the cataclysm was magic entering the world?

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    Default Re: World Building Exercise - Cataclysm of Green

    Another time-tested idea; At first there was technology, but then, magic came and et all tech's stuff.
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    Default Re: World Building Exercise - Cataclysm of Green

    I picture gnarled, tough trees sticking out of the sides of some skyscrapers, up high enough for them to take advantage of the clouds. They would grow out sideways, then twist up. Their seeds and pollen would both have to be airborne. During the spring, you would probably see white fluff attached to seeds drifting lazily through the sun around you when you stand close to a building. The seeds that reach the ground would probably be edible and useless, only adapted to grow at the altitudes of a skyscraper. Therefore huge amounts of seeds would be produces, just so a few might drift into a broken window.

    As for immortals, I could see a lich sitting in his shining penthouse, pristine and of a level of magic and technology unchanged by the cataclysm, not trying to conquer anything because for over a thousand years, there was nothing worth conquering, and by now he has grown accustomed to a life of leisure, contemplation, and solitude. I could reasonably see him restoring the ground floor and an elevator and putting some sort of intelligent undead at the desk down below. He might be the ruler of a small city not because he wanted to be, but because he was wise and powerful. A benevolent lich.

    I also think that he would reasonably be very willing to hire adventurers to raid old library vaults, ones enchanted or of a sort of technology that the books would have been completely protected from the ages, preserved by moisture locking and enchantment. A lich of this power would undoubtedly be an epic wizard with the power of a demigod and antisocial tendencies, with max ranks in knowledge, craft, appraise, and most profession skills, to reflect his millenia of learning and sophistication.

    He would need to have motivation for not restoring the world, or at least his small part of it. Perhaps he's neutral evil and likes solitude. Maybe he's true neutral and sees this reversion to nature as a balancing. At any rate, I could see him standing in a glass-walled penthouse, staring out at a sunset over a jungle of spires, watching as magically timed lights flick on, in sync with the emerging stars.
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    Default Re: World Building Exercise - Cataclysm of Green

    That lich idea is awesome.

    Oooh! I have an idea!

    An area not affected by the Cataclysm. Everything is the same as before. Like, a "Bubble Kingdom", to quote Erfworld, on a plateau, where all the technology is still the same. If we go with the "Magic is the Cataclysm" idea, then here, there's a permanent Anti Magic affect.
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    Default Re: World Building Exercise - Cataclysm of Green

    Quote Originally Posted by Vadin View Post
    Also, Demented's mention of a Lich penthouse got me thinking...immortals and their ilk might be old enough, some of them, to remember The Growth (catchy name cataclysmic onset of the Green Age, eh?). Would their knowledge be sought? Dismissed as legend? Feared? After all this time, why wouldn't they have taken advantage of their knowledge to gain enough power to conquer the world? Has surviving The Growth done something to them to make that a bad idea? Are they afraid of opposing it? Crazy? Indifferent? Waiting? If so, for what? Or, perhaps oddest of all, did it make them a part of it? Did they survive because of their immortality? And how many people died? 50%? Probably not enough. 75%? A lot, but is it enough to leave very small bands of survivors alone throughout the world? 90%, but with small clusters of people and places left completely alone? Lots of questions that may need answers.
    Fair enough, Tataraus. I'll take a whack at it and see what I come up with and what others think.

    So...The Growth. It took about 10 minutes. One eclipse. And it was all over. All sorts of plants just appeared and grew. Not just on the ground, though. Everywhere. Almost everywhere, at least. Pockets of civilization, a mile or so across, were preserved all over the continent. The people in these pockets survived. What they saw outside was a scene of horror. The plants had grown immensely, and the areas not already covered in vegetation had grown an inch or so of small plants all over them. This area included the people. Those outside the safe areas had died, their bodies consumed by the tendrils of millions of small plants reaching inside them. This was enough to kill the living, but not the immortal. The liches and (maybe some elementals, some magic beasts, and some outsiders, too?) survived, though terribly different. They'd become Greenspawn, their bodies tied irrevocably to the places they'd been during The Growth, much like a Dryad and her tree. In addition to being so tied to a location, they gained new powers. Power over nature, and power over the bodies of those who had recently been alive. The Undead became the Ungreen. Where Undead were evil, however, the Ungreen are simply neutral. If left alone, they rarely attack those who leave nature alone. It should be noted, however, the Ungreen look dead, and are often brown and withered.

    This is not to say that there haven't been any new Undead or liches or the like, of course.

    So...thats all I can think of for now. What this necessitates:
    -A Greenspawn template ('Greenspawn' could be changed I'm not too huge a fan of the name)
    -An Ungreen subtype similar to but different from Undead
    -Sample creatures for both

    [EDIT] Seriously, why do I take so long to type? Jagadaisho, I'm diggin' your lich interpretation. Throw that in with a post-Green lich and his Ungreen minions, and I think we're seeing eye to eye on what immortality with power stuck in loneliness produces.
    Last edited by Vadin; 2008-02-21 at 09:19 PM.
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    Default Re: World Building Exercise - Cataclysm of Green

    I like the idea of the Desert miner dwarves.

    I have this idea that Halflings should be the people that live on the skyscraper tops, with huge leg muscles to jump from building to building, and long arms to brachiate from vine to vine in the greast mass of corugated steel and the remnants of concrete that lay high above the clouds...

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    Default Re: World Building Exercise - Cataclysm of Green

    For the massive growth of plants cataclysm: Every seed sprouts and grows violently. Anyone who's eaten fruit in the last day or so now has plants growing throughout their bodies. Rather than pockets of unaffected survivors, instead those who survive unharmed are those who haven't eaten seeds. Those who are affected are either killed outright, or driven mad and violent with pain. A few kept their minds, and became the Greenspawn.

    Speaking of how modern cities would hold up... There's a history channel documentary called Life After People which deals with this kind of thing. They're a little too in-love with their CGI buildings falling over, but it's a good use of an hour and a half.

    Skyscrapers with windowed sides, like we build, become good plant habitats pretty quickly. Once the windows break, you'll get birds living in there. They'll poop and die up there too, getting seeds of food plants and fertilizer way above the ground. A building with the windows busted out is a giant trellis, vines will climb the side of the building with no problem. Then, there's blowing dust and rotting carpet.

    Desert Dwarves need a way to mine in sand... Their magic users have probably discovered several of the spells that create wind, to blow temporary pits in the sand. The dwarves are nomadic. Their homes are low hemispherical structures, to provide less wind resistance. They are mounted on sledges, and pulled by some kind of desert-dwelling creature. Each home has an apparatus that can be used to vibrate the home, causing it to float to the top if it is buried in sand (something like an offcenter weight on a stationary bike, bolted to the floor.)

    What are the homes made out of... could be anything. A tent would work, but wouldn't hold up well in a sandstorm. They could be made out of stone, but that would be a lot of weight to pull around. I'm thinking of some kind of huge desert dwelling arthropod or worm (like the Ohmu from Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind) that has evolved an extremely strong, clear shell over its eyes to protect them from blown sand. These are harvested from shed skins, or rarely a kill, and are used to make everything from their goggles (which come from a much smaller variety) to their homes, which come from the very largest specimens. A much smaller species is used as beasts of burden, as they need no special accommodations to thrive in the desert.

    As long as I'm thinking of Nausicaa, I may as well suggest some special materials.

    Glassteel: A hard, light, clear material. When bent, or struck when hot, it merely whitens, so it must be melted and poured into a mold instead. When fashioned into a helm, it isn't necessary to leave the face exposed. An enemy takes -2 to critical confirmation rolls against you.

    Ceramic: This smooth, white substance is incredibly hard and durable. It is only found in ancient structures, the application of which you cannot fathom. It counts as, and possibly replaces adamantine. However, as ceramic cannot be melted or forged, and instead must be sanded and laboriously chipped, the applications are limited by the shapes you can salvage. Pieces suitable for making more than a dagger or shortsword are very rare, and pieces of the right size and shape to make armor or shields are incredibly rare.

    Greenwood: The wood of plants birthed in the Growth still retains some of it's primal energies. A weapon made of greenwood can, once per day, cause plants to sprout in wounds it causes. Over 1d6 rounds later, plants sprout explosively from the wound, causing as much damage again as the initial wound. The plants continue to grow at a much slower rate. 1d10 days later, if left untreated, the subject must make a fortitude save or become Ungreen. 1d10 days after that, if the first fortitude save succeeded, he must make another fortitude save or become Greenspawn. If both fortitude saves succeed, the mass of wood, roots, and leaves is expelled from his body. Or this would make an interesting poison (instead of wood from the Growth, it would perhaps be the seed of a plant which didn't sprout during the Growth, but retains its energies.)

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    Default Re: World Building Exercise - Cataclysm of Green

    Quote Originally Posted by Vadin View Post
    [EDIT] Seriously, why do I take so long to type? Jagadaisho, I'm diggin' your lich interpretation. Throw that in with a post-Green lich and his Ungreen minions, and I think we're seeing eye to eye on what immortality with power stuck in loneliness produces.
    That's perfect motivation for the lich to remain neutral and detached from the world around him. That changed my idea slightly, though. Imagine a skyscraper poking out of the jungle, its lights lit all day long to serve as a haven for plant creatures. The lich would stay in his penthouse above, but it would have been converted primarily into a greenhouse. I could see him growing plants which produce fruits so that he could make his own wine.

    The floors of the building would be filled with ungreen and plant creatures, moving around and doing things, but probably not talking. I could see them communicating through empathy/telepathy/pheramonal spores. We really need to make a functional plant character race if we're going to have a sudden plant sweep be that major of a plot point.
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    Default Re: World Building Exercise - Cataclysm of Green

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Tataraus View Post
    Actually, a forest can reclaim land much, much faster than you say it does.
    I was thinking specifically of what would grow on raw concrete. (Possibly a bit biased from living in a desert environment, where you aren't lucky enough to have such things as seasonal floods that will smother your lovely concrete with a mud of leaf decay, skipping the first few stages of ecological succession all-together.)
    But if you think otherwise, I'll go with it. The light issue, on the other hand...

    My specific emphasis was on buildings that have a large number of interior rooms with no windows. Not that there are many skyscrapers these days that have rooms with no windows (aside from janitor closets, elevator shafts and restrooms), but a room with sufficient cover is nearly pitch black. A cloud forest is as bright as a tropical beach in comparison. Assuming that it can withstand a thousand tropical rainstorms, you'll have a jungle-covered building with a cave-like interior. That just seems too tempting to give up.
    Last edited by Demented; 2008-02-22 at 12:06 AM.
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    Default Re: World Building Exercise - Cataclysm of Green

    I race I made awhile ago, it might fit this setting and spark some ideas for Greenspawn and such:

    Lotequen
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    The Lotequen are a race of Flower people. They look much like a small humanoid with green skin and long arms. Their eyes are amber, though they are born with green eyes. Each Lotequen has a large flower on his or her head whose color determines his or her status in the Lotequen's caste system.

    Ability Score Adjustments: -2 Str, +2 Con, -2 Int, +2 Wis
    Type Plant - Lowlight Vision, Immunity to poison, sleep, paralysis, polymorph, and stunning
    Size: Small - +1 bonus to AC and attack rolls, +4 bonus to hide checks.
    Base Land Speed: 20ft
    Sentient: Due to the sentient nature of the Lotequen, they are subject to mid-affecting effects, unlike most plants. Additionally, because of this heightened awareness, Lotequen must have rest like that of normal humans, though they do not sleep, but rather enter a sleep-like trance state.
    Fragile Form: Due to the humanoid form and necessary organs of the Lotequen, they are not immune to critical hits or precision damage like other plants, however, they do have a 25% chance to ignore a critical hit. Additionally, due to the mobile form of the Lotequen, they can never gain proficiency with armors and armors they do wear must be custom-made, doubling the cost.
    Light-dependent: Lotequen are dependent on the light to give them the energy to digest food. Thus, a Lotequen must be exposed to light of equivalent strength to that of the sun for at least 6 hours a day. If they do not get this required sunlight they must begin making fortitude saves DC15+2 for each previous check or take non-lethal damage equal to the number of hit dice the Lotequen has. A Lotequen that falls unconscious from this effect cannot be awoken other than being exposed to sunlight for at least 6 hours straight, upon which all non-lethal damage is removed.
    Flora Camouflage: When in a forested area, the Lotequen gain a +4 racial bonus to hide checks.
    Spores: A Lotequen is born with the capability to produce three different types of spores. A Lotequen may release their spores as a full-round action 1/day per spore to effect a 30ft radius:
    • Daisy Spores: These spores require a Fortitude save DC10 +1/2 hit dice +constitution modifier or become sickened for a number of rounds equal to the Lotequen's constitution modifier.
    • Lotus Spores: These spores require a Fortitude save DC10 +1/2 hit dice +constitution modifier or cause sleep for a number of rounds equal to the Lotequen's constitution modifier.
    • Poppy Spores: These spores require a Fortitude save DC10 +1/2 hit dice +constitution modifier or cause the target to gain a +2 bonus to all attack rolls and will saves for a number of minutes equal to the Lotequen's constitution modifier.

    Automatic Languages: Common and Sylvan.
    Bonus Languages: Elven and Halfling.
    Favored Class: Druid.

    Racial Feats:

    Enhanced Spores
    Prerequisites:
    Lotequen, 4 hit dice, Constitution 15
    Benefit: Choose one spore type, you can now use that spore a number times per day equal to 1 +1/4 your hit dice.
    Normal: You may only use each type of spore 1/day.

    Stiffer Form
    Prerequisites: Lotequen, 1st level
    Benefit: You may now where armor as normal and you may become proficient with armor. However, you lose the 25% chance to ignore critical hits.
    Normal: Lotequen cannot become proficient with armor and must pay double to get specially made armor. Also, Lotequen have a 25% chance.


    Now, to address the flood of ideas, great work guys! I'll address what I can:

    @ jagadaishio: Great idea with the lich, love it!

    @ Vadin: Greenspawn really fits this, what to make a template or shall I? Or some one else?

    @ tsuuga: I really liked the idea of the desert dwarves and you did a good job of fleshing it out. Since I see no objection, I'll make it official.

    @ Demented: Perfectly understandable, I don't except people to know much about cloud forests As for the interior rooms, even with the magical lighting, I agree, there would be pockets of "underdark", possibly more for small bands of Orcs (or Gnorks) and other smaller underdark creatures.

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    Default Re: World Building Exercise - Cataclysm of Green

    Quote Originally Posted by Demented View Post
    I was thinking specifically of what would grow on raw concrete.
    Plants will actually grow through bare concrete, rather than on top of it. Without people and cars running over them all the time, cracks in sidewalks or roads will get seeded with small plants and trees, which will further crack said surfaces, and tear it all up in a decade or ten.

    Quote Originally Posted by Demented View Post
    you'll have a jungle-covered building with a cave-like interior.
    This is exactly what I was thinking. The exteriors of the buildings and the space between is cloud-foresty, with maybe some enterprising lianas stretching between buildings. As you get away from the windows, you get into more of a forest floor ecosystem, and then further back you mainly get fungus and whatnot, 3 or 4 ecosystems all within a few yards. Farther back in the buildings, you would get bats, or the lairs of mammals or humanoids. And bats. Huge, huge numbers of bats. I don't even want to think about the sheer numbers of em.

    Greenspawn
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    A greenspawn appears much as it did when it was wholly animal. However, its skin turns a light green, as its blood is now saturated with chlorophyll. Its nails or claws are now bark, and its hair becomes feathery leaves or moss. Ungreen creatures may be more monstrous or plantlike at your discretion.

    A greenspawn is able to control ungreen creatures whose hit dice do not exceed its own, however, an uncontrolled ungreen creature always follows the commands of a greenspawn. A greenspawn may rebuke ungreen three times per day.

    Greenspawn do not accrue the physical penalties of aging, nor do they die of old age. A greenspawn that is killed makes a level check versus DC 25. If successful, the corpse bears fruit 1d10 days later. If one of these seeds germinate, the greenspawn grows anew over the course of 1d10 years. It will be a level lower than when it died, as though it were resurrected.

    A greenspawn is tied to the location where it was when the Growth happened. It may not move farther than 20xCHA feet from that spot.

    As long as it has an opportunity to take root, and at least 4 hours of sunlight in a day, a greenspawn does not need to eat. A greenspawn that only eats suffers no ill effects; though its foliage begins to look unhealthy.

    A greenspawn is treated as a plant, but does not gain the plant subtype. It does, however, gain low-light vision, immunity to poisons (even those specifically targeted at plants), and a 25% chance to shrug off critical hits, as Light Fortification

    A greenspawn is of one of the following types

    Oak: The creature increases by one size category, and gains an additional +2 to STR and CON. Its skin becomes bark, giving +1 to natural armor, plus an additional point for every 3 hit dice. It gains two slam attacks.

    Flowering plant: the creature gains +4 to dex and +2 to charisma. Its bones become supple, giving it +4 to Escape Artist, but -2 to CON. The creature's hair, if it has any, becomes flowers of the appropriate type. Once per day, it may release a heady perfume, which functions as a Charm Person on creatures within a 20' radius. Alternatively, the creature may be a nightshade. Instead of perfume, it is able to bear fruit (a process taking 10 minutes) which contain a poison the DM deems appropriate.

    Willow: The creature gains +6 to dex. Like a willow, the creature grows back easily. It heals one point of lethal damage per hour. If it is killed and any of its limbs are planted in soil, no check is necessary to regrow, and the creature regrows in 1d2 years instead of 1d10

    Ash: The creature gains +4 to wisdom. The creature secretes a sugary substance known as manna (occasionally from its skin, but its sap always hardens into it) which functions as a potion of cure light wounds or remove disease (the greenspawn's choice). If allowed to ferment for a decade, the manna liquefies and can function as a potion of lesser restoration

    Rowan: The creature gains +4 to intelligence. The creature gains spell resistance 10+hit dice. It can use augury 3 times per day as a spell like ability.


    Ungreen
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    An ungreen creature appears to be a corpse with plants growing through and on its body. Roots and stems enter and leave its flesh freely, and a spray of foliage often erupts from the eyes or mouth. The body is not entirely dead, however-- a closer inspection reveals that the flesh is puckered about the wounds caused by plant tendrils; and the body only dessicates, it does not rot.

    An ungreen creature changes to the plant subtype.

    Drop all hit dice from class levels; double the remaining hit dice and raise them to d12s.

    Its natural armor bonus increases as a zombie's

    Ungreen creatures do not use weapons unless under the control of a greenspawn; they instead use a slam attack

    An ungreen creature is unable to use any of the base creature's special attacks.

    An ungreen loses most special qualities of the base creature. It retains any extraordinary special qualities that improve its melee or ranged attacks.

    An ungreen gains reduction 5/slashing. While the body is still somewhat alive, it is primarily kept alive by the plants inhabiting it.

    Ungreen have poor reflexes and can perform only a single move action or attack action each round. An ungreen can move up to its speed and attack in the same round, but only if it attempts a charge. This does not apply while under the direct control of a greenspawn.

    Base save bonuses are Fort +1/3 HD, Ref +1/3 HD, and Will +½ HD + 2.

    An ungreen's Strength increases by +2, its Dexterity decreases by 2, it has no Constitution or Intelligence score, its Wisdom changes to 10, and its Charisma changes to 1.

    An ungreen has no skills.

    An ungreen loses all feats of the base creature and gains Toughness.

    An ungreen that is not killed regains 1 HP per month as scar tissue slowly forms and plant stems fill in missing tissue.


    Apologies for the templates, I know they're not finished. Just wanted to get that out there.

    And yes, ungreen were basically lifted from Zombies.
    Last edited by tsuuga; 2008-02-22 at 01:28 AM.

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    Default Re: World Building Exercise - Cataclysm of Green

    Quote Originally Posted by tsuuga View Post
    Greenspawn
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    A greenspawn appears much as it did when it was wholly animal. However, its skin turns a light green, as its blood is now saturated with chlorophyll. Its nails or claws are now bark, and its hair becomes feathery leaves or moss. Ungreen creatures may be more monstrous or plantlike at your discretion.

    A greenspawn is able to control ungreen creatures whose hit dice do not exceed its own, however, an uncontrolled ungreen creature always follows the commands of a greenspawn. A greenspawn may rebuke ungreen three times per day.

    Greenspawn do not accrue the physical penalties of aging, nor do they die of old age. A greenspawn that is killed makes a level check versus DC 25. If successful, the corpse bears fruit 1d10 days later. If one of these seeds germinate, the greenspawn grows anew over the course of 1d10 years. It will be a level lower than when it died, as though it were resurrected.

    A greenspawn is tied to the location where it was when the Growth happened. It may not move farther than 20xCHA feet from that spot.

    As long as it has an opportunity to take root, and at least 4 hours of sunlight in a day, a greenspawn does not need to eat. A greenspawn that only eats suffers no ill effects; though its foliage begins to look unhealthy.

    A greenspawn is treated as a plant, but does not gain the plant subtype. It does, however, gain low-light vision, immunity to poisons (even those specifically targeted at plants), and a 25% chance to shrug off critical hits, as Light Fortification

    A greenspawn is of one of the following types

    Oak: The creature increases by one size category, and gains an additional +2 to STR and CON. Its skin becomes bark, giving +1 to natural armor, plus an additional point for every 3 hit dice. It gains two slam attacks.

    Flowering plant: the creature gains +4 to dex and +2 to charisma. Its bones become supple, giving it +4 to Escape Artist, but -2 to CON. The creature's hair, if it has any, becomes flowers of the appropriate type. Once per day, it may release a heady perfume, which functions as a Charm Person on creatures within a 20' radius. Alternatively, the creature may be a nightshade. Instead of perfume, it is able to bear fruit (a process taking 10 minutes) which contain a poison the DM deems appropriate.

    Willow: The creature gains +6 to dex. Like a willow, the creature grows back easily. It heals one point of lethal damage per hour. If it is killed and any of its limbs are planted in soil, no check is necessary to regrow, and the creature regrows in 1d2 years instead of 1d10

    Ash: The creature gains +4 to wisdom. The creature secretes a sugary substance known as manna (occasionally from its skin, but its sap always hardens into it) which functions as a potion of cure light wounds or remove disease (the greenspawn's choice). If allowed to ferment for a decade, the manna liquefies and can function as a potion of lesser restoration

    Rowan: The creature gains +4 to intelligence. The creature gains spell resistance 10+hit dice. It can use augury 3 times per day as a spell like ability.
    You should clarify what actually happens to a greenborn if it leaves or is taken from its proxy, as I suppose I would call the location to which it is bound.

    On another note, we need to take into account for the dwarves the idea of darkvision in what is probably a bright desert. The only way that this would make sense to me is if they are nocturnal, which would make sense for a hot desert, and even then, I would just replace the darkvision with improved low-light vision. I would also remove their instinctual knowledge of stone, give them a bonus to ride and handle animal checks for worms, and maybe replace their bonuses against orcs and giants with a bit of fire resistance. They really do need to be tweaked quite a bit if they're going to fit into these deserts.

    An option for keeping the orc bonuses would be that the gnorks compete with them to find the buried ancient artifacts. This competition would often prove violent among the less refined gnorks and orcs, and more of a competitive tradership with the gnomes and refined gnorks.

    As for the greenborn, I could easily imagine very powerful beings bound to points in the jungles, either driven mad with isolation or lost in a nearly unbreakable meditative contemplation. The few that were least destroyed mentally would be able to offer great information about ancient items and information which may still exist. For a price.
    GENERATION 12: The first time you see this, copy it into your sig and add 1 to the generation. social experiment.
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    Fogmere City
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    Brute
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    Default Re: World Building Exercise - Cataclysm of Green

    Quote Originally Posted by jagadaishio View Post
    You should clarify what actually happens to a greenborn if it leaves or is taken from its proxy, as I suppose I would call the location to which it is bound.
    Yeah, um... I should have done that. How about: "A greenborn loses their ability to control ungreen if they move beyond this radius. For every day they remain outside the area, they take 1 point of CON damage. This may only be recovered by remaining rooted and motionless in their domain. They recover one point of con damage per day."

    Quote Originally Posted by jagadaishio View Post
    On another note, we need to take into account for the dwarves the idea of darkvision in what is probably a bright desert. The only way that this would make sense to me is if they are nocturnal, which would make sense for a hot desert, and even then, I would just replace the darkvision with improved low-light vision. I would also remove their instinctual knowledge of stone, give them a bonus to ride and handle animal checks for worms, and maybe replace their bonuses against orcs and giants with a bit of fire resistance. They really do need to be tweaked quite a bit if they're going to fit into these deserts.
    I was just going to use Desert Dwarves. Darkvision is a physiological, not cultural feature, and they wouldn't necessarily lose it after a few thousand years on the surface. Besides, it's great for keeping watch during the night, and exploring any ruins you happen to find.

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    Default Re: World Building Exercise - Cataclysm of Green

    Alright, since the Dwarves are pretty much determined, lets get some stats and fluff set in stone:

    Dwarves
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    Waves of sand had turned the day into night, shifting entire 300ft dunes miles away. But now all was quiet, the moon rose high in the sky and the sand once again rumbled, but this time from underneath. Suddenly as many as four dozen enormous beetles rose from under the sand, many harnessed to even larger domes made of beetle carapaces and glass. The colony rose out of the sand and just as suddenly settled down. Doors opened from the wagon-domes and short, stout men emerged, wrapped head-to-toe is coarse white cloth with goggles covering their eyes. They walked clumsily, though with unnatural ease of the sand, their large flat feet were perfect for walking over the shifting and loose sand. The some figures fed and cared for their beetle-beasts while small groups of dozen or so wondered off in a random direction, lead by a figure wielding a strange staff with a flaming tip. After wandering for awhile, the lead figure halted and slammed the staff, blunt-end first, into the sand, sending it flying and creating a great hole. The followers scampered down and filled many bags with the sand below as well as collecting a variety of strange buried artifacts they found.

    Personality: Dwarves are a gruff and slightly barbaric race of people. They are notoriously quiet and keep to themselves, choosing only to interact with others while trading. When amongst their own, they hold a strong allegiance to their clan, caring for the young and elderly as a group. These nomadic people are heavily devoted to their sacred beasts or burden, the Glass-Beetle who pull their homes and after death, donate their carapaces to the construction of new homes and their meat is served in memory of their servitude and reverence. The dwarves see no wrong in what many see as cannibalism, to them it is the ultimate sign of respect and service to one's clan, to feed the clan as their final act. Just as their beetles are consumed as their funeral, those who die an honorable death are consumed by the clan, the worst punishment of all is to be buried in the unforgiving sand, forever held to this world by its grip. This is the fate of the dishonorable.

    Physical Description: When outside in the sand, dwarves resemble short, fat humanoids clothed completely in a coarse white cloth and eyes covered with goggles. However, once inside the dwarves strip themselves of this outer covering, revealing thick, black hair on head, chin and lip. The dwarves never cut their hair, but rather keep their head-hair wrapped in a turban and beards worn like scarves. Their skin is light brown in color and eyes are usually dark and large. Though they do seem to be rather stout, they are usually well-muscled and built for endurance, perfect for wondering the desert for days without food or water. Few dwarves have any fat on them, their is just not enough food. It is not uncommon for a dwarven clan to go without food for up to three days.

    Relations: Dwarves keep to themselves, hardly even contacting other clans except to trade brides and goods. However, they have some contact with Gnorks near the border of the grasslands and jungle. Some times they trade, but just as often they fight. Many times neither side knows which it will be and with the Gnorks' short tempers and the Dwarves' stubborn nature, fights break out quite often.

    Religion: Dwarves do not have a deity in particular that they worship as a race, however, they do worship the winds and their ancestors, believing that they are living inside those who partook in the Releasing Feast. In addition to eating their dead, dwarves use the skeletons of their dead to fashion tools and heirlooms. Dwarven ritual implements are often carved out of thighbones, and skulls make a handy goblet. Fingerbones are carved into dice, and most dwarves have a belt knife made from the mandible of a glassbeetle. (The molted shells of glassbeetles may be melted down and sold, but the shell that the beetle died in must be used. Unused portions of bone and broken or worn out implements are disposed of during the Ritual of Releasing, during which the dwarves make a large bonfire (often the only fire of the year) to burn remains, have a feast, and remember the dead.

    Dwarven Lands: The dwarves live exclusively in the deserts, roaming the sands and dry earth endlessly. The dwarves claim only the deserts in general since their are nomadic in nature, they see no value in ownership of land. The see the sands and earth as worthless and unforgiving, just as the dwarves are. The only value lies in the worms, beetles, and precious minerals found throughout the deserts which drive them ever onward. The dwarves mine the sands and earth for a special sand to make the best glass and iron as well as ancient artifacts to trade to the eager Gnorks, though some are kept as trinkets or tools though most dwarves are ignorant of such technologies and magics.

    Dwarven Racial Traits:
    • Medium Humanoid
    • +2 Con, -2 Cha: Dwarves are have great endurance to survive the desert, but are stubborn, isolated and ignorant of inborn magic.
    • Base Land Speed: 20ft
    • Superior Low-Light Vision: A dwarf has excellent night vision and is able to see 4 times as far as normal humans in shadowy and dim light.
    • Stability: Dwarves have an excellent sense of balance and gain a +4 bonus on checks to avoid being Bull Rushed or Tripped while standing on the ground.
    • Flat Footed: A dwarf's feet are large and flat, making it easier to walk on the sand. A dwarf may ignore terrain penalties due to sand, loose rubble and other desert conditions.
    • Desert Miner: Dwarves spend their lives searching for glass and raw minerals and thus gain a +2 Racial bonus on Appraise checks for glass, sand and other raw minerals as well as Profession (Miner), Craft (Glass), and Survival checks.
    • Desert Endurance: A dwarf has lived his entire life in the scorching heat of the desert and gains a +4 Racial bonus on Fortitude saves to resist the effects of hot weather exposure and may ignore penalties due to heavy clothing such as light armor. Additionally, a dwarf may go 2 days + (Constitution score) hours before beginning to experience the ill effects of thirst and starvation.
    • Magical Resistance: Just as dwarves are ignorant of inborn magic, they are naturally more resistant to it. A dwarf gains a +2 Racial bonus on saves vs. spells and spell-like effects.
    • Favored Class: Barbarian


    Anyone want to stat up Glass-Beetles? And/or make up a better name? Any changes to the fluff? Additions?

    I assume the glass-beetles would have a sand-swim ability like the *mumble* do (I don't remember the Sandstorm guys). But otherwise they would be like a horse but a vermin.
    [hr]
    Gnorks are also pretty well established as canon, but not much is known about them so...

    Gnorks
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    <insert fluff here>

    Gnork Racial Traits
    • Medium Humanoid
    • Base Land Speed: 30ft
    • +2 Str, +2 Dex, -4 Wis: Gnorks are tough and agile, but extremely short-tempered and often times irrational.
    • Darkvision: Gnorks have the ability to see in the dark despite the lack of any light. They have 60ft darkvision.
    • Athletic: Gnorks are very athletic and often climb, leap and dash through the jungles with ease. A gnork gains a +2 racial bonus to all Jump and Climb checks as well as a +4 bonus to Use Rope checks to swing across a gap.
    • Natural Magic: All gnorks are born with the innate ability to use wild magic. A gnork may use the spell Prestidigitation and Detect Magic each once per day per hit dice. Additionally, a gnork Druid or Ranger may use his charisma score instead of wisdom for spellcasting.
    • Favored Class: Ranger


    What do you think? Stat changes? Additions? Got any fluff?

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    Default Re: World Building Exercise - Cataclysm of Green

    tsuuga: Can the HD on an Ungreen creature not double? It would be great if that could be changed, as a Greenspawn could then control a lot more Ungreen.

    On Greenspawn, I'm going to assume you mean 20 feet * the Charisma score, not the Charisma modifier. You might want to make a note of that, as many people will probably assume you mean the Charisma modifier. Also, alignment should change to neutral on the good-evil axis.

    Making the Greenspawn neutral...I just can't see a creature made of plants seeking to do too much harm to other living things. It needs them, and it knows that. Definitely not inherently evil. I also can't see it doing too terribly much to help things survive, as rule one of ecology is to avoid overpopulation. It most likely wouldn't feel that way toward sentients, who are more or less outside of the ecosystem, but a wounded deer would find little sympathy beyond a pool from which to drink. Not good in the traditional D&D sense. Definitely neutral.

    But given enough time, of course, even a lich can take Paladin levels...

    [EDIT] There are far too many edits in my posts...Tartaraus! You made Gnorks! Excellent job. The dwarves...I approve, sir. Very unique. Very different from the Scottish clerics that have become so familiar.

    On Gnork fluff...they often rise to prominence in Squads and Clans (Squad- An extended family group like a sort of mini-tribe that Orcs/Gnomes/Gnorks live with, Clan- A more traditional Orcish tribe, spread out over a larger area, it contains anywhere from four to fifteen Squads ruled by a council of six individuals powerful in magic, war, and wisdom, two leaders representing each- "The Wars, The Weirds, and The Wise"), though they rarely become Wise (War, Weird, and Wise should be prestige classes, methinks).

    That rather huge parenthetical statement and such assumes, of course, that Orcs and Gnomes are cross-fertile and fused culturally. Also, while Human+Elf always makes a Half-Elf, Orc+Gnome can make an Orc, Gnome, or Gnork. Why? Who knows. It just does.

    Also, anybody have any more thoughts on tree-halflings (potentially paired with worg companions-halfling and worg bonded at birth, very sacred and mystical and such) and tunnel goblins (Underguards? Neither of the surface nor the Underdark, but guardians of the passage between the two, maybe with a cultural fixation towards forced balance, a sort of backlash from the halflings ferocious business practices?)?
    Last edited by Vadin; 2008-02-22 at 05:59 PM.
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    Default Re: World Building Exercise - Cataclysm of Green

    Quote Originally Posted by Vadin View Post
    tsuuga: Can the HD on an Ungreen creature not double? It would be great if that could be changed, as a Greenspawn could then control a lot more Ungreen.
    A Greenspawn can actually have as many ungreen doing its bidding as it wishes (an uncontrolled, ungreen creature will take verbal commands from a Greenspawn). The greenspawn which it directly controls are ones which it can contest control over; they are also capable of using manufactured weapons and receive both a move and standard action. As to the doubling Hit dice thing; that's just the way zombies work. It seemed analogous =P. Maybe the ability could be changed to "actively control all ungreen within the greenspawn's domain, or up to it's hit dice of ungreen outside its domain. It must relinquish control of one to assume control of the other"

    Quote Originally Posted by Vadin View Post
    On Greenspawn, I'm going to assume you mean 20 feet * the Charisma score, not the Charisma modifier.
    Yep, exactly. My bad.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vadin View Post
    Definitely neutral.
    I actually didn't picture them like that. My assumption was that they still retain the mind of the original in many cases; their concerns aren't necessarily those of a plant. Of course, most of them are ancient and priorities change over time, especially if you're bound to a place and only have ungreen for company.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vadin View Post
    tree-halflings... and tunnel goblins
    I was going to post some thoughts on these guys later tonight. One of the big things I was going to say, though, is that halflings would shoulder out the goblins because their product is domesticated. A big, intelligent, friendly dog; as opposed to a big, intelligent, malevolent wolf. Also, I'm trying to figure out what adaptations would be necessary for a canine to adapt to treetop life... Maybe halflings have giant lizard mount/companions now?

    Yeah... Goblins have a monopoly on worgs once again, because the domesticated versions ate dog food instead of meat... and dog food has grain in it. The domestics are extinct.

    [EDIT:] I hit submit way too soon.

    Tataraus: Love the desert dwarves. I do have some suggested changes, however. Rather than travelling submerged, they would probably have to travel on top of the sand. A house is a hell of a load for horse-equivalent creatures to pull through sand.

    Rather than having some custom spell that creates a stable tunnel down into sand, I had actually pictured the use of Create Wind (or weaker spells) to create a downdraft or vortex which blows the sand away from a wide area while the caster stays in the eye of the storm. Then, they've got a few hours to scavenge whatever they've uncovered.

    To harvest iron sand, they trail smooth, lozenge-shaped lodestones behind their homes. The children are tasked with harvesting the iron sand.

    To produce their finest quality glass, they simply melt down glassbeetle shells. The beetles ingest large quantities of sand along with their food, and use it to grind up their food rather than chewing. They then absorb some of the silica and use it to build a new shell. A glassbeetle taken out of the desert must be fed sand. It can survive on pulped meat or vegetables, but when it molts, it will die (Without enough silica, it can't build a strong enough exoskeleton to support its own weight.).

    The best way to get on a desert dwarf's good side is a sizeable gift (enough to feed the whole clan for a day)of non-perishable food. They will rarely trade anything of value for food, since the amount of food would far exceed what they can carry. White cloth and paint are favored trade goods, to make their clothing and paint their homes, respectively. Quality tanned leather is also a favorite good, as they have neither the water nor the expertise to tan hides properly.

    As firewood is so rare in the desert, dwarven metal and glassworkers simply don't use it. Instead, each tribe has one sled dome that they keep meticulously covered in animal hide while traveling. On calm days, they uncover it. The dome is the single eye-covering of a monstrous sandworm. It focuses the rays of the sun into an area about a foot across, several feet below the base of the buildling. With the concentrated sunlight and an application of the heat metal spell, iron and glass can be made hot enough to work. A twist of the dwarf smith's own hair is traditionally burnt and worked into steel crafts. Because a part of the smith is put into the weapon; a desert dwarf smith refuses to make steel items of less than masterwork quality.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Tataraus View Post
    All gnorks are born with the innate ability to use wild magic. A gnork may use the spell Prestidigitation and Detect Magic each once per day per hit dice. Additionally, a gnork Druid or Ranger may use his charisma score instead of wisdom for spellcasting.
    I assume the standard "must have 10 or higher charisma" applies?
    Last edited by tsuuga; 2008-02-22 at 07:23 PM.

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