Don't know if I'm helping, but I picture a world coming apart at the seams. It was built by (Chaotic) demon lords after all, and a lot of them weren't even deities. I'd expect their creation to be unstable and deeply flawed. Wild magic zones, living spells, warped mutants spawning in spontaneously corrupted areas of wilderness. It's an inexhaustible source of conflict/monsters to kill, and if it started or got worse recently it's a breadcrumb to the overplot (which is otherwise out of reach of starting PCs).
I just wanna say: these races are the best designed 3.5 races I've ever seen. I really, really love the ones you've got completed. They've got enough power to be interesting, the choice of race remains relevant as you gain levels, and they're all able to be used for a variety of builds. Really good stuff.
Nearly done with race crunch, so what I really need now is comparisons and comments on the balance between the races. Are any significantly overpowered? Are any significantly underpowered? Are there any glaring deficiencies or oversights that should be rectified?
I prefer the immunities a bit spread out, but I did add fast healing (mushrooms can grow quite fast!). Was it truly underpowered or are you just a diehard myconid fan?
Also cleaned up a good deal (but not all) of the formatting errors, shuffled a few minor things around.
So far, my assessment is this: power creep came slowly but surely. Gremlins, fiendkin, gnolls, highborn, and minotaurs may be underpowered. Graveborn and cogs may be defensively overpowered, while mantids may be the same offensively. I think deep ones, lizardfolk, orochi, and jotun hit the right stride. I'm a little torn on tengu and changelings - tengu might be just a tad underpowered (flight is easily obtainable via other methods, so they may need a few extra tricks to make them special), while changelings may be just a tad overpowered due to the versatility of their shapechanging abilities. If they could be evaluated with a keen eye for those points, I'd appreciate it.
This seems to be a truly wonderful idea. I too like the idea of including living spells, especially on a chaotic high-magic world such as this. I also suggest using low-intelligence abominations as the common animals of the realm, instead of or in addition to fiendish versions of real-world beasts. I mean, the people have to eat something, right? Why not feed them something that's wriggly at the best of times?
I am using the Creature Catalog as a source of prehistoric marsupials and such, but there are plenty of abominations and magical beasts therein as well.
The Garbugsseem like interesting low-CR beasts, though I for one would probably shrink them down a category or two - the common low-health flying critters should not be the size of a cow, unless they are lighter-than-air animals like Morrowind's netches.
Most of the race fluff added; to be completed within a couple of days. Emerging themes seem to be slavery, colonialism, the perils of attempting to impose civilization on a naturally savage world, the futility of petty rulers and laws in controlling the chaos. Low-to-mid magic level, but extremely pervasive.
I like that even thought they began a Aspects of Demon Lords the gods have matured to the point that they have their own personalities and goals.
As a thought experiment, how would the Demon Lords view their "Children" and the former Aspects? And how would the multiverse react if this world suddenly became accessible to planar travel?
Well, it'd be hard to tell how the multiverse as a whole would react - more hard-line forces of good may wish to destroy it, for example, while others may wish to see it redeemed. Even though it's a world forged by demons and formed out of essentially pure chaos, there are aspects of order and good in it, and some celestial beings might want to nurture that. Devils might want to open up another front for the Blood War - after all, Malmundus might offer access to layers of the Abyss they couldn't normally reach. But I am being purposefully restrictive of planar travel for a reason - Malmundus exists on a locked demiplane, and the only way in is through hidden portals in the Abyss that perhaps only Dagon knows the location of, and he can't really be bothered to reveal them. After all, there needs to be a reason why Malmundus is a closed system, and transdimensional travel is so risky. It serves a couple of purposes - it encourages the setting to stay "The Setting," and it cuts out some of the shortcuts players use for convenience. Why build a world when teleport lets you skip right over the good bits? Still, I don't want to ban it outright, hence its inclusion (albeit in a very risky form).
There have been a handful of travelers who've escaped Malmundus and reached Plague-Mort, for example, and from then on to Sigil... but the traveler that can survive the harrowing journey from the Abyss is rare indeed.
As for the demon lords themselves, they would probably shatter it to be pieces if they could get their hands on it again. Or they might let the game play out as intended. But I get the feeling that they'd be offended by just how much their influence has been warped and used to ends they wouldn't necessarily approve of. Hell, the aspects have been so corrupted by time and isolation that some of them have actually become good. It's not unheard of, after all - angels can fall, why can't demons rise? But do you think for one second Malcanthet would tolerate one of her former aspects serving as a deity of mercy, love, and kindness?
It just shows that the worshipped are just as affected by a religion as the worshipppers.
Yes, and that religions can have a wide variety of interpretation. Note: rambly philosophy to continue - like Eberron, I want moral ambiguity in the clergy. Meridia may be neutral evil, but a Myconid priest could be neutral good and still worship her as a nature deity of the underground, or as a patroness of growth and fungal prosperity. I like the gods to have ambiguities too (is it apparent that I find D&D alignment a touch restrictive?). Albia is lawful good but she also encourages harsh social stratification that formalizes systems of oppression in the name of the common good (a conscious extension of Mill and Bentham's utilitarianism on my part). Deimos is a warmongering tyrant, but the empire that's basically founded in his name is the most advanced and arguably enlightened society in the world - it just also happens to be founded on the backs of slave labor. Violent revolutionaries invoke Falun's name to justify their terrorism. Some gods are less obviously conflicted, but even Yurugu and Agunua have reasons for not having their priests immediately run out of towns and cities - one's a sea god, the other a god of the hunt, both things that your average peasant is going to hold in high importance.
At this point, any other aspects that people are especially curious about? What else should be included in the game world? The races are done and defined (though not perfectly), the pantheon is done. I suppose I'll need to flesh out history, nations, and culture, and then finalize the game mechanics and how they affect the world at large.
Also quite interested in opinions on the race fluff itself, obviously, since that was the main thrust of my update.
OH AND: should anyone be interested in playing a PbP game set on Malmundus, I'm DMing one here.