I've been working on a homebrew idea for awhile now, and would very much like the input of the "OotSers". Now, I was known as kkortekaas before the board switch, but for some reason it doesn't recognize that user name anymore...meh.
Now for your viewing pleasure below "The Savage Coast"
(please be gentle as this is a rough draft) --------------------------------------------
Your world is at war – it has been for close to a century. You’re not actually sure how it started; either the elves did something the humans didn’t like or maybe it was the dwarves who pissed off the elves. Doesn’t really matter, the fact is the toll of the war on the land, people and civilization as a whole has been devastating. At some point, some ‘genius’ wizard thought it would be a good idea to summon demons to help his side of the battle. This, of course, was copied by the other side, until all hell broke loose, literally. All control was lost and it became a battle for survival only.
A small, interracial group decided that instead of fighting against increasingly unbalanced odds, they would find a way to flee. Two wizards, Parthan the, ancient, elusive eleven lord, and his unlikely partner and tenuous ‘friend’ Fenrix, the slightly unbalanced human mage, were brought together to work on a solution. They stumbled across a portal to another land – neither could tell where it lead - either to an unexplored area of this world, or possibly another place entirely.
Another year passed while the group hurriedly planed their exodus into this new and promising land. Supplies were gathered and people carefully chosen to form a viable community. While nobody expected the races to mingle happily as legend has it they once did, there are hopes for at least a peaceful coexistence. In this time, Parthan and Fenrix worked on a way to maintain the portal for long enough to allow their party to pass.
And so, 5 years ago, you and your people came to “The Savage Coast”
It hasn’t been an easy 5 years. In fact, it’s been almost the opposite. In all their preparations and research, the ‘all powerful’ mages somehow didn’t notice the giant, flesh-eating lizards that seem to roam the land in impossible numbers. Nor did they notice the biting insects, oppressive heat and the ever-present humidity that seems to turn steel to rust instantly.
The portal led the party to the swampy shores of a new continent. After their almost immediate initial contact with a huge and hungry lizard, the party began to fortify the area around the portal. It wasn’t long, however, before old racial mistrust took root and the exodus split along near-racial lines.
The majority of the dwarves and gnomes forged a straight line into the jungle headed for the mountains on the horizon.
The elves busied themselves building boats and rafts and took to the seas, settling a chain of small islands to the west.
The humans, along with the majority of the half-breeds (elves and orcs) made do with what they were given and began to fortify the area around the portal.
The only local inhabitants with which the party has made (mostly) peaceful contact are a race of halflings. These small versions of humans are banded into tribes that vary wildly from one to the next. Some have been openly welcoming of the party, and even assimilated into your society, helping to show the ways of this new world. Others, however, have not been so welcoming, choosing instead to attack and raid small groups whenever possible. They have all had varying degrees of success in taming some of the smaller and more docile lizards. They’re used for everything from work animals to formidable riding/fighting steeds, though not large enough for full sized men to ride.
Other local inhabitants have been less friendly. Humanoids roam the land, some familiar like Orcs, Goblins and Kobolds, with others more closely related to ferocious beasts.
HUMANS & co.
The portal opened onto vast swampy plains on the western shore of what is thought to be a large continent. The humans, for the most part fishers and farmers, thought this as good a place as any to settle. The marshes are fertile ground for cultivation, and with the low plant density, any hungry attacks can be spotted before it is too late. They founded the town of New Sanctuary around the portal and fortified it heavily. All citizenry live within the walls though their work may take them to the surrounding fields or waterways. Although the nearby fields all have quick and easy egress to the walled city, attacks by the giant lizards are common and usually deadly.
The town of New Sanctuary houses approximately 1000 citizens and is run by a council of 5 humans who planned and organized the human portion of the exodus. The council runs all but the private lives of townsfolk. It is they who dictate the fields to be worked and the distribution of the wealth. They are responsible for the wellbeing of the populace and control most, if not all, of the wealth of the citizenry. They argue, perhaps rightly, that in a land as perilous as theirs, the town must be run from above with the good of the many as a philosophy in order to ensure survival. In general the rulings of the council are fair and level-handed, but as always there are those who disagree.
The council has twice been challenged seriously. The first came about shortly after the founding of New Sanctuary. Fenrix felt that as he enabled the exodus in the first place, it was his due to become ruler of the land. He amassed a degree of support for his position, but after a brief confrontation, was ‘convinced’ to leave with his followers and the majority of the valuables the exodus had brought. They built a small armada and are believed to have sailed North.
The second confrontation came from the non-humans. While New Sanctuary is nominally a human town, there is representation from other races as well. Half-elves, half-orcs, and some of the ‘tamed’ natives make up almost a third of the population. In the year 2 AE (After Exodus) a minor uprising resulted from the slaughter of nearly 50 non-humans who were working the fields the furthest from New Sanctuary. They claimed that non-humans were regularly assigned the furthest and most dangerous fields and fishing areas while the humans took far fewer risks. In order to maintain the peace, three new seats were created on the council – one for each of the non-human races – to sit alongside the previous 5.
New Sanctuary can provide for most of the needs of the humans, but not all. They don’t have the technology or ability to obtain minerals and metals needed for their tools. For this, they’re reliant on trade with the dwarves. The dwarves rely on this trade for fresh food and wood products. This trade occurs almost exclusively in Fort Last – a small human outpost on the slopes of Mt. Thunderbeast so named as it is the last outpost of human civilization. The dwarves, wary of allowing humans into their underground home, helped construct and fortify this outpost as a place for the humans to stay during trading missions.
A multi-racial garrison of about 50 defend Fort Last and patrol the immediate area. There’s a permanent population of about a dozen or so traders and peasants to maintain the outpost
The trek from New Sanctuary to Fort Last is long and hazardous. The forest grows over the path almost overnight, and attacks by natives and wildlife are terribly common. Camping in the open forest is a risky business at best. To minimize the risk, Stopover was established on the border between the marsh and jungle: at about the midpoint of the day and a half trek between New Sanctuary and Fort Last.
Stopover is little more than an outpost. A garrison of about 100 protects the town and patrols the trade route in the immediate area. They are also charged with the protection of the 50 or so loggers in Stopover. The form of their protection, however, is generally simply to sound the alarm with the approach of giant lizards.
Stopover is essentially run by a group of rangers and druids that have, in a way, adopted the area around Stopover. They direct the logging in a way they are happy with – removing weaker trees and generally lessening the impact on the forest as a whole. The loggers gladly follow their advice. These logging practices also seem to attract the attention of the giant lizards far less than conventional logging.
While officially a logging camp and a rest stop for traders, Stopover serves also as a launching point and base for exploration missions as well.
The dwarves and gnomes, led by their Queen, Helga Rockhammer, were uncomfortable without the comforting weight of stone above their heads, especially with the added potential of being eaten by giant lizards or attacked by little men on little lizards. The dwarves along with the gnomes headed directly inland towards the large coastal mountain range and did what dwarves do best; they tunneled into the Mt. Thunderbeast and fortified their home, locking the world out. The colony of about 500 dwarves and 250 gnomes was established shortly thereafter calling itself Underholm.
The dwarves and gnomes rely on trade with humans for some luxuries like fresh food, cloth and wood, but feel they could quite happily do without as well. The humans, however, were insistent on trading for their metal and minerals. It is inconceivable for the humans to be permitted to know the location of the entrance to their home, let alone be permitted inside, but they kept on getting eaten outside. The humans made some feeble attempts at building on the slopes of Mt. Thunderbeast, but in an act of mercy, Queen, Rockhammer decreed they should be helped. A proper fortification was constructed, complete with hidden entrance and easily defended gates.
The citizens of Underholm have had some success in ‘taming’ local creatures. Some of the giant lizards are used as beasts of burden, but most impressively, they have developed a rapport with the griffons that roost along the peaks of the mountains. Some have even been trained to allow riders, know as the “Thunderriders”, who patrol the area around Underholm and Fort Last. They occasionally clash with native halflings mounted on giant flying lizards, but both sides prefer to avoid this conflict.
The elves took off. They always do that. They said almost noting, just built boats and sailed west. After ensuring that the magical portal was well and truly sealed behind them.
It is believed that the 600 or so elves colonized the small islands to the West. They maintain a limited contact with New Sanctuary. There is some minor trade as well as a diplomatic presence, but it’s safe to say that the elves have not integrated with the others.
Below are the weapon & armor material rules liberally stolen from a number of sources....
The ability to make steel is very difficult on The Savage Coast as the dwarves have only recently begun exporting raw ore to the other kingdoms. Other metals such as mithral, adamantine, and platinum haven’t been discovered in any sizeable quantity, and the population isn’t looking very hard as they have been concentrating on survival. The following describes how the materials of most of the weapons and armor are made, and how these new materials affect their use.
Bone: A majority of the weapons in The Savage Coast are made of bone or stone. Weapons made of bone have a -2 penalty on attacks and damage (with a minimum damage of 1). Bone has a hardness of 6 and 10 hit points per inch of thickness. Bone weapons weigh half as much as their listed weight in the Player's Handbook. A bone weapon has the same price in gold-piece as in the Player's Handbook.
Blood Obsidian: This rare obsidian is made when volcanoes are created, resulting in narrow veins of blood obsidian. Weapons made from blood obsidian have a natural enhancement bonus of +1 on damage. This bonus does not stack with any other enhancement bonus. Thus, a blood obsidian scimitar with a +4 magic enhancement bonus effectively has a +44 enhancement bonus on both attacks and damage. In an area where magic does not function, it retains its natural +1 enhancement bonus on damage. A masterwork blood obsidian scimitar would have a -+1 bonus on both attacks and damage. Blood obsidian has a hardness of 12 and 3o hit points per inch of thickness. Weapons made from blood obsidian cost 1,000 more than the gold-piece price listed in the Player's Handbook.
Bronze: Weapons of bronze, while clearly inferior to iron items, are not nearly as bad as stone or bone weapons. Their attack and damage penalty is only -1. Bronze has a hardness of 9 and 20 hit points per inch of thickness. Weapons forged of bronze cost 2 ½ times the gold-piece value listed in the Player's Handbook.
Iron: Iron works as described in the Player's Handbook. It has a hardness of to and 3o hit points per inch of thick¬ness. Iron weapons are not cold iron weapons and do not overcome damage reduction. Cold iron weapons cost twice as much as their normal iron counterparts and function as described in the DUNGEON MASTER'S Guide. Weapons forged of iron cost 5 times the gold piece value listed in the Player's Handbook.
Stone: Weapons made of stone have a -2 penalty on attacks and damage (with a minimum damage of 1). Stone has a hardness of 8 and 15 hit points per inch of thickness. Stone sling bullets have no penalty on attacks or damage. A stone weapon has the same price as its gold-piece price in the Player's Handbook.
Wood: Only certain weapons can effectively be made of wood. The club, quarterstaff, sap, great club, and all bows and crossbows can be made from wood without suffering a penalty. Any bludgeoning weapon can also be constructed from wood, but those not noted above suffer a -3 penalty on attacks and damage (with a minimum damage of 1). Weapons that deal piercing or slashing damage cannot be made of wood. Wood has a hardness of 5 and to hit points per inch. A wooden weapon has the same price in gold-piece as the price in the Player's Handbook.
Weapon Hit Points: Below this would sit a chart, but it didn't port into the boards nicely, so I cut it out. if you want to see it, just send me a PM
The Armor and Shields table shows what armor is generally available on The Savage Coast. It includes several armor types described in the Arms ea Equipment Guide. Any armor not listed on the table is rare and must be made of iron. Iron armor costs 5 times the gold piece value listed in the Player's Handbook and weighs half again (+50%) as much.
Bark: Carefully crafted from the thick bark of trees, bark armor is treated to prevent it from becoming brittle over time. Large plates of bark cover the torso and back, while strips of it are fastened to cloth or leather backing to cover the arms and legs.
one: Made from the bones of animals or slaughtered foes, bone armor consists of a leather or cloth coat reinforced with strips of bone. It only covers the torso, allowing the limbs freedom to move.
Bronze Breastplate: This is essentially the same as the steel breastplate presented in the Player's Handbook, except that it is made of bronze.
Bronze Half-Plate: This bronze half-plate only differs from the the Player's Handbook's half-plate in its weaker material.
Buckler: Bucklers are usually made from the scapula of an animal and reinforced with leather straps.
Chitin: Many of the creatures on INSERTNAME have tough exoskeletons made of thick chitin. As these plentiful crea¬tures are often a source of food, it didn't take long for the people of the MAINISLAND NAME to make their exoskeletons into wearable armor. Chitin armor is comprised of chitin plates covering the wearer's torso, as well as smaller pieces on the joints and limbs.
Cord: Made from knotted rope, cord armor is most common among halflings and tribes that live away from the cities
Hide: Cured and uncured animal skins, layered thickest over the chest and back, form this armor.
Leather: Hardened leather plates form the chest and back pieces, and are used to cover other vital areas such as joints. These hardened leather plates are held together with thinner pieces of leather to allow some free¬dom of movement.
Leather Scale: Made of cured leather scales, leather scale armor is identical to regular steel scale mail except in its material.
Padded: This armor is made by lay¬ering oiled canvas between silk, with a cotton or wool layer underneath. Popular among nobles, wealthy mer¬chants, and others who wish to protect themselves without drawing attention, the outer layer of silk can be deco¬rated as elaborately as normal clothes.
Shell: Made from the treated shells of tortoises and more exotic crea¬tures, the alchemical process used to create shell armor makes it less brittle, so when struck it gives instead of shattering. Large shells form chest and back plates, with smaller shells cover¬ing joints and other vital areas.
Shields: Shields are large pieces of wood or metal that strap to the arm. They have wood grips that must be held, but the grips of small shields are such that the wielder can hold other items. A weapon cannot be wielded with the hand gripping the shield.
Studded Leather: Studded leather is the same as presented in the Player's Handbook, except that it uses bone or stone studs instead of metal. Wood: Like bone armor, wood armor is made of cloth or leather strips with wood strips sewn in.
Armor & Shields Below this would sit a chart, but it didn't port into the boards nicely, so I cut it out. if you want to see it, just send me a PM
Looks like fun, aside from perhaps some typos and things that a little proof-reading might help (eg, do blood obsidian weapons really have "a +44 enhancement bonus on both attacks and damage"? and some places where you used "to" instead of "two" or "2").
Just one question: what is the topography of the elvish islands? or are elves not intended to be PCs?
My co-DM and I haven't really fleshed out the elven lands yet, plans are for a loose confederation of elven nobles, each with their own islands. Plans are to present them as the pretty much only navel power.