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Author Topic: Interest Check - MtG's Tarkir setting for a 3.5 D&D / Pathfinder adventure  (Read 2070 times)

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Offline Chulanowa

if I understand correctly, those are more like the "showcase" races, those found somewhat uniquely within the faction.

I know from M:tG itself, that the Temur have humans (obviously), a splash of Orcs (and thus half-orcs) and some Aniok (which are basically gnolls or dogmen) in addition to the races noted.

Online LisztesFerencTopic starter

The Temur barbarians have no human equivalent, just dwarves, bird people, ogres and goblins? What type of people are in the furs in the image you posted?

  Those were probably humans, since they they were prominent in all 5 factions in the original source, I changed this to make them less of a dominant race. There still are humans in the Temur Frontier, but not as much as the original artwork would indicate.

if I understand correctly, those are more like the "showcase" races, those found somewhat uniquely within the faction.

I know from M:tG itself, that the Temur have humans (obviously), a splash of Orcs (and thus half-orcs) and some Aniok (which are basically gnolls or dogmen) in addition to the races noted.

  Oh yeah, I'd forgotten about the orcs and the ainoks. Well ainoks are still a part of the Frontier, but orcs probably less so. There's still some, but they are rare.

Offline Sorrow Singer

So to clarify. If we want to roll a human do we use the standard pathfinder human template, do we use one of the cultural templates, or do we use some combination of the two?
Also for the characters themselves, what do we expect to be doing? what is the story that brings the party together and what sort of trials do we expect to face?
« Last Edit: August 20, 2015, 08:56:37 AM by Sorrow Singer »

Online LisztesFerencTopic starter

  You get racial bonuses and culture bonuses. For example, Borsa are usually Sultai. They always have +2 Strength, -2 Intelligence, this is in there genes, then they gain +2 to either Intelligence or Charisma, as these are the attributes their culture values. But, whilst unheard of it would not be impossible for a Borsa to be raised in an Abzan city (maybe they were abandoned to die in the desert as a child). If that were to happen, they retain their racial traits, including +2 Strength, -2 Intelligence, but now they choose between between +2 to Strength or Constitution as their additional stat modifiers.

  Humans thus present a slight problem. I think I will still give them Skilled and their bonus feat, but instead of choosing any attribute to receive +2, they instead gain +2 to both their culture's stats, rather than needing to choose.

  As for the game, it will be a sandbox, hence why I want to try and narrow down the area the group starts in. Kologhan is out by the sounds of it, Ojutai too by the sounds of it, so that leaves Sultai, Temur and Abzan, each presenting a different kind of environment to explore and be challenged by.
« Last Edit: August 20, 2015, 09:39:48 AM by LisztesFerenc »

Online LisztesFerencTopic starter

  Updated the Abzan culture bonus post with the races as well.

Offline Ghostwheel

Bamgara
Sultai Apprentice-Slave

Race: Half-Elf
Class: Sorcerer
Background: The slave's story does not begin with himself, no. Instead it begins with an elf maiden far from the Sultai Brood in the high Cori Mountains. There she attempted day after day to follow the Ojutai teachings, but was unable to center herself. Always there seemed something to do, somewhere to go, some pressing matter that had to be attended to. Her behavior caused the masters there no end of anguish and irritation, and after a time she was exiled from the hallowed meditation halls. With little else to turn, she joined the hidden Jeskai ways, and all too often spoke within concealed basements and darkened cellars of her desire to see the world. The others counselled her that the world was a dangerous place, not fit for one such as she, and that she would perish, but after time and time of her speaking brazenly of the world outside they gave her their blessings, and she left.

She traveled then, and made her way slowly throughout the region. On her travels she joined a caravan, and was instantly smitten by a human guard, who too fell in love with her. Urged by her talk of leaving everything behind and seeing the wide world, she turned his head with stories and convinced him to leave with her once the caravan reached its destination. And so the two journeyed for years, seeing the wonders of the world in all its glory and taking in every sight and sound imaginable. The natural course of things led to her becoming heavy with child, and that child was the purest form of joy either could imagine. But it was not to last.

One day, while travelling to the East of regions that Kologhan ruled, they were beset by a pack of slave traders. The man fought valiantly, and the elven lady through spell after spell, but eventually they were overcome. Still, their spirit was not broken, and though the child was ripped from their arms, they vowed to break free. And so they did--for a few moments. But the slave traders were too perceptive, and the two were quickly captured, and executed only after having killed more of the guards. Words of love and fury at their captors were the last things on their lips, none of which the young babe, only a few years of age, would remember in the years to come.

The boy was presented as a gift to the rakshasa who presided over this specific caravan, for while the guards were not his direct servants, it tarnished his reputation a smidgen to have guards in his caravan slain in such numbers. The rakshasa accepted the gift, and plotted, for he had need of an apprentice to handle the busywork of the laboratory he meticulously kept, and the boy would do well... eventually. The rakshasa named the boy Bamgara, a fitting slave name for one so young, and in private would refer to him simply as "boy" or "Bam" when the boy did something worthy of note. Bam studied at the feet of this master, knowing no other life than that of orders and being a slave.

The boy grew up with a gift for the magical arts, and the rakshasa even saw to it that the boy had some training among the priesthood; while the rakshasa itself was a master in its arts, it had always had a fascination with the Borsa rites and rituals, and knew that the boy would make a perfect spy to learn the machinations of the priests. And while Bamgara was not fully inducted into the priesthood, he picked up more than a few tricks that he incorporated into his own magical style which he would take to the end of his days.

The boy matured, and was a loyal apprentice to the rakshasa who rewarded his efforts with petty gifts that meant nothing to him, but the world to Bamgara. Finally, he decided on a test for the unwitting boy; on the one hand, if he survived, it would mean that he was worthy of further investment. If he failed, well... that just meant that this was all the boy was worth. He tasked Bamgara to go to the temple of Sidisi, and make an offering. It would be accepted, and the boy, now a man (though always "Boy" to the rakshasa) would prove his worth, or he would be an affront to the priests, comporting himself improperly, and they would give him a swift death for impugning the unholy ground of the temple.

Bamgara dutifully went, but not all was at it had seemed to be. In the midst of the temple, unbeknownst to any who stood within, was one of the Deathclaws of Silumgar, the One Who Crawls, lay in wait, ready to deal a deadly blow to the Sultai citizens by destroying a temple thought to be beyond attack by any of Silumgar's forces. And as Bamgara came to present his offerings, showing the proper obeisance to the priests and following protocol precisley, the Deathclaw revealed itself. The priests and onlookers rushed forward, intent on dealing with the enemy, but the Deathclaw was too strong. Talons raked out, drawing the lifesblood of the priests, spells flew that rent souls from their very bodies. A laugh reverberated through the temple, as the only one left standing was the Deathclaw. Only the few slaves remained, as well as Bamgara, laying on the floor, shuddering in fear as they knew they would die this day.

But instead, the Deathclaw melded its mind to theirs. Such a sickening feeling of dread and nausea none of the slaves could have ever imagined filled their senses. Roiling, undiluted hate and vileness coursed through their thoughts, as the Deathclaw made its intent clear. They would carry word that none of Sidisi's citizens were safe, even here in the heart of their most sacred place. And just as swiftly, the Deathclaw was gone, leaving the slaves to fall into unconsciousness, burdened with nightmares that few mortal minds could withstand.

It was days later that Bamgara woke up, sweating and feverish from the ordeal. He would learn that none of the other slaves had awakened, and none would ever do so from the onslaught upon their minds. At first all he could do was gibber incoherently, but the rakshasa was patient if nothing else, seeing a chance to turn this misfortune into a gain that few of the other rakshasa could boast about. It took days, but finally Bamgara was able to function properly, giving the proper respect to the rakshasa and go about his duties. However, a miasmalay within his mind, unknown to either himself or his master, one that might influence his thoughts and actions. Still the rakshasa was supremely gleeful at the chance to show off his slave; what others could compare to one who had survived a confrontation with a Deathclaw? And so he did, presenting Bamgara almost as a trophy, gaining prestige among the other rakshasa for owning such a specimen.

As a reward for his mettle, the rakshasa gifted the young half-elf with a beast of burden to see him through the coming days, a young ankylosaurus of excellent breeding. The rakshasa thought it would be a mere trifle, and that the boy would soon become weary of keeping the companion, but the two soon became inseparable; in fact, it was the presence of the dinosaur, Mekal as Bamgara named him, that helped the man forge through the nightmares and be able to resume his duties, though he was never quite the same.

Time continued to pass, as it tends to do, and while Bamgara was not quite as he had been, his master decided that he needed an operative in the field, a talon that he might guide. And so, Bamgara was sent to distant lands with specific instructions to work the rakshasa's will on the world, carrying within himself the mental effluvium the Deathclaw had left within him.
« Last Edit: August 21, 2015, 04:25:15 PM by Ghostwheel »

Online LisztesFerencTopic starter

  Looks good Ghostwheel, though I may need to go over a couple of points regarding your character sheet. In any case Bamgara would likely be accompanied by two mercenary guards, though he may have lost them by the time the story begins, we can discuss the details.

  Is starting level 3 good for everyone? Would some people prefer something a little higher?

  Also, I think I will use a variant WBL guide, make magical item bonuses more innate. The details can be found here:
http://dnd-wiki.org/wiki/Balanced_Character_Wealth_by_Level_%283.5e_Variant_Rule%29

  This will allow money to be treated as an actual resource of the setting, and allow me to alter it. The party could gain a fortune, and yet not be over empowered in a combat encounter, it should work well. Also the default currency here is silver, not gold. This is just an aesthetic change, gold should be a rare thing, even for adventurers.

Offline Ghostwheel

I'd personally like to be higher in level, if possible. 6 sounds good to me.

Online PaleEnchantress

  Also, I think I will use a variant WBL guide, make magical item bonuses more innate. The details can be found here:
http://dnd-wiki.org/wiki/Balanced_Character_Wealth_by_Level_%283.5e_Variant_Rule%29

  This will allow money to be treated as an actual resource of the setting, and allow me to alter it. The party could gain a fortune, and yet not be over empowered in a combat encounter, it should work well. Also the default currency here is silver, not gold. This is just an aesthetic change, gold should be a rare thing, even for adventurers.

Since I love to use magic item crafting, I really dislike this variant rule. I'll be okay with it though, especially if it makes your job easier. I'll fine some other fun things to blow my magic capitol on.

By default currency being silver, not gold. Does that just mean NPC's instead of saying "that costs 10 gold" will say "That costs 100" silver? Also did you check out my background yet? I wanted to make sure you were okay with it before I posted it. 

Offline Ghostwheel

Since I love to use magic item crafting, I really dislike this variant rule. I'll be okay with it though, especially if it makes your job easier. I'll fine some other fun things to blow my magic capitol on.

Did you check the end of the variant for the crafting rules? It lets characters be a LOT more flexible with consumables, while eliminating the ability to double your wealth via crafting (which has a large effect on character power, since usually wealth = power).

Plus as you gain levels (from level 4 and higher) you can craft custom items from leveling, letting you get some of the items you desire.

Offline Chulanowa

  Is starting level 3 good for everyone? Would some people prefer something a little higher?

1-3 is actually perfect for me. I dislike starting at the higher levels because, maybe it's just me, but i like that "babe in the woods" feel. I'd rather be Bilbo than Gandalf, basically :D

Quote
Also, I think I will use a variant WBL guide, make magical item bonuses more innate. The details can be found here:
http://dnd-wiki.org/wiki/Balanced_Character_Wealth_by_Level_%283.5e_Variant_Rule%29

I think I used this before, but i'm not too familiar. Again, not a problem.

Quote
This will allow money to be treated as an actual resource of the setting, and allow me to alter it. The party could gain a fortune, and yet not be over empowered in a combat encounter, it should work well. Also the default currency here is silver, not gold. This is just an aesthetic change, gold should be a rare thing, even for adventurers.

And "Ye Aulde Magick Geare Shoppe" can go away? YAY! As for silver? pfft, my favorite fantasy setting uses steel as its primary form of currency, so no biggy there.

Online LisztesFerencTopic starter

By default currency being silver, not gold. Does that just mean NPC's instead of saying "that costs 10 gold" will say "That costs 100" silver?

  No it means they'll have 10 silver, and an item that is normally 2gp will now cost 2 silver. The currency is:

Iron - Copper - Silver - Gold - Gold

Offline Sorrow Singer

I have a pretty solid character concept ready i just need a few hours to sit down and write it up. Looking like a Cavalier or Samurai. I haven't decided yet. Should have time to get it done tomorrow.

Online PaleEnchantress

"I am the Calabim. I am the absolute law."
-The entity now called The Queen

Race: Augmented Borsa
Class: Customized Telepath


The Queen



The Borsa are known for their decadence, cruel nature and vanity. Among them there are those who even they view as wicked, monsters that scare other monsters.  Perhaps none are seen as more sinister than Rannavalora III, the last monarch the Borsa would ever have.

Her early life was rather unremarkable, Typical for the children of the royal family. Rannavalora was most known for her beauty and was not first in line to inheret the throne, but shortly after her brother was crowned he became one of the first victims of a terrible plague. The young king had yet to be formally married and left no heir so then the throne passed to his oldest sister Rannavalora.

She secured the support of the richest merchant family through marriage, but the plague was spreading and there was little time to celebrate. The queen was anything but an idle aristocrat. She was a very powerful sorceress, an infernalist.  It is unknown if it was the devils she summoned, or her own mind that came up with the idea that the plague was a spiritual malady caused by lack of loyalty and faith. Those who had been known to speak against the royal family were the first sacrificed. Their deaths gave Ranavalora the power to create a inquisition  made nearly entirely of devils she had summoned.  The sick, the poor, the mad, those shunned or not welcome were gathered and scarificed to summon even more devils so they they may make an army to conquer other nations.

Everyone feared her, but despite that the country enjoyed a time of extreme prosperity. Slaves and the riches of conquest poured forth in massive quantities. It was during that time that her son was born.  It was obvious by his glowing white skin that he was not normal. The baby looked more like an alabaster statue than a living child.  It was obvious he wasn't the child of her official prince consort, and rather that of one of her diabolic lovers. Though none would dare say such a thing outloud. She had many dalliances but if she was capable of loving anything it was her son who she named Na'Amah.

Over a decade would pass where the Queen would sacrifice so many conquered people many of the lands were barren of human life. It's theorized that she may even have been partly responsible for humanities racial decline. By time the prince was in his teens his mother was more like a dragon from hell itself than a Borsa. Her crazy demands got ever the stranger as earthly concerns ceased to be an issue to her. Her husband soon found himself sacrificed to the devils as part of a pact to bless her son with great power over others minds. Her black magic divinations revealed that her son would never betray her, and that he would become a most unique monarch in his own right. The exact words of the prophecy are much debated by scholars, but they all agree that at the very least that was how Ranavalora interpreted it.

As the slave population dwindled Ranavalora once again turned to sacrificing her own people. She had long grown tired of them anyway, desireing instead to make Takir, or at least her kingdom within it part of hell itself. The lands were thrown into terror as she gathered everyone she could to sacrifice them all and forge a massive permanant link with the hells. Fortunately for the Takiri people the Elder Dragons had finally decided to interviene.

There is debate on which dragons specifically attacked The Borsan Queen and her devilish armies, but Sliumgar was certainly who led the attack. The devils and their mad queen were not easy to overcome, even for beings of such power. Attrition was the eventual downfall of Ranavalora's armies. Unable to continue her sacrifices she had no reinforcements. When Sliumgar finally made to to her palace she had killed everyone within except for herself and her son. The Queen's power fading, The Drifting Death killed her and her only heir.

The Borsans no longer had to fear their mad sorcerer queen, but they were not free. Sliumgar itself would be their tyrant king. Ranavalora left such a dark shadow that even after Sliumgar's defeat the Sultari lands would never again have a monarch.  In recent times a small sect of diabolists had been rooted out and killed. The Sultari do not forbid dealing with fiends, but this sect had been rather fanatical. They lacked true power so many felt no need to track them to their lair and put an end to the trouble they were causing. Only one Raksha Deathdealer felt the need for it so he commanded several of his best fighters to destroy the cult.  They killed all the infernalists while they were distracted in ritual.

It was most wise of the Deathdealer to have acted. The cult had was getting rather close to their hidden goal: the resurrection of Ranavalora. With the crazy infenralists dead that plan was thwarted. A single prisoner had been rescued, a young Borsa an exceptional beauty who was pure white all over.  They figured the young man was crazy as he kept talking about a dragon attacking and other things that made little sense.

The Deathdealer though, knew from the story exactly who the young man was. The cult had not been able to ressurect Queen Ranavalors, but they did resurrect her son; Prince Na'Amah. The Rakshasa found a delightful irony in the fact that the handsome youth before him was, in a sense, the rightful king.  The situation excited the Rakshasa enough that he accelerated  a plan he had been working on. The Deathdealer explained  a little about what had happened. There was no one left to support him, and even if there were there was no throne for him to inherit. Na'Amah was given two options. With his striking looks he would be a true jewel in the harem of any Sultari lord. He could do that or he could swear alliance to the Rakshasa and get a chance to embrace his destiny to rule by way or charter into Temur lands.

The Rakshasa even offered Na'Amah a chance to be  imbued with even greater control over others minds. That with such power none could dispute that Na'Amah was a true monarch. He didn't mention that there was a chance the process would fail and kill him, as it had every person the Raksha tried it on. Compatible psychics were rare enough.  Even success would leave Na'Amah forever changed into something very different and alien indeed.

Na'Amah is a name better left to the annals of history. What had left the Rakshasa's pleasure palace was a Borsa only in a superficial sense.  It was a eldtirch force that hungered to expand and consume. Soon the Temur barbarians would find an enemy called The Calabim who wore the bodies of their lost brothers in arms. To the Calabim free will was an evil that had to be ended, all for the glory of their Queen.
« Last Edit: August 21, 2015, 08:13:48 PM by PaleEnchantress »

Online PaleEnchantress

  No it means they'll have 10 silver, and an item that is normally 2gp will now cost 2 silver. The currency is:

Iron - Copper - Silver - Gold - Gold

Ah, understood.  Wasn't sure what way you meant it exactly.

  Also, I think I will use a variant WBL guide, make magical item bonuses more innate. The details can be found here:
http://dnd-wiki.org/wiki/Balanced_Character_Wealth_by_Level_%283.5e_Variant_Rule%29

  This will allow money to be treated as an actual resource of the setting, and allow me to alter it. The party could gain a fortune, and yet not be over empowered in a combat encounter, it should work well. Also the default currency here is silver, not gold. This is just an aesthetic change, gold should be a rare thing, even for adventurers.

The more I read this the more I ended up liking it. Some of the things that, at first, I really disliked about it I saw were not as big an issue as I thought.

The five item limit seemed odd but when I realized most "Tool" type items don't count toward that limit. With the basic bonuses covered inherently 5 worn magic items can go a long way. My least favorite thing was the crafting limitations, but then I realized with a fairly high magic setting any item one would really want to buy will be able to be bought even if it has to be sent out for.  Another big thing that really made me love it was the five items aren't forever locked in. - A large treasure trove of stocked magic items is still awesome and beneficial since you can customize what you wear based on what you need AND the DM doesn't have to be overly concerned with how big your collection is since you may have more to chose from but you don't have more available at once.  Reminds me a bit of the wizards spellbook. The flexibility of choosing your spell per day from a big list is fun and its always nice then you get new spells to scribe, but even learning 10 new spells isn't a massive power spike since he still has his slot limits.  Finally with scrolls/potions/wands being as they are we can finally craft them at our own level. Thats a lot more choices available for them now. 

Also like the half bonus for familiar/animal companion rule.

Online LisztesFerencTopic starter

  How are the characters come along, Chulanowa and Sorrow Singer?

Offline Rajah

What would your Ojutai look like?

Offline Sorrow Singer

I'm still drafting mine, it's taking longer than id like. Things keep coming up but hopefully ill post her up by tonight

Online LisztesFerencTopic starter

What would your Ojutai look like?

  Well the Ojutai consist of Djinn, Aven and Elves.

  Djinn look like this:


  Aven of the Ojutai tend to look like this:


  Elves are a bit harder, because there is no artwork of them, since I switch their humans for elves. But if you imagine this guy with elven features, you'll have what Ojutai elves look like:

Online PaleEnchantress

So glad Im enslaving humans, there are some real ugly races in this setting =P

Offline Chulanowa

Got commandeered for a family reunion and breakfast Saturday and this morning, so... Wuff! i know the direction i wanna go, just gotta fish up an inspirational image

Offline CarnivalOfTheGoat

Tapping in to announce a likely Timur Ainok Flowing Water/Sacred Mountain monk (because Tibetan Mastiff anti-dragon monk seems like it's a thing!). One of Narset's many hurriedly-trained pupils but not one of her "special students."

Big damn rock-breaking paws!

Online LisztesFerencTopic starter

Langues of Tarkir
Sorry I didn't post this earlier, I'm a being a bit scatter brained. Hopefully next the Ojutai culture bonuses will be up. I thought I wouldn't need them, but looks like we may after all.

The Trade Tongue - Spoken in all regions, this is the language of the merchants. It can be used to communicate basic ideas, but will prove insufficient for a speaker trying to convey a more complex idea that has little to do with trade. There is no other universal language, no common.

Kologhan
Zail is the universal language of the Kologhan, with large dialectical differences between the various races and tribes.

Temur - Regionally divided:
Sever - Most of the Temur dwell on the vast reaches of the tundra between the Qal Sisma Mountains and the Forbodden Tomb, said to be the resting place of a powerful dragon, though this doesn't appear to be Atarka. This language is the most common among the clan.
Vostok - The tribes that speak Vostok live on the furthest reaches of the tundra, north even by the standards of the Temur Frontier.
Zaap – Spoken primarily by those that dwell in the alpine forests on the slopes of the Qual Sisma Mountains. Surrak Dragon claw speaks this language.

Ojutai - Racially divided.
Diguo - Spoken by the elves and Aven of the clan.
Feng Mí - Spoken by the djinn.
Huǒ Mí - The secretive language of the Jeskai Way, a deliberate bastardization of Feng Mí, with the help of Efreet.

Abzan
Yedin - Spoken by all the Abzan, with little dialectal differences. Some orcs will speak a bastardization of Zail, but this is very rare, and they will always use Yedin in the company of others.

Sultai - Racially divided, plus one region.
Boran - Spoken by the borsa and most of the samāna lōka.
Ecca - Spoken by the mage caste of the samāna lōka, and a select few of the borsa shaman-kings.
Pintou - Spoken in Kheru, the vassal state of the Sultai, taken from the Temur when Atarka still lived.

  Additionally, each of the 5 (well 4, since Atarka's clutch was effectively annihilated) have their own take on Draconic, separate enough to be considered its own language in turn.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2015, 10:49:28 AM by LisztesFerenc »

Offline CarnivalOfTheGoat

So when you say there is "No common." Do you mean "No other common." or do you mean that, quite literally, rather than characters having their regional + the trade tongue, they only have their regional, and the trade tongue must be acquired.

Apologies if that didn't make sense. It's been a long day.

Online LisztesFerencTopic starter

So when you say there is "No common." Do you mean "No other common." or do you mean that, quite literally, rather than characters having their regional + the trade tongue, they only have their regional, and the trade tongue must be acquired.

  Everyone gets two languages by default (and more for a high intelligence as per usual). That can either be one of their starting faction's language + trade, or two of their faction's languages. Kologhan, Ojutai Crawlers or Herald of the Eternal can choose to speak their Elder Dragon's language, but would probably need a backstory reason for that, as it is not taught freely.