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Author Topic: Welcome Aboard the Moaning Molly! (Last Call for Crew! IC Starting Next Week!)  (Read 3652 times)

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Offline Darwishi

I was planning on a sky pirate that's somehow lost her ship, potentially to corrupt authorities or some such.  I haven't fleshed everything out, but I've used the character before.  I was thinking she was the captain of a band of notorious pirates/thieves.  Just a small group.  I'll flesh out more when I get the time.  I'm not sure where that falls on the usefulness scale.  Perhaps a right-hand to the captain or muscle or some such?  I'll submit a sheet soon!

EDIT: Those plot hooks sound amazing!
« Last Edit: September 03, 2015, 07:15:38 PM by Darwishi »

Offline A Painter



I also wanted to make her annoying, childish and immature still trying to define herself from (and between?) her projected identity and the culture she was raised in so 17 made more sense than 19 xD
But I'm still working on her.  I figured that 17 might be too young for some people.

Offline Darwishi

That's interesting that none of my post managed to get into the quote itself. =P

It's not even remotely up to me on the age of the character so I shall keep my mouth shut. 

Offline A Painter

I got lazy to correct myself.  rushing to get out of the house for errands and whatnot xD Bye guys

Offline Roketto

Ok, so cat-thingie it is.  Ok, some questions for the GM(s).

Is there legal slavery anywhere in what would be considered the "civilized" world (IE Human lands, Dwarven lands, etc)?

I'm a little confused with the described magic level as I'm not familiar with those particular Final Fantasy games.  Would magic along the lines of what's seen in other FF games be appropriate?  I was thinking along the lines of a red, blue, or black mage type character.

Offline Roketto

Or, to put a different game example out there, something like a witch, magus, or wizard from Pathfinder/DnD.

Offline CaponeTopic starter

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Working on that! Just.... keep getting pulled away from the keyboard... >_<

Offline Roketto

Working on that! Just.... keep getting pulled away from the keyboard... >_<

Ah, no worries.  Gonna keep thinking on background stuff.

Offline Chreestafer

So we PM all characters to you first?

Offline CaponeTopic starter

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Yes, Chreestafer, all characters to me.

Technology and Magic description is done! I hope this doesn't put anyone off the game based on the sorts of characters they want to play. It does get rid of the traditional wizard type, largely. However, I'm hoping there's enough there that will get folks curious.

You can find all the info in a spoiler tag on the original post, but I'm including it here for quick finding. Tomorrow, I'll begin working on races, the world map (very simple, not too detailed), and religions. However, I'm considering scrapping religion altogether, truth told. I'll let you guys decide on that, however.

Technology and Magic
Tech

As discussed frequently, think Final Fantasy IV and Final Fantasy IX. Thoroughly fantasy with some miraculous (for the time) technological advancements, mostly involving cogs, gears, and clever implementation of copper wire and springs. Less “steampunk”, more “clockwork”. A castle with shifting parts throughout would be a technological marvel that, to some, would almost come off as magic in itself.

There is knowledge of gunpowder, which has largely been used for canons. Pistols are a recent gnomish invention that have failed to find a market amongst the major kingdoms due to their limited firing capacity and time required to reload. They are single-shot, requiring powder and ball to be loaded in before firing another shot. Crossbows are cheaper, take less or as much time to reload and can be built to also act as a melee weapon. In addition, soldiers are already trained to use crossbows. The flintlock and wheellock pistols gnomes came up with would also fail and misfire without proper maintenance, which was more complex to teach than that of other weaponry.

As such, gnomes have begun to introduce pistols to the black market, primarily from Western cities and factions. There are gnomes that have been working with the Eastern lands on rockets, but those have not made their way to the territory in which the game currently takes place.

Pistols should be uncommon. Very few adventurers should have one, and it will rarely be a primary weapon. They are largely short-range weapons, and if they get wet then they are pretty much useless until they can properly be cleaned. Gnomes do not often teach proper pistol maintenance, preferring to make a profit off of repairs, as well as ball and powder sales. However, some enterprising or clever individuals have managed to figure the maintenance of many models of pistol out.

There are rumors that gnomes also have rifle weaponry, but that is all it remains. Rumor.

Magic

Magic does not exist as it does in many other fantasy settings. No one throws fireballs from their bare hands, heal gaping wounds with soft-spoken words, or summon meteors to crush the planet. Magic is literally supernatural, often a mysterious and inexplicable force naturally occuring within nature or drawn from creatures or environments of a magical nature. The hover stones for the airships are an example of naturally occurring magic.

As such, “technology” is typically enhanced by magic. The energy from the hover stone collected to reroute throughout an airship so that it may more effectively float, hover, and soar into the sky is a result of combining magic and technology. Certain effects can be amplified by a skilled magician that enscribes runes across the stone itself (a risky endeavor that could destroy the stone and/or the magician performing the inscription), or upon portions of the ship (much less risky, but a less powerful amplification).

There are many objects which can gain similar enchantment based on the magician’s inscriptions. An inscription can be placed upon a door that, without saying the keyword inscribed into the doorway, leaves any who cross the threshold paralyzed or slumbering. An inscription can be writ upon a blade so that, when dipped within fire, will burn bright until doused in water or within a proper sheath. A properly formed inscription might even keep that blade burning beneath the water, or only doused while in a sheath with matching inscription.

There are libraries and organizations dedicated to mastering The Old Tongue, the ancient language in which runes and glyphs are written. No one is absolutely certain of its origins, as it is shared across all races, has a very complex linguistic structure, and the words themselves are of great power to make ideas real. Some believe it was created by ancient Gods, or beings that have either died or left this world. No one knows for certain, as documents have yet to be interpreted in a sensical manner.

This means a magician’s power is limited to their understanding of the language and knowledge of words. So the eternal flaming sword described above is based purely on how knowledgeable and skilled a magician is with the language. Note that the Old Tongue is only written, as there is no guideline as to how it is spoken. This additionally makes interpreting and translating texts difficult, as various schools and even cultures apply different names to different runes and symbols, creating an inconsistent alphabet between those working with the language. It is only recently that scholars from Dwarven, Human, and Elven nations have agreed to begin working on a unified interpretation of the Old Tongue. Naturally, more time is spent arguing over whose interpretation is correct.

It is believed that gnomes understand the power more than anyone else, yet keep its secrets to themselves so as not to give away any secrets. Many of their darker projects do not see the light of day, and usually they only use the magic to help improve their own factories and assemblies. They do not, after all, want to share too much of their technology and sacred arts with other races, and supposedly this is where the most important secrets are kept between gnomish cities and clans.

So magic is either naturally occurring, or placed upon objects via inscription. Inscription can focus or draw out a magical object’s powers, though at a risk, or it can imbue a normal object with supernatural properties. Alchemy is a third type of magic built upon naturally occurring magical objects. For example, legends say that a unicorn horn, when ground up and mixed with water into an edible liquid, is capable of curing any illness or disease, no matter how fatal. Fairy or Pixie Dust, the dusting collected off of their wings or pollinations, is used for medicinal powders that accelerate healing (but only along the lines of a wound that might heal within five days healing within two). Most of this powder is sold and distributed by Elves, many of whom have whole “Pixie Farms” within their communities and cities. This is believed to be due to Pixie Speak, a language that, for whatever reason, only Elves can understand.

Alchemy is practiced by all races, and typically results in medicines, poisons, bombs, and such creations as the Tanglefoot Bag found in a game like Dungeons and Dragons. These, however, are very uncommon due to the expertise, time, and cost to create, and thus time to purchase, typically used by successful bounty hunters and only sparingly.

The final form of magic are Rituals. These are related to religions and cults. Religious rituals will be detailed in the Religion section. They often involve animal sacrifice, and/or the burning of specific ingredients as incense, in addition to hand gestures. Religious rituals either result in very, very subtle results, or they are an offering to nothing. Naturally, debates rage over the “one true faith”.

Cults, or other such organizations, typically practice blood rituals using the Old Tongue, but only selectively. Part of the mystery to the Old Tongue is that blood rituals only work with a human or elven sacrifice. Any other creature’s blood, even gnome or elf, do nothing. Blood rituals also only work for certain purposes. In the case of our earlier eternal blade example, inscribing runes upon the blade with blood would have no impact.

Most often, blood rituals are used for acts that many would consider heresy. Necromancy is one such act, and requires one life to be given so that another may rise. Unfortunately, there is still little known about what is often called Blood Magic, as few scholars insist on, or are even capable, of studying it. To properly study it would require murder, and thus one can only study the aftermath of such activities. What is known is that Blood Magic rarely leaves the inscriber sane. Such dark magicians often become feral, twisted, schizophrenic, paranoid, and a multitude of other side effects. Occults are often short-lived, and have a tendency to destroy themselves.

Many scholars have drawn a correlation to types of magical abilities or properties and the creatures associated with them. For example, the magic of Pixies and Fairies is passive, or incidental. They use no magic on others, their dust just happens to be magical. Same goes with the Unicorn, a creature that has not been sighted for centuries, if it had ever existed at all. These creatures are peaceful, and their magical properties are all passive.

Yet the song of the Siren, the hypnotic stare of the Naga, the petrifying gaze of the Cockatrice, the bite of the Werewolf, these are all aggressive creatures that use their magical powers for harm. Between this and the nature of blood magic, many scholars are beginning to theorize two potential sources for magic, one good and one evil. Again, however, there are arguments over whether such supernatural forces would follow mundane concepts such as ethics and morality.

This, on the whole, is the nature of magic within the game world.

Offline Roketto

Actually... I love the inscription based magic concept.  Kinda reminds me of the alchemy from Full Metal Alchemist, which could work even better than a spell slinger for my as-of-yet unnamed catlike critter.
« Last Edit: September 03, 2015, 10:25:03 PM by Roketto »

Offline Darwishi

90% of the profile awaaaay.  Let me know what you think.  I have a few ideas for the character but I want to get an idea from you on some of the aspects before going further with it.

Offline CaponeTopic starter

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Actually... I love the inscription based magic concept.  Kinda reminds me of the alchemy from Full Metal Alchemist, which could work even better than a spell slinger for my as-of-yet unnamed catlike critter.

Well, nothing quite as over-powered, naturally. :P

Got a few character sheets so far, and I'm largely quite pleased with the ideas coming along. Hopefully I don't come off as being too strict with some of the setting specifics. Hopefully we'll have some approvals soon and can start a Character Sheet thread.

Offline Roketto

Well, nothing quite as over-powered, naturally. :P

Naturally.  I'll start working on the character then.

Online Chulanowa

Work rolled me into a ball and dribbled me up and down the court today, so... kinda... didn't do much character thinking.  :'( Should be good for solid brainstormery tomorrow though.

Any insight into what sort of characters are already out there?

Offline CaponeTopic starter

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Work rolled me into a ball and dribbled me up and down the court today, so... kinda... didn't do much character thinking.  :'( Should be good for solid brainstormery tomorrow though.

Any insight into what sort of characters are already out there?

None approved yet, but character sheets I've received include:
- One pirating adventurer (rogue/warrior type)
- One engineer type
- One muscle type
- One brothel worker, male

This is in addition to the Captain and the Madame. There are also a couple messages in my inbox where things are being worked out, or are in a state of "maybe not for me".

Note that there's no problem doubling up some of these professions.

Offline CaponeTopic starter

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So I hope many of you have patience as this is the first game, especially of this size, I've GM-ed. I've been building the setting as we progress to answer questions, and there's been a lot of discussion with those that have been sending character sheets in. I want to thank Mia H for helping me out in this regard in particular.

If you're still working on a character sheet or just started, be sure to ask these questions, added into the first post:

Quote
QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF WHEN CREATING YOUR CHARACTER!

After having some lengthy conversations and loss of interest in the game with a few folks, I've decided to ask some simple questions that can come before or after you've created your character. Keep these in mind.

  • Why does your character (want to) follow Roderick and/or Molly?
  • Why would Roderick and/or Molly want your character around?
  • Would your character fit the sort of tone you'd expect from a show such as Firefly, or other ensemble shows?

Be sure to take the character personalities into account, rather than just pragmatic reasons (it's not enough that you make money whoring on the boat, or are a good mechanic, etc. etc. What's going to make this ship work is that it is, in some way, family (and yes, even families fight, so it's not a hug box, but there must be compatibility)).

While not always the case, this seems to be part of what is making things difficult. In addition, I'd say your character's bio should basically be enough to answer the first two questions.

Also: Molly's character sheet has been added to the first post! Go and meet your Madame/Ship!

Online CarnivalOfTheGoat

I'm rather tempted to apply for the ship's medic/cathouse doc (how does alchemy/alchymystry/what have you work in this setting, hm? Is it just applied herbology interacting with primitive chemistry or is it semi-magical in its own right?).

Someone has to keep the fevers down, keep the appropriate medications going so that the company doesn't have issues in the biblical sense, and make sure no one starts passing around bedbugs. She might well be an on-again-off-again participant in the bordello activities in a more non-medical sense as well, given the irregularity of pay that one might expect as a crewmember in a Firefly-esque situation.

Let me assure you that you don't really need to fuss yourself terribly about historical (or as some of my friends label it due to how rarely it really is accurate, "hysterical") accuraccy. As a history professor, I could shred to pieces 99% of any non-documentary you've ever seen which purported to be happening in some particular time period...And no small number of documentaries which cut corners because accuraccy was expensive, too.

But I usually don't bother unless it's particularly egregious and bad...Nitpicking ruins the enjoyment of life.

I will say that I find a bit peculiar to posit a technological progression in which rifles (as in long-arms, not rifled-bore weapons) aren't around while cannon and pistols are common to be, frankly, a bit weird...That particular technology ran bells -> cannon -> long arms of the matchlock variety -> pistols once they learned to make a small enough lock. Pistols were fairly rare devices through most of the history of firearms, as opposed to muskets and fowling-pieces. Just a bit strange. No more strange than the constant portrayal of Arthur & Co. wearing plate, mind you...

Oh, and btw, Clockpunk is a legitimate genre. Well, inasmuch as any of the offshoots of Gibson & Co's neuromantic group that got slapped with labels like *****-punk are legitimate...
« Last Edit: September 04, 2015, 07:50:11 PM by CarnivalOfTheGoat »

Offline CaponeTopic starter

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I'm rather tempted to apply for the ship's medic/cathouse doc (how does alchemy/alchymystry/what have you work in this setting, hm? Is it just applied herbology interacting with primitive chemistry or is it semi-magical in its own right?).

Do you mean outside of what's been outlined? Generally, it's powdered or liquid medicines that accelerate the healing process, but nothing incredibly out there. It allows them to do more than what medicine at the time could, but you're not regenerating a hand, you've still got that leprosy, and they don't have the technology to remove that cancerous growth.

Quote
Let me assure you that you don't really need to fuss yourself terribly about historical (or as some of my friends label it due to how rarely it really is accurate, "hysterical") accuraccy. As a history professor, I could shred to pieces 99% of any non-documentary you've ever seen which purported to be happening in some particular time period...And no small number of documentaries which cut corners because accuraccy was expensive, too.

You and my brother would get along great. It's something that he's learned to deal with himself.

Quote
I will say that I find a bit peculiar to posit a technological progression in which rifles (as in long-arms, not rifled-bore weapons) aren't around while cannon and pistols are common to be, frankly, a bit weird...That particular technology ran bells -> cannon -> long arms of the matchlock variety -> pistols once they learned to make a small enough lock. Pistols were fairly rare devices through most of the history of firearms, as opposed to muskets and fowling-pieces. Just a bit strange. No more strange than the constant portrayal of Arthur & Co. wearing plate, mind you...

Pistols were sort of a last-minute concession, realizing people would want to play pirates and seeing as pirates + pistols is typically a thing. Otherwise, cannons would be the furthest it has gone. The way I'm trying to logic it "behind the DM's screen" is that rifles and pistols have basically been developed at a faster rate than they normally might have, and that ... things are happening that people aren't privy to. I know it's a shit explanation, and it's basically always going to be "rule of cool" bullshit, but... Shrugs.

Offline CaponeTopic starter

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Updated original post with some setting information. Note that I'm not typically not a world builder like this, and I also kind of make it up as I go along. So while I thought of some of this before tonight, most of it was made up off the cuff.

Remember that this is supposed to be a game of random fun adventure and hijinks. This is for flavor. This is not necessarily important. if anything, I will be keeping this around in case I want to develop a different sort of game within this setting (kind of like how I'm implementing an early setting of Griffinport within this one). This means any details outlined here could change.

I may or may not go over different races at this point, and have decided that, for this setting, religions just aren't very important. So you will have scholars, occultists, and philosophers, but no clerics or clergy.

In any event, without further delay:

The World

When viewing this map and reading this information, you might think to yourself “That’s not how things work” or “could that truly happen?” You may begin to question the logic. When you begin doing that, ask yourself “What does a Tauntaun eat?” Sure, you can probably find some answer from the Star Wars extended universe, but don’t. Don’t, because whenever you watch Empire Strikes Back, you don’t care. You just buy into it. Which is all I’m asking here.

Note: most of this game will take place between the lands of Treyanor, the United Kingdoms of the North, and the Flying Isles.

The United Kingdoms of the North

Outlined in red are the United Kingdoms of the North. For centuries the North was a hotbed of conflict and never-ending feuds. However, three Kingdoms soon began to conquer the surrounding territories, until just the trio stood. The three weary kings chose instead to form a treaty. Oddly enough, rather than the successors seeking to undo all the progress of their sires, they chose to take the treaty further and form a single unified Kingdom. Technically the three Kingdoms still exist, but their laws and economy are intertwined.

For almost a century this union has surprisingly lasted, though it hasn’t necessarily been as peaceful for those outside of their borders. As they witnessed the expansion of the Dorelian Empire, they attacked and absorbed one of the Kingdoms of Seheisla. That was roughly 33 years ago. Currently, the successor to that conquered Kingdom is insisting on becoming one of the United, so that it can gain some level of benefit and prestige. He can often be found appearing in court, at least, when he’s not trying to suppress the growing rebellion within his Kingdom’s borders.

While the United Kingdoms are largely currently at peace, there are occasional skirmishes along their borders with Seheisla and the Dorelian Empire. Times are good within the nation that folks hardly ever think of it. Politically, however, war is all but inevitable.

While the Kingdoms are mostly human, there are plenty of dwarves that roam about the countryside, many of which are merchants or seeking to make a living as smithies. Gnome settlements and cities pepper the landscape, and some Elves have established their own communities in the lush forests of the region. Each port of the United Kingdoms is bound to be a colorful place.

Dorelian Empire

Originally just a small strip of land to the South of the continent, an uprising in the capital city of Dorel led to the death of many politicians and nobles, with a new militaristic institution taking its place. Over the last two hundred years the Empire has slowly expanded its reach, primarily grasping at the various territories of the Seheisla borders and pushing as close to the Northern Kingdoms as possible. The militaristic government has proved to be surprisingly effective, ensuring prosperity within its borders by following a set of guidelines inspired by old Elvish warfare. The mentality is that the Dorelian Empire’s glory will come, even if it takes a millennium.

Currently seeing a stalemate at its borders, the Dorelian Empire has begun to explore South, towards the Southern Wastes and the Savage Lands. They’ve already established a connection with some of the dark-skinned tribes, using the southern continents’ slave trade to try and develop a unique brand of soldier, one the other nations will be unprepared to fight.

The Dorelian Empire is largely made up of humans, with many non-humans being merchants of a sort. There are a surplus of gnome settlements within the territories, as a war-hungry country is bound to be good profit.

Kingdoms of Seheisla

Once a massive empire itself, the old Kingdom shattered centuries ago, crumbling into a series of smaller kingdoms that have been constantly at war. It is only within the past few decades that uneasy treaties have been established, as the entire region is beset by all sides. It is likely that, within the next century, “Seheisla”, which in Elvish means “Land Beside the Sea”, will truly be a thing of the history books.

Many of the kingdoms have tried to unite as those in the North have, but the grudges run too deep and the bickering too hot for any sort of union to take place.

As a result, many of the peasants within the borders are uneasy. Their ruling body could change at any time, and their fields and homes could be burned to the ground at any hour. It is not unheard of for citizens to just up and travel across the borders to a neighboring country to find a better, safer, life.

Only Elves are plentiful within Seheisla, though not nearly so numerous as they once were. Many have sailed away, tired of the fighting between human kingdoms. However, there is one Elvish kingdom which still stands, and yearns desperately to unite the remaining kingdoms… even if they must do so by force.

Kingdoms of Treyanor

The many Kingdoms of Treyanor want nothing more than to each be independent from one another. It is the only thing that unites them in any sense. The border Kingdoms are typically the strongest in a military fashion, though in many cases not strong enough to protect against the United Kingdoms. Their borderlines have been pushed back, and the many smaller nations are working on putting together a combined military force to defend.

Treyanor has a healthy population of Elves and Dwarves, as well as other creatures as well. Due to the more free, independent nature of most of the Kingdoms, many of the minority races choose to settle and form communities in this region. There are several dwarven kingdoms that have been working on building new equipment for the different militaries as well. Essentially, Treyanor is a land that is unintentionally becoming a diverse and unified nation.

What keeps many kingdoms at bay for the time being is the control of trade Treyanor has. Be it Elvenhome or the Flying Isles, Treyanor are either responsible for selling the goods or retrieving them. As a result, few nations want to launch an all-out war on any of the nations there, as it would severely harm trade flow, particularly of medicines.

Northern and Southern Dwarven Kingdoms

The borderlines are more of an estimation, as these kingdoms exist within pockets typically connected by a long, vast network of tunnels within the Earth. There are other creatures with an affinity for rock and mountain that share many of these territories, but largely the dividing line is just a separation between what is ultimately lineage. The northern and southern kingdoms are able to trace their lines back far enough that they believe to know their original Father, and draw the divide there.

The dwarves have tried many times to cross the Eastern wastes and open trading routes, but there has yet to be a regular relationship successfully established. There are too many storms in the wastes and they stretch too far out. Occasionally, however, merchants and scholars from the Far East will travel to this continent, and there are rumors of dwarves, gnomes, and even humans that have made it to the exotic land across the desert.

As such, if something comes from the Far East, it likely passed through the Dwarven Kingdoms.

Other Dwarven Kingdoms

In light brown on the map are other Dwarven kingdoms. These are not really too different from the Northern and Southern kingdoms, they are just smaller, more isolated, and not conveniently located to a giant desert.

Elvenhome

Misnamed by human adventurers long ago, Elvenhome is actually a large island that the Elves had settled to centuries ago. It is the origin of the subterranean Dark Elf, which is frequently warring with the dwarves in the mountain range.

It is a lush island filled with forest and beautiful lakes. Much of the medicinal trade comes from this island. The majority of the population are Elves, Dark Elves and Dwarves, but there are a variety of other smaller races both indigenous and migrant, including a few humans.

North of Elvenhome is a peninsula that extends from the true origin of the Elves. However, not much else is known of it.

The Flying Isles

While there are floating continents scattered throughout the world, the Flying Isles are unusual as dozens of smaller islands float over the sea, at a good proximity to one another. Many of the smaller floating continents become port towns, while the larger floating continents are slowly and carefully being mined for hover stone, the theoretical cause for their floating. No official or reliable measurements have been made, but two of the islands with the oldest mines are believed to be closer to the sea than ever before.

Each port is largely independent of any one country, however, and many are even run by gnomes. Think of it along the lines of a coal town run by a company (see the film October Sky for such an example). Some ports, such as Griffinport, are simply a place for sky pirate scum and smugglers to escape “civilized society” for a while.

World’s End

While the fringes of World’s End have grass tundra, it quickly becomes nothing but snow and ice. No one has ventured into the snowy white wastes and returned. It is believed that the world ends here, and that once you’ve crossed the threshold there is no coming back.

Eastern Wastes

Very few settlements of any creature live out in the Eastern Wastes. It is a desert plagued by monstrously sized sand storms, very little water, less to eat, and horrific creatures that possess the absolute fury of a beast that doesn’t get the opportunity to feed often. Very rarely are airships capable of making the trip through or around due to the length of the journey. On rare occasion, however, a merchant manages to come West, bringing with them exotic potions, scrolls, and other products.

Dragon’s Mouth and Dragon’s Gullet

These locations are largely uninhabited, primarily due to the plentify presence of dragons. Those living along the surrounding shores are often keeping watch for winged beasts soaring through the sky, as it means any creature without cover is likely to be on the menu.

Dragon’s Gullet is less populated by dragon’s, but also houses a massive and active volcano.

The only adventurers that come near these territories are those with a death wish.

The Savage Lands

Horrific monsters dwell in those jungles and deserts, as do a dark-skinned people hardened against a harsh environment. No one is completely certain what happens across the sea, but based on the slave trade it seems that much war has been happening.

Only the Dorelian Empire really has much regular contact with the tribes of the Savage Lands, and very rarely purchases slaves. Oddly enough, gnomes are active buyers of slaves, though no one has ever seen a slave working in gnome communities.

Online CarnivalOfTheGoat

Do you mean outside of what's been outlined? Generally, it's powdered or liquid medicines that accelerate the healing process, but nothing incredibly out there. It allows them to do more than what medicine at the time could, but you're not regenerating a hand, you've still got that leprosy, and they don't have the technology to remove that cancerous growth.

Got it. That's roughly how I saw it. If anyone is out there playing Herbert West, it's probably some cross-over with Blood Magic rather than 'proper' alchemistry.

Pistols were sort of a last-minute concession, realizing people would want to play pirates and seeing as pirates + pistols is typically a thing. Otherwise, cannons would be the furthest it has gone. The way I'm trying to logic it "behind the DM's screen" is that rifles and pistols have basically been developed at a faster rate than they normally might have, and that ... things are happening that people aren't privy to. I know it's a shit explanation, and it's basically always going to be "rule of cool" bullshit, but... Shrugs.

Rule of cool is always a valid argument in world-design.

I'll see about cooking up a character sheet tomorrow.

EDIT: It is all but impossible to find images of non-nasty harpies, much less ones with Victorian/Georgian/Edwardian/steampunkish couture.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2015, 12:35:57 PM by CarnivalOfTheGoat »

Offline mia h

EDIT: It is all but impossible to find images of non-nasty harpies, much less ones with Victorian/Georgian/Edwardian/steampunkish couture.

How about this?

Oh HARPIES

Offline Darwishi

*facepalm*

EDIT: So the closest thing I could find to non-nasty harpies were the Yugioh ones.  Like this!

« Last Edit: September 05, 2015, 01:27:14 PM by Darwishi »

Offline CaponeTopic starter

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Whelp, I basically hit the character limit on the original post. No more setting material until we create a thread specifically for it. :P

So, after today's exercise of writing up different races and creatures, I realized that I'm better at detailing a setting from a more micro-level, covering broad traits of a race and their sociology. As such, consider the race and creature details I've added to the first post (and will be including here) as pretty set in stone. However, the borders of kingdoms/empires and all that stuff written yesterday? Consider that on the fence. I might wipe it out and simplify it for now, since the vast majority of that information is unnecessary.

I do feel like a deceitful liar, in that this went from a blank canvas of everyone contributing creatively, to developing a much more rigid setting. I realized as people were asking me questions that I wanted a specific feel and tone for the game, and some things threatened to change that. So apologies on my end for that, as people that expressed initial interest may or will find themselves less free than originally planned. That's my failing as a GM. However, at the same time, I'm hoping to create a setting that can be recycled for other games, be they group or one-on-one, in E in the future. It started as jokingly including Griffinport, an earlier creation of mine on here, into the setting. However, I keep coming up with ideas for creatures and story possibilities that I think I'd like to keep this setting to potentially explore more ideas later.

With all of that said, I'm willing to work with others on the political situation and the borders and all of that stuff, but it is mostly not necessary as it is beyond the scope of this game.

Just... try to think of a catalyst for your character's adventures aside from a war, or leave it very vague, like "the war", so it makes character histories easier to sync together. :P

Now then, as for the newly added setting details:

The Races
Humans:

Humans make up the majority of the denizens of the continent, and who you will most likely run into. There’s nothing truly different about them in this setting compared to others. The only difference is it’s not certain whether there are human races beyond the continent, or at least not like the commonly caucasian sort found within the Kingdoms. From the savage lands are dark skinned men and women, some of which escape the slave trade, others which come to explore a new land. They are often viewed with a curious eye, and it is not uncommon for people to speak to them slowly even if they can speak the common tongue perfectly well. It is rare, but there are second or third generation citizens whose parents or grandparents came from the Savage Lands. Many refer to them as savages or barbarians, largely out of complete ignorance. However, there is no hatred for the people, just an assumption that they are “a bit slower”. They refer to themselves as Kin-Quo. The continent, in their tongue, is Kin-Soo.

To the East lies a land not unlike our China. However, very few manage to make it across the wastes. Some are merchants, some are adventurers, and some, still, are refugees of war or fugitives seeking to find a new home, should they survive the desert. These are very, very rare sorts of folk to find and meet, but they do exist within the continent, and are very quick to learn the common tongue. Their homeland is referred to as Xing Tsu, though that is evidently a more broad name for the entire region. Many progeny of what are called the Xing tend to be half-breeds, and it is not uncommon for the daughters to be sold or persuaded into the sex trade due to their exotic appearance.

Elves:

It would seem the Western lands consist of Elves, or similarly evolved fae on the family tree (such as the Dark Elf). Not a dwarf, gnome, or human among them. As such, the long-lived Elves find the “Eastern Continent”, as they call it, a curiosity. Those that live on Elvenhome or along the shoreline, trading and meeting with these “exotic races”, often travel inland to become a sort of celebrity, telling tales of the men from across the sea.

The common elves are much less industrial in their approach to the world, however. They tend to build settlements within and around the trees, rather than clearing a region and building a whole home. Thus their cities are something to behold, and it is said they have mastered an art for growing things. Thus they have networks of trees as large as castles, and they inhabit the interiors as insects might crawl within and throughout a normal sized tree.

However, not all Elves are so common. Beyond the shores there are still plenty of warring factions, and one such community chose to break off and conquer some of the human lands within Seheisla. That was centuries ago, and now that Elven Kingdom seems more human than a reflection of their culture of origin.

Dwarves:

They are born of the Earth, work of the Earth, and return to the Earth. It is believed that the Dwarves were masters of the continent before Humans even existed, and that they had to dig deep into the Earth to flee a cataclysm. This is the most their own scholars can gather, as the writings on the walls are worn and smoothed over, and the parchments found crumble and turn to dust. This has led to dwarves seeking a more permanent solution to recording their history, as there are several gaps and much forgotten lore.

Dwarves essentially pray to and worship their ancestors. Lineage is very important to them, and likely the only thing that has survived the many centuries. It helps that dwarves live long lives. It does not help that they have difficulties breeding. Many dwarven babies are stillborn, and some in the population are sterile. This has kept their numbers few, and many that are unable to continue their line leave their mountain homes and wander the surface world.

Dwarves are masters of digging and architecture, and often sell their services to other kingdoms and cultures seeking to build fortresses, castles, or even whole settlements. However, they are in constant competition with gnomes, despite the frequent trade. Dwarves know about digging and rock, masters of such physical labor, but they are not engineers like their subterranean cousins.

If there are Dwarven wars, they occur within and beneath the mountains. The different Dwarven kingdoms have largely been at peace for centuries, cooperating to build a network of tunnels that expedite travel within the mountain ranges.

Gnomes:

Slightly shorter than dwarves in stature and certainly thinner, what the face of a gnome looks like has long been forgotten, aside from typically large snouts. Their eyes are beady and yellow and masks and kerchiefs are always covering from the nose down. It is to the belief of gnome society that there is no foe of progress greater than individuality. All gnomes are gnomes, all other races are not. Masks are worn in order to crush any concepts of being different from the gnome beside you.

However, some differences are inescapable, most typically in physical and mental prowess. Female gnomes are rare, and thus kept safe within the center of communities, saved for the most exceptional of gnomes. If by the age of 25 a gnome has failed to contribute exceptionally to society, then he is castrated, killing his sex drive and thus allowing him to focus purely on his work.

What is perhaps most peculiar about this society is that, even though there is no unified kingdom or system of government, no unified lands, just a collection of communities large and small, they all adhere to the same philosophy. Any scholars that have tried to discuss this matter have simply been dismissed. There is nothing profitable or beneficial in such talk.

This lack of empathy does cause much concern to scholars of the land, but there is no doubt that all races and citizens benefit from the productivity and ingenuity of the gnomes.

Players are not permitted to play as gnomes. There are no exceptions.

Other Races:

Halflings? Nekomimi? Kitsune? Other fae? There’s a possibility such characters exist! However, they are far less numerous and tend to exist in small, more rural communities if they are grouped together at all. If you would like to play such a race, speak with me and I’ll see if I feel the race fits properly into the game.
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Fantastic Creatures
Kobolds: A furry little creature no more than three feet tall. Though appearing like a mammal, the kobold has scaled flesh, suggesting that it is part of the reptilian family tree. The creatures often form small tribes within forests, living in trees and burrowing into the ground. They rarely interact with humans, and at most tend to sneak into a camp at night to steal food and belongings of resting adventurers or merchants. They have been known to steal babies.

It is rare that kobolds venture into human settlements, and more rare that they are enough of an infestation to become a serious problem to the population.

Kobolds are a peculiar kind of intelligence. Smarter than monkeys, they tend to wear items as “clothing” and even learn through imitation of humans. However, they are not inventive, communicate only through grunts, shouts, and purrs, and have no method of establishing a real society.

Orcs: In terms of physical appearance, think the Orcs from Lord of the Rings (specifically not the Uruk-Hai, but the smaller ones). No one is certain what the origin of the Orc is, though the assumption is that they were once a race of fae that fell victim to dark magic. The very sight of runes can drive them to such levels of fear that it is believed they are somehow tied with the speakers of the Old Tongue, yet it has been impossible to learn what they know. Orcs speak no language but their own, and are completely uninterested in interacting with the other races.

Orcs tend to prefer swamp lands and marshes for homes, places that are wet and surrounded by vegetation. They are surprisingly adept at building shelters, often disguised to look like part of the surroundings. Yet there is little sign of civilization within these homes. A roof and a floor to sleep on is the extent, and each shelter is crowded at night when they rest. Orcs will attack unaware merchant caravans and travelers nearby for their belongings.

Large enough cities with subterranean sewer systems are likely to have a small tribe of Orcs living beneath their streets. These Orcs will often have scouts that scavenge at night, finding whatever food is left in the rubbish of the citizenry and, on occasion, breaking into a butcher’s shop for the latest kill. It is not surprising to see homeless or drunkards passed out in alleys kidnapped and taken into the sewers for food. It is at this point that the authorities typically stage a hunt to exterminate what they can of the Orcs, but even the most thorough hunt is temporary. Be it a completely different tribe or the remnants of the previous, they always return. They never, however, number more than two dozen.

The only race that Orcs actively hunt down are gnomes, though no one knows why. No one knows if they are a part of a larger clan or if it is merely ingrained in their “culture”, if it can even be called such, but it is not uncommon to see Orcs with war paint laying siege upon gnomish settlements. They never seem to have a real strategy or goal other than to kill as many gnomes as possible before they are all wiped out. Suicide squads, essentially.

Mermaids: Mermaids are very curious about humans, but fearful of large groups of them. It is rare that a whole ship of crew out on the seas will witness even a single Mermaid, but a single unfortunate soul thrown overboard may find themselves rescued. They do not speak any known tongue, and in fact don’t seem to speak much at all. Yet they certainly have voices, as they often giggle when closely observing humans, dwarves, elves, or other races.

Interactions with Mermaids are always brief, and sometimes a person rescued from drowning may not even be aware that they were saved by a Mermaid. The creatures are fascinated by genitalia, male or female, but will often behave sheepishly if presented with a “live sample”. On rare occasion will they experiment, but only if absolutely certain the land dweller can be trusted and are alone. This experimentation and examination can be cold and purely intellectual, or it can be erotic.

There are occasions where a Mermaid becomes enamoured with a land dweller, pulling them beneath the waves to try and take them “home”, wherever that may be. Unfortunately, no one has survived to find out. This suggests that Mermaids merely understand that land dwellers belong on land, but do not understand that land dwellers cannot survive under water.

Many have sought to capture Mermaids, but even if kept in water they never survive more than a few hours. It is uncertain as to why, though there are theories that there is some connection between the Mermaids and the Sea that is vital to their prolonged survival.

There are those who hunt Mermaids for their scales. When ground up, the scales make for a sort of “glitter” that not only draws the eye, but acts as a sort of light visual hypnosis. A man that sees a woman adorned with such “make-up” will develop enhanced feelings of attraction to her. This is not the same as a love potion, however. Typically only nobles can afford it, and many who are aware where the glitter comes from look unfavorably upon its use. However, there’s still enough of a demand for it in higher class society that it is a frequently traded good, and deals are often struck with brothels to give a limited supply.

As Roderick owes his life to Mermaids, he is against the use and transportation of Mermaid scales.

Fairies and Pixies: These small creatures, at most seven or eight inches tall, have a natural glow about them that makes them shine at night. However, they also have tendency to be quite elusive. The only race they trust implicitly are the elves. However, there are ways to coax them out of hiding as long as you know where they are settled. Typically deep in the forest, by a lake, where the trees are large and filled with empty holes and nooks to hide or slumber in.

Fairies and Pixies have a curious love for incense and scented candles, curiously enough. A standard ritual is to slowly enter a known Fairy “nest” holding a candle aloft, placing it down upon a stump, boulder, or similar natural pedestal, and then lighting the candle. Afterwards, it is best to step away, and after several minutes fairies and pixies will come and surround the candle.

Types of “dust hunters” will thus respond differently. More aggressive ones may use nets to capture a fairy or pixie, using a knife to scrape dust from the wings. Some simply wait and collect whatever dust has dropped upon the ground. Others still manage to establish some form of communication, indicating that the candle is a trade for dust. This strategy is known to fail at times.

Elves have a tendency to grow “pixie farms”, entire gardens populated by fairies and pixies that willingly offer their dust. This is a result of Elves understanding the Pixie Speak, a language no other race can even begin deciphering, nor do the Elves know how to decipher it themselves. It is a natural connection of some sort. This means, while not all medicines are made and distributed by elves, most medicine is.

Dragons: Dragons tend to be sighted where there are large peaks of mountains. This makes them a common foe to Dwarves, as well as a potential problem for Floating Islands or airships that roam too close to what they consider their territory. They actually do not roam much, but instead create a perimeter that they treat as “their home”. Those who enter are slain.

This typically means that a dragon established in less habitable regions will be a problem to nothing but the local mountain goats. However, when an adolescent dragon first flies to discover its own territory, it razes and attacks many in its path. Once it has found a fitting spot to nest, it goes about razing all land within its desired perimeter. This means towns or villages that just so happen to be within that perimeter get attacked.

These attacks are largely uncommon, however, as dragons do not often breed. There are maybe one, two adolescents a year, and most often they soar right for the mountains or attack the nest of another dragon.

They are very uncommon and spread out in the northern lands and along the mountain ranges, but the Dragon’s Mouth is a collection of islands completely littered with the beasts. No one is quite certain why the congregate so closely together, and it seems they are often fighting with each other. They are the greatest danger to trade and travel between the main continent and the savage lands, as they’ll fly for miles in search of food or potential trespassers. Needless to say, the Dragon’s Mouth has no settlements.

Legendary Beasts: Within this game players will run into creatures such as Naga, ghoul, minotaur, banshee, cockatrice, and various other monsters of legend and lore. These creatures are not numerous, and often times are only spoken of in old wives’ tales. You might hear of a crazy old man that swore he saw such a beast when he was younger, spinning the same old yarn in the corner of the tavern every night. Maybe he’s just crazy. Maybe he saw something. Maybe, he happens to be telling the truth.

Other smugglers and sailors will certainly have their own stories to tell, and sometimes a sailor will encounter such a creature twice, maybe thrice in their lifetime. It all depends on the creature. However, these beasts are not crawling all over the world (or flying). They are rare, and your average peasant will likely never run into one (and if they do, it’s doubtful they’d live to tell the tale).

Online CarnivalOfTheGoat

Just an aside, dealing with a kidney stone, having the devil of a time even sitting up with a laptop to type this. Probably be a few days, sad to say.