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Author Topic: Post-Fantasy Mid-Entropalypse? 'Refuge' (3.5 Group)  (Read 1850 times)

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Offline Inerrant LustTopic starter

Post-Fantasy Mid-Entropalypse? 'Refuge' (3.5 Group)
« on: November 06, 2010, 08:44:42 AM »
Refuge
You haved lived all your life knowing dread. Growing up in the world as it is... A dying place, where memories of the past echo through the consciousness of Refuge like distant dreams, surreal and unfathomable. Yet you cannot stay here, as you have before. With no option but to survive, you must venture forth into this unforgiving and bleak world.

Intent on only making your way alive through the perilous landscape of Refuge, you will come to realize the greater cataclysm that wracks the earth with each passing moment...

In reverence to the past, the survivors of a millenia-long annihilation don the attire of the old times as its' steam relics run pointlessly through the wilderness. Decades may pass before a village finds itself with a child, while its' inhabitants die younger and the old go mad sooner than ever before. The forests decay and rot from the inside, the once docile animals and fey within going feral and murderous. As the last final deathblow to the human race, demons have taken root with the intention of conquering the precious few survivors and infecting them with their own demonic brood.



Setting Backstory; For over ten thousand years since man first put his people's accumulated knowledge to script, Refuge has perservered. Magic, in all its' glory and wonder, had built empires from dust. With the shamans' blessings, villages went without disease for generations and the land was fertile.

In time, the empires of men had their mages utilized for the masses. Land was made fertile, crops resistant to disease and pests kept at bay. Massive sprawling agricultural plains ensured that the world's population was in excess of ten billion. Refuge perservered.

Yet in the mere span of a millenia, the world's population has diminished to less than a tenth of that amount. Gradually, magic ceased to function. Refuge's fertile land reverted to its' inarable state without supernatural intervention. In less than a century after the zenith of civilization, the first great famines swept throughout man's empires. It was as if all the averted disasters of a world without magic was thrust upon humanity in an instant. For every three who survived it, a fourth would starve.

Undeterred, humanity diverted its' efforts from the magic academies and scholarly pursuits towards something now more... reliable. Agricultural techniques and the development of mechanical technology was spurred on by the people of Refuge to ensure this horrible twist of fate never happened again. Yet progress was slow, and the birth rate steadily decreased over the years. Inexplicably, it became difficult to conceive and humanity's longevity was shortened...

Moreover, the ecosystem gradually became warped. Animals began to mutate and grow malevolent throughout the wilderness outside the now desolated cities. The faerie folk, went mad and ensured the forests became deathtraps to any who dared enter their lairs. But what was perhaps most dire and unnoticable, was that the ancient lore and acquired knowledge of ten thousand years of civilization became... relics. In many lands, humans inexplicibly reverted back to their tribal nature when generation after generation chose simply to ignore the progress of their ancestors. Madness had infiltrated the minds of many, and demensia had become almost an inevitability, a fate looming over many who lived in fear of losing their sanity to this unseen plague.

Just when the world seemed to be on the brink of falling apart from the inside, the demons came to Refuge from another plane. Rifts bled through the world and tore into reality, allowing all manner of wretched monstrosity into the world to rape and pillage the cowering remnants of civilization.

The gods are dying... The pillars of all creation, the beings which have maintained existence since time immemorial, the very foundations of reality have been poisoned to their core. ...Yet Refuge perserveres.



Misc;

Magic and Food: At one point, magic was almost innate in every human. Although most would never master anything beyond the most basic techniques and spells, it was commonplace. Usually, a town shaman or mage would enchant the land with established practices and the farmland surrounding that settlement would prosper unerringly. Rather than develop actual farming techniques, the population relied upon this magic to sustain the land. This technique required continual reinforcement, and despite efforts from the more powerful archmages of the time, it could not be made permanent unless the crops went unharvested. When magic started to fade from Refuge, it began from the bottom up. The mass of town shamans and mages who sustained the population boom suddenly lost their power. While most of the more powerful archmages retained a portion of their abilities, they were simply too few to feed the billions of inhabitants within Refuge. Some powerful mages died from exhaustion trying to make the soil of entire regions one again arable.

The Trains: At the height of technology, an empire invented a railway system spanning its domain. While it was declared for the purposes of supplying even the most distant border towns and settlements during the time of troubles, it was instead created to support the metropolitan urban centers of the empire. Food was shipped en masse towards the wealthier urban dwellers to feed the social elite. For each of the highly advanced engines built into the trains, The empire had commissioned its most powerful remaining archmage Lue to create eternal flames (which efficiently burned fuel hotter than normal at a much slower rate). Perhaps as a testament to her power, the flames still exist to this day and still power the trains when fueled, following the same schedule that had been set within them hundreds of years prior. Some of the trains have been disabled or derailed from the ravages of time, and more than once has the enduring flame within them been foolishly unleashed upon the environment. Yet those that still function exist as a wandering ghost of humanity's past, reminding all who travel aboard them of what once was.

Demonkin: The origins of the demonkin are obscure, but they are known to be a willfull product of demons. Human in appearance, with some demonic features... they are best characterized as creatures created for the sole purposes of breeding. While humans have become incredibly infertile amongst their own communities, the demonkin easily impregnate (and become impregnated by) humans. Except the rules of genetics don't quite apply to the partly supernatural demonkin. The demonic blood will persist for many generations beyond the first interracial ancestors. The demons had manufacted this trait in their product for a reason; to overwhelm the human gene pool with their own demonic brood. But demonkin cannot sustain more than a couple of generations without any human genes... They too, succumb to sterility.

Nature: Refuge was once a world rife with forestry, despite its' agricultural dependency. Vast stretches of wilderness maintained by the rangers and druids inspired majesty and awe in all who ventured there. Yet over time, the wood rotted, the leaves withered, and the animals grew demented and warped. There is barely a creature recognizable from the abberations that make the forests now so dangerous to cross. The once friendly fey folk have grown insane from their connection to nature's plight, madly raging against anything they can inflict misery upon.

Aesthetics;

Post-Fantasy, remnants of Edwardian fashion and culture evident in the reverant past-worshipping contemporary culture.
Some settlements are stone age tribalistic societies that have completely forgotten the past, some are the slowly dwindling remnants of once thriving metropolises. While there aren't many humans exploiting fellow humans (The usual relationship is indifference, not neccesarily benevolent or malevolent) the demons and internal plights of humanity gives Refuge an air of dread and hopelessness. Many make no attempt to better the situation. There are few scavengers searching the past for answers because there is no apparant reason for their plight... No lessons to be learned of man's hubris; only this inexplicably horrible end, one that has taken a millenia to play out.

Humanity worships the past yet does nothing to reclaim it, only clinging to the last proud heritage they have until being wiped out. What Refuge needs most now is hope.

...Gauging interest hyah. :P

Offline GlompNinja

Re: Post-Fantasy Mid-Entropalypse? 'Refuge' (3.5 Group)
« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2010, 09:06:43 AM »
I'm very interested as I've already said :)

Offline yuna0417

Re: Post-Fantasy Mid-Entropalypse? 'Refuge' (3.5 Group)
« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2010, 11:23:06 AM »
This looks interesting.

Offline minerva7790

Re: Post-Fantasy Mid-Entropalypse? 'Refuge' (3.5 Group)
« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2010, 11:45:18 AM »
Wow, I love this! Very detailed and well thought out! I'd like to be in, if you'll have me. :-)

Offline Geeklet

Re: Post-Fantasy Mid-Entropalypse? 'Refuge' (3.5 Group)
« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2010, 12:02:19 PM »
Interesting setting, and, judging from the title, its still going to be a bit D&D based? If that is the case, I've got a couple ideas floating around in my head.

Offline Inerrant LustTopic starter

Re: Post-Fantasy Mid-Entropalypse? 'Refuge' (3.5 Group)
« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2010, 07:03:49 PM »
Guess I'll get into the mechanics of the beast... Yep, D&D-based.

Campaign style: Mostly heavy RPing, with a fair amount of adventuring. Expect occasional social interaction beyond the party, but the world isn't very crowded. Any combat will usually be tied to the story and of relevance. Sexiness? Well, I guess that depends upon you the players. I'm fairly flexible. There would be no scarcity of horny devils and demonkin are almost rape-on-site if you so much as expose a little ankle without spraying them down with a hose (...of water!  ::)) Add into the mix sentient monsters who aren't quite all there in the noggin and the general pervasive sterility of the human race (motivation for some to try and breed like rabbits) and there's... uh, a variety of sexy opportunities to those that desire them. :P Considering it's a group game as well, I have no problem taking a backseat to whatever um... party dynamics ensue. *hides*

Onto the crunch!

Starting Level: Probably 5. Ability scores point-buy 36. Non-heroic characters would have about 32 and would be level 5 as well. It's an extremely rough world out there and the people of Refuge are tougher and more practical than their prosperous ancestors, even despite the taint.

All characters gain 3 additional class skills, freely chosen. Furthermore, you gain an additional 3 skillpoints every level (12 at 1st) which go into these skills. It's a harsh world out there, and the majority of people living in Refuge are quite up to the task for a number of challenges. even if they are less intelligent than they were 500 years ago because of the taint. In fact, the average adult is level 5....... Namely because things are trying to kill them everyday and they've adapted.

It should be noted that the players will not be able to consistantly rely upon NPCs to equip and arm themselves, nor will everything be in prestine condition if they find it. Most objects are hobbled together from various things, proverbially duct-taped together as my drawing has hopefully displayed. Being able to supply yourself with practical craft skills may come in handy.

All arcane and divine spellcasting is nixed. It simply doesn't exist anymore. That being said, with classes like the Paladin and Ranger who get spellcasting but not as their primary focus, some tweaking to the class can be done. Entirely new classes could be made up, although the generic classes could easily be refitted for this purpose. I'm inclined to allow these bonus feats to include special abilities from D20 Modern's base classes and classes from various other books. Multiclass exp penalties are nixed. Still, you should have a valid reason for knowing all you do.

Taint rules (As of Heroes of Horror's depiction of them) are in full effect. In fact, most everyone in the world has at least 1 point of depravity when they are born! But fear not- You should ignore the tables and negative consequences of mild, moderate, and severe taint. I won't demand you start RPing the effects of your nose rotting off, but heavy doses of it can accumulate... and without magic, it will be very hard (but not impossible) to reverse.

Since the whole world is, in a way, a tainted location, the effects are much less debilitating to your standard adventurer. To NPCs, however? If you venture into the forests, everything from woodland animals to trees will be corrupted AND depraved big-time though. In fact, you likely won't be able to recognize animals at all behind all the spikes, thorns, glowing eyes, flesh, tentacles(Waitaminute...!), and general abberation-y appearance. In fact the forests are dispreportionately tainted compared to the rest of the world (Plot hook, wink wink!) but most people living outside the wilderness accumulate taint more or less randomly. A very young person who is completely in the throes of dementia could live next door to a middle-aged person who is relatviely untainted. The players are the lucky sort who haven't received a heavy dose of taint for whatever reason... Unless you'd like to use that trait in making your character. :P

That being said, if you acquire more taint- It won't be my intention to maul your characters with ugliness. In fact, I have enough faith in Elliquians to RP it themselves. Usually a very minor mental 'quirk' like jitteriness or a fondness for counting things would be all that results unless you dive head-first into someplace very corrupted... And now for something completely different!

Low-Tech and Old-Tech Items: Attacks with weapons made of bone or stone have a -2 penalty on attack and damage rolls (with a minimum damage of 1). Bronze weapons have a -1 penalty. Most old tech items are of signifigantly better quality, and ancient firearms require no additional proficiency to use (except for a Use Device skill check.)

Deleted Skills: Knowledge (Arcana, Nobility and Royalty, The Planes), Spellcraft, Use Magic Device

New/Altered Skills:

Knowledge(Demons) is practical knowledge regarding evil outsiders in Refuge. As an aside, the standard planes and outsiders of D&D don't quite exist as they do in other settings. Devils and Demons, while mechanically and flavorly distinct, are pretty much the same thing.
Knowledge(Nature) includes corrupted animals and certain abberations and magical beasts.
Knowledge(History) includes practical knowledge regarding Old Tech items and culture.
Knowledge(Religion) will detail current religions and supersticians. Knowledge of older (and far more accurate) religions and pantheons count as extremely obscure lore.

Use Device; Int, Trained Only. Allows you to understand and utilize complex machines from the past, which may include clockwork machinery, steam engines, and archaic firearms. Having 5 or more ranks in a craft skill corresponding to the object in question will grant a +2 bonus to Use Device checks. Having 5 or more ranks in Knowledge(History) will grant a +2 bonus to Use Device checks.

This is probably not all the changes, but merely the ones that came to mind upon writing this. :P

Offline Katina Tarask

Re: Post-Fantasy Mid-Entropalypse? 'Refuge' (3.5 Group)
« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2010, 09:05:27 PM »
This seems interesting enough, except... the mechanics are completely unplayable unless, "All arcane and divine spellcasting is nixed," means psionics, incarnum, pact magic, and so on are all fair game, as well as standard progression for magic items remaining untouched.

There's just nothing left of 3.5 otherwise.  Literally eighty percent of all base classes are magic users in some form or another.  Every aspect of game balance and design are centered around lots and lots of magic, with more coming in at every level.  It's nearly the highest-magic system out there short of Exalted.  Without magic, the game's reduced to a broken mess consisting of full attacks attack and underdeveloped skill checks, and there's no reason left to use 3.5 instead of a game that can actually serve the scenario well.  Savage Worlds tops that list.  Mutants and Masterminds, Burning Wheel, Iron Heroes, GURPS.  All of those are actually good at a magicless game, but for 3.5, magic pretty much is the game, and takes up most of the material.

Offline Inerrant LustTopic starter

Re: Post-Fantasy Mid-Entropalypse? 'Refuge' (3.5 Group)
« Reply #7 on: November 06, 2010, 09:19:32 PM »
This actually crossed my mind pretty early, but I'm honestly not too familiar with too many systems outside D&D's and Exalted (which you already established would be even worse a choice!  :P)

That being said, I'm not completely adverse to the idea of another system... except that It would probably be run very poorly if I was at the wheel, so I think 3.5 is the best bet. 4.0 is just... yeah, no. With the free skill points, I hope to inspire a reliance on problem solving and RPing over hack and slash, though. Even a fighter with a full 3 extra maxed skills should be capable of something outside of... fighting. Although a high int rogue might just... uhm.. break things a bit. :-\

Offline Katina Tarask

Re: Post-Fantasy Mid-Entropalypse? 'Refuge' (3.5 Group)
« Reply #8 on: November 06, 2010, 10:00:50 PM »
The problem continues in that the vast majority of the interesting noncombat solutions are also magic, and the skill system was horribly underdeveloped to make room for more magic.  Without the magic, the system you have left does rather encourage (much less interesting) hack and slash simply because there isn't much else in there and you have nothing left to play up.  The skill system certainly doesn't hold up; it's poorly developed and a lot of the stuff it ought to be able to do doesn't exist because it's assumed you'll be using magic instead.  For example, if you can make a DC15 Heal check consistently (which is easy from level 1), then it is literally impossible for you to be any better at treating wounds.  And have you ever looked at those voodoo Diplomacy rules?

3.5 is many things, but low-magic is not one of them.  And thing is, when you remove a major aspect of a system entirely, you generally need something equally robust to take its place.  You're not doing that.

Option 1) A universal system is always a good thing to have under your belt.  GURPS Lite is a free 32-page pdf.  Savage Worlds is one of the lightest, simplest universal systems out there.  (And it's only ten bucks, but I can get you a copy.)  Mutants and Masterminds, while not quite generic, is d20-based and very flexible.  Iron Heroes is very similar to 3.5, but defaults to almost no magic (though quality, in this case, it another story).

Option 2) If you really don't want to learn another system, my advice?  Loosen up on the "no magic" part, because the game just does not work otherwise.  Magic items are still around in a level-appropriate manner and there is some form of magic available, even if it's not like the old magic.  Just nix the stuff that's useful on a social scale as life support (no making food and water, no enriching soil, et cetera).  Pact Magic, incarnum, psionics, warlocks, shadow magic (despite being a mess).  All are appropriate.  It's easy to fit in; when the old magic died, people turned to other methods, like bargaining with bizarre creatures from beyond.  It doesn't avert the great, cosmic ruin, and I can get everyone a stack of pact magic material robust enough to nearly replace Vancian.  (Seriously, Secrets of Pact Magic is awesome.)

Offline Inerrant LustTopic starter

Re: Post-Fantasy Mid-Entropalypse? 'Refuge' (3.5 Group)
« Reply #9 on: November 07, 2010, 01:25:29 AM »
Well, while I always did want to try out GURPs... I don't think you're giving me very much credit!  ;) If you ignore heal after you can reasonably make DC 15 checks for its' basic use, you'll never be able to treat poison and disease... much less the other random I could throw at you... like, say, broken legs! (Although any system using HP is a bit flawed when you try to think too much about the whole 'I fight as well with 1 HP as I do with 100!' thing...)

And who says I have to strictly take every skill at face value?  ;) To use a mildly offensive example; suppose a man is talking to you about something very important, and this man is easily offended. His wife, on the other hand, tries to enthrall the male characters with her ridiculously exagerated movements. A concentration check would be required to not piss of the man... Or heck, maybe a Will Save. But yeah, my point is that the Concentration skill says 'You must make a Concentration check whenever you might potentially be distracted (by taking damage, by harsh weather, and so on) while engaged in some action that requires your full attention. Such actions include casting a spell, concentrating on an active spell, directing a spell, using a spell-like ability, or using a skill that would provoke an attack of opportunity..'

So why limit yourself to just the options given? You could use Forgery to make calligraphy (admittedly probably not going to happen in this game. :P), disguise to stash a valuable item amongst other mundane objects as camoflauge.  Just because the book gives only a handful of DCs and checks doesn't mean that's all there ever is going to be.

True, some have little room for interpretation (Climb...) but others can be used in unusual ways or flat-out homebrewed to make them better.

It's not that I'm unwilling to try out GURPs or any other system. It's just I'm afraid I won't be a very good GM if I do. :P

Offline Geeklet

Re: Post-Fantasy Mid-Entropalypse? 'Refuge' (3.5 Group)
« Reply #10 on: November 07, 2010, 05:13:12 AM »
3.5 is many things, but low-magic is not one of them.

You may not think so, but I've seen it work quite well in the past.

Now, 'no magic' does put a little bit different spin on things. There are variants of Paladins and Rangers without spellcasting. From the setting description, it does sound like there are still elements of fantasy/supernatural things in the world, so who is to say that there arent still people who possess some of those abilities still, abilities that arent defined as traditional magic? It may be something rare, sure, but it could still happen.

Besides, most of my online experience in D&D-based games have been more focused on the actual role-playing, and only use the setting as a backdrop, usually.  I might not be the one who came up with this particular idea, but I'm hoping that this one can go that route as well.

Offline Inerrant LustTopic starter

Re: Post-Fantasy Mid-Entropalypse? 'Refuge' (3.5 Group)
« Reply #11 on: November 07, 2010, 06:48:51 AM »
Magic's rarity is also somewhat the point. There are rare instances where it might surface (demons in particular still retain a good deal of magic-y abilities, so warlocks might not be out of the questions) but when it does, it will be a climactic, rare, and very important thing.

Some of it may exist from the past (Lue's magic is still making the trains run... Perhaps because she, herself, isn't quite dead yet... Perhaps, I haven't decided yet! :P) while other instances might be divinely inspired or in something relevant to restoring the world's balance... The fact that the forests are more tainted than anything else should be an indicator that magic (albiet in a malevolent flavor) is still at work in some limited fashion. Also, the taint that effects the world is no coincidence compared to the blight effecting the gods themselves, so its' safe to say the nature god has just about had it. This is all OOC knowledge, though. :P

The campaign will likely occur smack-dab in the middle of the above timeline. (I will note that Refuge does start get better after the timeline, if the theoretical 'saving the world' happens during this time period... it takes a few centuries for it to fully take effect, however. It took a few centuries for the famines to occur after the gods begun to die off, too.)

I have trouble elaborating on just what the world is like in short talking point phrases, so I ask everyone be a little patient as the nature of Refuge may take quite some time in the game to become fully fleshed out. As far as character backstories and other required information goes, feel free to run wild. Not all of the populace are banging stones together, trying to settle down, fight the demons, or cling to the past in search of old tech, so there are quite a few possible 'origin stories' that would work well in the context. Though I had some ideas of my own, I figured it better to let the players' creativity run wild.  :P

As you may be able to tell, I've spent quite some time pondering this, though little time putting it to paper. Or text, rather... so I can't quite figure out exactly how to describe the things I've thought about in a reasonable time frame.  ::)
« Last Edit: November 07, 2010, 06:51:05 AM by Inerrant Lust »

Offline Ironwolf85

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Re: Post-Fantasy Mid-Entropalypse? 'Refuge' (3.5 Group)
« Reply #12 on: November 08, 2010, 12:43:03 AM »
hmmm... I'll keep a watch on this I was thinking of a character with a draconic bloodline kinda like half-dragons. they have internal magic, but an inability to cast it. The image I had was of a humanoid dragon, less bulky, more "graceful savage" with dark blue and white scales. I had the image of him trying to teach himself to read while huddled as close as possable to a dying fire. His other tribemates close at hand

They've lost most of their abilities. decended from a dragon blooded empire of old, they have a physical edge over normal humans, but over time their armor has thinned, and their breath has weakened. they still have breathweapns, but it's costly for their bodies to use them. after they use it their metablosim kicks into high gear to replenish lost energy. use it at the wrong time, and they starve to death.

Offline GlompNinja

Re: Post-Fantasy Mid-Entropalypse? 'Refuge' (3.5 Group)
« Reply #13 on: November 08, 2010, 07:46:01 AM »
I've seen non magic 3.5 campaigns work well in the past....Really the success of any game ultimately depends on the GM and players.

Offline Inerrant LustTopic starter

Re: Post-Fantasy Mid-Entropalypse? 'Refuge' (3.5 Group)
« Reply #14 on: November 08, 2010, 12:45:41 PM »
I'm thinking of lowering the level down to about 3 (5 might be a bit too high when you consider how I want a good portion of the world to appear menacing and dangerous, even just getting from one place to the next or finding food. :P) In fact, progression might be very slow for that reason, some encounters have to be avoided rather than overcome and the majority of advancement will be in things not quite measurable in levels (acquiring allies, information, or simple progression of the plot)

A note; I used the word humanity extensively in the OP. In a way, I mean the traditional D&D/Tolkein 'good' races. Civilization advanced to a point where humans overshadowed most every race, except in isolated communities. High elves were an extreme minority dwelling in mostly urban areas, woodsy elves didn't take too well to the forests being corrupted, dwarves presumably live underground in fortified strongholds but nobody has a clue where. Halflings are a rarity but not unknown, existing in much the same role they had before as nomadic gypsy-like traders. Who knows what happened to Gnomes? :P

Offline Geeklet

Re: Post-Fantasy Mid-Entropalypse? 'Refuge' (3.5 Group)
« Reply #15 on: November 08, 2010, 02:55:27 PM »
Who knows what happened to Gnomes? :P

Lawn Ornaments.

Seriously though, I know we've already kinda talked about the class I was looking at via PMs, but I'll try to have something more concrete in the next couple days when I get some free time away from work. :)

Offline Hunter

Re: Post-Fantasy Mid-Entropalypse? 'Refuge' (3.5 Group)
« Reply #16 on: November 08, 2010, 03:02:31 PM »
This actually crossed my mind pretty early, but I'm honestly not too familiar with too many systems outside D&D's and Exalted (which you already established would be even worse a choice!  :P)

Try d20 Modern.

Offline Ironwolf85

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Re: Post-Fantasy Mid-Entropalypse? 'Refuge' (3.5 Group)
« Reply #17 on: November 08, 2010, 04:10:17 PM »
anyway looks fun

Offline Inerrant LustTopic starter

Re: Post-Fantasy Mid-Entropalypse? 'Refuge' (3.5 Group)
« Reply #18 on: November 10, 2010, 04:52:04 AM »
Well, the whole story is a very determined deconstruction (perhaps literally...) of the D&D-type fantasy world. So I think it makes sense to use D&D rules, classes, and conventions as a way of using the very game system itself as a storytelling tool. When magic was still around, there were plenty of paladins and clerics and wizards wandering around as they slowly lost their power feeling... useless. While that isn't a fun character to play, the theoretical NPCs had to be these classes, and had to have the almost stereotypical traits that are often associated with their class abilities (A paladin's mount and smite attacks, a cleric's divine spellcasting and armor proficiency, ect.)

Everything short of ridiculous half-ogre paladins on dinosaur mounts existed in Refuge at one point or another (I'd like to imply that many species or things have gone extinct, but once existed. Dragons, for instance... may or may not have been eradicated long ago, I haven't decided yet.) and then suddenly and violently all the high fantasy elements are removed and instead the readers (or in this case, players. :P) are presented with a very grim and gothic variety of gaslamp fantasy.

Eventually, the world becomes almost a mirror disjunction of our earth, not in a way too dissimiliar from Aces series' Strangereal setting. Possibly... I haven't decided whether or not the world will be completely changed forever by the blight affecting the gods or if it will recover and reassume its' fantasy conventions... If it's the former... well, then there's a plothole right there; the Gods exist to maintain a universe that they may or may not have originally created. By being wounded but not killed en masse, the world starts to suffer in equal preportion to their injuries. If they die, it naturally follows that catastrophe will result. The Nature god would immediatly kill all plantlife if killed, the God of Death will turn every person into undead when they pass away, and the God of Life will ensure nobody is ever born ever again. Ect. So I may have trouble finding a decent way to get around that universe-ending plothole.... However, I'm leaning towards the idea as a whole of a civilization struggling to adapt from a high fantasy atmosphere to a purely 'realistic' setting. On the way, they go into a bit of a gaslamp fantasy dark age, which is where I intend to have most of the stories told in. Naturally, since this is the era of the most drastic change. The fantasy age is fun and amusing, but ultimately not the point. The 'realistic' age is fun and amusing, but again ultimately not the point. I do think that some remnants may remain post-collapse. Humanity will never forget that magic had at one point in time existed, and society will reflect that. Supernatural events (such as demons) may exist in this 'post-fantasy' world, although probably in a very diminished role when humanity gets back to its' industrial revolution state; the occasional demonic possession and maybe a few small cabals of spellcasters living in secrecy. That sort of thing.

So in short, I've decided that D&D IS the best system for this, mainly because within it exists conventions known and expected by the players. As I said, the entire setting is a literal deconstruction of high fantasy, so it wouldn't make sense to depart from the subject material until things become so radically different that those 'post-fantasy' conventions don't even exist anymore and are instead replaced by a magic-less civilization rebounding from near annihiliation.

This is the general 'canon' stroyline I have in mind, and for the sake of THIS campaign.... it relies partially upon the players to make sure that a future does end up existing. No pressure, it's just the fate of the universe and all... *hides*

Enough of my rambling! Half of this information will never be known by the characters ANYWAY! :P And the other half is still floating around in my head and not set in stone. It's actually my hope that this game will help me get a better idea about the world as we collectively meander through it. :P

So, if you have any questions regarding what kind of world your character has grown up in OR your own thoughts or contributions to the setting, I'd be glad to hear either one. This whole campaign is a bit of a creative exercise, really. Not that I intend for it to become a 'project', cause a little fun should always be had.  :P

Offline Ironwolf85

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Re: Post-Fantasy Mid-Entropalypse? 'Refuge' (3.5 Group)
« Reply #19 on: November 12, 2010, 09:25:42 PM »
omg random idea just popped into my head of a massive industrial district at the refuge, and at it's top of it's social circles is a high elven industrialist, instead of "going green" he's completely abandoned nature and become the perfect ruthless industrial mastermind.
anyway I keep having ideas for lots of characters.

Offline Inerrant LustTopic starter

Re: Post-Fantasy Mid-Entropalypse? 'Refuge' (3.5 Group)
« Reply #20 on: November 13, 2010, 06:44:04 PM »
Well, it really depends on the timeline. I had figured two options would be best for this game;

A. Smackdab in the center of the decay, one or two hundred years after the height of tech. Society hasn't totally collapsed yet (except in a sizable chunk of the populace) but it isn't getting better and everybody knows it. Demons are rare, as are demonkin. For the most part life expectancy isn't 'Next month.' The forests are still a deathtrap and the universe's laws don't quite work the way they should.

B. A bit to the right on that timeline shown above... Things are really bad. The forest isn't only a deathtrap, its' growing fast enough to consume villages. The skies are dark and warped with funny looking clouds, and rain doesn't quite work the way it's supposed to, doing weird things and generally being creepy. Demons and Devils are smattered all over the place, and the only reason they haven't destroyed humanity is because they're too lazy (They believe they've already won, which isn't far from the truth...) or the community has some very potent defense mechanism (Isolation or walled fortresses designed for a handful of people, for instance)

In short, at this stage the entropy is virtually indistinguishable from... say, 10 minutes after a sudden world-ending event. But what seperates this stage from your usual apocalyptic tale is that people have been adapting for the past millenia... so things should be interesting. I'm in favor of the second, which might put a wrench in your idea, Ironwolf. >_>

But this is pretty grimdark doom and gloom and ohmahgad, so I'm wary of having the game take place at the height of crapsackery because it may just be downright depressing. ::) However, if nobody has a problem with that- it shouldn't be an issue. Despite everything, the aforementioned defense mechanisms should serve to showcase humanity's resillience (Take Legend of Legaia for example, a fairly unique JRPG about apocalyptic zombifying mist in which the survivors coped with giant walls, archaic 'airlocks', windmills, subterranian villages, towers so high the mist couldn't reach. Interestingly enough, one village figured out the mist made them immortal zombies and willingly accepted it on the successful gambit that someone would come along and get rid of it, and another village actually ended up being a tyrannical dystopia when the mist was removed, explicitly for the worse... Man, what a great game that was... Anyways!!! I get distracted..  :-[)

In the hopes that I'll no longer spam you guys with infodumping nonsense that isn't even relevant anyways, I'm writing up an Elliuki article on the setting. I believe strongly in Hemingway's iceburg theory when it comes to writing sci-fi and fantasy so I want to make sure I figure out everything about the setting if even only 10% of it comes to light, the subtext and implications will remain.
« Last Edit: November 13, 2010, 06:58:51 PM by Inerrant Lust »

Offline Ironwolf85

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Re: Post-Fantasy Mid-Entropalypse? 'Refuge' (3.5 Group)
« Reply #21 on: November 13, 2010, 10:45:54 PM »
sorry I wasn't going to play that elf, it was just somthing that popped into my head. but maybe I could play a mutated human from the east or south. I like being exotic

Offline Inerrant LustTopic starter

Re: Post-Fantasy Mid-Entropalypse? 'Refuge' (3.5 Group)
« Reply #22 on: November 20, 2010, 11:43:17 PM »
Is anyone still interested in this?  :P

Also; Take comfort that I now have a proper venue for my infodumping so I'll spare you unneccesary expositionary crap.  ::)

Offline ulthakptah

Re: Post-Fantasy Mid-Entropalypse? 'Refuge' (3.5 Group)
« Reply #23 on: November 21, 2010, 02:26:41 AM »
I don't think this would be a lot of fun. I don't have much problem with the setting. Other than what Katina said about most about how it eliminates most of the content of D&D. What I really don't like is how weak you want the PCs to be. I get that you want your world to be scary, but you said that the average NPC is lvl 5, and you want the starting lvl to be 3. Also no magic/magic items while there are still monsters with spell-like abilities/supernatural abilities. Making it so that the PCs have to run from every encounter just doesn't seem that fun to me. And at the same time you want them to stop the destruction of the world. It seems pretty flawed.

Offline Inerrant LustTopic starter

Re: Post-Fantasy Mid-Entropalypse? 'Refuge' (3.5 Group)
« Reply #24 on: November 21, 2010, 03:03:44 AM »
Ermm. I meant to say I amend that previous level 5 rule. In retrospect, that's fairly high for the average person, so I knocked it down to 3. Sorry for not clarifying. Bleh. But of course I don't want the players weaker than your average peasant. That's... just lame. :P

And, to be honest, combat won't be a very important part of this at all. Things are scary, but in most cases the greatest threat to the world is entropy. The organized baddies of the world pretty much believe that they've already won, so they aren't going out looking for trouble and can't be arsed to get off their lazy butts and do some good old fashion settlement raiding. So there's that.

The corrupted forests are deathtraps, but what's alarming about them is that they're growing with every generation. It's easy enough to simply avoid them and those that dwell within, but not so much to stop them from growing. So there's that.

The population bottleneck is primarily due to simple infertility, not violence or plague and such. Many people have become scattered and have lost contact from eachother with time, leaving communities sparsely populated. The players could do alot by merely helping the remnants of civilization band together, form alliances, and so on. So there's that.

Plus, civilization has gotten to the point where its' defense mechanisms have become incredibly potent. Even small villages are veritable fortresses for one reason or another. Resillience is a theme of Refuge.

It's going to be a tiny bit sandboxy. The players won't singlehandedly repair the entire world, but they will contribute to it's restoration if everything goes smoothly. Another one of the themes of Refuge is taking pride in accomplishing even the tiniest bit of good, since such actions will eventually contribute towards creating a world where civilization has become so self-reliant that it doesn't have to rely upon a pantheon to support it. In fact, since the world's eventual recovery occurs over many generations, it was my hope to offer something of an implied 'This will be the results of your actions in 500 years' thing once in awhile. :P

As I hinted at earlier, doing something as simple as inspiring hope and dedication in the demoralized population of Refuge would be one of the ways to 'win'.

So, not every solution can be fought through. In fact, the majority of this will be heavier on the roleplay and interraction than anything else.

I am, however, a compulsive appeaser. Usually I try to maintain a constant OOC dialogue with my fellow RPers to figure out where they want the story to go, what kind of character development they would like to instigate, the possible events that would facilitate said development, ect.

So... There's that. :P