Important Info.   Posted by Spirit.Group: 0
Spirit
 GM, 1 post
Mon 5 Aug 2019
at 17:46
Important Info
A planet much like Earth, dominated by one intelligent species that relied on a technology much like our own, based on a  physics much like our own.

First Interplaner Invasion:

A war between extra-planer entities identifying as "the Gods" and "Demons" tears the fabric of this universe apart.
In the late stages of this war, the Devils emerge, but whether they are an offshoot of the Gods, the Demons, or both is unclear.
However, a tentative peace is made. Direct access to this plane is blocked, indirect action is allowed.

Some call this indirect action magic.

Others call magic the result of this indirect action.

After the War of the Gods, elves (and other fey creatures) enter the historical record.
So, too, do goblonoids and tieflings.

Though the goblinoids maintain a realm of their own, the world is dominated by the elves, who maintain they are the foot soldiers of the Gods, left to rule this world.

The Humans, who are the original rulers of this world, are now serfs, bound in servitude to the fey.

At this time, Halflings and Gnomes appear in the historical records; Halflings as related to Humans, and Gnomes as a species of Fey.

Several thousand years later-

Second Interplaner Invasion (Elemental):
This was a conflict between giants and dragons.

Again, it was a conflict from other planes spilled over into this one. This war permanently weakened the boundaries between this world and the elemental chaos.

It also weakened the boundaries between this world and all others, partly because any breach weakens the whole wall, but also because the Archfey, Lords and Ladies who over the course of millennia had obtained power over reality itself, used their magic to flee the elemental destruction by creating pocket dimensions, here called Feywilds or Shadowrealms. The more borders between our world and others, the more points of access for invaders.

The Truce between Dragon and Giant came after both the birth of the Dracolitch and the self-sacrifice of the Rainbow Serpent (creating the dragonborn).

This world now has orcs, which seem to be related to the giants; and dwarves, who deny any sort of connection.

This message was last edited by the GM at 22:24, Sun 11 Aug 2019.

Spirit
 GM, 16 posts
Fri 9 Aug 2019
at 22:32
Principles
It’s a small world.

This continent is about 8,000 km long, and at its widest, maybe 6,000.
(There may be other continents. I don’t know yet.)

But it is also a world where things are unique.

There are not Apparatuses of Kwalish. If there is one, there is only one.

There are not hundreds or even dozens of ancient dragons wandering around. When there were that many, the world was a hellscape of chaos and flames and death.

Now, there are a  fewer than one of each sort in your Monster Manual. Don’t worry: there will be plenty of dragons to kill, to burgle, from which to flee while screaming in terror.

But it is that "small/unique" mindset I want players to have.

Spirit
 GM, 17 posts
Fri 9 Aug 2019
at 22:37
Principles
Magic is ubiquitous.

Between actual casters, those with some innate magical ability, hedge wizards, and common magic items, the world is full of magic. No one is going to be in awe of mage hand.

But it is (mostly) low level. It is also more likely to be practical. (Mending is more likely to make someone the "hero" of their village than shocking grasp.)

Every level of magic is an order of magnitude more rare than the previous. The number of people who can cast spells of greater than fifth level is probably only in the thousands. And those are either members of the Conclave, or at least known to them.

Spirit
 GM, 18 posts
Fri 9 Aug 2019
at 22:39
Inclusive:
I want everything in D&D to be available to players.

This means everything mechanically:

Classes, races, variants, etc. I want you to play the thing you want to play because that’s what fun is.

I am not worried about you being too powerful relative to monsters/challenges.

I can make them harder.

I do want to make sure there's balance within a party, though.

Spirit
 GM, 19 posts
Fri 9 Aug 2019
at 22:42
Flavor:
I want you to have the concepts you want.

BUT

The published flavor and published mechanics don’t have to match.

You want to play a dark-skinned elf? Great. We have those.
Are all of them descended from evil underground outcasts? No.

My elves have a range of skin tones from jet to damn-near clear. It has nothing to do with alignment or even genetics as we know it.

They can have hair and eye color as traditional or as wild as you want, but it isn’t limited to any sort of geographical or cultural subset.

I do have a group of elves from a decadent, freeky-deeky, masochistic/matriarchal Feywild ruled by an insane spider-fetishizing body dysmorphic archfey.

But the elves that came from there can be dark-skinned or light; fair-haired or plumed.

They can use the drow rules or the eladrin or the wild.

Don’t care.

Pick a rule set – stick to it.

Make your character descriptions and personalities and stick to them.

Spirit
 GM, 20 posts
Fri 9 Aug 2019
at 22:56
Races: Humans
What follows is a very general description of the races and how they typically fit into the world.

But always remember: you’re adventurers.
You’re exceptional.
You aren’t constrained by the “typical.”

Humans:
Humans have a wide variety of physical variations. These are not geographically based.

All humans speak the Common tongue, but their accents are unique. Those from cosmopolitan areas will recognize and place different accents. Isolated villagers in Central Plain might not know where you're from, but they can all recognize "not around here" pretty well.

Southern Coast – sailors, merchants, any professions found in urban environments
The large cities, called the Seven Sisters, are all mixed race. Humans are in some a majority, in others merely the largest minority.
Because of this, they tend to be rather open and accepting of anyone, within reason, of course.

Central Plain –The plains and hills to the north have small villages of farmers. Some strongmen have united a few villages under one ruler, but none could threaten the urban centers (called the Seven Sisters) along the coast.

These humans live in close contact with halflings, who often live in similar villages.

To the north of the central plain, things are more dangerous – raiders from the west primarily. Also, this gets close to the Omenwood, where the elves live.

Many humans were raised on legends of Elvish rule, and though it was thousands of years ago, the hate lasts.

There are some small human settlements near the edge of Wood. These are usually one of two extremes: profoundly xenophobic, or open to elvish contact. The later often has halfelves in their midst.

Eastern Coast – Is a very hard land. Small subsistence farming and fishing villages are the only sorts of communities.

The Humans here tend to be extremely xenophobic. When they talk of the old Elvish Kingdoms, you’d thing they were describing crimes from years, rather than millennia ago.

When sailing ships brave enough to follow the coast stop by, they are likely to keep their demihumans aboard ship.

Interestingly, Genasi make up about 1-2% of the human population here. They can pass for Humans and for the most part the true Humans here merely consider them "touched" as opposed to being an different species.

Dervishes – The wandering tribes of the desert, or more accurately the foothills of the mountains surrounding the desert.

These are folk who live in closed communities, nearly exclusively human, but nevertheless they are open and friendly. They frequently risk the open desert to trade with the Cracked City of Tieflings, and many make good trade guiding others across that desert.

Northwest – Another hard land. To the north are the frozen plains of the Dead White Dragon.

To the south, the jungles of lizards and snakes.

These Humans live in the middle, surviving on the herds of animals here.

Competing with them are the Orcs.

Both groups are tribal, and there are often half-orcs found in each.

They try to avoid each other, but scarcity can make that impossible.

Still, tribes of Humans are also prone to waring with other Humans, and Orcs, Orcs.

Both groups hate and fear goblinoids. Their tribes are often seen as fair game by slavers. Though the Empire denies it, enough escaped slaves have dwarven made collars to explain their fears of them as well.

This message was last edited by the GM at 22:06, Tue 13 Aug 2019.

Spirit
 GM, 21 posts
Fri 9 Aug 2019
at 23:21
Races: Halflings
Lightfoot, Stout, and Ghostwise are all fine. They aren't physically distinguishable, and communities are composed of all three sorts.

As long as they are short.

Central Plains –
These halflings (hobbits, smallfolk) live in small villages and typically live agrarian lives.
They raise grain and vegetables. They have chicken coops and rabbit hutches.

Here, they live close to some human farms and villages. They typically get on well.

They almost always speak their own tongue, and most speak Common as well.

Seven Sisters –
Urban halflings are less adept at the Halfling language. Other halflings can tell.
They practice all sorts of trades and get along with all other races.

“Tall” races tend to be a bit dismissive of halflings, at first.

This message was last edited by the GM at 23:01, Sun 11 Aug 2019.

Spirit
 GM, 22 posts
Sun 11 Aug 2019
at 23:00
Races: Dwarves
Hill and Mountain rules are fine.
Others likely approved as well.

Within the Empire, there is a great deal of social control over a dwarf’s daily life. Though all PC dwarfs will also know Common, it is not unusual for dwarves to be ignorant of any other languages.

Some dwarven clans have acquired Contracts to work outside the Empire; mining and construction projects are common.

Some clans have agents out on missions of trade or reconnaissance. It is common for high-ranking nobles to send sons for training in foreign cites or even with the Conclave.

When a dwarf introduces him or herself, they start with, “Loyal servant of the Emperor and [their representative on Stone Table, e.g. Lord Bofin, Duke of Griby]”  after which they will move down from there to their family and finally personal name:

I am the Servant of Shadam IX Blackstone and Lord Bofin, Duke of Griby. Through Krague his Count, master of Earl Woldven, lord for six generations of the Family Haqsaw, Gris.


A dwarf who fails to make this sort of introduction is hiding something, If they aren’t a renegade, they are still behaving a lot like a renegade.

Which may mean nothing to non-dwarves.

Spirit
 GM, 23 posts
Sun 11 Aug 2019
at 23:55
Races: Elves
Elves:
You can use Drow, High, or Wood rules freely.
Eladrin rules are (mostly) ok as well.

The rules you use have no required relationship to the physical appearance of cultural background of your character.

All elves speak Elvish; knowledge of the language is innate, and Halfelves, even those is a single drop of elvish blood, speak the tongue without a trace of accent.

Even when elves know another language, they will tend to speak Elvish first. Many resent being forced to use “vulgar tongues.”

Temporal Elves: Omenwood and Avalon

Omenwood Elves come from a culture that is always threatened by the Goblinoids. They are highly militaristic. They also (typically) have a sense of superiority that rankles others, especially Humans.

The history of their bias means that even an Elf that is not guilty of the racial prejudice is likely to be assumed to share it.

The Elves of the Seven Sisters usually know how to behave in relation to others.

Omenwood Elves are, within their communities, very egalitarian. There are no gendered roles, and marriages are almost always plural, with 2-3 males and 3-4 females being the normal range.

Avalon Elves are a caricature of the Arthurian Romance. They are deeply motivated by honor and chivalry. Obviously, there are those who break from this tradition, but they do so in a deliberate, conscious way, often “playing the scoundrel.”

When it comes to prejudices, they are more extreme than their continental cousins in every way.

They tend to treat other races with a haughty disregard.

Other races tend to consider them weak fops and cruel exploiters, with little concern for the apparent mutual exclusivity.


Feywild, elves:

There are as many feywilds as players need to make their characters. There will be another thread devoted to the more well known of them.

A typical Feywild will have a small number of residents, perhaps as small as a few hundred elves. There are almost always a large number of other fey there as well, but the specifics vary.

At best, a Feywild is a gateway to a world of magic, beauty, wonder and romance. Sheltered from the world and lost in time. Beings of unsurpassable beauty frolic during their days; hunt in their afternoons; and dine and dance their evenings away.

At the worst, beings with powers approaching those of a god are trapped and bored and can’t wait for visitors to inject something new into their stagnant lives. Like, literally, they are not waiting around.

Feywild residents who are on this, the Temporal or Material  plane, are usually fish out of water.

Changes, like the cycle of the seasons or the fluctuations of the Silver Path are alien to them. Almost none (PCs excluded) know any languages besides elvish.

They came from a world where Elves were the undisputed masters. Many still believe that to be true.

Also, many of the Feywild (Eladrin) elves in this world, are technically thousands of years old, on this timeline.

They might be as mature as a Temporal Elf of a couple hundred or fewer years, but they can recall the first flights of dragons tearing into this universe.

This message was last edited by the GM at 22:48, Wed 14 Aug 2019.

Spirit
 GM, 27 posts
Tue 13 Aug 2019
at 22:40
Races: Gnomes
Gnomes: forest, deep, and rock – all fine and there is no particular physical variation assigned to the different rule sets.

Gnomes are fey. They resemble small elves. During the elvish dominion, Gnomes were better off than Humans, but still clearly subordinate to the Elves.

As a result, Humans don’t relate to them (i.e. hate them) in the same way. Likewise, Gnomes don’t (typically) dislike Elves.

(Sadly, many Humans don’t bother to distinguish between Halflings and Gnomes very much.)

Some Gnomes live in Feywilds, where they are similar to the Eladrin in their disassociation from the Temporal Plane.

Regardless, Gnomes tend to live in large, multi-generational family communities.

Such communities are typically based around a central hall or fortified position, like the tree Mimameid, where Gimble MacGuinness serves as patriarch to children, nieces, nephews, great, great-great, and beyond.

There is also the Warehouse, in the city of Brackenfields, where Lucy Lucre is the head of a (mostly) family business that finances ships and caravans that travel the world over.

Gnomes are enthusiastic networkers.

As such, nearly all Gnomish halls have members who participate in other organizations, including all Towers of the Conclave.

Spirit
 GM, 28 posts
Tue 13 Aug 2019
at 22:55
Races: Tieflings
Tieflings
All variants are ok.

Physically, Tiefilngs have at least one horn and a tail.

Other than that, you’re free to imagine them as you wish. They can have any number of horns, of any shape or size. Big tails, small, short long.

Some Tieflings are spontaneously born of Human parents.
The child of any Human (or demihuman) / Tiefling coupling will be Tiefling.

In the wide world, they are rare, generally only in urban areas like the Seven Sisters.

They are occasionally traders, but also well represented in Conclave Towers, the White less so than the others.

Most Humans, and others, regard them as the “spawn of demons” or the “children of devils,” so they deal with a lot of prejudice.

Children born to Human parents are particularly stigmatized.

Tieflings that come from the Cracked City don’t face this growing up, and can be a bit unprepared for it when they venture into the wider world.

Spirit
 GM, 29 posts
Tue 13 Aug 2019
at 23:49
Races: Goblinoids
Goblinoids

Goblins, Hobgoblins, and Bugbears

The Empire is a major force in the world. So, these are not “monster races” any more than Elves or Dwarves.

Which doesn’t mean there aren’t complications.

Hobgoblins –
Are the dominant caste within their Empire. Many, more than a quarter, are members of the Four Factions:
  • Dar – Dedicated Soldiers (Very unlikely to be found in the larger world, unless in disgrace.)
  • Sndal & Vehi – oversee the internal running of the Empire. (Members are occasionally found in the larger world pursuing unique interests on the Empire.)
  • Ghain – Spies and Foreign Relations (Often out in the world. Additionally, they choose to send representatives to the Conclave. Finally, they are spies. Any Out-Faction hobgoblin could be Ghain in disguise. Any goblinoid could secretly be serving the Ghain.


In general, hobogs are either part of a diplomatic or commercial mission, or renegades.

The Empire doesn’t generally care about renegades: good riddance.

Goblins –
Are the lowest caste of the Empire. They are little better than slaves, and there is no real hope for advancement.

Those who strike out on their own are typically exterminated by Omenwood Elves, and those who make it beyond never lose their fear of Fey. They can, however, find areas where they can survive and even thrive; goblins are survivors.

The Empire also uses Goblins to destabilase other parts of the world, setting up villages in any remote part of the world. From these, other adventurous sorts explore the world.

Bugbears –
Even in the Empire, they are thugs, employed by the Dar as shock troops or the Sndal as overseers.

Because of their wild nature, they are prone to abandoning their current job if another, better one presents itself. As a result, they are (sparsely) found working as enforcers or with pirates or bandits.

This message was last edited by the GM at 22:53, Wed 14 Aug 2019.

Spirit
 GM, 31 posts
Wed 14 Aug 2019
at 23:14
Races: Orcs and half-orcs
Orcs and half-orcs:

These races have a reputation (deservedly) for violence.

In fairness, Elves, Dwarves, Humans, Goblinoids – all the races are violent when they need to be and individuals of every group can be more or less violent than their kind in general.

Still, orcs have a hard time of it in civilized lands.

Many are escaped (or more rarely, freed) slaves, and bear some sort of evidence, such as collar scars.

This message was last edited by the GM at 23:14, Wed 14 Aug 2019.