View Full Version : Setting: Humanity Lost

2009-09-11, 01:45 AM
So i'm fiddling around with a setting idea.
The defualt 4e setting ins Pinpricks of darkness, humanity only jst surviving in isolated pockets.
Alot of games i run/play are set in a Goldern Age, where humanity is triumphant, evil is found in the actions of humans, as much as in any invading army of orcs.

But this new setting idea i'm working on is far from that.
~12 generations ago, there was a great war, good vs evil, humanity and the races of the light vs the Cruel ones (something like WoT Trollocs).
at first the light ws crushed, villages whiped out in days, but bigger wall cities held out.
It was a time for Heros, and Heros came, many a legend of allied armies sweeping in to break seige at the nick of time, of Pessantfolk taking up arms and overcoming most fearsome of odds, to drive back there monsterous foes, would have been born.
Heros whoes bravery and courage, would have lived on in legend for generations.
Sages of wisdom, and mages of great might who drew the very element of the world, against there in human foes, would have been looked upun as saviors, brillaint lights against the darkeness.
The Ever approching darkness.
But in the end, it wasn't enough, and none lived to tell their tale.
Humanity was cushed, both in life and in spirit.
A generation died.
Over the next 300 years they were breed, not as slaves, but as cattle.
Language, skills, some say even hope was beaten out of them
as they had become little more than the animals their masters see them as.

But somehow, something in them persised, and now Hero's have come again.

Que the PC's
Unorganised thoughts:
System: i'ld like to use P athfinder cos i'ld lkike to try it out, but porting almost anything players want from 3.5.
Fighters will get 4+Int skill points, and have listen and spot as class skills, never worked out how fighters can get buy with out them, explains why town guards are alwasy blind fools

The Herd , constists primairly of mongeral folk, - part human, part elf, part dwarf, part cat folk, part kender, part just about anything that can crossbreed with human.
But everynow and then there are throw backs,
Children who resemble the ancient pure bred races.
The PC's will proably come from these.

Handlers/Masters: humanity was taken over primairy by one race, (haven't descided what yet, any suggestions? i'm proably looking for somehting from a nonWoTC book, as i want something no ones seen before): these creatures are of brutish sentiance, and are referede to throughout this text as the master, the handlers, the cruel one etc.

Role of humanity: (when i say humanity i mean the mongel human/dwarf/elf/etc mix) the PC's will come from a group that are used as food - cattle.
Other (in differnt regeons maybe) may be used as slaves olr even as house pets.

All PC's start proffient in the Herd Language - A corrupted version of the language that there handles used, herd languages vary dramatically between herds, as differnt parts of the Master's language was takens.
Those of surfienctly high interlect may have pick up the language of the handlers.
Thouse how have enough intellect to learn more may full up there language slots through in game learning latter.
Everyone begins illierate (and will proably die illiterate) humanity has lost the art of written word.

as none can read wizards and archiviest are out as classes.
as are the rest of the tier 1 classes, the knowledge and rituals haven't been passed down.

2009-09-11, 10:33 AM
sorry, cut myself off there.
Where was I?

as none can read wizards and archiviest are out as classes.
as are the rest of the tier 1 classes, the knowledge and rituals haven't been passed down.
But Tier 2 (spontaneous casters) is in, though almost all casters will want to be secretive of it, because it would have them killed by the handlers.

There will be no magic items,
as the knowledge of how to create them is gone,
Mundane equiptment also will be rare,
for excaped cattle.
So PC's (and Herd NPC's) will get VoP Benifits with out the restriction of no Material Possessions, and also with the Feats unlocked to all.
And the AC Exalted bonus, becomes an armour bonus (cos it makes mopre sense and nothing other than this and armour now provides an armour bonus). damage reduction is going to be redone so as not to relate to magic.
This is Explained alone the lines of:
AC bonus: the Herdfolk have learn't to make the best of what they have even when they have nothing.
Deflection bonus: Herdfolk subconciosly are always one the lookout for a blow, weather one looks to be coming or not(Deflection applies to AC, FFAC and TouchAC, right?)
Natural armour bonus,damage reduction: the skin of the Herdfolk is thinkened, from constant exposure, and casual beatinings.
Attack and Damage Bonus, Ability score bonus: Herdfolk are Faster, Stronger, Better, Harder, Smarter.
Sustanance: Herdfolk are used to going without food, and can survive on almost nothing. (I might change this from need no food to; what would feed one person for a day, would feed a herd folk for 2 or even 3)
MindBlank: Herdfolk are as strong of mind as they are of body.
Truesight: Herdfolk are canny and know to trust there instints, as such illusions have no hold on them

Of course no actual HerdFolk has ever lived long enough to get all (or even many) of these benefits, but these strengths have unknowingly been bread into them.

Now Spell caster are going to benifit more from the VoP cos suddenly they have similar AC to the fighter.
Since Even Mundane equiptment like Armor will be hard to get.
If one of the handlers is kill then you could take his.
but Adjustment Rules apply to Fullplate and Halfplate (and maybe others)
and monks most since it VoP stacks with Monks wis bonus to AC.

Now Weaponry.
Killing a handler will get you a weapon (unless i decide to be nasty and chose a handler race that has powerful build)
Otherwise Craft Weaponry is going to come very muchly in handy.
The DC for Craft Club, Quarterstaff, Longspear, should be pretty low.
and with the feats you'll be getting, skill focus Craft melee weapon proably wouyldn't be a bad way to spend one of the:
What it? pathfinder: 10? + VoP 11 : that's 21 feats in 20 lvls

Now a SoulKnife would have and advantage in that he would start game with a weapon.

on another note: You maybe able to get some magic like properties for you weapons.
For example Keen: if you seek out the best blacksmith since the Fall of humanity (a decent of a excaped cattle) then maybe he can forge you a sword so sharp you can drop a hair on the blade an see it split in two.
fro m one hundred and one days, working only at night (see what i did there?), he would forge, not working in the day, and the heat from the sun damages the precise temper he's working on puting on the blade.
and sharpening it on the wind itself.
But Obviously a blade like this can't be bought.
Heck at early game a blade of any desciptiuon can't be bought.

2009-09-11, 10:39 AM
Now back to classes:
All prepared casters are out.
ToB out, until you can find someone to train you in it.
OA samuri is out at lvl 1, because they get a sword as a class feature, not something that could happen in the Herd. Actually Maybe that would be part of an great backstory, for generations the familly has had these swords hidden berried in the ground.

2009-09-11, 04:05 PM
Are you planning on having the setting be Dark Sun-meets-Gith Revolt (against the Illithid empire) guerilla setting, or more of a post-apocalyptic Mutant Future (http://www.goblinoidgames.com/mutantfuture.html)/Fallout 3E 'rebuild the ruins' vibe? Coz it's the setting that will sell this idea as anything more than a thought experiment. :smallconfused:

You may want to dig out the old Dragon and Dungeon articles that updated Dark Sun to 3E. They had a lot of handy sidebars on dealing with scarcity (of loot, materials, food and water, magic, etc.) in a normally 'wealth=power' game like D&D3. If you can find them the d20 "Gamma World" books may also be of interest.

As for mechanics, start with the KISS principle, or the players will just tl;dr the textwall. Keep mechanical changes they will need to know (classes, races, skill, feats, spell restrictions, etc.) to ~1 page of bullet points at most.

In fact, scratch that. Simply pitch the game as "You are escaped livestock" and play through a quick chargen/tutorial session.

Roll stats as normal.
Introduce Herdfolk variations (*cough* mutations *cough*) as level-1-only feats. Each character gets to pick roll for a random number of these. Certain rolls might = "counts as Dwarf/Elf/Halfling/Halforc".
All PCs start out as non-classed 1HD commoners, with all the suckitude which that implies.
The PCs are the ringleaders of a group of escaping herdfolk. They gain a level in a class only if they survive the gauntlet of the first session. Dead PC? No great loss. Replace him straight away with another escapee and the player is back in the game.
Level gained? Chat to the player, explain that certain classes simply don't exist in this setting, and together select their new class level on the basis of the character's actions in the creation session.
Et voila! The players are thrown into the game just as ignorant, confused and helpless as their characters. They are forced to live on their wits first and foremost, and instantly get a sense that "This ain't standard unique snowflake D&D". No DM-on-player infodump required.

<chaucer> Gawd, I'm good! </chaucer>

OA samuri is out at lvl 1, because they get a sword as a class feature, not something that could happen in the Herd. Actually Maybe that would be part of an great backstory, for generations the family has had these swords hidden buried in the ground.

So CWar Samurai is in, right? :smallbiggrin:

2009-09-11, 09:09 PM
Herdfolk variations aren't mutations, that would imply something that caused a mutation.
Herdfolk variations are a resualt of natural selection,only the toughest survived.
If you've seen Vow of poverty it's a large table of benifits you gain, depending on your lvl.
not just one feat.

'rebuild the ruins'
I like that, but also depends on what the players do, this is a setting not a campaign.
I also want a sort of, just over the horizan, is an outpost of humanit, where escaped herdfolk have gone over the generations, and tried to rebuild.
We'll be safe there. (of course if PC's ever find it they won't be safe there)

I've never actually seen Dark Sun or Gith Revolt, might have to go look for them.
I only have the Dragon Annuals, but i think a friend of a friend of mine might have them all.

Isn't lvl 1 anything sufficient suckitude?
lvl 1 sorcerer gets.. 1 maybe 2 magic missiles a day?
Along the lines of KISS, the PC's are going to play races, statistically just as they are in the PhB.
For example, you play a herdfolk, who is a throw back to the dwarves.
For some reason, you have a natural talent for working with stone.

no spells will be banned, even though i'm getting rid of all the planes, leaving maybe a heaven and a hell, but not one PC's are really sure of. as fire elementals, are really and live in the center of the hottest blazez etc.
Some spells are going to be a bad idea to chose, since spontaneous casters know a limited number of spells>
For example spells with rare material componants might not be a good idea, cos well if I'm nice gems might be used as currency, but it i'm not...

Classes: all except prepared casters.
Does anyone know of a Druid varient, that has No casting?
but earlier wild shape?
That would go nicely

2009-09-13, 01:39 AM
Back to Black listing Classes:
so prepared Casters: rituals haven't been handed down.
Also. Soulknife, kensai, OA samurai, i'm going to have ot get rid of:
when combined with VoP, they break weapon enhancement limits.

hang on, doesn't soulknife, (and maybe even kensai) always break weapon enhancement when legally combined with standard VoP?

While I'm Here i might bring Fighter in line in terms of skills to Ranger.
Still might no be awesome, (this assume i run with 3.5 rather than pathfinder, though i might implement something similar to pathfinder)

Skill points: (6+INT) (x4 lvl 1)

Class skills:
Physical: Jump, Climp, Swim, ride, survival.
Diplomatic: Diplomacy,Intimidate, Perform Weapon Drill, handle animal
Knowledge: (for monsters): Arcane, religion, nature, dungeoneering, local (for human), history (battle tactics)
Craft (all) as per normal fighter
Profession (siege engineer): (it was kind a patheric in Heros of Battle: no fighters could operate Seige engines), maybe i should give profession(all)?
Perception: spot, listen, search. (no more blind town town guards)

Feats: feats should be explained through RP. Marial Study will not be allowed without finding a master to train you.
You have alot of feats: 21, therefor skill focus is not a bad feat at low lvls>
lvl 1 you get 2 feats, humans get 3, human fighters/psiwarriors get 4.

I'm adding a new feat:
Able to Learn: Select 1 skill, it becomes a class skill for you for all levels. you do not get ranks retroactively from this feat.
this is basically better that able learner in every way, and simpler to use