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ExtravagantEvil
2012-12-20, 11:43 AM
Dear Playgrounders:

I have had in mind for some time, a campaign setting.
However, to claim it a skeleton truly understates how malnourished this idea has been, given my busy schedule. Therefore, I turn to the infinite well of creativity here to assist.

This idea is based on some of my observations on what has been "neglected" in the terms of D&D 3.5 Source Material, and I wanted to make a setting focused on them. It is based heavily on Celtic Mythology and tries to be very traditional in terms of the mundane as far as D&D settings go, but the supernatural that it lives in will be inherently alien.

Fey and Giants.

I also have some ideas set in about the deities of the setting, but they came as more an offshoot of the above 2, as part of the theme I'm going for.

What I'm focusing on largely, is that Blue and Orange Morality (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/BlueAndOrangeMorality) of Supernatural beings, to make it all the more interesting to interact with. However, my ideas have been a little defunct when it concerns the details of exact creatures that fall under these standards.

Fey: Fey are no longer nature spirits inherently. While there is a connection to nature, they are, essentially, Sentient Magical Quantum Events. One that has influenced Humanity to where the court system that is archetypal for fey has become the one that was watered down and used by humanity.

Fey acquire power through Magic, as they are Pure magic. Some more pure than others. There can only be so many with certain levels in each of the fey "kingdoms". As the magical nature of these beings increase, there is an increase in perspective. The wider perspective a fey has, the more levels of reality, planes of existence, and concepts it can wield and control.

The weaker fey, are limited in perspective and thus control very little. These perspectives are treated much in the same manner as Doctor Manhattan from Watchmen, experienced all at once and individually. This range of perspective and the wild nature of magic makes them capricious by human perspectives and incredibly alien, and their perspectives also add to their personalities. Some of the more "violent" ones, are "unstable" with their power, like radioactive elements, so that when they ascend to a certain level, it overloads them, essentially, and things are obliterated, cities destroyed, and magic acts incredibly odd...

Example: Domovoi (Frostburn) are Fey who use Fire. Their entire moral scale is set according to "Fire" and "Not Fire", they went to Human settlements, because there are forges, and hearths, and torches, and are nothing more than beacons of fire. They work and heat forges, however, they often leave it running well into the night, far after the smith has gone to bed. When a Domovoi is offended, it will, contrary to instinct and popular belief, will NOT burn down your house. It would be seen as a "good" thing in their eyes to produce fire. Their perspective is limited, to where they perceive the human reality + fire, fire being the dominant of their magical reality and "composition".

Some are powerful enough to become seen as gods to humanity, most of the fey princes/princesses/ and like the Morrigans have "fun" in human affairs.

The only real example I have of a Fey "Nobility" is that I designed as a high level antagonist figure.

A fey creature that has intense amounts of magical power, and is able to effect reality on all levels, time, space, but cannot perceive them. He is a blind man to all the universe. Except itself. It is pure solipsism. Therefore, it's magic destroys the reality around it. Leaving only itself, for that is all that exists in it's reality, in it's perspective. With a touch, there are holes ripped into causality. However, he has been sealed into an Acorn, made king of an infinite space, as the magical prison is sustained and expands the more it is destroyed. The edge of the prison is the ever hanging fruit that one can never reach. However, the prison is sustained as an ACORN. Naturally, there will be a point where the acorn that sustains the prison is broken, and things happen.

The Problem:
Ideas for Fey "Nobility", so that these incredibly strange beings can feel individualized. Further, it's coming up with behavior patterns and justifications behind classical fey using this model (Kelpies come to mind)


Giants

I am having a major problem considering how the Giants should fit into the setting, I imagine them being Ayn Randian type creatures, that are individualistic, and obviously rebuked a great duty that they must sustain, and embody the ideas of a traditional Objectivist Theory. However, I do not know which kind of giant I should use, and how they'd interact with Humanity, and what their old duty may have been



Gods

Gods and Fey have an odd connection.
Fey have intense power spread across a large area of perspective,
however, Gods have vast amounts of power concentrated in one area, but not on a dimensional level. Similar to the King of Infinite Space, they are focused on One Philosophical Concept, that is all that they understand, and take traditional virtues and concepts, and extend them so far that they are not at all normal human definitions of the virtues and concepts.

Example:
God of Justice/Truth: The God of Justice and Truth, experiences Truths on an entirely cosmological scale and perspective, his truths are the true moral and physical limits and laws of the Universe. Therefore, it's right and wrong are cosmological truths. Humanity does not understand these. Therefore, kharmic justice is in effect, but not "human" kharma, therefore, it seems inherently arbitrary, and when his "angels" arrive, it rains fire on the unjust, because it's whoever they designate for reasons that the god nor his angels will reveal.

Ex.2:
God of Love:
the God of Love is not the feel good deity of yore. It, believes in Love, and that all creatures should Love each other, and use it as a medium through which this love can be shared, an absolute devotion to everyone.
However, while this sounds nice, it is essentially seeks to make a hive mind, with it as the nexus and the "server" to which this hive mind is established.

However, the Churches to these 2 gods, water down the ideas and make them palatable to human understanding because they are human, and that is how these gods have always been interpreted by mankind.

I am having a lot of trouble perverting basic concepts into being unconnected from their human understanding, and therefore more sinister than anticipated and able to be watered down into the church.


These just tie into the basic idea that I am thematically making with the setting, that Human ideas take things that are hard to comprehend, and compact them down into something that is simplistic and palatable to the way in which we think, hence lending to most of the medieval technology and "tech. stagnation" that is a criticism of settings like this.

On a mechanical note, I am not sure what races to put in this setting, and that may be an auxiliary discussion or a different thread.

Thank you very much for reading all of this and providing assistance.

zzuxon
2012-12-20, 12:34 PM
You have some pretty cool ideas here. Take this concept and run with it.

NothingButCake
2012-12-22, 02:06 PM
Do you have more specifics about the Fey like with the domovoi? What you've given is a little abstract.

For the giants, are they associated with the fey or are they more grounded, biological beings? Or elemental?

For the love deity, beyond merging mentally, I suggest physical merging. The division of mortal flesh between individuals, like distinct minds, is blasphemy. Sex, the temporary coming together of bodies, is devotion but also a weak parody of the true vision of one flesh.

ExtravagantEvil
2012-12-22, 04:24 PM
Hmm... I'll try to think of another idea for the Fey as an example...

Hmm...
Dryad (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/dryad.htm)'s might be a good example.


Dryad's are another example of creatures limited in perspective, to the point of unable being able to exist far from a specific point from the forest.
However, it has magical connections to minds and beings around it through it's mind control abilities.

I'd take this as combining 2 aspects.
I think therefore I am, cogito ergo sum, of Descarte
and a "Plant vs. Not Plant" mentality.
Interestingly enough, specifically with Trees. Trees age. It takes it's perspective that it uses when it needs to defend itself, masquerade itself and have a perfect control over the surrounding tension, as a tree. It lives in a tree, on a deep magical form of habitation.

Therefore, Dryad's comprehend and respect age, treating that as a footnote for moral construction.

However, it takes control incredibly seriously. It controls nature cohabits with nature. It can communicate with nature, and it communicates back. Something she can have absolute control over has thought.
Animals, who exhibit higher processes through memory and emotion, can be controlled with a touch more difficulty, due to only being able to use handle animal and the response to "emotions".
Next, is man. Who can be charmed or suggested, thus representing more effort to control, but there is the potential to be controlled, and thus they exist.
Lastly, exists, higher magical beings and non-humanoids.
These creatures cannot be controlled without intense part on the part of the Dryad. Therefore, they cannot be controlled, but do in fact, exist.

However, it sounds as if this is a psychopathic mentality for the need to manipulate and control. Yet, it has empathy, due to the admittance of the existence of Animals. It essentially has a 6th sense. The sense of mind and heart. The more important sense out of the other 5. Therefore, it does feel happiness and sadness, but it still seeks to control that, due to the most instinctive aspect of her perspective bonding to a lower, unfeeling, and easily controlled medium. So it reacts to happiness and sadness, but does not prioritize higher levels of this, because it cannot be easily controlled. Hence, higher level forms of comprehension and intelligence are not worth truly considering.

This is what confuses Dryads about Plant creatures, it looks like it should be controllable, but isn't. It is hard to suggest to them, and their communications are similar to that of higher beasts that it cannot control as easily. This fills dryads with anger at this rebelliousness and confusion on a logical level.
Treants are similar, but due to their age and abilities in the environment superseding the dryad's fundamentally, bring confusion, but due to the symbols they go by, respect Treants. However, it is incredibly confused by something so vastly complex, yet so inherently simple.

The Dryad reacts to the world on a purely moral level, an existential level, without a human moral barometer, but the mentality of a 14 year old stereotypical female. It believes solely in what it can control for that is all it can comprehend, and rages against that which tries to disrupt the control that gives it existence, or expand beyond the basic presuppositions that it lives with and through. However, elder creatures, similar to they, but ever so different, toss it into a state of confusion, but a confused respect, with occasional rejection. Much like a teenage daughter with her parents.

But this is it's reaction to all life. That which is too complex is to be ignored, and that which is harms my control of the world around me, which is more often than not those of higher complexities shall be removed.

Controllable vs. Uncontrollable is the creatures moral barometer, with trees as a perfect example of treating most approvingly the slow, the old, the simplistic, and that which listens to its every whim and desire, while still trying to feel out their emotions with wonder, and occasional curious assistance.


Very long winded, but I hope that drives the point across a bit better, even if better being annotated with a "tl;dr" tag, which I sadly cannot feasibly apply.

It essentially shows that the problem I have in my line of thought, is taking
A. Traditional Fey creatures that exist in countless myths
and
B. Existing Fey creatures under D&D 3.5's rule set
and provide them with a divergent enough mentality to give flavor.

However. The problems apply both to creating important, new, individualized fey, the equivalent of D&D Arch Devils for the Fey, with a similar odd, but semi-comprehensible system as above. So A new monster for a new setting with a new mind.

I like the suggestion on the God of Love. Very, Cthulhu esque, which I can get behind and adds a fun dimension, pardon the pun.

the_david
2012-12-23, 11:25 AM
What about the verdant prince from monster manual IV? He sounds about right, although he's a mere CR 11.

Zireael
2012-12-23, 11:39 AM
I love the idea, especially the connection between gods and fey.

I went for something similar in my world, apart from the fact that it's Grey and Grey Morality.

***
That being said, I love the portrayal of the dryad and the verdant prince sounds about right, too!

ExtravagantEvil
2012-12-23, 03:31 PM
Hmm... I do somewhat like the Verdant Prince, but not necessarily as a high fey.
Rather, he seems to be something more the fey answer to Succubi.
He lures you in and makes a deal that is sure to screw you over.
In this context not because he know's or really gets the idea of screwing you over, but rather, it doesn't know that it is doing so when it does.

However, thank you for pointing this out. What I'd really want to start doing is taking some of the things from...

Here (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=226612), Here (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?p=8703843), and Here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Celtic_mythology) to try and either update that which the Fey wilds fellow has not shown me to be in D&D into it, whilst also, creating new and original fey in the CR 20 range, some based on Archetypes like Oberon and Titania some like the Solipsist Faerie I fluffed up earlier on.

I've thought for awhile and realized for the Fey Princes and figures that I'll need to think in terms of the princes limits as a defining characteristic, so I know what they're dominant theme would be, but even then, it seems as if in terms of original ideas beyond what I've posited I come up with little. For the one thing I don't want out of this setting is the ever present Fey = Nature thing. There are Nature fey but not all fey are based around nature. Most of them would have enough potency to be considered gods by the populace. Altering Earthly reality at the wave of a hand, illusions, conjuring of food, teleportation, all the standard SLA's. However, it seems as if beyond this I am drawing blanks on how to create ORIGINAL creatures for this setting...

On the matter of the gods, I just need some thoughts on how to twist seemingly virtuous, and vile concepts and deific archetypes into being unrecognizable eldritch horrors.

And I am still unsure of how Giants should truly originate other than the very biblical shirking of duty and a "fall" into individualist selfishness with this intense autonomy.


New Example to give an idea of how I'm shooting for this, all advice and criticism desired.


SATYRS
----------
The basic gist I got from them was examining the fluff, not as much the mechanics pre-written to them. They are hedonistic. They also enjoy screwing with people, and wander around, shooting, fighting, drinking, and being wild and boorish monsters, but not at all harmful, just obnoxious.

However, they are based on Greek creatures. Greek creatures have "particular habits" in most of their myths. One I won't bring up, but will point out that their Pipes have the "Sleep" spell as usable. If you get the message.

This, is obviously, by human standards, morally wrong. Purely Wrong.
However, I'd need to incorporate this important aspect of their mythos into the morality system. So bare with me for now, and hopefully upon this example I can inspire some assistance.

Satyrs have NO concept of the future or the past.
They see only the now. They realize and constantly see every possible combination of nows that can happen. However, they literally cannot ponder the consequences or what lead up to the now that they now experience, other than the infinite number of possible things to do now.
Therefore, since there is only now, they try to fill now with as many of these choices and sensations as possible. Another important detail is that they cannot conceive of other creatures being able to think beyond the immediate now. This will resurface and be highly important.

They are creatures that are solely fixated on filling now with as much experience, for now will disappear just as quickly as it came. Therefore, among the infinite choices, they see waiting to decide and ponder to lose infinite numbers of decisions.

These are creatures therefore fueled by a living existential rampage to accomplish, only to die and be reborn through this constant "now" every instant of their "lives". Therefore, anything that extends now or gives them an ability to do more in the middle of now, is "good".

Therefore they have a very quantitative and qualitative prescription of morality.

Do I get more of "now" Yes.
Do I get to do more in now. Yes.
Is it particularly sensational. Yes. These are the absolute moral questions to a Satyr.

This is why they are drunks. The alcohol of Satyrs slows down their perspectives, whilst simultaneously deadening somewhat the ability to perceive as it is a depressant. They must therefore do more to reach a similar satisfaction point, but it lasts longer.

Further, I decided to toss some pure homebrew into the Stat block, by giving them the Rage SLA, and the ability that when it is activated they gain 1 extra attack at their highest base attack bonus. Much like Whirling Frenzy Barbarians.

This is part of the moral compass of "doing a vast amount in a short time" this rushed energy, this desire to do, and existential anger and impotent rage that it is impossible.

They cannot perceive of creatures being unable to think ahead, and therefore force other creatures to try to embrace the moment, seeing them as sufferers, silent ones, of the same existential nightmare.

This however, leads to the more morally horrid situation I brought up above, along with violence and lures to dances and drinking and so on.

Therefore, they are very much nihilists but raised to an extreme that human beings cannot comprehend this degree of nihilism. These are creatures that are incredibly short minded, short lived, everything is short.

Action vs. Inaction
More vs. Less
Do vs. Don't
Choice vs. No Choice.

Whilst ironically forcing other creatures into "embracing the moment" due to their own lack of foresight, thus breaking the idea that they are masters of their own destinies that would be brought on through knowing of the infinite options of choice.
Anything that inspires Action for Action's sake.

To give them a higher grade noble figure, I stumbled on This (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sucellus).

I quite enjoy the idea as it is what inspired me to continue down this line of thinking as an option for the fey people. Technically not a truly original fey lord, but it will suffice. Obviously one of the lower fey lords due to intensely limited perspective, in comparison to the rest, as the True kings would be able to control ideas of time and space and so on.

Sucellus seems to be worshiped originally as a god of Agriculture and Alcoholic Drinks. Growth. Change. Prosperity. Food. Partying. All these, flourishing outwards. He brings bounty but only the desire to enjoy it, rather than make it. Since he is king of the Satyrs, it would mean that he is equally extremely nihilistic.

However, he has more control over the domain and ideas that Satyr's are formulated around, which establishes his "authority" in their fey court.

That is. Sensation.
He perceives and comprehends in every moment, both the fleeting nature of an ever forgotten and lived moment, and the infinite choices thereof, but is constantly shifting through millions of sensations as part of his perception.
He also would logically have the power to control the sensations of others through his magical control in this dimension of existence.

Not enough to control visual stimuli and direct mind control, but has the general control over taste, smell, sound, and touch. Whilst also being able to lure people into the mad and raving cacophonous dances, orgies and feasts.

I will post up a stat block tomorrow evening :smallsmile:.