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Admiral Squish
2013-01-26, 07:05 PM
Crossroads: The New World
An Alternate America, Circa 1750 A.D.

http://franceshunter.files.wordpress.com/2010/07/landc_nwindians_russell.jpg

I had gained the summit of a commanding ridge, and, looking round with astonishing delight, beheld the ample plains, the beauteous tracts below.

~Daniel Boone, The ADVENTURES of Col. DANIEL BOON; containing a NARRATIVE of the WARS of Kentucke (http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1002&context=etas)


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Got a homebrewed monster you'd like to see in print with your name in the credits?
Post it in our Call to Brew (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=328094) thread!

Crossroads: The New World is a campaign-setting for the Pathfinder d20 system, based on North America in the mid-1700s, but with a few minor "improvements" to the timeline.

Imagine a fantasy world where Pirates of the Caribbean, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Dances with Wolves, and Apocalypto could all describe different arcs of a single, continent-spanning campaign.

Imagine a North America which is very much like the one you may know, but where history takes a remarkably different course. Ask yourself...

What would have happened if China had begun colonizing the west coast at the same time as Europeans colonized the east coast?
What would have happened if the Dorset Culture (http://www.historymuseum.ca/cmc/exhibitions/archeo/paleoesq/ped01eng.shtml) had not died out at the hands of the Inuit, but instead absorbed the technology of their would-be successors? What if they began expanding their empire southward, picking up Norse ironworking and rune-magic along the way?
How would the balance of power in the fur-trade been different if the Great Plains merchant-city of Cahokia (http://cahokiamounds.org/) had thrived well into the 1700s?
What might have been if Hernán Cortés' illegal and unauthorized expedition in the land of the Mexica had ended in his death, and the death of his distant cousin, Francisco Pizarro? What if the mighty empire of the Aztecs never fell to foreign invasion, but instead continued to grow and expand by conquering its neighbors with "borrowed" firearm technology?


Imagine a world where European wizards pit their magic against Native shamans, Aztec bloodcasters, Norsq runescribes, and feng shui geomancers. Imagine a world which is at once intimately familiar and shocking in its strangeness.

Imagine a world you may have known your entire life, yet never truly appreciated how wonderful, how strange, and how exciting it truly is.

Imagine… a New World.

-----

The world of Crossroads: The New World is a world very much like our own. The details may be different, the people may be different, but the march of history follows the same path. There are a few key points where the worlds diverge, and these key points drastically change the face of the world.

The first, and perhaps most pervasive change is the existence of magic. There are two kinds of magic, the arcane, and the divine. Arcane magic is used by harvesting and manipulating an ambient energy that blankets the world. In some places, this energy is more abundant, in others, it’s barely there at all. Divine magic is granted by powerful beings from the spirit world, and is affected by human thoughts and beliefs. Magical creatures roam the wilds, with bizarre and fantastic powers.

The second change is the continued growth of Cahokia (http://www.cahokiamounds.org/). Cahokia, the great city of the mound-builders, was a massive, sprawling complex of temple mounds, wooden huts, and bazaars. In our world, the city fell to flood and famine, but in this world, with the help of druidic magic and divine foresight, the city avoided the disaster and only grew larger and more powerful. The city is now a huge, sprawling urban setting, ruled by extremely rich families of mound lords. The city’s strength is trade, and through trade they control a dozen major client tribes and countless more small groups. These client tribes are now members of the Cahokian League, a loose organization of groups subtly manipulated by Cahokia.

In the north, a people known as the Dorset Culture (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dorset_culture) - to their fellow natives, the Tuniit (http://www.inuitmyths.com/tuniit.htm) - were once a thriving civilization that occupied much of what is now eastern Canada. In legend, they were referred to as giants, huge and powerful, but we may never know the truth of this claim: in our world, the Dorset were quietly driven out of their lands and eliminated by the Thule Inuit. In this world, the Tuniit are truly giants, and they stood their ground and eventually brought the Thule into their number, assimilating their technology. Eventually, the influence of the Tuniit expanded through political assimilation, the Tuniit intermarrying freely with each new culture they came across, until they were bound together inextricably. The Tuniit are now found all throughout the north, from the eastern shores of Vinland (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vinland) to the western Aleutian Islands.

Across the Atlantic, the Black Plague raged all through Europe, killing hundreds of thousands. In our world, it’s ravages went unchecked. In this world, divine magic allowed a measure of defense. Agents of the Catholic Church traveled all through Europe, curing the disease wherever they went. In reality, the church’s campaign actually had relatively little effect on the total death toll, but everyone the church saved survived. Nobility and commoners alike owed their very lives to the church, a debt repaid in full as the church gained unprecedented control over the mainland of Europe. Blaming the plague on witchcraft and magical beasts, the church launched a crusade that drove non-divine spell casters and the vast majority of magical creatures to the brink of extinction. Britain alone remained outside this influence, for the most part, with the tradition of the Merlinic Order of Wizards carrying on, much to the Church’s ire.

To the Pacific now, the Chinese Admiral Zheng He (http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/ngm/0507/feature2/)’s voyages through the seas were great and numerous. In our world, they remained in the western edge of the Pacific. But in this world, the great admiral made landfall on the western shores of Canada, in the area we know as British Columbia, a land he named Fúsāng (扶桑) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fusang). Having found a new land, eventually, others followed in his footsteps, even establishing the first Chinese colony on the Olympic Peninsula of modern-day Washington state. When the Qing overthrew the aging Ming Dynasty, many Ming loyalists fled across the sea to settle this new land, as well as many of the Ming Dynasty’s spellcasters. Perhaps most importantly, the Ming Emperor’s infant daughter, the last blood relative of the ruling dynasty, was secreted away to the new world. Nearly a hundred years later, the Empress has died, leaving her only daughter, a teenager, in command of Fúsāng.

In the south, the Triple Alliance (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aztec_Triple_Alliance) was under assault, both by foreign invaders and their own rebellious subjects, but they captured the foreign commander, and made him dance before a statue of Huitzilopochtli, the war god, before they sacrifice him. In our world, one of Cortez’ lieutenants sacrificed himself to help Cortez escape. But it this world, the Aztecs sacrifice Cortez, and the moral victory shattered the Spaniard’s resolve and emboldened the Aztecs. As the remaining Spaniards fled to the coast, many were killed, others captured. Some of the captives were offered a chance to survive, if they taught their captors to work iron, steel, and bronze. All together, the captives gave the Aztec enough information to begin mining, smelting, and forging their own metal weapons and armor. Armed with the captured weapons and armor of the fallen Spaniards, the Aztec armies became nearly invincible on the battlefield, and quickly put down the rebellion the foreigners had incited. The priests told the people that these events were a test, that the weak have been slain by the disease and war, to make the Empire stronger than ever. The Aztecs expanded in all directions, moving north all the way to the Rio Grande and south almost to the Isthmus of Panama. But these borders are only temporary: it remains to be seen whether Tenochtitlan can hold them for long. But the gods are always hungry, and they always need more captives to sustain them.

Admiral Squish
2013-01-26, 07:06 PM
Basic System Changes

One major change is the reduction of wealth. Players are not going to have access to nearly as many magical items as in a typical Dungeons & Dragons setting. The main reason for this is that the setting simply doesn't support it: most adventures will require some amount of travel, and players cannot afford to be weighed-down (literally) by their possessions. In lieu of items, we strongly recommend converting 2/3 of the PC's wealth into points using this system. (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=134805)

Alignment and Morality
By modern standards, nearly every society in Vespuccia has numerous cultural practices which would be considered "evil" today: unwilling human sacrifice, the torture and execution of captive warriors and prisoners-of-war, forced religious conversion, second-class citizenship for women and ethnic minorities, and chattel slavery (just to name a few). As such, the traditional Alignment Grid is less useful in this setting as a gauge of relative morality than it is in a traditional Dungeons & Dragons setting. Cultural and personal beliefs play a much greater role in this setting than a player's or creature's alignment.
In Crossroads: The New World, alignment-dependent spells instead affect creatures and characters who hold moral viewpoints which are alien to the caster. For example, the spell protection from evil (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/magic/all-spells/p/protection-from-evil) would defend a Good-aligned Medicine Man against a wendigo, but it would also defend him against attacks made by an angel or a kirin, because even though these latter creatures are technically Good-aligned, they do not fit into the Medicine Man's cultural conception of "Good".

Currency
Currencies vary from place to place in Vespuccia, and can include coins, paper notes, precious metals, furs, blankets, shells, cocoa beans, and strings or belts of wampum. As such, there is no universal currency that can be used the way GP are in a typical Dungeons & Dragons setting. As such, prices of various items are measured in Value Points (1 VP = 1 GP). You can trade items for any number of items of equal or lesser value, or currency totaling equal or lesser value. You can attempt to get a better deal, upselling the items you're offering, by making a Bluff check opposed by the opponent's Sense Motive check. If you succeed, you may trade as though your offer were worth 10% more VP. If you fail, however, all your items are treated as though they were worth 90% of their actual value for this transaction.

Language and Literacy
This setting uses a custom skill system to represent the ability to speak and understand languages, which is outlined here (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?p=15810202).
Illiteracy is the default state for all characters. Literacy is a rare and powerful ability which,. though difficult and costly to learn, allows a person to transmit his or her thoughts across great stretches of time and space. Learning a language does not automatically confer the ability to read or write that language; that ability is represented by one or more of a series of feats, which are listed here (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?p=15837669).

[New Advantage] Culture
Every sentient creature gains a Culture (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=297634) at 1st level. This Culture determines languages spoken, and is also a prerequisite for some feats and prestige classes. Each Culture grants one free background feat and allows a character to treat one additional skill as a class skill.

[New Combat Maneuver] Counting Coup (Under Construction)
Among Native societies, the act of inflicting nonlethal damage upon one's enemy and escaping unharmed is known as counting coup (http://nativeheritageproject.com/2012/10/05/counting-coup/), and is widely considered to be a greater source of renown than actually killing one's enemy. In the centuries since First Contact, this practice has diffused into many Colonial societies as well; it is practiced widely in almost any setting which has significant Native influence, though still rarely employed by Colonial armies in serious, large-scale military battles.

[New Skill] Handle Canoe (Str; untrained)
This skill functions as outlined in the Voyageur (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/classes/3rd-party-classes/4-winds-fantasy-gaming/voyageur) class description, except that in this setting, it can be used untrained.


Magic Changes
There are a number of things that magic normally allows that, if allowed in this setting, would mean that the world's history would dramatically change in unpredictable ways, and as such, they must be strictly controlled.

The first notable change is the availability of flight. No player characters gets access to flight. All spells that grant flight are to be removed from spell lists. All feats or class abilities that grant flight are similarly removed. Races that allow flight are off-limits. There are large flying creatures capable of bearing the weight of a rider, however, they are universally unsuitable for domestication. Maybe they’re too wild, or too hard to contain, or impossible to train, or too slow to breed.

The second change regards teleportation. In this setting, long-distance teleportation spells do not exist. In this world there are magical gateways known as ‘Links'. These Links connect two points of the world, and can be activated by any sufficiently powerful spellcaster, at the appropriate time and place. Links are a tad unpredictable, and are rarely useful for any major transportation, but the advantages of instant travel are obvious, and anyone with enough money or magical talent can use them to cross vast distances, which would take weeks or even months of travel to reach normally. Some places have the potential to become linked, and these links can be cultivated by a sufficiently powerful spellcaster on each end over a period of several months.

The third change specifically regards resurrection. The spells raise dead, resurrection, and true resurrection are all removed, and will be replaced with some new spells. When a person dies, their soul becomes an incorporeal being on the spirit world. The soul can then wander the plane freely for a number of days equal to the creature's HD. After this duration is up, the soul must make a will save to remain on the spirit world. (DC 20) If they choose to stay, their soul becomes a ghost, they can no longer be raised, and their body begins to decay. At any point during their time on the spirit world, the soul can choose to pass on. The soul then goes on to the afterlife, a plane beyond the spirit world that nobody can contact, perceive, or travel to. It's a one-way trip, and nobody knows for certain what's on the other end. Once they pass on, the person cannot be raised, and the body begins to decay. In the meantime, while the soul is wandering the spirit plane, the person's body must be in perfect condition before being restored to life. That means the body cannot have any HP damage, ability damage, ability drain, or conditions. So, to revive one who has died from a disease, you'd have to cure the disease, then heal all the ability damage it caused, before the soul could return to it.

Finally: though no-one is quite certain why, magic functions better in Vespuccia that it does everywhere else. All spells and spell-like abilities cast more than 100 miles outside Vespuccia are reduced. A reduced spell has all variable, numeric effects of the spell reduced by 20%, it’s DC reduced by 2, and it’s duration decreased by 20%.

Races
Awwakkule (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=271138)
Huli Jing (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=325627)
Innunguaq
Quetzal (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=269502)
Ocelotl/Cuauhtli (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=318401)
Sasquatch (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=333691)
Spirit-Born (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=322881)
Taqriaqsuit (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=269711)
Trollkin (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=295083)
Tuniit (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=285312)
Witch-Blood (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=332137)

Classes
Brute (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=318404) (WIP)
Cleric (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/classes/core-classes/cleric)
Druid (Remake, pure caster.)
Gunslinger (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/classes/base-classes/gunslinger)
Hunter (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=280040) (WIP)
Inquisitor (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/classes/base-classes/inquisitor)
Martial Artist (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=322380) (WIP)
Medicine Man (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=270816) (WIP - needs more Rituals)
Rogue (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/classes/core-classes/rogue)
Runescribe
Voyageur (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/classes/3rd-party-classes/4-winds-fantasy-gaming/voyageur)
Warlock (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=270491)
Witch (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/classes/base-classes/witch)

Cultures


Name
Background skills
Background Feats
Native Language
Bonus Languages
Taboos


European (Continental)


European (British)


European (Frontier)


Han


Han (Frontier)


Native (California)


Native (Caribbean)


Native (Great Basin)


Native (Great Plains)


Native (Mammucha) (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?330504-Mammoth-brothers-Culture-Crossroads)
Handle Animal, Ride, Survival, Swim
Mammut-Healer, Mammut Rush
Mammutcha Yatii




Native (Maya)
Craft, Knowledge (Religion), Survival, Swim
Nimble Moves, Noble Scion, Self-Sufficient, Warrior Priest
Any Mayan
Any other Mayan, Nahuatl, Spanish
Abusing a capitve


Native (Mexica)
Craft, Knowledge (History, Religion), Survival
Bloodletting, Noble Scion
Nahuatl
Cahokian, any Mayan, Spanish
Abusing a captive, Becoming drunk, Eating food that a mouse has nibbled


Native (Northwest Coast)


Native (Plateau)


Native (Southeastern)


Native (Southwestern)


Native (Tundra)


Native (Vinlandr)
Intimidate, Profession (Sailor), Survival, Swim
Berserker’s Cry, Corsair, Galley Slave, Fight On, Rugged Northerner
Norsq

Fighting Dishonorably


Native (Woodlands)



Equipment (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=315613)

Feats
Born of Two Peoples (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?p=15810735)

Spells
Alligator's Stealth
Bison's Endurance
Create Cenote/Sinkhole
Jaguar Apocalypse
Leap of the Antelope
Porcupine's Embrace
Preserve Food
Rain-Dance
Squirrel's Balance
Sun-Dance
War-Dance

Prestige Classes
Bloodcaster
Coureur des Bois
Extreme Explorer (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/eb/20040204a)
False Face
The Nameless (Meiou Mingcheng)
Scarred Monk
Skin Walker (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=290704)

Useful Resources
Research and Inspirational Materials (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=14976184&postcount=569)
Animals of the Americas (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=295763)

Admiral Squish
2013-01-26, 07:07 PM
Columbia

http://www.sonofthesouth.net/revolutionary-war/colonies/colonial-new-england.jpg

On the eastern coast of the New World, cities and farms spring up; islands of civilization in an ocean of untamed wilderness. From New England and Nouvelle France in the north down to Nueva España and the newly-independent Republic of Saint-Domingue in the Caribbean, all the way to Nouvelle Orleans on the mouth of the Great River, settlers of many classes, faiths, and backgrounds seek to conquer and tame these savage lands in the names of kings from across the sea.

The states which founded the various colonies of Columbia have been at war on-and-off for decades (centuries, really), but for the moment at least, most conflicts have been officially been put on hold. Even within the holdings of a single state, each colony was founded with different intentions and goals by its original settlers: some came to escape religious persecution, others came to spread the Good News, while others simply came to make money. While at present there is no open conflict, there is significant friction between the various colonies, and competition for land, resources, and favorable inland trade-routes is fierce.

Map
(Under Construction)

Timeline
(Under Construction)

Monsters
Banshee (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/bestiary/monster-listings/undead/banshee)
Barghest (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/bestiary/monster-listings/outsiders/barghest)
Chenoo
Church Grim (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/bestiary/monster-listings/magical-beasts/church-grim)
Clurichaun
Cu Sidhe (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/bestiary/monster-listings/animals/cooshee-ff)
Drowned Maiden (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/bestiary/monster-listings/undead/drowned-maiden-od)
Fogwarden (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/bestiary/monster-listings/aberrations/fogwarden)
Grasshopper, Spirit/Shaman
Graymalkins (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/bestiary/monster-listings/magical-beasts/graymalkins-tohc)
Gremlin (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/bestiary/monster-listings/fey/gremlins)
Grim
Gwyllion
Hag (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/bestiary/monster-listings/monstrous-humanoids/hag)
Headless Horseman/Dullahan (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/bestiary/monster-listings/undead/dullahan)
Imp (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/bestiary/monster-listings/outsiders/devil/imp)
Jersey Devil (http://www.koboldpress.com/k/front-page73.php#.UqUy0NJDs4c)
Knocker/Cobold
Leanan Sidhe (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/bestiary/monster-listings/fey/leanan-sidhe)
Le Nain Rouge
Leprechaun, Lesser (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/bestiary/monster-listings/fey/leprechaun)
Leprechaun, Greater (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/bestiary/monster-listings/fey/leprechaun-TOHC)
Lutin
Mothman (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/bestiary/monster-listings/monstrous-humanoids/mothman)
Old Man of the Mountain
Pixie, Feral
Pixie, Garden
Redcap (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/bestiary/monster-listings/fey/redcap)
Rhine Maiden
Sinterklaas
Sea Serpent (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/bestiary/monster-listings/magical-beasts/sea-serpent)
Tonton Macoute
Will-o'-Wisp (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/bestiary/monster-listings/aberrations/will-o--wisp)
Vampire (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/bestiary/monster-listings/undead/vampire)
Werewolf (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/bestiary/monster-listings/humanoids/lycanthrope/werewolf)
Wittewijven
Zombi (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/bestiary/monster-listings/templates/zombie-juju-cr-1)

Plot Hooks

The governor of Jamestown Colony is suffering from a painful sickness which no wizard in Columbia can cure. But he has heard “rumours of an itinerant False Face, whose Powers and Skill are legendarie amongst the savages”. But because of his wandering nature, none but God and the False Face know in which village he will next appear. And even if he is located, will he agree to help the Governor? And if he does, at what price comes his aid?
A Scarred Monk, recently returned from a missionary work at a trading post in Aztlan, is stirring up unrest in the southern colonies. He has been travelling from town to town with a caged Quetzal (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=269502), displaying it before horrified crowds as “proof-certain that the Aztekas do most wickedly mock our Lord and Saviour, worshipping as they do this hideous merging of sinful Man and Wicked Serpent.” If this treatment of a sacred Quetzal becomes known to Aztec authorities, it will surely be taken as an unforgivable blasphemy, and will mean war between the two empires. The Scarred Monk must be silenced (discreetly!), and the creature returned alive and unharmed to his native lands.
An abandoned cart with the markings of a Fúsāngese trader is found outside a moderate-sized colonial settlement. While the presence of the cart is itself a mystery, it is the cart’s contents that have attracted fearful attention: a wooden box covered in strange rectangular pieces of paper. Curious bystanders found it empty, with deep scratch marks crisscrossing its interior.
Rumor has it that a Scarred Monk has gone rogue from the Inquisition. He, along with a group of fanatical followers, are planning to bring down a Thunderbird and burn it alive, allowing the Monk to absorb its power. Not only is the idea of such a man with that much power terrifying, but killing a Thunderbird in such a disrespectful way could have catastrophic consequences in the Spirit World.
The players are called-upon by the Boston Port Authority to investigate the strange foreigners which have lately been passing through Customs in suspiciously large numbers. They arrive on ships from different countries, speak different languages, and wear wildly different clothing, but many of them seem to know each other, and they share a certain resemblance: the men all have large noses and bulky frames, but the women are all willowy and lovely. They arrive by ones and twos, but they only leave the city in wagon-trains of twenty or more, and always heading north, towards the mountains of New England.

Admiral Squish
2013-01-26, 07:08 PM
The Cahokian League
http://www.legendsofamerica.com/photos-illinois/CahokiaMounds-old.jpg

From the Heaven-Touching Mountains in the west to the Smoking Mountains in the east, the Great Plains sprawl across the heartland of Vespuccia. At the point where the Great River joins and the River-of-the-Big-Canoes sits Cahokia (http://www.cahokiamounds.org/), the jewel of the plains, largest city in North Vespuccia, and the unofficial “capital” of the Woodlands, Great Plains, Southeastern, and Mississippian tribes. A city of great earthen mounds and powerful Mound Lord families, the Cahokia is a major center of commerce and production, which sits atop a highly-active Link site. Together, the tribes of the Cahokian League keep the surrounding empires at bay with powerful magic and fierce warriors.

The League is not comprised of a single nation, nor is it a true state (in the sense of having a singular, unified government). The Cahokian League is actually a trade-based confederacy more than ten separate tribes, each self-governing, only loosely affiliated through trade agreements, mutual respect, and the subtle manipulations of Cahokia.

Map
http://s17.postimg.org/nf24ewncf/vespuccia_map4.png

Timeline
(Under Construction)

Monsters
Anaye (Navajo)
Baykok
Binaye Ahani (Navajo)
Deer Woman
Daddy Longlegs, Monstrous
Dust Devil
Ewah
Fsti Capcaki
Flying Head (Iroquois)
Haakapaizizi (Giant Locust)
Horned Alligator
Hvcko Capko (“Long Ears”)
Ikitomi the Spider (Lakota)
Indacinga
Iya (Lakota)
Jackalop
Jogah, Ga-hon-ga
Jogah, Gan-da-yah
Jogah, Oh-do-wa
Jokao/Stonecoats (Iroquois)
Kachina
Kashehotapolo
Kelok
Keneun
Kitzinackas
Kiwahkw/Ice Giants
Kolowisi
Lenapizka
Mamagwasewug
Manabusch/Manibozho
Man-In-The-Tree
Masaw
Mi-Ni-Wa-Tu
Mishkenabek
Moogie (Ozark)
Mothman (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/bestiary/monster-listings/monstrous-humanoids/mothman)
Nalusa Falaya (Choctaw)
N-dam-keno-wet
Neglected Ancestral Spirit
Nunyenunc
Onnoint (Huron)
Oshadagea (Iriqouis)
Paiyuk (Ute)
Palulukon (Hopi)
Piasa (Cahokian)
Pskegdemus (Penobscot)
Pukwudgie (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/bestiary/monster-listings/monstrous-humanoids/pukwudgie)
Raw Gums (Arapaho)
Sa-Yin (Toba Pilaga)
Siat (male) / Bapet (female)
Sio Humis (Hopi)
Skatene (Choctaw)
Skunk, Dire
Snawfus
Spruce, Killer
Stcemqestcint
Stikini (Seminole)
Sundew, Giant
Sunflower, Giant
Tcipitckaam
Teehooltsoodi
Thelgeth
Tlanuhwa (Cherokee)
Tsanahale
Tsiatko
Uktena
Umai-Hulhlya-Wit
Unktehi /Uncegila
Wakandagi Pezi
WekWek
White Buffalo
White Buffalo-Calf Woman / Ptesan-Wi (Lakota)
Yeitso (Navajo)

Plot Hooks

One of the Mound-Dweller families has a druid son, who is almost strong enough to start producing ironwood muskets. The family doesn't want to risk him by sending him on a dangerous spirit quest, so they hire local talent to go to the spirit world and negotiate with a powerful nature spirit to grant him the power he needs.
The buffalo jump (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buffalo_jump) near Chimney Rock (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chimney_Rock_National_Historic_Site) was used by the tribes of the Great Plains for thousands of years, before the introduction of horses allowed for more efficient hunting methods. The site is now used only for rituals in times of great need, to placate the Buffalo-Spirits when hunting is poor. Recently, a new Link has opened up on the site, but no one can find out where the Link leads, because a militant young Hotawa’e warrior has gathered up a band of Buffalo-Spirits with grievances against humans and camped out on the site to prevent humans from using it, either for buffalo-spirit rituals or to utilize the Link. No one knows how long the Link will remain open, but with the warrior and his war-band guarding it, it seems unlikely that anyone will find out before it closes.
The patriarch of a prominent Mound-Dweller family is outraged: someone broke into his storage mound, and stole thousands of wampum worth of black powder. What's worse, the patriarch is pinning it on his greatest enemy, the head of another major Mound Lord family. Both sides are willing to pay handsomely to prove that the other party is responsible for the theft. But a thief who can carve through enchanted mounds with ease and steal many heavy barrels of powder without alerting the guards or tripping an alarm is certainly a force to be reckoned-with.
The local Algonquin lodge is in an uproar: a senior medicine man was smoking his peace pipe by himself, when an unknown spirit came down from the sky and destroyed him. Which spirit killed him? Why? And how can the tribe regain the blessing of the spirits?
A previously weak plains-tribe has suddenly acquired powerful weaponry, courtesy of a runaway Master Gunsmith from Fúsāng, who managed to escape across the Heaven-Touching Mountains with a cartload of enchanted firearms, crafted especially for the Imperial Guard. When he learned that his brother was to be executed for treason, he fled Fúsāng, taking his stock of enchanted weapons with him. One of the Mound Lords is willing to pay handsomely to have him retrieved and brought him safely to Cahokia. However, the Gunsmith is being pursued by Qing agents, and also by a group of British spellcasters with an unknown agenda.
The party passes through a village terrorized by a horde of skunks, which have come to the dangerous realization that humans fear them.
The titanic mother-bear of Sleeping Bear Dunes (http://www.nps.gov/slbe/historyculture/stories.htm) has been reawakened, and is ravaging the land in a frantic search for her long-dead cubs. Who can end her reign of terror, and send her safely back to sleep?

Admiral Squish
2013-01-26, 07:10 PM
Tuniitaq

http://www.spri.cam.ac.uk/museum/exhibitions/polarworld/Ice_bear.jpg

Far to the north - where the weak, pale sun provides little defense against the endless threat of winter and starvation - lies Tuniitaq, the land of the Tuniit. A gentle-but-powerful race of half-giants, the Tuniit. Long ago, these giants of the Dorset (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dorset_culture) culture encountered the Thule (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thule_people) culture. With strategic marriages, a strong alliance was born, with the strength of the Tuniit giants and the technology of the Thule.

Though the region is known to outsiders for the giants which comprise about one-third of the human population, Tuniitaq is actually home to many distinct cultures, including the mammoth-herders of Mammutaq; the Norse-Métis (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M%C3%A9tis_people_(Canada)) settlers of Vinland (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vinland); the Adlet dog-men of the great western forests; and even a handful of French traders and Russian exiles.

Map

http://fc05.deviantart.net/fs71/i/2014/057/9/5/tuniitaq_map_color_by_pointedstick-d75bhfw.jpg

(Players and Dungeon Masters should keep in mind that in practice, borders are far more porous than represented here, especially between First Nations. With the exception of Nouvelle France, these are not so much "defined political boundaries" as "approximate areas of influence".)

Locations of Interest:

Bukhta Trëkh Svyatitelyei (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three_Saints_Bay) ("Three Saints Bay") - first major Russian trading post in the New World.
Mount Denali (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Denali) - the highest peak in North Vespuccia.
Novarassi (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Novarassi) ("New Russia") Trading Post - a maritime fur-trading post and penal colony for dangerous Russian spellcasters, especially necromancers.
Fort Arkhangela Mikhaila (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Novoarkhangelsk) (St. Michael the Archangel) Trading Post - Southernmost Russian trading post in North Vespuccia. Disputed by Fúsāng. Frequently raided by Haida (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haida_people) pirates.
Yellowtusk (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yellowknife) - the largest permanent Mammutchadinne (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=330504) settlement.
Yellowhead Pass (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yellowhead_Pass) - an important overland trade route between Fúsāng and Tuniitaq.
The Smoking Ponds (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banff_National_Park) - renowned for their healing powers, and for simple relaxation.
Place-of-the-Big-Bones (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dinosaur_Provincial_Park) - ancient fossils stir to the surface as the result of intense geologic forces below.
Head-Smashed-In (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Head-Smashed-In_Buffalo_Jump) - buffalo bones lie forty feet deep at the bottom of this ancient buffalo jump (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buffalo_jump).
Áísínai’pi (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Writing-on-Stone_Provincial_Park) ("Writing-on-stone") - greatest concentration of rock-art on the Great Plains.
The Snake-Pits (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Narcisse_Snake_Pits) - annual springtime breeding-ground for tens of thousands of snakes.
Naqaabuurut (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/York_Factory) ("patch of swamp grass") - the largest of all Tuniit (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=285312) settlements (and their only true city) rests on a spit of land between the mouths of two major rivers, on the shores of a huge inland bay, making it a major hub of trade, commerce, and transportation.
Igloolik (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Igloolik) ("there is a house there")- largest permanent Inuit settlement. Launching-point for many European expeditions to discover the legendary Northwest Passage.
Cape Dorset (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cape_Dorset) - site of the largest and oldest extant Tuniit (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=285312) settlement.
Michipicoten Island (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Underwater_panther) - copper-rich island home of the Underwater Panthers.
Sleeping Bear Dunes (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sleeping_Bear_Dunes_National_Lakeshore) - a colossal mother-bear sleeps beneath these dunes, eternally awaiting the arrival of her drowned cubs.
Fort Michilimackinac (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_Michilimackinac) - a French missionary post on a small island in Lake Huron.
Fort Pontchartrain du Détroit (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_Pontchartrain_du_D%C3%A9troit) - built to prevent New Britain from moving west to cut the French out of the lucrative fur- and artifact-trades in the Great Lakes region.
Niagara Falls (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Niagara_Falls) - collective name for the three highest waterfalls in North Vespuccia, with a vertical drop of more than 165 feet. The falls combined) have the highest flow rate of any waterfall on earth.
Fort Niagara (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_Niagara) - built to defend French interests against the fierce raids of the Haudenosaunee (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haudenosaunee) (Iroquois League).
Ville de Montréal (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Montr%C3%A9al)  - this island-city is a major hub of trade in eastern Tuniitaq. As Fort Ville-Marie, it was originally intended as a model Catholic community, but soon gave way to pressures of commerce with numerous peoples of differing faiths.
Ville de Québec (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quebec_City) - The first French city in the New World, this fortified city has served as launching point for numerous raids against New Britain during each of the various French and Indian Wars (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_and_Indian_Wars).
New Amsterdam (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Amsterdam) - former Dutch colony on the Hudson River, now part of New Britain.
Vinland Settlement (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L%27Anse_aux_Meadows) - site of the first Norse colony in in the New World. Abandoned for some centuries, but later reclaimed by their Norsq (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=16785321&postcount=1095) descendants.
Jarnholt (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuuk) - capitol and largest city of the Grønland colony.
Reykjavík (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reykjav%C3%ADk) - capitol and largest city of Iceland.
The-Rocks-That-Teach (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petroglyphs_Provincial_Park) - largest collection of petroglyphs in eastern Tuniitaq. Extensively haunted.
Thunder Bay (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thunder_Bay) - the only terrestrial Thunderbird (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=327232) nesting-ground outside the Heaven-Touching Mountains (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rocky_Mountains).


Timeline
(Under Construction)

Monsters
Aasrivak (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/bestiary/monster-listings/aberrations/drider)
Akhlut (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=288362)
Agloolik
Amarok/Waheela (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/bestiary/monster-listings/magical-beasts/winter-wolf)
A-Mi-Kuk
Auvekoejak
Auvvik (Giant Caterpillar)
Az-I-Wu-Gum-Ki-Mukh-'Ti
Baba Yaga
- Baba Yaga's Hut (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/magic-items/artifacts/major-artifacts/dancing-hut-of-baba-yaga)
The Disemboweler
Ijiraat (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/extras/community-creations/epic-meepo-presents/monsters/iji)
Ikuutayuq (“The One Who Drills”)
Imap Umassoursa
Inung
Inupasugjuk
Ishigaq
Kaitorak
Katutajuk/Katyutayuuq/Katyn Tayuuq
Kiwahkw
Koguhpuk
Kushtaka
Loup Garou (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/bestiary/monster-listings/humanoids/lycanthrope/werewolf)
Mahaha (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=285975)
Ogopogo
Ooze, Glacial (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/bestiary/monster-listings/oozes/ooze-glacial)
Paija
Pal-Rai-Yuk
Qiqirn (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=289618)
Quailertetang
Qupqugiaq (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?p=15697225)
Qallupilluk (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/bestiary/monster-listings/monstrous-humanoids/qallupilluk)
Sinterklaas (Father Christmas)
Tisikh Puk/Slorath (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/bestiary/monster-listings/magical-beasts/slorath-tohc)
Tammatuyuq
Tizheruk
Tupilaq (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/bestiary/monster-listings/constructs/tupilaq)
Tunituaruk
Ugjuknarpak
Wendigo (CR 6) (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/extras/community-creations/spesmagna/wendigo-cr-6)
Wendigo (CR 17) (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/bestiary/monster-listings/outsiders/wendigo)
Xixecal (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/epic/monsters/abomination.htm#Xixecal)

Plot Hooks

Gold has recently been discovered near the western edge of Tuniitaq, in a rugged region known only as “Alasqa”. Claims to the find are disputed by the Tuniit and the Russians, but while the two sides argue over land-rights and prior usage, prospectors from Fúsāng are moving in to stake their own claims.
An entire nomadic fishing-community is being followed by an enormous polar bear. The beast swims up under them and breaks through the ice beneath the center of their igloo-cluster to attack them, no matter where they move. The beast continues to rise up and attack from beneath, even after they move their village onto solid land.
During the night, someone (or a group of someones) cut the tusks off of every mammoth in the village, without waking a single beast or alerting the sentries. The young men say it was an attack by an enemy tribe, meant to shame them, but the elders disagree: if the they wanted to sabotage the village, then why did they leave the mammoths alive?
A naked man comes running into the party’s camp, his feet cut and bloodied by miles of jagged ice, pursued by three enraged hunters. The hunters claim that the naked man raped their sister, and their family’s honor demands his blood in payment for his crimes. The naked man claims that the hunters’ family are ancient enemies of his own: these men lay in wait outside his brother’s tent until he and his brother had gone inside and stripped off their wet hunting clothes, and while they were waiting for his brother’s wife to dry their garments, the hunters stabbed their spears through the wall of the tent. His brother was killed, but they missed the naked man, who claims he barely escaped with his life. The hunters scream that his lying tongue will not save him from them this time. Which side do the players choose to believe?
The Tuniit have put out a call for warriors of all descriptions, summoning them together for a single purpose: the chicken-legged hut (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/magic-items/artifacts/major-artifacts/dancing-hut-of-baba-yaga) of an exiled Russian necromancer has traveled to the site of a long-dormant Link; the house has not moved for weeks, and it appears to be using the Link as part of a ritual of some sort. All attempts to chase the necromancer off have been rebuffed by the secretive Muscovite's undead minions. The Tuniit shamans foresee terrible calamity if the ritual is not stopped.

Admiral Squish
2013-01-26, 07:11 PM
Aztlan

http://www.crystalinks.com/aztecpyr.jpg

From high atop their terraced pyramids within the ancient city-states of Tlacopan (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tlacopan), Texcoco (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Texcoco_%28altepetl%29), and Tenochtitlan (http://archaeology.about.com/cs/latinamerica/a/tenochtitlan.htm), the high priests of Aztlan interpret the will of the ever-hungry gods and perform the appropriate prayers, songs, and sacrifices to ensure that the Fifth Sun (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=16135737&postcount=920) may live to see another dawn.

Though the Triple Alliance (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aztec_Triple_Alliance) came dangerously close to collapse two centuries ago, after the monstrous attack of Cortés and his company of hardskins and beastriders (and the diseases they brought with them), the Empire emerged from the conflict strengthened and invigorated. The surviving Spaniards were more than willing to assist their new lords in fully understanding the strange beasts, hard metals, and thundering staffs which they had brought across the sea with them (once their tongues had been sufficiently loosened, that is). Armed with weapons entirely unknown to their rivals, the lords of the Triple Alliance launched a lightning war against their ancient enemies, subduing all resistance to their enlightened rule. Now, even distant Cahokia trembles at the approach of the fearsome warriors of Aztlan.

Map:
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/9/99/Basin_of_Mexico_1519_map-en.svg/768px-Basin_of_Mexico_1519_map-en.svg.png

Timeline:
(Special thanks to Aux-Ash for his work on this)
1519-1600 (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=16822734&postcount=1100)
1600-1750 (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=17105648&postcount=1267)

Monsters
Ahuizotl (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/bestiary/monster-listings/magical-beasts/ahuizotl)
Alebrijes
Chac
Chaneque (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/bestiary/monster-listings/fey/chaneque)
Chupacabra/Itcuintlipotzotli (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/bestiary/monster-listings/magical-beasts/chupacabra)
Cihuateotl
Cipactli
Civatateo
Giant, Quinametzin
Hoga
La Llorona
Lizardfolk, Cayman
Lycanthropes:

Camazotl (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/bestiary/monster-listings/humanoids/lycanthrope/werebat) (werebat)
Tehuantiltec (werejaguar, template)
Cipactlitec (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/bestiary/monster-listings/humanoids/lycanthrope/lycanthrope-werecrocodile) (werecaiman)

Nagual
Redcaps (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/bestiary/monster-listings/fey/redcap)*
Tabaxi (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/bestiary/monster-listings/humanoids/tabaxi)
Tlalocoatl (Rain Dragon)
Tuyewera
Tlatecuhtli
Tlahuelpuchi
Tepeyollotl
Teyu-Yagua
Tzitzimitl (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/bestiary/monster-listings/undead/tzitzimitl)
Xiuhcoatl (Fire Serpent or Turquoise Serpent)
Xolotl
Yumilekax

* denotes an invasive species

Plot Hooks

Aztec priests receive an incomprehensible directive from Huitzilpochtli (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Huitzilopochtli), the god of the sun, commanding them to build him a temple “in the land where my eye never closes”. But such a place surely cannot exist in this world. Can it?
The party comes across an Aztec youth freezing to death in the Heaven-Touching Mountains, armed with only an atlatl (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atlatl) and a bundle of spears. After taking him in and letting him warm up a bit, the boy explains what he’s doing so far from home. His father, the master of Tenochtitlan’s feather-workers guild, has been publicly disgraced. The boy heard his father saying drunkenly over a mug of pulque (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pulque) that the scandal has so ruined his reputation that only the creation of an unparalleled masterpiece of feather-working could save his business now: a robe made from the feathers of the fabled Thunderbird. Does the party agree to help the boy in his mad and dangerous quest, or do they counsel him to return to his father, who may not have been speaking literally, and is no doubt half-mad with worry for his missing son?
The Great Ahau of Chichen-Itza (http://www.chichenitza.com/) has commissioned the greatest feather-robe in the history of Aztlan, containing at least one feather from every species of bird which lives within the Aztlan Empire. However, no hunter has been able to obtain a feather from one particular bird: a small brown creature, mostly earthbound but a very fast runner, commonly known as “the road-running bird”.
Your party’s berserker discovers xocolātl (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chocolate); chaos and mayhem ensue.
A human village has recently been ravaged by a band of werejaguars (http://creaturecatalog.enworld.org/converted/view_t.php?TemplateID=76), but in their fear and haste to defend themselves they mistakenly retaliate against a nearby band of Tabaxi (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/bestiary/monster-listings/humanoids/tabaxi), inviting full-scale war.

Admiral Squish
2013-01-26, 07:13 PM
Fúsāng (扶桑)

http://hd.wallpaperswide.com/thumbs/junk_ship_chinese_painting-t2.jpg

Within the sheltering embrace of the Jade Harbor, the Fúsāng is more than just the temporary residence Her Radiant Majesty, August Imperial Personage, True Empress of the Ming, the Qing, and the Mongols (only until she reclaims her rightful place in the Northern Capital (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beijing), that is) - the city-state and its vassal territories are also home to multitudes of her most loyal subjects whose grandparents were forced to flee the Middle Kingdom for their lives because of their support of her rightful ascendancy to the throne. But most importantly, it is also a beacon of civilization in the wilderness of the Rainy Forest (雨森), lighting the way for all barbarians peoples who seek to join the mighty civilization of the Han.

Map
(Under Construction)

Timeline
(Under Construction)

Monsters
Basket Woman (Tah-Tah-Kle-Ah)
Bì Xié (辟邪)
Bakbakwakanooksiewae/Hokhoku
Emogoalekc
Feng Huang/Eastern Phoenix
Foo Creature, Template (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/bestiary/monster-listings/templates/foo-creature-cr-5-tohc)
Gaasyendietha
Galokwudzuwis (“Crooked Beak of Heaven”)
Geldegwsets
Gwagwakhwalanooksiwey
Haietlik
Hakulaq
Hayicanako
Hinqumemen (“Engulfer”)
Hsigo (http://dungeons.wikia.com/wiki/Flying_Monkey_%283.5e_Monster%29)
Hungry Ghost (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/bestiary/monster-listings/undead/gaki)
Iak Im/Yagim
Jiang-shi (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/bestiary/monster-listings/templates/vampire-jiang-shi)
Jīn Chán (金蟾; "Golden Toad"/“Money Toad”)
Kaneakeluh
Kawatilikalla
Komokwa
Kirin (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/bestiary/monster-listings/outsiders/kirin)
Matlose (Salish)
Nián Shòu (年兽)*
Péng (鹏)
Penghou*
Qanekelak
Qqaaxhadajaat (Haida)
Shíshī (石獅)/Foo Dog (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/bestiary/monster-listings/outsiders/foo-dog) (alternate version (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/bestiary/monster-listings/outsiders/foo-dog/foo-dog-tohc))
Shishin (四象), Directional Beasts

Black Tortoise = North, Winter, Black, Water
White Tiger = West, Autumn, White, Metal
Red Phoenix = South, Summer, Red, Fire
Azure Dragon = East, Spring, Blue/Green, Wood (national emblem of Fúsāng?)
Yellow Dragon = Center, the changing of seasons, Gold/Yellow, Earth

Sin-you
Sisiutl (Stormwrack, pg. 159)
Skookums
Wasgo (“Sea Wolf”) (Stormwrack, pg. 158)
Xiezhi (獬豸)
Zhènniǎo (鴆鳥, “Poisonfeather Birds”)*

* denotes an invasive species.

Plot Hooks

The Imperial Kitchen-Master has recently been unable to prepare any dishes which satisfy Her Radiant Majesty’s discerning palette. He believes that he may be able to please her with an entirely new dish, something which no one in Fúsāng has ever tasted before. He has recently heard a rumor that far to the north, the Tuniit maintain herds of enormous woolly elephants. He has tasted their preserved meat, and believes that if he could obtain a live mammoth, and slaughter it for Her Radiant Majesty’s table, he would finally have the ingredient he requires to truly express his creative genius.
The Radiant Throne has commissioned the First Grand Imperial Survey of the lands which lie to the east of the Heaven-Touching Mountains. Any Fúsāngese citizen with knowledge of these lands will be richly rewarded for imparting such knowledge to the Imperial Cartographers. Even greater compensation awaits any native of these lands who is willing to act as guide and translator to the Her Radiant Majesty’s Explorational Fellowship.
A Fúsāngese scholar, exploring the ruins of the vanished Anasazi (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anasazi), has disappeared mysteriously. Her Radiant Majesty is offering a sizable sum to anyone who can uncover what happened to him. The only clues left are in the final message he sent back, which spoke of how the temple was focused on the journey of Mars, and mentioned a single word encountered time and time again: Barsoom (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barsoom).

Admiral Squish
2013-01-26, 07:14 PM
The Spirit World
(also known as Arsaniit, Diyu (地狱), Ghost Country, Hel, Mictlan, Purgatory, Xibalba)

Entering and Exiting the Spirit World
The simplest way to enter the Spirit World is, naturally, to die. Coming and going while still alive is more problematic, though it can be done with the aid of certain rituals, substances, and powerful artifacts.
Traveling to the Spirit World is often a purely spiritual matter; the subject's body remains behind on Earth. There are some powerful spells that allow one to push through the barrier between the realms physically, though when one dies while on the spirit world, no one is quite sure what happens to your spirit. Travel on the spirit world is possible, though extremely unreliable and dangerous. The path through the spirit world between two points may be twice as long, or a thousand times as long, or take only a single step. In (almost) all cases, the only way to leave the Spirit World is by returning to one's own body, where it was left on the Material Plane. If a soul's body dies while it is traveling in the Spirit World, it immediately begins its journey to the Great Beyond as normal.
Beings without souls cannot enter or perceive the Spirit World (though they can interact with spirits and ghosts on the Material Plane).

Properties of the Spirit World
The Spirit World is a plane of existence which is coterminous with every point of the Prime Material Plane. Every location in the physical world has a distorted "twin" in the Spirit World, though there are certainly locations in the Spirit World which have no equivalent in our own plane.
The Spirit World can be accessed from any point on the Prime Material Plane, though at certain sacred places (usually very isolated and hard to reach), the gauntlet between the worlds is thinner than normal, and transit between the two worlds becomes easier.
The Spirit World has the following planar qualities:

Subjective Directional Gravity
Erratic Time
Infinite
Alterable Highly Morphic
Mildly Neutral-Aligned
Normal Magic


Geography of the Spirit World
Despite the strong resemblance of certain parts of the Spirit World to our own, it is in truth an endless, simmering cauldron of emotions, beliefs, prejudices, fears, desires, hopes, stories, and dreams. It is a constantly shifting receptacle for the best and worst parts of the human soul. Navigating the Spirit World is difficult at best, and nearly impossible most of the time without a psychopomp or other guide-spirit to show the way. There are no maps. Going around a tree to the right may take you somewhere entirely different than if you go around it to the left, or it may make no difference.

Spirit Categories
Spirits of the Hunt: Predatory animals, such as Wolves and Jaguars.
Spirits of the Herd: Prey animals, such as Buffalo and Rabbit.
Spirits of the Wood: Trees and herbs, such as Oak or Grass.
Spirits of the Ancestors: Human spirits that have gained power with age.

Spirits of the Sky: Spirits of air, wind, and weather. Spirit Beast: Thunderbird (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=327232)
Spirits of the Earth: Spirits of stone, soil, and sand. Spirit Beast: Earth Turtle
Spirits of the Water: Spirits of oceans, rivers, and lakes. Spirit Beast: Mishipeshu (Underwater Panther)
Spirits of the Flame: Spirits of fires, passions, and life. Spirit Beast: Embermouse

Monsters
Angel (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/bestiary/monster-listings/outsiders/angel)
Chaak
Cihuateteo
Demon (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/bestiary/monster-listings/outsiders/demon)
Devil (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/bestiary/monster-listings/outsiders/devil)
Ghost (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/bestiary/monster-listings/templates/ghost)
Loa
Manitou (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/bestiary/monster-listings/outsiders/manitou)
Psychopomp (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/bestiary/monster-listings/outsiders/psychopomp)
Spirit Guide, Animal (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/classes/3rd-party-classes/kobold-press-open-design/shaman/animal-spirit-guides)
Tonal
Totem Animal (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/bestiary/monster-listings/templates/totem-animal-cr-1)
Yāoguài (妖怪)

Example Spirit-Journey
Peru: Hell and Back (http://www.nationalgeographic.com/adventure/0603/features/peru.html) by Kira Salak (writing for National Geographic Magazine) provides an excellent (and uncommonly lucid) description of what a journey to the Spirit World might be like, and the kind of revelation (or damnation) which players might find there.

Admiral Squish
2013-01-26, 07:16 PM
The World Beyond

Europe

Asia

South America
Amazonian Chiefdoms
Tiwanaku
Wari
Tawantinsuyu, “The Land of the Four Quarters” (a.k.a. The Inka Empire)

Africa

Australia

Polynesia

Pokonic
2013-01-26, 07:45 PM
IT BEGINS.:smalltongue:

Admiral Squish
2013-01-26, 08:09 PM
IT BEGINS.:smalltongue:

Yesss.. Yesss... It beginsss... *steeples fingers* :smallamused:

I just posted the plans for the classes that will be the most common in the setting, including the ones I'll be remaking/creating wholesale.

Pokonic
2013-01-26, 08:36 PM
Hmm... I am wondering about the Samurai class's renaming (because, god help me, I would sooner eat my hat than let my own people's stereotypical setting class choice be named after the Japanese.:smalltongue:). Unfortunatly, China has never realy had a true warrior group that would a good analog for it, and I would consume my entire wardrobe with gusto if they were "Orient Warriors".

Morph Bark
2013-01-26, 08:42 PM
So... would Vespuccia be far to the West, or to the East of the Old World? :smallamused:

zzuxon
2013-01-26, 08:42 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RtWBlDC2-ss
But nicer.

Admiral Squish
2013-01-26, 09:31 PM
Hmm... I am wondering about the Samurai class's renaming (because, god help me, I would sooner eat my hat than let my own people's stereotypical setting class choice be named after the Japanese.:smalltongue:). Unfortunatly, China has never realy had a true warrior group that would a good analog for it, and I would consume my entire wardrobe with gusto if they were "Orient Warriors".

...Is it horrible of me that I didn't think of that until you brought it up? I am filled with shame.
I'll just make it be a warblade.

Actually, that frames a question about Fusang. Do we think Japan would try to colonize the land to the east, as well? I mean, Japan's always been pretty insular and xenophobic. But then, would they pass up a chance to stake a claim in the new world?


So... would Vespuccia be far to the West, or to the East of the Old World? :smallamused:

It's a shorter trip goin' west.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RtWBlDC2-ss
But nicer.

I'm... Glad? I think.

Pokonic
2013-01-26, 09:40 PM
...Is it horrible of me that I didn't think of that until you brought it up? I am filled with shame.
I could just make it be a warblade.

"Calls goverment officals to block GitP"

Yes, slightly. :smallbiggrin:

Well, a refluffed warblade could work. Actualy, it would be fitting if a sort of unique fighting social class emurged amongst the chinese settlers, especialy with the whole "magical fox people outing themselves" thing.



Actually, that frames a question about Fusang. Do we think Japan would try to colonize the land to the east, as well? I mean, Japan's always been pretty insular and xenophobic. But then, would they pass up a chance to stake a claim in the new world?

Probably not, but it mostly depends where they actualy stake a claim. However, I love the idea of Oni pirates. Perhapes Japan makes peace with its magical species, or perhapes forces them to flee Japan as a whole?

Alaska? Have to deal with Russians and Inut ,probably. Actualy, it might be decent up there.
Canada? Giant race that would probably send them quickly swimming back home.
California? Chinese turf by the time they would look to colonize. It would be the story of the century if both groups let eachother live without much bloodshed.

Admiral Squish
2013-01-26, 11:32 PM
"Calls goverment officals to block GitP"

Yes, slightly. :smallbiggrin:

Well, a refluffed warblade could work. Actualy, it would be fitting if a sort of unique fighting social class emurged amongst the chinese settlers, especialy with the whole "magical fox people outing themselves" thing.

Why would the revelation of the Huli Jing cause the establishment of a warrior class? I mean, in the wiki entry it says they come in good and evil, so it's not like they're a new enemy to fight.


Probably not, but it mostly depends where they actualy stake a claim. However, I love the idea of Oni pirates. Perhapes Japan makes peace with its magical species, or perhapes forces them to flee Japan as a whole?

Alaska? Have to deal with Russians and Inut ,probably. Actualy, it might be decent up there.
Canada? Giant race that would probably send them quickly swimming back home.
California? Chinese turf by the time they would look to colonize. It would be the story of the century if both groups let each other live without much bloodshed.

Valid, I suppose. I will admit, Oni pirates WOULD be pretty awesome.
*goes to check wikipedia*
It looks like Japan would be in the middle of the Edo period in 1750. Edo strongly avoided international involvement or war, but by 1750 things were destabilized pretty hard. Samurai were legally prohibited from owning businesses, farming, or fighting, and the economy was falling apart. It could be cause for samurai and others to emigrate to Fusang in search of opportunity in the new land. Warriors would have plenty of work in a wild land like Fusang.

Pokonic
2013-01-26, 11:47 PM
Why would the revelation of the Huli Jing cause the establishment of a warrior class? I mean, in the wiki entry it says they come in good and evil, so it's not like they're a new enemy to fight.


Perhapes a better term would be unique mystic class that could involve magic, but now there's little point in dwelling on the subject now that Warblades are in the picture.

Admiral Squish
2013-01-27, 03:44 PM
Well, here's a list of vague mechanical ideas about various races. I wrote these down over the weekend.

Quetzal: Feathered naga with telekinetic arms
+2 Dexterity, +2 Wis, -2 Str
Armless: Quetzal can manipulate objects within 5 feet as though they had hands. This force is powered by the quetzal's mind, allowing them to use their intelligence modifier instead of their strength modifier for most purposes. Use the quetzal's intelligence modifier in place of strength to determine its bonus attack rolls and damage rolls, skill checks, and ability checks based on strength. They can also use their intelligence modifier in place of their dexterity modifier for ranged attack rolls, open lock checks, and use rope checks. A quetzal cannot wear bracers, gloves, rings, or boots, and cannot gain claw attacks, or rake attacks.

Feats: Grant flight, grant deflection bonus.

Tariaksuq: Shadow people, only partially on the material plane.
+2 Wis, -2 Cha, -2 str
Ghost Step: A tariaksuq can force themself more into the spirit world for short periods of time. A tariaksuq can spend a swift action to turn incorporeal for one round, and fly at a speed equal to their base movement speed. They become corporeal again at the end of their action. (Uses/day= Wis Mod?)
Two-Worlds: A tariaksuq's being straddles the material world and the spirit world. They can see and interact with creatures of the spirit world and incorporeal beings. Their bodies are considered to be ghost touch weapons.

Feats: Grants ability to go incorporeal against a single attack.

Hotowa'e: Buffalo-minotaurs
+4 str, -4 dexterity, +2 constitution
Powerful build, natural gore, +1-2 Natural Armor
Crushing Hooves: Deal 1d8+1.5xstr damage to target of a successful overrun

Feats: Make charge through occupied squares, making overrun checks along the way.

Awwakkule: (Ah-wah-kah-koo-le, I think) Native little people.
+2 Dex, +2 Cha, -2 Con
Small size
Might of the Little Ones: uses/encounter=cha mod. Increase the damage die of an appropriately-sized weapon by one, +1/5 HD. Lasts one round
Dwell in Wild Places: An awwakkakule in natural surrounding can hide, even if the terrain does not provide cover or concealment.

Cuauhtle and Ocelotl: Eagle and Jaguar warriors
+2 Dex, -2 Int. Eagle +2 Wis. Jaguar +2 Str.
Two claws (1d4), One bite (1d6), Low-light vision
Eagle: Raptoran-style arm-wings, +4 Jump/Spot
Jaguar: Pounce? +4 Jump/Climb

Haven't done anything about the Huli Jing yet.

Each of these guys will be getting their own thread, but I wanted to give you guys something mechanical to chew on while you wait for the full spread. An appetizer.

Admiral Squish
2013-01-27, 11:36 PM
Perhapes a better term would be unique mystic class that could involve magic, but now there's little point in dwelling on the subject now that Warblades are in the picture.

You mean like a gish? Or like a full caster? I mean, a well-flavored swordsage could be a pretty good gish.

Pokonic
2013-01-27, 11:39 PM
You mean like a gish? Or like a full caster? I mean, a well-flavored swordsage could be a pretty good gish.

Something gishy, yes. It mostly depends on how the classes are going to be reflavored, realy.

Admiral Squish
2013-01-28, 12:21 AM
Something gishy, yes. It mostly depends on how the classes are going to be reflavored, realy.

The flavor will be very flexible to fit each culture, honestly. A Fusang cleric will feel very different from an Aztlan cleric, which is very different from a Colonial cleric, and so on. There are certain classes that are gonna be more likely to show up in some areas than others. For example, a colonial soldier's more likely to be a gunslinger, but a fusang warrior is more likely to be a warblade.

Admiral Squish
2013-01-28, 12:06 PM
Alright, folks, I just posted the first complete race, the Quetzal (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=269502)! Go take a look, leave a comment!

SamBurke
2013-01-28, 12:08 PM
Well, here's a list of vague mechanical ideas about various races. I wrote these down over the weekend.

Quetzal: Feathered naga with telekinetic arms
+2 Dexterity, +2 Wis, -2 Str
Armless: Quetzal can manipulate objects within 5 feet as though they had hands. This force is powered by the quetzal's mind, allowing them to use their intelligence modifier instead of their strength modifier for most purposes. Use the quetzal's intelligence modifier in place of strength to determine its bonus attack rolls and damage rolls, skill checks, and ability checks based on strength. They can also use their intelligence modifier in place of their dexterity modifier for ranged attack rolls, open lock checks, and use rope checks. A quetzal cannot wear bracers, gloves, rings, or boots, and cannot gain claw attacks, or rake attacks.

Feats: Grant flight, grant deflection bonus.

Tariaksuq: Shadow people, only partially on the material plane.
+2 Wis, -2 Cha, -2 str
Ghost Step: A tariaksuq can force themself more into the spirit world for short periods of time. A tariaksuq can spend a swift action to turn incorporeal for one round, and fly at a speed equal to their base movement speed. They become corporeal again at the end of their action. (Uses/day= Wis Mod?)
Two-Worlds: A tariaksuq's being straddles the material world and the spirit world. They can see and interact with creatures of the spirit world and incorporeal beings. Their bodies are considered to be ghost touch weapons.

Feats: Grants ability to go incorporeal against a single attack.

Hotowa'e: Buffalo-minotaurs
+4 str, -4 dexterity, +2 constitution
Powerful build, natural gore, +1-2 Natural Armor
Crushing Hooves: Deal 1d8+1.5xstr damage to target of a successful overrun

Feats: Make charge through occupied squares, making overrun checks along the way.

Awwakkule: (Ah-wah-kah-koo-le, I think) Native little people.
+2 Dex, +2 Cha, -2 Con
Small size
Might of the Little Ones: uses/encounter=cha mod. Increase the damage die of an appropriately-sized weapon by one, +1/5 HD. Lasts one round
Dwell in Wild Places: An awwakkakule in natural surrounding can hide, even if the terrain does not provide cover or concealment.

Cuauhtle and Ocelotl: Eagle and Jaguar warriors
+2 Dex, -2 Int. Eagle +2 Wis. Jaguar +2 Str.
Two claws (1d4), One bite (1d6), Low-light vision
Eagle: Raptoran-style arm-wings, +4 Jump/Spot
Jaguar: Pounce? +4 Jump/Climb

Haven't done anything about the Huli Jing yet.

Each of these guys will be getting their own thread, but I wanted to give you guys something mechanical to chew on while you wait for the full spread. An appetizer.
These are really good races: I prefer ones that don't just have stat bonuses, but unique abilities. These do.

Especially those first two.

Admiral Squish
2013-01-28, 01:27 PM
These are really good races: I prefer ones that don't just have stat bonuses, but unique abilities. These do.

Especially those first two.

I definitely share that opinion. The ones that are less about unique abilities are only because I couldn't think of anything off the top of my head over the weekend. With the computer, I'm sure I'll be able to find a basis for some cooler abilities.

Pokonic
2013-01-28, 03:16 PM
I definitely share that opinion. The ones that are less about unique abilities are only because I couldn't think of anything off the top of my head over the weekend. With the computer, I'm sure I'll be able to find a basis for some cooler abilities.

Well, on the topic of the aztec animal warriors:

I could see some sort of racial class for them to advance in, or at least a prestige class. Notably, from what little is on the web about the aztec hells, there's one that consists of jaguars trying to eat things. Also, one of Mayan cycle-enders was that jaguars consumed everything.

Now, considering that there is a running theme in mesoamerican myths to have jaguars be the worst possible things to encounter on the planet, surely the half-man-half-jaguar semidivine animal warriors could get some options so that they can get mythical on whatever is in there path?

Admiral Squish
2013-01-28, 04:22 PM
Well, on the topic of the aztec animal warriors:

I could see some sort of racial class for them to advance in, or at least a prestige class. Notably, from what little is on the web about the aztec hells, there's one that consists of jaguars trying to eat things. Also, one of Mayan cycle-enders was that jaguars consumed everything.

Now, considering that there is a running theme in mesoamerican myths to have jaguars be the worst possible things to encounter on the planet, surely the half-man-half-jaguar semidivine animal warriors could get some options so that they can get mythical on whatever is in there path?

I could see something like that. I might even pirate some of the details from that jaguar warrior class posted in the first thread.

I do like the idea of it being separate parts. A race/template thing and a class of it's own. You could continue in your previous class, and just enjoy the benefits of the race, or you could go into the specialized PrC.

...On a related note, I find the idea of a jaguar-based apocalypse both awesome and slightly hilarious. I just imagine that on december 21st 2012, all of a sudden jaguars appear everywhere and start goin' to town.


Unrelated, I've been looking up a lot of videos of Nahuatl speech to try and figure out how to pronounce all these weird words I keep stumbling across. It's hard to find info on it, honestly.

Pokonic
2013-01-28, 04:25 PM
I could see something like that. I might even pirate some of the details from that jaguar warrior class posted in the first thread.

I do like the idea of it being separate parts. A race/template thing and a class of it's own. You could continue in your previous class, and just enjoy the benefits of the race, or you could go into the specialized PrC.

...On a related note, I find the idea of a jaguar-based apocalypse both awesome and slightly hilarious. I just imagine that on december 21st 2012, all of a sudden jaguars appear everywhere and start goin' to town.


Unrelated, I've been looking up a lot of videos of Nahuatl speech to try and figure out how to pronounce all these weird words I keep stumbling across. It's hard to find info on it, honestly.

And don't forget the Eagle Warriors. If theres anything the americas have, it's stories about giant honking birds, mythical or not.

Also, the Prc could be open to anyone with the right stuff, but a lot of it's abilites would compliment what the animal warriors already have, like natural weapons.

Also, yeah, I would love to see a butch of colonists when everything suddenly turns into jaguars. Like, everything suddenly exploding into a wave of rage-filled felines. A " apocalypic jaguar swarm" needs to exist somewhere, either as a shapeshifting option or a spell, or even a capstone.

BRC
2013-01-28, 04:26 PM
Well, here's a list of vague mechanical ideas about various races. I wrote these down over the weekend.

Quetzal: Feathered naga with telekinetic arms
+2 Dexterity, +2 Wis, -2 Str
Armless: Quetzal can manipulate objects within 5 feet as though they had hands. This force is powered by the quetzal's mind, allowing them to use their intelligence modifier instead of their strength modifier for most purposes. Use the quetzal's intelligence modifier in place of strength to determine its bonus attack rolls and damage rolls, skill checks, and ability checks based on strength. They can also use their intelligence modifier in place of their dexterity modifier for ranged attack rolls, open lock checks, and use rope checks. A quetzal cannot wear bracers, gloves, rings, or boots, and cannot gain claw attacks, or rake attacks.

This one is questionable. I like the concept, but Int-as-Str (And DEX) is already fairly versatile (A Quetzal with a compound bow, for example, gets Int to Damage and Attack, without sacrificing their abilities in melee). In the meantime hat penalty to Strength does nothing, since they don't use their strength score for anything.
Not being able to wear Bracers, Gloves, Rings, and Boots is a pretty hefty penalty though.


Edit: Also, as for the Central Plains area, look up Cahokia (A pre-columbian city near modern-day St. Louis) as a potential power base.

Pokonic
2013-01-28, 05:05 PM
On general things:

The Aztec's could have a griffonlike eagle/jaguar beast as a sort of default flying steed. Feathered serpents are another decent choice.

Also, there are werecats in the americas, most notably, of course, werejaguars. I realy want to make a Jaguar Mcjagger-uarington in this setting now, good lord. Yo Dawg Jaguar jokes realy apply here.

Moose Men could teach others the trade of tapping the Maple tree, because canadian jokes. Could it be that they and the Deer Women are one and the same, and the two groups have a Ent-sort of relationship between the genders, with one braving the frozen north to protect nature while the others dwell in warmer climbs?

Would white buffalo be genuine magical creatures? I would think so.

Underwater panthers are another decent choice for native-american monsters.

There was many beliefs surrounding a race of giants going exinct in mesoamerican cultures, either by swarms of hungery jaguars or simple divine intervention. It could be that them and the Tuniit were kin, or at least from the same stock.

Aux-Ash
2013-01-28, 05:12 PM
Ohh... interesting concept. I'll be keeping an eye on this, and though I might not be able to give much criticism/suggestions regarding the rules I just might regarding the fluff.

Like... why is the chinese colony named "be in mourning (over a kinsman)"?

Admiral Squish
2013-01-28, 05:13 PM
And don't forget the Eagle Warriors. If theres anything the americas have, it's stories about giant honking birds, mythical or not.

Also, the Prc could be open to anyone with the right stuff, but a lot of it's abilites would compliment what the animal warriors already have, like natural weapons.

Also, yeah, I would love to see a butch of colonists when everything suddenly turns into jaguars. Like, everything suddenly exploding into a wave of rage-filled felines. A " apocalypic jaguar swarm" needs to exist somewhere, either as a shapeshifting option or a spell, or even a capstone.

Oh, yeah. Eagle warriors too. As far as I can tell, jaguar warriors were shock troops, and eagle warriors were more like really tough scouts. Eagles are pretty awesome, honestly.

Oh, yeah, I have GOT to make an apocalyptic jaguar swarm spell. That would be awesome. I'm thinking, high level spell, creates x jaguars/level. Or maybe just create rules for a massive swarm 'o jaguars.


This one is questionable. I like the concept, but Int-as-Str (And DEX) is already fairly versatile (A Quetzal with a compound bow, for example, gets Int to Damage and Attack, without sacrificing their abilities in melee). In the meantime hat penalty to Strength does nothing, since they don't use their strength score for anything.
Not being able to wear Bracers, Gloves, Rings, and Boots is a pretty hefty penalty though.


Edit: Also, as for the Central Plains area, look up Cahokia (A pre-columbian city near modern-day St. Louis) as a potential power base.

Yeah, that's an issue. I tried to come up with ways to limit it, but I couldn't figure anything that seemed to fit the idea. Here, take a look at the updated version in the quetzal thread (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=269502).

Ooh, good tip on the city! I wonder if I can find some recreation maps or art.


Ohh... interesting concept. I'll be keeping an eye on this, and though I might not be able to give much criticism/suggestions regarding the rules I just might regarding the fluff.

Like... why is the chinese colony named "be in mourning (over a kinsman)"?

Well, any help would be awesome!

Here's the wiki page for Fusang (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fusang). It's supposed to be a mysterious land far to the east of China, across the sea.

SamBurke
2013-01-28, 05:38 PM
On general things:

The Aztec's could have a griffonlike eagle/jaguar beast as a sort of default flying steed. Feathered serpents are another decent choice.

Also, there are werecats in the americas, most notably, of course, werejaguars. I realy want to make a Jaguar Mcjagger-uarington in this setting now, good lord. Yo Dawg Jaguar jokes realy apply here.

Moose Men could teach others the trade of tapping the Maple tree, because canadian jokes. Could it be that they and the Deer Women are one and the same, and the two groups have a Ent-sort of relationship between the genders, with one braving the frozen north to protect nature while the others dwell in warmer climbs?

Would white buffalo be genuine magical creatures? I would think so.

Underwater panthers are another decent choice for native-american monsters.

There was many beliefs surrounding a race of giants going exinct in mesoamerican cultures, either by swarms of hungery jaguars or simple divine intervention. It could be that them and the Tuniit were kin, or at least from the same stock.

I like these ideas, especially the White Buffalo bit.

But they seem like they'd be rarer than just "shaman of the tribe." How would they be statted up?

BRC
2013-01-28, 05:50 PM
Ooh, good tip on the city! I wonder if I can find some recreation maps or art.

http://www.legendsofamerica.com/photos-illinois/CahokiaMounds-old.jpg
http://www.cahokiamounds.org/explore/

Now, as for the Colonies. Since you have powerful Native groups in place, Europeans are going to have a harder time carving up the Americas.

The Spanish, British and French have their historic holdings in the Carribean. The Aztecs, while powerful, are a land-based empire, and were never able to match the Europeans at sea.

In Europe, the Catholic Church prohibits, or severely restricts the use of Arcane magic. Any Wizards or Sorcerers who wish to practice their Craft do so under the watchful eyes of Inquisitorial handlers. One of the major ways the Church retains power is by blackmailing monarchs. If you disobey the Vatican, than the Inquisition executes your spellcasters.

In Britain, Arcane Spellcasters are respected, even honored. Several very prominent Noble Houses consist of Sorcerers who claim to be descended from Merlin himself. As a result, while they are free citizens, British spellcasters are expected to obey the constraints of a lengthy Merlinic Oath, dedicating their life and using their powers in public service.

Some (Our version of the Puritans) took issue with how the Merlinic Oath was being interpreted. Many Spellcasters would simply purchase some token public office with no real duties (Such as "Librarian" or an "Arcane Advisor"), then use their spellcasting for their own profit, claiming that the cantrips they demonstrated at formal events constituted the "Public Service" required by the Oath.

These Puritans founded several colonies seeking to demonstrate their interpretation of the Merlinic Oath. While most of them were merely dabblers in the Arcane (more powerful Arcane spellcasters were,for obvious reasons, perfectly content with the looser interpretation), their dedication, and the strict enforcement of the Merlinic Oath, allowed the colonies to flourish.
By 1750 things have loosened up somewhat, however the Puritan tradition remains. While a Massachusets wizard won't be burned at the stake for casting a spell for personal gain (Or casting Spells not approved by the local religious authorities) such an act will be considered shameful.

Pokonic
2013-01-28, 06:00 PM
I like these ideas, especially the White Buffalo bit.

But they seem like they'd be rarer than just "shaman of the tribe." How would they be statted up?

Hmm?

In other news...

http://i46.tinypic.com/2e4ho90.jpg



In Britain, Arcane Spellcasters are respected, even honored. Several very prominent Noble Houses consist of Sorcerers who claim to be descended from Merlin himself. As a result, while they are free citizens, British spellcasters are expected to obey the constraints of a lengthy Merlinic Oath, dedicating their life and using their powers in public service.
.

Hmm, the brits seem like the sort to have a "magic goes out, nothing comes in" mentality, especialy considering the scot-irsh creatures that would presumably still be active, and no one wants to see just how many times a Redcap needs to dye his hat with the blood of englishmen, not even the irish. Fittingly, this ties in with there isolationism and a magical order's wish to stay powerful enough to keep control of the general state of things.

SamBurke
2013-01-28, 06:44 PM
Now, as for the Colonies. Since you have powerful Native groups in place, Europeans are going to have a harder time carving up the Americas.

The Spanish, British and French have their historic holdings in the Carribean. The Aztecs, while powerful, are a land-based empire, and were never able to match the Europeans at sea.

In Europe, the Catholic Church prohibits, or severely restricts the use of Arcane magic. Any Wizards or Sorcerers who wish to practice their Craft do so under the watchful eyes of Inquisitorial handlers. One of the major ways the Church retains power is by blackmailing monarchs. If you disobey the Vatican, than the Inquisition executes your spellcasters.

In Britain, Arcane Spellcasters are respected, even honored. Several very prominent Noble Houses consist of Sorcerers who claim to be descended from Merlin himself. As a result, while they are free citizens, British spellcasters are expected to obey the constraints of a lengthy Merlinic Oath, dedicating their life and using their powers in public service.

Some (Our version of the Puritans) took issue with how the Merlinic Oath was being interpreted. Many Spellcasters would simply purchase some token public office with no real duties (Such as "Librarian" or an "Arcane Advisor"), then use their spellcasting for their own profit, claiming that the cantrips they demonstrated at formal events constituted the "Public Service" required by the Oath.

These Puritans founded several colonies seeking to demonstrate their interpretation of the Merlinic Oath. While most of them were merely dabblers in the Arcane (more powerful Arcane spellcasters were,for obvious reasons, perfectly content with the looser interpretation), their dedication, and the strict enforcement of the Merlinic Oath, allowed the colonies to flourish.
By 1750 things have loosened up somewhat, however the Puritan tradition remains. While a Massachusets wizard won't be burned at the stake for casting a spell for personal gain (Or casting Spells not approved by the local religious authorities) such an act will be considered shameful.

This feels perfectly British... I vote it be official.

Question: what sort of spells are considered "sacrilegious", and why? What about for the Tuniit, Fusang, and Azlatan?

NOTE: We should probably work up some new religions for the purposes of this setting. I don't think we want to have to deal with the Salem Witch Trials...

Admiral Squish
2013-01-28, 06:48 PM
On general things:

The Aztec's could have a griffonlike eagle/jaguar beast as a sort of default flying steed. Feathered serpents are another decent choice.

Also, there are werecats in the americas, most notably, of course, werejaguars. I realy want to make a Jaguar Mcjagger-uarington in this setting now, good lord. Yo Dawg Jaguar jokes realy apply here.

Moose Men could teach others the trade of tapping the Maple tree, because canadian jokes. Could it be that they and the Deer Women are one and the same, and the two groups have a Ent-sort of relationship between the genders, with one braving the frozen north to protect nature while the others dwell in warmer climbs?

Would white buffalo be genuine magical creatures? I would think so.

Underwater panthers are another decent choice for native-american monsters.

There was many beliefs surrounding a race of giants going exinct in mesoamerican cultures, either by swarms of hungery jaguars or simple divine intervention. It could be that them and the Tuniit were kin, or at least from the same stock.

We already have flight-capable feathered serpents, and they're a PC race. I like the idea of Jaguar/Harpy Eagle-gryphons. (Just spent a few minutes checking out various massive eagles. Harpy eagles are HUGE.) But I'm not sure about giving any of these races easy flight capabilities. It would represent a MASSIVE change of travel and exploration dynamics.

We already have people turning into jaguarfolk. But then, there's a LOT of traditions in american continental cultures about shapeshifting peoples. We're gonna have to come up with some native shapeshifters.

I like the idea of moosemen as canadians. I'm tempted to make them into mounties, actually, but that requires a lot more european influence. Not sure about the male/female relationship. That'd be a LONG trip south to mate.

White buffalo has GOT to show up somewhere. I'm thinking the true white buffalo woman could be a deity. But white buffalo could be like native american lammasu.

Oh, yeah, I've seen those water-cats things once or twice in my search. Probably gonna do it eventually.

Eh, they'd probably be their own type of giant. Something like a hill giant, not a playable giant.


http://www.legendsofamerica.com/photos-illinois/CahokiaMounds-old.jpg
http://www.cahokiamounds.org/explore/

Now, as for the Colonies. Since you have powerful Native groups in place, Europeans are going to have a harder time carving up the Americas.

The Spanish, British and French have their historic holdings in the Carribean. The Aztecs, while powerful, are a land-based empire, and were never able to match the Europeans at sea.

In Europe, the Catholic Church prohibits, or severely restricts the use of Arcane magic. Any Wizards or Sorcerers who wish to practice their Craft do so under the watchful eyes of Inquisitorial handlers. One of the major ways the Church retains power is by blackmailing monarchs. If you disobey the Vatican, than the Inquisition executes your spellcasters.

In Britain, Arcane Spellcasters are respected, even honored. Several very prominent Noble Houses consist of Sorcerers who claim to be descended from Merlin himself. As a result, while they are free citizens, British spellcasters are expected to obey the constraints of a lengthy Merlinic Oath, dedicating their life and using their powers in public service.

Some (Our version of the Puritans) took issue with how the Merlinic Oath was being interpreted. Many Spellcasters would simply purchase some token public office with no real duties (Such as "Librarian" or an "Arcane Advisor"), then use their spellcasting for their own profit, claiming that the cantrips they demonstrated at formal events constituted the "Public Service" required by the Oath.

These Puritans founded several colonies seeking to demonstrate their interpretation of the Merlinic Oath. While most of them were merely dabblers in the Arcane (more powerful Arcane spellcasters were,for obvious reasons, perfectly content with the looser interpretation), their dedication, and the strict enforcement of the Merlinic Oath, allowed the colonies to flourish.
By 1750 things have loosened up somewhat, however the Puritan tradition remains. While a Massachusets wizard won't be burned at the stake for casting a spell for personal gain (Or casting Spells not approved by the local religious authorities) such an act will be considered shameful.

That is just super-awesome.

I definitely like the idea of a merlinic oath and british wizards. Not sure if the inquisition church would tolerate the open existence of wizards, but it's just so deliciously flavorful.


Hmm?

In other news...

http://i46.tinypic.com/2e4ho90.jpg


Hmm, the brits seem like the sort to have a "magic goes out, nothing comes in" mentality, especialy considering the scot-irsh creatures that would presumably still be active, and no one wants to see just how many times a Redcap needs to dye his hat with the blood of englishmen, not even the irish. Fittingly, this ties in with there isolationism and a magical order's wish to stay powerful enough to keep control of the general state of things.

You're having a lot of fun with jaguars.

I definitely like the idea. And the more it's discussed, the more I like it. I just have to make it work...

Pokonic
2013-01-28, 07:30 PM
We already have flight-capable feathered serpents, and they're a PC race. I like the idea of Jaguar/Harpy Eagle-gryphons. (Just spent a few minutes checking out various massive eagles. Harpy eagles are HUGE.) But I'm not sure about giving any of these races easy flight capabilities. It would represent a MASSIVE change of travel and exploration dynamics.



Well, naturaly such a sacred beast like the not-griffons would only appear to very important individuals, like high priests or powerful fighters.



We already have people turning into jaguarfolk. But then, there's a LOT of traditions in american continental cultures about shapeshifting peoples. We're gonna have to come up with some native shapeshifters.


Crows, wolves, coyotes, bears, puma, buffalo...


I like the idea of moosemen as canadians. I'm tempted to make them into mounties, actually, but that requires a lot more european influence. Not sure about the male/female relationship. That'd be a LONG trip south to mate.

Well, it might depend on how much french influence is in Canada. They would probably side with them and vise versa, but what exactly goes down would be up for discussion.

Also, there are crazier migrations in nature. Also, they are magical beasts, more or less, and they can afford strangeness in there culture.


You're having a lot of fun with jaguars.

BRC
2013-01-28, 07:37 PM
I definitely like the idea of a merlinic oath and british wizards. Not sure if the inquisition church would tolerate the open existence of wizards, but it's just so deliciously flavorful.


How about this.
To be a Wizard is to willfully and intentionally give your body and soul over to the Arcane. The Inquisitions Policy is to burn a Wizard in the same flames as their own spellbooks. The only "Legitimate" Wizards in Europe are in the employ of the Inquisition itself, specifically in a secretive order of Monks who, through a lifetime of repentance and devotion, are able to remain pure.

Known as the Scarred Monks, these mysterious and feared servants of the Inquisition bear the signs of a lifetime of ritualistic fasting and self-flagellation. Ironically, they are some of the most powerful Wizards in Europe. Whenever an illicit spellcaster dies to the flames of the Inquisition, they are burned alongside their tomes, staves, wands, and other magic items. The Scarred Monks capture the arcane energies released during these burnings and use them to craft their own magic items, or to power secret rituals used to empower the bodies of the Monks themselves.

Sorcerers have an easier time. It is a known phenomenon that even the most pious child can grow up to be a Sorcerer. As a result they are tolerated, if barely. Most Sorcerers pledge their service to a Patron, usually a nobleman or a Clergyman. The Sorcerer serves their Patron, who in turn uses their political influence to keep the Inquisition at bay. Any Sorcerer without a Patron usually gets found guilty of Heresy, and is swiftly dragged off to the flames of the Inquisition.


Salem

Salem had, like most puritan colonies, been a site of magical research, all in strict accordance with the Merlinic Oath of course. However, before long some of the town leaders discovered the rituals the Scarred Monks use to draw arcane power from the dying screams of burning wizards. They accused their political rivals, as well as social outcasts of Salem, of violating the Merlinic Oath by conjuring demons, and put them to the Torch, using the Scarred Monk's rituals to empower themselves.

The Merlinic Oath

In this Universe, Merlin did not only advise and support the mythical King Arthur, he trained several other Wizards and Sorcerers. However, he made them all swear an Oath.
Somebody can try their hand at writing out the Oath, but the gist of it was that a Spellcaster wields his power not for himself, but on the behalf of the Kingdom, and the People of the Land. It also bans certain types of Magic, ect ect.

Now, the Standard interpretation of the Oath was that the clause about "wielding power on behalf of the Kingdom" was basically just a wizard-flavored oath of Fealty. The Puritan interpretation was that each individual spell that was cast MUST be cast in the pursuit of the betterment of the Community, and that anybody who cast a spell for their own benefit was succumbing to the corrupting allure of power.


It should be noted that no actual records of the Oath survive from Merlin's time. The versions that survive come from students of students of students of students of Merlin, along with oral histories and popular legend. The "Official" version of the Oath was pieced together from several different accounts.

The list of Forbidden Magics is especially contentious, varying from place to place.



Edit:

So, the primary Arcane traditions in this setting would be=

Merlinic: Practiced by the British spellcasting aristocracy, bound by the Merlinic Oath, with the Puritans as a stricter, but perhaps more robust subcategory.
Inquisitorial: used by the Scarred Monks.

In addition to Taoist-styled Wu Jen, I like the idea of the Chinese having Confucian Wizards, trained and licensed via something like the Civil Service Exams.

Admiral Squish
2013-01-28, 09:51 PM
Well, naturaly such a sacred beast like the not-griffons would only appear to very important individuals, like high priests or powerful fighters.

Crows, wolves, coyotes, bears, puma, buffalo...

Well, it might depend on how much french influence is in Canada. They would probably side with them and vise versa, but what exactly goes down would be up for discussion.

Also, there are crazier migrations in nature. Also, they are magical beasts, more or less, and they can afford strangeness in there culture.

Hmmm... It's an option. It would still drastically change a whole lot of things. Scouting, warfare, travel, communication. Even if there are only a few, they could be used to great effect by a well-thought-out military.

Oh, I don't mean specific animals. I'm gonna have to make some sort of shapeshifter that can be used to turn into various beasties. More like wildshape or alternate forms than were-beast.

I dunno... I've been looking into the colonization of canada. The french allied with some natives as they initially settled, but they fought with other ones later. Maybe the tuniit and the moosetaurs aren't on friendly terms. The french showing up gives the moosetaurs a powerful ally, and they decide to side with the invaders. The moosetaurs get drafted into a national police force, sorta like mounties.

Maybe moosetaurs and deertaurs are more like cousins.


How about this.
To be a Wizard is to willfully and intentionally give your body and soul over to the Arcane. The Inquisitions Policy is to burn a Wizard in the same flames as their own spellbooks. The only "Legitimate" Wizards in Europe are in the employ of the Inquisition itself, specifically in a secretive order of Monks who, through a lifetime of repentance and devotion, are able to remain pure.

Known as the Scarred Monks, these mysterious and feared servants of the Inquisition bear the signs of a lifetime of ritualistic fasting and self-flagellation. Ironically, they are some of the most powerful Wizards in Europe. Whenever an illicit spellcaster dies to the flames of the Inquisition, they are burned alongside their tomes, staves, wands, and other magic items. The Scarred Monks capture the arcane energies released during these burnings and use them to craft their own magic items, or to power secret rituals used to empower the bodies of the Monks themselves.

Sorcerers have an easier time. It is a known phenomenon that even the most pious child can grow up to be a Sorcerer. As a result they are tolerated, if barely. Most Sorcerers pledge their service to a Patron, usually a nobleman or a Clergyman. The Sorcerer serves their Patron, who in turn uses their political influence to keep the Inquisition at bay. Any Sorcerer without a Patron usually gets found guilty of Heresy, and is swiftly dragged off to the flames of the Inquisition.


Salem

Salem had, like most puritan colonies, been a site of magical research, all in strict accordance with the Merlinic Oath of course. However, before long some of the town leaders discovered the rituals the Scarred Monks use to draw arcane power from the dying screams of burning wizards. They accused their political rivals, as well as social outcasts of Salem, of violating the Merlinic Oath by conjuring demons, and put them to the Torch, using the Scarred Monk's rituals to empower themselves.

The Merlinic Oath

In this Universe, Merlin did not only advise and support the mythical King Arthur, he trained several other Wizards and Sorcerers. However, he made them all swear an Oath.
Somebody can try their hand at writing out the Oath, but the gist of it was that a Spellcaster wields his power not for himself, but on the behalf of the Kingdom, and the People of the Land. It also bans certain types of Magic, ect ect.

Now, the Standard interpretation of the Oath was that the clause about "wielding power on behalf of the Kingdom" was basically just a wizard-flavored oath of Fealty. The Puritan interpretation was that each individual spell that was cast MUST be cast in the pursuit of the betterment of the Community, and that anybody who cast a spell for their own benefit was succumbing to the corrupting allure of power.


It should be noted that no actual records of the Oath survive from Merlin's time. The versions that survive come from students of students of students of students of Merlin, along with oral histories and popular legend. The "Official" version of the Oath was pieced together from several different accounts.

The list of Forbidden Magics is especially contentious, varying from place to place.


So, the primary Arcane traditions in this setting would be=

Merlinic: Practiced by the British spellcasting aristocracy, bound by the Merlinic Oath, with the Puritans as a stricter, but perhaps more robust subcategory.
Inquisitorial: used by the Scarred Monks.

In addition to Taoist-styled Wu Jen, I like the idea of the Chinese having Confucian Wizards, trained and licensed via something like the Civil Service Exams.

Man, you're good at this!

I like both ideas, honestly.

How about, in britain itself, the merlinic system remains in place, but it's a tenuous existence, the church inquisitors trying to pressure the government and various sponsors to relinquish the arcane spellcasters to them. The government and nobilty remain resolute and have thus far managed to keep them at bay, in exchange for the wizards and sorcerers under their protection using their power to further the goals of the nobility. In the rest of europe, the Scarred Monks, Clerics, and Zealots are the only spellcasters to be found openly practicing, because the inquisition shuts down other casters as soon as they become public knowledge.

One thing I want to point out is the idea that the remade warlock will be replacing the sorcerer in most cases. The idea is that most spells are memes. Wizards learn them from other wizard's spellbooks, and a sorcerer is one with natural talent that learns the same spells a wizard casts, either by seeing them cast over and and over, or by being trained by one with more formal learning. A character with natural talent and no training won't cast spells like a wizard, their spells are more raw, more personal. They just hurl raw magical power about with pure force of will to accomplish their goals.

BRC
2013-01-28, 10:02 PM
If we're going historically, then the Catholic Church (and therefore the Inquisition) Won't have any power in Britain, which by 1750 will have been Protestant (Under the Church of England) for over two centuries.

Edit: It would probably be best, in this case, to make a "Scarred Monk Initate" Feat for Wizards, with a Scarred Monk prestige class they can enter later to account for how the Scarred Monks extract magic from burning spellcasters.

Pokonic
2013-01-28, 10:04 PM
Hmmm... It's an option. It would still drastically change a whole lot of things. Scouting, warfare, travel, communication. Even if there are only a few, they could be used to great effect by a well-thought-out military.

Oh, I don't mean specific animals. I'm gonna have to make some sort of shapeshifter that can be used to turn into various beasties. More like wildshape or alternate forms than were-beast.


...Skinwalkers, or there mortal kin?:smalltongue:


I dunno... I've been looking into the colonization of canada. The french allied with some natives as they initially settled, but they fought with other ones later. Maybe the tuniit and the moosetaurs aren't on friendly terms. The french showing up gives the moosetaurs a powerful ally, and they decide to side with the invaders. The moosetaurs get drafted into a national police force, sorta like mounties.

Maybe moosetaurs and deertaurs are more like cousins.


This all seems good, realy. The Tuniit dont seem to be the sort to determin the difference between prey with six or four limbs, frankly.

Admiral Squish
2013-01-28, 11:12 PM
If we're going historically, then the Catholic Church (and therefore the Inquisition) Won't have any power in Britain, which by 1750 will have been Protestant (Under the Church of England) for over two centuries.

Edit: It would probably be best, in this case, to make a "Scarred Monk Initate" Feat for Wizards, with a Scarred Monk prestige class they can enter later to account for how the Scarred Monks extract magic from burning spellcasters.

...You know, I actually know very little about english history in specifics. TO WIKIPEDIA!

I do think we will definitely have to make a scarred monk feat/PRC. There's too much flavor there for it not to happen. I'd love to see somebody playing a scarred monk fresh off the boat from europe, eager to try to reform the wayward colonies.


...Skinwalkers, or there mortal kin?:smalltongue:

This all seems good, realy. The Tuniit dont seem to be the sort to determin the difference between prey with six or four limbs, frankly.

Skinwalkers, Ijiraat, and Nagual. Maybe mortal kin of theirs, too.

I spoke to my brother, and he does not like the idea of making them actual mounties. I definitely like the idea of at least one race defecting to the colonial influence, though, and we might as well give the moose-taurs an interesting flavor. Since they're not based on any actual myth, they don't have a lot of unique features.

Pokonic
2013-01-28, 11:19 PM
I do think we will definitely have to make a scarred monk feat/PRC. There's too much flavor there for it not to happen. I'd love to see somebody playing a scarred monk fresh off the boat from europe, eager to try to reform the wayward colonies.


Then suddenly, Jaguars!:smallbiggrin:



Skinwalkers, Ijiraat, and Nagual. Maybe mortal kin of theirs, too.

I spoke to my brother, and he does not like the idea of making them actual mounties. I definitely like the idea of at least one race defecting to the colonial influence, though, and we might as well give the moose-taurs an interesting flavor. Since they're not based on any actual myth, they don't have a lot of unique features.


I could see some Moose-taurs defecting to the French and some Deer-taurs defecting to the English.

BRC
2013-01-28, 11:27 PM
...You know, I actually know very little about english history in specifics. TO WIKIPEDIA!

I do think we will definitely have to make a scarred monk feat/PRC. There's too much flavor there for it not to happen. I'd love to see somebody playing a scarred monk fresh off the boat from europe, eager to try to reform the wayward colonies.

We could also do something fun with the Jesuits, who were behind a lot of the missionary work that was being done in the colonies, especially up in Canada. IIRC, the Jesuits and the main Catholic Church didn't get along too well(I can think of at least one conflict over Jesuits following Confucian rites in China). You could have Wizards/Sorcerers/Warlocks/Humanish magical creatures fleeing the Inquisition by joining the Jesuits and becoming missionaries in the colonies, far outside the Inquisition's grasp. Jesuit leaders could turn a blind eye, or even encourage this behavior. While the Inquisition can go to the Colonies, find a Missionary, prove them to be a spellcaster, and drag them back to Europe for a Trial, the Organization itself is protected by Papal authority (Plus the influence of noblemen who want a discreet way to protect any arcane spellcasters they secretly have in their employ.).

We'll also need to figure out what's going on with the Iroquois Confederacy, it was a pretty big deal in Colonial New England. It wouldn't need to be changed too much from it's historical counterpart.

Also: Get used to Wikipedia, you're on the History Train now. Choo Choo, next stop, learning how the "Freedom" the Puritans sought was to practice one of the most oppressive forms of Christianity in history. After that, we'll take a stop at Smallpox Station, followed by JustAboutEverythingYouSawInPocahantasWasWrong Junction.

Admiral Squish
2013-01-28, 11:31 PM
Then suddenly, Jaguars!:smallbiggrin:

I suspect this is going to be a running gag all through this project.
I spent like five minutes laughing over this with my brother on the phone.


I could see some Moose-taurs defecting to the French and some Deer-taurs defecting to the English.

On the subject of deer-taurs, do we want them to be evil, or neutral? In myths, they mostly just stomp people to death.

Pokonic
2013-01-29, 12:05 AM
On the subject of deer-taurs, do we want them to be evil, or neutral? In myths, they mostly just stomp people to death.

I say that the Moose-taurs would be LN, while the Deer-taurs are CN. Or, in essance, Lawful isolationists to Chaotic isolationist. The difference is wiether or not they will talk to you (eh?) before goring you in the gut and using your intrails to decorate tree limbs.

Okay, so perhapes the Moose would ask nicely, possibly in french.

The Deer cannot speak english, so your pretty much screwed over.

Admiral Squish
2013-01-29, 12:31 AM
We could also do something fun with the Jesuits, who were behind a lot of the missionary work that was being done in the colonies, especially up in Canada. IIRC, the Jesuits and the main Catholic Church didn't get along too well(I can think of at least one conflict over Jesuits following Confucian rites in China). You could have Wizards/Sorcerers/Warlocks/Humanish magical creatures fleeing the Inquisition by joining the Jesuits and becoming missionaries in the colonies, far outside the Inquisition's grasp. Jesuit leaders could turn a blind eye, or even encourage this behavior. While the Inquisition can go to the Colonies, find a Missionary, prove them to be a spellcaster, and drag them back to Europe for a Trial, the Organization itself is protected by Papal authority (Plus the influence of noblemen who want a discreet way to protect any arcane spellcasters they secretly have in their employ.).

We'll also need to figure out what's going on with the Iroquois Confederacy, it was a pretty big deal in Colonial New England. It wouldn't need to be changed too much from it's historical counterpart.

Also: Get used to Wikipedia, you're on the History Train now. Choo Choo, next stop, learning how the "Freedom" the Puritans sought was to practice one of the most oppressive forms of Christianity in history. After that, we'll take a stop at Smallpox Station, followed by JustAboutEverythingYouSawInPocahantasWasWrong Junction.

Jesuit, huh? Another group to study up on. I really like the idea of magic beings joining the Jesuits as a way to escape the inquisition. There's a lot of good RP just waiting to happen in there.

Iroqois confederacy. It appears that they occupied the great lakes territory, which I was going to give over to the tuniit. Should I push their border a bit more north, do you think? It would make room for the french colonies, but I think it might also make the Tuniit not particularly relevant in the overall play of things in the new world. If they get pushed back out of the way, then they're not in the mix with the rest of 'em, you know?

Oh, god, I have spent SO MUCH time on wikipedia in the past few days. SO MUCH TIME. Like, if I were getting paid, I'd be making a freakin' fortune. I wonder if there's a job where you just learn stuff and get paid...
I've learned about the history, politics, culture, and mythology of china, aztecs, inuit, and probably a dozen tribes of native americans. I've checked archeological records, oral traditions, written chronicles. I've looked up videos of how to pronounce nahuatl and Inuktituk words because that is WAY more consonants in a row than I can handle. I've learned so much my head feels like it's gonna pop. But I had sorta assumed I knew enough about European history to make it work, but I realize now I actually have to get into it and learn about it, too, in a serious fashion. The broad strokes aren't gonna do it.


I say that the Moose-taurs would be LN, while the Deer-taurs are CN. Or, in essance, Lawful isolationists to Chaotic isolationist. The difference is wiether or not they will talk to you (eh?) before goring you in the gut and using your intrails to decorate tree limbs.

A perfectly viable distinction, actually.
--------------------------------------

I have officially decided that there will be no flying available in this setting. Simply because access to flight at any point in human history changes the landscape so dramatically and so instantly that nobody would be able to recognize the contents of the map. Expansion zones change, impassible terrain becomes easily passable, invasions that failed suddenly work, any culture lacking ranged weapons dies out almost immediately, messages can be carried quickly and reliably between settlements, even distant ones. Flying mounts are a HUGE game-changer since anyone can use one and they can carry cargo over long distances through difficult terrain. The closest you're gonna get to flying is getting plucked off the ground by a Thunderbird. And that trip generally ends badly for the passenger.

Flight spells will be removed from spell lists, and anything that grants flight will be removed or heavily mitigated. There are no flying creatures that can be used as mounts. The best you're gonna get is gliding. Everyone is ground-bound.

BRC
2013-01-29, 01:05 AM
Don't burn yourself out on Research, especially since this IS a fictional setting. Broad strokes are fine for inspiration.


My googling puts the Iroqouis more around Modern-day New York State (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/4/4b/Iroquois_6_Nations_map_c1720.png/297px-Iroquois_6_Nations_map_c1720.png), hardly far in enough to push back the Tuniit. Historically, the French were not conquerors, they generally set up trading posts and the occasional fort inside Native territory, so you don't really need to carve out much in the way of "French" Territory.


Edit: It should be noted I'm a history major who has spent time studying Colonialism in the Americas, hence how I know this stuff.

Frathe
2013-01-29, 03:08 AM
I think you could add some Wendigos as greater undead, as a native replacement for vampires/liches. Maybe have some process of conversion involving voluntary murder and cannibalism, kind of comparable to liches. They're known for cannibalism. Here's a description:


The Weendigo was gaunt to the point of emaciation, its desiccated skin pulled tautly over its bones. With its bones pushing out against its skin, its complexion the ash gray of death, and its eyes pushed back deep into their sockets, the Weendigo looked like a gaunt skeleton recently disinterred from the grave. What lips it had were tattered and bloody [....] Unclean and suffering from suppurations of the flesh, the Weendigo gave off a strange and eerie odor of decay and decomposition, of death and corruption.

Have you thought about what's going on in South America at all? Magic may have affected the native people's contact with the Spanish and Portuguese, especially the Spanish conquest of the Inca. What about the Caribbean? Did Columbus still discover the West Indies, and lead to the Taíno being wiped out?

Edit: This page (http://www.monstropedia.org/Wendigo) seems useful for the Wendigo.

Aux-Ash
2013-01-29, 07:20 AM
Right...having read through the topic once more here comes some thoughts.

"Damage control"

Right, there's a number of things that coul potentially send any resemblance to real history spiralling away rather quickly. So here's some things I've spotted that probably needs some thought :smallsmile:

Flying.
You spotted this one already, which is great. I very much agree that it's a major game changer, especially if flight over long distances is available.

Cure disease
This one is just as major a gamechanger as flying actually. Smallpox killed one in three (!) people until the 20th century. Influenza, measles, typhus, typhoid, plague... all major killers. Remove them from the equation and suddenly we're looking at the 20th century population-boom much earlier. We're talking ridiculous differences in local population. As in entire empires in Brazil, a north america as populated as it is today (and that's just natives), easily billions in India and China. At the very least no native die-off of natives in the Americas.

Also, equally impactful... a number of very important people died of disease. Most notably perhaps, Alexander the Great at ~30. Can you imagine a world where he lived to 70? There might not even have been a roman empire in such a case.

Let's also toss up that the primary reason the colonization of Africa started so late was due to malaria, the disease

However, one of your major "plot" points requires magic combatting disease. So this one is trickier. Might I suggest that the spells in question are changed towards treating symtoms, with only really powerful spells offernig cures, or something similar? If you wish to be real ambitious we could try to rewrite the disease system and then come up with spells to match.
I offer my services here (educated in biomedicine) for either endeavour, though I'd need someone better at the crunch than me. :smallsmile:

Teleportation
For all the changes flight cauises, it will at the very least take time. Teleportation is instantaneous. It has all the travel problems of flight, but also rewrites the entire foundation of carrying messages in battles. Why send a rider when a wizard could teleport with the message? There's more than a handful of battles that would be completely altered if a instant messenger could inform the general that their flanks are collapsing, or of ambushes or delayed reinforcements.

I see two approaches that could work. Either teleportation is removed.
Or it is stringently limited.
For instance, maybe short distance teleportation only works to locations you can directly see clearly. So not to the horizon but a few hundred meters forward certainly. To a open space, but not into a thick undergrowth.
Long range teleportation only being available to familiar locations through sympathetic connections (I could teleport to my father's grave or my home but not to a place I've never been or just passed through), or only to ritually consecrated locations (so inquisitor's could teleport to the circles of power in the Vatican or the local bishopric, but it's unlikely they'll be able to teleport to Beijing).

It would allow teleportation and provide the narrative benefit of having it, but the limitations would mean it doesn't ruin the setting.

Create food and water
Also quite significant, since it removes the second of the great killers from the equation. Famine. It also renders sieges a quite pointless endeavour ("We'll just wait for them to run out of food."). It also trivializes the trip across the Sahara, central Asia or the oceans quite a bit, there's after all no risk of running out of food or water.

Again, I suggest either their removal or tweaking them. Maybe magically created food cannot sustain you over a longer period? Maybe you can only summon pre-prepared food and drink? Either solution works.

---

That was some universal stuff, now some comments from me regarding lore and stuff:

Colonies:
It looks to me that if the Spanish cannot get the Mexico valley due to the Triple-Alliance (The aztecs) then they'll probably have a greater focus on establishing themselves in Florida, Cuba (and the other carribean isles) and South America.

Also note that if Cortez failed and died, then Pizarro (who served under Cortez during Mexico) might also be out of the equation. Which means no conquest of the Inca Empire.

Also, the Dutch and the Swedish colonies might be worth considering. If magic users fled to the colonies then we might see Dutch and Scandinavian folk magic? Note though that the latter implies a much more powerful catholic church, which may have an impact on wether britain is catholic as well. Alternatively it did not spread because of persecution.

In Sweden at the very least, we kept using norse runes for curses and blessings well into the 18th century. In this universe that might very well have been real magic. Which would mean a very script and object focused magic traditions having spread to the colonies? Possibly even runestones?
Food for thought.

Aztlan
The Triple-Alliance was very fragile by the time Cortez arrived, partly why he was so succesful. Here it is still a factor well 3 and a half century later. So something must have changed. Or is perhaps this a successor state, possibly based on another Nahuatl tribe, that has been created in the Triple-Alliance's wake?

Also, what about Veracruz? The spanish settlement was outside of the sphere of the Triple-Alliance. Is it still standing or was it lost in the wars?
A trade post between spain and Aztlan perhaps? When the conquests failed spain shifted policy and began trading with the locals instead of conquering/vassalizing them? Today it's a major trade port and one of the primary lifelines between Aztlan and the rest of Vespuccia?

There's also a question on how much trade there is/was between the various Vespuccian cultures. Could it be that ironworking reached Aztlan from Tuunitaq in the 400 years prior to the arrival of the spaniards (which naturally means the north Vespuccian natives also have it)?

Tuunitaq
Tying in with my thoughts above: If the Tuuniit adopted iron working, did they perhaps also adopt rune magic from the vikings? Or develop a similar variant?

They most certainly traded with the locals however, so what they have, any culture bordering them will have. So we're looking at the New England (likely not named that anymore) natives with iron as well.

Fusang
Cool. It turns out it is pronounced differently, so it does not mean mourning at all :smallwink:.

Thought: If Fusang is influenced by Ming refugees, then perhaps there's splinter realms surrounding a central splinter realm. Whenever the governor establishes control over a new settler region, the people fleeing the Qing move on? Chinese Trekboers on the western american coast, perhasp? The wild west turns out to be the wild east. Plenty of room for conflict with the natives as well, as the chinese spread.

---

Also, focus on Vespuccia for now. Don't bother too much with the old world until you're satisfied with the main continent. Knowing approximately the power of the catholic church (and it's rivals) and which countries have colonized is pretty all we need.

TheWombatOfDoom
2013-01-29, 08:28 AM
Cure disease
This one is just as major a gamechanger as flying actually. Smallpox killed one in three (!) people until the 20th century. Influenza, measles, typhus, typhoid, plague... all major killers. Remove them from the equation and suddenly we're looking at the 20th century population-boom much earlier. We're talking ridiculous differences in local population. As in entire empires in Brazil, a north america as populated as it is today (and that's just natives), easily billions in India and China. At the very least no native die-off of natives in the Americas.

Also, equally impactful... a number of very important people died of disease. Most notably perhaps, Alexander the Great at ~30. Can you imagine a world where he lived to 70? There might not even have been a roman empire in such a case.

Let's also toss up that the primary reason the colonization of Africa started so late was due to malaria, the disease

However, one of your major "plot" points requires magic combatting disease. So this one is trickier. Might I suggest that the spells in question are changed towards treating symtoms, with only really powerful spells offernig cures, or something similar? If you wish to be real ambitious we could try to rewrite the disease system and then come up with spells to match.
I offer my services here (educated in biomedicine) for either endeavour, though I'd need someone better at the crunch than me. :smallsmile:


Not to mention the fact that settlers destroyed the ecosystems and enviornment of the americas. They brought over non native plants, and trees, and food, which had their own diseases the enviornment did not know how to combat. They even brough european bees to make honey, which killed off the native bee population, which in turn killed off the plants they pollenated. The new trees killed off the old with disease and overcrowding, and even animals were dying of diseases not native to the region. It all amounted to a huge wave of extinction for many native plants and animals.

Most of the plants you see growing in gardens or flowers in the wild actually originally are from europe. One of the reasons they don't allow you to bring soil or plants or animals from other countries in the customs area of airports.

Morph Bark
2013-01-29, 08:51 AM
Also, the Dutch and the Swedish colonies might be worth considering. If magic users fled to the colonies then we might see Dutch and Scandinavian folk magic? Note though that the latter implies a much more powerful catholic church, which may have an impact on wether britain is catholic as well. Alternatively it did not spread because of persecution.

I dunno much about Dutch folk magic, but people considered to be witches nearly always fled towards the Netherlands, due to an accusation of witchcraft not being enough here to throw them on a pile and light them up or throw them into a river or a well to see if they'd float. They got weighed first. In a setting with alternate test methods, those would be employed instead, or they'd simply be more accepting of magic users, just like how people of other religions were more likely to find acceptance in the Netherlands than elsewhere if they were prosecuted in their own country. This could easily extend to New Netherland and New Amsterdam, if it still exists in this alternate setting, as the colony was taken over by the English (and the Dutch took over the English colony of Surinam, constituting a trade of sorts) in the late 17th century.

New Sweden lasted until the mid 17th century, at which point it was conquered by the Dutch and added to New Netherland (and thus later taken over by the English).

BRC
2013-01-29, 10:29 AM
Cure disease
This one is just as major a gamechanger as flying actually. Smallpox killed one in three (!) people until the 20th century. Influenza, measles, typhus, typhoid, plague... all major killers. Remove them from the equation and suddenly we're looking at the 20th century population-boom much earlier. We're talking ridiculous differences in local population. As in entire empires in Brazil, a north america as populated as it is today (and that's just natives), easily billions in India and China. At the very least no native die-off of natives in the Americas.

Also, equally impactful... a number of very important people died of disease. Most notably perhaps, Alexander the Great at ~30. Can you imagine a world where he lived to 70? There might not even have been a roman empire in such a case.

Let's also toss up that the primary reason the colonization of Africa started so late was due to malaria, the disease

However, one of your major "plot" points requires magic combatting disease. So this one is trickier. Might I suggest that the spells in question are changed towards treating symtoms, with only really powerful spells offernig cures, or something similar? If you wish to be real ambitious we could try to rewrite the disease system and then come up with spells to match.
I offer my services here (educated in biomedicine) for either endeavour, though I'd need someone better at the crunch than me. :smallsmile:

Teleportation
For all the changes flight cauises, it will at the very least take time. Teleportation is instantaneous. It has all the travel problems of flight, but also rewrites the entire foundation of carrying messages in battles. Why send a rider when a wizard could teleport with the message? There's more than a handful of battles that would be completely altered if a instant messenger could inform the general that their flanks are collapsing, or of ambushes or delayed reinforcements.

I see two approaches that could work. Either teleportation is removed.
Or it is stringently limited.
For instance, maybe short distance teleportation only works to locations you can directly see clearly. So not to the horizon but a few hundred meters forward certainly. To a open space, but not into a thick undergrowth.
Long range teleportation only being available to familiar locations through sympathetic connections (I could teleport to my father's grave or my home but not to a place I've never been or just passed through), or only to ritually consecrated locations (so inquisitor's could teleport to the circles of power in the Vatican or the local bishopric, but it's unlikely they'll be able to teleport to Beijing).

It would allow teleportation and provide the narrative benefit of having it, but the limitations would mean it doesn't ruin the setting.

Remove Disease is a 3rd level spell, so you're average village spellcaster won't have access to it. And while it will cure an individual, it won't prevent re-infection. During a mass epidemic like Smallpox the social and political elite could have casters ready with Cure Disease to keep them healthy, but the average population would still be ravaged. Even if Casters had spell slots to spare on the commoners it would be like spitting on a wildfire, as the Cured individuals would likely just get exposed Again.It could explain how the Aztecs survived, as they were able to keep their political structure intact, as Aztec Priests used Remove Disease on those in positions of authority, but it wouldn't stop the Black Death. It COULD keep the nobility intact, and indebted to the Church.

Create food and water is also 3rd level, feeding 3 people per level. So at 6th level that's 18 people per casting. That means a 6th level cleric can sustain around 60 people if they use all their 3rd level spells on this.
Take from that what you will. It might have saved Roanoke.
As for Teleportation, that too is a fairly high-level spell, so it won't be used For everyday things.
Hrmm...how about this.

Teleportation spells work, HOWEVER they have a lot of trouble crossing oceans. A Teleport Spell could take you from Havana to Boston, or Boston to New York, but it couldn't take you from New York to London. Occasionally, certain locations develop sympathetic Links with areas across the sea. For example, a connection could form between Stonehenge and the shores of Lake Michigan. These Links can be predicted somewhat, but they cannot be controlled. So you could have, for example, a group of Scarred Monks needing to get to Cuba fast, but the only Link that is scheduled to emerge links Stonehenge and Louisiana, so they have to fight or bargain their way into Britain in order to use it.
It's also possible to screw up your calculations. A Link that you think connects Venice and Boston could drop you off in Beijing.

Aux-Ash
2013-01-29, 10:48 AM
New Sweden lasted until the mid 17th century, at which point it was conquered by the Dutch and added to New Netherland (and thus later taken over by the English).

Oh I know. It was unlikely to last longer regardless, given how little support it was actually given (I think it was even forgotten about for a year). Question is... did it last long enough and have enough attraction for a scandinavian magic tradition to come to Vespuccia?


Remove Disease is a 3rd level spell, so you're average village spellcaster won't have access to it. And while it will cure an individual, it won't prevent re-infection. During a mass epidemic like Smallpox the social and political elite could have casters ready with Cure Disease to keep them healthy, but the average population would still be ravaged. Even if Casters had spell slots to spare on the commoners it would be like spitting on a wildfire, as the Cured individuals would likely just get exposed Again.It could explain how the Aztecs survived, as they were able to keep their political structure intact, as Aztec Priests used Remove Disease on those in positions of authority, but it wouldn't stop the Black Death. It COULD keep the nobility intact, and indebted to the Church.

Right... so the impact on the population is more along the lines of moderate, rather than huge then. There's still the problem with the elite being basically immune though... throws certain wrenches in history as we know it. There's a fair few important people that might have made more of an impact if they did not die from disease.

It helps stabilize the natives though, I agree.


As for Teleportation, that too is a fairly high-level spell, so it won't be used For everyday things.
Hrmm...how about this.

Teleportation spells work, HOWEVER they have a lot of trouble crossing oceans. A Teleport Spell could take you from Havana to Boston, or Boston to New York, but it couldn't take you from New York to London. Occasionally, certain locations develop sympathetic Links with areas across the sea. For example, a connection could form between Stonehenge and the shores of Lake Michigan. These Links can be predicted somewhat, but they cannot be controlled. So you could have, for example, a group of Scarred Monks needing to get to Cuba fast, but the only Link that is scheduled to emerge links Stonehenge and Louisiana, so they have to fight or bargain their way into Britain in order to use it.
It's also possible to screw up your calculations. A Link that you think connects Venice and Boston could drop you off in Beijing.

Hmmm... Tie it in with astronomical events perhaps? So certain Sympathetic Links only open up when the stars are just right, when venus is in a certain correlation with polaris and so on. So if you want to travel long distances you have to keep a very thorough calendar (and run advanced calculations)?

And the limitation should probably be wilderness, rather than just oceans. That way the central asian steppe, the Sahara, Northern Canada, the atlantic, the pacific and so on are equally difficult to traverse. The common indicator is that they're not inhabited. Thus giving us a neat thumb rule of "if it's uninhabited or very sparsely inhabited, you need a Link to teleport across"?

BRC
2013-01-29, 10:56 AM
Oh I know. It was unlikely to last longer regardless, given how little support it was actually given (I think it was even forgotten about for a year). Question is... did it last long enough and have enough attraction for a scandinavian magic tradition to come to Vespuccia?



Right... so the impact on the population is more along the lines of moderate, rather than huge then. There's still the problem with the elite being basically immune though... throws certain wrenches in history as we know it. There's a fair few important people that might have made more of an impact if they did not die from disease.

It helps stabilize the natives though, I agree.



Hmmm... Tie it in with astronomical events perhaps? So certain Sympathetic Links only open up when the stars are just right, when venus is in a certain correlation with polaris and so on. So if you want to travel long distances you have to keep a very thorough calendar (and run advanced calculations)?

And the limitation should probably be wilderness, rather than just oceans. That way the central asian steppe, the Sahara, Northern Canada, the atlantic, the pacific and so on are equally difficult to traverse. The common indicator is that they're not inhabited. Thus giving us a neat thumb rule of "if it's uninhabited or very sparsely inhabited, you need a Link to teleport across"?
Sounds good to me. Links can theoretically appear anywhere, but certain sites, like Stonehenge or Gibraltar, seem to "Attract" Links more frequently. Controlling these Sites is therefore important.

Frathe
2013-01-29, 02:08 PM
I just want to point out that during this time period, there were many other Protestants in Europe, who had rejected the Catholic Church's control. By the end of the 16th century, this would include all of Scandinavia, the Netherlands, Hungary, Scotland, and the Huguenots in France.

Edit: Also, I feel like it would be classier to rename the continent after another explorer, rather than using the other name of the same guy (the Vespucci of Amerigo Vespucci rather than the Amerigo). I know that some people argued for calling the whole place after Columbus, and you could always call it "Columbia". If that's too boring, you could just make up a different explorer who discovered the Americas (alt history, after all) and name it after him or her.

BRC
2013-01-29, 02:43 PM
I just want to point out that during this time period, there were many other Protestants in Europe, who had rejected the Catholic Church's control. By the end of the 16th century, this would include all of Scandinavia, the Netherlands, Hungary, Scotland, and the Huguenots in France.

Edit: Also, I feel like it would be classier to rename the continent after another explorer, rather than using the other name of the same guy (the Vespucci of Amerigo Vespucci rather than the Amerigo). I know that some people argued for calling the whole place after Columbus, and you could always call it "Columbia". If that's too boring, you could just make up a different explorer who discovered the Americas (alt history, after all) and name it after him or her.

I think part of the idea is that the Catholic Church's clerics used their magic to save people during the Black Death, and as a result the Church became much more politically powerful than in real life. You could still have protestants running around.

I think Vespuccia works just fine as a name. We could also rename it using a native term, since the Native Americans are much more powerful in this history it's possible that their name for the continent stuck , rather than any European designation.

Frathe
2013-01-29, 03:10 PM
If the Catholic church is really that much more powerful, you'd think Henry VIII would've had a harder time breaking away. I don't understand why you seem to think England should be an exception.

On another note, hey, maybe Martin Luther could be a cleric who multiclassed into Wizard. The Protestants could be more tolerant in general of Arcane magic.

Vespuccia... sounds a little weird to me. That's the main reason I said anything. The problem with using a native name for the continent is that there were no native names for the continent, because you're not going to name a continent if you don't know that other continents exist.

BRC
2013-01-29, 03:19 PM
If the Catholic church is really that much more powerful, you'd think Henry VIII would've had a harder time breaking away. I don't understand why you seem to think England should be an exception.

Geographic isolation helps, but with the exception of French Huguenots (More powerful Church mean protestant minorities have a much harder time) all the other places you mentioned could still be protestant, Especially Scotland and Scandinavia.


Depending on how we want to run things, other nations (especially Hungry and the Netherlands, which have Catholic neighbors to appease) could be Protestant, but still hand their spellcasters over to the Inquisition (though they may be less enthusiastic about it, only doing so when the Spellcaster starts causing trouble or drawing attention to themselves. Or when Inquisitorial Spies feed their masters enough information to start a formal inquiry). England's uniqueness is less that it's protestant, and more that it honors it's wizards, rather than burning them. This is because the presence of Merlin in Arthurian Legend alters English attitudes towards arcane spellcasters, so the English never really bought into the whole "Arcane Magic Cause The Plague" thing.

Admiral Squish
2013-01-29, 03:22 PM
Don't burn yourself out on Research, especially since this IS a fictional setting. Broad strokes are fine for inspiration.

My googling puts the Iroqouis more around Modern-day New York State (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/4/4b/Iroquois_6_Nations_map_c1720.png/297px-Iroquois_6_Nations_map_c1720.png), hardly far in enough to push back the Tuniit. Historically, the French were not conquerors, they generally set up trading posts and the occasional fort inside Native territory, so you don't really need to carve out much in the way of "French" Territory.

Edit: It should be noted I'm a history major who has spent time studying Colonialism in the Americas, hence how I know this stuff.

I do so enjoy it, though. I have a love-hate relationship with my hobby. It's such an awesome setting, and I'm so amazed it's taken off like this. I complain about it sometimes, yeah, but I'm having way too much fun to stop.

Hmm. Still some shuffling around to do, I suppose. Iroquois occupying that land still pushes the tuniit a bit further north than they were in my initial map. I could see the french cohabiting in the tuniit areas, but the northern giants would keep a very close eye on them. The moose-taurs start trading with the french settlers, eventually they formally ally and the moosetaur and some tuniit settlements ally with them against the Iroquois.

Really? Nice! I suspect you're going to be a MASSIVE help during the course of this project.


I think you could add some Wendigos as greater undead, as a native replacement for vampires/liches. Maybe have some process of conversion involving voluntary murder and cannibalism, kind of comparable to liches. They're known for cannibalism. Here's a description:

Have you thought about what's going on in South America at all? Magic may have affected the native people's contact with the Spanish and Portuguese, especially the Spanish conquest of the Inca. What about the Caribbean? Did Columbus still discover the West Indies, and lead to the Taíno being wiped out?

Edit: This page (http://www.monstropedia.org/Wendigo) seems useful for the Wendigo.

Oh, yeah, definitely going to be done. Wendigo are awesomely flavorful. I like the idea of them being like vampires or liches, with a willful eating of human flesh being part of the transition, like the ritual of a lich. But then, I also like the idea of being transformed against your will after a desperate situation. Really the difference is the involvement of steps beyond just the eating of human meat.

I have considered south america to a certain degree. I'm still not entirely certain about it, though. Pizarro travelled south into the incan lands, from panama, an area he wouldn't have controlled at the time. But the inca also don't have the military focus that the aztec did, which would have made them a bit easier to conquer.


Right...having read through the topic once more here comes some thoughts.

"Damage control"

Right, there's a number of things that coul potentially send any resemblance to real history spiralling away rather quickly. So here's some things I've spotted that probably needs some thought :smallsmile:

This is a super-huge post, and spawned a lot of conversation, which is totally awesome, so I will adress each topic in it's own little blurb, rolling everyone's discussion into each response.


Flying.
Definitely, that's why I decided it had to be cut out.


Cure disease
I kinda agree with BRC on the logistics of curing disease with magic. It's a 3rd level spell, which means 5th level casters, which are pretty reasonably rare. A cleric's about as rare as a preist, and a cleric of sufficient level to cast this spell is even rarer. They could have a relatively small influence on the plague, honestly, and still enjoy a great reputation. The ones they save are the ones who survive, after all.

But that does bring up the issue of leaders who fell to diseases. It seems pretty reasonable that one as powerful as Alexander the Great would be able to get his hands on at least one 5th-level cleric. Not entirely sure how to deal with it, though. I could just cut them out, but it's tied into the setting pretty strongly...

The powers of good clerics could just be canceled out on a global scale by the powers of evil clerics? Think the Mask of Red Death. The rich and powerful try to keep the plague at bay with high walls and loyal clerics on retainer, but some dark cults who seek to spead misery and death do what they can to spread the plagues into these 'safe zones'.


Teleportation
I am a HUGE FAN of the link idea. I'm thinking that large-scale teleportation spells get yanked out, replaced with plot-powered rituals involving the aforementioned Link system. Small-scale things, such as dimension door, are rare enough that I think they would still be usable. Maybe include a line-of-sight restriction?


Create food and water
As BRC mentioned, a 6th-level caster can feed about 60 people. This is certainly not enough to feed entire kingdoms, but it would change some famine situations, certainly.
I see two possible explanations for why it's not used to stock the larders all the time:
One, creating things with magic is completely impossible. Anything 'created' with magic is actually summoned from somewhere else. so, while it could be used to stock a larder, others casting the spells would take the same stuff back. The overall effect wold mean that no large groups would have more or less food as a result, though it would affect the distribution, somewhat.
Two, creating things with magic is ineffective. Anything created with magic is inherently unstable and eventually dissolves back into magical energy. So, while eating conjured food could sustain you over short periods, you would still have to eat real food made the hard way to survive long-term.


Colonies:
Oh, yeah, the spanish will have a lot more colonies in the Caribbean. South america's an option that I'm still seriously considering. I guess I just wanna try to focus on the north american continent for the moment.

Swedish and dutch colonies, huh? *wikipedia*. Seems like they were a relatively small presence in the americas, and the dutch actually did forget about their colonies for a number of years. They were rulers of the colony in name only for a number of years. In a timeline where the natives are a lot more resistant to european colonization, I doubt the dutch would be able to maintain a colony, especially if it was so neglected.

On the other hand, rune-magic is AWESOME and I would love a chance to make some sorta rune system.


Aztlan

The basic change is that the triple alliance was suddenly armed with weapons and armor that far surpassed anything the other natives could produce. Even in the immediate time frame, when the aztec were using weapons captured from fallen spaniards, their unusual style of warfare would synergize with the relatively small number of available weapons perfectly, giving them an advantage that the other nations simply wouldn't be able to handle. They crushed the remnants of the rebellion after the spaniards left and, with a new advantage, crushed anyone who dared to oppose them.

I think the aztec would probably have a major revenge-on after the spaniards came close to doing serious damage to their empire. I doubt they would have left one brick standing atop another in Veracruz. The aztec don't generally trade, as far as I've found in my research, they just take what they want. The spaniards, if they came hat-in-hand after their failure, might be able to establish a trading post that would supply the expanding aztec empire with high-quality weaponry, armor... But spain's not known for giving up easy.

I don't know, honestly. With no horses, long-distance travel is EXTREMELY slow and difficult. I don't know if the technology would have moved through the many indian tribes between the tuniit and the aztec in that time, or how the spread of it would have affected inter-tribe dynamics and warfare.


Tuunitaq
Oooh, that'd be a pretty awesome way to work runecasting into the setting, with the tuniit assimilating the spellcasting system from the vikings. But as I mentioned in the aztlan thing a second ago, early introduction to ironworking changes a lot of things. Maybe instead of having the tuniit get ironworking from vikings, they get it from the french?


Fusang
Hmm. I don't know. I like the idea of it being independant to a certain degree, the Ming ideals holding there, though I don't think we should have the Ming leadership survive. The Quing might try to enforce their will across the pacific, but the trip is a lot longer and more difficult than the atlantic crossing. I don't know. There is the mandate of heaven thing, too. A lot of Fusang settlers might believe that the fall of the Ming was due to them no longer being deserving of the rulership.


Not to mention the fact that settlers destroyed the ecosystems and enviornment of the americas. They brought over non native plants, and trees, and food, which had their own diseases the enviornment did not know how to combat. They even brough european bees to make honey, which killed off the native bee population, which in turn killed off the plants they pollenated. The new trees killed off the old with disease and overcrowding, and even animals were dying of diseases not native to the region. It all amounted to a huge wave of extinction for many native plants and animals.

Most of the plants you see growing in gardens or flowers in the wild actually originally are from europe. One of the reasons they don't allow you to bring soil or plants or animals from other countries in the customs area of airports.

This is true. I don't know how much damage they would have done in the few hundred years leading up tot he current time frame of the setting, though, but there certainly would be damage.

Oh, one thing I would really like to add into this setting is magic plants. I don't mean assassin vines or treants, I mean magical herbs, magical fruits, maybe even magic tobacco or other smoking plants?


I dunno much about Dutch folk magic, but people considered to be witches nearly always fled towards the Netherlands, due to an accusation of witchcraft not being enough here to throw them on a pile and light them up or throw them into a river or a well to see if they'd float. They got weighed first. In a setting with alternate test methods, those would be employed instead, or they'd simply be more accepting of magic users, just like how people of other religions were more likely to find acceptance in the Netherlands than elsewhere if they were prosecuted in their own country. This could easily extend to New Netherland and New Amsterdam, if it still exists in this alternate setting, as the colony was taken over by the English (and the Dutch took over the English colony of Surinam, constituting a trade of sorts) in the late 17th century.

New Sweden lasted until the mid 17th century, at which point it was conquered by the Dutch and added to New Netherland (and thus later taken over by the English).

I like the idea of Scandinavian magic and such, but the colonies are already pretty accepting of spellcasters and magical creatures. I'll be honest. I don't want to cram a whole bunch of different nation's colonies and cultures into it. I'm trying to keep things as simple as I can, just because every area I add in means I need to figure out how they work together.


--------------
As for the name Vespuccia, it was going to pretty much be that or 'Coloumbia', but Colombia is already a country, and most of the nerds here will recognize vespucci's name, which helps get more attention. If you don't like the name, seriously, feel free to suggest other names. If you come up with a name I like more than Vespuccia, then I could pretty easily change the name.

SamBurke
2013-01-29, 03:24 PM
It seems that links would be a pretty big reason as to why people would build in one spot over another.

So my question is: where did the links come from? Why are they present? Is it the science of the magic, is it aligned with great-n-powerful cosmic forces? Is it from a previous, ancient race?

I like the idea that the rich use spellcasters to survive; this adds an important power dynamic, and helps explain a number of things:

-Why magic has survived
-Why people might want to learn magic, even if banned
-How power stays stable for hundreds of years long compared to history.

My question is this, though: how does politics change with Charm Spells and the like? Especially with Britain's Twin Houses on the ascendancy post-Cromwell, fighting against a young King George III?

BRC
2013-01-29, 03:29 PM
My question is this, though: how does politics change with Charm Spells and the like? Especially with Britain's Twin Houses on the ascendancy post-Cromwell, fighting against a young King George III?
In Continental Europe, Inquisitorial Agents at various courts would keep an eye out for such spellcasting. If anybody starts causing trouble, then they are "Discovered" to have been influencing others with Charm and Suggestion spells.
In England and other more magic-friendly places there are enough Wizards at court to spot Charm spells. If we say that Charm magic is banned by the Merlinic Oath then that could cut down on it's use as well.

However, we should keep our attention mainly focused on the New World for now.


Edit: as for Alexsander, we could always say that Remove Disease was not "Discovered" at his time.

Aux-Ash
2013-01-29, 04:04 PM
I agree with a focus on Vespuccia. The only thing from outside we need to know is things that directly affects the immigration, and only at a glance anyways.

I'd say the most interesting would be several explanations for the links, rather than one unifying one. Which is to say that Fusang got one explanation, the colonies, one, the natives another and so on. Each one equally likely. Adds a degree of mystery to the world, me thinks.
They use them the same way, they just don't have the same explanation.

Regarding cure disease. One idea could be to replace the spell with a few others.
So you could have one spell that puts the disease in stasis for a number of months/years. Decent plot point too, find a cure before the spell wears off. Decent for deadly diseases, such as consumtion (tuberculosis) but ultimately just postponing the issue.
Another that treats the symtoms, basically preventing the disease from injuring the victim, but leaving the recovery to their bodies. Decent for say cholera, since it'd prevent the dehydration and thus pretty much everyone will recover on their own.
One that transfers a disease to someone/something else perhaps? So you grab a sacrefical animal, transfer the disease to it and butcher it before it spreads.

or we could run it by BRC's approach and simply have the CC pretty much invent it.

And yeah, line of sight is a good limitation for short range teleportation.
Links are awesome and adds strategic value to certain locations. Who wouldn't want to put their big trade hub in the location where a link opens once every month?
Also... adds a cool description of these link location when you lists links by: "When venus is visible in the sky". Plus... some of these links might be super-rare and only open once every ten thousand years or so. That could add interesting encounters.

As for rune magic. Glad you like it. One Tuuniit and one rare Scandinavian version for the colonies, probably just minor differences between them (only 400 years after all). Kind of cool idea of carrying these rune charms around, that you simply activate when necessary or combine as one sees fit. Tossing a bone with the runes for bone breakage at your enemy, or hiding a runescrip of Crippling Fever under his bed.

The tuunit getting iron from the french (or basque sailors? They were fishing outside new england/nova scotia just prior to columbus) changes less, I agree. Probably a wiser idea.

On Fusang. Ah, sorry I was unclear. I was thinking that central Fusang is very Qing. But the outliers are settled by the very people that right now are being persecuted by the Qing due to connections to Ming. They don't want it back or anything, they just want to be left alone. Leading them to leaving everytime Fusang expands. The colony is thus slowly and gradually expanding by following the footsteps of the "Ming refugees" (for lack of a better word).

Also: Admiral Squish. If you wish I'd gladly help out doing some research for you or write some fluff.

BRC
2013-01-29, 04:22 PM
Also... adds a cool description of these link location when you lists links by: "When venus is visible in the sky". Plus... some of these links might be super-rare and only open once every ten thousand years or so. That could add interesting encounters.

You could have stuff like El Dorado, or the Fountain of Youth rumored to be hidden in vast Caverns deep beneath the Earth, accessible only by rarely-appearing Links. You could have a group of Aztecs with a prophecy dating back to the Mayans, a group of Europeans who think they've decoded something Nostradamus spit out into a location and time, and some agents of the Qing Dynasty who, armed with something one of Shi Huang Di's fortune tellers wrote during the First Emperor's hunt for immortality, all converging on the same spot in The Mississippi Valley, waiting for the Link to the Fountain of Youth to appear for the first time in centuries.

Pokonic
2013-01-29, 04:50 PM
Well, we mentioned Telaporting having issues with ocean travel, so I have a idea for a blanket rule of sorts:

The ocean is vast, magical, and generaly hates mankind. You can kill as many hags as you wish, but sea-monsters are far harder to pin down and who knows what undersea empires still worship, say, Posidon. The Norse figured it out pretty quickly that long-term voyages were something to avoid at all costs, but many of the nations of the world are just now discovering that sea serpents, krackens, lusca,cecaelias, and others are still very commen, and are very much attracted to increased shipping traffic.

SamBurke
2013-01-29, 05:07 PM
You could have stuff like El Dorado, or the Fountain of Youth rumored to be hidden in vast Caverns deep beneath the Earth, accessible only by rarely-appearing Links. You could have a group of Aztecs with a prophecy dating back to the Mayans, a group of Europeans who think they've decoded something Nostradamus spit out into a location and time, and some agents of the Qing Dynasty who, armed with something one of Shi Huang Di's fortune tellers wrote during the First Emperor's hunt for immortality, all converging on the same spot in The Mississippi Valley, waiting for the Link to the Fountain of Youth to appear for the first time in centuries.

That may just be the coolest campaign pitch I've heard in ages.

Admiral Squish
2013-01-29, 10:47 PM
It seems that links would be a pretty big reason as to why people would build in one spot over another.

So my question is: where did the links come from? Why are they present? Is it the science of the magic, is it aligned with great-n-powerful cosmic forces? Is it from a previous, ancient race?

I like the idea that the rich use spellcasters to survive; this adds an important power dynamic, and helps explain a number of things:

-Why magic has survived
-Why people might want to learn magic, even if banned
-How power stays stable for hundreds of years long compared to history.

My question is this, though: how does politics change with Charm Spells and the like? Especially with Britain's Twin Houses on the ascendancy post-Cromwell, fighting against a young King George III?

Definitely. Controlling a frequently-usable link point would be a massive draw to build on and control a particular piece of land. Teleporting still requires powerful spellcasters, but with link-points under control they can shepherd the wealthy easily between the points.

Everyone has different ways for figuring out how they work, like aux-Ash said. In britain, the merlinic spellcasters map the ley-lines of the world. In the rest of europe, the church hears about them through divine guidance. The plains natives find them where buffalo paths meet and diverge. The Aztec predict the appearance of links through their complicated calendar system. The chinese use star maps to predict when and where the links will appear.

As for charm and dominate, using such magic is obviously deeply frowned upon. They'd likely specifically forbidden by the merlinic oath except for cases of extreme emergency. As in life-or-death. And if a caster breaks the merlinic oath, they can't be protected by the nobility anymore. So, you have to be SUPER careful not to get caught by the inquisitors. I'm sure it happens.


In Continental Europe, Inquisitorial Agents at various courts would keep an eye out for such spellcasting. If anybody starts causing trouble, then they are "Discovered" to have been influencing others with Charm and Suggestion spells.
In England and other more magic-friendly places there are enough Wizards at court to spot Charm spells. If we say that Charm magic is banned by the Merlinic Oath then that could cut down on it's use as well.

However, we should keep our attention mainly focused on the New World for now.


Edit: as for Alexsander, we could always say that Remove Disease was not "Discovered" at his time.

Definitely makes sense. Maybe inquition witch-hunters should get detect magic at-will? Would make it easy to see who's got what kinds of magic on them.

Hmm... It HAS been 2000 years since alexander was on the planet. It's entirely possible that magic advanced significantly since he was alive.


*snip*

Exactly. For now, I'm just gonna do vespuccia. The world beyond can be polished once we have basic setting that's actually playable.

I am DEFINITELY gonna go with that idea for multiple explanations of links.

Okay, how about, cure disease existed, but circumstances conspired for Alexander to still die. Either he caught it again, or by the time the cleric got to him, the disease had dealt to much damage for him to survive. (I'm gonna come back to this later).

Oh, definitely. I don't think we should have any singular link that opens more than once a month, though, and they should be pretty inconvenient if they do. Like, letting out on the side of a mountain or something.

Rune-magic. Gonna definitely add that in on the list. It's totally awesome to have a mostly-tuniit-specific caster, too. I don't want the tuniit and the indians to be way too similar, after all.

Getting iron from the french makes the most sense overall, I believe. Less changes for me to deal with.

I'm not sure. I like the idea of Fusang being made up, largely, of Ming loyalists and those who refused to accept the changes brought on by the Qing. I suspect they would either have waged or be currently be waging a mirrored version of the American revolution to establish their own independence.


You could have stuff like El Dorado, or the Fountain of Youth rumored to be hidden in vast Caverns deep beneath the Earth, accessible only by rarely-appearing Links. You could have a group of Aztecs with a prophecy dating back to the Mayans, a group of Europeans who think they've decoded something Nostradamus spit out into a location and time, and some agents of the Qing Dynasty who, armed with something one of Shi Huang Di's fortune tellers wrote during the First Emperor's hunt for immortality, all converging on the same spot in The Mississippi Valley, waiting for the Link to the Fountain of Youth to appear for the first time in centuries.

That may just be the coolest campaign pitch I've heard in ages.

Seconded. That's gonna have to be an official plot hook.


Well, we mentioned Telaporting having issues with ocean travel, so I have a idea for a blanket rule of sorts:

The ocean is vast, magical, and generaly hates mankind. You can kill as many hags as you wish, but sea-monsters are far harder to pin down and who knows what undersea empires still worship, say, Posidon. The Norse figured it out pretty quickly that long-term voyages were something to avoid at all costs, but many of the nations of the world are just now discovering that sea serpents, krackens, lusca,cecaelias, and others are still very commen, and are very much attracted to increased shipping traffic.

I suppose we will need to address sea monsters and aquatic life in general at some point why not now? So, what does the rest of the thread think? Should sea monsters be an actual thing? Should we have aquatic races living on the sea floor? Some aquatic settlements in the Caribbean would be awesome. There's a couple water-monsters, such as the horned serpent, mentioned in other mythologies.

--------------------

Two issues to bring up now:

One: A more serious issue. This thread does involve discussion of real-world religion and politics, though they're all 250 years past. Do we need to start using pseudonyms or renaming power groups to obfuscate the issue, or it assumed that, since this is an alternate timeline, the groups have effectively nothing to do with the real-world equivalents?

Two: Resurrection. This is where I go back to the issue of disease. Resurrection magic would obviously have a major impact on the world. But I'm thinking that resurrection spells would have a few serious requirements. A being that dies has their soul move to the spirit world. The soul is an incorporeal being with a fly speed equal to their base land speed. (simple template) The soul is free on the spirit world for a number of days equal to the creature's HD. They can pass on to their final reward at any time, at which point the character is truly dead. If they remain on the plane after that time, the soul becomes trapped on the spirit world, unable to move on and unable to be revived. The soul then becomes a ghost. The person can be resurrected at any point during the free period, BUT. The body must be repaired before the soul can inhabit again, to an ideal condition. All ability damage, all HP damage and conditions must be cured before the soul can return to the body. So, a character who died from a disease would have to take a curing spells to remove the disease, then restoration spells to restore the lost ability damage, and THEN a resurrection spell to bring the soul back.
What do you think of these rules?

Frathe
2013-01-29, 11:04 PM
Something that might be of interest on the magic front: if there's divination, could someone have discovered the New World through magic?

Edit: I'd like the idea of tying the Chinese links to concepts like feng shui.

Pokonic
2013-01-29, 11:22 PM
You could have stuff like El Dorado, or the Fountain of Youth rumored to be hidden in vast Caverns deep beneath the Earth, accessible only by rarely-appearing Links. You could have a group of Aztecs with a prophecy dating back to the Mayans, a group of Europeans who think they've decoded something Nostradamus spit out into a location and time, and some agents of the Qing Dynasty who, armed with something one of Shi Huang Di's fortune tellers wrote during the First Emperor's hunt for immortality, all converging on the same spot in The Mississippi Valley, waiting for the Link to the Fountain of Youth to appear for the first time in centuries.

....

Oh my god.


On a second note, if we ever decide to make another Deadlands-style future version of this like, say, Vespuccia 1920, I would completely and utterly run a campaign cribbing the plot of Baccano!, and would regret nothing.


Two issues to bring up now:

One: A more serious issue. This thread does involve discussion of real-world religion and politics, though they're all 250 years past. Do we need to start using pseudonyms or renaming power groups to obfuscate the issue, or it assumed that, since this is an alternate timeline, the groups have effectively nothing to do with the real-world equivalents?

Two: Resurrection. This is where I go back to the issue of disease. Resurrection magic would obviously have a major impact on the world. But I'm thinking that resurrection spells would have a few serious requirements. A being that dies has their soul move to the spirit world. The soul is an incorporeal being with a fly speed equal to their base land speed. (simple template) The soul is free on the spirit world for a number of days equal to the creature's HD. They can pass on to their final reward at any time, at which point the character is truly dead. If they remain on the plane after that time, the soul becomes trapped on the spirit world, unable to move on and unable to be revived. The soul then becomes a ghost. The person can be resurrected at any point during the free period, BUT. The body must be repaired before the soul can inhabit again, to an ideal condition. All ability damage, all HP damage and conditions must be cured before the soul can return to the body. So, a character who died from a disease would have to take a curing spells to remove the disease, then restoration spells to restore the lost ability damage, and THEN a resurrection spell to bring the soul back.
What do you think of these rules?

1. I do not belive we would have to rename anything, but I do not remember any alt-historical things happening on this site.

2. I think that healing magic would have to be altered a lot, either restricted to a certiant class or culture. Everyone presumably has the ability to create magical items, including the local flavor of helaing potion, but genuine magical healers, especialy ones with any other powers of note, should be rare. However, the res rules look fine.

Admiral Squish
2013-01-29, 11:25 PM
I just posted the taqriaqsuit (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=269711) race.HEad on over and leave a comment!


Something that might be of interest on the magic front: if there's divination, could someone have discovered the New World through magic?

Edit: I'd like the idea of tying the Chinese links to concepts like feng shui.

Hmm. Well, most divination spells I know of don't work through time, and require you to be familiar with the area/person to be scryed upon.

As for feng shui, I like it, but I'm not quite sold. I mean, feng shui is used to place buildings, design structures, but you know, it doesn't seem like it would extrapolate well across large, geographic scales. Besides, the merlinic wizards use ley lines already, and they'd be pretty similar. The chinese have an incredibly complicated astronomy system.

Frathe
2013-01-29, 11:42 PM
I just posted the taqriaqsuit (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=269711) race.HEad on over and leave a comment!



Hmm. Well, most divination spells I know of don't work through time, and require you to be familiar with the area/person to be scryed upon.

As for feng shui, I like it, but I'm not quite sold. I mean, feng shui is used to place buildings, design structures, but you know, it doesn't seem like it would extrapolate well across large, geographic scales. Besides, the merlinic wizards use ley lines already, and they'd be pretty similar. The chinese have an incredibly complicated astronomy system.

Checking the SRD, I see your point about divination. Well, maybe you couldn't find the Americas with those spells, but some of them (Know Direction, Find the Path) would be greatly helpful in navigation. And once colonies were established and links were set up, travel by boat could cease all together.

Astronomy and feng shui as a basis are not necessarily contradictory:
Until the invention of the magnetic compass, feng shui apparently relied on astronomy to find correlations between humans and the universe.

BRC
2013-01-30, 12:06 AM
Two: Resurrection. This is where I go back to the issue of disease. Resurrection magic would obviously have a major impact on the world. But I'm thinking that resurrection spells would have a few serious requirements. A being that dies has their soul move to the spirit world. The soul is an incorporeal being with a fly speed equal to their base land speed. (simple template) The soul is free on the spirit world for a number of days equal to the creature's HD. They can pass on to their final reward at any time, at which point the character is truly dead. If they remain on the plane after that time, the soul becomes trapped on the spirit world, unable to move on and unable to be revived. The soul then becomes a ghost. The person can be resurrected at any point during the free period, BUT. The body must be repaired before the soul can inhabit again, to an ideal condition. All ability damage, all HP damage and conditions must be cured before the soul can return to the body. So, a character who died from a disease would have to take a curing spells to remove the disease, then restoration spells to restore the lost ability damage, and THEN a resurrection spell to bring the soul back.
What do you think of these rules?
Resurrection Spells are already high-level magic, so we don't have to worry TOO much about Raise Dead spells ruining history. Maybe Diamonds capable of Raising Dead are especially rare. You cant' just get any old pile of Diamonds, only single Gems of a certain quality work. Monarch's Crowns are filled with valuable Gems so that, theoretically, if the Monarch is killed, they could be Raised using the gems in the Crown/Scepter, but that rarely happens, as doing so really screws up the line of succession, so it's more symbolic than anything.

Also Frathe, you cannot "Set Up" Links, that's kind of the point. They cannot be controlled, only somewhat predicted. Sure, sometimes Stonehenge may link to Boston, but you can't MAKE it do that. It could just as easily link to Technoticlan, or Cahokia, or Beijing, or some random spot in the middle of the Sahara. And even then you need a skilled Spellcaster to make use of the Link.

No, Links are used by the Great and Powerful. A very powerful Merchant, acting on the behalf of the Monarch or the Church, MIGHT be able to use a Link to transfer cargo, but normally they are reserved for more important business. One of their main uses is to swiftly transport a soldiers and officials to the Colonies. Especially valuable magic items could be transported by a convenient Link, but it would be impractical for mass transport of cargo or people.

Now, depending on how accessible the rituals needed to use a Link are, it's possible that the appearance of a Link could serve as a point of mass migration/trade. A stable Link could last a few days, during which time Merchants swarm into a colony. However, Links to a specific location are usually neither regular nor frequent enough to replace ship travel.

Frathe
2013-01-30, 12:56 AM
By "set up" I meant build a settlement around and commodify the links. I thought there might be links that opened at approximately monthly cycles, and they might be controlled by powerful casters who charged the mundane poor to pass through, in an arrangement much like the indentured servitude of the real world.

Aux-Ash
2013-01-30, 02:09 AM
Re: Cure disease. Hmmm... I like it. It treats diseases more seriously if they can cause permanent damage. And makes tuberculosis, tumors, syphilis, malaria very serious diseases since the symtoms are secondary injuries, rather than directly caused by the disease. So it is entirely possible to be "cured" and still not recover fully. A neat way to solve it.

Re: Aquatic nations and sea monsters. I'm ambivalent, sea monsters sure, but I'd say that if there are Aquatic nations there's no confirmation on them.
Hmm... Plot hook perhaps? A group of merlinic mages sailing out to find Atlantis, pursued by scarred monks intent on ensuring that whatever magical secrets may lie on the sea floor remains there.

Re: Religions. It would lose much of it's impact if we had to rename them. Part of the draw is of course the similarities. We are technically speaking of a fictionialized version of it all. But perhaps it's wisest to consult a Mod on the matter?
At the very least we can ensure to treat every source of inspiration as fair as we can.

RE: Ressurection. BRC's limitation seems neat (also a wonderful explanation on why diamonds are so desired), but I also like the notion of being limited by time. Essentially, once the time passes the body has rotted to the extent that recovery is no longer possible. Since most beings are at 1HD, this neatly means that rigor mortis sets in roughly when it should.
Not to mention that afterlife might be a quite comfy place, certainly beats being old and decrepit and surrounded by the very people that caused you ending up there in the first place.

Re:Scrying, divination and other supernatural means of communication
Might I suggest that we toss in a similar limitation here as to teleportation? Beyond that you need a sympathetic connection (ie. no using it on people you've only seen or locations you've only passed)
For scrying (and by scrying I mean all means of divination) I have three suggestions:
1. All information are provided to you in symbols, there is no clear information imparted. All symbols are symbols that either are associated with your culture or will be made apparent to you if you study the matter more intently.
So if I scry for where a Link to Paris will open up, I will not learn that it is in Iron rich hills 3 miles to the south.
Instead, as a colonist, I will see the alchemical symbol of iron bedded into the side of a rock that bleeds as men, clearly southerners, poke sharp objects into it, with the sun above in a position it will be 3 hours after noon.

Thus, just like teleportation needs calculation and calendars, scrying needs massive works on symbology to interpret. And it's always possible to interpret it wrong.
This ties in quite nicely with the oracle of delphi, methinks.
"If you invade Persia, a great kingdom will fall". Pity Kroesus didn't consider it was his own they refered to.

2. The fatalism factor. Scry on something and you will tie yourself to it. This means that you will meet/encounter/visit any location you scry on. You're tied to it and from the moment you divined on it you have "signed up" to experience it sooner or later.
So anyone scrying on the great Earthquake in Lissabon will find themselves visiting Portugal precisely at the wrong time. Scrying on a person means you will meet them, but not in a time and choosing of your choice.

And pity the soul who tries to avoid this fate...
Naturally, this means that divining something is a very serious matter and something casters only do if they have to.

3. The uncertainty principle.
You can learn when, but not what. Who, but not where. Which, but not how. And so on. Making divination imprecise and relying on the caster to filling out the blanks themselves.

Spells that contact other beings should have a limit in that you can only really talk to beings with limited knowledge. A fusangese wizard could contact an ancestor and they could talk about things they knew in life or supernatural stuff they are tied to, but not about recent events or the afterlife. A native caster could contact the spirits of the land and ask them about relevant stuff, but not say... Europe. The spirit of the land has never been there. A inqusitor could probably contact a saint (whether that is the actual person or a memory of them is unclear) and discuss things relevant to their patronage but not ask them about the afterlife or outside their sphere.

As for messages, same rules apply as for teleportation? You need to know extremely well who you're sending it to and if you want to send it across a wasteland or an ocean you better find a open Link? So we don't have a free telegraph a century to early.

Regarding Links and Settlements
There will be settlements close to regular Links. It's too convenient not to. Even if it just opens once a month that'll be enough to make a decent amount of money sending luxuries and messages with travelling mages. They'll probably won't mind making a quick buck on taking something light along.
However, a regular Link will attract attention. Which means Inquisitors. Scarred Monks. Servants of the High Priests. Qing officials. They'll have permanent postings there are carefully monitor any traffic. They might not have the right to arrest you there, but they could put you in their files.

I dare say that most Links are carefully guarded secrets of mages. They want to keep backups to be able to move as they please, or escape if need be.

TheWombatOfDoom
2013-01-30, 07:49 AM
I do so enjoy it, though. I have a love-hate relationship with my hobby. It's such an awesome setting, and I'm so amazed it's taken off like this. I complain about it sometimes, yeah, but I'm having way too much fun to stop.



This is true. I don't know how much damage they would have done in the few hundred years leading up tot he current time frame of the setting, though, but there certainly would be damage.

Oh, one thing I would really like to add into this setting is magic plants. I don't mean assassin vines or treants, I mean magical herbs, magical fruits, maybe even magic tobacco or other smoking plants?

I recomend this (http://www.amazon.com/1491-Revelations-Americas-Before-Columbus/dp/1400032059/ref=pd_sim_b_1) book for research about what I'm talking about. It's a lot more drastic than you'd think. Over all, this will help you get an idea for how the area is now impacted from settling, and what the area was like before hand. It's quite a quick and interesting read.

Either way, I'd love to be of any assistance in creating magical plants. Perhaps they could even be incorporated in the current discussion about healing and such.


As for the name Vespuccia, it was going to pretty much be that or 'Coloumbia', but Colombia is already a country, and most of the nerds here will recognize vespucci's name, which helps get more attention. If you don't like the name, seriously, feel free to suggest other names. If you come up with a name I like more than Vespuccia, then I could pretty easily change the name.

Not to mention the fact that Columbia is the name they chose for the floating city in the new bioshock game. I don't recognize Vespuccia, but it's an intriguing enough name. :smallsmile:

SuperDave
2013-01-30, 09:13 AM
@Admiral_Squish: You mentioned the other day that it's difficult to avoid characterizing the Aztecs as "the evil empire" of the Southwest, because of their tendency towards slavery, human sacrifice, and generally being despised by the people they ruled over. I think that you may be looking at them from an outsider's perspective, though. Within their own society, they had very strict rules for correct behavior (http://aztecs.mrdonn.org/correct-behavior.html), such as not mocking the sick, and not interrupting others. Also, the fact that they educated girls and slaves (http://aztecs.mrdonn.org/school.html), and not just the sons of nobles, suggests that the valued an educated population much more than Europeans did.

There is the whole thorny issue of human sacrifice, but as it's been pointed out (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rjhIzemLdos&list=PLBDA2E52FB1EF80C9&index=25), we practice a form of human sacrifice today, mainly by sending our young people overseas to fight in wars. And, if you know for a fact that the entire world will come to an end if you don't make this sacrifice constantly, then it (sort of) makes sense.

But more importantly, this is a different timeline, and therefore a different Aztec Empire! The fact that they expanded so far suggests that they must have gotten a lot better at not being despised as rulers. Maybe they took a hint from the Incas and learned how to integrate conquered peoples into their empire (they'd kind of have to, if they're going to expand as far as your map shows they did).

So yeah, human sacrifice is bad, and conquered people generally don't like it. But just remember that the opportunity to have your heart cut out to feed the sun god was not the only thing that the Aztecs had to offer their subjects.

SuperDave
2013-01-30, 09:21 AM
A note on magic: If magic has been brutally repressed in Europe for centuries, and the Church burns wizards' spellbooks and notes at every chance they get, there's going to be a lot of valuable information, perhaps even whole schools of magical thought, which are now extinct.

I feel that this difference in magical knowledge should be reflected in the spell-lists of European casters versus Native Vespuccian casters: perhaps the natives have stronger magic, are able to improvise spells more easily, or simply have access to a larger spell-list than their European counterparts.

If both sides have access to equally-powerful magic and an equal number of casters, then this timeline is probably going to go down pretty much like our own: very badly for the natives.

BRC
2013-01-30, 09:41 AM
A note on magic: If magic has been brutally repressed in Europe for centuries, and the Church burns wizards' spellbooks and notes at every chance they get, there's going to be a lot of valuable information, perhaps even whole schools of magical thought, which are now extinct.

I feel that this difference in magical knowledge should be reflected in the spell-lists of European casters versus Native Vespuccian casters: perhaps the natives have stronger magic, are able to improvise spells more easily, or simply have access to a larger spell-list than their European counterparts.

If both sides have access to equally-powerful magic and an equal number of casters, then this timeline is probably going to go down pretty much like our own: very badly for the natives.

Well, they wouldn't have equal number of Arcane casters, but power level, maybe.
The Merlinic Wizards of Britain don't burn anything, and there would be a decent number of them, so the British colonies would have plenty of casters. Catholic Europe has relatively few Spellcasters, but the Scarred Monks, while few in number, are exceptionally powerful, since they get the magical items of any spellcasters they capture (including any really good Notes. The spellbooks they Burn are the ones with nothing new in them), plus they supercharge their own Arcane Powers by extracting energy from the wizards they burn.

The Colonies are also going to be swelled by spellcasters fleeing the Inquisition, with or without the protection of the Jesuits. However, the official government of the Spanish colonies won't be able to make use of them, since, theoretically, if they find them, they're supposed to send them off to the Inquisition.

So basically

Spanish Colonies
Scarred Monks, Powerful, but few in number, and at the beck and call of the Inquisition above the Spanish Crown. However, they have plenty of Divine Spellcasters.
British Colonies Merlinic Wizards. Most of the truly powerful ones stay home, but there are a decent number of them, either Puritans or simply fortune seekers. Fewer Divine Casters.
French Spheres of Influence
Jesuit Missionaries, some of whom may be Spellcasters fleeing the Inquisition. Most of them are probably Clerics, but there are plenty of Wizards there too.

And of course you have "Heretical" Spellcasters living in the frontier, unconstrained by the Merlinic Oath, the Inquisition, or the Jesuits.


Edit: Also, on the subject of Links, different schools of Magic have different Guides to identifying and using Links.


The Book of the Ways
Supposedly written by Merlin himself, this book is the cornerstone of European knowledge of Links. It's centered upon the knowledge of Ley Lines, meaning it is very good at FINDING link sites, and knowing where they will go, however it is less precise when it comes to knowing WHEN Links will appear.

The Church uses a version of the Book of the Ways, but they attribute it's writing to a Saint, rather than to Merlin.

The Chamber of the Sun

Less a single work, and more a type of structure, the design for Sun Chambers originated with the Mayans, but variants are used by Aztec, Cahokia, and Tuniit, the Chamber is carefully designed, with windows, skylights, patterns on the Walls, and statues scattered seemingly randomly across the floor. A skilled Priest can use the Shadows on the floor at Dawn, Noon, and Sunset, along with observations of stars through the holes in the roof, to predict the appearance of Links with considerable accuracy. It's less capable of determining WHERE a link will appear, especially since the design must be adjusted based on latitude.

The Annals of Earth and Heaven
Commissioned by the First Emperor of China after the Warring States period, and improved upon ever since, these volumes represent the work of a thousand sages, this book combines principles of Fung Shui and Astrology. The formulas provided in the Annals are the most precise method of predicting Links in the world. However, the Annals are astoundingly complex, and only the elite Scholar-Gentry of the Qing (Who are required to memorize large portions of the Annals) are capable of using them properly.


So basically, the Europeans know WHERE links will show up, the Aztecs know WHEN they'll appear, the Chinese have people who know both, but only a few of them.

SamBurke
2013-01-30, 03:32 PM
Two: Resurrection. This is where I go back to the issue of disease. Resurrection magic would obviously have a major impact on the world. But I'm thinking that resurrection spells would have a few serious requirements. A being that dies has their soul move to the spirit world. The soul is an incorporeal being with a fly speed equal to their base land speed. (simple template) The soul is free on the spirit world for a number of days equal to the creature's HD. They can pass on to their final reward at any time, at which point the character is truly dead. If they remain on the plane after that time, the soul becomes trapped on the spirit world, unable to move on and unable to be revived. The soul then becomes a ghost. The person can be resurrected at any point during the free period, BUT. The body must be repaired before the soul can inhabit again, to an ideal condition. All ability damage, all HP damage and conditions must be cured before the soul can return to the body. So, a character who died from a disease would have to take a curing spells to remove the disease, then restoration spells to restore the lost ability damage, and THEN a resurrection spell to bring the soul back.
What do you think of these rules?


For resurrection, what about this: everyone has a certain amount of time they "will" live, their fated natural life. If they die violently, they can be raised again, but they cannot be raised when they reach the point of natural death.

zabbarot
2013-01-30, 05:44 PM
Have you considered the Atlantic slave trade at all? 1750 was basically the height of it. You're about 50 years before the Haitian Revolution and over 100 from the 13th Amendment, presuming a constitution is ever written at all. Africans would definitely have their own magic traditions, and considering how easily they folding other beliefs into their own the Creole culture that could form in this world would be ever more awesome.

Pokonic
2013-01-30, 05:45 PM
Have you considered the Atlantic slave trade at all? 1750 was basically the height of it. You're about 50 years before the Haitian Revolution and over 100 from the 13th Amendment, presuming a constitution is ever written at all. Africans would definitely have their own magic traditions, and considering how easily they folding other beliefs into their own the Creole culture that could form in this world would be ever more awesome.

On the topic of the Carribian:

Rasta Merfolk. Your welcome.

Admiral Squish
2013-01-30, 05:53 PM
....I think that healing magic would have to be altered a lot, either restricted to a certiant class or culture. Everyone presumably has the ability to create magical items, including the local flavor of helaing potion, but genuine magical healers, especialy ones with any other powers of note, should be rare. However, the res rules look fine.

I dunno, a lot of the myth systems in the setting mention people coming back to life. I was looking at the stories of the eight immortals earlier and there's at least one story of one of them who died and returned. Then there was one tale of a guy who left his body for a number of days and came back. And while there's no clearly magical references to remove disease, there are a lot of pseudo-mystical herbs and medicines mentioned.


Checking the SRD, I see your point about divination. Well, maybe you couldn't find the Americas with those spells, but some of them (Know Direction, Find the Path) would be greatly helpful in navigation. And once colonies were established and links were set up, travel by boat could cease all together.

Astronomy and feng shui as a basis are not necessarily contradictory:

They're not quite that useful, though. Know direction's just a compass, and any ship would have a real one. As for Find the Path, it only lasts 10 mins/level. It might help make sure you were on course each day, but it's not gonna be something you'd be able to have on all the time.


Resurrection Spells are already high-level magic, so we don't have to worry TOO much about Raise Dead spells ruining history. Maybe Diamonds capable of Raising Dead are especially rare. You cant' just get any old pile of Diamonds, only single Gems of a certain quality work. Monarch's Crowns are filled with valuable Gems so that, theoretically, if the Monarch is killed, they could be Raised using the gems in the Crown/Scepter, but that rarely happens, as doing so really screws up the line of succession, so it's more symbolic than anything.

I DEFINITELY like that idea. I could certainly see great big gemstones being used to bring assassinated leaders back to life. BUT, I also suspect that such things are highly contentious with the church. Revival like that would be mocking the resurrection, in their eyes.


Also Frathe, you cannot "Set Up" Links, that's kind of the point. They cannot be controlled, only somewhat predicted. Sure, sometimes Stonehenge may link to Boston, but you can't MAKE it do that. It could just as easily link to Technoticlan, or Cahokia, or Beijing, or some random spot in the middle of the Sahara. And even then you need a skilled Spellcaster to make use of the Link.

No, Links are used by the Great and Powerful. A very powerful Merchant, acting on the behalf of the Monarch or the Church, MIGHT be able to use a Link to transfer cargo, but normally they are reserved for more important business. One of their main uses is to swiftly transport a soldiers and officials to the Colonies. Especially valuable magic items could be transported by a convenient Link, but it would be impractical for mass transport of cargo or people.

Now, depending on how accessible the rituals needed to use a Link are, it's possible that the appearance of a Link could serve as a point of mass migration/trade. A stable Link could last a few days, during which time Merchants swarm into a colony. However, Links to a specific location are usually neither regular nor frequent enough to replace ship travel.


By "set up" I meant build a settlement around and commodify the links. I thought there might be links that opened at approximately monthly cycles, and they might be controlled by powerful casters who charged the mundane poor to pass through, in an arrangement much like the indentured servitude of the real world.

Well, the links aren't really stable, predicatable, or, in most cases, convenient enough to be used in place of large-scale sea-shipping. The links aren't convenient, they're largely random. But they're fast. Suitable for emergency travel or opportunity, but nothing large-scale.

I'm thinking some links have to be activated by spellcasters, others act more like teleportation circles.


Re: Cure disease.
Well, if you go by the text of the spell, it just kills the disease, it doesn't actually restore any ability damage or fix anything the disease did.


Re: Aquatic nations and sea monsters.
Oooh, that sounds like a pretty awesome plot hook. I agree on the subject of aquatic civilizations. There's legends of mermaids, of course, but nobody would have any sort of confirmation, because it would make for massive changes on the whole dynamic of seafaring travel.


Re: Religions.
I've been debating about contacting a mod. I think that the fact that this is an alternate universe gives us a bit of leeway.


RE: Ressurection
Nobody knows what's on the other side of the spirit world. When you die, you go to the spirit world, but passing on takes you somewhere else, somewhere nobody can see or contact. There is a general feeling of a desire to pass on while you're there. Maybe I should make it so you have to make will saves to avoid passing on?


Re:Scrying, divination and other supernatural means of communication
I think your idea of the uncertainty principle is the easiest to implement, requiring the least amount of effort on the DM's part. They don't have to be prepared with a bunch of symbols and such for anything the PCs could possibly try to scry.


Regarding Links and Settlements
I don't think links are practical as escape routes or secret passages. They're too unpredictable to be relied upon in an emergency.


I recomend this (http://www.amazon.com/1491-Revelations-Americas-Before-Columbus/dp/1400032059/ref=pd_sim_b_1) book for research about what I'm talking about. It's a lot more drastic than you'd think. Over all, this will help you get an idea for how the area is now impacted from settling, and what the area was like before hand. It's quite a quick and interesting read.

Either way, I'd love to be of any assistance in creating magical plants. Perhaps they could even be incorporated in the current discussion about healing and such.

Not to mention the fact that Columbia is the name they chose for the floating city in the new bioshock game. I don't recognize Vespuccia, but it's an intriguing enough name. :smallsmile:

Honestly, I will probably not have time to read anything like a serious book during the course of this project. I'm currently devouring Crash Course to make sure I'm not missing any major events.

I would definitely love help creating magical plants and herbs! Healing plants and herbs get a lot of attention in chinese and native american legends, and we're gonna have to cover them sooner or later.

Coloumbia is a name they used to poetically refer to the new world, and it's also the name of the female personification of the US, like a lady version of Uncle Sam. Amerigo Vespucci was the explorer they named the americas after.


@Admiral_Squish: You mentioned the other day that it's difficult to avoid characterizing the Aztecs as "the evil empire" of the Southwest, because of their tendency towards slavery, human sacrifice, and generally being despised by the people they ruled over. I think that you may be looking at them from an outsider's perspective, though. Within their own society, they had very strict rules for correct behavior (http://aztecs.mrdonn.org/correct-behavior.html), such as not mocking the sick, and not interrupting others. Also, the fact that they educated girls and slaves (http://aztecs.mrdonn.org/school.html), and not just the sons of nobles, suggests that the valued an educated population much more than Europeans did.

There is the whole thorny issue of human sacrifice, but as it's been pointed out (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rjhIzemLdos&list=PLBDA2E52FB1EF80C9&index=25), we practice a form of human sacrifice today, mainly by sending our young people overseas to fight in wars. And, if you know for a fact that the entire world will come to an end if you don't make this sacrifice constantly, then it (sort of) makes sense.

But more importantly, this is a different timeline, and therefore a different Aztec Empire! The fact that they expanded so far suggests that they must have gotten a lot better at not being despised as rulers. Maybe they took a hint from the Incas and learned how to integrate conquered peoples into their empire (they'd kind of have to, if they're going to expand as far as your map shows they did).

So yeah, human sacrifice is bad, and conquered people generally don't like it. But just remember that the opportunity to have your heart cut out to feed the sun god was not the only thing that the Aztecs had to offer their subjects.

A note on magic: If magic has been brutally repressed in Europe for centuries, and the Church burns wizards' spellbooks and notes at every chance they get, there's going to be a lot of valuable information, perhaps even whole schools of magical thought, which are now extinct.

I feel that this difference in magical knowledge should be reflected in the spell-lists of European casters versus Native Vespuccian casters: perhaps the natives have stronger magic, are able to improvise spells more easily, or simply have access to a larger spell-list than their European counterparts.

If both sides have access to equally-powerful magic and an equal number of casters, then this timeline is probably going to go down pretty much like our own: very badly for the natives.

Well, what if the almost-invasion and almost-rebellion was a learning moment? Their society underwent a restructuring, giving slaves and conquered peoples more rights. Probably nothing so dramatic as freeing all the slaves, but giving the slaves and conquered people options, ways to advance through society, possibly all the way up to full citizenship, or even nobility (eagle/jaguar warrior program).
I really like the idea of the aztec rules of conduct. Aztec noble court settings would be SO AWESOME.

There would definitely be a whole lot of lost magical knowledge and arcane secrets. The scarred monks would keep the best stuff, but that means everything that's not the best (or the most keeping with their ideals), would be burned with the non-merlinic wizards.
Oh, definitely. The natives will have spellcasters in much larger numbers than the colonists. Mostly warlocks, casters with no formal training, but they would also have a lot of shamans and druids, too.


Well, they wouldn't have equal number of Arcane casters, but power level, maybe.
The Merlinic Wizards of Britain don't burn anything, and there would be a decent number of them, so the British colonies would have plenty of casters. Catholic Europe has relatively few Spellcasters, but the Scarred Monks, while few in number, are exceptionally powerful, since they get the magical items of any spellcasters they capture (including any really good Notes. The spellbooks they Burn are the ones with nothing new in them), plus they supercharge their own Arcane Powers by extracting energy from the wizards they burn.

The Colonies are also going to be swelled by spellcasters fleeing the Inquisition, with or without the protection of the Jesuits. However, the official government of the Spanish colonies won't be able to make use of them, since, theoretically, if they find them, they're supposed to send them off to the Inquisition.


Edit: Also, on the subject of Links, different schools of Magic have different Guides to identifying and using Links.

*snip*

So basically, the Europeans know WHERE links will show up, the Aztecs know WHEN they'll appear, the Chinese have people who know both, but only a few of them.

You pretty much got it.

I am a HUGE fan of the different systems. I don't know about sun chambers for the native americans. They don't really do a lot in the way of permanent structures, but they do have various solar-based structures. Woodhenge, for example. The principles are pretty much the same, though, but they'd work off shadows cast by the log poles, and such.


For resurrection, what about this: everyone has a certain amount of time they "will" live, their fated natural life. If they die violently, they can be raised again, but they cannot be raised when they reach the point of natural death.

Definitely something I'd like to work into the resurrection rules.

I'm gonna have to come up with a complete list of changes to the magic system and spells...


Have you considered the Atlantic slave trade at all? 1750 was basically the height of it. You're about 50 years before the Haitian Revolution and over 100 from the 13th Amendment, presuming a constitution is ever written at all. Africans would definitely have their own magic traditions, and considering how easily they folding other beliefs into their own the Creole culture that could form in this world would be ever more awesome.

I have not! To wikipedia once again!
African magic would be totally freakin' awesome to get involved. I might have to go find that african D&D setting book I saw way back when.


On the topic of the Carribian:

Rasta Merfolk. Your welcome.
I like it, but I dunno if they could be taken seriously enough. Plus, an underwater society is very unlikely to have any even remote similarities to a surface-based one.

zabbarot
2013-01-30, 06:17 PM
On the topic of the Carribian:

Rasta Merfolk. Your welcome.

Those bubbles of smoke you see coming out of the cove? That's a party.

BRC
2013-01-30, 06:19 PM
I am a HUGE fan of the different systems. I don't know about sun chambers for the native americans. They don't really do a lot in the way of permanent structures, but they do have various solar-based structures. Woodhenge, for example. The principles are pretty much the same, though, but they'd work off shadows cast by the log poles, and such.

I wanted to come up with something besides another book.

As for Slavery, the Spanish never got a chance to enslave the Aztecs in silver mines, so they likely got an even earlier start with Sugar Plantations, plus tobacco and cotton on the continent. It's probably happening at it's historical levels and methods, with perhaps a little bit of magical assistance.

Unless we want to superpower the Ashanti Empire and/or have them actively be working to stop the Slave Trade.

zabbarot
2013-01-30, 07:39 PM
As for Slavery, the Spanish never got a chance to enslave the Aztecs in silver mines, so they likely got an even earlier start with Sugar Plantations, plus tobacco and cotton on the continent. It's probably happening at it's historical levels and methods, with perhaps a little bit of magical assistance.

Unless we want to superpower the Ashanti Empire and/or have them actively be working to stop the Slave Trade.

The Atlantic slave trade fed off the slave trade within Africa too though, so making them all more powerful probably wouldn't change much unless one of the tribes actually unified Africa... but Africa is huuuge, so that seems unlikely.

BRC
2013-01-30, 10:03 PM
The Atlantic slave trade fed off the slave trade within Africa too though, so making them all more powerful probably wouldn't change much unless one of the tribes actually unified Africa... but Africa is huuuge, so that seems unlikely.

Hence why the Ashanti, or some other African power, would need to be trying to put a stop to it, although that would be tricky, since they would need to control basically the entire coast.

zabbarot
2013-01-30, 10:14 PM
Hence why the Ashanti, or some other African power, would need to be trying to put a stop to it, although that would be tricky, since they would need to control basically the entire coast.

Weren't the Ashanti one of the groups trading slaves to Europeans?

Edit: This is kind of tangential anyways I guess >.> I don't actually want to derail anything. My point is if you decide to include creole culture by way of Florida and Hispaniola, I'd love to help.

BRC
2013-01-30, 11:45 PM
Weren't the Ashanti one of the groups trading slaves to Europeans?

Edit: This is kind of tangential anyways I guess >.> I don't actually want to derail anything. My point is if you decide to include creole culture by way of Florida and Hispaniola, I'd love to help.
Probably. Or at the very least they were acting as middlemen between the slavers themselves and the Europeans.

The point is, Slavery is alive and well in Vespuccia. Cotton, Tobacco, and Sugar are probably still the main cash crops. Since the Spanish don't have access to Mexican Silver mines they're probably even more focused on their carribean plantations.

Aux-Ash
2013-01-31, 01:13 AM
Might I suggest focusing on one region of Vespuccia at a time now that a bunch of general ideas have been put down. Helps structuring the whole thing and certainly limits the amount of detail that has to be cut down on.

I imagine that the Colonies in particular benefit, since their whole stick is their massive diversity. It's the meeting point between 3 major european civilisations, 2 (3?) minor, at least 3 major native cultures, at least 5 major african cultures (fulani, Mandé, Yoruba, Hausa and Igbo), at least 8 religions...

Fúsang (don't forget the accent) will naturally also have quite a bit of stuff to be researched, as will the native lands. However, given the size of the continent it should be fairly easy to create each region modularily. And then, possibly, expand into the carribean, the south americas and onwards.

Frathe
2013-01-31, 04:26 AM
They're not quite that useful, though. Know direction's just a compass, and any ship would have a real one. As for Find the Path, it only lasts 10 mins/level. It might help make sure you were on course each day, but it's not gonna be something you'd be able to have on all the time.
Okay, I realized the compass thing. I'll admit I was mostly judging by the names.



Well, the links aren't really stable, predicatable, or, in most cases, convenient enough to be used in place of large-scale sea-shipping. The links aren't convenient, they're largely random. But they're fast. Suitable for emergency travel or opportunity, but nothing large-scale.
Huh. I got the impression that they were predictable and tied to astronomical bodies, and I thought monthly ones might be tied to the moon.

BRC
2013-01-31, 09:57 AM
Okay, I realized the compass thing. I'll admit I was mostly judging by the names.


Huh. I got the impression that they were predictable and tied to astronomical bodies, and I thought monthly ones might be tied to the moon.

They're predictable through astronomical bodies, but not regular. It's like "Huh, Venus is ascendant, there is a comet visible in Gemini, and the moon is waxing gibbous. Anybody up for a trip to Boston?"

It's good to build around frequent link sites, since an instantaneous transatlantic voyage is nothing to scoff at, but it wouldn't work for regular commerce.

Also, lots of Links go unused, simply because nobody is sure where they go, or because nobody wants to go where they're leading. A Link could open up connecting, say, Boston and Rome, but you know that the inquisition is going to be waiting at the other end.

Remember, Spellcasters can basically be human weapons, so most nations tend to interpret surprise visits as an act of aggression. You usually don't go through a Link unless you're sure somebody friendly will be waiting on the other side.

SamBurke
2013-01-31, 10:10 AM
Might I suggest focusing on one region of Vespuccia at a time now that a bunch of general ideas have been put down. Helps structuring the whole thing and certainly limits the amount of detail that has to be cut down on.

I imagine that the Colonies in particular benefit, since their whole stick is their massive diversity. It's the meeting point between 3 major european civilisations, 2 (3?) minor, at least 3 major native cultures, at least 5 major african cultures (fulani, Mandé, Yoruba, Hausa and Igbo), at least 8 religions...

Fúsang (don't forget the accent) will naturally also have quite a bit of stuff to be researched, as will the native lands. However, given the size of the continent it should be fairly easy to create each region modularily. And then, possibly, expand into the carribean, the south americas and onwards.

I agree. If we focus all of our knowledge in specific areas, we can get stuff done fast.

Plus, it means a little bit less research work at a time.

BRC
2013-01-31, 10:47 AM
I agree. If we focus all of our knowledge in specific areas, we can get stuff done fast.

Plus, it means a little bit less research work at a time.

Alright, so the areas we have are

1: Atzlan (Aztec-dominated)
2: Florida and the Carribean (Spanish Dominated, with some British and French holdings)
3: New England and the Southern Colonies (British Dominated, with the Iroqouis).
4: The Great Plains (Cahokia, French influence)
5: Great Lakes and Canada (Tuniit Dominated, French influence)
6: West of the Rockies (Fusang Dominated).

Where do we want to start

Admiral Squish
2013-01-31, 11:13 AM
I am totally for the idea of limiting the scope of the research required by focusing our combined efforts on specific areas. I beleive, that since this is america and the colonists are a relatively new thing, we should focus first and foremost on the native american cultures of the great plains and east to the Appalachians. Also, a little bit on the rockies, because I think the rockies would be a great place for the natives to hold the line against Fusang expansion.

SamBurke
2013-01-31, 11:41 AM
Alright, so the areas we have are

1: Atzlan (Aztec-dominated)
2: Florida and the Carribean (Spanish Dominated, with some British and French holdings)
3: New England and the Southern Colonies (British Dominated, with the Iroqouis).
4: The Great Plains (Cahokia, French influence)
5: Great Lakes and Canada (Tuniit Dominated, French influence)
6: West of the Rockies (Fusang Dominated).

Where do we want to start

I vote Atzlan. Y'all?

TheWombatOfDoom
2013-01-31, 11:47 AM
I am totally for the idea of limiting the scope of the research required by focusing our combined efforts on specific areas. I beleive, that since this is america and the colonists are a relatively new thing, we should focus first and foremost on the native american cultures of the great plains and east to the Appalachians. Also, a little bit on the rockies, because I think the rockies would be a great place for the natives to hold the line against Fusang expansion.

I've ordered the book I recommended, so once I get it, I'll read it again, and peruse stuff that might help with this. ETA on that? Next week likely. Just be aware, colonists have been there for awhile as of the 1750's from what I understand, so relatively new might not be the correct term.

Until then, I'll start writing up some plants that will be area specific to the region we look at. I'll assume that many of the plants on the east coast and appalacians that are magical will be plants that orinated in europe, and have a few rarer plants or resilient plants be located in remote areas or protected by a tribe or creature. How does that sound?

SamBurke
2013-01-31, 12:33 PM
I've ordered the book I recommended, so once I get it, I'll read it again, and peruse stuff that might help with this. ETA on that? Next week likely. Just be aware, colonists have been there for awhile as of the 1750's from what I understand, so relatively new might not be the correct term.

Until then, I'll start writing up some plants that will be area specific to the region we look at. I'll assume that many of the plants on the east coast and appalacians that are magical will be plants that orinated in europe, and have a few rarer plants or resilient plants be located in remote areas or protected by a tribe or creature. How does that sound?

Spain planted Colonies in what is Fusang and Azlatan Territory as far back as the 1450s, if my memory serves me.

So, in some cases, the length that these civilizations have inhabited these areas could be nearly the same. Obviously the Tuniit are much older, and Cahokia isn't new. But still, these are firmly rooted colonies.

zabbarot
2013-01-31, 12:45 PM
I would vote to start with the Great Plains or Atzlan so we can figure out what Native cultures are present on the plains and which ones have been conquered by the Aztecs.

BRC
2013-01-31, 01:31 PM
I would vote to start with the Great Plains or Atzlan so we can figure out what Native cultures are present on the plains and which ones have been conquered by the Aztecs.

Maybe you have something like The Cahokian League. Cahokia itself serves as a neutral trading hub for all powers on the continent, while the other members of the League are nomadic plains tribes (With Horses) that Cahokia supports and equips. The League wages a guerilla war against the Aztecs in the south and the Fuchang in the north. Britain is too busy feuding with Spain and the Tuniit to push into Cahokian territory. The Tuniit, by their part, are on very good terms with the League, importing a good deal of Food and Furs.

While the Aztecs and the Fuchang won't officially send envoys to Cahokia (since Cahokian-Backed Guerillas are constantly raiding their settlements), merchants from both empires are welcome there. Especially welcome are European traders who trade Firearms for Furs. Plains tribes serve as Mercenaries on behalf of the League, trading their service in exchange for guns, horses, and other Equipment. It helps that Cahokia sits on top of one of the most active, and reliable, Link sites on the continent.

In the meantime, Cahokia itself is a powerful fortress. Earthen walls surround the ancient city while Cannons (Purchased from the French in exchange for allowing the Jesuits to set up a mission there (And secretly in order to get the Inquisition banned from the City)) glare menacingly at any intruders.

Note: as for why Cahokia is capable of using Links for regular commerce, it's because they are a lot less picky about where their Links go. A merchant in, say, Boston will jump with joy when a local Link opens to England, or India, or the Netherlands or some other friendly territory. However, A Link that goes to basically any other part of the world is next to useless. However, Cahokia's neutrality means that so long as the other end of the Link is somewhere with goods to trade, Cahokia will benefit. So while for most people, only maybe one in a hundred links are "Good" (Eg: Going somewhere they want to go), Cahokia can benefit from one in ten.

Aux-Ash
2013-01-31, 02:35 PM
My vote would be to start where history changed first:
Tunnitaq. Even if they did not possess iron at that time anymore, this culture changed 700 years ago. It could have gone unnoticed past the rest of the continent, or it could have changed everything. Which is why I think we should establish this area properly first and foremost. So we know what else changed.

Admiral Squish
2013-01-31, 03:01 PM
Maybe you have something like The Cahokian League. Cahokia itself serves as a neutral trading hub for all powers on the continent, while the other members of the League are nomadic plains tribes (With Horses) that Cahokia supports and equips. The League wages a guerilla war against the Aztecs in the south and the Fuchang in the north. Britain is too busy feuding with Spain and the Tuniit to push into Cahokian territory. The Tuniit, by their part, are on very good terms with the League, importing a good deal of Food and Furs.

While the Aztecs and the Fuchang won't officially send envoys to Cahokia (since Cahokian-Backed Guerillas are constantly raiding their settlements), merchants from both empires are welcome there. Especially welcome are European traders who trade Firearms for Furs. Plains tribes serve as Mercenaries on behalf of the League, trading their service in exchange for guns, horses, and other Equipment. It helps that Cahokia sits on top of one of the most active, and reliable, Link sites on the continent.

In the meantime, Cahokia itself is a powerful fortress. Earthen walls surround the ancient city while Cannons (Purchased from the French in exchange for allowing the Jesuits to set up a mission there (And secretly in order to get the Inquisition banned from the City)) glare menacingly at any intruders.

Note: as for why Cahokia is capable of using Links for regular commerce, it's because they are a lot less picky about where their Links go. A merchant in, say, Boston will jump with joy when a local Link opens to England, or India, or the Netherlands or some other friendly territory. However, A Link that goes to basically any other part of the world is next to useless. However, Cahokia's neutrality means that so long as the other end of the Link is somewhere with goods to trade, Cahokia will benefit. So while for most people, only maybe one in a hundred links are "Good" (Eg: Going somewhere they want to go), Cahokia can benefit from one in ten.

Hmm. According to wikipedia, Cahokia was abandoned in the mid-1300s. However, it cites unclean living conditions and deforestation as the causes for it's decline, problems that could easily be handled with a liberal application of magic. Some native druids maintaining the forests in the area, maybe a bit of magical help to dig a sewage system. Seems like it'd work just fine.

With that said, I gotta say, I am so totally loving this idea. I don't know if the various tribes would identify themselves as members of the 'cahokia league', but I think cahokia serving as de facto capital of the interior plains would be pretty reasonable and kinda super-awesome.

I really like the idea of a highly useful link in cahokia. Maybe the woodhenge there is specifically for their link? I think, however, the link in cahokia should not be able to take you across the seas. If there were such links, then the two cultures would have met by now.


My vote would be to start where history changed first:
Tunnitaq. Even if they did not possess iron at that time anymore, this culture changed 700 years ago. It could have gone unnoticed past the rest of the continent, or it could have changed everything. Which is why I think we should establish this area properly first and foremost. So we know what else changed.

This is also a viable option.

So far, we have one vote for the plains, one vote for aztlan, one vote for the plains or aztlan, and one vote for tuniitaq.

BRC
2013-01-31, 03:53 PM
Hmm. According to wikipedia, Cahokia was abandoned in the mid-1300s. However, it cites unclean living conditions and deforestation as the causes for it's decline, problems that could easily be handled with a liberal application of magic. Some native druids maintaining the forests in the area, maybe a bit of magical help to dig a sewage system. Seems like it'd work just fine.

With that said, I gotta say, I am so totally loving this idea. I don't know if the various tribes would identify themselves as members of the 'cahokia league', but I think cahokia serving as de facto capital of the interior plains would be pretty reasonable and kinda super-awesome.

I really like the idea of a highly useful link in cahokia. Maybe the woodhenge there is specifically for their link? I think, however, the link in cahokia should not be able to take you across the seas. If there were such links, then the two cultures would have met by now.


A refreshing trap of Purify Water would go a LONG way towards urban sanitation, and it's a 0th level spell. I wouldn't call that going Tippyverse or anything.

And yeah, Cahokia is probably just a city state. Everybody knows they're arming tribes in the Planes and the Rockies in order to make a Buffer Zone against the Aztecs and Fushang (by giving them really good deals on weapons and horses in exchange for not attacking caravans), but technically Cahokia is neutral, allowing everybody to trade there.

Admiral Squish
2013-01-31, 05:43 PM
So, since there seems to not be a tiebreaker vote, and to be fair, I shall roll to determine which area is our first focus.

1. Plains
2: Aztlan
3: Tuniitaq

Edit; Okay, that didn't work. hold on...

There. (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=14629008&postcount=5656) That's a link to the post I just rolled it in.

So, the forum roller says the first focus is the great plains.

Pokonic
2013-01-31, 05:57 PM
So, since there seems to not be a tiebreaker vote, and to be fair, I shall roll to determine which area is our first focus.

1. Plains
2: Aztlan
3: Tuniitaq

Edit; Okay, that didn't work. hold on...

There. (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=14629008&postcount=5656) That's a link to the post I just rolled it in.

So, the forum roller says the first focus is the great plains.

"Jumps in riding a jagaur"

I vote for the-

Ah. Dang it.:smallbiggrin:

Well then, I suppose our first step is to determen relations with the other factions, no?

zabbarot
2013-01-31, 06:22 PM
Well then, I suppose our first step is to determine relations with the other factions, no?

More likely to figure out the existing factions.



These include the Blackfoot, Arapaho, Assiniboine, Cheyenne, Comanche, Crow, Gros Ventre, Kiowa, Lakota Sioux, Lipan, Plains Apache (or Kiowa Apache), Plains Cree, Plains Ojibwe, Sarsi, Nakoda (Stoney), and Tonkawa.

And those are just the tribes that took to horses. Their are others. Some are fully nomadic, following the buffalo, and others hunt seasonally and have permanent villages. They all have their own alliances and rivalries within the groups but they were pretty willing to put those aside to stop US advances on the plains so I'd assume they'll do the same here.

Can we add the Scout class to base classes? The skirmish mechanic would just be really fun for Native light cavalry. And I almost feel like the natives need some kind of bard/shaman since most of their rituals involve dancing and music.

Admiral Squish
2013-01-31, 09:01 PM
"Jumps in riding a jagaur"

I vote for the-

Ah. Dang it.:smallbiggrin:

Well then, I suppose our first step is to determen relations with the other factions, no?

We'll do aztlan next, okay? *pats head* :smallwink:

I suppose I should come up with a concrete list of steps for this process.


More likely to figure out the existing factions.

And those are just the tribes that took to horses. Their are others. Some are fully nomadic, following the buffalo, and others hunt seasonally and have permanent villages. They all have their own alliances and rivalries within the groups but they were pretty willing to put those aside to stop US advances on the plains so I'd assume they'll do the same here.

Can we add the Scout class to base classes? The skirmish mechanic would just be really fun for Native light cavalry. And I almost feel like the natives need some kind of bard/shaman since most of their rituals involve dancing and music.

Yeah, there's a lot of variety. America's a big place. But yes, in this case, they're willing to put aside their differences to keep their lands safe from the invaders (Should probably find a word they could use). And the presence of all different kinds of invaders on all the different sides means there's a serious sense of urgency.

The hunter class is gonna be able to do skirmish, sniping, and I'm thinking probably a beastmaster option. Maybe other ones, too, if they come to mind. It's gonna be a flexible kind of class. As for bard/shaman... You know, this could be a chance to hook my bard rework idea into a larger project.

BRC
2013-01-31, 09:11 PM
We don't need to stat out each individual tribe with a network of feuds and alligences. Most of them are going to live fairly similar lifestyles, Hunting Bison, riding Horses, trading at Cahokia, raiding Aztec settlements, ect. You should leave some stuff for the DM to decide.

Pokonic
2013-01-31, 09:56 PM
We don't need to stat out each individual tribe with a network of feuds and alligences. Most of them are going to live fairly similar lifestyles, Hunting Bison, riding Horses, trading at Cahokia, raiding Aztec settlements, ect. You should leave some stuff for the DM to decide.

I might be useful for players to have five or so "major" tribes with extended details regarding them as a way for them to set there backstory into stone, and for enough intertribal politics for a campaigne set mostly in there lands would be interesting.

Admiral Squish
2013-01-31, 10:14 PM
Okay, steps. Always start when the timelines diverge.

1: Determine players. Power groups, influences, races, and such.
2: Determine relations between players. Do they like their neighbors?
3: Determine player's relationships to external forces.
4: Fill in landscape. Take environment, local monsters and magic into account.
5: Follow it forward. Once you have all the peices, you can see how they interact.
6: Create rough outline. Map, timeline, and such. This is the first draft.
7: Discuss and refine. Would it have gone down like X? What about Y?
8: Final draft/details. Detailed map, precise timeline, stats for all the races, monsters, and such.

BRC
2013-01-31, 10:18 PM
I might be useful for players to have five or so "major" tribes with extended details regarding them as a way for them to set there backstory into stone, and for enough intertribal politics for a campaigne set mostly in there lands would be interesting.

Fair enough. True intertribal war would probably be rare, Cahokia has a vested interest in maintaining it's Buffer Zone, which dosn't work if it's proxy armies are fighting each other. However, rivalries, raiding, and conflict could be difficult.

Maybe Cahokia sends out Peacemakers, men and women responsible for ensuring that the Buffer Zone is maintained by arranging marriages and negotiating settlements between hostile tribes. Tribes that play along with the Peacemakers get rewarded. Tribes that are more trouble than they're worth get wiped out, as the Peacemakers bribe several other tribes to attack all at once. Or they're simply given a shipment of faulty gunpowder just before a major Aztec offensive.

zabbarot
2013-01-31, 10:41 PM
Ok, so I went through all the groups and compared languages. There are only really 4 groups if you divide them up this way: Apache, Cheyenne, Comanche, and Sioux. The fun part about this is 'common' for this part of the world is sign language. Possibly the Cahokian language is well known enough to replace that though? I really do like the idea of having a cultures starting languages be Siouan and Plains Sign though.

You could always lump them together even more but it's nice to keep a bit of the authentic separations in there so we can really fluff it out. And each of those is just based on language groups. There are tons of different tribes for each one for the DM to play with still.

Edit: the actual name for the language group that Cheyenne fall into is Algonquian but I don't expect anybody to recognize that... the Arapahoe and Blackfoot peoples also fall into this group (along with quite a few others)

BRC
2013-01-31, 10:48 PM
Ok, so I went through all the groups and compared languages. There are only really 4 groups if you divide them up this way: Apache, Cheyenne, Comanche, and Sioux. The fun part about this is 'common' for this part of the world is sign language. Possibly the Cahokian language is well known enough to replace that though? I really do like the idea of having a cultures starting languages be Sioux and Plains Sign though.

You could always lump them together even more but it's nice to keep a bit of the authentic separations in there so we can really fluff it out. And each of those is just based on language groups. There are tons of different tribes for each one for the DM to play with still.
I kind of imagine the Cahokians making a point of learning other languages, rather than expecting others learn to speak theirs. It means that every group that comes into the plains needs a Cahokian translator, which in turn means that they have a pair of ears presents for lots of important negotiations. It also means there is a nice barrier between the Plains Tribes and any outsiders.

So yeah, each tribal language group, plus Plains Sign to serve as a "Common" Toung for the Plains.

zabbarot
2013-01-31, 10:59 PM
About Races though... All these plains indians live off buffalo. They use them for everything. How do the buffalotaurs feel about that? I mean... would they want to fight about it, or do they feel about as close to buffalo as we feel to chimps?

My point being were they supposed to be a playable race or a monster?

Pokonic
2013-01-31, 11:12 PM
About Races though... All these plains indians live off buffalo. They use them for everything. How do the buffalotaurs feel about that? I mean... would they want to fight about it, or do they feel about as close to buffalo as we feel to chimps?

My point being were they supposed to be a playable race or a monster?

To the indians: They are the Herd-Tenders, spiritual beings made flesh. To kill one without being provoked is punishable by all sorts of nasty things.

To each other: They are the Sons and Daughters of a spirit and a mortal women, and they have a duty to tend to the herds of there wild kin. They form bonds with both there animal and human companions equally. Much like how the buffalo are culled by the indians, it is the buffalotaurs job to cull the weakest tribes and force them to unite with other, stronger ones. This has grown to be even more respected than it has since the arrival of outsiders.

To (antagonistic) native spirits: Interesting lot, not truelly part of there world but also not realy part of the mortal one. Best to stick with screwing with humans, there spirit-talkers know far too many tricks for there own good.

To the Deer Women: Cousins at best, they have similar purposes. Perhapes more could be done if the two came into closer contact.

To outsiders: OhgodithasarmsshootitohshCRUNCH.

BRC
2013-01-31, 11:23 PM
I'm not super sold on the idea of every native american region having "Local Wildlife-atar"'s hanging around.

zabbarot
2013-01-31, 11:30 PM
I like the idea of the buffalotaurs mostly just because the indians called Africans Buffalo Soldiers. For some reason I just had a mental picture of a runaway slave running into them and being accepted into the herd. That would just be a really fun character to play.

Aux-Ash
2013-02-01, 01:03 AM
Challenge! And this is a big one...

The plains peoples aqcuired horses through defeating spanish conquistadors by the Pueblo IRL. Here, the spanish conquistadors got stopped in the Mexican valley and there likely won't be a spanish invasion from the south.

This means there are no horses to capture or trade from the spanish in the 16th to 17th century. Which means our hoses either come from Fúsang or from the colonies.

This does not mean the horses arrived much later, it is entirely possible their arrival and adoption is roughly the same. What it does mean however is that some culture other than the pueblo acquired and traded them. Which warrants a question:

Being the sole possessor of horses, did this other culture move into and adopt a nomadic lifestyle in the plains prior to trading horses with others?

Thoughts regarding this one? Which answer sounds most plausible?


Of course... if the horses did come later.. then it might make all the tribes much more sedentary. Focusing more on chasing buffalos into corrals and killing them near their settlements as well as growing more food.
---

At the very least we need one "nation" for each one of the major language groups + Cahokia. That means at least 5. Of course... if they are nomadic, then it might be more loose territory than actual nations.

Question is what the presence of Fusang (did the chinese drive any tribes across the Rockies? Do they trade and thus spread ideas?), Tuuniitaq (Which tribes has been displaced and did they go to the plains? Do they trade and thus spread ideas?), Aztlan (same questions + do the Aztlanese carry out flower wars on their neighbours?) and Cahokia (which we know will have an impact) has on the great plains and their immidiate neighbors.

I doubt any tribe will let Cahokia dictate how they live too much. But facing a strong and united opponent, the right pressure and quite a bit of dynastic shuffling might have allowed our peacemakers to shape their neighbors into what they desire.
So the cahokians would "rule" by a combination of trade and deals brokering, while maintaining their position with espionage and assassination.

---

Like BRC I'm wary of having avatars walking about. That feels less native american and more the other type of indian to me. If the buffalotaurs are indeed watchers of the herds, I think they're far more likely to be on hostile than friendly terms with the tribes.

BRC
2013-02-01, 01:15 AM
Challenge! And this is a big one...

The plains peoples aqcuired horses through defeating spanish conquistadors by the Pueblo IRL. Here, the spanish conquistadors got stopped in the Mexican valley and there likely won't be a spanish invasion from the south.

This means there are no horses to capture or trade from the spanish in the 16th to 17th century. Which means our hoses either come from Fúsang or from the colonies.

This does not mean the horses arrived much later, it is entirely possible their arrival and adoption is roughly the same. What it does mean however is that some culture other than the pueblo acquired and traded them. Which warrants a question:

Being the sole possessor of horses, did this other culture move into and adopt a nomadic lifestyle in the plains prior to trading horses with others?

Thoughts regarding this one? Which answer sounds most plausible?


Of course... if the horses did come later.. then it might make all the tribes much more sedentary. Focusing more on chasing buffalos into corrals and killing them near their settlements as well as growing more food.
---

At the very least we need one "nation" for each one of the major language groups + Cahokia. That means at least 5. Of course... if they are nomadic, then it might be more loose territory than actual nations.

Question is what the presence of Fusang (did the chinese drive any tribes across the Rockies? Do they trade and thus spread ideas?), Tuuniitaq (Which tribes has been displaced and did they go to the plains? Do they trade and thus spread ideas?), Aztlan (same questions + do the Aztlanese carry out flower wars on their neighbours?) and Cahokia (which we know will have an impact) has on the great plains and their immidiate neighbors.

I doubt any tribe will let Cahokia dictate how they live too much. But facing a strong and united opponent, the right pressure and quite a bit of dynastic shuffling might have allowed our peacemakers to shape their neighbors into what they desire.
So the cahokians would "rule" by a combination of trade and deals brokering, while maintaining their position with espionage and assassination.

---

Like BRC I'm wary of having avatars walking about. That feels less native american and more the other type of indian to me. If the buffalotaurs are indeed watchers of the herds, I think they're far more likely to be on hostile than friendly terms with the tribes.

Atars as in Minotaurs, not avatars, sorry.

And the Cahokians generally don't bother trying to micromanage the tribes. They just need them to not raid too many trade caravans while staying strong and belligerent enough to serve as a buffer against foreign incursion.

Yanagi
2013-02-01, 03:30 AM
There's this conjectured cultural link called the Southeastern Ceremonial Complex (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southeastern_Ceremonial_Complex) that you should look at , as well as the culture of the Black Drink (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_drink). Excavations at Cahokia suggest it was tied into these traditions. Heck, there's even a shared ritual game element--chunkey (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chunkey)instead of ulamamaztli.

If you want to fit together Cahokia with nomadic and semi-nomadic Native cultures, perhaps play on the city's conjectured role as a ritual center rather than a military power...sort of like Chavin and Tiwanaku in the Andes. There's a Cahokian population, but also constant in-out-flow of pilgrims/seekers that makes it a hub for trade and diplomacy.

Alternately, Cahokia becomes like Teotihuacan: whoever the original occupants were, they've dispersed and lost their cohesive identity, but the site and the rituals have diffused such that Cahokia remains a place of awe, and a point of connection between tribes that share those beliefs and rituals. There are no "Cahokians" in full-time residence: instead it's a kind of neutral site...or perhaps a gathering point of mystics and mages...that tribes and bands visit. Even groups don't share Cahokia's cosmology/religion/whathaveyou view it as a place of power.

It could even work rather like the false genealogy of the Aztecs...who saw themselves as continuous with the Toltecs...wherein the "modern" cultures see themselves as continuous with the Mississipian mound-builders of earlier centuries in spite of no cultural transmission of traditions.

It also set up a potential internal struggle to the country's center: the pull of Cahokia versus those groups whose spirituality and culture is more and more divergent as their lives are reshaped from being horticulturalists that sometimes forage to full-time hunter-gatherers.

Another suggestion: subdivide this region into confederacies or linguistic clumps first, particularly for the non-Plains, non-forager regions of the Midwest. It'll save you a bunch of time.

I'll put a pin in this thread and be back later. If you're willing to take suggestions, I have ideas about the Mesoamerican and West Coast areas.

zabbarot
2013-02-01, 06:39 AM
Horses

If we assume the French are working with the Tuniit then I'd say that's the best way for horses to get here. Iroquois and Cree trade with the French and horses basically go the opposite direction. Also the Iroquois and Cree might be displaced by the Tuniit but they did trade with the French historically so assuming the Tuniit are also willing to trade they could get along.

Alternatively, Aztecs take horses from Spanish invaders and Pueblo steal them from them. Since the Aztecs would be fairly similar to the Spanish as they move north, what with the conquering and such. And horses would really help them control such a large area. Mexico is pretty big.

Edit: I thought the Plains would be easier but I'm starting to think that their makeup is completely dependent on every other faction... Maybe we should start with the Aztecs @[email protected]

SuperDave
2013-02-01, 09:46 AM
My vote would be to start where history changed first:
Tunnitaq. Even if they did not possess iron at that time anymore, this culture changed 700 years ago. It could have gone unnoticed past the rest of the continent, or it could have changed everything. Which is why I think we should establish this area properly first and foremost. So we know what else changed.

Seconded. Starting with the Great Plains/Cahokian League should be fine, since (as I understand it so far) the Tuniit didn't have much trade with them, or very much trade with anyone, for that matter.

This will be easiest if we start more-or-less at the beginning.

SamBurke
2013-02-01, 09:57 AM
"Jumps in riding a jagaur"

I vote for the-

Ah. Dang it.:smallbiggrin:

Well then, I suppose our first step is to determen relations with the other factions, no?

Apparently, good things do NOT come to those who wait.

Aux-Ash
2013-02-01, 02:37 PM
Hmm... Fair enough, BRC. I kind of agree. In a way, I'd appriciate if the "races" simply were the different cultural groups. So that the races of the colonies are the spanish, the english, the french, the iroqouis and so on.
More fantastical races are fine by me too, but perhaps not "what lives in the area". The Quetzals and the spirit men are quite cool for instance.

zabbarot:
Horses from the french, eh? I suppose that works... horses to Tuniit, which then spread to iroqouis and cree. Which would flip those two cultures a fair bit me thinks, but that is a "Colonies" and "Tuniitaq" problem... and then...

!

*Looks at map*

*Looks at Cahokia's position vis-a-vis Great Plains and Tuniitaq*

You, sir, are a genious!

That's why Cahokia is so influential and powerful over the great plains. The horses were brought to the plains peoples through Cahokia. This allowed them to insert themselves into the affairs of the tribes, now maintained through their huge trade network (naturally with it's own well developed courier system).

Initially the tribes just went there for horses of good breeding, the Cahokians expanding it into trade and the sharing of magical lore. Now, a century later, it being an integral part of the cultures of the Great Plains. Economically, Magically, Culturally and even Religiously. It is -the- city of central america. In pretty much every regard.

It needs some polish, but how does that sound to the rest of you guys? BRC? Squish?

Confederations
Hmmm... if we go along with Yanagi's suggestion. We'll have a Apache confederation, an Algonquin (if this is the actual name of the language group, I think it's the one we should go for, rather than Cheyenne) one, a small Caddoan one, a Comanche one, a Sioux one, Cahokia and it's clients along the Missisippi.

The Pueblo and the Athabaskans (Apache) are two candidates as well, technically not on the great Plains. The question is if they're part of the free tribes of the Great Plains or if they're part of Aztlan or clients of the latter.

SamBurke
2013-02-01, 02:50 PM
I like the idea of horses and gunpowder being the ascendancy of Cahokia. Makes a lot of sense, and ties up some nice details.

zabbarot
2013-02-01, 05:56 PM
Can we get the map posted in this thread? I'm not sure if the Pueblo would be part of the 'Free Native Coalition' or conquered by the Aztecs. Maybe a little bit of both even, they did have a decent amount of territory.

The 'free' Pueblo could mark the southern edge of the Plains territory, and since they build permanent structures(usually in hard to reach places) I feel they could make impressive fortifications to hold off Aztec advances. This would also give the Plains another set of permanent sites.

An important thing to keep in mind about the Plains peoples is their system of government. They're tribal, but when they work together they're basically a representative democracy. All the chiefs get together and basically form a senate. So they all work together while still staying independent.

Admiral Squish
2013-02-01, 06:38 PM
Ok, so I went through all the groups and compared languages. There are only really 4 groups if you divide them up this way: Apache, Cheyenne, Comanche, and Sioux. The fun part about this is 'common' for this part of the world is sign language. Possibly the Cahokian language is well known enough to replace that though? I really do like the idea of having a cultures starting languages be Siouan and Plains Sign though.

You could always lump them together even more but it's nice to keep a bit of the authentic separations in there so we can really fluff it out. And each of those is just based on language groups. There are tons of different tribes for each one for the DM to play with still.

Edit: the actual name for the language group that Cheyenne fall into is Algonquian but I don't expect anybody to recognize that... the Arapahoe and Blackfoot peoples also fall into this group (along with quite a few others)

This is a good way to handle it. I thing four/five detailed power groups is probably plenty, and you can further subdivide it of you really want to, using individual tribal lines.


I kind of imagine the Cahokians making a point of learning other languages, rather than expecting others learn to speak theirs. It means that every group that comes into the plains needs a Cahokian translator, which in turn means that they have a pair of ears presents for lots of important negotiations. It also means there is a nice barrier between the Plains Tribes and any outsiders.

So yeah, each tribal language group, plus Plains Sign to serve as a "Common" Toung for the Plains.

Four languages, plus plains sign. Sounds good to me. The plains sign language would probably be significantly more developed in this setting than the trade pigdin described by wikipedia.


About Races though... All these plains indians live off buffalo. They use them for everything. How do the buffalotaurs feel about that? I mean... would they want to fight about it, or do they feel about as close to buffalo as we feel to chimps?

My point being were they supposed to be a playable race or a monster?

The idea was playable race, but I suspect they'd be pretty common to find as monsters, too.


To the indians: They are the Herd-Tenders, spiritual beings made flesh. To kill one without being provoked is punishable by all sorts of nasty things.

To each other: They are the Sons and Daughters of a spirit and a mortal women, and they have a duty to tend to the herds of there wild kin. They form bonds with both there animal and human companions equally. Much like how the buffalo are culled by the indians, it is the buffalotaurs job to cull the weakest tribes and force them to unite with other, stronger ones. This has grown to be even more respected than it has since the arrival of outsiders.

To (antagonistic) native spirits: Interesting lot, not truelly part of there world but also not realy part of the mortal one. Best to stick with screwing with humans, there spirit-talkers know far too many tricks for there own good.

To the Deer Women: Cousins at best, they have similar purposes. Perhapes more could be done if the two came into closer contact.

To outsiders: OhgodithasarmsshootitohshCRUNCH.

I think they wouldn't all go with the buffalo. They're half buffalo spirit and half man, so it's entirely plausible that a good number of them would live among the tribes, with their human half. I think the herd-tenders would put up a fight, but they wouldn't be too upset if the hunters got one or two. They're sort of adding a layer of challenge to it, to make sure the natives don't take the bison for granted, and treat them with respect. Of course, they would be ROYALLY pissed by the invaders (Possible word: Hestoe, which apparently means 'stranger') killing them for sport.


I'm not super sold on the idea of every native american region having "Local Wildlife-atar"'s hanging around.

Well, the deer women are actually part of the myth, so they've gotta be there somewhere. The hotawa'e are too flavorful not to use. I suppose we could pretty easily cut out the moose-taurs.


I like the idea of the buffalotaurs mostly just because the indians called Africans Buffalo Soldiers. For some reason I just had a mental picture of a runaway slave running into them and being accepted into the herd. That would just be a really fun character to play.

That sounds like a SUPER-AWESOME character idea. Maybe we should make an NPC out of it?


*snip*

On Horses:

Well, I'd written a whole thing here, but honestly, the suggestion of horses and gunpowder being the great ascendancy of cahokia sounds totally freakin' awesome and it ties up a whole bundle of details quite nicely.

On Nations
I think what we want is to have distinct cultures in each nation. We don't want them all to be variants of the same 'riding around the plains hunting buffalo' design. For example, have the far southwest be dominated by the pueblo, with their adobe fortresses and farming. The northeast has the cheyenne, who farmed and hunted in equal measure. The north-westish area has the plains apache, a fully fledged horse tribe. The southeast has the Mississippian tribes, the people who built Cahokia. (for some reason, I can't find any individual tribal names).


*Another huge post*

Man, that black drink stuff sounds kinda hardcore. Super-coffee that makes you puke.

I don't think cahokia would be a major center for rituals, since most native american rituals, that I'm aware of, don't require much in the way of temples. Plus, considering that most of their history was pre-horse, the likelyhood of tribes making long, dangerous journeys that would probably take several months, on foot, to go to some distant ritual site, seems unlikely.

I like the idea of the city being alive too much to just let it go, honestly.


Edit: I thought the Plains would be easier but I'm starting to think that their makeup is completely dependent on every other faction... Maybe we should start with the Aztecs @[email protected]

Well, I think that, honestly, any group we work on would have a similar problem of being shaped largely by the forces outside their borders.


Seconded. Starting with the Great Plains/Cahokian League should be fine, since (as I understand it so far) the Tuniit didn't have much trade with them, or very much trade with anyone, for that matter.

This will be easiest if we start more-or-less at the beginning.

It's them or the aztecs next, I'm not certain.


Apparently, good things do NOT come to those who wait.

Unless you count the acquisition of riding jaguars.

Pokonic
2013-02-01, 06:54 PM
I think they wouldn't all go with the buffalo. They're half buffalo spirit and half man, so it's entirely plausible that a good number of them would live among the tribes, with their human half. I think the herd-tenders would put up a fight, but they wouldn't be too upset if the hunters got one or two. They're sort of adding a layer of challenge to it, to make sure the natives don't take the bison for granted, and treat them with respect. Of course, they would be ROYALLY pissed by the invaders (Possible word: Hestoe, which apparently means 'stranger') killing them for sport.

They would probably view each of there composite groups equaly, as in both need periodic tending and culling. The outsiders, however, do not get such good treatment, and those that disrupt the natural order get the horns.

Actualy, it makes one wonder of the ways a Buffalotaur player would end up with the colonists.

Well, the deer women are actually part of the myth, so they've gotta be there somewhere. The hotawa'e are too flavorful not to use. I suppose we could pretty easily cut out the moose-taurs.
Well, the moose-taurs kind of fill in a nice space up in the great white north. They do make up a nice NPC race, and true affiable entities in a world like this are actualy pretty rare, so they are somewhat unique in a way. And they also help form a Lawful/Chaotic duo with the deerfolk down south.


That sounds like a SUPER-AWESOME character idea. Maybe we should make an NPC out of it?

This so hard. A powerful fighter attempting to insite raids on slaveholders as they move west, perhapes?

I think what we want is to have distinct cultures in each nation. We don't want them all to be variants of the same 'riding around the plains hunting buffalo' design. For example, have the far southwest be dominated by the pueblo, with their adobe fortresses and farming. The northeast has the cheyenne, who farmed and hunted in equal measure. The north-westish area has the plains apache, a fully fledged horse tribe. The southeast has the Mississippian tribes, the people who built Cahokia. (for some reason, I can't find any individual tribal names).

This, really. Inter-tribal relations and differences should be interesting enough that they are a prominet part of the faction.


It's them or the aztecs next, I'm not certain.

I would actualy prefer if the "chokes" Tuniit get worked on after the natives. The aztecs already seem pretty extablished, flavor-wise, but they are somthing pretty unique that needs work.


.............

zabbarot
2013-02-01, 06:59 PM
Some one else has suggested it already, but to expand on it...

cultures for humans, instead of the the bonus skill points and free feat. Then we can add a simple feat to let player join another culture(maybe with a language as a prerequisite) and gain skill bonuses or whatever else is applicable. I feel like culture could be a prerequisite for certain prestige classes. Like the already suggested jaguar warrior.

edit: this idea partially relates to the buffalo soldier NPC. Also I'm going to start working on a medicine man class.

Second edit: I really want to make an authentic medicine man class, but i'm aware the certain native nations are very sensitive about their religions. I am a member of the Arapahoe, and I don't actually see any problem with it, but if any of you think it might be too sensitive of a subject...

Admiral Squish
2013-02-01, 09:52 PM
One question: do we want to use authentic foreign-language names, or what the names mean? For example, Šuŋgmánit Tȟáŋka Ób Wačhí, or Dances-With-Wolves. And is there any way to use both without it sounding weird?



They would probably view each of there composite groups equaly, as in both need periodic tending and culling. The outsiders, however, do not get such good treatment, and those that disrupt the natural order get the horns.

Actualy, it makes one wonder of the ways a Buffalotaur player would end up with the colonists.

Hmm. Maybe... Man, that is a tough one. Maybe he works with one group of colonists against the group that attacked his home?


Well, the moose-taurs kind of fill in a nice space up in the great white north. They do make up a nice NPC race, and true affiable entities in a world like this are actualy pretty rare, so they are somewhat unique in a way. And they also help form a Lawful/Chaotic duo with the deerfolk down south.

Well, actually looking deeper into it, I found two tales of moose-people. But in one case it was a moose that actually looked like a moose. The other was a woman who looked like a real woman but was actually 'of the moose family'. No moosetaurs. Maybe it should be a shapeshifter? A man sometimes, a moose other times.


This so hard. A powerful fighter attempting to insite raids on slaveholders as they move west, perhapes?

I'm picturing an escaped slave. He was born to a slave, and did heavy manual labor, probably mining, leaving him with a very strong body. He gets saved from a slave-hunter by a hotawa'e. He falls in with the herd-tender, and even becomes one in time. He takes a new name, Free Bull, and wanders the plains, free. He fights those who disrespect the buffalo, and he destroys any slaveholders that he comes across, but he doesn't let himself become bound by his tasks, being well and truly free.


This, really. Inter-tribal relations and differences should be interesting enough that they are a prominet part of the faction.

Definitely something I was looking for.


I would actualy prefer if the "chokes" Tuniit get worked on after the natives. The aztecs already seem pretty extablished, flavor-wise, but they are somthing pretty unique that needs work.

Really? You and your jaguars, I thought you'd fight tooth and nail to get to the aztlan area. But then, tuniit it is.


Some one else has suggested it already, but to expand on it...

cultures for humans, instead of the the bonus skill points and free feat. Then we can add a simple feat to let player join another culture(maybe with a language as a prerequisite) and gain skill bonuses or whatever else is applicable. I feel like culture could be a prerequisite for certain prestige classes. Like the already suggested jaguar warrior.

edit: this idea partially relates to the buffalo soldier NPC. Also I'm going to start working on a medicine man class.

I like it. I'm not sure about replacing both, though. Maybe just the skills. And it'd have to be a pretty impressive bonus.

As for medicine man. What are we looking at? Divine healer class? Spirit-speaker? Medicine man is a lot more complicated than just a healer.
Edit: Oh, nevermind. I'll take your word that you know what you're doing, then.
---------------

Oh, and I forgot to add. I'm done with rejiggering the warlock's basic chassis, but I must still redesign the invocations to be less evil-themed.

---------------

And one more thing. Anyone here an artist? I'd love it if somebody could draw some of these races/monsters/scenes. It's hard to find a picture with the appropriate details for a lot of them.

SamBurke
2013-02-02, 10:40 AM
Some one else has suggested it already, but to expand on it...

cultures for humans, instead of the the bonus skill points and free feat. Then we can add a simple feat to let player join another culture(maybe with a language as a prerequisite) and gain skill bonuses or whatever else is applicable. I feel like culture could be a prerequisite for certain prestige classes. Like the already suggested jaguar warrior.

edit: this idea partially relates to the buffalo soldier NPC. Also I'm going to start working on a medicine man class.

Second edit: I really want to make an authentic medicine man class, but i'm aware the certain native nations are very sensitive about their religions. I am a member of the Arapahoe, and I don't actually see any problem with it, but if any of you think it might be too sensitive of a subject...

This is flipping awesome.

Seal of authenticity: APPROVED.

SuperDave
2013-02-02, 01:13 PM
One question: do we want to use authentic foreign-language names, or what the names mean? For example, Šuŋgmánit Tȟáŋka Ób Wačhí, or Dances-With-Wolves. And is there any way to use both without it sounding weird?

Maybe the eight-syllable name with lots of weird accents and letters is a bad example. Sorry, I should have chosen a simpler example. But my initial point remains: do we refer to people by their names, or by the English-language meanings of their names?

Somewhat related to the naming issue is How will we handle language in this setting? I feel that the usual D&D binary system of "knows/does not know" is really insufficient to convey the depth, complexity, and beauty of human languages. I suggest that languages be made into a Skill, into which Ranks may be invested, and certain classes or backgrounds may provide bonuses to learning different tongues. For example, being raised by in the Imperial Library of Fusang or between decks of a trading vessel would mean you'd probably have a much easier time guessing at what someone's trying to say than if you've only ever heard Algonquian being spoken until this very moment.

Also, it would be easier to learn a language within your own linguistic family than one outside it (for example, it would be easier for a Fusangese who knows only Mandarin to learn Cantonese than it would be to learn Nahuatl or English).

Here's a thread (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=269754) which may be useful in this endeavor.


I like it. I'm not sure about replacing both, though. Maybe just the skills. And it'd have to be a pretty impressive bonus.

Check the Wheel of Time RPG book I lent you. That one has a system for simple skill-bonuses to different cultures within a single race (i.e., humans).


And one more thing. Anyone here an artist? I'd love it if somebody could draw some of these races/monsters/scenes. It's hard to find a picture with the appropriate details for a lot of them.

I'm willing to volunteer my services, but I'll admit I'm a little rusty on the human figure.

Aux-Ash
2013-02-02, 01:38 PM
I think it should be fine statting up a medicine man, as long as you stay away from gross oversimplifications, stereotypical portrayals and such. I mean, other religious representatives are getting statted up. So why not these? As long as you try to do them justice I doubt there'll be any problems.

---

I think natives names would be awesome if we could stick to it. Helps make the setting more exotic and flavourful.

---


On Nations
I think what we want is to have distinct cultures in each nation. We don't want them all to be variants of the same 'riding around the plains hunting buffalo' design. For example, have the far southwest be dominated by the pueblo, with their adobe fortresses and farming. The northeast has the cheyenne, who farmed and hunted in equal measure. The north-westish area has the plains apache, a fully fledged horse tribe. The southeast has the Mississippian tribes, the people who built Cahokia. (for some reason, I can't find any individual tribal names).

Shouldn't it be Sioux in the Northeast and Algonquin (Cheyenne) in the Northwest. Them making up the northernmost of the tribes.
Then in the middle we have Cahokia in the east, Kiowa just slightly southwest of them (smallest confederation) and then the Algonquin (stretching from the north) and plains apache (from the southwest) meeting in the west.
The south being the Missisippi, then the Comanche, then the remaining apache and then farthest away... the pueblo (and south of pueblo... Aztlan).

That's what googling maps of the natives of the Great plains suggests to me anyways.

zabbarot
2013-02-02, 03:00 PM
How will we handle language in this setting? I feel that the usual D&D binary system of "knows/does not know" is really insufficient to convey the depth, complexity, and beauty of human languages. I suggest that languages be made into a Skill, into which Ranks may be invested, and certain classes or backgrounds may provide bonuses to learning different tongues. For example, being raised by in the Imperial Library of Fusang or between decks of a trading vessel would mean you'd probably have a much easier time guessing at what someone's trying to say than if you've only ever heard Algonquian being spoken until this very moment.

For languages can we make them a system outside of skills? I feel like a Cleric(with just enough skill points to tie his shoes) shouldn't have a harder time learning a language than a Rogue. The first RP game I played extensively was GURPS, which did a pretty good job handling languages. So here's the basics of what I'm suggesting:

"Language Skill" is rated from 0-5 (5 being a Native Speaker)
At character creation you get your Culture's Languages at 5
After spending a week with a Native speaker learning her language a player may make an Int check. A success increases their LS with that Language to 1
The time required to make this Int check should go up as skill increases.
When encountering someone speaking a language you don't have at Native, you make a Int+LS check to understand them. The DC of this check can be lower or higher depending on if they're trying to accommodate your understanding.
If you reach Native level with a language this check is no longer necessary.
Learning to write a language can be bought with skill points for any language you have at least rank 3 in.

That's the basic idea of how I think we should handle language. It is a bit more complicated but I agree that DnD is terrible at handling language, and I really don't want it to be a full skill bought with skill points for the reasons I stated earlier.

Also if we make it a system kinda like this I feel a cultural benefit for the french should be easier learning of languages, since they tended to do more of that historically.

Edit: Also also language learning buff could be worked into certain classes. Like the French coureur du bois prestige class that should exist >.>


Shouldn't it be Sioux in the Northeast and Algonquin (Cheyenne) in the Northwest. Them making up the northernmost of the tribes.
Then in the middle we have Cahokia in the east, Kiowa just slightly southwest of them (smallest confederation) and then the Algonquin (stretching from the north) and plains apache (from the southwest) meeting in the west.
The south being the Missisippi, then the Comanche, then the remaining apache and then farthest away... the pueblo (and south of pueblo... Aztlan).

That's what googling maps of the natives of the Great plains suggests to me anyways.

This is pretty much how I understood it.

Also, the medicine man idea I'm working with is a divine caster with a large range of rituals to learn (mostly can't cast in combat but buffs last long) and dances(sort of like bardic music, but related to the meditative state they enter). No domains or standard casting. Also I though it might be interesting if they could attempt to counterspell with diplomacy(suggesting that they spoke to the spirits you envoked). That's the meat of it anyway.

Admiral Squish
2013-02-02, 06:03 PM
Maybe the eight-syllable name with lots of weird accents and letters is a bad example. Sorry, I should have chosen a simpler example. But my initial point remains: do we refer to people by their names, or by the English-language meanings of their names?

Honestly, it's really hard to find any kind of decent translator sites or dictionaries for native american languages. I've looked around, and the only ones I CAN find are often incomplete. I think, flavorwise, it would be a lot more interesting if the peoples used native names, but I don't know if I can find the right words in the right languages.


Somewhat related to the naming issue is How will we handle language in this setting? I feel that the usual D&D binary system of "knows/does not know" is really insufficient to convey the depth, complexity, and beauty of human languages. I suggest that languages be made into a Skill, into which Ranks may be invested, and certain classes or backgrounds may provide bonuses to learning different tongues. For example, being raised by in the Imperial Library of Fusang or between decks of a trading vessel would mean you'd probably have a much easier time guessing at what someone's trying to say than if you've only ever heard Algonquian being spoken until this very moment.

Also, it would be easier to learn a language within your own linguistic family than one outside it (for example, it would be easier for a Fusangese who knows only Mandarin to learn Cantonese than it would be to learn Nahuatl or English).

Here's a thread (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=269754) which may be useful in this endeavor.

As for language, the PF skill 'linguistics' takes a step in the appropriate direction, but only regarding written language. I could see, perhaps, working up a set of rules similar to the ones discussed below for spoken language and tying it into the linguistics skill.


Check the Wheel of Time RPG book I lent you. That one has a system for simple skill-bonuses to different cultures within a single race (i.e., humans).

Hmm. Interesting. It does seem like a downgrade, though. Instead of bonus feat and a free skill, you get a bonus feat (from a very limited list) and four skill points in one skill from a very limited list.

How about... Bonus feat stays free, and you gain a bonus to a certain number of skills, and these skills are always class skills. Maybe some other less-numerical bonus?


I'm willing to volunteer my services, but I'll admit I'm a little rusty on the human figure.

Well, mostly I need decidedly nonhuman figures. :smallamused:
Seriously, though, if you think you can do it, lay 'em on me.


I think it should be fine statting up a medicine man, as long as you stay away from gross oversimplifications, stereotypical portrayals and such. I mean, other religious representatives are getting statted up. So why not these? As long as you try to do them justice I doubt there'll be any problems.

Well, it's true that clerics are given stats, but it's a very flexible class that can be used to describe a great deal of different religions, whereas a fully-fledged medicine man class is designed to specifically reference to a tradition found only among native americans.


Shouldn't it be Sioux in the Northeast and Algonquin (Cheyenne) in the Northwest. Them making up the northernmost of the tribes.
Then in the middle we have Cahokia in the east, Kiowa just slightly southwest of them (smallest confederation) and then the Algonquin (stretching from the north) and plains apache (from the southwest) meeting in the west.
The south being the Missisippi, then the Comanche, then the remaining apache and then farthest away... the pueblo (and south of pueblo... Aztlan).

That's what googling maps of the natives of the Great plains suggests to me anyways.

I tried to find whatever references I could on wikipedia, regarding the distribution. It's hard to find proper maps of tribal distributions, honestly.


For languages can we make them a system outside of skills? I feel like a Cleric(with just enough skill points to tie his shoes) shouldn't have a harder time learning a language than a Rogue. The first RP game I played extensively was GURPS, which did a pretty good job handling languages. So here's the basics of what I'm suggesting:

"Language Skill" is rated from 0-5 (5 being a Native Speaker)
At character creation you get your Culture's Languages at 5
After spending a week with a Native speaker learning her language a player may make an Int check. A success increases their LS with that Language to 1
The time required to make this Int check should go up as skill increases.
When encountering someone speaking a language you don't have at Native, you make a Int+LS check to understand them. The DC of this check can be lower or higher depending on if they're trying to accommodate your understanding.
If you reach Native level with a language this check is no longer necessary.
Learning to write a language can be bought with skill points for any language you have at least rank 3 in.

That's the basic idea of how I think we should handle language. It is a bit more complicated but I agree that DnD is terrible at handling language, and I really don't want it to be a full skill bought with skill points for the reasons I stated earlier.

Also if we make it a system kinda like this I feel a cultural benefit for the french should be easier learning of languages, since they tended to do more of that historically.

Edit: Also also language learning buff could be worked into certain classes. Like the French coureur du bois prestige class that should exist >.>

Hmm, I definitely like this system, but I think it could probably be tied into the linguistics skill. That gives it a bit of legitimacy, and it makes it so there's a points-based investment required, so the character can't just learn as many languages as they want with a 'time' investment. Maybe you need to put a skill point in to advance beyond 1 or 2? Maybe a second point to go up to native skill? Or to learn the writing (though this comes with the issue of languages that lack a written portion)?


Also, the medicine man idea I'm working with is a divine caster with a large range of rituals to learn (mostly can't cast in combat but buffs last long) and dances(sort of like bardic music, but related to the meditative state they enter). No domains or standard casting. Also I though it might be interesting if they could attempt to counterspell with diplomacy(suggesting that they spoke to the spirits you envoked). That's the meat of it anyway.

Hmmm, definitely sounds interesting. I'm a tad worried, though, that they won't have anything to do in combat. They're good for buffs, yeah, but it seems like that'd be kinda boring for a player. Maybe some sort of ability to curse? Or maybe they can contact some of the more aggressive spirits to fight on their behalf?

----------

Oh, I'm done with the mechanical portion of the hotawa'e. They don't have a lot of interesting racial abilities, but I think they're kinda awesome anyway. I just have to write up the fluff parts. Anyone want to weigh in on how they should be handled?

zabbarot
2013-02-02, 07:02 PM
Hmm, I definitely like this system, but I think it could probably be tied into the linguistics skill. That gives it a bit of legitimacy, and it makes it so there's a points-based investment required, so the character can't just learn as many languages as they want with a 'time' investment. Maybe you need to put a skill point in to advance beyond 1 or 2? Maybe a second point to go up to native skill? Or to learn the writing (though this comes with the issue of languages that lack a written portion)?

4th and 5th level could still cost one point, meaning it still costs 2 points to master a language as in standard. I don't really see it as a time investment as much as a roleplay investment, y'anno? Anyways, the linguistics skill as shown in Pathfinder is a great idea, but I feel it should remain the way it presented there. Helping people identify written text, though it could add a synergy bonus to the learning rolls? I would also like to propose it be a class skill for clerics, since missionaries actually created the writing systems used by most the plains indians.

With rank 1 you can basically ask where the bathroom is, and tell people you're hungry. By three you can express complex concepts with some effort. By four you can carry on a conversation, but might have trouble with colloquialisms. By rank 5 Native speakers would believe you've spoken the language you're whole life.

We'd need to figure out how much of a bonus each rank gives to a comprehension roll so we can even out a curve over the DCs we might use.

Oh, and if you're familiar with the Smatterings feat from Races of Destiny, gaining rank 1 basically works as if everyone has it. I would like to include a buffed version of that feat if we go with this system.



Hmmm, definitely sounds interesting. I'm a tad worried, though, that they won't have anything to do in combat. They're good for buffs, yeah, but it seems like that'd be kinda boring for a player. Maybe some sort of ability to curse? Or maybe they can contact some of the more aggressive spirits to fight on their behalf?


Combat is a bit stranger. I'm honestly thinking for combat they'll likely be a melee class, with some tricks. I'll try to get a rough draft up soon.



Hmm. Interesting. It does seem like a downgrade, though. Instead of bonus feat and a free skill, you get a bonus feat (from a very limited list) and four skill points in one skill from a very limited list.

How about... Bonus feat stays free, and you gain a bonus to a certain number of skills, and these skills are always class skills. Maybe some other less-numerical bonus?


Since humans are by far the majority, if we buff them it is balanced. As long as the new races we add are comparable to slightly buffed humans.

Admiral Squish
2013-02-02, 11:15 PM
Alright, I just posted the Hotowa'e (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=270204), the buffalo-folk. Go check them out and comment!

Aux-Ash
2013-02-03, 10:10 AM
I looked over the three Vespuccian races thus far and a thing that concerns me struck me.

I don't see a lot of potential in how to use them. Aside from "they're exotic" there's not a whole lot of tangible stuff on them. Sure, they got some thematic abilities and stuff... but in what way would taking any one of these races add interesting elements to my story? Why should I play a Hotowa'e? Why should I make this NPC a Taqriaqsuit? And so on.

What is it that makes these things narratively different from humans?

While this question is far from the end-all-be-all of character-/NPC-creation, it is a important pillar of it methinks. Just like it should be an important question whether your character is from Aztlan, the Colonies or the Great Plains.

I think what they, and all races (yes, including humans) need is a core theme and 3 fundamentally different suggested plot hooks. This is especially important regarding races beyond the traditional.

The Quetzal seems to have a good starting point in that they're (believed) to be the children of a god. Their theme should really be centered around that, I think.

zabbarot
2013-02-03, 11:20 AM
D&D just mashes Race and Culture together into one thing. All goblins are this. All elves are that. The closest they get to breaking it up is subraces. I feel like the main reason for picking any particular race in this setting should be culture. Do I want to be French trader or a British colonist? The quetzal and Taqriaqsuit will get fleshed out when we get to them, but I think the important thing will be to have just as complex of a culture for them as we do for the humans.

BRC
2013-02-03, 11:32 AM
Concerning Language, what if anything short of a discussion between two fluent speakers worked like a cooperative check. The DC is the complexity of the ideas being communicated, and the rest is handled by a Speak Language check on the part of the speaker, and a Sense Motive check on the part of the listener.

zabbarot
2013-02-03, 12:28 PM
Concerning Language, what if anything short of a discussion between two fluent speakers worked like a cooperative check. The DC is the complexity of the ideas being communicated, and the rest is handled by a Speak Language check on the part of the speaker, and a Sense Motive check on the part of the listener.

or maybe both parties could be rolling speak language. Since Sense Motive is pretty strongly suggested to be for detecting falsehood.

Aux-Ash
2013-02-03, 01:23 PM
D&D just mashes Race and Culture together into one thing. All goblins are this. All elves are that. The closest they get to breaking it up is subraces. I feel like the main reason for picking any particular race in this setting should be culture. Do I want to be French trader or a British colonist? The quetzal and Taqriaqsuit will get fleshed out when we get to them, but I think the important thing will be to have just as complex of a culture for them as we do for the humans.

Agreed. I still think that rather than choosing human in this setting you should choose the culture. The bonus could for all intents and purposes be the same, save that any bonus feat is choosing from a culture specific list.


Concerning Language, what if anything short of a discussion between two fluent speakers worked like a cooperative check. The DC is the complexity of the ideas being communicated, and the rest is handled by a Speak Language check on the part of the speaker, and a Sense Motive check on the part of the listener.

Hmmm... sounds good to me.

Morph Bark
2013-02-03, 05:50 PM
On a sidenote regarding the name (http://www.youtube.com/watch?annotation_id=annotation_617548&feature=iv&src_vid=I0p9YmWAtOU&v=H6ONzBf7lD4&t=24m45s), which I just came across. Stephen Fry even says that if it were named after Vespucci, it would have to be named Vespuccia. :smalltongue:

Admiral Squish
2013-02-03, 07:10 PM
I looked over the three Vespuccian races thus far and a thing that concerns me struck me.

I don't see a lot of potential in how to use them. Aside from "they're exotic" there's not a whole lot of tangible stuff on them. Sure, they got some thematic abilities and stuff... but in what way would taking any one of these races add interesting elements to my story? Why should I play a Hotowa'e? Why should I make this NPC a Taqriaqsuit? And so on.

What is it that makes these things narratively different from humans?

While this question is far from the end-all-be-all of character-/NPC-creation, it is a important pillar of it methinks. Just like it should be an important question whether your character is from Aztlan, the Colonies or the Great Plains.

I think what they, and all races (yes, including humans) need is a core theme and 3 fundamentally different suggested plot hooks. This is especially important regarding races beyond the traditional.

The Quetzal seems to have a good starting point in that they're (believed) to be the children of a god. Their theme should really be centered around that, I think.

Hmm. I suppose you have a point. Honestly, the challenge of adding in these races is that the world has been functioning just fine without them. They have to be sort of subsumed into the culture of the locals.

I could probably come up with a trio of plot hooks for each of them pretty easily, if you want a list.


D&D just mashes Race and Culture together into one thing. All goblins are this. All elves are that. The closest they get to breaking it up is subraces. I feel like the main reason for picking any particular race in this setting should be culture. Do I want to be French trader or a British colonist? The quetzal and Taqriaqsuit will get fleshed out when we get to them, but I think the important thing will be to have just as complex of a culture for them as we do for the humans.

Yeah, that's part of the issue. The races in this setting are going to be much more entwined into human culture, so they aren't going to have extremely distinct cultures.

BRC
2013-02-03, 10:56 PM
We should also probably have rules for a generic human, that way we don't need to stat out special rules for every potential culture somebody might want to play.
"I want to play a german mercenary!" "Sorry, best I can do is French"

Aux-Ash
2013-02-04, 01:10 AM
Hmm. I suppose you have a point. Honestly, the challenge of adding in these races is that the world has been functioning just fine without them. They have to be sort of subsumed into the culture of the locals.

I could probably come up with a trio of plot hooks for each of them pretty easily, if you want a list.

Indeed, so that's why their purpose (in the story) should lie more in the mystical/narrative than in their position in life. You don't choose a Hotowa'e just because you want to play a big burly beast... you choose it because they also have this interesting background thingy.

Plot hooks are grand, the trick lie in making them variations on the same theme. So that they, inherently, suggest more plot hooks. After all, each member of a race is supposed to be unique. So what we really just want to do is lay out a few pieces of the puzzle and let the players/gms do the rest of the work for us :smallwink:

As I mentioned, the Quetzals have this "believed to be gods"-quirk. So let's make that their theme. Heritage of the gods or something. The three example hooks for them should focus on that bit.
The Taqriasuit seems to have lost their home and position in the spirit world, so that could be theirs. But both of those are a later problem.

Our focus now is on the Hotowa'e since we're in that region. Since they're part buffalospirit and part human, the theme ought to be something along those lines. Lots of spirit journeys perhaps? What does the myths they're based on say?

Hmmm...

What are the Buffalospirits? What do they represent? Plural? Or is The Great Buffalospirit, master of the Great Plains and protector of the herds?

---

I agree BRC. All cultures having a misc. human beyond the core cultures is probably a good idea.

Tovec
2013-02-04, 01:25 AM
I realize I'm kind of late to the discussion but I just wanted to point out something on the topic of races/cultures in this setting.

You need to be careful in specifying when something is french, French and European. You might want to make a racial state for each of these or use one as the main and others as a branch. You mentioned playing a German mercenary having to use the French race. This exemplifies what I mean. Is the "race" in this case tied to the french culture, the French country or to the (mostly) white guys from (that part of) Europe. I think that this distinction is HUGELY important for how the 'races' work in this setting.

The next thing I wanted to add is that this sounds like a great setting. I don't know what room it has for games. I'm sure there is conflict between the tribes, or between the different countries/nations but I don't see how you are likely to end up with a racially diverse party in any stage - which kind of renders the issue of having different races (of humans) moot.
I would worry less about the strict definitions about how the cultures came to exist today and worry more about what kinds of adventures/plots are at work today. There is more than enough to go on (for a setting) even in that original post and I haven't seen much alluding to the plot since then.

zabbarot
2013-02-04, 09:00 AM
You need to be careful in specifying when something is french, French and European. You might want to make a racial state for each of these or use one as the main and others as a branch. You mentioned playing a German mercenary having to use the French race. This exemplifies what I mean. Is the "race" in this case tied to the french culture, the French country or to the (mostly) white guys from (that part of) Europe. I think that this distinction is HUGELY important for how the 'races' work in this setting.

The next thing I wanted to add is that this sounds like a great setting. I don't know what room it has for games. I'm sure there is conflict between the tribes, or between the different countries/nations but I don't see how you are likely to end up with a racially diverse party in any stage - which kind of renders the issue of having different races (of humans) moot.
I would worry less about the strict definitions about how the cultures came to exist today and worry more about what kinds of adventures/plots are at work today. There is more than enough to go on (for a setting) even in that original post and I haven't seen much alluding to the plot since then.

I was really thinking this would work like the clans from Oriental Adventures. The whole party is human, but this guy is from the Crab Clan and those two guys are from the Dragon Clan. Each clan had an extra class skill and a different favored class. Just little things.

And a lot of the real culture mixing would be in the colonies, most likely.

Admiral Squish
2013-02-04, 10:58 AM
We should also probably have rules for a generic human, that way we don't need to stat out special rules for every potential culture somebody might want to play.
"I want to play a german mercenary!" "Sorry, best I can do is French"

I think that would be easy enough to pull off, just one additional, non-specific 'generic' culture.


Indeed, so that's why their purpose (in the story) should lie more in the mystical/narrative than in their position in life. You don't choose a Hotowa'e just because you want to play a big burly beast... you choose it because they also have this interesting background thingy.

Plot hooks are grand, the trick lie in making them variations on the same theme. So that they, inherently, suggest more plot hooks. After all, each member of a race is supposed to be unique. So what we really just want to do is lay out a few pieces of the puzzle and let the players/gms do the rest of the work for us :smallwink:

As I mentioned, the Quetzals have this "believed to be gods"-quirk. So let's make that their theme. Heritage of the gods or something. The three example hooks for them should focus on that bit.
The Taqriasuit seems to have lost their home and position in the spirit world, so that could be theirs. But both of those are a later problem.

Our focus now is on the Hotowa'e since we're in that region. Since they're part buffalospirit and part human, the theme ought to be something along those lines. Lots of spirit journeys perhaps? What does the myths they're based on say?

Hmmm...

What are the Buffalospirits? What do they represent? Plural? Or is The Great Buffalospirit, master of the Great Plains and protector of the herds?

---

I agree BRC. All cultures having a misc. human beyond the core cultures is probably a good idea.

Hmm. I could add a plot hooks/roleplaying ideas section to each of the racial threads, easily enough.

As for the quetzal and taqriaqsuit, it's not like it would take me a great deal of time to come up with a handful of ideas for plot hooks. I don't think it would be enough to even pause my work on the rest of it.

But in regards to the hotowa'e, I think the theme is going to be something like 'misplacement'. Half human, half spirit, they don't quite belong among the humans, but they don't quite belong among the buffalo either. I could see a few plot ideas springing out of this.

The main myth this is based on is the buffalo wife. A girl makes a deal that some of a buffalo herd will jump off a cliff and feed her tribe, if she marries the king buffalo. So, they do, and she leaves with the buffalo. Her father goes looking for her, and angers the buffalo, who trample him to death. She cries, and then the buffalo king agrees that if she can bring her father back to life, they'lll let her go back with him. So, she finds a little sliver of bone and uses it to bring him back to life with a sacred song. Then, the people and the buffalo agree that they will allow themselves to be hunted, but the people must show respect with the buffalo dance before the hunt, then sing the song afterward to bring all the buffalo they killed back to life.
Rereading this myth actually gives me a new idea on how to handle buffalo-human relations.
Anyways, I figure that if there's this case and a few others of a human marrying a buffalo, it stands to reason there would be children from such unions.

My take on the buffalo spirits is that there are many. There's regular buffalo spirits, who are wise and have magic powers, and the white buffalo woman, who is a singular entity, more akin to a goddess than a spirit.


I realize I'm kind of late to the discussion but I just wanted to point out something on the topic of races/cultures in this setting.

You need to be careful in specifying when something is french, French and European. You might want to make a racial state for each of these or use one as the main and others as a branch. You mentioned playing a German mercenary having to use the French race. This exemplifies what I mean. Is the "race" in this case tied to the french culture, the French country or to the (mostly) white guys from (that part of) Europe. I think that this distinction is HUGELY important for how the 'races' work in this setting.

The next thing I wanted to add is that this sounds like a great setting. I don't know what room it has for games. I'm sure there is conflict between the tribes, or between the different countries/nations but I don't see how you are likely to end up with a racially diverse party in any stage - which kind of renders the issue of having different races (of humans) moot.
I would worry less about the strict definitions about how the cultures came to exist today and worry more about what kinds of adventures/plots are at work today. There is more than enough to go on (for a setting) even in that original post and I haven't seen much alluding to the plot since then.

Ahh, took me a second to get what you were saying. I was planning it to be handled culturally. French culture is french culture, so a french person born in a french area of america would be french-cultured. However, if the same child were to be raised among the tuniit, then they would have the inuit culture. Mechanically, at least, it's about the skills that you would learn growing into adulthood. Said child might still consider themselves french, but mechanically, the culture is tuniit.

Well, the issue of brining them together can be handled relatively easily. For example, a party with a french colonist, a british colonist, a Mississippian native, and a tuniit. The two colonists are a sort of lewis-and-clark, looking to explore westward. The mississipian is a resident of cahokia, hired to translate. The tuniit is hired muscle.
It's just in how you set it up, honestly.


I was really thinking this would work like the clans from Oriental Adventures. The whole party is human, but this guy is from the Crab Clan and those two guys are from the Dragon Clan. Each clan had an extra class skill and a different favored class. Just little things.

And a lot of the real culture mixing would be in the colonies, most likely.

There would definitely be some of that. I suspect a lot of parties will be from a single nation, working together for a set purpose.

Frathe
2013-02-04, 12:39 PM
Hey, a question: do we know what's up with Russia? They obviously can't settle the west coast like they did IRL, because it's taken by Fusang. Maybe they could have northern settlements with some native allies that are then attacked by the Tuniit, or maybe they could even be invaded by the Tuniit.

SamBurke
2013-02-04, 12:57 PM
Hey, a question: do we know what's up with Russia? They obviously can't settle the west coast like they did IRL, because it's taken by Fusang. Maybe they could have northern settlements with some native allies that are then attacked by the Tuniit, or maybe they could even be invaded by the Tuniit.

I like this.

Though, I doubt Fusang would do much in the way of settling the Auletian Islands. Perhaps Russians can be pirates...?

OR CONVICTS. Siberian convicts settling the new world. That would be cool.

Admiral Squish
2013-02-04, 01:20 PM
Honestl. I don't know how to handle russia. I honestly wasn't aware that Russian colonies in north america were a thing until you brought it up. My brief research says they didn't make their first landfall until 1741, so I doubt they've made a whole lot of headway into forming a real colony in nine years.

On the other hand, an alaska = russian austrailia thing sounds kinda awesome. I guess it's something we'll have to keep in mind when we do Tuniitaq next.

SamBurke
2013-02-04, 01:34 PM
Honestl. I don't know how to handle russia. I honestly wasn't aware that Russian colonies in north america were a thing until you brought it up. My brief research says they didn't make their first landfall until 1741, so I doubt they've made a whole lot of headway into forming a real colony in nine years.

On the other hand, an alaska = russian austrailia thing sounds kinda awesome. I guess it's something we'll have to keep in mind when we do Tuniitaq next.

I know, I know... but, with all the other colonies, and the knowledge of the new world changing a bit because of Scrying and Links, it's possible they'd be incentivized to start earlier.

I do think it sounds awesome, though. Perhaps there's a rebel group, a la Spartacus that escaped from the prison colonies?

Admiral Squish
2013-02-04, 01:35 PM
Okay, so, we've determined the basics power groups of the plains. We have the Souix, the Algonquin, Cahokia and the Missisipians, the Apache, the Comanche, and the Pueblo. Now, we need to draw up a map (because trying to do this in words is making my brain hurt), and start to determine how they interact with the various outside forces. Are the aztlan viewed as more invaders, or are they seen as relatives? Do they like the tuniit? We know they don't get along with the Colonies and Fusang very well, but is there any trade or peaceful contact, or is it all violent and bloody? What is their relationship with the spirits?

SamBurke
2013-02-04, 01:44 PM
Okay, so, we've determined the basics power groups of the plains. We have the Souix, the Algonquin, Cahokia and the Missisipians, the Apache, the Comanche, and the Pueblo. Now, we need to draw up a map (because trying to do this in words is making my brain hurt), and start to determine how they interact with the various outside forces. Are the aztlan viewed as more invaders, or are they seen as relatives? Do they like the tuniit? We know they don't get along with the Colonies and Fusang very well, but is there any trade or peaceful contact, or is it all violent and bloody? What is their relationship with the spirits?

The Azlatan are relatively new, and have traveled for thousands of miles. My guess is that the only outposts present are very, very, small ones: forts on the edge of civilization, mostly. So, I doubt they'll think much of them until the conquering power of the Azlatan begins to work. So, my question is: what will the Azlatan do? Are the content at their borders, or do they want MORE LAND? Is there anything that they would want? Anything they could trade?

As for the Fusang, I'm guessing that there might be some tribes, or at least some sleazier individuals who are willing to trade with them to get outlandishly good prices.

Spirit-wise, It makes sense that they would be related very closely, and attuned. Not in a hippy sort of way, but more in a recognition that they have power, and useful power at that.

Aux-Ash
2013-02-04, 04:24 PM
I found a decent basemap to use. It covers all off north america and shows the larger rivers. Unfortuantely... I don't have any image manipulation software short of Paint...

As for relations to the outside world:

Aztlan
Unfortuantely the valley of Mexico is on the other side of the Mexican plataeu. Which is just as close to desert as you're going to get without outright being one.

This means that Aztlan is unlikely to be much of a massive invasion threat. But that's not saying they're not a threat.

As I see it, Aztlan must have for reasons to be defined later, must have gone colonizing up the eastern coast. Establishing a network of outposts up the coast into the texan coast and up the rio grande. Probably taking over spanish and french missions along the way (and leaving some untouched).

This means they're a colonial threat to the Pueblo, the Apache and maybe even the Comanche. Maybe they've even taken one of the pueblo cities or two. But mostly I think it's raids of various kinds. Aztlan is practically overextending to get this far as it is, so I doubt it should be much more than adventuring youths grabbing some martial experience (and slaves) against "northern barbarians" to prepare for a rich life at court.

Aztec conquistadors :smallbiggrin:

Anyways... the plains people is probably considering this lot just as much invaders and aliens as the europeans or chinese. Cahokia is probably seeing them more as competitors than a threat (there's no way Cahokia is directly threatened for a long time yet) and is probably just using the Aztlan bogeyman to increase their own influence over the southern plains peoples.
The Sioux, Kiowa and Algonquin are disinterested. It's simply too far away to be concerned.

Fusang
Fusang is not particularily frightening. They've heard of them, and probably indirectly trade with them. But like Aztlan proper, it's much too far away. There's some concern due to displaced tribes and probably the odd Fusang expedition exploring. But sentiment thus far is that it's not a pressing matter.

However... it does help the sensation of feeling hemmed in. Cahokia does of course nothing to soothe this. But with Aztlan coming up from the south, Tuniitaq in the north, Fusang pressing natives across the rockies and the colonies expanding in the east... there's probably a weak brooding sense of the walls closing in...

... which probably has done more for the current "unity" than anything else.

Tuniitaq
They're Cahokia's greatest trading partners and greatest rivals. This is perhaps what has inspired Cahokia to try to create their commonwealth. The Sioux, Kiowa and Agonquin are of mixed opinions methinks. They trade frequently, but at times also feud with the Tuniit and their clients. Just small scale raiding... nothing serious. Pueblo, Comanche and Apache don't care... too far away.

Colonies.
A source of great wealth and great danger. Like from Aztlan there's the odd slave raid, and like from Fusang displaced tribes. A great point of concern from the other side of the appalachians and the mexian gulf coast.

Great trade partners... but not trustworthy. There's also that strange idea coming from them... of a god that died for men or somesuch. Which some accept and some fear.

Overall
All regions trade with one another. Especially on a personal level. A trader from Fusang is not going to get a much worse deal than a Tuniit, a colonial or a Nahuatl.
Sometimes conflict happens, but rarely on a large scale. There's been Aztlan adventurers trying to take pueblo cities, colonials driving off the odd camp and so on. The most conflict ridden zone is probably the coast. But even there it's fairly sparse. Thus far it's mostly isolated incidents.

Spirits
I feel that natives in perfect harmony with spirits have been done to death. I don't mind the great plains tribes having a mystical life fairly revolving around spirits. But it's not strictly beneficial. Overall the spirits don't care much about humanity. When they do it's on individual level. Some spirits are to be feared, some embraced and some appeased. Some driven off. It varies...

Frathe
2013-02-04, 04:56 PM
I found a decent basemap to use. It covers all off north america and shows the larger rivers. Unfortuantely... I don't have any image manipulation software short of Paint...

I have Photoshop (legally, too!) if you can tell me what you want.

Pokonic
2013-02-04, 05:00 PM
On the Ruskies: I like the idea of Alaska being a penal colony of there's. Actualy, considering that the contanent is a giant magical pile up anyway and eastern europe may or may not be rather magical right now, the Russians sending some "alcolytes of Kosche", along with a few regular folk, out into Alaska might be entertaining, to say the least.


So, yeah, basicly suggesting russian necromancers setting up shop in north america.

Frathe
2013-02-04, 05:12 PM
I like this.

Though, I doubt Fusang would do much in the way of settling the Auletian Islands. Perhaps Russians can be pirates...?

OR CONVICTS. Siberian convicts settling the new world. That would be cool.


On the Ruskies: I like the idea of Alaska being a penal colony of there's. Actualy, considering that the contanent is a giant magical pile up anyway and eastern europe may or may not be rather magical right now, the Russians sending some "alcolytes of Kosche", along with a few regular folk, out into Alaska might be entertaining, to say the least.


So, yeah, basicly suggesting russian necromancers setting up shop in north america.

Why would Russia, of all countries, need a penal colony? It's not a tiny island country like the U.K.; there's no reason they'd need an Australia equivalent. The Russians already have Siberia to send prisoners to; in fact, they're notorious for it. This wiki page (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Katorga) is highly relevant. Also, think of gulags.

Pokonic
2013-02-04, 05:20 PM
Why would Russia, of all countries, need a penal colony? It's not a tiny island country like the U.K.; there's no reason they'd need an Australia equivalent. The Russians already have Siberia to send prisoners to; in fact, they're notorious for it. This wiki page (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Katorga) is highly relevant.

Naturally (incoming crappy logic) Siberia is ever so slightly more independent, and is home to many, many things that are either magical, man-eaty, or both. Also, the local shamanistic traditions are still in full swing and are backed up by genuine magic. More than likely, Alaska is a last resort, and it's not like they were not already planning on sending away some men to settle there. There just killing two birds with one stone.

SamBurke
2013-02-04, 05:21 PM
Why would Russia, of all countries, need a penal colony? It's not a tiny island country like the U.K.; there's no reason they'd need an Australia equivalent. The Russians already have Siberia to send prisoners to; in fact, they're notorious for it. This wiki page (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Katorga) is highly relevant. Also, think of gulags.

I happen to be well aware of the fact that half of Russia is a penal colony.

That said... RULE.

OF.

COOL.

Perhaps they believe that being on the same body of land as necromancers corrupts them or something. Maybe it's the churches doing. I don't know.

But it's awesome, and can be justified.

BRC
2013-02-04, 08:21 PM
Does New Orleans (Or some equivalent) exist, who controls it?

I have an image of Cahokian Gunboats patrolling the Mississippi in case the Atzlan decide to send a force up the river.

Aux-Ash
2013-02-05, 12:43 AM
I have Photoshop (legally, too!) if you can tell me what you want.

Just drawing up a political map over a white map of the north americas that only shows rivers. Some colored fields with a opacity of some 50-70 %. A legend. Some fine tuning to make it look half decent.

The tricky bit is that you only have rivers to navigate by. So it requires a deft hand and lots of poring over other maps for comparisons.


Does New Orleans (Or some equivalent) exist, who controls it?

I have an image of Cahokian Gunboats patrolling the Mississippi in case the Atzlan decide to send a force up the river.

Awesome idea. Though I think New Orleans ought to exist. There's not too much space left for New France otherwise considering Tuniitaq.

That said, it could be a trade city that's pretty much being run by both France and Cahokia and it is under threat from Aztlan adventurers so Cahokian gunboats will have their place :smallcool:

Frathe
2013-02-05, 03:25 AM
Just drawing up a political map over a white map of the north americas that only shows rivers. Some colored fields with a opacity of some 50-70 %. A legend. Some fine tuning to make it look half decent.

The tricky bit is that you only have rivers to navigate by. So it requires a deft hand and lots of poring over other maps for comparisons.

Well, I've got a (graphics) tablet, that should help, so I'll try to work on that if you can post your base image.

Edit: Or would this work? (Warning: Very large image)
http://fc08.deviantart.net/fs70/f/2012/191/5/a/north_america_blank_map_template_ii_by_mdc01957-d56oq30.gif

SamBurke
2013-02-05, 09:51 AM
That, my friend, is not a picture.

IT IS A MURAL.

BRC
2013-02-05, 10:04 AM
Idea
Cahokia itself controls very little territory, the City itself, plus outlying farms, a few Outposts, and some small villages. However, they jealously control the River. Cahokian Gunboats, built with techniques learned from an exiled Chinese Shipbuilder, armed with cannons, and powered by Water elementals, these swift, powerful boats are the undisputed kings of the River. (besides some of the nastier River Monsters).

According to treaties, the French are allowed to navigate the river between Cahokia and New Orleans. The Tuniit are allowed use of the river between Cahokia and Lake Michigan.
Because of this, a French Trapper in Tuniit territory seeking to get his goods to New Orleans needs to find a Cahokian or Tuniit trader to take them down to Cahokia, where he can sell them to a French or Cahokian trader to take them to New Orleans.
The Cahokians consider this arrangement a "Win-Win", in that they win twice.
As for cities on the river. If St. Louis exists, it's as a minor French trading outpost, little more than a few houses and a Church.

New Orleans is technically held by the French, but the Cahokians have a major presence there.

Chicago exists, but it's not called Chicago. The Tuniit have a settlement at the mouth of the Mississippi River, and like with New Orleans, the Tuniit rule it, but the Cahokians have a very active presence there.

SamBurke
2013-02-05, 10:10 AM
Idea
Cahokia itself controls very little territory, the City itself, plus outlying farms, a few Outposts, and some small villages. However, they jealously control the River. Cahokian Gunboats, built with techniques learned from an exiled Chinese Shipbuilder, armed with cannons, and powered by Water elementals, these swift, powerful boats are the undisputed kings of the River. (besides some of the nastier River Monsters).

According to treaties, the French are allowed to navigate the river between Cahokia and New Orleans. The Tuniit are allowed use of the river between Cahokia and Lake Michigan.
Because of this, a French Trapper in Tuniit territory seeking to get his goods to New Orleans needs to find a Cahokian or Tuniit trader to take them down to Cahokia, where he can sell them to a French or Cahokian trader to take them to New Orleans.
The Cahokians consider this arrangement a "Win-Win", in that they win twice.
As for cities on the river. If St. Louis exists, it's as a minor French trading outpost, little more than a few houses and a Church.

New Orleans is technically held by the French, but the Cahokians have a major presence there.

Chicago exists, but it's not called Chicago. The Tuniit have a settlement at the mouth of the Mississippi River, and like with New Orleans, the Tuniit rule it, but the Cahokians have a very active presence there.

Good. This idea continues to cement the prescence of Cahokia and make it relevant.

Admiral Squish
2013-02-05, 11:03 AM
Just gonna pop in really quickly to let you all know I got the Warlock (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=270491) posted. I'd love a hand coming up with ideas for new invocations that have a more arcane feel. I peeled away most of the references to darkness or evil, and fiddled the class features a bit, but I want some more ideas with a purely arcane feel.

SamBurke
2013-02-05, 11:07 AM
Just gonna pop in really quickly to let you all know I got the Warlock (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=270491) posted. I'd love a hand coming up with ideas for new invocations that have a more arcane feel. I peeled away most of the references to darkness or evil, and fiddled the class features a bit, but I want some more ideas with a purely arcane feel.

I'd check out the Magus. (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/classes/base-classes/magus) They nailed the feel pretty well on that one.

TheWombatOfDoom
2013-02-05, 11:08 AM
Just gonna pop in really quickly to let you all know I got the Warlock (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=270491) posted. I'd love a hand coming up with ideas for new invocations that have a more arcane feel. I peeled away most of the references to darkness or evil, and fiddled the class features a bit, but I want some more ideas with a purely arcane feel.

Pop it and (war)lock it. I'll give it a looksee when I get a moment. I did see it and go ooo, though. :smallbiggrin:

Admiral Squish
2013-02-05, 11:14 AM
I'd check out the Magus. (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/classes/base-classes/magus) They nailed the feel pretty well on that one.

Do you mean to check it out for spell ideas, or to use magus instead of warlock?

Astral Avenger
2013-02-05, 11:20 AM
I like the looks of this so far. Why couldn't I have found it last weekend when I actually had time :smallfrown: ?

Aux-Ash
2013-02-05, 12:06 PM
Well, I've got a (graphics) tablet, that should help, so I'll try to work on that if you can post your base image.

Edit: Or would this work? (Warning: Very large image)
http://fc08.deviantart.net/fs70/f/2012/191/5/a/north_america_blank_map_template_ii_by_mdc01957-d56oq30.gif

Hahaha... I think that was the one I found too. Good job. Work on that one and then save copies in smaller sizes once satisfied. We don't need fine detail for the finished maps. But we do need it when working.

The biggest challenge is now fitting the various confederacies onto it. Skip the non-great plains settlements for now. There's going to be quite a bit of empty space on it.

Some assistance from what I have been able to gather:

Great plains stretches through: Montana (minus western bit), Both Dakotas, Minnesota, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri (the western bits), Oklahoma, Arkansas and Texas. Spilling over into some of the states bordering these.

The tribes lands should thus be divided thusly (when a state is mentioned twice it means both tribes lived in that state's modern territory at the time) in the 17th century:
Parts of states: n - north, e - east, w - west, c - central, s - south, co-coastal

Kiowa: cMontana.

Algonquin:eMontana, North Dakota, South Dakota (neWyoming), Nebraska, nKansas.

Sioux: North Dakota, South Dakota, wMinnesota, Iowa, eMissouri, nArkansas

Comanche:Arkansas, Oklahoma, eTexas. Not past the Arkansas river

Apache:Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma

Pueblo:New Mexico

Missisippi: Along the Missisippi river until Cahokia

Cahokia: Illinois. Just after the river branches. Very small territory.

New France:Louisiana, coMissisippi. A few trade ports along the texan coast.

New Aztlan:Dotted along the rio grande and the texan coast.

Hope those directions help a bit.


Idea
Cahokia itself controls very little territory, the City itself, plus outlying farms, a few Outposts, and some small villages. However, they jealously control the River. Cahokian Gunboats, built with techniques learned from an exiled Chinese Shipbuilder, armed with cannons, and powered by Water elementals, these swift, powerful boats are the undisputed kings of the River. (besides some of the nastier River Monsters).

According to treaties, the French are allowed to navigate the river between Cahokia and New Orleans. The Tuniit are allowed use of the river between Cahokia and Lake Michigan.
Because of this, a French Trapper in Tuniit territory seeking to get his goods to New Orleans needs to find a Cahokian or Tuniit trader to take them down to Cahokia, where he can sell them to a French or Cahokian trader to take them to New Orleans.
The Cahokians consider this arrangement a "Win-Win", in that they win twice.
As for cities on the river. If St. Louis exists, it's as a minor French trading outpost, little more than a few houses and a Church.

New Orleans is technically held by the French, but the Cahokians have a major presence there.

Chicago exists, but it's not called Chicago. The Tuniit have a settlement at the mouth of the Mississippi River, and like with New Orleans, the Tuniit rule it, but the Cahokians have a very active presence there.

That's what I was thinking too. Cahokia us pretty much ruling the region in all but name.

SamBurke
2013-02-05, 12:20 PM
Do you mean to check it out for spell ideas, or to use magus instead of warlock?

For spell ideas and general flavor. Stealing a few of the Arcana might give some nice touches.

Frathe
2013-02-05, 06:04 PM
I finished the map. How do you guys want me to share it?

Edit: Here it is:

http://s18.postimage.org/ijjzshbqh/vespuccia_map.png

Eldest
2013-02-05, 06:11 PM
You could just put it on an image hosting site, there are a lot of free ones.

Also, hi.

SamBurke
2013-02-05, 06:32 PM
Very cool. My question is about those "buffer zones" and unused area. Who owns those?

zabbarot
2013-02-05, 06:43 PM
New France would probably still be Louisiana, since it was named after the French king.

Edit: I don't mean to sound like I'm nitpicking @[email protected] just being helpful

Frathe
2013-02-05, 06:44 PM
Very cool. My question is about those "buffer zones" and unused area. Who owns those?

I dunno. Maybe they're filled with dangerous magical creatures and other hazards, so no one settles there. Maybe they're formal buffer regions. Maybe they're given over to the local buffalotaurs or equivalent. Maybe I tried to follow the suggestions Aux-Ash gave me and ended up with some holes.

SamBurke
2013-02-05, 06:45 PM
I dunno. Maybe they're filled with dangerous magical creatures and other hazards, so no one settles there. Maybe they're formal buffer regions. Maybe they're given over to the local buffalotaurs or equivalent. Maybe I tried to follow the suggestions Aux-Ash gave me and ended up with some holes.


OK. I didn't know if there were specific reasons for those. We can just rain some Handwavium down and fix it.

Frathe
2013-02-05, 06:51 PM
New France would probably still be Louisiana, since it was named after the French king.

New France (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_France) was the name of all the French holdings in the New World. I'd say the name of this depends on if the French have other territory.

zabbarot
2013-02-05, 07:00 PM
Carry on then.

Anyways, I found a Cherokee story that's quite interesting. (http://www.firstpeople.us/FP-Html-Legends/Cherokee_Prophecies-Cherokee.html) Especially the bit about the four colors of man coming together. With China actually settling on the continent that's even more relevant.

That whole site is an amazing resource for Native legends. It's definitely worth looking through.

SamBurke
2013-02-05, 07:02 PM
Carry on then.

Anyways, I found a Cherokee story that's quite interesting. (http://www.firstpeople.us/FP-Html-Legends/Cherokee_Prophecies-Cherokee.html) Especially the bit about the four colors of man coming together. With China actually settling on the continent that's even more relevant.

HMMMM. A very interesting point indeed.

EDIT: Finished reading that Prophecy.

FLIPPING. AWESOME. I vote that we have some prophets from it be an NPC organization, trying to unite the four nations of the earth.

Pokonic
2013-02-05, 08:23 PM
Carry on then.

Anyways, I found a Cherokee story that's quite interesting. (http://www.firstpeople.us/FP-Html-Legends/Cherokee_Prophecies-Cherokee.html) Especially the bit about the four colors of man coming together. With China actually settling on the continent that's even more relevant.

That whole site is an amazing resource for Native legends. It's definitely worth looking through.

Ooh, neat.

Also, my native american mythology is lacking, but I remember in one story a man/spirit/thing creates death, disease and the Rocky Mountains.

Ladies, gents, I think we have found the settings equivulent of Mordor, in that you cannot simply climb it and there are things that will eat you in it.

SamBurke
2013-02-05, 09:19 PM
Ooh, neat.

Also, my native american mythology is lacking, but I remember in one story a man/spirit/thing creates death, disease and the Rocky Mountains.

Ladies, gents, I think we have found the settings equivulent of Mordor, in that you cannot simply climb it and there are things that will eat you in it.

One cannot simply CLIMB into Mordor!

Admiral Squish
2013-02-05, 09:33 PM
Ooh, neat.

Also, my native american mythology is lacking, but I remember in one story a man/spirit/thing creates death, disease and the Rocky Mountains.

Ladies, gents, I think we have found the settings equivulent of Mordor, in that you cannot simply climb it and there are things that will eat you in it.

I was already thinking the rockies would be the only place where the thunderbirds nest on the ground, which would be super awesome and would certainly help explain why nobody goes up there. (Mostly they nest on clouds)

I was going to try and have a native tribe that occupied the Rockies keep the fusang back with hardcore geurilla warfare. But I really like the idea of the Rockies being just SO hardcore than nobody can live up there or even cross safely.

Pokonic
2013-02-05, 10:01 PM
It could also be the area where most of the native spirits in the deep end of the alignment pool go and lurk when they are not roming around and...doing spirity things. It's a place where even the little people do not dare to lair, and at its roots and at its peaks lie some of the foulest and most cruel individuals of the spirit world. And,of course, the few shamens that would willingly give them ear in exchange for tips in, say, killing the invaders on all four corners of there lands.

SamBurke
2013-02-05, 11:08 PM
I was already thinking the rockies would be the only place where the thunderbirds nest on the ground, which would be super awesome and would certainly help explain why nobody goes up there. (Mostly they nest on clouds)

I was going to try and have a native tribe that occupied the Rockies keep the fusang back with hardcore geurilla warfare. But I really like the idea of the Rockies being just SO hardcore than nobody can live up there or even cross safely.

Try the Utes, for which the American state of Utah is named. They lived near and around mountains. Perhaps we could adjust them some to be IN the mountains.

BRC
2013-02-06, 12:42 AM
I was already thinking the rockies would be the only place where the thunderbirds nest on the ground, which would be super awesome and would certainly help explain why nobody goes up there. (Mostly they nest on clouds)

I was going to try and have a native tribe that occupied the Rockies keep the fusang back with hardcore geurilla warfare. But I really like the idea of the Rockies being just SO hardcore than nobody can live up there or even cross safely.

We can find a happy medium, where it's full of dangerous monsters AND hardcore natives who fight a guerrilla war against the Fusang.

Aux-Ash
2013-02-06, 02:13 AM
I finished the map. How do you guys want me to share it?

Edit: Here it is:

http://s18.postimage.org/ijjzshbqh/vespuccia_map.png

This is a beautiful map. Very well done indeed.

Some suggestions for alterations: Let's expand the Comanche and Apache borders southward so they meet up with Aztlan.

As for the empty space between Algonquin, Sioux, Apache and Comanche. Let's give it to the Pawnee, just giving them a little more space north at the expense of the Algonquin. No further than up to the Platte river (and not in the west, we can have the Algonquin stretch down to meet the apache on their west side).

Along the Missisippi, south of Cahokia. Let's put the Choctaw/Chickasaw there. They're from what I can gather descendants of one Missisippi culture.

Also, if we rounded the borders and/or adjusted them along rivers I think it'd look slightly better :smallsmile: Especially on the norther border (feel free to adjust the borders slightly north to achieve this).

But still, excellent work with the map. It's a huge relief not having to mentally recall the location every people.

--

Re: Mordor... I mean the Rockies.

Sounds fair enough. Sounds a bit like that a lot of angry people moving in made an already dangerous spirit-world worse.

But detailing them is probably part of the Fúsang bit, since a lot of displaced tribes move up there and so on.

---

Right, we got a map, the basic powerplayers, external relations. What's next on the great plains?

BRC
2013-02-06, 10:38 AM
Right, we got a map, the basic powerplayers, external relations. What's next on the great plains?
Brief profiles of the various Tribes.

Sample NPC's.

Plot Hooks.

Maybe a few Monsters for flavor. The Piasa (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piasa) might be a good source for something in the Mississippi area.

Edit: If somebody could track down some good naming guides for various native groups that would be awesome.

Aux-Ash
2013-02-06, 02:34 PM
A thought that struck me today is that since this is a setting of vast distances and lots of overland (and overseas) trade, and at least 3 factions (probably more) revolve rather heavily around said trade, it needs a fairly robust sub-system to handle travel. It's going to come up a lot after all

Does the system have that? Or should we construct one?

BRC
2013-02-06, 04:04 PM
A thought that struck me today is that since this is a setting of vast distances and lots of overland (and overseas) trade, and at least 3 factions (probably more) revolve rather heavily around said trade, it needs a fairly robust sub-system to handle travel. It's going to come up a lot after all

Does the system have that? Or should we construct one?
What do you mean by "Sub System", mechanically speaking or in-universe.

Eldest
2013-02-06, 04:11 PM
It is normally used to refer to a system of rules that only apply part of the time. So Tome of Battle would be a sub-system because it only applies whenever one of the maneuver-using classes is seeing play. This would be a system that would only apply when you are traveling long distances.

Aux-Ash
2013-02-06, 05:02 PM
Indeed, simply a set of tools provided to ensure that travelling is a much more interesting and involved affair than a brief comment of travelling.

zabbarot
2013-02-06, 05:41 PM
What sort of things would be good to add to travel?

We should definitely overhaul the random encounter chart for this, since you're more likely to run into a traveling trader than an owlbear.

And does anybody have an idea of how fast you can canoe down the Mississippi? or back up it?

Frathe
2013-02-06, 06:21 PM
Here are the wilderness rules for 3.5 (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/wilderness.htm). There are stats for things like forest fires and avalanches, as well as rules for making Swim checks in fast rivers. And here (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/equipment/goodsAndServices.htm) are prices and speeds for things like rowboats and oars, although it doesn't say how river speed affects things.

Edit: Here (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/movement.htm#overlandMovement) are the 3.5 rules for Overland Movement (basically long-distance travel).

We could also definitely have getting lost and the weather as hazards.

Edit: And here are the Pathfinder movement (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/alignment-description/movement) and wilderness (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/gamemastering/environment/wilderness) rules (they're probably the same as 3.5; I haven't checked). And here (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/gamemastering/ship-combat/vessels) are Pathfinder's rather detailed ship rules, which I haven't actually looked over yet.

Frathe
2013-02-06, 10:32 PM
Here's the revised map:

http://s17.postimage.org/nf24ewncf/vespuccia_map4.png

SamBurke
2013-02-06, 10:40 PM
Someone did their research. That's a ton of links.

SuperDave
2013-02-07, 07:59 AM
Spirits
I feel that natives in perfect harmony with spirits have been done to death. I don't mind the great plains tribes having a mystical life fairly revolving around spirits. But it's not strictly beneficial. Overall the spirits don't care much about humanity. When they do it's on individual level. Some spirits are to be feared, some embraced and some appeased. Some driven off. It varies...

I agree one-hundred percent. In all our depictions of Native Americans, I feel it will be vitally important to avoid idealizing them, especially their spirituality. Native American civilizations were at least as diverse as European ones (if not more so, owing to tribalism, long feuds, and the difficulty of transportation before the arrival of the horse).

Also, living in perfect harmony is boring. An exciting setting demands conflicts within the societies depicted, both internally and externally.

SuperDave
2013-02-07, 08:01 AM
Here's the revised map:

http://s17.postimage.org/nf24ewncf/vespuccia_map4.png

That looks amazing! Well done, Frathe! I just put on my hat, so I could take it off to you.

zabbarot
2013-02-07, 09:20 AM
I agree one-hundred percent. In all our depictions of Native Americans, I feel it will be vitally important to avoid idealizing them, especially their spirituality. Native American civilizations were at least as diverse as European ones (if not more so, owing to tribalism, long feuds, and the difficulty of transportation before the arrival of the horse).

Also, living in perfect harmony is boring. An exciting setting demands conflicts within the societies depicted, both internally and externally.

Speaking of conflict, the Apache have a legend where Coyote basically divides people into tribes because war is good. When his brother questions he explains that war lets men be valorous and gain respect. In the same story Coyote explains that the best wife is one who has been stolen from you a couple times because the guilt will make her more eager to please. Sometimes Coyote reminds me of a fratboy.

So yeah, there should definitely be some level of both intra- and intertribal warfare, like horse-raiding and kidnapping. Also, grudges and feuds should exist. And the more I read of native legends the more I realize that their view of the spirit world was that it was to be respected and feared. Sometimes spirits would just kill people for no good reason. Now and then people killed unjustly get brought back to life though.

BRC
2013-02-07, 10:01 AM
I had an idea where Spirits frequently existed in opposition to each other. You had several catagories of Spirit

Spirits of the Hunt (Coyotes, Wolves, Eagles)
Spirits of the Herd (Deer, Bison)
Spirits of the Sky
Spirits of the Earth
Spirits of the Water
Spirits of the Ancestors.
And most of them hate each other. So it's impossible to live in Harmony with all Spirits. The closest you can get is trying to stay under their radar, getting involved with any Spirit has a tendency to anger others.

For example, Cahokia may have made a fairly major Pact with a Spirit of the Water that controls the Mississippi. As a result, they have angered an equally powerful Spirit of the Earth, so the city has a chronic earthquake/earth elemental problem.

Spirits of the Ancestors will always be obsessed with whatever feuds they used to fight, and every Tribe has different Ancestors, so they never get along. Imagine a "Summon Racist Grandpa" Spell.

Spirits of the Hunt sometimes hunt mortals for sport, but they can be impressed by prowess. However, just signing up with them can piss off Spirits of the Herd.
Spirits of the Herd are cool with being Hunted, so long as you pay proper respect to the lives you take. Of course, if you break a taboo (Like killing a pregnant female in the Herd) you can anger the Spirits, and staying on their good side means that Spirits of the Hunt are more likely to take an interest in you.

Spirits of the Sky rarely interact with people outside the Rockies. Failure to pay proper tribute is a good way to die when crossing the mountains, but then again, so is trying to cross the mountains.

zabbarot
2013-02-07, 10:23 AM
You could go a step further and make it like complex court politics. Knowledge(Spirit World) would be necessary to navigate the complex alliances and feuds that exist so you don't end up on anyone's badside. As a skill it would also encompass the etiquette required to speak with spirits without offending them.

TheWombatOfDoom
2013-02-07, 10:34 AM
Spirits of the sky = thunderbirds maybe?

BRC
2013-02-07, 01:25 PM
Spirits of the sky = thunderbirds maybe?
Related to them, But I imagine Spirits as more ethereal. Thunderbirds should be different.

Oooh! Idea!
Spirits can occasionally manifest, sometimes with the assistance of a Shaman, or by possessing something (A Spirit of Ancestors can be called in to possess a human. A Hunter Spirit will possess a wolf, causing it to grow in size and gain distinctive markings and powers). Mortal creatures can, with the right rituals and assistance, enter Trances and assume Spiritual form.

However, There exist Spiritbeasts. Powerful, Semidivine creatures that exist equally as both Spirits and Mortal entities. These Beasts are all but eternal, if you slay one as you would a mortal, it's spiritual half will create a new body. If you slay one as you would a spirit, it's mortal half will form a new spirit. The only way to kill one is to slay it's Spirit, either with a special ritual or by assuming Spiritual form yourself, at the same time you slay it's mortal body. Certain powerful artifacts attack both simultaneously, but good luck finding one.

Thunderbirds are the Spiritbeasts of Sky.

Sandworms are the Spiritbeasts of Earth.

Leviathans are the Spiritbeasts of Water.

Wolf, Coyote, Bear (as singular, mythological entities) and the like are the Spiritbeasts of the Hunt.

Deer, Bison, Rabbit, ect (As Singular, mythological entities) are the Spirit Beasts of the Herd.

True Skinwalkers (not to be confused with Druids or Shamans who can shapeshift) are the corrupted Spiritbeasts of Man (Spirits of Man are interchangable with Spirits of Ancestors). They used to be the leaders of Man, until they decided to usurp the spirits of Hunt and Herd, learning to transform into beasts of the wild so as to rule them. Their greed and avarice marked them forever cursed. Slaying a Skinwalker (Very difficult) will make you blessed by all spirits, but forever cursed by the spirits of Man. Wolves will not hunt you, deer will gladly give up their flesh to you, rain will fall on your crops and you will always find shelter in the earth. However. Other humans will instinctively dislike you and seek to drive you out. They will all be convinced that you are guilty of some great crime, though they can not say exactly what.

It should be noted that shapeshifting Spellcasters are totally different. Druids and Shamans who shapeshift do so with the blessing of the Spirits, arcane spellcasters are similarly considered Harmless. The crime of the Skinwalkers was that they sought to Usurp the Spiritbeasts of Hunt and Herd.

Aux-Ash
2013-02-07, 01:48 PM
What sort of things would be good to add to travel?

We should definitely overhaul the random encounter chart for this, since you're more likely to run into a traveling trader than an owlbear.

And does anybody have an idea of how fast you can canoe down the Mississippi? or back up it?


Here are the wilderness rules for 3.5 (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/wilderness.htm). There are stats for things like forest fires and avalanches, as well as rules for making Swim checks in fast rivers. And here (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/equipment/goodsAndServices.htm) are prices and speeds for things like rowboats and oars, although it doesn't say how river speed affects things.

Edit: Here (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/movement.htm#overlandMovement) are the 3.5 rules for Overland Movement (basically long-distance travel).

We could also definitely have getting lost and the weather as hazards.

Edit: And here are the Pathfinder movement (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/alignment-description/movement) and wilderness (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/gamemastering/environment/wilderness) rules (they're probably the same as 3.5; I haven't checked). And here (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/gamemastering/ship-combat/vessels) are Pathfinder's rather detailed ship rules, which I haven't actually looked over yet.

See, these rules, while rather well written and soundly based, does neatly explain how you move long distances but managing to do so without actually providing a journey. It's just movement, no experience.

What I am talking about is adding a tool that allows the GM/players to craft a journey. With things happening along the route, obstacles to overcome, hazards to brave, sights to see.
It's really a quite meta-game tool, since it'd create an abstract journey that needs to be fleshed out and developed in game. Ideally, the travelling to something should be as giving an experience as the destination itself.


Here's the revised map:

http://s17.postimage.org/nf24ewncf/vespuccia_map4.png

Once more, sir, you impress.

You might have been a bit overambitious in taking land from the Algonquin, let them border the Pawnee on the west and thus have a border to the Apache and give them half of Kiowa's lands (so that the Kiowa do not border the sioux) and then I think I am satisfied :smallwink:

But great work nonetheless.


I had an idea where Spirits frequently existed in opposition to each other. You had several catagories of Spirit

Spirits of the Hunt (Coyotes, Wolves, Eagles)
Spirits of the Herd (Deer, Bison)
Spirits of the Sky
Spirits of the Earth
Spirits of the Water
Spirits of the Ancestors.
And most of them hate each other. So it's impossible to live in Harmony with all Spirits. The closest you can get is trying to stay under their radar, getting involved with any Spirit has a tendency to anger others.

For example, Cahokia may have made a fairly major Pact with a Spirit of the Water that controls the Mississippi. As a result, they have angered an equally powerful Spirit of the Earth, so the city has a chronic earthquake/earth elemental problem.

Spirits of the Ancestors will always be obsessed with whatever feuds they used to fight, and every Tribe has different Ancestors, so they never get along. Imagine a "Summon Racist Grandpa" Spell.

Spirits of the Hunt sometimes hunt mortals for sport, but they can be impressed by prowess. However, just signing up with them can piss off Spirits of the Herd.
Spirits of the Herd are cool with being Hunted, so long as you pay proper respect to the lives you take. Of course, if you break a taboo (Like killing a pregnant female in the Herd) you can anger the Spirits, and staying on their good side means that Spirits of the Hunt are more likely to take an interest in you.

Spirits of the Sky rarely interact with people outside the Rockies. Failure to pay proper tribute is a good way to die when crossing the mountains, but then again, so is trying to cross the mountains.

I like it a lot, sounds like the intrigues of the spirits could be great stuff for campaigns.


Spirits of the sky = thunderbirds maybe?

Perhaps not literally, but anger them and they'll definantely sic one on you.

Admiral Squish
2013-02-07, 01:51 PM
You know, maybe the spirit world should have it's own post, now that I think about it.

But I am a HUGE fan of all the different spirit types.

Astral Avenger
2013-02-07, 01:56 PM
What sort of things would be good to add to travel?

We should definitely overhaul the random encounter chart for this, since you're more likely to run into a traveling trader than an owlbear.

And does anybody have an idea of how fast you can canoe down the Mississippi? or back up it?

The Mississippi river is so big that there were no rapids from the point where the St. Croix river joins, probably much closer to Lake Itasca. Good Two good paddlers in a laden canoe can make 30 miles a day in good weather going down (a relatively small) river [Personal experience, paddled more than 1000 miles in the Boundary waters canoe area wilderness, Quetico Provincial park and the Crown Lands of Canada]. The river is 2320 miles long, so that would be about 75 days to paddle down river. However, it is definitely possible to do this faster (bigger river with a stronger current than I'm normally on), my good friend Gabe canoed down the river in just about 2 months (http://writing.upenn.edu/projects/mississippi.php). This being said, a large voyager type canoe with 10 paddlers could probably make 60 miles a day without working to terribly hard. Going back up river (against the current) would probably take 100 days minimum by canoe, but if there are horses, I would think that if you are willing to ditch your boat, you could do a sub 2 month trip to get from New Orleans back to L. Itasca.


Here's the revised map:

http://s17.postimage.org/nf24ewncf/vespuccia_map4.png
Hmmm... Map looks great, but maybe add Ojibwe in the area between Lakes Superior and Michigan and the Mississippi tribes. (If some other non-native group has clamed that area and I'm forgetting, please disregard this.)

Admiral Squish
2013-02-07, 02:12 PM
Okay, I'll be honest, having 10 different tribes is going to make writing this all up terribly complicated. Can we consolidate some of them? Like, have larger tribes absorb some of the smaller ones? Partially because it's complicated, and partially because space is an issue now, and there would be at least a little increased competition between the tribes as the territories get mashed together.

Morph Bark
2013-02-07, 02:39 PM
Many of the tribes likely share traits. That should make it easier to work them out.

So far, there are 12 nations on the map, to which Fusang, Tuniitaq and the Brits will be added later on, for a minimum total of 15. Fusang, the Brits and the French don't share any traits with the native population, whilst the natives likely have a lot of similarities with at least half their immediate neighbours, the biggest most likely being whether or not they are nomadic or not, or are warlike or not, and how they are in touch with the spirits. That's all relatively simple if you don't involve yourself in their history too much and focus on the present, don't break your head over etymology, nor get too deeply into their laws.

Most of these nations can start out barely sketched out, with just a list of their basic and their most important traits. The big ones, Aztlan, Fusang and Tuniitaq should get bigger treatments, followed by a smaller treatment of the colonists and the bigger/more influential Plains nations. From what little I know, the Sioux, Iroqouis and Algonquin seemed the most influential (or at least widespread) overall in their respective parts of the continent. From what I've read in the thread so far, Cahokia seems to be a major center, despite being relatively small. That gives you a much smaller list of nations to focus on: Aztlan, Fusang, Tuniitaq, New England, New France, Cahokia, the Sioux, the Algonquin and (should you decide to add them) the Iroquois. A total of 9, roughly the same as the starting continent of Eberron, IIRC.

zabbarot
2013-02-07, 02:45 PM
Okay, I'll be honest, having 10 different tribes is going to make writing this all up terribly complicated. Can we consolidate some of them? Like, have larger tribes absorb some of the smaller ones? Partially because it's complicated, and partially because space is an issue now, and there would be at least a little increased competition between the tribes as the territories get mashed together.

We could reduce it back down to the language groups, but mechanically I think we can classify the cultures as Nomadic, Semi-Nomadic, and Sedentary.

Basically Nomadic will probably get something related to riding. And Sedentary might get more access to technology, since those tribes did more of the trading. Semi-Nomadic tribes are the ones that farmed half the year and went on long hunts for the rest, but had semi-permanent settlements, so I guess they'd be the middle of the road.

There might be better buffs to give them, but those are the main differences. Some farmed all the time, some followed the buffalo all the time, and the rest did each by season.

EDIT: I agree with Morph Bark, but would like to point out that the Iroquois also speak an Algonquin language. That language group could be one of the most spoken on the continent, considering that the Iroquois, Cree, Ojibwe, Arapaho, Blackfoot, Cheyenne, and pretty much every tribe in the New England area spoke a branch of it.

Edit: The Iroquois DID NOT speak an Algonquin language. The Iroquois langauge falls into it's own group. My bad.

Aux-Ash
2013-02-07, 03:16 PM
Note though that it's less work than it seems to be. The big players on the plains are the Comanche, the Apache, the Sioux, the Agonquin and Cahokia.

Missisippi and Chocksaw/Chickasaw and essentially just extensions of Cahokia (they're all descended from the same people and speak similar languages). Kiowa is a rather small tribe in the very edges of the territory and Pawnee is the same but in the centre. Pawnee stands out the most by being the only non-nomadic of the plains peoples.
Pueblo is a bit special, since they're not a plains people and probably more in Aztlan's sphere than Cahokia's. They're definantely allied to Cahokia, but fleshing them out is something that we should do when we do Aztlan. Rather than the plains.
New France and New Aztlan are part of the Colonies and Aztlan sections of the setting.

So my suggestion is to keep the ones on the map (to fill out space and make it look nice and diverse, if nothing else). But focusing our efforts on the big 5 and fleshing out the other 4/5 a bit later (and a bit less).

If you absolutely have to consolidate: Throw Kiowa and Pawnee into Algonquin. Missisippi into Sioux. Chocsaw/Chickasaw into Comanche or Cahokia (preferable since they're almost the same culture) and divide Pueblo between Apache and New Aztlan.

Frathe
2013-02-07, 03:59 PM
I'm going to hold off on revising the map until we reach a consensus on if we want to merge everything with the big tribes, for simplicity, or keep all the smaller tribes around, for variety.

Morph Bark
2013-02-07, 05:27 PM
One question though... didn't the Algonquin live primarily more around the Great Lakes? The Algonquin languages were further widespread, especially throughout what is now Canada, and there is indeed a bit that is around the area where Frathe put it on the map, but primarily they were situated around the Lakes, weren't they?

Admiral Squish
2013-02-07, 06:40 PM
I'm not sure how to handle my spirit-people. The Cherokee myth I was basing this second native area race on, the Nunnehi, (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/N%C3%BB%C3%B1n%C3%AB%27h%C3%AF) describes beings that are extremely similar to the little people of other tribe's myth, in that they're exceptionally stealthy and often dwell underground, but they look exactly like cherokee when they can be seen. These ones do a lot more intervention on behalf of the cherokee than most little people, though, which is why I thought they'd be an ideal playable race.

But I don't want to make them into little people if they're not little. There are other cherokee myths that describe actual little people, but they're different. Isolationist.

zabbarot
2013-02-07, 06:54 PM
There are other stories of little people but to my knowledge they're very very little. Like 1-2 feet tall. Lawn gnome height.

SuperDave
2013-02-07, 08:24 PM
I’ve been doing a bit of research on my own, rereading Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s The Song of Hiawatha. I feel that Chapter IX: Hiawatha and the Pearl Feather (http://www.hwlongfellow.org/poems_poem.php?pid=283) can stand as the basis for a really great campaign.

Think about it: There’s an evil sorcerer, Megissogwon, who lives in the poisonous swamps which lie to the west. Every year, in late summer, he sends huge clouds of stinging, biting black-flies to descend upon the local settlements from these fenlands, blanketing every surface with their bloated black bodies, spreading sickness among The People, filling their days with painful, bleeding welts, and their nights with a deafening, ceaseless buzzing.

The People beg the heroes to save them from cruel Megissogwon, offering all that they have (food, arrows, jewelry, rare furs, etc.) if the heroes will defend them from him.

The heroes agree (of course), but they’ve got their work cut out for them. Megissogwon’s home base is located on the edge of a huge lagoon, filled with poisonous serpents and deadly, disease-carrying mosquitoes. Approaching from the water seems safest, but the water is so poisonous that it’ll eat right through your canoe if it’s not anointed with special oils to protect it.

Then, the heroes will have to contend with his guardian-serpents, the Kenabeek, “Lying coiled across the passage,/ With their blazing crests uplifted,/ Breathing fiery fogs and vapors,/ So that none could pass beyond them.”

If the heroes survive the swamps and the Kenabeek, they’ll have to battle with Megissogwon himself, a sorcerer of tremendous power, who wears a shirt of sacred shell-beads, which no arrow can pierce, and no club can break:

Then began the greatest battle
That the sun had ever looked on,
That the war-birds ever witnessed.
All a Summer's day it lasted,
From the sunrise to the sunset;
For the shafts of Hiawatha
Harmless hit the shirt of wampum,
Harmless fell the blows he dealt it
With his mittens, Minjekahwun,
Harmless fell the heavy war-club;
It could dash the rocks asunder,
But it could not break the meshes
Of that magic shirt of wampum.

Sounds pretty awesome, huh?

(Also, someone who’s better at designing magic items than I am should really stat up Hiawatha’s gear: dude’s got a pair of mittens that can crush boulders to powder, moccasins that walk a mile with each step, and a canoe which can be steered by thought alone.)

SuperDave
2013-02-07, 08:56 PM
Has anyone else ever heard of a "buffalo jump"? It's a kind of cliff that the Native Americans would startle herds of buffalo over before they were able to ride them down on horseback. One of the most famous of these is Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Head-Smashed-In_Buffalo_Jump) in Alberta, Canada. To give you an idea of the sheer number of buffalo that died here: one of the books I'm reading says that under the topsoil at the base of the cliff lies approximately 40 feet of buffalo bones. Just think for a moment about how many buffalo you need to kill to accomplish that.

I feel that Head-Smashed-In needs to be a point of interest in some way. If not a Link, or a nexus of ley-lines, then at least a portal to the spirit-world, a Hellmouth, a weak-point in the Gauntlet (http://whitewolf.wikia.com/wiki/Gauntlet), I don't know what, but something!

Aux-Ash
2013-02-08, 01:29 AM
One question though... didn't the Algonquin live primarily more around the Great Lakes? The Algonquin languages were further widespread, especially throughout what is now Canada, and there is indeed a bit that is around the area where Frathe put it on the map, but primarily they were situated around the Lakes, weren't they?

From what I can gather: there's two large groups of the language family. One in the western plains (most notably the Cheyenne) and one around the lakes (most notably the Ojiwbe). Though speaking the same language group, there's apparently not a whole lot in common between them.

But in Vespuccia they'll likely either have been displaced (to the western plains?) or absorbed by Tuniitaq I believe.

So yes and no. There's a massive Algonquin population south of the lakes, but it's not the ones we're refering to with the Algonquin confederation. :smallbiggrin:

Frathe
2013-02-08, 04:18 AM
You could just put it on an image hosting site, there are a lot of free ones.

Also, hi.

After reading through this massive thread once again: Hi! And thanks for the suggestion.


That looks amazing! Well done, Frathe! I just put on my hat, so I could take it off to you.




Once more, sir, you impress.

You might have been a bit overambitious in taking land from the Algonquin, let them border the Pawnee on the west and thus have a border to the Apache and give them half of Kiowa's lands (so that the Kiowa do not border the sioux) and then I think I am satisfied :smallwink:



Thank you kindly, gentlefolk! I'll work on the map when I have time and when the boundaries are better cleared up.


From what I can gather: there's two large groups of the language family. One in the western plains (most notably the Cheyenne) and one around the lakes (most notably the Ojiwbe). Though speaking the same language group, there's apparently not a whole lot in common between them.

But in Vespuccia they'll likely either have been displaced (to the western plains?) or absorbed by Tuniitaq I believe.

So yes and no. There's a massive Algonquin population south of the lakes, but it's not the ones we're refering to with the Algonquin confederation. :smallbiggrin:

Thanks for clearing that up. I was a little confused myself.



I feel that Head-Smashed-In needs to be a point of interest in some way. If not a Link, or a nexus of ley-lines, then at least a portal to the spirit-world, a Hellmouth, a weak-point in the Gauntlet (http://whitewolf.wikia.com/wiki/Gauntlet), I don't know what, but something!

A portal to the spirit world, haunted by the ghosts of a thousand buffalo. :smalleek: And a sacred site (like a battlefield) to the buffalotaurs.



I(Also, someone who’s better at designing magic items than I am should really stat up Hiawatha’s gear: dude’s got a pair of mittens that can crush boulders to powder, moccasins that walk a mile with each step, and a canoe which can be steered by thought alone.)

Edit: Two of those sound like higher-powered gauntlets of ogre power (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/magicItems/wondrousItems.htm#gauntletsofOgrePower) and boots of speed (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/magicItems/wondrousItems.htm#bootsofSpeed).

Morph Bark
2013-02-08, 04:21 AM
A portal to the spirit world, haunted by the ghosts of a thousand buffalo. :smalleek: And a sacred site (like a battlefield) to the buffalotaurs.

And, most likely, very much unsafe to humans. :smallamused:

BRC
2013-02-08, 11:24 AM
Buffalo Jumps seem like the type of thing Spirits of the Hunt would find hilarious.

zabbarot
2013-02-08, 11:39 AM
If there isn't a story about coyote teaching men to trick the buffalo off a cliff I'll eat my hat.

Admiral Squish
2013-02-08, 05:44 PM
I just finished reading the Song of Hiawatha. There's a lot of really good stuff in there. But more than a resource for ideas, the poem really helps one picture how D&D-style fantasy game set in america would look and feel. And it's totally awesome.

One thing that occurred to me whilst reading was the way that Hiawatha called down favors from animals and various spirits. I'm thinking there needs to be a system to detail how one interacts with the spirit world. A normal person can't just call down lighting, after all. My idea is we could make a skill to regard making dealing with the spirits, sorta like diplomacy. But as you make friends with some spirits, other spirits start becoming uncooperative.

Frathe
2013-02-08, 06:58 PM
One thing that occurred to me whilst reading was the way that Hiawatha called down favors from animals and various spirits. I'm thinking there needs to be a system to detail how one interacts with the spirit world. A normal person can't just call down lighting, after all. My idea is we could make a skill to regard making dealing with the spirits, sorta like diplomacy. But as you make friends with some spirits, other spirits start becoming uncooperative.

Yeah, zabbarot said something similar.


You could go a step further and make it like complex court politics. Knowledge(Spirit World) would be necessary to navigate the complex alliances and feuds that exist so you don't end up on anyone's badside. As a skill it would also encompass the etiquette required to speak with spirits without offending them.

zabbarot
2013-02-08, 07:08 PM
Petitioning spirits is a big part of what I'm trying to do with my medicine man class. I'll have it ready to look at by tomorrow.

Pokonic
2013-02-08, 08:45 PM
Frankly, I would love to see what states for Ananzi/Coyote/Crow resembles. I mean, if if the PC's attract enough attention spirit-wise, they might as well attract attention of the best sort: trickster attention.

zabbarot
2013-02-08, 09:03 PM
Frankly, I would love to see what states for Ananzi/Coyote/Crow resembles. I mean, if if the PC's attract enough attention spirit-wise, they might as well attract attention of the best sort: trickster attention.

Add Iktomi to that list. He's a spider like Ananzi and basically interchangeable with Coyote to the point that they often have exactly the same stories.

Edit: Iktomi is from Lakota legends.

Admiral Squish
2013-02-09, 12:07 AM
So, I finally figured out a way to handle all the multifarious groups of little people. Observe:

+2 Dexterity, +2 Wisdom, -2 Constitution. Awwakkule are quick and usually wise, but their small frames cannot take the punishment of larger folk.
Type: Awwakkule are humanoids with the Awwakkule subtype.
Small Size: Awwakkule are small creatures and gain a +1 size bonus to their AC, a +1 size bonus on attack rolls, a -1 penalty to their Combat Maneuver Bonus and Combat Maneuver Defense, and a +4 size bonus on size checks.
Slow Speed: Awwakkule have a base speed of 20 feet.
Darkvision: Awwakkule can see in the dark up to 60 feet.
Walk Unseen: Awwakkule are stealthy beings, very secretive. They can make hide checks in any natural, unworked environment, even if the environment does not provide cover or concealment.
Clans: Awwakkule is one of many names for little people. Little people are a highly diverse group that live very different lives from one another. They are divided into clans, each of which have slightly different abilities. Choose one clan at character creation.
Rock Clan: Rock Clan are craftsmen who live in caves on rocky mountainsides and enjoy music. They have long hair that nearly reaches the ground, and they are known to guide friendly, respectful visitors through the mountains, though unpleasant visitors get treated with pelted stones. They gain a +2 racial bonus on Craft and Perform checks.
???
Tree Clan: Tree Clan are guardians of animals and nature that dwell in the trees in the deep forests. They punish those who abuse or mistreat the animals, though they can guide well-mannered hunters home once again. They gain a +2 racial bonus to Handle Animal and Knowledge (Nature) checks.
Words of Wolves: A number of times per day equal to their wisdom modifier, a Tree Clan can cast Speak with Animals as a spell like ability.
Laurel Clan: Laurel Clan are the tenders of plants and healing herbs. They dwell in subterranean warrens, their hidden entrances marked by laurel bushes. They are known to keep gardens of herbs and replant the forests after fires and other disasters. They gain a +2 racial bonus to Heal and Knowledge (Nature) checks.
Healing Herbs: A Laurel Clan can use the herbs and seeds they carry with them to create poultices and herbs. With one minute of effort, they can create a salve. The salve remains potent for one hour, and can be used as a full-round action. The salve heals the creature it is applied to 1d6+wisdom HP, plus 1d6 for every 5 HD they possess. They can create a number of salves per day equal to their wisdom modifier.
Dogwood Clan: Dogwood Clan are extremely kind and benevolent beings who reside in forests near human settlements. They have a great sensitivity to the balance of the world. The dogwoods they plant flourish when everything is in harmony. They gain a +2 racial bonus to Diplomacy and Sense Motive checks
Peace-Smoke: A Dogwood Clan can create a 10-foot radius cloud of sweet-smelling tobacco smoke a number of times per day equal to their wisdom modifier, centered on any point within Close range. The cloud provides concealment to all creature more than 5 feet away. Any creature within the smoke must make a fortitude save (DC 10+½ HD + Wis mod) or be affected as though by a Calm Emotions spell.
Thunder Clan: Thunder Clan are less benevolent than most other little people. They dwell on mountain peaks where clouds touch the earth, and they believe that humanity is something that needs to be kept in check, and they orchestrate disasters when they overstep. They gain a +2 racial bonus to Intimidate and Knowledge (Nature) checks.
Storm in a Teacup: A Thunder Clan can create a tiny storm to hinder a single opponent within close range. The storm inflicts a -1 penalty to attack rolls, skill checks, and ability checks as wind and rain interfere with their actions. This penalty increases by one for every 5 HD they possess. The storm lasts for up to one minute, but the Thunder Clan can make the storm produce a lightning bolt to deal 1d6 points of electricity damage to the target, plus 1d6 for every 5 HD they possess. The Thunder Clan can create this storm a number of times per day equal to their wisdom modifier.
Mound Clan: Mound clan are warriors more than all the other clans. They reside in large caverns under hills, mounds, and mountains. In the east, they are extremely friendly and helpful to their neighbors, but in the west their mounds are regarded with fear. They gain a +2 racial bonus to Intimidate and Survival checks.
Mighty Strike: A Mound Clan can increase the damage dealt by an appropriately-sized weapon. As a swift action, usable a number of times per day equal to your wisdom modifier, your next attack deals damage as though the weapon used were one size category larger. The damage increases by an additional size category for every 5 HD they possess, to a maximum of colossal.

Languages: An Awwakkule begins play speaking one native vespiccian language.


So, all I need now is a racial ability for the Rock Clan. I'm also debating about the Mound Clan. Legends alternately indicate that they have sharp arrows that fly a long distance, others say poisoned arrows, others say they're just incredibly strong, and some say they're human-sized and look just like people, but they're sneakier.

Frathe
2013-02-09, 12:16 AM
Rock Clan: give them an ability equivalent to stone shape or meld into stone?

Edit: You could give the Mound Clan an ability similar to what they have now, but that adds specifically poison damage (kind of like the Drow poison extraordinary ability in 3.5, but limited uses per day).

zabbarot
2013-02-09, 12:53 AM
Finally settled on what I want the Dreamer abilities to be, and now I'm headed to bed.

I like what you did with the Mound Clan how it is to be honest. It's like a better version of the shillelagh spell. Though maybe the poison would better fit the lore you could find.

The Anarresti
2013-02-09, 01:42 AM
This looks really cool. Finally, a homebrewed "America" setting that I really like. :smallsmile:
Please correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't see too much development of the colonies. (I didn't read all the thread all the way through.) Anyways, in real life the thirteen colonies were effectively thirteen different states, and didn't really think of themselves as one whole group until the first Continental Congress (which hasn't happened yet.)
So, without further ado, my brief list of the thirteen colonies, their RL "shtick," and suggestions of how to put it into play.

Connecticut
Georgia: Founded as a penal colony, especially for debtors. Maryland: Founded as a place for fleeing English Catholics. Probably this is the place in Vespuccia where one would likely find Scarred Monks. Massachusetts: Y'all appear to be establishing this one well. Remember, do not conflate it with other places. New Hampshire New Jersey New York: Taken over from the Dutch by the English. Still holds some Dutch influence by this point. North Carolina: South Carolina: This was the only Colony where slaves outnumber the masters, creating a Caribbean-like environment of a strict race-based, slave-driven plantation economy. Pennsylvania: Quaker. Rhode Island: Founded by Roger Williams from the Massechusetts Bay Colony on the basis of seperation of Church and State. This would be the only place in the new world without an offical religion (the Aztecs had their state religion. The Qing were at this point debating if they wanted to outlaw Christianity or not. Matteo Ricci had died centuries ago, however, and the Jesuits had been in China for a very long time, sharing Western mathematics and cartography.) Virginia: The oldest colony, founded as a way for English elites to make money. Here, the Church of England is still the official church. So, basically "little Britian"

Blanks are because I need to go to bed now.

Frathe
2013-02-09, 02:27 AM
We haven't worked on the colonies because we've been focusing on the Native American states on the Great Plains. We figured one region at a time was enough. But thanks for the contribution. :smallsmile:

SuperDave
2013-02-09, 10:06 AM
And, most likely, very much unsafe to humans. :smallamused:
Well, they can't be too excessively dangerous to the humans. After all, the natives used the place for close to six thousand years. If it were really and truly dangerous to go there, they wouldn't be able to use it to hunt, and The People would starve. But I think you're right about the danger. The site must be approached with caution. The young men who dress as wolves to frighten the herd over the cliff must be well-trained in politeness and etiquette, so as not to offend the spirits while they perform their task.


A portal to the spirit world, haunted by the ghosts of a thousand buffalo. :smalleek: And a sacred site (like a battlefield) to the buffalotaurs.

Maybe it's like Mecca to the buffalotaurs: every able-bodied Hotowa'e must make at least one pilgrimage to Head-Smashed-In during their lifetime, as long as their circumstances permit.


Buffalo Jumps seem like the type of thing Spirits of the Hunt would find hilarious.
I like the idea of Spirits laughing at one another. A lot of Native American myths involve humor and tricks, and I think that we should keep well away from the idea that "all Indian stories are SERIOUS BUSINESS". Some of them are actually very funny. Wisakecahk and His Scabs (http://www.warmuseum.ca/cmc/exhibitions/aborig/storytel/crme4eng.shtml) is a great example of this:

One day Wisakecahk [a Cree cultural hero] was looking for food. He was getting upset with his bum because every time he was about to shoot his arrow he would fart and scare off the game. In order to punish his bum, he built a large fire and put a big rock on it. When the fire was hot, he sat on it. Wisakecahk was really in pain. He ran to the river to cool off his bum. "That should teach my bum," he said.

Scabs formed on his sore bum. As he walked, the scabs cracked and fell off. Later, he walked back the same way and saw the scabs on the path. "Hey, that looks like grandmother's dried meat! I sure am hungry," he thought. He picked up the scabs and ate them. Some animals that had been watching started laughing so loudly that they startled Wisakecahk. "What are you laughing at?" he asked. "Oh, silly Wisakecahk, you have been eating the scabs from your own bum!" they told him. Wisakecahk was so embarrassed he ran off.



I just finished reading the Song of Hiawatha. There's a lot of really good stuff in there. But more than a resource for ideas, the poem really helps one picture how D&D-style fantasy game set in america would look and feel. And it's totally awesome.

Man, you read that really fast! I'm glad you liked it so much. I hope it helped flesh out the setting for you. It's already given me ideas for several Native plot-hooks (more on those ideas later).


One thing that occurred to me whilst reading was the way that Hiawatha called down favors from animals and various spirits. I'm thinking there needs to be a system to detail how one interacts with the spirit world. A normal person can't just call down lighting, after all. My idea is we could make a skill to regard making dealing with the spirits, sorta like diplomacy. But as you make friends with some spirits, other spirits start becoming uncooperative.

As zabbarot said earlier (and as Frathe pointed out that s/he said), interactions with the spirit world MUST be politically charged and messy. The setting practically demands that this be the case. That said, I think that this may be a good place to take a page from those who have gone before: From what I've heard about Werewolf: The Forsaken (http://whitewolf.wikia.com/wiki/Werewolf:_The_Forsaken), it sounds like that game deals with a lot of the Spirit/Mundane interaction, very similar to what we're trying to do here. I'm not really familiar with Werewolf (I'm more of a Changeling: The Lost guy), but I could look into it and see what I come up with that can be transferred into our setting.

Then again, maybe we don't want to copy what's already been done. I really like BRC's idea for Spirits of the Hunt, Spirits of the Herd, etc. Maybe we could just borrow from Werewolf's system of Spirit/Mundane interaction, and apply it to the types of spirits we've already come up with?

Edit: I just remembered, one of the class features for the "Noble" class in the Wheel of Time RPG is "Call in a Favor". You get a certain number of minor and major favors you can call in as you level up, but you can never have more than, say, four or five major ones at a time.



Edit: Two of those sound like higher-powered gauntlets of ogre power (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/magicItems/wondrousItems.htm#gauntletsofOgrePower) and boots of speed (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/magicItems/wondrousItems.htm#bootsofSpeed).

Thanks for telling me about these! I'm surprised that I didn't even think about the fact that something very similar has already been done.

Are there epic-level equivalents to these items? While these will be fine for most adventuring parties when they're starting out, Hiawatha's gear demands epic-level treatment: he's the son of the West Wind and the great-grandson of the Moon herself, so it only makes sense that he'd have access to some pretty awesome swag.

Maybe there are certain restrictions on who can use truly powerful magic items in Native societies? Like, for example, if your magic and wisdom aren't strong enough, then it's not just unwise to use very powerful medicine, it's downright dangerous. The son of a medicine man could potentially use his father's medicine-bag without blowing his hand off (metaphorically speaking), but the son of a potter would probably die from touching it.

Is that unnecessarily restricting? I just want to capture the feeling that medicine and Spirit-talking are like electricity; everybody benefits from it, but if you try to fix yours without the proper training, things will probably go very, very badly for you.

Admiral Squish
2013-02-09, 10:09 PM
So, yeah, my computer tried to eat itself today pretty hard today. Kept overheating and bluescreening alternately. I'm suddenly EXTREMELY glad I decided to post my work on the Awwakkule. And that I wrote down the ideas on my new classes in my notebook, rather than just doing them online.

zabbarot
2013-02-09, 11:25 PM
So, yeah, my computer tried to eat itself today pretty hard today. Kept overheating and bluescreening alternately. I'm suddenly EXTREMELY glad I decided to post my work on the Awwakkule. And that I wrote down the ideas on my new classes in my notebook, rather than just doing them online.

Always good to have physical backups or multiple online backups. Any idea what's wrong with your computer though?

Admiral Squish
2013-02-09, 11:46 PM
Always good to have physical backups or multiple online backups. Any idea what's wrong with your computer though?

A boot issue aggravated into a catastrophe by my recently-dead cooling pad.

The computer kept crashing when I booted it, but before I would have time to do a restoration, it would overheat and turn itself off. Either problem would be easy enough to handle, but together they made each other impossible to fix. So, I had to bite the bullet and go out to buy a new cooling pad.

Admiral Squish
2013-02-10, 04:13 PM
I have posted the awwakkule (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=271138)! Go take a look! Enjoy!

BRC
2013-02-11, 10:37 AM
You know, we should come up with an Aesthetic for Cahokia, since at this point it's changed so much from it's historical counterpart that it's essentially a new nation (Three centuries of change+being a political and economic center can do that to you Plus so little is known about the actual Cahokia). For example, if Gunpowder was key to Cahokia's rise, Cahokian troops probably use Muskets.

Hrmm, with all the trading that goes on, maybe Cahokians wear a collection of clothing from different cultures. Perhaps it's considered a sign of status to have your wardrobe made up of stuff from many cultures.
A well-to-do Cahokian merchant may wear a Qing silk robe, a necklace made by Aztec Silversmiths, a buffalo hide headband, and some English Wool trousers. It looks silly, and is probably very uncomfortable, but it's a sign of status. The garments you wear indicate where you have contacts.

zabbarot
2013-02-11, 12:02 PM
From what I've seen of Cahokia, it reminds me of the Aztec, Mayan, and even Toltec peoples. Something about the mound building and the art. That aside I feel their major, non-tribal influence might be the french. So a mix of tribal and 1750's French fashion. ie. culottes, ruffles, and tricorner hats. Whigs might even make it. Which would be hilarious and awesome.

Some sort of whig/headdress with feathers woven into a tail that goes a foot down the back. That could look awesome.

edit: I just like the word culottes.

BRC
2013-02-11, 12:16 PM
From what I've seen of Cahokia, it reminds me of the Aztec, Mayan, and even Toltec peoples. Something about the mound building and the art. That aside I feel their major, non-tribal influence might be the french. So a mix of tribal and 1750's French fashion. ie. culottes, ruffles, and tricorner hats. Whigs might even make it. Which would be hilarious and awesome.

Some sort of whig/headdress with feathers woven into a tail that goes a foot down the back. That could look awesome.

edit: I just like the word culottes.

But what would they be making their clothes out of?
Their most immediate materials would be Fur, Hide, and Leather from the Plains Buffalo, as well as Pelts from other animals. This may be how the "Commoners" dress.
If they are mimicking French fashions, they might use Cotton from the British colonies (This is a relatively small population, so they don' need a huge supply). Perhaps those higher up the social ladder wear french inspired clothing accented with Native touches (Beaver Pelts, feathers, Beads, ect). Of course, it's a good deal warmer in Cahokia than in France, so they would probably use fewer layers.

Cahokia itself is probably very different from the Earthen city we imagine (300 years difference, remember). The roads are paved with quarried Limestone, buildings are perhaps made of Wood and Brick. The Mounds are still there, and the city's Leaders reside on top of them.

I would say no to the Wigs though. That would look silly.

zabbarot
2013-02-11, 01:31 PM
But what would they be making their clothes out of?

I'm not sure they'd make European style clothing unless they were trading for prefabricated textiles. In which case they could make it out of anything the Europeans were willing to trade them.

It's just easier to import textiles than manufacture them, so it isn't worth it unless that's your primary industry.


Cahokia itself is probably very different from the Earthen city we imagine (300 years difference, remember). The roads are paved with quarried Limestone, buildings are perhaps made of Wood and Brick. The Mounds are still there, and the city's Leaders reside on top of them.

I want to imagine that they'd add European influences to their own. So heavy stone instead of brick in buildings that require it. Most buildings could be wooden. Some might have hide roofs.


I would say no to the Wigs though. That would look silly.
Wigs were synonymous with fancy in those days. Seriously (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wig#18th_century). Though I honestly feel this is one ideal that most native cultures would make fun of. But I'm sure there is that one guy who's just the most obnoxious sycophant, and is running around in a wig telling everyone about how much better Europe is.

TheWombatOfDoom
2013-02-11, 01:41 PM
Wigs were synonymous with fancy in those days. Seriously (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wig#18th_century). Though I honestly feel this is one ideal that most native cultures would make fun of. But I'm sure there is that one guy who's just the most obnoxious sycophant, and is running around in a wig telling everyone about how much better Europe is.

Or mistake them for strange looking headresses.

zabbarot
2013-02-11, 01:43 PM
Or mistake them for strange looking headresses.

which goes back to what I said about a wig full of feathers.

BRC
2013-02-11, 02:27 PM
Yeah, but would they be exposed to that. Their main contact with french civilization would be fur traders and missionaries, not wig-wearing aristocrats.

And I have problems with just having the Cahokians be mimicking Europe in all things, It's okay to have them Influenced by Europe, but especially since Europe is just ONE of the civilizations they are going to be in contact with, it's a little eurocentric to just have their aesthetic be all about mimicking Europe. This was one of the big precolumbian civilizations, and we're making it a major power in Vespuccia, it seems wrong to just have it mirroring Europe.

A little research indicates that Cahokia was a very socially hierarchical society.

Let's have our Cahokia be set up like this.

The Mound Dwellers: Live in elaborate mansions at the top of the Mounds. They are the political, military, and spiritual elite. They do not personally conduct Trade, but they do serve as patrons for merchants and artisans. They rarely interact with foriegners (Though they do profit immensly from trading with them through Merchant Proxies). As the spiritual and cultural leaders of the Community, they tend to dress with locally produced materials, usually finely crafted beads, furs, and precious metals worn over simple (But well made) Silk or Cotton garment. An example might be Cotton shirt+Trousers, with an enchanted Gold and Shell necklace and a Cloak made from beaver pelts.
The City Dwellers: Those that live in the City itself. They are merchants, craftsmen, and soldiers. This is what most people think of when they discuss "Cahokians". They dress in a fusion of French and Native fashions, although some of them may dress similar to tuniit, Fusang, or Aztecs if they trade with one group especially frequently.
Shell and bead Armbands and Belts are probably very big with this group as a symbol of wealth (it's like literally wearing money).
The Mound Builders: The Laborers, most of whom live outside the walls of Cahokia. They wear a combination of Plains style leather garments and cheap cotton.

As for architecture, Let's take this picture as a start
http://coolohio.com/horus/huts.jpg
It looks like earthen walls with tall thatched roofs.

There is plenty of Clay in the area, so lets say that eventually Cahokia got a Brickworks going. So the walls can be made out of some combination of Bricks and Wood, perhaps with thatched or wooden Roofs.

Perhaps the Mound Dwellers hollow out the Mounds into elaborate, complexes, each lit by magic with Living Spaces, Storehouses, and Barracks for the Family's personal troops.

zabbarot
2013-02-11, 02:59 PM
That sounds good. I didn't mean to make it sound like they were just mimicking Europe, but I figure they're a much stronger influence than China*, and like I said Cahokia already reminds me of the Mesoamerican peoples, so I'm not sure how much they would gain from them.

*most of the country is between Cahokia and the Chinese colonies. On the other hand Cahokia is pretty much what keeps the colonies from expanding farther inland. Just seems easier to trade with them.

Aux-Ash
2013-02-11, 03:03 PM
Sounds good BRC. It also sounds like the Mounddwellers would be very interested in meeting european, Aztlan and Fúsāng architects.

There should probably also be a "foreign merchant" class in the city itself. Invited merchants that have been welcomed in as translators, contacts, hostages and other useful things. People the Cahokians have essentially kept there for long enough for them to settle. Ranging from represenatives of the tribes, french, spanish, english, tuniit, Fúsāng settlers and Qing officials.

They're wealthy and influential (though not politically) and certainly above the mound builders (but below city dwellers most likely, de facto if nothing else) but most assuredly there on Cahokia's terms.

This is a city of trade after all.

Frathe
2013-02-11, 11:05 PM
So, I've tried to make some random encounter travel tables, as discussed before. Here they are:


Desert


{table=head] |
Speed modifier |
Harmless animals |
Dangerous animals |
Travelers |
Natural Disasters


Highway |
×1 |
4% |
2% |
7% |
Flash flood 1%


Road or Trail |
×½ |
5% |
5% |
4% |
Flash flood 1%


Trackless |
×½ |
5% |
6% |
2% |
Flash flood 2% [/table]


Forest


{table=head] |
Speed modifier |
Harmless animals |
Dangerous animals |
Travelers |
Natural Disasters


Highway |
×1 |
5% |
4% |
10% |
Storm 1%


Road or Trail |
×1 |
10% |
7% |
7% |
Storm 2%
Forest fire 1%


Trackless |
×½ |
20% |
10% |
4% |
Storm 2%
Forest fire 1% [/table]


Hill


{table=head] |
Speed modifier |
Harmless animals |
Dangerous animals |
Travelers |
Natural Disasters


Highway |
×1 |
5% |
2% |
7% |
Mudslide 1%


Road or Trail |
×¾ |
7% |
4% |
6% |
Mudslide 2%


Trackless |
×½ |
12% |
9% |
3% |
Mudslide 2% [/table]


Swamp


{table=head] |
Speed modifier |
Harmless animals |
Dangerous animals |
Travelers |
Natural Disasters


Highway |
×1 |
5% |
3% |
8% |
Flood 1%


Road or Trail |
×¾ |
10% |
5% |
5% |
Flood 2%


Trackless |
×½ |
16% |
10% |
3% |
Flood 2% [/table]


Mountain


{table=head] |
Speed modifier |
Harmless animals |
Dangerous animals |
Travelers |
Natural Disasters


Highway |
×¾ |
3% |
2% |
9% |
Avalanche 1%
Storm 1%


Road or Trail |
×¾ |
5% |
4% |
4% |
Avalanche 2%
Storm 3%


Trackless |
×½ |
8% |
8% |
2% |
Avalanche 2%
Storm 4% [/table]


Ocean

{table=head] |
Speed modifier |
Harmless animals |
Dangerous animals |
Travelers (ships) |
Natural Disasters


Major Waterway |
×1 |
3% |
2% |
6% |
Storm 1%


Minor Waterway |
×¾ |
4% |
4% |
3% |
Storm 2%


Open Ocean |
×½ |
5% |
6% |
2% |
Storm 3% [/table]


Jungle


{table=head] |
Speed modifier |
Harmless animals |
Dangerous animals |
Travelers |
Natural Disasters


Highway |
×1 |
7% |
5% |
5% |
Storm 3%


Road or Trail |
×¾ |
15% |
12% |
3% |
Storm 4%


Trackless |
×¼ |
25% |
17% |
2% |
Storm 5% [/table]


Moor


{table=head] |
Speed modifier |
Harmless animals |
Dangerous animals |
Travelers |
Natural Disasters


Highway |
×1 |
3% |
2% |
10% |
Flood 1%


Road or Trail |
×1 |
6% |
4% |
6% |
Flood 1%


Trackless |
×¾ |
12% |
10% |
4% |
Flood 2% [/table]


Tundra


{table=head] |
Speed modifier |
Harmless animals |
Dangerous animals |
Travelers |
Natural Disasters


Highway |
×1 |
4% |
3% |
9% |
Storm 3%


Road or Trail |
×¾ |
6% |
5% |
5% |
Storm 3%


Trackless |
×¾ |
8% |
8% |
2% |
Storm 4% [/table]


Plains


{table=head] |
Speed modifier |
Harmless animals |
Dangerous animals |
Travelers |
Natural Disasters


Highway |
×1 |
5% |
3% |
8% |
Storm 1%
Earthquake 1%


Road or Trail |
×1 |
9% |
6% |
6% |
Storm 2%
Earthquake 1%


Trackless |
×¾ |
14% |
11% |
3% |
Storm 2%
Earthquake 1% [/table]

BRC
2013-02-11, 11:12 PM
Sounds good BRC. It also sounds like the Mounddwellers would be very interested in meeting european, Aztlan and Fúsāng architects.

There should probably also be a "foreign merchant" class in the city itself. Invited merchants that have been welcomed in as translators, contacts, hostages and other useful things. People the Cahokians have essentially kept there for long enough for them to settle. Ranging from represenatives of the tribes, french, spanish, english, tuniit, Fúsāng settlers and Qing officials.

They're wealthy and influential (though not politically) and certainly above the mound builders (but below city dwellers most likely, de facto if nothing else) but most assuredly there on Cahokia's terms.

This is a city of trade after all.
Foreign Merchants probably exist as you describe, very welcome, but without much influence.
Skilled Foreign Artisians are likely highly valued by the Mound Dwellers.

Also, thoughts on Hollow Mounds? I like the idea of the Mounds being elaborate dungeon complexes in addition to status symbols.



I basically imagine the City Hierarchy like this.

Cahokia is supposedly a sacred site. The City is ruled by a coalition of powerful families, each of which claims a Covenant with The Mother of All Rivers (The Spirit of the Mississippi) that allows them to reside in the City.
All Residents must be sponsored by a member of one of these Families. For Locals, these sponsorships are bought with either Service or Tribute. Merchants give a cut of their profits, or just regular, elaborate gifts, to the Family that is sponsoring them.

Unaware travelers who step through the Link into Cahokia are usually unaware of the political labyrinth they are about to enter. Usually they will be approached by a smiling guide, this guide will translate for them and will happily take them around the city. These Guides are some of the most valuable employees a Mound Dweller can have. A Guide will take the visitor to an Inn (Which pays tribute to the Mound Dweller), he will introduce them to a Merchant willing to trade (Who works for the Mound Dweller), he will find them a warehouse to store their goods (Owned by the Mound Dweller), and will even arrange for some guards (Soldiers from the Mound Dweller's private army).

Of course, this means you have also agreed NOT to deal with people working for a rival Mound Dweller. The Guide will never explicitly tell you this, but they have their ways. "Oh, you don't want to deal with him, he's a known crook. You should deal with this merchant instead".