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Obso1e7e
2013-04-29, 06:26 PM
I'm currently working on a game world in which the major deities have largely fallen out of favor. While their worship still exists, they are mostly small groups more considered cults than much anything else. Common worship is primarily aberrations, primordials and a handful of demons/devils. The world is divided primarily into city-states, most having their own patron "deity" Quite often, a city will have it's own temple in which it's own god might occasionally, or permanently live, especially in the case of aberrations and other such creatures. Some are powerful enough to give divine power, others provide power in the form of arcana or psionics. The priesthood often has incredible power within the existing government, often a bit closer to lawful evil than anything else.

Despite this, every city-state is it's own entity with all the differences that come with such a situation.

Right now I am trying to flesh out this world. I'm trying to create unique city-states, trying to explore ideas and concepts ranging from political ideologies to economies to social details. What are the powers at play, and what are the threats? I'm largely drawing a blank. I love the base idea, but the specifics are giving me real troubles. Anybody able to help? I'm taking pretty much anything.

zzuxon
2013-04-30, 09:39 PM
I have some ideas.
It probably goes without saying that you should have Illithids in the setting. My idea that I'm using for the Illithids in my setting is that they aren't straight evil, they just see the law chaos axis as more important than good evil. Evil is tolerated in moderation, but chaos is right out.
You obviously don't have to apply this to all illithids, or even illithids at all, I'm just putting it out there.

smoke prism
2013-05-01, 04:37 PM
Well if you Want to look at something I made:
http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=281652

In a nutshell it's a race of neutral good psionic squids. In you're setting they could be rulers of an underwater city-state of sentient sea life, best of all the fluff is un-written as of yet.

Obso1e7e
2013-05-04, 10:26 AM
I have some ideas.
It probably goes without saying that you should have Illithids in the setting. My idea that I'm using for the Illithids in my setting is that they aren't straight evil, they just see the law chaos axis as more important than good evil. Evil is tolerated in moderation, but chaos is right out.
You obviously don't have to apply this to all illithids, or even illithids at all, I'm just putting it out there.

The campaign has expanded somewhat. The idea now is that in the death of an ancient god, his raw divine power was crystallized, while his death caused an explosion which rocked the region, causing massive destruction and near annihilation. It's been several hundred years since and the smaller shards are used as a source of power or as a high value currency. Unknown to most the largest shards allow somebody of sufficient power to grant spells to their worshipers, as though they were a deity, albeit in much more limited scope. Currently, those who hold deity status in the public eye are not actually deities, simply very powerful people or creatures backed up by one of these major shards. The surviving ones however have learned a degree of self-control. Naturally, the ones who sent their followers to kill everything eventually ended up with no followers and an easy target for a rival.

The mind flayer "deity" I have planned is actually an elder brain served by a handful of mind flayer high priests who have instituted a hierarchical government in their own city in which the human priests, mind controlled by the mind flayers, run the operation while allowing most citizens autonomy within a range. Effectively, it's a lawful society that has very strict laws and incredibly harsh punishments. People know that their god resides in the city, but only high priests are allowed to see him directly. Even the mind flayers are very rarely seen except on special occasions and events a handful of times a year.

Inkidu
2013-05-05, 02:38 PM
There's a 3.5 book called The Lords of Madness. It has a lot to say in general about Aberrations and games dealing with them.

IcyFrozen
2013-05-05, 05:47 PM
I've always liked the rule that the first thing you throw out is the traditional racial guidelines.

Perhaps some 'good' aligned Illithid's who only eat the minds of creatures they consider 'evil' and don't see it as a crime. Perhaps its even their crusade to eat the minds of all evil-doers..

Obso1e7e
2013-05-07, 08:53 PM
I've always liked the rule that the first thing you throw out is the traditional racial guidelines.

Perhaps some 'good' aligned Illithid's who only eat the minds of creatures they consider 'evil' and don't see it as a crime. Perhaps its even their crusade to eat the minds of all evil-doers..

Unfortunately, since about 3 years of playing with a group that was obsessed with drizz't clones, good devils, evil asimar, etc, I have grown tired of the "Surprise! It's a beholder that acts fundamentally different from a beholder!" trope. It has it's place, but if it's used too often it gets to the point where the players stop making assumptions. I've seen it so much I've actually come to call it the "Good drow trope". As a result, I try to use it only when that specific situation would provide a unique benefit to my campaigns aside from just shaking up expectations. I've used it quite well in the past, such as a game where the party took a troll captive, using him to guide them through a swamp and to get information on a group inside of the swamp. The troll acted incredibly stupid, as is natural, afraid of fire, everything the party expected. It was actually an abnormally intelligent creature with a very high int and cha, allowing it to deceived and play the party without them realizing that they were being duped. He even threw in a few "fake" lies for the party to catch him in. Of course, do it too often and the party expects good mind flayers and hyper-intelligent orcs.

EdroGrimshell
2013-05-08, 10:07 AM
I've recently designed a city based on an aberration turning the city into aberrations, but by their own volition, not through force.

The City of Aberinth, also called Aberinth's Gullet, is a strange city located far off the beaten path, in the wilds where most humanoids wouldn't last long, yet, Aberinth stands tall and proud, based around a gothic style church that was abandoned centuries prior to the city being built. It is unknown why the church was abandoned, why is was built in such a remote location, or even what deity it was originally dedicated to. When the first settlers came to the area, they started building small houses near the church, log cabins, farms, and smithies to start, the small hamlet growing into a town over the years. At the time, it had no name, and was simply a frontier town.

After the first two generations, things started going downhill, starting with goblins and orcs periodically raiding the town, forcing them to retreat into the church, after which, work on a palisade began, encircling the town and church. For a time, it worked, protecting those that lived in the town and allowing them some peace. It lasted only a few years before a lycanthrope, a wererat, made it into the town and wreaked havoc on the town. a small group of the townsfolk left to get aid, only to return to find the town abandoned and silent. Searching, the found people in the church, one, the herbalist and doctor of the town, clutched a pale child with black markings on his skin as if he was a savior. When asked, the only reply was that he got rid of the lycanthrope. The child was named Aberinth.

The child is the origin of the city's name and the reason for its current glory. He was obviously not entirely human, the black marks actually being his veins and arteries filled with black blood being one of the more noticeable signs. He started living in the town, offering his survices as a priest and surgeon. Before long, he started to experiment with his surgeon skills, expanding on them most out of all of his skills. This is when he started offering augmentation to the town militia, to give them an edge against the recent influx in violent neighbors, he also joined the militia himself, not really learning to fight himself so much as teaching others to use his gifts and refine his own technique. This all earned him much favor in the town, and allowed them to fight more efficiently, as well as giving them a healer that actually possessed magical healing.

His true skill, and true nature, were shown when he helped to fight off a band of bugbears and hobgoblins attacking the town, many mistook his abilities for being possessed by some sort of demon, despite the fact he showed kindness and still helped the townsfolk. It took a long time for them to get used to his unusual abilities. Over time, he refined these skills to help those in the town, even being able to bud crimson "seeds" from his own flesh to imbue those in the town with skills they could use and advancing his divine skills, allowing him to pass on his bloodline to a certain degree. Before long, the town was renowned for the grafts Aberinth provided and the peity they possessed towards their deity, the god of healing that Aberinth himself worshipped.

As time passed, Aberinth bound himself to the Church, spread his gifts among the people, and let the town grow as they grew more and more resistant to the attacks on them. Soon, the town became a city, and was dubbed the City of Aberinth by the citizens, and Aberinth's Gullet by outsiders who believed that Aberinth was simply an evil entity taking control of the town. On many occasions druids, clerics, favored souls, and paladins came to try and kill Aberinth, only to fail as the people of the City fought them off, until a young champion, a Crusader by the name of Selene, came to the city. Aberinth met her before she even entered the town, under a disguise, and showed her the city for herself, where she saw just how devoted the people were to their deity and to Aberinth. Once convinced that there was no true foul play, she went to the church, where Aberinth revealed himself, and asked her opinion on the city. Her response was not what he expected from her, she said it was a place she'd rather live than the church she'd lived at before, and Aberinth offered her a home in the city. She accepted with only mild hesitation, and began to train the militia that the town employed, refining their skills, and giving the town a true military power.

In time, the aberrant nature of the grafts and bloodlines started to pass to the children of the city, giving rise to a new race known as the Abrinthian, humans with aberrant blood and abilities. Before long, the town had converted from a mainly human population, to a mainly aberinthian population, with daelkyr half-bloods and elan also being prevalent as Aberinth created symbionts from his own body to aid the town and pass messages from himself to the ones hosting the symbionts. Elan came much later, as refugees from a neighboring kingdom's purging of aberrations, they were welcomed with open arms into the city. This created an influx of psionic potential, on par with the magical might of the rest of the kingdom. Soon, the City of Aberinth rivaled most other cities in the kingdom, the unique combination of aberration blood, martial prowess, divine favor, and psionic potential fuelling their rise.

It has been several generations since the City of Aberinth reached its power, and it has maintained that power to this day, growing steadily more stable and refined as the aberration blood is refined and made into something greater, and Aberinth himself ascending into a sort of Quasi-Deity as the worship of his deity granted him more strength and divine favor. Aberinth is now bound to the church, and, in fact, is the church for all intents and purposes, and has been labeled a Saint despite his grim abilities, the deity mutating along with its worship to become a god of change and healing.

Within the city, Aberinth holds enough power to turn aside all but the most potent of opponents, and fuel the power of the city for generations to come, for he is eternal, and shall never truly die...

Well, this was a lot of fun to write up, this makes use of a lot of homebrew, even in the fluff, to make it work, below's a list of the things used to make this thing work.

Kellus's Connoisseur (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=232699), Xenoalchemist (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=205119), and Devourer (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?p=13506266#post13506266)

Draken's Evolutionist (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=240717), Malshaper (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=207981), and High Evolutionary (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=14290489&postcount=242)

Owrtho's Ozodrin (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=153536), Menacing Manor (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=9576340&postcount=1), and Sower of Strangeness (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=9576349&postcount=2) (About halfway down the post)

Welknair's Inherent Bloodline (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=213704)

and my Aberrant Feats, found in my sig.

What do you think? Would it fit the setting?

ShadowFireLance
2013-05-08, 01:02 PM
Can....can I use that?
And also, I'm have a few places in the new game I'm about to start that are going to have a couple of Mind-Flayer thingies in them, and this fits perfect! Can I? Can I please?
Would you happen to have a idea of stats for Aberinth?

EdroGrimshell
2013-05-08, 02:41 PM
Can....can I use that?
And also, I'm have a few places in the new game I'm about to start that are going to have a couple of Mind-Flayer thingies in them, and this fits perfect! Can I? Can I please?
Would you happen to have a idea of stats for Aberinth?

Yes you may use this.

Aberinth is Epic Level, nearing Deific status (Possibly Divine Rank 0 or 1 TBH)

Anyway, here's what I'd see him as
Name: Aberinth
Race: Aberinthian (Humanoid, 3 RHD, Benefits from a Major Inherent Bloodline (Aberrant Feats) without the level tax, and has human racial traits, LA +1 that's been bought off)
Class Progression: Ozodrin 5 / Evolutionist 1 / Xenoalchemist 2 / Connoisseur 1 / Sower of Strangeness 5 / Devourerer 6 / Malshaper 10 / Menacing Manor 5 / High Evolutionary 5 (Yes, he's level 40). From this point, he'd progress as an Evolutionist.
Feats: All Aberrant feats. I won't give specifics beyond saying he has the Cultist-Style Feats (all of them) from my Aberration Blood Expanded thread. He'd also have VoP and use a few of the more balanced/useful exalted feats from here (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=282079).

If you want him to be varied, give him this feat:
Morphic Nature [Aberrant]
Prerequisites: Manifest Form
Benefits: When entering your worldly guise, you may choose to suppress any number of aberrant feats instead of all of them. You my choose to take two aberrant feats any time you take an aberrant feat. Doing so is retroactive but does not apply to this feat. One set is linked to your Worldly Guise, one linked to your Manifested Form. When in the designated form, you gain the feats assigned to that specific form.
Recommended Feats:
Any you need for prerequisites
Strange Energies
Soothing Energies
Empathic Link
Vision from the Stars
Scion of the Aberrant Mark
Voidspawn
Gift from the Void
Aberrant Essence
Subtle Aberration
Gift of Aberrant Blood
Aberrant Acolyte
Priest of the Mad Realm
Bishop of the Far Realms
A bunch of additional feats for Gift of Aberrant Blood
Blessed Ear
Blessed Tongue
Blessed Sight
Blessed Truth
Blessed Voice
Blessed Visage
Blessed Touch
Whatever other Exalted feats you want to grab with VoP
Stats: Cha = Wis > Con = Str > Int > Dex
Skills: Meet the prereqs of his PrCs, Max out Knowledge Skills for identifying monsters, and distribute the rest as seen fit. Uses features for spot, search, listen, and any other skills that can be enhanced by the features.
Hope this helps. :smallsmile:

Also, Aberinth's personality is that of a very caring old man essentially. Very grandfatherly and supportive. NG, in essence.