View Full Version : stone age setting, need help

2007-07-10, 03:37 AM
i'm planning on running a stone age setting, the players are all humans and are going to be members of the same tribe, probably brothers and/or sisters. the elves have only just discovered magic, and the dwarves have already started using a type of mineral known as iron, they just don't know how to smelt it yet. for stone-age standard it's going to be pretty advanced. i was wondering if anyone could come up with some homebrew things that might help, i've already created a Neanderthal race, based on documentaries about neanderthals.

2007-07-10, 04:16 AM
You can change out weapon groups, like simple weapons could be Clubs and Staffs. Martial weapons could be Spears, Maces, and daggers. Exotic weapons could be slings and short bows. Barter system more than coin, like pelts as a currency in one region, where grain could be money in a different area. Remove metal armors and change classes access to armor types. Have language be a limiting factor and knowlege (language) could be important. Everyone is by default illiterate. So, if no magic then that axes wizard & sorcerer. Cleric too unless you want to just change some of their aspects and remove divine casting. Druid you could change to a totemic warrior/shaman class or something. Limit the amount of large citys and instead have a large gathering of the clans once and a while. This can add large scale interactions/diplomacy and can have large adventuring opportunities. Change the starting benefits to being human. They aren't quick studies yet with bonus skill points. Or you can have some players who are normal humans, and others with Str or Con bonus' and Wis or Int penalties to portray a Neanderthalesque race. Uh... [/IDEAS]

2007-07-10, 04:29 AM
some good ideas there, i think that craft would be a class skill for almost all classes, seeing as everyone needs to be able to make their own things. alot of the game would consist of tracking down certain animals and killing them for raw materials so you could kill another animal and so on.

2007-07-10, 06:24 AM
Get ahold of Frostburn. I'll assume you're doing an ice age type thing, and the book is really good. It even has some dire/prehistoric animals.

If you ever played Chrono Trigger, there's a point in the game where a magic empire (similar to Netheril in Forgotten Realms) collapses and the whole world goes into a dark age. You could play around with that a bit, maybe having the players on a hunting trip and one of them falls into a crevasse that turns out to be some ancient ruins.

I assume you mean along the lines of rules though. The DMG has a little bit about stone weapons. I suggest you make the dwarves have copper and not iron, as iron is incredibly difficult to even mine without advanced techniques. There's a reason it took so long for people to figure out.

Kurald Galain
2007-07-10, 07:42 AM
Ban most knowledge skills.

Shamen are highly appropriate to the setting, probably as druids or sorcerers.

There's a parody RPG on the web somewhere that plays in the stone age and restricts players to twenty words agreed upon in advance (which immediately gives rise to all sorts of fun grammar things, such as using a word twice for verb form or plural). Anyway that's parody and overdoing it, but the point is that you should be watchful against Vaarsuvius-like language from players.

Invent the wheel :)

2007-07-10, 07:59 AM
I have nothing but good things to say about Shaman's Handbook by Green Ronin.

Which incidentally also suggest using Shamans as sorcerors or druids. But it also has a base class Shaman (which I like much better than Spirit Shaman)

2007-07-10, 08:34 AM
Substandard Weapon materials from Darksun (Stone/Bone is -2 Attack & -2 Damage, Wood is -3 ttack & -3 Damage) for items not inteneded to be made fromthe substance (ie a Wooden sword)

mabriss lethe
2007-07-10, 02:37 PM
Read The malazan Books of the Fallen by Steven Erikson.

There is a neolithic race still roaming the earth called the T'lan Imass (oh the joys of glottal stops.) That could give you a good idea on how you want to go about a stone age fantasy setting.

I already have a bunch of stone age goblins running around in one of my campaign worlds. Frankly I think my players were terrified of them. They just didn't act like the goblins they were used to.

2007-07-10, 04:24 PM
I would say “no” to the substandard weapons idea in darksun. But if you’re going to incorporate iron and other minerals then that may be a good idea.

Oh and I do agree on the use of frostburn for a source of information. Seems to me you’re looking for more of a survival theme game rather than a standard fantasy setting.

I would recommend using a lot of dire animals and possibly dinosaurs instead of creatures with weird magic powers (though some are fine).

Tiki Snakes
2007-07-10, 04:34 PM
Read The malazan Books of the Fallen by Steven Erikson.

I'd say, simply, whether or not you are constructing a stone-age campaign world, the above is good advice.

Read it because it is so much the good.

2007-07-10, 07:37 PM
I actually did some homebrew just a couple weeks ago:


There are some basic rules for primitive arcane casters and weapons made of flint or obsidian. Flint's an inferior material, but obsidian's got a few perks--if it's enchanted.

And seconding towards the Malazan Book of the Fallen.

2007-07-10, 10:00 PM
Have you approached your players with this setting yet? It's a great idea on paper, but to me, I don't know if I could get into the groove of "zug zug hunt gather starve freeze" game myself.

2007-07-11, 01:28 PM
Have you approached your players with this setting yet? It's a great idea on paper, but to me, I don't know if I could get into the groove of "zug zug hunt gather starve freeze" game myself.

As I see it, that's one way of doing a stone age game. But another is one that focuses on ancient, primal myths. There is a potential for some very intense stuff. I'm not quite sure how to capitalize on this however.