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Zanatos777
2008-09-11, 11:16 AM
Okay, I wanted to propose a campaign setting I was planning to run. I was wondering if I could get feedback from you guys as to whether or not these seem like good ideas. I want to thank you all in advance too.

If you are in the Athens Wargamers please stop reading here.

The Setting
This is your basic medieval crapshoot world ravaged by constant wars. The big thing is that some people are born with powers (arcane magic) which are naturally useful to these warring nations. Women born with magic are immediately taken away (obvious from birth due to distinctive eyes) and trained as weapons (think walking artillery) with no personality (I know what charisma is but just work with me here Iíll get to that). They are controlled by collars put on them at birth; each collar is tuned to a magic bracelet which allows whoever wears the bracelet absolute control. Removing the collar is dangerous and can kill the sorcereress. Men on the other hand having only the significantly less potent bardic magic are left alone but with a stigma of being unnatural. Clerics/Archivists are accepted and Druids are so rare that few believe they exist. Paladins and Rangers work normally in terms of casting. The world is also low power with only a handful of people above level 16 and probably only one at 20. The fact that magic functions this way is due to an event 3,000 years ago but no discernable records go back more than 1,500 years.

Okay to start with banned stuff:
Arcane casters (except bards and sorcerers)
Favored Soul (donít like the class in general)
Warlock (undecided)
Psionics

Altered Stuff:
Sorcerers: d8 hit dice, all female, all NPCs (intended to be blasters mostly since their list has the most flashy damage spells)
Rangers: full ranger level to animal companion
Paladin: http://forums.gleemax.com/showthread.php?t=761045&highlight=revised+paladin
Dragons: no casting using Xorvintaal instead with some modifications, definitely ditching the fluff. Should be noted that there is one dragon who can use magic normally due to being older than 3,000 years old.
Magic items are harder to come across especially ones that need arcane magic to make.

I think that is everything. Thank you in advance for your thoughts.

Tormsskull
2008-09-11, 11:42 AM
Women born with magic are immediately taken away (obvious from birth due to distinctive eyes) and trained as weapons (think walking artillery) with no personality (I know what charisma is but just work with me here Iíll get to that). They are controlled by collars put on them at birth; each collar is tuned to a magic bracelet which allows whoever wears the bracelet absolute control.


Very Wheel of Time Seanchan-esque. Sounds cool.



Magic items are harder to come across especially ones that need arcane magic to make.


I think the general thought is that less magic items make the melee types even weaker. You've eliminated the wizard, so that would probably help, but clerics are still around. I've heard the cloistered cleric is a good way of nerfing the oft-abused features of the cleric class, might want to consider it as it seems you're going for a generally lower power level than standard.



I think that is everything. Thank you in advance for your thoughts.

Overall sounds fun with plenty of RP potential. Good luck.

Neon Knight
2008-09-11, 12:09 PM
I'm gonna say its risky. It would be very, very easy to interpret as sexist. There are, after all, some people who can't stand Robert Jordan for his gender... politics? Can't find the right word. But anyway, anything that can offend potentially 50% of the human population should be treated very delicately. (Especially since this could offend either half, and possibly even both at the same time.)

Also, the theme of enslaving powerful women at birth and turning them into mindless meat puppets is not only offensive, but someone's fetish. Rule 36.

Men, on the other hand, only get a slight stigma. Okay. Magical woman = powerful weapon with no free will, magical man = weaker, unnatural, but hey I have free will!

Plus, bards already have OOC stigmas attached. Sure, you can have oratory bards, but must people probably think of the lute playing metrosexual or at least effeminate bard. Those people that like bards (like me) will be able to get past that, but for those who can't....

Yeah. This is pretty much a good example of a bad idea.

Add in the fact that bards aren't really that weak, and blasting isn't much more powerful than conventional melee, and you have one whacked up situation.

TheThan
2008-09-11, 01:18 PM
Yeah I agree, make the sorcerers both male and female. Also I donít really like the idea of clerics being like druids.

I would rather see the church as being very militant and are lending (or selling) their clerics out as war priests to bless, buff and heal soldiers (with the occasional holy smack down). Maybe theyíre willing to work for any side. This leads to paladins becoming elite holy warriors. Maybe a unit of soldiers will contain a group of paladins, lead by a cleric.

As for druids, maybe they donít exist. Or if they do, they are totally neutral and will only fight to protect the lands under their protection. They become thorns in the sides of governments.

Krrth
2008-09-11, 01:34 PM
I'll agree with the others about the gender issue. It might make more sense if anyone that can be a spontanious caster gets taken away, male or female.
Instead of being turned into mindless killing machines, take a look at the warmage class. The mechanics of that might help out.

Tsotha-lanti
2008-09-11, 01:44 PM
Very Wheel of Time Seanchan-esque. Sounds cool.

I think you mean Bene Gesserit from Dune. (Oh yeah, I "burned" a dead man.)

And yes, I get a Gor vibe from it, which you don't want to give off (unless, of course, you want to appeal to fans of Gor... which I doubt anyone really wants to do).

I can't see any way in which all-female slave-sorceresses improve a setting, really. Certainly they could serve all the same story purposes if they included both genders.

Tormsskull
2008-09-11, 01:48 PM
I really strongly disagree with trying to make fantasy worlds politically correct. If you as a world designer have a good idea/reason that might not be PC today, go with it.

Heck, I've had game worlds where all the elves were slaves to the other races. I've had countries where men were literally born stupid, and only used for manual labor and reproduction by women leaders. And I've had countries where all of the leaders were male and their popularity / political power was determined by the number of wives they had.

Heck, some of the best books I read had very non-PC elements in them (Wheel of Time, A Song of Ice and Fire, If I pay Thee not in Gold).

mostlyharmful
2008-09-11, 02:06 PM
I like the abducting Spontaneous casters at birth although why they're only women is a little shakey, I'd turn that to all Sorcs of both sexes.

I like the Dragon-bit, the standard DnD 3.5 Dragon is a little over equiped for me.

Personally I'd make any caster in a world like this with the requisite Crafting feat able to make a UMD check to meet any requirements except level to make an item like a Warlock. Oh, and ban Cleric and replace with Cloistered Cleric, and ban Divine Power.

It sounds like a good fun place to run around in. Good luck.:smallsmile:

Zanatos777
2008-09-11, 03:37 PM
Very Wheel of Time Seanchan-esque. Sounds cool.

Never read those and certainly wasn't thinking that.


I think the general thought is that less magic items make the melee types even weaker. You've eliminated the wizard, so that would probably help, but clerics are still around. I've heard the cloistered cleric is a good way of nerfing the oft-abused features of the cleric class, might want to consider it as it seems you're going for a generally lower power level than standard.

Cloistered cleric is probably a better idea thanks I forgot about that.


I'm gonna say its risky. It would be very, very easy to interpret as sexist. There are, after all, some people who can't stand Robert Jordan for his gender... politics? Can't find the right word. But anyway, anything that can offend potentially 50% of the human population should be treated very delicately. (Especially since this could offend either half, and possibly even both at the same time.)

I am not concerned with being politically correct as I find being overly polite and accommodating to be annoying.


I really strongly disagree with trying to make fantasy worlds politically correct. If you as a world designer have a good idea/reason that might not be PC today, go with it.

I think I should have mentioned earlier that the world is question's situation part of an extremely powerful being's experiments. That is the reason why all the powerful sorcs are women. It is a social experiment as this being tries to understand the universe.

Thank you all for the comments about the clerics I had been thinking about powering them down somewhat and had forgotten about Cloistered. I noticed no one thought there was anything wrong with the ranger's change or was the fact that all the sorcs are women that big of a deal?

Neon Knight
2008-09-11, 04:00 PM
I am not concerned with being politically correct as I find being overly polite and accommodating to be annoying.



I really strongly disagree with trying to make fantasy worlds politically correct. If you as a world designer have a good idea/reason that might not be PC today, go with it.

Heck, I've had game worlds where all the elves were slaves to the other races. I've had countries where men were literally born stupid, and only used for manual labor and reproduction by women leaders. And I've had countries where all of the leaders were male and their popularity / political power was determined by the number of wives they had.

Heck, some of the best books I read had very non-PC elements in them (Wheel of Time, A Song of Ice and Fire, If I pay Thee not in Gold).

There is a difference between being politically correct, and polite. There is also a difference between being polite and not being offensive.

I do not advocate political correctness. I have no problem with fantasy racism, nor do I have a problem with conventional and realistic social structures being present in fantasy. (Although you really, really, really should make sure none of the PCs will get offended, at that this doesn't cause one of the PCs to be perpetually ignored and put down.)

But this goes beyond polygamy and gender roles. We're talking about one gender, and one gender alone, being magically granted special powers unique to that gender. We're then talking about every single society on the face of the world enslaving, brutalizing, abusing, exploiting, and dehumanizing these women.

That is not equivalent to any real life social structure I have ever seen. Modern day child soldiers, janissaries, and mamelukes, all have thematic similarities, but the whole collar/no independent will/no possible freedom/crazy power level makes it smack of a bad BSDM novel or some twisted, perverted magical girlfriend series.

Removing either the gender requirement or the whole "mindless drone" aspect removed the creepy by a lot. That's right. Creepy. I don't object solely because it could be potentially offensive to someone, but also because I know someone out there reading it is getting a sick sexual thrill off of it.

I need some Brain Bleach. (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/BrainBleach)

Ascension
2008-09-11, 09:21 PM
You could view it as having power over magic linked to the power to produce life. Thematically it makes some sort of sense.

I agree that the exploitation is ugly, ugly, ugly, but if what he's doing is trying to create an ugly, ugly, ugly world, then the misogyny is a means to an end, not an end in itself.

I also presume that the PCs would be working to free these sorcerer women and that there would be a chance for character development on their parts after they've been freed.

Now if they continue to be soulless drones even after the PCs have beaten up the folks who're exploiting them, then I'd have a problem with the situation.

Zanatos777
2008-09-12, 09:18 AM
You could view it as having power over magic linked to the power to produce life. Thematically it makes some sort of sense.

I agree that the exploitation is ugly, ugly, ugly, but if what he's doing is trying to create an ugly, ugly, ugly world, then the misogyny is a means to an end, not an end in itself.

I also presume that the PCs would be working to free these sorcerer women and that there would be a chance for character development on their parts after they've been freed.

Now if they continue to be soulless drones even after the PCs have beaten up the folks who're exploiting them, then I'd have a problem with the situation.

Actually I haven't decided on the plot but I would be surprised if they didn't decide this had to be stopped. In fact I hope they do.

Tormsskull
2008-09-12, 09:26 AM
We're talking about one gender, and one gender alone, being magically granted special powers unique to that gender. We're then talking about every single society on the face of the world enslaving, brutalizing, abusing, exploiting, and dehumanizing these women.


Right. Much like Wheel of Time and male channelers. Those males that can channel are either gentled (the ability to use magic burned out of them), killed, or in the case of the Aiel, sent into the Blight on a certain death mission.

Why does this happen, because male channelers gradually go insane and then could bring destruction to everyone around them. Therefore, the world's reaction to them makes sense.

In this posters example, as long as there is a reason that it makes sense (which it sure seems like there is based on his posts), then I see no problem with it.



I don't object solely because it could be potentially offensive to someone, but also because I know someone out there reading it is getting a sick sexual thrill off of it.


If those are your requirements, you must be very restricted in your ability to design worlds. Heck, I'm sure there is someone out there reading the 3e MM and looking at some of the pictures and getting a sick sexual thrill off of it.

And man, Nymphs? And entire race designed to be objects of sexual fantasies. How disgusting! Those games designers are all perverts. Additional exclamation points!

Holocron Coder
2008-09-12, 11:00 AM
I don't see anything wrong with this as a fantasy setting. In fact, like someone mentioned, it's very Wheel of Time-ish.

In that setting, men and women both can get magic, but men generally go insane as a result, rather quickly, so are put down or de-magic'd. Thus, essentially, only women are 'sorcerers.' Then, in one society, they are revered and set aside (think relation of the catholic church versus the normal government in this world's past). In another society, they are enslaved and essentially used as near-mindless battle tanks.

Not all that much different and I don't see a problem with that. PC is just... not right IMO. If someone gets easily offended over this, then I doubt they'll like half the stuff in D&D to begin with.

Though, as a note, you may want to look into the WoT RPG as a result :smallsmile:

Neon Knight
2008-09-12, 11:40 AM
Right. Much like Wheel of Time

I did say I do not like The Wheel of Time, didn't I? I also mentioned that there are many people who also do not like The Wheel of Time. This is one of the many reasons why.




If those are your requirements, you must be very restricted in your ability to design worlds. Heck, I'm sure there is someone out there reading the 3e MM and looking at some of the pictures and getting a sick sexual thrill off of it.

And man, Nymphs? And entire race designed to be objects of sexual fantasies. How disgusting! Those games designers are all perverts. Additional exclamation points!

Hyperbole is funny. That aside, I'm not being a prude here. The sick part comes from the implied rape and sexual slavery that can either be very easily interpreted or simply evoked by the imagery involved here. (And I know about half-orcs/tieflings, and no, I don't like them either)

Women + mindless drone with no free will + collar? Come on! It's not illogical at all to think of... blech. Squicky (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/Squick).