Quote Originally Posted by noob View Post
It could be done just by some nobles understanding the dangers of inbreeding and secretly forging "evidence" of the noble dragon ancestry for some people they favour ("I always knew this swordsman guard with an undying loyalty to me was exceptional it is just now I found out he was in fact of noble blood")
That's a very good idea.

Quote Originally Posted by sktarq View Post

I think you may have misinterpreted a fair bit of what I was trying to get to...I see I didn't explain things that well. I'll try one more time before dropping it.

Firstly on dragon types. Each family was basically drawn from the fluff of the 2e or 3e Monster manuals, the Draconomican, with an eye to classic non D&D dragon imagery. Powers of the type are tertiary at best. The reason for this is players will already link these themes to dragons in their head so you are already getting these noble families to dragons themselves which will make them all "feel" more Draconic. The types should mostly be read as personality types than powers. In fact I only included them at all because in some rule sets like 5e a draconic bloodline has a type requirement...oh and their names (either Latin or Scotish translation of words linked to the type-except for Russian with the tiefling one)
That explanations helps. As for the ethnic names, I like your names. All of my fictional nations are linked to a real world nation. Most of the Swynfaredian names are Welsh or based on mangled Welsh. Most of the Fumaya names are Polish or based on mangled Polish. Most of the Uskalan names are vaguely German. I just started trying to flesh out the Wood Elves and I started using a little bit of mangled Russia, the Wood Elf nation is officially is called Codenya, but most people still call it "The Wood Elf nation."

There are two somewhat nearby dwarf nations, but for the first time in a very long time, no player has chosen to make a dwarf PC, a rarity in my group. So the dwarf nations have far less to do. I also have a region called the Border Baronies Region that is exactly what it sounds like and therefore is an ethnic hodge podge of Uskalans, Fumayans, Swynfaredians, Kantoca, and others all eking out a living in some very rugged terrain ruled by eclectic petty independent Barons and Baronesses.

I have other nations in my setting but these are the nations that actually impact my RPG campaign.

Quote Originally Posted by sktarq View Post
Secondly. For a nation that seems to be quite expansionist and militaristic the military seemed not very politically powerful. This would be odd normally. But I figured if the political might of the army is broken up across a fair number of families that would make sense. Sure Fremiss B would be the most powerful but not powerful enough to be a major player, which is what you described. also I figures that having houses that the big powerful houses to basically fight over in their games of alliances would be kinda important.
That is a good idea, but let me explain why Swynfaredia's military is not very powerful politically.

The First Swynfaredian Civil War looked a lot like a conventional war.

The Second Swynfaredian Civil War had a few battles here and there but the real turning points all occurred off the battle field in sorcerer on sorcerer duels.

The third Swynfaredian Civil War had almost zero conventional battles. It was fought almost entirely via sorcerer on sorcerer duels and magical acts of hit-and-run terrorism. The opposition side of the war used illusion and transmutation magic to bypass conventional armies altogether.

Most Swynfaredians have read the tea leaves and believe that a a fourth Swynfaredian Civil War is inevitable and all the houses are preparing for it. Most of the houses believe that sorcerer on sorcerer duels and clandestine assassinations will be more important than conventional battles, so they are stock piling all the abjuration and divination magic they can while cutting funding to their armies.

None of this contradicts your ideas, so I can use both ideas.

Quote Originally Posted by sktarq View Post
Rivalries vs monopolies. Now Rivalries breed drama, gives spaces for various groups to compete over or be insulted about. So I tried to avoid monopolies. Plus if one family dominates a trade but doesn't have an outright monopoly a house that needs just some of that controlled trade or item they can possibly pull it off while if it is totally a monopoly they will have trouble doing a lot of the scheming they would want to. and is implied in what you said. SO some of what I wrote was expressly to have overlap.
That his a helpful clarification.

Quote Originally Posted by sktarq View Post
Lastly you said that you were aiming at a game where the players are dealing with an invasion from these guys. So I'm leaning toward the types that the PC's are more likely to actually meet and deal with.
Quote Originally Posted by sktarq View Post
I'll go into what I was aiming at a bit to see if I can explain what I was aiming or give you the foundation for turning it around in a way that works better. Where the idea need a different implementation.
These were all helpful, thank you. I'm not going to address each one individually but your clarifications and suggestions were very helpful and valuable to me.

Quote Originally Posted by sktarq View Post
I note there is no reaction to this one. Which is a bit of a pity as this was the first house I came up with and what started this whole thing.
I wasn't sure what to make of it, so I left it out. I'll revisit it later and see if I get any new brainwaves

Quote Originally Posted by sktarq View Post

Finally, It provides a stalking horse plotwise of "this could always be worse" and the idea just taking down the leadership could lead to a worse version rising up later. . . A Swynfaredia led by this family would be terrifying, which weirdly makes Numaness seem like something to tolerate.
This was actually the direction I was going with House Gruffyle. The current patriarch of House Gruffyle had the idea that "I'm going to sire lots and lots of bastards and some of them might be sorcerers I can recruit later." He didn't always get consent but was very good at Enchantment magic.

It just so happens that Mr. Solo Adventure's background is that he was a bastard child of a young noblewoman and an unknown man that was shipped off to the monastary.

I liked the idea of a House Gruffyle bastard turning out to be not only a squib, but a squib that hunts down evil mages!

I was going to set up the Gruffyle patriarch as a recurring villain as both Patriarch and his son gradually learn of their shared connection

But then the character got murdered by the nameless thug of an unrelated C-list villain of the Week. Oopsy.

Quote Originally Posted by sktarq View Post

Middle bit: I would just say the "many small houses" is very much like how I was thinking about "lines" above...totally agree...but that may be a better way to look at it TBH...perhaps you could use something like Numaness-AAAA, Numaness-BBB, ? etc...so hyphenated names imply large family types? so it is easy enough for players and yourself to keep track of? (which leads to the question of the Fremiss daughter houses....perhaps some linguistic drift to separate them? its been centuries right? Frenys/Fraymis/Fremz/etc...have fun with it?
I am calling them Fremiss A, Fremiss B, and Fremiss C to keep it simple for the players to keep track of, but those probably aren't the in-universe names.

Fremiss the Vibrant's wives and mistresses are all known, Codella the human, Glenda the human, Treasa the human, Inola the human, Owena the human, and Lynette the human.

I figured Fremiss daughter houses could be based on these. I'm still working on my family tree, but the human women that had the most grandchildren could posthumously be the basis of the Fremiss daughter houses.

Fremiss-Codella for Fremiss A for instance.

Quote Originally Posted by sktarq View Post
Last part: domestically I'd agree but it sounds like the nation is quite militaristic towards outsiders. Why I was looking for ways to politically defang the heavy infantry (put them in the hands of minor families)...but you seem to be setting up a story focusing on the Swynfaredian military. So this needs some depth, balancing the charm/bribe/extortion with the invasion story.

You are correct, that's why I wanted to create this thread to weave something out of the Snarl of my diverging plot threads.