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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    EvilClericGuy

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    Default A new atempt at community world building

    Some of you may remember past community world building projects like "Smog" or "CoG". One of my mistakes with "Smog" was not keeping an active archive of the additions and retcons made to the setting as we went along, in order to prevent that this time I will set aside the first two post after this to be reserved. Another problem was the map, making it up as you go along was not a good idea so here you go, a map right of the start

    And now with out further ado the premise...dang! I had an idea but it doesn't seam that well suited to being a game setting, a good campaign but not a good game setting. My original idea had been that a world without humans, but with all the other races, got an infusion of humans in the form of a subway car full of commuters burst through from the "real" world into this world, but that would probably make a better fantasy novel than game . So unless I can come up with a better one by Monday I'm open to suggestions, consider just another part of the community world building process
    Last edited by kopout; 2009-06-12 at 09:48 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by ToySoldierCPlus View Post
    Now you're attempting to model physics when arguing your case for armor made by a guy who explicitly tells the laws of physics to sit down and shut up whenever he starts tinkering stacking with regular armor. Stop that.
    Miny city!
    Industrial miny city!
    transportation!
    round one, fight!

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    EvilClericGuy

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    Default Re: A new atempt at community world building

    The highlight reel

    This is not a list of every thing and it is not perfect, if you want to to know everything you have to reed the thread and/or ask some one.

    Races

    • Dwarves
    • Gnomes
    • Kabouter( dwarve gnomes)
    • Humans
    • Halflings
    • Elves
    • Orcaguin (now in 4 new flavors)(Needs name)
    • Imocaris(crab people)
    • Tuko (gecko people)
    • Warforged (elemental style)
    • Kobolds
    • Elf/orc crossbreed (underwater drow style, needs name)
    • Naraldi's Children (yuan-ti like, needs name)
    • Goblins?

    Time line
    20 years Before Ruin- First Rise, Dwarf/Gnome Alliance is formed, First Crab Cities are built

    17 BR- Elimanishon makes the floating desert and makes himself an immortal mummy emperor

    12 BR- Orcs slaughter ten thousand people in the city Xiua to make their children born amphibious

    0 BR/After Ruin- Second Rise is complete, No land is left

    130 AR- Suriya is created by 5 elven Houses

    300 AR- One crab city is destroyed by a concentrated orc assault

    612 AR- Suriya is sunk by a devil's anitmagic spell

    750 AR- Another crab city is destroyed by an assault of dragons and half-giants

    1000 AR- The waters begin to recede, the first search parties are sent out (none return)

    1005 AR- Naraldi's Children the yuan-ti rise from the depths

    1012 AR- More land is exposed, a few people have ventured into the land and given reports of huge lush jungles and forests
    Last edited by kopout; 2009-06-14 at 08:44 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by ToySoldierCPlus View Post
    Now you're attempting to model physics when arguing your case for armor made by a guy who explicitly tells the laws of physics to sit down and shut up whenever he starts tinkering stacking with regular armor. Stop that.
    Miny city!
    Industrial miny city!
    transportation!
    round one, fight!

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    EvilClericGuy

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    Last edited by kopout; 2009-06-15 at 08:53 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by ToySoldierCPlus View Post
    Now you're attempting to model physics when arguing your case for armor made by a guy who explicitly tells the laws of physics to sit down and shut up whenever he starts tinkering stacking with regular armor. Stop that.
    Miny city!
    Industrial miny city!
    transportation!
    round one, fight!

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Vadin's Avatar

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    Default Re: A new atempt at community world building

    What about a world where no one lives on the landmasses? Long ago they did, but something or someone forced every group out into the oceans and off of the land.

    Now, almost a thousand years later, the first beings are going back on land.

    What do they find there?

    What is the land like?

    What, if anything, lives on it?

    Why did everyone leave?

    How did they leave?

    How do they stay alive on the ocean?

    What sorts of groups existed before, and how have those groups changed?

    What kind of magic, if any, do the people have access to?

    What kind of magic, if any, is common fare?

    More questions I'm sure will be generated and answered by the community.
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  5. - Top - End - #5
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: A new atempt at community world building

    The way the landmasses are set up, I can't image that any one of them would be larger than the sum of the British isles. So, building off of Vadin's idea, why not make this a water-world. A massive, global flood forced people to the sea. Some lived in flotilla colonies; some lived in domed cities beneath the waves; some, through magic or natural adaptation changed to live beneath the waves.

    Now, though, a thousand years later, the waters are finally starting to recede. These islands would be the tops of the tallest mountains of the old world, and the first to crest the waves again. Some of the various people of the ocean have taken notice of this, the water-breathers donning tanks and magical amulets to survive the air, the flotillas dropping anchors and building docks for the first time in a millennium, and the mages of the bubble cities walking ashore, plans in mind to reclaim their ancient heritage.

    What do you think?
    GENERATION 12: The first time you see this, copy it into your sig and add 1 to the generation. social experiment.
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    Fogmere City
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    Brute
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  6. - Top - End - #6
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    Vadin's Avatar

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    Default Re: A new atempt at community world building

    That, jagadaisho, was a generation ago.

    Ah, the cautious optimism!

    ...how they missed it.

    When the first scouting parties had gone on land, none had returned. They'd left the safety of their homes without any protection- after all, the only threats were aboleths, and dragonturtles, and all those other things that lived in the water.

    A few months later, one nation sent another search team out. A powerful psychic accompanied the group to relay messages of what was going on.

    Below is the only log:

    *It's weird...there are...plants? These shouldn't be out here.*

    *Noise. Just heard a noise. Big, loud. Keeping a an eye out.*

    *Is that...oh, Gliss! I thought those were just legends! I didn't think they were-*


    Now, 15 years later, the societies have all calmed down enough to process what it might be. The youth in particular want to know, and none of them really think that life out there would be all that dangerous.

    Heck, in the floating city Colenchor there are even rumors of a secret settlement on the land to the north!

    Of course, those are just rumors. Some awfully powerful people would have had to go to a lot of trouble to start a settlement up there, and they'd have to go to even more trouble to keep it a secret. And besides, there's no reason they'd even want to live up there...right?




    I'm thinking...plant things. Malboro kings. Fungus monsters. Assassin vines. Other things that grow slowly and creep in the sunlight.

    But where did they come from? Well, druids know how to raise plant beasts. What do the druids know about the world that everyone else has forgotten? What's up there? Do they know? Do they want to keep people off for a reason? Is that reason related to the thousand year spike in sea levels? Or is there something else out there, something that the ever-secretive druids don't want people to find out about?
    Last edited by Vadin; 2009-06-12 at 11:08 PM.
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  7. - Top - End - #7
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    jagadaishio's Avatar

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    Default Re: A new atempt at community world building

    I like it. A foray into the unknown without the characteristic sense of optimism that you see in most settings with such a theme. Rather, a sort of grim dread about what might be in these unfamiliar lands. Yes, I like it indeed.

    Now, let's start with original factions that existed in the world way back when, and then try to extrapolate what they would be like in this watery world. I would personally like to start with the dwarves. Let's say that the dwarves of the old days were much like their Tolkeinoid brethren - gruff, part Gothic, part Norse tunnel-dwellers. What did they do when some of their tunnels started flooding, the water levels approached and eventually surpassed their mountain-peak tunnel entrances, and the climate of the world steadily warmed, aided by the world-wide ocean currents?

    I see three main options here.

    1. Stationary alliance with gnomes. The dwarves, seeing the end of their way of life imminent, contacted the kingdoms of the gnomes, in their shallow burrows. The gnomes, in an even more risky position than the dwarves as their shallow, earthen tunnels rapidly flooded and left the gnomes migrant and homeless, were offered the shelter of the dwarven caves and access to all the same ores in exchange for a symbiotic service. The greatest of the gnome tinkers and artificers would have then waterproofed the entrances of the dwarven kingdoms, constructed massive magitech air filters, and lived there in the caves under the ocean with only the occasional clockwork submarine serving as their contact with the surface world.

    2. Migratory alliance with the gnomes. Much like the above example, but with one exception: the stubborn dwarves waited for too long to ask for the gnomes' help. So their caves flooded and when almost all was lost, they asked the gnomes to work their expertise using all of the resources the dwarves had left. And so a flotilla of massive submarines was constructed. Five subs the size of entire cities, each of them serving as a veritable city state with thousands of smaller subs at its service. They would have traveled the bottom of the sea, refining metals from deep sea vents and mining the ocean floor, serving as the best source of metals in the world for the people that dwelled in the surface and the shallows - a resource they exploited to meet the needs only easily fulfilled by trading.

    3. Vikings. The dwarves were too stubborn to ever ask for help. Instead, they build themselves massive ships with the alpine woods that only they still had access to and took to the high sea. To this day they survive primarily by preying upon weaker vessels and flotillas - a parasitic life, but one in which they never accepted the dishonour of another's charity. Better to steal than to be pitied.

    What do you think?
    GENERATION 12: The first time you see this, copy it into your sig and add 1 to the generation. social experiment.
    ----------
    Fogmere City
    ----------
    Brute
    ----------

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Vadin's Avatar

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    Default Re: A new atempt at community world building

    I think #2 is probably the best for long-term survival. Of course, this is all about the world THEN. After this is established, we've got to figure out how it changed to NOW.

    Look at this picture.
    Spoiler
    Show

    From here.


    Look at it.

    There's a city under there.

    Now, imagine that three of those is how the dwarves survived.

    This thing happened in two steps: the first one, cataclysmic for the underground races and very damaging for people in low lying areas. The second step was the one that took a few years (upwards of 20, methinks- slow enough that some people wouldn't realize it was happening until it was too late).

    Almost 3/4 of the dwarves were wiped out in the First Rise, and roughly 1/2 the gnomes. The two races banded together to make these seafaring crabs.

    While the waters were still rising they walked across the land, and once the land was gone and people fled from the shallow waters, they floated across the sea in giant cities and used the dangerous mechanical legs to attack lesser peoples who would threaten them. When not used for war, the huge legs dig at the shallower parts of the sea for minerals.

    Now for another group: underwater orcs! Orcs? Underwater? Well, DUH. The orcs made a deal with some of the more powerful wizards at the time- the orcs would wipe out some key enemies, and their children would be born completely amphibious. Two whole kingdoms were utterly annihilated and a race of underwater raiders was born. Behold the origins of the sahuagin. Of course, some of them come out a little weird and have more scales than others, but they're all pretty much the same: green, evil, and orcish.
    Spoiler
    Show
    From the same source as the picture above.



    So, dwarves and gnomes lived in a floating city with a Chinese Imperial inspired design, and the orcs mutated into the sahuagin.


    Also, look at these pictures, specifically the second one down and last one. The second one makes me think of what happened to a group (probably some very haughty elves who put too much trust in their magic) sometime between the Second Rise and the present.
    Spoiler
    Show
    Last edited by Vadin; 2009-06-13 at 01:03 AM.
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  9. - Top - End - #9
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    Kellus's Avatar

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    Default Re: A new atempt at community world building

    While the remaining gnomes and dwarves have formed a coalition (leading, incidentally, to the half-gnome half-dwarf hybrid race known as the kabouter) and the orcs have transcended into a new form of life suited to pillaging and raiding in the depths of the ocean, other races have found new ways to survive as well.

    The halflings were unique among the peoples of the land in that they were prepared for the disaster. Two hundred years before the First Rise, a prophet was born to them, known as Talaka and The Tideseer and He Who Saw True and also The Eye That Watches Ahead. Talaka foresaw the dark times to come, and preached his dark dreams to an unbelieving race. Although ridiculed by most of the typically nomadic halfling populace, a small gathering formed around him and listened to his words portending doom and destruction across the entire planet. Two hundred years later, long after he had died, this gathering had spawned a cult that had made adequate preparations to ensure the survival of the halfling race. While this cult believed in the images and portents Talaka saw, they did not share his benign and generous personality.

    All those halflings who subscribed to their beliefs were spared in their enormous flotillas of rafts along with their massive store of provisions that had been built up for two centuries. Those who didn't were lost in the rise of the oceans. Unfortunately, this means that the surviving halflings are now ruled by a zealous cult that believes the catastrophic floods were sent to cleanse the world of all impure life. They now travel the oceans in floating temples set on giant cities of rafts as the elder halfling cultists known as oceancullers plot and scheme to eradicate all other unworthy life forms that managed to survive what they call The Great Cleansing.

    The cult of Talaka, known once as The Order of Eyes but now calling themselves the Seaborn Supremacy Society, sees the receding tides as a gift from Talaka (whom they now worship as a god) telling them that their faith was true and that they should now spread and conquer these new lands in his name. So while the oceancullers hide and plot in their raftborne temples and shrines, brave halfling zealots are preparing to march onto the rediscovered lands and claim them for the Order of Eyes. Rumours say that a group of rebels to the faith exist, halflings who subscribe to the old philosophies of nomad life and carefree existence. This shadow group, calling themselves the Heirs of Freedom, believe that all halflings should live free of the malicious grasp of the Society.

    Meanwhile, elves are a different story entirely. Strong in magic and rich in blood, this noble aristocracy once believed themselves better than all other races. All elves can claim descendence from one of the fourteen great elf Houses, aside from the bastard-born elves that are called dokkalfar and are banished from elf lands. Unfortunately, these Houses were ruled by petty nobles who squabbled amongst themselves when they should have been saving their people. Fully half the elf population was wiped out in the First and Second Rises, including the heads and bases of power of two of the Houses. The twelve surviving Houses were forced to form a loose alliance in order to save themselves, converging in a ruling triumvirate drawn from their ranks known as the Alfheim.

    Today, the elves live in great fleets of longships and galleons that stake out territory on the seas for themselves. By and large they are petty and greedy, never fully subscribing to the new government they have been forced into in order to survive this past age. Although each House can claim certain waters for themselves, all of the twelve remaining Houses (including the three Great Houses that have representatives in the Alfheim) share a common territory reserved for diplomatic envoys, peacemaking, and treaty-signing. The two destroyed Houses, known as the Ruined Houses, have given up any sort of integration into the new elf paradigm and live as raiders and pillagers, scouring the seas for the weak and stealing what they can from the unwary.

    [All conjecture; any better ideas, let me know!]

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: A new atempt at community world building

    I rather miss the Smog setting. It's too bad it died out.

    Anyways, don't have time to post any real fluff, but I'd suggest a deep sea, non humanoid race. Most likely first encountered the sahuagin first and soon after the other surface dwelling races. Most likely would have the capacity to travel on land (though with soem kind of penalty).

    Owrtho
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    [creature]Shiny: Monster Competition XXXVI entry.
    [class]Wisp fire guide: Follow me. I have such sights to show you.
    [class]Ozodrin: A class to play as an eldritch horror.
    other hombrew

  11. - Top - End - #11
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    Vadin's Avatar

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    Default Re: A new atempt at community world building

    Dwarves and gnomes
    Then: Live along the top of the sea in huge floating crab-like forts that scoop minerals from the seabed; small groups of other races live in their floating city as well.
    Now: Live along the top of the sea in huge floating crab-like forts that scoop minerals from the seabed; there is a sizeable half-breed minority and about one in five humanoids aren't gnomes, dwarves, or kabouter. There used to be five cities, but two were lost. One was taken by a great sahuagin assault from the depths in the year 300, and the other was destroyed in a great assault from the giants and their red dragon allies in the year 750. No one knows how the cities were originally constructed, but a dedicated gnomish cult to Gliss the Steam God, a humanoid rabbit with rusty fur and iron whiskers, maintains the inner workings of the forts. Some non-gnomes worship Gliss, but those are few and far between.

    In ancient times, Gliss was a god of summer, freedom, and fertility- hence his rabbit form. He was a patron deity for many gnomes, and it is through them he became associated with the beginnings of steam technology. In time, this is what he became to represent entirely and the other things he stood for were forgotten completely. He is now Gliss, God of Steam, and his priests oversee the inner workings of the 'divine heritage' that is their home.

    Legends tell of his floating continent, Tether, that soared through the skies without casting a shadow, followed eternally by a bank of clouds beneath it so as to remain undetected. Tether is just a legend, though.

    But then...where do the dragons and giants live? Surely they couldn't...no, of course not. That's the stuff of children's stories and old wives' tales.
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  12. - Top - End - #12
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    Kellus's Avatar

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    Default Re: A new atempt at community world building

    Magic, Dead Gods, and Psychic Crab Monsters

    Although Gliss, Talaka, and a handful of other gods have survived the transition into the new world after the Ruin, many of the old gods have been lost and forgotten. In particular, the orcs were especially quick to forget their deities. They who once worshipped a multitude of totem gods left all that behind them when they were struggling to survive through their pagan transmogrification. Now, a scant few orc/sahaguin explorers into the ruins of their former homes have unearthed some tomes detailing the ancient entities of power. Although they now hold no sway in the mortal realm, these dead gods can be called upon as vestiges, granting the sahaguin binders a variety of totemic powers. The orc community at large sees vestiges as their most important new weapon in staking a claim in the unearthed lands.

    While most have turned away from the old gods, many have found new ways to harness the powers of creation. The gnomes and dwarves forsake magic, turning instead to the wheels of industry and technology. Meanwhile, the elves hold to the ancient arcane arts. And deep beneath the seas, something terrible and ancient stirs.

    While the world above fell prey to a watery torrent of death, the Ruin awoke an ancient horror lurking beneath the depths. Once known as the enigmatic imocaris, these dread crab-like beings lurk in the dark reaches of the ocean trenches. Harnessing mighty powers of the mind, they awoke while tremors shook the deepest reaches of the planet and began to scuttle the land once more. In the thousand years since the Ruin, they have terrified the sea-sailing races, and become the bogeymen of the sahaguin. Terrible, cruel, and unknowable, these alien creatures harness psychic powers and intend to devour all life.

    At least, most of them do. Some younger clutches of imocaris instead believe that their race has been given a new chance at life. None know why they were once sealed away in the deep, but these more optimistic imocaris have made peace with some of the landfolk and even live among them, teaching their psychic secrets to those that wish to learn. They fight a constant war against their ancient brethren, defending their new allies against their bloodthirsty and terrifying kin.

  13. - Top - End - #13
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    Vadin's Avatar

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    Default Re: A new atempt at community world building

    @Kellus: When did the imocaris appear? When the oceans rose, or 10 years ago when the waters started to fall?


    The humans, the most largest of any race, were a broken people.

    Unlike the elves and dwarves who were held together by ancient traditions, the humans quickly forget their pasts and held new banners. That, or they cling to tired emblems as though their very persistence will give something power.

    Of course, this is what humans do, and one of the reasons they adapt so well.

    After the First Rise, there was one human king who had no knowledge of ships. As waters poured into his desert, he ordered walls put up to keep out the waters and great wizards summoned.

    The wizards had two tasks: give the king immortal life, and protect the desert.

    These things the wizards did, and the floating kingdom of Sorra and the mummy-emperor Elimanishon were created. The walls of Sorra now sail across the seas, keeping the deserts inside. The people have changed little in the last thousand years. They wear the same robes and headscarves to keep out the sand, and they worship their divine emperor as fervently as their ancestors' ancestors did. Population control is, obviously, very very important. Undead laborers have replaced a significant portion of the commoners who once labored in great fields to harvest what crops they could from the desert.


    Groups so far: Three floating dwarven crab-cities, one magically floating desert with a human kingdom and impressive walls, one secret flying continent with allied giants and dragons, an undetermined amount of sahuagin/orcs in undetermined groups, and some kind of crab things
    Last edited by Vadin; 2009-06-13 at 03:43 AM.
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  14. - Top - End - #14
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    Default Re: A new atempt at community world building

    Hey, don't forget the genocidal halfling cultists and the aristocratic elf pirate wizards!

    I picture the imocaris as being first awakened when the oceans rose. Since then, the one faction has stalked the ocean floor eating lots of orc/sahaguin and anybody else they can find, while the other has integrated into normal society as best they can above the waves. Since they breathe water as well as air, it's not really a problem for them. They are pretty ugly, though.

    I LOVE the undead desert as the remnants of the human government. I imagine any other humans will be either refugees or nomads that have escaped Elimanishon's clutches.

    I guess the big question in this setting is what caused the ocean rise, and what caused them to drop down again? Vadin, you posited that the new lands are covered in some kind of planty horror... thing. Here are a few ideas I had about that:

    1. Deity Incarnate– A thousand years ago, a rogue group of cultists of some ancient god tried to make him manifest in the world once more. The plan backfired horribly, and the resulting explosion of unfiltered deific energy caused massive tremors that shook the world and caused the massive floods. Now, ten years ago, the god has finally managed to create an avatar of himself, and is carving out a kingdom in the world. Since he's a twisted god of fertility and uncapped growth, he needs fertile land; he's lowering the water level in order to have the space to build an army of plant-monsters. His goal? WHO KNOWS? (Dun dun DUN!)

    2. Simple Natural Disaster–*Exactly what it sounds like. Pure happenstance that an earthquake or something set off the flood. This still leaves the question of where the plant horrors came from, though.

    3. Curse– Some mighty spellcaster had a vendetta against the world for some reason, and put a curse on the planet hoping to... wipe out all life? Anyway, he managed to endure and over the centuries transformed himself into a blight on the once-rich lands. Now as the oceans finally settle, he can spread his taint across the entire uncovered continents, hoping to ensnare and enslave all who cross him.

    4. Nightmares Made Manifest– For whatever reason that the Ruin came in the first place, it did. Over the centuries, the various races imagined in the myths and bedtime stories terrible bogeymen that stalked the ancient lands of their ancestors. And in much the way that belief empowers a god, their fears MADE these terrible monsters real. So when the water level finally sank, the explorers found exactly what they were expecting: terrifying monsters and an insidious presence that wanted them dead.

    Anybody else have some ideas? Thoughts on this matter?

    Also, we need a name for this world.

  15. - Top - End - #15
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    Default Re: A new atempt at community world building

    When I said the humans were and had always been fragmented, I meant to imply that there were or could at least be other completely different human groups running around.

    #1 sounds quite promising, especially if it's the fey and eladrin and plant monsters that are running around.

    Evadize, once the god of the forests, has returned!

    In the old times, before the Ruin, the druids were always a little too zealous in protecting nature. They rarely took the side of the farmer that killed the wolf who had killed the farmer's children. In their eyes, the wolf was always the victim. And when a tree mysteriously fell on said farmer's home? Nature's wrath, they'd say.

    Nature's wrath my keester rear.

    Evadize called for the druids to not only seperate themselves from the trappings of society, but to abandon civilization altogether. Wherever they were, they were to be away from non-druids. In this way the cult of the druids joined with the fey and lost favor in many groups. Childnappings and virgin sacrifice and other strange rituals were, unfortunately, not unheard of.

    The Ruin was brought about when they tried to bring Evadize, against his will, to the Material Plane. To try and keep himself out, he made the waters rise so he would have no land to manifest on.

    For a thousand years he and the goddess of the ocean Naraldi held the waters high and Evadize struggled to keep from manifesting.

    But even gods can grow tired. With time, Evadize slowly lost his grasp and sanity. After a thousand years, Nature's Wrath is ready to return. He's diminished in power such that the waters have receded and he's manifested across all available land.

    Evadize is now reduced in power from a god to a very, very powerful archmage. Strong enough to shape the world, but not strong enough to remain sane.

    The druids who once swam with the nymphs and dolphins in the ocean journeyed back to land and the welcoming arms of their lost god Evadize (who they thought was punishing them for their zealotry).

    How does that sound for why the land is dangerous?
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  16. - Top - End - #16
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    Default Re: A new atempt at community world building

    Quote Originally Posted by Vadin View Post
    These things the wizards did, and the floating kingdom of Sorra and the mummy-emperor Elimanishon were created. The walls of Sorra now sail across the seas, keeping the deserts inside. The people have changed little in the last thousand years. They wear the same robes and headscarves to keep out the sand, and they worship their divine emperor as fervently as their ancestors' ancestors did. Population control is, obviously, very very important. Undead laborers have replaced a significant portion of the commoners who once labored in great fields to harvest what crops they could from the desert.
    Why exactly did they build the walls if they were just going to have the desert placed on a sort of ship and have it sail around?

    As for the underwater orcs, they got their powers by making a deal with wizards and killing their enemies? Why didn't anyone else take that deal? More importantly, if these wizards were so powerful, why didn't they kill their enemies themselves?
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrEdwardNigma View Post
    Why exactly did they build the walls if they were just going to have the desert placed on a sort of ship and have it sail around?

    As for the underwater orcs, they got their powers by making a deal with wizards and killing their enemies? Why didn't anyone else take that deal? More importantly, if these wizards were so powerful, why didn't they kill their enemies themselves?
    As I understand it, the walls were built to keep out the floods, and as the water level raised, the walls were made higher and higher until then one protected area was all that remained. The relatively small amount of land remaining was quickly stripped of food and soil as it had to service a comparatively large population, and it became a wasteland. Realizing that they needed other sources of food, the emperor had his wizards seperate his new territory from the rest of the land in order to seek out new subjects and new resources to pillage.

    For the orc/sahaguin, I love the idea, but I could easily go with the idea that it was just orc totemic spellcasters to begin with that altered their own race so that they could survive. Better than the vague "a wizard did it".

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    Why exactly did they build the walls if they were just going to have the desert placed on a sort of ship and have it sail around?

    It's like New Orleans and the Netherlands. The walls keep the water out (and kept the 20 years of flooding out before the desert was floating).

    As for height, think Great Wall of China in height. Really really high, but not unclimbable.

    Size? About 50x50 miles, roughly ovular in shape.


    As for the underwater orcs, they got their powers by making a deal with wizards and killing their enemies? Why didn't anyone else take that deal? More importantly, if these wizards were so powerful, why didn't they kill their enemies themselves?

    No one else sought the deal. The orcs had an idea and a need, and the wizards had souls to sell and truly epic vendettas.

    And the wizards were powerful, but powerful enough to take out a fiercely antimagic empire by themselves? No, these outcast wizards were willing to make deals with devils on behalf of the orcs, but they would have been no match for an army with hundreds of antimagic spheres.

    A few hundred thousand orcs, on the other hand, is a perfect match for an army like that.


    A small conclave of wizards hated an empire that hunted down any who would willfully dabble in the arcane arts. Sorcerers? The empire thought they were alright, because they were born with it- surely then it was the will of the gods (but they should still be watched...just in case). Druids and clerics? Also alright, the gods gave them power. But wizards? Horrible corrupters of the natural order, clearly.

    These wizards had to find a way to destroy this empire. It was the largest government on the planet- very difficult to topple, especially when they're so fiercely anti-arcane. They couldn't do it alone, so they contacted the second largest group, every orc tribe on the planet. The orcs had a need, and the wizards had a solution.

    The devils would grant a boon to all the orcs' children at the cost of a generation of orcish souls and the souls of the wizards who were brokering the deal.

    The deal was struck, an empire fell, and the sahuagin were born.


    Goodness I hope this all still makes sense after I get some sleep.

    EDIT: Alternative totemic spellcasters is also an idea, and allows for variations in aquatic adaptations (a mammalianish race, an amphibian race, a largely unaltered race that can only breath underwater, a fishy race, etc.).
    Last edited by Vadin; 2009-06-13 at 04:35 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kellus View Post
    For the orc/sahaguin, I love the idea, but I could easily go with the idea that it was just orc totemic spellcasters to begin with that altered their own race so that they could survive. Better than the vague "a wizard did it".
    For the sudden ocean explosion, maybe it really was 'a wizard did it' as a lampshade.

    Ie; A wizard was looking to raise an ancient city of power out of the (then) oceanic depth, but failed to construe the full effects of his spell until it was far too late, having had shifted the worldly geology and brought the ocean with the city. And now the water is receding, but the risen 'mysterious city' isn't going back under.

    /random burst in

    And now back to your regularly scheduled writers.

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    Last edited by ImmortalAer; 2009-06-13 at 04:33 AM.
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    Moving on:

    I love Evadize and Naraldi. Very cool mythology. And you are, of course, entirely right that there would be other groups of humans aside from Elimanishon's cruel mockery of his once-bountiful kingdom.

    Such as...

    The Order of What Was

    "We endure. We remember."
    – Motto of the Order of What Was

    Founded in ancient times, the Order has existed as long as written history. Centered in a stronghold on one of the highest mountains, the Order is an esoteric line of human monk lorekeepers who preserve all knowledge for future generations. Although they do not take sides in conflict, they have watched the world fall apart for the past millenium, and there are some of them who would take a more militant stance to bring order to the realm.

    When the Ruin came and Evadize was called against his will, the oceans rose to protect the world from his presence. They covered the land, but the mountains remained, spikes driving out of the sea with remnants of history remaining on them. So the Order endured, as always, and continued to watch.

    The Order keeps the old gods and the old lore, and all ancient religions are remembered by them. Although they share their lore with all who come to them, they have for the most part taken a vow of nonviolence in the affairs of other mortals.

    Some of the dissident members of the Order, six hundred years after the First Rise, became frustrated by the Order's lack of action and forswore their vows. They built an oceangoing spire, and sailed out in order to bring the world under one rule once more. Although weak, they are gradually unifying some of the different races and gathering power. Now that the lands are reappearing once more, they see an opportunity to establish a base of power finally, and establish a new government over all people. This group, the Fist of Justice, has spies and agents in many of the different ruling groups around the world, from the Houses of the elves to the ruling caste of the gnomes. They plan, they scheme, and they prepare to bring order back to the world. Their order.

    [On a side note, this is where I think monks in the setting would come from. They'd train with one of these two groups who know the old ways and the ancient training techniques.]
    Last edited by Kellus; 2009-06-13 at 10:24 AM.

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    I like the tendency of ancient mad wizards and a general forgetting of arcane power. But it wasn't sorcerers, clerics, or even druids who got a bad rap from all this crazy stuff- just the wizards. Spellbooks? Most cultures will view them with distaste and superstition now.

    I also like and have always liked in most settings ancient cities rising from the depths.

    So, what will out Reverse Atlantis be? Who will these merpeople be? What are they like? What is their city like? Are they purely aquatic, or very amphibious? Are they fishy, or unusually humanlike? Do they have magic while others have forgotten it? Have they been around for the last thousand years, or did they only rise in the last hundred?


    Fist of Justice and Order of What Was? Very cool. Monks = spies is something I've loved since Magic of Incarnum came out.

    Perhaps they're the ones with the secret settlement on the land to north.

    Not the 'secret' settlement the druids have, with their creepy villages filled with fey and animals and happy music and freaky floating lights, a real secret settlement where they've established a base of operations and expansion into the New World.
    Last edited by Vadin; 2009-06-13 at 04:44 AM.
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    Default Re: A new atempt at community world building

    Quote Originally Posted by Vadin View Post
    EDIT: Alternative totemic spellcasters is also an idea, and allows for variations in aquatic adaptations (a mammalianish race, an amphibian race, a largely unaltered race that can only breath underwater, a fishy race, etc.).
    Aye, I think I like this better, I'm afraid. But one thing I think we'll definitely need in this setting are going to be Affiliation feats that can only be taken at 1st level that give you benefits for allegiance to a particular organization or group. For orc/sahaguins (do you want to call them sahaguin, or come up with a new name?), these would be the different breeds as you mention. Otherwise, you could take them to declare allegiance to a particular Crab City, a particular elven House, one of the realms of men, one of the halfling orgnizations, etc. Since it's shaping up to have a lot of different factions with a lot of different goals.

    Thoughts?

    So, what will out Reverse Atlantis be? Who will these merpeople be? What are they like? What is their city like? Are they purely aquatic, or very amphibious? Are they fishy, or unusually humanlike? Do they have magic while others have forgotten it? Have they been around for the last thousand years, or did they only rise in the last hundred?
    Aye, I like this idea too. Somebody that only revealed themselves when the oceans fell again. I'm thinking maybe the servants of Naraldi? After all, she's not doing anything now that Evadize is manifest, so why shouldn't she have sent her heralds to prepare to wage war on him and send him back to the realm of gods before he can destroy the world?

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    Interestingly, one side effect of the desert isolation plan is that if the walls were built to keep the water out, that means that they're much like dams The land inside the walls is probably several miles BELOW sea level. It's like a bowl floating along, but the water outside is about level with the top edge of the bowl. It would be very hard to defend this land normally against people sailing on the ocean, since they could just sail in to the top of the walls and climb down. They'd be always defending the kingdom from the lower ground.

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    I actually imagined it a little more like this:
    Spoiler
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    The desert is about level with the water, so whichever side is doing the attacking has to worry about the wall- it keeps enemies out, but keeps them in.


    And yes, affiliation feats would be ideal. We can work out what system they're for later and establish what general effects each organization should grant later.


    As for the city from the depths, I like where that's going. Her followers want to destroy Evadize (who has lost so much power as not to be a proper god but is instead a very, very powerful outsider), and the easiest way they see to do that is by bringing the waters back up and declaring war on everything on land.

    They figure that the only reason the land is back is because things are using it- clearly, then, the obvious solution is to destroy anything and everything that prefers the continents and islands to floating cities and sea bottoms.

    What kind of people are they? I'm thinking...snake-like? Slithery, slimy, from the depths, Yuan-Ti/ WoW & Monster Rancher Naga?
    Spoiler
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    Very zealous. Very angry at anyone who even thinks about establishing a permanent land-based settlement, very helpful to anyone who wants to fight the land-based menace.


    And as long as we're talking about orc tribes (which we are now), how about these:

    Amphibians: The ones pictured a few posts ago, largely unchanged other than some weird horns that make them look much more evil. Target underwater and topside groups.

    Lizardmen: They live on, under, and around rafts. They can't breathe underwater, but they can hold their breath for a really long time. Like saltwater crocodiles. Target topside groups.

    Locathah: Target underwater groups.

    Kuo-Toa: Target underwater and topside groups.

    Sahuagin: Target mostly underwater, occasionally topside groups.

    Those, of course, aren't their names, just what they became.
    Last edited by Vadin; 2009-06-13 at 07:15 AM.
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    I like it. The snake monsters are like her holy ordained warriors that need to cleanse the land of life. BUT it looks like then there are lots of people that want to destroy all life. So how we flip things around and have her followers (which from hereon in I shall call Slimies) just want to destroy the new twisted life found on the uncovered lands. They still aren't especially social with the old races that are poking their heads around, but mostly they just want to eradicate this new scourge and are willing to work with anybody that helps them. This would also make them fit into an exploratory party into the new lands much better.

    As for all of the different tribes of orcs, I like the basic premise but I'm unsure about just making (for example) five different races. I think the better idea would be to have a single race that has a small amount of customizability depending on the tribe it belongs to. For example, if it's amphibious it can breathe water as well as air, but if it's one of the lizardmen rafters, it's got the same statistics but instead can hold its breath and has some other ability to help balance them out. You see where I'm going with this. One race with five subraces, instead of five different races that all call themselves orc.

    Okay, so the addition of slimies brings our races to–

    • Dwarves
    • Gnomes
    • Kaboutin
    • Humans (monks and mummies)
    • Orc/Sahaguin (five different tribes)
    • Elves (pirates and nobles)
    • Halflings (freedom fighters and cultists)
    • Imocaris (world-ending abominations and peaceful crab guys)
    • Giants (maybe giantkin for halfbreeds?)
    • Slimies

    Questions

    1. Do all the varieties of dragon live together on the floating island? That could get awkward.

    2. Similarly, how many kinds of giants survived? Ocean giants would have been just fine living in the depths of course, but there are also hill giants, green giants, etc. Or do you just want a new race of giants?

    3. I LOVE the new spin on the dwarves and gnomes. I do fell, though, like there should be some tension amongst them. There are three surviving crab-cities which among them hold pretty much the entire gnome and dwarf populations. My thoughts are that they would be fairly peaceful amongst themselves, but that the uncovering of their old lands and mines has provoked strife. Now the three cities are in a very polite, very fierve race to reclaim their previous territory, to have their leaders sit in the castles and thrones of old, and to be the first to mine in the mines of their ancestors again. So there's a sort of civil war that's brewing among them, since over a thousand years they've had plenty of time to develop different attitudes one crab-city to the next.

    Thoughts?

    EDIT: Just read what you said a little closer, and I think that's what you were originally going for with the Slimies' motivations. I originally thought that you meant they just wanted to destroy ALL life, not just the twisted unfettered growing things on the new lands.
    Last edited by Kellus; 2009-06-13 at 10:15 AM.

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    Default Re: A new atempt at community world building

    I like it. The snake monsters are like her holy ordained warriors that need to cleanse the land of life. BUT it looks like then there are lots of people that want to destroy all life. So how we flip things around and have her followers (which from hereon in I shall call Slimies) just want to destroy the new twisted life found on the uncovered lands. They still aren't especially social with the old races that are poking their heads around, but mostly they just want to eradicate this new scourge and are willing to work with anybody that helps them. This would also make them fit into an exploratory party into the new lands much better.

    Same as the original premise, but reined in a bit to allow it to work in the setting. I like! They hate the now-crazy Evadize and his spawn and his supporters, and they'll support anyone who's out there killing him/them.

    As for all of the different tribes of orcs, I like the basic premise but I'm unsure about just making (for example) five different races. I think the better idea would be to have a single race that has a small amount of customizability depending on the tribe it belongs to. For example, if it's amphibious it can breathe water as well as air, but if it's one of the lizardmen rafters, it's got the same statistics but instead can hold its breath and has some other ability to help balance them out. You see where I'm going with this. One race with five subraces, instead of five different races that all call themselves orc.

    Yeah, that's kinda what I meant. I was giving the examples of the kinds of oceanic things the orcs turned into- half-frog, half-croc, srota-fishy, mostly-fish, even-more-mostly fish...or something like that.

    Do all the varieties of dragon live together on the floating island? That could get awkward.

    Tether is mostly mountains and a few swamps and lakes (some water basins drain off into the clouds, some don't) surrounded by forests, so red, green, and black dragons for sure.

    The red and black dragons? Definitely evil. They kill things for fun (and also profit).

    The green dragons? Evil and mean-spirited, but not quite as vicious about it as the reds and blacks. More aware of 'harvesting', taking most of a victims stuff so you can come back and take more later.

    Reds and blacks are in it for the lulz, greens are in it for the sweet loot.

    Similarly, how many kinds of giants survived? Ocean giants would have been just fine living in the depths of course, but there are also hill giants, green giants, etc. Or do you just want a new race of giants?

    Storm Titans and Hill Titans are the only true giants that survived, and they rule over the dragons and giants. They're too large to ride even the elder dragons, putting them in an awkward power position- they can't go on raids themselves, but they could beat the heck out of anything on Tether.

    As long as the dragons don't have any other land to live on, the titans can maintain their control. If they were to find homes in this new land, however...

    As for the giants that aren't titans, they're half-giants: they aren't really 'half' anything else, they're just lesser giants/giant humanoids.

    I LOVE the new spin on the dwarves and gnomes. I do fell, though, like there should be some tension amongst them. There are three surviving crab-cities which among them hold pretty much the entire gnome and dwarf populations. My thoughts are that they would be fairly peaceful amongst themselves, but that the uncovering of their old lands and mines has provoked strife. Now the three cities are in a very polite, very fierce race to reclaim their previous territory, to have their leaders sit in the castles and thrones of old, and to be the first to mine in the mines of their ancestors again. So there's a sort of civil war that's brewing among them, since over a thousand years they've had plenty of time to develop different attitudes one crab-city to the next.

    Excellent source of political intrigue for the players! Now let's name some prominent gnome, dwarf, and 'other' leaders and cities and see what crops up.
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    Falath, The Scattered Kingdom

    When the waves rose for the first time, not all were as lucky as the dwarves to have such allies as the gnomes. Not all were so lucky to have masters of arcane magic at their command, like the emperor in his desert. Not all were so lucky to have been given notice, two centuries before, of what would come like the halflings.

    And the human Kingdom of Falath was never lucky.

    When the Ruin came, Falath was scattered. Her lands shattered and her people massacred, most thought her done. Yet one member of her royal family survived, an infant in arms who was away from the palace when the waves broke against the walls and the walls in turn broke against the waves.

    Today, the royal descendants of Falath's monarch live in hiding. Falath was never a popular Kingdom among its neighbours, being too rigid and steeped in its honour. A thousand years ago, when the surviving King came of age, he pledged that he would only reveal himself to the world once he sat once more in the throne of his family. Now, although untold centuries have gone by, his descendants keep to his pledge. Farath has no lands, no borders, but lives in secret, integrated into other nations and peoples. The knights of Falath may swear other oaths to other authorities, but their first, true loyalty is to the heir to Falath's throne, wherever he or she may be.

    And now, finally, the waters recede. Falath's heir looks to the newly revealed lands as a sign from the gods that the time is right to reclaim the old kingdom. And, whoever they are, wherever they are, they don't intend to let anything stand in their way of reclaiming their throne.
    Last edited by Kellus; 2009-06-13 at 10:34 AM.

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    Default Re: A new atempt at community world building

    Tether is mostly mountains and a few swamps and lakes (some water basins drain off into the clouds, some don't) surrounded by forests, so red, green, and black dragons for sure.

    The red and black dragons? Definitely evil. They kill things for fun (and also profit).

    The green dragons? Evil and mean-spirited, but not quite as vicious about it as the reds and blacks. More aware of 'harvesting', taking most of a victims stuff so you can come back and take more later.

    Reds and blacks are in it for the lulz, greens are in it for the sweet loot.
    Very cool. I love the fairytale feel to Tether, being a floating sky-nation full of dragons and giants.

    What steers Tether? Does it simply float on the wind, or is there a caste of dragons that is charged with plotting its course? Or is the island itself ALIVE, a thinking entity that hopes one day to conquer lesser lands?

    Also, and I'm just going to throw this one word out to see what comes up, but: DINOSAURS.

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    It could actually be a literal race to the new lands; those massive crab-cities would have to be very slow. They could have been halfway around the world when the word first reached them, and are even now, ten years later, not quite there yet. In the mean time, all of the subs and steam-ships that they've sent to the islands have either not come back, or have come back with only the vaguest of information.

    I like the idea of just having optional bonus packages for the orcs. Amphibians would be the base, unmodified version. The ones that breath only air and the ones that breath only water would both be breath-holders, i.e. they would be able to hold their breath for literally hours in their non-native environs. The balancing factor would be some natural armor, making them the lizardmen and fishmen.

    The way we're going with the orcs now, I think that we must be resigned to them having a net +1 LA. In return for this, natural attacks. 1d4 damage claws and 1d8 damage bite. Furthermore, in order to draw on the sahuagin concept of mutations, have some mutation feats available only at character creation and only for orcs. Or, instead, make it something where you must take the largely useless Mutation feat to gain other mutations down the road.

    As for the kuo-toa and actual sahuagin, I think that the kuo-toa deviate from the orcish concept too much to be derived from them, and the actual sahuagin could be an example of EXTREMELY genetically deviant orcs. This genetic instability could have been caused when they were changed over the course of a generation into their aquatic forms. This should also make them especially susceptible to lycanthropy and polymorphing effects. That weakness could even (maybe) negate their level adjustment.

    I think that one of the crab cities should be all about keeping the dwarves and gnomes pure - they have a symbiotic relationship, but half-dwarves and half-gnomes are kindly and firmly asked to leave. Now. They would also exclude any of the other races from traveling any deeper into the city than the docks. They're willing to accept their trade, but that's really the furthest that they'll go.

    Another should be the opposite - all about the blending of races and cultures. They would have realized the true importance of the races working as one after this symbiotic venture, and in turn started to interbreed freely. This would have led to a large population of kabouter as well as a slowly growing population of mongrel folk. Furthermore, it's likely that they would have allied with a number of human fleets and the few halfling free flotillas, protecting them in times of war and even inviting them to live on their crab city.

    The third is the city of the mechanists. There's some interbreeding, but not much. That's not what matters, though. What matters is the glorious artifice. This city would stay almost exclusively in the shallows, always mining. They would produce the most advanced clockwork and magitech items of any of the crab cities, including the warforged, a soldier, maintenance, and underwater mining race, untethered by the life support requirements of their creators. This city would also need to have heavy trade relations, trading their clockwork and steam-powered marvels for trivialities that they hadn't bothered with - like food.

    Humans are, of course, insanely varied. They aren't just monks and mummies - they're also floating pontoon cities protected by vast navies and polar whalers living in massive ships made of skin and bone. They're pirates and ark-dwellers and remnants of the old orders of mages living in bubbled mage academies.

    What do you think?
    GENERATION 12: The first time you see this, copy it into your sig and add 1 to the generation. social experiment.
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    Default Re: A new atempt at community world building

    Wow, that sounds really good, jagadaishio. I love the spin you've put on each of the crab-cities. And the whole "literal race" is genius.

    While I agree that the orcs are probably going to be too powerful for the setting compared to, say, humans or elves, I'm going to suggest tentatively (all theoretical since we're not into stats yet) that they get just a racial HD instead of a +1 LA. Just because nobody ever likes to play with level adjustment.

    And yeah, there'd be a TON of human factions that were scattered and spread across the seas. They'd also have no problem integrating into other societies, so they'd be pretty much everywhere.

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